The Future of Snacking Is Environmentally Friendly

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Consumers are becoming more aware. The rise of the Internet and global economy has pulled back the curtain on where food comes from, where its packaging ends up, and who is involved in growing, harvesting and shipping the ingredients. Thankfully, this means people are starting to make careful decisions about what to look for when buying snacks.

Here are some things to remember when shopping for snacks and remaining environmentally friendly.

 

Animal Welfare

animal welfare in the snacks industry

Consumers want meat, dairy and other animal products to come from livestock raised in humane conditions. This includes freedom from hunger, thirst, pain, malnutrition, fear and tightly confined spaces. They also want to know that the animals were healthy throughout their lives. 

However, many people are unaware of where their food comes from and unwittingly buy meat, dairy or eggs from inhumane sources. To be an environmentally friendly eater, look for snacks sourced from free-range, cage-free animals. 

One good way to do this is to buy from local farmers. That way, you have a better idea of the conditions in which the animals lived and whether they were treated fairly. 

Buying meat from hunters is another way to support animal welfare. The creatures get to live unconfined, healthy lives eating a natural diet before being killed, and their harvest numbers are tightly controlled. The abundance of deer in many areas also means venison is a sustainable snack. 

 

Sustainability Initiatives

Another way to choose environmentally friendly snacks is to look for companies that support sustainability in other ways. For example, buy from brands that use fair trade practices, plant trees with every purchase or refuse to rely on slave labor for things like chocolate production. 

Good Packaging

sustainable packaging

One thing that’s plainly visible to consumers is a snack’s packaging. At a glance, people might not know which companies contribute to environmental protection or fair trade practices, but they can easily decide to buy products packaged in sustainable materials. 

There’s no such thing as a perfect wrapper. However, paper, cardboard, glass and even seaweed packaging are generally better than plastic, as long as you don’t throw it in the trash. These items can be recycled, reused or composted, and they’re made from renewable materials rather than fossil fuels. 

You can also opt for recycled containers. Or, better yet, bring your own refillable container to the store if they offer bulk buying. 

Upcycled Foods

Upcycling is the process of turning leftovers — or things that would normally be thrown out — into usable products. In the case of food, this includes snacks made from imperfect vegetables that consumers might overlook or chips made from potato skins. 

There are also energy bars made from coffee cherries, which are the fruits that contain the beans, and crackers made from leftover carrot peels. Get creative when stocking your pantry and look for upcycled snacks made from leftovers or unusual ingredients. 

Environmental Protection

healthy sustainable snacks

Where did the wheat in your crackers come from? Consumers are becoming more conscious about environmental protection and whether their food was grown sustainably. Clearing land for agricultural use can contribute to habitat degradation and biodiversity loss. 

When shopping for snacks, look for foods grown as part of a sustainable agriculture practice. A good way to do this is to shop local and buy foods that are in season. Choose crops that use little water or have a lower carbon footprint, like beans, lentils and tomatoes. 

The Future of Snacking

More people are becoming aware of their choices’ impact and are increasingly choosing environmentally friendly foods. By looking for snacks with sustainable packaging that you can recycle, humanely produced ingredients with minimal habitat destruction and upcycled foods, you can make a difference in the future of sustainability. 

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