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When a health scare prompted New Zealand food entrepreneur Michael Mayell to cull animal products from his diet, he looked around and thought, “Where is the vegan-friendly convenience food?” 

Finding none, he set up Nutrient Rescue, a healthfood company dedicated to increasing the amount of veges and fruit in our diet. All ingredients are 100% grown in New Zealand, are free of meat, dairy, gluten, added salt and alcohol, are organic where possible, and contain only naturally occurring sugars found in wholefoods. 

Nutrient Rescue has launched with three products. Its Green Shot combines powdered wheat grass, barley grass and other greens. A teaspoonful taken in a shot glass with water is equivalent to three serves of veges. Its Red Shot combines powdered blackcurrants and boysenberries to boost antioxidant and vitamin intake. The two are combined in the Double Shot, one 10g sachet of which is equivalent to four serves of greens and fruit. 

Mayell, the man behind Cookie Time cookies and snack bars, has made a career out of “food hacking” — giving consumers easy access to healthier alternatives. From his iconic Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie, made with real ingredients, to Cookie Time’s nutritionally balanced One Square Meal bar, Mayell’s drive has been to make it as easy as possible for people to eat a healthier diet. 

Study results published in February by Imperial College London confirmed earlier international findings that a healthy diet should include 10 portions of fruit and veges a day, yet 60% of New Zealanders don’t eat the Ministry of Health’s recommended 5+ serves a day. 

“I want to change that,” says Mayell. “We are overdosing on macronutrients, especially meat, dairy, alcohol and sugar, so we need to dial these down if we want to be healthier. And we need more micronutrients, so we need to dial up whole plant foods, especially leafy greens. Plant food is simply better for your body.” 

“We know we should be eating more fruit and veges but for many of us life gets in the way,” says Mayell. “For parents trying to get more greens into the family diet or young people juggling work, study and play, it’s not easy to get that recommended intake. Nutrient Rescue’s products make it easy.” 

Michael also hopes success for the new company, which uses only local ingredients, will significantly increase the international market for plant powders made from organic New Zealand crops. This would help shift our agriculture industry to producing food in a way that does much less harm to the planet. 

His dream is made easier by the fact that organic crops have been grown and processed in New Zealand, and particularly Canterbury, for several decades now. Contracted growers supply Christchurch firm Claridges Organic, which in turn supplies Nutrient Rescue with Green Shot ingredients. South Canterbury firm ViBERI supplies organic blackcurrant powder for Nutrient Rescue’s Red Shot. Those involved in the industry agree exports offer the greatest opportunity for it to expand. 

“That’s where Nutrient Rescue can help,” says Mayell. “Getting our 100% New Zealand products in front of overseas consumers will build that market. One day we want New Zealand to be the organic farmer to the world. That will make for a healthier planet, and a wealthier New Zealand.” 

About Nutrient Rescue

Michael Mayell has set up Nutrient Rescue NZ Ltd as a social enterprise. This means it has a purpose beyond profit, and a social impact model against which to assess success. Nutrient Rescue’s social impact model focuses on family nutrition, planet-healing supply chains, and directing profits to causes it champions.

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“My sweet tooth has disappeared, skin feels better, alert, no fatigue, losing belly fat, eye sight feels better, nails look healthier, super friendly staff at call centre, so grateful for a kiwi product & so happy to be supporting a kiwi business. Amene!”

Nathan A