New smoothie brand Rus Organic is delicious and healthy
A 25-year-old NRI's new smoothie brand, Rus Organic, is telling you that being healthy could lead to you helping India's farmers
Byline: Ela Das
Five minutes into a conversation with Ujvala Vemparala, you'll begin to feel like you're talking to a long-lost friend. Refreshingly relatable, she delves into the growing pains we've all struggled with in our teenage years, how erratic and stressful our daily goings-on can be, and the tremendous toll it takes on our health. Only, she made a business out of it.
Unhealthy to healthy
Discussing the journey of her farm-to-bottle beverage company Rus Organic, she says, "I was very unhealthy as a child, and when I moved to New York for college I decided to change my life. I was overweight and living alone, which led to late nights and eating copious amounts of junk food on the go. I wanted to move away from that. Being healthy not just by exercising, but being more conscious about what I ate and the choices I made brought balance in my life." She adds that moving in with brother, helped her gradually learn to lead a more holistic life. "He introduced me to discovering alternatives and replacements for unhealthy foods—a habit that's very on-trend now, but I guess he discovered it before it was cool!" she laughs.
After graduating in 2016, a trip to Qatar to visit her father made her notice the lack of nutritious and organic food available there. Desperate for her daily fix of fresh juices and smoothie bowls, she started a juice shop called Juicin' It and imported organic fruits and vegetables from Abu Dhabi. But within the year, things came to a halt once the trade embargo was implemented, and she decided to move to India to continue her purpose. "I started visiting farmers and key people in the food trading industry across the country and saw a produce sourcing opportunity—not just for my juice shop but also for supermarkets in Qatar. The ingredients here are very fresh and easily accessible," she says, adding, "It enhanced my goal of not just creating a quality organic product, but giving back to the farmers, too—we directly source from them, there's no middleman, and their revenue is earned directly."
Tried and tested
Each product is accredited by Ecocert—a French accreditation agency providing Indian Organic and USDA Certification. The juice is tested through the TraceNet system, where batch codes on bottles trace back to the farms the produce was harvested at, along with the time of harvesting. Vemparala says she wanted to break the myth that healthy, organic, vegan food and drinks are unappetising. "People think certain ingredients such as spinach in a drink will taste awful. That's not what you'll get with these juices and smoothies." This is true. One swig of the Energize Smoothie and the deceptively green drink is as delicious as dessert—it's blended with almond milk, pineapple, banana and dates. Sceptics can try Chocolate Milk (almond milk, cacao and dates). She reflects, "Being conscious about what we consume can be transformative. But that doesn't mean you have to make it a monotonous regime. I still like to occasionally indulge in pizza because then, it's a treat."
Rus Organic is available on www.rusorganic.in
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