It seems that everywhere you turn there are new warnings about unhealthy ingredients making their way into all sorts of processed products. Eventually you begin to wonder just how many food items really require high fructose corn syrup. Even the so-called “diet” products have been found to contain artificial sweeteners that are potentially more harmful than their natural sugar cane counterpart. With so many agricultural giants experimenting with GMOs and food being mass produced on such a large scale, it’s tough to know which companies to trust anymore. With that said, here are five of the most popular food companies that are making an effort to provide healthy and sustainable products:
1. Organic Valley
Organic Valley is a cooperative consisting of about 1,700 family farms that produce a variety of USDA-certified organic dairy and meat products. They do not use any synthetic hormones or GMO ingredients and antibiotics are used only for suffering animals who have not responded to holistic treatment. A portion of their proceeds go to researching and promoting on-the-farm renewable energy projects as well as methods of selling produce closer to local farms in order to reduce the burden of transport.
2. Vital Choice Seafood
Vital Choice Seafood uses its 20 years of sustainable wild fishing experience to provide a variety of seafood products that don’t contain any synthetic coloring agents, antibiotics, GMOs, or pesticides, all of which are common components used in commercial fish farms. This company also contributes a portion of their proceeds to foundations like the National Resources Defense Council and Healthy Child Healthy World.
3. Hampton Creek
Hampton Creek has taken a simpler approach to healthy food by focusing on a few common food items that could be made more wholesome. The result is a modest lineup of three products – Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough. They also offer Just Cookies, which are available via foodservice only. Their Just Mayo doesn’t contain any eggs and comes in four flavors – Original, Garlic, Sriracha, and Chipotle. Hampton Creek is on Facebook and can provide more detailed questions about their products there.
4. Newman’s Own Organic
Newman’s Own Organic was founded by Nell Newman in 1993 as part of her dad Paul Newman’s charitable food organization. Today the company provides a variety of organic snacks and beverages made without the use of GMO ingredients, refined oils, and trans fats.
5. Nature’s Path Foods
Nature’s Path is a British Columbia based producer of vegan/vegetarian products and gluten-free items, all made with non-GMO ingredients. Their production headquarters are a near zero-waste facility that contains a rooftop farm, advanced rainwater harvesting technology, and an on-site composting pile. The company has donated half a million dollars to a political campaign that backs the initiative to start labelling GMO ingredients in foods.
It can be easy to overlook some of the healthiest foods in the store because oftentimes they’re offered by newer brands that haven’t yet established themselves as a trustworthy food source. People tend to get trapped into buying the same brands for years on end because they “trust” that particular company. Try broadening your horizons more to experiment with newer brands and you might be surprised at the difference in quality and purity in comparison to the conventional brands you’re used to.
Photo by sbassi