PLANTASTIC FANTASTIC FOODS
FOOD TECHNOLOGY -
Food production is extremely fascinating in its complexity. Food has effects on everything; land and soils, environment, forest, water, incomes, economy and health. Food you eat has an impact – every time and you can choose how is that impact.
Food processing is essential and significant part of food production. Processed foods have sometimes a bad reputation but imagine your daily life (most likely as a woman cooking food for your family) without processed foods. You would be doing everything, and that means absolutely everything from the scratch. If you would want to do something else in your life than preparing foods and cooking, you probably would be preferring processed foods. But processed foods come in different levels.
Roughly we can divide them into two categories: We have heat, pressure, cooling, gas compositions, vacuum, drying, freezing and other mainly physical (and internal chemical) alterations. Then we have chemical changes with additives, like citric acid, additional sugars, salt, and then number of other chemical compositions varying from natural, natural (and extracted) to artificial chemicals. Some are better than others, some are legal, and some are illegal in some parts of the world.
But processing ensures you have easy access to food when you need that. It means safe food. It means suitable shelf-lives. It means easy cooking. It means access to all foods from the world. It means faster cooking of your meals. Without processing we wouldn’t be having pasta, rice, sauces, bread, ketchup, spices, oil. Not to mention plant-based milks, tofu, chocolate, chips, crisps, coffee, tea.
Obviously, not all food processed are the same. Some products have a lot of chemicals and additives, but it is now your choice as a consumer to educate yourself and know what you are buying and why.
We at Böna Factory are committed to smart processing. This means we use dominantly physical processing to create amazing products, pack them for your convenient and to ensure safe food. And be ensured, we label all our ingredients in all the products, so you don’t have to worry about the unknown factors, as we follow the European standards.
Food has impact on everything. From farmers to distribution to retail. But also, research, machinery manufacturing, marketing, restaurants, legal, food and meal distributions, apps and social media. And even more to economy, environment and health. Women contribute to farming in majority. Especially small-scale farming is extremely low paid with low profits, and primary farmers are in general poor. Informal pre-processing and small-scale trading are dominated by women, but immediately when monetary investments increase, men take over the manufacturing processes, and profits. Same continues in supply chains and retails. Women cook majority of daily meals, but restaurants and especially high-end restaurants are dominated by male-chefs and cooks. When foods are prepared at homes, women are the primary cooks, but immediately when money and exposure kicks-in, men are better for preparing the meals? Men dominate the manufacturing but women feed the families, would the product availability look different if women decided what kind of products would be available dominantly on the markets?
Women are structurally discriminated throughout their lives, and the opportunities provided are not even remotely equal to what men experience. Here some links to the facts on these indicators.
Böna is committed to improve the opportunities for women. We work with women farmers and farmer groups to ensure first of all high-quality ingredients for our products, but also to provide good payments for the ingredients. We also want to improve the value chains and pre-processing (value addition) steps towards the farming communities, increase the capacity of tech within the chains before the ingredients reach us. This is extremely ambitious and also a long-term goal we are building slowly step-by-step, and very much against all the current “ideal business models” of outsourcing. But hey, we are here to change the food industry to way much better! Just because something is this way right now, it does not mean it’s first of all right, equal or should be continued and promoted as it is.
Women are structurally excluded from manufacturing, tech and science. We acknowledge this and thus we are structurally providing training and opportunities for women without the “proper qualifications”. We are aiming to work exclusively in our production chains: farmer communities will visit our manufacturing to understand the processes and need for demanded quality and safety, and we will work closely with the consumers to understand the needs and desires for the products. We are partnering with research and building resources with institutional education to provide much better opportunities for women to understand the technologies and get exposed to high-tech and future smart manufacturing processes for amazing plant-based foods.
We will be leading plant-based protein product producer in Kenya in 5 years, and in 10 years we will have the best local expertise to change the world through better food industry. We are extremely committed to empower future professionals who have the best knowledge on the processes of local ingredients. Let’s keep the cashew nuts here and sell the ready products to the world! Obviously, this will have direct impacts to economy and to women’s lives!
Food has massive impacts on the environment. About 40 % of the land globally is used for agriculture but about 70 % of that is used by animal industry.
Can you imagine, we can feed and give clean water to over 70 billion animals in livestock sector annually, but we can’t give enough food or clean water to 11 % of people. If nothing else, this should strike hard how failed our current stage of food industry is.
Environmental degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are serious threats to us and the whole planet. Food is one massive contributing factor. Every meal matters. You can read a lot more about this subject for example through these links:
Böna is committed to increase biodiversity in farming. Only four crops; wheat, maize, rice and soy are the most cultivated crops globally when we have over 6000 known edible crops! Mono-cropping is killing our environment and us. Böna is committed to increase the availability of these crops in your daily diets with new, innovate products.
Although we are a processor for gluten free products, we are not for special diets as such. We are diversifying the availability of non-wheat crops, mainstreaming the neglected gems of plants!