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Earlier this month, fast-casual salad chain Just Salad introduced the Zero Foodprint Salad. Including ingredients like red cabbage, wheat berries, grape tomatoes, mint and vegan feta, the new salad was created to directly support regenerative agriculture, with 15% of sales directed to Zero Foodprint, which provides grants to farmers switching to regenerative farming.
Zero Foodprint (ZFP) started offering 'Restore Grants' to farmers and ranchers last year, helping them implement practices like using compost and cover crops, planting hedgerows and reducing tillage, all with the aim of restoring soil health. To provide an ongoing source of funding for grants, any restaurant can sign up with ZFP. Membership entails adding 1% to each customer's bill — customers can opt out, but most don't — with the money going directly to ZFP. As the nonprofit puts it, "Industrial Ag is subsidized, Regenerative Ag is not. To even things out, ZFP members collect a few cents per sale which adds up to make renewable farming possible. Think of it as crowd-funded grants to farmers for the carbon-storing benefits of growing better food."
New York-based Just Salad will be selling its Zero Foodprint Salad through 9 September 2021, and aims to source more ingredients from regenerative farms as they scale up.
Of course, Just Salad could just write a cheque to support Zero Foodprint, but adding a new menu item allows customers to be part of the movement towards regenerative agriculture. While sustainability has often been about limiting harm to our planet, consumers are eager to put their purchasing power into efforts that can actually repair and restore. The new salad connects the good-for-you feeling of ordering a bowl of leafy greens, with the good-for-everyone act of reining in climate change.
For a deeper trend dive into the regenerative revolution, check out our (free!) Make→Shift briefing on TERRAPY, which includes a healthy heaping of inspiration from other hands-on examples.