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Beans, peas, pasta, nuts,  lentils, soup mixes,  dried fruit, granola, cooking oils, flour and more! The bulk trail at Valley Natural Foods has pretty much everything you need for snacks and meals, usually at a deeper discount than packaged grocery items. So what is stopping you from shopping bulk? Maybe you are overwhelmed by the over 300 choices, maybe you are not sure how to cook those beans or lentils or maybe you don't know how shopping the bulk trail works. Buying in bulk has economic and environmental benefits. A Portland State University Food Industry Leadership study found that, on average, organic bulk food items are less expensive than their organic packaged counterparts. Manufacturers also save, on average, on bulk foods materials and delivery costs, helping reduce the amount of product packaging going into landfills. So why shop bulk? -You can buy only what

By Valley Natural Foods Staff When I first learned about B Corp Certification, I thought oh no, another certification on top of non-GMO, USDA Organic and Fair-Trade labels that will confuse people. However, after doing a bit of research, I realized that B Corp Certification is the creme de la creme of third-party validation, focusing not just on whether a product is organic, fair trade or non-GMO, but on the organizational level too. This certification reflects analyzing a company's environmental performance, how it treats its workers, its governance in regards to transparency and engagement practices and how well its products and services improve the lives of its customers. To receive B Corp certification, a company must fill out a lengthy assessment that measures its success in the areas mentioned: worker impact, environment, governance and customers. Companies that receive at least an 80 out of 200 points, qualify

This post is from our April/May 2012 issue of Living Naturally when our Produce Manager Kim Dvorak visited Equal Exchange banana producers in Peru. Written by Susan Budig Banana bread, banana splits, bananas straight from the peel, banana mashed for the baby, banana muffins with nuts, and sliced on morning cereal; the list keeps going: don’t forget the smoothies and pudding, too! Bananas, as an edible commodity, are sold more than any other fruit worldwide. Its importance as a food crop ranks after rice, wheat and corn. Unique to crop production of bananas, however, is that their growth is exclusive to the tropics. [caption id="attachment_30182" align="alignright" width="366"] "I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything,” -Produce Manager Kim Dvorak on her experience in Peru. Photos by Kim Dvorak.[/caption] Scott Patterson, Midwest sales manager and worker-owner at Equal Exchange, which supplies Valley Natural Foods with bananas, said,

March marks the start of an annual program to benefit local food shelves called Minnesota FoodShare. Valley Natural Foods will be raising funds and collecting donations for local organization The Open Door Pantry. Keep reading to learn more about these two programs and about how you can make a difference in the local community. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 for the March Campaign! Minnesota FoodShare Minnesota FoodShare works to fight food insecurity throughout the state by providing donations to keep food shelves stocked by collaborating with other local groups and businesses. The organization also educates the community about hunger and advocates for legislation to help combat this issue. [caption id="attachment_30145" align="alignright" width="271"] Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign works to provide resources to local food shelves.[/caption] Since 1982, MFS has donated funds to local food shelves. The following data is from the MFS website: 2017 March

Valentine's Day is here! Valley Natural Foods has got you covered and has plenty of options of thoughtful last-minute Valentine's Day gifts for the people in your life. Flowers This one is a classic. Giving flowers to someone special is bound to light up their day. We currently have a variety of bouquets of flowers from the vibrant to classic roses. We also have single roses available. Find these lovelies in our produce section as well as the demo kiosk for a limited time. Chocolate Another time-honored gift is chocolate. At Valley, we have a great variety of chocolate, perfect for any type of connoisseur on your list. We carry milk and dark chocolate in many forms from fair-trade to vegan. Sweet Treats If you are in need of a gift to share, Valentine's Day cakes are a great option. We also have heart-shaped brownies, cookies and cookie

Valley Natural Foods carries fair-trade avocados from Equal Exchange. Keep reading to find out more about Equal Exchange and why fair trade matters. What is Equal Exchange? [caption id="attachment_30018" align="alignright" width="447"] Statistics from the 2016 impact of Equal Exchange avocados.[/caption] Equal Exchange works to create "a trade model that respects farmers, builds communities, and supports the environment." The company started in 1986 and initially began working to try to fix the food system with fair-trade coffee in Nicaragua. They have since provided support for small farmers of crops like bananas, chocolate, cocoa, nuts, dried fruits, olive oil and tea. Equal Exchange was founded on the ideas of being (from the Equal Exchange website): A social change organization that would help farmers and their families gain more control over their economic futures. A group that would educate consumers about trade issues affecting farmers. A provider

Winter weather forces us to slow down and bundle up. These recipes are great for the days when you need a healthy and hardy way to nourish. Keep reading below to see some of our favorite cold-weather recipes. SMOKED TURKEY & WHITE BEAN SOUP Smoked turkey simmered in chicken broth with onions, celery, carrots, spices and beans all topped with Parmesan cheese. Get the recipe here. KID-FRIENDLY BEEFY STEW This Kid-Friendly Beef Stew is the perfect combination of savory beef and hearty vegetables. You’ll love the nutrients it provides and your kids will love the taste! As seen in Living Naturally Wellness 2017 Edition. Get the recipe here. HOT CITRUS DRINK Orange juice infused with herbal orange spice tea, cinnamon and lemon and then sweetened with coconut palm sugar. This drink is perfect for warming up and it makes your home smell great too! Get the recipe here. GARLIC PARMESAN SMASHED POTATOES Seasoned Yukon gold potatoes

  Gameday is the perfect excuse to eat good food and root for your favorite team. Keep reading below to get inspiration for game day recipes. CAULIFLOWER NACHOS Corn tortilla chips smothered with melted cheese and then topped with seasoned cauliflower, fresh garden salsa, avocados, cilantro and smoked sea salt. Add as much smoked sea salt as desired and top with sliced jalapenos for added heat. Get the recipe here. ZESTY MAPLE GLAZED WINGS & DRUMMIES A sweet maple-glaze with a zesty-kick of red pepper flake will make these chicken wings and drummies the talk of your Game Day Party! Get the recipe here. BAGEL PIZZAS Bagel Pizzas are the perfect quick and easy meal for busy schedules. Simply place sauce, cheese and toppings on your favorite bagel and bake! You can even browse our salad bar for quick toppings like shredded chicken, olives, sliced peppers, or onions. Get the recipe here. EASY CHUNKY AVOCADO SALSA An

2018 is here. Phew. With the new year comes a new wave of motivation that we definitely welcome. The list below includes some tips for things to do with that new-year motivation to make a healthy 2018. Find an excuse to walk more. Even if it's just a quick trip outside, walking has the potential to do wonders for your mental and physical health. Try new foods as often as possible. If there something new and intriguing in produce, give it a try it might be a new fave. Are zoodles a thing you've been eyeing for a while but never took the plunge, now's the time. Drink more water. Consider getting a Klean Kanteen or other reusable water to cut down on waste as well as chemical exposure. Wake up on time to give yourself some "me" time. Less

Save the Date for a Garden of Life Garden Party happening January 10 - 13, 2018. Garden of Life will be at our demo kiosk sampling products and answering any questions you may have about their lines of protein powders, vitamins, greens and probiotics. During this time you can save on Garden of Life products with these deals: 25% off Protein Bars* 40% off the rest of the line of Garden of Life Products* BONUS DEAL: Full Size Protein Powders are available for BOGO* when you buy one at full price and get the second free of the same size and protein line. Valley Natural Foods carries the following lines of Protein Powder Tubs: Raw Organic Fit, SPORT, RAW, Protein & Greens, Organic Plant Protein and Organic Whey Protein. Garden of Life products are derived from raw ingredients that are certified USDA Organic