Out of breath, we trekked for three days through the amazing rainforest of the Sierra Nevada in Northern Colombia, a country mistakenly associated mainly with shady gangs and problematic substances.
Our local guide Marwin, a robust man with an inexplicable constant smile, handed us a handful of what looked like a plain boring nut. An act of kindness that helped us finish the 49 km trek and spiked our interest to listen to Marwin's explanation on the history and super powers of this unknown little seed called Sacha Inchi.
Not only were they addictively delicious, we discovered that they have been around since the Inca empire and currently there is a movement within Colombia to cultivate Sacha and give new opportunities to displaced families as a result of Colombia's 50 year civil war.
After we found this all out, lets just say poor Marwin's snacks were depleted with a blink of an eye, and once we hit the pavement of civilization we were inspired and on a mission of discovery.
Over the next twelve months we visited many local farms. With each person we met, and every story we heard, we discovered more health benefits than we could have imagined and learned more about the social good this somewhat unique seed is now creating. We knew then we had to share Sacha with the world.
Back in Australia, we shared our new adventure and discovery with Dave's uncle Tom who has had a life-long passion for horticulture. Tom's early career was with CSIRO which morphed into running his own business for over 30 year importing and exporting food products. After Tom rattled off the genus and family of all plants associated with Sacha, he told us tales of exploration trips to Papua New Guinea and Guam hunting for rare plants and other times importing fruit seeds from South America over 20 years ago.
After a night of swapping stories and brainstorming we knew what needed to be done and thus together we founded Elemento Foods.