Sharing What We Do Well in 2014

“We work hard to build a values-based community where everyone has the opportunity to make a positive impact.”

— Blaine McPeak, President, WhiteWave Foods

Onion Pic 10-3-14In the spirit of living more sustainably and giving back to our communities, WhiteWave employees in North America are participating in the second annual Share What We Do Well Month throughout October. Centered around community engagement, volunteerism, and making eco-conscious decisions, the month-long initiative allows employees the opportunity to lend their hands in helping organizations across the country on company time. This year, WhiteWave will be working with Community Food Share, Hope’s Village of SLO, Habitat for Humanity, Snack Pak 4 Kids, local food banks, and a number of others working to make the world a better place.

“Share What We Do Well” is a core value here at WhiteWave that drives us to actively foster a values-based community that grows more impactful each year. Our Values in Action (VIA) program is another integral element to the WhiteWave community, which serves “to empower our employees to volunteer, give back, and live and work more sustainably.” The VIA team works hard to implement our core values into everything we do. During the year, employees accrue “VIA points” through volunteering, donating, maintaining active lifestyles, and participating in sustainable activities like biking to work. Beyond what we do throughout the year, dedicating a full month out of each year to participating in activities like these is one reason we love working here.

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Healthy Meals, Simplified

Frances Largeman-Roth Portrait

For the back to school season, Horizon® is sponsoring one of our favorite super moms, Frances Largeman-Roth. Like most moms, Frances is a busy gal, which is what led her to come up with some tips on how to realistically get healthy family dinners on the table. And, guess what? She doesn’t cook a whole meal from scratch every night. Yes, that’s right, even a cookbook author doesn’t have time for that. For some of Frances’s best dinnertime ideas, you can check out her latest blog post. In the post she outlines several meal ideas, including creations with Horizon Super Mac. Plus, if you’re looking for some new lunchtime ideas, be sure to check out the month-long calendar she created for moms to use throughout the year.

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Venus de Miles 2014: Cycling to Support Greenhouse Scholars

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A big shout-out goes to the 30-plus WhiteWave employees who participated in this year’s Venus de Miles event on Aug. 23rd — “Colorado’s first all-women’s road ride, a celebration of sisterhood, support for Greenhouse Scholars, and crazy fun.” The annual event is hosted by Greenhouse Scholars and serves to further their mission to provide “comprehensive personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students.” Also held in Illinois this year, Venus de Miles allows thousands of women (and men) the opportunity to have fun and get some exercise while giving back to the community, and we’re all about it.

Programs like Greenhouse Scholars are empowering our communities through mission-driven events like Venus de Miles, and we’re thrilled to have joined in the fun in 2014. If you’re interested in learning more about the efforts of Greenhouse Scholars and would like to get involved, click here.

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October is National Non-GMO Month!

Non-GMO Month

Non-GMO Month is an opportunity to coordinate our voices and our actions, so that we can stand up loudly and clearly for our right to know what’s in our food, and to choose non-GMO.

— The Non-GMO Project

This October, team up with Silk®, the Non-GMO Project, 2,200 brands and more than 2,000 retailers to celebrate our right to know what goes into the food we consume. Each year, National Non-GMO Month provides the opportunity for food companies and consumers to collaborate in raising awareness around the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods and beverages. Organized by the Non-GMO Project, the month-long event has continued to gain momentum and empower consumer choice since its beginning in 2010.

As consumers, we choose what products to purchase and share with our families on a daily basis. Many factors can influence our decisions: advertisement, word-of-mouth, dietary restriction, taste, etc. Beyond these, we rely on labeling when choosing what to eat and drink.

Currently, food companies are not required to inform potential buyers of the presence of genetically modified ingredients in their products. Companies have the right to choose logos, catchphrases, images and packaging design when marketing their products, but informing the public of what goes into our food should not be an option. With the help of the Non-GMO Project and brands like Silk, awareness of the issue is on the rise, and many food companies are heeding public concern and improving labeling practices.

Throughout the month, event sponsors will participate in a Daily Giveaway Contest. Silk’s giveaway will be on Oct. 10, so don’t miss your chance to win some sweet schwag!

During your next visit to the local grocer, be sure to look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal to support brands that endeavor to avoid the use of GMOs within food production. Also, take a look at the Non-GMO Month calendar to discover ways to celebrate your right to know.

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Avoiding the Snack Time Meltdown

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Kids need snacks between meals, we know that. But when to feed them and how much to feed them…well, sometimes that’s harder to figure out. Frances Largeman-Roth, who we’ve continued to sponsor throughout this back to school season, is helping moms out this school year by making snacks count. In a recent blog post, she provides snack ideas and what parents should be feeding their kids throughout the day for proper nutrition. Plus, for more helpful ideas from Frances, you can check out a full month-long calendar of lunchtime ideas to use throughout the year!

 

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WhiteWave Foods joins Carton Recycling Champions Network

“We approach packaging design as we do everything at WhiteWave—we do what’s right and appropriate for people, the planet and good business.

WhiteWave Foods

On Sept. 11, the Carton Council of North America announced the formation of the Carton Recycling Champions Network, which currently consists of 12 businesses dedicated to improving carton recycling across the continent. As part of WhiteWave’s ongoing commitment to doing business and making products in increasingly sustainable ways, we are honored to be included in this initiative. WhiteWave will continue to improve and ensure the responsible manufacture and disposal of the cartons that carry a variety of our products to the consumers that enjoy them.

