Have you ever wondered about how your favorite sustainable snacks are made, and the possible environmental impact of their production process? Yep, we’re talking about sustainable snacks. According to the FDA, food waste in the US is estimated to account for 30-40% of the food supply. Moreover, the largest source of all global food waste is attributed to the production phase, which is followed by the waste created during the post-harvest handling and storage, processing, and distribution of food. Even snacks are known to create harmful byproducts that can pollute the environment. However, companies have been coming up with new initiatives to fight food waste and create more sustainable snacks: here’s how.
Using sustainable ingredients
In the food industry, there are a number of commodities that are obtained in environmentally concerning methods. Palm oil, cocoa, and coffee beans are some that have been linked to deforestation and child labor especially in source developing countries. Moreover, nearly 90% of the world’s fisheries are either fully exploited or depleted, thanks to overfishing and the usage of destructive fishing methods.
Many food processors and manufacturers have been initiating programs like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Rainforest Alliance, and Marine Stewardship Council to set standards that ensure ingredients are produced responsibly. Overall, ensuring the quality of the ingredients is one of the most important things to consider when looking for sustainable snacks.
Improve production efficiency
According to studies, food processing and sustainable food chains are inevitably linked, which is why many are calling for a different approach towards the production stage itself. For instance, food scientists must work together with agriculturists, nutritionists, civil society, and governments to go over resource management. It involves managing food and water scarcity, reducing byproducts, and even recovering or reusing nutrients within the food chain. Professionals that can improve energy and water efficiency while still meeting demands and safety requirements for food production are highly necessary for this transition.
Making eco-friendly packaging
This is another well-known source of waste and pollution. Fortunately, there have been a growing number of manufacturers that are opting for biodegradable alternatives, such as wood and paper-based products. Said materials are also more renewable and easier to recycle. Some food retail companies are also providing incentives to consumers in encouraging them to practice sustainable buying practices such as going organic, buying bulk, or bringing their own reusable containers.
The Future of Sustainable Snacks
For a long time, macroeconomists have been ignoring the role food systems play in economic development. But in the pandemic era (and even beyond it), images of panic-buying and queues at food banks have reminded us of how crucial it is in our everyday lives.
Trying to unite sustainable production methods and rebuild the economy has led to a skills gap that learning institutions are now trying to bridge. To do so, many have been investing in the future by promoting educational programs in sustainability, which has allowed people to delve deep into the intricacies of renewable energy, social advocacy, and, more importantly, sustainable business policies.
There’s even heightened focus on environmental law, sustainable agriculture, and economics. Eventually, this movement has led over 600 of the most publicly traded companies in the United States to make institutional and formal commitments related to sustainability. For example, Walmart has built a sustainability index that ensures that suppliers and consumers all contribute to a more eco-friendly cycle.
Where to find Sustainable Snacks
Today, many snack brands, like Nature’s Baker and Nutpods, have been hopping on to the sustainability trend too. Usually, sustainable snacks are sourced locally, contain the non-GMO label, are farmed organically, and are significantly healthier than regularly processed products. Some snacks that have a wide array of sustainable brand options include cookies, chocolates, energy bars, chips, as well as fresh food options. There are also ingredients that aim to directly reduce food waste. Candied rinds, flour made from pulp and peel, and barley and wheat from breweries are some examples.
These are some of the ways in which responsible manufacturers and business owners work towards a common goal of creating products with sound environmental practices and sourcing. If you’re planning to support these initiatives, then consider Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce. Grown in community gardens in cities throughout America, our hot sauce is non-GMO, locally produced, farmed organically and far healthier than other mainstream condiment options.
Submitted by Thylane Daniel for smallaxepeppers.com