The New Orleans-based snack company Brass Roots is making healthy snacks while supporting local community organizations and international farmers.
Using the protein- and fiber-rich Sacha Inchi seeds sourced from partner farms in Southeast Asia, the company strives to make nutritious alternatives to common snack foods. It then puts the proceeds from the healthy snacks toward educational initiatives for New Orleans youth.
Louisiana ranks lowest in the country in terms of childhood health and equity, according to a 2020 report by Save the Children. “I felt compelled to use our company to help change that,” Aaron Gailmor, founder of Brass Roots, tells Food Tank.
Brass Roots collaborates with nonprofits such as YouthRunNola, Covenant House of New Orleans, and Roots of Music to bring customized health education to New Orleans youth. Programs include pickling workshops, cooking lessons, and seminars about the links between health and mood. “Nutrition and wellness programming is an integral component of any organization’s offering to kids,” Gailmor tells Food Tank.
Brass Roots’s impact is also extending beyond the local community. The company sources its primary ingredient, Sacha Inchi seeds, from its farming partner, Chan, who grows the seeds in Thailand and Laos.
Gailmor describes the peanut-like seeds as the “ultimate impact ingredient,” because of their high nutritional and economic potential. The collaboration not only provides small farmers with a source of income but also helped Chan establish a K-12 school and a university in his community.
Gailmor hopes that Brass Roots’s work will empower young people to make healthy long-term choices that they believe in. “Ultimately I founded Brass Roots to make an impact,” Gailmor tells Food tank, “through [our] products, through [our] supply chain, [and] through our activism.”
Photo courtesy of Brass Roots