It has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Many people are now trying to minimize their sugar intake, but it's easy to underestimate how much you're actually consuming.
One of the reasons is that many foods contain hidden sugars, including some foods that you wouldn't even consider to be sweet.
In fact, even products marketed as "light" or "low fat" often contain more sugar than their regular counterparts.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women limit their added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day, while men should limit their intake to 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams).
Here are 18 foods and drinks that contain way more sugar than you'd think.
1. Low Fat Yogurt
Yogurt can be highly nutritious. However, not all yogurt is created equal.
Like many other low fat products, low fat yogurts have sugar added to them to enhance flavor.
For example, a single cup (245 grams) of low fat yogurt can contain over 45 grams of sugar, which is about 11 teaspoons. This is more than the daily limit for men and women in just a single cup of "healthy" yogurt.
Furthermore, low fat yogurt doesn't seem to have the same health benefits as full fat yogurt.
It's best to choose full fat, natural, or Greek yogurt. Avoid yogurt that has been sweetened with sugar.
2. Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce
Barbecue (BBQ) sauce can make a tasty marinade or dip.
However, 2 tablespoons (around 28 grams) of sauce can contain around 9 grams of sugar. This is over 2 teaspoons worth.
In fact, around 33% of the weight of BBQ sauce may be pure sugar.
If you're liberal with your servings, this makes it easy to consume a lot of sugar without meaning to.
To make sure you aren't getting too much, check the labels and choose the sauce with the least amount of added sugar. Also, remember to watch your portions.
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments worldwide, but — like BBQ sauce — it's often loaded with sugar.
Try to be mindful of your portion size when using ketchup, and remember that a single tablespoon of ketchup contains nearly 1 teaspoon of sugar.
4. Fruit Juice
Like whole fruit, fruit juice contains some vitamins and minerals.
However, despite seeming like a healthy choice, these vitamins and minerals come with a large dose of sugar and very little fiber.
It usually takes a lot of fruit to produce a single glass of fruit juice, so you get much more sugar in a glass of juice than you would get by eating whole fruit. This makes it easy to consume a large amount of sugar quickly.
In fact, there can be just as much sugar in fruit juice as there is in a sugary drink like Coke. The poor health outcomes that have been convincingly linked to sugary soda may also be linked to fruit juices.
It's best to choose whole fruit and minimize your intake of fruit juices.
5. Spaghetti Sauce
Added sugars are often hidden in foods that we don't even consider to be sweet, such as spaghetti sauce.
All spaghetti sauces will contain some natural sugar given that they're made with tomatoes.
However, many spaghetti sauces contain added sugar as well.
The best way to ensure you aren't getting any unwanted sugar in your pasta sauce is to make your own.
However, if you need to buy premade spaghetti sauce, check the label and pick one that either doesn't have sugar on the ingredient list or has it listed very close to the bottom. This indicates that it's not a major ingredient.
6. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks can often be mistaken as a healthy choice for those who exercise.
However, sports drinks are designed to hydrate and fuel trained athletes during prolonged, intense periods of exercise.
For this reason, they contain high amounts of added sugars that can be quickly absorbed and used for energy.
Sports drinks are therefore categorized as sugary drinks. Like soda and fruit juice, they've also been linked to obesity and metabolic disease.
Unless you're a marathon runner or elite athlete, you should probably just stick to water while exercising. It's by far the best choice for most of us.
7. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is milk that has been flavored with cocoa and sweetened with sugar.
Milk itself is a very nutritious drink. It's a rich source of nutrients that are great for bone health, including calcium and protein.
However, despite having all the nutritious qualities of milk, an 8-ounce (230-mL) glass of chocolate milk comes with an extra 11.4 grams (2.9 teaspoons) of added sugar.
Granola is often marketed as a low fat health food, despite being high in both calories and sugar.
The main ingredient in granola is oats. Plain rolled oats are a well-balanced cereal containing carbs, protein, fat, and fiber.
However, the oats in granola have been combined with nuts and honey or other added sweeteners, which increases the amount of sugar and calories.
In fact, 100 grams of granola contain around 400–500 calories and nearly 5–7 teaspoons of sugar.
If you like granola, try choosing one with less added sugar or making your own. You can also add it as a topping to fruit or yogurt rather than pouring a whole bowl.
9. Flavored Coffees
Flavored coffee is a popular trend, but the amount of hidden sugars in these drinks can be staggering.
In some coffeehouse chains, a large flavored coffee or coffee drink can contain 45 grams of sugar, if not much more. That's equivalent to about 11 teaspoons of added sugar per serving.
Considering the strong link between sugary drinks and poor health, it's probably best to stick to coffee without any flavored syrups or added sugar.
10. Iced Tea
Iced tea is usually sweetened with sugar or flavored with syrup.
It's popular in various forms and flavors around the world, and this means the sugar content can vary slightly.
Most commercially prepared iced teas will contain around 35 grams of sugar per 12-ounce (340-mL) serving. This is about the same as a bottle of Coke.
If you like tea, pick regular tea or choose iced tea that doesn't have any sugars added.
11. Protein Bars
Protein bars are a popular snack.
Foods that contain protein have been linked to increased feelings of fullness, which can aid weight loss.
This has led people to believe that protein bars are a healthy snack.
While there are some healthier protein bars on the market, many contain around 20 grams of added sugar, making their nutritional content similar to that of a candy bar.
When choosing a protein bar, read the label and avoid those that are high in sugar. You can also eat a high protein food such as yogurt instead.
Vitaminwater is marketed as a healthy drink that contains added vitamins and minerals.
However, like many other "health drinks," Vitaminwater comes with a large amount of added sugar.
As such, despite all the health claims, it's wise to avoid Vitaminwater as much as possible.
You could opt for Vitaminwater zero, the sugar-free version. It's made with artificial sweeteners instead.
That said, plain water or sparkling water are much healthier choices if you're thirsty.
13. Premade Soup
Soup isn't a food that you generally associate with sugar.
When it's made with fresh whole ingredients, it's a healthy choice and can be a great way to increase your vegetable consumption without much effort.
The vegetables in soups have naturally occurring sugars, which are fine to eat given that they're usually present in small amounts and alongside lots of other beneficial nutrients.
However, many commercially prepared soups have a lot of added ingredients, including sugar.
To check for added sugars in your soup, look at the ingredient list for names such as:
- barley malt
- high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other syrups
The higher up on the list an ingredient is, the higher its content in the product. Watch out for when manufacturers list small amounts of different sugars, as that's another sign the product could be high in total sugar.
14. Breakfast Cereal
Cereal is a popular, quick, and easy breakfast food.
However, the cereal you choose could greatly affect your sugar consumption, especially if you eat it every day.
Some breakfast cereals, particularly those marketed at children, have lots of added sugar. Some contain 12 grams, or 3 teaspoons of sugar in a small 34-gram (1.2-ounce) serving.
Check the label and try choosing a cereal that's high in fiber and doesn't contain added sugar.
Better yet, wake up a few minutes earlier and cook a quick healthy breakfast with a high protein food like eggs. Eating protein for breakfast can help you lose weight.
15. Cereal Bars
For on-the-go breakfasts, cereal bars can seem like a healthy and convenient choice.
However, like other "health bars," cereal bars are often just candy bars in disguise. Many contain very little fiber or protein and are loaded with added sugar.
16. Canned Fruit
All fruit contains natural sugars. However, some canned fruit is peeled and preserved in sugary syrup. This processing strips the fruit of its fiber and adds a lot of unnecessary sugar to what should be a healthy snack.
The canning process can also destroy heat-sensitive vitamin C, although most other nutrients are well preserved.
Whole, fresh fruit is best. If you want to eat canned fruit, look for one that's been preserved in juice rather than syrup. Juice has a slightly lower amount of sugar.
17. Canned Baked Beans
Baked beans are another savory food that's often surprisingly high in sugar.
A cup (254 grams) of regular baked beans contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar.
If you like baked beans, you can choose low sugar versions. They can contain about half the amount of sugar found in regular baked beans.
18. Premade Smoothies
Blending fruits with milk or yogurt in the morning to make yourself a smoothie can be a great way to start your day.
However, not all smoothies are healthy.
Many commercially produced smoothies come in large sizes and can be sweetened with ingredients like fruit juice, ice cream, or syrup. This increases their sugar content.
Some of them contain ridiculously high amounts of calories and sugar, with over 54 grams (13.5 teaspoons) of sugar in a single 16-ounce or 20-ounce serving.
For a healthy smoothie, check the ingredients and make sure you watch your portion size.
The Bottom Line
Added sugars aren't a necessary part of your diet. Although small amounts are fine, they can cause serious harm if eaten in large amounts on a regular basis.
The best way to avoid hidden sugars in your meals is to make them at home so you know exactly what's in them.
However, if you need to buy prepackaged food, make sure you check the label to identify any hidden added sugars, especially when buying foods from this list.
- Want to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet? Here's How - EcoWatch ›
- The 18 Most Addictive Foods (and the 17 Least Addictive) - EcoWatch ›
Whether you've been taking daily vitamins since childhood or you've decided it's time to supplement your diet with the essential nutrients of a multivitamin, more and more adults are relying on subscription services to deliver their daily nutrition.
From personalized vitamins to adaptogenic mushroom powders, there's a vitamin subscription company that meets your needs. Let's break down the differences between some of the leading vitamin subscription companies so you can choose the best brand for you and the environment.
What are Vitamin Supplements?
Vitamins are nutrients that our body cannot manufacture by itself, yet are essential for its proper functioning. Under ideal circumstances, you should obtain these vitamins through a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. However, multivitamin supplements can work to compliment your diet and provide you with complete nutrition. Some supplements provide a single nutrient or vitamin while others contain a complete range of vitamins and minerals to help support your body. A vitamin subscription allows you to set up a recurring delivery schedule for your daily vitamin supplement to ensure that you never run out, while also allowing you to choose the right types of supplements for you.
Our Top Picks for the Best Vitamin Subscription Brands
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall - GEM Daily Essentials
- Best for Personalization - Care/of
- Best for Heart Health - CocoaVia Heart & Brain Capsules
- Best Plant-Based - Vital Plan Daily Herbal
- Best for Sports Nutrition - Onnit Total Human Complete Supplement Packs
- Best for Energy - Beekeeper's Naturals B.Fueled Bee Pollen
- Best Vitamin Powder - NutraOne Vitality Powder
- Best for Immune System - Global Healing Plant-Based Immune Support
- Best Omega-3 - Sunwarrior Algae-Based Omega-3
- Best for Women - Ritual Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+
How We Chose the Best Vitamin Subscriptions
There are a number of factors to consider when committing to a vitamin subscription. Here are a few of the key features that we prioritized in making our list.
