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This Woman Entrepreneur from Chennai is on A Mission to Reinvent India’s Ancient Grains

Sanjeeta KK from Chennai is on a mission to reinvent ancient grains. Her food brand OGMO Foods offers ready-to-eat breakfast and snack mixes made from minor millets and mappillai samba red rice.

Ten years back Sanjeeta KK from Chennai had to resign from her well-paying corporate job due to a medical emergency. But being at home, Sanjeeta did not let her time go to waste. She turned her attention to her passion for healthy eating. She started a food blog called ‘Lite Bite’ and used to put her experimental healthy recipes on the blog.  She also tried her luck with creative food styling and had been working with popular bands and advertisements ever since.

This life is what lead her to start her own company, OGMO Foods, in 2018, which brings some of the forgotten ancient grains back to the table. “I always wanted to start something unique that would make a difference in society. That strong urge to make a difference made me launch OGMO Foods which specialises in value-added healthy food products,” says 52-year-old Sanjeeta in an interview with The Better India.

OGMO’s ready-to-eat breakfast and snack mixes are made out of minor millets. This includes foxtail millet, little millet, barnyard millet etc. “Minor millets are traditional grains that are highly nutritious and gluten-free”, says Sanjeeta. “They are a forgotten group of grains which were cultivated and consumed on a large scale during ancient times. And unlike rice and wheat crops which require many inputs in terms of soil fertility, water and fertilizers, millets grow well in dry regions. But longer cooking time, lack of value-addition and lack of marketing support led to a decline in the consumption of millets,” she adds.

Other than minor millets OGMO Foods also have products made out of another ancient grain called ‘Mappillai samba red rice’. “Mappillai samba rice is a variety of red rice which is only found in Tamil Nadu. It is also an ancient rice variety that used to be consumed on a large scale and has a high nutritional value. We also specialise in this rice variety and have a few products made out of it,” says Sanjeeta.

OGMO offers products like snacks made out of various millets, idli dosa premix made out of millets and Mappillai samba red rice, different types of granola mixes, health mixes and energy bars. “We also sell unpolished whole grains and whole-grain flours out of little millet, foxtail millet and Mappillai samba rice. Also, we recently launched a range of products for children under the name OGMO Foods Jr,” Sanjeeta adds.

Credits: The Better India

-Staff Reporter