An activist for sustainability and Founder of fresh food company Nature Knows, Andrea Watson is an advocate for socially conscious living. Trendi’s Chief Culinary Innovation Officer, Christine Couvelier, caught up with Andrea at the RC show in Toronto to learn about her company’s innovations and the catalysts of her eco-friendly entrepreneurship.

It’s Not the Harvest, It’s the Seeds

“We wanted to find a solution to help us eat well, with of course, more plants. Why are we not eating more fruits and vegetables? It was perplexing to me.” Andrea founded Nature Knows in 2016 after leaving behind a 25-year-long career in sales and marketing for companies such as Kraft and General Mills when she found herself intrigued by people’s general lack of fruit and vegetable consumption. Andrea’s mission was to help families eat healthier with a focus on plant-based diets.

Nature Knows offers a wide range of fresh food packaged in convenient snack-sized eco-friendly containers.

Food Waste Has a Cousin

Andrea says that post-pandemic, the focus had already shifted to eco-friendly packaging. Now, as online shopping and packaging waste has increased during the pandemic, the focus is even more critical. “How do we help people eat healthier and eat more plant-based? But let’s manage that food waste side combined with the packaging. No one was addressing the sustainability of the packaging.”

Andrea and her team at Nature Knows developed a corn-based alternative to plastic packaging that prolongs shelf-life of plant-based products as the biodegradable material is more breathable. “Food waste is a challenge. Packaging is a challenge. And all costs have gone up. So, especially from a consumer point of view, we know we need to help manage those. For us now, we need to feel better about ordering a snack that is going to last you at least a week or two,” says Andrea.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Upon being asked what we need to do as food waste ambassadors in the industry to address the issue, Andrea said, “It’s on all levels. Right from the leaders, but down to literally field to fork, from the farmers and connecting all of the dots in between, and from consumers. There are so many great, beautiful products out there that we can think about the ingredients and how to repurpose those.”

Andrea went on to say that people care, and the evidence is there for the change that needs to happen. She pointed out that the younger generations are driving the change and that implementing the conversation into our education systems is crucial. But at the end of the day, we are all responsible for this imperative change.

Connect with Nature Knows and Andrea

Natures Knows: Website, Instagram

Andrea Watson: LinkedIn

Article written by:

Erika Altomare, Copywriter

Erika is a passionate wellness, food, and lifestyle writer who appreciates the little things and always asks questions about the big ones.