Check the current March issue of Middle East Food Magazine
تُعدّ اللبنة من المنتجات القليلة التي ترافق اللبناني غذائياً وثقافياً في كلّ مراحل حياته، في الوطن والمهجر. بخلاف الحمّص المتبّل، الذي لا يمتاز المطبخ اللبناني فيه وحده، ولا تكلّ المؤسسة الإسرائيلية من محاولات خطفه، هناك «صفاء لبناني» يميز اللبنة، برغم المحاولات الإسرائيلية لتسويق «الكيفير» كبديل عنها. بنكهاتها ووصفات إعدادها المختلفة، تؤدي دور المازة، الوجبة الكاملة وحتّى كمكوّن في بعض الأطباق. هي نفسها على مائدتي الفقير والغني، في الاطباق المحنكة وداخل شطائر طلاب المدارس الجائعين.
الطلب على اللبنة في السوق اللبنانية كبير، لدرجة أنّ شركة أجبان وألبان سعودية جعلتها ضمن خطها الإنتاجي الأساسي.
ولكن الصورة ليست بالنقاوة التي تبدو عليها. أخيراً اكتشفنا أنّ المضادات الحيوية تُستخدم بكميات في إنتاج اللبنة، بما يخالف المواصفة الإلزامية الصادرة عن مؤسسة المقاييس والمواصفات. صراحةً، الاكتشاف لم يكن صادماً.
Good starts @ Al Marej Organic Food Store
- When nature is generous and gives the most delicious ingredients
- When farmers and suppliers share our highest standards of quality
- When every ingredient can be traced
- When our partners – farms and producers – are close to home and they apply the best sustainable practices
We can insure food safety and minimize our collective impact on the earth
From cheeses to cooked dishes, breads and cakes, the quality of the dairy products makes a big difference in the taste and nutrition value of the products offered to the Lebanese consumer. Many people have already made the switch to organic cow and goat dairy products that are readily available in Al Marej Organic Food Store. (Call 01 210 211)
Organic dairy products are quickly becoming more than just specialized products for those who choose to eat organic. They are a nutritious source of animal protein made without the use of hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms that are often associated with conventional dairy production.
Choosing organic Lebanese dairy products makes for a healthier lifestyle and helps build a well-knit community. Here are six good reasons why you should seriously consider Lebanese organic dairy over the conventional or imported choice.
1. Connecting with our farmers
The Lebanese family farmer is a vanishing breed because of the difficulty of getting the right price for the produce. By buying our dairy locally, the importer and middleman disappear and the farmer gets a better chunk of the retail price, which helps him continue to farm organically. By getting to know the farmers who grow our food, we build understanding, trust and a connection to our society and our environment.
When we buy and consume locally produced dairy we help the viability of local farms; we contribute to preserve open space for grazing animals, enhances the countryside and promotes the survival of our environment and treasured Lebanese agricultural landscape. By spending our money on locally grown dairy, we’re increasing the value of the land to the farmer and making messy development less likely.
In addition, we buy local we cut the use of fossil fuels and we help to protect the environment from the harmful exhaust fumes.
2. Hormones our bodies do not need
The effects of Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH) on humans regularly studied and monitored in Canada, the USA and Europe. BGH is a hormone that increases the amount of milk each cow produces. But as humans, we do not need BGH in our bodies. One study, linked the exposure to BGH with the growth of cancerous cells in the breasts, colon, and prostate of humans.
The Certified Organic dairy milk from which our products derive, does not contain BGH and is thus free of this long-term risk associated with consuming commercial milk.
3. Antibiotics should be limited to doctors’ prescription
Farmers regularly add antibiotics to animal feed whether the animals are sick or not to speed up the growth of the cows and to fight disease and infection that regularly appear in the unclean environment they live in and inhumane treatment they receive. The antibiotics pass into the commercial milk supply and on to humans and cause several health problems of which a resistance to almost every antibiotic that doctors prescribe. Organic breeders do not administer antibiotics to their cattle, which makes them safe for humans to consume.
4. Clean water is safer for us and our families
The idea using pesticides in the beginning was a good idea, and then we started thinking, “Where does all that pesticide go to when it rains?” The answer is that it seeps into the streams, rivers and wells. It increases fluoride and mercury levels absorbed by plants that are later turned into feed for animals. The pesticides contained in the feed are released into the blood stream of the animals and, when we eat the animals’ by-products like milk, we ingest the chemicals as well.
Organic animals eat organic feed that was grown without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. When you buy organic cheese, yogurt, milk and eggs you know you are getting clean food because animals grazed freely and were fed locally grown feed free from pesticides.
5. Organic cows and goats are free to graze in open pastures
The organic dairy animals from which we get our products have access to pastures, the outdoors, sun and shade, exercise, and fresh air. They are treated more humanely than the animals raised on conventional farms. Organic animals graze outdoors in the sun, whenever they want.
6. Organic dairy tastes better
Butter is creamier, milk tastier, yoghurt and labneh smoother-yummier, organic cheese usually tastes better than processed and are better for us.
In order to improve the organic sector in Lebanon, we would greatly appreciate your help in the following survey.
The aim of this survey is to help a Lebanese student at IAM BARI to write her MA thesis on the awareness of Lebanese consumers about organic food.
Thank you in advance
Al Marej Organic Food Team