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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Achieving more than sustainability through an evidence-based nutrition cafe

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An Aussie couple has a mission: to accelerate progress towards a regenerative wellbeing economy. Lamina Community wants to build a more-than-sustainable world, starting with a nutrition-based cafe.

Based in the Gold Coast of Australia is Lamina Community, run by Bianca and Nathan Kinch. This business’s mission is far more than simply assisting the world’s attempt to achieve sustainability. For sustainability alone is not enough.

No, Bianca and Nathan recognise the necessity of creating a regenerative world. A world where they can improve both their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of others, and the planet collectively. To achieve that, they offer various projects that help people live their lives in the best and most beneficial way possible.

One of them is the subscription service. Each week, customers will be sent a three-minute video on a different aspect of wellbeing. One week might be on the benefits of meditation or digital detoxing, the next on resistance training.

The other major project is their impactful investments, in which they are to make 100 investments into companies that align with their ethos of sustainability, wellbeing and regeneration before 2030. Their latest project is their hope to launch an evidence-based eatery.

Picture an idyllic little cafe on the sunshine coast in Queensland. You’ve just had a quick surf with the sharks and fancy some lunch. You want something good for you. You’ve grown tired of the green kale smoothies in the plastic bottles, and don’t want another $18 energy ball. You’re doubtful that the protein shake your friend is drinking from the local 7/11 is any good for you, given the term “hydrogenated” appears more than once on the ingredients list. You wonder why it’s so difficult to find something that, without question, is objectively good for you.

 

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Cue the evidence-based eatery, a NutritionFacts.org-style cafe. Here, you could buy a snack, meal or drink, and know with certainty that each ingredient used to construct your menu item can be justified through scientifically verifiable information. “This is about bringing the science closer to the people,” says Nathan.

Currently, there is vast nutritional information out there, a lot of which is unfounded, unscientific, contradictory and often purpose-driven from whatever industry seeks to gain a profit. Consumers are constantly bombarded with conflicting ideas about diet: “eat intuitively”, “fewer carbs, more protein”, “you need to do the FODMAP diet”, or “try keto”. These do nothing but leave us feeling confused, doubtful and frustrated.

As Nathan rightly points out, our food system is broken. The evidence-based eatery would offer a space to cut through all this noise and do the research for us. Whether it’s a meal to reduce inflammation, enhance blood flow, improve one’s mood or gut biodiversity, or fuel your post-workout — a full scientific analysis would have backed up each meal with evidence of scientific literature.
Unlike many food products and vegan cafes, which can often be riddled with processed ingredients, this cafe would be unequivocally whole-foods plant-based — no additives, no sweeteners, and no ingredient not proven to be beneficial. At no point, however, would taste be left behind. Think whole-food pancakes with chia seeds and cinnamon, a chocolate sauce from cacao and Medjool dates, or hearty pizzas.

This evidence-based eatery would neatly intertwine with their broader ethos. The encouragement of consuming plant-based foods certainly assists in our obesity crisis. It seeks to reduce the consumption of processed, addictive foods that ruin both our physical and mental health as well as reduce the impact of global food production on our planet, both in avoiding animal agriculture and using as much local, organic and seasonal produce as feasible. This way, they can demonstrate to their customers the entirety of their food chain in a transparent manner.

 

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Lamina Community hopes to also be a space for emotional wellbeing — a calm, inspiring, sense-engaging space that allows a true holistic approach to human health and the planet.

Bianca and Nathan believe that by creating a space in which eating better can be easy, affordable and available to all — regardless of dietary preferences — society will shift away from focusing on materialistic measurements of success or happiness, to ones that focus on making our world a better place. It’s a culture where companies can focus on measuring success not in terms of GDP or shareholder value, but the happiness of their customers and employees.
As Nathan says: “Through collective action, we might just be able to change the world.”

There is no pretence that there won’t be challenges in launching this.
Much like their investments and subscriptions, there is a lot of work involved. Leaving the difficulty of finding an appropriate building and location behind, there is then the matter of doing this during a global pandemic and vaccine rollout. Luckily, there is a market in Australia ready for this. 

But much like life itself, the couple points out that the cafe, and their overarching mission, remains a work in progress. And so the more of us working together, the better.

Read Nathan Kinch’s tips on investing in your first vegan business.

Kathryn Parsons
Kathryn is a history graduate from the University of Exeter, with an aspiration to have in a career in politics & lobbying for more vegan-friendly policies in order to combat our biggest societal issues including climate change, and our health crisis. After suffering from years of pain, and undiagnosed gastric problems following a perforated stomach ulcer at 18 years old, Kathryn took to healing herself through a whole food plant-based diet. Now holding a certification in Nutrition, Kathryn seeks to spread the medical power of plants, and encourage those with gastric conditions to consider embracing this diet. In her spare time, Kathryn is a qualified personal trainer, under the name KP Fitness, and uses this position to improves societies’ physical fitness, as well as breaking down common myths around fitness and veganism… yes, you can get enough protein!