Tag Archives: nongmo

New Survey Shows Plant-Based Milk is Preferred over Dairy!




Taste, health and environmental/animal welfare concerns are top reasons cited for consuming plant-based milks in BerryCart/Califia Farms’ survey; over 50% of omnivores surveyed drink plant-based milks several times a week

Los Angeles, CA  January 18, 2016 – A new survey conducted by Califia Farms, one of the fastest growing natural beverage companies in the United States, and BerryCart, the app for organic, natural and non-GMO food rebates, indicates that plant-based beverages are no longer ‘niche’ and are rapidly entering the mainstream. The survey results mirror industry data that shows a dramatic increase in household penetration of non-dairy milks – from 27.3% in 2013 to 55% in 2015.

The survey, conducted online among over 2,500 BerryCart users in Q4 2015, asked respondents to identify themselves as either omnivore, flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, ‘not able to mix milk and dairy,’ or vegan, and focused on why consumers are opting to drink plant-based milks.

READ and SEE more BELOW!:


Author: Christine

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Conventionally Grown Meat

Meat, the highest source of protein that the average person receives, is perhaps the top food group that is overlooked when a person decides to start eating more organic and naturally. Some people think they have to write off meat entirely to eat organic and healthy, while others see no difference between a normal grocery store chicken breast and an organic one, because it isn’t as visually apparent as most other organic foods.


But, the truth is there are several reasons that you should start avoiding conventionally grown meat.


  1. Living Conditions.


While meat animals are generally treated better than animals that produce animal by-products, like dairy cows and egg-laying hens, meat animals are still fed less-healthy food and live in much poorer conditions than those raised under the National Organic Program standards. Conventional meat cattle and birds are kept in small cramped quarters, called “feed lots,” usually severely crowded by others of their kind.  Feedlot chickens are often even raised in these cramped quarters without light. NOP animals are allowed to roam and graze and live their life in more natural conditions. Because it is required by NOP that the animals are left to graze most of their lives, the pastures are open, spacious areas in order to provide enough food for the animals. Organic standards forbid feed lots for both cattle and poultry.


  1. What They Eat, You Eat.


Now, you might not be bothered by the conditions that the animals are raised in. Some people just choose not to think about it.  However, as we just mentioned, cattle raised under the organic standards are allowed to graze, which means their diet consists largely of grass, rather than grain and by-products like soy bean casings. Therefore, NOP meat actually contains less omega-6 than beef that has been fed with high levels of grain. High levels of omega-6 are known to promote breast cancer and prostate cancer, as well as other health conditions.


To see the full picture, it’s important to note that some omega-6 is part of a normal diet, but high levels are not, the same as it is with many other food properties. The important thing to know is that the level in commercial beef is higher than it should be for a healthy diet, especially when dealing with a staple food.


Grass fed beef also tends to be leaner and therefore easier on your cholesterol. According to a clinical study by two doctors,  Hunninghake and Davison, who ran a long term study on grass fed versus grain fed beef, grass fed beef has a very similar level of fat to skinless chicken breast.


Grass fed animals also have a higher content of vitamin E.


  1. Lower Fat and Additives – Lower Calories


The fact that grass fed beef is leaner also means it’s lower in calories. When comparing two 6 ounce sirloin steaks, a grain fed steak contains approximately 100 more calories than a grass fed steak.


While we’re on this subject, even though chicken isn’t affected by the fat problem, they are affected by the solute problem, which also can cause issues in your weight and health. Have you ever noticed the difference in texture between organic poultry and commercial poultry? That’s because commercial poultry is injected with solutions (usually salt based) to make it look plumper and add weight. That extra isn’t good for your health.


Do you avoid red dye when you buy foods? Ever thought about why that meat at some major chains looks REALLY red? Both commercial chicken and beef (mostly beef) can have added dyes to make them more visually appealing to consumers and to make the meat look fresher.


