Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

Finding Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

How much do Western New York consumers really know about the snacks and beverages they consume? Some attributes like price, convenience and taste are relatively easy to determine, but whether an item was produced in an environmentally sustainable way is a lot harder to figure out.

In addition to taste (86 percent), price (68 percent) and convenience (57 percent), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey determined that sustainability (54 percent) is an important factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision. 

Unfortunately, those 54 percent of participants have different interpretations about what makes a product environmentally sustainable, creating some confusion. The following list includes the top six interpretations of environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable Snacks in Western New York
  • locally produced products: 51 percent 
  • products labeled as sustainably produced: 47 percent 
  • products labeled as non-GMO/not bio-engineered: 47 percent  
  • products labeled as organic: 44 percent
  • products that have recyclable packaging: 41 percent
  • products that have minimal packaging: 35 percent

With 63 percent of the survey participants also agreeing that it is hard to know if a product is environmentally sustainable, the confusion about the definition of environmentally sustainable makes sense. But a definition does exist. According to the U.N.’s Brundtland Commission on sustainable development, “sustainable development [meets] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

To determine if snacks or beverages are sustainable look for the following certifications: USDA Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, Fair Trade USA Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Another approach is to learn about a brand and the specific types of ingredients that brand uses. If an employee trusts a brand and is familiar with the types of ingredients that a brand uses, they are more likely to purchase that brand’s snacks and beverages. 

Western New York employers can help ensure that environmentally sustainable products are available for their employees by including micro-markets or vending machines with healthy options, a variety of coffees and sustainable paper products in their break room. Sirness Vending Services makes that even easier for local businesses by offering a variety of healthy snacks, beverages, fresh food and delicious coffees. For more information about our menu, please call us at 585-594-9000. 

Healthy Options in Rochester

Rochester, Build a Healthy Lifestyle One Step at a Time

Healthy Options in Rochester

Staying healthy usually means something different to everyone whether it’s eating a certain way or participating in a favorite physical activity. As 2020 gets into full swing, let’s consider a super important but often forgotten organ that plays a huge role in everyone’s health – the lungs.

When a Rochester individual’s lungs don’t work properly, it can impact their health, and as a result, there can be a negative impact on all parts of their life including their job. One way to keep the lungs healthy is to exercise.

Exercise

The American Lung Association, a nonprofit organization that works to improve lung health and prevent lung disease, sponsors an annual event that not only helps raise funds for the organization but also highlights the importance of exercise for lung health. It’s called the Fight For Air Climb, and it honors National Take the Stairs Day.

During the stair-climbing event, participants, from running and fitness enthusiasts to people of all abilities, take the stairs instead of the elevator to get to the top floor in the event. Often, the buildings used for Fight For Air Climb are tall skyscrapers with many flights of stairs.

If attending an event like the Fight for Air Climb isn’t an option for Rochester employees, there are other ways to add small steps of exercise into one’s day such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the door, going on a walk during a lunch break and taking a stretch break during the workday. Regular exercise has other benefits as well. It boosts energy levels, improves muscle strength and increases the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Diet

The type of food and beverages that a Rochester employee consumes can also have an impact on lung health. In addition to improving productivity and alertness, staying hydrated keeps the lungs working more effectively by thinning out linings located in the lungs. 

Portion size is another factor that can affect how well the lungs work. Not only can consistently eating portions that are too big cause weight gain, but they can also cause the stomach to be too full, decreasing the amount of space that the lungs have to expand. Healthy options to consider adding to one’s diet include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

Consuming water and other hydrating beverages plus healthy snacks provides a lot of benefits that many individuals never need to consider. In 2020, Rochester employers have an opportunity to help their employees make healthier decisions by considering the types of snacks, beverages and fresh food that are offered in the break room. 

For more information about updating your refreshment menu to include healthier options, please contact Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Offer Healthy Snacks and Beverages Year-Round in Rochester

Healthy Options in Rochester

Making healthy decisions is always important, but for some, it is even more important as the days get shorter and darker. Whether it’s rain or snow, fall and winter weather can impact everyone. The decrease in sunlight throughout the fall and the increase in time spent indoors as it gets colder or rainier can cause the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of SAD include lower energy levels, increased moodiness, oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain and trouble concentrating.  

It’s not just the lack of sunshine causing winter blues and poor productivity; what Rochester individuals put in their bodies plays a role too. Sugary quick fixes might provide a short-term energy boost, but in the long run, they are not helpful. 

For many, there is a tool available to help combat SAD; serotonin. Made from the amino acid tryptophan, serotonin is most often found in the digestive system. To maintain a healthy amount serotonin in the body, Rochester individuals must consume tryptophan via their diet. 

