It seems unfathomable that any group, company, corporation or government would take the stance that we don’t have the right to know something as personal and as basic as where our food comes from and the method by which it came to us. Yet in today’s marketplace this is actually a fight we moms have had to take on. It has become a struggle for consumers to be able to ascertain if their food has been genetically modified. Most of the world requires GMO labeling to give people the right to know what they buy. Since food is one of those basic needs we have as human beings there should be no mystery surrounding it. Transparency seems like a reasonable request right?
There are many who do not want GMO labeling and transparency. In fact we keep hearing about legislation that which will make it harder for consumers to get the transparent labeling they deserve.
The good news though is that consumers are getting savvy. They are demanding truth in labeling and transparency about ingredients and practices. This trend has gained more and more steam. The result is that brands have started to take notice and realize they need rethink their current practices.Smart companies are realing they don’t want to be on the wrong side of this issue.
One such company that deserves kudos for pioneering the way and for moving towards transparency when legislation is finding they don’t have to, is Dannon. It’s a move toward doing the right thing for the consumer. Dannon is moving some of their best selling brands toward non-GMO ingredients and going beyond that to develop a supply of non GMO feed for their cows. Dannon is the first national yogurt company to do that.
Not only are they moving towards non GMO products they are being transparent with their labeling. By the end of 2017, Dannon will clearly label its products that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Dannon moves toward non-GMO ingredients
To provide consumers a choice of more natural products, Dannon is pledging to evolve all products from three of their most popular brands – Dannon, Oikos and Danimals – toward the use of non-GMO. This is actually a rather large step in the right direction because these three flagship products represent approximately 50% of Dannon sales. They are taking half their business and changing it for the benefit of consumers right to know!
Because most feed used to feed dairy cows in the US is genetically modified today, they are working with feed suppliers and farm partners to start planting non GMO feed as soon as possible to fulfill future needs. Once these changes are implemented, the products from these three brand families will contain milk from cows fed only nonGMO feed. By the end of 2017 all products within the Dannon brand family will be made with nonGMO ingredients and they will have completed the full conversion of cow feed for these products.
This truly amazing when you consider that Dannon’s perspective on GMOs is that those currently approved are safe. Regardless of their stance though they know full well that there is a growing consumer preference and demand for non GMO ingredients in the US and they can leverage the strong relationships they have with their farmer partners to move faster to provide products that address this consumer demand. This is a big win for the company as they rise to a marketplace challenge to meet consumer demand and this is a big win for the consumer because our voices have been heard and a large company like Dannon is answering.
Dannons Leads the Way With Label Transparency
To further provide transparency about all their products, they have committed to declare the presence of GMO ingredients in their products, on their labels, by December 2017, independent of whatever actions are taken by the federal government. They will become the first of the leading national yogurt makers to embrace this practice.
They are also quite far along in implementing animal welfare practices at their farmer partners’ operations via the Validus Certification system. They are confident that by July 2016, more than 90% of their direct milk supply will come from farms that are Validus Certified.
Why This Development is So Important
As a consumer I want to know what is in my food and the food I feed my family. I want to know where it came from and how it was raised or grown. I want the decision to consume genetically modified foods to be MY choice and not that of government or a corporation who feels that choice should be theirs. Any company who decides to be bring the decision to me and be transparent when they don’t legally have to be…deserves my support. They are making the ethical choice in an ethically ambiguous marketplace.
This post is written in association with The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency, and nongmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients.
Came across this video with three recipes for green smoothies the other day. I adore green smoothies and I always want more recipes. The second of the three three recipes is going to be a new favorite. It is called Glowing Beauty because it is so hydrating and good for the skin. I think this makes the perfect light smoothie to hydrate us and our skin during the heat and stress of summer. All the recipes provide a delicious boost of minerals and vitamins that will make you feel amazing on the inside and look great on the outside. Yum! Enjoy.
I grew up eating tuna. My mom’s tuna and egg salad is now a comfort food for me and I feel like I am channeling her whenever I make it for my own kids. Of course back then we didn’t think much, or at all, about where the tuna in the cans came from. We didn’t think about overfishing and responsible fishery that did not result in the deaths of other marine animals, like dolphins. We did not think about mercury content or fish farms where the fish are given genetically modified feed. In many ways I envy my mom that she did not have to analyze and agonize over simple consumer decisions like which can of tuna to buy.
