1. 8.14.17

    Your Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn

     

    Bet you didn’t know that most conventional popcorn seeds are coated in neonics before they are planted in the field?

    Read more here: http://pollinatorsandyourplate.org

    Neonics are the most widely used insecticides in the world. What makes them different from most pesticides is that they are systemic chemicals, meaning they disperse throughout the treated plant, rendering the whole plant toxic. Just as alarming, neonics are shown to last in the environment for years, harming species that the chemical was not designed to kill—like bees, butterflies, birds, and other helpful insects.

    The largest single use of neonicotinoids is as a seed coating for annual field crops (like corn, soy, canola, and wheat). Researchers estimate that 79-100% of all corn seed grown in the United States is coated with one or more neonic chemical, and popcorn is no exception. To date, more than 4 million Americans have called on the government to take stronger actions to protect bees from toxic pesticides like neonicotinoids. You can vote with your dollars.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  2. 7.18.17

    Eat Organic, One Item at a Time.

     

     

    You can’t save the planet on your own and Donald can’t destroy it by himself either. Regardless of diet, choosing organic should be personal priority because it is an extremely effectual choice not just for your health but that of the planet. Volvo is not going all electric just because it thinks it’s better for the planet, it’s doing it because of thousands of buying decisions has led it to believe that the future of cars is here now. Buying organically grown food—that is free of many of the harmful chemicals used in conventional farming, bursting with more nutrition, taste, and sustainable sustenance—is a direct vote for immediate health and the hopeful future of generations to come. And every small decision and dollar counts and we need make those decisions now because of tens of years of uneducated choices has put us in untenable predicament. Good news is the speed at which we process information and can act on it globally is exponentially improving. No better time than now.

    Here is a top 10 list for choosing organic:

    (written by Renee Loux from Prevention Magazine)
    http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/top-reasons-choose-organic-foods

    1. Avoid chemicals
    Eating organically grown foods is the only way to avoid the cocktail of chemical poisons present in commercially grown food. More than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in America, to the tune of billions of pounds annually. The average application equates to about 16 pounds of chemical pesticides per person every year. Many of these chemicals were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before extensive diet testing.

    The National Academy of Sciences reports that 90% of the chemicals applied to foods have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe.” Further, the FDA tests only 1% of foods for pesticide residue. The most dangerous and toxic pesticides require special testing methods, which are rarely if ever employed by the FDA.

    2. Benefit from more nutrients
    Organically grown foods have more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods because the soil is managed and nourished with sustainable practices by responsible standards. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops.

    Further, the study verifies that five servings of organically grown vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage) provide an adequate allowance of vitamin C, whereas the same number of servings of conventionally grown vegetables do not.

    On average, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron (than their conventional counterparts); 27% more vitamin C; 29.3% more magnesium; 13.6% more phosphorus

    3. Enjoy better taste
    Try it! Organically grown foods generally taste better because nourished, well balanced soil produces healthy, strong plants. This is especially true with heirloom varieties, which are cultivated for taste over appearance.

    4. Avoid GMO
    Genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified organisms (GMO) are contaminating our food supply at an alarming rate, with repercussions beyond understanding. GMO foods do not have to be labeled in America. Because organically grown food cannot be genetically modified in any way, choosing organic is the only way to be sure that foods that have been genetically engineered stay out of your diet. (Here’s what you need to know about GMO foods.)

    5. Avoid hormones, antibiotics and drugs in animal products
    Conventional meat and dairy are the highest risk foods for contamination by harmful substances. More than 90% of the pesticides Americans consume are found in the fat and tissue of meat and dairy products.

    The EPA reports that a majority of pesticide intake comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products because these foods are all high on the food chain. For instance, a large fish that eats a smaller fish that eats even smaller fish accumulates all of the toxins of the chain, especially in fatty tissue. Cows, chickens, and pigs are fed animal parts, by-products, fish meal, and grains that are heavily and collectively laden with toxins and chemicals. Lower-fat animal products are less dangerous, as toxins and chemicals are accumulated and concentrated in fatty tissue.

