Jen Cooper is changing the way we handle our “waste foods”. With over 100 years of family farming experience, she set out 5 years ago to find better ways to utilize food that usually goes to waste by opening up Ben and Max Snacks, a company focused on using overlooked produce in new and inventive ways. She has won culinary awards, is a features speaker and presenter around California and in 2015 won the Whole Foods Small Producer Grant.
We know our farmers and their farming practices With an eye toward sustainability as well as environmental and social responsibility, we only use produce from local farmers who follow best practices. We are finding people who are being responsible with their use of both organic and non-organic products, and using each when appropriate in the smallest amounts possible. They treat their farm workers well, with the respect for safety and well-being that all deserve. They are doing their best to limit waste and ensure that all of their produce is used. We look at the whole picture to ensure long term sustainability of our product and the entire chain of people who help produce it.
We know our fruit We have taken the time to get to know what variety fits best in different applications. Some fruit is best for eating, while other fruit is best for cooking. We are committed to using produce in a way that makes its best attributes shine. Some of the heirloom varieties that we use may be unfamiliar, but the result is surprisingly flavorful.
We are a work in sustainable progress Collectively, we have made a commitment to consume less. This is much easier said than done in our modern use-it-once-and-throw-it-away world. As we continue to pursue our commitment to better earth care, we have made changes in our product packaging choices. For our jams, jellies, preserves, and butters, all of the packaging is reusable and recyclable. If you bring the jar back to us, we will give you a jar deposit refund of 50 cents. You can use that towards your next jar of jelly, pay your parking meter, or give your children a tip for their good behavior at the market. It’s up to you. It’s our way of saying thanks for reusing. For any of our grain products the packaging is recyclable. We are moving towards compostable packaging for all of those products. Hopefully we will be there by 2016. We are always a work in progress.
We are committed to our community While this is a personal and family passion, we also are committed to Sacramento. Our family has been farming in the greater Sacramento area continuously for over 100 years. We came as farmers developing a relationship with the land in the early 1900’s and it is a connection we continue to foster today. We will continue to strive to make Sacramento, the Farm to Fork Capital, a place where food culture and food education are a top priority.