Bellaria an Organic Flexitarian Coffee Shop

If you could eat somewhere that not only was organic but everything was made taking into consideration the best ingredients for your body and mind, would you go? Well that’s exactly what you’ll find in Bellaria. What I started as a humble bakery developed into the first organic flexitarian café in Marbella. This is where I channel all my knowledge and passion for conscious eating – through my sweet and savoury creations. Bellaria has a bakery as well as a breakfast, lunch and sportsman menu. Our great focus is the vegan diet, not because we aim to exercise a sectarian regime (seriously, relax, enter with no fear) but to foment what organic truly represents: social and environmental wellbeing. The term ‘organic’ has been prostituted through trends, fashion and giants of the industry exploiting a new demand, thus making us forget what it really encompasses. It’s not just about pesticide free food, it’s about respecting the earth, the farmers, those who work day and night making sure the crops harvest – it’s about not exploiting, manipulating or damaging.

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In Bellaria everything is made with conscience. The sugars we use have never been refined: we work with dates, coconut sugar, stevia and panela so you can enjoy your treats without fear. Everything is gluten free, but that’s not all: we don’t work with corn as it’s difficult for the body to digest. We only use sprouted buckwheat flour, quinoa or wholegrain rice. We sprout our legumes and activate our nuts and seeds to remove the enzyme inhibitors – that way you can absorb all their goodness. We make our own nut mylks and sweeten them with dates and superfoods such as lúcuma. We don’t work with soy or margarine. Margarine because it’s highly chemical – we use coconut oil instead; and soy for various reasons: it promotes environmental destruction, it has a component very similar to oestrogen thus producing hormonal imbalance and contains phytic acid, which prevents the absorption of nutrients.

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It’s not easy knowing how to eat. We’ve been badly educated many years’ through institutions financed by food industries that depend on our consumption to succeed. That, my dear, is what I define as a conflict of interest. It’s never too late to make changes, especially when you can count on small fighters such as Bellaria and Los Hortelanos to ensure the best of the earth comes straight to your home completely guilt free

So come on, we invite you to try our delicious creations, and what excuse do you really have when it’s bought straight to you?

The Dirty Dozen

Los Doce Sucios

The Dirty Dozen is a list of those fruits and veggies which you should never buy from conventional supermarkets or that come from conventional industrial farms. These fruits tend to absorb more pesticides than others or are sprayed more often. When you buy fruits and veggies you should get what you are paying for an not a a bunch of toxic chemicals like neonicotinoids or glyphosates. We believe this list is the first step to getting into a healthier diet.

1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes

Food, Health, Sustainability & our Future

Organic Chilies

It must have only been 4 or 5 years ago when started getting interested about health and food. Previous to these years my persona was pretty much like that of an average mainstream consumer of my generation. I was naive to think that FDA or food regulation organisms would allow dangerous foods to be sold to the masses. As a young kid i had been thought by TV and mainstream culture to love MacDonalds, frozen lasagna and what not. However food was pretty healthy at home i must say and I was never to much into fizzy drinks or sweets, so i was kind of lucky there. However popular culture and my own ignorance had me on a path that was unhealthy, excessive and damaging to my soul and body.

About 4 years my mother was diagnosed with high risk breast cancer. It was not easy to go through it all, I witnessed the fear, the chemo and all its symptoms. Being an IT professional I spent countless hours doing my research into the subject to learn how to beat this disease and how one can recover from it. Thats where i learnt about sugar and processed foods being such an important agents for the occurrence of cancer. I learnt that multinational companies make huge profits from sugar because of its addictive properties. Moreover i learnt that the food industry is completely manipulated by private interests and that governments are involved in aiding these multinationals and that there is little care about the general health of the population. I learnt about agrochemical companies such as Monsanto and their threat to the survival of our ecosystem through its genetic, chemical and seed patent products.

I also learnt that there is great food out there, and that anyone can grow it. I learnt about organic farming, permaculture, superfoods, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, alternative medicine and the importance of local economics. I learnt that there is a huge amount of people that are demanding this change to the food industry and that there is a whole economy growing around health and sustainability throughout the planet. I learnt that sustainability is the only way forward, and that it is only a matter of time everybody realizes this. I also learnt that it was up to the people that really care to make this change happen.

Letting go of old habits and changing your lifestyle is never an easy task. It takes a lot from one self and it is always easy to fall back into those old cues and thoughts. Since the time of my research i have been on a personal mission to become healthier and learn as much as i can about food, health and sustainability and share it with everyone I can.

It also became my dream to help make local and organic food more accessible to the mainstream market and be part of this change which the world needs. This brought me to develop the concept of Los Hortelanos as an online e-commerce platform that connects local farmers and food artisans to their consumers. Taking care of all the technological, logistics and marketing aspects which are needed to reach the masses and selecting only the best local, organic health food products, as well as advocating for fair trade, sustainable agricultural practices. In general our mission would be to help farmers and food artisans sell more so that they can focus on growing food for all of us.

I hope you will enjoy buying your food from Los Hortelanos.

Support your local economy and those that you love by eating healthy local food.

To Food, Health, Sustainability & our Future

Johan Steneros
Founder – Los Hortelanos