On the other hand though, I am happy that I can choose to educate myself about my consumer purchases and make better choices. I can make choices that will better protect my health and better protect the health of our planet…all by being selective about what I put in my shopping cart. It can actually feel empowering to know that you are voting for the world you want with your shopping dollars. You can choose to support sustainability. My mom’s generation was blissfully blind in many ways but we have more information at at our fingertips. We can take charge and make better decisions because we are armed with knowledge. That is pretty powerful.
These days when I want to purchase tuna I can make sure that it is from a brand that has ethics more in line with my own. With all the health concerns and planetary concerns surrounding seafood I admit it is not something that I purchase with as much frequency as my mom did, but the seafood (and tuna) I do buy, is purchased with more intentionality and care.
One of those better brand is Wild Selections® Solid White Albacore Tuna. It is on my approved list because they want to ensure a fish-full future like I do. They seem to be one of the few brands that sees this as good business, which is amazing to me. Wild Selections gives back to the oceans by donating 13 cents from every can sold—a total of $1 million by 2018—to World Wildlife Fund marine conservation and fishery improvement projects. They are the only full line of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable seafood. The blue MSC eco-label tells you the fish in your can comes from well managed fisheries and healthy fish stocks. And this is pretty nifty… their sustainably sourced fish is 100% traceable; visit WildSelections.com to learn where the fish in your can was caught.
I love the infographic below that outlines why choices such as this are so important in the grand scheme of things. I enjoy seafood and want to enjoy it for years to come. I am sure future generations also want seafood to be available. That requires making better decisions NOW. 25% of the world’s fish stocks are exploited and depleted. 50% of fisheries at at their sustainable limit. Yet Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries are seeing an average of 46% increase over ten years when it comes to fish abundance. Their efforts are making a difference.
And of course the tuna is premium quality, tasty, and Non-GMO Project verified for moms who are trying to avoid GMO ingredients and GMO fed meat products. My mom’s tuna egg salad has been on the menu a couple times in recent weeks, much to everyone’s delight. And when I am in the mood for bread nothing beats a tuna sandwich with mayo and tomato. Simple, easy, delicious, and it screams summertime. I love eating it straight out of the can too. But I digress, if you want to find a store near you that carries this line visit the store locator. I have used it myself so that I avoid making pointless trips.
If you enjoy eating tuna then I suggest Wild Selections as a more sustainable choice. Enjoy!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
As various diets come and go in modern society, there a few strategies that tend to remain popular. You may have heard of vegan or vegetarian diets, for example. Friends and family might refrain from eating meat altogether for health or principle reasons. There’s an alternative to these diets, however, in the form of a plant-based approach. You don’t have to give up meat entirely, but simply reduce its volume on your plate. I am mostly paleo myself but that does not mean I don’t enjoy meatless meals. In fact I know there are numerous benefits to plant foods so I want as much of them as possible. Consider some of the benefits associated with adding more plant-based foods to the diet as you focus on your health and well-being.
Fending Off High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects millions of people, and many of them don’t realize that they have this ailment. Extra pressure on the blood vessels makes you vulnerable to a host of issues, including stroke and heart attacks. Saturated fats often get the blame for this but new science shows this is simply not true. I am far more inclined to believe newer research that inflammation caused by carb centric diets is to blame. So what do you do? Eat more plant-based foods instead the typical bread and pasta, then you can fend off high blood pressure. Extra fruits and vegetables in your diet could mean that you’re indirectly lowering your intake of the bad fats and the carbs. Don’t rely on prescribed medicine for this ailment, better control can be had by eating lean meats and increasing your plant intake.
Keeping You Lean
Fad diets have been around for decades because food temptations and reduced activity levels contribute to obesity across the nation. Choosing a plant-based diet means that you’re automatically cutting calories on any given day. You can eat a whole bunch of pasta but how much cantaloupe or cauliflower can you eat? Not as much! Cutting just 500 calories each day from your meals means that you can lose around one pound every week. The simplest way to achieve this calorie cut is reducing the meat size and the carb load on your plate while piling on more vegetables. As a result, you’ll actually be consuming more food by volume with fewer calories. When you’re slim, your entire body benefits from the reduced weight. Your bones and muscles don’t have to overcompensate for the added fat tissues. Over time, excess weight causes chronic pains and possible disease.
