Why local produce is the new black


I have been a late bloomer when it comes to cooking. Born in a relatively liberal home to fairly broad-minded parents, I was shielded from various gender stereotypes at home. Being the eldest among the siblings also helped largely. 

 So, I never entered the kitchen thanks to my Mum who chased me every time I was curious to know when was cooking. She felt that since eventually someday I would have to shoulder domestic responsibilities after marriage, there was no need for me to enter the kitchen and start so early. In fact, even after marriage, cooking exclusively for the family never cropped up because we lived in a joint family setup with a hands-on maid. Yes, I took some baby steps into the kitchen after marriage but cooking was still at the nascent stage for me.

It was only after moving to the US when I really took on the mantle of the kitchen and the home. It was the need of the hour. I was very nervous before going there. But, my mother reassured me that cooking was no rocket science and one learns eventually from their mistakes. She told me that´s how she learnt. When you fail once, the next time you learn not to make the same mistake while trying again. True to her words, that´s how even I learnt to cook. By trial and error, by watching YouTube recipe videos, by calling up my Mum and Mum-in-law, by going to friends´ homes and learning first-hand from them, by watching TV cookery shows and more. What I learnt was that anything can be learnt from the scratch at any point of time in our lives if we only have the will to do so.

But, what I learnt more importantly was how closely our health was tied to our kitchen. When I went to the US, I was a mother of an 18 month old toddler. By that time, I knew how important nutrition was for the growth and development of a child. Shopping locally at farmer´s markets helped me not just admire and appreciate Nature´s bounty but also work around them to sustain ourselves. In those six years, I have cooked extensively trying out new foods and cuisines. I always wondered when you have such well-furnished kitchens in America, why was the need for so many ´take-outs´ in the first place? And here in India, people cooked regularly in less than fancy kitchens and homes in such variety and range. Anywhere, that´s for another ´food for thought´ discussion for another day!

We moved back to India after six years and the love for cooking has stayed on. Living in India has its own advantages – the sunshine weather, daily and weekly farmer´s markets, easy access to abundant fresh produce in fruits, vegetables, diary, poultry etc, rich family traditions when it comes to nutrition and health.

 I do wish to make healthier choices and cook more healthy food of late. You know, ´Health bhi and taste bhi´! Interestingly, one of my goals this year is to digitize this experience. Have a blog to track the progress of my family´s health and wellbeing. The blog will not just focus on food alone but all aspects of going natural in our lifestyle. The aim is to find natural treatments in the kitchen. Research, scout, shop fresh ingredients locally at best and stock them in the kitchen. It could be food, beauty or medicine. Of course, food will be an integral part of the blog but there will be other aspects of life tied up to the kitchen.

This notion of seeing the kitchen as a holy abode for our physical and mental well-being piques my interest and makes me want to explore the myriad possibilities. The main idea is to live life wisely and minimalistically to truly experience abundance and richness.

Some concluding tips before signing off –

  • Buy local as near as you can – fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • Buy fresh meat and not frozen
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable
  • Learn and try new recipes. Try different styles of cooking – baking, steaming, poaching etc. Create new family favourites
  • Invest in good-looking and functional culinary ware and kitchen tools.
  • Explore local produce beyond food and menu offerings. Delve into the territory of science, beauty and medicine.



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Tina Sequeira
Articles: 230

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  1. Awesome post. I got to know your entire journey from childhood till here, where you stand tall as a kitchen chef. I am sure after spending those years in the US, and then in India, you would have figured out what this topic was all about. The vegetables of US which are a local produce there would be best suited for one and all staying there. The Indian or the Vietnamese produce may not work constructively, on health factors of those in the US. The same applies vice versa. The Indian local produce should be used in home Kitchens as well as restaurant kitchens so that pure nutrition could be passed to the person eating the same. The imported produce which we often call exotics, don’t work so well with the body when compared to the Local Produce. Would have loved to read some more from you on the local produce and its uses in your kitchen. Overall a good post. Thank you.

    • Hi Uttpal! Thank you so much for that lovely detailed feedback on this post. I would have loved to explore more aspects to this wonderful topic. As mentioned, I am saving them up for another blog of mine around health and lifestyle. I love the idea of food, health and environmental sustainability..it´s a very pertinent topic that will gain increasing momentum in the coming years. I don´t fall for exotics either…..there is enough exoticness in our local produce, I think 🙂 Please do keep stopping by and sharing your constructive feedback.!

