The first staff-person I spoke with this month was Destiny Sternod, who has been working at the Co-op as a Grocery Stocker for 3 weeks. For her pick this month Destiny chose the Daiya Cheezy Mac because who doesn’t love mac n’ cheese? This product however, happens to be a vegan mac n‘cheese that is also gluten- and soy-free. Destiny says that compared to other vegan mac n’ cheese options on the market, this one is much creamier and very cheesy. She also likes this product because there are no additional ingredients required for preparation, which makes it so simple to make and a must-have cupboard staple.
Daiya Foods, Inc is based in Canada and specializes in dairy alternative food. Friends for over 20 years, owners Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake established Daiya Foods in 2008 on the belief that plant-based living was “better for their health, better for the planet and better for animal welfare” (Daiya Foods, Inc, 2016). Daiya is made from cassava and arrowroot and is known for its cheese-like consistency and melting properties. It also contains no animal products or soy, gluten, lactose, whey, eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. The Cheezy Mac comes in three flavors: Deluxe Cheddar Style, Deluxe Alfredo Style, and Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie. All three products are shelf stable, with no refrigeration required, and come with a liquid “cheese” sauce packet; the macaroni noodles are made with brown rice and rice bran. Whether you are dairy-intolerant, living vegan, have allergies, or are just interested in trying something new, Daiya Cheezy Mac is comfort food you should give a try.
The second staff-person I spoke with this month was Heidi Eimers. She has worked at the Co-op for nine months as a Baker. Her pick this month was the Manitoba Harvest HempPro 50 protein powder. Heidi says she prefers the unflavored option because she likes to add it to fruit smoothies for breakfast, and wants to keep the flavor of the fruit as the most prominent flavor. Heidi is lactose-intolerant, so she was first drawn to this product because it uses hemp protein instead of whey protein. She says she also likes it as a breakfast replacement because she often doesn’t feel like something solid first thing in the morning (especially when it is hot out and she is hesitant to heat up her upstairs apartment), but finds the 15 grams of protein in this product will get her going and keep her feeling satisfied until lunchtime. Heidi also pointed out that if you are interested in trying this product, but are unsure if you want to commit to a whole container, you can sample it by having it added to a smoothie made by the Co-op deli.
Manitoba Harvest is a Canadian company that got its start when co-founder and CEO Mike Fata decided that he was “sick and tired of being sick and tired” (Manitoba Harvest, 2016). Weighing over 300 pounds, he decided to overhaul his diet by focusing on protein, healthy fats, and lots of fiber. He found that hemp foods were rich in all these nutrients, and they played an essential role in transforming his health. Manitoba Harvest shares that it is the only vertically-integrated (controlling every aspect of processing from farm to packaged product) hemp food company in the world. The production facility is certified kosher and organic, and prioritizes the use of renewable energy in manufacturing. Current products include hemp seeds, milk, butter, oil, and protein powder
Daiya Foods, Inc. (2016). Our Story. Retrieved from Daiya. Deliciously Dairy-Free: http://daiyafoods.com/why-daiya/our-story/
Manitoba Harvest. (2016). Our Story. Retrieved from Manitoba Harvest: https://manitobaharvest.com/our-story/