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What are GMOs?

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As you may know, here at Farm Stand we are passionate about providing non-GMO ingredients for our clients and customers as much as possible. But, what exactly is a “GMO”? According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, a GMO (also known as a genetically modified organism) is the by-product of a laboratory process. Here, foreign DNA from one species is extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. GMOs can be known as a variety of different terms like “transgenic” organisms, genetically engineered (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM).

What else have you learned about GMOs?

 

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Health Benefits of Cactus Tortillas

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One of our crowd favorites at Farm Stand is our Spicy Southwestern Salad, topped with one very special ingredient: non-GMO organic cactus tortillas! Not only are cactus tortillas delicious, they pack a healthy and history-filled punch! Scientists continue to study this fruit (yes, fruit!) for its value in nutrition.

Prickly pear, aka cactus, contains vitamins C and B, beta carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, and various other nutrients that reverse free radical damage in cells as well as cut inflammation.

Also, the Native Americans used it for folk medicine to reduce inflammation and help to increase stamina. Prickly pear has also been found to boost the immune system.

And it’s not just for eating! Besides that, the cactus has been used to treat burns, wounds, and cuts, using the sap from the pads. The cactus itself, minus the needles, are used for more than 100 ailments from gastrointestinal disorders to skin problems.

You can buy cactus pads in many supermarkets, ethnic produce stores, online, and of course here at Farm Stand!

Have you tried our cactus tortillas yet?

 


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Sustainability at Home

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Our passion for taking care of our planet it no secret here at Farm Stand, so we love staying focused on being sustainable. Sustainability means meeting your current needs without having a negative impacton the needs of future generations. So, here are some easy ideas you can do for a more sustainable household:

The most basic thing you can do to make your home more sustainable is to start a compost pile. All you need to get started is some ‘browns’ and ‘greens.’ Take your dead leaves and yard trimmings and start layering. Over time, add vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells and turn it occasionally to add air. Eventually you will have beautiful, rich soil that’s perfect for planting a vegetable garden — another thing you can do to create a more sustainable home!

Another simple, yet effective, sustainability tactic is to reduce, reuse, recycle, just like you learned back in school! Sandwich bags, paper and plastic bags, envelopes and file folders are all items that are easy to store for reuse and usually have a much longer lifecycle than most people may realize. Printer paper has two sides, so save a stack to use for printing drafts and archival documents.

Some more quick sustainability tips: lose the paper towels and use a washable cloth, purchase biodegradable trash bags and cups are made of corn that dissolves over time, adding one less type of plastic to our landfills.

How else do you keep your home eco-friendly?

 


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Natural, At-Home Cleaning Solutions

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We all want a home so clean it sparkles, but what if that means having to use harsh, toxic chemicals? Luckily, you don’t have to succumb to traditional cleaners thats can leave you and your family sick. Some of the best household cleaners are all-natural and can be found right in your pantry!

For example, baking soda is an effective natural oven cleaner. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the oven, spray or sprinkle with water until it forms a paste and leave for several hours. Stuck on grease and burnt on food wipes right off!

You can also make your own all-purpose cleaner using three basic, inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients. They are: water, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice. You can use this cleaner for everything from streak-free mirrors to wiping out the cat litter box. The recipe:

2 cups of water, 1 cup Hydrogen Peroxide and ¼ cup of lemon juice. Hydrogen peroxide is the key to this cleaner. It’s inexpensive, non-toxic, and readily available. Hydrogen peroxide has stronger cleaning capabilities than vinegar and works much like bleach, just without any harmful health or environmental effects. You can also add about half a cup of this mix into laundry water to whiten clothes. The acidic lemon juice helps break down grime and add a fresh citrus scent. Water helps dilute the mixture. Keep it pre-mixed in a reused spray bottle for easy access!

For a simpler all-purpose cleaner for everyday messes, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer!

What are some of your favorite natural cleaning solutions?

 


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Fabulous Beer Pairings

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One of our favorite specials we have going on at Farm Stand is our Craft on Draft. We always get asked what beers pair best with our menu items. So, we decided to put together a little cheat sheet for you all!

When it comes to cheeses, sandwiches, or pizza, our rule of thumb is that beer is one of the best matches for cheese. Almost any beer can be paired with almost any dish, whether it’s a cheese platter, pizza, sandwich. We think our Famous Melted Brie and Scrimshaw Pilsner make a fabulous pair. However, we recommend the stronger the cheese or flavor, the darker you go with your beer.

When it comes to light dishes like chicken, seafood, pasta we recommend you go as light in flavor and color as possible. A light German lager or Belgian Saison with chicken or fish is perfect. We like the Chimay Belgian White Triple. Again, if creams or sauces are added you need a heavy, richer beer. Pasta is slightly more versatile but still pairs well with similar brews like blonde ales and German or American wheat ales, we like our Fettucine Papa Grande and the local El Segundo Brewing Blue House Ale.

When feasting on red meats like burgers or steak, it’s best to find a beer that complements the bold, rich flavors. We have some great beers from The Lost Abbey on draught that pair well with practically anything, including our ½ pound All Natural Farm Burger.

What are some of your other favorite beer pairings?