Do you really know what these terms mean?


When we go shopping, we often come across labels such as Australian Certified Organic, USDA Organic, Biodynamic and Fair trade. What do they mean? How different are they? Which label is organic, which one is environmental friendly and which one shall I trust? These are the questions you might ask yourself if you don’t know the differences between the labels. To help you make better decisions in the future, we have done some research and described their meanings below.


AustraliaCertifiedOrganic

Australia Certified Body – Australian Certified Organic
Australian Certified Organic Pty Ltd is an organisation that carries out independent accredited auditing, review and certification work. The standard applies to unprocessed products from plants, animals and approved naturally occurring materials.

Products that are  not compatible with the practices of organic agriculture are not permitted under the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACOS). ACO does not support genetically engineered products or practices, products treated with ionising radiation for post-harvest purpose or nanotechnology based products.

 

usdaorganic

American Certification Body – USDA organicThe United states Department of Agriculture (USDA) are committed to assisting organic agriculture expand via various programs to increase the number of certified organic operations in America. The USDA supports products and ingredients that are verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before all products can be labelled USDA organic. Organic multi-ingredient foods that are verified are to be 95% organic or more to be certified as organic.

The USDA organic seal verifies that pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO), synthetic fertilizers, irradiation and sewage sludge are prohibited. In relation to livestock, USDA ensure producers met animal health and welfare standards, that they do not use growth hormones or antibiotics and importantly their feed is 100% organic and that animals have access to the outdoors.

demeter

What does it mean if a product is Biodynamic?Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition, which was first developed in the early 1920s by Dr.RudoIf Steiner. Biodynamics has much in common with other organic approaches – it emphasizes the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of animals, crops, and soil as a single system and the use of an astrological sowing and planting calendar.

Biodynamic accreditation requires diligent soil enrichment, constant plant inspection, and labor-intensive fieldwork (handpicking weeds and insects).

To be certified Biodynamic by the Demeter Association (the preeminent Biodynamic organization in the U.S.), farms are required to have indigenous flowers, trees, livestock (cows, goats, and sheep), a natural supply of water, and at least 10 percent of acreage devoted to the native flora and fauna. The idea is to attract wildlife in order to control harmful pests (from caterpillars to rats) naturally.

fairtrade

What does it mean if a product is Fair-trade?Fair Trade supports and ensures a fair go to workers, farmers and their communities in some of the poorest countries in the world. The trademark logo ensures that better prices and decent working conditions are honored, ensures a sustainable environment and overall promotes justice and fairness in trade as well.

Food allergy vs food intolerance


Lots of people are confused about “Food Allergies” and “Food Intolerances”. They are actually very different things. We have done some research and found the following paragraph clarifies the differences. We would like to share this with you.

“Food allergies and intolerance are often mixed up. A food allergy is a serious and often life-threatening reaction to a particular food involving the immune system. Often symptoms such as itchiness, rashes and swelling are immediate. A food intolerance has nothing to do with the immune system. Instead, a person has an adverse reaction to a particular food, usually as a result of the body not producing the required enzyme to aid digestion. For instance, a lactose-intolerant person doesn’t produce the enzyme lactose and can experience stomach upsets, bloating and headaches. The symptoms of an intolerance can make it tricky to distinguish it from other digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).” — Ref F Magazine: May/June edition.

Do any of your family members or friends have food allergies or food intolerance? HealthyFoodieBox has a great range of nut free and gluten free healthy snacks that might suit your needs. Contact us at hello@healthyfoodiebox.com.au for a customized box.

What’s FODMAP?


FODMAPs are a collection of carbohydrates found naturally in some foods and food additives that the gut can struggle to digest. It stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides (lactose), Monosaccharides (excess fructose) and Polyols (including sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol).

Instead of being absorbed in the small intestine, FODMAPs continue on to the large intestine where they are used as a food source by the bacteria that live there, resulting in wind and bloating. Most of us don’t find this to be a problem because our guts are naturally designed to inflate and deflate to cope with wind. However, IBS sufferers have usually sensitive pain receptors in their gut wall. when this is combined with a predisposition for the brain to over – interpret messages sent by these receptors, this digestive process can be excruciating.

