Switching to Organic Foods

With their testing  CSE has bought into discussion the amount of pesticides we consume in Colas. Though the war fought by CSE was against Coke and Pepsi, it has provoked discussion and bought into focus the issue that we consume larger quantities of pesticides in daily foods such as milk, tea and sugar than Coke and Pepsi.

To avoid pesticides either we will have to harvest our own crops or switch to organic foods. Currently in United States, organic food and organic farming are gaining ground. Apart from health conscious stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, you can get organic food in regular grocery stores like Safeway and Albertson’s also.

The United States Department of Agriculture sets very strict standards for food which can be labeled organic. First, the farmers must avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides for three years. There are strict rules for transporting, processing and selling food. Factories that process both organic and non-organic food need to stop their machines and clean them with an organic solvent before the organic processing starts. Even in stores, non-organic food cannot be store above organic food since the water that drips through non-organic food can pollute the organic food.

Though expensive compared to non-organic food, the prices are expected to fall soon as Wal-Mart is planning to enter this market a big way.

Wal-Mart says it wants to democratize organic food, making products affordable for those who are reluctant to pay premiums of 20 percent to 30 percent. At a recent conference, its chief marketing officer, John Fleming, said the company intended to sell organic products for just 10 percent more than their conventional equivalents.

Food industry analysts say that with its 2,000 supercenters and lower prices, Wal-Mart could soon be the nation’s largest seller of organic products, surpassing Whole Foods. Already, it is the biggest seller of organic milk. [Wal-Mart Eyes Organic Foods]

With the pesticide-in-food issue getting coverage, wouldn’t this be a good time to start an organic brand in India?.

6 thoughts on “Switching to Organic Foods

  1. I heard there is a restaurant that supply organic food (I don’t know if they adhere to any government standards of organic food, or if the govt has defined any such standard) in Ernakulam, Kerala. It is named Grasshopper, if I remember it right. Also there is a shop in Thrissur that supplies organic food products (along with thirdworld books etc) called Alter Media. They sell many coconut products which I think can be a revolutionary movement if they get some attention of the public. But these products do not have advertising nor they have huge money to spend on marketing, hence they remain unknown amongst the public.

  2. JK,
    there is at least one organic brand available in Delhi. It’s distribution is very limited. I cannot remember the exact price comparison between the organic brand and the normal varieties.

  3. Jo You could do an episode of M-POD with the Alter Media folks. In United States you can get coconut juice in a can which comes from Thailand. If they can do it, so can we.
    Aadisht If they advertise touting the organic aspect of things, I am sure they will get more customers.

  4. Yeah, your comment reminds of me of one of our early talks. Instead of blaming ‘everything’ about globalization, we should try to reap the benefits of it as well.

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