Choosing Non-GMO

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bunch of carrots pulled from the ground with soil and red shovel in background  

What Is a GMO?

A GMO is a genetically modified organism—a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism—whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory and does not occur in nature. There are two ways to avoid GMOs in your food, both include looking for specific labels on the products you purchase.

USDA Organic label/logoChoose Organic

A great way to avoid GMOs is to buy organic! The USDA Organic standards prohibit the use of GMOs in farming and food processing. Products with the USDA Organic seal are also free from growth hormones and antibiotics, as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. You’ll find thousands of organic products at your local Sprouts.

Visit the USDA Organic website.

 

Non-GMO Project Verified LogoLook for the Butterfly

You can also look for the Non-GMO Project Verified logo. Since its inception in 2010, this non-profit has been committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices. There are now over 43,000 products that are Non-GMO Project Verified. You can find thousands of products with this label at your local Sprouts—just look for the butterfly!

Visit the Non-GMO Project Verified website.

Organic Certified Food Labels

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Organic certified food labels: agricultural field with tractor and barn in background Whether you regularly shop organic, or looking to learn more, this article will shed some light on a variety of common and not-so-common logos you see on products you purchase at Sprouts. A product is deemed organic if it is free of synthetic additives including pesticides, chemical fertilizers and dyes. The USDA Organic logo has been in use for nearly two decades, but other logos are new and emerging. It’s an exciting time in the organic field!  

USDA Organic label/logoWhat is USDA Organic?

When you purchase a product with the USDA Organic label on it, you can be assured it’s made with at least 95% organic ingredients and is non-GMO (does not contain genetically modified organisms). The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 established the National Organic Program, but the use of the logo was not implemented until the early 2000s. You can find thousands of organic products at Sprouts!

Visit the USDA Organic website.

 

transitional certified by QAI logoTransitional Organic Certified by QAI

You might not have seen or noticed the QAI certification logo before—that’s because it’s relatively new. In 2016, this program, certifying at least 51% of the contents are transitional organic, was rolled out. It allows small- and medium-sized farms to transition to organic over a three-year period. The benefits of the QAI certification are three-fold: for those smaller farms, it helps to off-set the cost of transitioning their farm to organic. For you, it means more better-for-you choices are available. And for the world at large, this certification is helpful to the organic movement.

Visit the Transitional Organic Certified website.

 

Regenerative Organic Certified logoROC Regenerative Organic Certification

The newest label to the organic family, this certification builds upon the existing USDA Organic seal you’re likely familiar with. In addition to meeting the USDA Organic standards, farmers must also work to increase soil health, animal welfare and worker fairness. Three levels of certification—Bronze, Silver and Gold—ensure progressively more rigorous organic standards. Learn more: Check out our article about regenerative agriculture and visit the Regenerative Organic Certified website.

Did you know?

Farmers are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for organic products—less than one percent of U.S. farmland is certified organic. Interested to learn more? Check out this history of organic farming!

C2O, Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water Recipes

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Not all coconut waters are created equal. C2O’s pure coconut water is fresh from the inland groves of Thailand, and they pride themselves in providing a rejuvenating beverage that is fresh, fragrant and full of naturally occurring electrolytes. The young green coconuts used in C2O’s Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water are hand-picked by co-op farmers. Each coconut is picked between six and seven months to ensure C2O’s coconut water is naturally sweet and delicious. Best of all, the farms C2O partners with are 100% organic! What are you waiting for? Snag a bottle of C2O Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water today, and while you’re at it check out these refreshing coconut water recipes. Nom!

Video Description: Facebook live with C2O Coconut Water and @Cori_Fit.

 

Peanut Ginger Lime Lettuce WrapsPeanut Ginger Lime Lettuce Wraps:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Iceberg lettuce
  • Grilled chicken, chopped
  • Hot House or English Cucumber, finely chopped
  • Chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. C2O Turmeric Ginger Lime coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a sauce pan or a microwaveable bowl heat the coconut water, Tamari, Vinegar, and the honey until warm. Add the peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Add cilantro.
  2. Chop the desired amount of chicken and cucumber for your lettuce wrap. Peel a leaf from the head of lettuce to create a “wrap.” Add in the chicken, cucumber, and drizzle with desired amount of peanut sauce. Top with chopped peanuts and more cilantro. Enjoy! Recipe by Cori from corifit.com

C2O Acai Smoothie Bowl Tropical C2O Acai Bowl:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Frozen Pure Acai Packet
  • 1/2 large banana, frozen
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/3-1/2 cup C2O Pineapple coconut water
  • Desired toppings such as granola, fresh bananas or coconut shreds

Instructions:

  1. In a high powered blender add the Pineapple C20 (start with 1/3 cup), acai packet, frozen banana, frozen berries, and frozen pineapple. Blend on high until you reach a smooth consistency throughout. If the mixture is too thick, add the rest of the coconut water. Pour into a bowl and top with desired toppings. Recipe by Cori from corifit.com

Coconut Water & Kiwi Popsicle:Coconut Water & Kiwi Popsicle:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle C2O Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water
  • 3 Kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • Popsicle mold and popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. Place sliced kiwis into popsicle mold and pour C2O Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water over kiwis.
  2. Insert popsicle sticks and let freeze for 4–5 hours. Quick tip, use the kiwi slices to help keep the popsicle sticks upright!

Sparkling Citrus Coconut Water: Sparkling Citrus Coconut Water:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle C2O Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water
  • 2 cups Sparkling soda, flavored if desired
  • 1 Fresh orange, sliced
  • 1 Fresh grapefruit, sliced
  • 2 Fresh limes, sliced
  • 2 Fresh lemons, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Add fresh, sliced citrus to a large pitcher. Quick tip, squeeze some of the citrus juice into the pitcher to speed up the infusion!
  2. Pour C2O Pure 100% Organic Coconut Water over fresh citrus slices and top off with sparkling soda. Serve immediately.
 

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.