Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Celebrate Spring with Seasonal Gifts and Recipes!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Spring has sprung and there are so many seasonal holidays to celebrate! What could be better than non-GMO gift baskets showcasing the season? For a perfect seasonal gift for family and friends, try filling a festive basket with Non-GMO Project Verified products, like this:

 

Non-GMO Easter Basket for Kids

Make a child smile with some sweet treats and fun activities.

 

Non-GMO Easter Basket for Grown Ups

Treat your favorite grown up to a festive, spring basket too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try out this recipe from our Non-GMO Cookbook. The spinach in these cookies gives them a beautiful green tint and a much healthier moistness than an oil, yet the only flavor is strawberry goodness! They are gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free.

 

Strawberry Green Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint

...excerpted from our Non-GMO Cookbook. Order your copy!

Makes 24 cookies

3 tablespoons sunflower oil
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup agave nectar
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 cup almond flour
⅓ cup rice flour
¾ cup chopped spinach (measure after chopped)
⅓ cup turbinado, or other unrefined sugar
¾ cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix sunflower oil, almond butter, agave nectar, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add flax seed and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then combine dry ingredients (almond flour, rice flour, chopped spinach, turbinado, almonds, tapioca starch, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda) with wet ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.

Use a tablespoon or mini ice-cream scoop to portion out 24 cookies evenly onto a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes. Press center of each cookie down to make the “thumbprint,” and then fill with strawberry preserves. Bake for another 4 minutes until starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool until firm.

Kitchen Sprouting with High Mowing Seeds

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Spicy Salad Crunch (2)

Sprouting seeds for eating and cooking is all the rage these days. While seeds evolved to resist digestion by animals, the sprouting process unlocks nutrients and makes the plant proteins, fatty acids and vitamins bioavailable by turning off the enzyme blockers seeds have for protection. Tom Stearns, owner and founder of High Mowing Seeds, spoke with the Non-GMO Project about sprouting and the amazing work that he and his team are doing. High Mowing Seeds is a small but growing (pun intended!) company specializing in organic and heirloom seeds.

 

About High Mowing Seeds

Tom on seed saving workshop tour

High Mowing Organic Seeds began in 1996 with just 28 plant varieties. After tilling up a portion of his backyard and turning his shed into a seed packing area, founder Tom Stearns had no trouble selling the seed he grew that first year. Suddenly, what had started as a hobby became a practical business pursuit as Tom realized the growing and unmet demand for organic seed.  This demand allowed Tom to expand the business beyond his backyard, renting parcels of land to produce the seed he was selling through a handmade catalog.  By 2001, business had grown to such an extent that Tom began to contract with other local farms to grow seed, in addition to continuing to produce seed himself on High Mowing’s own 5 acres.

High Mowing Organic Seeds has grown exponentially, and what started as a one-man operation is now a thriving business making available to home gardeners and commercial growers over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seeds. True to our roots, High Mowing Organic Seeds continues to grow many of the varieties we sell on our 40 acre farm, setting us apart from the majority of other seed companies. –High Mowing Seeds

The Safe Seed Pledge

The Safe Seed Pledge was created in 1999 when High Mowing Organic Seeds guided a coalition of nine other seed companies in drafting a statement about the signers’ stance on genetic engineering. Over 70 companies have signed the pledge, ranging from large seed companies to family-owned businesses such as High Mowing Seeds. In signing the Safe Seed Pledge, High Mowing affirmed their commitment to non-GMO seed.

Sprouting: A great DIY project for families!

Annabelle - growing sprouts (2)The Non-GMO Project is very excited to announce that High Mowing has worked very hard over the last few years to get all of their sprouting seeds Non-GMO Project Verified! According to High Mowing, “Fresh homegrown sprouts are a delicious, healthy, easy-to-grow crop that can be produced indoors all year round. Growing sprouts does not require any special expertise and almost no special equipment (not even soil!), and they can be grown where space is very limited. Those interested in eating a ‘localvore’ diet may find sprouts appealing because they can help reduce the need for imported fresh produce after the growing season ends in cold northern climates. They are a fun crop to grow with kids, since the short time between germination and harvest helps keep kids interested in the process. They can provide an array of vitamins and minerals, are live, raw, and vegan, naturally low in fat, and always cholesterol free. A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the possible health benefits of this nutrient-dense food, with particular interest in broccoli sprouts.”

