Written by Brittany Scanniello
Picture this: Today we have 7 billion people living on Earth. By 2050, experts are estimating that we may be nearing 10 billion people. Wow! Scientists are now asking questions - How will we sustain in regard to food supply? Climate change? Agriculture?(1) These are all questions we ask ourselves as we strive to be a leader in mindful manufacturing and produce a more sustainable healthy snack option. In honor of Earth Day this month, we wanted to share with you some simple ways you can contribute to a more sustainable earth.
What can we do?
Here at Supernola, we strive to provide people with deliciously healthy and nutritious snacks made with a sense of care for our communities and environment. We feel it is important that food businesses focus on strategies that support sustainable outcomes – planetary and human health. This is not a choice, but a must as we come together to support our future generations. We must produce more food sustainably, move towards more regenerative production approaches while at the same time ensure we are maintaining production of healthy and nutritious foods.
This leads us to the term “Sustainable Nutrition”(2). What is this you ask? Sustainable nutrition refers to one’s ability to provide positive and balanced nutrition that helps not only maintain good health but is produced in a way that does not compromise ability to meet nutritional needs. In other words, sustainable actions that we can do to improve both planetary and human health for present day as well as future generations. Below are some simple ways you can create a more sustainable lifestyle in your kitchen, and on your plate.
We can make a difference in the health of our earth simply by the foods we choose. Here are 6 principles to follow when shopping at your local grocer or farmers market and when dining out.
- Make meals plant centric. Plants (think fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, legumes) are a perfect example of foods high in nutritional value yet low on environmental impact.
- Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, fish and red meat. When able, we aim to choose pasture fed, free-range, organic, and sustainably sourced proteins.
- Limit consumption of foods high in refined sugars and trans fats. These foods provide empty calories with little to no nutritional value.
- Reduce food waste. Sadly, one third of all food grown globally is wasted somewhere.
- Support companies that use “Regenerative agriculture”. This is an agricultural system that focuses on putting more back into the environment and society than it takes out. This concept is powerful and one that is key to restoring not just our soils, but society, and our health. We highlight some of our favorite companies below.
- Focus on local and seasonal produce. Shop your local farmers market, support local farmers for your meats, produce, dairy, eggs – whatever you can access. We realize this can sometimes not be the most economical choice so doing so when you can helps connect communities and the local farmer!
Now that we have focused foods, what can we do in our homes to help with this sustainable focus? Think…. eco-kitchen. The key here is that any little bit helps! Maybe you have tried reusable straws - maybe purchased a compost bin or you are recycling as much as you possibly can, good for you!
If looking for a place to start, we have outlined some of our favorite items, that to be honest, we tend to like better than the single-use counterparts we were once used to. Check these out!
- Reusable food wrap: We have all had the fight with plastic wrap when trying to rip it from the box and all it wants to do is stick to itself. Say good-bye to the plastic wrap battles and hello to reusable food wrap and covers. There are so many options in this category depending on how you prefer to store food. There are reusable bowl covers that have adjustable edges allowing each cover to fit snugly around a bowl. You may opt for a silicone air-tight lid which are typically freezer and dishwasher safe. Or you may opt for beeswax paper which can multi-purpose as a lid, bag or just simply wrap.
- Reusable bags: A sustainable alternative to single-use plastic storage bags are reusable silicone bags. These are great as they are air-tight, washable, freezer-friendly – you can even sous-vide in them! Very multi-purpose.
- Glass vs Plastic: This spans into several areas within a kitchen. When it comes to really trying to minimize waste, transitioning to glass instead of plastic is game changing. Whether it is in your drinking vessel or storage containers, swapping out for more eco-friendly glass may surprise you as they look so much better in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.
- Natural soaps/cleaners: We are always on the lookout for clean, safe cleaning products to use around our families. A favorite of all of ours is the Rebel Green family. Rebel Green only creates products made right here in the USA that are specifically designed to minimize waste and motivate a fundamental shift in thinking about the planet we share.
- Swap single-use paper towels for reusable cloths: Instead of polishing off half a roll of paper towels in your cleaning frenzy, look for something reusable such as DII Swedish Dishcloths. These superabsorbent rags are made of 100 percent naturally biodegradable cellulose or a combination of wood pulp and renewable cotton. They dry quickly and can be thrown in the wash. Game changer!
Our understanding of sustainability is ever changing and at Supernola we are committed to refining our manufacturing, packaging and food waste procedures continually to do our part in preserving our Earth. As a leader in mindful manufacturing our Wisconsin-based facility is powered by 100% renewable energy and is committed to clean manufacturing through composting, recycling, upcycling and reducing all waste. We hope you have enjoyed these simple, yet profound tips outlined above to support sustainable outcomes, improving planetary and human health. To quote Wendell Berry, American novelist, environmental activist, and farmer “The Earth is what we all have in common”. Happy Earth Day!
- Sustainability | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- In 2019, the EAT-Lancet Commission (a group of 37 scientists from 16 countries working in the fields of human health, nutrition, economics, agriculture, political sciences, and environmental sustainability) assessed existing evidence and developed global scientific standards focusing on key areas that apply to people, the planet, our diets and food production. What has come from that research is recommendations towards less of a diet, but more of a lifestyle largely consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and unsaturated oils; low to moderate amount of seafood and poultry; and limited amount of red meat, processed meat, added sugar, refined grains, and starchy vegetables. According to the researchers, global adoption of this pattern of eating would provide major health benefits, including a large reduction in total mortality.
About the author: Brittany Scanniello is a Registered Dietician focused on pediatrics, women’s health, sports, and integrative nutrition. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, two daughters, Emilia and Julia and their dog, Leonard. As a lifelong athlete, fitness and nutrition has always been a top priority.