    Antibiotics, drugs, and growth hormones are also directly passed into meat and dairy products. Tens of millions of pounds of antibiotics are used in animal feed every year. The union of concerned scientists estimates that roughly 70% of antibiotics produced in the United States are fed to animals for nontherapeutic purposes.[pagebreak]US farmers have been giving sex hormones and growth hormones to cattle to artificially increase the amount of meat and milk the cattle produce without requiring extra feed. The hormones fed to cows cannot be broken down, even at high temperatures. Therefore they remain in complete form and pass directly into the consumer’s diet when meat is eaten.

    Hormone supplementation is the biggest concern with beef, dairy products, and farmed fish. In the United States, the jury is still out. However, Europe’s scientific community agrees that there is no acceptably safe level for daily intake of any of the hormones currently used in the United States and has subsequently banned all growth hormones.

    The major concerns for US consumers include the early onset of puberty, growth of tumors, heightened cancer risks, and genetic problems. Growth hormones in milk (rBGH or rBST) are genetically modified and have been directly linked to cancer, especially in women.

    Many scientists and experts warn that rampant use of antibiotics in animal feed, like penicillin and tetracycline, will breed an epidemic that medicine has no defense against. Karim Ahmed, PhD, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that it “is perhaps one of the most serious public health problems the country faces. We’re talking about rendering many of the most important antibiotics ineffective.”

    Choosing organic animal products is unyieldingly important, especially for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

    6. Preserve our ecosystems
    Organic farming supports eco-sustenance, or farming in harmony with nature.

    Preservation of soil and crop rotation keep farmland healthy, and chemical abstinence preserves the ecosystem. Wildlife, insects, frogs, birds, and soil organisms are able to play their roles in the tapestry of ecology, and we are able to play ours, without interference or compromise.

    7. Reduce pollution and protect water and soil
    Agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers are contaminating our environment, poisoning our precious water supplies, and destroying the value of fertile farmland. Certified organic standards do not permit the use of toxic chemicals in farming and require responsible management of healthy soil and biodiversity.

    According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel, it is estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests. The bulk of pesticides (99.%) is left to impact the environment.

    8. Preserve agricultural diversity
    The rampant loss of species occurring today is a major environmental concern. It is estimated that 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost in the last century. Leaning heavily on one or two varieties of a given food is a formula for devastation. For instance, consider that only a handful of varieties of potatoes dominate the current marketplace, whereas thousands of varieties were once available.

    Now, dig back to recent history’s potato famine in Ireland, where a blight knocked out the whole crop, which consisted of just a few varieties, and millions of people died of starvation. Today, most industrial farms also grow just one crop rather than an array of crops on one piece of land. Ignorance is bliss? Or amnesia is disastrous? Crop rotation is a simple and effective technique used in organic agriculture to reduce the need for pesticides and improve soil fertility.

    Most conventional food is also extremely hybridized to produce large, attractive specimens, rather than a variety of indigenous strains that are tolerant to regional conditions such as droughts and pests. Many organic farms grow an assorted range of food, taking natural elements and time-tested tradition into account. Diversity is critical to survival.

    9. Support farming directly
    Buying organic food is an investment in a cost-effective future. Commercial and conventional farming is heavily subsidized with tax dollars in America. A study at Cornell University determined the cost of a head of commercial iceberg lettuce, typically purchased at 49 cents a head, to be more than $3.00 a head when hidden costs were revealed. The study factored in the hidden costs of federal subsidies, pesticide regulation and testing, and hazardous waste and cleanup.

    Every year, American tax dollars subsidize billions of dollars for a farm bill that heavily favors commercial agribusiness. Peeling back another layer of the modern farming onion reveals a price tag that cannot be accurately measured but certainly includes other detrimental associated costs such as health problems, environmental damage, and the loss and extinction of wildlife and ecology.

