Happy World Food Day!

Today is the annual #WorldFoodDay, so we figured it’s a good opportunity to talk a bit more about our mission and our charity partner ITM, Indonesian Tempe Movement. So, what is the raison d’être of Better Nature? We’ll take a deep dive into that question soon, but first, a brief recap on what World Food Day is all about. 

World Food Day celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It promotes global awareness and action regarding hunger, and highlights the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. In terms of World Food Day 2019, FAO states on their website “Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat.”

 
The Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome, Italy

The Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome, Italy

 

That strikes a real chord with us, and brings us back to why Better Nature exists. What is our ‘why’? In short, we want to alleviate suffering. That sounds very grandiose and pompous, we know. But hear us out. We’re a team of passionate individuals who want to try and make this world a better place by helping people meet their nutritional needs in a way that is not only better for them but also better for the planet and animals. Some members of our team are especially passionate about reducing animal suffering, whilst others are very concerned about how different diets impact the environment, and some of us are focused on the impacts of food and malnutrition on human health. That’s why we’re all about tempeh and making protein, the better way. 

So, why tempeh? We could talk about the many credentials of tempeh all day long but here’s a summary: tempeh is high in protein and fibre, contains vitamin B12, calcium and iron, is all-natural and 100% plant-based and, of course, extremely delicious. What a champ, eh?!

The inspiration for Better Nature came from our co-founder Driando, who’s from Java (where tempeh originates) himself and has been eating tempeh since he was a baby. For a long time, Driando has advocated for the health and environmental benefits of tempeh, especially as it’s so under-appreciated in Indonesia. Can you believe that tempeh is often seen as ‘peasant food’ people buy off the streets, not the game-changing protein source we know and love?! 

 
Tempeh bao buns… mmm anyone else hungry?

Tempeh bao buns… mmm anyone else hungry?

 

Driando has recognised the vital role tempeh can play in overcoming protein-energy malnutrition, and in doing so co-founded a not-for-profit called the Indonesian Tempe Movement, aiming to overcome the negative stereotypes of tempeh and make it the celebrated food it deserves to be. The ITM also educates people on how to make tempeh themselves, as well as improving accessibility to this delicious protein source. 

 
Driando with his mother and grandfather, the two other co-funders of the ITM.

Driando with his mother and grandfather, the two other co-funders of the ITM.

 

Many individuals in Indonesia and further afield have access to crops but alone these are insufficient sources of protein, let alone complete protein sources. Enter: tempeh fermentation. What makes tempeh fermentation so amazing is the fact that it turns incomplete protein sources into complete ones, providing people with the full range of amino acids the body needs to function. What’s more, as it can be made out of any legume, nut, grain or seed, it’s highly accessible and very cheap to make. Call us crazy but we truly believe in the positive, game-changing power of tempeh to change the world for the better. So, from the get go of Better Nature we pledged that 10% of our profits will be donated to the Indonesian Tempe Movement, to help them in their mission to overcome malnutrition and to celebrate this amazing food source. 

TLDR; We’re on a mission to nourish people in a better way, that is kinder to the planet and animals - and we believe tempeh is an excellent way to do that.

Elin Roberts