The Wasabi Company started out as watercress growers, with farms in Dorset and Hampshire. I first discovered their watercress in 2010 when doing an American Beauty style photo shoot (covered in watercress lying in the bath) for the breast cancer charity The Haven. This was to promote Sainsbury's donating 20p from every bag of watercress to The Haven during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Watercress has been shown to prevent the spread of cancer by preventing angiogenesis, which stops tumours creating their own blood supply to grow bigger. This study also suggested that eating watercress could help prevent the development of breast cancer while also helping recovering breast cancer victims avoid a recurrence of the disease.
The Wasabi Company and particularly, founder Jon are passionate about preventing cancer and their role in growing and selling this perceived "superfood". They have reached out to me in the past to find out more about the studies done and recently supported a supper club I hosted for The Haven, which I created a fiery watercress and wasabi soup for.
A few years ago, a visiting chef suggested that they had the ideal growing conditions for growing wasabi. Jon and his family expanded to growing wasabi and selling other high quality authentic Japanese ingredients. They are the only producers of fresh wasabi in Europe! Although this has been a challenge, it has certainly paid off and they now supply wasabi to top restaurants all over the country as well as smaller companies such as The Urban Kitchen.
Like watercress, wasabi has also been shown to prevent beast cancer by causing cancer cells to kill themselves via apoptosis. It has been shown to inhibit other cancers too as it is high in isothicyanates, potentially using a similar mechanism to
Fresh wasabi can be hard to come by and therefore a little daunting to those who haven't used it before. I found the below video useful to watch when I grated wasabi for the first time.