    10. Keep our children and future safe
    Putting our money where our mouths are is a powerful position to take in the $1 trillion food industry market in America. Spending dollars in the organic sector is a direct vote for a sustainable future for the many generations to come.

  3. 7.6.17

    Why do we use Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil on our Green Elephant Potato Chips?

     

    Potato chips are typically cooked in refined vegetable oils which for many should be worrisome. Recent studies suggest that omega-6 vegetable fats do not support a heart healthy diet and that there is a correlation between heart disease and increased intake of this omega-6 linoleic acid (see 7-year Sydney Diet Heart Study). It’s not just potato chips; the western diet is rich in processed safflower and sunflower oils which has abundance of these acids.

    Oils can be broken down into three groups:

    1. Saturated Fatty Acids – stable at high temperatures and resists oxidation. Think coconut oil and ghee. We sprinkle both on our popcorn! But moderation is the key here with these healthier fats.
    2. Monounsaturated Oils – not as stable but can withstand some heat before oxidizing. The most common type is oleic acid. Think olive and avocado oil. Good for you but better not cooked.
    3. Polyunsaturated oils – when expose to heat they tend to oxidize and can create harmful free radicals. Found mainly in vegetable oils like processed partially hydrogenated sunflower and safflower oils. Omega-6 and omega-3’s are the two of the most common polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-6’s are the bad guys.

    Studies show we are getting way more omega-6’s than we need. When not in the right proportion the oils are prone to oxidation can lead to inflammation in your body. Research show we need  to bring into balance our omega 3 and 6’s into a 1:1 relationship or less. As time progresses more and more of what we eat today is processed and has a misaligned acid ratio. Think farmed raise salmon for a second – not nearly enough 3’s and lots of 6’s. We need more 3’s (think quality fish oils) and to drop the 6’s.

    So obviously, choosing the right oils with the right balance is key when it comes to food. That is why we take what we put on our popcorn and chips so seriously. Like chips, most popcorn companies cook with either partially hydrogenated (linoleic) sunflower or safflower or a combo of the two. Its cost effective and versatile but far from ideal. For our Green Elephant potato chips, we wanted to be different. Firstly, we didn’t want to cook them in saturated fats as the oils break down when frying for longer periods and bigger amounts of cooked saturated fats are not good for the body either.  We wanted a monounsaturated fat. We looked at olive oil and avocado oil to start, but olive oil’s unique structure made it susceptible to oxidation when cooking and avocado oil didn’t taste great on the chips to be honest. What we came to was organic high oleic sunflower oil. It doesn’t have the same problems that its partially hydrogenated cousin has; it is much richer in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and much lower in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) and its levels of omega 6 were much lower. Although the ratio is still not close to 1:1 this oil has by far the best ratios of any oil. See chart.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Not bad eh? Can you believe canola oil has 19mg of Omega 6 per 100g? Not going to eat that oil anymore! We think you should cook all your foods in high oleic sunflower oil. Now we know the skinny on cooking oil we are converts.

    Finally, being cold pressed (no high heat and solvents) the oil is also suitable for those on a paleo diet. Did we say organic too??? (I could write another article all about the benefits of that) so it’s also suitable for a planet first diet! The best part for a potato chip the oil has a very delicate light, mild sweet taste. Try any of our chips (and our popcorn) and see what the right oil tastes like.

  4. 6.12.17

    Oh my Ghee? Really? What is the Big Deal About a Ghee Popcorn?

     

    It looks like butter, its comes from butter, it smells like butter, didn’t my doctor tell me to take it easy on butter?

    Ghee is a staple in traditional Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine. It is made through a simple process of boiling butter for a prolonged period of time and then pouring off the impurities that rise to the to. Those impurities are namely the proteins (casein and whey) and the milk solids (which includes lactose). When those are removed what is left is basically a pure combination of fats that don’t contain any milk residue. By removing the milk residue you are removing most of its allergens and are thus making it easier to digest. Most important, is that what is left (‘clarified’ butter) now has a unique combination of fats which is now richer in short-chain, medium chain fatty acids and butyrate. The finished ghee has a perfect nutty hint and super intense butter flavor.

