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Indian mango juice - agri-tech branding

Attitudes to technology – cultural differences revealed by my mango juice

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On my recent trip to India I was told, quite rightly, that the mango juice was delicious. The bottle also turned out to be enlightening, and revealed a difference in attitude across the continents.

I was disappointed, though not surprised, to see that the juice was a product of Coca-Cola – the global power of soft drinks companies is clear to see. What did surprise me was the note about new technologies increasing yield:

Indian mango juice - agri-tech branding

There was a URL on the bottle to find out more. This told me mostly that Ultra High Density Plantation grows more mangoes per acre, is sustainable and is a very good thing. Once I’d read a few quotes from people confirming that this is a very good thing, I finally managed to discover something about what it involved:

  • grafts of commercial mango varieties planted close to each other
  • pruning, drip irrigation and ‘growth promotion’ (whatever that might mean)
  • special care for nutrition management and pest control

Drawing attention to agricultural technology is strikingly different to advertising in the UK, which often focusses on ‘natural’. Even if people choose a soft drink which is far less natural than the free alternative of water, they often want to know that it has natural flavours and preservatives.

In the UK, if you’re going to drink coconut water you need to be reassured that it is natural…

natural-advertising-on-soft-drinks

I’ve been pondering why the difference, and how the advertising influences opinion.

Is it because we have lost our connection to farming, so more food per acre is of no interest to us? Is it because we want a shortcut to being healthy and perceive that natural=healthy? Is it that people increasingly appreciate the value of nature, or is it more sinister – that we have substituted a real connection with nature for something that can be bought in a supermarket?

As always, I’d love to hear your views.

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Author: Rebecca Nesbit

I am author of a popular science book 'Is that Fish in your Tomato?' exploring the fact and fiction of GM crops. In my work and leisure so far, I have trained bees to detect explosives, used a radar to study butterflies for my PhD, written a novel, taken the train from London to China, organised Biology Week, sold science jewellery on Etsy, and traveled to four continents with Nobel Laureates. Best off all, I've made lots of friends whose support I very much appreciate. Thank you! Please visit my website: http://rebeccanesbit.com/

One thought on “Attitudes to technology – cultural differences revealed by my mango juice

  1. I take ‘natural’ here in the sense (OED Online) ” Existing or present by nature; inherent in the very constitution of a person or thing; innate; not acquired or assumed.” The coconut water then should have no additives. The mango juice I suppose, is produced in that way because it is more efficient. I note that coca-Cola on the website have a large section on sustainability. It is in their interests to see that water for example is not wasted in production, especially when they are in countries where water security is an issue. Does the mango juice have other ingredients? Saying “Also contains hand-picked Alphonso” – when Alphonso is a variety of mango I see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonso_(mango) – is curious – do they mean there are other varieties that form the bulk, or other ingredients?

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