Urban Remedy is working to not only improve the quality of life for its consumers by the food they eat, but also by engaging in sustainable practices to promote our planet’s health. With this in mind, the company’s efforts to benefit the planet in 2020 alone has included 3,000 pounds of upcycled organic pulp transformed into Urban Remedy product packaging and diversion of “4.8 tons of waste through the Right Cycle Program.” Moreover, the company gives back to its communities. In fact, in just 2020, the company served 650 hours of paid team member community service and “donated 48,000 items” to its community. Urban Remedy’s efforts to create healthy, sustainable foods are highly commendable. I especially appreciate that the company acknowledges that although it may not be perfect, it “will never stop improving how we do business in the communities we serve.” This community driven approach fosters a mutual benefit for both the company, its consumers, and the planet.
These chips are made of organic cashews, organic zucchini, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic green onion, himalayan pink salt, and organic lemon juice. I don’t know about you, but I always feel better about what I am eating when I know what all of the ingredients are without having to do any additional research. Moreover, this snack is low-glycemic, low-carb and is accommodating to varying dietary restrictions as it is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. Not to mention, it is a delicious alternative to real chips. So are the ingredients sustainable themselves? Given that all of the major ingredients that are in these chips are organic, you can be confident that this product is created with sustainability in mind since organically grown ingredients ensure that toxic pesticides (which harm soil quality and water sources) are not used. Further, only 40 gallons of water are required for 1 pound of zucchini which is a low water requirement. Comparatively, growing cashews requires roughly 1703 gallons for the production of 1 pound. Therefore, the environmental impact of the number one ingredient in these chips, cashews, lowers the score. However, if cashews are grown organically, their production does not cause destruction to animals, soil, or air. That means that while cashews themselves are not the most sustainable ingredient, Urban Remedy is taking steps to ensure that when the company uses them in its products, it is doing so in the most sustainable manner.
Urban Remedy has also made it a point to implement sustainable packaging. All of their products are packaged in materials made from recycled plastic and that are 100% recyclable. The company’s shipping boxes are also “100% recyclable and made from a minimum of 65% recycled kraft paper.” In fact, on the website Urban Remedy provides consumers easy to access information on what each packaging material is made of and how to properly recycle it. I appreciate that its products are produced with not only health, but the environment in mind as well.
On the company website, it states that the products are all produced locally out of Richmond, California. Urban Remedy also sources from organic farms close to where the products are produced. In fact, the company boasts that their products are 100% organic from “local farmers who practice organic, sustainable farming methods.” This local sourcing helps to reduce the carbon footprint of Urban Remedy’s products as they are able to be transported short distances to be produced. Further, all of the farms it sources from are pesticide and herbicide free. The products are made in small batches and in methods that work to reduce food waste. The company does this by implementing “real-time manufacturing” in which the products are determined by “forecasting and history of what sells when and in what geography” as well as considerations regarding “how seasonality affects the rate of sales.” The company does not “stock or inventory” and the food is never processed. Instead, Urban Remedy uses High Pressure Pascalization (HPP) which allows for the products to be delivered at their peak freshness, extending the shelf life without reducing nutrient quality.
It must be noted that Urban Remedy’s foods are shipped with high speed. While this sort of made to order framework helps decrease food waste, it is a bit troubling how the company’s carbon footprint is increased with its “guaranteed overnight delivery Tuesday through Saturday anywhere within the United States.” All things considered, I can still confidently give Urban Remedy a high score as I believe with its local sourcing and production practices, the company is producing its products in ways that are considerate of the associated environmental impact.
Urban Remedy was started by Neka Pasquale with the mantra that “food is healing.” She became driven to “empower consumers to conveniently eat ultra-fresh and clean.” Yet, her mission extends past just serving the consumer with healthier food alternatives, as she is also driven to promote a healthier planet. In fact, in one interview she said that “we have depleted much of our soil. When people vote with their dollars and choose organic, big food will follow.” It has roughly 300 employees and has 15 retail locations as well as 50 kiosks. Urban Remedy is a certified B-Corp which means that it is operating with the highest standards for social and environmental sustainability. Given that the company is operating in California, with headquarters in the Bay Area, it must be subject to high working standards. Therefore, I am able to conclude that the company is operating in an ethical and sustainable manner.