One day we met a humble fellow dedicated to saving forests. A big man with a quiet voice.
For many years, like us, he hadn’t made a connection between diet and the environment. Then the penny dropped. He quickly forgave himself for past dietary transgressions and quietly got to work updating his pantry. He worked so quietly his family barely noticed. Sometime later he shared his story with us, and we began a similar journey.
We were unsure about making big changes to our diet. What should we eat? Would it be healthy?
Along the way we encountered a lot of information, but to our relief it eventually boiled down to a simple conclusion: changing what we ate could bring big health gains and spare the environment.
It also became clear why we hadn’t looked at this sooner. We were eating what our parents raised us on and selecting food from what we found around us. It was ok but not great.
We discovered that quite a few products professing to be healthy actually weren’t. The hyper competitivity of the food industry makes it difficult for food makers to remove unhealthy ingredients that titilate tastebuds and offer retailers the long shelf lives they demand. When shareholders are breathing down your neck your food needs to sell. This inevitably leads to a taste arms race involving unhealthy ingredients.
Unsatisfied by what was on offer, we started making our own cereal from what we could find in organic shops, developing a slightly nerdy interest in the health effects of food along the way.
When our children started eating our cereal we thought we might be on to something.
But we didn’t want to enter the food arms race. We didn’t want to be forced to pretend that date syrup isn’t sugar or overlook the saturated fat in coconut oil. We wanted to have a chance to explain the detail and uncertainty in nutrition. Nor did we want our product sitting on shelves for months.
And that is how One Earth was born. A tiny little fish in a big blue ocean.