Research also supports a decreased risk of experiencing depression when eating a healthy diet. Unfortunately, the western diet isn’t always considered to be a healthy diet. To maintain healthy levels of serotonin (and a healthy diet), it is important to enjoy foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are vital for serotonin production. 

Seven foods to enjoy during the winter to help combat SAD

Avocado: This fruit is rich in vitamin B6 (and other b-vitamins), which is needed for serotonin production. It is also high in fiber, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, which all contain great mood impacting nutrients.

Bananas: Rich in potassium and fiber, bananas also contain vitamins A, B6 and C; phosphorous; iron and tryptophan – the serotonin level boosting amino acid.

Berries: This colorful group of fruits is high in fiber and important antioxidants, which support the nervous system. While fiber does not directly produce serotonin, it plays an important role in the overall production process. Fiber is an important factor for good bacteria production in the gut, and since 90 percent of serotonin is generated in the gut, a healthy gut is very important.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Dark Chocolate: High in nutrients and antioxidants, dark chocolate, made with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids, impacts serotonin on two levels. Enjoying any favorite food increases endorphins which in turn boost serotonin levels. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a necessary nutrient for serotonin production.

Eggs: A great source of amino acids including tryptophan, eggs also contain vitamin D and healthy fats. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D is important as low levels of vitamin D are connected to depression.

Almonds: As with dark chocolate, almonds are a great source of magnesium. Research has shown that magnesium plays an important role in regulating neurological pathways, and a deficiency can increase the chance of developing depression.

Spinach: Full of plant-based iron and mood-boosting B vitamins such as folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, spinach is a great leafy vegetable that supports serotonin production. Even though most dark leafy greens including spinach are not a favorite snack, they are a great addition to smoothies, egg dishes and soups. 

Some of the above foods may not taste the best when enjoyed on their own, but they can be enjoyed as part of a recipe. 

An easy way to encourage Rochester employees to enjoy healthy foods while at work and increase endorphins is to host a healthy breakfast party in the break room. Instead of letting everyone know ahead of time, make it a surprise party for an additional endorphin boost. Offer healthy options like yogurt parfaits with berries or bananas topped with almonds, acai smoothie bowls, fresh fruit, dark chocolate oatmeal breakfast bars, cocoa banana muffins or a coffee bar. 

Whether you’re interested in modifying your current break room menu or completely redesigning it, Sirness Vending Services can help. We offer a variety of break room options including office coffee service, vending options and healthy choices. For more information, please contact us at 585-594-9000.

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Bottled Water Causes Hydration in Buffalo

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Bottled water is a healthy choice. Refreshing and great tasting, it is also convenient and portable. PepsiCo is upping their game and recently announced that they are taking bottled water and hydration to a new level with their Beyond the Bottle program. “The new system makes it easier for people to stay hydrated with great-tasting beverages, digitally track their hydration, and help meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable packaging.” 

PepsiCo’s new program is an innovative ecosystem that addresses consumer desire for low-and-no-sugar beverages, the human need for hydration and the environmental impact of plastics on the earth. Each part plays an important role in both Buffalo’s consumers’ daily lives as well as the overall health of the environment. For this post, let’s focus on the individual.

Most Buffalo employees do not consume enough water. Unfortunately, that often means that they are not as hydrated as they could be. Staying properly hydrated means that more water is going into the body than the amount of water that is leaving. Dehydration is the opposite. 

If you’re thinking that just because summer is gone, and we’re heading toward much colder weather, you don’t have to think about staying hydrated, you’d be wrong. The effects of heating systems and the cold, itself, tend to draw moisture out of the body. Drinking enough water is important for all Buffalo individuals year-round.

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Severe dehydration is dangerous and can cause life-threatening medical conditions, but most Buffalo employees usually contend with a milder form that still affects their day. Employee dehydration negatively impact workplace productivity because of a decrease in cognitive abilities, a reduction in concentration and alertness, and slower mental and physical reaction times. At work, it might be easy to overcome one or two coworkers who are dehydrated, but when about 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated, it is a real problem.

An easy way to decrease dehydration during the workday is to drink more water. 

Even though bottled water is often a favorite packaged beverage, when it comes to hydration, water is water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a glass of filtered water or bottled water from the office break room vending machine.  

Not a fan of plain water? Try adding a slice of lemon or lime or enjoying your favorite brand of flavored sparkling water. 

Bottled flat or carbonated water with fruit infused flavors offer the benefits of plain bottled water without any diet sweeteners or sugars. They are zero calorie, zero preservative, vegan, gluten-free and kosher. Mineral water offers additional health benefits when compared to traditional bottled water. As mineral water’s name suggests, there are extra minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water that Buffalo employees need. 

It’s time to take the first step. We are here to help your organization customize the perfect refreshment menu for your Buffalo employees. Don’t forget to offer healthy snacks with a variety of bottled water choices as well as other healthy, cold beverages. For more information, please call Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000.