PepsiCo Takes ‘Snack Smart’ Logo Off Lays, Moves Away from Rice Bran Oil to Cut Costs

NEW DELHI: PepsiCo has silently taken off the ‘Snack Smart’ logos from the packs of its snack foods like Lay’s chips, Kurkure and Cheetos as it gives up rice bran oil to cook its snacks four years after launching the snack smart initiative.

Starting March this year, the company has been using cheaper palm oil to cook its snack brands as a cost-saving measure, three officials in knowledge of the development told ET. A PepsiCo spokesman confirmed the switch. “Our analysis of consumer feedback on the use of rice bran oil showed that the consumer did not show any added preference to the use of rice bran oil,” he told ET.

The ‘snack smart’ logos used to claim that the brands, apart from being cooked in healthier oil, had 40% less saturated fat, zero trans fats and no added monosodium glutamate. Beginning the second half of 2007, PepsiCo had been saying across various multimedia campaigns and announcements that it had switched to cooking all its snacks brands in rice bran oil, instead of the earlier palm oil.

Pepsi’s website, snacksmart-.co.in, still shows actor Saif Ali Khan promoting the ‘snack smart’ logo for its Lay’s chips. It says rice bran oil, used to cook Lay’s, Kurkure and Cheetos, is “naturally high in good fats and 22% lower in saturated fats”.

Typically, the cost difference between snacks cooked in rice bran oil and palm oil is about .`8-10 per kg. PepsiCo’s decision to silently withdraw the logo and switch to cheaper oil has not gone down well with health activists. Centre for Science and Environment Director Sunita Narain said the move amounts to taking the consumer for granted.

“If Pepsi spent crores telling consumers about the meaning of the ‘snack smart’ logo in the past, they should now tell consumers why the logo is off on the same marketing budgets,” Narain said. “They should have Saif Ali Khan on TV telling consumers why the logo is off.” Narain had triggered an outcry against Pepsi and Coke in 2006 by saying their soft drinks in the country contained pesticide Pankaj Sharma, chief trustee of Centre for Transforming India (CFTI), a Delhi-based NGO that works on health and environment issues, said companies should have self-regulation.

“Either they should not bother telling consumers details of cooking medium (or)…they should tell consumers about changes as well.”

The PepsiCo spokesman insisted that the company is not taking its focus away from healthy food. Lay’s has significantly reduced sodium in Lay’s Classic salted and all its snacks are free of MSG and trans fat, he says.

The company has also launched a baked version of Lay’s potato chips. “A new range of baked, multi-grain products under the Aliva brand is next in the offing,” the spokesman said.

With growing health concerns and mounting criticism over widespread obesity, food and beverage majors have begun adopting nutritional labelling in the country, in line with global trends, to reduce portion sizes, reformulate existing products to reduce saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium.

Several companies including the two cola majors, Unilever, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods and Mars came together in March last year to sign an India Pledge, a set of guidelines to restrict and regulate propagating unhealthy foods on the lines of the European Union Pledge.

The pledge involves the companies making individual commitments to social responsibility in marketing food and beverage products to children, and providing a framework to promote healthier dietary choices.

Read more at: http://www.indiaresource.org/news/2012/1006.html

Encroachers gobble up Hauz Khas heritage

NEW DELHI: The Hauz Khas heritage, in the midst of an urbanized village with high-end boutiques, restaurants and an upscale residential colony, is slowly turning into a hub of illegal construction and occupation.

The monuments, which have a medieval history tracing back to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign, have fallen prey to encroachers over the past few years. Despite complaints by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), along with several notices, the violations only seem to grow.

Just a few feet from the monument’s main entrance, construction is in full swing on the ground floor of a building that houses several boutiques and eateries. Another few feet away, a floor has been added to a building with a polished look.

In the residential colonies, which are 10 feet away from the monument’s boundary wall, the process of getting permission from the competent authority has been allegedly bypassed in favour of unauthorized construction.

Numerous notices, accompanied by action in some instances, have not shown results; officials admit that keeping tabs on all the illegal constructions around the monument is very difficult.

“We have made several complaints about unauthorized construction in the past few years but we are not empowered to take action and are dependent on the local authorities,” said a senior ASI official.

A number of restaurants in Hauz Khas Village recently came under the National Green Tribunal scanner for discharging untreated sewage into sewers. The group, which filed the PIL in the tribunal, now plans to seek intervention for safeguarding the sanctity of the heritage sites.

“Massive illegal constructions and ongoing encroachment of the forest belt and public spaces has been seen within 100m of the periphery of Hauz-E-Elahi. The forest belt not only has residences but has seen unbridled commercial activities. Most of the buildings housing famed restaurants have come up in the past three years and within 100m of the monument.

