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Go green: Plant-based food facility sprouting in south Barrie

'We are redefining what it means to eat well,' said Green Bowl Foods boss.
Max Jamshidian of Green Bowl Foods shows what he makes Friday

Green Bowl Foods got the grand opening treatment in south Barrie Friday afternoon.

The Commerce Park Drive facility attracted local politicians from all three levels of government to its plant, which manufactures plant-based food.

“There are no additives, no preservatives, nothing. And it’s very convenient for campers,” said Max Jamshidian, Green Bowl Foods chief executive officer and co-founder, along with Behnoush Maherani. “We are redefining what it means to eat well.”

Jamshidian said his food is the first of its kind in North America, and its products are high in protein and fibre.

“It’s striking as we come around the city how many innovative minds there are, who are making things happen,” said Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall. “You are literally a showcase of that.”

The innovation, in this case, is ‘upcycled’ ingredients in Green Bowl Foods.

Upcycling is a process that transforms food byproducts into nutritious meals.

Green Bowl says it collaborates with local partners — such as juice factories and breweries — in order to use high-quality byproducts like carrot and spinach pulp, quinoa, fruits, brewer’s spent grain and other edible food byproducts from food manufacturers.

These partnerships not only prevent valuable ingredients from ending up in landfills, but also contribute to a circular economy, Green Bowl says.

The company aims to incorporate a minimum of 30 per cent upcycled ingredients into every meal it creates.

Green Bowl’s website shows four items of food.

Richpea is steamed rice and chickpea with upcycled carrot and barley, while Quinopea is steamed quinoa and chickpea with upcycled quinoa and carrot.

Hifibe is steamed rice and red beans with upcycled spinach, carrot and barley, while Fibrepot is steamed French green lentils with upcycled carrot and barley. 

Green Bowls Food operates in a 6,000 square foot plant managed by Sam Akbari.

It employs four full-time employees and tree part-timers, Jamshidian said.

Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard and Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil, also attended the grand opening.

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