Forgotten foods – The bio diversity and food heritage of India series by Navdanya
This book is a simple way of teaching children that we don’t need monoculturalism in food -the world has enough diversity to go around.
There is a great buzz about ancient grains in the Western world and Master chefs are rediscovering their goodness and bringing them back to grocery shelves.
In India many of our ancient grains and seeds still exist and are used as staple foods just like they were thousands of years ago .
Forgotten foods is a very readable listing of millets and pseudo cereals that may be in danger of extinction.
It has workable usable recipes for each millet -check the amaranth peanut butter log, raagi (finger millet) crepes, and jowar (sorghum) idlis.
Local names for each one in as many Indian languages and English equivalents as possible make this much easier to decode
I was also fascinated by the history of ancient trade that these grains and seeds tell us .
Amaranth which we are told is the most nutritious grain in the world ( its called ramdana in Hindi ) is originally a native of South America.
Raagi which is s staple in South India came to us three thousand years ago from Ethiopia.
But most important is the fact that these are so nutritionally rich and inexpensive.
It part of a series brought out by the Navdanya trust which is run by the famous, much storied environmental activist Vandana Shiva .
Navdanya runs a bio diversity conservation programme with farmers in the Garhwal mountains in India.
The Navdanya series has books on rice, wheat, pulses, spices and oil seeds of India. www.navdanya.org