    Making ghee was originally done in Indian cooking to prevent butter spoilage in warm weather. Over time it went on to be used in their holistic medicine for centuries mainly as a therapeutic and digestive agent. Ghee is considered to possess the essence or sap of all plants and is a sattvic food, promoting positivity and spiritual growth. Today, ghee is loved in many diets because of its pure fats, many believe that good fats in proportion are a very necessary part of a healthy diet. Organic ghee, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and eggs are all back in vogue because of their Omega 3/6/9 combinations. Here is an amazing article: https://draxe.com/healthy-fats/.

    It Comes From New Zealand

    With animal products in particular, as a vegetarian, maintaining that animal welfare is paramount. Free range, grass fed and organic are what you should look for when it comes to the best ghee. It took a long time to find our friends at Fourth and Heart. (We talked to lots of companies in India who claimed to have suitable ghee but none had the paperwork proving it was organic and how the cattle were treated and fed). Fourth and Heart’s ghee comes from New Zealand where the cattle are raised year round on grass, roaming and sunning themselves on the slopes. These pastures are not treated with herbicides and pesticides and other fumigants. I like to believe all these conditions for the cow, and what it eats, make for a better product.

    Sprinkle on the ghee, dust it with some Himalayan salt and make sure you have the perfectly popped freshest organic popcorn. Now you have something you can feel really good about eating.

    We always try and make the absolute best products with the best ingredients. This one might be hard to top.

    Here is a cheat sheet from Draxe:

     

     

     

     

     

  5. 12.30.16

    The Green Elephant – A Better Potato Chip and So Much More!

    Potato chips with a light touch of Himalayan Pink salt

    It all started way back in 2005 as a concept of making iconic American snack foods better for you. A holistic mission to provide options to consumers that made their world a little less evil. Before we launched a potato chip we largely stayed away from anything that was cooked in oil. We prided ourselves on air-popping our popcorn (which we still believe is the best and tastiest way to make popcorn) and we puffed a bean chip in hot air that was higher in protein and lower in fat. But as we fine-tuned our approach to our chips we really realized from our customers that snacking is all about flavor, and while a bean chip is nice idea, it just is not indulgent enough.  While the roots of the company featured snacks that were lower in fat and calories, we began to realize that some fat was ok as long as it came from a quality ingredient and that it was sourced responsibly. Snacking in its essence was not about perfect. That if we provided organic, non gmo verified ingredients that came from better ingredients our customers would respond. Choices that were good for the planet was also very important for the customer and company both.

    So now here we are and here comes the Green Elephant. Let’s not fool anyone the product comes from a potato. While the potato is not a nutritional power house vegetable like some of the greens in its family, it has played a very important role in providing nutrition to countless civilizations over the last 5000+ years it has been around. It is a quality starch and a medium potato  contains good percentages of your daily intake of dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.  This mud dweller is no dud.

    But what makes the Green Elephant more special is the other ingredients we use and the special cause it supports.

    We use organic, cold pressed high oleic Sunflower oil which we believe to be the best oil to slow cook potato chips. The oil is cold pressed from organic sunflower seeds, is light, odorless and has a delicate delicious flavor. The oil is low in saturated fat and contains both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. High oleic sunflower oil is particularly  high in monounsaturated fats (which are good) and has a smoke point of 450 F. The stability, flavor and high smoke point of high oleic organic sunflower oil makes it the best oil to cook potato chips in.

    The chips are then dusted with just the right about of Himalayan pink mineral salt. This salt is believed to be purest form of salt available and has a composition very similar to ours.

    As for the seasonings we use ingredients like organic apple cider vinegar (a health store favorite) for the vinegar is our salt and vinegar and organic honey (a staple in any healthy pantry) and jalapeño for the other flavor.

    When all these organic and/or non-gmo verified ingredients are combined you get one delicious potato chip.

