Archive | GMO Food

Organic Companies Announcing New Products CHFA West recap

A few weeks ago I was apart of an amazing group of social media influencers that attended the CHFA West 2015 Trade Show. This was unlike any trade show I’ve been to and I strongly encourage any retailer or buyer to attend if given the opportunity. Because it’s not open to the public, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the 100s of vendors announcing the latest and greatest in the organics industries are apart of one huge, incredible collaborative under one roof.

I was blessed to guest write an article for Vancouver Is Awesome with my recap of the show. Please head over to this article HERE and read about my favourite organic picks. Below is a sneak peek but to learn the juicy tidbits about the products, VIAwesome is the place to visit.

My favourite roundups:

We started our morning with the co-founders and entire Nature’s Path family. I thank them for continuing to turn out clean food and for the hope I felt after listening to co-Founder Arran speak about how he views the future of organics. Read more here.  Below is the snapshot of my favourite new product (Qi’a) that is launching soon to your local grocery store!

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Visiting the owner Alicia at AspenClean, we talked about their recent news of having all essential oils in their cleaning products 100% organic, while maintaining their already impressive Eco-cert certification. For anyone still using traditional cleaning products, make the switch to a healthier home, once you do, kids can even help clean!

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Team CHFA West discovered that Wholesome Sweeteners has rebranded with a very playful and fun packaging with the shortened name Wholesome!. I’ve long used this brand (coconut sugar) and I can’t wait to try their syrup, especially organic cane sugar syrup – not tapped from a tree. In my experience with trying to avoid GMOs for my family, preparing my own baking using organic sugar (cane or coconut) has really helped with avoiding GMO sugar beets (one of the big GMO crops).

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Visiting the Aura Cacia booth was super fun because I love learning about oils. When used properly, essential oils and plant oils can substitute so many traditional products with synthetic ingredients and perfumes. A great example is the Aura Cacia aromatherapy oil diffusers for vehicles. Have you see these?  No more little toxic trees! Aura Cacia is doing a great job educating consumers with over 100 DIY recipes, showing everyday people how to harness their own creativity and make their own personal care and cleaning products. Love it!

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Last but not least, as CHFA West had hundreds of companies with amazing things, we went to get the scoop on Simply Organic. Again, I love learning more about a company I’ve already been supporting with my consumer dollars for years. The big news was their popular vanilla extract is now available in a non-alcoholic version due to consumer demand because of religious reasons or baking for very young children. Consumers spoke and they listened. Look for this version the next time you are picking up any of their extract, spices, or mixes.

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The group assembled to spend the day talking to leaders in organics was a joy to spend time with and I was like a kid in an organic candy shop. Special thanks to sponsored brands Nature’s Path Organics, AspenClean, Wholesome!,  Aura Cacia, Simply Organic, and CHFA West for assembling them all under one amazing roof in Vancouver!

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What Is The Big Deal About a GMO Apple?

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I spend a portion of my life dedicated to activism. It’s something that helps ease my own personal fears for the environment and future for my four children. I’m proud to belong to an activist group focused on educating the public on GMOs (genetically modified food) called GE Free BC. A big focus over the last year for our group has been on the genetically modified apple for a few reasons:

– the company that purchased the GMO apple technology lives about 4 hours away from my community in BC’s beautiful Okanagan so it’s a big BC/Canadian problem.
– this is only the 2nd fruit produced in the WORLD that is GMO so that makes it a pretty big deal.
– the idea of a tree fruit that needs to be pollinated being engineered is so scary to me (bees are already suffering enough with pesticides) that I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I wasn’t involved in trying to stop this from actually being approved in Canada.
– the Okanagan company that produced the GMO apple, has the technology ready to go for peaches, pears, and cherries.  Once our apples are contaminated, 3 other tree fruits will be next.