You can grow sprouts easily in your kitchen in jars, trays, or woven bags. All the details and instructions are on the High Mowing website here.

 

Watch a “how-to” video by High Mowing Seeds here:

Sandwich Booster Sprouts Mix Bag

To learn more about sprouting, check out:

http://www.highmowingseeds.com/sprouting-info.html

http://www.simplysprouted.com/

http://www.now-university.com/Search/?search=sprouting

To find all Non-GMO Project Verified products, please see our listing of over 16,500 products here!

 

Are you ready for the Non-GMO Challenge?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

ChallengeLogo72dpiRGB-300x289Celebrate Earth Month in April by taking part in the Non-GMO Challenge! The Non-GMO Challenge is your opportunity to make a meaningful non-GMO commitment. For some people this may be a non-GMO meal once a week, for others it could striving to eat non-GMO the entire month of April. Whatever your commitment the Non-GMO Project will support your endeavors with tips and recipes throughout the month of April.

Encourage and inspire others by posting a picture of you, your children, or pets, with a sign sharing your non-GMO commitment. Due to the volume of submissions we only post pictures that include people and/or animals. Each week we will choose one submission to win a Non-GMO Dreambox delivered to your home. The Dreambox is filled with delicious Non-GMO Project Verified food, treats and skin care products! Winners will be chosen based on creativity and quality of photo. Each week’s winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Monday of the following week. All types of non-GMO commitments are eligible to win.

Submit your photo here and browse other submissions here!

The first 100 submissions will receive a magnet helping you keep GMOs out of your fridge! Here’s what it looks like:

NonGMOMagnet_Final.2014_web

Welcome, Kara!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

kara_swansonWe are pleased to welcome Kara Swanson to our growing team in the position of Office Manager. Kara’s experience offers much needed support for our entire staff, and we’re thrilled to have her onboard as employee number 10!

Kara was born in Coos Bay, Oregon and recalls fond childhood memories living on their family hobby farm raising chickens, goats, pigs, one small cow named Ferdinand, two cats and their Border Collie dog, Katie.  After her father was offered a job in Vancouver, B.C. her family uprooted and moved to Canada where she was raised in the lower mainland of Vancouver suburbs for 21 years. She moved back to the U.S. in 2004.

Outside the office, Kara enjoys being in nature—whether the time is spent hiking, swimming, strolling on the beach or riding her mountain bike. Spending quality time with her two energetic children also tops the list.

Below is a Q&A to help you get to know Kara.

What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project — what about this opportunity caught your attention?

I have always had a fondness for nature and animals, and I am passionate about health and wellness in general. Being a mother of two young children, I want to know what is in the food I’m eating and feeding my family. I want to protect my children from any potential health risks, and this drives my support of the Non-GMO Project and its mission.

How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO Project?

My 15+ years in the administrative field will provide the Project team valuable computer, organizational and communications skills.  Some of my responsibilities in my previous job at Comfort Institute included coordinating events with our executive staff; it sounds like that skill will translate nicely as I help juggle the busy schedules of Project staff!

Research is critical to the mission of the Non-GMO Project, and I’m eager to utilize my aptitude in asking questions, digging for answers and compiling data. I look forward to putting my background knowledge and qualifications toward this vital organization that aligns so well with my personal values.

What is important to you about the work you will be doing with the Project?

It’s important to me that I support my fellow team as we work toward providing consumers informed choices. Being committed to the Non-GMO Project’s vision, I am very excited for the opportunity to create incredible change in our society as a whole.

Tips for Eating Non-GMO from Leading Food Experts and Activists

Monday, February 10th, 2014

With more than 15,000 products Non-GMO Project Verified, it is now easier than ever to eat non-GMO. However, as we all know, keeping our diets clean and healthy takes commitment, particularly when we are are juggling all of the demands of everyday life. We asked leading food experts and activists, many of whom are the busiest people we know, what that they do to keep GMOs out of the meals they eat and feed their loved ones.  Hopefully, you will be as inspired as we were by their answers.


