Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.
Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.
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By Tara Lohan
If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.
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By Brian Barth
There's something of a civil war brewing in the organic movement.
By Ken Roseboro
Consumer advocates and non-GMO food experts have criticized the non-GMO certification of Cargill's EverSweet sweetener by NSF's Non-GMO True North program because the product is derived from a genetically engineered yeast and should be considered a GMO.
By Jaydee Hanson
In the foodie world, 2019 might as well be named The Year of the Impossible Burger. This plant-based burger that "bleeds" can now be found on the menus of Burger King, Fatburger, Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, White Castle and many other national restaurant chains. Consumers praise the burger's meat-like texture and the product is advertised as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional beef burgers.
The Science<p>The <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/impossible-burger">Impossible Burger</a> is manufactured from two different methods of genetically engineering soy products. This "impossible in nature" union is neither healthier nor more environmentally friendly than other kinds of non-meat burgers. While Impossible Foods, the company behind the Impossible Burger, has been trying to spin its product as both healthier and more sustainable than those of its competitors, a quick examination of the company's own data suggests otherwise. </p><p><strong>1. The first kind of genetic engineering in the "Impossible Burger" is found in the soy used for the protein in the "burger" itself.</strong></p><p>Rather than starting with organic soy beans, which have <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613019201" target="_blank">higher levels of protein and lower levels of Omega 6 fatty acids (the bad Omega)</a>, the company <a href="https://medium.com/impossible-foods/how-our-commitment-to-consumers-and-our-planet-led-us-to-use-gm-soy-23f880c93408" target="_blank">chose to use GMO soybeans</a>, probably because they are cheaper than the organic beans. The company uses both GMO soy protein concentrate and GMO soy protein isolate <a href="https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018937494" target="_blank">for the protein in its burger</a>. Impossible Foods does not describe how it processes the soy, but alcohol is the most common solvent used to process soy protein concentrate, as it produces products with a neutral taste. But the beneficial isoflavones in soy are removed by this method. Soy protein concentrate has the lowest level of healthful isoflavones — including daidzein, genistein and glycitein — <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/134/5/1229S/4688709" target="_blank">of any form of processed soy</a>.</p><p>Unfortunately, GMO soy is also sprayed with large amounts of the herbicide <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/glyphosate">glyphosate</a>, a product shown to cause cancer in people exposed during its application. GMO soy <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/8/e1600850" target="_blank">has been found</a> to use significantly more herbicides than conventional soy or organic soy. At a time when <a href="https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/5595/california-couple-prevail-in-third-roundup-cancer-lawsuit-awarded-2-billion" target="_blank">juries are awarding</a> billions of dollars in damages to those affected by exposure to glyphosate, it is startling that Impossible Foods would double down on the GMO soy that is inextricably linked to this toxic herbicide.</p><p><strong>2. The second kind of genetic engineering of soy produces the "heme" that makes the Impossible Burger "bleed." </strong></p><p>In order to manufacture its burgers, Impossible Foods takes DNA from the roots of soy plants, where a small amount of "heme" is produced, and inserts it into genetically engineered yeast that is then fermented to mass-produce heme. This is the first time that people have consumed this product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to require testing in this situation to make sure that this novel protein does not cause allergic reactions in people. Unfortunately, instead of requiring Impossible Foods to file a new Food Additive Petition, FDA allowed the company to use a weak regulatory process called "Generally Recognized As Safe" (GRAS) where the company does its own research and chooses its own reviewers to self-certify that its product is safe for human consumption. Center for Food Safety has a <a href="https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4956/groups-sue-fda-to-protect-food-safety" target="_blank">lawsuit</a> challenging the GRAS food additive loophole that the Impossible Burger went through, allowing it and many other novel food substances to unlawfully evade government analysis and approval before coming to market.</p><p>Even under the weak GRAS process, the first time the company submitted data on the allergenicity of its "heme," it was so inadequate that the FDA raised questions about the company's data and the company withdrew its application so that it could redo its research. Although the FDA now says that it has "no questions" about Impossible Foods' latest research on the safety of "heme," the agency itself has not affirmatively declared that "heme" produced in genetically engineered yeast is safe for human consumption. Moreover, FDA has warned Impossible Foods that it cannot claim its "heme" is a source of iron based on this review and that it must label its product as a potential allergen. The FDA also notes that the company should <a href="https://www.fda.gov/media/116243/download" target="_blank">request a review of the "heme" as a new color additive</a>.</p>
Conclusion<p>Most customers of the Impossible Burger will not see labels saying that the burgers are made from GMO soy or could cause allergic reactions as Impossible Foods are currently only selling to fast food chains which do not put such labels on their menus.</p><p>Rather than buy the GMOx2 Impossible Burger, choose a non-GMO burger made in your local area. The Washington Post <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/these-6-veggie-burgers-arent-meant-to-taste-like-meat--and-thats-what-makes-them-so-good/2019/05/24/f2f068e4-71d6-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html?utm_term=.a6c02ebd1d9a" target="_blank">recently highlighted</a> six veggie-based burgers being made by local restaurants that are not serving the Impossible Burger.<strong></strong></p>
Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.