    Besides being a better potato chip, we really believe the Green Elephant cause is one you should care about. LESSEREVIL will join with distributors and retailers to donate a portion of sales on every bag (not profits) to the cause.

    Elephant are emblematic of goodness in Africa and are among the smartest creatures on this planet, and they really need our help right now. The demand for ivory and their landscapes has their populations dwindling quickly. Save The Elephants is a cause that focuses on the ivory poaching crisis. It was launched 2013, it and the Elephant Crisis Fund in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network are really starting to fuel the growing coalition of organisations that are working to stop the killing, stop the trafficking and end the demand for ivory. 100% of funds raised reach the field and they are making a big difference.

    The Green Elephant, full of flavor with just the right amount of goodness.

     

  6. 12.15.16

    Introducing Himalayan Gold. Why we think you will love it.

    We know the popcorn category is crowded and the last thing our retailers and our customers need is another packaged popcorn. So whatever we do in popcorn has to bring innovation, be nutritious and taste amazing. Here is what we hope you will like about about our latest product release:

    1. We wanted it to taste like butter but continue to use organic coconut oil instead of butter. As much as we love the taste of extra virgin coconut oil not everyone likes it as much as they like the taste of butter. This tastes exactly like butter!
    2. This combines the nutritious qualities of organic coconut oil but uses real botanical extracts to mimic a butter flavor. So its dairy free and after you eat the whole bag you won’t feel like you have eaten a tub of ice cream like movie theatre popcorn does.
    3. Of course its air popped so if you think that one of favorite articles is close to right (see attached) you feel pretty good about eating this. http://www.today.com/health/popcorn-healthy-veggies-depends-how-you-pop-it-t73016
    4. Its organic so you can feel good about no pesticides and herbicides on your food and what it means for the planet!
    5. As usual we use Himalayan salt!

    It’s available on our website right now. Get it before we ship to your favorite store.

    As always please, please, please let us know what you think… My phone number and email address is below!

    [email protected]

    203-529-3551

     

  7. 12.5.16

    Why should you buy LesserEvil Popcorn?

    Mix of Single Serve Popcorn Bags Perfect for School Lunches

    Let’s face it, we are not the only popcorn selection when you are shopping at your favorite store so we need to continually  prove why we are the best selection for you and your family.

    So here is a little post about why our popcorn should be a steady in your pantry.

    1. We are organic. There are many reasons why you should care but here are our top 3. Conventional popcorn is notoriously a dirty crop, there are lots of chemicals are sprayed on it. Check out this article that gets into it a little: http://grist.org/article/checkout-line-iffy-pop/ .  Secondly, when you choose organic there are other benefits like more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods because the soil is managed and nourished with sustainable practices by responsible standards. And third its good for our planet; it protects ecosystems, reduces pollution and preserves agricultural diversity.
    2. We use only the best oils. Like organic cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and avocado oil. They have nutritional properties.
    3. We air pop. Air popped popcorn is much lighter and lower in fat and calories. It’s also healthier. Please read: http://www.today.com/health/popcorn-healthy-veggies-depends-how-you-pop-it-t73016
    4. We use Himalayan salt. Here is why you should care and why you should use it everywhere in your kitchen! http://www.naturalnews.com/028724_Himalayan_salt_sea.html
    5. We manufacture our popcorn in our own very clean SQF, organic, kosher facility. Because we are a small company quality control is everything to us. Heck we even support our local communities by employing 60+ employees.
    6. We stand behind our products. If you are not happy, we will make you happy. Period.

    Hope this little checklist helps.

    If you ever want to call us with suggestions, thoughts or just need a pick me up, you know where to find us!

    203-529-3551.

     

     

     

  8. 12.5.16

    LesserEvil’s Earth to Table Quality Commitment

    With so many ingredients in foods these days, it’s hard as a consumer to know if what you are eating nourishes your body. At LesserEvil, we are trying to earn your trust by continuing to use only what is good for you and the planet. We start by sourcing foods that are non-genetically modified and we proudly certify. We then try to find organic ingredients if possible, and most importantly we look for foods that offer high target nutritional value. Once we have the ingredients we bake, never fry. We as a company also think that maltodextrin, yeast extract, refined sugar and gluten should not be part of something you feed your family and friends. Dedicated to high quality and pure ingredients, we pride ourselves on having an earth to table quality commitment.