“We keep GMOs out by simply doing one thing: eat less fake food. GMOs sneak into all of the processed stuff. By doing that one thing, eating real food instead of fake food made out of ingredients designed in a laboratory meant to simulate food, you can go a long way to protecting your family from these ingredients now regulated by the EPA as a pesticide. So what to sub in instead? We love dried fruits, dried mangoes, cranberries and nuts. We also keep clementines on hand and a load of bananas. Kids tend to crash after school, so the fruit gives them a quick hit as you get them ready for your next activity.”

- Robyn O’Brien, Founder, AllergyKids.com

Robyn O'brien

 

Ocean Robbins “I keep GMOs out of our family’s fridge by reading labels. The first thing I look for is a USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project certified logo. If I don’t see that, then I make sure there is no corn, soy, Canola, ‘vegetable oil’, or sugar that isn’t from cane. It takes a bit of doing, but I only have to vet a product once, and then once I decide something is okay, I can buy it regularly and only re-screen every few months.”

- Ocean Robbins, CEO, The Food Revolution Network, and co-author of Voices of the Food Revolution. Connect with his work at foodrevolution.org.

 

“I keep GMOs out of my body by eating organic ‘real’ food!”

- Elizabeth Kucinich, Director of Policy at the Center for Food Safety, organic ag advocate & champion for animals and the environment.

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Dr. Mercola “One way you can be sure keep GMOs off your dinner table is to stop eating processed foods. This will avoid nearly all GMOs along with a variety of other dangerous ingredients. Better yet, grow your own food, or join a Community Service Agriculture program. It has many rewards, from providing you with fresher, uncontaminated produce and cutting your grocery bill, to increasing your sense of well-being and slashing your risk of suffering from disease. My primary meal of the day typically consists of about half a pound of home grown organic sunflower sprouts, four ounces of homemade fermented vegetables, half of a large organic red pepper, several tablespoons of raw organic butter from a local farmer, some red onion, a whole avocado and about three ounces of wild Alaskan salmon or organic, pastured chicken. No GMOs on my plate.”

- Dr. Joseph Mercola, Founder, Mercola.com, most visited natural health site.

 

“Genetically engineered corn, soy and canola oil are the cheapest for restaurants to purchase. When I eat out, I always ask the server what kind of oils are used in the restaurant – this is where GMOs are hidden in almost everything from salad dressings to soups to pan or deep fried items. If there is a possible GMO ingredient being used, I’ll ask for my dish to be prepared dry or with pure olive oil or coconut oil if they have it.”

- Vani Hari, known as the Food Babe, is an activist committed to changing the food system. Her successful writings and consultation has resulted in getting Chipotle to disclose their full ingredient list online, removing TBHQ and artificial food dyes in Chick-fil-A menu items and getting Kraft to start removing artificial food dyes from their Mac & Cheese.

Vani Hari

 

Max Goldberg “For me, it is pretty basic. In order to eat non-GMO, I always look for USDA certified organic products because GMOs are prohibited in organic. And if I can find products that are both USDA certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, those are the ones that I will always choose first. Having both certifications gives me assurance that I am eating the cleanest and safest food available.”

- Max Goldberg, Founder of Living Maxwell, one of the most widely read organic food bloggers in the country. He is also the founder of pressedjuicedirectory.com, the world’s first pressed organic juice directory.

 

“I try to eat organic, and avoid processed food.”

- Frances Moore Lappé, author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. She is the co-founder of three national organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises, as well as solutions now emerging worldwide through what she calls Living Democracy. Her most recent book is EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want

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Ashley Koff “As a Qualitarian, I aim to make better quality nutrition choices as I recognize quality as key to optimal health. I keep GMOs out of my diet daily by only choosing to supplement by food with Non-GMO Project Verified supplements.”

