The List: What to eat and drink when you want to save the planet

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Much ado has been made about the carbon costs of food production. The meat industry is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world, while transportation of even the healthiest and most natural foods can unleash thousands of tons of pollution each year.

 

As awareness increases of such drawbacks to American favorites such as the cheeseburger, you might wonder if there are any food producers dedicated to sustainability. Luckily for environmentally conscious foodies, there’s plenty. Here are five companies working to keep the Earth an environmentally healthy place to live.

1 – New Belgium (Beer)

New Belgium is one of the most successful craft breweries in the United States, but not too many beer fans know it’s also a Certified Zero Waste business, which means nearly all of their waste is reused, recycled or composted. New Belgium also diverts nearly all of its waste from landfills, and often makes the top of environmentally conscious businesses, like this one.

2 – Nature’s Path (Cereals)

Known for its breakfast foods, Nature’s Path probably won’t surprise too many people with its commitment to the natural world. However, the extent to which Nature’s Path goes to deserves serious kudos, with two of their three facilities achieving Zero Waste Certification. They’re making strides in becoming completely carbon neutral, and conserving water. Best of all, everything they produce is organic, making it healthy for both you and Mother Nature.

3 – Organic Valley (Dairy)

Another health foods mainstay, Organic Valley doesn’t just produce hormone-free dairy products. They’ve decided to tackle the greenhouse gas problem within the dairy industry head on, by investing in carbon capture technologies and grazing cattle with their natural diet, which cuts dependence on grain import-related pollution. Cows are also kept on the pasture whenever possible, again reducing industrial pollution.

4 – Preserve (Kitchenware)

Is it cheating to include a company that doesn’t make food on a list of environmentally-friendly food companies? Possibly, but don’t let that stop you from buying reusable plates, bowls, cups, and flatware from Preserve, which makes all products from from recycled #5 plastic, the kind used in yogurt cups. That may not seem like a huge deal, but when dishes wear out, Preserve customers can mail them in for recycling, cutting landfill waste.

5 – Fetzer Wines (Wine)

Of course, no meal could ever be complete without a glass of red to accompany it, no matter how environmentally friendly. Fetzer Wines is California’s first wineries to rely solely on renewable energy, and also one of the world’s first zero-waste wine producers. They’ve got a wine for every palate and use only the most natural grapes in their wine making.

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