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Mumbai Gets an Organic Market - NY Times
Last modified: 2010-04-16 18:47:45

Organic cotton: a sensible concept. Cotton candy: frivolous, but delicious. But organic cotton candy - these three words are not natural bedfellows. Nonetheless, the adventurous spirit of the Indian sweet tooth knows no bounds. Now, thanks to a new organic farmers' market in Mumbai (Nilgiri Garden, Bandra Hindu Association, Linking Road, Bandra West), you can get a natural sugar rush - imagine eating a nimbus cloud that passed over a molasses factory - alongside local, pesticide-free food.

Getting fresh produce in Mumbai has never been a problem; the market often comes to you, via a street cart vendor. But finding organic fruits and vegetables is not as easy. The farmers' market, apparently the first all-organic market in the city, hopes to change that. Kavita Mukhi, founder of Conscious Food (consciousfood.com), is the brains behind the operation, which will run every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. "The goal is to get the whole community, particularly younger generations, thinking about a different way to live," Ms. Mukhi said. "It's not about being a fanatic, but helping the earth."

During the market's inaugural Sunday in late March, the smell of cilantro hung in the air, and bags of purple onions awaited a willing buyer. Sanjay Pawar, a farmer and member of a cooperative in nearby Nashik, smiled in front of a dwindling crate of plump, striated eggplants. (Farmers can get 10 to 20 percent more for their products by growing organic, according to Mr. Pawar.)

AngelFood, a health food delivery service in Mumbai (angelfoodmumbai@gmail.com), occupied one of two coveted cafe stalls (a booth with a few chairs and tables), and did a brisk business selling vegan quiche and milkshakes, bottled garlic-chive dressing and pita sandwiches. At the macrobiotic cafe, health drinks like "The Alkalizer," made with coconut milk, cucumber and cilantro, sold out.

Live music, film screenings and organic products like paint, paper, furniture and cosmetics will also be featured.

NY Times April 8, 2010, 6:00 am - LINDSAY CLINTON

Keywords: organic, mumbai, cotton, produce, Mukhi, consciousfood.com cooperative,
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