  1. Who Needs More Hormones and Antibiotics?


While you may be on hormone therapy from your doctor, you certainly don’t need the hormones fed to cattle. Part of most commercial beef programs involve the use of several types of hormones to cause the cattle to gain girth and grow faster. These include hormones that are rarely given to humans in large doses, such as testosterone,  estradiol, progesterone, zeranol, and trenbolone, and melengesterol acetate. These hormones, of course, can continue to stay present in the meat. High levels of artificially introduced hormones of these types have been known to cause several types of cancers,  effect sperm counts, growth rate issues in children, early puberty,  and other reproductive problems. While the USDA maintains that the hormones are kept at safe levels, many don’t feel that it is worth the risk of artificially introducing added hormones to their bodies. Some European countries have even banned the importation of U.S. grown beef because of it. A study at Montana State University found that commercially grown beef contain 47% more hormones than GOP beef.


Growth hormones cannot be used in the growth of chickens, per USDA standards, but this doesn’t make commercial chicken safe. Living in cramped quarters creates an environment where illnesses and germs and bacteria are rampant. Many types of infections or disease would wipe out the whole feed lot. As a result, both beef and chicken are routinely given antibiotics to keep down the spread of these infections and diseases. These can stay in the body for weeks, depending on type and amount given. When you consider that chickens grow to maturity between 8-16 weeks, depending on breed, that doesn’t leave much time for the antibiotic to be out of the system and still allow the poultry to be protected from the conditions in the feed lot. Grazed and free ranged animals do not require the intensive treatments, because they are not in the same risky environment. While the USDA does require a waiting period after the antibiotics are administered, traces may still be present and they were still put into the animal’s system and therefore the meat.


  1. Longer Shelf Life via Additives and Radiation:


Irradiated meat is treated by either electricity or a machine that exposes the meat to cobalt 60, which is a radioactive material that must be manufactured in a nuclear reactor. The process is done in order to destroy the bacteria present in food, which can often be the result of the poor living conditions in the feed lots. Irradiated foods look no different than non-irradiated foods.  This may sound like a very swaying argument, because no one wants bacteria from a feed lot in their food. However, there is more to the story.


We know that radiation can destroy good cells as well as bad ones. Along with bacteria, irradiation destroys enzymes in the food that help you to digest it. It also decreases vitamins and a variety of other enzymes. In short, the nutritional value of the food is compromised.


Even worse, depending on the type of radiation used, the food can retain trace amounts of radioactivity. There is no long term study in humans regarding the safety of irradiated food, and no studies at all on the effect of irradiated food in children. However animal studies showed increased incidents of kidney failure, tumors, and reproductive issues.


There are other, bigger issues involving irradiated foods, including the transport of the irradiation machines and the handling of materials, labelling issues, and many other concerns. Irradiation also produces free radicals during the irradiation process.  All of this is avoided with organically produced food, which by GOP requirements is free of radiation.


As we mentioned earlier, there are additives to commercial meats that are designed to improve their appearance and add weight, but those aren’t the only chemicals found in commercial meats. There are also additives that preserve the meat to extend its shelf life. It’s common to find potassium lactate and sodium lactate on poultry. If you’ve gone Thanksgiving shopping recently, you may have discovered that a turkey that has not been injected is a rare find.

In addition to preservatives, there are flavor and texture enhancers, such as Bromelain and ficin, hydrolyzed protein, monosodium glutamate and papain. Beef often contains phosphates and propyl gallate, butylated hydroxytoluene, and various water solutions. These and other meats can contain nitrites and nitrates.


Preservatives have serious side effects. They can cause stomach issues, allergic reactions, and different types of cancer.  Yes, preservatives and radiation do extend the life of meat and protect from various airborne bacteria, but the consequences and risks of eating these treated foods are something to also be considered.


Only you can decide what to put in your body, but we hope to help you make an educated choice. Many of these processes do cut the cost of the product. However, we believe that the long term health benefits are worth spending the extra money or the effort that goes in to catching a sale.

Author: Julia

Which Oils Are Good For You?

