Activism Healthy Living

What Do Chocolate, GNOWFGLINS, and Oprah Winfrey Have in Common?

I have three important real food and sustainable items I want to share with everyone today:

1. Green and Black Chocolate

Green and Black has announced an exciting change in their line of organic chocolates – the company is moving their entire line of products produced worldwide over to Fair Trade status. This change will occur gradually over the year 2010, and customers can expect to see labels sporting the “fair trade” label in approximately six months. This move will create Green and Black as the number one leader in organic and fair trade chocolate worldwide.

If you have not tasted Green and Black’s chocolate, now is the time to do so, with Valentine’s Day around the corner. There aren’t many people who will say they don’t love chocolate (I’m not one of them!), but I think those who don’t are in the minority. Their chocolates are extremely delicious and sourced from indigenous rainforests where high quality cocoa beans are grown.

This fair trade arrangement benefits local farmers in Belize and the Dominican Republic.  The purpose of fair trade is to provide a fair wage, good working conditions, and to support local communities and the environment where products are sourced. When you buy fair trade products, you can feel good not only about the quality of the product in regard to your health but also knowing you are helping other communities to help themselves.

Where to find G&B chocolates
Many health food stores carry the Green and Black brand. We don’t have a Whole Foods in Boise where I live, but in my frequent travels to Las Vegas to see family I always see them on the shelves when we go shopping there. The Boise Co-op, a local health food store in Boise where I live, carries Green and Black chocolates too.

These chocolates would make great indulgences for Valentine’s Day, and gifts for those you know who have a chocolate tooth (like myself!). Green and Black chocolates make enjoying your favorite treat all that more satisfying  when you know you are supporting an company who stands behind great values like organics, fair trade, and no GMOs!

G&B Ingredients
G&B is a sustainable-minded company who makes certain they use ingredients which are not genetically-modified (contain no GMOs), which is very important to me and many other people. In fact, G&B has partnered with The Institute for Responsible Technology who has various noble goals – one of which is to eliminate GMOs from our food supply. If you would like more information on avoiding GMOs in your food, check out this link to download a non-GMO shopping guide.

As their chocolates carry the organic label, they don’t use artificial sweeteners and all ingredients are truly natural. So if you are going to splurge on chocolate, this is a great reason to do so!

Most of the ingredients in these chocolates meet my criteria for healthy chocolates – except two. The main ingredient that can cause issues is the whole milk powder. Milk powder, whether it is whole milk or skim, contains oxidized cholesterol and is not safe to eat. Oxidized cholesterol can actually contribute to heart disease because it has been effectively exposed to heat, moisture, and oxygen which damages the fragile compounds of its composition. This can cause hardening of the arteries. Many processed foods fall into this category, which makes them unhealthy to consume.

The other ingredient is soy lecithin – a derivative of soy. Soy lecithin acts as an emulsifier to allow the chocolate to congeal and allow it to be removed from molds when it is being processed. The amount used in these chocolates is a very small amount, and it is organically-sourced (which means it is non-GMO). If you would like more information on just why soy is so dangerous to consume, read Beware of the Dangers of Soy. As with this or any other packaged food, you must weigh the good and the bad and decide what’s right for you and your family to eat.

G&B is a subsidiary of Kraft Foods, a big multi-billion dollar conglomerate corporation who manufactures and sells many foods that are sold via the big Agribusiness arm of industry. That means they are not mindful of humane, safe, nor healthy production practices in their dealings. This may be of importance to some people – I know it’s important to me.

2. GNOWFGLINS website announcing eCourse – Simple plan, healthy food

Today, Wardeh fromGNOWFGLINS (God’s Natural Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season) is launching her eCourse for learning about the fundamentals, a “Simple plan for healthy food“. As the enrollment period is starting today, now’s the time to find out about this fantastic program for eating real, traditional foods – healthier and easier.

The course introduces basic concepts for traditional cooking/preparation over a 15-week period with reading, audio, and video segments for ease of learning.

Here are the topics, listed week-by-week:

  • Overview: eCourse Overview
  • Lesson 1: The GNOWFGLINS Foundation
  • Lesson 2: How to Soak Whole Grains, Nuts and Seeds
  • Lesson 3: How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods I
  • Lesson 4: How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods II
  • Lesson 5: How to Soak and Cook Dry Beans
  • Lesson 6: How to Sprout Beans
  • Lesson 7: How to Cook a Chicken and Make Chicken Stock
  • Lesson 8: How to Make Skillet Dishes: A Dinner Formula
  • Lesson 9: How to Make Water Kefir
  • Lesson 10: How to Make Dairy Kefir
  • Lesson 11: How to Make Soft, Spreadable Cheese
  • Lesson 12: How to Make Sourdough Bread
  • Lesson 13: How to Sprout Whole Grains for Sprouted Grain Flour & How to Bake With Sprouted Grain Flour
  • Lesson 14: How to Make Natural Pickled Foods

If you have dietary restrictions and are interested in this program, please follow this link.You’ll find an audio invitation waiting for you, answers to important questions about dietary concerns, as well as an enroll button for your convenience.

