Guna: Healing through Whole Foods

By Team Feministaa in

Most physical and mental diseases find their root cause in our diet (Anna) or are psychosomatic (Mann) in nature. Traditional organic farming provides us clean, safe food.
Neha Upadhyay
Founder Guna
I have rarely seen an entrepreneur in India who drives her passion to this level. Neha, is a young entrepreneur with a background in pschycology and Human resources. Studied in the UK, Neha came back to India with a dream to change the way people eat. Today, she works with 650 rural women farmers and has collaborated with more than ten brands, to motivate people to eat organic produce and follow a healthy way of lifestyle.
Neha believes that food has a major role to play in someone’s behaviour and mentality. When I spoke to her for sometime, she surprisingly spotted that I have an ADHD! She is that connected to what she does.
When she was in England at the Daylesford Organic Cookery School, (The Premier Trust For Organic Practises in Europe), she learned the art of macrobiotic cooking! A concept that was completely new to India. Cooking in earthen vessels, drinking water in silver/copper glasses, were things that were prevalent in Ancient India, but forgotten today. The benefits of such things were being taught and imbibed by locals in England. Thus, Neha strongly felt a need to come back and help people connect to their food.
When I saw my mentor, 8 months pregnant, without a sign of worry or stress, taking classes of macrobiotic cooking, I knew I found my moment of inspiration
Ancient Systems are therapeutic.
To cure my ADHD, Neha guided me with a wonderful meal plan for the whole day. She patiently explained me that I had to reduce my coffee, increase my milk intake, lessen my non vegetarian intake to reduce the”yang” etc etc.
Clean eating takes away a lot of negativity from life
Being an eco-feminist
Neha originally belongs to Bihar. As an agricultural activist, she found a niche for herself in food healing! Today, she calls herself an eco feminist;
Prakriti is feminine, and whatever is happening to it, has a direct correlation of what is happening to women today
Women, just like “prakriti” (mother nature), are being jeopardised. Beej (seed), which is a form of reproducing life, is also “janini” (woman). I am propagating that!
Trained from Navdanya for Bija Vidyapith, Neha has unique qualities as an entrepreneur. She is passionate, and compassionate. Today, combining her knowledge from a degree in psychology, volunteering at a brain rehab support centre, completing a masters in human resource management and training at the Daylesford Organic Cookery School, she has been able to support about 650 women farmers in the country!
What’s Next?!
We have partnered with the UNFAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United States), in their “Save Food” initiative. This combination, has resulted in what I am doing today. My product line of Organic Foods, is based from that.
By now we have a sustainable model. We have moving products, and the demand is good.. so now I will apply for funding.
I want more and more women farmers to get involved with our project at Guna. We wish to tap into different regions and expand our product line. There are numerous indigenous food items that I would like to bring to the shore. And my dream is to run an organic cafe!
Thank You Neha!

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