So with the company behind the GMO apple technology seeking approval from the Canadian Government (we have no way of knowing what the status of this is, as it’s a secret process), our efforts have been very focused to Canada. So you can imagine our shock when news broke this week that the USDA approved the GMO apple for the US. Any North American with concerns about GMOs has been dismayed as this news slowly made it’s way around North America and the rest of the world. It is very difficult to understand why North American governments continue to approve food decisions that consumers clearly don’t want. Not only do consumers not want this, but also farmers, tree growers, and stores are opposed to the idea of growing and selling an apple that doesn’t brown. That is what the ‘modified’ gene trait is with this apple; the gene that browns the apple has been silenced. These Arctic, non-browning apples will not brown until 15-18 days after being cut so it will look fresh when it’s actually rotting.  And for the few consumers that don’t see the big deal about having an apple that doesn’t brown, here is why we are so concerned:

– in order to silence the browning gene, they’ve genetically engineered the apple by inserting a virus, bacteria, and antibiotic marker gene into the apple’s DNA.
– no animal or long-term studies done or requested before approval.
– we don’t know what the nutritional value of an apple once it’s actually rotten. The non-browning alteration is a cosmetic coverup to the actual quality of the fruit.
– every cell of the GM apple tree will have the transgene and once the growers start production of these apples, it will cross contaminate soil, water, insects, and any organism (including humans) that eats it. It’s like opening a Pandora’s box of contamination before proper testing is completed.

As North Americans we think we are so much more advanced than other countries. As Canadians, we live in one of the most beautiful, peaceful countries in the world. But over the years we’ve really let food standards slide when it comes to pesticide use, GMO food production (yes, we are big producers of it) and food standards that allow most of the non-organic packaged food on our grocery store shelves to contain GMO ingredients. Countries that are poor and hungry have said “NO” to growing GMO seed and a bigger “NO” to importing our food, which is slowly being viewed worldwide as tainted. So what did the US do when they approved the GMO apple this week? I fear that they’ve just lost another export. Contamination of a food system is viewed as that big a deal in other countries, and since we know the Ambrosia apple started out with a discarded core in a compost bin, the fear needs to be acknowledged.

If this is the first you are hearing about the GMO apple, we hope you feel outrage and want to take action. Here is possibly the most important action you can take. Talk to your grocery store Manager. Keep it easy, short, and passionate. Tell them that you as a consumer do not want the GMO apples (also called non-browning apple or Arctic Apple) and do not want your local store carrying it if the Canadian Government approves it or after they come into production in the US. If the grocery stores are not carrying this apple, the demand will not be as great.

For more information on how to stop the GMO apple, please visit the CBAN website: http://www.cban.ca/ and follow GE Free BC on Facebook. The time is now to plug back into our food system before we have our grandchildren asking us “how did you let this happen??”!!

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Homemade Nut-Free Granola Bars Kids Love

I started making my own granola bars years ago. Since I first started, the recipe has evolved and I’ve reduced the sugar and increased apple sauce to produce a delicious, kid-friendly, Non-GMO, organic and easy granola bar!  If you have a child that goes to a school where kids have allergies to peanuts, you already know how difficult it is to source granola bars without nuts. I only know of one brand of traditional granola bars that are nut-free and after you read this article from Fooducate, you’ll understand why 1 granola bar that contains GMO ingredients, 43 ingredients (!!), and have 2 teaspoons of sugar (candy bars have 4 teaspoons) is not a food that will fuel your child properly during the day. The below recipe is nut free, making it a wonderful alternative to bring to school or serve where lots of kids hangout and not worry about allergy or ingredient concerns. Yes, when using organic ingredients in the beginning, you’ll experience higher costs, but you’ll get savvy and start buying organic oats, raw honey, and organic flour in bulk.

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After you try this recipe one time, you’ll realize you should double batch. I always do as they go quick around here! I have given these out to hundreds of different children over the years as a concession snack, after sport snack, and packed in lunches. I haven’t met a kid that doesn’t like them. And they contain 11 ingredients that you can easily recognize, rather than the 43 ingredients above that contain a lot of sugars and preservatives.

Ingredients:

2 cups of organic quick cooking rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup raw organic sugar (can sub coconut sugar)
1/4 – 1/2 cup ground chia (I use The Chia Co.)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup organic flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins
1/2 cup raw honey
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup organic apple sauce

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking pan with butter.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, raw sugar, chia, cinnamon, flour and chocolate chips. Make a well in these ingredients and add honey, egg, oil, vanilla extract, and apple sauce. Use your hands and mix. Pour into the square pan. The mixture should be gloppy (if that is an official word). Don’t worry about adding too much apple sauce – it’s the secret ingredient to these chewy bars!

Bake for 30-35 minutes, watching them until the bars turn golden on the edges. Remove from the oven, wait 5 minutes and cut them into bars while the mixture is still warm. When they have completely cooled, remove and store in an air-tight container.

