With Earth Day around the corner, we have been taking stock of our environmental impact. The most basic way to make sure our carbon footprint stays low is to support local farms businesses whenever possible. But in order to provide pantry staples year round, we sometimes need to go outside of that 250 mile radius. Let’s look at two staples, rice and beans, and consider how companies we source from can keep us committed to supporting small and sustainable farms!
We carry many varieties of Rancho Gordo beans. While they travel from California to get to us, the company’s commitment to growing heirloom beans and working with local growers is without comparison.
Heirloom varieties are important for preserving genetic diversity and they also remind us that our food doesn’t have to look uniform! The Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project creates a market for small farms in Mexico to grow heirloom beans indigenous to their areas. These beans also taste amazing! You’ll find a creaminess and earthiness in each bag that is impossible to replicate out of a can.
Lotus Foods brings us rice from afar in order to support small and family farms in areas of the world where rice as a commodity crop leads to overproduction and damages local environments and economies.
By providing market incentives for small sustainable farms in these regions, Lotus Foods creates a system that encourages environmentally friendly growing practices. The heirloom varieties of rice that we carry come from Indonesia and China. Volcano Rice has a dark color that reflects the high concentration of minerals such as magnesium and zinc, found in the volcanic soils where it grows. Forbidden Rice comes from a farm that uses a System of Rice Intensification that reduces water use while boosting production.
So try out an heirloom bean or two, marvel at their colorful complexity, enjoy a bowl of Volcanic Rice and stay tuned for more info on our sustainable buying practices. It’s not always easy being green, but we’re getting there one bite at a time!
Read more about Rancho Gordo here
Read more about Lotus Foods here