White Leaf Provisions is helping families understand what is truly regenerative

For many parents, finding food options that are not only the healthiest for their children but also beneficial to the planet is an important value. Meeting this growing consumer demand for nutritious and environmentally sound baby food has led to a flood of new products with myriad certifications, including organic, non-GMO, glyphosate-free, regenerative, biodynamic, and many more.

Choosing one product over another is not exactly easy for a harried shopper scanning the shelves. And it isn’t easy for the brands trying to stand out either: genuinely impactful brands competing in this space can have a hard time distinguishing their products from the big names that are riding the wave, but often heavy on the buzzwords and light on substance. The choices can be confusing to parents who are not already familiar with agricultural practices and environmental science, though one brand, White Leaf Provisions, is helping demystify the space for families with a truly regenerative offering.

Understanding the Nuance

Let’s start with the food. Especially for the youngest of us, the nutrients in food and the health of the surrounding environment is of vital importance. Unfortunately, multiple studies, including one published earlier this year, have shown that baby foods have been found to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. These metals have been declared by the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization to be dangerous to human health, especially babies and children, who are most vulnerable to their neurotoxic effects, even at low levels of exposure.

For parents seeking safe and healthy options for their children, many parents turn to organic. It’s true that organic foods do not have the same chemical dousings that conventionally grown ingredients do, and that there is often a correlation between organic food brands and whole-food ingredient lists. But, even organic brands have been shown to have unhealthy levels of heavy metals because these concentrations have more to do with the soil of those ingredients.

What does that mean? It means that some foods, like brown rice for example, naturally uptake and contain more arsenic than oats, barley, or even white rice. It also means that eliminating chemicals in the ways we grow foods is not enough: To grow the most nutritious, safest foods, we must pay attention to soil health alongside chemical applications and processing methods.

Prioritizing soil health has been found to be a key in shifting farming practices to ones that protect the natural environment, can turn farms into carbon sinks instead of carbon emitters, and produce higher-nutrient foods for us to eat—including the youngest and most vulnerable of us. How foods are packaged can also have a big impact on environmental and human health. The single-use plastic for pouches and plastic-lined juice boxes can be detrimental to the planet but also contain bisphenol A, or BPA, a known carcinogen, and other toxic materials.

One brand, White Leaf Provisions, is attempting to go “beyond organic,” improve packaging, and message their products in a way that helps parents source the healthiest food possible for their kids.

Offering a Real Solution and Sharing the Message

Inspired by the birth of their son, Keegan, White Leaf Provisions co-founders Meghan and Keith Rowe set out to build a line of food products based on biodynamic and regenerative farming. All of their offerings are 100% regeneratively farmed, Demeter certified biodynamic organic — and communicating that distinctive and first-to-market labeling mouthful is a key focus for the brand. From its partnership with Terracycle and BPA-free packaging, to the agricultural methods used to produce the ingredients inside the packaging materials, White Leaf has a holistic approach to its products.

“Biodynamic farming isn’t a new-fangled approach—in fact, it’s one of the oldest sections in organic agriculture, beginning almost 100 years ago in Europe,” says Meghan Rowe, Cofounder & CEO at White Leaf Provisions. “This method of agriculture is regenerative, as opposed to the degenerative methods of conventional and even much of the large-scale organic farming operations. Biodynamic agriculture actually reverses climate change through farming techniques that draw carbon out of the atmosphere.”

The company has centered its focus on holistic solutions to the nutrition, wellness and climate concerns of current and future parents. By centering the benefits of regenerative farming — ‘Organics Elevated’ — in its branding and messaging, White Leaf can bring soil health, biodynamic distinction, packaging differentiation and more to the table. But, for the busy parent at a glance, gathering this is “more than organic” or “beyond organic” is a quick reference point as consumers get up the learning curve.

“Biodynamic farming is the gold standard of regenerative and organic agriculture,” says Keith Rowe, Cofounder at White Leaf Provisions. “Biodynamic practices use one of the highest standards of organic certifications as a base requirement. Because becoming certified biodynamic requires building additional practices on top of organic standards, we use ‘Organics Elevated’ as our messaging reference to help those who want to find the best possible option for their families and the planet understand what we’re offering in context with other options on the market.”

One interesting fact is that the biodynamic standard White Leaf uses dates back almost 100 years and now spans 62 countries; Demeter certification (managed by Demeter International) is the oldest ecological certification in the world and the forerunner to all organic certifications as we know them today.

For companies committed to using their products to address and reverse the impacts of climate change and poor nutrition on our planet and our health, providing a reference point to better understand regenerative agriculture’s impacts compared with organic, non-GMO, and other labels will be a key piece in the puzzle.

“White Leaf Provisions is one of the first companies in the United States to launch a line of shelf-stable, Certified Biodynamic and regeneratively farmed baby and toddler food products, says Meghan. “With Millennial and Gen Z parents weighing health and climate change impact alongside price – and generally being more educated about the impacts of our food and farming system and the impact of their purchases than previous generations – we believe the way we’re focused on regenerative, holistic food products is absolutely where our food system must go.”

 

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