What We Are Buying Today: Azka Farms


AMMAN: When discussing wholesome consuming patterns and holistic wellbeing, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) isn’t the primary area that involves thoughts. Now younger Arab entrepreneurs are beginning to change that. Karma Bdeir, a Jordanian-Syrian who grew up in Saudi Arabia, is considered one of them.

Bdeir launched The MedShed 5 years in the past with the purpose of reintroducing wholesome consuming to the area underneath the theme “mind, body and soul.”

“There has been some major development over the past three years in the MENA region in consumer habits and there is still room to grow,” mentioned Bdeir. “It’s so refreshing to see so many new healthy brands arising in the region and more awareness around healthier alternatives.”

Based in Amman, Bdeir’s wholesome snacks firm sprang from her personal need to fulfill her candy tooth in a more healthy method, at a time when there have been few wholesome choices obtainable.

Initially it began off as a pastime whereas she labored in inside structure. Shortly after, she created a meals and well being weblog, and acquired a certification in Holistic Nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.

“I have always loved health and nutrition, and found myself immersed in learning about the holistic wellness industry,” she mentioned. “The MedShed was born out of my own relationship with food and body because I had a lot of misconceptions — I focused way too much on being too strict with eating healthy and being perfect about it.”

One of her programs highlighted the variations between major and secondary meals, and what she calls a “game changer” for her. “Secondary food is the food that you eat that pertains to you as an individual and to your lifestyle,” she mentioned. “Whereas primary food has nothing to do with food — it’s about relationships, productivity, physical activity and spirituality. When I started looking at it through that lens, I saw the missing link. Health goes way beyond food.”

She began focusing extra on inside therapeutic, feeding herself by means of major meals and balancing the scales.

Based in Amman, Bdeir’s wholesome snacks firm sprang from her personal need to fulfill her candy tooth in a more healthy method, at a time when there have been few wholesome choices obtainable. (Supplied)

“My mother inspired me to look at things through a holistic lens.” Bdeir mentioned. “Pills are not the answer. You need to heal from within, find out what is unbalanced in yourself and let the symptoms be your guide. It’s all about healing yourself from the inside out.”

When she launched her snack line from residence in May 2015, she was the primary to efficiently introduce wholesome sweets and snacks to Jordan. And when Amman opened its first juice store, Seed, at across the similar time, she was in a position to begin promoting her merchandise, which additionally started showing at native outlets and gymnasiums, earlier than shifting into supermarkets. “I was simultaneously doing health coaching and testing out my product range,” Bdeir mentioned. “It took two years to develop the recipe for my cookies. I did a lot of trial and error, market research and feedback.”

After refining her merchandise, she went on to launch her bakery line, adopted by ice cream final 12 months. Now she plans to develop into the Gulf, beginning with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. “The pandemic delayed my plans to launch, but I’m pushing it to May 2021 for Dubai and 2022 for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region,” she mentioned. “I think the brand has the opportunity to flourish in the Gulf, because I’ve done pop-ups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the response was great.”

She describes her merchandise as the proper wholesome but indulgent snacks — created from dates, nuts, coconuts and oats, in addition to date molasses, almond flour and coconut sugar, the snacks include a very good steadiness of wholesome fat, fiber and protein, which give long-term sustained vitality launch.

“I want to help promote the idea that if you have a sweet tooth, it’s a pleasure and it’s okay,” Bdeir mentioned. “It’s in our culture to eat dates as well, so it’s local goodness. I’ve always loved an almond-stuffed date and I wanted to create something more exciting from the same ingredients.”

Now Bdeir is rising her vary from 16 to 20 snack merchandise in two completely different serving sizes, including to her 15 baked items, which embrace desserts, donuts and ice cream sandwiches. She hopes it will present one other stepping stone to alter in a area the place weight problems and diabetes have grow to be prevalent.

“You still have people going on unhealthy diets,” she mentioned. “I’m really against the diet culture and pre-calculated meal plans. It can be a starting point for newbies, but you have to reach that place of intuitive eating, where it’s 80 percent healthy and 20 percent indulgence. After that, you just live your life.”


This report is being revealed by Arab News as a companion of the Middle East Exchange, which was launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to mirror the imaginative and prescient of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai to discover the opportunity of altering the standing of the Arab area.

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