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January 15, 2020

4 Ways to Identify Food That’s Good for You AND the Planet

We’re taking a closer look at some of the ways our food can be tools for both supporting our health and the health of the planet.

By: Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

In celebration of Earth Month, we’re taking a closer look at some of the incredible ways our food can be tools for both supporting our health and the health of the planet. Thanks to our global food system, we have access to some of the most nutrient-rich and traditional foods grown around the world — just take a look at the labels of your favorite foods the next time you shop! You can travel around the world just by wandering the produce section, yet when was the last time you really took a moment to think about not only where your food came from, but how it was grown?

In today’s modern world, we also have access to a wide variety of food cultures, which has opened our eyes to so many wonderful possibilities when it comes to our food. This allows someone living in the United States to experience a small part of the culture of another country halfway around the world. This connection is what makes our food such a powerful unifier, but this access also comes with great responsibility.

While it’s a unique privilege to experience superfoods such as cacao, matcha, turmeric, and maca easily and at low cost, this privilege shouldn’t come at the expense of the local communities where they’re grown — something that is very important to us here at Navitas Organics. This is where the sustainable food movement comes in and why it is so important to support sustainable practices that back the social, environmental and economic wellness of the communities where these traditional foods are grown and sourced.

But, how do you know what to look for? Luckily today, there are a number of ways that you can determine if a company is using sustainable sourcing practices. Keep reading to learn some of the ways we choose to support a sustainable food system, and what you can look for the next time you’re wandering the aisles of your local market, wondering how to make the best choices for your health and the planet.

1. Look for The Fair Trade Label
Fair Trade is a label that represents the fair and equitable treatment and wages of farmers and workers that produce many of our favorite foods — like Cacao! In order for a product to be Fairtrade Certified, producers must have met the global minimum prices and wages for fair trade products.

2. Choose Organic
The USDA Organic label makes it possible for consumers to tell the difference between products that were grown with pesticides and those grown without. Choosing organic is an excellent choice both for your health and the health of farmers and communities where your food is grown. Pesticides can contaminate groundwater, negatively impact soil health, and often impact the health of the farmers and workers growing your food. When you choose organic, you’re not only thinking about your health, you’re thinking about the health of communities and people you may never meet.

3. Opt For B Corporations
B Corporations are an incredible network of socially responsible and sustainability-minded companies of which Navitas Organics is proud to be a part. In order to be certified as a B Corp, companies must go through a rigorous multi-step process and meet a set of social, environmental and economic standards that prove the company is balancing profit with purpose. So, if you’re looking for companies to trust when making your purchases, then B Corps are a great place to start.

4. Know Your Foods Carbon Footprint
Our agricultural industry has a significant impact on our climate, but it can also be a large part of the solution to stop and reverse climate change. Sustainable food systems using traditional and regenerative growing practices can actually sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, which is an incredible means of combating climate change. When it comes to your food choices, look for companies that choose to support traditional farming practices and that make a commitment to further reduce their carbon footprint with carbon neutral-focused programs and policies.

With these few things in mind, you’re well on your way to supporting a more sustainable food system and can be a part of changing the way your food impacts not only your health, but the world around you. Visit our Superfoods with Purpose page to learn more about how we at Navitas are using our business as a beacon for positive change, and demonstrating that corporate social responsibility and regenerative organic agriculture can heal our planet and our society.

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