ZEGO is a B Corporation – Why This Matters!

ZEGO is a B Corporation – Why This Matters!

We have big news to announce – ZEGO is now a B Corporation! I love talking about our company because ZEGO is so much more than delicious, Free From snacks. But it’s hard to convey all we hold dear in a Tweet or Instagram post. If you had the time, I would want to tell you we are a family-based business that grew out of a desire to provide delicious and nutritious snacks that are safe for nearly everyone to eat–no matter your dietary restriction, that we are passionate about providing food safety data through dynamic labeling, and how we use our labels to communicate food safety information to you. I would tell you we believe you have a right to know what is in your food and encourage you to demand it from all the companies you buy from – especially when it comes to toxins like glyphosate or cross contact with allergens. 

I would want you to know that we are about more than transparency, nutrition and taste. I would want you to know that we work hard to support U.S. farmers by buying locally and regionally grown food for our products. We use our packaging to inform consumers how they can advocate for a cleaner food supply, and that we donate 2% of our revenue to improve nutrition for low-income kids. As you see, it takes us awhile to tell people about all we do, which is why we are so happy to be officially certified as a B Corporation!

What is a B Corporation anyway?

B Corp for business is similar to Fair Trade or USDA Organic for food, but much broader. It covers how you treat your employees, your corporate governance, and your commitment to protecting the environment and giving back to your community. Because not every question on the assessment is relevant to every type of company, to get certified you must score 80 points out of 200. ZEGO scored a full 113!

Being B Corp certified allows us to use one symbol, the B badge, to show that we care about a lot more than profit. It means that we strive to make our business a force for good in our community and in our world.

B Corporation

Why Did We Get B Corporation Certified?

We didn’t get certified as a marketing tool. We got certified as a B Corporation because it’s not enough for ZEGO to be an independent “good guy” company. To be a force for good, we need to join forces with other B Corp food companies to define new, higher standards both in food labeling and food / social responsibility. By working together, we can encourage other food companies to follow the same path. The benefits will be felt for generations. 

It is part of our bigger commitment to always improving and setting the standard for transparency for food companies!

What Does Our Being a B Corporation Mean to You?

We have been doing the things that B Corp certified us for since we started ZEGO back in 2013, but it does make a difference to be certified. The certification actually holds legal weight as it is woven into your corporate legal structure. Most importantly, because re-certification is required every two years, you can be confident that as we grow, we will hold true to our values. 

B Corpoartion ZEGO Snacks

How You Can Help

So, here is our call to action for you — It truly matters if you support companies that are making a difference by how they do business. It’s simple, we can’t be a force for good if we don’t have enough sales! So when you are choosing which product to buy, look for the B Corp logo, help us spread the word about ZEGO and other B Corp companies, and ask other companies that you love to consider getting certified! Most of all, thank you for your support.

Why You #Shouldn’tEatCerealEverAgain

Why You #Shouldn’tEatCerealEverAgain

I recently had dinner with an engineer who used to work at a plant that made cereal. He was a fascinating and engaging dinner companion but didn’t come across as a health nut. So he caught my attention when he decidedly stated he would never eat cereal and neither should we. Of course, being obsessed with food and processing, I had to ask for more info.

 

His plant made cereal for many different brands. He said they, and the other manufacturers, used the same method for producing all cereal, regardless of the shape, size or even texture. The grain was ground into a very fine white powder. Most of the grains’ nutrients are lost in this process. The powder is made into a batter and cooked at high heat for several hours. Then it can be turned into every cereal shape and color you can imagine—from flakes to crispies to stars to Os.

 

To make flakes, you bake the batter and roll it between cylinders; shredded-type wheat cereals are made by using a grooved cylinder to make the shreds. So, it may look like it’s a whole grain wheat product but it starts as the same white powder. To make crispies, you whip the batter and bake it so it forms the well-known shape that is intended to look like puffed, crisp rice. Other shapes require a thicker batter that goes through an extruder and is cut into shapes.

 

All nutrients have to be added back in because they are lost in the processing and cooking. They add them by spraying on synthetic vitamins or adding them into the batter. They also spray on and mix in flavorings, colors, preservatives, fiber and sweeteners.

