A five-day food festival was held here to propagate the culinary traditions of the State.
It aimed to resist the organised corporate moves against the traditional food habits and agricultural practices.
The governmental and the non-governmental institutions came together to hold the first National Food and Agro Bio Diversity Festival here from December 27 to 31.
The fest was a celebration of ethnic food traditions and agricultural biodiversity that emphasised the delicate correlation between food diversity and health.
It had about 200 stalls exhibiting the research and development activities of government and nongovernmental organizations, showcasing the traditional food and agro-biodiversity.
Culinary delights associated with places such as Ambalappuzha paalpayasam; the sweet dish made of rice and milk, Ramasseri Idli; rice cakes, Guruvayur Pappadam; roasted starters, Marayoor jaggery and Kozhikodan Halwa (sweet dish).
Besides, 108 dishes based on jackfruit and seed varieties that are facing extinction were also exhibited at the festival.
Many visitors relished the 54-dish "Aranmula Vallasadya", usually served to oarsmen of snake boats in a ceremonious ritual at the Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula. It was available at just Rs.100.
"This is excellent because I have been living here for a long time but I never had a chance to experience this kind of taste. This happens to be an offering given in the Parthasarathy Temple in Central Travancore. This happens to be an offering to Lord Vishnu (Hindu God). But then this has always been served there. Now for the first time it is happening in our city," said Parvati, a visitor at the food festival.
The festival included stalls by various government departments, farmers' organisations and non-governmental organisations. Whereas many health conscious visitors had their free check up and received consultation on nutrition and physiotherapy.
The event also hosted three national seminars on related topics. Renowned agriculturists, scientists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs and social scientists addressed seminars, workshops and discussion forums.
"Its redefining traditional food from something obsolete we can get rid off to lately relevant in contemporary times when junk food is causing diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. So it is a health solution, environmental solution and food security solution," said Vandana Siva, the Chairperson of Annam.
The event was jointly organised by the departments of Agriculture and Food and Civil Supplies, the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, the State Horticulture Mission, Navdanya; the Environment Collaborative and the National Rural Health Mission.
Growing, harvesting, preparing food and the age-old traditions of coming together to eat has been the focus of family and community life in the southern state. Reviving these customs, the Annam National Food and Biodiversity Fest was a celebration of healthy ethnic food traditions and agricultural biodiversity.