The Authenticity of Organic Products

Sesame Oil & more…

Namaskaram All! Would like to share with you a few thoughts on the purity of the agricultural commodities (fruits, vegetables & groceries) that are available in the market. Its important that all of us keep a watch on these because it has a direct impact on our lives. The unscruplous commercialisation of farming and the farm to fork supply chain has resulted in rather harmful effects on the end products. Buying a pure agri product, in today’s world is no more simple.
Take the case of edible oils – even a product labelled as “coconut oil” may have other oils to a “legally accepted limit”. Also the oils manufactured in commercial oil mills are heated to a very high degree completely denaturing the natural nutrients and making the oils unhealthy.
Most of the sesame oil (Gingelly oil, Nalla ennai) available in the market is adulterated with palm oil or other cheaper oils. Even the 100% pure sesame oil, has a high amount of molasses. For production of sesame oil, traditionally jaggery (sugarcane or palm) has been used for ages – this gives the distinct aroma, flavour and the nutrition due to which this oil has been celebrated as “nalla ennai” – the good oil. But due to compulsions of trade and pure dishonesty, most traders have replaced jaggery with molasses. Molasses which is a by product of white sugar production is toxic because it has a high amount of sulphur. Also, its quite cheap at Rs. 5-6 per kg. Adding to the mischief in the ingredients, many oil millers, (even those who operate traditional wooden mills) use high heat to filter the produce. Normally after extraction, the oil needs to be kept for a week for settling it. That’s too much for today’s traders – they would rather heat it again and filter it in which case its faster and happens in a couple of hours. The effect of all these is borne by the unsuspecting customer.
Most customers are blissfully unaware of these issues. Those who are aware tend to be confused — you have to check if its organic, if its cold pressed, if its not adulterated and if there were no short cuts in the production. Its impossible for the customers to do this.
Sesame oil is just one example of the difficulties of trying to buy pure agricultural produce. The same is true for all agri commodities.
As an organic store, we go to tremendous lengths to dig our way through the supply chain and ensure our customers get the best and safest produce. This is truly challenging work especially as our volumes go up and therefore, the difficulties in maintaining the integrity of the product too. While taking a decision between announcing a stock out of our product or buying it from an alternate unverified source we always prefer announcing a stock out.
And the good news is, to ensure uninterrupted supply of stocks, we are spending significant time and money in building up capacities with farmers, farmer groups so that as we grow, they too organically grow with us.
In this journey of building a safe food ecosystem, you as a customer are an important stakeholder and drive the direction of development by the buying choices you make every day.
Be with us !
Dhanyam Organic Super Stores.
This entry was posted in Culture and Tradition, Health Food, Oils, Safe food for India, The Big Picture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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