Everyone loves a good snack, but what is the carbon footprint of getting wheat from a farm to the mill, flour from the mill to the bakery, and cracker from a bakery to your mouth? Brands are starting to examine how their snacks are made to decrease their carbon footprint.
However, most of the snack industry utilizes outdated farming and manufacturing practices that minimize costs without considering the environment. From intensive monoculture farming to wasteful shipping and packaging supply chains, these industrialized systems are contributing to the problems of climate change.
At Moonshot, we’ve made each of our sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation decisions with the climate in mind. By being climate-friendly, we want to pave the way for other brands to join the climate-friendly food movement, too!
Let’s go over how we and other companies are making a difference while providing climate-friendly snacks to people in need of a quick and tasty bite.
Sustainable Food – An Immense Challenge We Can Overcome
I’m sure we can all agree that climate change is a huge problem, affecting every single human (and animal!) on this beautiful planet.
DID YOU KNOW: 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural and food sectors.
The way we harvest our food, whether it’s plant-based foods or meat products, has a major influence on the climate and subsequently, the future of our world.
Why is food so environmentally impactful? There are four factors that contribute to food’s negative impact on climate change:
Livestock and Fish -- 31%: You’ve probably heard that the meat and dairy industry is a big contributor to climate change, but have you heard exactly how big? Recent statistics show that livestock takes up a whopping 31% of the agricultural carbon emissions pie. This statistic takes into account animals raised for meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood production. It comprises the methane produced during the digestive process of ruminants like cows and sheep (cattle by far the biggest contributors) as well as manure and pasture management, and the fuel used by the fishing industry. As large as this percentage is, it does not even reflect emissions used to grow the livestock feed, as that is grouped into the following category.
Growing crops for food -- 21%: The next biggest piece of the pie is taken up by food grown for humans and animals to eat. It comes in at 21% of the total emissions for the agriculture industry, with 6% of that number contributed to growing food for livestock. This number calculates direct emissions from fertilizers and manure fed to the crops, methane from rice, and the tractors and other farm machines that release carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere.
Using Precious Land -- 24%: When land is cleared for growing crops, natural environments that have high carbon absorption abilities are cleared and destroyed. From forests, to grasslands, wetlands, and other rich habitats, agriculture often takes-no-prisoners in its pursuit of feeding the masses. Interestingly, twice as many emissions are attributed to land grown to feed livestock as it is for land grown to feed humans. This is another reason why eating a plant-based diet is such an important step to reaching a climate-friend future! .
Supply chains -- 18%: This includes all components of transporting, packing, and retailing. It also takes into account food waste. Surprisingly transport emissions are a rather low percent (6%) whereas a much larger emissions concern is from the wasting of food. One quarter of emissions created by food production are completely wasted by food that is never even consumed!
The numbers show that food, and why it’s impactful to climate change, is a complex topic. We have faced this problem head on, with eternal optimism, because we believe that people have the power to undo climate change.
Because it feels good to do good. ✨
Climate change can feel like too big of a problem to tackle, but every day we get to make choices to offset the problems. Every good choice matters - by keeping the world even a tenth of a degree cooler, we could save thousands of lives. Ready to take a bite out of climate change with us? Let’s dig in!
Sustainable Snacking Solutions – How We Work To Fight Climate Issues at Moonshot
The great news is, companies like us are making a difference... with your help! As the movement builds, and other companies take up the collective cause of climate-friendliness, we can effect industry-wide change to make it just as easy and affordable for everyone to be sustainable.
At Moonshot, we have one priority: helping to tackle climate change by developing sustainable farming and supply chain practices while helping other companies achieve the same!
Well, make that two priorities: we’re also slightly obsessed with delicious food and are devoted to making magically tasty snacks that you can enjoy with your friends and family in true carbon neutral fashion!
At Moonshot, we aren’t interested in getting the cheapest ingredients on the market. That doesn’t make our soul sing!
