Economists accept that gold is one of the most ‘liquid’ assets, but do you know its similarities with its edible liquid counterpart – ghee?
1. Both have limited supply but plenty of fake substitutes – There is only a limited supply of gold on earth, but gold look-alike imitation products abound in plenty. Similarly pure desi cow’s ghee is rare owing to the derth of pure breed desi cows and her milk, but so-called commercial ghee or butter oil from hybrid cows that is made using cream separation method is in oversupply.
2. Cost of extraction – A new metric has since been developed by the World Gold Council to report the “all-in sustaining costs” of mining gold. These numbers report that the cost of extracting an ounce of gold is actually over $1,000 per ounce and since gold is currently trading at just over $1,200 per ounce, it explains why mining companies have limited profits. Pure desi cow’s ghee is the most under-priced commodity in India right now. With no real substitute, its cost of production needs to be reviewed thoroughly.
In Karnataka, a desi cow typically produces 4 litres of milk a day with an average spend of Rs.200/- on fodder, labour and maintenance per day. This makes the cost of milk as not less than Rs.50/- per litre. If the desi cow is grass fed and the calf is fed well, the costs almost doubles. 35 litres of raw material (milk) is needed to produce 1 kg of ghee apart from processing cost of making curd, churning of curd, extraction of butter and slow heating of the same to make the liquid gold.
This makes the cost of ethically produced 10kg ghee from grass-fed desi cows using ayurvedic/traditional method as at least the price of 10gm 24-carat gold.
3. Valued by women – If the most prized possession of a woman outside her kitchen is gold, in the kitchen it is ghee. She uses the golden-yellow liquid as the final adornment for her food apart from the many therapeutic purposes it serves.
4. More valuable in times of crisis – Just as how gold value increases in times of political and economic crisis, ghee comes to rescue in times of physical and mental crisis. Infertility is a common problem today primarily due to non-consumption of good fat which is responsible for the production of reproductive hormones in both men and women. High cholesterol, disorders of the liver and stress can be relieved by a spoonful of ghee with warm water in the morning. With hospital bills so high these days, you may have to sell your real gold to treat yourself but consuming ghee can prevent the visit to the hospital entirely.
5. Increase in asset value over time – Gold has historically been in a bullish mode since time immemorial, which means that if you bought gold and just kept it – its value keeps increasing with time. Similarly, the value of ghee increases as it ages. 10 year old ghee cures severe skin problems like eczema while a 20 year old ghee can even cure gangrene. The price of old ghee can be known by paying a visit to the pansari or ayurvedic herbal store but it is a real investment that gets passed on from one generation to another. There is a saying in Kannada – sala madi tuppa tinnu – which means one can steal/borrow but one must consume pure ghee owing to its many life benefits.