The food landscape is changing faster than ever. No longer do we want foods that simply fill our stomachs, we want to choose foods that help change the world, that foster social causes or give back to the environment, and more.
Several peanut and peanut butter companies reflect this larger, broader role food has taken on in recent years, while still making sure peanut products are both delicious and nutritious. Here’s a look at three companies taking on causes that are making real changes in our world.
Jif® Peanut Butter Nourishes Childhood Dreams for a Better World
Now in its second year, Jif® Peanut Butter’s Imagine If, With Jif program is on a mission to nourish kids’ potential and fuel their imaginations to spread their best qualities like kindness, curiosity, and bravery into the world.
The program’s contest component awards grants for kids’ creative and entrepreneurial ideas. This year’s winner, Elena Gallegos, 11, received $15,000 in support of Unicorn Kids, a food allergy business. Elena designs T-shirts for kids with food allergies to promote food allergy awareness and safety.
Last year, eight-year-old Charlotte Gould was the grand prize winner. Charlotte’s nonprofit, Stiches by Charlotte creates personalized dolls for children undergoing medical procedures.
Jif’s website features stories of kids making their world a better place; such as Jensyn, 11, who runs a nonprofit, Rock the Rescue, raising funds for people who cannot afford to spay and neuter their animals. Or Tyler, 10, who began I Donut Need a Reason to Thank a Cop, an effort to thank every police officer in America (with donuts).
Edesia Nutrition Peanut Foods Save Lives
On a worldwide scale, Edesia Nutrition addresses childhood malnutrition in the world’s neediest places through the production of ready-to-use-therapeutic foods. Founder and mother of four Navyn Salem started Edesia because of her family ties to the African continent, her love of children and a desire to end world hunger by solving problems through business, according to the company’s website.
Edesia’s mission is to help treat and prevent malnutrition in the world’s most vulnerable populations with a goal to reach 10 million children by 2020.
Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods are made from a mixture of peanuts, milk powder, sugar, vegetable oil and fortified vitamins. Edesia’s products are used to treat severe acute malnutrition in children struggling to survive. Products are distributed to many African countries and other countries such as Syria, Haiti and Yemen.
Meanwhile, Edesia is helping prevent peanut allergies from developing in children by launching its first domestic product: Little Nut. This age-appropriate peanut-based product was adopted based on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) guidelines to introduce a peanut-based product at ages four to six months to help reduce the risk of children developing peanut allergies. Little Nut is a nutritionally dense and convenient peanut butter blend for children 6 months and up. One packet provides three grams of protein; of which 2.5 grams are from peanuts alone. All the proceeds from Little Nut support Edesia’s mission to treat and prevent malnutrition.
Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter Creates Compassion in Their Community
Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter Company is proud of the fact that their peanut butter consists of “100% peanuts,” with no added sugars or additives. As a family-owned business based in Plain City, Ohio, owner and president Kimmi Wernli started the Healthy Kids, Happy Future project to educate and promote childhood wellness. Crazy Richard’s donates 10 percent of their profits to help fight childhood hunger while helping future generations lead healthier, happier lives.
“We’re a family-owned business, and it’s important to us to give to families. When I learned that one in four children in Ohio leaves school with no food and goes home to no dinner, I was astonished,” said Wernli.
Over the past two years, Crazy Richard’s has partnered with Kids’ Food Basket to combat childhood hunger and has delivered thousands of jars of peanut butter to local organizations to feed children in need. The company’s commitment to community support helped Crazy Richard’s become a certified B corporation in April 2018, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance to balance profit and purpose.
“We had always been a kind of purpose-driven company,” said Wernli, whose father founded the company in the early 90s. “It was part of our DNA, but it didn’t have a name or a structure or anything holding us accountable for the service we were doing in the community.”
These are just three amazing peanut-based companies that are changing the world with food. The peanut industry is full of visionary, philanthropic and kind “world changers” who use the success they’ve found with peanuts for a greater purpose.