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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Organic India

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?

 

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45 comments

Comments

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.

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!

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.

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!

Susan M says …

I just love this concept. What a blessing to so many in need of help. How can others get involved?

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.

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 !

Cyndi says …

I would like to buy dried Tumeric. Do you have this? Thank you! Cyndi

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.

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!

Jackie says …

I love their products. I use a lot of their herbs.

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.

Nina says …

We eat ghee every day in our cooking. Specially it tests really good in rice & on naan.

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

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.

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.

richa panwar says …

this is a really nice concept, and really helpful for the uplifting of rural Indian folks.

mrinalini says …

may i know quality parameters of organic india cow ghee?

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.

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.

punjabi chole recipe says …

Simple and tasty...great post

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?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARY - Our exact options differ so check with your local store to see what they have in stock!

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.

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.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SHOBHNA - We have a separate blog post specifically about trans fats and this is a little blurb that will hopefully help: naturally occurring trans fats can be found in small quantities in meat and dairy products as the result of a natural process in which microbes in the stomachs of ruminant animals transform unsaturated fatty acids into trans fats. As the chemical structure and location of naturally occurring trans fat bonds in the molecule are different from that of artificial trans fats, it is generally considered that the naturally-occurring trans fats both metabolize in the body differently and are less harmful.

AD says …

Hello, Can you please tell me whether this ghee is made from cultured butter? Also, I bought some of your ghee from Whole Foods. It was liquid in the center, btu some of it had solidified into a hard mass that stuck to the inside of the jar. This doesn't look right. Please clarify. Thanks. AD.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@AD - Ghee is technically a class of clarified butter. Regarding the liquified ghee you purchased, I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly to see if this is something that is normal for their product.

Eila Singla says …

It's true. Cows are worshipped in India and they are like a part of family. Very much surprised and happy to read the above article 'Organic India'. In north India, desi ghee is made in home by our mothers and we just love it......the delicious white butter and desi ghee. It is very good for joint pains.

Patanjali Products Online says …

i like organic foods as well as organic products...........

Babu Krishnamoorthy says …

I am from south India. I am a rice eater. I add ghee to freshly cooked rice for my child. It makes the food taste yummy. I make my own ghee using the butter from WholeFoods. It is economical. I love whole foods. It is just 2 blocks from my office in downtown Minneapolis.

Arya says …

I'm from India. After cooking I add ghee in all my Indian dal, curries, rice and even in indian bread (on special days). I love it's smell and if you are cooking in olive oil or vegetable oil mix small amount of ghee it'll enhance the taste of whatever you are cooking ... even you can add ghee in baking too. I do that sometimes when I make eggless cakes or cookies.

Marilyn says …

When in Texas (DFW area) can Ghee be purchased. I have searched all over for it. Thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARILYN - Most of our stores in the DFW area should carry ghee, although it can differ by vendor and availability. I would suggest calling the store you plan to visit before you head over to see what they have in stock. You can find a list of stores at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.

Nalini says …

Thank you. Had given up on ghee due to the adulterated one available in market.

NAS says …

I too was curious about the trans fat on the nutrition label. Why does this ghee have trans fat while others do not? What is the difference?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@NAS - I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly to see if they use a specific process that makes this happen. You can email them via their website at http://organicindiausa.com/contact-us.

fijiproduce says …

ayurved is indian culture. good products

JB says …

Are the cows grass fed or grain?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JB - I would suggest reaching out to the vendor to find out if the cows are grass fed.

RavindraBisht says …

It's really amazing work, helping farmers as well as saving there old traditions, and educating them to educate them. ApnouBazaar from Uttarakhand had same tendency to direct sell product from "farmer to foodies", these products all are natural and 100% hygienic for everyone.

Michele says …

learning a lot from my new friends in New Jersey from India. Glad to have found this site.

Sonika S says …

Hi, I'm interested in learning about the diet of the cows. Are they grass fed or grain fed? If it is a mixture how much 5 of their diet is grass v/s grain? thanks,

Naheed Sultan says …

I was born in Bhopal India,& I love everything Indian,especially the food,& the ingredients used for cooking Indian food.....my family has raised me to understand & respect Indian cookery & all it's Glorious ingredients...it's my culture...a rich & awesome culture....wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world....

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SONIKA - Are you referring to the beef sold in our stores? If so, anything that is labeled as grass fed will be grass finished. If it does not say that it is grass fed, then their diet could consist of grass and grains. If you have specific questions about a vendor, just check with the meat team at your local store to find out.