Sunday organic bazaars in the city these days are packed with people who are not only buying their regular sacks of lentils, rice and ragi but are also buying organic snacks in bulk. Are they buying the munchies and cookies just to eat with a cuppa? Yes and no. The regular organic snacks are finding their way on party tables at many people’s home? And why so? Because these are free of harmful pesticides and also free of gluten hence no acidity and people experience more health benefits.
No wonder then that cultural spaces like Lamakaan, Saptaparni, Our Sacred Space and Goethe Zentrum turn into modern villages with stalls of organic products. And amid the colourful mounds of pulses, fruits and veggies wafts the sweet aroma of cakes, breads and brownies. Sumanlatha J went to Saptaparni to buy packets of ragi brownies and spinach breads. It’s her child’s birthday and she wants to keep the food platter entirely organic. She shares, “Everybody in our family has switched to organic food products after I read about it in a health magazine. I want kids to experience the goodness of millets and other grains.” And Sumanlatha is not alone, a lot of young professionals, too, are switching to organic snacks. Says Rashmi Jayvanthi working in an IT firm at Hitech City, “I am already planning to order organic salads and pizza from Meghavi O Cafe for my marriage anniversary.” Meghavi not just offers salads but has sweet potato samosas and spinach & strawberry salad in its menu along with brown rice biryani. Informs its founder Megha Dinesh, “We can’t claim to be 100% organic, but our ingredients are majorly organic. We take party orders in bulk as the demand for organic food is rising in the city.”
The city-based organic bakers make the organic food items more delicious by adding veggies like spinach or herbs like rosemary or basil. Informs Shipra Chenji of Light Green Oven, “I get my organic flour and other ingredients from farmers at organic bazaars and give extra zing to the breads using fenugreek, cumin seeds and spinach.” She bakes and sells raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies, choco-chip cookies, jaggery-and-oats cookies made with organic flour. On the other hand jawar andragi crispies by Organic Bites are becoming people’s favourite as are munchies and rotis from Aahar Kuteer. Incidentally, the organic snacks cost almost up to thrice the price of the regular ‘junk’ ones. For example, a packet of chips costs Rs 10 while the organic one comes for about Rs 70. A loaf of organic bread is roughly Rs 75 as compared to the regular maida or brown bread one is for Rs 25.
Know your‘organic’ food
Narayan Murthy founder of Good Seeds says, “There is a lack of knowledge among retailers and consumers about what organic is. Organic farming means uncontaminated water and air as well. It also means how the food has been processed.” His argument is in place but the consumers needn’t lose heart as at least the organic products are better than maida and wheat. Nutritionist Dr Debalina Sen says, “Wheat and maida products have gluten that cause acidity. Millets and ragi are better options as they are alkaline food products that keep our health in check.”