Israelis and Palestinians Team Up to Launch SoCo, Bringing Authentic Tahini to the United States
"Seeds of Collaboration (SoCo)," is a new Tahini company that is aiming to make Tahini the talk of the town. This is one company with an inspiring backstory and mission. It is a partnership between Israelis and Palestinians who are joined together by a mutual love for Tahini and the desire to create change for communities in conflict through economic
Most people have heard of sesame seeds, but not many Americans have heard of the Middle Eastern superfood called Tahini. “Seeds of Collaboration (SoCo),” is a new company that is aiming to make Tahini the talk of the town. This is one company with an inspiring backstory and mission. It is a partnership between Israelis and Palestinians who are joined together by a mutual love for Tahini and the desire to create change for communities in conflict through economic collaboration. SoCo’s founders grew up in the Middle East, where tahini is an all-purpose superfood that is widely used, serving for many as their local version of ketchup and mayo, oil and vinegar and even peanut butter and jelly. Tahini – made form nothing but sesame – is just starting to gain popularity as a highly nutritious, versatile and plant-based alternative for vegan, paleo and hummus-loving Americans too.
Tahini has been popular across the Middle East for centuries, long before superfoods became all the rage. Sesame seeds pack an enormous amount of nutrition in just a little seed. They are considered the oldest oilseed crop in the world and have been cultivated for more than 3,500 years. Tahini is incredibly nutritious. It is rich in protein and iron, and contains many other vitamins, minerals, natural oils, and organic compounds. Tahini contains no sugar, no trans fat and no preservatives. Nevertheless, most Americans have never tried tahini, and even most of those who did, are unfamiliar with the original Middle Eastern tahini, which is very different in flavor, texture and consistency to the processed product available in the U.S. today. Now, for the first time, SoCo is making authentic, stone ground tahini produced the traditional way, available across the country.
SoCo Tahini is made from 100% stone-ground Ethiopian sesame seeds. It has been produced for 5 generations of the same Palestinian family, in the West Bank. SoCo tahini has a taste that is smooth, delicate, naturally sweet and not bitter. It makes it great to eat both on its own as a dip and as a key ingredient in hummus, smoothies, salad dressings and numerous other dishes. SoCo shares tahini recipes and dishes every day with its hyper-active Instagram community.
SoCo’s founders describe themselves as “tahini addicts,” but their motivation for creating SoCo extends far beyond their passion for food. SoCo’s mission is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together by both exemplifying that it can be done in a sustainable fashion through business, and directly contributing to the creation of more joint ventures between people from both sides, who rarely get to interact otherwise. In a recent interview, Goni Light, co-founder of SoCo said: “Our experience at Seeds of Collaboration shows that good things happen when you work together with ‘people from the other side’. We are big believers in the ability of non-political economic collaboration to create a difference for communities in conflict. SoCo donates a portion of each sale to a nonprofit dedicated to creating more partnerships like ours- ‘seed to seed’.” SoCo works closely with MEET – Middle Eastern Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow – an MIT-born nonprofit that brings young Israeli and Arab entrepreneurs together in a three-year program. “Every 2,000 SoCo units that we sell put two students through the program, and help seed one more Israeli-Palestinian student startup,” said Light.
Find out more at www.eatsoco.com
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