Oil consumption is increasing day by day in India. The import of vegetable oils in January 2020 reported at 11, 95,812 tonnes. India’s average oilseeds production in the last few years has been 28-30 million tonnes and the production of edible oil is 7.5 to 8 million tonnes. Vegetable oil imports set to rise by 3% in mid-2019. Indian vegetable oil economy is the fourth largest in the world next only to the USA, China, and Brazil. India contributes about 6 percent of world vegetable oil production, 11 percent of world vegetable oil imports, and about 9 percent of the world’s edible oil production.
Every company tried to lure the customers towards them. Some with big advertisement budget did very well but the other companies with similar compositions but low advertisement budget failed to impress the customers.
These oil companies who promoted their brand of oil by marking them as polyunsaturated took many ways to promote their brand. They were aware of the fact that at that time it was known that compared to saturated oils, polyunsaturated oils were slightly (mark that word “slightly”) better. They tried to impress the medical community with this difference sponsored health programs, doctor’s conferences. They advertised in the newspapers about these oils being “heart friendly”. This worked and some of the brands started selling. They increased the cost and this profit was put back in advertising again. The extra cost paid by the customers helped them to sustain their campaign for a longer period. Those companies that did not have big budgets but had a similar composition of oil failed. Only recently the Government of India banned these advertisements and you will not see these “heart-friendly oil” advertisements. But they still utilize the loopholes in the ruling to promote their oils differently. You will still be able to see TV advertisements of oil companies where a picture of heart will pass in the back of the contents; indirectly people connect this to a healthy heart.
Indians have the custom to add oil or Ghee during preparations of every kind of food. All the spices are seasoned in oil or ghee, onions are fried in oil, sweets are fried in oil; oil is added on plain rice, fried rice, chapatti, paratha, puris are fried in oil. This is even though everyone knows that oils are fats. They also know fats have a tendency to increase weight and creating heart disease.
There are two reasons behind this. One is that they do not know how to cook these foods without oil. What they have learned was from their mothers who cooked similarly- was the only way they cooked. No options were available. Food without oil would mean only boiled vegetables and dry chapatis which they found lacking in taste. The second reason behind this excessive use of oil is the continuous advertisement campaign by the oil companies which depicted that their kind of oils are very healthy and will protect the heart. The so-called “Heart-healthy oils”! The second one worked very well.
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