1. Chopped Raw Vegetables<p>A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-kale" target="_blank">kale</a>, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.</p><p>Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-broccoli" target="_blank">broccoli</a>. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.</p><p>One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables—including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber—was associated with good mental health and mood (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5902672/">1</a>).</p>
2. Nuts and Seeds<p>Nuts and seeds—such as pistachios, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-walnuts" target="_blank">walnuts</a>, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds—are highly nutritious salad toppings.</p><p>For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.</p><p>When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.</p>
3. Dried Fruit<p>Salads and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dried-fruit-good-or-bad" target="_blank">dried fruit</a> are a delicious combination.</p><p>Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.</p><p>To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.</p><p>You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.</p>
4. Whole Grains<p>Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.</p><p>Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.</p><p>Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-of-whole-grains" target="_blank">health benefits</a> — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079919">2</a>).</p><p>Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.</p>
5. Beans and Legumes<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-beans-legumes" target="_blank">Beans and legumes</a> are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.</p><p>A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.</p><p>You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.</p>
6. Fresh Fruit<p>Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-healthiest-fruits" target="_blank">fruit</a> can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.</p><p>One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12773206">3</a>).</p><p>Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.</p>
7. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips<p>Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.</p><p>Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.</p><p>The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — 11 chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-fiber-good-for-you" target="_blank">fiber</a> and 4 grams of protein (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.nutritionix.com/i/athenos/baked-pita-chips-whole-wheat/51c36aee97c3e69de4b075f8">4</a>).</p><p>To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–15 minutes at 350°F (176°C).</p>
8. Shredded Hard Cheeses<p>Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.</p><p>One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-calcium-rich-foods" target="_blank">calcium</a> — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337919/">5</a>).</p><p>Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.</p>
9. Roasted Vegetables<p>Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.</p><p>Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X15000207">6</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722699/">7</a>).</p><p>To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil" target="_blank">olive oil</a> and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–40 minutes at 350°F (176°C).</p><p>You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.</p>
10. Hard-Boiled Eggs<p>Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.</p><p>One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.</p><p>Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373948">8</a>).</p><p>To make <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/boiled-egg-nutrition" target="_blank">hard-boiled eggs</a>, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.</p>
11. Fresh Herbs<p>Herbs are the leaves, seeds or flowers of plants that can add flavor or fragrance to your dishes.</p><p>Popular fresh <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-healthy-herbs-and-spices" target="_blank">herbs</a> to add to salads or salad dressings include basil, mint, rosemary, parsley, sage and cilantro.</p><p>Herbs not only add flavor but may also provide various health benefits.</p><p>For example, research shows that a compound in rosemary and sage may have anticancer properties, while cilantro may help fight inflammation (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21382660">9</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25776008">10</a>).</p>