  2. Think local act global seems to be your mantra this year! Awesome idea to digitize family health and nutrition. I think that will be a great motivator to stick to the plan and stay close to your core goals.

    • Hi Neha! Yes, there are many key goals for me personally and professionally this year. But, the biggest of them all is the wellbeing of my family. You know as the women of the household, we hold so much power in shaping the minds and bodies of every member. The proposed blog on food is only to take charge and keep track of the family´s overall wellness. I think it´s very closely tied to the kitchen and I find that aspect very intriguing. I surely want to explore more there 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts always. Much love! 🙂

  3. Your tip of buying fresh and local is the best one fo rensuring healthy food on the table. I am sure you are quite an accomplished cook by now – and kudos for that!!!

    • Hey Shalini! So nice to see you here. True, environmental sustainability starts within our homes. We don´t have to look too far to being change. Thank you so much, I am not sure if I am an accomplished cook because there´s so much more to learn and master. But yes, considering how I was a rank beginner few years ago, I do feel accomplished in that sense for sure. Thank you again for the motivation! 🙂 Keep stopping by! Much love!

  4. Wonderful post and I could relate to it so well. I know, living in a foreign land and handling multiple responsibilities is not an easy task, and of course, life in India is much easier in various ways. I enjoyed reading your experience and love the tips you had shared. #Superbloggerchallenge2018

    • Hi Surbhi! You heard me so well because I guess you have been in my shoes as well. It is certainly not easy but there is a strange sense of accomplishment and satisfaction too in doing your own job. India frees up a lot of your time for other activities as well. I appreciate and count those little blessings for sure. Glad you enjoyed the post and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts as always! Much love! 🙂

  5. rituprapanna

    Wonderful Post Tina and very relatable to me. I know, living a life on foreign land and handling multiple responsibilities is not an easy task. Life in India is much easier in various ways. I enjoyed reading your experience and loved the tips you had shared. #Superbloggerchallenge2018

    • Wonderful post and I could relate to it so well. I know, living in a foreign land and handling multiple responsibilities is not an easy task, and of course, life in India is much easier in various ways. I enjoyed reading your experience and love the tips you had shared. #Superbloggerchallenge2018

  6. Lovely read Tina. I was also the same kind of person who never made trips to kitchen unless very necessary. But after getting married, unfortunately, I couldn’t get a cook for good 8 months. With many trial runs, finally, I got this stuff in my hands. I now cook well, love to experiment and prefer cooking at home even for birthday and anniversary parties. Also as I grew up seeing the importance of local food, I am following the same practice in my house as well. So no exotic fruits or vegetable, I prefer local in-season food.

  7. I completely identify with your cooking journey because my mother had the same reasoning. And I cooked properly for the first time only in the US albeit for myself. But after marriage and children is when I started experimenting and learning more.

  8. Lovely post !! I remember my first attempt at cooking when I was in UK in my sister’s place. I went there looking for a job and took to cooking to cooking to assist my sister and brother-in-law who are doctors. My first attempt was at Brinjal sabji and first I added too much oil and then compensate for that added more brinjal. After several attempts I had enough sabji to last the family for 2 days. But my sister’s family simply loved it. I did not get a job in UK but over the 4 months I spent there I became an expert cook. Everything used to come from super market shelves there. Nice article bringing out the essence of buying locally. Great. #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 #Instacuppa

  9. And these tips were truly helpful!!! I am also learning to cook!😍😍

  10. A very good and comprehensive post. I can’t think of anything that you have missed in here. Would love to read your experience as a home chef. Looking forward.

  11. It’s interesting to read about your journey Tina.
    I really find it intriguing to know stories that lead to creation of creative energy.
    Grt post.
    Although I am not a food Blogger, but this facet of blogging interests me a lot.

    Pls read my week3 post for #superbloggerchallenge2018

  12. I so relate with you with your experience as a non kitchen person until you got married. I too got friendly with the kitchen only after my wedding. About emphasising on the local stuff for the kitchen, I believe that having seasonal produce is very important, as it would be more nutritious and reasonably priced.

  13. I only began cooking post my marriage. That makes me a late bloomer too 😊 Baking piques my interest but I love cooking for my kids as well.
    I’ve been thinking of investing in good cutleries. Reading your post, I want to do so asap ☺ i reckon it’d would enhance my kitchen experience ❤

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