What do Lucky Charms, Cheerios and Wheaties all have in common? Their maker. Perhaps you’ve heard that General Mills, most known for its lineup of aforementioned cereals, is pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over the next decade.
As one of the primary makers of mainstream cereals – not to mention the sixth largest food manufacturer in the world – it’s great news for breakfast served ten years from now. But what about right now?
Change takes time, but choice is immediate. While larger manufacturers make strides to reduce impact, a few producers who’ve maintained sustainable practices all along are ahead of the curve:
Cereal sits at the table as our largest category of breakfast food. As a result, opting for the most sustainable cereal is one of our largest opportunities to reduce impact. Helmed by two mothers, their immediate family, and the mission to provide unprocessed foods, you might consider a box of Two Moms in the Raw Plain Grain Free Cereal. Anything but plain, you’ll keep your bowl clean with their simple, wholesome list of ingredients like Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Almonds, Bananas and Cinnamon – and nothing the groggiest of morning eaters couldn’t identify with ease.
Eggs, a quintessential part of the American breakfast, also happen to be a truly whole food (nature provided that protective shell for good reason). However not all eggs are created – agriculturally speaking – equal. Look to companies like Pete and Gerry’s, part of a small but conscious batch of farmers who treat benchmarks like USDA Organic certification like a starting point; their prized hens are never caged, they enjoy organic feed, and since they’re treated exceptionally well, they’re never treated with unnecessary antibiotics.
It’s silly that toast, unless it goes French, is rarely breakfast’s main event. While it takes a bit of gumption, a quick loaf of bread from scratch is an easy way to ensure all of the ingredients are under your control and sustainable. To that end, you’ll need flour, and you might consider King Arthur Flour as your star ingredient. The employee-owned company has over 200 years of experience refining their process, which doesn’t suggest refined flour at all – minimally processed, using only non-G.M.O. North American crops, this company also painstakingly considers its environmental impact in all of its operations.
Certainly not beholden to breakfast, coffee is seen throughout our mornings and late afternoons – even after late dinners. There’s a reason it’s the second most traded commodity, giving even more reason to be conscious of our daily cup’s origins. Consider brands like Cafe Altura, started by a group of organic farmers in California who also employ the benefits of biodynamic agriculture at their farms in Mexico. The holistic process considers each part of its production to ensure the farm as a whole sustains its environment even beyond its borders, and as the industry where Fair Trade originated, you’ll find comfort in your cup of joe knowing that each farmer is compensated accordingly.