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Here are few things you may not know about us:
Thank you for reading till here :-) and more importantly, for being our customer.
PS: Below is an actual pic from our first ever stall in Sriram Spandana Apartment in Old Airport Road.
Couple of weeks back we did a Q & A session on Instagram.
These might've been something you had in mind too ? We have put together a recap of all the questions with the responses for you.
Q. Any suggestions for fruits ripening ?
A. In winter fruits take a longer time to ripen. Best is to wrap them in newspaper or brown cover. If you want it to ripen even faster add an unripe/semi-ripe banana in the packet, which helps expedite ripening. (Banana naturally emits ethylene which helps in ripening process).
Remember not to refrigerate unripe fruits.
Q. How to ensure avocados ripen properly and are enjoyed in the right time ?
A. For ripening you can drop it in a rice container or keep it in a brown bag with a green banana. But keep a watch on them to see if they're going soft. Few avocados may not change colour. Cut them when they seem ripe itself to prevent over ripening and turning black.
Q. When greens are washed with hot/cold water, is it okay that the water turns green ?
A. Yes, it is normal and nothing to be worried about. The green is due to pigment called chlorophyll. Q. Can plastic / net packaging be avoided ?
A. Yes, we already do this for those who ask us beforehand. You could let us know at time of checkout by mentioning a note saying ' no mesh bags '. We hope to find a better alternative to these in future.
Q. How can Cauliflower/ Broccoli be cleaned and be rid of insects inside them ?
A. You can drop them in a bowl of warm water with some turmeric to drive the insects away. Also seeing insects isn't a bad thing, it just validates that the product is chemical free. Insects don't like chemicals.
Q. What are challenges faced by a farmer doing organic farming?
A. In general, two big challenges faced by organic farmers (1) Not getting the right avenue which assures them that their produce will be purchased when the produce becomes ready for harvest (2) Not getting the right price for their produce. Please note, there are no seperate mandis/markets for organic produce. So they end up selling at the same price as non organic produce. Hence there isn't much motivation to switch to organic unless they are associated with companies like us. It becomes very important to have someone to buy the fresh produce especially since it doesn't have a very long shelf life. This is where companies like us play a critical part in taking care of the above 2 problems mentioned. I am proud to say, during lockdown, while many farmers across India suffered since mandis were closed. But our organic farmers had an assured place for them to give their produce to.
I had written this article (more of a personal experience) back in 2019 in our blog. Last week, one of the Organic Magazine Pure Eco India had published the Article. Hence wanted to share the same again hoping it might inspire you to go sugar free.
It has been more than a year since I consumed Refined white sugar or Brown Sugar directly. In fact, we as a family, including my kids aged 9 and 5, have stopped using sugar in our every day life. We have adopted the healthier alternative, Jaggery.
I have a sweet tooth, and love my coffee strong and sweet! There used to be a time when I used to add 3 spoons of sugar to my coffee. My 5 year old daughter is no different, she would eat sugar right from the container! Now, as a family, we don’t even stock sugar at our household and have completely adopted Organic Jaggery as a replacement.
How did it benefit me personally?
I have personally benefited from this small change, and would definitely recommend others to try the same too. I dropped about 13 kgs by giving up sugar, in addition to doing Yoga regularly, over a period of 4 months. I did not do any other dieting.
I feel much more energetic during the day, and can put in a solid 13–14 hours of work, which is required as part of running a start up. My Immunity in general has also increased.
Is Jaggery a healthier alternative?
Jaggery is a wonderful, scrumptious and healthy alternative to sugar, and has been used in India for centuries due to its amazing attributes and taste.
Sugar and Jaggery, both contain 60 calories per teaspoon. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar. Sugar is EMPTY Calories, whereas Jaggery is packed with minerals and nutrients. So it is definitely a healthier alternative. However, If you’re suffering from diabetes, you should avoid Jaggery (just like sugar) in your meals.
