Founder & COO Meeta A. Madhok reveals how being lactose intolerant led to starting a vegan almond milk plant in an email chat
Health is wealth, we have all heard this. And being on the road is no easy task. While every traveller does have his or her own ways of remaining healthy, I like to keep some good stuff in my bag. And then I got a chance to taste almond milk, which comes in small bottles and can easily be carted on my trips. So Meeta A. Madhok answers a few pertinent questions about the making of Drupe Almond Milk and offers a discount on the products too.
How did you begin the journey of Drupe? Was it a personal experience that helped bring this product to life?
Drupe happened when I discovered that I am lactose intolerant. When I visited a doctor in Los Angeles, she explained how humans do not have the enzyme lactase to digest lactose, though we get immune after consuming the same thing over many years. Some of us can handle it better than the others. Sadly, I was that odd person who had a weak immunity and became lactose/dairy intolerant.
Since I stopped the consumption of dairy in the last six years, I have felt my pigmentation disappear. I am no longer popping antacids, as consuming dairy was causing indigestion. The toxin build up was the reason for my anxiety/panic attacks as I would feel a ‘fullness’ with toxins trapped inside me. When I came back to India, I could not find any good natural almond milk, so we decided to start Drupe.
How much time does it take for the results of almond milk to show?
When I switched to non-dairy milk for my daily calcium intake, I could not digest fortified non-dairy milk as my body rejects anything unnatural. In less than a month, I felt lighter and healthier as dairy was my trigger and would increase the histamine level in my blood resulting in body inflammation. And we all know inflammation is the start point of every disease in the world.
How much research was put in to make this milk? Where is your research unit/plant?
We have a research unit in Los Angeles, where we hired professionals to conduct research on the drawbacks of consuming dairy such as PCOD, Early Puberty or early menopause, basically dairy causes a hormonal imbalance due to the hormones of a lactating cow. For instance, breast milk is consumed best by infants as they need the hormones of their mother but we as humans don’t require hormones of a tortured cow. I would hear a lot from my mother that nothing happened to them by consuming dairy. I could not be rude and tell her that how old she looked at 50 or the reason she pigmented or had an early menopause.
We have a full fledged lab in our manufacturing plant based in Noida, where we conduct trials and shelf life study, along with various nutritional tests for the product manufactured on a daily basis. We ran trials for over a year to reach the final composition of Drupe.
Is this milk suitable for small children?
Yes, Drupe Almond Milk can be consumed by anyone over one year as it has less calories and more calcium than dairy. And of course it has ‘no hormones’. The milliennial mom is aware and is not starting her little one with dairy after she weans the child off mother’s milk.
Where all is the milk available?
Drupe is available across India in retail stores and most online platforms. Our portal is www.drupepower.com, which has a promotion running with code SURVEY, avail 50% off on all Drupe products.
What has been the response from the vegan community? Have you been involved in any awareness campaigns or conferences to popularise the product? What are your future plans?
The response from the vegan community is thrilling, but we have had a better response from the non-vegans. Vegans have researched a lot of options for protein and calcium intake but the non-vegan is actually suffering like I was six years ago. Dairy to non-dairy is a gradual shift. It is not a conscious decision alone, it’s a habit since childhood. In fact, I recently stopped getting dairy milk at home as my staff would buy for their consumption of tea etc.
Almond milk is an expensive proposition, so we discovered oats milk for them. For some reason they are scared to consume Drupe Almond Milk, as they find it expensive even if I give it to them free of cost. I guess it’s their mindset and of many more Indians who fear consuming something good for reasons best known to them!
An ex-advertising guru, Madhok worked for over ten years with Lowe Lintas as Strategic Planner. Writing under the pen name Author M, she partnered with her sister-in-law Shobhna Anand and animal activist-best friend Sabia Gulati to start Drupe. Gulati has played an integral role in bringing international brands such as Madame Tussauds and Marks & Spencer to India.