“A problem for me is always an opportunity.” Toni Desrosiers is talking about the dilemma of food waste, “like slimy herbs, dried-out lemons and mouldy cheese,” she says. “Once you realize it’s your food wrap that causes these problems, changing it eliminates all the frustration.”
Toni is the founder of Victoria-based Abeego, the world’s first reusable beeswax food wrap, a natural food-storage solution available at more than 40 stores across Canada, including Thrifty Foods and Safeway. It’s made from beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, which is infused into a hemp and cotton cloth. And following nature’s lead, it mimics fruit and vegetable peels, keeping out light and retaining moisture, while letting gases escape.
Abeego is self-adhesive, durable, easy to wash, 100% compostable and lasts for up to a year – letting you keep produce fresh, stash leftovers, cover bowls, store cheese and much more. The Abeego partnership is a great example of how Sobeys is encouraging shoppers to go green at the grocery store, efforts that began with removing single-use grocery bags from the checkouts and continue with other innovative products, including the promotion of reusable cloth and mesh produce bags.
So far, people are hooked.
“Abeego has been incredibly well-received and we have a very loyal customer base,” Toni says.
Our consumer is moving in the direction we all need to be moving in,” she says, “using more reusable products, being more mindful of our food and our food waste, and of our impact on the environment.
About 40% of all food produced in North America ends up being wasted, and 42% of that is fruits and vegetables.
Creating a more eco-conscious community.
Formerly a holistic nutritionist, Toni began her mission to end food waste and promote the power of beeswax in 2008. From the beginning, Toni made it her mission to be transparent about the ingredients that make up the food wrapper. In 2010, she wrote the full list of ingredients directly on the package, and that’s where you’ll find them to this day.
Naturally, there are a few ground rules, each ingredient has to be:
- all-natural and in its natural state
- a natural preservative
- FDA-approved for food contact
In addition to these guidelines, Abeego also has a few core values, principles that act as a thread, linking the entire project.
- Live where logic and inspiration meet. “When we make decisions at Abeego, we ask ourselves: Is it a logical decision and is it inspirational? We rarely do something that’s just one or the other – I guess that’s our philosophy.”
- Appreciate everyone and everything. “We focus on being regenerative, not merely sustainable. You need to be regenerative in your actions, in the materials that you use – and in how you treat people.”
- Do good, do better. “We are always willing to look at something and ask: How could that have been better? And what could we do differently next time?”
- Have a hunger to feed. “The mission behind Abeego is not just to sell food wrap, it’s to educate the world on what it means to keep food alive.”
You can find Abeego products at Thrifty Foods, select Safeway stores and online at Volià.ca