Jaggery is not addictive. Sugar on the other hand can get addictive.
Jaggery is also packed with essential nutrients that work on the body by flushing out harmful toxins and making you burn more calories. It has mineral content approximately 50 times greater than refined sugar and five times more than brown sugar. Just a teaspoon of Jaggery delivers approximately 3–5 mg of calcium, 3–5 mg phosphorous, 6 mg magnesium, and 45 mg of potassium.
Jaggery acts as a detox, as it helps cleanse the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body. Refined sugar on the other hand is detrimental to the liver. Refined Sugar is half glucose and half fructose. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose. When too much fructose enters the liver, it gets turned into fat that can build up over time and ultimately lead to disease.
The potassium in jaggery also helps reduce water retention in the body. Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radicals (responsible for early ageing). Sugar can cause premature aging. It can attach to proteins in the bloodstream, and damage collagen and elastin production, which are responsible for maintaining skin’s elasticity.
However, do not go overboard with your jaggery usage! Bear in mind that while Jaggery may have a better nutrition profile than sugar, and is definitely much healthier, it is still made from sugarcane (same as sugar) and is high in calories, and so is best consumed in moderation.
How did we Make the Shift?
It took us a while to get used to not having sugar in our diet. But it is very much doable. Take it one step at a time. Initially, use half portion sugar and half portion Jaggery. Slowly keep increasing the ratio of Jaggery to sugar, and once you get used to the taste, make the complete shift. One trick is to avoid stocking sugar at home. You will be forced to work with the healthier alternative!
I also feel that since it is an acquired taste, it is important to train your kids young on this. In fact if you are giving A2 milk to your kids, why do you even need to add sugar or Jaggery to it? The milk by itself tastes so good that there is no need to add any sugar, or even Jaggery for that matter, to make it sweeter. But, for kids who are partial to the sweet taste of sugar, Jaggery is definitely the healthier and safer alternative to switch to, as early as possible.
This is for those who consume eggs. If you don't, this email may not be relevant to you.
In the context of ongoing bird flu scare, wanted to clarify about the free range eggs we are selling from Farm Made. They are absolutely safe and nothing to worry about. You can continue eating eggs as usual without any worry. I personally do.
Few Points to Stress about our Farm:
You may want to read our previous articles on our eggs:
One tip in the current context would be to avoid outside food with eggs used in it (Eg. Mayo in burgers, cream cheese frosting on cakes, etc)
As we're all set to bid adieu to the roller coaster of a year 2020, I wanted to share with you the trials and triumphs that the team at Healthy Buddha went through, all the while never losing sight of the ultimate goal - to deliver healthy, organic food to our customers, covid or not! While it has been a life changing year for all of us, for me, personally, it was a year full of challenges, which to be honest, I absolutely enjoyed.
The highlight for me is the way my team handled the sudden lockdown and the overall Covid situation. I'm proud to say, we really came together as a team and delivered to our customers, when it really mattered the most to them.
Here are few true stories from the year
1. “Tomorrow is lockdown” “will you deliver?” “Everyone else is closing” “ will you be open? ”
I had no answers. Me and my team were bombarded with such queries as soon PM Modi announced the 21 day lockdown. I had no clue what that even meant. “Are we even allowed to work? If yes, we will do so.” This is what was going on in my mind. Moreover, we are largely a perishable produce business. It is not something I can easily pause or postpone to another day. If vegetables have been harvested, it is imperative to give it to customers within a day. If I close it would mean vegetables, painstakingly grown, worth lakhs, would go waste. Thankfully a few of our regular and valuable customers (especially Mr. Santosh), who work with the government, gave me some clarity on the lockdown rules. This really helped us march ahead with delivering, while many stores in Bangalore (including online ones) left their customers in the lurch.
