Thursday, 3 April 2014

Edge Wellness talk about "those" nuts

Can you give a little bit of an overview of how and when Edge Wellness came in to being

Edge Wellness is actually a medical clinic I created in 2006. I wasn’t satisfied with the model of general practice in Australia – ‘in and out in 5 minutes’! I learned that doctors are forced to do this because of the inflexible nature of our healthcare system whereby they are punished for spending any length of time with a patient, and discouraged from doing much more than write a script and treat the symptom. My medical clinic allows for much more comprehensive hour long consultations, and employs expert doctors who have the space to practise general, natural, environmental and nutritional medicine.

Working with such amazing practitioners exposed my wife (Astrid) and me to all sorts of things like Paleo, Organic and our famous ‘Activated Nuts’!

They are the best nuts we’ve ever tasted; we love baking with them and snacking on them all day. 

Patients started buying them in clinic, and before you knew it Astrid had quit her job as an interior decorator to run our market stall. It carries our clinic name ‘Edge Wellness’ because it stands for more than a clinic. It’s about better health through the latest research and the best products and services. Our mantra is ‘live a better life’.

Our first exposure to the OFM was finding Marrickville Organic Markets in 2013. We were market virgins but it quickly became our weekly Sunday shop for meat, salad, vegies and smoked salmon. The cos lettuce lasts at least 3 times as long as supermarket stuff. Scary. The organic veg is actually CHEAPER than the supermarket. The meat is much fresher.

Marrickville is still our favourite. We’ve never had a stall there, and we do love the other markets, but you never forget your first!

Amongst some of your products is your "activated" nut range. What exactly are activated nuts and what role (in your view) do they play in our daily wellbeing

Well the chef Pete Evans made them famous, and copped a lot of uneducated flack in the process. I guess that’s always the way with trendsetters. Activated nuts used to be called ‘sprouted’ nuts. Sprouting grains, nuts and seeds is a centuries-old process proven in the archaeological and anthropological record. Nearly every food we eat requires some processing, either: cooking, sprouting or just washing. We don’t roam around like triceratops eating plants willy nilly!

Nuts and seeds cause digestive problems in quite a few people because they are full of phytates which keep them in a state of stasis. Sprouting enhances the nutritional component of nuts and seeds and often removes the intolerance. It’s the same as germinating a seed. We made a short video last year explaining it

On a more visceral level, it’s hard to enjoy the recommended intake of nuts when they are bitter (raw walnuts), soggy (raw almonds), tasteless (raw pecans) and metallic (raw brazil nuts). Cue our activated nuts: our almonds are super-duper crunchy, our walnuts are buttery smooth and our pecans taste sweet like they are coated in caramel (they’re not). Try them – nothing compares!

Always with a smile, always with friendly advice, and now a firm favourite at our markets. Do you find that each area has its own specific demographic as far as which is the best-selling product or is it more of once an Edge Wellness devotee always an Edge Wellness devotee

We’ve been introducing and removing products, always on the lookout to provide something unique and premium. Along with our regular paleo cookies, carrot/ginger cakes and pumpkin muffins we added ice- cold drinking coconuts. 

It was the healthiest drink we could find and we noticed that other stalls were selling them warm. Ours are better by being fresh from the importer every Wednesday, and always smothered in ice for maximum refreshment.

We’re excited to be replacing them with ginger kombucha in the coming weeks. This particular kombucha has a massive probiotic count and negligible sugar because it’s properly fermented (where the probiotics metabolise all of the sugar). It’s made by our good friends at Amphore who have the best kombucha we’ve ever seen. We’ll be serving it ice-cold in summer and warm in winter (when warm, it’s like a healthy mulled wine). This will be another unique product that we are proud to bring to the markets.

What is it about markets like ours that form an important of the local community

The post-modern rejection of metanarratives is evidenced in Sydney’s embracing of local, ethical and sustainable produce. Sydney is no longer buying the large narrative the big brands are spinning with their highly processed and mass produced products. Sydney is increasingly looking for the small narrative - the story of the local farmer, the local business, the authentic work of husband and wife teams like Edge Wellness. Our stories are personal, real, transparent, and usually include better products. I for one will no longer buy lamb in a tray at one of the large supermarket chains. I’ll get it from Ben the Free Range Butcher who can tell me what his lambs eat, where their paddocks are, and how they were raised.

Astrid sharing the joy of free range meat

How would you sum up the world of Edge Wellness in 5 words

Live a better life!


So!  nothing left for it other than to say a massive muchos gracias to Matt & Astrid for sharing a bit of their world with us, demystifying nuts that are Activated and bringing a whole lotta sunshine every Saturday at Orange Grove Market!

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