- Options: Vitamins and supplements can aid in filling gaps of what you need but aren't getting from your diet. Everyone's needs are different, whether you're pregnant, an older adult, or have medical afflictions such as immune or vitamin-deficiency issues. So having a wide variety of products to choose from can make the difference between a vitamin pack supplier being a go-to, or a hard pass.
- Ingredients: Vitamins and supplements come from raw materials, and it's important to know how they source those ingredients. With that information in mind, you need to look for a company that does not include fillers, additives, or preservatives in products.
- Testing: Daily vitamins have to be tested to ensure purity, efficacy, and bioavailability of ingredients. Expertise can not be improvised, and some brands even run several tests on their products before making them available.
- Sustainability: If it's helping you, it should help the planet in the process. Suppliers that work with vegan, natural, organic, and even reusable packaging are a win-win on this matter. Since you will be getting their product delivered regularly, it is an important consideration. We also looked for companies committed to higher standards in their sourcing and manufacturing practices.
- Cost: Depending on the number of recommended supplements, costs might vary from as low as $1 or less per day (in products with small batches) to up to $6 or $7 per day. Keep in mind that access to personalized knowledge centers can be included in some of the plans, and you will receive nutrition and wellness insights and dietary assessments.
10 Best Vitamin Subscription Brands 2021
Best Overall: GEM Daily Essentials
GEM is unlike any other supplement subscription on the market. Instead of sending powders or pills, your monthly GEM delivery contains chewable nutrition bites made with whole-food ingredients like spirulina, chia seeds, quinoa and dates. These are real food supplements made with plant-based ingredients.
Why buy: Their ingredients are carefully selected from trusted sources for maximum nutritional benefits and minimal processing. Each bite looks like something you could mix up in a food processor at home. We also love that your first month is delivered in a refillable tin and every subsequent month's bites come in a compostable pouch for waste-free packaging.
Best for Personalization: Care/of
Care/of has made a loud and public commitment to increasing the sustainability of their single-serving, daily dose personalized vitamins. The brand recently switched to fully compostable, plant-based packaging, the first step on their way towards a more sustainable business. Their basic multivitamin starts at $15, but you can also take a quiz for a personalized mix of daily vitamins.
Why buy: We like that Care/of offers both western-style letter vitamins and traditional ayurvedic herbs like ashwagandha and reishi for those looking for alternative solutions.The brand is also transparent about its sourcing from around the world, and it maintains close relationships with the producers who supply their products.
Best for Heart Health: CocoaVia Heart & Brain Capsules
CocoaVia Heart & Brain supplements are meant to improve cardiovascular health, brain health, and overall wellness. Each CocoaVia serving (2 capsules) contains 450 mg of cocoa flavanols, which is the beneficial nutrient found in dark chocolate. This is a plant-based nutrient proven to improve heart and brain health when consumed daily at high levels.
Why buy: We like that CocoaVia capsules are backed by 20 years of research and over 30 clinical studies, and they are independently lab tested for quality. CocoaVia also partners with family farmers in Indonesia and carefully extracts the cocoa flavanols from the plant to maintain the true essence of the natural crop.
Best Plant-Based: Vital Plan Daily Herbalvitalplan.com
Vital Plan was founded in North Carolina by Dr. Bill Rawls after he sought a more natural and holistic treatment for his chronic pain. An expert in modern herbology, Dr. Rawls formulated botanical herbal therapies that use high-quality, hand picked ingredients that are backed by clinical research and tested by third-party labs.
Why buy: We like Vital Plan's Daily Herbal supplement because it is a physician-formulated herbal supplement that can naturally support total body wellness. Vital Plan is also a certified B corp, an Environmental Working Group supporter, and a Pledge 1% member.
Best for Sports Nutrition: Onnit Total Human Complete Supplement Packs
Onnit Total Human Complete Supplement Packs are designed to deliver all of the vitamins and minerals you need to perform at your best in a convenient form. Instead of providing a single multivitamin, these supplements are divided into one pack for daytime support and another for nighttime support to give your body the nutrients it needs when it needs them.
Why buy: We like that Onnit Total Human packs offer different groups of clinically-researched vitamins and nutrients for different times of the day. The Day Pack includes support for focus, energy, and endurance while the Night Pack is meant to help with relaxation, rest, and recovery.
Best for Energy: Beekeeper's Naturals B.Fueled Bee Pollen
Beekeeper's Naturals offers a subscription option for their B.Fueled Bee Pollen supplement that can provide protein and B vitamins to help keep you going. This sustainably sourced raw wildflower bee pollen also contains free forming amino acids and antioxidants that can give you an energy boost for workouts or busy days.
Why buy: We love that Beekeeper's Naturals offers an easy way to enjoy "nature's multivitamin" with this sustainably sourced bee pollen. It contains wildflower bee pollen and nothing else, for a clean source of energy with no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, gluten, wheat, corn, dairy, or soy.
Best Vitamin Powder: NutraOne Vitality Powder
NutraOne Vitality Powder delivers all of your daily vitamins, minerals, and even digestive enzymes, in a convenient and highly-absorbable powder. You can mix in a scoop of powder with a glass of water each day to help boost your energy, immune system, metabolism, and support strong bones.
Why buy: We like that this multivitamin powder also includes digestive enzymes to help promote better digestive health so you get more nutrients from the foods you eat. NutraOne Vitality Powder can also help boost your metabolism to help you manage blood sugar, blood pressure, inflammation, and mood. It's also naturally sweetened with stevia leaf extract
Best for Immune System: Global Healing Plant-Based Immune Boost
This Global Healing Plant-Based Immune Support supplement offers a natural way to help support your immune system with USDA organic herbs, mushrooms, and aromatics. This all-in-one formula contains ingredients like organic elderberry, echinacea, enokitake mushrooms, birch polypore mushrooms, olive leaf, and pine bark.
Why buy: We like this liquid vitamin supplement from Global Healing because it is USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and not tested on animals. This plant-based formula makes it easy to help boost your immune response by taking one serving per day. You can even mix it into juices or smoothies.
Best for Omega-3s: Sunwarrior Algae-Based Omega-3
Sunwarrior offers a unique omega-3 supplement that is a great alternative to traditional fish oil. They go straight to the source and derive their omega-3 DHA and EPA from sustainably-grown and harvested algae. These vegan softgels can help support heart, brain, eye, and joint health with plant-based nutrients.
Why buy: We love that Sunwarrior Algae-Based Omega-3 supplements provide a completely plant-based alternative to fish oil supplements. Use these softgels to get all of the benefits of omega-3 DHA and EPA fatty acids from a source that is better for our oceans and planet.
Best for Women: Ritual Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+
We like that Ritual makes all of its sources and suppliers fully traceable and available to consumers. Its website details the backstory of each carefully-sourced ingredient and the human supplier. This level of transparency is hard to find in the supplement world, and really sets Ritual apart.
Why buy: This women-founded and led business takes female health seriously and provides nuanced and targeted supplements to uniquely meet women's' nutritional needs. Their daily vitamin supplements are vegan, gluten-free, allergy-free, non-GMO, and free of synthetic fillers.
What to Look for in a Vitamin Subscription Service
These days, there are more and more daily vitamin packs available. Dietary supplements are just another industry that has jumped onto the subscription train. As a consumer, it can be hard to cut through the noise around vitamins, supplements, superfood powders, prenatal, and other "good for you" dietary additions.
How can you be sure that a vitamin subscription service is right for you and reach your health goals? There are a few things to look out for.
First, where does the company source its ingredients? Just like with food, where your vitamins come from matters. And because there aren't strict governmental regulations on supplements, it's even more important to investigate how transparent your vitamin brand is.
Look for a brand that promises to include no fillers, additives, or preservatives in their products. Gluten-free and corn-free vitamins is also a good sign, as corn and wheat are often used as fillers to bulk up pills without any nutritional benefit.
Many of the brands below offer full transparency about where their products come from and even the specific suppliers they work with. You should check each ingredient of each vitamin in your subscription box.
The other important question to consider from a sustainability perspective is packaging. If you're having vitamins delivered to your home every 30 days, tiny plastic bottles, lids, cardboard, and bubble wrap can add up quickly.
Several companies listed below offer refillable packaging and use only materials that can be reused, recycled, and often composted. Choose from a brand that wants to deliver a daily dose in as little plastic as possible.
What are the Benefits of a Vitamin Subscription?
These services provide customized nutrients in convenient packs for daily health and wellness improvement. Not only can they give you more targeted dietary recommendations, they can help you identify any deficiencies that you can correct with a supplement to optimize your health. Not to mention that they offer the convenience of delivering your personalized supplement packs directly to you. And with a subscription, you'll never run out of your daily vitamins.
Should You Take Vitamin Supplements?
Whether you're looking for a complete vitamin recommendation, like prenatal vitamins, to control allergies by caring for your immune health, to lose weight, or trying to correct for a vitamin deficiency, there's a vitamin subscription for you. There are daily vitamin packs that can boost every type of person and every type of health goal. And with a personalized vitamin pack, you can get a curated supply of supplements that will best work with your body's needs.
What are Some of the Most Common Vitamin Supplements?
If you don't know where to start, here are some of the most crucial vitamins the body needs to function:
Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in a number of bodily functions, and can help improve a range of ailments and conditions, including poor bone health, type 1 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.
Magnesium: Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve functioning, and it has been recently touted for its ability to reduce the frequency and symptoms of migraine, headaches, as well as improving sleep.
Fish Oil: This supplement contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help In everything from cardiovascular health and brain functioning to arthritis and inflammation.
Vitamin C: Researchers have found that vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which can lower the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration. It also plays an important role in the immune system.
When selecting a vitamin subscription service to commit to, it's important to consider everything from the ingredients to the packaging materials. Some subscriptions use a simple questionnaire and an algorithm to pick your vitamin regimen. Others may ask you to submit to a blood test or DNA test. How personalized you want your program to be is up to you.
We recommend consulting a healthcare professional or registered dietician if you're making any major decisions about your health. Also take into considerations any potential allergens or the availability to supporting health products at your local drugstore to build out your routine.
Lizzy Briskin is the founder of Earthen Food Co. She is a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who helps people eat more mindfully for themselves and the environment, without overthinking it.
CBD, or cannabidiol, now comes in a variety of different forms, including CBD oils, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and even water soluble CBD powders. You can also use CBD vape oil like you would any other vape juice. Our guide to the best CBD vape oils will help you identify the top brands to consider and will provide important information about CBD, vaping, and wellness.
