Nourishing Mamas and Mama Earth
In light of today’s Earth Day celebration, we are sharing our thoughts on why proper nutrition and empowering women to make conscious choices are both vitally important for protecting Mama Earth. We are excited to announce our support of two incredible organizations that support the health of all mamas-including Mama Earth: Every Mother Counts, and 1% For The Planet.
Why Proper Nutrition and Empowering Women is Needed
Leading scientists and policymakers around the world evaluated the 100 most substantive solutions to reversing global warming and the other negative impacts of climate change. Their findings, summarized in the book, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, ranked possible solutions by their potential impact in reducing carbon in the atmosphere:
- Food as a sector is the largest potential contributor to atmospheric carbon reduction estimated at 321.93 gigatons of the seven sectors ranked. For comparison, Energy at 247.47 gigatons was number two and Land Use at 149.60 was number three.
- Women and Girls as a sector ranked number four with the potential to reduce 121.26 gigatons of carbon. For comparison, this is a greater impact than Buildings / Cities and Transportation combined at 54.50 and 45.78 gigatons respectively.
- Of the top ten and top twenty individual solutions, solutions within the Food and Women and Girls sectors comprised half (5/10 and 10/20).
The top food solutions included reducing food waste, expanding plant-rich diets, and adopting more environmentally-friendly agriculture and livestock raising practices through efforts like silvopasture (integration of trees and grazing livestock) and regenerative agriculture (soil rehabilitation focused farming).
The latter two efforts directly relate to our current need for proper supplementation:
- While a plant-based diet can be beneficial for the environment, having a lower impact on agricultural and land-use related emissions than fish and animal products, it can be especially difficult to meet all of your nutritional needs through a plant-based diet alone. Plant-based diets are at risk of nutritional deficiencies such as Protein, Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iodine, Omega-3, and Vitamin B12, among others. Plant-based diets often have lower quantities of these nutrients, or the forms of nutrients are inactive and need to be converted by the body into usable forms - these conversions are often inefficient or for many impossible due to genetic limitations. According to international guidelines, plant-based diets during pregnancy and lactation require more of an emphasis on supplementation.
- More environmentally friendly agriculture and livestock raising practices directly impact the nutritional quality of food. Current conventional practices create nutrition poor food, enhancing the need for supplementation. For example, 1) a meta-analysis outlining of 100 peer-reviewed studies and conference proceedings confirmed that organically grown fruits and vegetables have higher levels of nutrients than their conventionally grown counterparts and 2) research spanning three decades concluded that grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef had a healthier fat profile (ratio of anti-inflammatory Omega-3s to inflammatory promoting Omega-6s) and higher amounts of vitamins and antioxidants.
Top Women and Girls solutions included family planning and educating girls. As Drawdown describes: “Girls education, it turns out, has a dramatic impact on global warming. Women with more years of education have fewer, healthier children and actively manage their reproductive health...there is a strong link between women and their natural systems as the heart of family and community life. Women often and increasingly play roles as stewards and managers of food, soil, trees, and water.”
We firmly believe that women are the health influencers within their families, making everyday decisions about which household products to buy, what food to eat, and much more that impacts the health of her whole family. Empowering and educating women has multi-generational and community-wide impact, both with respect to environmental and human health.
While we are a young company with a small overall impact today, our ambition to positively impact the health of all women, including Mama Earth, is vast. Today, we meet this need through education, empowerment, and giving back where we can-including through our contributions to 1% For The Planet and Every Mother Counts.
Why We Are Supporting Every Mother Counts
Every Mother Counts is working to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. More than 800 women die every day from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. That’s one woman every two minutes. Their work raises awareness and engages communities around the often overlooked issue of maternal health globally and in the U.S. And, they invest in local, community-based programs that are best able to identify and meet the needs of women – particularly those who are underserved and marginalized. Every Mother Counts is supporting women and childbirth workers during COVID19.
Our mission at Needed is to empower real nourishment--beyond nutrition alone--for women before, during, and after pregnancy. The work of Every Mother Counts in improving the health of pregnant women, and supporting the health practitioners that serve them, is in clear alignment with our mission.
Why We Joined 1% For The Planet
1% For The Planet is is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through memberships and everyday actions. Businesses that join 1% for the Planet commit to giving 1% of gross sales each year to our approved nonprofit partners.
Through our partnership with 1% For The Planet, we are committed to supporting organizations focused on soil health, sustainable farming, environmental education, food security, and clean air, water, and ecosystem protection. These facets of environmental health directly impact the nutrient density of our food, the amount of nutrition we need to be optimally well, and thus our need for proper supplementation to fill in the gaps where food leaves off.
The first four organizations we will support include:
Kiss the Ground is focused on restoring healthy soil globally in order to support creating healthy food, access to clean water, habitat restoration, and carbon sequestration. Soil health has a direct impact on the nutrient density of our food, and thus our current need for proper supplementation.
The Edible Schoolyard Project is dedicated to transforming the health of children by providing a free sustainable school lunch to all students K-12 and designing hands-on educational experiences in the garden, kitchen, and cafeteria that connect children to food, nature, and to each other. Since our college days, we have been passionate advocates for healthy food access and nutrition education, particularly for young children.
Sustainable Conservation, founded by a fellow Stanford business school alumna, brings together business, landowners and government to steward the California land, air, and water resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense.
Heal the Bay is dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean. Ryan, an LA-native, is a longstanding volunteer with Heal the Bay.
The efforts of these organizations directly impact our nutrition, the health of families, and the health of our local community in California.
trusted education is needed.