- Ashley Koff RD, founder The AKA (Ashley Koff Approved) List

 

“Most processed foods in the supermarket today contain genetically engineered ingredients, though you wouldn’t know it from their labels, so I find one of the most effective ways to keep GMOs out of my family’s diet is to cook and serve whole foods as much as possible, choosing local and organic when I can.

“- Anna Lappé, founder, Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund. She is currently the head of the Real Food Media Project, a new initiative to spread the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies, an online action center, and grassroots events.

Anna Lappe

Top 10 Non-GMO Achievements of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Farmer holding grain2013 was a year of great progress for the non-GMO movement. Landmark efforts for mandatory labeling at home and abroad helped catapult the GMO issue into the mainstream, and consumer demand for non-GMO choices was off the charts. So much in fact, it was difficult to keep this list to just 10 items.

Is there still work to be done? Absolutely! However, as we move into 2014 it is heartening to see the wins achieved by all of the millions of people who are standing up for their right to know.

Here are our top 10 non-GMO wins from 2013:

Whole Food commits to complete GMO transparency in stores by 2018
At the Natural Products Expo in March, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb announced that in response to shoppers’ concerns about the unlabeled presence of GMOs, Whole Foods was making a commitment to complete GMO transparency in its stores by 2018. “We’re responding to our customers, who have consistently asked us for GMO labeling and we are doing so by focusing on where we have control: in our own stores,” said Robb.

March Against Monsanto unites people in 52 countries and 436 cities
On May 25, concerned citizens around the world took to the streets to voice their outrage at the impacts that large biotech companies are having on our food system. What started as a Facebook rallying cry became one of the largest protests ever in support of non-genetically engineered foods.

Mandatory labeling for GE salmon moves forward
In its first recorded vote on the labeling of genetically engineered foods, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment 15-14 in June that would require the labeling of genetically engineered salmon. This vote comes on the heels of more than 2,000 retailers across the United States committing to not selling GM salmon.

Non-GMO Project Verified label receives approval for meat, liquid egg products
In June, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a branch of the USDA that regulates meat and liquid egg products, approved the use of the Non-GMO Project Verified label on the products they oversee. This was a celebrated step forward for companies that currently offer Non-GMO Project Verified meat or liquid eggs and for shoppers looking to make informed purchasing decisions. Since then, more than 100 livestock operations have inquired about verifying their meat or eggs.

The fourth annual Non-GMO Month has record participation
During October, more than 1,850 natural food retailers took part in Non-GMO Month by educating their communities about the GMO issue and celebrating the right to know. This month-long event helped to create incredible awareness about the Non-GMO Project’s mission to build and preserve a non-GMO food supply. There were more than 12 million social media impressions, 350,000 visits to the Non-GMO Project’s website, and more than 1,400 products verified!

Mexican judge rules that GMOs are an imminent threat and orders all genetically engineered corn planting to stop
In an unprecedented move to help protect Mexico’s wealth of native corn varieties, Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. of the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City ordered Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), equivalent to the U.S. EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings.”

Non-GMO product sales surpass $5 billion annually
Since it first appeared on products in 2010, the Non-GMO Project Verified seal has become one of the fastest-growing labels in the natural products industry. 2013 was a banner year, with annual sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products topping $5 billion at the end of the third quarter, the The Non-GMO Cookbook hitting bookstore shelves in October, and achieving the verification of more than 14,000 products.

Hundreds of thousands voters in Washington state mobilize around I-522
In November, Washington state voted on whether to pass Initiative 522, which if passed would have required that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled. While I-522 did not win at the polls, 49% voted “yes” and it drove incredible awareness of the critical issue of unlabeled GMOs in the food supply and set the stage for a future victory in 2016.

Connecticut becomes the first state to approve a GMO labeling law
The Right to Know Movement celebrated on December 13 when Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ceremoniously signed the first GMO labeling law in the United States. The bill includes several trigger clauses, one of which is that at least four other states, including one sharing a border with Connecticut, must pass similar legislation. Encouragingly, just nine days after the bill was passed in June, Maine passed its own GMO labeling legislation, making it the second state with a GMO labeling law in place.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi signs GMO bill into law
Hawaiians have been working tirelessly to help protect their land from the devastating impacts of GMO production, including open-air trials and pesticide usage. In Mayor Kenoi’s words, “This ordinance expresses the desires and demands of our community for a safe, sustainable agricultural sector that can help feed our people while keeping our precious island productive and healthy.”