2. "Hey, where is your essential police pass. You cannot deliver without it" Our team got stopped multiple times on the road by cops, during the initial days of lockdown. We tried for the pass multiple times, without much luck. The police themselves were unsure about the process of getting one. Not wanting to give up, I then went to the office of the assistant commissioner of police, in Whitefield, and told them "I run a essential service company and we are unable to deliver without a pass. If you are not planning to issue passes, please let us know, we will have to stop delivering produce to thousands of our customers who depend on us." I was then asked to wait outside the assistant commissioner's room. He came out, looked at me, and without any questions, asked his subordinates to take care of my issue. I was immediately given the pass without any questions. This was a big life saver for us!
3. One morning during the lockdown, around the end of March, I came to my office to see many of my employees waiting outside the office. “Sir, every other family member is at home and they are insisting that we stay at home too and not go to work, because of corona”...."our parents are worried about what will happen if we get corona". I said to them that while I completely understood the valid concern from their family members, it is also our obligation and commitment to our customers, as essential service providers, to try our best to ensure that we deliver. We are making a difference to the lives of so many families who are depending on us to ensure that they are able to eat in peace at home, because of the work done by us. I assured them that we will take every precaution to ensure a safe experience for not just the customers, but for our delivery boys and other team members too, and that I would take care of any issues that crop up. I told them that I would continue to work and whoever was comfortable can join me. Each and every member was onboard from then :)
Post this incident, we set up the customer fund for employees - I am super grateful to our customers for having contributed so very generously. We distributed a portion of it as a token of appreciation to the employees for working through these times, and have reserved the rest for any emergencies.
And yes, I was scared too. More so for my family since I was outside all the time. A big thanks to my wife for being understanding, for being by my side, and letting me do what I had to do.
Big thanks to my farmers, vendors, deliver team members and drivers, who made it happen for us. I am especially thankful to my core team for having stood strong during these times of uncertainty- Ravi, Bala, Amar, & Vinod.
Finally, a big thank you to our customers for being understanding, forgiving our slip-ups, and supporting us all through.
Let us be positive and hopeful for an amazing 2021 and at the same time, be ready for any challenges it might bring along.
Wish you all a wonderful and healthy New Year. Happy 2021!
We have added about 100+ new products in the last 6 months across few categories. Here are few of my favorites among them. You can check out the rest here.
1. Dishwash liquid & Soap - While all of us eat organic produce, what about the whitish residue that stays on when we use chemical soaps for cleaning our dishes? I feel it is self defeating if we continue to use chemical laden soaps for cleaning the dishes. This was something, I have been wanting to sell at Health Buddha, I am glad finally this is available for our customers. They are made from completely natural ingredients and keep your dishes sparkling and chemical free.
2. Saffron from Kashmir - Kashmiri saffron is recognizable by its dark maroon purple hue, and comes from a certified farmer. Sheer presence of this amazing spice gives a great aroma and smell.
3. Thai Green Curry - This helps you make a quick dinner, especially in these times when you cannot step out much. While the paste is not as green as the restaurant ones, it tastes just as good. We have also listed Coconut Milk, so all you need to do is chop up a few veggies and you can make Thai green curry in a jiffy!
4. Chips - I personally love potato and nendran banana chips. It always bothered me that I had to buy it from outside, where the oil and other ingredients used is highly questionable. So, we've tried to make these as healthy as can be by using organic oil and organic potato/banana, and these do not feel oily at all.
5. Lip Balm Orange & Cinnamon - This works like magic for this time of the year. The aroma is very pleasing as well.
6. Dark Drinking Chocolate - Makes an amazing hot chocolate drink, perfect for the current cold weather.
7. Coconut Coir Scrubber - An eco-friendly and safe alternative to the plastic/nylon scrubbers available in the market. Personally, growing up, this is what we used at home in the 80s and 90s. These are of the ideal size with cotton thread stitching to keep the fibers in place.
8. Tomato Ketchup - For about 5 years, we could not find a good source for pure organic tomato ketchup, free from any preservatives or stabilizers. Some were organic, but were not free from the latter. Finally, we collaborated with George to get Organic Ketchup done, the way we wanted. It tastes delicious and is just like home made ketchup!