As we all know, not all fats are created equal. Back in the day, you might remember your grandmother saving bacon drippings to cook with, or at least you heard about it. We’ve learned a lot since then, so let’s take a look at some modern findings:


Olive oil

Olive oil is not only flavorful, but good for you. This oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the healthy kind of cholesterol (HDL). To increase this benefit, high-polyphenol virgin olive oil has been found to have an even greater benefit than regular olive oil.


Hemp Oil

Hemp oil contains all of the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids that a human body needs.  It has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omeg-3, a balance shown to be ideal for the cardiovascular system. It also contains fatty acids that are known to be crucial for brain and optical health. In fact, pregnant women are encouraged to include hemp oil in their diets to aid in the development of their growing infant. Hemp oil is also good for mood regulation and immune system health, as well as intestinal health.

Topically, hemp oil is easily absorbed into the skin and excellent for moisturizing  poor skin conditions or as a base for healing blends, treating psoriasis, eczema, itchiness, and irritated skin.


Avocado Oil

This tasty oil is especially rich in alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein absorption. It is found to lower cholesterol, and to be good for your kidneys by improving kidney function through the way the way kidneys respond to hormones.

Avocado oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help stimulate cartilage growth and repair. One study also noted that it helped ease the symptoms of knee and hip arthritis as well as helped prevent periodontal disease

When blended with Vitamin B12, it has also been found to be an excellent topical treatment for psoriasis.


Apricot Oil

Apricot oil has a sweet, nutty aroma. As a food, it is high in oleic acid and linoleic acid. It is often used in recipes interchangeably with almond oil.

However, apricot oil is primarily a topical. It is commonly used in cosmetics, creams, soaps, lotions, and others. It is also frequently used in massage, as it is easily absorbed into the skin and does not leave a greasy residue. It is also one of the gentlest topical oils, which makes it suitable for use in children, elderly patients, and those with sensitive skin.

Topically, it can be administered to:

–           reduce stress

–          ease pain

–          treat inflammation

–          leave an overall sense of well-being

–          as an emollient and antioxidant

–          an antiseptic and antibacterial that can be used in open wounds and cuts

–           believed to be anti-aging

–           As a topical hair treatment and can nourish weak, brittle, and damaged hair.


Coconut Oil

The benefits of coconut oil include helping the body to fight off disease and increase proper thyroid function. A study in 2009 found that women who consumed coconut oil saw a reduction in abdominal fat, due to the type of medium chain triglycerides that it contains. Coconut oil is also rich in antioxidants.


Black Cumin Oil

Black Cumin Oil is considered to be an ancient healer and appears in ancient Chinese, Greek, and Egyptian medicine. Black cumin seed extract is believed to fight cancer and help increase the body’s production of bone marrow by 250%, increases immune cells, and natural interferons. Black cumin oil contains over 100 chemical compounds, vitamins, and nutrients and is used to treat a wide range of ailments including:

–          cancer

–          allergies

–          tuberculosis

–          multiple sclerosis

–          asthma

–          liver problems

–          sluggish metabolism

–          lethargy

–          fever

–          lowers blood sugar level

–          Inhibits tumor growth by 50%


As a final note, research has also discovered that the commercial processing of homogenizing, which began as a way of lengthening the shelf life of the product, actually changed the properties of oil into saturated fats during the process. As 7-time Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Johana Budwig put it, this removes many of the healthful benefits of the oil and makes it behave more like “tar” in the body. Cold pressing is the most widely available positive processing that is accepted as a good way of preserving  an oil’s natural properties. Always look for oils that are non-homogenized.

Coupons and Deals Related to Post


Author: KIra

Kale and Chia and Black Beans oh MY: Three Great Foods to Add to Your Diet this Week

You probably already know that Black Beans are good for you. Aside from being one of the healthiest foods for your colon and digestive tract, black beans are a great way to fulfill the weekly dietary recommendation of 3 cups of legumes per week.  But did you know that black beans are also great for blood sugar regulation due to its natural ability to curtail simple sugar extremes during digestion? They also contain 8 different flavonoids that have antioxidant potential and are high in phtyochemicals. In layman’s terms, they are a big help in the prevention of cancer.


