One of the most challenging and rewarding parts of the Gone Pie experience for me, is selecting the ingredients that we use in our products. This is no small task. We consider taste and quality first and foremost. This can be tricky. There are some amazingly tasty products on the market that just do not fit into our concept. Obviously all of our products are 100 % free of animal ingredients. The impact of a product on non-humans extends beyond the actual ingredients. Organic production and corporate responsibility are among the factors we consider in selecting our carefully chosen ingredients.
Some examples of how we select ingredients follow.
Palm oil is a perfect ingredient to illustrate how we consider environment in our choices. This is a seemingly vegan ingredient. Just a little research will inform you that palm plantations are displacing natural forests to satisfy steadily increasing human palm oil consumption. This, to me, makes avoiding palm oil a must. Palm oil is purely vegetable derived, but the consequences of its production, for me, make it an ingredient I cannot consider vegan. Producing our treats in the most environmentally responsible way is always going to be central to Gone Pie.
Last week while ordering basic oil for baking, my distributor advised me that buying the larger 5 gallon tub would save us significant money. There are a myriad of environmental considerations in selecting ingredients. In this case the concern was Genetically Modified (GM) ingredients. In the past only the one gallon containers were non-GM. Avoidance of such foods is part of the Gone Pie vegan agenda. The distributor was able to provide me with documentation that the oil was indeed produced with Identity Preserved (IP) non-GM ingredients and I was able to save Gone Pie some coin without compromising our values!
Another consideration for us, is whether a product is made in compliance with Fair Trade standards. More and more Fair Trade products are available all the time. At Gone Pie we use a most delicious and ethical vanilla. The producer partners with local farmers and contributes a portion of the profits back to the farmers and their communities. Their organic farming practices support a friendly habitat for bird species, enabling organic cultivation with minimal impact on the local habitat. In their own words: “Our vanilla vines are grown on shade trees in Papua New Guinea. These shade trees make great homes for local birds that help keep our vanilla vines healthy and free from pests.”
I often wonder what other people consider in selecting their ingredients. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what matters to you. Perhaps we can inform each other on how we make socially responsible vegan decisions.
P.S. Later this week I will be posting a vanilla giveaway. We really love this vanilla – on every level – and want to share it with you. Stay tuned for more info….