In December 2018 Purition started using UK-grown chia seeds from the first-ever UK chia harvest.
It all started back in September 2018, when Purition co-founder Edward was watching CountryFile and saw that chia seeds were being grown in the UK for the very first time.
Hodmedod – named Best Food Producer in the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017 – is the UK’s only distributor of UK-grown chia seeds.
As Purition loves real high quality ingredients that cuts down food miles and supports local food producers, we jumped on the opportunity. We are proud to be the first UK wellness and nutrition company to use chia seeds grown in this country within our recipes. Click to read the full story of UK grown chia seeds.
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Nick Saltmarsh from Hodmedod tells us more. Not least the origins of the funny name…
So, Nick. A bit of background.
Three of us set up Hodmedod some six years ago looking at growing beans that were once popular and nutritious, but now forgotten about. Our first interest was in fava beans. That’s gone from strength to strength.
And what happened next?
Well we looked around for other forgotten beans. We found a farmer near Colchester who specialised in growing rare and specialised beans. Initially he grew quinoa, but then he started growing chia seeds.
Tell us about chia seeds?
Chia seeds are originally a South American crop. Over here it’s needed specialist knowledge to grow the seeds – like using the available daylight. It’s now grown in fields with small beautiful purple flowers. The skill is timing the harvest so the seeds are not over ripe.
And how are you linked to Purition?
We first talked to Purition in September 2018. They were really excited to use British-grown chia seeds in their products. We supply all sorts of people, but we’re really looking forward to working with Purition. We’re also excited that Purition like another crop we’re growing… so watch this space.
Okay. Back to chia seeds!
Well, in South America they were seen as a staple food. They’re a fantastic source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids our bodies need. The seeds are a rich source of fibre with a low glycaemic index – this means they release energy over time without the ‘spike’ you get from processed sugars and carbohydrates.
What about on a bigger scale?
Glad you asked. It’s part of Hodmedod’s vision to bring about greater crop diversion in the UK. To get away from the monoculture and crops that are more susceptible to pests and diseases. It then contributes to wider diversity on British farms, attracting more wildlife.
This belief also cuts food miles and gives us all greater knowledge about where and how our food is produced.
And the name?
‘Hodmedod’ is an old East Anglian word meaning hedgehog or anything round and curled up. It felt like a lost part of our heritage. At a push you could see bean as a round curled up thing. Beans are what we first started producing.