Lightlife Original Tempeh

overall Rating:

2.4

planets

Miranda Leggett
2/5/2021
The simple, USDA Organic certified ingredients in Lightlife Original Tempeh make it a good option for those who are looking for a plant-based alternative protein source. Although Lightlife doesn’t provide information about where specifically they source their ingredients from, because they are all USDA Organic certified ingredients that are widely produced in the U.S., it’s safe to assume they are grown here. Lightlife also invests in renewable energy sources which are good for planet, but they use that to market themselves as “carbon neutral”, despite the fact that aren’t actually incorporating any of their renewable resources into their supply chain or production. While I can’t discount the importance of investing in renewables, I also don’t think that investment allows a company to claim their company as “carbon neutral”. While I don’t agree with how Lightlife markets itself, Lightlife Original Tempeh is a good product with sustainable ingredients. They earn an Overall score of 2.5/3.

what it's made of:

2.6

The ingredients in tempeh are simple, and Lightlife didn’t try to overcomplicate them when they created their own version. Cultured organic soybeans, water, and organic brown rice. That’s it. Lightlife uses USDA Certified Organic soybean and brown rice. Soybeans are grown all over the United States, but do have a reputation for soil erosion and nutrient depletion. As farmers become more educated, the effects of soybean soil erosion have been reduced, but not eliminated. I would classify soybeans as a semi-sustainable product. Brown rice, if organically grown in the U.S. is usually a sustainable product. It takes a lot of space to grow, but requires relatively low amounts of water and doesn’t damage the soil/surrounding habitat. I rate Lightlife Orginal Tempeh’s ingredients a 2.6/3 for What It’s Made Of.

how it's made:

2.4

The ingredients in tempeh are simple, and Lightlife didn’t try to overcomplicate them when they created their own version. Cultured organic soybeans, water, and organic brown rice. That’s it. Lightlife uses USDA Certified Organic soybean and brown rice. Soybeans are grown all over the United States, but do have a reputation for soil erosion and nutrient depletion. As farmers become more educated, the effects of soybean soil erosion have been reduced, but not eliminated. I would classify soybeans as a semi-sustainable product. Brown rice, if organically grown in the U.S. is usually a sustainable product. It takes a lot of space to grow, but requires relatively low amounts of water and doesn’t damage the soil/surrounding habitat. I rate Lightlife Orginal Tempeh’s ingredients a 2.6/3 for What It’s Made Of.

who makes it:

2.3

Now this category is what caught my eye while shopping. Lightlife has an icon on their packaging which claims that their Original Tempeh is “made by a carbon neutral company” and I got curious. According to Lightlife’s website, they reached carbon neutrality by investing in Green-E certified renewable energy sources (the specific sources are listed here (https://lightlife.com/carbonneutral/)) and by investing in the Massachusetts Tri-City Forestry Project which protects public forestland. Lightlife does have goals to reduce their environmental footprint by 50% by 2025 and absolute carbon emission by 30% by 2030. Aside from the information on their carbon offsets, they don’t have specific goals listed on their website. To me the statement that this is a carbon neutral company is a little misleading. While it’s great that they are investing in renewable energy, they do not have specific goals or information about the sustainability efforts actually inside their company and processes; they only have blanket statements like “we are continually working on projects that reduce our environmental footprint”. It feels like it is verging on greenwashing. They also don’t provide information on their worker treatment, however, their administrative and manufacturing headquarters are based in Massachusetts, so they are subject to federal and state labor laws, which are fairly comprehensive. Overall, I rate them a 2.3/3 for Who Makes It. They have a ways to go on their transparency and goal specificity, but they are investing in renewable resources and there is not evidence to suggest inequitable worker treatment.

sources:

https://lightlife.com/product/original-tempeh/ https://healabel.com/b-ingredients/brown-rice