The Founder’s Story
In 1985, our founder Jerry Lorenzen set out to develop safer, more sustainable food from plants. While other scientists were busy re-engineering life in a laboratory, Jerry Lorenzen traced innovation back to its origin: the earth. His breakthrough non-GMO seeds were specially bred to grow high-yield, disease-resistant crops that left the land better than it started. The resulting ingredients would become a renewable food source as nutritious and flavorful as any the world had seen.
Lorenzen envisioned a closed-loop food production system uniting organic and non-GMO seed, sustainably grown crops, and clean ingredient manufacturing. Building on his seed breeding success, Jerry opened his first large-scale soybean conditioning facility in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1999, with a second plant in Randolph, Minnesota following in 2008. It was a big step toward a World Food System that could usher in a new era of plant-based nutrition.
In the early 2000s, Jerry’s company, World Food Processing now known as PURIS, identified yellow field peas as a crucial link in this food chain: a hearty rotational crop that increases farmers’ productivity through double-crop farming systems. Today, the company holds genetics patents on many nutrient-rich pulses adapted to growing conditions in 14 states. We procure over 70,000 acres of peas and other pulses with plans to scale to over 300,000 acres by 2020.
What foods does PURIS make?
Today PURIS manufactures a spectrum of non-GMO, plant-based ingredients made from soy, pulses, lentils and corn. We source only the highest-quality organic plants and extract 100% of the nutrition from each: protein, starch, sugar, fiber and more. By going beyond protein to embrace every part of the plant, we squeeze more goodness out of everything we grow. That means less waste and environmental impact and lower costs to produce great food.
What do you enjoy about being a member of PBFA?
Being a part of PBFA connects us with like-minded folks with a mission to improve the food system. Plant-based foods have the ability to combat climate change and heal human health. The plant based food association gives us the ability to extend our reach and really make a difference in the industry.
30 years after Jerry envisioned his World Food System, PURIS is building it. A system based on animal protein can’t supply enough nutrition to meet surging global demand. By making abundant and safe food from nutrient-rich plants, PURIS is creating an alternative that can sustainably nourish 10 billion people by the year 2050. PBFA gives us the ability to share that message.
Learn more about PURIS:
This is part of PBFA’s Meet Our Members [add link to tag to view more] series that features the stories behind the plant-based foods we know and love.