WhiteWave Supports National Mandatory GMO Labeling

The labeling of products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a pressing issue in today’s food market, one many Americans are caring more about. In a recent New York Times poll, 93 percent of respondents said foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled accordingly. Interest in GMO labeling is also evidenced by an increasing number of national and state-level labeling initiatives.

Because we know this issue is important to many of the families who purchase our products, we’d like to reiterate our long-standing position on the issue.

At WhiteWave, we have always supported transparency in labeling and the right for people to know what’s in the food and beverages they consume. For this reason, we support mandatory national labeling for products containing GMOs. Why national labeling? The simple answer is that it leads to labeling consistency in all 50 states. All Americans have the same right to know what’s in their food. Implementing a nation-wide standard for GMO labeling will provide consistency and prevent the potential for 50 different state-specific standards.

We stand behind national GMO labeling in partnership with numerous organizations, including Just Label It!. Through our support of Just Label It! and other initiatives, WhiteWave has contributed more than $1 million to national labeling efforts over the past several years.

We also support these efforts through our use of two national labels that can help families avoid GMOs. All of our Silk plant-based beverages are either enrolled in or verified by the Non-GMO Project. Additionally, most of our Horizon organic dairy products and all of our Earthbound Farm products carry the USDA Organic Seal, the original non-GMO label. Some Horizon products are “made with organic,” and are also produced without GMO ingredients as regulated by the National Organic Program.) The certified organic label is considered the original non-GMO label because any product that carries it must be produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones or GMOs.

It’s important to note that we never have and never will contribute to or support initiatives that seek to defeat GMO labeling. As part of this, The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) have agreed that our membership dues have not and will not be applied toward any anti-labeling efforts in which they are currently involved. Our membership in these organizations is important to us because of the work they do to advance issues like food safety, nutrition labeling and environmental stewardship. We’re pleased to be able to maintain our partnerships with these organizations with the understanding that we remain as committed as ever to supporting national GMO labeling efforts.

We care about the issues our consumers care about, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to advocate for national GMO labeling. Our work on this issue continues to build on our strong heritage of supporting transparency in food labeling.

Farm Aid 2014: Celebrating Family Farmers Nationwide

Image“We all see what’s happening with agriculture, what’s happening to our small towns. They are going out of business. That’s a direct result of the farm problem. We’re still doing Farm Aid because it is contributing. It’s doing a job.”

–John Mellencamp

Horizon is thrilled to support this year’s 29th Annual Farm Aid, a benefit concert hosted in Raleigh, NC this Saturday, Sept. 13th. Since 1985, musicians Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp have joined forces to bring Farm Aid to life, attracting farmers, fans and artists to raise funds (over $45 million thus far) and foster awareness to “help family farmers thrive”across the U.S. The event also serves to further the efforts of the Good Food Movement, a movement that aims to promote “a groundswell of support for local, organic, humanely-raised, family farm identified food.”

This year, alongside the three famed artists that kickstarted Farm Aid 29 years ago, the concert will feature performances by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack White, and many others. If you live near Raleigh and would like to attend the event, follow this link to purchase tickets.

Striving to cultivate healthier communities by bringing quality food to consumers is a mission we commit to every day. We are grateful for all of the hard work those behind Farm Aid continue to put into this cause, and we are honored to sponsor their ongoing efforts for the past several years.

To learn more about Farm Aid and how you can help local farms and farmers, click here!

Shopping to Help Wounded Warriors

BIH_Final__9.9.2014There’s not a day that goes by when we’re not appreciative of our veterans. This year, Horizon is participating in the 2014 Wounded Warrior Project® Believe in Heroes® campaign to show support for these important heroes.

From Sept. 7, 2014 through Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2014, anyone can help support Wounded Warriors simply by grocery shopping. Along with hundreds of other brands, Horizon will have coupons in a nationwide newspaper insert on Sept. 7 and Nov. 2. The funds raised through the program will help veterans with physical injuries and conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Helping our nation’s heroes is something we’re proud to support. So, starting in September, spread the word about this important program, and be on the lookout for some coupons that allow you to save a few dollars while supporting a very worthy cause. Truly a win-win.

What are you eating for breakfast?

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not make breakfast both delicious and nutritious?

In honor of Better Breakfast Month, we’ve pulled together a few recipes to help jumpstart your journey to a better breakfast. You don’t have to give up the bacon completely, but just know that you have options outside of reheating last night’s dinner or heaping spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar.

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Oatmeal 2

Quinoa 3

Road Trip!

If you’re among the 34.7 million Americans expected to take to the road and skies for Labor Day, then you will definitely want to be well prepared with a few healthy snacks for the road.

Trail MixWith protein to stabilize blood sugar, vitamins, minerals, fiber, plus plenty of heart-healthy fats, homemade trail mixes are the perfect travel snack. Here are a few trail mix combinations from Earthbound Farm that you can customize to your family’s taste:

Happy, healthy snacking and safe travels!

Wisconsin Farmer Teaches Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee County Students About Conservation

HorizonOrganic dairy farmers Tim and Melissa Dobberphul (Kewaskum, WI) are all about making a positive environmental impact on their 320-acre organic farm. And, they don’t stop there! They use their farm to help educate Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee county high school students about the importance of taking care of the environment.

