Creating Food That’s Better—For People and the Planet

by Mikuna Foods

High up in the cloud forests of the Andes Mountains grows a flowering plant that is mostly untapped but has the potential to change the future of food. It sounds like a fairy tale, but Chocho is a very real plant with very real and powerful benefits.

One of the four lupin species suitable for human consumption, Chocho is an annual herbaceous plant of the Fabaceae family and is considered one of the lost crops of the Incas. The plant has a hollow stem and purple flowers that can produce a long pod, depending on the amount of seed. One pod contains an average of 2-3 seeds, but can have up to 9 seeds per pod.

Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and 9/9 essential amino acids, Chocho is great for muscle development, energy, brain and heart health, and an array of other physical benefits. But the thing we are most excited about is the impact that Chocho has on the planet.

As it grows, Chocho pulls nitrogen deep into the soil. This makes the soil healthier and can even make it more fertile—studies have shown that crops planted in the same plots right after Chocho have had higher yields than crops grown elsewhere.* Click here to read more.

Here’s why it matters.

Food production drastically affects our planet. It’s responsible for approximately a third of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions*, and the widespread use of artificial pesticides and chemicals takes a toll. So it’s no surprise that if we want to change the world, changing the way we grow, produce, and consume food is a perfect way to start.

“It is possible to change the world through food.” 
-Michael Cestari, restaurateur and entrepreneur

What can I do?

The great news: there are already so many brands and people that have started making a difference. Shopping regenerative, sustainable, and organic food brands is a great way to positively impact the planet, and it’s easy to do. For those looking to further their impact, we recommend composting and even growing your own food in your yard or garden.

People need to eat, and that’s never going to change. But what we can change is how and what we eat, and with more people working towards more sustainable, regenerative, and Earth-friendly foods (like Chocho), we are excited to see what the future holds.

*Crippa, M., Solazzo, E., Guizzardi, D. et al. Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nat Food 2, 198–209 (2021).

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