Snacking comes to many of us as second nature, but are we always aware of how what we’re consuming affects the people and the environment around us? Quite literally, food is life, so here are some companies that truly care about how our food affects our world, which is something you should care about too.
This ethical cashew company has seen the creation of over 350 jobs in one of the most impoverished rural regions of Bali. What’s even cooler is that women who previously had no means of earning money make up over 90% of the workforce.
Founded by an American entrepreneur, but run and managed by predominantly local Balinese people, this company is the first place you should look for a sustainable and ethically sound company to support. Does it get any better than happy farmers and female empowerment? It doesn’t, so go get your cashew fix here.
2. Alter Eco
Known most famously for their chocolate bars, Alter Eco also sources their rice, quinoa and sugar ethically alongside the cacao used in their products. They work directly with small-scale farmers across the world to help improve quality of life and quality of product.
They offset more carbon than they emit, and have also planted over 9,000 trees since being founded. Truly awesome.
3. CLIF Bar
A crowd favorite, CLIF bars are conveniently ethical, so chomp away without guilt. As well as being vegan, predominantly organic, and a product of fair labor practices, CLIF maintains a carbon-neutral status, and is working towards a goal of zero waste. That’s impressive, folks.
Aside from being just as divine as their name suggests, Divine Chocolate is positively contributing to a fairer society for cacao farmers in Ghana. They are Fair Trade-certified, and are active in improving the quality of life for these farmers. The company operates like a co-op, so 44% of the company is owned by the Ghanaian farmers themselves.
5. Honest Tea
As honest as you would hope, Honest Tea is a great drink to pick up from your vending machine on campus. Despite being recently bought by the questionably unethical Coca-Cola, the company has remained true to its mission of being organic, fair trade, and transparent in its practices. The founder and CEO, Seth Goldman, even wrote a book about Honest Tea’s mission to be a sustainable company. Grab a bottle and join this “communi-Tea.”
Next time you open your fridge in search of some cold cuts, consider buying from Applegate. Their deli meats, as well as all their meat products, are sourced from nearly 1,000 farms across America that are sworn to humane practices. Their goal is to “Keep America Farming” and promise grass-fed, organic, and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat.
Luna and Larry are a husband and wife duo who started making their vegan ice cream after experimenting with an ice cream maker that they found at Goodwill for only $1.50. Feeling concerned about the ecological impacts of dairy farming, they sought to find a dairy-free alternative to ice cream.
That alternative? Coconut milk.
Their coconut milk is sourced from an organic, family-owned farm in Thailand, where coconuts can grow with minimal human interference. Their coconuts are pesticide free, their facilities are run sustainably, and their ice cream is irresistibly delicious.
These teas are commonly found in supermarkets across America, which is great news for the ethically minded consumer. The Bigelow family sources their tea from Sri Lanka, India, and China, and promises to have used sustainable practices for decades.
They are a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, which works towards sustainable farming practices and fair working conditions. Their teas come in a wide variety of flavors so you are spoiled for choice.
Go ahead and buy anything labeled Nutiva because this company is doing it right. Try substituting your Nutella for Nutiva Hazelnut Spread, or add their chia seeds or hempseed into your post-workout smoothie.
Nutiva has been “nourishing people and planet” since 1999, and has donated $1 million so far to sustainable agriculture groups by contributing 1% of sales towards the cause. They promise organic, non-GMO super-foods so you can feel good in body and mind by buying their products.
Can we count wine as a snack? The ONEHOPE Foundation, aims to create exceptional products that inspire people to indulge while doing good. Based in California, they began as a group of friends selling cases of wine on a small scale, but have since expanded and are opening their vineyard in Napa to the public this year.
Since being founded, their social impact has been huge. They’ve made over $2 million in donations, provided over 2,600 clinical trials for cancer patients, 13,000 forever homes for shelter animals, 1.1 million meals for children, and 33,000 life-saving vaccines, plus much much more. I certainly know what I’ll be sipping on this weekend.
11. Wild Planet Tuna
This eco-brand is Greenpeace-approved as the most ethically sourced tuna in the United States. With recent concern about the sustainability of tuna farming practices, Wild Planet uses poll and line or troll-caught methods of catching their fish, which ensures for minimal impact on marine life.
Currently, over 90% of all fish stocks are over exploited. Wild Planet ensures that their practices abide by sustainable harvesting methods.
Born in a student kitchen at Brown University, Exo Protein Bars offer protein in the form of crickets. That’s right, these noisy insects are not only an excellent source of protein, but offer countless environmental benefits in comparison to other food sources. The insects are ground into cricket flour, which accounts for 10g of protein in each bar.
Awareness is growing about the social, nutritional, and environmental benefits of using insects as a food source. Crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases than cows, and their water consumption is significantly lower in comparison to cows, pigs, and chickens. Exo Protein Bars are just the beginning of the insect movement.
Greyston Bakery is a leading American social enterprise, which aims to provide their New York local community with “employment skills and resources to lift them out of poverty.” They offer employment regardless of employment history, education, or past social barriers such as homelessness or incarceration.
Famous for their “Do-Goodie” brownies, they are also the brownie providers to Ben & Jerry’s ice creams. Amazingly, all proceeds go towards the Greyston Foundation, which provides a variety of service and outreach programs for the local community.
Their slogan says it all: “We don’t hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people.”
This German-founded beverage company is trying to make a difference in the world, one drink at a time. LemonAid uses simple ingredients (fresh organic lime, cane sugar, and water) to create a socially conscious drink for the ethically minded consumer. They pay higher prices for their ingredients, sourcing them from small-scale family farmers that abide by fair trade regulations.
Since January 2010, they’ve raised over $1.3 million for their charitable organization, LemonAid and ChariTea, which focuses on development aid projects. Contributing towards a good cause has never been so easy.
15. Brad’s Raw Chips
Brad Gruno began making his kale chips in Pennsylvania, where they were a hit at the local farmers market. Whole Foods saw potential in his kale creation and quickly began to stock his raw snacks in stores across the United States.
All the kale used for the chips is grown in the USA in organic farms across the country, making this a truly homegrown American business. Better yet, Gruno found a way to make the nutritious kale stems into dog food, so you can share this delicious snack with your furry friends.