Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Wed, 12/02/2015 - 14:29
The Food Babe is a tireless advocate for bringing transparency to the US food system. She is on the front lines, demanding that huge corporations start cleaning up their act and removing toxins from the stuff they call food. She is one of my heroes.
I first met Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe, in 2013 at Natural Products Expo West, the largest organic and natural products trade show in the world. She was on a quest to make a difference in how Americans view the food system and lift the veil.
One of the attributes of Vani that excites me is her capacity to engage folks who have not been part of the organic food movement. Her efforts have helped to dispel the myth that the USDA, FDA and mega-food corporations were actually interested in our health and wellbeing. People from all walks of life have joined the Food Babe Army to demand healthier food and more transparency.
It’s that time of year again when we start to shake off winter’s chill and start reaching for hoes and spades. We glance toward the sun, revel in its warmth and think, “Bring It!” It’s time to get our organic gardening on.
A lot of us start off our gardening with good intentions. We buy organic compost, soil and seeds. We carefully water and weed and take pride in little seedlings as they begin to sprout. But, somewhere in the middle of our growing season, many people succumb to the darkness of weed killer and chemical fertilizers.
Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:17
A decade ago, few people other than those with celiac disease, a digestive condition, knew much about the health implications of gluten. But today, if you aren’t gluten-free, you likely know someone who is or is trying to be. This style of eating has become a way of life for many and a national punch line for others. More than a quarter of Americans say they are cutting down on gluten or eliminating it entirely. Optimistic researchers predict the market for gluten-free products will hit $15.6 billion by 2016. The Food and Drug Administration has noted the diet trend as well, and passed new labeling laws for gluten-free products to take effect in August.
Diet fads come and go. But observers of nutrition and eating trends in the United States say this food regimen is likely to last longer and have more impact because it comes at a time when food allergies, digestive health, genetic modification of grain and other concerns about the American diet are at an all-time high and food itself is the current cultural currency. Gluten-free eating addresses it all.
“We are in this period of cacophony with food, where people are more engaged and more confused,” said Amy Bentley, an associate professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “It’s touching on very complicated issues in the food system right now.”
Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 11:51
Want to celebrate the arrival of Spring with an earth friendly project? Now’s the perfect time to start a composting pile in your backyard! Some of the benefits for doing so are you’ll reduce household waste going to the landfill and you’ll be creating a rich soil conditioner and fertilizer for your plants and garden. The warmer days and nights will help the contents in the compost pile break down faster than during the winter months. Just remember, as summer rolls around and the weather is drier, you’ll need to lightly water your compost to keep it moist so it keeps percolating.
Inspire your friends to get into the gardening and composting groove with a great organic gift basket from America's Best Organics that includes heirloom and organic seeds that will thrive from the healthy compost coming from the backyard!
Here are 8 steps to start a compost pile courtesy of EarthEasy.com:
1. Start your compost pile on bare earth to allow worms and other organisms to aerate the compost. If you’re short on space or prefer to contain the pile, you can use a compost bin or compost tumbler.
2. First in: twigs or straw. Layer these a few inches deep to help drain and aerate the pile.
3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist materials (food scraps, tea bags, etc.) and dry materials (straw, leaves, sawdust, wood ashes). TIP: If you add wood ashes, sprinkle them in thin layers or they’ll clump and slow break down.
4. Add a nitrogen source, like manure or green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings), to activate and speed up the compost process.
5. Keep the compost moist by occasionally watering the pile or allowing rain to do so. It should be moist but not soaked.
6. Cover the pile so it retains moisture and heat- two key essentials for compost. You can likely look no further than your garage or basement to find a suitable cover. Try wood, plastic, a tarp, or carpet scraps.
7. Turn the pile every few weeks with a pitchfork for shovel to help aerate it. This turning process adds oxygen, another instrumental element in the composting process. TIP: You can skip this step if you already have a good supply of coarse material like straw and twigs.
Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:14
By Nikki McCord
You express your love in many ways. You whisper sweet nothings, you rub achy feet. This year, show your love you care about happiness and health. By indulging your Valentine in rich and decadent dark chocolate, you’re not only satisfying their sweet tooth, but you’re showing you care about their health as well!
