Finding sustainable alternatives to grocery products – WhatIF Foods

What if you could make a better choice for a better future?

What if your views of the environment and sustainability could translate into the food you eat?

What if you could play a role in changing the food industry into a better, more sustainable version of itself?

What if buying noodles could end the exploitative hegemony of deceitful large MNCs, and make sustainable, ecological brands the norm instead?

What if you could make a difference?

Here’s the WhatIF way.

WhatIF Foods is a Singaporean company that works with farmers in Ghana in order to produce products that inset carbon footprints, which are offered in many unique, tasty flavours!

You have probably heard of walnuts, peanuts, and macadamia nuts- but have you heard of Bambara nuts? We hadn’t either, until we discovered the brilliant initiative that is WhatIF Foods. As consumers, we have learned to settle for feeble, performative attempts at sustainability from a vast majority of the brands usually available to us. WhatIF Foods aims to revolutionize the way in which food manufacturers approach their global responsibilities by ensuring environmental sustainability is the main focus in each stage of the chain of production and ensuring everything taken from the environment is given straight back to the source and people impacted by it.

WhatIF Foods is all about REgeneration. It has a goal of replenishment and restoration instead of depletion and degradation.

By working collaboratively with farmers from 5 districts in Ghana, in over 20 communities, the nutrient-rich and innovative Bamnut harvested is the key ingredient to the production of all WhatIF Food products, which as of present range from a variety of plant-based milks to noodles. 

The Bambara Groundnut, colloquially known as the Bamnut, is a resistant seed that grows in areas of Western Africa. For a long-time underutilized, the CEO of WhatIF Foods, Chris Langwallner, discovered its benefits and decided to give the Bamnut a chance!

The Bamnut is very resistant and requires little care. This translates to less water, no pesticides or fertilizers, and a quick growing period of only 4 months! The Bamnuts’ long roots hold nitrogen from the soil and thus introduce organic matter back into soil, contributing to the Soil restoration process that WhatIF Foods undertakes.

After they are planted (a thorough process involving all members of the farming community) and harvested, the Bamnuts are then deshelled and used to make Biochar. Biochar is produced when biomass (in this case, Bamnut shells) is heated in a low-oxygen environment, creating a carbon and ash-based, lightweight compound which can be applied to growing crops. While investigating ways in which to ecologically dispose of waste produced during the farming process, researchers at WhatIF Foods explored the possibility of using biochar as fertilizer, and found it had multiple positive impacts, including increased crop yields and increased water and soil retention.

WhatIF Foods is a member of a larger foundation, The Pond Foundation, a non-profit foundation that strives for change for good by assisting companies on their journey to earth-serving action. 

WhatIF Foods is a part of the “My Carbon Zero Initiative” in which they will try to mitigate the carbon footprint left by the brand since its creation in 2014. Their goal is also to have a Zero Lifetime carbon balance, meaning removing all the carbon from the atmosphere they have put in not only as a company, but also individually as employees.

WhatIF Foods are a great proponent of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  After visiting the farms in November 2022, they pledged to help the children of the farmers, many of whom were malnourished.  WhatIF Food scientists are now working on a Bamnut Noodle which has a balance of nutrients that would improve the children’s health.  They have also given funds to repair the school roof and provided teaching supplies.

WhatIF Foods also prioritizes the nutritional value and impact of their products on their consumers. The noodles contain 35-55% less fat than the market benchmark instant noodles, while Bamnut milk has more protein per cup than oat, coconut and almond milk put together! In addition, the milk has been fortified with additional B12 and vitamin D2 to help consumers enjoy their foods without compromising their health. All of their products use natural ingredients and have no artificial colours, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or palm oil. Furthermore, they are all vegetarian and vegan friendly, and have also been manufactured at halal certified facilities. WhatIF Foods allows you to feel good on both a mental and physical level. 

By the way, we can certify first hand that they taste as delicious as they look! 

Don’t settle for the status quo. Settle for WhatIF Foods. 

WhatIF Foods CAS team

Chloë, Melina, Claudia & Cathy

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