Steve Hanley is the founder of KNOW Foods (www.KnowFoods.com), which focuses on diet and fitness bread products by producing a nutritionally superior, natural, non-GMO, grain/gluten-free and great tasting alternative to traditional grain/gluten-based foods.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Let us about yourself.
My name is Steve Hanley and I am the founder & CEO of Know Foods. I live in Atlanta with my wife and our nine-year-old daughter. I have enjoyed a thirty-year career in the innovation/early stage venture space and could not be more excited about the market opportunity addressed by Know Foods.
What is KNOW Foods all about and how the “bread reimagined” idea even started?
America is having a health crisis. Incidents of childhood obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease continue to rise. The numbers, if you look into them, are staggering and the costs in dollars and quality of life are immense. KNOW Foods was started to help address this health crisis. Looking at what American’s eat, I realized that a ubiquitous staple of the American diet, bread, was discretely contributing to our health problems. In general, bread is highly processed, low in nutritional value and full of carbohydrates that spike blood-glucose levels and is found at breakfast, lunch and dinner. At that point, I decided to “build a better bread.” Working with a chef and a food scientist, we “reimagined” bread. We eliminated the main ingredient, grain based flour, and replaced it with nutrient packed healthy foods. Through “bread reimagined,” we were able to create KNOW Better Bread- a delicious, wholesome, nutritious alternative to bread- one with no grains, no GMOs, no dairy, no soy, no artificial ingredients and no unnecessary fillers.
The problem with most modern bread begins with the wheat itself, and how it’s processed into flour. In commercial white flours, the wheat’s bran and germ are removed, stripping it of nutrition and flavor. The flour is then chemically processed into its pure-white, shelf-stable form through bleaching and oxidation.
The dichotomy that has been created in America between “white” and “wheat” bread—reinforced by the toast choices at diners around the country – is apt, considering how little resemblance white flour actually bears to its source material. But even what is purchased as whole wheat is rarely true whole wheat. Most times, the flour is separated by machine into its constituent parts – bran, germ, endosperm – then recombined after a good deal of the flavorful and nutrient-rich germ and parts of the bran are removed. They contain much of the fiber and other components needed to ensure proper digestion and nutrient absorption, but are removed because they also go rancid most quickly, and flour companies want their product to be able to sit on your shelf for as long as possible. (The process of “enriching flour” was introduced to add back some of the nutrients stripped out when the bran and germ are removed).
Even the “healthiest” of grain-based breads are loaded with carbohydrates and cause significant blood glucose spikes. KNOW Better Bread is a superior alternative that is low in carbs and won’t cause blood glucose spikes.
Where to buy KNOW Better Bread and how many locations you currently have?
KNOW Better Bread is currently available online at our website www.KnowFoods.com, in the Atlanta Fish Market and Corner Café (Buckhead Bread Company) restaurants, and part of the meal delivery services Factor75 and Kettlebell Kitchen. And we have new points of distribution surfacing every week – more on that soon!
Do kids like Better Bread?
Yes! Kids are some of our biggest fans. We have yet to find one child that didn’t like KNOW Better Bread (smiles)!
What’s the next big initiative or goal/s for KNOW foods.
KNOW Foods is proactively expanding our distribution network and building partnerships to make KNOW Better Bread easily accessible to all consumers seeking our nutritionally superior, great tasting products. Our goal is to help health conscious consumers achieve their diet and fitness goals. Part of the journey is making our nutritionally superior, non-GMO, grain-free and great tasting alternative to traditional bread available through many distribution outlets.
What are your leisure time activities?
I am a “focusaholic” (versus a workaholic, as my passion for this endeavor is such that the last thing I call it is “work”!) – so my limited leisure time is focused on my family, working out every day and trying to satisfy my insatiable intellectual curiosity by reading, reading, reading!
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