    We’ve outlined a few of the bad ingredients we’re devoted to staying away from. We’re honest with our ingredients, because we have nothing to hide:

    Maltodextrin is a white powder made from rice, corn, or potato starch, and functions as a food thickener or filler. More and more natural foods are shying away from Maltrodextrin because it is believed to be somewhat artificial. It’s in everything from salad dressings, to snacks, to cereal. Some experience digestive issues when they’ve consumed Maltodextrin.

    Yeast Extract contains free glutamate, or MSG. Everyone knows to avoid MSG as much as possible, but some companies have found loopholes to avoid the label. MSG functions as a flavor enhancer and gives unhealthy foods an addictive quality to keep people coming back for more. We strive to keep our customers coming back for more without MSG, or any other dangerous ingredients. We’re completely MSG-free, no loopholes or deceiving labeling here.

    Refined Sugars have been linked to everything from weight gain to heart disease. Processed foods everywhere contain refined sugars, and lead to raised blood sugar, and a higher risk of diabetes among other chronic problems. People everywhere are trying to kick the sugar habit, and switch to healthier options. Refined white sugar is mostly sucrose, and contains no nutritional value, equaling empty calories. LesserEvil snacks contain no refined sugars, and we’re committed to staying that way.

    Every LesserEvil snack is Gluten-Free. Celiac Disease is on the rise, and can cause for some terrible discomfort. Gluten can be tough to digest for many, as there’s an alarmingly growing population of people with Gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity causes for bloating, stomach pain and fatigue, and diarrhea. Packed with fiber, flavor, and crunch, our snacks are delightfully light, and safe for anyone with a gluten-free diet or celiac disease.

    We’re totally GMO-free. You won’t find any genetically modified organisms in any of our snacks. We’re committed to the NON GMO Project, and you can find us proudly labeled as such on each bag. More and more, GMOs are connected to health problems and environmental damage. There are restrictions or bans against GMOs in over 60 countries, but GMOs still find their way into as much as 80% of processed foods. You’ll never find GMOs in our snacks, and we’re proud to display our healthy ingredients.

    LesserEvil is committed to being truly empty-calorie free. With none of the bad stuff listed above finding its way into our products, you can eat our snacks without guilt, and know you’re being good to your body.  When you eat our snacks, you’re getting something in return. You aren’t just eating and consuming empty calories with no nutritional value or benefit. Free of artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, Gluten, Corn, Soy, and Maltodextrin, our products are the new class of snacks.

  9. 6.29.16

    Take your Breakfast Bowl from eh to wow!

    img_82522

    At LesserEvil we recognize a balanced breakfast provides a smart start to your day. We realize finding the best choices might not always be easy to do so we have created a simple yet delicious way for you to take your breakfast to the next level.

    So many breakfast choices suffer from carbohydrate overload, quick release carbs that don’t do anything for your body. Our breakfast bowl recipe provides substantial protein, slow release carbohydrates, whole grains as well as a full day’s dose of non dairy probiotics!

    Ingredients:

    1/2 C whole grain rolled oats (not quick cook)
    1 C water or almond milk
    1-2 T sweetener of your choice (we love coconut sugar but zero calorie stevia works well too)
    1 C mixed nuts and seeds (chia, hemp, walnuts, almonds)
    1/2 C mixed fruit (bananas, blueberries, your choice)
    3 LesserEvil That’s a Good Cookies crumbled (available here)

    How to:

    Prepare the oats according to manufacturer instructions, combining the liquid and oats.

    Stir in sweetener of choice

    Top with fruit, nuts, seeds and crumbled cookies! It’s just that simple!

     

     

     

© LesserEvil 2017