As much as a lot of us care about the planet, there’s something about bringing a little one into the world that puts climate-friendliness into an entirely different perspective. Just ask our founder Julia Collins -- our little bundles of joy are often unexpected motivators for us to try and make a positive change, and for Julia, that change was in the food industry.
Here at Moonshot, our version of the future snack industry comes in the way we seek to preserve the planet for future generations by focusing on creating climate-friendly snacks.
Why Should I Worry About Climate Change?
Our guess is that, if you’re here, you already know the answer to that question. But just in case you’re unsure, here’s a quick refresher.
In just the last few decades, our planet has already shown some pretty significant, negative changes, including:
Rising global temperatures that have been creating more extreme weather events (like hurricanes, floods, and dangerous heat waves)
Longer, more devastating wildlife seasons
Melting and breaking off of glaciers and ice caps
The bleaching and decolorization of the coral reef
The expansion of mosquito territories and the mosquito season, which has also lead to more spread of mosquito borne diseases
So far, the trend has led to global temperatures that have warmed nearly two degrees since the start of modern industrial practices in the 19th century. We’ll likely double that by the year 2030. While on the surface, less than four degrees may not sound like much, even just a half of a degree can trigger some very serious consequences.
This also affects our animal friends. While most people know of the impact that global warming has on the polar bears, it also affects many other species like turtles, snow leopards, moose, and even salmon. It makes it harder for them to find food, migrate, and even destroys their entire environment.
Global warming is named that for a reason… it is a global problem that affects the lives of both humans and animals, and will eventually lead to a planet that will no longer be habitable.
What Do I Have To Do With Any of That?
Climate change can lead to some nasty, long term global consequences. But is that all our fault as humans?
Unfortunately, yes. Humans are the leading cause of global warming, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
We do that in a number of different, equally damaging ways. We burn coal, we burn oil, we burn natural gas… all in the name of transportation and non-renewable energy sources. In addition, industrial processes and the agriculture industry also emit heat-trapping gases and compound the problem.
The most common of the gases, and the major source of the problem, is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, which lasts for up to five years in the atmosphere, has been continuing to rise at a nearly unprecedented rate since 1970.
When combined with methane, soot, and other dangerous pollutants, a type of cover forms in the atmosphere. Think of the world as a big pot of boiling water, and those pollutants are the lid that keeps the steam from being able to escape. That’s why the world continues to warm up more and more… because there is no release valve.
Much of that is a lack of awareness of exactly how we’re contributing to the problem, and feeling helpless as being just one single person in a much larger system. But, once you become aware of exactly what the issues are and what you can do to make changes, you can help teach others the same. In that way, one person really can make a difference.
How the Snacking Industry Contributes To the Problem
The food industry is actually one of the biggest contributors to climate change. - did you know that ~ 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions comes from our food?
Mostly, this comes in the form of the massive amount of carbon emissions (sometimes referred to as the “carbon footprint”). The food industry in the United States is actually said to make up around 20% of the entire country’s carbon emissions, especially when we don’t use climate-friendly practices.
When that number is added to the other ways that it adds to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, with things like fertilizers, pesticides, and the fuel from the tractors and other farming equipment that it takes to plant and harvest, that number is likely closer to between 25% and 30%.
Another major contributor is the amount of “food miles” that it takes to get from the ingredients to the final product.
All products, but especially those with animal products in them, generally create a fairly large carbon footprint. When the ingredients in those products have to make longer trips to get to their final destination, that carbon footprint also includes the emissions from the transportation that it takes to get them there. Some companies have ingredients that even have to take flights across the country before the final product is even complete! That requires a lot of fuel, which puts a lot of pollutants into the environment.
Finally, the massive amount of deforestation that takes place in order to clear the room for additional farms also is a source of a significant amount of carbon emissions (an estimated 1.5 billion metric tons on an annual basis). In addition, with less trees around to soak up the extra carbon dioxide and replace it with fresh oxygen, there really is no place left for it to go but up into the atmosphere.
What We Can Do To Help
First and foremost, we pride ourselves on being able to say that our crackers are carbon neutral. Because we seek out and only work with companies that use regenerative farming practices, as well as changing up our manufacturing and packaging processes to make them more environmentally friendly, we have reduced our carbon footprint significantly. We also have made sure to limit the amount of food miles that our ingredients travel, to even further reduce our carbon emissions.
But unfortunately, as much as we wish it were true, one brand can’t really make all that much difference if they operate without support. It can really be a challenge, in fact, and is often a lonely journey. That’s why helping to push and encourage change becomes the best way that both companies and consumers can work to make the industry more climate-friendly and ultimately help to change the world.
We’re also working to create a software that helps companies to evaluate their own eco-friendliness, as well as providing them with areas that they can improve. Slowly but surely, especially if consumers choose to vote with their dollars and support the companies really working to make those changes, even snack companies can make an impact. That’s what we’re counting on.
All it takes is for people to choose to speak about climate change and what they can do to help combat it. Being vocal about your beliefs, and vocally supporting the companies that put their money where your mouth is, can be all it takes.
Making the choice to seek out snack companies that focus on improving their carbon footprint, like we do here at Moonshot, can help create far more positive change than you think it will.
Investing your money in brands that seek to change the entire industry sends a strong message to the other companies who have yet to make the change that you’re choosing to vote with your wallet. That makes being climate-friendly the status quo, which can make the legacy of the snack industry far greater than simple crackers.
We want to be known for more, and to leave the planet better than how we found it.