More and more food and beverage companies are choosing cartons over other packaging options, and with good reason; cartons are generally lighter and more compact, with a lower package-to-product ratio and a lower overall carbon footprint than other containers. As a result, it is becoming progressively more important to strengthen public awareness around proper carton disposal practices. Thanks to the hard work of the Carton Council and its members, more than 50% of U.S. households now have access to carton recycling in their communities. But we still have a long way to go, and we look forward to watching that percentage grow as more companies become Carton Recycling Champions.

Recycling empty food and beverage cartons may seem a small step along the path to a more sustainable future. We see it as another opportunity to lead by example and foster behaviors that will help us achieve that future. Together we can prevent cartons and the valuable materials in them from entering landfills.

There are many reasons for companies, regardless of size, to join in and help raise awareness around carton recycling and better packaging practices. If your company is interested in becoming a Carton Recycling Champion, click here to find out how.

To discover whether carton recycling is available in your community, visit CCNA’s website. And if carton recycling isn’t yet available near you, take a gander at these resources to learn how you can bring the movement closer to home.

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WhiteWave Foods and “Ralphie’s Green Stampede”

Kicking off football season on a sustainable note, WhiteWave Foods is proud to sponsor CU-Boulder’s “Ralphie’s Green Stampede” initiative in 2014, the university’s “ambitious effort to reuse, recycle, or compost valuable materials, thereby reducing the environmental impact of home games.” On Sept. 13, WhiteWave joined Ralphie, the team’s mascot, and the rest of the CU Buffs for the game against Arizona State University. Despite the team’s loss (38-24), those in attendance were able to enjoy samples and games with folks from Horizon®, Silk®, and International Delight®.

Since 2008, CU-Boulder has teamed with local businesses, students and faculty each year to promote a culture of sustainability and conservation with Ralphie’s Green Stampede. CU-Boulder is dedicated to making Folsom Field — home of the Buffs — a zero-waste football stadium, utilizing recycling and compost containers, and teaming with companies like Boulder-based Eco-Products Inc., one of the University’s main suppliers of compostable serving ware. As part of the Stampede, the University is also working to drastically reduce energy consumption, especially in its athletic facilities, while improving conservation across campus.

Ralphies

As primary sponsor, WhiteWave will attend CU-Boulder games throughout the season, providing samples from Horizon, Silk, and International Delight to Buffs fans and students while encouraging sustainable practices, both on and off campus grounds. Keep an eye out for the colorful brand booths at the next Buffs game!

For more information on Ralphie’s Green Stampede, check out CU’s “Zero Waste Fact Sheet” to learn more about the University’s ongoing efforts and discover how you can contribute to sustainability and conservation every day.

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Stay Fresh this Fall! Tips for Keeping Your Veggies Fresh Year-Round

Today is the first official day of fall, but that doesn’t have to mean the end of fresh fruits and veggies. Sure, it’s easier to maintain garden-fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, strawberries, etc. in the summer, but with the proper preparation, you can enjoy fresh fruits and veggies year-round.

Earthbound Farm-sponsored Ashley Koff, RD, has the secret to keeping produce fresh for months!

Earthbound Salad

Vegetables contain enzymes that are essential for their growth and ripening. If the enzyme activity isn’t stopped before freezing, the vegetables may continue to mature, which can lead to discoloration, development of off-flavors and deterioration of the structure of the vegetable (hence the “black and gross” result). 

Freezing slows down the enzymes’ action but won’t completely stop it. What will? Blanching or steaming the veggies, then cooling them quickly in ice water before you freeze them, will inactivate the vegetables’ ripening enzymes, thereby preserving their color, texture and flavor. 

You already know that the quality of frozen vegetables depends on the quality of the fresh produce. Most types of fresh vegetables can be frozen successfully, as long as they’re blanched and cooled prior to freezing. Blanching times vary with the vegetable and its size, and it’s important to get that right: underblanching actually stimulates the activity of the ripening enzymes (which is worse than no blanching at all), and overblanching robs the veggies of flavor, color and nutrients.

 Vegetables with a high water content or a delicate cell structure — like lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, celery, and onions — don’t freeze well and tend to lose their crisp texture.

Fresh vegetables are Nature’s nutrient powerhouses. Freezing your veggies — the right way — not only retains their nutrient value, it lets you enjoy the fresh, healthy flavor of peak-season veggies a week or even months later.    — Ashley

Content for this post was taken from the “Ask Our Experts” section of the Earthbound Farm blog, Organic Bound.

 

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Getting in the Back to School Groove

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It can take some time to get back into the school routine once fall rolls around. Suddenly the easygoing nature of summer is replaced by a daily schedule filled with school and after-school activities. Well, this year, we’re here to help (at least when it comes to packed school lunches!) Specifically, we’ve teamed up with Frances Largeman-Roth, to create a back to school calendar full of a month’s worth of lunch-time ideas to make life a little easier on mom during the busy back to school timeframe. And, as a bonus, you can check out Frances’ latest blog post with ideas on how to get a lunch station set up in your own kitchen!

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Exciting News!

We’re delighted to share the news that WhiteWave has agreed to acquire So Delicious® Dairy Free.  Based in Eugene, Ore., So Delicious manufactures, markets and distributes plant-based frozen desserts, beverages, creamers and cultured products under the So Delicious® Dairy Free brand. You can learn more about this news here.

So Delicious has a proven track record of growth and innovation and its offerings are 100% plant-based and non-GMO verified. And importantly, like WhiteWave, So Delicious is strongly associated with uncompromising non-GMO integrity, nutritious products, environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices.

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