What is CBD Vape Oil?
CBD can be vaporized and inhaled. To that end, many companies offer CBD vaping products, sometimes referred to as CBD vape juice, CBD vape pens, or CBD vape cartridges. These products normally come as disposable or refillable cartridges for vape pens . The vape pen vaporizes the specially made CBD contained in the cartridge, which is then inhaled. It is the same principle behind e-cigarettes and THC vape products.
Vaporization is normally considered a potent way to ingest CBD and so it is not for everyone. Because the vapor is inhaled, the molecule enters the bloodstream much quicker, so vaping produces a fast and relatively intense feeling.
While CBD vape oil may be used as an aid to help you quit smoking, we do not recommend smoking or vaping CBD as your primary method of ingesting CBD because of the health concerns associated with smoking. For alternative methods of taking CBD, check out our oil tincture and CBD gummy reviews.
Note that new federal laws went into in effect starting April 2021 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, that place new regulations and restrictions around the online sale and delivery of all vaping products. In order to purchase any vape product online, you will need to verify your age and use a shipping service that requires an adult signature upon delivery. As a result, several brands have discontinued their CBD vape pens or no longer sell them online.
Top CBD Vape Oil Products for 2021
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
How We Chose the Best CBD Vape Oils
Here is a list of factors we consider when choosing and ranking our brand selection.
Hemp source - Hemp source is one of the most important parts of the CBD manufacturing process. We make sure to only pick companies that grow hemp according to the most up-to-date botanical and cultivation methods. We also make sure to choose companies that use organically grown, locally-sourced hemp.
Extraction process - There are three primary types of extraction for CBD products. The first involves crushing the leaves and stems and removing the residual mixture. Solvent extraction involves running the hemp plant through a solvent mixture (most of the time ethanol) then boiling away the solvent to leave the oil residue. The last common method is called supercritical CO2 extraction. Supercritical CO2 extraction is considered the gold standard when it comes to CBD production. As such, we try to find companies that use supercritical methods for their products.
Manufacturing standards - There are several third-party organizations that vet companies based on manufacturing standards and the quality/accuracy of their products. These agencies test company products to make sure that they are made properly and actually contain what they are advertised to contain. As such, we only choose products and companies that have readily accessible third-party lab reports ascertaining the quality of ingredients and production. Any company that does not provide this information for consumers is automatically excluded from consideration.
Extra ingredients - CBD products rarely contain just CBD and nothing else. Many contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids and other molecules such as terpenes. Some may contain delta-8 THC. We make sure that any companies we choose use all-natural ingredients and do not rely on any synthetic or artificial chemicals. We also look at the type and quality of alternative ingredients
Potency - Potency, or concentration, refers to the overall strength of the mixture. Potency is normally measured in milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml). Most of the time a product will list the potency on the label along with the quantity and volume of the product. Potency is very important because it determines the recommended dose that you should take.
Brand transparency - It is important when dealing with CBD companies that the brand is transparent about their products, methods, and supply chains. So, when looking for companies, we make sure only to pick those that have reliable and transparent business practices, product labelings, and company information/policies.
Customer reviews and testimonials - The last major factor we consider is customer reviews and testimonials. Customer reviews encompass more than just the quality of products. They also talk about how it is to interact with the company and the overall company experience. Customer reviews can also give insights in specific matters that general product descriptions cannot give. They also give a good indication of the public reputation of a company.
The Best CBD Vape Oils of 2021
Best Overall: CBDistillery CBD E-Liquid
- CBD - Broad Spectrum
- Strength - 1000 mg CBD per bottle
- Flavor - Mango
Best for Relaxation: Botany Farms CBG Vape Cartridge
- CBD - Full Spectrum (includes Delta-8 THC)
- Strength - 35% CBD, 25% CBG, 9% Delta-8 THC, 7% CBN, 7% CBC per 1 gram
- Flavor - Lemon Diesel
Why buy: This Botany Farms CBG vape cartridge offers a full spectrum blend of CBD and other cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC, for a calming and relaxing experience with a bright, citrusy flavor. Because it does contain full spectrum hemp extract and delta-8, we strongly recommend only using this product to relax in the evenings and that you do not drive after use.
The Research on CBD Vape Oils
CBD has become an interesting object of study by scientists because of its potential therapeutic and medicinal properties. CBD may help support relief from certain health conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Joint pain
Out of all these effects, the potential pain reducing and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are the most well-established. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and has also been shown to be to help with pain management in certain cases.
The exact mechanism of action of CBD is through the body's endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a large network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body's brain and nervous tissue. Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is involved in mediating several homeostatic processes in the body.
To be clear, CBD is not medicine and is not generally approved by the FDA for medical use. CBD is not intended to serve as a substitute or replacement for any approved medical treatment and CBD is not known to cure any diseases.
In fact, there are only 2 FDA-approved medicines that contain CBD as their active ingredient, both of which are meant to treat certain forms of epilepsy. Since CBD is not approved for medical use, you should always talk to your doctor first before using a CBD product.
How to Choose the Right CBD Vape Oil
With any CBD vape juice or oil, it's important to make sure that you choose a product that is safe and made using quality, natural ingredients. Make sure you consider these factors when shopping.
What to Look For
Here are the key things to look for when comparing CBD vape oil products:
Type of CBD: Always known the type of CBD contained in any CBD vape oil product, whether that's full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
Hemp Source: Look for brands that source their hemp from organic farms in the United States.
Lab Testing: The most important factor to consider is independent third-party lab testing. You should never purchase a CBD product that does not offer proof of independent testing.
Instructions: Some CBD vape cartridges will include specific instructions on how to to use them with your existing vape pen or device, as well as if they can be mixed with other e-liquids.
How to Read Labels
Take the time to read the label of any CBD vape juice product before you buy. Always look for the following information.
- Strength - Check to see how much CBD is contained in the product so you know how much will be in each serving.
- Other Ingredients - Make sure you know what other cannabinoids or ingredients are included in the vape, especially if you are concerned about THC.
- Test Results - The best brands include links or QR codes to the certificates of analysis from the lab tests of their CBD. Use these to check the results for yourself.
Safety & Side Effects
CBD can cause a certain number of side effects, though most of them are mild.. The most common reported side effects of CBD are:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Upset stomach
The most commonly reported side effect is fatigue and tiredness. CBD can also interact with certain prescription medications, so be sure to consult with your doctor before using CBD if you take any prescription medicines.
It's also important to note that vaping or smoking of any kind carries serious health risks. While vape oils may be used to aid in the cessation of smoking, it is not advised as the primary method of taking CBD.
You should always take the time to research any CBD product that you purchase, but this is especially important when it comes to CBD vape oils and CBD vape pens. You can also explore other CBD options including oil tinctures, gummies, capsules, and water soluble mixes in order to enjoy the potential benefits of CBD.
By Danielle Nierenberg
The food system accounts for more than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent study published in Nature Food.
But with every meal, consumers have the opportunity to make climate-friendly decisions that reduce their carbon footprint. From eating seasonally to adopting a plant-forward diet, Food Tank is highlighting nine ways to eat well and support the environment.
And tune in at 2:00 p.m. EDT on April 28 for Food Tank and Compass Group's Stop Food Waste Day. Chefs, policymakers, food system experts, and more will share impactful ways that everyone can reduce food loss and food waste and support the environment. Learn more and register here.
1. Eat Up
The best foods are the ones we don't waste at all. Most of us only eat the florets from vegetables like broccoli, but the leaves can be tasty as a side dish instead of spinach; they can be roasted with the florets; or sautéed with olive oil and salt and pepper. Or Chef Haile Thomas of The Happy Org suggests making pesto of almost anything that is wilting in your refrigerator—including surprising veggies like lettuce. Blended with walnuts or pine nuts and olive oil, lettuce pesto can be a delicious spread or used on pasta. You can hear more tips like this one from the Compass Group and Food Tank Stop Food Waste Day event.
2. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
Locally and regionally grown foods give eaters a chance to know who grows their food and the farming practices they use. Because regional food choices are not shipped hundreds or, even, thousands of miles, they tend to be more delicious. They have the extra benefit of contributing to the local economy. Let's not forget that local and regional farmers were able to pivot during the pandemic and were able to keep many of us fed.
3. Perennial Goodness
Perennial, those that don't need to be planted from year to year like annuals, have several benefits. According to The Land Institute perennials do not require annual plowing or herbicide applications to grow so they're better for the environment. Asparagus, grapes, artichokes, rhubarb and grains like Kernza are delicious ways to incorporate perennials into your meals and there's even a beer made from Kernza!
4. Eating Seasonally
Most of us are used to getting whatever foods we want at any time of year—whether it's strawberries in November or blueberries in February. According to FoodPrint in-season produce usually tastes better. And they say that seasonal food can be more nutritious than food consumed out of season.
5. Becoming Plant-Centric
From Meatless Mondays to Veganuary, there are a lot of campaigns encouraging eaters to consume less or no meat. And while going vegan or vegetarian may not be for everyone, there are lots of benefits to eating less eat a few days week. Chefs and advocates like Dan Barber have been advocating for years to make vegetables the centers of our plates with meat used sparingly, more like a condiment.
6. Supporting BIPOC, Asian, and Women-Owned Businesses
It's no secret that the pandemic has unveiled a lot of painful truths about inequity in the food system. Now is the time to recognize businesses that have lacked support and attention. Guides from Esquire, Vice, and Spoon University can let eaters know how to support these businesses.
7. Avoiding Big Meat, Dairy, and Eggs
The Double Pyramid created by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition highlights that foods that are the worst for human also can hurt planetary health. And industrial animal products are not only high on the pyramid, but they have a huge impact on workers—from those who work in factory farms to processing plants. Grass-fed and organic meat and dairy tend to have more Omega-3s and again, can support local economies.
8. Ditching Ultra-Processed Foods
While many of us have found comfort in cookies, chips, and other ultra-processed foods over the last year, these foods are high in fat, sodium, and sugar and low in nutrients. According to a recent study in JAMA Network Open, those of us who were under shelter-in-place orders gained about half a pound every 10 days or roughly two pounds per month. But not all processed foods are bad—canned foods, especially those made from produce from our gardens, can be a healthy and delicious way to save produce. And dehydrating and drying herbs and veggies can make our harvests last a long time.
9. Escape From the Cult of Fresh
While fresh fruits and vegetables are nutritious and delicious, overzealous buying at the grocery store or farmers market can mean that much of them go to waste. Frozen food sales, including vegetables, soared during the pandemic—they're convenient, easy to use, and because they're typically harvested and frozen at their peak, they maintain their nutritional value.
