All in all, The Good Bean stands out as a sustainable company I would recommend to adventurous snack eaters. The product itself contains numerous health benefits and can be grown sustainable with low intensive watering and releases a low carbon footprint. I think the brand has room to improve by giving more transparency regarding their labor treatment and suppliers. I also hope The Good Bean and other top healthy snack brands make biodegradable packaging a new norm. Overall I respect the brand’s mission and will continue purchasing their delicious crunchy chickpeas.
All of the good bean’s products are gluten free and Non-GMO. This product in particular is made from chickpeas, expeller-pressed safflower oil, sugar, tapioca starch, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, yeast extract, spices, and tocopherols.
Chickpeas, also known by their less cool name ~garbanzo beans~ are high in protein. This product strongly emphasizes the fact that one bag contains 6g of protein. Additionally, chickpeas are a great source of vitamins and minerals and are known to improve digestion and reduce the risk of several diseases such as diabetes.
Safflower oil is considered one of the healthiest oils on the market. The oil is derived from the seeds of a safflower plant and because it is expeller pressed, there are no chemical solvents used to extract the oil, but instead physically extracted from a screw type machine.
Tapioca starch is used for foods that are gluten-free. It is a type of Vitamin E which is derived from vegetable oils. Tapioca is almost a pure starch and contains no impressive health benefits or adverse effects.
I am giving this product a 2.4/3 rating for this section because the ingredients are simple and healthy, but I have to take away a few points because the product is not certified organic. It is a lot easier for a farm to get a Non-GMO verification whereas a USDA organic certification follows more strict guidelines and can take farmers up to three years to regrow each crop. I also have to take points away because the product does not say it is made with recycled packaging. It is incredibly detrimental to the environment for companies to continue manufacturing single use plastic packaging. Hopefully in the near future The Good Bean can change its ways to become more sustainable.
Chickpeas have a low environmental impact as they are rainfed crops with moderate water requirements. About 4,177 liters of water is used to produce 1 kilogram of chickpeas, and about 501 gallons of water is used to produce 1 pound of chickpeas. They have a much lower carbon footprint than other forms of protein such as meat protein. About 0.64 kg Co2e is used to produce 2.2 pounds of chickpeas which is equivalent to driving a car for 1.5 miles (Healabel). Similar to other legumes, chickpeas help enrich soil by providing life-giving nitrogen. Also, because chickpeas are vegan, there are no animals directly or indirectly harmed from chickpea production as long as they are Non-GMO. All in all the growing process of chickpeas is sustainable, as they have a low carbon foot print and moderate water requirements, therefore I am rating this section a 3 / 3 planet score.
The Good Bean is a 100% female owned company. The CEO, Sarah Wallace, has tons of experience in healthy snack marketing and previously worked alongside big industry players such as Clif Bar, Kashi, Thinkthin, and Popchips. The Good Bean promotes responsible agriculture, supporting women-led businesses, and sourcing from domestic small farms. Furthermore, the company’s mission is to create better and healthier snacks for consumers.
The Good Bean and their new partner Beanito have committed to sourcing ingredients from U.S. farms which in turn has a beneficial impact on sustainable domestic agriculture. In addition, the partnership’s annual sourcing of sustainably grown and harvested legumes is just over 5 million pounds. (VegEconomist). With this said, there is no direct information about the names of the farms the company sources from. While I don’t think The Good Bean is greenwashing its products, more transparency such as a list of farms would make the brand more trustworthy. Equally important, I was unable to find any information about the treatment of employees in The Good Bean’s supply chain. Wallace preaches supporting women-led businesses but what about supporting your own employees and paying them fair wages with job growth opportunities? I’m not saying the company does not do this, but if it did it is definitely worth mentioning.