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Bolivia: Banana leaves to replace foil or plastic wraps
Would you like some roasted chicken? Okay. How should we wrap it? With foil? No, better with banana leaves. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Banana leaves are a serious, economic and ecological alternative. Grilled fish? Great idea, and wrap it with banana leaves. An international dish? Okay, but instead of taking it on a metal dish lets put it on banana leaves.
This is the latest proposal launched by the company AV Productos Ecológicos, Banana Pack, in an environmentally friendly, biodegradable and aromatic wrapping that can replace foil and plastic wraps, as well as metal dishes.
According to the creators of the project, Alicia Valda Ampuero (whose initials gave name to the company) and Alvaro Guzman Galvez, they came up with this idea after seeing that many cultures use this leaf to wrap foods, but that our society was wasting this product.
"That's why we ventured into this business that we consider to be inclusive and disruptive," Alvaro said. It is inclusive because it includes people who are generally off the production line, and disruptive because it breaks concepts, he added. Why do we have to use aluminum foil to cook or plastic wrappings to wrap our food? Why not use a natural, biodegradable wrapping that even offers vitamins? It even gives your dishes a different taste. In addition, many people who have diabetes use banana leaves in their diets because it regulates the body's blood.
This is the reason that Alicia, who had previously submitted various ecological projects to different competitions, decided to continue with this venture. The process begins with the purchase of banana leaves from banana producers in Villa 14 de Septiembre in Chapare.
Once they arrive to Cochabamba, they select the leaves, steam them, dry them, laminate them and sell them bagged.
According to the entrepreneurs, their first customers have been restaurants and butchers, which are more receptive to this novelty, as they are aware of its qualities.
In addition, BananaPack can last up to six months, and it is resistant to being grilled, baked, fried, and placed in fire. It also has the approval of Senasag, although it is not registered as a food because technically it is a wrap. A bag with 10 leaves costs 20 bolivianos.
Publication date: 7/20/2017
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