Thank you to all of the people who helped make these successes possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all who helped contribute to these amazing successes!

 

 

 

 

 

FDA Moves to Finalize Guidance on Voluntary GMO Labeling

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

fda-logo-1_10770329Earlier this year, the FDA announced plans to finalize guidance on “Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Developed Using Bioengineering” (see 4.1.11 in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Plan for Program Priorities, 2013-2014).

Given that the last draft of the guidance was issued nearly 13 years ago, based on focus group research from the year 2000, the appropriate action toward finalization would be for the FDA to update the guidance and open a public comment period.

It is now mid-December, and FDA has shown no indication of doing either of these things. Therefore, we feel called to draw attention to the issue. We have sent the letter below to FDA Commissioner Hamburg, and we encourage food companies, retailers and consumers to submit comments of their own, calling for transparency, accuracy, and public engagement in this process.

Although FDA Guidance is non-binding, and (unlike a regulation) cannot be used to force labeling changes, we have seen firsthand that other government agencies rely on this guidance, even in its draft form. We therefore believe it is of the utmost importance that the final guidance be accurate, based on data from this decade.

The most important change that needs to be made is with regard to terminology. The 2001 draft guidance uses terms like “bioengineering,” while advising against the term “GMO.” The basis of this guidance is focus group data from 2000, which is completely obsolete at this point.


December 18, 2013

Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

RE: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Plan for Program Priorities, 2013-2014

Dear Commissioner Hamburg,

On behalf of the Non-GMO Project, North America’s leading third-party verifier of non-GMO food and products, we are writing to express concern over CFSAN program priority 4.1.11: Publish final guidance to help manufacturers who wish to voluntarily label their foods as being made with our without the use of bioengineered ingredients.

This priority is slated for 2013. Achieving that deadline would be unreasonable given that as of mid-December 2013, no current, relevant draft has been distributed upon which to base finalization. The existing draft guidance was originally published in January 2001. It cites focus group research from 2000, which has become so dated as to be completely obsolete. Particularly with regard to terminology, current research shows that over the past 12 years different terms have come to be recognized and preferred by the public. Namely, “GMO” has become by far the most well understood term, while words like “bioengineering,” which is recommended in the 2001 draft, are virtually non-existent in the current public discourse.

We appreciate the FDA’s commitment to updating the guidance, and respectfully request your assurance that this will only be done through adherence to a meaningful process. When the 2001 draft guidance was distributed, more than 50,000 comments were received, reflecting significant stakeholder interest and concern. In the intervening 12 years, engagement on the GMO issue has only grown exponentially.

As the directors of the Non-GMO Project, we are uniquely well-informed to comment on the marketplace realities that should be considered in updating this guidance. The Non-GMO Project represents more than 1,200 companies, 14,000 products, and well over $4.5 billion in annual sales. The Non-GMO Project Verified label is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry. Its popularity with consumers is further confirmed by our 234,000 person Facebook following as well as by the 150,000 unique monthly visitor average to our website. In both the marketplace and in our considerable public communications, we consistently see that “GMO” is the preferred and recognized term.

In light of the immense current stakeholder engagement, it would be a great disservice to American consumers and manufacturers to push through finalization of an outdated document, based on public input that is more than a decade old.

In order to finalize guidance that is both accurate and useful, new draft guidance should be developed using current data. This draft should then be circulated for public comment.

We respectfully request the opportunity to meet with you in person to further discuss this process. We also would like to extend our willingness to provide recent media analyses, focus group transcripts, survey results, and any other data that would be useful in developing an accurate and current guidance document.

Sincerely,

The Non-GMO Project Board of Directors:

Corinne Shindelar, CEO
Independent Natural Food Retailers Association

Michael Funk, Chair and Co-Founder
United Natural Foods, Inc.

