The term “food basket” in India actually means a real basket that an average Indian woman takes to shop for groceries and food.
Some decades ago, her basket (now a days, “his” too) would contain plenty of vegetables, small millets and a rich variety of leafy greens in addition to staple grains such as rice and wheat.However, many of the above items have been vanishing, albeit slowly, from the food basket and most of these are not even known to the millenials.
Even the older generation that is popularly called as the baby boomers, and who used to consume these diverse foods everyday had, to a large extent, forgotten them.
The transformation of diets in India over the past few decades is mind-blowing in the extreme and disturbing to boot. In this article I would like to discuss the key macro trends in consumption of selected food crops in India; possible causes of the transformation of diets; potential impacts on health and wellbeing and, finally, the importance of enabling policies that can augment not only food but the nutritional security of a country.