9. Camphor Cone - Came across this unique product recently. Growing up, we all used to use naphthalene balls in our cupboards to keep the insects away. These camphor cones are a better alternative as they not only keep insects/mosquitoes away, they also have a pleasant aroma and work great as natural air fresheners in your cupboard or car.
10. Herbal floor mopping liquid - This is what we use at home. It is totally chemical free and has a very pleasant aroma. It is 100% herbal and made from plant extracts. Effectively cleans the floor and keeps insects away too.
If you have tried any of them already, would love to know your feedback. Also, if you have any suggestions for any new products, we would like to know.
Do you know the winter Specials?
We have recently launched a Recipe Section in Healthy Buddha, that allows our customers to share recipes with each other. If you have any interesting recipe on any of the above products, please feel free to post it to get featured in our website. We will also share some of the unique recipes in our social media channels with due credits.
What is Raw Honey?
Ever since I started Healthy Buddha in 2014, I must have explained about "Raw Honey" to thousands of people. The queries and doubts became so much that, after a couple of years, I had to put together the below article to educate people around Raw Honey. Check the article below my email. You can also google about raw honey.
The thing with Raw Honey is that it tends to crystallize in cold weather. Basically it solidifies into sugar crystals or lumps (reason explained below). Those who are not familiar with this concept tend to think it is an adulterated honey. Many of us grown up in the 80s and 90s are used to D** Honey or any commercial honey, which looks clean and flows smoothly and has a certain sweet taste to it. Those who are experiencing Raw Honey for the first time - especially the part of crystallization, easily misunderstand and assume that we have sent adulterated honey.
So, over the years, we have been called many names like "Cheater", "seller of adulterated products" etc. In fact, most stores don't sell raw honey because of this reason. It is not easy to educate and clarify to each customer. They sell only pasteurized honey (this is devoid of most of the good stuff). But quite honestly, honey should be consumed raw to get the right benefits. So we want to make sure that our customers get to consume pure raw honey even if we are called a few names along the way! Recently we got a 'colorful' review on google rating for this specific reason. So that prompted me to share the below on raw honey :-) If you are not already familiar with it, hope you find it informative.
Why is Onion so Expensive?
I had written the below article last November. It is literally happening again around the same time. The reasons are pretty much same. Infact, it has happened a little earlier this year. Last year it was by November mid.
Main Reason - The prolonged monsoon in onion growing districts in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh led to widespread crop damage. It has led to the loss of nearly a million tonne Kharif onions in Maharashtra alone.
Prices will continue to be high until more fresh crops starts coming in by November end.
In fact availability itself is becoming an issue. So far "touch wood" we have managed to source it.
I have a question to our customers. Do you think you can manage your cooking without onions.
I know it is such an important produce in our Indian way of cooking. I personally cannot think of my food without it and would definitely want to have it available for our customers. But would like to know your view.
Read below my article from last year on why the onion prices have shot up so high.
When is Fresh Turmeric back?
Expected by November end
When is Peas Green bean available?
It is expected to be available post the rains
Why is onion so expensive?
This is a regular cycle that happens around this time every year.
I had written this article last year https://healthybuddhamagazine.blogspot.com/2019/11/why-is-onion-so-expensive.html
I owe you an apology! We haven't been at our best these past 2-3 weeks. The month of August was a difficult one for us. We faced a severe employee crunch, which resulted in errors in order execution and quality issues for some of our customers. I sincerely apologize for the same; please do reply back to this email in case you need any kind of resolution and I assure you we will address the same.
The good news is that we have ramped up our employee base and are now in a position to serve you better than the last few weeks! We will strive to ensure that you have a better experience going forward.
Also, since the last time we communicated, we have added quite a few new products for you -
1) Pooja essentials that are made from pure chemical free materials
2) Emmer wheat atta