For those who haven’t been there, Auroville is a magical place. A spiritual community in South India, it’s drawn some amazing people from around the world, many of whom are pioneering the natural foods and products movement in India. There’s French cheese made with organic milk, handrolled incense sticks, cutting edge eco architecture, deep healing and meditation courses, and also Simplicity, a farm which produces some of the world’s best spirulina.
Founded in 1997, Simplicity is situated not far from the Bay of Bengal, and produces spirulia, a wild blue green algae, which is them ground into powder and sold throughout India. This extraordinary health food supplement is becoming recognised the world over as potentially revolutionary, with it’s high protein levels, strong alkalinic properties, and some of the most concentrated levels of nutrition to be found in the natural world. Spirulina is thought to be billions of years old, an evolutionary stepping-stone between bacteria and green plants. Occuring in the wild in mineral rich alkaline lakes, it was produced on an experimental level by Bob and Deborah Lawlor at Auroville as far back as the 70’s, one of the world’s first spirulina farms.Twenty years later a Swiss man called Bonaventura Chanson took up the mantle again, and took their project to the next level. Simplicity was born, originally producing Spirulina for consumption within the community, but soon increasing production as demand took hold. Since Auroville was intended by Sri Aurobindo as a ‘city of the future’ there’s a wonderful synchronicity to the fact that it is now producing the food of the future, says Dutchman Hendrik van Poederooijen, who now runs the farm.
Easily assimilated into the body spirulina is a highly nutritious natural food and as such perfect for those making long trips around India. For longer term backpackers, perhaps reluctant to eating too much fresh salad or greens for fear of food poisoning, carrying a tub of spirulina around keeps you healthy and alkaline with the minimum of fuss. It dissolves fat deposits and reduces chlorestrol also, which make moderate the effects of too many ladoos and samosas. The spirulina farm at Auroville is just one of the many reasons to visit the community, about which you can find more about here.