Dag Falck, Organic Program Manager
Nature’s Path Foods

Alisa Gravitz, CEO
Green America

Maureen Kirkpatrick, Standards Coordinator
Big Carrot Natural Food Market

Michael Potter, CEO
Eden Foods

Judi Shills, Executive Director
Teens Turning Green

Mark Squire, Owner
Good Earth Natural & Organic Foods

Megan Westgate, Executive Director
Non-GMO Project

Holiday Spotlight on Non-GMO Project Verified Wine

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

frey-vineyards-logo

With the holidays approaching and so many celebrations to plan, today we’re spotlighting a holiday favorite of ours: the first and only Non-GMO Project Verified wine on the marketplace, from Frey Vineyards!

Katrina Frey, one of the owners, recently shared some of Frey’s story with me, and I learned so much about why organic wines are important, and the adventure their family undertook to bring you a non-GMO wine. I hope you enjoy the season with a glass of Frey Vineyard wine. 

Isabel Vanderslice, Outreach Coordinator  


 

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Katrina’s Husband, John, is the oldest of 12 children born to Paul and Beba Frey. Most of them are involved with work for the winery in some way.

 

 

 

Frey Organic cab vineyard.

 

Frey Vineyards grows one-third of their grapes on their property in Northern California, and buys the rest from neighboring organic farms. Through a partnership with Frey, many local farms have been able to switch to organic agriculture.

Because of the unique climate on the property, days can reach over 100 degrees, allowing grapes like Syrah, Cabernet, and Zinfandel to fully ripen, while that night cooling to 50 degrees and preserving the acidity in the fruit. This makes for full, flavorful wines with excellent structure and balance.

 

PaulFreyInVineyard

 

Wine drinkers may not realize that alcoholic beverages are not required to list ingredients in the same way as other foods and beverages. Do you know what is in your wine? Today, it is very common for wines to contain up to 80 additives, including sulfites, color, stabilizers, yeast nutrients–not to mention pesticides and herbicides from growing the grapes.

Frey recognized its passion for quality food and became America’s first organic winery in 1980. Next they went a step further and became Demeter Certified Biodynamic. Then, in early 2013, they became the first vineyard to earn Non-GMO Project Verification. Their wines have one ingredient: grapes!

 

MerlotIntoCrusher2Wine isn’t just grape juice, though. Yeast is an ancient partner to humans, helping us make wines, beer, breads and countless other foods. However, the prevalence of genetically modified yeast, and yeasts grown on a matrix of GMO ingredients create a GMO risk for winemakers–and wine lovers! To make the yeast to sell to wineries, cultures are grown on sugars and nutrients produced from GMO corn and sugar beets.

Frey Vineyards challenged Llalemand, a major wine yeast manufacturer, to develop an organic, non-GMO yeast, a process which took three years. It is now a requirement for all organic wines!

 

PickingGrapes

 

Frey’s sulfite-free, organic wine philosophy first began with their original winemaker, Jonathan Frey. Learning techniques from Coturri winery in Sonoma County, Jonathan strove to make their wine a true organic product from the start in 1980. After training his younger brother Paul for many years, he handed him the bulk of the winemaking duties, allowing him time to care for broader issues such as new development, financing and compliance.

 

 

ElizaFreyAtWinery

 

Paul treats his job as head winemaker as an ongoing education. He constantly experiments with new techniques and communicates regularly with the leading sulfite-free researchers in Europe. Paul is regarded as one of the leading experts in organic winemaking and with the help of his assistant and niece Eliza Frey (working hard in this picture!), continues to improve the quality and balance of their award-winning wines.

 

 

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With a background in science from UC Santa Cruz, Jonathan and Katrina studied with the acclaimed English Gardener Alan Chadwick, whose teachings of bio-intensive farming have guided the winery in its farming techniques. Jonathan’s interest and continual research in food quality and optimum nutrition shows in Frey’s quality wines.

 

 

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Frey is dedicated to sustainability in every way, beyond producing organic and non-GMO wines. Mark Frey makes sure the solar panels are carefully cleaned of dust to produce electricity at optimum efficiency, and Matthew Frey, an engineer, repairs, customizes and updates used equipment and machinery the winery buys, saving on money and landfill space.

