Category Archives: healthy water

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

From the Appalachian Mountains to New Orleans to You!

This Water Doesn’t Just Travel a Long Distance!

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans
I love the gorgeous architecture and plantations!

The Evamor story doesn’t start in Lousiana — but that’s where we went to learn about their naturally alkaline water. This delicious water starts in the Appalachian Mountains as water and snow. The water flows down through bedrock,  filtering out impuries as it goes.  As it travels south toward the Gulf of Mexico, it becomes naturally alkaline. The limestone gives this water a ph between 8.8 to 9.1, so the Evamor folks don’t need to add a thing.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans
A swamp tour was a must!

We were invited to New Orleans to learn about — and experience — the Evamor story. Lassen’s has recently brought this artesian water into our stores. They are part of a four-generation family food company. About twenty years ago they decided to share this delicious water by starting Evamor.  They drilled into the aquifer, and trucked the water to their bottling facility in New Orleans. This required a drive across the nearly 24-mile bridge (the longest in the United States) over Lake Pontchartrain.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

But when hurrican Katrine wiped out much of New Orleans in 2009, including their facility, the Evamor folks took the opportunity to move their bottling facility. They built it right on top of the well in Covington, Lousiana.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

It doesn’t look like much, but the proximity of the wells to the bottling faculty helps fulfill their desire to not disturb the water any more than necessary. As they told us, “Water has a memory.”

Evamor artesian water is a blend of two sources, drilled deep into an aquifer that was the source of the springs that helped sustain the Native Americans that lived north of Lake Pontchartrain. The aquifer is found 1, 681 feet below the surface — about a half mile deep. Evamor blends the water from the two drill sources to balance the ph level. The depth of the well also protects it from surface water. Because Evamor’s source is an aquifer deep underground, the water is not only naturally alkaline but also rich in minerals and electrolytes.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

Once the water comes into the facility, it goes through several filters and testing meters. If the ph drops below 8.8, the line immediately stops to find out what is going on. We can be assured that their water is always at least 8.8ph! It is tested quarterly by a third party to assure quality. In fact, during the process required to certify the equipment when they opened the new facility, they ended up giving away 940,000 bottles of water to the needy. And they are always ready and willing to do the same whenever disaster strikes.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

One interesting feature of the Evamor bottling facility is that they form their own bottles. They have unformed “blanks” which are easier to handle than millions of pre-formed bottles. The machinery takes those blanks, heats, forms, and then fills the bottles with the filtered water. Labels are added, and the bottles are bundled into cases to be  shipped.

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to New Orleans without enjoying their scenery, amazing food, and unique style!

evamor+water, alkaline+water, New+Orleans

Thanks, Evamor, for a wonderful trip!

Love,

Lassen’s

 

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

Amy’s — a Natural Foods Staple for 30 Years!

Amy’s is a California Original!

When we visited Northern Califoria this year, we were excited to tour Amy’s Kitchen in Petaluma. We were surprised and impressed with their hands-on approach. I expected floor to ceiling stainless steel machinery doing all the work, but what we saw was hundreds of dedicated workers hand making and packaging Amy’s products. 

More than 30 years ago, Rachel and Andy were expecting a baby, and there wasn’t anything in the store to satisfy the need for healthy, convenient, ready-made meals. With Rachel on bed rest, they realized that there were likely many others in the same boat. Once their baby was born, they started making their first recipe, Pot Pie, to sell locally. Their daughter Amy and Amy’s Kitchen were born in the same year!

They launched their company, thinking that they would just make those delicious Pot Pies, but requests for more variety started coming in. They started adding other products, from Pizza to Canned Soups. They heard about people with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets, so Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free offerings were created. Since Organic is also non-GMO, Amy’s is also committed to GMO-free ingredients.

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Amy’s has always been passionate and committed to organically grown produce, even in the beginning when there was no Organic Certification. They work closely with their farmers to make sure they have the best ingredients possible.

And now, thirty years later, Amy’s is a household name. You can read more of Amy’s story by clicking  here.

When I had busy and active kids at home, we almost always had Amy’s Burritos in the refrigerator for a quick snack before gymnastics or soccer. The cheese enchiladas were also a favorite, and it’s fun to see my grandchildren enjoying the same products!

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Amy’s has a desire to change the face of fast food, and in 2015 they opened Amy’s Drive Through in Rohnart Park. It’s a sustainability model, with solar panels and a living roof.

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They have delicious burgers, fries, shakes, pizza, burritos, and much more. I hope they bring their Drive Thru to Southern California!

