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5 Questions to Ask at Your Farmers Market

farmers market carrots

I love starting my weekend with a trip to the farmers market. I may start the day overwhelmed by my to-do list, but everything slows down as I start to walk past the tables of vibrant produce, local honey, and artisanal breads and cheeses. Connecting with your food and those who produce it makes you pause, breathe, and appreciate the great gift of real food. You know you’re doing something better for your body and planet by going fresh and local.

However, you can’t take for granted that everything at your local farmers market is good for you and the planet. Supporting your local farmers market can provide  better quality produce and be beneficial to the environment and local economy. However, it is not a guaranty that the produce is free of pesticides, meets safety standards, or that the product is actually from a local source. If you’re not taking the opportunity to get to know your farmer you may not be getting what you bargained for. Here are some questions to ask at your next (or first) farmers market visit.

Farmers Markets in all 50 States Accept Food Stamps and EBT


Not every local farmer grows organically. Those who do so often proudly display their USDA organic label. If you don’t see the organic label, you need to ask how they spray and fertilize their crops. Some farmers use all organic methods but simply do not have the resources to obtain the organic certification. Others may use conventional methods of pest control and fertilization. If it is a fruit or vegetable on the Dirty Dozen list, make sure to choose organically grown produce.


Local and grass fed seem to go hand-in-hand but you can’t assume that is the case. Cows and chickens may still be eating grain due to cost and land availability (or even junk food!). They may also still be getting things you don’t want in your food, like antibiotics. Organic eggs may be the best protein choice at the farmers market. They can be used in a variety of ways and can be less expensive per serving than organic beef.
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Healthy Dinner Menu Plan for the Week Featuring Easy Weeknight Favorites

FINAL whats dinner DIR #2 green




When it comes to the what’s for dinner? question, the struggle is real folks! We’re taking most of the guess work out with our new weekly meal plans! Turn Sunday in to Plan Day and you’ll be set right on through the weekend.
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Eat Like the Royals: 7 Ballpark Recipes Celebrating the Kansas City Royals’ World Series Run

Last night, my social channels bled blue as the Kansas City Royals clenched their first playoff bid since 1985. Chants of going all the way were deafening and will no doubt silence any time soon. It’s a moment these Midwest baseball fans have waited, in some cases, all their lives for. There are a lot of long games ahead for these fans, as many as seven if things go their way, which means a lot of tailgate-inspired eating is on the horizon.

How does one eat like a Royal? There’s no pinkies out around here like those other royals. This is both KC Missouri and Kansas — around here, it’s all about the meat!

Here’s how to eat like a Royals fan — we’ll even show you a few ways to trim down these ballgame faves so you don’t need to up-size your new champions T-shirt!


clean caramel corn laurenslatestimage credit

No ballgame is complete without Cracker Jacks, but they’re kind of terrible for you. We love this recipe from that uses coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla to craft a treat as indulgent as the classic. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, if that’s your thing. This recipe is also vegan and without adding processed sugars.

beef meatball kabobsimage credit Kacy Meinecke/


Grilling a batch of big, juicy burgers  these parts. But there are ways to teach these old dogs new tricks! Treat the burger as a side or appetizer with this tiny meatball kabobs. They’ve got big flavor, as we stuffed all-natural beef with jalapeno and cheddar cheese.
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Win This Big ‘Ole Applegate Weinervention Sweepstakes to Save Your Hot Dog Lovin’ Soul

This sweepstakes is done in partnership with Applegate, but is not sponsored. We were provided complimentary product for review, but were not obligated to enjoy the ever loving heck out of it. Since we did, they said we could share the love with you.

kacy applegate

Hot dogs. Bare feet. Summertime. It’s a perfect recipe for the best three months of the year.

Unfortunately, the recipe in most hot dogs looks more like the seedy bowels of a dark, cold winter. Who knows what is actually in those things?!

But the folks at Applegate get it right. Super right. It’s like they invented the hot dog. Sadly, they did not. They did, however, make them so much better. Like way better, better enough that you won’t cringe watching your kids bite in to them.

applegate hot dogs

“Looking more like strawberry frosting than blended meat and bone bits…” writes Treehugger about what’s actually inside the standard hot dog, “the country’s most beloved tube of meat.” There’s mechanically separated meat (or pink slime) from a few animals that could include cow, pig, chicken, or turkey. Don’t forget the corn syrup, flavor additives, tons of sodium, and a whole host of other preservatives and the like. Yuck.

Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs are “cleaner weiners.” They have a super simple list of uncured beef, water, and six seasonings. That’s it! Even my four-year-old can digest this list (and so can her tummy!). They’re tasty and juicy, the way a hot dog should be. They also don’t have that typical gnarly hot dog smell, phew! We felt better eating these since they weren’t stocked with nasty junk.
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Taco Bell Divulges What’s Really in Their Beef (HINT: It’s Not Just Meat)


Taco Bell had an announcement this week that certainly surprised us. The fast food corporation decided to divulge what’s actually in its meat—and it turns out, it is mostly actually meat! Or at least, it’s almost 9/10ths meat. 

In an official statement, Taco Bell stated that their beef is “88% beef and 12% signature recipe.” The company also assured the nation that their beef is not grade D beef, but that it is as quality as any ground beef that you might find in a grocery store.

So what makes up the “signature recipe” that accounts for the other 12% of the filling? Mostly spices and thickeners, the chain insists. “Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right.” We’re of the opinion that “beef texture” is probably best produced by beef, but I guess when you operate a worldwide chain you need consistency. Maybe these fillers make the beef used in Kansas taste the same as the beef used in California?

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