By Tom Havran
Each fall a certain inescapable hot beverage retailer ingeniously takes advantage of our seasonal craving for pumpkin and spices by getting us hooked on its oh-so-delectable, limited edition, and let’s face it, pricey pumpkin spice lattes. How much have you shelled out so far to feed the beast?
There’s no denying that the sweetly aromatic, seasonally comforting flavor of spiced pumpkin anything is addictive: pumpkin pie, cake, muffins, cheesecake, even ale, all of them irresistible. But is it the pumpkin, the spices or the season itself that captures us?
This pumpkin pie parfait proves that your latte is not the pinnacle of spiced pumpkin desserts.
By Tom Havran
We figured out why Linus wanted to hang out with Sally in the pumpkin patch all night long rather than go trick-or-treating.
The aromatic combination of pumpkin and lavender was the most sexually arousing scent in a well-known study at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago a few years ago. Of a group of 24 men age 18-64, 40 percent responded with increased blood flow caused by sexual arousal as measured by a plethysmograph.
Besides the apparent erotic nature of the scent of pumpkin and lavender, these ingredients provide potent cosmetic benefits in body care applications. Pureed pumpkin is weakly acidic and gently cleansing while providing hydrating moisture. Ground pumpkin seeds physically exfoliate dead skin and supply vital nutrients and antioxidant-rich essential fatty acids to nourish and protect dry skin. Lavender essential oil is gently soothing and calming.
This DIY recipe for an all natural, soap-free body scrub is an indulgent way to utilize the powers of pumpkin and lavender to create a healthy, vibrant glow. And who knows, the intoxicating aroma might cast a heart-throbbing spell on the Linus in your life.
By Katie Staab
This month, the autumnal sunshine and bright harvest moon seemed perfectly appropriate as we celebrated Organic Harvest Month. As September slips into October, and the days get shorter and the nights chillier, we’ll turn to the bounty of the hearty, organic recipes we found this month.
Enjoy our favorite webfinds from September — recipes for your belly and your body!
1. While we hate to say goodbye to summer’s abundance of fresh produce, we can’t complain about the return to hearty and warm comfort foods during fall. Try indulgent lobster macaroni and cheese or a veggie-packed vegan gumbo, both new recipes we provided in September to give you ways to try Frontier’s new organic Seafood Seasonings.
Eggs in Purgatory from Cindy’s Table was one of our favorite organic recipe finds this month.
2. Speaking of new flavors to try, we discovered Cindy’s Table this month, a great website if you are interested in Italian cooking — and we’re not just talking spaghetti or pizza! Check out her recipe for Eggs in Purgatory for a flavorful weekend breakfast. Continue reading
My organic “aha!” moment was literally a wake-up call.
I got the call from my sister Fran at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning eight years ago. My mom was in the intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics. She had nearly died from heart failure the night before.
At the time we didn’t know whether Mom would live or die, or what caused the heart failure.
We soon found out: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the disease-fighting network in the body known as the lymphatic system.
Me (second from right) with my sisters and mom.
A series of “Aha!” moments
My first organic living “Aha!” moment was learning about one of the risk factors for non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma: chemicals. Continue reading
By Jessie Johnson, founder of the Sustainable Seafood Blog Project and Life as a Strawberry
Think about the last time you ate seafood. How did it taste? How was it cooked? If you’re like me, you can probably answer those questions fairly quickly. But could you tell me where the seafood came from? Was it farm-raised or wild caught? Sustainably harvested or picked up by a trawl — a large net that drags along the ocean floor? Those questions are much harder to answer, but they’re also the questions that we as consumers need to be asking.
The world’s fisheries are in crisis, but the steady decline of the global seafood supply doesn’t make many front-page appearances. The near-extinction of bluefin tuna or the massive dolphin, turtle, and even bird casualties caused by trawling are easily masked by a restaurant menu or a sale at the supermarket.
As a result, few people know that our seafood system is failing, and even fewer people are equipped with the tools to do anything about it. But by starting conversations about fishing practices and ocean preservation, we have the ability to address these startling trends: Continue reading
By Tom Havran
In my youth, I squeezed extracurricular school activities in between my cow-milking duties on my family’s farm in Norway, Iowa. Washing udders in the dark barn on below-zero mornings, and again after school, wasn’t much fun for me (or for the cows, I’m sure), but the experience did serve to educate me about where whole, unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk came from and what that nutrient-dense product should taste like.