According to Women’s Health Magazine, cacao, the source of dark chocolate’s distinct taste, is packed with healthy compounds like flavonoids that have antioxidant properties which are “believed to help the body's cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke.” Additionally, flavonoids can help lower blood pressure as well as improve blood flow to the brain and heart, which makes blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. Flavonoids are also found in products like tea and apples.
Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 15:35
By Shoshana Romer
Twice a year, hundreds of the world’s finest food companies gather to showcase their products to eager buyers such as ourselves, at the Fancy Food Show. Held in San Francisco and New York City, arguably the culinary capitals of the United States, the three-day show is a delicious frenzy of tastings, nibbles, sips, and mouth-watering flavor combinations.
America’s Best Organics attends the Fancy Food Shows in search of products that hit our sweet spot: where gourmet and artisanal meet US-made and organic. This year our goal was to discover sweet spot products in the savory category: olive oils, vinegars, crackers, spreads, sauces, chips and other innovative snacks. Here is a sampling of what we discovered, plus a few surprises.
Popcorn Explosion The crunchy stuff is trending big time in the snack world this year. Popcorn is gluten free which makes it a perfect stand-in snack for eaters with sensitivities to gluten. Thanks to some honorable farmers and eager consumers, non-GMO corn is readily available in the marketplace. And, it can easily swing sweet or savory.
Pop Art brings flavors many of us are familiar with to popcorn: Rosemary Truffle, Thai Coconut Curry, White Cheddar Jalapeno, White Pepper Parmesan and more. Pop Art is organic and they went the extra step to become Non GMO Project Verified that is very important when dealing with corn.
What inspired you to start your business? Using my mother’s recipe from the 60’s, my family has baked this granola for family and friends for over 50 years. I started the company at the end of 2010 when I realized that I would soon be an empty nester. I had completed a detox diet where I was gluten-free for 2 months and found very little yummy foods to really sink my teeth into. I decided to make a gluten-free granola that was as delicious or better than our original recipe.
I also made it 100% organic and cut down on the maple syrup so that it has low sugar content. Over 20 years ago I moved to Boulder because I resonated with Boulder values and I wanted to create a Boulder brand that represents what is important to me, all the unique qualities of leading a healthy, active lifestyle, taking your time to enjoy life; family, nature, work, fun and living up to your fullest potential.
What inspired you to start your business? I was challenged with a health issue and as a result placed on an elimination diet. These are diets that temporarily eliminate foods that cause inflammation in the body, in order to identify any triggers. For 60 days, I was unable to eat wheat, gluten, dairy, soy or refined sugars. Quite a feat for a lover of snacks! As a result, I began experimenting in the kitchen with whole foods that would give me a delicious, yet healthy, on-the-go treat. Thus became the Simple Square.
What is your proudest accomplishment? With the business, I would have to say it is in securing a fantastic team who is incredibly intelligent, loyal and determined.
How does your business serve your local community? We donate product to the food banks where we craft SIMPLE. In addition, we just began working with the Whole Kids Foundation and hope to be able to spread the word about how SIMPLE foods can be healthy and delicious.
What inspired you to start your business? The lack of awareness for great tasting and nutritious vegan Indian food in America and also the fact that organic Indian grocery products didn’t even exist. So, I had a mission: launch the first ever organic Indian grocery product for the vegan audience in America. I pulled it off after about 9 years with the 2005 launch of my Organic Indian Spice Blend Line.
What is your proudest accomplishment? No question, NYC Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. A bit impressive for a city of 8 million, no?
How does your business serve your local community? I make sure my beloved borough of Brooklyn is always loaded with my goods at the best prices possible. I work the markets myself so I can say hi to the families who got me off the ground 12 plus years ago. We spread love; it’s the Brooklyn way.
How do you want to make a difference? By doing what I have and continue to do: going the extra miles and taking the risk to bring the most superior products to consumers worldwide.
What tech gadget can you not live without and how does it make a difference in your life? Blackberry. Allows me to run my inbox. I don’t do social media or use a laptop.