Good Food For Good is a Toronto-based organic food company committed to making it easy for you to eat healthy and at the same time help someone in need. Their products are certified organic and free from allergens, refined sugar and preservatives. With every purchase, they donate money to feed someone in need, and they’re actively working on reaching their goal of feeding 1 million people by 2020!
We chatted with Good Food For Good’s Founder, Richa Gupta, about why she wanted to make a refined sugar-free ketchup, the benefits of turmeric and the “Buy 1 Feed 1” model that their business is built on.
WEHL: Tell us a little about yourself and what wellness means to you.
RG: I am a mother and an entrepreneur; that often means I am being pulled in various directions at the same time. To me wellness is feeling healthy and full of energy to do all the things that I enjoy.
WEHL: What inspired you to launch Good Food For Good?
RG: My desire to make a difference in food inspired me to launch Good Food For Good. I was a mother of a 4 year old struggling to bring real food to the dinner table after a long day at work. I was not happy with the current options available in the market as they were often loaded with preservatives, additives and added sugars, or even worse, artificial sweeteners. I also wanted to create something that matters and the Buy One Feed One model of Good Food For Good allowed me to do that. We have now made a difference in over 200,000 meals and are aiming to reach 1 million by 2020.
WEHL: You use organic ingredients to make your food. Why did you choose organic?
RG: I would say why not; we believe in creating the food that we feel good feeding our own families. Organic guarantees that the food is not only free of pesticides but also never genetically modified. Organic is also a lot more sustainable than conventional.
WEHL: How did you develop your ketchup recipe and what makes it unique?
RG: I developed ketchup after reading about the harmful effects of sugar. Ketchup is a condiment loved by kids and adults alike. Knowing that a tablespoon of ketchup contains as much sugar as 3 gummy bears made me develop a healthier alternative that not only tastes good but is also good for you. After all, our kids deserve better!
WEHL: Your ketchup doesn’t have any preservatives. How long does it keep for?
RG: Ketchups normally don’t have preservatives; it is the acidity from the vinegar that usually keeps the ketchups good for a long period of time.
WEHL: Why was it important to you to make a refined sugar-free ketchup?
RG: Refined sugar causes inflammation in our bodies, leads to cavities, and increases triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease. It also messes with our blood sugar levels. Worst of all it’s very addictive. Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more. I truly believe we can make food taste good without the addictive, added sugar. Our kids deserve better; we can give them a healthier future by encouraging healthier habits from an early age.
WEHL: You sweeten your ketchup with dates. What made you choose dates and what are some of their health benefits?
RG: Dates are nature’s best candy; they are one of the richest sources of healthy fiber, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Massive health benefits of dates, proven by recent scientific studies, make them one of the best ingredients you should consider incorporating into your daily diet.
Dates are a great source of dietary fiber (1/4 cup provides 12% of the daily value for fiber). Dates are also one of the best natural sources of potassium and provide 8% of your daily potassium recommendation and 6% of your daily manganese recommendation in a ¼ cup. Eating dates will enrich your body with minerals like phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Dates are also a rich source of a variety of B-complex vitamins – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid as well as folic acid, vitamins A and K.
You can also read more about benefits of dates on our blog.
WEHL: You also have a line of Turmeric Teas. Tell us a little about them and why you wanted to start this aspect of your business.
RG: Turmeric Teas is a line of delicious organic tea blends with turmeric that make it easy for people to enjoy the benefits of this golden root. Turmeric, now scientifically proven to have many health benefits, has been a staple in Indian kitchens. It has always been praised for its benefits and beautiful colour but never for its taste.
I decided to launch Turmeric Teas when I met people who were struggling to add turmeric to their diet because of its taste. I wanted to make it easy for people to enjoy the benefits of Turmeric just the way people have been enjoying it in India. I wanted to take Turmeric out of the medicine cabinet and into the kitchen.
I created 4 delicious blends that are inspired by Ayurveda and are based on 4 basic needs of our bodies:
- DAWN – Energizing chai blend with turmeric
- DUSK – Calming lemongrass blend with turmeric
- SUMMER – Cooling peppermint blend with turmeric
- WINTER – Warming ginger blend with turmeric
WEHL: What are some of the benefits of turmeric?
RG: Several studies now show that curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, has potent properties that benefit our bodies. In fact, scientists have found over 600 experimentally confirmed health benefits of this superfood. Curcumin aids in liver detox and keeps our bodies clean and rhythmic. It also has potent anti-inflammatory properties making turmeric a perfect supplement for people suffering from joint pain or arthritis. Furthermore, curcumin is also proven to have several anti-cancer effects and is helpful in preventing and possibly treating cancer.
Additionally, curcumin has proven to rebalance chemical ratios that trigger adverse mental health causing depression and other mental illness – ultimately establishing itself as a powerful antidepressant. In fact, many recent publications have deemed it more effective and appealing than some of the most common antidepressant drugs on the market as it does not generate the same unwanted side-effects as some of its synthetic counterparts. In addition to these benefits, turmeric has shown to help improve brain function, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of diabetes, treat heartburn, and prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
WEHL: How can we incorporate more turmeric into our day?
RG: Traditionally turmeric is consumed in food, like several other spices. You can very easily incorporate it in your food in smaller amounts throughout the day. You can add a small amount (⅛- ¼ tsp) in your smoothies, or cook with eggs or tofu. You could add about ½ tsp when you are making soups or stews. You can add it to your rice or quinoa. You can most certainly drink Turmeric Teas! We have a blog on 7 easy ways to add turmeric to your diet on our website as well.
WEHL: Please tell us a little about your “Buy 1 Feed 1” model. How does it work?
RG: Buy One Feed One is the “For Good” part of “Good Food For Good”. I was inspired by the Buy One Give One model of TOMS shoes. At Good Food For Good, every time you buy a product we feed a person in need with the help of our giving partners The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Food Banks Canada and LA Food Banks. We donate our giving partners enough money to feed a person in need.
WEHL: You are a Certified B Corporation; what inspired you to get this certification?
RG: Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. We already created a social enterprise and becoming a B Corporation was the next best step in becoming part of this community committed to making a difference.
WEHL: Do you have any advice for an entrepreneur who’s interested in building a socially conscious business?
RG: Starting something that matters is the most rewarding thing that you can do for yourself. It’s not an easy path, though. There are many challenges, and as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, you will find a way!
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