'When people try FAVES, they can't believe they're made out of fruits and vegetables,' Keller told PEOPLE.
There are many ways to recycle waste and make it look prettier. According to Feeding America, a massive 20 billion pounds of misshapen produce that are considered too ugly to display in grocery stores go to waste each year. Even these unwanted fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrition, but they are either left in farmers' fields or sent to landfills, where they decompose and produce methane, a harmful gas that is heating the planet to dangerous levels, reported PEOPLE.
But Amy Keller came up with a delightful solution. In 1906, her family founded the Spangler Candy Co., which made famous treats such as Circus Peanuts, Sweethearts, and 2 billion Dum Dums a year. It made it the largest lollipop manufacturer in the world. Keller tasted her first Dum Dum when she was a 1-year-old baby, and her favorite flavor is mystery pop. Now, she is adding to her family legacy with FAVES by Climate Candy, her own brand of environment-friendly sweets.
Taken from "perfectly imperfect" but "perfectly good" misshapen fruits and vegetables, FAVES are delicious, nutritious, and good for the planet, says Keller, Climate Candy's co-founder, and CEO. The delicious candy has flavors such as cherry, strawberry, lemon, and orange. "When people try FAVES, they can't believe they're made out of fruits and vegetables," Keller told PEOPLE. "We've told people, 'We imagine a world where fruits and vegetables taste like candy,'" she added.
There is more to this. FAVES, which stands for "Fruit and Vegetable Sweets," is helping to fight the climate crisis. It says so right on the candies' sustainable wrappers: "We did it. We turned problems into candy, and now you can eat them." "Unharvested produce," the packaging read, "wastes vital energy and contributes to climate change."
Keller started to think about how to utilize unharvested produce when she attended Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, in 2018 with Kevin Wall — who produced the Live Earth climate benefit concert with The Climate Reality Project founder, former Vice President Al Gore — and Wall's wife, Dr. Susan Smalley, co-founder with her husband of PTK Capital. "We went there to learn about food security, and I witnessed the United Nations installing generators, due to climate change, to keep the glaciers refrigerated for all of the seeds that feed the world," Keller said.
"While I was on the trip, I was reading Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reduce Global Warming by Paul Hawken," she continued. "I learned how 40% of food is wasted globally. For these reasons, the company business plan came together while I was in the Arctic Circle."
With the help of her co-founders Wall and Smalley, Climate Candy was born. "I knew there had to be a way to combine my passion for environmental issues and health with the family business creating sweet treats," said Keller, a longtime climate activist. "I was determined to create a business that could make a contribution to the planet and make a positive impact on people's lives and health while still allowing indulgence and the enjoyment we get from candy," she added.
According to Keller, they have rescued almost 2.2 million fruits and vegetables in a year and Climate Candy is reducing food waste by preventing unharvested produce from going into landfills.
Truly, what a sweet way to save the environment!