Today, most consumers have become incredibly conscious of not only the environment, but the way in which commercial products impact their health and well-being. For this reason, there are today more organic products in the market than ever before.
The Roshni Association is a community working on the outskirts of Lahore. The Roshni gardens are maintained by the students and volunteers of the association. The biodynamic method of gardening uses no chemical fertilisers or pesticides. By substituting these chemicals with compost and other natural fertilisers, the health of both the soil where the plants grow, as well as the fruits and vegetables that they produce is preserved. This sustainable way of farming ensures that a high quality array of produce is grown: rice, wheat, potatoes, carrots, chillies, okra, herbs, pumpkins, and a number of fruits make up the basic nutrition for the community. The high quality of organic produce grown at Roshni has pulled in health-conscious customers from the surrounding areas.
The produce obtained from the farms has exclusive inputs which are provided by carefully selected farmers, whose farming practices exclude the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. For years now, the people of Lahore have been eating Roshni’s breads available at a number of Roshni Organic shops. The bread is made from German recipes. The whole meal flour contains all parts of the grain and is therefore much richer in vitamins and fibre, than white flour. The breads are considered to be beneficial for the digestive and immune system and good for diabetes ◆
‘Meat One’ is a tailor-made chain of stores in Karachi. At Al Shaheer, the parent company of Meat One, the finest free range animals are selected and then raised on the company’s farms strictly on organic food. There is a vast difference in the quality of meat obtained from animals that are grain-fed as compared to grass-fed.
Free range means that the animals are free from antibiotics and growth hormones and other artificial impurities. Moreover, free range grass-fed animals have 50 percent less saturated fat than the farm-fed ones. Beef from grass-fed animal is also not greasy or laden with fat.
Nutritional scientists say that by switching to grass-fed beef, it is easier to avoid diseases, lose weight and have good health. The ‘Meat One’ brand has acquired the ISO 9001: 2000 certification and has won the SAFE Food Award 2009 from URS for quality and hygiene. In 2009, Al Shaheer also won the first ‘Best Export Performance’ award for Fresh and Frozen Meat from the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2010, Meat One started to make the same quality meat available for local consumers ◆
N’eco’s Natural Store & Cafe is a snack bar, deli and super store for organic and natural home and lifestyle products all available under one roof. The idea of organic food is not new in Pakistan. Herbs and natural products are deep-rooted in the cultural make-up of our society. N’eco’s has actually created an atmosphere of story-telling for that cultural organic lifestyle.
Places like N’eco’s are for people who seek to pursue a healthy lifestyle. This store offers organic food as well as skin, hair and healthcare products, some of which are made in-house (such as fresh kernel almond oil) while others are sourced from local and international producers.
The bakery menu offers meals that are low in fat and high in nutrition. For instance, bread offered by the bakery is made with whole wheat or gluten-free flour, brown sugar, free range eggs and organic dry fruit.
All the organic ingredients are cooked in olive oil as N’eco’s believes organic tastes better. Featuring an all-day breakfast menu, a wholesome lunch and dinner fare, meals at the café can be tailormade to suit a customer’s preferences. Flavours are rarely smothered by spices used at the café. N’eco’s says it is affordable, fitness-minded and environmentally conscious ◆