Summer is over, and it is supposed to be rainy season – but rain is delayed in most of the country and heat wave continues. High temperature means higher dehydration and higher the need to consume liquids. What you drink makes a lot of difference to your health, wallet, and the country as a whole.
India is a land of agriculture. Most states, particularly in the south have vast coconut farms, and our cities have a good supply of fresh tender coconuts. However, a large population of Indians, particularly that of youngsters are blissfully unaware of health benefits offered by tender coconuts and are heavily tuned by advertisements to think it is cool to drink aerated drinks. In this post, let us make an attempt to understand why tender coconut is 100 times better than any factory-produced soft drink. Read it, then decide for yourself.
Why Tender Coconuts instead of Soft Drinks?
1] Tender coconut is natural. It is no brainer that anything direct from nature is far better than a factory produced food product. The factory produced, commercial food and beverages will have lots of unhealthy chemicals added to increase their shelf life, improve the taste. Aerated drinks are stuffed with a high quantity of sugar, Phosphoric acid, among others. Tender coconut, on the other hand, is entirely natural, plucked from the tree and transported to shops near you.
2] Tender coconut is plastic free. All commercially made aerated drinks cause pollution- the tetra-packs, plastic bottles, tin cans in which they are served will end up as trash and mostly taken to landfill, causing massive pollution as they take years to decompose. There are no effective measures in India as of now to recycle these materials. This is in addition to the massive quantity of water and air pollution caused during their manufacturing
Tender coconut, on the other hand, is fully eco-friendly. Once consumed, the shell can be used for fire or even if thrown away, it will decompose quickly. Using straw is bad, but many vendors are now providing paper straws instead of plastic ones. You can also drink tender coconut without using a straw.
3] Tender coconut is rich with electrolytes, nutrients. Compare ingredients of an aerated drink with nutrients of tender coconut water, and the later will always emerge as the winner. Tender coconut water contains lots of minerals- sodium, potassium, calcium, carbohydrates, and more. Coconut water is instant energizer and rehydrator.
4] Buying tender coconut supports our farmers. Buying aerated soft drinks only benefit large corporates. Buying tender coconut directly supports our farmers who are dependent on agriculture and can’t fight large corporate.
5] Soft drinks are overpriced; tender coconut is not. A bottle of aerated drink sold for Rs 20 is manufactured for a cost less than Rs 1. Rest of the money is for celebrity endorsement, marketing cost, and sheer profit. The money you pay is used to create a false impression that drinking a soft drink is cool – by using celebrities and carefully crafted marketing campaigns. All side effects are cleverly suppressed, and the minds of young adults are hijacked into buying more and more of these unhealthy drinks.
When you pay about 40-45 Rs to a tender coconut vendor, about 20-25 Rs goes to the farmer who grew it; the middleman takes around 10-12 Rs for his transportation expenses, about 8-10 Rs goes to the local seller. Note that tender coconut is a perishable commodity, unlike soft drinks. Lots of unsold tender coconut go waste as they get ripe. There were many occasions where the local seller bought lots of fresh tender coconuts, but sales dropped as it rained and the weather got cooler.
The paper straw costs your vendor about a rupee each- if you can carry your own straw or learn to drink without a straw, it saves him a rupee and helps the environment a bit more.
6] Tender coconut is simply delicious. If you’ve not tasted one yet, then do immediately. Of course, the taste varies from region to region, depending on type/age of tender coconut as it is a natural product and not factory made. But all regular users of tender coconut unanimously agree that drinking a tender coconut is far more refreshing, tastier and energizing than any aerated soft drinks. Don’t trust the flashy commercials which show drinking soft drink is cool, refreshing. They are simply fooling you.
7] Tender coconut can reduce the risk of diseases like Kidney Stones, High BP, etc. Tender coconut water has lots of medicinal properties. It can minimize the risk of kidney stones, high BP, and various other ailments, due to rich minerals. Thus drinking tender coconut regularly not only keeps you fresh and energetic, but you will also save on health expenses. Just do a google search for yourself on all the side effects of soft drinks.
8] Tender coconut is anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are substances that prevent slow damage to our body cells caused by radical elements.
9] There’s no celebrity or corporate to support and promote tender coconut- we need to do it. We are ignorant about tender coconuts because unlike soft drinks, there is no large organization backing coconut farmers. No celebrity has been paid to say on TV that you should drink coconut water. It is in our own interest that we learn the positives of tender coconut water and side effects of soft drinks and make a healthy decision.
10] Tender coconut is available all year round. Unlike some other natural drinks such as fruit juices, coconut grows all around the year and is available throughout the year. Not just in India, several Asian countries, particularly around the tropical belt, have very good availability of tender coconut. Apart from India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia have massive tender coconut farms. Thailand exports fresh tender coconut to dozens of countries around the world, including the USA. While it is best to drink from a natural tender coconut, tender coconut water is now also available in tetra packs and sold in supermarkets. This will be the next best thing if you don’t find a real tender coconut vendor in your city.
So what are you waiting for? Ditch that tin can or plastic bottle of soft drink and look for a tender coconut vendor on your way home. Long live you, long live tender coconut.