Earlier this year, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India announced a draft regulation on Dairy Analogues. According to which, “analogue in the dairy context means an imitation product that is designed or structured to mimic, or offered as an alternative [or] replacement to, a milk or milk product.” Additionally, “for such products, dairy terms or phonetically similar or spell-alike terms shall not be used in the nomenclature of the product.”
This new definition comes in light of concerns raised by the Indian dairy industry that labeling plant-based milk as 'milk' can create confusion in the minds of consumers. It is kritikal that we know what milk means to consumers, in this context, what milk means to an Indian consumer.
While the development was recent, we discussed with Spurti Ravi, R&D head of Goodmylk India on dairy and its alternatives and why these alternatives are referred to as "milk" by Indians and non-Indians alike.
Spurti says "The dairy industry has tooted its horn deep in our culture. Anything that gets ingrained in us as part of our culture or from our childhood becomes habitual, and it takes time to break this conditioning."
Here's what we discussed in this podcast episode:
Spurti's journey: From India to the US and Indian again, working at Campbell Soups, consulting with Goodmylk, and then joining Abhay Rangan in creating plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan milk and other products at Goodmylk.
The myths around milk: Milk is considered the biggest source of protein and other vital nutrients our body needs. But what if we can meet these nutrient requirements from plants? The perception that dairy is good, what medical research suggests, and what are the alternatives?
The food pyramid: How the current food pyramid is outdated and why we need a new one?
Greenhouse gases and climate impact of consuming milk: To rear animals, we need land, we get into deforestation- for environmental perspective, our cravings for dairy and meat doesn’t make sense. How the dairy industry is responsible for serious climate damage.
Why global milk consumption is going down?
The dairy cycle: How for people to earn they need enough milk, for a cow to be producing enough milk they need to be pregnant, and for that, they need to be inseminated artificially.
The negative side of dairy: Why and how dairy promotes rape? What happens to the male calves?
Multiple milk alternatives in the market can be overwhelming, but the good thing is you educate yourself about what you are eating. Education is empowerment, and you take your power back from companies when you become a little more aware.
Connect with Spurti here:
LinkedIn: Spurti Ravi