Farm Schooled

By Rona Berg / April 28, 2014

Farm Schooled

Earthbound Farm co-founder Myra Goodman and her daughter, Marea Goodman, collaborate on a new vegan cookbook

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Myra Goodman and her husband, Drew, started Earthbound Farm on a 2.5-acre farm in Carmel Valley, CA, 30 years ago, where they set out to grow organic food “straight from the earth, without any chemical interference,” says Myra.

Now, if you go to the produce department of almost any major supermarket in America, you will find the Earthbound Farm organic brand. The first to package mesclun lettuce, spinach and arugula in those clear boxes, Earthbound Farm is now “the largest grower of organic produce in America,” says Myra. Her passion for organics comes through loud and clear: “The only way to know that your food is GMO-free, besides Non-GMO Project certification, is if it is certified organic.”

MJ14_farm schooled_01Myra’s third book, Straight from the Earth, a new vegan cookbook, is co-authored with her daughter, Marea Goodman. Although they are obviously a family of healthy eaters, neither is vegan, though Marea became a vegan cook while living in a vegan coop.

“Eating lower on the food chain is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint,” says Myra. “It’s important for people to understand how cruel and inhumane it is to factory-farm animals,” she continues. “Consumers really have the power to change the way food is produced and the way animals are treated.”

Healthy Vegan Tips

What to make sure you are not missing from your diet.

*Get your vitamin B12. The only vitamin you can’t get in a vegan diet is B12. Look for nut milks that are fortified, or take supplements.

*Watch your protein. Hemp seeds are high in protein, i.e., three tablespoons equal 11 grams of protein and heart-healthy omega-3s. Sprinkle them on your salad. Keep protein-rich grains on hand, especially quinoa, along with a range of beans, lentils and nuts.

Raspberry Salad with Baby Greens and Raspberry-Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette

(from Straight from the Earth, by Myra and Marea Goodman, Chronicle Books)

“These ingredients come together beautifully in this delightful salad, and they are perfectly complemented by creamy avocado, sweet, crunchy pecans, and a red-tinged raspberry-golden balsamic vinaigrette,” says Myra Goodman.

Raspberry Salad with Baby Greens and Raspberry-Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette

Raspberry Salad with Baby Greens and Raspberry-Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Raspberry-golden balsamic vinaigrette

2 cups raspberries
¼ cup  golden balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup toasted pecan oil or toasted walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper


5 ounces spring mix
1 ripe avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup raw, unsalted pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of the raspberries with the vinegar. Mash the berries with a fork until they have thoroughly blended with the vinegar. Allow them to sit for 20 to 30 minutes, and then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing with a fork to release all the juices. Discard the seeds. You should have about ⅓ cup raspberry vinegar.

Place the olive and pecan oils, mustard, salt, pepper, and the raspberry vinegar in a glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine.

To make the salad: Toss the spring mix with ½ cup of the dressing. Taste and add more if desired. Divide the greens among four salad plates and top each serving with some of the avocado, pecans and the remaining raspberries.

Serve immediately.

A Taste of the Ocean

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I like to go to a Japanese grocery in New York City called Sunrise Mart, where I stock up on Korean- and Japanese-style seaweed snacks—thin squares of salty roasted seaweed that satisfy my cravings for crispiness and crunch.

Now there’s a delicious new seaweed snack on the market: seaweed chips called Ocean’s Halo, which means I now have a new addiction, and you will, too! According to Michael Shim, co-founder,  “I’m Korean-American, so I’ve been eating seaweed my whole life and have always loved its health benefits and delicious umami flavor. With Ocean’s Halo, my partners and I wanted to find a way to bring all the goodness of seaweed to a broader audience.” So they baked seaweed into a delicious chip that is loaded with nutrients, contains five grams of protein, and only 85 calories per serving. Brilliant!

Bag It

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Cooking en papillote, or “in parchment paper,” is a classic French technique that not only seals in moisture and flavor, it is healthy because you don’t need to use as much oil or fat—if any.

We recently tried the new parchment bags by PaperChef, and we are now cooking everything en papillote: salmon, chicken, vegetables, even mac and cheese which, admittedly, undercuts the health benefits, but is so good! Unlike many parchment papers, these are uncoated, so there are no chemical additives, plus they are biodegradable, compostable and FSC-certified.

And it’s convenient. You can assemble your meal the night before, store it in the fridge, and just pop it in the oven when you get home from work. You’ll also want to try the Lotus Cups and Tulip Cups for baking.

Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Longtime journalist, author and current editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine, and she has contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. She co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty (Workman Publishing), and is a frequent speaker and guest on radio and television and at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg

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