For as long as I can remember, I had considered myself living an active, healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I became more interested in the intricacies of “health and nutrition.” It was a fun hobby to learn about - I read books, watched documentaries, and had intellectual conversations with friends and family. In June 2014, my mom, my rock, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and my entire world shook. Her battle with cancer and eventual passing changed my life - not only did I learn about her, myself, and the world, but I vowed to make her proud and make a positive impact on the world. During and after her battle, I began to investigate links between disease and food and possible prevention methods.
After taking a course online at eCornell and reading a ton of nutrition and self-help books, I had realized that to live a long, happy life, you need to sustain yourself with good, healthy food. It wasn’t a new revolutionary idea, but I felt the desire to tell everyone I loved (and even strangers that would listen!). I spoke frequently with family, friends and strangers, trying to convince them to change their eating habits: unfortunately, this was met with a lot of resistance and I felt discouraged.
Fast forward a year later, I had quit my finance job in New York and moved out of my awesome apartment in NY. I had packed up a backpack and made the leap - I moved to Medellin, Colombia on an eight month-long adventure in Latin America to find myself, and my passion. I explored, met new people, and tried various ideas while living in various new countries - I started a blog, created a mastermind group, and tested the feasibility of various business ideas. After more resistance to my advice to eat healthier (and a language barrier which did not help!), I pivoted my thinking on healthy living - instead of convincing people to eat healthy, why not provide an alternative product they could choose instead of processed junk? So, now I had the idea, but I didn’t have a product.
I then began to explore other countries and open my horizons. On a volcano tour in Costa Rica, the guide pointed out a termite mound and said, offhand, that crickets, termites and other insects consist of anywhere from about 30-70% protein. Hmm, interesting - maybe there’s something to this. Fast forward a few weeks, I had discovered and read the FAO report “Edible insects Future prospects for food and feed security” as well as numerous other articles indicating the viability of insect consumption for humans. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks (I will never forget the sensation) - I knew what I had to do! I had to create a sustainable, superfood protein bar out of high quality insect powder!
*At El Penol, Guatape in Colombia
*On the top of a volcano in Guatemala
*Volcano boarding in Nicaragua
And here we are: The AVAIL BAR - a sustainable, nutritious, and convenient alternative that serves my initial mission: to improve the health of both the people, and the world!