From Farm to Fork: A Conscious Shopper’s Guide

With thousands of headlines and the internet talking about the good and bad that’s happening with the planet, the looming question is always - what can we do, as individuals, to help? As a food company, we're not just focused on what we have going on internally, but also look to make a difference and inform everyone. Our goal for this read is simple: inform and empower you to make more informed decisions in your next grocery run. 

Changing it up

It all starts before setting foot inside a supermarket or grocery store. That means a lot of planning, which you might already be doing. A 5-minute search on Google before writing down your list can make a difference between your food lasting longer - so less waste over time, and saving a few bucks - which can compound over time. Here are a few things to think about on your next trip:

  • Seasonal and Locally Sourced Produce - While it's common knowledge that seasonal and locally sourced produce can be fresher and tastier, their environmental benefits run even deeper. By choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables that are grown locally, you're not only supporting nearby farmers and businesses but also reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food long distances. Local produce is often also harvested at its peak ripeness, meaning it requires fewer preservatives and has a lower likelihood of going to waste.
  • Embrace the Bulk Section - Many grocery stores offer bulk sections where you can purchase items like grains, nuts, seeds, spices, and even liquids like oils and vinegars without packaging. Bring your own reusable containers or bags to fill up, reducing single-use plastic waste and allowing you to purchase just the amount you need, minimizing food waste.
  • Explore Local Farmers' Markets and CSA Programs - Depending on where you live, farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are excellent alternatives to traditional grocery stores. By buying directly from local farmers, you not only support small-scale agriculture but also have the opportunity to learn about where your food comes from and how it's grown. Plus, seasonal produce at farmers' markets is often fresher, tastier, and more nutrient-dense than its supermarket counterparts.
  • Join Community Food Co-ops or Food Hubs - Community food co-ops and food hubs are member-owned grocery stores or organizations that prioritize sustainable, local, and organic products. By becoming a member or patron of these community-driven initiatives, you not only gain access to high-quality, responsibly sourced food but also support initiatives that reinvest in local food systems and promote food sovereignty

Deciphering labels

With most info available online, there’s never been a better time to be informed about the food you’re buying, even while planning your next grocery run. When faced with the decision in-store, here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Ingredients List Transparency - Take a closer look at the ingredients list on packaged foods. Look for products with simple, recognizable ingredients and avoid those with long lists of artificial additives, preservatives, and unpronounceable chemicals. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so prioritize products where whole, nutritious ingredients are listed first.
  • Certifications and Claims - While certifications like organic, non-GMO, and fair trade can provide valuable information about a product's production practices, it's essential to understand what each certification entails. Dive deeper into the specific requirements and standards of each certification to ensure they align with your values and preferences. Keep in mind that some certifications may be more rigorous and meaningful than others.
  • Nutritional Information Insights - Beyond just scanning the calorie count and macronutrient breakdown, delve into the nutritional content of the food. Look for products rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which support overall health and well-being. Consider the quality of the ingredients and their impact on your body's nutrition and energy levels. Prioritize nutrient-dense whole foods over heavily processed alternatives. 

Decoding terms

Now you might be doing a bit of reading online, or might have seen a few articles and want to a bit more insight into some terms and concepts you find interesting. We’ve compiled a list of relevant ones that we think you should know

  • Regenerative Agriculture - farming method that focuses on restoring soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem balance. It aims to improve the land over time rather than deplete it, helping combat climate change and promote sustainable food production.
  • Upcycling - involves repurposing food waste or by-products into new, edible products. It reduces waste and promotes sustainability by creating value from surplus ingredients that would otherwise be discarded.
  • Nitrogen-fixing - a process by which certain plants, known as legumes, form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil. These bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use for growth, reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and promoting soil fertility.
  • Circular Economy - a holistic approach to resource management that aims to minimize waste and maximize the use of resources through recycling, reuse, and regeneration. It seeks to design out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible.
  • Ethical Sourcing - refers to the procurement of goods and materials from suppliers who adhere to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. It encompasses fair labor standards, environmental stewardship, and respect for human rights throughout the supply chain.


You might be asking, what can we do on our part, aside from being more mindful at the grocery store. Stay informed with the following resources

  • Common Ground - the sequel to the Neflix documentary"Kiss the Ground," shedding light on the intricacies of the food system. Through personal stories and investigative journalism, the film uncovers the challenges and opportunities within agriculture. It showcases a hopeful movement of farmers embracing regenerative practices to address climate change and promote health and sustainability.
  • EWG’s Healthy Living App - Developed by non-profit Environmental Working Group, this app allows users to scan product barcodes and see ratings for ingredients' safety, potential health effects, and environmental impact with over 120,000 products on their app. 
  • FoodKeeper App - Developed by the USDA, this app provides guidance on food storage, shelf life, and safe handling practices
  • Open Food Network - A network and software that connects 7000+ producers and farmers in 20 countries to consumers around the world, promoting a transparent and fair food system.