The only thing that can stop the spread of saffron is the international embargo. If people in India and elsewhere wanted to buy saffron, the prices of the leaves and seeds would be much higher than they are now. The other issue that is affecting the supply of the plant, that of pollution, is the fact that the only way to obtain pesticides that is currently available to the people in India, who grow it, is through illegal means.
There is a large and growing movement all over the world by consumers of natural and plant-based foods to start supporting a global anti-pesticide movement that will eliminate the source of the plant-based food pollution that creates the problems with saffron. This article by Dr. Mark Post and the accompanying interview are two that are a good place to start if you are interested in supporting our anti-pesticide movement.
Why does it smell?
Although the smell of saffron can be overpowering when worn, when freshly ground the colour is a reddish brown which then spreads throughout the fabric it is mixed with giving it a nice sheen.
Why is it so expensive?
Saffron has a high price because its only grown in very small amounts by small farmers in India. Saffron used to be used in medicines used to treat pain and swelling, but today it is used in India as medicinal spice, as an astringent to give a fresh taste and has a natural skin-rejuvenating ability.
How much is a pound of saffron?
In India saffron grows on small patches of land in low and low lying mountainous regions and for many decades before the invention of industrial machinery such as monocrops, the only way to save the farmer from famine was to grow saffron. In the last 60 years saffron has become a major economic and cultural export from India although it has been banned since 1999. The price of saffron has jumped to $200 an ounce or about $30,000 a kilo from $15 to $300 an ounce in the last 20 years. A single gram of saffron is estimated to cost up to $1,200. When you sell this raw material, most of which is used for making saffron paste, to the European Union for industrial use, you are essentially selling the product at full retail cost in the US of $600 an ounce or almost $5,735. That is a huge
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