 

 

 

Frey Vineyards is a model of hard-working family agriculture that is dedicated to quality foods and sustainable farming practices. The family’s dedication is so deep, you can taste it. In fact, we encourage you to! Whether for the holidays or any day, serve Frey wines at your table. And if you are ever in Northern California, be sure to stop by the winery for a tasting. Click to learn more about Frey Vineyards.

Tasting in front of Frey Vineyards building

Caroline Frey in front of Frey Vineyards building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pinot Noir grapes at Frey Vineyards

Non-GMO Gingerbread Houses Bring Childlike Cheer to the Season

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Making gingerbread houses is a special tradition during the holiday season. Who doesn’t like the messy fun of building a magical candy village? My children certainly love it! They also love the opportunity to sample a taste or two of their building materials. By using Non-GMO Project Verified treats in place of conventional candy, I can feel much more comfortable about their nibbling and sampling.
 
Quick tip: To help limit the amount of candy kids eat, make sure they start building and decorating their gingerbread houses with a full stomach and provide some non-sugary snacks to munch on too. You never know, some nuts or carrots could end up being part of their creation.
 
Happy Holidays!
Caroline Kinsman, Communications Manager

Supplies ready. Last weekend started out fairly normal in my house … until I announced to my two young girls that we were going to build gingerbread houses. They’re just old enough to know this project is a sugary surge of holiday fun filled with frosting and brightly colored candy, and it fills our house with yummy smells, love and warmth. Did I mention there would be frosting? Cheerful chaos erupted in our kitchen, to say the least.
Gingerbread4 Little did my kids know how much fun I’d had preparing for this “sweet” adventure. The week prior, I’d reviewed my options for non-GMO candy; there are many good ones! I picked a few I thought would make the best house decorations and that I knew I could find locally, and then I went shopping with a childlike skip in my step. In my mind I had already engineered innovative candy structures: rooftops tiled with chicle bubblegum, windows lined with gummies and jelly beans, flower pots made from sunbutter cups, candy canes to mark the cornerstones, and sidewalks conjured from slabs of chocolate bars.
Once the houses are assembled, let the kids frost and decorate … Now, I adore and praise folks who spend a full day making elegant home-baked gingerbread mansions complete with gingerbread trains, snowmen, and trees. I am a friend to many of these fine people. But me? I was on a bit different timeline. As in, I had young children who wanted to spread frosting on something … immediately! Thank goodness for Non-GMO Project Verified graham crackers and frosting mixes … and the Internet. I’d found graham cracker houses online (the small, simple ones!) that were as cute as a puppy in wooly winter slippers and were easy to assemble in 10 minutes flat.
They can hardly contain themselves. Once the houses were assembled, the kids frosted and decorated … and ate a bit more candy. They had a blast.There is still plenty of holiday time to check your candy list twice and make sure GMOs stay out of your (gingerbread) house. Any elf can go non-GMO with their festive projects this year. To help inspire your non-GMO gingerbread house adventure, check out the photos below of the Non-GMO Project staff decorating their creations!

 

Thank you to the following brands for donating Non-GMO Project Verified candy and supplies for this story:

 

More gingerbread fun at the Non-GMO Project office!

Products Used: Erewhon Honey Grahams, Wholesome Chow Frosting Mix, TruJoy Starlight Mints and Candy Canes, Theo Chocolate, Glee Gum, Surf Sweets Products Used: Erewhon Honey Grahams, Wholesome Chow Frosting Mix, TruJoy Starlight Mints and Candy Canes, Theo Chocolate, Glee Gum, Surf Sweets Courtney debates gummy worms or hearts for the roof she’s frosting. Isabel and Arielle frost a base coat with Wholesome Chow Frosting
Isabel puts the finishing touches on her Glee Gum chicle rooftop. Chris developed a unique and creative plan for his house. Isaac designs a rooftop made of Surf Sweets Sour Worms. Colorful and festive mints, gummies, chicle gum and chocolate bars offer the finishing touches.
 Surf Sweets Peach and Watermelon Rings make adorable wreaths.  A Whole Town of Non-GMO Gingerbread Houses  An Official Non-GMO Project Gingerbread House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the Making of the Non-GMO Project Logo

