Five Must Have Foods For Your Kitchen Pantry To Eat & Give Back

Why you should care

From that morning smoothie to your favorite dinner casserole, a well stocked-do-good cupboard and fridge may change the world around you little by little.

By Latha Rao


From your morning smoothie to your favorite dinner casserole, the choices you make to stock up your kitchen and fridge with food can have positive impacts on your health and the world around you. What if simply shifting who we buy from allows us to meet our basic needs and others basic needs too. Imagine living in a way that allows every daily task you do to positively impact people and the planet. Sounds grand, but honestly, we know it’s possible and achievable. First things first, take stock of what’s in your kitchen cupboard today.  We’ll start with something we do every three times a day, every single day…EAT.

Eating Reflects Our Values

What we choose to eat, and what we choose not to eat is one of the ways we embody what we care about. 

Michael Pollan, Author of An Omnivore’s Dilemma

This statement by famed sustainable food writer, Michael Pollan, truly reflects the core of why we should care about sustainability. The seemingly simple choice of deciding what to put in our body can have both positive and negative impacts. By choosing foods that are grown or made with our wellness in mind means we have to support personal health, better farming practices, avoidance of toxic chemicals used and giving people fair wages. By choosing conventional options where the goal is to provide quantity, not quality, means we Americans waste one pound of food per day (225-290 pounds per year) according to the US Department of Agriculture. That’s quite a bit to process when choosing a sandwich to eat.

What’s a challenge can also be a benefit. The good news is that each meal is an opportunity to make healthier, better choices personally and for others.

5 Steps To Better Food Choices In Your Kitchen Pantry

  1. Pick 3 Favorite Items. Take a look at your kitchen cupboards (or pantry) and pick the food items you reach for everyday? Coffee, cereal, nut butter, etc.?  Amazingly, you can buy all of these items from brands that giveback.
  2. Finish what you have because anything you don’t eat will end up in a landfill. (unless you compost).
  3. Identify Social Good Alternatives with our Hey Social Good Guides to find the same food items from giveback and sustainable companies. 
  4. Try NEW social good brands after you’ve used up your stock.
  5. Repeat the process and have fun learning about better food brands doing more than just giving you a product. Faster than you think, you’ll replace more than 50% of your kitchen’s cupboard with yumminess that’s also a force for good.

Yummy Give Back Foods

Counter Culture Coffee, Gold Giveback Medal & Gold Sustainability Medal 

They make coffee with a commitment to environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability. Sustainability Impact. Counter Culture strives for measurable environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability measures. They focus on supporting farmers with fair wages.

Dave’s Killer Bread, Silver Giveback Medal

Dave’s Killer Bread makes organic wholegrain protein packed bread! Impact. They support organic farming and help provide second chance employment to people with criminal backgrounds.

King Arthur Flour, Gold Giveback Medal & Silver Sustainability Medal

King Arthur makes high quality sustainably produced organic flour and baking mixes. Impact. King Arthur Flour partners with other social good companies like Greyston Bakery and Philabundance to employ previously  incarcerated women and men. King Arthur Flour is committed to sustainable farming practices and farmers. 

Women’s Bean Project, Gold Giveback Medal

The Women’s Bean Project offers popcorn, spices, baking mixes, coffee, tea and of course, soups and beans, all made by women working to break out of poverty and find purpose and dignity through work. The Women’s Bean Project is able to help 100% of graduates convert to professional employment opportunities.

Numi Tea, Platinum Giveback Medal & Gold Sustainability Medal

Beyond organic teas, Numi Tea supports biodegradable packaging, access to clean drinking water, and community gardening in schools.

Your Impact Matters…

  • The Hummingbird Effect is defined as “An innovation, or cluster of innovations in one field, triggers changes that seem to belong to a different domain altogether.”  It may seem your tiny steps to switch to better choices have little or no impact on the world, but change doesn’t always happen in a straight line. 
  • Change takes time so start small and don’t necessarily replace your entire kitchen cupboard at once! Build on every item used or tried.  
  • Any shift is good because not all choices are perfect. Sometimes a company figured out their eco-packaging but haven’t quite fixed their supply chain. But, we figure we all gotta start somewhere and any change that supports better practices is a step in the right direction.



Check Out MyMove’s Guide on Where to Donate Food When You Move. This guide includes the low down on:

  • Information on the Top 6 Food Banks 
  • How to Donate Food Items
  • Step by Step Tips for Nonperishable Foods



Keywords: Counter Culture Coffee; Nature’s Path; Ground Up Nut Butter; Dave’s Killer Bread; King Arthur Flour; Women’s Bean Project; Kuli Kuli Foods; Numi Tea; giveback pantry; giveback kitchen items; giveback coffee; giveback foods; 1% for the planet; b-corp; usda organic; education; job training; Greyston Bakery; Philabundance; prison workers; Moringa; The Love Crunch; endangered species; fairtrade tea; organic tea