Danielle Nierenberg is the president of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world and innovations in sustainable agriculture.
Reposted with permission from Food Tank.
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As the winter weather wanes and we patiently wait for our backyard blossoms to appear, we can look forward to more than just the aesthetic appeal of spring flowers – but also their unexpected uses in the kitchen.
Throughout history, flowers have been both appreciated for their beauty and used for consumption, with the first recorded use of edible flowers in 140 B.C. Various indigenous tribes in North America have a long history of using native flowers for food and medicine, such as rosehips and the leaves and roots of violets; Victorians would prove their refinement by decorating cakes with candied flowers; the ancient Romans were known to garnish their dishes with rose petals, and carnations were a crucial ingredient of Chartreuse, a French liquor made by French monks in the 1600s.
While not as popular in the United States, flowers have a greater place at the table in other parts of the world: chrysanthemums were used in ancient China for pain relief and ceremonial drinks and still hold an important place in Chinese cooking, orange blossom water is a traditional North African beverage, and lotus and papaya flowers have played an important role in Indian cuisine.
Some of the flowers already growing in your backyard might have surprising – and tasteful! – culinary uses. Small flowers frozen into ice cubes are an attractive addition to ice water or cocktails, and candied blossoms – coated in a thin layer of sugar and egg whites – can add both flavor and beauty to desserts. Some flowers can even be fried, added to a salad, or incorporated into homemade ice cream.
Here are a few flowers you might already have growing in your backyard, and how to bring them into your kitchen this spring and summer.
Native to central and eastern North America, both the leaves and flowers of common blue violets can be eaten (the leaves are blander, the flowers sweeter).
Violet leaves are comparable to spinach in both texture and taste – containing twice the vitamin C of oranges and twice the vitamin A of spinach – and thus are delicious when cooked or used as a green in salads. Early summer leaves will have a softer, less bitter taste. The flowers too can be added to a salad for sweetness and a bit of color.
Violet flowers are also a delicious addition to desserts; violet sugar and violet flower syrup can preserve the sweet, floral taste from the delicate blossoms, and crystallized violets are an especially beautiful candied topping for desserts.
Marco Verch Professional Photographer / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
The large, florid flowers of the hibiscus plant range in color; white, yellow, pink, and red hibiscus can be found in tropical and subtropical environments, and are used both ornamentally and for medicinal and culinary purposes.
The tart petals of the flowering roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa)– native to parts of Africa, Asia, and India – are commonly used to make an infused hibiscus tea, served either hot or cold. Fresh or dried petals can be steeped in water to create a deep pink tea, made even more delicious by adding honey or lime.
Cooking with roses dates back to the Greeks, Romans and Persians, and is relatively common, given the many ways they can be eaten – and, of the 150 different rose varieties, all of them are edible! The sweet flavor is more pronounced in darker varieties, especially if the bitter center is removed.
Fresh petals are great for infusing honey or vinegar, garnishing a salad, mixing into fruit-laden water, or stirring into butter for a colorful spread. Rose-flavored desserts often call for fresh or dried petals, and homemade rose jam is a striking floral spread on fresh bread or biscuits. Petals can also be candied for cake toppings, dried for tea, or even added to granola for a sweeter taste and more aesthetic appearance.
Rosewater is a common phenomena – known for its soothing aroma and many health benefits – but try rosewater syrup for a stronger, sweeter flavor in spring cocktails, like a classic, pre-dinner rose and cucumber Collins.
Pansies have a "wintergreen," lettuce-like flavor, and are a colorful garnish for savory dishes – even pasta! – and fruit bowls alike. Their rather nondescript taste means you can use them rather generously in a pansy salad or a spinach quiche.
jchizhe / iStock / Getty Images
Dandelions are believed to have been brought to North America on the Mayflower and have since been a common, sunny fixture in American backyards. While many view dandelions as a nuisance, the flowers have been revered for their health benefits throughout history – including in traditional Chinese medicine – and are packed with vitamins.
Along with more common dandelion green salads – an oft-prepared meal during the Great Depression – a delicious dandelion wine can be brewed from these under-appreciated weeds. The drink (believed to be of Celtic origin) was once lauded for its therapeutic effect on the kidneys and digestive system. Typical dandelion wines combine sugar, acid of some kind, and other typical wine-making ingredients with the petals to create a rich, sweet, drink. Recipes call for different amounts of petals per gallon of wine (some only 2 quarts, or sometimes up to an entire gallon) so you can choose which version to pursue based on your yard's dandelion yield.
Dandelion honey is also a popular vegan alternative to the traditional honeybee variety.
Daylilies have been cultivated and used in Asian countries for millennia, and began spreading throughout Europe during the 1500's-1800's. In Chinese cuisine, dried lily buds – also known as gum jum choi, or "golden needles" – have been used for food and medicine for over 2,000 years.
The buds and flowers of daylilies taste, surprisingly, like asparagus, and can be stuffed and made into fritters, or added to soups and stir-fries. For a starchier option, dig up the roots to be baked, boiled, or prepared any way you would asparagus or celery. The roots – at their best in the late fall and winter – can even be served as a side dish in place of potatoes.
Daylilies are toxic to pets, so make sure to keep your plate to yourself.
7. Marigolds (Calendula)
HMVart / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Note: Flowers of Tagetes marigolds are not edible, but those of Calendula are.
The peppery taste of Marigolds (Calendula) paired with their vibrant hue makes for a flavorful pop of color in iced teas, a summer salad, or a buttery spread. They can even be incorporated into pastas or cookies, making them one of the more versatile edible backyard flowers.
Originally grown in the Mediterranean and northern Africa, lavender has a very distinctive aroma and is a delicious addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Either fresh or dried, the flower can be used in liqueurs, infused syrups, baked goods, and herbal mixtures/teas, or even incorporated into plum-colored cocktails.
Chocolate pairs especially well with their aromatic flower, and many lavender cake recipes call for fresh sprigs as an ingredient or edible garnish, perhaps served with a side of vanilla-lavender ice cream. Berries, citrus, and savory herbs are also excellent partners to lavender, leaving ample options to integrate it into your culinary repertoire.
These red, orange and yellow funnel-shaped flowers can be enjoyed either raw or cooked, and have a slightly spicy, peppery flavor (think watercress), although the greens carry a slightly stronger flavor than the blossoms. The flowers and leaves can be tossed with mixed greens for a sweet-and-spicy salad, and the buds and seeds can also be pickled like capers for a tangy snack.
For apartment-dwellers, nasturtiums can be easily grown on a fire escape, readily available to add a dash of flavor to your favorite summer dishes.
Along with their intoxicating scent, lilacs can be enjoyed in sweet treats by brewing your own lilac sugar, honey, or syrup. Their bright color and lemony taste lends itself well to summery drinks or as an addition to frozen yogurt.
Fresh petals can also be steeped to brew a hot drink reminiscent of earthy herbal teas.
Most flowers can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for up to 10 days when placed on a moist towel and stored in an airtight container.
Before heading outside to harvest, make sure any flowers you're cooking with are free of chemicals or pesticides. Since roadside blossoms have likely been exposed to pollutants, and flowers grown in nurseries or by florists have probably been treated with chemicals, it's safest to stick with only those you've grown yourself.
Always be sure to thoroughly research any flowers you plan on consuming to determine if they are safe to eat, and remove any inedible elements (stems, pistils, anthers, etc.). If you're prone to spring allergies, sprinkle those petals sparingly at first.
Flowers have long been a part of edible history. Armed with your new knowledge of efflorescent eating, you can enjoy your backyard garden with fresh appreciation this season!
Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Along with her most recent position at Hunger Free America, she has interned with the Sierra Club in Washington, DC., Saratoga Living Magazine, and Philadelphia's NPR Member Station, WHYY.
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By Sarah Reinhardt
When it comes to healthy eating, there's a lot we already know.
Just take a look at the scientific report issued by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group of scientific experts behind the newly released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At 835 pages, the report spans a rigorous review of current research on dozens of topics, from whether eating peanuts early in life reduces the likelihood of peanut allergies (it probably does), to how much added sugar we can eat and still maintain a healthy diet (way less than what we're eating now). It also outlines the broad contours of a healthy diet, which has changed little from past editions of the Dietary Guidelines: it's typically higher in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, lean meat and poultry, seafood, nuts, and unsalted vegetable oils, and lower in red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, and refined grains.
But food is more than just nutrition. We also know that food can affect the health of many people before it even reaches our plates. For example, pollution caused by fertilizer runoff from farms have left communities without access to safe drinking water, while many of the people who produce our food don't earn enough to afford healthy diets themselves. So, is it possible to eat in ways that promote health and produce better outcomes for our collective wellbeing, livelihoods, and natural resources? And what would it take to get us there?
These are complex questions, but critical ones—and if the federal government made it a national priority to answer them, we might have a chance at avoiding otherwise devastating consequences.
That's why leading experts and scientific bodies, including the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, are increasingly calling attention to the importance of research on sustainable diets. Though there is no official record of how much federal funding is currently supporting this field, funding for nutrition research across the board has remained stagnant for decades. Research funding at the intersection of food and agriculture issues, in particular, is decidedly inadequate to address the magnitude of the public health challenges before us, including climate change, threats to food security, and persistent poverty and health disparities.
Many, including UCS, are working to change that by advocating for greater government investment in sustainable diets research. Here are three of the most pressing questions that research can answer to enable more sustainable eating for all.
1. When it comes to healthy and environmentally sustainable diets, what exactly is on the menu?
Research on healthy and environmentally sustainable diets has seen extraordinary growth in recent years. According to UCS research, nearly 100 new scholarly articles were published on this topic between 2015 and 2019, including 22 articles focused specifically on US diets. For reference, that's more than four times the number of articles published on the same topic between 2000 and 2015—in about a quarter of the time.
Much of this research agrees that, in general, healthy diets that are higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods are more environmentally sustainable—meaning they are often associated with reduced energy and land use, as well as less air and water pollution.
This is an important finding that enables us to take the first steps toward more sustainable diets—and each step is critical, given the urgency and magnitude of dual public health and climate crises. Indeed, a number of other countries already have acted on existing knowledge to incorporate sustainability into national dietary guidance.
But the more we know, the faster (and further) we can move forward.
For example, we need to better understand the impacts of all different kinds of dietary shifts that could improve health and sustainability, and the most effective ways to encourage such shifts at the individual, institutional, and societal levels. We also need to better understand how a wide variety of sustainable diets align with diverse cultures and culinary traditions. Both of these areas of research will be crucial to informing practical public health interventions and policy recommendations that can help all people make meaningful changes.
