It may appear like our food is held responsible as the root cause of many sicknesses these days. Well, it’s true. We’re getting exposed to dozens of chemicals through our food. To understand more on this, we sat down with Nilesh Palresha, Executive Director, EarthFood, to discuss about the philosophy behind starting this venture called EarthFood.
What or who inspired you to start EarthFood?
I have always been a keen observer and often noted the humongous increase in the number of fertilizers and pesticides being used on the agriculture produce, which in turn would be consumed by the masses leading to some serious health disasters. Keeping this in mind we realised that there needs to be an alternate solution to this problem, which ultimately gave birth to Earth Food.
We produce our own vegetables that are completely residue free. We at EarthFood believe that food should be pure, fresh, nutrient-rich and healthy, hence at Earth Food, the produce is grown naturally and in an eco-friendly way. We use a healthy mix of traditional methods and innovation to keep pollution and wastage to a minimum. We are also following Global GAP practices.
What do people need to know about chemicals in our food? You claim to be producing food completely residue free.
For too many years chemical fertilizers and pesticides have played a pivotal role in the agriculture sector leading to a major imbalance in the ecosystem. The use of toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides has had a very negative impact on the environment leading to potential damage to the agriculture products as well as the health of masses who consume it. Pesticides like chlorpyriphos and heptachlor are responsible for nerve and liver damage. DDT a prominent chemical being used is highly carcinogenic and also bears the risk of hormonal disorder and causes infertility, Quinalphos is responsible for causing developmental, reproductive and neurological damage.
In our case, we are following Global GAP practices and banned chemicals and fertilizers are not part of our practices. We are using compost and biological input to produce. Global GAP practices allow us to produce residue free food.
What’s the philosophy behind ‘Farm to Fork?’
Farmed in a natural way, Earth Food offers produce reaching the end-user in the most hygienic, healthy way possible. We offer a wide range of fruits and vegetables that are grown in the purest form without using harmful chemical fertilizers or pesticides and they are sold to the customers without adding preservatives and synthetic food enhancers.
The notion behind ‘Farm to fork’ concept is to include everything from farm to table in the most natural way known to man. The process of growing the produce starts from Crop selection-Land Preparation- seed selection - seed sowing- irrigation- crop growth-Harvesting- Grading and packaging - Transportation- Retail Outlets/Customers. It is a food system in which food production, processing, distribution, and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place. Our philosophy is instead of exporting food following Global GAP practices we want to serve to people of the nation.
How has the response been?
The responses for the same has been overwhelming and the main reason for the same is, people today have been influenced to become more health cautious which has led to a drastic change in their eating habits.
What could people do to make a change for themselves today?
Due to widening the horizon of digital media and an easy access to a lot of content, people have already been influenced to become health conscious which has led to a drastic change in their eating habits. Adding to the same, we at EarthFood are focused on organizing various events which promote the health benefits of consuming residue free products. This helps in creating an awareness in the minds of the people in regards to lead a healthy lifestyle.
How has technology evolved and contributed to the success of your brand?
In today’s era where technology plays a pivotal role in each and every sector, it’s important to understand the use of technology in the field of agriculture. We at EarthFood are committed to adopting modern day agri-technologies like greenhouses, drip irrigation system, fertigation, ifm- integrated fertilizers management, ipm- integrated pest management, rainwater harvesting, high-density plantation, contour farming, wasteland utilization, etc., it becomes relatively easy to maintain the quality of the produce and also add to the nutritional value to the same. Very soon we are introducing hydroponics technology to produce fresh exotic vegetables which is our commitment to supply our products consistently to customers.
What are your future plans for EarthFood?
We have 100 acres of land in Malthan, Pune where we would be introducing Hydroponic techniques (soilless farming) to cultivate Exotic vegetable by December 2017, help us inconsistent supply. Recently we have acquired 240 acres of land at Belwadi, which is 110 km away from Pune. Currently, we grow Exotic and Indian vegetables and soon we plan to introduce spices (Chilly, Turmeric, coriander powder) in the market. We have tie-ups with major retailers in Pune and are planning to enter Mumbai and Bangalore markets soon.