This woman’s plant-based desserts are coming to supermarkets near you

Ama Nunoo Oct 14, 2020 at 01:00pm

October 14, 2020 at 01:00 pm | Opinions & Features, Women of Value

Ama Nunoo

Ama Nunoo | Staff Writer

October 14, 2020 at 01:00 pm | Opinions & Features, Women of Value

Emily Edwards operates one of the leading Black owned vegan foods company in the United States. Photo Credit: Instagram

For many Americans and people the world over, healthy dieting is no more an optional nutritional activity by which individuals can tick meals off a list. It is a lifestyle that requires disciplined commitment too.

But in spite of all of that, the availability of varied healthy foods tends to be underestimated by those who want to embrace a guided lifestyle. And that is where Emile Edwards, the proud owner of Emily’s Foods, comes in.

In 2018, Edwards took a huge risk to sell off her business that had focused on delivering mental health. As much she loved what she did before, Edwards took on the challenge of keeping people healthy another way, the way she rediscovered herself, making heathy meals from scratch. She then decided to share her weight loss journey tips by way of producing and distributing healthy foods.

“During this time I also went on a weight loss journey and soon discovered that it was hard to find snacks low in sugar and high in protein that satisfied my taste bud,” she said in an interview. For these reasons of personal needs and seeing a business opportunity, Edwards got to work.

Most desserts have the required amount of calories the body needs wich unfortunately is not filling enough to not want to eat other meals as well. Everyone wants to eat their cake and have it, so after successfully making her own muffins which contained up to 100 calories less from whey protein powder, Edwards felt the need to get bigger.

She credits her mother and grandmother for the early nutritional successes but when it was time to expand, she sought further education.

Edwards developed what she calls a “prototype” snack after which “acknowledging that I would need help to develop the prototype into a most viable product, I spent a year at Purdue University Department of Food Science Skidmore Lab”. Education in nutritional science looks to have come in handy because that was where she learned about food safety, among other things.

Today, Edwards’ initiative has led to Paradise Snax, a plant-based foods brand making everything from protein icings to dips. The goal was to make healthy sweet foods and two years on, Edwards is on track.

According to Allied Market Research, a market survey platform, the global vegan food market was valued at $14.2 billion, and in the next six years, this figure is expected to more than double up to $31.4 billion. The United States market share is unsurprisingly, the lion’s share.

However, a surprising fact is that over 8% of Black people in the country identify as strictly vegan or vegetarian, nearly three times as much as the entire subset of the US population that identifies as vegan or vegetarian – 3%. This statistic runs contrary to other data that propels the belief that African-Americans prefer diabetic meals.

In spite of all of this, vegan meals are not usually identified with African-Americans. What Emily’s Foods does is therefore essential for two reasons and very commendable ones at that, she is providing nutritional meals while fighting stereotypes. That’s a win-win.

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