Here at Vivo we really love to use the very best ingredients we can, but what does that really mean? A lot of businesses claim something similar, but we really are experts in sourcing the best ingredients and forging relationships with farmers in South Africa, and we’ve been doing it for over a decade now.
We have distilled our experience into an easy to understand honest policy for you below…
- We strive for 100% organic ingredients in all our foods.
- Practically this means a large proportion of our fresh ingredients, especially vegetables are indeed organic and usually certified too.
- Some ingredients we consider ‘low risk’ we will routinely use non organic where the price and/or availability of organic is currently prohibitive, eg. Cashew nuts.
- Some ingredients we consider ‘high risk’ we will only ever use certified organic, eg. Tamari sauce, made from soy.
- We do not cook any dishes or part of dishes, we don’t even have cookers in our kitchens.
- Any dehydration of foods takes place at around 43 degrees celsius, to preserve nutrients.
- We do use some bought in ingredients that may not be 100% raw or raw at all. We keep these to an absolute minimum. Examples may be: Vine leaves for dolmades are steamed, or pickles that may be pasteurized.
- We always buy as much of our produce as possible from local organic farms around Cape Town.
- Some produce comes from friends and families organic gardens too.
- Local fruit and vegetable wholesalers and suppliers are utilized too.
- We strive to not use fresh ingredients that have been airfreighted into SA at the cost of the environment, eg. broccoli florets from Kenya. When we do use imported ingredients we try to ensure they have been shipped in on boats at a much lower environmental cost.
- We love seasonal food for lots of reasons and we do our utmost to create dishes/products with the flow of the seasons, this means the food is:
- Healthier, as its more likely to be fresh, local and ripe.
- Environmentally sustainable, fewer food miles, less storage, less energy used.
- More Economic, for all the above reasons, seasonal food offers better value.
- Some of our dishes will vary with the seasons, and sometimes be unavailable out of season.
- We never use meat, fish or eggs in our kitchens.
- We never use any dairy products in our kitchens.
- However, we do use raw local Cape honey in some dishes/products and in our kitchens. In our catering menu for example this can be substituted for other sweeteners such as local organic agave, please let us know.
- We do not use any wheat seed based ingredients, we do not store wheat seed or wheat seed based ingredients in our kitchen.
- We do however use wheatgrass powders in some product/dishes. Wheatgrass is a gluten free product, although there is a small possibility of wheat seed contamination during its production.
- Oats are used in our kitchen, we only use whole grain or rolled oats. Oats are a gluten free food but are frequently contaminated with gluten from wheat, unfortunately we cannot ensure our oats for be free of gluten/wheat contamination. Where oats are used it will be indicated.
- Allergens used in our kitchen include:
- Tree nuts. Cashew, almond, brazil, hazel, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, pistachio, pine nuts.
- Soy. In the form of organic Tamari sauce, Locally fermented organic Tempeh and Miso paste.
- Gluten, oats.
- Sesame seeds.
- Poppy Seeds.
- We never use refined grains, oils or sweeteners.
- Instead we do use whole seeds, nuts and grains, organic virgin cold pressed oils, mostly olive (nearly all locally produced), wholefood sweeteners like raw honey, dates, organic coconut blossom sugar or organic raw agave.
- We do not use artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavourants, added MSG, colourants, emulsifiers or stabilizers.
- Our foods are made fresh, naturally bursting with flavour and colour.
- We never, ever knowingly use GMO foods in anything. With high risk foods such as soy, we only use certified organic such as Tamari sauce or fermented Tempeh.
- We actively spend time supporting non-GMO companies and educating on the dangers of GMO foods.