 

The result is a high glycemic edible product with synthetic vitamins, colors, and flavors and sugars. Synthetic vitamins, as you can imagine, are not the most efficient, effective or safe way to get your nutrients. And, if you eat the cereal by the handful or with some skim milk or nonfat yogurt, you can’t absorb the fat soluble ones at all.

 

But what of alternatives like oats—granola, muesli, oat based energy bars, quick cook oatmeal? That’s worthy of a whole conversation on its own, so I’ll cover that in my next blog.

 

In the meantime, here’s the crib notes on some great non-cereal breakfast options. Let me know your favorites and I’ll add them add to the list.

 

  • the many forms of eggs mixed with veggies and/or fruit (you want to make sure you are getting some vitamin C with your eggs so you can absorb the iron in them—lemon in your water will do the trick too);
  • sprouted grain or sourdough bread with nut or seed butter, sausage or avocado and tomato;
  • a berry or banana smoothie with Greek yogurt and nuts, or if you really need that crunch,
  • Greek yogurt with granola—there are a few brands that have soaked oats but they can be hard to find (more on this in my next blog). You can get into the habit of making your own, it’s really easy and cheap. You just need a little time for the soaking and dehydrating;
  • for an allergen friendly smoothie, try adding freshly ground or micro sliced chia, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and coconut water or regular water with your banana or berries;
  • banana or pumpkin pancakes–1 smashed banana or 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin or winter squash, 1 egg, 1 t vanilla, a bit of salt, cinnamon, and a bit of ground flax or GF flour to hold it together;
  • Leftovers from a previous dinner (I have a hard time with this because I like gentle flavors in the morning and spicy at night but I have a friend who swears by it); or
  • A carefully selected nutrition bar.  Take care in which one you pick or you could be getting the bar equivalent of cereal–fake food with synthetic vitamins, flavors, colors and sugars.  Look for seeds or nuts as the first ingredient, make sure the sugars are low (aim for 10g or fewer per 200 calories), and avoid bars that use puffed cereal as fillers or us puffed protein bits.

Can’t go cold turkey? No problem, wean yourself off or use cereal as a once a week convenience.  But believe me, you’ll notice very quickly the difference in your energy and focus when you eat healthier foods at breakfast.

Have a great start to all your days!

 

Colleen Kavanagh is a lifelong nutrition advocate. She is the Executive Director of A Better Course, a nonprofit aimed at improving child nutrition, and the co-founder and CEO of ZEGO, the only food company designing nutrient dense snacks that won’t hurt your stomach, trigger your allergies, or spike your blood sugars.

www.zegofoods.com

 

 

 

 

Industry must do more than just slap warning labels on food, Zego founders say

After a successful Indiegogo campaign, San Francisco-based Zego Snacks is entering the market nationally with a protein bar that is free of nuts, soy, dairy and gluten in hopes of making allergy-friendly products more accessible to those on the go.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign, San Francisco-based Zego Snacks is entering the market nationally with a protein bar that is free of nuts, soy, dairy and gluten in hopes of making allergy-friendly products more accessible to those on the go.

The founders of Zego, Colleen Kavanagh and Jonathan Shambroom, say that the food industry doesn’t do enough to help allergy sufferers. Kavanagh is a mother of three children who have varying food allergies, while she herself has celiac disease and runs a nonprofit dedicated to improving access to healthy foods for low-income children. Shambroom is a cyclist and former tech industry executive who wants the protein bars to help cater to the healthy lifestyle athletes from his former industry. Together, the two have become vocal advocates for allergy-friendly foods and labeling.

They say that the industry norm of just slapping on “warning labels” and calling it done is not sufficient. With the growing number of food allergy sufferers and the potentially fatal results an allergy can have, the Zego founders say more must be done.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 in start-up costs, Zego opened its doors and began selling products in August of 2013 and is now selling nationally on Amazon.com. The initial funding source, about 537 people, are now regular customers and have become a word-of-mouth sales force as well, bringing more orders in from friends and family.

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