As organic dairy farmers, Tim and Melissa don’t use antibiotics, growth or reproductive hormones or persistent pesticides, and their 75 dairy cows freely graze in the pasture. Eighty acres of their farm borders Wallace Creek and has been in permanent pasture since 2001, when the farm transitioned to a grazing operation. And, due to their farm’s proximity to the Milwaukee River watershed, they’re also focused on and passionate about water conservation efforts. Through effective water management techniques, Tim and Melissa remove sediment and other pollutants from wastewater to help improve water quality. They also keep clear water clean with a system that collects and guides rainfall to Wallace Creek. And, at the same time, their pasture serves as buffer and filter for the stream.  All of these efforts are designed to help preserve the health of the watershed. For Tim and Melissa, the idea is simple. They believe in leaving something better than they found it.

In addition, for the past nine years,  Tim and Melissa have partnered with the Washington County Land & Water Conservation Division and River Edge Nature Center to open up their farm to teach inner city students why and how to protect fresh water sources in the Milwaukee River Watershed. In 2013 alone, the farm hosted 75 students.

In 2009, Tim was featured as an example of farmers using agricultural best management practices in The Greater Milwaukee Water Quality Connections (http://www.scribd.com/doc/108605462/Greater-Milwaukee-Water-Quality). The article highlighted that Tim’s approach to farming is not just good for business, but also part of his passion for protecting the environment.

Our Decision to Remove Carrageenan

Over the last several years, consumers have become more interested in what’s in their food and how it’s produced. We respect that concern, and share a passion with our consumers to change the way the world eats for the better.

We’ve listened to our consumers and talked with them about the food we produce. Many of our conversations have focused on the use of carrageenan, a purified extract of red seaweed that is widely used in food products as a natural thickener and stabilizer. The kind of carrageenan we use is food grade, which has been proven safe and approved for use in food products for nearly two decades.

Even though it is safe, our consumers have told us they want products without it. That’s why several months ago we decided to remove carrageenan from our Horizon and Silk products, and since that time, we have been working on our product formulations to ensure we maintain the integrity and delicious taste our consumers have come to expect. This change will occur gradually over the next two years, as it takes time to work through the many formulations of our various products.

We remain committed to transparency around knowing how our food is produced and where it comes from, and look forward to our continued dialogue with our consumers.

Meet the Kroll Family

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Family has always been a big part of local organic dairy farmer Hans Kroll’s life. Inspired by his great-great grandfather, who built Kroll Farm in Long Prairie, Minn., in 1892, Hans and his wife Lynn made the decision to take over the farm in 1988, and have been raising their seven children on the farm ever since.

The Kroll farm, which has now been in Hans’ family for five generations, is home to 30 cows on 380 acres. The farm also produces maple syrup and feed for their dairy cows. Hans transitioned the farm to organic in 2003 at the urging of one of his daughters. After attending an organic farming workshop at the University of Minnesota, Hans soon saw organic as his best bet for preserving the farm for future Kroll generations and making the farm more economically viable, an important consideration knowing several of his kids are interested in eventually helping to run the farm.

Throughout the years, all of Hans’ seven kids have played a part in helping the farm succeed and thrive. And, the family support doesn’t end there. Hans’ father lives next door and pitches in on the farm as well. The Kroll Farm is a true family operation.

Since 2003, the Kroll family has been working hand in hand with Horizon Organic to produce some of the highest quality organic milk in the state—a testament to their teamwork and support. The family was even presented with an award from Horizon Organic in 2008 for not only successfully navigating the transition to organic dairying, but also for serving as a model for other organic farmers.

Keep it up, Kroll family – you’re awesome!

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The family was recently featured in their local newspaper, the Long Prairie Leader. An excerpt from that article is below:

There is no doubt that life on the farm teaches many values one can take with them for a lifetime. Getting up early to finish the morning chores, or working through the heat to finish stacking hay bales may not give someone immediate appreciation, but the hard work ethic gained can stick with them for a lifetime.

“They see the importance of work and see accomplishments and there is some gratification of that even though at the time it seems like just work,” Hans said. “You may be able to get that at another job, but here it’s more of a family thing. You’re not just going to a summer job, you’re pulling together as a family.”

This is just one of the many reasons Hans is glad he decided to take over the farm.

Perk up a Picnic with Flavorful Silk Recipes

Popsicle ImageDuring these hot days of summer, it’s easy to lose your motivation to cook a meal, especially one that requires cranking up the oven or standing over a steaming pan.

In honor of National Picnic Month, why not get out of the kitchen with these flavorful, effortless snacks that can be easily prepared and packed up for an outdoor picnic?

So stop sweating it in the kitchen and get out and enjoy the weather!

We Play Hard!

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Horizon Organic was a proud sponsor of the Kids Adventure Games, which took place in Vail, Colo. last week. Complete with adventure racing through Vail and the surrounding wilderness for kids ages six to 14, a free Family Adventure Expo, a Family Mud Run and more, the event encouraged teamwork, healthy active lifestyles and fun for kids of all ages. So, how could we not get involved?

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Image 3Horizon was onsite providing delicious, fun snacks and beverages for kids and parents alike. Racers fueled up with Horizon Organic milk and enjoyed creamy Mac & Cheese at the Horizon Mac & Cheese Awards Celebration. There was also a Horizon Expo Booth providing samples of our new Horizon Snack Crackers, Snack Grahams and Sandwich Crackers. Overall, we had an exciting week with a little “snackage” and A LOT of family fun.

For more information on the KEEN Kids Adventure Games and other recreational events in the Vail, CO. area, visit www.vailkidsadventuregames.com.