But guess what – black beans aren’t just good for YOU, they are good for the soil too!  Beans are one of the only cultivated plants that enrich, rather than deplete, the soil they are grown in.


Chia is actually nothing new, even though it’s new to a lot of Americans. It was a highly prized plant to the Mayans. In fact, chia is the Mayan word for strength. Modern science is proving that the Mayans knew what they were talking about.

Chia seeds contain massive amounts of nutrients on very little calories. In fact, the nutrient to calorie ratio is one of the best known to food.  Two Tablespoons of chia seed contains 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. They are also very high in magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and calcium and contain a significant amount of Vitamins B1, B3, and B12, Zinc, and Potassium.


If that isn’t enough for you, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants. Foods rich in antioxidants are necessary for helping your body prevent infectious and debilitating diseases. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and have been known to reduce dangerous health markers in diabetics.


Chia is also classed as a “whole grain” and is naturally gluten free. As a bonus perk, they are also usually grown organically and GMO-free and are easy to incorporate into your diet. Most nutritionists consider chia to be a “superfood” with no question.


Kale was at one time relegated to the unfair position of “food dressing,” where it’s lovely leaves were simply there to make other foods look prettier. However, those days are long gone.


Kale has special cholesterol lowering benefits and is excellent for aiding in digestive tract issues. It contains properties that allow bile acids to be excreted more efficiently. The plant is now well-known for helping assist in body detoxification, as well. Kale has been specifically linked to the prevention of at least five different types of cancer – bladder, breast, prostate, ovary, and colon – and new findings are coming in regularly.


Science has also found at least 45 different identifiable flavonoids in kale that combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

If you aren’t sold on kale yet, 1 cup of kale has only 36 calories, but packs a huge vitamin punch. Its loaded with vitamins A,  K, and C, and also contains significant amounts of calcium, fiber, iron, B6, copper, manganese, and vitamin E.


So as you can see, we aren’t kidding! These are three great foods that you should start adding to your diet this week! Your body will thank you.

Coupons and Deals Related to Post


Author: Guest Blogger

What is non-GMO, foods?

An increasing amount of Non-GMO products are appearing at local grocery stores and supermarkets. What are the benefit of buying Non-GMO? What even is a GMO? Here are 5 things that you need to know about GMOs and how they affect your life.


  1. What is a GMO?


The term GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms” where plants and animals are created through genetic engineering (GE). It is a laboratory based technique where a foreign gene is merged into the DNA of a plant or animal, creating an effect that cannot occur in nature or in traditional cross breeding. GE’s main goal is to create GMO crops that are resistant to pesticides or produce insecticides. GMO crops allow farmers to kill weeds and pesky insects without damaging the crops themselves. It is said that the use of GMOs will also increase crop yields, lower costs to farmers, reduce farmer’s use of herbicides, enhance nutrient composition and food quality, and increase maturation growth of animals.


  1. What are the effects of GMO’s to our foods?


Studies have shown that although genetically modified (GM) foods are expected to increase crop yields, they have not done so yet. Instead, there have been cases of poor crop performance. In addition, GMO’s alter the nutritional content of our foods.


  1. What are the effects of GMO’s to the body?


Injecting genes into a seed’s DNA is a gamble and unstable because scientists are unable to predict its consequences. For this reason, the effects of GMO’s on the human body are unknown. The little research done on their long-term effects imply that they may cause toxic and allergenic effects, infertility, altered metabolisms, inflammation and kidney and liver malfunction.


  1. What are Top GMO rich foods?
  2. 4 Tips for eating Non-GMO

Canola Oil and Cottonseed Oil
Dairy Products
Sugar and Aspartame (Sugar Substitute)
Yellow Squash

Go Organic! The USDA certifies that organic foods are not in any way bioengineered in the process of producing food. Although organic is not always failsafe because GMO’s can some how slip into the mix even if the farmer follows the Organic Certification Process; however, it’s currently the best and easiest way to make sure foods are GMO free.

