We recognise that our food choices play a significant role in the environmental challenges of our time, and as fermentation revivalists we are dedicated to being part of the solution! Earlier this year we collaborated with our friends at Kiwi Quinoa and HempFarm on a new special edition - Super Seed Kraut - because we are passionate about sustainable food production, and want to talk about the local crops fast becoming the game-changing seeds of the future...
New Super Seed Kraut is an earthy probiotic powerhouse exploding with quinoa, hemp, cumin and caraway seeds. Quinoa and hemp are super seeds, punching above their weight on both the nutritional and environmental fronts. They are both high in omega-3 fatty acids, rich in minerals (calcium, potassium, iron), antioxidants, and contain protein and all 20 amino acids as well as essential fibre for gut-health and digestion. If that isn’t enough there’s a heap of compelling evidence to suggest these crops, both growing in local soil, can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable food source. With a 5 billion increase in the world’s population in the last 60 years and a whopping 11.2 billion forecast for 2100 – we have no doubt that locally grown protein-rich crops like these will play a significant role in nourishing some of these many mouths to feed.
I have always loved seeds. When my Mr 4 (Bear) came home from kindy a couple of months back with some little cups marked ‘beans’ I was just as excited as he was to place them on our window sill and await the magic that sprouts from deep within the soil. There is truly something mind-blowing about the germination process - how seeds contain everything to start a new plant (root, shoot and two little seed leaves), plus all the DNA that will determine the plant’s form (habit, flower colour, fruits etc). Few things from Mother Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds… they are her gift to humanity and one we cannot live without.
Quinoa is native to South America, consumed for thousands of years by the Incas who referred to it as "Mother Grain" and believed it to be sacred. Technically it's not a grain, but a seed. The Andean superfood has a nutrient-rich profile and contains large amounts of flavonoids, potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. NASA, considering quinoa for space flight, stated back in 1993 "while no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom." And in 2013 it's significance to global food security was recognised by The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and declared 2013 "The International Year of Quinoa".
Working with Kiwi Quinoa on our Super Seed Kraut was a no-brainer. Not only did their quinoa win a gold medal at the 2019 Outstanding NZ Food Producers Awards this year but it is grown spray-free in the volcanic soils of the Central Plateau of NZ by our friends Dan and Jacqui Cottrell who are 100% committed to sustainable growing practices. Supporting local growers has always been part of our business philosophy, because knowing where our ingredients come from and reducing our carbon footprint is important to us.
Hemp has been an essential part of human culture for over 10,000 years, used as medicine, clothing, shelter, packaging and an energy source for millions of people around the world. Hemp has been recognised as one of the most beneficial plants on earth for cleaning the soil, air and waterways. Proponents of hemp also claim it can also reduce global warming because it takes out large amounts of carbon dioxide per acre, more than most plants. These seeds do not require fertilizer or irrigation and their growth will lead to further job creation. Legalising it is one of the most promising environmental law we could have passed!
HempFarm NZ has just harvested 480 hectares of seed (400 tonne of seed) which will be processed at their Tauriko facility. What began with just a handful of seeds and a big dream is now a reality... with a 1500 hectares planned across five regions in NZ in 2020. We are fizzing (more than normal) in the Fermentary to be among some of the first manufacturers in NZ to use these locally grown seeds in our Super Seed Kraut in early 2020!
Forage & Ferment is excited to champion these nutrient-dense locally grown seeds and proud to support responsible local growers like Kiwi Quinoa and HempFarm. May these super seeds continue to grow more successfully than the beans from kindy I forgot to water on the window sill… (yet another reminder why we love and harness the resilience of wild weeds) and continue to shape the local food scene for years to come. Super Seed Kraut represents local growers, reduced food miles and better food choices – for our own health and that of our plant. Because, sometimes it’s the smallest things in life that have the potential to make the biggest difference.
Super Seed Kraut is a probiotic powerhouse that partners perfectly with cheese, salad, chicken, burgers, beans, legumes... and so much more! Add some serious KA-POW to your kai with these small but mighty seeds of the future! For our full range of our products, visit Our Range.
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