10 Truly Organic Brands Slideshow
August 3, 2011
There is no actual Health Valley. But if there was it might be located in Boulder, Colo., where the company is headquartered. Though the Hain Celestial Group owns it, Health Valley’s products are certified organic. Among their more creative offerings are fortified toaster tarts. Who knew Pop Tarts could be healthy?
What if you weren’t afraid to know where your hot dog ingredients came from? That question provided the inspiration for Applegate Farms' founder and owner Stephen McDonnell to start his company. Today, it remains true to its roots. For proof, they’ve created an illustrated handout titled Fifteen Things You Can Tell Your Mother About Applegate that highlights how McDonnell and crew have kept to their original mission as the company has grown.
Green & Black's
Like others on this list, Green & Black’s started small and eventually was purchased by a large corporation (Cadbury in this case). Since then they have stayed organic by using cocoa beans (one of the world's most highly sprayed food crops) that are farmed without pesticides.
Purity.Organic has a simple formula: “Well supported organic farmers = superior fruit = the best tasting juice and functional drinks = happy people!” This San Francisco-based company works directly with farmers to cut out the middleman. As a result, they return 10 percent of their dividends to the organic community and give the consumer a better price.
In 1972, Cascadian Farms' founder Gene Kahn set out to farm the land next to the Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. The farm has grown dramatically beyond Kahn’s original one-man hobby (it is now owned by General Mills), yet the 28-acre spread remains tucked away in the Upper Skagit Valley.
Before its products were found in every supermarket dairy aisle, Stoneyfield Farms started as a nonprofit school that taught sustainable farming methods. Today, they buy milk from the Organic Valley/CROPP dairy cooperative of more than 1,300 family farms throughout the U.S., ensuring that the giant agribusinesses don’t overtake our country’s farmland.
Flying Pigs Farm
Husband and wife Michael Yezzi and Jennifer Small operate their small-scale farm in rural Shushan, N.Y. Throughout the week, they make multiple trips to Manhattan to sell their rare, heritage breed pigs at the Union Square Green Market and to restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, and Telepan. The meat is not inexpensive, but that’s the trade-off of their humane and sustainable breeding and butchering practices.
Milk Thistle Farm
This family-run dairy in the Hudson Valley produces creamy milk served the old-fashioned way, in glass bottles. At Milk Thistle Farm, they never use chemical fertilizers, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics. Their lightly pasteurized milk has a huge fan in David Chang, who showcases it at Momofuku Milk Bar.
When Organic Valley opened in 1998, there were no government-sanctioned definitions of organic. So they created their own standards, which they still use to this day because they believe they go above and beyond the rules of the USDA. To date, 1,634 farmer-owners make up the co-op.
The cute flying cow is reason enough to pick up a carton of their milk, but know that there is more to Horizon than colorful packing. (Ignore the beer.) The ingredients for their milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter come from more than 600 independent farms around the country.