Our story begins at the base of the Ecuadorian Andes. I grew up working on my family farm in the small town of ‘Balao’, known for its banana production and fine aroma cacao. My grandfather was regarded as a pioneer of Ecuadorian cacao agriculture, and as a 3rd generation farmer it is my passion to carry on the family tradition.
After struggling with health issues in my 20’s and researching alternative forms of energy and nutritional healing, I became curious about the power of food. I embraced a plant based lifestyle but was not satisfied with the vegan sources of protein available. I found many plant proteins on the market did not match what I needed to get better.
Born an Ecuadorian American and spending much time in the United States, I realized Ecuador’s native plant based foods were some of the most nutritious in the world. I wondered if I could merge my passions for the family tradition while discovering the plant protein source I desired, so I headed back home to Ecuador. I began traveling, exploring from deep in the Amazon to the height of the Andes, looking for healing foods and botanicals.
When I embraced a plant based lifestyle a few years ago, I was not satisfied with the vegan sources of protein available. Having to pave the way in my own personal health journey I found these proteins did not match what i needed to get better.
In Ecuador, Chocho has been known for having a high protein content and it’s one of Ecuador’s most traditional foods. Dishes like Cevi-Chocho (link to recipe) or Locro de Chocho, have been consumed in the Ecuadorian Andes since the early 1900s. After doing quite a bit of research Chocho had been harvested and used since before the Inca’s. Chocho was not scaled and produced due to the hardships of processing the beans as they are high in alkaloids and needs a specific process.
I decided to take a detour which led through an unpaved road and several days of exploration in the back of the Andes. We noticed all these agricultural families in small farms co-planting ‘Chocho’ (pronounced Cho-Cho) next to their principal crops – We asked them why they do this if they don’t consume it and their answer was very simple – ‘It strengthens the soil and our crops grow better.’ This is when it dawned about the implications of making Chocho available to the world as the positive environmental, social impacts could be game changers in the farming industry. (staple high protein
Because we were determined to have Chocho as an alternative protein source we decided to invest in farmers, scientists and expand our production capability to scale Chocho production for manufacturing and introduce it to the world. We are excited to share Chocho’s incredible nutrient dense properties as well as its incredible regenerative and sustainable properties, which will make an impact on a better world and better you
Mikuna is a concept that combines three words in Kichwa (a language spoken by natives of the Ecuadorian Andes) meaning “to feed yourself with love”. Our goal at Mikuna is to provide you with the world's purest nutrient-dense plant-based foods while executing leading strategies in consumer transparency, environmental protection, and community stewardship. We are a vertically integrated company with the vision of leading the plant-based industry. We are committed to regenerative organic agriculture and seek to provide innovative solutions to support and protect our global food systems.