“All of this has been in connivance with ASI officials and other government bodies that have wilfully neglected their duties. It is important to preserve this 700-year-old monument and the eco-sensitive zone of southern ridge, failing which India will lose yet another important chapter of its glorious history to corruption, government and public apathy,” said Pankaj Sharma, environment and heritage activist.

Sharma claimed that attention was being paid mainly to the frontier of the monuments, but not to the settlements at the rear occupying forest land.

The locals said these shanties, which have been around since 2010, have been slowing growing. “We tried to free up the land two years ago but the villagers have now turned hostile. Our jurisdiction is till the monument’s boundary and the land occupied by villagers is with DDA,” said the official.

Read more at: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-06/delhi/42763070_1_monument-hauz-khas-village-boundary-wall

NGT shuts down Hauz Khas village eateries till Sept 24

Concerned over “health hazards” posed by eateries in Hauz Khas village which are allegedly running without proper permission,the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed that the eateries remain closed till September 24.

A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani said the order would act as an injunction against any new eating joint which comes up in the area and listed the matter for further hearing on September 24.

The tribunal observed that over 40 eateries in the area “are not only operating without proper clearance as per law but are discharging effluents,drawing potable water,apart from causing nuisance and environmental hazards…”.

The tribunal was hearing the petition by Pankaj Sharma alleging that the eateries in Hauz Khas village are operating illegally. Observing that so many eating joints could not have “mushroomed” in the area without the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s knowledge,the NGT sought the presence of authority’s member secretary on the next date of hearing to explain.

Read more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/ngt-shuts-down-hauz-khas-village-eateries-till-sept-24/

Rise and Fall of The Hauz Khas Village Empire

hkvtop

Thirty-four popular restaurants in Hauz Khas Village, or HKV as it is colloquially known, in New Delhi, had to shut shop recently because of a court order sought by the National Green Tribunal. Their contention, according to a report by Wall Street Journal’s blog India Real Time, was that the eateries were operating without the necessary pollution permits. What this means for “the village” is yet to be seen, but for Delhi foodies there is already one significant casualty. Popular South Indian restaurant, Gunpowder, announced its closure on September 24. A few weeks ago, Ziro, another bar and café in the locality, hosted a “Gentrification Party” as their farewell to the neighborhood.

Understandably, as the city prepares to lose one of its hubs, the outrage across the media is roaring. Newspaper reports claim that “thousands of restaurants across the city don’t have effluent treatment plants (ETPs), but are functioning without. The officials have been lax and now the city stands to lose one of the few places for hanging out.” India Real Time carried a follow-up report “The Man Who Shut Down Hauz Khas Village,” about a Mr Pankaj Sharma, the man responsible the investigation.  The article was shared several times across social media with alternating comments of abuse and support, depending on which side of the debate people sided.

New Delhi, more so than other cities across India enjoys a variety of small markets and urban villages, as opposed to the mall culture. The newly gentrified Meharchand Market is an example of this—high-end boutiques and fancy restaurants replacing what was once just a few kebab shops and tailor’s windows. However, no other spot in the city has caused as much love and hate as Hauz Khas Village has. Perhaps because it was the first of its kind, or just because of the sheer variety of things at the village — from live music nights to scones for tea.

The media’s reporting of rage and grief across the city might be tad overdone, but they have a point.  Since Hauz Khas Village’s inception as a “cultural hub” back in the early ’90s, the locality has been something of an oasis for people in Delhi wanting a creative place to eat, shop, and mingle that is not located in a mall. In the last five years, HKV came up as Delhi’s answer to London’s Shoreditch or New York’s East Village. However, the original leasers were not in favor of this overdevelopment. When independent bookstore Yodakin had to close, its owner, Arpita Das, cited the popularity of the neighborhood and the increasing rent as the cause.

There have been concerns about HKV joints as potential fire hazards. Ringing true to these concerns, popular nightspot Out of the Box had caught fire in 2011 – only to remerge bigger and more popular, but with little that seems ensures protected space.

Restaurant owners claim they knew nothing about the ETPs, but the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) claims the eateries had a month’s grace to install them.

Meanwhile, on Gunpowder’s Facebook page, the cries of despair carry on. “So sad” and “Disaster” were common comments, while in the midst of all this, one brave commenter adds, “Environmental issues and safety of people are any day more important than “hot, steaming appam.” I hope you open in a proper market or mall.”

A final decision on the petition was made on September 24. According to a report in Hindustan Times, 25 out of the 34 restaurants were allowed to reopen, provided they put into place all the pollution check measures. A committee was also formed to suggest ways that other restaurants in Delhi can operate sustainably.

