By the digits...
In the U.S., an estimated 30-40% of food gets wasted
~25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food
75% of the world's food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species
We've made a public commitment to be as climate-friendly as we can be. Meaning we’re hyperfocused on not causing any damage that will affect the earth’s weather patterns, but we've experienced firsthand how hard it is to actually do things differently than the rest of the industry. Today, much of our food production and transportation processes were designed for efficiency, not sustainability, decades ago.
We’re trailblazers in the climate-friendly food movement and are proud to prove that it’s possible to create delicious, sustainable food. We haven't seen industry-wide changes in how we grow our food yet because it's really, really hard to do so. It takes more time and more money to implement climate-friendly solutions instead of business as usual, but if everyone were doing it, climate-friendly solutions could become business as usual for all brands without price or time premiums.
Moonshot is different because of our focus on sustainability.
We think about our environmental and social impact at every step of our manufacturing and shipping processes. Yes, it’s more work, but we think that it's worthwhile. Caring for the planet is rooted in our love for other humans. It’s important for us to have good conditions for every person to live in, no matter what they look like or how much money they have. We are doing our small part in working towards this future by considering the climate in every decision we make.
So, let's break down how food production has a real impact on our planet, and some small but impactful things we can do to help.
Making Moves Toward Planet-Friendly Food Production
The farming and food industries have historically been optimized for high volumes. While these processes have the potential for climate-friendliness, these processes have a long way to go before they achieve sustainability (ensuring we can continue with the current system), and even better, become regenerative (improving those systems).
Because these practices were designed for high outputs without considering how nature works, they can sometimes lead to negative environmental consequences.
Imagine this - you’re a baker that wants to make bread. That bread is mostly made from wheat flour and that wheat takes 4-8 months to grow. If you need to make bread today but didn’t work with a farmer to provide you with the wheat you need, then you wouldn’t have the ingredients you need to make the bread. That’d be a bummer, right?
Well, today’s industrialized system makes sure that the baker never runs out of flour, but it also disconnects the baker from the wheat farmer. These very large ingredient companies purchase wheat from farmers, mill it, and then sell it to the baker. It wouldn’t be good business for these ingredient companies to run out of wheat flour, so they always buy more than they think they’ll need. This can sometimes lead to food waste because the flour becomes rancid before someone needs to use it.
One way we can create more sustainable food is by shortening our supply chains by reconnecting to the farmers that grow our food. Hopefully, that means less travel for the ingredients to become food and less wasted food.
Farming Ecosystems Over Farming Crops
Modern food manufacturing companies strive for consistency in their product. This isn't necessarily a bad thing – after all, most people expect their favorite foods to taste the same every time they take a bite.
The problem is that this just isn't how nature works. Weather changes each and every day, and can affect how well crops grow, their flavor, and their nutritional content. Plus, growing the same ingredients on the same land over and over again takes the same nutrients from the land over and over, depleting the soil’s health.
Farming and food production has maintained high efficiency at a large scale by applying pesticides, fertilizers, and other synthetic chemicals to force that efficiency. Farmers can move toward farming for the planet by implementing regenerative agriculture practices.
Regenerative farming and food production systems naturally result in a higher level of diversity in harvested crops, both in terms of the sheer variety of crops but in the nutritional density of those crops.
How does this help?
It improves soil health, feeding healthy microbes in the soil that aerate the soil and make nutrients more available. Healthier soil can absorb more water, so it’s also more resilient in the face of floods or droughts. This allows farmers to continue producing food even with increasing climate change-related weather events. It also means tastier, more nutrient-dense food!
Diversity in crops and diversity on the surrounding land helps create natural ecosystems that help farmers combat weeds and pests without as much human intervention. Diverse crops, bugs, and animals also cycle more nutrients back into the land, so growers don’t need to add fertilizer, either.
Myth Buster: Sustainability is about choosing the environment over the people.
It’s actually quite the opposite! Sustainability is about making the right environmental steps now so that people can enjoy healthy, safe, and sustainable food in the future.
