A step towards a sustainable life
dhaval chandarana talks about the vegan lifestyle promoted by aurosoya and why the world needs it right now
it’s not easy to walk away from the freedom of traveling all over the world and then coming into an established family business, to take ‘the road less travelled by’. in 27-year old dhaval chandarana’s case, not only has that made all the difference to him, it is also make a difference to the world around him.
soon after he had inherited his father’s business in electronics, dhaval decided it wasn’t his cup of tea. he wanted to do something that served that world.
“So I spent three months in Auroville, working on a permaculture-based reforestation project before I met Frederic Cordonnier, who founded Aurosoya.”
Aurosoya (certified by ECOCERT) is a small factory located in Pondicherry’s Auroville, manufacturing fresh soyamilk (preservative-free, in glass bottles), tofu, okara muesli (made with soya pulp), vegan cakes and cookies. Aurosoya’s signature smoked tofu is one of their most popular products. They are all now set to launch white tofu in Bangalore
“Frederic and I connected instantly and I started volunteering at Aurosoya. Now I take care of expansion and marketing (including online marketing). Right now, we are working on using biodegradable packaging for our products.” Soya, according to Dhaval is a good alternative for meat, providing the same amount of nutrition with no proven side effects, though there are several reports on the subject that contradict each other.
As with almost everything else, it should consumed moderately.The important thing is that it is an alternative to meat, which is one of the biggest causes of climate change due to the amount of food that is grown on cut down forests to feed the animals. We are cutting down the food production cycle drastically and reducing the Carbon footprint.” Plus of course, meat is not humane. One of the biggest changes that Dhaval has brought in his one and a half year stint at Aurosoya is to convert the entire chain into a vegan chain (they were earlier producing milk product-based organic baked goodies). Soyabean oil is their alternative to butter and flax seed gel, which is sourced from organic flaxseeds soaked in water, is their alternative to egg.
One of the specialities at Aurosoya is that there is absolutely no wastage. Once we make the soy milk, we use the remaining pulp to make the okara muesli and the residue to feed the horses at Auroville. The bean skins are used to make compost in our garden. We use organic soap to clean our utensils.”
Their founding philosophy, echoing that of Auroville’s, is based on conscious living.The soya beans are sourced from an organic, non-GM farm at Andhra Pradesh. The soya processing unit employs local village women. The organic cashews used in the muesli are grown in Auroville and the oats are sourced from Pondicherry.
From where I see it, Aurosoya’s vision is to make people aware of healthy food and know that there can be highly nutritious, easily accessible food made without cruelty. I have heard a lot of people say it’s hard to get nutritious vegetarian or vegan food. I don’t think that’s true anymore and even if it is, I would like to change that perception.
For details, visit www.aurosoya.in