Organic food holds huge importance in the light of rising lifestyle diseases due to a range of factors including unregulated dietary pattern of people in India. Pristine focusses on providing minimally processed food with low-added sugar and salt, says K C Raghu, Founder and MD, Pristine Organics, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).
Q Pristine is a pioneer company in the area of organic food and critical medical diets. Tell us about the mission and vision of the company.
Pristine is deeply embedded in nutrition research and designer diet formulations. The vision is blending tradition and innovation, connecting the dots, keeping ecology and environment, and above all helping people to live a healthy and happy life.
Q In light of rising lifestyle diseases, organic food holds huge importance. As an expert, how do you perceive the statement?
Organic food has seen tremendous growth in past decade. More and more people are looking into organic foods for its true form and content. Unfortunately, there have been some organic foods like Maida (white flour) and devitalised white rice etc. So, people are asking for minimally processed diverse varieties in this segment rather than same white rice and routine run-of-the-mill foods coming under organic label. Organic value added products will continue to grow along with staples. It should be organic in real sense not just being free from pesticides and pesticide residues. It has to be free from added junk like sugar and salt. Ecological sensitivity, increased disease burden and abundant health information are helping people to make a better choice.
Q With decades of experience in critical nutritional solutions, formulations and safe organic food productions, how do you analyse food habits of Indians?
People have the notion that good health is all about absence of any type of disease within human body. But it goes far beyond that. Renowned poet and activist Wendell Berry defines health as unconscious wholesomeness, while to the World Health Organization (WHO) health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
If we analyse the Indian diet, as per the National Sample Survey India, 68th round, cereals contribute around 50 percent of the calories in the diet. They are highly refined and processed cereal which can also be termed as junk, devoid of dietary fiber and essential micronutrient.
It is very interesting to know that the consumption of sugar and honey in India is more as compared to fruits and vegetables i.e. 11% versus 7% respectively. Though, the average intake of protein is 60 gm per day, the contribution of protein is majorly from cereal which is close to 50%.
This clearly indicates that good quality protein like milk and milk products, pulses and non-vegetarian foods take a back seat in the daily diet.
QTell us some significant features of your products and how do they contribute to create a healthy India?
Pristine focusses on providing minimally processed food with low added sugar and salt. The dietary fiber content of our food products is high making it healthier with high satiety value
Q Shed some light on market size of organic food. Do you agree that food technology market needs to be regulated?
The current market size of organic food is INR 40,000 million. Any regulation, administration and bureaucratic maze prove to be cumbersome and deterrent.