Diabetes is another chronic disease that can often be avoided with a healthy diet. If your family has a history of diabetes, a plant-based diet is a smart strategy to implement. As you cut carbohydrates down to the bare minimum on your plate, fewer sugars can affect your blood-sugar levels. Ideally, add more vegetables to your diet compared to fruits when you’re concerned about diabetic issues. Although fruits are healthy for you, their natural sugars can negatively affect a diabetic condition in high volume. Eat some fruits, and concentrate your diet efforts on more vegetables and lean protein.
Regulating Your Digestive Health
A positive side effect to a plant-based diet is enhanced digestive health. If you have a sensitive stomach or colon, or you have no gall bladder, you might suffer from diarrhea or constipation on a high-fat diet. As you switch to more plant foods, you’ll notice benefits to your daily restroom trips. You should have a more regular digestive system when plant-based foods are running through your stomach and intestines. Plants have fiber, which is a natural substance that cleans out your digestive system. As humans evolved, plants were a main source of food so it makes sense that your digestive system would positively respond to this type of nourishment.
Helping the Environment
This argument is a tough one. When you eat fewer animal products, there’s less need for them to be on the market. As more people turn to a plant-based diet, fewer cows, pigs and chickens will be needed at local farms. The resulting benefit to your new diet is a healthier environment. Of course this does not take into account the healthier way of raising and eating meat…small local farms, grassfed beef, free range chicken, etc. We need to support these farmers with our consumer dollars and spend less money on animal products from factory farms. Although one person’s diet change offers a minimal effect on the world, millions of collective people trying a plant-based diet and switching to more sustainable and ethical meat, can really make a difference.
Some grocery products are difficult to categorize as plant-based because of complex ingredients listed on the label. Alternative food manufacturers, such as Hampton Creek, try to use only plant-based items in their products. I love their mayo and always buy it rather than egg based ones. Take your time during each grocery trip, and read over these various labels. Try to purchase items that are as natural as possible. Incorporating more of a plant-based diet can be simple when you’re aware of the ingredients in each recipe.
It should be no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for any length of time that I adore bento lunch boxes. Every since my kids were wee little I used bento boxes for school lunches and picnics, and even recently converted tackle boxes into giant bentos for a long road trip. I love all the compartments and the ease with which you can pack a variety of foods and keep them separate for the picky kids who cannot allow food to touch. Years ago I started a web site dedicated to bento lunch boxes and I am still passionate about them.
Ten years ago a particular brand of bento (laptop lunch) caught my attention and became my go-to. All my kids had them and I had one as well. They have since rebranded and are now called Bentology. Same great product, new name. They still make my favorite lunch box of all time. Sure there are really cute themed bentos out there but for ease of use and function you cannot beat Bentology.
Introducing the Portion Perfect Bento
I was thrilled then when I found out they were making a bento box for adults concerned with healthy eating and portion control. This new product is called Portion Perfect and I love the concept and design. All the reasons I loved the kids boxes are the reasons I love the Portion Perfect boxes. I also think there is a real need for a lunchbox that reminds us about what healthy portion sizes are and also encourages diversity in our eating.
I idea behind this system is that you eat the right foods in the right portions, add in 30 minutes of daily exercise and voila, you have weight loss. You can use the bento pieces to help you with portion control on the go or even use them as guides for portion control at home.There is no need to weigh your food or count calories…you just eat appropriate amounts, and say no to oversized servings. Each container is sized to help you pack the right amount of lean proteins, whole grains (if you eat grains/gluten), vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.
The Portion Perfect Weight-Loss Kit comes with a frosty translucent outer container, 5 translucent inner containers (2 are open for easy access, and 3 have leak-resistant lids), and the Portion Perfect Complete Weight-Loss Plan booklet. Theses bentos are dishwasher safe, BPA free, phthalate free, PVE free, and lead free. They are also made in the US and since they are reusable for years and years they are a very eco friendly product in a world full of meal time disposables. Even after ten years this company gets my enthusiastic two thumbs up.
Find these bentos on Amazon.com