Updated: Dec 28, 2020
As the world gravitates toward adopting a more conscious lifestyle, the demand for organic, ethical and all-round sustainable food products has skyrocketed since the pandemic hit us where it hurt most. As earthlings, people have realised some of the most significant things they’ve had to overlook in their fast-paced lives including the health and wellbeing of the planet as their own, finally catching the time to pause, introspect and reflect on their actions as a species.
A 2018 Edelman Earned Brand report shows the majority of buyers today are driven by their beliefs, consequently consuming with a purpose and solely trusting, switching or even boycotting brands based on their stand on important matters like environmental welfare. The need of the hour has surely made itself known through a messiah in disguise and the F&B industry is going all out to restructure and reposition itself, considering the changing trends in people’s consumption habits all across the globe.
Goa has always been at the forefront of leading the sustainability movement across its frontiers with nature’s rich bounty by its side. We’ve discovered some local conscious food brands based out of this tropical haven we call home and some eco-friendly products for you to look out for next time you’re in the neighbourhood for groceries or food supplies.
Started by two childhood friends, this little ‘posro’ at Anjuna houses a range of consciously made products under one roof with their catchphrase as “Goa’s first zero-waste store”.
The duo spotted a gap in the waste management system of Goa, the eco-’unfriendly’ lifestyle of its residents, overuse of plastic in everyday life and rapid urbanisation which led Jonah, a guest house owner and Eldridge, a restaurateur to take responsibility in their own hands, adopt a zero-waste lifestyle themselves and organise clean-up drives and green initiatives to tackle the enemy of rampant plastic pollution in the city.
Eco Posro offers organic and non-organic groceries including rice, pulses, tea and coffee, seeds, cooking oil, vinegar and non-GMO, locally-sourced, farm-fresh fruits and veggies in eco-friendly packaging.
Another interesting addition to their list of non-organic groceries shows kombucha as one of the items that we’re curious to try in the ginger flavour. Their entire process of procuring the raw materials right up to their delivery is based on the single agenda of producing zero waste by boycotting the use of plastic and non-biodegradable materials altogether.
Hundreds of acres of land growing chemical-free, organic food that’s good for human health while keeping the soil fertility intact aptly describes what Ambrosia Organic Farm in Parra is all about.
It was started in the early 2000s by a self-taught British man named David J Gower who converted a small and barren piece of land into the most fertile ground for growing organic food by making vermicompost on it from natural resources to enrich the soil, eventually helping out farmers from across the state who later went on to build their own ‘worm-houses’ to produce tons of high-grade fertilizer without harming the environment.
Through advocating and following organic agricultural practices in the process of growing food, Ambrosia Organic Farm condemns the use of pesticides and chemically-loaded fertilizers that diminish the quality of the soil, adversely affects human health, increases its toxicity and makes it devoid of any nutritional value.
Their product range includes rice cakes, wild honey, organic groceries, peanut butter, seeds and sunflower oil.
Inspired by the age-old principles of yoga and ayurveda, Sattvic Foods as a conscious brand operates on the principle of providing food that’s rich in the “sattva” element. In other words, food that has an overall positive impact on the body. These foods are capable of restoring clarity and balance of the mind and of the body.
Even though they stock a whole range of products sourced from all over the country from gluten-free grains and flours, sun-dried fruits, apple cider vinegar gummies and other interesting superfood supplements like bee pollen and nutritional yeast flakes, they also have offerings specific to Goa such as jaggery powder, demerara sugar, locally-grown lettuce and other organic flours under its list of available items.
Sattvic Foods specialises in producing gluten-free, vegan and raw foods and steer away from genetically modified produce, preservatives, artificial flavours and harmful chemicals. Backed by a team of experts across health, fitness, yoga and ayurveda, this homegrown brand from Goa producing innovative foods is a whole package.
Sattvic Foods is stocked at a few stores In Goa such as Delfinos, Oxford, Saukhyam and OMO. A wider selection can be ordered on Swiggy, Amazon and their own website.
Coconut oil, referred to as the “mother of oils” has been extensively used in cooking and as a medicine in India for centuries. Oils have been known to possess healing properties. Headquartered in Panaji, MOGO (My Old Goa Oils) is a manufacturer and exporter of natural oils in health, food and beauty.
Their primary products include edible and non-edible virgin coconut oil (VCO) and several other pure, organic and natural heritage products of Goa. Founded by Paresh Shetgaonkar, this company is a decade old and started after 10 years of extensive research and development in Goan coconuts studying its medicinal benefits.
With their modern pharma-grade hygiene facility cited as Asia’s first plant for extra virgin coconut oil extraction located at Verna, MOGO oils are extremely pure and of high quality. As manufacturers of health-conscious products, they refrain from using any artificial colour, fragrances or other harmful additives.
The company also helps local farmers by improving their lives through sustainable agriculture and connecting them to a global audience. Their motto is to stay innovative, dynamic, and socially responsible at every step along the way.
Narl’ means coconut in Konkani. Narla, The coconut company works in collaboration with local farmers under fairtrade to source organic, hand-selected coconuts from the hinterlands of Goa, primarily Quepem and Canacona.
We’ve got our hearts sprung at their special offerings of organic coconut flour and jaggery! Their online shop features them among the few products listed besides organic serving bowls and cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and vinegar. The process of creating the healthy coconut flour involves slow drying of the pulp under low temperatures, and finally sending it to the mill to be pressed into a sweet-smelling soft powder with a fresh aroma and great texture with no added sugar, salt or additives.
While the coconut jaggery is made from the nectar of coconut blossoms, tapped coconut trees produce the sap that’s made to go over a process of boiling and crystallization to finally be transferred into suitable moulds to prepare jaggery. It’s considered to be a low-GI sweetener, super-rich in minerals that makes it a healthier alternative to sugar.
With an emphasis on regenerative agriculture, organic food, innovation with a purpose, veganism and conscious processes, the year 2020 has undoubtedly been a year of massive transformation for the F&B industry globally.
We’re thrilled to know about some of these homegrown food brands from our little coastal town bringing about a change in the archaic, non-eco-friendly ways of doing business in the city by staying sustainable, ethical and transparent.