As climate concerns grow and our perception of this looming issue changes, new alternatives are emerging to tackle the problem. “Climate Hero” ingredients are here to stay, providing us with health and flavour, whilst still respecting the environment. Read on to find out more about them.
When it comes to shopping, many still regard sustainability to be one of their main concerns. Despite this, the variety of ingredients we consume is very limited, and many of us would be hard pushed to suggest otherwise, were we to ask ourselves such a question. Given the dependence on “star” products such as wheat, rice or corn, we need to find alternatives that help to cut down on the carbon footprint related to their abusive production. For this reason, Climate Hero Ingredients open up enormous possibilities for both consumers and brands working towards a more sustainable future. Although they are ingredients that are rarely used, they have great benefits in terms of nutrition and the environment, providing us with a healthy diet, while taking care of the planet. We will now take a look at three of them, before also mentioning how they can be integrated into products.
Firstly, we have Bambara nuts (or bam nuts, if you prefer a shorter expression). This nut, which we hadn’t heard of before either, is actually a very common legume on the African continent. It not only survives and adapts naturally to extreme climates, but also acts as a fertiliser for the soil in which it grows. It is often used as a snack, to produce flour or as for vegetable milk, although its possibilities are still being explored.
Brands such as the innovative WhatIf from Singapore have already started to bring bam nuts to large audiences, by using them as an ingredient for common products such as noodles and dips.
Another star ingredient is Lupin beans, legumes that meet all our nutritional and sustainability-related needs. Originally grown in Middle Eastern countries, they stand out for being nutritionally beneficial by way of their protein, fibre and amino acid content. They are also used in the plant-based world as a substitute for soya, in products such as tempeh or tofu, and even to produce vegetable milk or energy bars. These nuts are considered legumes, but they are much more difficult to find. Having said that, their comparatively greater nutritional benefits, which are just as economical and tasty, make the search worthwhile. The versatility of this ingredient has opened up a new field for nutritional specialists that we are eager to explore.
Finally, the Moringa plant offers a complete solution with its thoroughly edible flesh, which means nothing is wasted, and makes this ingredient 100% sustainable. Currently cultivated all over the world, it adapts to extreme climates, and its nutritional characteristics make it one of the most complete vegetables. With high amounts of iron, protein, vitamin C and beta-carotene, this trendy vegetable will soon position itself as one of the healthiest foods, comparable to other examples like matcha or kale. Mainly used in teas, the American brand KuliKuli has already experimented with it in lattes, ice creams and chocolates.
Opting for sustainable ingredients and using a chain of local suppliers are two measures that prove key to finding the right balance between nutritious, great-tasting food and environmentally friendly production. Finally, using sustainable packaging, which communicates our commitment to fighting climate change, is essential. Climate Hero Ingredients are here to stay, whether eaten as part of a plant-based diet, or as an alternative to dairy products. At Pointbleu we believe that improving for the future is possible, and we support all brands in their journey to do so. Will you join us?