June 20, 2021

“Chickpeas are one of the best alternatives to animal proteins”

“I am Toulouse by birth and Indian at heart. My parents were anti-globalization activists, and, thanks to my father’s work for the NGO Frères des hommes, we traveled a lot in our childhood. From the age of 4, my brother and I were in the anti-nuclear demonstrations, then, a few years later, our parents took us to the Andes or deep into the Amazon rainforest.

The country that struck me the most was India, where I went for the first time at age 7, for three months. It was an amazing adventure, we went from village to village and discovered India while my father was working. When I was 10, I started singing, and I entered the professional conservatory at 17.

“I had a burn-out, and I understood that I wanted to find a job that has a relationship with others, that is in sharing. “

But I was unhappy there: singing is like top-level sport, you have to work a lot, learn Italian and German, forget going out, movies, friends … It was a very restrictive, competitive life. and lonely. I had a burn-out, and I understood that I wanted to find a job that had a relationship with others, that was in sharing.

I gave up singing to study for a diploma in international relations specializing in South Asia. But, when I went to test the profession in an embassy in New Delhi, I realized that it was a very Franco-French environment, and that I would still have found myself alone in the life of an expatriate. When I was 21, I asked my father if I could find out about one of his projects.

I found my vocation in contact with peasants in Indian villages. In 2007, I helped organize a large landless peasants’ march, and soon after, I joined SOL, a French NGO that accompanies and supports small peasants, particularly in India, in South Africa. ‘West and France. It was then that I met Vandana Shiva, an Indian figure in the ecological fight against land and seed grabbing.

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In 2010, his association, Navdanya, opposed, in the name of food sovereignty, the establishment in India of the first GMO eggplant, created by Monsanto. We joined them in this fight and started to work with them on various projects to defend the peasants and their freedoms.

Food sovereignty

Eggplant fritters with chickpea flour represent both my values ​​and my struggles. They appeal to my Mediterranean origins, but also to the tasty Indian cuisine that I ate all my childhood. In India, there are more than 4,500 varieties of eggplant: white, pink, green, striated, round or elongated… For me, it is a symbol of biodiversity and of the importance of protecting this biodiversity up to the point of time. on our plates.

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As for chickpeas, another pillar of Indian cuisine, it is one of the best alternatives to animal proteins, a legume that symbolizes food sovereignty and the fight against climate change (since it makes it possible to do without soy, with a high carbon footprint). These donuts are as delicious as they are symbolic. “

All peasants, all peasants! Journey to the heart of peasant agroecology in India, France and Senegal, association SOL.