There will be some compelling times when you have to get the writer out of you and today is such a time for me in general and our NGO in specific. There were a few occasions in the recent past when our customers returned mangoes back to us saying they doubted the authenticity and the fact that they are naturally ripened and hence i thought to pen down my thoughts on this subject before its too late.
Know your farmer:
As you know summer time is mango time and its our first summer as NGO. Without including mangos in our shop, our summers would not have been complete. We as an NGO only engage and motivate those farmers who are passionate about going organic or who are already organic. And these are our passionate mango farmers –
- Raji Reddy (from Mahboobnagar – Dasheri),
- Ramachandran (Moinabad – Banginpally) and
- Srikant Reddy (from Yenkepally – the local ones).
How to identify artificially ripened mangoes?
It is easier to identify artificially-ripened fruit during off season. However, it is harder to find physical differences between artificially ripened fruits and naturally ripened fruits during the actual season of ripening. Fruit-sellers artificially ripen green fruits even during the due season to meet the high demand and make high profit of seasonal fruits. They also ripen fruits artificially to deal with the transportation and distribution issues.
There is a myth that artificially ripened mangoes have green patches on them and the natural ones are very much uniform. Rather we strongly feel that the natural ones start ripening from inside to out and before the mango is fully ripened there could be green patches, and after its fully ripened the patches go away but still you can see some wrinkles on the skin. In the market we see bright yellow, uniformly colored, very tempting mangoes but as the saying goes it could be upar shervani, andar pareshani.
These are few tips to differentiate between them:
- Artificially ripened mangoes are dark yellow and are generally not patchy
- they could be raw from inside but ripened from outside
- they are less juicy and may be hard too
- they do not have wrinkles or are not shriveled up. Natural ones in contradiction have wrinkles and no so appealing
- On the other hand naturally ripened mangoes aroma is too hard to avoid, the room can be filled with aroma – but artificially ripened have no aroma or few say that they smell like garlic too
- If you tasted organic mango, you might never like non-organic ones. The taste of artificially ripened mangoes is different and it can cause throat infection.
Will a mango ripen if you pick it too green?
Its very important to pluck the mangoes at the right time. Right time varies for different mango varieties, but the general signs are the fruit is slightly bulged, it has a blush and its not bright green but turns lighter, and the aroma. Plucking at right time is important because its during the final stages of development when fruit absorbs the nutrients and sugars which make it taste better and it has started emitting the hormones for natural ripening process. The mangoes plucked prematurely will have to be treated with chemical agents like Carbide or ethylene gas and hence such mangoes ripen too but you know the difference now!
Who are we?
We at Jeevamrut believe strongly that we are here for a health revolution (A much needed Aarogya Kranti after Harith Kranti) through an Organic Movement. We are here to help you learn more about where your food is coming from and who is growing it, so that you can more closely link with the hard-working farmers who produce your food. The ultimate goal is to enable a personal relationship between farmers and consumers so that farmer is extra cautious about the food that he is growing and the consumer is aware of the farmers life and will be ready to shell out a little more.
We are a social enterprise run mostly by enthusiastic volunteers and a very limited (3 to be precise) full time staff, we do not have an office neither any funding per say. We are here with a sole motto to generate healthy discussions about organic food and dispelling any myths around leading an organic way of life.