Krishi Cress is helping boost our immunity during the coronavirus pandemic
Achintya Anand of Krishi Cress, a Corona warrior, is making all efforts in his might to fight COVID-19 pandemic. He, along with his team, pack fresh produce from Krishi Cress, his Chattarpur, Delhi-based farm.
Taking lead from a paper published by the Centre of Chronic Diseases, the USA, on ranking vegetables on basis of their nutrient density and ability to fight chronic diseases, Anand is using fermented Oxalis (a leafy vegetable) and Goldenrod herb – both of which are known to be used in medicine for treating bronchitis, inflammation, and in controlling fever.
“Kombucha is a fermented, slightly effervescent, sweetened tea brew consumed for its health benefits,” says Achintya, who holds an International Restaurant Management degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Adelaide, Australia.
Team Krishi Cress is also blending various ingredients grown on their farms such as Borage, Turmeric, and Shiso with their Kombucha preparations. While Turmeric, used in many Indian medicines as well as in cooking, is a proven potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Borage, on the other hand, has mucilage making it beneficial for dry cough, throat irritations, chest colds, and bronchitis. The third ingredient, Shiso leaves are beneficial to the respiratory tract as they bear anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-bacterial properties.
Though there is no scientific evidence that these ingredients prevent COVID-19, however in general, WHO recommends consuming adequate fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
Like many animals, viruses are also evolving and mutating. Similarly, as insects get immune to fertilisers, with every occurrence of life-threatening viruses like Swine Flu, H1N1, etc., there's a new mutation that becomes known.
"At a time when scientists are also struggling to find solutions, and labs are testing and trying vaccines before they are finally available for use (which can be sooner or later), we are relying on our personal experiences and folk wisdom to provide new immunity boosters to our clients," says the 26-year-old.
Using books, as well as literature from the web which states how Kombucha can help in strengthening the immune system and alleviate certain cases of influenza, Achintya has recently introduced an immunity basket as a Krishi Cress offering which comprises of a bottle of Kombucha and a mix of two vegetables grown on his farm - Water Cress and Swiss Chard. Both are ranked highest in their nutrient density and ability to fight chronic diseases.
“We introduced the basket, keeping the health of our customers in mind. They can now avail of this immunity basket and add those ingredients to their daily fruit and vegetable intake,” says Achintya.
Achintya, a chef trained with Michelin-starred restaurant Aquavit in New York, took to farming in 2015 in a bid to provide a healthier lifestyle to his patrons. He lives in his farm which is spread over 6.5 acres in Delhi, as well as works with a network of 10-12 independent farm owners from where he gets his supplies of micro-greens, edible flowers, Kombucha, corn, mushrooms, various household vegetables to hotels, restaurants, and individual customers across Delhi-NCR.
In a general day, Krishi Cress sells its produce at the farmer’s market on Sundays at Sunder Nursery, Delhi; Le Marche, Gurugram; and the retail outlet of Nature's Soul in Defence Colony. It also conducts Kombucha brewing classes for the benefit of consumers from time to time.
Given the testing times, while most of his B2B customers have shut shop, people at homes are waking up to the importance of healthy food.
"I see this transition happening suddenly, and we are getting a morale boost from our home customers. To help reach out to more people, we are doing home deliveries along with offering the option of pickup and drop (of customers) from our farms," shares Achintya.
Keeping with the need of the times, all its delivery vehicles are sanitised daily, and his staff and farmhands wear masks and regularly sanitise to avoid any risk of contracting the illness.
At a time when the market is reeling under pressure and the masses are panicking, the farmers disposing of their crops for a lack of market, businesses shutting down, labour being let go, and newer business models are evolving with the introduction of value-added products, and Krishi Cress is helping out in the case. Its positivity and relentless work to keep our kitchens stocked up well will surely see us through the coronavirus pandemic.
(Edited by Suman Singh)