As you may have noticed, it’s biodiversity month here at Food+Tech Connect. To raise awareness and spark a conversation, we’ve teamed up with The Future Market and invited over 45 industry leaders to help us explore the role of biodiversity in the food industry.
The Future Market is also launching Biodiversity: The Intersection of Taste and Sustainability, a digital and physical biodiversity exhibit debuting at The Winter Fancy Food Show in the What’s Next in Food room January 13-15, 2019. The exhibit will feature:
The Biodiverse Shelf: Explore what a more biodiverse grocery aisle might look like, including 9 new biodiverse concept products.
Rediscovered Foods: Discover a selection of unique foods that promote biodiversity.
Action Items: Gain practical solutions for how you can help improve biodiversity.
Crop Stories: Learn about two major crops that are at risk due to shrinking biodiversity.
Digital Experience + Concept Products: Explore the Future Market’s digital shopping experience and full catalog of concept products of the future.
- Featured Biodiverse Brands: Taste samples from five biodiverse food brands, including Believe in Bambara, The Jackfruit Company, KAIBAE, Kuli Kuli and Yolélé Foods.
What’s Next in Food, produced by the Specialty Food Association, in partnership with The Future Market and Seeds&Chips, presents a diverse ecosystem of innovators and entrepreneurs building a food system that’s better for people, the planet and profit. We hope you will come visit us!
SNEAK PEAK: NEW CONCEPT PRODUCTS
Here’s a sneak peak at three of the nine concept products The Future Market is launching at the show. The products are meant to demonstrate what a more biodiverse grocery aisle might look like. You can check out all of the concept products here.
Fonitos are the crunchy puffs made from Ancient Grains that are fun for all and great for the planet! Fonio is one of the oldest and most important foods grown in Africa and has been sustainably feeding people for centuries. Now, all the magic of 100% West African White Fonio can be had as a cravable, nutritious, and convenient snack puff.
Fonio is a cereal that’s highly nutritious, with great amounts of amino acids like methionine and cysteine. It’s also low in calories, fat and sodium.Not only that, but it’s one of the fastest growing crops on the planet, maturing in as little as 8 weeks, and well-suited to thrive in challenging conditions with poor soil and water.
Fonitos is a product entirely grown and processed in Africa, with independent, small hold farmers growing all of the crop used in this snack. So the more you snack, the more you’re helping the communities that produce Fonio build a market for this deliciously nutritious food. READ MORE
Did you know there are more than 1,000 types of bananas in the world? We all know and love the mighty Cavendish banana, which has been the standard banana we see in our grocery stores and is current under attack by a fungal disease called Panama Disease. But there’s also ultra-sweet bananas like the Lady Finger or the Senorita, the tart tasting Silk banana, or the giant Rhino Horn banana which can grow up to two feet long.
Banana B-Sides includes all of these bananas and more in our signature blended and frozen recipe that’s not only deliciously indulgent, but also supports the biodiversity of bananas and the communities that grow them.
Banana B-Sides is a product built on lessons learned from the dangers of putting all your bananas in one basket. Instead of supporting Cavendish banana monocultures, we source 31 different banana cultivars from around the world. Each has its own unique taste and shape, but more importantly, we are supporting their existence which makes the entire banana species more diverse and resilient to a single threat like Panama Disease. LEARN MORE
Across the globe, there are scores of foods that lie outside of the mainstream, especially in Western culture. These foods not only represent new opportunities for flavor discovery, but immense value to the local communities and natural ecosystems where they originate.
Discovery Box is a monthly subscription box filled with foods from the Rediscovered Initiative’s 25 crops list and more. With your subscription, you’ll receive an assortment of both fresh and processed ingredients each month. We’ve scoured the planet for these foods so you don’t have to. After sampling foods from Discovery Box, you’ll also be able to reorder your favorite items and future support those crops and your enjoyment.
The Lexicon of Sustainability created the Rediscovered initiative as a way to increase awareness and consumption of some of these underutilized crops. The organization published a map of over 25 key crops that have the power to combat hunger, respond to climate change, promote biodiversity, and support healthier and more secure food systems. LEARN MORE
MEET THE BIODIVERSE STARTUPS SAMPLING
Believe in Bambara (BiB) is a supplier dedicated to introducing the bambara bean to the plant-based protein market. With a warming climate and a growing population, we need to continue to diversify our food sources if we hope to meet the demand of a global population that is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. Bambara beans are an effortlessly sustainable plant-based protein as they are climate-smart, drought-tolerant, and versatile. Believe in Bambara aims to promote the widespread adoption of the bambara bean to alleviate and reverse agriculture’s strain on our finite resources.
The Jackfruit Company’s mission is to make a positive impact on farmers’ livelihoods, humanity’s eco-footprint, health and wellbeing by mainstreaming the planet’s meatiest plant – jackfruit. The company was founded by social entrepreneur, Annie Ryu, and today works with more than 1,000 farming families in southern India to source organically-grown jackfruit to bring delicious meal starters, frozen entrees, and shelf-stable meals to the US market.
The Jackfruit Company products are available nationwide at more than 9,000 retailers including Albertsons-Safeway, Fred Meyer, HEB, King Soopers, Meijer, Publix, QFC, Raley’s, Ralph’s, Roundy’s, Shop Rite, Smith’s, Sprouts, Target, Von’s, Walmart, Wegman’s, Whole Foods and independent natural food stores.
Kaibae: Founded by Dr. Luc Maes, N.D., and African Agricultural Development Specialist Thomas Cole, KAIBAE works directly with indigenous communities to bring value to plants such as Baobab, Cacay, and Seaweed. These Lost Crops are untapped natural resources that grow freely and abundantly in the wild. Once lost to the world, they have been found and harvested by KAIBAE for their powerful benefits to wellness and skin health. Our work brings value to these underutilized plants, improves livelihoods of the local communities, protects the biodiversity of the environment, and delivers healthy, effective ingredients to market. Along with our retail line, KAIBAE baobab powder, baobab tea, baobab oil and cacay nut protein powder can be purchased wholesale from gokaibae.com.
Kuli Kuli is the world’s leading moringa brand with the highest quality moringa on the market. Moringa is a leafy green more nutritious than kale that provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits rivaling those of turmeric. Our Moringa Superfood Bars, Pure Organic Moringa Powder, Moringa Green Energy Shots, and Organic Moringa Green Smoothie Mixes are made in the US with moringa sourced directly from women’s cooperatives and small family farmers around the world. By importing a portion of the moringa to the US for our products, we’ve created an international market for moringa and a sustainable livelihood for our farmers. Over 60% of Americans say incorporating more vegetables into their diet is their #1 priority but only 4% of Americans are getting our recommended serving of veggies per day. Kuli Kuli’s delicious moringa products make it easy for Americans to get their greens on the go. To date, Kuli Kuli has planted over 2.5 million moringa trees, partnered with over 1,300 farmers, and has provided $2M in income to women-led farming cooperatives, nonprofits, and family farms. You can find our products in over 7,000 stores across the US, including Whole Foods, Sprouts and Safeway.
Yolélé is a revolutionary African food company, focused on traditional crops. Yolélé’s mission is to improve the economy and strengthen communities in West Africa by celebrating and introducing its ingredients to the world. Our first ingredient– fonio– is a tiny, nutritious, quick-cooking ancient grain that has been cultivated and celebrated for thousands of years. Fonio is grown exclusively by smallholder farmers and its cultivation helps to combat the effects of climate change. To the Dogon people of Mali, fonio is known as “”the seed of the universe”… the grain at the root of all existence.
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Author: Danielle Gould