Why people are willing to pay more for healthy organic milk
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Seema Lamba, 46
Entrepreneur & Art of Living teacher
As a vegetarian, milk has always been an important part of Seema Lamba’s diet—she avoids wheat and white rice. While she had heard about the benefits of A2 milk—cow’s milk that is free of a form of beta-casein proteins called A1, which are said to cause indigestion and other problems, Mumbai-based Lamba had been looking for a trustworthy source of organic milk for a few years.
Three years ago, she connected with Dharmishtha Goenka, a family friend who supplies organic A2 milk and ghee from the indigenous Gir cow breed under the brand name Praakritik.
“I immediately noticed a big difference in the quality of milk and ghee. There’s a natural sweetness to the milk, and, while it’s flavourful, it doesn’t leave you with that bloated, heavy feeling that you get after drinking other regular milk brands. Also, the paneer you make with this milk is soft and slightly crumbly, unlike what you get in supermarkets,” Lamba says.
At one point, Lamba switched to another organic supplier since Praakritik milk is expensive (Rs110 per litre), but she didn’t like it.
Every evening now, Praakritik delivers 2 litres of raw, unpasteurized milk in plastic pouches to her apartment on Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road; she uses it for paneer, curd and sweets.
“Even my one-and-a-half-year-old grandson, who is visiting us in Mumbai, is hooked to this milk. At home (in Europe), he wouldn’t drink milk as he couldn’t digest it, but he has no problems with this Gir cow milk,” says Lamba.
Priyanka Puri, 38
Director, client services, Ogilvy and Mather
For years, Priyanka Puri would rue the fact that she couldn’t give her eight-year-old daughter Devyani the kind of fresh, unadulterated milk that she had grown up drinking herself.
A few months ago, Bengaluru-based Puri noticed a company delivering milk bottles in her apartment complex. “It was raw, unpasteurized milk in glass bottles. I got talking to them and found out that they were a family-run farm in Kanakpura where they also grow organic vegetables,” recalls Puri. She signed up for a sample bottle from Amala Alok Farms and has been buying it regularly since. “In terms of flavour and colour, it looks so different from regular milk.”
The pricing (most organic milk brands are almost double the price of regular milk) is not a deterrent. What’s important is that “so far, my daughter has liked the taste of the milk and I am happy that she’s drinking something nutritious,” says Puri.
Ruchi Bhayana, 40
Founder, Candy Cot
When she moved back to India from Belgium, Ruchi Bhayana almost gave up the search for organic milk. In 2012, she came across 4S—an organic milk and milk product supplier in Gurugram, adjoining the Capital.
4S delivers bottles of organic milk to her house in Gurugram every morning.
She has tried multiple brands of organic milk and says the taste depends on where the milk is being sourced from, the breed of cow, etc. For example, the 4S farm is in Rewari, Haryana, where they also grow the cattle feed, to eliminate chances of contamination. Bhayana says the milk does not leave an aftertaste or residue, as was the case with non-organic milk. “It almost feels smoother when you drink it,” she says, adding that she also uses it to make ghee, curd and butter.
She may be paying Rs70 per litre of milk (against Rs40-50 for non-organic, packaged milk), but considers it value for money. “I prefer consuming this as it does not contain any pesticides or chemicals.”
Organic milk facts and figures
160 million metric tons
The approximate amount of milk India, the world’s largest source of milk, produces annually.
The amount of milk found to be adulterated, according to a 2012 Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) nationwide surveillance survey.
What is organic milk?
According to the Food Safety & Standards (Organic Foods) Regulation, 2017, livestock must be bred naturally, fed with organic fodder, have access to organic grazing fields, and be free of antibiotics and hormones to be certified as organic.
Organic milk suppliers in your city
Delhi-NCR: 4S Organic Milk: Delivers in Delhi and Gurugram, www.4Sfoods.co.in/call 7838888654; Hetha: www.hetha.in/call 9422322046; iOrganic: Delivers in Delhi only, www.iorganicmilk.com/call 65494949; Cowboys Organic Cow Milk: Delivers in Delhi only; www.cowboys.desi/call 9971825938; Whyte Farms: www.whyte farms.com/call 9873710709
Bengaluru: Akshayakalpa Farms: www.akshayakalpa.org/call 9535388122; Swarg: www.swargfood.com/call 9739666510; Organic Mandya: www.organicmandya.com/a2-milk/call 9742245455
Mumbai: Sarda Farms: www.sardafarms.com/call 18002336455; Pride of Cows: www.prideofcows.com/call 022-40494049; Kesariya Farm: www.kesariyafarm.com/call 9321555570