Julia Collins: What She Brings to the Table
WHO WE’RE ROOTING FOR
Julia Collins - Foodie, Earth Mama, Founder & CEO of Planet FWD & Moonshot Snacks. Her passion for food has driven innovative, regenerative snacks and software that result in sustainable - and scrumptious - solutions for tackling climate change. We wanted to get to know her better.
Let’s start from the beginning - what prompted you to start Planet FWD and Moonshot?
I created Moonshot as an act of love for people and the planet. When I gave birth to my first son, I went from being concerned about climate change to being absolutely obsessed with doing everything that I could to take action. There is no silver bullet solution to tackling climate change but I knew that leaning into my passion for food would be the best way for me to make a real difference. With more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions come from food systems and land use, it was an impactful place to start.
With Moonshot, the goal wasn’t just to create one product or one brand but really to create a climate-friendly food movement. I believe that all people have the right to take part in creating a healthier world. Moonshot creates an opportunity for snackers to tackle climate change with every cracker.
In the process of creating carbon neutral snacks, I uncovered how challenging it is to build a climate-friendly brand. As we continued to learn from Moonshot, I soon realized there was an opportunity to drive a sea change if I could make it easier for all brands to go carbon neutral. That’s when I decided to build a technology solution in tandem with Moonshot that would help other consumers brands take climate action. Today, Planet FWD is helping brands across food, fashion and beauty to measure, reduce and neutralize their carbon footprints.
For the uninitiated, what is regenerative agriculture and what role does it play for Moonshot?
We’re so proud to source the wheat for our crackers from regenerative farmers like Farmers Dave and Serena Hedlin up in Washington’s Skagit Valley. Our farmers utilize regenerative agriculture practices, such as cover cropping, low or no tillage and livestock integration, to improve soil health and biodiversity. These practices also allow for more carbon to be sequestered from the air and stored in the ground. As a result, regenerative farmers produce more nutrient-dense crops that are healthier for us and the planet.
Because of these practices, Moonshot's wheat has about 50% lower emissions than conventional wheat, giving us a great head start on our carbon neutrality goals.
Our readers are familiar with the skin’s microbiome and how it affects their health - but it turns out microbiomes have a role to play in farming, too. Can you share a little on the relationship between agriculture and soil microbes?
Many folks know that topsoil is the lifeblood of our food system - that’s because soil is home to some of the most diverse microbiomes on earth. A thriving microbial community allows crops to grow - and the more nutrient-dense and biodiverse topsoil is, the more nutrient-dense the crops will be and the healthier the whole ecosystem of the farm will be.
Conventional farming is designed to feed a lot of people, but it isn’t the best for fostering healthy topsoil. In fact, due to conventional practices like monocropping and heavy usage of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers, some scientists believe we have less than 60 years of topsoil left.
That’s why regenerative agriculture is so important. Practices like crop rotations and keeping roots in the ground year-round bring life back to the soil and restore the natural microbiome.
We love that you’re using technology to explore sustainable alternatives and drive really intentional decision-making. Tell us about Planet FWD’s role in building a climate-friendly consumer movement.
The very first step a company needs to take to begin their climate action journey is measuring its baseline footprint.
By understanding where you are today, you'll be able to see areas where you can improve and take action to reduce your current footprint - such as sourcing regenerative ingredients or shortening your supply chain.
Our carbon management platform helps brands measure their carbon footprint, breaking it down by Planet FWD makes it easy for brands to measure, reduce and offset their emissions.
What do you think is the biggest challenge between climate change awareness and actually taking action to combat it?
At Moonshot, we focus on progress over perfection. When starring down such a massive issue, it can feel paralyzing. But often, the best way to tackle a big problem is to take the first small step.
That can look like cutting meat out of your diet on weekdays, beginning to compost, starting an at-home garden or using climate-friendly products at home. It can also look like writing to your representatives, favorite brands and retailers you frequent demanding they take climate action. These little actions add up.
At CRUDE, we’re all about helping people reconnect with their body’s natural wisdom and power. How do you let your nature thrive?
I feel most connected to my body’s natural wisdom when I am consistent about my energy practice. Every morning as soon as I rise, and before I greet my family, I do a sitting practice with breath and energy work to create inner alignment. This daily practice creates the foundation for how I enter every day.
Learn more from Julia Collins and her other panelists during the Balancing the Biome: Eating Good Summit on Wednesday, April 27 at 5 pm MST/7 pm EST. Tickets can be purchased at www.livecrude.com/eatinggood.