12. Leftover Meat<p>Leftover meats — such as baked or grilled chicken, pork or beef — can be repurposed as salad toppings.</p><p>Meats are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-delicious-high-protein-foods" target="_blank">high-quality protein</a> that can help you feel full and satisfied (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21056606">11</a>).</p><p>For example, 3 ounces (84 grams) of baked chicken breast has 26 grams of protein for less than 140 calories.</p><p>Pre-cooked meats are available at grocery stores for convenient, quick salad toppings, but be aware that they may contain additional and potentially unhealthy ingredients.</p><p>You can also prepare your own by cooking meats in a skillet, on the grill or in your oven with olive oil and seasonings at 350°F (176°C) until they reach a safe internal temperature.</p>
13. Seafood<p>Adding seafood to your salad can boost its nutrition and flavor.</p><p>Salmon, cod, halibut, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-shrimp-healthy" target="_blank">shrimp</a>, lobster and even sardines are incredibly healthy sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Studies show that eating fish can boost heart health and brain function (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15184295">12</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12003654">13</a>).</p><p>The most nutritious ways to prepare seafood for salads are baking, broiling or grilling. Deep-fried or breaded seafood with added oils and salt are not as healthy.</p><p>To prepare fish at home, brush the fillets with olive oil and seasonings and bake in a lined dish for 15–20 minutes at 400°F (204°C).</p>
14. Avocados<p>Avocados are a versatile food and a great addition to salads.</p><p>They're loaded with nutrients that can improve heart health and support healthy aging, such as monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/">14</a>).</p><p>In fact, one <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado" target="_blank">avocado</a> provides over 50% of the DV for vitamin K and 41% of the DV for folate.</p><p>You can add sliced avocado to almost any salad or use guacamole as a topping. To make guacamole, mash avocado with onion, garlic and lime juice. Optionally, add some fresh cilantro for an extra zing.</p>
15. Soft Cheeses<p>Soft <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-dairy-bad-or-good" target="_blank">cheeses</a>, including fresh mozzarella, feta, ricotta, goat, bleu and burrata, make excellent salad toppings.</p><p>They provide a creamy texture and delicious flavor, along with protein, calcium and other micronutrients. What's more, soft goat and feta cheeses made from goat's or sheep's milk are lactose-free and good options for those who cannot tolerate cow's milk (<a target="_blank" href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1051/dst:2008012">15</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921448803002724">16</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12038582">17</a>).</p><p>Soft cheeses are widely available at grocery stores and specialty markets. When searching for mozzarella, burrata or feta cheeses, look for those packed in brine that inhibits bacterial growth and maintains the creamy texture.</p>
16. Pomegranate Arils<p>The red seeds of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-pomegranate" target="_blank">pomegranates</a>—known as arils—make for a decorative and nutritious salad topping.</p><p>They not only make for a pretty salad but may also provide impressive health benefits. Studies have found that pomegranate arils are rich in compounds called anthocyanins that can have antioxidant properties (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629912001858">18</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669012001380">19</a>).</p><p>Packaged pomegranate arils are available at most grocery stores. To get arils out of a whole pomegranate, slice off the top, use a knife to make a few evenly spaced scores on the sides of the fruit and then crack it open with your hands.</p>
17. Corn and Salsa<p>Using corn and salsa as a salad topping is an easy way to create a flavorful and nutritious Tex-Mex salad.</p><p>A 1/2-cup (128-gram) serving of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-corn-good-for-you" target="_blank">corn</a> kernels has over 9% of the DV for fiber and is rich in vitamin C and folate. What's more, research suggests that eating tomato-based products like salsa that contain lycopene may help prevent heart disease and cancer (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23317928/">20</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424325/">21</a>).</p><p>When shopping for corn and salsa, look for varieties that contain mostly whole-food ingredients. You can also make homemade salsa with diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro and seasonings.</p>
