Should We Worry About Healthy Food?

Should We Worry About Healthy Food?

Healthy food - seek it out

We reached out to the promoters of two of the organic food stores we have featured in our blog post 'Where to Find Organic Food Stores in India' to find out what motivated them to start these ventures to sell healthy food? Was it just the opportunity or something more?

We passed a short questionnaire through them. Looking at the replies, it was something more - not just the business opportunity. They see the urgency and the need to go organic, to look at healthy food by choice – both as consumers and as farmers. Read about what drove them to promote stores selling organic, healthy food.

Organic healthy food is the way to go

It is time all of us, especially parents with young children, consider healthy food options for our family, is it not? Consuming food products that are certified organic or assured organic by the grower (that can be validated) seems a safer bet. Zizira will be bringing you healthy, unique spices and food options from the state of Meghalaya. Contact us to know more. For now let us hear what each of these promoters had to say.

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Ashish Gupta, who promoted Jaivik Haat, Rohini, Delhi along with his wife had this to say: What motivated you to start this venture?

We are neither farmers not businessmen, but had an ardent desire to work for the good of the farmers. We started at a time when farmer suicides were at the highest and desired to create a system which works for all the entities in the farm chain. The microbes in the soil play a large role in sustaining both the farmer who works the soil to produce the crops and the consumer who desires safe food system.

We set out to farm organically, but on interacting with farmers, we realized that the problem is not with the farming. Farmers are experts at what they do, but the element of the socially conscious marketing system, which connects farmers fairly to the market, was missing. So, we set out to create a marketing window which all the farmers connected to us could utilize, to market to the consumer. This is how we started.

Are people aware of the benefits of eating organic produce?

Today, after a good 7 years of doing this, we can proudly say yes, we have been able to play a strong role as social entrepreneurs and civil society participants in changing the tide in favor of safe food and ecological agriculture. Ever second day  new farmers contact us and consumers enquire about safe and organic food, both cultivation and nutrition. By and large we have worked towards setting the base for others to enter, so that the movement grows bigger.

Do you have any farmer success stories that you want to share with us, where farmers have successfully transitioned to organic farming?

There are so many success stories that it is difficult to list one over the other. Only recently a young farmer defied social odds and convinced his family to help him grow organic pomegranates in Rajasthan. He is an engineer by education with a Masters degree from the UK, but decided to come back to India and farm. We are assisting him in connecting with the market.

Then there is our own group of about 20 farmers in Himachal Pradesh (including our own farm), all small and marginal farmers, who are now being trained and brought into the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) fold. We created the first PGS groups of Himachal Pradesh and connected them to the markets for the last 5 years. Now this group is growing and so is the market.

Gautham and Anuragh, promoters of Healthy Buddha had this to say: What motivated you to start this venture?

We (Anurag & Myself) did not want our kids eat chemical laden produce. It was not easily available and it was very expensive. We wanted to solve both of it to some extent with our venture.

Are people aware of the benefits of eating organic produce?

Awareness has increased quite a bit from what it was say 5-6 years back. But it has a long way to go.

Do you have any success stories that you want to share with us – about families taking to organic produce or about farmers who have successfully transitioned to organic farming, etc?

We have a lot of success stories. You can read about some of them in our Facebook page. What are your thoughts? Should we be searching for healthy foods as a conscious option or are we unnecessarily creating panic? We would love to hear from you.

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