Agricultural produce today is dominated by corporate-produced hybrid seeds, while every year, hundreds of native varieties of Indian seeds go extinct. Lawyer, naturist and activist Anny Kohli, more than 50 years ago, identified the problem and started training farmers across the country, to preserve and grow traditional heirloom foods, cultivated through organic farming techniques. Ann — a bucolic little store on the main Assagao street, that sells heirloom foods is an offshoot of her efforts.
Re-Stock Your Kitchen With Masalas, Oils & Grains From This Healthy Food Store
What Makes It Awesome
Ann is a one-of-a-kind store, that sources and sells grains and superfoods that are grown employing authentic organic methods by thousands of farmers who have been trained by Anny Kohli herself. Naturally the grains that are authentic heirloom seeds, are bereft of any contamination, taste much better and are far more nutritious.
The organic foods movement has caught on amongst the urban population in the recent years. However, if you have looked at a produce labelled organic and wondered about its authenticity, you are not the only one. Jay, food activist and frontrunner of Ann tells us that in most cases, these do not take into consideration the synthetically manufactured organic compounds that are added to the crops to increase the food production. Naturally the result is that most of the foods that we consume as staples are contaminated or modified genetically and thus devoid of the nutrients that they would otherwise contain.
Ann, is a beautifully designed store where you can buy your basic groceries but of the non-hybrid kind — from balanced salt, to organically grown jeera, badam, hempseeds, hempoil, apple cider, cane jaggery, Goan heirloom rice, Goan cashews, coconut oil, as well as fresh baskets of non-hybrid fruits and veggies. Their flagship product however, is Spirulina — the biomass of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae — a food that is extremely rich in its nutrient content, given it was among the first photosynthetic organism of the world. At Ann the Spirulina is carefully sundried to preserve its natural composition and sold as tablets in packs of 28 or jars of 360. We could go on about its benefits, but we’d rather you hear it from the horse’s mouth — so keep some time in hand when you’re headed for Ann.
Sit down with Jay and he will explain the whole process to you and guide you through the necessary dosage. Jay himself, is a stockpile of anecdotes and knowledge about heirloom grains that he will patiently explain the works to you, till you become a convert! We’d know, we surely did and came back with a pack of Spirulina tablets and some heirloom moong and balanced salt, and we can feel a positive difference.
Ann also has a small cafe space, where they serve organic breakfast and lunch — wheat rotis and brown rice, and veg curries made from the local seasonal produce, sprinkled with some spirulina. The food is served in mitti bowls, with wooden spoons and trust us we’ve never had better tasting, simple food. Remember, that you have to pre-order the food, so call ahead and book.