Norwalk physician turns entrepreneur with vegan eggplant jerky

The old axiom “you are what you eat” has a special resonance with Amy Wiesner, a Norwalk-based naturopathic physician and acupuncturist. In her professional capacity, Wiesner frequently treats patients whose medical conditions have been exacerbated by a poor diet.

“Eating is the only thing you do multiple times a day, every single day,” said Wiesner, who has been in practice for 15 years. “To continue eating unhealthy things over and over again is not good for you.”

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Naturopath Amy Wiesner

Wiesner noted that while her medical practice is often based on a reactive approach to a patient’s concerns, she began experimenting with different recipes for snack foods that could ensure a more proactive strategy for better nutrition. After trial-and-error testing, Wiesner came up with Verky, an organic vegan jerky that substitutes eggplant for beef.

“It is soy free, sugar free and wheat free,” Wiesner said. “And the eggplant is raw, which means it was dehydrated for a long time at a low temperature, so it maintains its vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes — they are not killed off by the high temperature cooking process. Eggplant has antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, and it is a healthy food that helps you get your digestive system to work properly. It’s also very filling. With the water taken out, it tends to be very chewy.”

Wiesner added that traditional beef jerky carries some issues with its chief ingredient. “Beef sometimes…

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