Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Going Organic in Gurgaon

Image from Lumiere
Organic Food is food grown without chemicals, and processed without chemical additives, which renders the food pure, healthy and safe. It’s actually the way food used to be in our forefathers time… when the soil was enriched with cow dung or panchgavya instead of DDT, urea or other harmful chemicals; when we used to eat the local seasonal produce instead of eating exotic produce from across the globe (which is preserved, ripened and kept fresh with several chemicals).

A few years ago, hardly anyone in Gurgaon knew about Organic Food. As recently as last year, when eSvasa was started, to promote awareness about organic food and gardening, the response we got was ‘what organic! It’s just a fad for people with too much money!’, or ‘children won’t develop an immunity if they eat only organic… they have to go out and eat normal food.’ Today, the situation is really different. The media attention on the milk adulteration scam and chemically injected fresh produce has made people sit up. Several organic shops have opened and even the skeptics are surprised to see the phenomenal response from Gurgaon-ites.

Initially price was an issue, because people felt that organic was much more expensive than conventional produce. However, if you see a comparison of prices between a few organic brands vis-a-vis conventional, the percentage difference would be about 15 – 30 % depending on the brand. Even then, the health benefits of organic food simply outweigh the cost effects. People usually convert to organic food with milk and fresh produce, and then shift to the regular grocery products. It may also surprise you to note that for some products, organic is even cheaper than conventional! For eg, the Sanjeev Kapoor range of pickles is more expensive than the organic pickles from Navdanya!

The movement started slowly, with the enterprising Manpreet Bajaj of Live Organic literally going door to door promoting organic milk and pulses. Now she has 2 stores, and does the occasional farmers’ market too. There are also people like Anuradha of Farmers First Foundation, who are pushing organic vegetables and milk through their farms, and the French Farmer, Manesar who provides organic produce and poultry to the five star hotels of Delhi/ NCR. 

Several stand alone stores like Swadeshi at IFFCO Chowk, Nature’s Hub in Nirvana Courtyard and retail biggies like Easy Day, Big Bazaar etc have started also retailing organic produce, making organic food accessible like never before. Even Navdanya, the oldest organic retailer in India thought it prudent to open its second store here with delivery of grocery and fresh produce. There are also online stores based out of Delhi/ NCR that provide home delivery or organic products to Gurgaon. 

As long as people understand that organic food is not just a fad, it is what our food used to be years ago, before the onslaught of chemicals, toxins and growth hormones, it will make sense to buy organic. In today’s environment, this is the least we can do for our children and ourselves.

eSvasa started as an effort by two mothers, Suruchi Ailawadi & Vandana Sudhakar Dutt, to provide safe and healthy foods to their children, and to spread that knowledge to fellow moms. eSvasa is proud to be part of the growing organic community in Gurgaon, and India, providing Product, store & brand information, reviews, recipes, health tips, buying guides and more in the field of organic food & good health.

List of useful references:

Organic Stores in Gurgaon/ Delhi: http://esvasa.com/?q=organic_store_guide
Online Organic Stores: http://esvasa.com/?q=online_organic_stores
Price comparision between organic & conventional: http://esvasa.com/?q=organic_food_prices

For any additional information or queries on organic food, please visit www.esvasa.com/ email us on info@esvasa.com. We also spread happiness and health on www.facebook.com/esvasaindia.

Thanks, Vandana, for this super useful post. Here's to good health for us and our families:-)

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