What is a PANC?
You might have seen a couple of shoes named PANC this season - a cool PANC Platform with a big flower at the front; and a chic PANC sandal covered with tiny little flowers that look like they could be made out of a delicate lace. Both shoes were designed by Isabela Capeto and her daughter Chica in order to help bring more knowledge about PANC.
But what exactly is a PANC?
Put simply, a PANC is a Non-Conventional Food Plant (PANC) from Brazil. The name may seem strange at first, but these are nothing more than edible plants that spontaneously appear in the country, such as muricato, passionfruit, malabar spinach and ora-pro-nóbis. And while some of these plants might be unfamiliar to us, they are growing in popularity in Brazil as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
For example, Muricato (above) is a rare fruit/vegetable sometimes referred to as a pear-cucumber or a bush melon.
Isabela and Chica Capeto are using their designs to shine a light on these remarkable plants. It not only adds diversity to your diet, but also adds a surprise to your usual vegetable diet of salad veges, beans and fruits. Many of the PANC varieties are fruits and flowers of incredible beauty as well.
You can see the influence of the ora-pro-nóbis flower on the design of the cool PANC Betty platform. These strongly-scented flowers (a favourite of bees) are unusual cacti with spiny non-succulent stems and large leaves. The leaves and fruits are edible, containing high quantities of protein, iron and other nutrients.
In addition to being a great source of nutrients, PANC are a way for each consumer to reduce the impact of their food on the environment, as their consumption of PANC (whether they were bought at the local fair or through a Community Supported Agriculture project) is also a good way to contribute to more sustainable food systems as they are usually seasonal and regional.
So while this is a Brazilian initiative - Melissa is proudly Brazilian and all Melissa shoes are made in Brazil - it shows the commitment of Melissa to tell stories about sustainability and wellness through gorgeous vegan footwear, helping us to educate not only ourselves but those at our dinner tables as well.