· By Annie Lawless
Annie's Must-Have Organic & Non-GMO Products
The human body is a machine designed to run on its intended fuel – food. (1) Food is an interesting concept these days because what exactly is food anymore? We walk into brightly lit supermarkets with rows of shiny, waxy, perfectly proportioned apples, cucumbers, and bell peppers all tempting us with their vibrancy, size, and PRICE. Why would I want to buy organic and non-GMO produce for sometimes double the cost when it looks a little more beaten up, a little less consistent in sweetness, size, and feel from piece to piece, a little less colorful, and not everything I want is always available? I’ll tell you! Because my body wants FOOD. (2) Let’s back up and break this down a little bit. What does organic mean? Organic production of a food means there are no chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances, irradiation , sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the process. (2) Organic meat and poultry mean there are no antibiotics or synthetic hormones used and the animals are fed an organic diet. Organic foods labeled as such (even those which are not 100% organic and just “made with organic ingredients”) cannot be produced from GMOs. (2) And what exactly are GMOs? GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. The resulting organism cannot occur traditionally in nature. As you can see, organic and non-GMO go together like peas and carrots! They are both very important factors in a food’s purity. A food cannot be organic unless it is non-GMO and only non-GMO foods have the potential to eventually meet organic standards if they currently do not. (3) How is this good? Did you see the above terms “chemical fertilizers”, “synthetic substances”, “irradiation”, “sewage sludge”, “GMO’s”, “virusus”, “bacteria”, “antibiotics”, and “synthetic hormones”? (2) Those are not FOOD, but when you buy conventional produce over organic produce, they are often in your food. To me that’s kind of scary. Not only are the health ramifications of habitually consuming these hidden additives bad for your body, they are also bad for our environment. They can damage our soil, pollute our air, and contaminate our water among other things. (3) So, in 2014 make it your mission to be a little greener and a little cleaner with your diet. There is a wealth of information online from various organic organizations as well as the USDA about how to eat more thoughtfully and which products are available for you to replace some not so great ones you may be consuming. There are also great lists detailing which produce is more important to buy organic if you have a tight budget and going 100% organic is not feasible right away. (4) Here are some of my current organic and non-GMO verified faveys you definitely want to check out because not only are they clean, they are mouthwateringy delish!
- Suja Twelve Essentials – I absolutely adore this as green-as-it-gets juice because its earthy taste smoothed out by lemon, ginger and mint really lets the fresh leafy greens shine. I feel like I’m doing something amazing for my body every time I drink one. Because I am!
- Vanilla Maple CocoRoons – These oh so yummy macaroons are made from almonds, coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla bean, and Himalayan salt. You won’t believe how these simple ingredients can taste so delicious. It’s mind boggling! (5)
- Purity Farms Organic Ghee Clarified Butter – Such a fabulous cooking fat alternative to plant oils from highly genetically modified crops like soybean oil, peanut oil, and corn oil. It is also lactose and casein free for those who may be dairy sensitive. Plus, who doesn’t love the taste of buttah? (6)
- Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder – This stuff is super handy for everything from supercharged green smoothies, raw desserts, and simple almond milk hot chocolate. It is also a great source of magnesium and antioxidants. Um, yes please! (7)
- Lundberg Organic Brown Rice cakes – Talk about an easy snack. At 70 calories a pop, these babies can be topped with homemade hummus, fresh fruit preserves, or banana, cinnamon and almond butter. (8)
- Big Tree Farms Sweet Tree Organic Coconut Palm Sugar – This is my new favorite sweetener because it is low glycemic and has a delicious molasses-y brown sugar flavor that is hard to find in alternative sweeteners! I absolutely love this in gluten free baked goods, raw oats, coffee or tea to sweeten things up in a more blood sugar friendly way. (9)