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics
yummmmm… Chili Fries!

I love visiting the producers of our amazing products! Thanks, Amy’s for hosting us!

Love,

Lassen’s

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

 

why+eat+organic, benefits+of+organic, earth+friendly, environmentally+friendly, organic+farming, pesticide+free+farming, herbicide+free+farming, organic+is+better+for+your+health, organic+is+better+for+the+earth, organic+is+more+nutritious, non+GMO, organic+is+non+GMO, orgnic+is+non+GMO+and+more

What’s the Big Deal About Organic?

I May Be Preaching to the Choir, Here

You may already be convinced that eating organic foods is the best thing for you, your family, and the planet.  But just in case you aren’t, here’s some information and some reasons why choosing organic makes a lot of sense.

 

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First, a Definition of Terms

“Organic” refers to the way in which food is grown.  This includes produce, dairy products, grains, and meats.  Farmers who grow organically do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides or drugs to control bugs, weeds, or diseases.  They are committed to using methods and practices that encourage healthy soil and water, as well as that reduce pollution.  Food that is not produced organically is termed “Conventional.”
 
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As you can imagine, an organic farmer has chosen to use methods requiring more labor and time.  For example, a conventional farmer will just preemptively spray crops for bugs and weeds.  But an organic farmer will examine the crops regularly for weed or insect infestation, and then pull weeds, use traps, hand-remove pests, or use friendly insects and birds to take care of the pests.  They may also use sophisticated crop rotation and organic fertilizers to encourage healthy growth and healthy soil, rather than chemical fertilizers.  They will spread mulch or manure to discourage weed growth.  Organic farmers also use targeted watering systems (such as drip or water tape) to make sure the water goes directly to the plants, rather than to weeds.  This also conserves water resources.   

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This is Burroughs Family Farms–Happy cows and happy chickens, and healthy soil and pasture grasses!

Organically producing foods generally takes more space, too.  Animals are allowed to have a large range to wander, rather than being grown in small-space cages.  Crops often have smaller yields, since the farmer is not using chemical fertilizers to spur growth.   

The United States Department of Agriculture has established strict guidelines for a food to carry the USDA Organic label.  Any product that carries this label must adhere to those guidelines, and be certified by the USDA.  There is an exception for those who produce less than $5,000 worth of produce per year, but if it is labeled “Organic” (even without the certification) it has to be grown according to the certification standards.  Lassen’s works only with reputable producers to make sure that what we carry in our stores really is the best quality organic food available.

What Does the Organic Seal Mean?

 

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“100% Organic” means that everything in the product is wholly organic.  “Organic” means that at least 95% of the ingredients meet the organic standard.  Products labeled with “Made with Organic Ingredients” have to have at least 70% of the ingredients organic.  If a product has less that 70% organically grown ingredients, it cannot use the word “Organic” on the label or include the USDA seal, but it can list the organic ingredients in the ingredient list.  
 
Organic regulations also prohibit or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing agents, and fortifying agents.  This means that organic processed foods (such as cereals and canned goods) will not have the preservatives, colorings, artificial sweeteners and flavorings, as well as chemicals such as MSG that conventionally produced foods may have.  Produce will not have waxes and dyes sprayed onto the foods to make them look better and may give them a longer shelf life.

So What’s the Benefit of Buying and Eating Organic Foods?

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No Pesticides.  I know that conventionally grown foods do not exceed the Government Standard for an acceptable level of pesticides in my body.  But I don’t really want to be voluntarily eating any poisons.  This link will take you to an article about the produce items that have the most pesticides in them.  Their premise is to cut back on pesticide ingestion by changing to organic on these dozen items, but although those are the worst, all conventional produce has pesticides and insecticides.  My goal is to eat as little as possible.
 
No Chemical Weeds Killers.  Ditto the above.  No matter how much I wash my produce, those chemicals are designed to be absorbed into the plants.  And they are still there when I or my family eats them.

 

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Taste.  I think organic just tastes better.  It is subjective, but a fun family activity might be to do a taste test.  Buy both conventional and organic foods and compare the taste.   We have found that apples are a good test subject.  And meats!

Nutrition.  The jury is still out on the question of if organically produced food is more nutritious than conventionally produced food.  There are some studies that suggest it is.   There is clear evidence of more phytonutrients in organically produced foods.  Click here for more information about some of the studies being done.

 

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Better for the Environment.  If more of our food was produced organically, we would not have the threats to our water and soils that we do now.  The residue of all of those chemicals is washed through the fields, absorbed into the soil, and spilled into our waterways.  Then the fish and other sea life are impacted by those chemicals. 

