We spend quite some time thinking about terms and labels, and one of the ones that we took some time to adopt as a description is Wholefoods. Partly, it’s everywhere. Also, there is of course Whole Foods, that rather big store that has bagsied the label. Also how about our artisanal side, the organic one, our quest to be a one-stop supermarket. These are good labels too, but we stuck with Wholefoods as a good all-rounder, even if not every one of our products fits the label.
Here is why. Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed and free from additives, artificial ingredients, and other synthetic substances. They are usually in their natural state or have undergone minimal processing, such as washing, grinding, or drying. Hey, do you hear AI in those last two sentences? Busted! But we take over from here. Whole foods are generally accepted to be more nutrient-dense than processed foods, but there is another reason we love them: the lack of processing enables relatively small producers to enter the market.
Even our processed items, let’s say in the bakery or pasta sauces, have relatively few ingredients, no additives, bulking, or conservation agents. This makes them amenable to home and small-batch production, although it does mean that they have to be eaten fresh and conserved well. Also, whole foods are generally considered to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than heavily processed foods as they require less energy to produce and often have less packaging waste. This is true for our products too, which are generally processed manually rather than by machines, enabling local producers with limited resources to own the means of production. Here is a note, this is not a mantra or our vision or a comment on how things should go in the future, but it is currently a fact.
We have another passion: that is getting more Whole Foods produced in Indonesia. It’s incredible what Bali can produce, both in raw Wholefoods and minimally processed products from International Cuisine. But we still import some bulk, especially nuts, beans, seeds, and some Mediterranean products. Some of these are unavoidable in that they cannot be produced in Bali. Though we have our sights on getting artichokes! Others, could be! No reason not to grow many pulses, no reason not to can tomatoes and beans on the Island. Or rather, there are many reasons, it’s cheaper to import, but therein lies the challenge on our Whole Foods journey!