18. Tofu and Edamame<p>Tofu and soybeans, known as edamame, are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.</p><p>One cup (155 grams) of cooked <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/edamame-benefits" target="_blank">edamame</a> has close to 17 grams of protein, while 1/2 cup (126 grams) of tofu provides close to 20 grams. Both foods are loaded with folate, vitamin K and several other micronutrients.</p><p>Additionally, eating tofu, edamame and other soy-based foods may help prevent heart disease and some cancers (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886135">22</a>).</p><p>When choosing soy foods for your salad, look for whole soybeans and tofu without many additives. Keep in mind that most soy is genetically modified unless marked with an organic or GMO-free label.</p>
19. Olives<p>Olives are a nutrient-rich and flavorful salad topping.</p><p>They're loaded with healthy fats—packing over 2 grams of monounsaturated fat in 1 ounce (28 grams). Research has linked <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monounsaturated-fats" target="_blank">monounsaturated fat</a> consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12052487">23</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12566134">24</a>).</p><p>Since olives are cured in brine, they can be high in salt. If you're watching your salt intake, look for varieties with reduced sodium.</p>
20. Oil-and-Vinegar Dressings<p>A salad is not complete without a dressing.</p><p>In fact, one small study found that participants who ate salads with full-fat dressings absorbed more nutrients from the vegetables than those who used reduced-fat or non-fat dressings (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15277161">25</a>).</p><p>Since oils are a good source of fat, you can make your own full-fat salad dressing using oil and vinegar. Combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of healthy oils—such as olive oil or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-avocado-oil-benefits" target="_blank">avocado oil</a>—with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar for a quick and tasty dressing.</p><p>Refine your mix with herbs and spices that suit your taste buds.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Adding healthy toppings to your salad can boost nutrition and flavor.</p><p>The above suggestions make it easy to put together a healthy mix that will help you feel fuller and more satisfied.</p><p>What's more, these nutritious toppings can add flavor and texture to a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-eating-for-beginners" target="_blank">balanced diet</a> and may provide a variety of health benefits.</p>
By Rebecca Mackelprang
A University of California, Berkeley professor stands at the front of the room, delivering her invited talk about the potential of genetic engineering. Her audience, full of organic farming advocates, listens uneasily. She notices a man get up from his seat and move toward the front of the room. Confused, the speaker pauses mid-sentence as she watches him bend over, reach for the power cord, and unplug the projector. The room darkens and silence falls. So much for listening to the ideas of others.
The European Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that organisms obtained by mutagenesis, or gene editing, are considered genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which mean they fall under the same strict EU rules that govern GMOs.
The decision is a victory for organic farming associations and environmentalists wary of "GMO 2.0" techniques such as CRISPR gene editing that alter an organism's DNA.
By Lisa Archer
Friends of the Earth recently released a brief that raised important questions about laboratory-created animal replacement products (in vitro meat and genetically engineered proteins) that are in development or on the market ahead of robust health and environmental assessment, oversight and labeling.
The U.S. generates almost 80 million tons of packaging waste each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When landfilled or incinerated, this waste pollutes the environment and poses health risks to humans and wildlife. Packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution that is clogging the ocean and expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 at current rates. The food industry is largely responsible for this growing packaging problem.
