Organic Foods & Cafe is opening up Bahrain’s first organic supermarket
Time Out Bahrain staff
This time last year, Time Out Bahrain set its editorial team a challenge: to spend an entire week eating only certified organic food. It’s fair to say we nearly starved. While the organic movement has pervaded much of the rest of the world, the best Bahrain could do was a smattering of organic pulses and chocolate bars in some of the larger supermarkets and a couple of specialist shops. Nils El Accad is about to change all this. The CEO of Organic Foods & Cafe is opening up Bahrain’s first dedicated organic supermarket. Stocking a range of nearly 12,000 products, 98 per cent of which will be organic, the store will dominate the upper floor in Seef Mall’s new extension, and will become Bahrain’s very first health hub.
Why organic? Organic food is that grown strictly without the use of chemicals, which means no pesticide residue on your lettuce, no fertiliser-infused carrots and no antibiotic pumped meat. Studies have shown that food grown organically is both significantly more nutritious and less hazardous to humans. Most people agree that organic food tastes better too!
Is organic the same as green? Not really, although there is an obvious benefit to the environment if farms are not sprayed with chemical fertilisers and pesticides. That said, Organic Foods & Cafe does have a strict green code. When asked about the impact of importing food from Southern European, East African and Egyptian farms, Nils El Accad responded, ‘Well, we could grow stuff locally. But here’s the problem with that. If you buy local, then the perception is that it has a lower carbon footprint. Does it? The water used on the land here is desalinated water, which is hugely energy hungry. You might as well fly in food from Australia. It will have a lower carbon footprint than food grown here.’
So, why isn’t everyone eating it? Sadly, the cost. Intensive farming (that which uses chemicals) can increase crop yields, and therefore reduce the cost of food. Organic farms rely on natural fertilisers such as manure and natural pest deterrents such as garlic sprays, and the crop yields tend to be smaller, making the food grown more expensive. Still, this is your health and ultimately your life we’re talking about, so it’s worth it, right?
Bahrain’s first dedicated organic supermarket, Organic Foods & Cafe, is coming to town! We tell you why you should be shopping there
Seven from heaven
Nils El Accad tells us the top seven products he is bringing to town, and why you should be stocking up on them Quinoa ‘An ancient grain used by the native Indians of Peru and Bolivia, this is the only food to contain all the amino acids and thus protein needed by the human body. It is also rich in calcium and very easily digested. An excellent alternative to rice, it is also gluten free.’
Goji berries ‘Revered for generations, this Himalayan berry became famous a few years ago due to its high content of vitamin A (more than carrots) and vitamin C (more than citrus) and very high quantity of antioxidants, which protect the body from disease.’
Whole rye bread ‘From our own in-store bakery we supply a range of healthy wholegrain breads made from a variety of grains and alternatives to wheat. Our breads are free from all unnatural additives and are high in fibre and minerals. Since each loaf is made from a sour dough base, it takes us three days to make a loaf of bread, and not three hours as is conventionally the case.’
Gluten free bread ‘Intolerance to gluten is common, and this had led us to introduce a whole range of gluten-free items from breads to cakes and cookies. Gluten is the protein in wheat that makes dough sticky but also slows our nervous system. Our gluten free bread is freshly made every Tuesday and free from wheat, gluten, yeast and, dairy (with the exception of the gluten free toast).’
Agave syrup ‘This sweetener is a good alternative to sugar. It can be used in tea or coffee, on breakfast cereal and even in your baking.’
Akin body care ‘An all natural paraben and SLS free range of body care and cosmetic products that are completely petrochemical free and work really well.’
Dr Hauschka body care and cosmetics ‘Used by celebrities around the world, Dr Hauschka is the cosmetic brand of Wala, one of the planet’s premier homeopathic brands. Developed originally as a way to apply healing homeopathics to the skin, Dr Hauschka was later developed into a cosmetic brand and works in the same way as homeopathic medcine, based on the rhythms of nature to help your skin follow its natural cycle rather than being bombarded with vitamins and synthetic substances. Skin stressed from air pollution, heat and air conditioning benefits greatly from the application of this product line.'