The best way to minimise symptoms of IBS is to first eliminate high-FODMAP foods from your diet to give your body relief. You can then gradually reintroduce high-FODMAP foods in a measured way in order to work out your individual triggers.

 

Examples of high-FODMAP foods:

Fruit: Apple, pears, watermelons, peaches, plums and nectarines.

Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic and onions.

Dairy: Milk and condensed milk

Grains and starches: Barley, rye, spelt bread and wheat

Other: Cashews, chickpeas, lentils, honey, legumes and soy milk.

 

Examples of low-FOODMAP foods:

Fruit: Avocadoes, bananas, grapes, limes, pineapple and strawberries

Vegetables: Broccoli, capsicum, carrots, cucumber, olives, spinach and tomatoes.

Dairy: Brie, butter, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and yoghurt.

Grains and starches: Corn, gluten-free bread and pasta, polenta, quinoa and rice

Other: Garlic-infused olive oil, gelatine, meat, fish, eggs, tofu, peanut butter, tea and coffee.

 

HealthyFoodieBox has a range of healthy snacks that are suitable for FODMAP sensitive people. Check out our instagram to see what we have. http://www.instagram.com/healthyfoodiebox

— Ref: F Magazine: May/June edition.

Healthy Foodie Box Interview Series – O’Goodies


HealthyFoodieBox loves to support local health food producers. While working with them, we discovered they all have very unique and interesting stories. We believe it is a great to share their journey with you. Last time we interviewed Andrew Terlich and Tara Terlich from AtOne.   This time let’s have a look at Katie’s story from O’Goodies.

 

Q: What motivates you to start your foodtrepreneur journey?

A: My food journey began when we discovered our daughter Tayla was sensitive to wheat/gluten, dairy, sugar, preservatives, colours and flavours.  After several hours of testing and filling out reports we were also told she has ADHD.  What was to follow was years of reading books, internet articles, appointments with specialists and now a food business!  I would never have thought I’d end up here, what a ride it’s been!

 

Q: What are your challenges while you making a better food choice for your daughter Tayla?

A: From day one we had our challenges with our daughter and we searched for answers as to why things were much harder than we had expected. Being a teacher I knew it wouldn’t be easy having my own children, but I didn’t think it would be quite this hard either.  We were already fairly careful with food colours, flavours and preservatives, but hadn’t completely eliminated them.  When we were told she was gluten sensitive and lactose intolerant we decided to try a wheat free diet plus limit the dairy to hard cheeses, cut out all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and limit the sugar to fruit, rice syrup and sometimes raw honey.  This wasn’t that easy for a 6 year old going to school comparing lunches with the other children, the hardest part was Birthday Parties and play dates.  However the change was so remarkable I wish I had known earlier.

 

Q: Does better food choice improve Tayla’s symptons? 

A: Tayla does have the symptoms of ADHD and we do still have our struggles. I don’t think that food choices completely eliminates these symptoms, however it certainly has made things a lot easier for Tayla and us as a family.  We know when she’s eaten something she shouldn’t have!

The improvements in behaviour and learning were so great that we set about changing what we eat as a family and discovered how much better we all felt.  The struggles I had my whole life were suddenly much
improved, I was amazed.  I experimented in the kitchen and made snacks that Tayla could take to school, however she was disappointed as a lot of children were taking packaged snacks and she wanted to be the same as them.  I searched for snacks at the shops, but found if they were gluten free they either contained nuts (her school was a nut free zone) and or processed sugar, containing little or no nutritional value.  I then
decided to try packaging my own foods and thought maybe there were other people out there in the same boat as me and perhaps I could help them too.  The beginning of an amazing journey with O’Goodies!

 

Q: How is your O’Goodies journey? 

I experimented for about a year to come up with something I thought might suit the majority of people with food intolerance.  I then took my products to farmers markets, expos and events.  With all the lovely feedback I received it kept me going for the last few years and we now supply various shops, cafes and schools.  Knowing that children with food intolerance/allergies could buy something yummy from a school canteen or from the shops that they could actually eat and it was good for them has been my driving force.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.

