Tag Archives: certified organic

Concerned About GMOs in Organic Seedless Fruits?

With summer in full swing, organic seedless watermelons and organic seedless grapes start cropping up in our produce displays. For those accustomed to more traditional organic produce, the term “seedless” often triggers a spontaneous knee jerk reaction. How can a traditionally grown organic fruit or vegetable end up without seeds? The only seemingly logical explanation conjures images of genetic modification ripped from the pages of a science fiction novel. Imagine seeds wired to machines that pump them full of strange DNA, their internal structures warping as GMOs course through their unsuspecting hulls.

Thankfully, growing seedless fruits doesn’t necessarily involve Genetically Modified Organisms, but rather, careful plant selection and breeding to achieve the desired results:

Seedless Grapes: Seedless Grapes aren’t the product of some mad scientist who grew tired of spitting out grape pits. Seedless grapes are actually the result of a natural genetic mutation that left an otherwise normal grape without a seed. The flower itself still undergoes pollination and fertilization, but the seed simply stops growing a few weeks after it develops.

Seedless Watermelon: The production of seedless watermelon involves the cross breeding of watermelons with differing numbers of chromosomes. In order to grow a virtually seedless watermelon, a tetraploid watermelon (4 sets of chromosomes) pollinates a diploid watermelon (2 sets of chromosomes).

After reproduction, the resulting watermelons will contain 3 sets of chromosomes, making them sterile. The sterile watermelons, known as triploids, produce very few, tiny seeds that are then used in the cultivation of successive seedless watermelons (the triploid seeds must be pollinated by a diploid watermelon in order to germinate).

In the strictest sense, the type of breeding used to create and stimulate the growth of otherwise sterile watermelons could be defined as “genetic modification.” However, the production of seedless watermelons does not involve the introduction of genetic material from entirely different animals or plants to achieve results. Seedless watermelons aren’t injected with DNA obtained from fish, tomatoes or other decidedly “un-watermelon” sources that would make them unnatural.

So the next time you stop by our stores and find yourself scrutinizing a seedless grape or watermelon, remember, a lack of seeds doesn’t mean an abundance of GMOs or other scary modifications. Rest assured that we’ve done our research and remain committed to providing the finest organic produce around!

 

Note: All information courtesy of Albert’s Organics.

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Cooking with Oil!

Cooking with gas is one thing. Cooking with oil is another. With so many different oils lining the shelves of supermarkets across the country, experimenting with cooking oils couldn’t be easier. However, for most of us, the proliferation of oils has actually complicated our culinary endeavors. With concerns about cooking temperatures and fat content, it’s often easier to reach for the familiar olive and canola instead of exploring the rich possibilities of walnut, sesame, coconut, or even avocado oil. At Native Sun, we encourage you to add some flavor to your favorite meals, just be sure and choose the right oil for the job in order to prevent damaging the integrity of the oil.

What do you mean damage the oil?

Well, when oil turns to smoke, “it releases carcinogens into the air and free radicals within the oil” that destroy the nutritional value of the oil itself (Spectrum 2011). The term “smoke point” (easy to remember) refers to the temperature at which specific oils literally go up in smoke. For a detailed list of oils and their respective smoke points, click here and follow the link to the Spectrum Organic Kitchen Guide!

And what’s all this talk about refined and unrefined?

Refined oils typically exhibit a more neutral flavor and can be used at a higher temperature. In contrast, unrefined oils have a richer color and more robust flavor while retaining more of their natural nutritional properties (Spectrum 2011).

For more information and frequently asked questions about cooking oils, visit Spectrum Organics website!

At Native Sun we stock a plethora of cooking oils in addition to canola and olive.

Almond Oil, Refined: Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats with a pure, clean flavor.

Apricot Kernel Oil, Refined: Apricot kernels contain a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat. This oil is best suited for high heat applications like sautéing, frying and all-purpose cooking.

Avocado Oil, Refined: A great oil for high heat cooking, loaded with monounsaturated fats, that works perfectly for sautéing, frying and all-purpose cooking.

Click here for a recipe!

Grape seed Oil, Refined: A light oil with a neutral taste that works well for high heat cooking.

Peanut Oil, Unrefined: Adds a rich peanut flavor to any sauté or stir-fry.

Safflower Oil, Unrefined: Light, neutral-flavored oil that demonstrates great versatility in the kitchen. Also available in a refined, high heat version that uses organic safflower.

Sesame Oil, Refined & Unrefined: Great for stir-frying. Also available in a “toasted” variety that adds incredible depth to an already flavorful oil.

High Heat Sunflower Oil, Refined, Organic: As noted by Spectrum Organic, high heat sunflower oil is “higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in both saturated and polyunsaturated fats than regular sunflower oil, meaning it’s good for your heart and pure heaven for high heat cooking,” making it both a versatile and health friendly cooking oil.

Walnut Oil, Refined: Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, walnut oil works well when used at medium high heat or simply drizzled over salads or fine cheeses!

(Note: All oil descriptions courtesy of Spectrum Organics)

We hope that you decide to give some of these healthy oils a try in some of your favorite recipes! If you already use one of the above oils, submit your recipes to the comments section! We look forward to hearing from you!