– See more at: http://in.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/963268/rise-and-fall-of-the-hauz-khas-village-empire#sthash.Q0rct9xG.dpuf

Tribunal orders closure of several Hauz Khas Village restaurants

More than 30 restaurants in the Hauz Khas area have been found to be operating without proper clearances, discharging effluents, drawing potable water and causing environmental hazards. This has prompted the National Green Tribunal to direct their closure till September 24.

A Bench headed by Justice P. Jyothimani said the order would act as an injunction against any new eating joint which comes up in the area. Responding to a petition filed by Pankaj Sharma, the Tribunal has noted that several restaurants have mushroomed in the area without obtaining the required consents under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Further, the Tribunal noted that of the 33 restaurants mentioned in the application submitted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), seven are closed and show-cause notices were issued to the remaining ones. Observing that so many eating joints could not have “mushroomed” in the area without the knowledge of the DPCC, the NGT sought the presence of authority’s Member Secretary on the next date of hearing to answer “how long these restaurants have been allowed to continue to operate in the said area”.

Read more at: http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/tribunal-orders-closure-of-several-hauz-khas-village-restaurants/article5152976.ece/

Delhi: Green Tribunal directs closure of restaurants at Hauz Khas village-India News

New Delhi: Concerned over “health hazards” posed by eateries in the capital’s Hauz Khas village which are allegedly running without proper permission, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Friday, directed closure of all these restaurants till September 24.

A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani said the order would act as an injunction against any new eating joint which comes up in the area and listed the matter for further hearing on September 24.

“Considering seriousness of the issue of health hazard which is being caused, we have no hesitation to hold that balance of convenience in granting certain interim orders is in the interest of the public. Accordingly, we direct closure of all the restaurants situated in Hauz Khas area which are running without obtaining proper permission from appropriate authorities till the next date of hearing.

“There shall also be an order of injunction against everyone from starting any new restaurant in the said area. The respondent 2 (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) shall scrupulously implement the above said order,” it said.

The tribunal observed that over 40 eateries in the area “are not only operating without proper clearance as per law but are discharging effluents, drawing potable water, apart from causing nuisance and environmental hazards in the said village”.

The tribunal was hearing the petition by Pankaj Sharma, filed through advocate Sumedha Dua, alleging that the eateries which have come up in large numbers in Hauz Khas village are operating illegally as they do not have the requisite consents under the law.

Observing that so many eating joints could not have “mushroomed” in the area without the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) knowledge, the NGT sought the presence of authority’s Member Secretary on the next date of hearing to explain as to “how long these restaurants have been allowed to continue to operate in the said area”.

Read more at: http://m.ibnlive.com/news/delhi-green-tribunal-directs-closure-of-restaurants-at-hauz-khas-village/423532-3-244.html

Decision on closed Hauz Khas Village restaurants today

New Delhi A decision over the 30-odd restaurants in the Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi which were ordered shut last week will be made today. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has now directed the Delhi pollution panel to check their compliance measures.

The eateries were asked to close on September 20 for running without environmental clearance.

Hearing a petition filed by Pankaj Sharma, a bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani also asked Delhi Police, Delhi Jal Board and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is the license issuing authority, to be present at the hearing.

Counsel for the restaurant owners pleaded they be allowed to run their establishments as it is affecting the livelihood of over 2,000 families.

Posting the petition for hearing on Wednesday, the bench in its order said: “It is made clear in the meantime, each of the restaurant owners are entitled to submit necessary scheme to the DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) in respect of their own restaurants which are to be studied by the DPCC and report the same before this Tribunal by tomorrow (Wednesday).”

The courtroom was packed as many restaurant owners were present and they pleaded they were ready to take all measures to protect the surrounding environment of Hauz Khas Village which has some ancient monuments and a water body.

The bench, however, said it has no intention to take away anyone’s right to livelihood, but a balance has to be struck.

DPCC member secretary Sandeep Mishra told the bench that only 19 of 34 restaurants, which were issued notice, have responded.

The bench pulled up the DPCC for not ensuring compliance of environment law by these eateries and said many small restaurants are mushrooming in the city and it needs to ensure that they follow the law.

Mr Mishra said there were over 60,000 restaurants in Delhi and the DPCC has called a meeting of the restaurant association to take up the matter.

Restaurant owners said they have already started taking measures like ordering effluent treatment plants (ETPs).

“We had no idea about taking environment clearance for restaurants. We accept our mistake and have already started taking measures, but it will take some time to install ETPs,” said a restaurant owner.

The NGT shut the 34 restaurants for operating without proper clearances, discharging effluents, drawing potable water and causing environmental hazards.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/decision-on-closed-hauz-khas-village-restaurants-today-423322?site=classic