There are also challenges with available data and models. Many studies on sustainable diets rely on models called Life Cycle Assessments, which help estimate the cumulative environmental impacts of the foods we eat. For example, how much energy is required to process, package, and transport a pound of beef from the farm to the grocery store? How much land, water, and energy was required to raise the cattle? While a Life Cycle Assessment is useful in providing general estimates, it's often based on averages that don't account for key differences in production methods, for example, or regions. More data—and more diverse data sources—could make this an even more powerful and practical tool.
These and other outstanding research gaps prompted the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR), an interdisciplinary group of leaders across key federal agencies, to identify sustainable diets as a research priority in the creation of its 2016-2021 National Nutrition Research Roadmap. And though interest in this topic continues to grow, there is evidence that federal funding remains woefully inadequate to support independent research on sustainable diets and food systems.
2. How could more socially and economically sustainable food systems support healthy eating?
While environmental sustainability receives a lot of attention, a truly sustainable diet also takes into account the social and economic conditions that can threaten our health, wellbeing, and the future of our food supply.
Among these considerations are the persistent health and economic disparities embedded in the current US food system, which disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and other resilient communities of color who have faced decades of racist and discriminatory practices and policies. Even before the pandemic, the people working throughout the US food system—nearly 40 percent of whom are people of color—experienced greater poverty, poorer healthcare access, and higher occupational health hazards relative to the general population. Many of these same populations are also most vulnerable to the environmental consequences of unsustainable food systems, such as climate change, water pollution, and other environmental impacts. The irony should not be lost on anyone that many Indigenous populations have for generations produced food in harmony with ecological systems—a way of living that, in the US and elsewhere, was deeply and violently disrupted by colonization and genocide.
Pervasive exploitation in the food chain can function to make certain foods cheap, while also preventing workers from being able to afford healthy diets themselves. And unfortunately, this isn't a challenge unique to workers in the food chain. Many US households are already struggling to afford a healthy—let alone sustainable—diet.
So how can research help?
For one, there are an increasing number of studies that are putting dollar signs on healthier and more sustainable diets. Understanding what these diets might cost consumers, and what segments of the population might be unable to afford them, is an important first step in creating policy and programs that can bring healthier and more sustainable eating into reach for more people. Existing research on programs and initiatives such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP), cash assistance programs, or minimum wage increases will also be useful in identifying the best ways to increase consumer purchasing power, particularly among low-income households. Perhaps most importantly, effective community-based participatory research can support community efforts to resist and address the root causes of social and economic disparities, including racism and exploitative economic systems. Organizations like the HEAL Food Alliance, a multi-racial coalition building a national movement to transform food and farming systems, should be looked to as experts and leaders in shaping the goals and objectives of research that will impact the communities they represent.
3. What are the synergies and tradeoffs when you value both public health and sustainability?
Not every food choice that supports health will support sustainability, and vice versa. In fact, as our research shows, if the US population shifted from our current diet to a healthier diet, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and water use could actually increase. This is due in part to the fact that many fruits and vegetables—which most of us don't eat nearly enough of—are produced in ways that require a lot of water and energy.
Another commonly cited example is the conflict between US dietary recommendations for fish and shellfish and the ability of fisheries to meet this demand in a sustainable way—an issue highlighted by experts in a National Academies of Science workshop and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
None of this is to say that we should abandon our efforts to eat healthfully. Rather, it's to say that we need to do some problem-solving if we want to eat in ways that are healthy and sustainable for people and the planet, and research can play a key role in helping us get there.
Solving the sustainable food Rubik's cube
It was more than thirty years ago that federal policy established the first specific directives for prioritizing nutrition research, yet its funding has remained stagnant for decades and coordination across federal agencies remains inconsistent. Meanwhile, many complex factors are fueling the public health challenges embedded in the US food system: rates of diet-related disease and health disparities continue to climb, the degradation of soil and other natural resources has grown more dire, many workers are still underpaid and unsafe, and climate change is now a reality that looms large in our daily lives.
It's time for the next generation of nutrition research. To fill these gaps in research and provide information we need to make the best possible policy decisions, we must invest in research that is systems-oriented and can help identify healthy diets that deliver the best possible social, economic, and environmental benefits for all populations. Such research must span disciplines, take leadership from communities most affected by health disparities and environmental injustices, and at its core focus on tackling root causes of the greatest threats facing the food system, including the systemic exploitation of people and finite resources.
President Biden's administration has no shortage of opportunities to prioritize this area of research, which sits at the nexus of some of its foremost policy priorities. US Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack is well positioned to play a powerful role in lifting up and improving coordination of nutrition research needs, particularly as he works to rebuild capacity in the department's research arms. And Congress, for its part, can leverage legislative opportunities such as appropriations and the potential reauthorization of child nutrition programs to ensure that funding is finally available to answer these and other critical nutrition research questions.
Reposted with permission from Union of Concerned Scientists.
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For those looking for a quick and convenient way to eat delicious, hearty meals with little to no hassle, there are plenty of meal kit delivery services to choose from. But out of all of the brands available, which is the best meal delivery service for the environment? We review the top eco-friendly meal kit services and discuss what makes a meal delivery service sustainable.
We've all seen the overwhelming number of meal kits promoted online, but many consumers are left wondering if these delivery services are really worth the purchase. Despite all the hype, these programs can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including their environmental impact, which you can read more about below our reviews.
Each kit comes with pre-portioned packets of produce, meat, or fish if requested, and all of the spices and seasonings you need to complete a chef-inspired dish at home. We've reviewed several leading meal kit delivery brands like Sunbasket, Freshly, and Purple Carrot, plus the best vegetarian meal delivery services, that promote their eco-friendly approach. Here is our list of the best eco-friendly meal delivery services.
Our Picks for the Top Eco-Friendly Meal Kits
- Best Overall - Sunbasket
- Best Plant-Based - Purple Carrot
- Best Keto & Paleo - Snap Kitchen
- Best "No-Cooking" - Splendid Spoon
- Best for Giving Back - Everytable
- Best for Snacks - Nature Box
- Best for Desserts - Love + Chew
How We Reviewed Each Meal Delivery Service
To create our list, we looked at each meal kit delivery service based on their food options, ingredient sourcing, packaging, and customer reviews to find the services we think are best for the conscious consumer.
- Dietary options - For the actual meals we considered both the quality and variety of the recipes and whether they offered vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
- Ingredients - We then examined how they sourced their ingredients, whether they were organic, non-GMO, and locally grown. We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project, and the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Packaging - An important component of our review was also the packaging for each meal, how much was recyclable or biodegradable, and whether the brand used recycled materials in their packaging.
- Customer reviews - Finally, we looked at customer reviews to see what users liked or didn't like about each service.
The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Meal Kit Services
Prices shown are starting price per serving/meal unless otherwise noted.
Best Overall: Sunbasket
Sunbasket is our favorite organic meal kit brand. Sun Basket delivers a box of 100% organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and farm-fresh eggs. Their approach to sourcing wild seafood was named Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program.
Why buy: Sun Basket aims to support farmers who push for sustainable water management and crop rotations, as well as ranchers and fisherman who treat the planet with respect. Read our full Sunbasket review to learn more about the brand's sustainability efforts.
Best Plant-Based: Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot offers all plant-based meal kits in a variety of tasty menu items. There's even a black bean burger if you want to prepare the vegan-skeptic member of your family a familiar plate. They make eating more plant-based meals easy and delicious.
Why buy: Purple Carrot meal kits, in many ways, support the idea that many small, smart choices can add up to a big impact. According to researchers, you could cut the carbon footprint of your diet by 60% by eating plant-based meals for two-thirds of your diet.
Best for Keto & Paleo: Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen is all about delivering clean, delicious, and sustainably-sourced meals that are ready to eat at affordable prices. They craft a variety of keto-friendly, paleo, low-carb, and Whole 30 meals that make it easy for people with busy schedules to eat healthier.
Why buy: We like that Snap Kitchen offers so many different dietary options for their prepared meals. Plus, their food is always free from hormones, preservatives, antibiotics, gluten, and artificial sweeteners.
Best "No Cooking": Splendid Spoon
Splendid Spoon offers plant-based smoothies, grain bowls, soups, and noodle bowls that are ready-to-eat and made with real ingredients. Their smoothies are a great option for when you are on the go, and the grain bowls, soups, and noodle dishes can help you add hearty, plant-based meals to your routine.
Why buy: We love that Splendid Spoon offers so many different plant-based meal options, especially for those who don't like to cook. Plus, they have a real commitment to sustainability, and their packaging is 100% recyclable.
Best for Giving Back: Everytable
Everytable is a meal delivery service with a purpose. Their goal is to help make nutritious, delicious, chef-prepared meals available to everyone in order to help build a more just food system. They offer a huge variety of hot plates, salads, wraps, snacks, breakfast foods, and more.
Why buy: We love that Everytable is committed to making good food available to underserved communities at fast food prices. These ready-to-eat meals offer a delicious way to do good in the community. The only drawback is that they are only available in Los Angeles at the moment.
Best for Snacks: NatureBox
NatureBox is all about creating healthier snack options that taste great and are actually good for you. Their snacks are made without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, MSG, and contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. You can order specific snack products or get boxes that contain a variety of delicious snack options.
Why buy: We like NatureBox because they make it easy to enjoy healthier snacks at home or at the office. Choose from foods like popcorn, cookies, dried fruit, chips, crackers, nuts, jerky, and breakfast items like oatmeals. The price shown is for one box.
Best for Desserts: Love + Chew
The superfood cookies from Love + Chew are so much more than a sweet treat. They include 7 grams of protein and are made with clean label ingredients like almonds, real fruit, chia seeds, Fair Trade dark chocolate chips, and sea salt. Enjoy eating a dessert that's good for you with these vegan and gluten-free super cookies.
Why buy: We love that Love + Chew superfood cookies pack so much good stuff into each delicious cookie. You can join the Cookie Club to get regular deliveries of your favorites. The brand is also AAPI/Women-owned and donates a portion of all profits to Oasis for Girls, a San Francisco-based nonprofit for young girls. The price shown is for one box.
Are Meal Kits Really Sustainable?
Whether meal kits are really sustainable depends on how you define sustainability. While they produce more waste, they have lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in less food waste compared to grocery store meals.
Both a 2017 study out of the University of Texas at Austin and a 2019 study published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling found that meal kits are more sustainable than purchasing ingredients from a grocery store for the following reasons:
- On average, meal kits produce 33% lower greenhouse gas emissions than grocery store meals.
- The pre-portioned ingredients in meal kits lead to less food loss and waste.
