It’s one thing to talk organic but quite another to suffer sticker shocks when you step inside organic grocery stores.
I thought of writing my own experience after talking to quite a few people. It became clear to me that almost all of them went through the same phase, weighed pros and cons and then made the switch. Not that I have found all the answers surrounding this subject, but through this series, I hope I will be able to put certain common doubts and fears to rest.
Let me first accept the fact that paying double, sometimes triple the amount for organic cereals, pulses, spices and oils isn’t going to be a simple, straightforward switchover. There’s also a concoction of doubts, logistical issues and other inconveniences that can foreground any possible logical thinking on going organic.
- Dishonest middlemen in the entire supply chain. Who stops them from buying their supplies from regular stalls and sell them as organic? When they can sell their goods at 150-200% the regular price, what can possibly stop them from adding the regular non-organic stuff to their baskets? After all, rent is a big-ticket item. They have to do everything to stay afloat.
- Secondly, there is a big question mark on certification procedures. There is no single reputed agency that does certification at local level. Unless you are involved with certain organic groups and know the people behind organic ventures, it’s hard to trust just anybody who opens a store next door. Trust deficit is enormous. More so for perishable goods.
- Less serious, but still annoying enough is the non-availability of all the organic veggies you need under one roof. Trips to non-organic stores become inevitable. To remember what has been left out of the list and then buying it elsewhere is a pain. Above all these confusions, the last thing you want is something that prevents you from riding the routine as effortlessly as you can.
- And then there are other mundane rationalisations like this one: “Didn’t I survive eating the same non-organic food so far?”
A million questions would hit me hard and I would use all my intelligence to rationalise my decision to postpone what was already a foregone conclusion in the subconscious realm. But switchover had to happen. The sooner the better.
I had questions, quite a few of them actually as switchover became a collective decision in my family. At the end of the day, it all boils down to numbers. I thought of seeking answers without being influenced by anyone who has already gone organic. It called for some legwork, some reading and most important of all, meeting certain people who will answer all my questions without having that holier-than-thou look on their face.
I started visiting stores and talking to the owners. I am not sure if you will agree with me but when we talk organic, we tend to expect a greater degree of honesty and candour from the ones who act as an interface between the grower and the buyer. Among the people I have met, I found Panduranga of Sara Organic located in Sahakarnagar easy to talk to. He patiently answered all the queries and helped me clear some doubts especially on the “trust issue”. He not find my doubts unreasonable or misplaced. This is where, I thought, my organic journey should begin.
And, it did.