Snacktivist foods is a dry mix small business located in Idaho. The founder, Joni Moore is very involved in her community and has shown great effort to have non-GMO products and sustainable farming practices. The dry mixes Snacktivist offers are a great alternative to other brands which include GMO products, high sugar, and additives in their products. I have analyzed and given advice that Snacktivist could improve in the areas of transparency of the sourcing of ingredients and packaging to reduce plastic use. This is why I rate Snacktivist Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix 1 planet.
Snacktivist Chocolate Chip Cookie mix consists of many ingredients: “sugar blend, flour blend, chocolate chips, baking soda, sea salt, pectin.” There is a combination of ingredients for the sugar and flour composition which leads to an addition of many ingredients.
The sourcing of the cocoa is not made clear for the chocolate chips as cocoa production can have a high impact on the environment and labor rights. Cocoa farmers in West Africa are clearing forests leading to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Farming practices are also not healthy as cocoa farmers use pesticides heavily which degrades the soil. As for labor rights, cocoa farms have a history of forced child labor. It would be wise for Snacktivist to include somewhere elaboration on their sourcing and labor rights to acquire cocoa.
The sourcing of the ingredients is not made clear for the brown sugar and organic cane sugar. I researched how sugar cane is grown and harvested from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Sugar cane is grown in hot and wet climates and is a water-intensive crop. Historic plantations of sugar cane have caused biodiversity to decrease as plantation sizes increase. Additionally, sugar fields are burned to remove leaves and debris which releases an abundance of greenhouse gases and harms the environment. This is common practice with sugarcane plantations as it removes the parts that are unnecessary from sugarcane.
The sourcing of their flour blend is made clearer on their website under ancient grains where they state that products contain 60% whole grain. Snacktivist emphasizes the importance of sustainable farming and includes an informational section on how unsustainable farming practices and the monopoly of large agriculture companies of GMO crops have led to a loss of biodiversity in food crops. Snacktivist states that to combat this they strive to use alternative and innovative ingredients instead of GMO crops. This gives the buyer transparency on the variety of ingredients included in their flour blend but it is still unknown how some of these ingredients are sourced or the processes it took to grow or harvest the ingredients. For this reason, I would rate 1 planet for an effort of transparency and proactive nature in educating why GMO crops can be harmful to the environment and people. I would recommend full transparency of the process of how the ingredients are grown, where they are from, and the energy taken to harvest.
Snacktivist does not make it transparent as to how their dry mixes are packaged in their manufacturing plant or how much energy it takes to package their product. I researched the assumed general process that Snacktivist would use to manufacture their dry mixes. I found that to manufacture dry mixes, large mixers must be used to combine the ingredients before packaging. These mixers would be efficient and quick but is there a way to reduce energy use?
For the packaging, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is packaged in a plastic bag. Plastic is usually not reused meaning it has one life and a short product life cycle. Is there a way to reduce plastic use or use recycled packaging? I would recommend looking at sustainable packaging efforts to reduce waste. The US EPA states that in 2018, the US received 27 M Tons of plastic. To put this into perspective, there are more plastic pieces in the ocean than stars in the galaxy. This is why I urge Snacktivist to rethink packaging. For this reason, I would give 0 planets because there is no transparency in their manufacturing process and packaging. From general manufacturing processes, I believe there would be little energy used during manufacturing as the ingredients would only have to be mixed and then packaged. This is why I give 0 planets.
Snacktivist is a “women-owned and B-Corporation” food brand that makes gluten-free and vegan dry mixes of bread, cookies, breakfast bread, and more. They specialize in non-GMO pantry staples that are healthy and high quality rather than other dry mixes that are high in sugar, GMO products, and additives. The founder of Snacktivist, Joni Moore is a mother of allergy-sensitive kids and a registered nurse. Moore explains that as a mother of allergy-sensitive kids and an RN she created dry mixes that are healthy and gluten-free. Snacktivist is also a family-owned and operated business in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho that works with other small businesses throughout the Inland Northwest US. Moore is a small business owner and mother who is very involved in her business. I would rate 2 planets because Moore is very involved and active in her community and business and I believe that if offered feedback to improve sustainability Moore would take into account how Snacktivist could improve. I would advise that there should be more transparency on the sourcing of ingredients and packaging improvements.