- Meal kits have lower last-mile transportation emissions than grocery store meals.
- The ice packs used in meal kit packages present an average emissions decrease versus retail refrigeration.
Now, if you plan your meals out each week, use all of the ingredients you intend to, compost what you don't use, and buy locally from a farmers market or other community shop, meal kits will likely be a step backward in terms of your food-related sustainability.
The studies also mentioned that meal kits produce more packaging waste than grocery store meals — UT Austin estimated an average of 3.7 more pounds of packaging material per meal. Because meal kits come in cardboard boxes and ship ingredients in small packages (for example, if you need a tablespoon of pine nuts for your recipe, they'll likely come pre-portioned a small plastic sleeve), there's much more plastic waste produced. One study found that "disposable packaging can represent over 50% of per-meal energy use for meal-kits."
Some of these items can be repurposed, such as the tiny glass jars that spices and condiments come in, which can be used for travel, crafting, or storing small objects. Others can be washed and recycled, depending on your local recycling guidelines. But most of the waste will end up in a landfill.
So, it's up to you whether you think the pros of lower carbon emissions outweigh the cons of more plastic waste.
Getting Started with a Meal Delivery Service
With so much variety, selecting a meal delivery service can turn into a stressful endeavor. Additionally, brands like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Daily Harvest are options that might try to win you over, but they may not have as sustainable methods as some of the options listed above.
Although, the sheer number of meal kit options can also work to your advantage. These companies are competing for customers and often offer sign-up specials and discounts to get you started. When shopping for a subscription service, try multiple options, and take advantage of these deals. With many programs, you have the freedom to change or cancel your subscription, so you can try a few different options to find one that fits your taste and your budget. We also recommend that you compare your per-meal cost to what you might spend on dinners at the grocery store to maximize your savings.
If you give one of these meal kits a try, let us know what you think. We'll update this list regularly as we get feedback from readers and add additional sustainability notes as we dive deeper into new services.
Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
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By Malavika Vyawahare
"Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are," the French lawyer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in his 1826 opus, Physiologie du Goût. This is quite literally the case, scientists decoding the human body have found.
Now, an analysis of chemical signatures in human hair and nails shows that as more of our food is mass-produced, we are beginning to "look" increasingly similar. If not in the flesh, then in the bones.
"Reliance on international food distribution and industrial agriculture has changed the chemistry of the entire human race," said Michael Bird, first author of a recent paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Only communities that rely on subsistence agriculture have bucked the trend, the paper found.
This change is especially true for urbanized and wealthier communities. In nations where annual per capita income exceeds $10,000, supermarkets supply most of the food. Another hallmark of the modern diet is the reliance on wheat, maize, rice, and a handful of other starchy cereals.
A supermarket in North America. Image courtesy of Flickr
Archaeologists routinely draw conclusions about past diets from skeletal remains. Bird and his collaborators analyzed hair and nail samples from present-day populations and compared them with archaeological data on the diets of people living before 1910. It was around this time that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, one of the pillars of industrial farming, came into widespread use.
The researchers looked specifically at the ratio of different isotopes of nitrogen and carbon found in corporal remains. Isotopes are versions of the same element that differ in mass. By studying these ratios, scientists can draw conclusions about the food that people eat.
In the case of nitrogen-based fertilizers, the proportion of nitrogen isotopes reflects their ratio in the atmosphere, not what would exist in naturally fertile soils. When nitrogen-fixing microbes extract nitrogen from the atmosphere, it yields a different ratio of the two isotopes than chemical fertilizer.
When plants take up nitrogen from the soil, they absorb two stable nitrogen isotopes in a fixed proportion. This ratio changes as the nutrients make their way up the food chain via the guts of other organisms. The lighter form of nitrogen is more likely to be used for bodily functions and excreted as waste, but the body retains heavier isotopes. Thus, more of the heavier nitrogen isotope survives the ascent from prey to predator.
For folks buying food at mega marts supplied by factory farms, nitrogen isotope values across populations are in general lower and lie within a narrower band. If you consume meat from cows on large industrial-scale farms or plants grown in monoculture fields with the help of fertilizers, the nutrients come to you through an artificially shortened route.
"We're sort of short-circuited many of the natural processes that go into making the food for people in prehistory, or people who still live a subsistence lifestyle," Bird said.
Carbon isotopes, in turn, shed light on what kinds of foods people consume: a diet rich in corn or one where rice is a staple will leave behind a different carbon isotope signal in human tissue. The range of values for carbon isotopes has also shrunk today, the analysis found, because we're eating similar kinds of food.
"We know that agricultural production and food consumption patterns were narrowed down globally over the last 100 years due to research and policy concentrating mostly on a few major crops — cereal grains, oilseeds, sugar — while neglecting many others," said Matin Qaim, an agricultural economist at the University of Goettingen, Germany, who was not involved in the study. "Of course, food collection from the wild — roots, leaves, berries — also declined in importance for most humans in modern times."
However, communities that rely on subsistence agriculture exhibit isotope ratios that are similar to pre-1910 human diets.
That's not necessarily a good or bad thing in terms of health. "The authors of this paper show that diets were more diverse on average before 'industrial agriculture' started, but this does not mean that people had a better nutritional status back then," Qaim said.
The problem with this mode of sustenance, divorced from natural complex food chains, is a loss of resilience. The simplification of the food chain and overreliance on one- or two-step food chains worry researchers like Bird. "It's a demonstration that being reliant to a very great degree on technology in the form of industrial agriculture is potentially a risk," he said.
A disruption, like a plant disease, locust invasion, or pandemic, can throw the entire system into disarray. Short of dismantling the industrial, agricultural complex, there is no way to revert to earlier production modes. Given the ballooning human population, such a campaign would also undermine the food security of millions of people. According to economic historians, the availability of chemical fertilizers is one major reason for the burgeoning human population in the first place.
"Agricultural production and food consumption patterns should be diversified, meaning that more different types of crops should be produced and consumed locally and globally. This would have nutritional, health, and environmental benefits," Qaim said. "We cannot roll back agricultural technology to what it was 100 years ago. We need technology, including new technologies to feed and nourish the world, but need more diversity and reduce the environmental footprint."
Reposted with permission from Mongabay.
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By Richard B. Primack
Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months. December and January were significantly warmer than average in many locations, followed by February's intense cold wave and a dramatic warmup.
If you've ever seen lilac bushes crushed by snowdrifts, then budding on a warm day just a few weeks later, you may wonder how plants tolerate such extremes. I study how climate change affects the timing of seasonal events in the life cycles of plants, birds and insects in Massachusetts, so I know that species have evolved here to handle New England's famously changeable weather. But a warming climate is disrupting weather patterns and testing the abilities of many species to adapt.
On brutal winter days when temperatures are far below freezing, animals hibernate underground or huddle in protected spots. But trees and shrubs have to sit there and take it. The tissues in their trunks, branches and roots are alive. How do they survive the freezing cold?
In autumn, woody plants in many parts of North America start preparing for winter. When their leaves change color and fall, their twigs, branches and trunks start to lose water. As a result, their cells contain higher concentrations of sugars, salts and organic compounds.
This lowers the freezing point of the cells and tissues, and allows them to survive temperatures far below the normal freezing point of water. The trick has its limits, though, so extreme cold events can still kill certain plants.
Tree and shrub roots remain largely unchanged and inactive during winter, relying on insulation from snow and soil for protection. For the most part, the temperature of the soil around roots stays at or above freezing. Soil, fallen leaves and persistent snow layers insulate the ground above the roots and prevent it from losing heat.
The Surprising Danger of Spring Frosts
After plants stoically withstand cold winters, early spring brings new dangers. Plants need to leaf out as early as they can in spring to take full advantage of the growing season. But this involves pumping water into their developing leaves, which reduces the concentration of sugars, salts and organic compounds in their tissues and removes their winter protection from cold.
Each species has a characteristic leaf-out time. Early-leafing species such as blueberries and willows are the gamblers of the plant kingdom. Later species, like oak and pine, are the cautious and conservative types. For any species, leafing out too early is a risk because late frosts can damage or kill young leaves.
Flowers are also vulnerable to unpredictable spring frosts because they contain lots of water. If the flowers of fruit trees, such as apples, are killed by frost, the trees won't produce fruit later in the summer. Late frosts also can cause disappointingly short flowering seasons for early-flowering ornamental plants such as forsythias and magnolias.
Plant Wake-Up Calls
To guard against frost and still take advantage of the full growing season, trees and shrubs have developed three ways to know when it is time to start growing in spring.
First, plants have winter chilling requirements: They hold on to winter dormancy until they have been exposed to a certain number of cold winter days. This trait helps them avoid leafing or flowering during abnormally warm periods in midwinter.
Second, plants also have spring warming requirements that promote growth after they experience a certain number of warm days each spring. This feature helps them start to grow as soon as it is warm enough.
Third, some plants also have a photoperiod response, which means they react to the length of time they are exposed to light in a 24-hour period. This prepares them to leaf out as days get longer and warmer in the spring. Beech trees have both a warming requirement and a photoperiod response, but the temperature requirement is much stronger, so they get going after just a few warm days in late spring.
Interestingly, North American trees such as red maple and black birch are more cautious and conservative than European and East Asian trees. The weather in eastern North America is more variable, and the threat of late spring frosts is higher here than in those regions. As a result, North American trees have evolved to leaf out a few weeks later than comparable trees from Europe and East Asia.
Climate Change Scrambles the Signals
Plants are highly attuned to temperature signals, so warming driven by climate change is making it harder for many species to withstand winter cold and spring frosts. As spring temperatures get warmer than in the past, trees such as apples and pears may respond by leafing out and flowering several weeks earlier than normal. This can increase their vulnerability to late frosts.
The leaves on this cherry tree have suffered damage from a late frost. Richard Primack, CC BY-ND
In 2007, an exceptionally warm period in March triggered trees to leaf out across the eastern and central United States. A hard frost in April then killed the young leaves and flowers of oaks, hickories and other tree species. The trees were able to produce a second crop of leaves, but could not fully replace the leaves they'd lost, which quite likely stunted their growth for that year.
Insect pests also pose an increasing threat to plants. Harsh winter weather holds in check many insects found in northern climates, such as hemlock woolly adelgids and emerald ash borers. As winters become milder, these insects are more likely to survive, move further northward, cause major outbreaks and damage trees.
Warmer winters also lead to more days when the ground is bare. Cold snaps that occur when there is no insulating layer of snow can freeze the soil and kill roots. Tree and shrub branches then die back because the damaged roots cannot supply enough water and nutrients. In extreme cases, the plants may die.