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
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Barry Deutsch, Founder of Deutsch Design Works

Have you ever wondered how the Non-GMO Project Verified seal was developed? As the Non-GMO Project begins its fourth year of tremendous growth both as an organization and in the number of verified products, we thought it would be fun to reflect on the life of our logo and seal artwork. Deutsch Design Works (DDW) was the talented creative company that generously donated their time to generate the now well-known artwork, as well as the Non-GMO Month banner that headlines October festivities every year.  We caught up with DDW’s team—including principal Barry Deutsch—to gain perspective of how the process evolved to become the celebrated butterfly icon used today.

Please describe the history of the relationship between DDW and the Non-GMO Project.

Through our work for the Strauss Family Creamery in 2004, we made contact with the Non-GMO Project at the Natural Products Expo. It was a natural fit as the non-GMO issue was of personal interest to Barry. His passion for nature and the environment had only increased after a recent visit to the Monarch butterfly overwintering site in northern Mexico.

Had you ever worked on a non-profit product label?

­­Much of our mission-driven work has involved Northern California environmental groups, like the Turtle Island Restoration Network, River Otter Ecology Project and Ceres Community Project/Wildbrine Foods. Internationally speaking, we’ve designed the logo for the ProTerra Foundation. Our packaging design work for companies like Annie’s Homegrown has given us the ability to communicate the issues of “organic and sustainability.”

What considerations went into the design process?

We bring a disciplined approach to our passion. Our process starts with strategic thinking and trend analysis regardless of the project.

In this case, we focused on how to tell a story about purity, simplicity and naturalness and applying these qualities to a healthy food environment.

Practical considerations included size and legibility on a busy package, as well as being able to work on any product in the grocery store. The logo had to work in multiple colors as well as one and represent both the Non-GMO Project itself and the seal of “Verification.”

How many seal concepts were developed?

The initial exploration netted about 6 different options all of which incorporated natural elements like trees, leaves or vegetables in different treatments including type and illustration. We explored a range of tones from a “call-to-action” to “natural, feel good” and the more “scientific tone” to reinforce the Project’s credibility.

Some examples of the original concepts that were explored:

Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification. Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification. Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification.
Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification. Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification. Concept design while developing the Non-GMO Project's seal for verification.

The final mark is successful because it works on many levels, some of which is subtle. It’s credible, approachable and deeply layered. Starting with a Monarch butterfly perched on a green blade of grass, which is also a check mark and even a ‘V’ for verification. All positioned on a blue-sky background resulting in a powerful blend of eye-catching, positive colors that portrays “a better future.”

The final designs for the verification seal and logo:

Non-GMO Project Verification seal Non-GMO Project logo

How do you feel when you are out shopping and you see the Non-GMO Project Verified label?

Proud! Proud that we were able to contribute to “truth in labeling” and informing consumers though graphic design, which is what we do best. Creating a symbol that’s clear, charming and accessible to everyone is our contribution to healthier food products.

We’ve noticed use of the logo is expanding to products not initially anticipated such as biodegradable bags and a wide range of vitamins and supplements. This illustrates the growth of producer and consumer awareness. To see something we worked on for months sitting on the shelf is incredibly rewarding.

 

More about Deutsch Design WorksAs one of the country’s leading packaging design firms, DDW has been around long enough to know a thing or two about what a client needs—and more importantly, what’s going to make their customers notice, smile, share and buy. Smart brand strategy. Thoughtful design. Amazing relationships. These are powerful ideas woven into the way the staff works. DDW is an expert in strategic branding and sustainable packaging, and the company has a deep passion for making packaging that jumps off the shelves. The result? Award-winning package design that turns heads and boosts sales. Deutsch Design Works

The courtyard at the offices of Deutsch Design Works is noted by employees as one of the most inspiring features of working for the company.

The courtyard at the offices of Deutsch Design Works is noted by employees as one of the most inspiring features of working for the company.