References:

Organics, Spectrum. “Cooking Oils.” Spectrum Healthy Organic, Artisan, and

Omega-3 Supplement Oils. 2011. Web. 20 May 2011.

http://www.spectrumorganics.com/.

$100 Question: What’s your favorite way to enjoy yogurt?

With Cascade Fresh Yogurt 3 for $1.00, you don’t have to multi-task to find great deals! In the meantime, tell us your favorite way to enjoy yogurt! Whether topped with granola, in a smoothie, or straight from the container, it’s hard to go wrong!

Tell us your favorite way to enjoy yogurt & you’ll be entered to win a $100 Native Sun Gift Card! To be eligible to win, you must first subscribe to the Native Sun blog by clicking here, then leave your answer to this month’s question in the comment section on our blog page. ONE winner will be picked at random on June 30th. Good luck!

*Stock up on Cascade Fresh Yogurt on sale 3 for $1.00 until July 6th*

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO APRYL! CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR PRIZE DETAILS AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NEXT MONTH’S $100 QUESTION!

Feeling overwhelmed by food allergies or a special diet?

Adopting a new diet often coincides with feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and frustration. The previously inviting aisles of the grocery store suddenly seem menacing, turning once hassle free shopping trips into label reading, ingredient-dissecting lessons in food chemistry. Typically, it feels as though every product contains the exact ingredients that must be avoided or eliminated from the diet. Worse, even when a product appears to meet dietary restrictions, a call to the company to confirm allergen statements often reveals the possibility of cross-contamination or a general lack of product knowledge on behalf of the manufacturer.

Despite the potential labeling pitfalls and communication mishaps, shopping for allergen friendly products doesn’t have to be an appetite sapping annoyance. At Native Sun, we take the inconvenience and frustration out of shopping for allergen friendly foods with FREE customer walkthroughs!

Store Walkthrough Service:

For those recently diagnosed with conditions that require special diets, we have always offered free educational walkthroughs to familiarize you with the dietary options available to you.

No matter how restricting a particular diet, we strive to find you suitable alternatives to the foods you enjoy. On average, walkthroughs typically last for an hour and thirty minutes as dictated by customer need. You can expect to leave a walkthrough armed with a newfound confidence in your diet and a better understanding of how to read and interpret labels. We also provide personal product recommendations and introduce our allergen tagging system.

Sign up for a Free Walkthrough today at customer service in either Native Sun Store!

$100 Question: What’s Your Favorite Way To Enjoy Organic Milk?

You may never eat ten pies in ten minutes, but that doesn’t make organic milk any less refreshing! Tell us your favorite way to enjoy organic milk! Do you prefer it with cereal, cookies, spaghetti, or straight from the carton?

Tell us your favorite way to enjoy organic milk & you’ll be entered to win a $100 Native Sun Gift Card! To be eligible to win, you must first subscribe to the Native Sun blog by clicking here, then leave your answer to this month’s question in the comment section on our blog page. ONE winner will be picked at random on May 27th. Good luck!

*Stock up on Organic Valley Milk at our everyday low price of $2.99 per ½ Gallon*

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO ANN! CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR PRIZE DETAILS! BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NEXT MONTH’S $100 QUESTION!

Don’t Miss Our Grass-fed BBQ!

Saunter on over to either Native Sun location tomorrow, April 30th, between 11AM and 3PM for a local, grass-fed BBQ with Cowboy Meats of Glen St. Mary, Florida. We’re looking forward to a great turnout and even better food!

In addition, from 2PM to 5PM at the Baymeadows store, we invite you to kick up your boots and relax as we provide free beer samples from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company*!

*Must be 21 or older to participate in beer tasting portion of event.

Almonds Take a Hike!

In the ever-changing landscape of agriculture and food production, price fluctuations are a seemingly daily occurrence. Recently, bulk almonds and almond butter products, which often travel across country to reach store shelves, experienced price increases directly related to spiking fuel costs. Seeking to provide you with delicious, money saving alternatives, we invite you to explore any (or all) of the following delicious nut butter options Native Sun currently stocks:

Peanut Butter:

Maranatha No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter $4.39 (16oz)

Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter $4.94 (16oz)

Woodstock Farms (Crunchy or Smooth, Salted or Unsalted) $5.84 (16oz)

Justin’s Organic Honey Peanut Butter $7.29 (16oz) – Author’s Note: While it might be a little more expensive than the other peanut butters on this list, Justin’s is by far my favorite peanut butter! To me, this peanut butter is the perfect blend of sweet and salty with great texture and no unnecessary sugar. The chocolate flavors are equally delicious and make a great dessert!

Allergic to peanuts or just looking for great alternative nut butters?

Check out these excellent products!

Soy Nut Butter:

I.M. Healthy Soynut Butter (Unsweetened, Chunky, Honey, Creamy) $5.19 (15oz)

Sunflower Seed Butter:

Maranatha Sunflower Seed Butter $4.95 (12oz)

Sunflower Naturals Sunflower Seed Butter (Crunchy, Natural) $5.84 (16oz)