Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Organic India

By Carly Price, May 3, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

Organic India

When a company cares deeply about the people and animals that create their products, it comes through in the quality and taste.

Organic India purchases ingredients directly from small farms in India to produce traditional ghee, teas, herbs, spices and wellness supplements.

Not only does this empower rural farmers, especially women, it also helps them preserve their traditions, culture and tribal lifestyle.

Organic IndiaOne of those traditions is ghee, a type of clarified butter used in Indian cooking for thousands of years. It has a high smoke point, ideal for high-heat cooking, and a luscious, spreadable texture. Ghee adds rich flavor to any recipe, including baked goods.

"The cows that produce Organic India Desi Ghee are celebrated, respected and milked by hand. They are raised as part of the family,” says Heather Henning, national sales manager for Organic India. “The cows have a very special place in their owners’ hearts. They are decorated with beautiful necklaces, bells and flower garlands. They are taken on walks and they spend time with their calves. Of course, they are never given antibiotics or added hormones.”

Organic India works directly with the farmers, no middlemen, and guarantees wages and a fair market price for crops, whether they fail or flourish. They pay women and men equal wages and part of their mission is to create work for widows, whom often face exceptional social and economic hardship.

Organic IndiaThe company also operates the Organic India Foundation to provide free health care centers and health education for farmers and their surrounding communities, job training, and education and scholarship programs for girls.

The farmers own their land and Organic India provides seeds, training and support from agricultural experts in each village.

Organic India pursued and obtained organic certification for a 562,000-acre forest where wild-crafted herbs are harvested.

“People who live in this forest are able to continue their tribal traditions and make a good living,” Heather explains. “It protects the forest and people’s livelihoods at the same time.”

Have you cooked with ghee? What do you use it for?


Category: Supplier Stories




Archena says ...
My family is from India and I was born in NY - still we do a lot of Indian Cooking at home and ghee is used in many Indian Desserts, just a half tsp on plain rice tastes yum too.
05/03/2013 8:56:08 AM CDT
Anita Wright says ...
Even though I am not Indian I happen to do a lot of Indian cooking. Whole Foods market is one of the few places I can go to with a huge selection of authentic Asian spices and ingredients. I am happy to know that they are coming from small farms where the money paid can be put to good use by the farmers directly. Well done!
05/04/2013 9:30:51 AM CDT
Anuja says ...
I am from India. I really love hearing about your orginzoations help to farmers. The agriculture is the heart and soul of India's future.
05/15/2013 4:42:40 PM CDT
Rey says ...
I put a small amt of ghee in all of the Indian dishes I cook. It really enhances the flavor of the dish and make it tasty!
05/15/2013 5:02:03 PM CDT
Susan M says ...
I just love this concept. What a blessing to so many in need of help. How can others get involved?
05/15/2013 6:52:42 PM CDT
Diane Zimmerman says ...
It's good to add 1/2 teaspoon in heated organic milk with a pinch of nutmeg before bedtime. It is very nourishing and will help you sleep.
05/15/2013 7:25:54 PM CDT
Jasmin says ...
WOW ! I am an Indian and feeling really proud of Whole Foods to be working with Organic India. Great job as always guys. Keep it up !
05/15/2013 8:06:12 PM CDT
Cyndi says ...
I would like to buy dried Tumeric. Do you have this? Thank you! Cyndi
05/15/2013 8:57:09 PM CDT
Deepti says ...
I use a lot of Ghee in my cooking. Use it for making Dal, rotis, parathas, even on bread. Even use it on cooked rice.
05/15/2013 9:40:12 PM CDT
shelly says ...
I like the idea of bringing ghee from India, however being from India I just wish that Indian products will stay pure and GMO free after western influence in India!
05/15/2013 11:00:53 PM CDT
Jackie says ...
I love their products. I use a lot of their herbs.
05/16/2013 7:18:48 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CYNDI - Our products vary between store locations. Check with your local store to see if they have dried turmeric in stock.
05/20/2013 1:43:54 PM CDT
Nina says ...
We eat ghee every day in our cooking. Specially it tests really good in rice & on naan.
06/21/2013 8:57:36 AM CDT
Ricardo Salazar says ...
I have not tried Ghee but am willing to try it. I am Mexican/American and love Indian food as well as Thai food better yet I love all kinds of food. I just recently bought Moringa powder and I am looking for the plant or the leafs. Please let me know if you do carry it or if not where I could find it .... THANKS YOURS TRULLY: RICO
07/17/2013 9:18:38 AM CDT
Mitali Patel says ...
I am in states from last 10 years. I only started knowing benefits of eating ghee. The organic ghee can be used where ever we use butter with even more flavour. It will not make you fat and will help you in making delicious dishes.
07/21/2013 11:24:33 AM CDT
Laura Lee says ...
I have a request for Whole Foods in Tucson to carry more Organic India products. For example the Liver and Kidney formula.
07/29/2013 10:47:29 PM CDT
richa panwar says ...
this is a really nice concept, and really helpful for the uplifting of rural Indian folks.
08/02/2013 1:41:46 PM CDT
mrinalini says ...
may i know quality parameters of organic india cow ghee?
09/05/2013 1:55:58 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MRINALINI - All products that we sell in our stores must meet our quality standards. You can find a list of unacceptable ingredients for food at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/unacceptable-ingredients-food. If you are looking for a way to become a vendor, you can find that info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/information-potential-vendors.
09/05/2013 4:36:33 PM CDT
bhavna patel says ...
I use ghee in my daily cooking. I add ghee in cook rice, I use ghee for sautae, spread on roti and paratha. cook curry and almost all my indian dish with ghee. SOOOO... delicious compare with butter or oil.
09/14/2013 2:11:54 PM CDT
punjabi chole recipe says ...
Simple and tasty...great post
09/24/2013 6:36:11 AM CDT
mary says ...
I understand curcumin comes from turmeric. Does turmeric have separate benefits than curcumin? I read that curcumin has these benefits and turmeric has that benefits. I understand whole turmeric has more bulk. Can 100% curcumin be purchased?
03/15/2014 10:51:23 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARY - Our exact options differ so check with your local store to see what they have in stock!
03/17/2014 3:58:33 PM CDT
ann says ...
Is it possible to purchase FRESH kaffir lime leaves? I love their flavor in Indian and Thai cooking. The only type I can find are pickled or powdered.
03/20/2014 11:31:36 AM CDT
Shobhna Batta says ...
Why does Organic India ghee have trans fat? I was hoping to get good quality ghee from Indian cows but seeing the trans fat in the nutrient list have made me decide to return the product. I am very disappointed.
04/03/2014 7:43:08 PM CDT