This is a great introductory course if you are wanting to make a change from processed, packaged foods and start making real foods at home, from scratch!  You’ll find simple, direct steps to doing things, one at a time. Cost is $27 monthly, and comes with a money-back guarantee during the first month. Enrollment for this program runs from Friday, Februrary 5th and runs until the 22nd.  Sign up now!

GNOWFLGLINS is an affiliate of Agriculture Society.  Thanks for learning about easy meals, and don’t forget to sign up today!

3. Please, leave your comments about future food activists on the Oprah Winfrey Show!

If any of you watched the Oprah Winfrey Show this last week, you may have seen the guest spot with Michael Pollan about his new book, Food Rules. This was a momentous occasion indeed, because we are seeing more and more the message about real food getting out into the mainstream and into the crevices of our culture. We want to encourage Oprah (as well as other talk show hosts, hopefully) to keep this trend going and to increase the dialogue about real food and what it means to our health, society, economy, and sustainable future!

Sandrine Hahn of the Nourishing Our Children Campaign on the Weston A. Price Foundation has created a message to Oprah, asking her to call other leaders in the real food community such as Sally Fallon Morell. Please, take a moment to follow this link and leave your comments on the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Nourishing Our Children Campaign. Sandrine is asking for your comments and requests. We want to be sure to continue the spirit of getting the message out about real food!

Here’s the comment I left on The Nourishing Our Children site:

Hello Oprah – I belong to a network of food activist bloggers who are passionate about educating the public about the plight of our food system, and I am also encouraged and hopeful by the appearance of Michael Pollan on your show last week. It definitely opens up the topic to millions and millions of people who may be wholly unaware as to the condition of the food we eat. It is my hope that as more and more people learn and understand the propensity of what we are dealing with, they too will become inspired and motivated to learn more and feed themselves, their families, and other loved ones wholesome, nourishing food.

I see this movement as an opportunity for the future, and one that should not be taken lightly nor pushed aside. The momentum of what has started must keep going – and to keep that headed in the right direction, other leaders of clean and safe food who are making a difference could be highlighted as well. They are encouraging and motivating people to do more and more. One individual that comes to mind is the important work done by Weston A. Price whose vision is being carried out with the Weston A. Price Foundation and Sally Fallon Morell. Other important individuals include Chef Ann Cooper (a pioneer in changing the face of the school lunch room who recognizes the importance of real, whole foods in the role of keeping children nourished and capable during their growing years), Alice Waters – founder of the Edible Schoolyard who has also attached an important vision to nutrition in regard to growing children in schools, and Nina Planck – author of Real Food and other books that reveal the startling way we’ve viewed food and nutrition and how those beliefs have harmed us in terms of our health.

Other topics which deserve due coverage because of their importance in nutrition and effectiveness in maintaining human health are grass-fed meats, raw milk, and other whole foods such as properly prepared grains that are soaked, sprouted, and fermented. Most of our foods are so incredibly processed, they barely resemble food and yet they are being marketed to people as though they sustain health. I’m also interested in blowing the lid open on toxic foods like soy, dangerous industrial fats like soybean, cottonseed, and canola oil (which are pervasive in the world of modern food).

Thanks again for your willingness to address this critically important topic – one that affects our economy, environment, personal and public health, political sphere, and so much else in our world. It’s one of the single most important issues of our time, and the only way we can make a difference is to keep on bringing it to the spotlight. The more people hear about it, the more they will realize just how significant it is. I can’t impress how important it is to see a continuation of real food and food topics on your show.

Raine Saunders

2 replies on “What Do Chocolate, GNOWFGLINS, and Oprah Winfrey Have in Common?”

Just wanted to say that not only is Green & Black’s my favorite dark chocolate, it is the *only* one I can eat, because it is made in a “peanut-free facility!” When I developed my peanut allergy years ago, I quickly found out that I could not eat any chocolate because it is all made on “shared equipment”—even organic brands! But G&B was given to me by a friend, who swore it was peanut-free, and lo & behold it was. So I heartily endorse them, which isn’t that hard, because their product is so good! My two fav flavors of theirs are the ginger one and the orange one…I heartily recommend them. 🙂 And now to hear they are going to be fair-trade certified…woot!

Sara – their products are delicious, and as far as I have experienced, they seem to be really good quality. But as far as being peanut free, I thought they made products with peanuts? I received press release information from their publicist for information I used in this post, and I did see an image of a chocolate bar with peanuts – and one without as well. I’m not sure if you know about this or not, or if it makes a difference – or are you just buying the type without peanuts – but in that case, it wouldn’t matter because of the “shared equipment” issue. I don’t know. Just thought I’d mention it in case it made a difference for you.

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