Why Does It Matter to Eat Organic?

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As the editor of a national green-lifestyle magazine, I get a lot of questions from readers. But without a doubt, the number one question I’m asked is, “Why does it matter to eat organic?”

It can be a tough question to answer. And the reality is, even I don’t eat organic 100% of the time, because of one simple fact—it’s not always easy. But eating organic does matter and it is important to incorporate it into your and your family’s life whenever possible. So, when does it really matter to make the organic choice?

Starting Children with Organics

Child holding blueberries

We’ve all seen it, new parents franticly attempting to feed only organics to their little ones. And it makes sense. Pesticides and herbicides can harm the developing brain and nervous system of babies and toddlers. But once children start running and talking, the thought becomes bye-bye Plum Organics fruit and veggie pouches and hello conventional apple sauce. The reality is, organic still matters. For instance, conventional apples have the highest pesticide residue of all commercially grown fruit according to the Environmental Working Group. And the risk of harm to children is higher than adults since they eat more fruits and vegetables, relative to their body weight.


Carton of eggs and milkMake Your Switch Easy

List the foods you buy on a regular basis when shopping at Sprouts, and slowly start to transition these items to organic. This list probably contains items like milk, cereal, eggs, and salad mixes. Going organic on these items means they’re not only free of pesticides, but for items like milk, meat and poultry it means they have no hormones or antibiotics added.


Salmon with SaladKeeping Your Options Open

In the US, there are no standards for certified organic seafood. So, I look for sustainably caught canned tuna from brands like Wild Planet. These brands use pole and line fishing methods (so no turtles are harmed) to catch smaller and younger fish. Smaller fish accumulate less mercury than larger fish, making it a winner in my book.


Strawberries and KaleBuy in Season

Buy in Season. When your favorite fruits and vegetables are in season, buy in large quantities. Sprouts has weekly deals, making it easy for you to stock up. Save time and money by freezing your fruits and veggies. I like to freeze berries on a parchment lined baking sheet and then store them in containers. This way I always have fruit on hand and can make smoothies in a snap by tossing in a handful of berries and enjoying a burst of summer (even if it’s cold and dreary outside).


Sprouts organic salad dressingYou Can Trust the Certified Organic Seal

When you see the USDA Certified Organic seal on packaging, you can be assured it’s the real deal. The seal is regulated by the U.S. Government and every brand, grower, manufacturer from certified organic skin care to certified organic juices follow the same standards and practices to earn (and use!) the seal.


Danny Seo, Editor in ChiefAbout Danny Seo, Editor in Chief

Naturally, Danny Seo

Through his best-selling books, television programs, products, and syndicated column, environmental-lifestyle expert Danny Seo shares the creative ideas that have made him America’s leading authority on modern, eco-friendly living. His magazine “Naturally, Danny Seo”, looks at living the healthy, natural and good-for-you life with a fresh, authoritative voice that covers everything from food, beauty, travel, home, and entertaining all through Danny’s unique point-of-view as America’s leading guru of green living. Naturally, Danny Seo is where style and sustainability meet.

 

Surf Sweets

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Surf Sweets

Whether you are filling Easter baskets, lunch boxes or packing a picnic, there is always room for a sweet snack. And Surf Sweets candy is the best kind!

Packed with delicious fruity flavors, Surf Sweets gummy candies and organic jelly beans have clean ingredients and are allergen friendly.

Here are just a few reasons to love Surf Sweets:

  • Made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners.
  • Each candy serving has 100% daily value of vitamin C.
  • Made without corn syrup.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • Free of the top 10 food allergens.
  • (Most importantly) Surf Sweets taste great!

Bring them to a school party, sweeten your movie nights or treat somebody for a job well done. However you like to snack, you can enjoy the sweet satisfaction of having delicious treats everyone can enjoy. Try one in every flavor!

Follow us on social media for new items and giveaways:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurfSweets/
Twitter: @surfsweets
Instagram: @surfsweets
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/surfsweets/

 

Stonyfield Organics

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Stonyfield Organic yogurtWhen cows are 100% grassfed, they eat all grass (no grain, no corn), all the time, all year long! Because of this, the milk has a rich, unique taste. It’s simple, and it’s simply delicious. As a matter of fact, it is certified 100% Grassfed by the PCO*.

There are four delicious flavors in the six-ounce singles. Plain and vanilla flavors are available in a convenient 24-ounce size. So whether you are snacking, cooking or adding your own fresh fruits, there is an option for you.

