Barefoot by the Sea: Tuesday Tips - Organic Valley

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Organic Valley

Another favorite company that I purchase from on a regular basis?  Organic Valley!  A few years ago - or, right after Riley was born, I started realizing that I wanted to offer my children the best possible foods I could.  Regarding organic, I found the below list simple and helpful regarding why I try to choose organic when I can...

1. Nutrient density.

Organic farmers nourish the soil that feeds our food. Research shows that organically-produced foods are higher in antioxidants and other nutrients than their conventional counterparts. 

2. No persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Designed by intent to kill living organisms, persistent pesticides can be harmful to wildlife and human health, especially as they contaminate our food, air and water or accumulate in our cells. Synthetic fertilizers require large quantities of fossil fuels to produce, and contribute to soil degradation and ocean dead zones. more: pesticides fertilizers

3. No synthetic growth or breeding hormones.

Avoiding synthetic hormones (which are frequently given to conventional dairy and meat animals to alter reproductive cycles and speed up growth) means less stress for animals, and reduced human exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. more

4. No antibiotics.

Overuse of antibiotics in farm animals leads to the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections. Organic farmers instead rely on natural measures to promote and maintain animal health.  more

5. No GMOs. 

Genetically engineered crops are a relatively recent technology with potentially devastating impacts on ecosystems and human and animal health. Organic regulations forbid the use of genetically engineered seeds or animals (including clones). more

6. Animal care.

Organic philosophy means raising animals in harmony with nature. Quality animal care keeps animals healthy and productive, naturally. As we like to say, happy cows make the best milk! more
Organic Valley is a farmer owned coop, a group of farmers working together to provide the best possible organic products.  You often may look at the organic offerings in the grocery store and notice they are more expensive, this is why.  The proceeds go directly back to the actual farmers who are working hard to provide the best possible food, free from chemicals, antibiotics and treating their animals responsibly.   
Organic Valley is also doing some very important things in their local communities including working to improve our children's school lunch programs, making sure babies and mothers have the most notorious beginnings and pregnancies they can assist with and providing education in rural communities on the importance of nutrition and health.  
Be sure to check out Organic Valley and the products they offer including cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, creamer and more.  You can also print out money saving coupons for organic coupons and enter to win a year's supply of Organic Valley or Stoneyfield Farm products.  
Be sure to check out their recipe section that is full of goodness!  Here's one that I'm trying: Caramelized Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese!
Slow-cooked, caramelized onions could make soggy cardboard taste yummy, but in a grilled sandwich with tart apples and sharp cheese, the combo is ethereal. This recipe is slightly adapted from one created by Anne Roesler of Madison, Wisconsin. She entered it in the city’s Food for Thought Recipe Contest (sponsored by REAP Food Group) several years ago and won a prize for her efforts. The recipe is so good it also made it into the 2012 Wisconsin Local Foods Journal (written by Joan Peterson and Terese Allen).

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • Organic Valley butter, softened
  • 8 slices hearty bread
  • 1 tart apple, thinly sliced
  • 15-20 thick slices of sharp cheese (such as Organic Valley Raw Sharp Cheddar Cheese)

1. First caramelize the onions: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low flame. Add sliced onions and desired herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and very sweet. This will take 40-50 minutes, and they should then be reduced to about a quarter of the amount you started with. Putting a lid on the skillet, but keeping it slightly ajar, keeps the onions from drying out too much. When onions are done, remove herb sprigs and season onions with salt and pepper to taste.

2. To assemble the sandwiches, butter both sides of bread slices. Spread a couple tablespoons of onions on unbuttered side of half the bread. Arrange a few slices of apple on onions. Cover with cheese slices. Then put the other slice of bread on top with buttered side facing out.

3. To cook: Heat a griddle, skillet or panini maker to medium-high heat. Cook sandwiches on both sides until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Enjoy and be sure to sign up for a coupon pack for the companies that I adore most!  Just like Organic Valley's facebook page here and leave a comment on my blog regarding if there are certain foods you "must" have organic.  

And, congrats to #5, Janet, who was the winner of the Olivia's Organics and Cabot Coupon pack.  She said, "I like the reserve age cheddar."  Janet, please email me at so I can get these out to you!

Happy Tuesday Everybody - I can't believe it's the very last day of January!


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