Online shopping has seen a dramatic increase since the beginning of the pandemic. When it comes to food there’s a whole range of where, and what, you can order. From groceries to full on prepared meals there are a lot of options to help feed our families without even having to set foot inside a store. But what if you’re interested in more sustainable ways to shop while supporting local businesses? Mama Earth is one of Toronto’s favourites for hyper-fresh and delicious food products delivered right to our doors. Consider one of the OG’s, the subscription based service has been feeding our city’s families for over a decade. They’ve also been building a sustainable food system that makes them a stand out in the marketplace and worthy choice.
Mama Earth noticed a significant increase in their membership over the past year. While that is exciting news, the company still makes it a priority to prove to consumers that by choosing them is not only a great option for delicious fresh food while supporting local farmers and food artisans but also a positive choice for the world. They are not just another subscription based delivery service, but one that is transparent about their business.
The company also hopes to see the industry adopt more strategies for supporting what they call a circular economy, an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) and instead prioritize the continuous use of resources. Big or small, good choices, they tell us, add up and that’s how we can all have a lasting positive impact on the world.
If you’re not familiar with the goodness of Mama Earth, they focus on sourcing organic products and building long term relationships with small, locally run family farms as much as possible. They’ve been doing so ever since 2007. Meats offered are responsibly raised in pastures where animals are free range and where they go to forage. Seafood items are 100% Canadian and sourced through fisheries from coast-to-coast through Fisherfolk. If you visit their site you can dive deep into their philosophy.
“We have spent almost 14 years developing our relationships with more than 150 farmers, producers and artisans in Ontario, to ensure we can deliver the best quality products while keeping our carbon footprint small,” said Mary Graham, CEO of Mama Earth. “Our community of farmers, producers and makers collectively share our vision in the creation of a local food system, built on principles of sustainability and biodiversity.”
Their sourcing philosophy ensures the business practices are both financially sustainable for farmers and affordable for members, all while making sure that each basket brings the best of Ontario food that’s grown and prepared in a way that’s making a real difference for the planet and the economy. “We curate the best of the best of Ontario and offer our customers local produce, up-market pantry staples, responsibly raised meat, sustainable seafood, and made-from-scratch chef-prepared meals, to nourish you and your family,” said Graham.
In addition, Mama Earth recently launched a reusable frozen bin – an industry first. “We are planet-first in all that we do and are intentional about our “foodprint” – the impact our food system has on our planet,” said Graham. “We champion a healthy and sustainable food system, which means we believe in doing things differently – from regenerative farming, to our system of partnerships – to do right by the earth, while contributing to food and nutrition security for present and future generations.”
She tells us Mama Earth Organics members expect a great food experience but they also want to make it easier to make more conscious choices. “One example of this is a recent innovation we have made in how we deliver frozen products. Our curated responsibly raised meats and sustainable seafood, that are best delivered frozen, have in the past required cardboard boxes with insulating capabilities. They are recyclable of course, but we wanted to create a solution for our Members’ teeming blue bins.”
All their frozen products are now available in a reusable, returnable frozen bin. Including meats, seafood, Mama Earth’s own kitchen items, and yes, desserts! They tell us by using the bins it will help save over 255,000 feet of plastic packing tape and almost 600 trees in the next year! The bin itself is even Canadian made as it’s designed and manufactured in Montreal to ensure the company is supporting the Canadian economy wherever possible.
How else has the pandemic affect their business? Graham tells us right from the onset of the pandemic, their two biggest priorities were first, to protect their employees’ safety (physical, financial, mental), and secondly, to serve Members’ needs. “That emphasis on health and safety also extends to our suppliers. We’re very intentional about the way we source, partner, curate, prepare and deliver to our subscription members. To that end, we have reviewed the COVID-19 safety protocols of all of our farm partners and other vendors and ensured that they meet or exceed the regulations and standards of their public health unit.”
Our family has tried several types of deliveries over the past year and Mama Earth Organics has helped us understand how we can shop better even as our city begins to ease up pandemic restrictions. You can learn more about them here.