Disclaimer: I was gifted these products, all opinions are my own
Fact: Currently 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted/thrown away in the US each year.
Philadelphia-based Reveal is aiming to change that.
The mission of Reveal Avocado Seed is to create beautiful, environmentally safe, and socially responsible up-cycled products by discovering the hidden value in the food people would normally call trash. Founders Zuri Masud and Sheetal Bahirathope share that their hope with this company is to reduce food waste, continue to create and support sustainable systems for sustainable living, and inspire everyone to discover the hidden gems in the world around us. The Drexel University graduate students have recently launched their three flavors – Grapefruit-Lavender, Rose-Mint, Mango-Ginger – and are ready to let Philly know.
Reveal was kind enough to send over a package of their three flavors – which can be enjoyed both hot and cold. I enjoyed them all, while the Mango Ginger was an absolute favorite for me.
Reasons to try Reveal:
- 3x antioxidants as green tee
- Zero sugar
- Less than 15 calories a bottle
- 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- Sustainable product
- All natural ingredients
- Philly founded
- Women founded
Welcome! To begin, Sheetal and Zuri – how did you both meet? I would love to hear more about your shared passions!
Zuri and I met on the first day of university when we were studying for our Master’s program. She was actually my first friend in Philly! We were always good friends and really took our own paths before we came together to work on Reveal. I was a research assistant for my professor – Dr. Jonathan Deutsch and we were researching food waste and I was also actively participating in the Drexel Food Lab. Zuri was also getting interested in fighting food waste and had worked with Dr. Jonathan Deutsch to create a vegan/vegetarian dining hall.
At the Drexel Food Lab, after peeling and pitting a lot of avocados, I ended up with more seeds and peels than pulp, and felt like, “I can’t stay true to myself and throw this away.” What can I do with it? My first step was to look into what other people do with it, and after calling a bunch of restaurants and grocery stores, I found that everyone throws them into the landfill. Then I looked into the research and found out that we throw away 95% of the antioxidants in an avocado – between the seed and the peel! This was the point when I felt like this deserved some attention and dedicated my masters studies to the avocado seed!
Why is your mission of reusing so important, especially now more than ever?
The idea behind this company is to look at the world with fresh eyes. Think about this: When does something become trash?
In the case of an avocado, the whole avocado was worth something – right from when it grew, ripened, was transported, sold to the grocery store and again sold to you. It even had value till you cut into it. Once the pulp was separated from the seed and the peel and everything was on your chopping board – it’s still not trash. You could have decided to plant the seed, or make a dye with the peels – it only becomes trash when you decide it has no value and throw it away.
If you stop in this moment, and think about what else you can do – it’s like a mini-“big bang” and a whole world of opportunity opens up!
The other part of this is the story of the avocado seed. Right now it gets treated badly, no one sees its value, it gets treated like trash, where it goes into the landfill and creates greenhouse gases and toxins – but just by treating it like a valued ingredient: we get to save the seeds from the landfill, they get to add value to the consumer’s life, to the economy and since they get get composted, they get add value back into the ecosystem. I think it’s a beautiful anaology of the power of treating people and things with respect.
We think now is an important time for this because: we don’t have a lot of time left to make corrective changes and limit global warming to under 2 degrees. We will have to be creative, explore every avenue and come together as humanity to make it happen. We are excited and honored to be part of the global movement towards protecting our environment.
What is your advice to women in business, especially those looking to start their own company?
We would love to share our three guiding principles with you:
1. Do what you can with what you have – often when you are starting something new, you don’t even know where to start or how to get to your goal of launching. Our principle is to do what you can – maybe you can google what to do, maybe you know someone who has walked a similar path, maybe you have a cousin, or a colleague who might know someone in your industry. Start there and see where it takes you.
2. Invest time in relationships – everything about business is relationships. From your manufacturers, to your buyers, to your consumers, advisors, investors and employees- every single aspect of your business happens through a person. Invest time in relationships, make an effort to add value to everyone you meet. These deep relationships will change the course of your business.
3. Progress is a dance – You’ll often feel that you make one step forward and two steps backwards and one step to the side. More often than not, progress happens in those side steps. It’s all a dance, and just hold your true north in your heart and mind and go for it. Doesn’t matter which obstables come your way, you’ll find a way around them.
And I guess a last bonus one:
Journal/document like crazy – this is going to be a crazy ride, it’ll be awesome to look back at it. Document, document, document!