BENGALURU: City dwellers are most often unaware of how far the vegetables consumed in the daily diet have travelled. The distance is referred to as Food Miles is a contrast to the convenience experienced, particularly the distance between homes and the grocery shop. But have you ever wondered how our foods reach these shops? Where do they come from?
With recent talk about how what we eat can have an impact on our planet, all aspects of our food has come to the limelight. The term Food Miles, which is described as the distance a food item travels during its journey from the producer to the consumer, has become the talk of the town. Did you know that the vegetables reaching our markets are coming from anywhere between 20 and 300 kilometres. A large portion of the potatoes and carrots we find in the markets in Bengaluru have travelled from farms at Devanahalli, which is about 40 km from the city. A bulk of our tomatoes are from Kolar, which is about 70 km from the city. But the most shocking among them are our onions and lemons, which travel from Bellary and Chitradurga to reach the city from 300 and 200 km away respectively. A salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and lemon has collectively travelled more than 600 km to reach our tables. Not to forget that most of the produce is doused with various chemicals in the form of fertilizers and pesticides. Having become aware of the impact this has on our health and in turn our environment, citizens across the city have taken up growing vegetables on balconies, verandas and terraces in their own homes. This has given rise to a whole new band of urban farmers within the city of Bengaluru.
One among them is Dr Meenakshi Bharath, a doctor-turned-reformist, who is well known for her tireless efforts regarding solid waste management within Malleswaram. Using recycled plastic buckets, polybags, gardening boxes and bamboo baskets she has converted 1300 sqft. of her terrace into a chemical-free vegetable garden. With the help of the compost she generates out of her own kitchen waste, she now harvests 2-3 kgs of different vegetables on a weekly basis with minimal effort. She tells us how gardening is very much like cooking, one small step at a time and learning more every.
Exercise of the Week
For those of you interested to learn vegetable gardening, start off with a single pot on your window sill, veranda or terrace. Plant a few cuttings of mint/pudina and write to us about your experience after watching it closely for 2 weeks. For more information on terrace gardens or any other queries contact
- Potatoes and Carrots-Devanhalli, 40 km
- Tomatoes- Kolar-70 Km
- Onions-Bellary-300 kms
- Lemons-Chitradurga-200 km
- Collectively 600 kms each