 

O’Goodies Logs

 

Cacao___Orange_Log-SAM_0023-cropped

Cacao___Raspberry_Log-SAM_0024-cropped

  • Made with organic ingredients (with the exception of our dates, which are all-natural)
  • Preservative-free fruit
  • Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Raw superfood
  • Free of refined sugar
  • Naturally gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and soy-free
  • School lunchbox-friendly (we don’t use nuts)
  • Contains dates, which improve brain function and alertness and regulate digestion
  • Rich in omega-3/chia seeds
  • The combination of seeds gives an energy boost, which assists concentration and learning
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Can be frozen
  • Individually wrapped in biodegradable wrapping (pop into the bag, lunchbox or desk!)

O’Goodies Bites

Cacao___Mint_Bite-SAM_0025-cropped

SAMSUNG CSC

  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Organic extracts are 100% pure
  • Preservative-free fruit
  • Contain 10% protein in each bar
  • Vegan
  • Free of refined sugar
  • Naturally gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and soy-free
  • School lunchbox-friendly (we don’t use nuts)
  • Rich in omega-3/chia seeds
  • The combination of seeds gives an energy boost
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Can be frozen
  • Rice syrup contains no fructose
  • Individually wrapped in biodegradable wrapping (pop into the bag, lunchbox or desk!)

We believe the best food are made with LOVE. Both founders from AtOne and O’Goodies created their products base on the love for their family. We hope more people get to know their products and share the love. We also hope to discover more of this type of founders and helping them grow their business.🙂

Fermented Foods 


What is Fermentation? 

Fermentation is a metabolic process where micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi feed on the sugars in food to create lactic acid – a natural preservative that retains nutrients and prevents spoilage. Beer and wine are classic examples of fermented foods where yeast converts sugars to alcohol. Other types of fermented foods use bacteria, such as Lactobacillus which is used to make yoghurt.

 

What does fermentation do?

Besides food preservation, some bacteria can increase levels of vitamins in food, particularly B vitamins, and can make food more digestible. The lactic acid by-product can also produce various strains of probiotic that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in our guts which help to prevent harmful bacteria from damaging our health. This improves the balance of our body’s collective microbiome – our  body’s bacterial ecosystem.

 

Good gut = good health

Most of us are aware that the beneficial bacteria in our gut play an important role in digestion, but research is now discovering that the gut microbiome, which is unique for everyone, also influences our health and can increase or decrease our risk of disease.

Although microbiome research is still in its early stages, studies to date show that a healthier gut microbiome is linked to improved immunity, a decreased risk of developing skin disorders, diabetes, asthma and some cancers and, according to some preliminary studies, may even help us get leaner. When bad bacteria gets the better of our bodies, it is thought to contribute to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, some food allergies, inflammation and even depression and anxiety.

 

Probiotic Power

The old adage that “you are what you eat” is especially true when it comes to our gut microbiome. The composition and function of gut bacteria can be altered by feeding it with foods containing naturally occurring healthy bacteria (probiotic), such as those found in fermented foods. Here are some probiotic-rich fermented foods to try:

Kombuca is a fermented tea created by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea, sugar and sometimes other flavorings. The bacteria and yeast consume the sugar, producing a fizzy, tangy drink high in probiotic.

Yoghurt is produced through the fermentation of milk by lactic acid bacteria. There are many different types of bacteria added to yoghurt, which produce probiotic cultures that have been shown to improve lactose digestion, gastrointestinal function and stimulate the immune system.

Kefir is a drinkable yoghurt that boasts even more probiotic than yoghurt. Kefir is a bit of an acquired taste, but both yoghurt and kefir are good sources of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Miso: is a Japanese paste made by fermenting soy beans. It’s used to make miso soup and can also be used to add flavour to Asian broths and noodle dishes. A little goes a long way, as some varieties can be extremely high in salt.

Tempeh is a cultured soybean cake, made with whole soy beans. Because it contains all the essential amino acids, it’s a complete source of vegetarian protein.

Fermented vegetables Like sauerkraut are packed with probiotic. Sauerkraut is, made from raw, finely shredded cabbage that is packed tightly with salt int a large vacuum-sealed jar and left to ferment. Kimchi, sauerkraut’s Korean cousin, is fermented cabbage with additional seasonings and spices.

— This article is from F magazine by “Fitness First” May/June 2015 edition, Page 64. It is written by the nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume who is the author of What’s Eating You and the founder of The Right Balance.

