Until recently my focus when food shopping has been fresh, organic and minimally processed. Now, I have decided to step it up a notch and consider both the packaging and company position. This may take some time to become more routine, but I figure it is worth it – my health, my family’s health and the environment’s health.
How does one do this?
First the easy part, Company Position.
There is a business entity designation that will help on this front – B Corporation – Benefit Corporation. It is similar to the philosophy of Triple Bottom Line – TBL. This concept was created in the 1990s and was among the first to look at a company’s social responsibility. According to Sandbox ” a triple bottom line is an end goal of three things. These three goals include: Social impact, Environmental impact, Financial impact. The first two being outward goals, affecting communities and the world around us. The latter being an inward goal, accumulating revenue to become successful and sustainable long-term. Basically, the triple bottom line measures a company’s ability to positively influence, people, the planet, and profit.” (https://sandboxcentre.com/triple-bottom-line-tbl-definition/) There is a company – B-Lab (www.bcorporation.net)that can provide certification although I understand that not all TBL have to have this certification. Certified companies are provided with a logo to put on their marketing materials and products.
Second – Products.
The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) recently published an app which lists and grades over 160,000 products – Food, Cleaning, Skin Care, Personal Care plus. This app has a scan feature which makes it user – friendly when shopping, regardless of product line. I experimented with a few of my food pantry products to see where my selection of perceived healthy foods rated. Needless to say, my next few shopping trips will be talking a bit longer as I look to scan and compare. However, it is an easy app to use.
And third, Packaging.
For a long time, I have been concerned about food in plastic packaging, especially those foods where packaging suggests that items can be heated in microwave with packaging intact, with a steam vent. I never succumb to these. I may purchase the product and remove from bag, but never heat in bag. And then there is those Styrofoam containers – store and take-out. EWG has a list of harmful chemicals that are used in food packaging which can migrate into food – all types of food – drinks, cereal, candy, flour- based snacks and meat, to name some. It is in an easy – to – read chart form and features both food additives and packaging chemicals to be aware of.
I have been extremely impressed with the work of EWG and am anxious to share with those concerned about health – theirs and the environment. And now I am desiring to make sure that my dollars/vote go to those companies that share my philosophy and concerns. Hope you will consider joining me in this effort.