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You can tell this Burroughs Family Farm almond grove is Organic because there are grasses under the trees.  A commercial grove would be bare–the grasses killed by herbicides

Sustainable.  Many fertilizers are made from fossil fuels, on which I think we’d all like to reduce our dependence!  Soils are healthier when organic farming is practiced.   

No GMOs.  This is a big topic that will have to wait for another day.  There is some great information in this article (17 Essential Reasons to Eat Organic Food) on GMOs, as well as other great ideas.  
 
Better for Farm Laborers.  One day several years ago after riding my bike past some fields on the Oxnard plain, I developed a rash all over my skin that had been exposed to the air.  Legs, arms and face.  It was itchy and blotchy and took several weeks to go away.  I have no idea what had been sprayed on those fields as I was riding by, but can you imagine the exposure to dangerous chemicals that the farms workers and the neighbors are suffering?  

What About the Cost?

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Lassen’s always has several delicious–and always organic– produce items on sale!
There can be a concern about the cost of organic produce and other food.  As you can see, producing organic food takes more space, time, and labor, thus higher costs.  But we at Lassen’s are committed to bringing you the very best value in organic produce and other organic foods.  We also bring you local produce whenever possible, thus cutting down on shipping expenses (and, as a bonus, helping to reduce the carbon footprint.)  Click here for our website, and you will find a link there for our monthly sales newsletter, which always has great produce specials.  You can also find a link to the newsletter on the right-hand side of the blog.
 

This is a helpful article on organic eating.  And even TLC (the channel that brings us all kinds of shows about sugar–Cake Boss and DC Cupcakes!) has an article on why we should eat organic!  Click here to see their 15 reasons to eat organic food.

Come to Lassen’s and enjoy our beautiful, organically produced food and supplements!

love,

Lassen’s

farmed+fish, healthy+fish, wild+fish, wild+vs+farmed+fish

Fish is Fish, Right?

Actually, No.  

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When we go to the store to buy fish, we think we are making a healthy choice.  And eating fish does have a lot of great benefits.  See this article from the Mayo Clinic for more information on how eating fish can help keep our hearts healthy. Fish, along with other healthy foods, can provide us with healthy Omega 3s. This article From Health Ambition will open your eyes to the Omega 3 possibilities!

Wild vs Farmed

But there is a big issue we face when we pick up that package of salmon.  We have two choices–Farmed Raised fish (sometimes called Ocean Raised, but just the name is different, the process is the same), or Wild-Caught Fish.  (“Natural” on the label doesn’t mean anything either.) 

 

This is a fish farm.  Thousands of salmon are raised in these pens, fed “salmon chow,” which is concentrated mixture of ground up fish and fish oil, which is high is fat.  The fish are also fed antibiotics to try to cut down on diseases, and colorings to make their flesh a brighter red color.  They are packed tightly into the pens, never swimming in the open ocean, unable to swim freely.  Weak or sick fish just stay in the pools, infecting the rest of the fish with their illnesses (and spreading the bacteria or viruses to the surrounding waters and the fish that may swim by.)

Look at these beautiful and wild Sockeye Salmon, heading upstream to spawn!

Wild fish are, well, wild.  After they hatch in rivers and streams, they head out to sea where they live for 1-8 years at sea, eating and growning and avoiding predators.  Wild fish have a highly diversified diet as they swim freely and over a large range.  They eventually make their way back to the rivers and streams where they hatched, often jumping rapids and waterfalls to reach their spawning grounds.

 

Why Should we Choose Wild Salmon?  

Wild salmon spend all of their time swimming (duh!) and that muscle development means great Omega-3 growth in their bodies.  They eat a variety of foods, which help them to maintain strength and health.
 
Wild Salmon also swim in dangerous waters–seals, whales, and other predators provide a natural culling process to weed out any weak or sick fish.  
 
 
And of course the bears!  Only the healthy and strong fish are able to make it back to the spawning grounds, where the salmon are caught for market.  
 
So when we make a choice to buy only Wild Caught Salmon at the market, we are voting with our dollars–our consumer power–and sending a message that wild salmon is what we want in our markets, our restaurants, and on our dinner plates.  
 
This study  from the University of Albany exposes some worrying concerns about eating farmed salmon.  And this documentary about Canadian policies is an eye-opener that made me determined to avoid farmed fish.

 

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So when you make this delicious salmon recipe, make sure you choose Wild Caught Salmon! 

love,
 
Lassen’s