Instead, we prioritize finding ingredients that are grown by farmers that prioritize healthy soil.
Take the organic sunflower oil that we use to produce our tasty crackers, for instance. Each drop of sunflower oil is made by Colorado Mills, a zero waste operation that doesn't put any waste in landfills. Colorado Mills works with farmers within 100 miles that grow sunflowers organically and with regenerative agriculture practices. 🌻
Less time on the road and a special pressing process preserve vital nutrients in the oil, such as vitamin C, and results in fewer carbon emissions from transportation.
Our focus on where our ingredients are grown means that for the majority of our ingredients, we can trace our food back to the farmer and field. We know exactly where and how our food is grown and use only the best ingredients!
A Controllable, Short-Distance Supply Chain
We have a short supply chain for our snacks.
Less distance means less transportation-related carbon emissions. .
We grow all of the wheat used in our snacks just two miles away from our mill, Cairnsprings Mill, where it becomes flour. In addition, the mill itself is just 85 miles away from our bakery, where the magic happens and our snacks are created for your enjoyment. 🌾
All of this means that:
Our ingredients and finished snacks spend less time in trucks and on the road.
Our snacks are fresher, more nutrient-dense, and have bolder flavors.
The result? Happier snackers, and fewer carbon emissions across the board.
What about our packaging? We created custom-designed paper cartons to fit each of our snacks.
We also decided to use 100% recycled paper for every box that we ship out.
Please help do your part and recycle the paper box, too!
What’s more, we didn’t stop with the outside box. We’re also using totally recyclable interior plastic bags, and we’re committed to using home-compostable packaging. To the moon we go! 🚀🌕
Regenerative Agriculture Practices
Good farming practices also take precedent at Moonshot.
You may have heard of how soil and land can help in the climate change fight.
DID YOU KNOW: Nearly 70% of the total available topsoil throughout the world has been eroded or depleted of its nutrients.
This has happened over time because a number of different factors:
We’ve converted land that used to be rainforest or grasslands to agricultural uses and the wind or water has carried the topsoil away.
We grow the same crop over and over on the same piece of land, depleting the soil of the nutrients that the crop needs.
We use farming practices, like tilling, that disperses topsoil.
We support a different kind of farming at Moonshot, which more closely resembles how indigenous communities have cultivated the land for millenia.
Called regenerative agriculture, these farming practices support new topsoil creation and enriches the environment as well as the food that’s grown in it.
Our farmers utilize farming methods that can trap carbon in the ground and help to renew all the organic matter that makes healthy topsoil, contributing to healthier food, people, and planet! 🌍💚
Here’s how it works:
Regenerative farmers cultivate diverse crops and ecosystems.This helps to balance nutrient and pest cycles and protect soils.
As plants grow year-round on the land, they take carbon dioxide out of the air and transform it into plant matter.
Microbes flourish in healthy soil and convert this plant matter into its base components like nitrogen and carbon.
This creates a more hospitable environment for future plants.
As an added bonus, this process sequesters carbon from the atmosphere: a big benefit when you remember that we all need to be trapping as much carbon as possible!
This helps us grow food while also sequestering carbon, plus the snacks made from regenerative ingredients are more nutrient-dense and extra-delicious!
What about the farmers? While we’re dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place, we also know that farmers have to make a profit. That’s why we pay each of our farmers premiums to build markets for the food they grow and the important work they do building healthy soil. When farmers win, we all win!
Ultimately, we can all make a difference when it comes to reinventing how we create our food, how food is grown, and how our supply chains work.
Over the coming years, we hope to inspire other food companies, no matter what they create, to make serious transitions to more sustainable farming and sourcing practices. We even have a system to help them make this important transition!
As much as we care about the planet, we can’t fix climate change by ourselves. But we can inspire others through our example!
Our system is a model to other companies and farmers that proves you can be climate-friendly, taste good, AND build a profitable company at the same time. If you’re hungry for a healthier planet or just love snacks, please join us on our journey!