Alter Eco<p>Alter Eco set out a decade ago to find sustainable alternatives to the non-recyclable flexible plastic used for their chocolate truffle wrappers and stand-up pouch packaging. After several years of research and development, Alter Eco released the <a href="https://sustainablebrands.com/read/chemistry-materials-packaging/alter-eco-s-gone4good-packaging-eliminates-plastic-pouch-problem" target="_blank">first</a> ever <a href="https://www.gone4good.com/" target="_blank">laminated stand-up pouch</a> made of plant-based compostable materials for their quinoa products. For the truffles, Alter Eco now partners with <a href="http://www.futamuragroup.com/divisions/cellulose-films/products/natureflex/" target="_blank">Natureflex</a> to make a compostable wrapper <a href="http://composed/" target="_blank">made</a> of eucalyptus and birch trees with <a href="https://www.newhope.com/supply-news-amp-analysis/guayaki-announces-ultimate-green-packaging-biodegradable-compostable" target="_blank">microscopic aluminum layers</a> that maintain freshness. The packaging will compost in home and industrial facilities and will <a href="http://www.futamuragroup.com/sustainability/certifications/" target="_blank">biodegrade in the ocean</a>. Alter Eco also uses non-toxic ink on all their packaging. For chocolate bar packaging, Alter Eco uses Forest Steward Council (<a href="https://us.fsc.org/en-us" target="_blank">FSC</a>) certified paperboard that comes from sustainably managed forests.</p>
BOSS Foods<p>BOSS Food's vegan superfood bars use compostable wrappers. The wrappers are made by <a href="https://tipa-corp.com/general/b-o-s-s-food-co-s-clean-label-products-called-compostable-packaging/" target="_blank">TIPA</a><u>.</u> TIPA's <a href="https://tipa-corp.com/products/" target="_blank">propriety</a> bio-based blend has all <a href="https://www.plasticethics.com/home/2018/11/15/tipa-an-innovative-company-producing-compostable-flexible-packaging-could-save-the-world" target="_blank">the properties of normal plastic</a> but is <a href="https://tipa-corp.com/sustainability_in_packaging/" target="_blank">certified</a> for industrial and home composting. TIPA <a href="https://www.newhope.com/manufacturing-and-supply-business-resources/tipa-create-next-generation-packaging-compostable" target="_blank">conducts</a> shelf-life tests with each brand they work with to ensure the same shelf life as conventional packaging.</p>
Boxed Water is Better<p>Reusable bottles are the most sustainable way to haul around water. But when that's not an option, Boxed Water is Better offers a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles. The 100 percent recyclable box is 75 percent paper. The cap is made of plastic, and the rest is aluminum lining. The packaging is free of BPAs and phthalates. The paper comes from well-managed forests, and they use some of their profits for <a href="https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/pages/planting-trees" target="_blank">planting trees</a> in areas affected by deforestation and fires. The boxes flatten for shipping to regional filling locations, reducing the companies carbon footprint by using one truck for every 26 trucks needed for shipping plastic bottles.</p>
Buddy Fruits<p>Some companies would like to use more sustainable packaging but feel the nature of their product makes it difficult or impossible with available options. Recycling facilities can't accept the flexible plastic pouches Buddy Fruits uses for their small-batch fresh fruit purees. Sustainability is an important part of their brand, but the highly perishable product needs to be as airtight as possible. While searching for a more sustainable and equally secure alternative, BuddyFruits has partnered with <a href="https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/honest-kids" target="_blank">TerraCycle</a>. Terracycle collects and recycles hard to recycle products and makes new materials and products. Buddy Fruits customers can request an envelope from TerraCycle to ship-in their empty pouches. Many other food and beverage companies, like <a href="https://www.whiteleafprovision.com/pages/terracycle" target="_blank">White</a><a href="https://www.whiteleafprovision.com/pages/terracycle" target="_blank"> Leaf</a><a href="https://www.whiteleafprovision.com/pages/terracycle" target="_blank"> Provi</a><a href="https://www.whiteleafprovision.com/pages/terracycle" target="_blank">sions</a>, partner with TerraCycle for the same reasons as Buddy Fruits.</p>
Celestial Tea<p>Celestial Tea does not use strings, staples, and individual wrappers for its tea bags. The company says these practices prevent 3.5 million pounds of landfill material a year. Celestial's tea bags are compostable, and their outer boxes are made with 100 percent recycled paperboard.</p>
