Photo courtesy of EVOL Burrito.
Guest blogger Cara Smusiak is a journalist and regular contributor to NaturallySavvy.com's Naturally Green section.
How can an organic frozen burrito get more eco-friendly? Simple: Its meat can be sourced from a sustainable ranch where the animals are humanely raised.
According to a press release, all beef and pork for the frozen EVOL Burritos, a brand by Phil's Fresh Foods, will now be sourced from Niman Ranch, a San Francisco-area farm, and long-time leader in sustainable and humane farming. (Boulder, Colo.-based EVOL already sources cage-free eggs and free-range poultry.)
Just how good do the animals at Niman Ranch have it? Well, the animals have a vegetarian diet, and they live outdoors and graze in pastures or deeply bedded pens -- about as close to wild living as it gets on farms. And it goes without saying that they aren't pumped with hormones or antibiotics.
But before we support all the farm's practices, we should note some new standards did not go down well with the company's founder. In February of 2009, Sami Grover reported that Niman Ranch founder Bill Niman was forced out of the company and said he would no longer eat the meat from the farm due to concerns with the use of antimicrobial drugs to kill bacteria.
Behind the scenes, Niman Ranch uses alternative energy sources, as well as crop rotation to maintain healthy soil and avoid erosion. The reliance on traditional farming methods also helps protect local water resources.
The move to a more sustainable and humane source for meat benefits customers' health and makes sense for EVOL's business, says chief operating officer and EVOL Burrito founder Philip Anson:
Using sustainably raised proteins is one of the best things we can do for our health, for the welfare of animals and for the environment. As a manufacturer, I believe we're accountable to both consumers and the planet. I want EVOL to be part of a food solution -- nutritious, delicious, sustainable and affordable.
It's a greener burrito, to be sure, but couldn't EVOL have sourced sustainable meat a little closer to home? San Francisco is not exactly around the corner from Colorado.