How Moonshot is Doing Things Differently
To sum everything up: what's good for the environment also means fresher, more nutrient-dense, and extra delicious food!
By making every decision with the climate in mind, we are creating more sustainable food! We consider how nature works and strive to harmonize with the land instead of extracting maximum output from it. The climate-friendly food movement starts with a small group of like-minded people doing things differently. That’s everyone here at Moonshot, and you too! Together, we will create a more sustainable way to make our food without losing one bit of deliciousness.
Moonshot is proud to be different. As makers of food and as eaters of food, we're committed to making food in a way that our great-grandmas would recognize.
It can be daunting to try to change how an industry does business and create more climate-friendly food.. That's why Moonshot is publically taking steps to show that doing things differently can be done and that it's worth it in the long run.
We partner with Hedlin Family Farms who grows the Edison wheat we use in our crackers. Since we buy our wheat directly through them and not through an intermediary, we know exactly how our wheat is grown and are able to support regenerative farming that contributes to the local community. It also means we can work with them to support soil testing to measure the environmental outcomes and see how carbon levels in the soil are changing over time. In other words, we can use data to show that we’re being sustainable!
As we mentioned before, using one source for our wheat means that there are differences in our wheat every year. Did you know that the amount of rainfall can change how much protein wheat has?
Because our signature wheat is not exactly the same every year, baking our crackers takes a little more effort.
To get the right protein levels in our crackers, which results in our perfect crispy crunchy texture, we partner with Cairnspring Mills. They are a flour mill that works with many local regenerative farms. We purchase multiple flour varieties from them to mix with our signature Edison wheat so we can attain the perfect protein level in our crackers.
We’re grateful that our manufacturing partner has worked with us to operate a little differently from what they are used to. Together, we are able to make crackers with greater transparency in what it’s made from and more eco-friendliness across the board.
We're also doing our best to create climate-friendly packaging.
We’ve invested in testing compostable packaging that’s at the cutting edge of packaging technology. Because compostable packaging is so new and it’s a hard problem to solve, it costs more, takes longer to get, and requires a lot of process changes for everyone involved from manufacturers to composters. Thankfully, with companies like our friends in the OSC2 packaging collaborative leading the way, compostable packaging will become more efficient and cost-effective over time. We believe in that future and have made a public commitment to transition to home-compostable packaging.
We also choose to source 100% recycled paper for our boxes, even though it means that our packaging colors aren’t as bright as they would be on virgin paper. It’s also different from what our supplier and manufacturer normally use, so it costs us a little more and has longer lead times. That means that we really have to plan ahead when we’re making our packaging! We also print our packaging with plant-based inks, making a 100% plant-based box that is compostable.
Climate-friendly packaging doesn’t need to cost more or take longer. If more and more brands choose climate-friendly packaging, it will become the industry norm. By supporting climate-friendly brands like Moonshot, you’re helping to create broader food systems changes!!
Moonshot can't change the system alone. In fact, we eventually strive to not be different from the norm – in a perfect world, we'd just be one of many companies focusing on eco-friendly practices at every step of the process.
We can collectively effect industry-wide change if we work together. You can help right now, too.
Above, we've discussed how companies can reduce their environmental impact, but consumers have the opportunity to change business as usual practices by igniting their inner activist -- you can talk to friends about why this matters, ask companies to make climate-friendly products, write to politicians about passing policies that prioritize the environment, or even just buy delicious crackers that happen to be sourced, packaged, and shipped with the planet in mind.
Your purchasing power is already creating change -- by supporting Moonshot, the U.S.’s first explicitly climate-friendly snack brand, you’re joining and growing the climate-friendly food movement! If you buy from companies with food products and snacks like our own -- snacks that reflect your values -- then we can inspire other companies to change how they make food, too.
Thank you for joining the sustainable eating movement with us! By joining forces, we can change our food system. Don't just eat our crazy delicious crackers – ask your favorite brands where their food is coming from, talk to others about these critical issues, and remember to vote.
Thanks for supporting Moonshot on our journey!