Don Maslow Coffee<p><a href="https://sprudge.com/the-truth-about-compostable-coffee-bags-105358.html" target="_blank">Several companies</a> sell coffee in bags that claim to be compostable but are not actually certified for composting. These bags use non-compostable plastic parts to keep them airtight. Fully compostable bags without these parts are also available, but they can't keep the coffee fresh for as long. A couple years ago, <a href="https://elevatepackaging.com/" target="_blank">Elevate Packaging</a> released the first coffee bag with compostable zippers and valves. Now Dan Maslow Coffee is one of the first to sell products in these <a href="https://donmaslowcoffee.com/blogs/sustainability/elevate-packaging" target="_blank">certified compostable bags</a>.</p>
GF Harvest<p>Instant meals are convenient in today's busy society, but they use <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/14/meal-kits-cut-food-waste-but-packaging-is-a-problem-study-finds" target="_blank">lots of packaging</a>. GF Harvest offers sustainable to-go option with their <a href="http://glutenfreeoats.com/go/" target="_blank">GoPack</a> oatmeal bowls. The <a href="https://ecotensil.com/newsletters/where-sustainability-meets-grab-n-go-packaging/" target="_blank">recyclable bowls</a> are made from the <a href="https://www.graphicpkg.com/products/integraflex/" target="_blank">IntegraFlex collapsible cup</a>, with a rigid outer carton and an inner liner. The packaging comes flat to save space. When the customer is ready to eat, they prop up the outer layer into a bowl and add hot water. GoPacks come with a wrapped <a href="https://ecotensil.com/about/sustainability/" target="_blank">paper spoon</a> that is partially made from FSC certified paper and is recyclable wherever coffee cups are recyclable.</p>
Guayaki<p>This sustainability-focused yerba mate company is constantly seeking to reduce their packaging's environmental impact. It has been a difficult and on-going process — they identify packaging as the largest contributor to their overall GHG emissions. <a href="https://guayaki.com/regeneration-business-model/" target="_blank">Almost all</a> of Guyaki's packaging is recyclable bottles and cans, and they sell their loose leaf yerba mate in compostable <a href="http://www.biomasspackaging.com/brands/natureflex/" target="_blank">Natureflex</a> bags. They recently reduced their annual packaging use by 44,000 pounds by eliminating the overwrap and tea string from their single-use mate bags. A large portion of their cans are made of half previously recycled aluminum and use 95 percent less energy than conventional aluminum cans.</p>
Honest Tea<p>Honest Tea has <a href="https://www.c2ccertified.org/get-certified/product-certification" target="_blank">Cradle to Cradle</a> certification on their glass bottles. The certification indicates high marks in several sustainable indicators: use of reutilized materials, water stewardship, material safety, and use of renewable energy. Honest Tea is also in the process of rolling out new Tetra Pak packaging for their line of kids juices. <a href="https://www.tetrapak.com/us/sustainability/carton-recycling" target="_blank">Tetra Pak</a> is 75 percent FSC certified carton, and the rest is a mixture of plastic polymers and aluminum. Numerous <a href="http://tpcomprod.blob.core.windows.net/static/in/documents/good%20for%20you,%20good%20for%20the%20earth.pdf" target="_blank">studies</a> have found that the life-cycle GHG emissions of Tetra Pak is generally the lowest of packaging types. But not all recycling programs accept mixed material cartons like Tetra Pak, and <a href="http://www.exchangeorcas.org/non-recyclable-item-of-the-month-tetrapak/" target="_blank">some</a> that do end up sending the cartons to the dump or incinerator.</p>
Love the Wild<p>After a year of development and testing, Loving the Wild recently <a href="https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2019/03/13/Seafood-kit-company-LoveTheWild-overhauls-its-packaging-branding-to-further-its-sustainability-mission" target="_blank">released</a> a compostable tray for their line of ready-to-cook sustainable seafood meals. The tray is certified compostable and made from plant-based plastic. Loving the Wild will come out with a microwaveable version later this year.</p>
Loving Earth<p>Loving Earth's <a href="https://www.econicpack.com/econic-enhances-the-sustainability-of-loving-earth-chocolate/" target="_blank">chocolate bar</a> and <a href="https://www.econicpack.com/econic-packaging-launched-by-loving-earth/" target="_blank">superfood bar</a> packaging is made with <a href="https://www.econicpack.com/products/" target="_blank">Econic</a>, a compostable film derived from FSC certified wood pulp and non-gmo corn. Their chocolate boxes and line of boxed cereals <a href="https://m.lovingearth.net/blog/blog/2016/02/17/sustainable-packaging/" target="_blank">are made of</a> 100 percent recycled wood fibers. The inner bag of the cereal boxes is made from Econic. All of Loving Earth's products use non-toxic vegetable-based printing ink to prevent contamination of water supplies and compost piles. Loving Earth has also taken a sustainable packaging approach to all most all of their <a href="https://lovingearth.net/our-products.html" target="_blank">wide range of other </a><a href="https://lovingearth.net/our-products.html" target="_blank">products</a>. </p>