In coming decades, many cold-loving tree species such as spruces and firs will become less abundant when they are not able to handle new challenges associated with a warmer climate. In the Northeast U.S., native species such as sugar maple and beech will be gradually replaced by native species from farther south, such as oaks and hickories. And nonnative species, such as Norway maples, are taking advantage of these disruptions to disperse into forests from roadsides and neighborhoods.
Similar shifts are happening in many places as climate change alters the signals plants rely on to mark the changing seasons.
Richard B. Primack is a professor of biology at Boston University.
Disclosure statement: Richard B. Primack does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
- Plants Are Decades Away From Absorbing Less Carbon, Study ... ›
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The so-called murder hornet, known for its "excruciating" sting and ability to wipe out an entire bee-colony in just a few hours, is coming out of hibernation and scientists need help in eradicating them, VICE reported.
Scientists in the U.S. and Canada announced a "war" against the murder hornet as it begins to establish its nests in spring, AP reported. Over the past two years, the world's largest hornets have been spotted in British Columbia and Washington state.
"This is not a species we want to tolerate here in the United States," Sven-Erik Spichiger of the Washington state Department of Agriculture said, according to AP. "We may not get them all, but we will get as many as we can."
Scientists are encouraging citizens to begin setting up an orange juice or a brown sugar-based trap in July, The Washington State Department of Agriculture wrote in a statement. Residents in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, Jefferson, and Clallam counties are especially encouraged to participate.
While the department and several agencies, including Washington State University, are planning their own eradication efforts, citizen reportings are necessary to cover as much ground as possible. Last year, half of the confirmed reports of the murder hornet in Washington and all confirmed reports in British Columbia were from members of the public, the department wrote.
While the murder hornet, more commonly known as the Asian giant hornet, is rarely deadly, its venom can damage human tissue if stung, CNN reported. "It's an absolutely serious danger to our health and well-being," Paul van Westendorp of the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries told AP. "These are intimidating insects."
The hornets kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asian countries, according to AP. At the same time, hornets, wasps and bees found in the U.S. kill an average of 62 people a year, AP reported.
But the giant insect is not after humans, posing instead a more serious threat to bee populations. Just a small group of Asian giant hornets, for example, can destroy an entire honey bee hive in a few hours, AP reported.
"During one recorded slaughter examined by researchers, each hornet killed one bee every 14 seconds, using powerful mandibles to decapitate its prey," The New York Times reported.
In a state that relies on honey bees to pollinate its multibillion-dollar agricultural industry, beekeepers and entomologists in Washington worry for the future if the murder hornet is able to establish itself in North America.
"Most people are scared to get stung by them," Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper in Birch Bay, Washington told The New York Times. "We're scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives."
Additional efforts to eradicate the giant insect include conducting genome sequencing to find out how the Asian giant hornet first arrived in North America and if there are any subpopulations, VICE reported. "Knowing the origin is important to control efforts because it may offer a better understanding of nesting biology and potential range, which varies in native populations," Anna Childers, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told VICE.
Scientists and department workers plan to catch the live hornet, tag it and track it back to its nest to then be destroyed, VICE reported. "So hanging a trap actually protects you. It lets you know that there's something in the area and contains it in such a way that you can then call [authorities in B.C. or Washington] and we can do something about it." Spichiger told VICE.
Washington residents can report all sightings of Asian giant hornets to WSDA at agr.wa.gov/hornets, via email at [email protected], or by calling 1-800-443-6684.
- 'Murder Hornets' Spotted in U.S. for the First Time - EcoWatch ›
- First-Ever 'Murder Hornet' Nest Found in U.S. and Destroyed ... ›
In 2018, the EU widened a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides because of their impact on bees and other pollinators. At the time, the UK government pledged to keep the ban in place after leaving the EU, The Guardian pointed out. But on Friday, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approved the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam for emergency use on sugar beets in 2021.
The decision was made in response to requests from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and British Sugar to give sugar beets extra protection from a virus causing an ailment called virus yellows disease, The Guardian explained.
"Virus yellows disease is having an unprecedented impact on Britain's sugar beet crop, with some growers experiencing yield losses of up to 80%, and this authorisation is desperately needed to fight this disease. It will be crucial in ensuring that Britain's sugar beet growers continue to have viable farm businesses," NFU chairman Michael Sly told The Guardian.
Other countries still currently in the EU have also allowed emergency use of the product, including Belgium, Denmark and Spain.
But environmental advocates argue that any use of the pesticide is too risky at a time when insect populations are in peril. A 2020 study found that land-based insects had declined 50 percent in the last 75 years. The UK alone lost a third of its bees in the last decade, according to The Independent. The decline of UK bees since 2007 coincided with the introduction of thiamethoxam, according to The Guardian. Studies have shown that the pesticide can weaken bees' immune systems and harm the brains of young bees, making it harder for them to fly.
"Insects perform vital roles such as pollination of crops and wildflowers, and nutrient recycling, but so many have suffered drastic declines. Evidence suggests we've lost at least 50% of insects since 1970, and 41% of all insect species are now 'threatened with extinction'", the Wildlife Trust said in a Twitter thread responding to the news.
Bad news for bees: The Government has bowed to pressure from the National Farmers Union to agree the use of a highl… https://t.co/W8k7Tl9p4J— The Wildlife Trusts (@The Wildlife Trusts)1610127990.0
Other outraged citizens launched a petition calling on the government to reverse its decision.
"This pesticide is lethal to bees and other pollinators which our environment desperately needs to pollinate flora and fauna. Bees pollinate up to 3/4 of crops which makes the use of this pesticide incredibly counter-intuitive," the petition stated.
The petition earned signatures from celebrities including comedienne Sue Perkins, The London Economic noted.
2017: ‘The principal public good we will invest in is environmental enhancement.” Gove 2020: Introducing banned pe… https://t.co/uUS9Cz3feo— Sue Perkins 💙 (@Sue Perkins 💙)1610275182.0
In its statement, Buglife said it was especially concerned about a provision allowing farmers to destroy wildflowers around the beets and a lack of information about plans to keep the pesticide from polluting rivers. It noted that a similar application for emergency use was denied in 2018 due to its potential impacts on bees.
"Nothing has changed scientifically since the decision to ban neonics from use on sugar beet in 2018, they are still going to harm the environment," Shardlow said.
- 15 Organizations and Initiatives Helping to Save the Bees - EcoWatch ›
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- Neonic Pesticides Could Spell Disaster for Our Food Supply - EcoWatch ›
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Of all the different CBD products available on the market today, gummies are the most fun, versatile, and easy to use. While many people enjoy using CBD oils, others find that gummies are the perfect option for their busy lifestyle. Check out our list of the best CBD gummies and learn more about how we chose the brands to recommend.
One of the first things to know about CBD gummies is that they will not get you "high," as the products that we review come from industrial hemp and only contain trace amounts of THC.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, all hemp extract products, including CBD gummies, must contain under 0.3% THC in order to be considered legal. While THC is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in both hemp and marijuana plants, CBD edibles contain much higher levels of CBD, or cannabidiol.
While they are not intoxicating, CBD gummies have the potential to help you achieve holistic wellness, improve your focus, reduce inflammation, reduce stress, and other health benefits. Our list of recommendations can help you find the CBD infused gummies with the best value and benefits.
Our Top CBD Gummies for 2021
- Best Calming CBD Gummies - Charlotte's Web
- Best Full Spectrum CBD Gummies - Cornbread Hemp
- Best Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies - Joy Organics
- Best Sleep CBD Gummies - CBDistillery
- Best Variety - Medterra
- Best CBD Isolate Gummy - FAB CBD
- Best for Beginners - +PlusCBD
How We Chose the Best CBD Infused Gummies
To create our list of the best CBD gummies, we compared brands to find options that were not only pure, but also safe and effective. Here are the six criteria we used evaluate all of the CBD brands and gummies we recommend:
- Strength — How many total milligrams of CBD does each gummy contain?
- Source — Does the company use hemp grown organically and is it grown in the USA?
- Flavor — What flavors of gummies do they offer and are they flavored naturally?
- Transparency — Does the brand offer accessible third-party lab test results and information about their extraction process?
- Value — Are the brand's gummies affordable and do they work?
- Customer experience — What do actual customers say about the gummies and how they work?
Using these six criteria, we narrowed down our list of the best CBD edibles online. Learn more about each one below.
8 Best CBD Gummies of 2021
Best Calming Gummies - Charlotte's Web
charlottesweb.comCBD Gummies — Calm
- CBD — Full Spectrum
- Strength — 10 mg of CBD per gummy
- Source — Colorado
- Flavor — Ginseng, Rasberry, and Lemon Lime
Why buy: Charlotte's Web CBD gummies for calm offer full spectrum CBD and lemon balm for a natural solution to help you manage daily stress. We like that they are sweetened with natural fruit and vegetable juices, and that they can promote a sense of calm during the day without drowsiness. Plus, we love that Charlotte's Web is a certified B Corporation.
Best Full Spectrum CBD Gummy: Cornbread Hemp
- CBD — Full Spectrum
- Strength — 10 mg of CBD per gummy
- Source — Kentucky
- Flavor — Organic Berry
Best Broad Spectrum CBD Gummy: Joy Organics
Joy Organics - Best Flavor
- CBD — Broad Spectrum
- Strength — 10 mg of CBD per gummy
- Source — U.S.A.
- Flavor — Strawberry Lemonade and Green Apple
Why buy: Joy Organics offers an affordable and great-tasting CBD gummy that is both completely vegan and completely THC-free. While they are lower in strength per gummy than some other brands, they are an ideal place to start for those looking to try CBD gummies for the first time. Plus, Joy Organics offers free shipping and a 30-day money back guarantee to make these gummies even easier for customers to try.
Best Sleep CBD Gummies: CBDistillery
- CBD — Broad Spectrum
- Strength — 30 mg of CBD + 2 mg of melatonin per gummy
- Source — U.S.A.
- Flavor — Mixed Berry
Why buy: CBDistillery is a leader in the CBD industry, with approval from the U.S. Hemp Authority, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and the National Hemp Association. We like that their Sleep gummy contains 2 mg of melatonin to help you fall asleep and are THC-free. These are also very reasonably priced for the amount of CBD in each gummy.
Best Variety: Medterra
- CBD — Broad Spectrum
- Strength — 25 mg of CBD per gummy
- Source — Kentucky
- Flavor — Tropical Punch, Strawberry, Citrus Punch, and Elderberry
Why buy: Medterra makes it easy to choose the right type of CBD gummy for you. You can select from Sleep Tight, Stay Alert, Keep Calm, and Immune Boost gummy options. We also like that Medterra CBD gummies are 100% plant-based.Whether you want help getting a better night's sleep or are looking to boost your immune system naturally, their broad spectrum CBD gummies offer an easy solution.