Many years later, I’m learning that the farm milk of my youth was very different — and far more nutrient-dense — than what today’s dairy industry supplies to America’s supermarket shelves. In fact, I’m learning that much of what fills the standard American diet is indeed filling us up, but not with the nutrients we need.
Chronically undernourished yet grossly overfed
I recently read a compelling article in Mother Earth News that describes the declining nutrient values in modern agricultural products (supported by data from our very own USDA). The article, written by Lynn Keiley, left me with a sense that the American ag industry seems most focused on industrialization, ever-increasing yields and mechanized efficiencies at the expense of a holistic quality effort. Continue reading
By Tony Bedard, CEO Frontier Natural Products Co-op
I’m often asked how we make sure our spices are safe and of high quality. These questions spike every time there’s something negative about spice quality in the news — sensible or sensationalized. We understand your concerns and are glad to answer questions regarding our Frontier and Simply Organic spices.
In fact, I believe aggressive programs like the ones we have at Frontier are the key to improving the overall trust in spices.
We take quality and food safety issues very seriously, and we’ve taken a number of simple, but significant, steps to avoid the kinds of problems that raise safety and quality questions — and inspire bad press.
Here’s what we do:
- Buy direct. Buying direct from responsible, sustainable sources — certified organic whenever possible — provides an important advantage in food safety and quality. Having personal contact with suppliers builds reliable relationships that are often missing when buying from middlemen. Direct buying allows meaningful supplier evaluations and approval, along with opportunities to facilitate changes at the source that improve quality and food safety. Continue reading
By Charlynn Avery
It’s almost officially autumn and change is in the air. Students are back at school. Daily routines have shifted. Leaves are starting to change color.
So what better time than now to transform your life with a vision board?
Create a roadmap for your life
I like to think of a vision board as a bucket list of sorts — it’s a visual representation of the roadmap for your life. Typically, your board will be filled with symbolic images and powerful phrases that reflect that roadmap.
But the process of creating that roadmap is just as important as the roadmap itself.
Your vision board serves as both a tool for achieving your life’s goals and a transformational activity. As a tool, your vision board can help you set goals and identify areas of your life that need more motivation or action. Think about the things you want to achieve. Is it a peaceful family that spends a lot of time together? A life of travel? A new career?
As a transformational activity, a vision board can help you find purpose and authenticity in your life, and guide you toward manifesting change in ways that you didn’t expect.
By Alan Miles
In 1979, organics were new and unproven in the marketplace. That year, Frontier became the United States’ first major herb and spice supplier to provide certified organic products, and we’ve increased the number of organics in our product lines every year since then.
The Organic Trade Association — which maintains the wonderfully informative Organic. It’s Worth It site — first declared September as Organic Harvest Month in 1992 to promote organic food and agriculture through regional and local events. We’ve been celebrating the steady growth of organics ever since.
A bounty of organic vegetables from one employee’s Grinnell Heritage Farm CSA share.
Organic products represent a shift toward a value system that we believe is good for us all. Organic growing eliminates dangerous chemicals that contaminate our land, water and air — decreasing health risks to growers and protecting our planet. And, of course, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not allowed in certified organic products.
Organic farmers are committed to the health and well being of workers, consumers and the environment. They respect both the delicate balance of nature and the integrity of the plants they grow. They strive to protect the air, soil and precious water reserves by using earth-friendly pest-control methods such as crop rotation and beneficial insects, and they employ growing practices that enrich the land for the crops of the future. Continue reading
By Sara Mallicoat
My organic ‘Aha!’ moment was at my baby shower, playing the “Guess the baby food!” game.
We were all struggling to figure out what that reddish, funky smelling jar of baby food was supposed to be. I work in product development, so I’m used trying different things — and I figured it couldn’t be any worse than the time we tried Kala Namak Salt (a salt that is often used in Indian cuisine and tastes and smells a bit like rotten eggs). So, I tried this mystery jar of food, and found it didn’t taste like any fruit I’d ever eaten!
We all guessed strawberry banana — it turned out to be apple and cherry.
That sealed the deal for me; I knew I had to make my soon-to-be-born son’s baby food. In that moment with the mystery jar of baby food, I became passionate about feeding my child organic, healthy food options that would actually taste good (that was my hope anyway!).
Now with two little ones in tow, eating healthy, organic meals is more important to me than ever.
There are some good pre-made baby food options out on the market. However, I was already striving to eat organic fruit and vegetables and cut down on processed foods. I was determined to feed my son yummy, wholesome food that was made with love — even though I had no idea how to do it. But I figured I had plenty of time to figure out how to make it happen. Continue reading