This featured article is sponsored by our friends at Earthbound Farm. Their mission is to cultivate a healthier world through organic food and farming. I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting their organic farms in California twice and I can honestly say they are the real deal and have impeccable standards with every product they sell.

Heaping spoonfuls of gluten-free pesto on top of chunks of roasted cauliflower

AUDIO

Listen to Amie go into detail about what you need to know about going organic and choosing organic food over conventional and why she chooses to eat organic.

ORGANIC

According to Wikipedia, organic food is produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming, in general, features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products. In general, organic foods are also usually not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.

I didn’t understand what organic meant years ago before I went through my 12-year journey of chronic health issues. You could say I was “asleep” to what was going on behind the scenes of our collapsing food system that pockets money off of selling us cheap, inflammatory foods that hijack our tastebuds.

 

A package of Earthbound farm organic baby kale & arugula mix.

 

What is Organic?

It wasn’t until halfway through my health journey that I actually started to believe there might be something to this whole “eating organic” thing. I was skeptical, to say the least for many, many years. I mean, come on…the organic lettuce looks EXACTLY the same way the CONVENTIONAL (non-organic) lettuce looks so what is the big deal? Well, that was my mindset for a long time until the people around me who were also in a healing crisis were finally starting to feel a difference in their health by lessening their body burden of toxins on a daily basis, something I talk about extensively in my best-selling cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.

 

Container full of fresh organic Earthbound Farm baby kale & arugula on counter.

 

What I’ve realized since then is this: what is inside the food and sprayed on the food has nothing to do with what it looks like. 

What’s important to understand is what is sprayed on the food you’re eating because when it rains, the rain drips off the plants that are sprayed and the pesticides go into the soil and yes, you guessed it, the roots! So, you can see how no matter how well you wash that apple of yours, it doesn’t matter because the pesticides and herbicides are INSIDE.

Did you know USDA Certified Organic is the most regulated and inspected label in food today? Earthbound Farm joined what was once a movement and is now an industry, early on. Earthbound fought side-by-side with activists, farmers, retailers, manufacturers, academics and environmentalists for a high-integrity organic standard, one all consumers could trust. Earthbound believes they all won, and that means our environment also wins. (Coupon for YOU: Subscribe to Earthbound Farm’s emails to receive $3 off any Earthbound Farm product and bring your day into organic balance with simple, flavorful recipes, cooking tips and coupons. Sign up here!)

So, why do I choose organic? I’ll tell you in the AUDIO feature above.

 

Earthbound Farm organic arugula & kale mix in a food processor.

 

ESSENTIALS

These things I believe are essential to know about organic food and what you’re putting on your plate. Organic farming benefits:

  1. Keeps toxic and persistent synthetic chemicals out of the soil, water, air, and food.
  2. Creates a safer working environment for farmers and farm workers.
  3. Reduces chemical exposure to neighboring homes, schools and businesses.
  4. Builds healthier soils through cover cropping and crop rotation, and by adding only organic amendments which also reduces soil erosion.
  5. Promotes healthy, balanced ecosystems and biodiversity.
  6. Reduces danger to non-target species.

Want to know an easy trick for finding organic produce in your food store?

Look for the #9 on your produce when you’re in the food store. The #9 means that the produce is organic! Be sure to check out the stickers on everything from apples to pears and lemons and limes.

 

Gluten-free, vegan arugula pesto just blended in a food processor.

 

HOW CHOOSING ORGANIC AFFECTS YOU

Your liver is in charge of taking all the toxins you’re bombarded with on a daily basis and removing them from your body. It’s a BIG job. I’ve been detoxing my liver for over a decade and I’m still working on it. What I want you to understand is the less amount of toxins (pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics from conventional meats and eggs, over the counter pills, synthetic hormones such as birth control, alcohol, processed foods, etc) you put into your body, the better you will feel and the more energy you will have because your body will not be working so hard to try to remove synthetic chemicals, hormones and more. If you’re looking for a deeper way to support your liver on a daily basis, our 3-Month Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan can help you go deeper.

Here are a few terms and important facts that will help you understand what fresh organic food means while also helping you feel confident that organic food is a healthier and safer choice vs. conventional.

 

Four chunks of roasted cauliflower topped with organic gluten-free arugula pesto.

 

National Organic Program Standards

(USDA Certified Organic)

  • USDA officially launched its National Organic Program (NOP) in 1990 with the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act.
  • NOP standards govern organic certification of farming, handling, and processing operations.
  • NOP created a uniform definition of organic foods with standardized product labeling
    guidelines.
  • Under USDA standards for organic food production, farms, manufacturers, and distributors must be inspected on location annually by a USDA-accredited certifier.
  • The detailed USDA standards for organic are more than 500 pages long and may be found
    here.

USDA Standards for Organic Certification

  • No conventional synthetic pesticides.
  • No fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge.
  • No genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • No irradiation.
  • Clear and appropriate buffers between organic fields and nearby conventional farms.
  • A three-year minimum transition period for fields that have been previously farmed conventionally.
  • Annual inspection by USDA-approved, independent certifier.

 

Organic cauliflower roasted on a baking sheet and topped with dairy-free arugula pesto.

 

Product Labeling Requirements

Products allowed to display the USDA Organic seal

  • “100% Organic”: made entirely with certified organic ingredients.
  • “Organic”: made with at least 95% certified organic ingredients.

Products disallowed from displaying the USDA Organic seal but contain organic ingredients

  • “Made with organic ingredients”: products made with at least 70% organic ingredients may make an organic claim on the display panel of the product.
  • Products containing less than 70% organic ingredients may only include mention of organic on ingredient listing and not on the packaging panel of the product.

 

Four chunks of roasted cauliflower in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and topped with dairy-free green pesto.

 

SHOP the STORY

5 Minute Arugula Pesto
Serves: 2
Heaping spoonfuls of pesto on top of chunks of roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 

This super easy 5-minute pesto recipe uses arugula instead of basil for a fun, savory twist. It's perfect for topping roasted organic cauliflower.

Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree

Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower

Pesto

  • 2 cups Earthbound Farm Baby Kale & Arugula Blend
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • pinch ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. Place the cauliflower florets onto the prepared baking dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown.

  3. Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until it forms a pesto consistency. Transfer to a small bowl.

  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and spoon the pesto on top of the cauliflower. Serve immediately. Keep the cauliflower and pesto in separate sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts
5 Minute Arugula Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 849mg 35%
Potassium 1476mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 9g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 9.5%
Vitamin C 251.7%
Calcium 16.1%
Iron 16.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

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Hi, I'm Amie!

I’m here to share my story of healing with you. I know what it’s like to suffer and not know what’s going on with your body. I’ve been there. I was lost, searching for answers and alone for 10 years until I learned how to get my body working for me, not against me—to address the underlying symptoms instead of using a Band-aid approach to reclaim my vitality. I want to show you that eating and living clean feels incredible. Once you see life this way, you’ll never go back. Ever. Come play along with me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. I’m here for you. xo

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