Mindful FÜD: Venessa Stonehouse Brings Vegan ‘Hunnie’ to Market

Mindful FÜD: Venessa Stonehouse Brings Vegan ‘Hunnie’ to Market

Honey is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering the environment. Still, the production of honey is just as devastating to the ecosystem as the animal agriculture industry. It is just one of the reasons Venessa Stonehouse developed and brought to market an equally delicious, vegan alternative – made from apples!

venessa stonehouse, mindful fud, lauren driedger, plantbased, honey, helen siwak, ecoluxlifestyle, vancouver, bc, yvr
A Disruptive Woman in Business – Venessa Stonehouse | Images courtesy of @mindful_fud

Venessa co-founded Mindful FÜD, a local plant-based company focused on reducing carbon footprint and looking at the food industry through a more sustainable lens. Venessa’s first step into the business was through Feed Me Fit, a meal delivery service she established in 2015. She made the personal decision in 2018 to go vegan and changed Feed Me Fit to be entirely plant-based as well, which, knowing her clientele were omnivores, was a risky decision to make. However, she was set on making waves in the food industry and bringing plant-based food into her business was the best way to accomplish this. Feed Me Fit did not perish but retained its customers and gained new clients attracted by Venessa’s outstanding plant-based proteins. 

The Impact of Plant-Based Eating

venessa stonehouse, mindful fud, lauren driedger, plantbased, honey, helen siwak, ecoluxlifestyle, vancouver, bc, yvr
Plant-based dishes using Bee-Mindful Honey! | Images courtesy of @mindful_fud

“Once you become aware of how animal agriculture affects the environment and the treatment of animals, it’s hard not to want to do something about it,” Venessa says on her Mindful FÜD website. Beyond being cruelty-free, having a plant-based diet has been associated with multiple health benefits and disease prevention, including a low risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Mindful FÜD strives to change the way we think about food because the way we currently treat food production is not sustainable, and believes that collectively, we have the power to make change happen by being mindful of our food choices.

Save The Bees

In response to the lack of vegan honey and the damage done to the bee population in the honey industry, Venessa developed the first Bee-Mindful Hunnie from apples. The bee population has declined worldwide since the 1940s, estimated to have decreased by 50% in North America and Europe. Bees are a critical component of the ecosystem, transferring pollen between the flowers of different plants and enabling the process of plant reproduction. Without bees, many food crops would be endangered and rendered incapable of sustaining life on the planet.

A common misconception is that bees do not use their honey, but it is their energy source, without which they would starve. When bee farmers harvest honey from a hive, they replace it with a sugar substitute that is substantially worse for the bees’ health. Beekeepers often clip the wings of Queen bees to prevent them from deserting the hive and establishing a colony elsewhere, which would decrease bee productivity and profit. The breeding of honeybees is more focused on turning a profit than concerned for the welfare of the bees and ecosystem, and populations of native bees have declined because of the breeding of farmed bees. 

Three Hunnie’s to Treat Yourself With

venessa stonehouse, mindful fud, lauren driedger, plantbased, honey, helen siwak, ecoluxlifestyle, vancouver, bc, yvr
Three hunnies for your tummy | Images courtesy of @mindful_fud

Venessa created Bee-Mindful Hunnie as an equally delicious, vegan alternative to honey. Not only is Hunnie cruelty-free and helping bee populations rebound from their alarming drop, but it is also cheaper. Using apples instead of bee honey makes it more cost-effective, and the promise of “bee freedom” makes it a popular choice for retailers and consumers. Venessa is adamant that the taste of Hunnie is superior to any bee honey and hopes that people can find joy in knowing they are mindful of bees while enjoying Hunnie.

Bee-Mindful Hunnie can be used in the same ways as bee honey. Its notes of apple make an excellent accompaniment to charcuterie and pair beautifully with roasted carrots. For a sweeter option, spreading Hunnie over toast and sprinkling with cinnamon and almonds creates a tasty treat!

The list of foods to pair with Bee-Mindful Hunnie Mustard is nearly endless. It can be used to dress fresh salads, wraps, and sandwiches or spread over potatoes before roasting them. A grilled sweet potato salad with green onion, garlic, lemon juice, and plenty of Hunnie Mustard makes the ideal summer meal.

Hot honey is having a moment, and Bee-Mindful Hunnie Hot is the cure to any food slump! Use it to liven up breakfast bowls, Brussels sprouts, a stir-fry, charcuterie boards, and even sandwiches – use Hunnie Hot and enjoy how sweet and heat work together.

Hunnie is available at retailers like Save-On-Foods, Loblaws, Vegan Supply, Urban Fare, Famous Foods, Sprouted Oven, and Nature’s Fare. For more information about Hunnie and where to get it, visit the Mindful FÜD website and follow them on Instagram


About the Author: Lauren Driedger is a student at JCI Institute studying Fashion Business and Creative Arts. She is passionate about writing, collaborating with others, and making positive change in the world.  Recently Lauren completed a practicum with the BC Society for the Museum of Original Costume and has launched her first business – Lauren Driedger Creative.

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