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October is Non-GMO month, and the Non-GMO Project asks that you help spread the word and stand up for the right to know what ingredients are in our food. Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, exist in one form or another in 80% of conventional American packaged foods, and can be found primarily in foods that contain corn, soy, canola and sugar beets. These ingredients are artificially manipulated to combine genes from other sources, through processes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding. Though GMOs are used with specific goals in mind such as resistance to pests or increased yields, the long-term effects of GMOs on our health and our environment are not yet fully known or understood.  In fact, 60 countries around the world, including all members of the European Union, have banned or restricted the sale of food

September is National Honey Month!  While honey might traditionally be thought of as a sweetener, there are many other uses that this versatile substance can provide. To celebrate the delicious substance from the hardworking honey bee we’ve compiled a list of different honey uses that you might not have thought of. Honey Face Mask Honey is amazing for skin. It has the ability to moisturize making it an ideal addition to a skin care regimen. Along with that, honey is an antioxidant which helps combat nasty free radicals that can potentially damage skin. It’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties also make honey a great contender for combating acne and other blemishes. To use as a face mask apply honey to your skin, leave for 10-30 minutes and rinse thoroughly (especially around the scalp line) with warm water. Then rinse with cold water to help keep your

Gut Shot Farmhouse Culture Gut Shot sounds scarier than you think; in fact it’s quite good for you! Gut Shot is a probiotic rich drink that is made from organic vegetables. The juice is pressed from fermented vegetables and full of live active cultures. With such a small serving size of 1-1/2 oz. you can add it to smoothies, use it as a salad dressing, or drink it plain. Gut Shot helps keep your gut happy and healthy and are organic, non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free. We now carry the following flavors of Gut Shot: Classic Ginger Beet Kimchi Gut Shot comes from the same makers of Farmhouse Culture Sauerkraut products that are also carried at Valley Natural Foods. If you like their sauerkraut go ahead and give Gut Shot a try. For more information and recipe visit: farmhouseculture.com.   Bone Broth Protein A trendy new “superfood” has made an

Though today most people know us as Valley Natural Foods, in 1977, we started out as Valley Community Foods Co-op, helping provide healthy food choices to the communities south of the Minnesota River. Since then, our co-op has grown and evolved, and during the month of October, we celebrate Co-op Month with all the other organizations that share the values of cooperation, involvement and community. Cooperative businesses provide goods and services that run the gamut from natural and organic foods, fair trade coffees and teas, body care products, energy to power cities, even sporting goods and lines of credit. However, no matter the service we provide, all co-ops share the same basic guiding principles, including: Community – All co-ops share a goal of serving and improving the communities where they are located. In the past year, our co-op has been proud to

National Honey Month September is National Honey Month! And at Valley Natural Foods, we celebrate this historic, versatile and healthy ingredient by offering fresh, raw honey from a variety of local sources! Humans have been collecting and consuming honey for over 8000 years, and has been an important ingredient throughout history, from the days of the ancient Egyptians to the Roman Empire, up through the time of kings and queens of England and into the modern day. Honey’s long history is due in part to many of the health benefits that it provides. It can be applied externally to treat wounds and sores, taken internally to ease coughing and throat irritation, and some recent research even indicated that honey can help prevent cancer and heart disease. If you are interested in the health benefits of honey, see our Wellness Staff who can guide

During the month of  September, Valley Natural Foods, in conjunction with the FMI Foundation, is proud to celebrate National Family Meals Month by inspiring and encouraging families to spend time around the dinner table enjoying home-cooked, healthy meals. According to the FMI Foundation… Did you know that numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family? Home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Not to mention, people who frequently cook at home eat fewer, healthier calories.’ Additionally, regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behavior. However, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night. Why is this? Yes, juggling jobs, kids and the

Special Arrival on September 1st We're excited for Thursday's arrival of some very special peaches! Picked just this week and en route to our co-op right now is a one-time-only shipment of organically grown O'Henry Peaches from Barrett Orchards in Yakima, WA. Our meat and seafood manager, Jason Harstad and his wife Jenifer have been life-long friends with Tim and Sarah Johnson from the Barrett Family.  For seven years, they have enjoyed having direct access to purchase Barrett Orchard peaches annually. This year, Jason initiated a connection for our co-op to bring in these special peaches. If you're a peach lover, you don't want to miss visiting our demo kiosk, anytime between 11 am-1 pm on Thursday, September 1st, where you can taste O'Henry Peaches. While tasting, please let us know what you think! Your input matters to us - do we bring them back next season, or not? O'Henry Peaches will be offered for

Stroll through our produce department and you will find some new fresh faves – some returning for the season, some brand new to Valley Natural Foods – and all might not be quite what you expect!  Amaranth Greens Those into the ancient grains may recognize Amaranth seeds, but the leaves of the plant are also edible and are enjoyed around the world in countries like India, Indonesia and Malaysia. While Amaranth leaves have a slight bitterness to them when eaten raw in salads, they are most often used in cooked dishes such as stir fry and stews.  The red-colored greens are high in protein, iron and dietary fiber, among other amino acids such as Lysine.  Mini Red and Yellow watermelons Back in living color – red and yellow mini watermelons make their return to Valley! A perfect one-person size, the standard red and slightly-sweeter

You may have noticed it during a lovely spring day on our patio. You might have glimpsed it after getting a hot cup of coffee from our drive-thru window. And though it may simply look like nothing more than a serene green space, our Teaching Garden offers much more than just a calm place to enjoy your lunch. Garden Coordinator Erika Richards envisions the garden on the south side of our building as a way for our customers and our community to learn about various plants that can provide more benefits than just aesthetic beauty. “There are several varieties of plants that are either edible or have leaves that can be used as tea or are sold inside as an oil or supplement,” Erika says. “I want more people to learn how plants can heal you or just make you happier in

Grapes have always been the perfect summertime treat. Sweet and juicy with a pleasant pop, no party fruit tray would be complete without them, and their size makes for convenient eating on-the-go or straight out of the fridge. But let’s face it – while tasty, the basic options of Red vs. Green (and sometimes Black) haven’t made for much excitement over the years. Growers such as Divine Flavors have begun to change the grape landscape with new and exciting varieties that are unexpected in shape, color and flavor. And the best part is - they are certified organic!  Cotton Candy Grapes Cotton candy: an image that spins up memories of county fairs, parades, circuses and baseball games – not to mention sticky fingers. Let’s face it, as fondly as we remember the sweet taste of cotton candy, the confection consists of sugar and