Practically everyone is delighted with edible gifts during the holiday season. They’re easy to purchase and a pleasure to receive. Food gifts offer lots of potential if you’re incorporating sustainability into your holiday gift list.
When tailored to your recipient’s taste, an edible present is often well appreciated and preferable to a random trinket that’s relegated to a junk drawer.
Whether you’re looking for a gift that’s sweet and simple or elegant and extravagant, food is a good bet. For your friend. And for the Earth.
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Fresh Local Food From Farmers Markets
Assemble a bounty of plump, ripe produce — ideally organic — or fancy artisan foods purchased directly from local vendors.
Farmers markets are a perk for the environment. The emphasis is on providing local food that doesn’t travel far distances. Disposable packaging — including plastic wrappers, twist ties, and stickers — is often unnecessary. The food is likely fresher and tastier, and occasionally you’ll pick up intriguing and exciting items. Plus, by shopping at farmers markets, you help support the local economy.
Remember your reusable totes when shopping. For presents, package farm-fresh items in lovely reusable bins. You could also DIY reusable fabric gift bags or recruit the kids to make gift sacks by decorating paper bags with festive holiday designs.
If you want to elevate the presentation, toss in printed recipes featuring the produce you purchased. The United States Department of Agriculture offers:
- Links to VegU recipes featuring a variety of typical farmers market foods
- Farmers markets directory
Eat Your Soup & Your Spoon
For a present that’s practical and fun, edible utensils offer an ideal replacement for single-use plastics.
incrEDIBLE Eats edible spoons and sporks are available in several flavors. Perhaps you’ll pair a black pepper utensil with your favorite pasta dish or vegetable stew. Use chocolate cutlery for dipping into yogurt or ice cream. Other flavors include vanilla, oregano, and chili.
Information from the folks at incrEdible Eats, which was featured on “Shark Tank,” includes:
- The edible utensils are designed to hold their shape for 30 minutes in a hot soup or cold dessert.
- Base ingredients are wheat flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, chickpea flour, and salt.
- Utensils are individually wrapped in biodegradable and recyclable paper packaging sourced from responsibly managed forests.
- incrEDIBLE Eats states that it offsets 200% of emissions and plastic footprint.
Italian Olive Oil
Bona Furtuna is an organic farm in Sicily that promotes sustainable farming practices and environmental stewardship. Its are certified USDA Organic, and it is a certified B Corporation and member of 1% for the Planet. It sells its award-winning olive oil and other products through retailers in the United States.
Some items are on Amazon, including the Taste of Trapani Organic Italian Food Gift Set, which includes Busiate Pasta, Original Marinara Tomato Sauce, Dried Basil, and Sicilian Herb & Sea Salt Blend. As an extra endorsement, this gift set was included on Oprah’s 2022 list of favorites.
Respecting visually imperfect food is on trend for reducing food waste, and Ugglies by Joolies is a perfect example in a whimsical package.
Medjool dates are a sweet naturally fudgy treat, and often are used in salad dressings, smoothies, and desserts.
Joolies product information states the organic dates “are meaty, high in fiber, packed full of potassium and are a great source to boost natural energy.
The packaging is paper-based boxes made from recycled paperboard. Learn about Joolies dates’ other sustainable attributes.
Reach for the Rankings
Rich decadent chocolate is an enticing gift. Especially if it is from a producer that respects the land and the laborers.
Green America, a nonprofit organization that focuses on economic action for social justice and environmental sustainability, offers a guide for discriminating shoppers who appreciate information about ethical practices in the products they pick.
Green America’s Chocolate Scorecard ranks various chocolate producers. Highly ranked brands include Beyond Good. Its selection of flavors include Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Plantain & Sea Salt, and Salted Caramel.
Snacks From the Sea
Kelp is a featured in ingredient in 12 Tides organic snacks. The organic kelp puffs, are available in several flavors: sea salt, chili pepper, and everything (like the bagels).
Sustainable features include compostable packaging made from bio-materials, according to a representative.
“We source our kelp from small scale regenerative ocean farms,” the representative said. “Kelp is one of the most sustainable foods on the planet — it reverses oceanic acidification and is a zero input crop, requiring no arable land, no fertilizers, no pesticides and no fresh water.”
DIY food gifts are delightful. Vegan recipes enhance the sustainability value.
Joolies offers a recipe for Vegan Rocky Road Fudge Bars that includes date syrup, marshmallows or popcorn, and sprouted granola.