When you buy your groceries from our team at Philly Foodworks, you reduce your carbon footprint and support farmers who nurture our local environment.
Ninety percent of all of the produce we sell comes from farms located within 150 miles from our warehouse. To put this in perspective, experts estimate the majority of processed foods in the U.S. travel 1,300+ miles, and fruits and vegetables travel 1,500+ miles before they’re consumed.
By sourcing our fresh market items from farms and producers in our region, we keep the amounts of pollution and carbon emissions created by transportation as low as possible. Plus, we streamline our trucking routes to pick up market items from multiple farms at once and reduce our carbon footprint even more.
When it comes to delivery, we concentrate in your neighborhood and average approximately 1 mile driven for every order delivered!
When we designed the new Philly Foodworks warehouse, which we moved into last year, we kept the environment in mind there, too. We power the 25,000-sq.-ft. space with 100% renewable energy from Constellation Energy. Our lighting and refrigeration systems are all high-efficiency units set on timers, and we’re working on securing funds to install solar panels on the roof.
But perhaps one of the biggest ways Philly Foodworks helps the environment is by supporting farmers who treat the Earth right.
Unlike so-called “factory” farms, which prioritize volume and savings over environmental health and sustainability, the small, family-owned farms we partner with are equally invested in caring for the soil and ecosystem and growing nutritious, flavorful fruits and vegetables.
Some of examples of growing methods used by Philly Foodworks farmers:
- Regenerative agriculture: A conservation- and rehabilitation-focused approach to farming that honors the interconnectedness of soil, water, crops, people, and animals in our ecosystem. This means prioritizing soil and water quality, environmental sustainability, people’s health, and fair pay and racial equality for farmers and farm workers.
- USDA Organic farming methods: These “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” In other words, certified organic means no genetically modified seeds or synthetic fertilizers, and soil that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs for a number of years.
- Chemical free: Pretty self-explanatory — no pesticides or herbicides are used while the crops are growing.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A science-based decision-making process that combines tools and strategies to identify and manage pests. The EPA defines IPM as “a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.”
Ready to give us a try? Head to our site and use coupon code B!LLYP3NN23 at signup for $25 off your first order.
Interested to know more? Scroll down for added environmental bonuses.
8 ways Philly Foodworks reduces waste
- Minimal packaging. Cauliflower wrapped in plastic? Weird. To cut down on needless bags and containers, we don’t package large fruits and vegetables that don’t need it. Instead, we train our staff to assemble the boxes to keep tender items protected in transit.
- No single-use plastics. Beginning in April, all of our fragile baby greens will be packed in recyclable plastic clam shells made from post consumer plastic.
- Paper whenever possible. Even though they are more expensive than plastic, paper bags can be recycled or composted. We train our packing team to prioritize paper bags for items that need to be contained or protected in the boxes each week. (We tried using compostable plastic bags, but found that they caused fresh produce to deteriorate way too quickly and were not accepted by local composting companies because they actually do not break down as well as advertised.)
- Reusing boxes and other packing supplies. Unlike most other grocery delivery companies, we offer customers the option of returning the wax-coated boxes, ice packs, and cold sleeves from their last deliveries when we drop off new orders. After we process them for damage and contamination, these materials are reused for the next week’s orders, reducing the amount of trash left in customers’ bins.
- Crop planning and efficient ordering. In order to reduce surpluses, which can lead to large amounts of food waste on farms, we help our network of local farmers plan and stagger their crops throughout the prime growing seasons. We also spend a lot of time studying our customers’ purchasing history, as well as other data, to make sure we order just the right amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other perishable items each week. The percentage of weekly food waste we produce is just 3% of our total purchases (or less) — a much better record than the 30% to 40% of food that is farmed in this country but never consumed.
- Accepting “ugly” produce. Did you know that big-name grocery stores throw out about $15.4 billion of edible fruits and vegetables each year for aesthetic reasons alone? We think that’s silly. When our farmers deliver perfectly edible, yet oddly shaped, over-/under-sized, or otherwise “deformed” produce, we see it as an opportunity to educate customers about where their food comes from and how it grows.
- Weekly food donations. All of the edible food waste we have at the end of each week is delivered to local community fridges and donated to West Phillie Produce, Food Not Bombs, and other local organizations.
- Composting. We collect our non-edible food waste throughout the week, then deliver it to one of our partner farms, Winding Lane, to be turned into compost for their fields.
Remember, head to our site and use coupon code B!LLYP3NN23 at signup for $25 off your first order.