Be conscious of the aforementioned GMO rich foods. Buy organic, or simply avoid certain products by substituting them for safer items that are less likely to harbor GMOs.


Read Labels. Look for the USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project certified logo on your grocery products.



Be aware of a product’s ingredients. GMO’s can hide in the ingredients list of items in your grocery cart. Avoid ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.



Author: Guest Blogger

What is Processed Food and How to Avoid?

Why are processed foods bad?

Any search on Google for “processed food” will surround you with popular clauses like ‘harmful’, ‘avoid’, or ‘dangerous’. Over time, convenience food has bedeviled our pantries and fridges, even our mind and body. Why do you think the alteration in our food has stockpiled such media critique? Whatever we eat is processed to some degree and that includes, but not limited to, chopped apples, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, even a bag of spinach leaves. If you’re still wondering how to achieve clean eating, read on.

What you need to know: Real vs Processed Food

Conventionally, the main reasons to process food are to eliminate pathogens and to extend shelf life of the food. In order to achieve this, food is altered on a varying spectrum from minimally to heavily. Most of our food has been processed for centuries using simple techniques such as cooking. This offers many benefits like enhancing the useful life of the product, reducing the food safety risks, and creates a greater variety in the food supply chain. So what is this negative aspect that has a major impact on food processing? Mainly, it’s the practices and ingredients used in conventionally processed foods, which places the human body at immense dietary & health risks while concerning our environmental and economic issues.
Often, the mind struggles to perceive the significance of real food. Real food comes with an expiration date. Conversely, processed food remains the same in color, texture, and appearance no matter the age.

Real non-processed foods won't have an expiration date stamped on them.

Real non-processed foods won’t have an expiration date stamped on them.

What to look for & consider avoiding: 
– Packaged vegetables, fruits, and roasted nuts. These have been processed minimally and are often prewashed, diced, and peeled for human consumption convenience.
– Read your Ingredient List for added ingredients like flavor enhancers, additives preservatives, and stabilizers. These are used to improve texture, taste, and color and are often found in dairy products, pasta sauces, salad dressings, and more.
– Highly processed foods will include ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, frozen food, precooked meals, and short microwave cooking times.
– Canned food is often heavily processed with chemicals to lock in the nutritional quality and to retain freshness.
– Opt for low-sodium products as they are often packed to keep the longevity of the food product. Rinse off canned vegetables/fruits and drain; this simple step reduces salt by 30%.

Now, there are some things that you should be aware of in processed foods.
Sugar – Avoid non-organic sugar as it is often just beet sugar and heavily processed. Try switching your sugar source to raw sugar or unpasteurized honey. Always look at the ingredient list and be wary if there are added sugars in the first 3 ingredients listed. Words like: sugar, maltose, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar, and fruit juice concentrate should be avoided as much as possible.
Fats – To understand the difference between good and bad fats, you need to be aware of the players in the game. ‘Mono’ and ‘Poly’ unsaturated fats are found in olive oil, rice bran oil, and fatty fish (salmon, trout, tuna) and they enhance your good cholesterol and overall health. ‘Trans’ fat and ‘saturated’ are the worse fats to intake as they elevate heart disease and other disease risks. A simple trick to remember is that ‘good’ fat is liquid at room temperature (like virgin olive oil or coconut oil) and that ‘bad’ fat is solid (like margarine).
– Fortified Foods – like cereals, milk, and juices. Milk and juices are fortified with vitamins like A and D and breakfast cereals are usually enriched with fiber along with other vitamins and essential nutrients.

How to Start Making an Impact on your Health!

Start making a habit of reading the Nutrition Fact Label as well as the Ingredient List so that you can make quick informed choices. Look around and be aware for terms like “raw”, “unprocessed” and “no added preservatives”. If buying meat and meat by-products, being aware of “cage-free”, “no hormones added”, and “organic” will aid in a cleaner product.

Clean labels to consider purchasing

Clean labels to consider

Buy Non-GMO Project verified on sugar and corn & try to buy USDA Organic if not Non-GMO Project verified.