This week, we're starting to bring in some more products that are worthy of their own blog post! Over the last 11 months, we have taken in dozens of customer suggestions and adjusted our stock accordingly. One thread that we hear very often is about the ability to shop for more vegetarian and vegan ingredients. We've brought in a number of items in our bulk section, but have struggled to find certain things that are plastic-free.
As we often say, sustainability is about balance. A sustainable habit is one that is easy enough to keep, and one habit that more Americans need to pick up, quite frankly, is choosing plant-based alternatives in our diets. The number of Americans who identify as vegan is in the single-digit percentages. Look, we aren't saying everyone needs to cut out all meat and dairy tomorrow... but we are saying that if everyone cut out 50% of the animal products in our diets, we'd be well on the way to meeting our commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement.
And we're not saying all animal products are bad. There are some brands (thanks, Straus!) who really up the game with methane digestion technology on their ranch, and are even experimenting with kelp supplements in the diets of their dairy cows to reduce the methane generated in the first place. Animal products CAN be done humanely and regeneratively, though most aren't. (and it's not cheap to do it right, either...)
So starting on Friday, 4/28, we'll be making room in our dairy fridge for non-dairy alternatives. My household is vegan / vegetarian, so we're starting small-ish with some of our family's favorites (and ones that we quietly serve to non-vegans!). Yes, we still have plant based milks, but we'll add butter, sour cream, cream cheese, tempeh, and seitan. The not-so-great news is that some of these products will come with a little plastic on them. To have a little bit of plastic but trade off for organic, plant-based diet may not be perfect... but it is a way that individuals can choose what sort of diet and action works for them. And if you can buy a little vegan sour cream and mayonnaise to make a creamy ranch dip, I guarantee that's better than the dairy option in a plastic bottle at the grocery store.
After all, we don't ALL have to be zero waste, or vegan, or perfect. We do our best, and if everyone can make some steps to make conscious choices about our lifestyle, that will go a long way to helping manage carbon emissions and pollutions on the grand scale.