Yet Another Way to Know Your Food is Organic

Michael Pollan, a celebrated author, journalist and food expert, has one rule about food - Organic or Otherwise.

Don’t Buy Food that is Advertised on TV.

Why? Because TV Commercials (TVC) cost lakhs, aside from the costs of TVC production.

That is true for all products. So why bother only about food?

When the cost of advertisement is high, especially for food items, it just means that the food product by itself does not cost much. It is cheap food. And as we at Bio Basics have been crying hoarse for 9 years now, “Cheap Food Kills”.

See the link?

Forget TVCs.

Let us look at Superstores that most of us shop at. A seasoned sales lead once told us that a 30-30-30 rule applies at supermarkets for brands placing their products on their shelves. 30% of the MRP goes to the distributor/retailer, 30% to variable costs (transportation, packaging, wastage, etc.) and 30% is the actual cost of the product. And the remaining 10%? That is the maximum profit margin for the brand.

So when we pay ₹100 for a food product, remember that the product may actually cost only ₹30.

Ask Yourself: how does the brand manage to produce the product at that cost? Go through the ingredient list and see if the cost of the ingredients add up.

Raja Sankar, CEO of Sriram Foods, and a good friend, will point out that today Groundnut Oil sells for ₹150-200/liter.

The farm gate price of Raw Groundnuts (peanuts) is ₹120/Kg. And it takes 2.5 Kgs to make one liter of oil. Magic? And in case you think the answer lies in scale, think again!

When it comes to processed food, where there is a long list of ingredients, some you can recognize and some you have not heard of before, the costs become difficult to figure out. Such “complex” products, which need a food technician on the brand’s payroll, and sophisticated machinery are best avoided for this reason alone! (Another gem from Pollan: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”)

So what is the way out? Shorten your personal supply chain. Know Your Farmer. Buy Directly From the Farmer.

Not possible? Then make sure you buy from someone who is only once removed from the farmer. Hmmm…is that possible?

Of course, it is. Try Bio Basics.

For us 50-70% of the MRP goes to farmers, depending on the product. What is more, we offer complete transparency (happy to share our sources with our consumers) and traceability (we know which item has come from which farm/farmer), and thereby know if it is genuinely organic and chemical-free.

Four Advantages of Keeping Our Supply Chain Short:
1. Pay less for all other frills - packaging, distribution, etc.
2. Pay more to the farmer who is then incentivized to keep our food clean
3. Keep our food closest to Nature and above all,
4. Know the provenance of the food on our plates.

When it comes to Organic Food, which is based on trust and credibility, this is invaluable.

And no, Bio Basics Does Not Advertise on TV!

#organicfoods #socialenterprise #safefood

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