Matriark Foods, a food brand known for its innovative approach to upcycling excess produce, recently introduced a groundbreaking product: the Matriark Vegetable Harvest Stew. This shelf-stable, carbon-neutral offering is not just a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainability, but also for consumers seeking healthy, eco-friendly meal options.
In the wake of the pandemic, food banks and pantries experienced a significant 60 percent surge in meal purchases. Recognizing this urgent need, Matriark Foods stepped in, offering a product that meets many nutritional demands while addressing environmental concerns. The Vegetable Harvest Stew, made with navy beans and vegetables sourced from New York farms, reflects Matriark’s commitment to transforming farm surplus into healthful food products. This approach not only reduces food waste but also creates additional revenue streams for farmers.
What’s particularly impressive about Matriark’s initiative is its capacity to offer nutritious alternatives to the often unhealthy food options that populate food banks and shelters. Its partnerships with major organizations like FeedMore WNY, God’s Love We Deliver, Rethink Food and Feeding Westchester ensures that the product reaches over three million individuals, enhancing their access to quality food.
Behind the scenes, Matriark Foods received invaluable R&D support from Danone Communities — a collaboration between Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and Danone’s CEO Franck Riboud. The partnership speaks volumes about Matriark’s position in the sustainable food industry.
The product’s ingredients come from Headwater Food Hub’s network of over 200 small to mid-scale New York State farms. This farm-sourcing methodology reinforces Matriark’s pledge to transparency in ingredient sourcing and its unwavering support for regional American farmers.
“Beyond creating delicious, climate-friendly products, our ultimate goal is to invigorate and accelerate a transformation of our food system,” said Anna Hammond, Matriark Foods’ founder and CEO, in a press release sent to Xtalks. “The solutions to our hunger crisis and climate crisis exist and Matriark is living proof. We want to create a domino effect by empowering all consumers to prevent food waste with the products they buy and to inspire all brands to support a more resilient and efficient food system that addresses the climate crisis.”
The Vegetable Harvest Stew, packed with sweet potatoes from Rolling Acres Organics, navy beans from Genesee Valley Beans and carrots from Brightly Farms, offers 530 healthy calories per carton. It is allergen-free, certified Kosher and contains no added sugar. A standout ingredient is Matriark’s upcycled Liquid Mirepoix, made from carrot, onion and celery trim, acting as the broth base.
“All of our products are designed using 40 to 90 percent upcycled ingredients so that we can scale diversions of wasted food from landfills,” Hammond said in the same press release. “We worked with Planet FWD, the leading carbon management platform for consumer brands, to measure our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for each SKU [stock keeping unit] to determine their footprint, made additional reductions along the way where possible and then partnered with a vetted, and trusted offset partner, Tradewater, to offset any unavoidable emissions.”
The collaboration with Planet FWD, a woman-founded decarbonization solution, the Kroger Zero Waste Zero Hunger Foundation and Danone Communities speaks to Matriark Foods’ expansive vision. These partnerships have fortified Matriark’s mission to develop a disruptive business model that focuses on nutrition, sustainability and accessibility.
In the coming weeks, the Vegetable Harvest Stew will be accessible to food banks and emergency food providers across the nation via distributors like Headwater Food Hub, Sysco and directly from Matriark Foods.