Mindful Inc<p>Mindful Inc packages their organic tea lines in Tetra Pak with a plant-based cap. Tetra Pak offers this cap as an option to companies utilizing their technology. The <a href="https://innovationcreatesvalue.tetrapak.com/story/a-sweet-deal-on-caps/" target="_blank">cap</a> is made of plastic derived from sugarcane, and its production process has a smaller GHG footprint than conventional plastic caps.</p>
No Evil Foods<p>No Evil Foods' vegetarian meat alternatives come in <a href="https://www.packagingdigest.com/packaging-design/compostable-crafted-cartons-perform-for-artisan-food-brand-2017-09-25" target="_blank">compostable packaging</a> made by <a href="http://ipp.nl/kraftpak/?lang=en" target="_blank">Kraftpak</a> and are printed with plant-based ink. Previously, No Evil Foods used butcher paper with a non-biodegradable sticker, making it difficult to compost the butcher paper. Kraftpak is a biodegradable unbleached carton board that seals with water-soluble adhesives. The packaging unfolds like origami to mimic the unfolding of butcher paper. Kraftpak is also certified for recycling.</p>
Numi Organic Teas<p><a href="https://numitea.com/eco-responsibility/" target="_blank">'</a><a href="https://numitea.com/eco-responsibility/" target="_blank">E</a><a href="https://numitea.com/eco-responsibility/" target="_blank">co-responsible packaging'</a> is part of Numi's environmentally and socially conscious business model. Their efforts include opting for biodegradable non-gmo filter-paper tea bags instead of nylon bags, using boxes made of 85 percent recycled paper products, and using soy-based inks. They are working with 30 other companies to develop the first home-compostable, plant-based, non-gmo material overwrap for tea bags. Also, Numi sells gift boxes made of bamboo, a more <a href="https://www.bamboogrove.com/why-bamboo-save-planet.html" target="_blank">sustainable</a> alternative to slower growing trees. In their last annual sustainability audit, Numi <a href="https://numitea.com/impactreport/" target="_blank">calculated</a> that their packaging choices conserved 5,000 trees, 659 thousand pounds of GHG emissions, 4 million gallons of water, and 317 thousand pounds of waste.</p>
Saltwater Brewery<p>The six-pack rings on this brewery's beers are 100 percent biodegradable and edible. Saltwater is one of a handful of breweries now using <a href="https://www.e6pr.com/" target="_blank">Eco Six Pack Rings</a> technology. Saltwater makes the rings from barley and wheat ribbons leftover from brewing. The rings compost within a few days. On open land and in the ocean, the rings decompose in a few weeks. The rings are not <a href="https://earth911.com/eco-tech/eco-friendly-six-pack-rings/" target="_blank">recommended</a> for consumption, but animals can safely eat them. But if left to decompose in an open area, the rings can still potentially entrap marine life and other animals.</p>
Strauss Family Creamery<p>For 25 years, Strauss Family Creamery has <a href="https://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/pioneering-straus-family-creamery-celebrates-25-years-of-commitment-to-the-planet-farmers-and-food/" target="_blank">packaged</a> organic milk in reusable glass bottles made with up to 30 percent recycled glass. Customers <a href="https://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/pioneering-straus-family-creamery-celebrates-25-years-of-commitment-to-the-planet-farmers-and-food/" target="_blank">can</a> rinse their bottles and return them to the store where purchased to get back a US$2.00 deposit. Strauss then takes the bottles back to their facilities to reuse the bottles an average of five times before recycling them. The company has an 80 percent return rate on bottles, keeping about 500,000 pounds of milk containers and plastic out of landfills each year.</p>
By Mark R. O'Brian
People eat animals that eat plants. If we just eliminate that middle step and eat plants directly, we would diminish our carbon footprint, decrease agricultural land usage, eliminate health risks associated with red meat and alleviate ethical concerns over animal welfare. For many of us, the major hurdle to executing this plan is that meat tastes good. Really good. By contrast, a veggie burger tastes like, well, a veggie burger. It does not satisfy the craving because it does not look, smell or taste like beef. It does not bleed like beef.