There’s something about the concept of protein-rich food bowls that brings out the best in our appetites. A hearty, steaming hot bowl – whether a sunny Mediterranean pasta, a comforting American stew or a spicy Asian curry – promises abundant flavors, an inviting variety of textures and a nourishing, satisfying balance of complete vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins.
Unfortunately, because food bowls are traditionally made with beef or chicken stock bases and almost always include meat, they’ve often been off-limits to vegetarians and vegans.
Over the last decade, as national culinary tastes have become more adventurous and schedules have become more demanding, Atlantic Natural Foods has responded with its signature innovation and creativity. Its new Loma Linda® Blue line features shelf-stable, ready to heat-and-eat pouches of vegan-friendly international bowl-style meals, made with clean, plant protein, and 100 percent non-GMO ingredients from around the world.
These Loma Linda Blue pouches are not only deliciously satisfying, they’re microwaveable and ready to eat in just 60 seconds. (They can also be made on the stovetop – just boil the unopened pouch in water for five minutes – perfect for camping!) Available in ten varieties – everything from exotic Thai Curry and Tikka Masala to elegant Italian Bolognese and Mediterranean Tomato & Olive, to the down-home comfort of good old American Hearty Stew – each recipe is made with an irresistible, nourishing balance of pasta or grain and vegetables, tossed in an authentically seasoned, flavor-forward sauce, and topped off with a signature plant-based meat alternative protein as the star of the dish.
Because they’re shelf-stable, they’re easy to keep on hand and even easier to take with you on-the-go. They’re perfect for everyone from busy families, hikers and college students to people looking for healthy, convenient and delicious meat-free lunches at the office.
Alpine Valley Bakery makes a full line of organic sliced breads, ranging from smooth and simply delicious Country White, sweet soft Raisin Cinna-Wheat, to grainy and crunchy Multi Grain with Omega-3, and even organic Hawaiian rolls. The company’s sliced breads are full of whole grains, omega-3s, and have less than 100 calories per slice.
Alpine Valley products are made without artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives. They are USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.
Alpine Valley opened its first bakery in Mesa, Arizona, in 1995 and soon captured a growing local market and loyal customers. Popularity grew, and one year later, its products were being sold in grocery stores. Since that time, Alpine Valley has grown into a nationally distributed brand, sold in Costco, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Sprouts and many other stores throughout the country
The chocolate industry has realized that sustainability makes both ethical and business sense, and is investing heavily in new approaches to improve in this area, according to data and analytics provider GlobalData.
The global chocolate industry is worth $92 billion (USD) and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.97 percent between 2016 and 2021. However, the prospect of sustained growth for such a large industry has led to concerns over whether production can match demand in a sustainable manner.
Ryan Choi, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, notes: “Confectionery giant Mondelez has recently begun to implement more sustainable practices within its cocoa supply chain in Ghana. Meanwhile, 41 players from the Swiss cocoa industry – including Nestlé and Lindt & Sprüngli – have pledged to source at least 80 percent of their cocoa-containing products from sustainable sources by 2025.”
Companies have also been searching for alternative sources of cocoa, in case there was ever a shortage of cocoa beans. Alternative ingredients – such as jack fruit seeds, which give off a similar aroma to chocolate once fermented and roasted – are being considered.
Choi comments: “The success of these alternatives will be based on how well they are able to recreate the taste of chocolate and how well it is received by the public, as the inability to recreate the original flavour can often be the downfall for products using alternative ingredients.”
Many confectionery companies had already implemented fair trade or sustainability initiatives in the last decade. For example, Cadbury’s started working with the Fairtrade Foundation in 2009 to support cocoa farmers and increase crop yields. It didn’t take long for confectioners to realize the benefits of pooling resources when socially responsible policies could improve crop yield and the quality of cocoa.
Choi concludes: “As a result confectionery companies are now looking to invest even more resources into this area, and some have set challenging pledges, with Mars looking to be 100 percent sustainable by 2020.”