Trying to eat healthy and save the world at the same time used to be a feat, but now it’s pretty much the norm. An ever-growing number of health-conscious consumers combined with an increasing call to be kinder to the planet we call home has spurred companies to create foods that do both—and the snack sector is not resting on its laurels.
But sustainability goes beyond just saying a brand is “green” or “eco-friendly.” Greenwashing is prevalent in a number of industries, not just the food sector, as brands focus on only one aspect of their product or packaging that may be sustainable or are not transparent to their customers about supply chain. The brands highlighted here take sustainability seriously, from harvesting foods from independent farmers to using alternative power sources. These brands are creating snacks that are not only easier on the environment, but are delicious as well. Here are a few sustainable snacks you can feel good about eating, even if the button on your pants tells you otherwise.
If you’re looking for a chocolate fix that you can feel good about, Alter Eco is a go-to. A B-Corp with an emphasis on “full circle sustainability,” Alter Eco is committed to sourcing ingredients from farmer-owned co-ops, uses compostable packaging, and produces treats that are organic, vegan, and non-GMO. The company, too, is extra careful about the cacao it sources and is committed to working with co-ops that practice agroforestry. Alter Eco has also teamed up with Acopagro Coop to replant and conserve a portion of the Peruvian Amazon.
Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Bar, $9.62 on Amazon
Enjoy a delicious chocolate treat while helping to preserve the Peruvian Amazon.
Food waste is a serious issue when it comes to eco-friendliness; Barnana was founded by trying to avoid just that. According to the company, it’s on a mission to reduce food waste by upcycling bananas that used to get thrown away into snacks. These bananas could be anything from scuffed to ugly to simply just a tad too ripe. Barnana started with banana chips and now has a plethora of snack choices, from plantain chips to peanut butter cups, but they all begin from bananas that would have otherwise been discarded.
Barnana Banana Bites, pack of 3 for $11.97 on Amazon
This chewy snack is potassium-rich and paleo-friendly.
For those who want a little crunch with a side of goodness for the earth, Beanfields is the solution. The chip brand, which is recognized as a B-Corp, uses beans as its base, which require less water to grow than other alternatives, like soy. The goods are gluten-free, non-GMO, and allergy-friendly. Additionally, all of the beans are grown in the U.S., ensuring that local farmers receive a steady income. The company also works with community-based organizations in Los Angeles, where it is based, to give back to its residents.
Beanfields Bean Chips, pack of 6 for $13.98 on Amazon
These chips are made from non-GMO beans grown in the U.S.
Clif Bar is on a mission to “make it good,” from its snacks to its impact on the environment. Not only does the company rely on a traceability program for tracking ingredients, but it is also on a mission to operate a zero-waste facility (currently, it operates 90 percent waste-free) and maintain its carbon-neutral status. It also puts suppliers through a rigorous ethical screening process and visits suppliers and farmers on an annual basis to ensure the guidelines are being met.
Clif Bar, pack of 16 for $18.04 on Amazon
Refuel with energy on the go in a variety flavors.
Makers of organic and non-GMO Core bars and granola, Core Foods works directly with farms to ensure high-quality sustainable products are used and breaks out where each ingredient is farmed and harvested. And if you think the benefits stop at the snacks themselves, Core Foods has a surprise—it also uses eco-friendly packaging.
CORE Foods Overnight Oat Bar, pack of 16 for $48.00 on Amazon
Each of these real food bars packs 1 billion CFUs.
Started by husband and wife vegans-gone-paleo, Epic Provisions has challenged the meat industry since its inception. While the meat industry as a whole is, seemingly, one giant question mark, Epic strives to source its product with transparency and sustainability. Additionally, the brand works with local farmers in order to convert them to a pasture-based model, instead of factory farming. The company also supports The Savory Institute, The Global Animal Partnership, and The Marine Stewardship Council with some of its profits.
Epic Meat Bars, pack of 12 for $34.94 on Amazon
Jerky fans will love these unique meat bars that come in flavors like Lamb Currant Mint and Bison Bacon Cranberry.
As keto, paleo and Whole30 lifestyle choices continue to trend, jerky as a snack is on the rise. For an alternative to a meat jerky, Fishpeople Seafood specializes in seafood jerkies that are ethically caught and totally traceable. Additionally, to hold themselves accountable to their customers, the packaging has tracking codes on them to allow snackers to see where products are coming from themselves.
Fishpeople Salmon Jerky, pack of 3 for $20.65 on Amazon
Get your Omega-3s and protein fix with this jerky made from wild Alaskan salmon.
From an array of delicious peanut butter selections to several nut-butter treats, Justin’s Nut Butters is more than just good for snack time. Since its inception, the Boulder, Colorado-based company has been sourcing ingredients in ways that do not harm the environment, including using organic ingredients, sustainably-sourced palm oil, and Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.
In its manufacturing processes, Justin’s uses wind power, BPA-free jars, and other packaging that can be recycled. While their squeeze packs are not yet compostable, the company is actively testing packaging that will meet that standard. Additionally, the company works with Xerces Society, People & Pollinators Action Network, and Growing Gardens to help combat the diminishing bee population.
Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Almond Butter, $9.49 on Amazon
You'd be nuts not to buy a bottle of this sweet, responsibly sourced spread.
Founded by actors Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, and Ravi Patel, this company is committed to helping fight malnutrition with their snack bars, made with organic fruit and nuts. Every time a bar is purchased, a packet of peanut paste is shipped to a child that is malnourished. Flavors include dark chocolate and coconut; PB& J; and wild blueberry and pistachio. This Saves Lives also has a line of kids’ bars as well, that are chock full of fruits and veggies but do not have remnants of the top eight allergens, making them safe for school, the company said.
This Bar Saves Lives, $24.50 on Amazon
This celebrity-backed granola bar tastes great. But more importantly, it lives up to its name.
Header image courtesy of Amazon.