Best CBD Isolate Gummy: FAB CBD
fabcbd.comFAB CBD (Vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO)
- CBD — CBD Isolate
- Strength — 25 mg of CBD isolate per gummy
- Source — Colorado
- Flavor — Fruit flavored
Why buy: FAB CBD gummies are THC-free, non-GMO, fruit flavored, and vegan. They are perfect for anyone who is always on-the-go or is looking for a quick and simple way to take CBD. We also like that they contain 25 mg of CBD per gummy for stronger relief.
Best for Beginners: +PlusCBD
- CBD — Full Spectrum
- Strength — 10 mg of CBD per gummy
- Source — Europe
- Flavor — Cherry Mango and Citrus Punch
Why buy: +PlusCBD makes full spectrum CBD gummy options available in Cherry Mango or Citrus Punch flavors, and each gummy is gluten-free and made with no artificial sweeteners. We like that they offer a 10 mg strength gummy at an affordable price for people looking to try CBD for the first time.
How CBD Infused Edibles Work
CBD gummies are edible gummy supplements that have been infused with cannabidiol. Like the best CBD oils, these edibles are skyrocketing in popularity because they are easy to use and taste great.
Full spectrum CBD gummies are comprised of all phytocannabinoids that occur in nature in a cannabis plant. This includes varied cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils. Full spectrum CBD also will contain some very low levels of THC. One of the major benefits of full spectrum products is that they include all of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids that together can produce an "Entourage Effect" in your body's endocannabinoid system for more potential health benefits.
Boad spectrum CBD edibles, meanwhile, contain a hemp extract that is comprised of all the naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant with the exception of THC. CBD isolate gummies are made from completely pure CBD. They contain no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or THC.
One of the main reasons why people use CBD is its potential to help control and alleviate pain and inflammation. Various studies have shown that CBD may be effective at relieving many different types of pain. While CBD oils are not for everyone, gummies offer an easy-to-use option that can help people introduce CBD into their routine.
When you take a CBD gummy, all of the CBD infused in the edible goes straight to your endocannabinoid system, or ECS, to work with the body's CB1 and CB2 receptors that help to calm the sources of inflammation and pain. Gummies naturally interact with the ECS as the CBD binds to the body's receptors to help regulate various body systems.
Studies are also showing that CBD could potential help manage some anxiety disorders. In fact, gummies are one of the top CBD choices to use for anxiety disorders because they are generally well-tolerated and have a low risk of side effects. Anecdotal evidence suggests that gummies can sometimes provide almost immediate relief from certain symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
How to Shop for CBD Gummies
When looking for the best value CBD gummies, it's important that the brand you go with only uses natural ingredients, and that their product does not contain any processed or potentially harmful substances. Even though there are a host of different brands out on the market today, not all of them are created equal.
What to Look For
Here are a few things to look for when comparing different CBD edible options.
Lab Testing - Most importantly, choose products from brands that use an independent third-party lab to test its CBD gummies and other products. This will ensure that the product is safe and contains the right amount of CBD.
Concentration - Make sure you know how much CBD is in each gummy, and the type of CBD extract that it uses. This is important so that you know you take the right amount for you.
Extraction Method - Go with gummies from companies who use the industry-preferred clean Co2 extraction process to obtain its CBD extracts. This method is trusted to help ensure that gummies will not contain any traces of harmful chemicals.
Natural Ingredients - We recommend choosing CBD edibles that use all-natural and organic ingredients whenever possible, especially ones that use natural flavoring and sweeteners as opposed to artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
How to Read Labels
To make sure you that you are only using the best CBD infused gummies, be sure to check the label of any product for the following information.
- Type of CBD - Always look for the label to tell you if the product uses full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate hemp extract.
- Test Results - The best brands include a QR code on the label that links to the independent test results, or certificate of analysis, for each batch of CBD.
- Certifications - You can always check for seals of approval or certifications from recognized industry groups to tell yo if the gummies are USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, or certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
- Strength - The label should always tell you how many milligrams of CBD are contained in each gummy, and how many gummies are in each bottle.
How to Use
The best advice on using CBD gummies is to always start on the low end of the spectrum and work your way up until you know the dosage that is right for you. When you first start taking CBD gummies, try taking one or two per serving and then modify accordingly. The majority of CBD edibles take about a half hour to hit your system as they need to be digested. Once this process occurs, you can expect to feel the effects for four to five hours. Most brands will offer a dosage guide on their site or on the label of the product.
Also note, your dosage will depend on what you are trying to treat. For instance, if you are taking CBD gummy bears as a daily supplement, the number of gummies you take will likely be less than if you are taking them for anxiety.
Safety & Side Effects
As with any supplement or medication, there could be some side effects involved. Everyone's body will react differently to CBD. Some common side effects associated with CBD include:
- Dry mouth
These side effects are typically mild. If you are concerned about experiencing potential side effects, then it's best to begin with a small dose (or one gummy) before you increase to two gummies a day. Once you are comfortable with one gummy a day, stay there for about a week to give your body time to adjust to the dose. If you are not feeling the desired effect, then go up to another gummy a day and stay there for a week. Keep in mind, however, that most brands will instruct you to take 1-2 gummies a day. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about taking CBD supplements, you should talk to your doctor.
CBD gummies can be a great option for those looking to try CBD for the first time. They are an easy, no-mess, and travel-friendly alternative to CBD oils, and they also come in tasty flavors. Make sure you choose the best affordable CBD gummy by looking for vegan and naturally flavored options instead of ones coated in sugar for a healthy and natural way to enjoy CBD.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer an independent reviewer of CBD products, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
By Ajit Niranjan
The way food is grown around the world threatens 24,000 of the 28,000 species that are at risk of extinction, according to a report published Wednesday that calls on world leaders to urgently reform the global food system.
Plants and animals are dying out at a rate that is at least tens — if not hundreds — of times faster than the average over the past 10 million years, according to the report, which was published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), British think tank Chatham House, and animal welfare organization Compassion in World Farming. The decline has mostly been driven by people destroying natural ecosystems to make space for cropland and pastures.
But world leaders could slow the accelerating loss of the planet's wildlife with simple steps: protecting more land, farming with fewer pesticides and monocultures, and shifting diets from meat towards plants. The scope of the first two solutions, the authors warned, depends on how much people change their diets and stop throwing food away.
"If our demand for food continues to increase, the more intensively we have to use the land that is left," said Tim Benton, an ecologist at the think tank Chatham House and co-author of the report. "It is about changing the way that we relate to food."
Feeding the World
The food system sits at the heart of four worsening global crises: climate, extinction, hunger and obesity. With more than a third of the world's land used for agriculture, experts are grappling with how to feed a growing population more food that is healthy — while at the same time killing less wildlife and emitting fewer greenhouse gases.
For decades, environmental activists have held up organic farms, which avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, as a nature-friendly alternative to conventional agriculture. Some farmers have turned to regenerative practices that store carbon dioxide in soils and make crops more resilient to storms and droughts.
But ecologists say there is a catch.
The Organic Dilemma
Because organic and regenerative farms typically yield less food per hectare than industrial farms, sustainable farmers need to use more land if they are to grow the same amount of food.
A 2019 study published in the journal Nature Communications found that adopting organic farming across the UK would, in fact, lead to more greenhouse gas emissions. Lower yields at home would be offset by imported food from croplands that would expand onto natural ecosystems.
In the US, a detailed lifecycle assessment of a regenerative farm found that its greenhouse gas emissions for each kilogram of meat were 66% lower than conventional alternatives, but took up 2.5 times more land, according to a study published in December in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.
Experts say there isn't enough land to feed the world and its growing appetite for meat through sustainable farms alone, even if they were built on marginal lands like degraded cropland.
The only thing that will allow us to farm in a sustainable way is changing our demand for food, said Benton. "That sounds horribly elitist, middle-class, 'let's all go vegan'," he said. But it could free up demand for land that could then be satisfied by sustainable farms.
Beef and a few other red meats, for instance, supply 1% of the world's calories but account for 25% of the emissions that come with changing how land is used, according to a study published in the journal Nature in January. To produce the same amount of protein as tofu, beef uses up 75 more times land.
In countries like Brazil and Indonesia, foreign demand for commodities drives companies to raze rainforests to grow soy for cattle and oil palm for cooking and use in processed foods.
In many cases, the food is not even eaten. About a third of all food made is lost during production or wasted.
Cheap, Unhealthy Food
The charge sheet ecologists have against industrial agriculture is long: destroying forest homes of endangered mammals like orangutans; killing bees that farmers rely on to pollinate crops; chopping trees that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere; and degrading soils that future generations will need to feed themselves.
But doctors, too, are worried.
Expanding farmlands raises the risk of zoonotic diseases crossing from animals to humans. Factory farms pump antibiotics into livestock that encourages the growth of bacteria that are resistant to treatment. And then there's nutrition.
Obesity rates have tripled in the last half century amid a rise in foods high in fat and sugars and a fall in physical activity, bringing greater risk of heart disease and some cancers. The World Health Organization has called on the food industry to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods, and make sure that healthy choices are affordable to everybody.
"Our current food system is a double-edged sword shaped by decades of the cheaper food paradigm," said Susan Gardner, Director of UNEP's Ecosystems Division. It aims to make more food, quickly and cheaply, without considering the costs to biodiversity and health, she said.
But at the same time, cheap food prices and productivity increases in agriculture have given more people access to food, said Irene Hoffman, Secretary of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who was not involved in the report. "Otherwise, our current food insecurity index would be much, much higher."
The world population has doubled in the last 50 years to 7.8 billion people. While food production has kept up, 1 in 10 people today still go to bed hungry each night. By 2050, when the population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion people, the competition for land will be even greater because of efforts to grow plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
A landmark study published in the medical journal Lancet in 2019 found that world leaders could feed 10 billion people and still stay within a "safe operating space on Earth" by radically changing food production and shifting diets.
And doing so, the authors found, would make people healthier.
A move to healthy, sustainable diets would involve eating half as much red meat and sugar globally, and twice as many nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes. It would avoid more than 7 million premature deaths per year, as well as reducing pressure on nature.
This, in turn, this would also make the farms more resilient to shocks like climate change, disease and soil erosion, safeguarding food supplies for the future.
"There's often a tendency to play nature against agriculture, which is absolutely not the case," said Hoffmann. "Agriculture depends on biodiversity, it is shaped by biodiversity [and] it manages biodiversity."
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.