Green Efforts: Amy’s Kitchen

Oliver’s Market is highlighting Amy’s Kitchen as its Green Item of the Month for September. Oliver’s is a proud supporter of Amy’s Kitchen, a company started locally, providing healthy, delicious, vegetarian meals. Amy’s is truly a family-run organization that has proven itself a beneficial member of the business community and larger Sonoma County community.

Amy’s Kitchen is the real deal. Named after the daughter of the company’s founders, Amy’s mission has been to create a line of vegetarian food products for busy families that would be healthier than typical convenience, frozen, and packaged foods. Started in Petaluma, CA, the company remains an independent, family-run business to this day. The company headquarters is still in Petaluma where the founders live. All Amy’s foods are vegetarian, but not all are organic.

Amy’s has three locations in Sonoma County, consisting of two processing sites and their corporate office. Keeping jobs within our local economy helps the community on multiple levels, for example, jobs within Sonoma County allow for local citizens to earn a living within their community, reducing time spent on the road and in the car. This reduction of vehicle miles traveled reduces green house gasses. Additionally, less time in the car leaves more time for employees to be with their friends and families.

Amy’s has been very generous with donations, both monetary and products. Their contributions have fed families that would otherwise be without. Providing healthy food keeps those going through hard times better equipped to deal with their adversities. A few example of Amy’s generosity has been to provide food for The Painted Turtle, a non-profit organization that offers children with serious medical conditions- and their families- a unique camp experience designed to foster personal growth and exploration. Recently, Amy’s Kitchen partnered with Nourish America to coordinate much needed food supplies to parts of the Southeastern U.S. that were devastated by April’s unusually powerful tornados by donating eleven pallets (38,000 servings) of Amy’s nutritious soups and four pallets of dry pasta – a donation valued at over $55,000. Inventory was delivered to Sonoma County non-profits, including: the local chapter of the Red Cross, Food for Thought, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Catholic Charities and Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH).

Amy's believes that ingredients are best the way nature intended – organically grown and straight from the farm.  They do not purchase or use any genetically modified or engineered ingredients and believe we have the right to know what is in our food.

The most commonly genetically modified foods are: soybeans, cotton oil, canola oil and corn. As of 2011, 94% of US soybeans and 88% of US corn is genetically modified. It has reached the point that unless the box says “No GMOs” or “Organic”, consumers should assume it contains GMOs.

All suppliers are asked to provide a guarantee in writing that ingredients are neither derived from nor manufactured using genetically modified organisms. Because they work closely with their farmers, most of whom have been working with Amy's for decades, they know that their corn and soy farmers take extreme care to protect their organic crops. They plant their fields at a later time than the conventional farmers. While this may result in lower yields, it prevents cross-contamination and keeps their seed stock pure. 

Amy’s does a tremendous job of keeping concerned citizens informed on current issues. Their website contains a plethora of information, like articles about “organic” super companies and coverage on issues such as the loss of honey bee populations and the connections with pesticides. Their website offers many ways for people to keep their bodies and minds healthy and prosperous. Recipes and suggestions of new ways to enjoy old favorites keep interest high.

Amy's Kitchen cartons are made from unbleached boards with no poly coating on the inside and clay coating on the outside. These cartons are recyclable at most recycling facilities, including Sonoma County.

Amy's believes that it is important to support recycling efforts. They have projects underway at this time to increase the quantity of recycled materials used in their paperboard, to reduce the coating on the pizza cartons to make them easier to recycle and to put recycling information on all of their packages.

Amy’s has a wonderful understanding of how key local businesses are to a healthy vibrant community. They do a tremendous job of providing the highest quality product, but this is only one facet of their business. Amy’s keeps interested citizens informed about issues that affect our food and community. They support those in need throughout the country and world, while not forgetting their roots. Oliver’s is proud to carry Amy’s product and to strengthen each other through this wonderful partnership.

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