Stonyfield Organics takes the time to support family farms and strives to be good citizens of the planet by taking environmental concerns seriously. That’s what makes Stonyfield products more than just delicious.

*The PCO 100% Grassfed certification program establishes an optional additional certification scope for operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program regulations.

To learn more about PCO’s 100% Grassfed standards, visit www.paorganic.org/grassfed.

Learn more about them @Stonyfield on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest, or visit Stonyfield.com to find out more.

 

R.W. Knudsen Family

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R.W. Knudsen Family® Vegetable Beverages include flavors such as Tomato Sriracha, Tomato Red Bell Pepper, Carrot Ginger Turmeric, Beet and Carrot. And they’re not just for drinking … use these veggie beverages to add extra flavor to your favorite recipes as well. Regardless of how you use them, rest assured that each variety is Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project® Verified.

R.W. Knudsen Family Spicy Salsa Sipper

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups W. Knudsen Family® Organic Tomato Sriracha Juice, chilled
  • 2 tsp. Santa Cruz Organic® Pure Lime Juice, chilled
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Green onion, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Combine juice blend, lime juice, garlic powder, salt, cilantro and onion in 2-quart pitcher. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish drinks with lime wedges.

For more recipes and information about R.W. Knudsen Family products, please visit RWKnudsenFamily.com.

The Non-GMO Project Verified Mark is a registered trademark of The Non-GMO Project.

 

Organics — Where to Start

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Organic pretzel twistsCertified organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and are strictly regulated by the USDA. They must be made from at least 95% organic ingredients in order to be considered “organic.” Similarly, organically raised animals meet animal welfare standards and are given organic feed without any growth hormones and antibiotics. And, GMOs are never allowed in certified organic products.

Where Can I Find More Information on Organic Foods?

The USDA National Organic Program
The Organic Trade Association

 

 

 

Organic Prairie

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Organic Prairie beef jerky, organic turkey and beefOrganic Valley and Organic Prairie farmers tend to say it best: “We’re passionate about being good stewards of the land, and we are passionate about organic. We know that what we do every day ensures that the organic label means something to the families who trust Organic Valley.”

Organic Valley is cooperative of family farmers who pioneered the industry and are leading organic farming and production standards, including one of the nation’s strictest dairy pasturing policies. Why is that a big deal? Because it results in healthier land, healthier animals, and organic dairy products that contain 62% more beneficial omega-3 and 18% more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).

Organic Valley and Organic Prairie family farmers pledge to produce the highest-quality, award-winning organic products, like, cheese, butter, cream, milk, yogurt, eggs, veggies, beef, pork and poultry.

 

Orgain

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As a cancer survivor and medical doctor, Orgain founder Dr. Andrew Abraham has experienced firsthand the critical importance of organic, wholesome nutrition and the vital role it plays in supporting the body in times of stress.

Following his cancer diagnosis, Dr. Abraham made it his mission to formulate a certified organic nutrition shake that was lower in sugar, high in organic protein, and free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colorings. After exhaustive work and research, and a lot of time in his kitchen working with real organic ingredients, he developed the perfect recipe that would later become Orgain® Nutrition Shakes.

Today, the Orgain line has grown to include plant-based protein powder, grass-fed whey protein, nutritional shakes for kids and vegans, and even plant-based protein bars. With every new product, Dr. Abraham’s goal remains the same: to provide the best and most delicious nutrition to help everyone gain health, energy and the most out of life.

Find delicious recipes and information on how to live a healthy and vibrant life here: FacebookTwitterOrgain Blog.

Video description: Orgain Founder Dr. Andrew Abraham talks about his experience with cancer, his recovery, and the inspiration behind Orgain.
 

New England Naturals

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Natural Organics granolaNew England Natural Bakers has been creating nutritious, all-natural and organic products in a way that also contributes to environmental and social improvement since 1977.

Located in Western Massachusetts in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, New England Natural Bakers is a 100% employee-owned company with a close-knit community of 50 owners.

In addition to their assortment of bulk products, New England Natural Bakers also offers a line of organic pouch granola. Created with the health of the consumer in mind, shoppers will find both unsweetened (no sugar added) and high-protein varieties that are certified organic as well as Non-GMO Project Verified.

To learn more, check out New England Natural Bakers online at nenb.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

 

Miss Jones

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Miss Jones is a new kind of baking company. By focusing on quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients, this San Francisco-based company is raising the bar when it comes to taking shortcuts in the kitchen.

