(FinalCall.com) – During a time when junk food seemingly reigns supreme and foods full of artificial flavors and coloring, additives and preservatives have found a home in kitchens and in the stomachs of many families, it is understandable why Americans are suffering from obesity and declining health.
Entrepreneur Donnie Muhammad and his company Dream Bean based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is doing its part to offer a line of tasty yet healthy foods and in the process, is building on the principle of economic development as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Move over Doritos, Fritos and Tostitos and make way for the navy bean chip. Tell Betty Crocker and Sara Lee to keep their pies and cakes, because there are now navy bean based products to bake homemade desserts.
Conceived and developed by Brother Donnie, Dream Bean products are not only chock full of tasty seasonings and spices but also are as healthy as they are delicious and convenient.
Growing up in the Nation of Islam and reared by Muslim parents, Bro. Donnie said the influence and culture of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is the base of his work today. He developed the concept of the bean chip while actually working on a method of making bean pies when living in Canada.
“I was renting a little bakery from one of our Jamaican brothers there in the Toronto area and the bean pie is a tremendous labor of love, it takes quite a while to make a bean pie so I was trying to figure a way to make the pie faster,” says Bro. Donnie. As a student and lover of science, in particular botany, Bro. Donnie says he learned that by crushing the outside of the cell walls of the navy bean, increasing the surface area of the plant, the water entered it much faster.
“With that in mind, I started to crush the bean and I noticed it created a flour and it made me start to think about, ‘Man what could you do with that flour as a base for a lot of other products?’” he explains. In 1996, Bro. Donnie and his wife met with Minister Farrakhan and shared their ideas for the navy bean products.
The Minister, shares Bro. Donnie, encouraged them to keep working on developing and perfecting the various products. Although the bean chips, navy bean soup mix and bean pie mix were available at Saviours’ Day 1996, Bro. Donnie admits they were still a work in progress.
“Those first chips were very tough, they were very thick, very hard and I appreciate the Believers so much for enduring and purchasing those chips way back then,” he laughs.
Through the years, Bro. Donnie, his wife Dr. Cynthia Muhammad and others have worked diligently to perfect the chips, soup mix, pie mix and other products. He takes pride that the products are nutritious and wholesome as well.
The idea was to develop the ideas and thoughts of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, says Bro. Donnie. “We knew that the (navy) bean was a superior food and he said that our cure to our ailments was in our kitchen, it is not from supplements or added ingredients or anything, it’s from food,” he continues.
Bro. Donnie admits the desire to cultivate navy bean products grew out of a dissatisfaction with seeing the navy bean used in a limited capacity and the increasing popularity of soybean based products. “Seeing the soybean and the success of the soybean, which is not a good food and is not a food that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad recommends, saying well if you could do those kinds of things with that poison really, what could you do with a food stuff that is in line with the perfect food? That’s what makes it superior.”
Now we can make cakes and cookies and shakes and add the navy bean to any component of food that we’re eating he adds. “One of my favorite things is to make a gravy with navy bean flour because you can make this gravy, put it over your rice or in something else and you’re eating beans and rice, you’re eating beans with other things and it doesn’t come across as beans,” explains Bro. Donnie. “This is a way to consume the navy bean in more than one way.”
Navy bean chips come in a variety of flavors including original, nacho, jalapeno, barbecue and black pepper. Dream Bean also offers navy bean flour, instant bean soup mix and dozens of other products will be introduced over time. Generating an independent revenue stream as a way to support the Muhammad University of Islam and build an economic base is one goal of Bro. Donnie.
He adds that the bean products also have a long shelf life, making them a perfect food to store in homes for survival kits. “We have been experimenting with this bean since 1996, I have bean flour that we have put in a waterproof bag that’s been in that bag since 1996 and I can take it out and eat it today and if I didn’t tell you that it was bagged in 1996 you would never know,” he continues.
Bro. Donnie thanks Minister Farrakhan for his support and encouragement. “We greatly appreciate this man of God for his patience as we struggled to develop this product and thank him for his announcement and endorsement of the product,” he says. He also thanks members of the Nation of Islam and his parents for their continued encouragement and support and sacrifice, particularly his wife, who agreed to sell her Porche to use the proceeds to invest in the business.
Bro. Donnie says the main objective is to broaden the consumption of the navy bean into the masses of the diet of all people, Black people in particular. “I really see us being at the dawn of the use of the navy bean,” he adds. For more information and to order products, visit beanchips.com or trybeanpie.com.