Tashi Kaul speaks with a measured tone. You get the impression that she’s weighing every word before she says anything…and when you find out she’s an international trade lawyer, with global experience, your brain goes “that explains it!”
Here are some highlights from our chat with Tashi.
Tell us a little about yourself
Like we just discussed, I’m an international trade lawyer, representing governments in international disputes. I’ve worked with the World Trade Organisation as well. I’ve lived in Washington, Geneva, London and other cities before my current stint in Delhi. I’m 41 and I live here with my husband.
When did you first start eating organic?
Oh, quite a while ago. I think maybe 12 or 15 years now? I was in the US, and the level of hormones and chemicals in the food, especially vegetables – there was a concern for me. It was easy to find many sources of organic food there too.
What prompted your concern there?
In the States, the very size of the fruits betrays their origins. They’re huge and unnaturally large. Also, they don’t have much flavour and that was what prompted us to make the switch.
How did you source organic food in India?
We tried a few places, but it’s a problem because the meaning of organic isn’t standardised. And also, some places say they’re organic, but we can’t be certain of the source.
How did you discover I Say Organic?
About a year ago, we met Ashmeet, your founder, and found this whole enterprise to be wonderful. We tried it out and we liked the quality of the produce and service very much. Since then we’ve been ordering quite a bit from you guys.
How has eating organic changed you?
There is definitely a change at a subtle level. Both my husband and I are generally health-conscious; we work out and usually follow healthy diets. With eating organic, there is so much more flavour in fruits and veggies; they look fresher and taste better, and thus you tend to eat more salads and therefore eat better.
Has your husband noticed a difference?
Oh yes, I’d say his immunity is definitely better. He falls ill less frequently now, so that’s great.
How else has organic food changed things?
Well, the cooking. We tend to eat more things raw as it’s safe. Also, in terms of cooking, there is a difference when you make meals with organic food; there’s less need to boil or sauté. Even my cook has noticed the difference; she comments on the quality of I Say Organic produce frequently.
Organic food is supposedly more expensive. Was that a factor?
Not really. We’re a small family, so cost isn’t that much of a consideration. But I think, even if we were larger, given how big we are on eating healthy and organic, it still wouldn’t be a factor.
Was it difficult convincing your husband go organic?
(Laughs) Well, he’s quite happy-go-lucky, so he wasn’t that concerned. I had to convince him, and getting him to eat salads and stuff was a bit of a task. Of course, with organic food being more flavourful, it has been easier.
What has your experience been with I Say Organic?
You’ve got a great combo of service and quality. One time, there was a problem with some rocket leaves and they were replaced. So, on the whole, I’ve had a good experience.
Is there anything that makes us stand apart?
Your service; it’s so remarkable! Your delivery men are so pleasant and courteous! They wait while we check the order, help with picking heavy boxes, if something’s not fresh; they offer to take it back. Also, I really like your packaging and invoices – you bring creativity and design to them which is so nice.
What are your favourite orders from I Say Organic?
Would you recommend us to other people?
I have already! Quite a few of my friends know that I like your quality of produce and delivery.
How has I Say Organic and home delivery or produce changed how you eat?
It has helped to make it better and also helped us maintain healthy eating options. I used to be reluctant to eat salads because I couldn’t know where they were coming from. I’m able to eat fresh veggies and salads without worrying now!
Why do you think people should go organic?
To be healthy, quite simply. Because, particularly in India, we’re more concerned with pollution, pesticides and chemicals, rather than eating healthier. The level of diseases is growing, especially lifestyle diseases like diabetes and even cancer (there might not be an established link but with all those chemicals!). And honestly, it’s best to be cautious. Also, organic food means a more pleasant eating experience, and better tasting food.
How do you feel about your purchase affecting farmers or the environment?
I think that currently the awareness of organic food is very limited in India. We (those who buy organic) are a very small bunch who understand the benefits whether it’s with nutrition or the environment. I think it will take a lot more to get a revolution going and beget changes at a widespread level. Especially given the kind of changes being introduced in agriculture in India, like GMO food and chemicals; greater demand for organic food would result in a great change for everyone.