We find this article contains lots of useful information which would be beneficial to the general public. Therefore, we extracted most important information from the many articles in the magazine to share. Thanks Kathleen and FitnessFirst for putting this together. 

Healthy Foodie Box Interview Series – AtOne


HealthyFoodieBox loves to support local health food producers. While working with them, we discovered they all have very unique and interesting stories. We think it is a great to share their journey with you and we started our interview series with Andrew Terlich and Tara Terlich from AtOne  

 

Q: Why do you want to start the AtOne business?

A:  We were part of the corporate whirl in London and Hong Kong for many years before deciding to swap the stressful life for a more tranquil existence on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. We both have a passion for quality food and healthy eating. We found that there are not many high quality snacks in the market, so we decided to make our own and come up with AtOne (meaning living a balanced life style and wholistic living). We want AtOne bars to be the perfect nutritious snacks you could eat for afternoon pick-me-up in the office, running a marathon, studying for an exam, or chasing your kids around the park.

 

Q: How did you launch AtOne?

A: We have been trialing flavors and ingredients for 18 months and have been selling our products at selected farmers markets for 8 months before we launch our final products September last year. We have built up a fantastic and loyal following of people who adore our product for its taste and nutritional benefits.

 

Q: How did the business go after the launch?

A: The launch was successful. Our products have now now been distributed across over 220 stores Australia wide, with QLD being the main state. It is available in health food store, organic health food store, gym. Supermarket and some independent supermarkets. We will be launching a new products later this year.

 

Q: Have you tried to sell your products in supermarkets?

A: We have not approached supermarket yet, as we are still quite small and want to ensure the business is working well first. Another reason we didn’t approach supermarket is that supermarket is all about price and they will try to push the price down. However, we use the high quality ingredients for our products and they are expensive. At this stage, it is very hard for us to make the price any cheaper.

 

Q: What is the biggest challenge for you as a family business?

A: Marketing and growing the business into a larger scale. We initially distribute our products in QLD. Since we are based in QLD, it is easier for us to build rapport with our clients. When we expand our business to other states, we can’t do this any more. We want more people to know about our products.

 

Q: What is special about AtOne bars?

We have created a range of snack bars and balls that are made with dried fruits (such as dates, figs and apricots), raw nuts (such as almonds, pecans and hazelnuts), and superfoods including raw cacao and chia seeds. All of our products are raw, vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly and contains no added sugar. They are 100% natural, with no nasty additives, unlike most snack bars in the supermarket shelves. You may know our products as bliss balls, raw food bars, fruit and nut bars etc, but we like to call them raw super bars (and super balls) as we include superfood ingredients in order to supercharge the nutrition in the products.

 

banana-superbar cacao-superbar

We wish the best for the AtOne Team. Their story is to be continued…🙂

HealthyFoodieBox’s in person delivery experience


To ensure a good end-to-end customer experience, we have tried to deliver our boxes in person as much as we can. We believe it is a good opportunity to get customer feedback and find ways to improve our services.

Following are some pictures of our customers holding their HealthyFoodieBox. We feel awesome to see their smiles and feel their excitement when they are holding the box.

20150226_145012  20150226_133344

What do we gain from our in person delivery experiences:

1. Building trust with our customers and get their honest feedback: HealthyFoodieBox is about connecting the local health food providers and our end customers. It is our job to ensure we curate and give the most suitable snacks to our customers according to their personal choices.

2. We listen to our customers’ feedback and make sure their subsequent boxes are a better fit for them. For example, one of our family subscriber mentioned that they want more gluten free snacks. With their future boxes, we have make sure we put in most of our gluten free snacks into his box.

3. Providing healthy snacks to their employees might be a new concept in Australia, so companies are often curious and interested in the service but also a bit skeptical as they are not sure what they might get and how their employees might feel about the service. By making the employees seeing the box and tasting the products in the box, they will usually feel more comfortable and confident about subscribing to the service. Having healthy snacks around the office is a very cost effective way to prevent the late afternoon craving which will improve employees productivity.

We will continue doing the in person delivery and getting customers feedback as much as we can. Obviously, we won’t be able to meet all of our customers. We will then create an online community and perhaps a regular meetup group to keep us connected with our customers.🙂

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