Their plant-based cookie, brownie and cake mixes are tasty, easy-to-make and simple to customize. Plus, they go well with their line of organic, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, ready-to-eat frostings. Each mix can be baked using conventional or vegan ingredients, so you can bake something for everyone. Taking inspiration from classic, made-from-scratch flavors, Miss Jones’ treats are always simple, fun and delicious.

Founder Sarah Jones takes her sourcing seriously, partnering with the most innovative suppliers and using the best sustainable ingredients available. Leaders in the organic baking space, they were the first to bring organic, plant-based frosting to the store shelves.

Jones and her team believe that the best baking experiences are centered around inspiration and creativity, so they have developed an ever-evolving collection of recipes and baking hacks to bring even the most ambitious projects to life.

Toasted Coconut Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes

Let your inner child rejoice! The hunt for the best Easter treat ends here. These Toasted Coconut Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes with a secret compartment filled with jelly bean treasures are as fun to eat as they are to make. Plus they are totally organic, so they aren’t filled with artificial colors or flavors. Just sweet goodness and a fun surprise. They are super easy to make and are sure to bring lots of happiness.

Toasted Coconut Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup Unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup Coconut milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 box Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Cake Mix
For the frosting
  • 1 tub Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Frosting
For the topping
  • Toasted shredded coconut
  • Organic jelly beans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of unrefined coconut oil in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, melted coconut oil and coconut milk. Add cake mix and whisk until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. With a 1/4 cup scoop, spoon batter into prepared cupcake liners and bake until just set, about 16–22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Let cool in cupcake pan for about 5–10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, use a small round cookie cutter or the back of a large frosting tip to remove cupcake centers and fill with organic jelly-bean candies.
  6. Spread or pipe frosting over cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut. Top with additional jelly beans.

 

Miss Jones & Little Secrets

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Miss Jones

Miss Jones is a new kind of baking company. By focusing on quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients, this San Francisco-based company is raising the bar when it comes to taking shortcuts in the kitchen.

Their plant-based cookie, brownie and cake mixes are tasty, easy-to-make and SO easy to customize—especially with their complementary line of organic, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free ready-to-eat frostings. Each mix can be baked using conventional or vegan ingredients, so you can bake something for everyone. Taking inspiration from classic, scratch-made flavors, Miss Jones’ treats are always simple, fun and delicious.

Founder Sarah Jones takes her sourcing seriously, partnering with the most innovative suppliers and using the best sustainable ingredients available. Leaders in the organic baking space, they were the first to bring organic, plant-based frosting to the store shelves. Miss Jones’ brownie mix even beat out Betty Crocker three-to-one in a USA Today taste test.

Jones and her team believe that the best baking experiences are centered around inspiration and creativity, so they have developed an ever-evolving collection of recipes and baking hacks to bring even the most ambitious projects to life.

Little Secrets

Decades ago inside a corner store, a nine year old Chris Mears on roller blades stealthily slipped a piece of candy into the pocket of his jeans and rolled his way to the door. He was stopped, did his time, and reformed his ways, but his sincere love of chocolate still remains. Now a certified grown-up with a penchant for unwrapping candy bars mid-afternoon, Chris wanted to find a way to make his guilty pleasures less incriminating. And yea, verily, so became Little Secrets, an incredible candy brand that sources the best ingredients, says nahhh to any artificial anythings, and understands hiding a bag of our candy-coated chocolates in your top desk drawer.

We don’t pretend to be good at everything … or even most things. But where we lack in geography bowl trophies we make up for by being really, really good at making candy-coated chocolate.

We’re all about sourcing the best ingredients, using Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, and creating premium blends without any artificial ingredients, flavors or colors because the words “delicious” and “natural” can and should absolutely go together.

Pretty regular at everything else, but our candy game is on point. And like any good little secret, sharing is always optional.


Spooky Secret Cupcakes

Spooky Secret Cupcakes

Makes 8 extra-large cupcakes

Ingredients:

You’ll need:

  • Large muffin pan
  • Large muffin liners
  • Large piping tip (optional)
  • Large piping bag or plastic bag (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large muffin pan with large cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, butter and oil. Add in cake mix and whisk until well combined.
  3. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 – 2/3 full and bake for 16–20 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched. Cool completely.
  4. Use the back of the large piping tip or a serrated knife to cut a well in the middle of the cupcakes. Fill with candies and then cover with frosting. Throw a few more candies on top and enjoy the surprise as everyone takes a bite!