Public Goods Corn

overall rating:



Julia Murray
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Public Goods is an online direct-to-consumer business that distributes hygiene products, cleaning products, and food products that are mostly packaged. It requires a membership similar to Amazon where once ordered the products are delivered to your house. Public Goods focuses on affordability of the product, sustainability, and healthy products. For this product, Public Goods does not offer much transparency about the farming practices, production processes, and transportation of the product. I would recommend Public Goods make clear how the corn is being grown and if these farming practices are not sustainable to work towards goals that are. Additionally, I would like to know if transportation from manufacturer to warehouse to the customer is carbon-intensive and if the carbon footprint could be reduced. Overall I would rate Public Goods Canned Corn .23 planet.


What it's made of:


Public Goods Canned Corn is made of three ingredients: corn, water, and salt. On their website, they explain that this product is without the use of additives or preservatives. They also said the corn is “made in Wisconsin”, which can be misleading as it can mean either grown or packaged in Wisconsin. Public Goods farming practices are not clear so I researched corn farming practices further. Corn can be grown throughout the US but it is mostly grown in the midwest US. I found that corn can be a crop that depletes the nutrients from the soil if healthy farming practices are not implemented. Corn is also a water heavy crop which causes farmers to rely on irrigation heavily. For this reason, I would rate .1 planet. 


How it's made:


Public Goods does not make clear the production of canned corn. From general canning processes, the corn is packaged into steel cans and then sterilized once sealed. For the packaging of the corn, the steel cans can be recycled in the US. Public Goods prides itself on its mission for simple ingredient items and transparent information with their product but they do not have a mission statement on how they plan to become sustainable in the agricultural sector. Public Goods go into depth about how many of their hygiene products are ‘tree-free’ and utilize fast-growing woods like bamboo and sugarcane for items such as toilet paper or paper towels. For transportation of the product to the warehouse, it is unclear how this is done and if there are goals to reduce carbon emissions. Public Goods is a direct consumer business so once a customer purchases online the product is shipped from warehouse to customer. It should be taken into account that Public Goods may reduce their carbon emissions as their company does not require distribution of their product to retailers but rather Public Goods warehouse to the customer. As for traditional products, the distribution would be from factory to retailer to customer. This contributes to their carbon footprint as the items are shipped from a long distance to customers. I would like to see Public Goods taking more initiative and creating goals in how they plan to be sustainable concerning their agricultural practices for their food products. For this reason, I rate .1 planet as the product can be recyclable but, there is no transparency in their production process and transportation of the product to warehouses.


Who makes it:


The founder of Public Goods, Morgan Hirsch explains the reason for the creation of his company which focuses on affordability of the product, sustainability, and healthy products. Public Goods emphasizes that consumers can have an impact on the environment which may shift the burden heavily on consumers. Beginning in 2019, Public Goods plants a new tree for every new member with the Eden Reforestation Project. Further, Public Goods products do not have harmful chemicals in their cleaning products which can harm the environment and human health. They also have cleaning products you can buy in bulk and compostable products which have less of an impact on the planet after the product is used. What lacks from Public Goods website is transparency on their farming practices pertaining to their food sector. Additionally, no goals to work towards increased sustainability or energy reduction were mentioned concerning their distribution, transportation, and production processes. For this reason, I would rate .5 planet.