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Contest and Review: Blendtec

Sponsored by: Blendtec

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

 

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When you enter the world of green-living or making small steps to increase your food awareness and health, the blendtec brand is always making an appearance. Whether you are checking out smoothie recipes, making condiments, sauces, soups, etc., you will see a blendtec machine helping make this happen. Why? The power of the blendtec is amazing. You can have that quick convenience of food that doesn’t take long to prepare, but not sacrificing the quality of the food because blendtec will shorten prep time. From the features tab on the machine I own, I read it’s power is measured with 1625 watt, 3.0 peak horsepower motor. As a mom, all I know is whatever I throw at this machine in a frozen or solid form, the machine is tough and it makes you want to use it. Our recent favourite recipes include watermelon slushies and hummus. The items that you make like smoothies are obvious, but with Fall coming I can’t wait to try more soups and get back to making my own mayonnaise. There are very few gadgets I’ve relied on in my journey to being healthier in the kitchen, and I thank blendtec for their quality and dedication to health!

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Here are five reasons more reasons to love a blendtec:

1) The blendtec machines are smart. My son is convinced it can think for itself with the encouraging phrases you’ll see while it’s in use. This makes the fun factor high with these machines!

2) The timing metrics are great. When you select from a set menu of food you are blending, the machine stops at the end of the time allowance so it’s not over processed. Pre-programmed cycles: Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup.

3) The parts are a snap to clean and fit perfectly. I appreciate the snug fit for all the parts and unlike my old blender, there is no waste. If you make a smoothie, you are getting all of the contents as nothing gets stuck in the blades.

4) There are only two pieces with both the twister jar and WildSide+ jar that sit on the big, powerful base of the blendtec. Easy to wash, again, the base is a snap to store, making you want to use this machine often. Nothing is worse than taking apart a machine in 5 or more little pieces to clean after.

5) Power. Its worth mentioning again. You save time and enthusiasm remains high with the powerful motor in this machine. If you need more power, simply slide your finger along the base for customized blending.

About blendtec

Blendtec products are made with high quality and power you can count on. People all around the world use Blendtec blenders in their homes, restaurants, smoothie shops, coffee shops and more. The company started with one man and his curiosity. He has shared that vision with others, and with his team, the dream continues to unfold.

We are excited to bring you this amazing Blendtec Designer Model 625 This machine will inspire you to try recipes with the sleek and functional blender design. The contest winner will receive the blendtec designer 625 base in either black or red colour (based on availability), 3 qt. wildside+ jar & gripper lid container, and guide to recipes and tips.

Would you love to have this beautiful blendtec machine for your own kitchen? Our VERY generous sponsor, Blendtec, wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance!  So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

Blendtec blender 625!

Giveaway ends 9/19/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US andCanadian residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks $100 Giveaway

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Sponsored by: Nature’s Path Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

If you are travelling down the road to limiting GMOs (Genetically Modified Food), artificial dye, highly processed sugars, and for lack of better word ‘JUNK’ in your kid’s diet, you’ve probably already tried and fallen in love with Natures Path Organic and their EnviroKidz brand. Having moved my oldest child away from his favorite GMO (corn based) cereal this summer, I couldn’t have done it without Nature’s Path alternatives on hand. He has now transitioned away from these junky cereals and they won’t ever be making another appearance in our home. We keep Gorilla Munch on hand for occasional dry snacking and anyone wanting a quick bowl of cereal in the morning loves Koala Crisp.

Nature’s Path has earned the trust and respect of parents looking for Non-GMO Verified options, along with many gluten-free and organic products. We have also enjoyed Nature’s Path granola and bars for occasional convenient snacking so I’m excited for the lucky winner of this contest!

About EnviroKidz

EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars are made with simple, wholesome, certified gluten free ingredients, so you’ll be happy adding them to the lunchbox – and kids will be even happier come snack time. They’re gluten free, organic, and full of the great taste kids love.

Who would love a chance to try these yummy snack bars? Well, Nature’s Path is generously sponsoring one lucky reader a chance to receive a supply of EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars – enough for the entire Back-to-School season! So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

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One lucky winner will win an

EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks Prize Pack ($100 value)!

Includes a variety of EnviroKidz and Nature’s Path bars plus free product vouchers!

Giveaway ends 8/13 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canada 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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