I am thrilled to introduce a social enterprise whose approach to nutrition and sharing totally needs a space here.
The origins of a social entreprise
Having worked for the conventional food industry for many years, Richa Gupta started to feel increasingly frustrated by the poor quality of food sold in the market. Food that is very high in calories and poor in nutrients. Food that is “made of ingredients” instead of being the ingredient. In fact, westerners have never had so much food in terms of calories intake and paradoxically, so less nutrients.
Richa questioned the status quo, only to find out that selling better, qualitative food wasn’t at all a priority for decision-makers in the food industry. Tired of working for products she didn’t believe in, she left and created her own company, GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD in 2013.
A reminder of what food is
She lived through again as she started making fresh, locally-sourced, organic, vegan, and gluten-free sauces inspired by Indian and Mexican cuisine. These sauces can turn any preparation into a sophisticated and delicious meal. Her “ketchup” sweetened with dates is also an astute alternative to sugar-bombs regular ketchup.
Richa also blends delicious turmeric teas. They nicely provide a daily intake of this highly beneficial root in our diet. Turmeric is a great anti-oxidant, thus helping cancer survivors heal. But, as Richa explained to me, people are also increasingly interested in turmeric as a preventive approach to diseases. For more information on its benefits, you can read this interesting post Turmeric, the golden root.
As her own CEO, she regularly had to make tough decisions that implied choosing between quality or easier profits. She never compromised on the quality of her products, regardless of people’s advice. For instance, she fiercely resisted adding preservatives to her sauces, and tests revealed that they actually didn’t need them.
Good news! We can now buy Richa’s products in many stores in Toronto. You can find the list here . Even my Longos sells her Ketchup. Good job, the Bro’s.
Richa (2nd from left) and her team at Toronto Vegan Fest (08/13/2016)
Food that fights hunger
Feeding Canadians with real, nutritive food, was not enough for the entrepreneur. Fascinated by the One for One example of TOMS’ shoes, she decided that a percentage of each purchase would be donated to charities in India. This amount offers a meal to a child in need in India. For these kids, the perspective of being fed a meal is an incentive to go to school. And because hunger is not a reality in India only, GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD also partners with Food Banks Canada. I read on their website that a daunting 13% of Canadians live in a state of food insecurity, meaning they have no access to safe and nutritious food in sufficient quantities.
Lastly, if Richa is so inspiring to me, it is because like too many of my friends today, she used to be dissatisfied and unhappy with her job but decided that things could be different. It takes a lot of courage. And, as she humbly recalls, a lot of support too. But where there is passion, there is a way. That’s what she told me over a big batch of turmeric tea one day.