If you go by the several articles published on food last year, many homes seemed to have awakened to the benefits of home-cooked food. Moreover, a large section of society was inspired to get back to whole foods. There is a new found awareness when people started to look at and read food labels. A positive fallout of the pandemic was that nutrition and principles of a healthy diet was brought to centre stage. Business magazines and papers report that organic food sales that included plant produce, poultry and livestock went up dramatically around the world .
Personally, it has always been a priority for me to know where my food came from. And it is very convenient if you can find authentic produce under one roof. A few years back, on my mother’s recommendation I visited the Grameena Angadi in Jayanagar, Bangalore, which is the sales and showroom of the cooperative Grameena Karakushala Udyama located in Kanakpura (Bangalore Rural). The cooperative also has branches in Rajajinagar and Banashankhari localities too.
According to the founder and manager of Gramina Karakushala Udyama, P Rajashekhar, nearly two hundred farmers are dependent on this shop. They all come under the trust formed by artisans and agriculturists. The shop in Jayanagar has two sections in the basement and a flight of steps takes you to another. One section in the basement has organic food grains such as a variety of millets (foxtail, barnyard, kodo, ragi etc), dals/ lentils, all types of organic rice from, black, red to unpolished rice, various types of flours including those that can be used for a low- carbohydrate diet. There is a plethora of cooking oils to choose from, from cold pressed to virgin oils processed from coconut, groundnut, sesame seed etc. I love the high-quality cow and buffalo ghee that they have in stock too. You have the choice of buying free-range eggs and goat milk too! If you come on a Tuesday or a Friday you have the choicest organic vegetables and fruits. Literally from farm to table. I love to buy the cold-pressed oils that come in steel container. Next time I buy another, I simply have to return the steel container and I am not charged for it again. This way, I have the option to cut down my plastic consumption.
The adjacent section has a plethora of ayurvedic proprietary mixes, chemical free cosmetics, cleaning agents, soaps, pooja oils, aggarbattis and items a host of traditional ready to eat snacks like murukku, chakli, koda bale, chips and ready sambar powder, chutney powder, papads and pickles. It’s a tough choice you are faced with. I always feel excited to see the earthen-ware and cast- iron utensils. This section also has things that you can gift others as well yourself like handcrafted bags, terracotta nd metal jewellery, and home-décor.
The third section is as interesting as the other two and houses handloom (kaimagga) and some power-loom sarees and textiles. You can find handloom sarees from Karnataka such as the Udupi saree, textiles from Gadag, Raichur, Bijapur, the Patteda Anchu, Ilkals, Khana material along with textiles from adjacent states like Ikats, Kalamkari and linen and jute.
There is something for gardening enthusiasts too, like compost, organic fertilisers, products made from vetiver and seeds. All in all, a treat for conscious customers who want look to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The customer service is also excellent. We certainly need more such farmers’ outlets for getting ethical, organic and nutritive foods. Do check out the shop when you are in Bangalore.
8th, 11th Main Road, 39th A Cross, Opposite-Shalini Grounds, near Raghavendra Temple, 4th T Block East, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560041
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