How can you get more than your 5 a day in one shot? Hector finds out on his Food Academy Roadtrip
To celebrate five years of SuperValu’s Food Academy in partnership with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, Hector travelled cross-country to meet some of the inspiring Irish producers who have taken part in the programme.
When it comes to getting our 5 a day, we all try our best. Some days it’s easy, but some days it takes a little more effort. So, what if someone told you that it was possible to get all that veggie goodness in one tiny 30ml shot? Well that’s exactly what Dublin man Darren explained to Hector during his visit to The Little Pharma, in Ballymount.
The Little Pharma began when couple Darren and Amanda, discovered the natural health benefits of wheat & barley grass juices. After battling to maintain a constant supply, they decided to dig in and grow their own. Since then, they have built their very own urban, hydroponic farm where they grow enough barley and wheat grass to keep The Little Pharma product range stocked in over 40 Supervalu stores across the country and expanding.
It’s no coincidence that Darren choose to work with two of the most all-round natural foods. Wheatgrass contains all eight essential amino acids and barley grass is enzyme rich. Both are commonly used as natural remedies for lots of ailments, such as acne and asthma. They are even believed to be help boost the body’s defence against heart disease and cancer.
Both also contain the super nutrient chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder as well as being a natural detoxifier that helps reduce toxic build up in the body.
The Little Pharma wheat and barley grass shots are a super easy way to get all these healthy goodies into your daily diet. Each shot is the equivalent of 1KG of leafy green vegetables, and are made with 100% pure ingredients.
“The food academy to me is a great network of people and businesses that actually help people who were in our position, to get their products in the shops, and everything that that involves,” Darren explains. “They gave us mentoring, they gave us workshops. What it does for us and other people is immense.”
Since the programme began in 2013, Food Academy producers, supported by their local Enterprise Offices, have sold €78 million worth of produce in SuperValu stores and the 329 suppliers involved have grown to provide approximately 1,500 jobs.
Darren remembers the first time he saw their product on the shelf in Supervalu with great pride, “I had my son and daughter in my hands, I’ll never forget it. We walked up to the Food Academy section and I said - Guys look at this, the Little Pharma wheat grass shots! Your Dad and Mam produced this.”
“We all had a big hug.”
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