IVU-MEVEG is a voice for all plant based products, chefs, restaurants and traders. We individually promote a green, light and healthy lifestyle. We asked founder, Sandhya Prakash, about her thoughts on the organic industry.
In your opinion, how popular is the organic industry in the UAE and the Middle East?
Compared to what the industry was 7 years ago, the organic industry is booming at this point. Awareness has increased multi-fold and people are asking for higher quality of food, cosmetics and clothing.
As an indication, the growth of organic farm land in the UAE has gone from 2,360 acres in 2009 to 45,890 acres in 2016 as per data from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment UAE
Why, in your opinion, do people prefer buying organic nowadays?
Mainly health reasons. The toxic chemicals which are get into the food while growing food, transporting, keeping it chilled and washing are affecting the health of people and manifesting into various diseases depending on individual immunity.
Intolerance of certain types of foods are increasing in people. To avoid the same, organic lifestyle is being preferred.
100% plant-based organic, provide a much higher sense of well-being overall, along with various other health benefits. As rates of cancer and diabetes increase, one has to wonder if this has to do with the animal production being higher than ever and fast food restaurants serving up more animal foods that are cheaper per meal than whole, plant-based organic meal offerings.
Though you and I can’t change this overnight, we can change our health by eating a plant-based organic diet. We work on improving awareness of organic, plant based way of life.
Any other facts you might want to add about the natural/organic industry.
Most people think that there is no difference between organic food & natural food. There is a big difference. Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic means defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act.
Natural food, on the other hand, generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. These are derived from plants and animals. Thus a natural food item is not necessarily organic and vice versa.
Why do some people prefer organic food and some people prefer natural food?
This is because some people have the belief that synthesizing a food item results in some level of loss of its nutrients and beneficial properties. Therefore, they demand natural foods.
Organic food fans, on the other hand, want their food to be free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and preservatives, so they choose organic.
Be sure if you eat a plant-based diet you choose one from clean, whole foods to optimize all of these health benefits.
Local farming is being encouraged in the UAE. If the UAE’s strategic goal to produce more food is to be achieved, there is an immediate need to research new technologies in order to make organic food a viable option for everyone. Support for the sale of local produce from all hypermarkets is essential.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager