Binhi – a seed of an idea grows

Binhi – a seed of an idea grows

  
Cookie Bacalla Cookie Bacalla
Community Contributor

Cookie describes herself as being “like a bird flying high and appreciating the world from above”. Her love for the environment motivated personal changes to help preserve the world for people, animals and the coming generations.

It all started with an idea. Two best friends who shared the desire to help people and the environment came up with a seed of an idea.

The word “binhi” is derived from the Filipino word for seed. Like a seed, my best friend Triah De Vega and I believe that everything starts with something small. And just like a seed, we start with ourselves in doing what we can to make a positive change in the world.

Our passion for cooking and a peaceful way of living led us to create a unique food service that not only brings awareness to veganism and vegetarianism but also lets people know how easy it is to make the healthy lifestyle change that benefits life – your own life as well as that of the earth.

Veganism is a striking concept for most people. Questions that usually pop up when people find out we’re vegan: “Where do you get your protein?” “Do you eat salad all the time?” “What about the good stuff like burgers and pizza?” People think we are hungry all the time! What people don’t realise is that with enough creativity, you can reinvent recipes without using products that harm the environment. Veganism is a sustainable way of living that allows us to look after ourselves as well as the earth.

We were challenged by the seemingly huge task of creating awareness of this novel way of living. We wanted a fun way to debunk the notion that being a vegan or vegetarian means constant unhappiness and deprivation.

That was how Binhi was born.

Binhi is a small food truck that caters vegan and vegetarian food in Dasmariñas, Cavite, south of Manila.

Our menu features typical food fare like pizza, pasta, mojos and more. They’re staples on the menu because the supply of the ingredients for these dishes is not affected by seasonal changes. We get our products in the local marketplace and we also grow some of the herbs we use. We embrace the “farm to table” movement because we believe that fresh food creates a special bond between people and the environment.

Our shift into a plant-based diet greatly reduced our carbon footprint which gave us the drive to create this business. Statistics from the UN show that 51% of the greenhouse gases comes from factory farms and also cuts out hectares of forest to build it. Greenhouse gases also consume a large amount of fresh water (more than what human beings consume).  Their toxic wastes also make its way into our rivers making its way to our oceans.  In addition, in the biggest study that tracked the eating habits of 536,000 men and women ages 50-71 for 16 years, there was a link found between meat and an increase in death rates from nine different diseases.

We practice zero-waste at Binhi. We bring our own bags and containers whenever we buy our supplies and also make some of our food from scratch. We encourage people to bring their own food containers for take outs and we give them discounts to reward them. By this method we’re not only lessening the plastic waste that go into rivers and oceans but also encourage people to start new earth-friendly habits.

We are the generation that will experience the dangers of climate change and we need to act now to experience the paradise our world has to offer.

We feel fortunate to be part of The Backyard Food Truck Community where start-up artists and entrepreneurs incubate their ideas and develop their talents. It feels good to be surrounded by people who share and respect different ideas and support one another. We are inspired by this community where members learn from each other. Without the support from our family and friends we would not be able to pull this idea off. That’s why it’s really healthy if you take care of yourself not only on the outside but also on the inside.


Photos by Gian Ortega

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Cookie Bacalla Cookie Bacalla
Community Contributor
Cookie describes herself as being “like a bird flying high and appreciating the world from above”. Her love for the environment motivated personal changes to help preserve the world for people, animals and the coming generations.