So I had no idea that regular chewing gum so prominently features plastic and other synthetic substances in its recipe, until I started researching Simply Gum. Made from a chicle base - chicle being made from the sap of the sapodilla tree - Simply Gum is made using all natural ingredients that, according to the website, are all organic. Being certified non-GMO and vegan from the Non-GMO Project and Vegan.org respectively, it is safe to say that upholds its standard of being all natural. I would feel more comfortable knowing where ingredients are being sourced and how they are grown; outside the vague language of ingredients being “sourced from the highest quality suppliers across the globe” there’s no information on who these suppliers are, who is harvesting the ingredients, and how are they treated. The chicle is said to be “wild harvested” but where are these wild trees, and how is the sap that will become the gum base transported to Brooklyn for production. While I don’t think Simply Gum is alone in withholding supplier information - I’ve seen this from many companies presenting themselves as sustainable - adding this is, to me, a critical step in sustainable entrepreneurship and production.
The process by which the gum is made is of course proprietarily guarded; the natural flavors are a proprietary blend of distilled essential oils and extracts. Interestingly, Simply Gum is certified Kosher by Kof-k, meaning that the gum’s production adheres to Jewish standards of food preparation which are perhaps more rigorous than those typically used for gum. Each pack comes with extra papers meant to be used in gum disposal. These papers, just like the gum, are biodegradable, eliminating the consequences of improper gum disposal.
Carol Proschan, founder and CEO of Simply Gum, started experimenting with natural gum after discovering that most chewing gums are made using synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade. Other than being potentially harmful to the system - I myself won’t be chewing gum the same way anymore - typical gum products present a hazard to the environment considering they are the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts. Getting down to business in her own Brooklyn apartment kitchen, Proschan made her gum using chicle as a base; rather than plastic and other synthetic flavors, Proschan continues to use all natural ingredients to get the flavors now beloved by gum connoisseurs. Today, Simply Gum is still manufactured locally. No longer in Proschan’s kitchen, the company has expanded to a factory in Brooklyn.