Good food starts with good ingredients. That's exactly what you get whenever you take a bite of a Wild Zora bar.
Wonderful taste and nutritional value are important to us, but we go even further. The ingredients we use are grown and raised with minimal environmental impact. That's why we make our bars with organic fruits and veggies. Our meats are locally sourced, to avoid the carbon footprint of international transportation.
Is your beef organic?
People often ask whether we use organic meats. The answer is shocking to some: No. We use animals from local farmers, which means we know how the animals are treated and what they eat. Why not just go with organic? Organic fruits and vegetables are pretty straightforward: you know they were grown naturally, without pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Meat production is a bit more complicated. Let's take a closer look at beef, for example. The organic label doesn't mean that the animals are grass-fed or raised on a pasture. For example, they can be raised in a feedlot, standing in their own you-know-what, eating "organic" grains (and getting the same metabolic diseases that we humans get when we eat too much grain!). So because the "organic" label didn't meet our standards for beef quality, we decided to visit local farmers and find meat that comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, well tended and healthy animals.
The Label Confusion
"Organic" label is not the only one that can be misleading. When you shop for beef, you will notice there is grass-fed, grass-finished, natural, 100% grass-fed... what does it mean?
Definitions vary, but unless the grass-fed beef is AGA certified, you can't be sure that the animals were raised solely on grass. USDA grass-fed certificate is based on written description of farming practices submitted by the farmer; the USDA does not visit the farms! To muddy the waters even further, farmers can choose to use the grass-fed label (as long as it doesn't say "certified") even when their cattle is grain-finished.
All US cattle start their life grazing on a pasture. However, the majority of them get "finished" with grain on a feedlot. With grain, they put on weight (and, unfortunately often get sick) quickly, resulting in a lower price of meat. But that meat can still be sold as grass-fed at a higher price point! What this means for you: if you want to eat truly 100% grass-fed beef, look for 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef, like the kind used in Wild Zora beef bars.
What's the problem with grain-fed beef?
It's not healthy for the animals
Cows are meant to eat grass. Eating grains is hard on their digestive system. They are more likely to get sick and require antibiotics. Also, the delivery of the feed matters. Grain-fed cattle stand in a feedlot instead of walking and grazing on a pasture. It is natural for them to walk and to be able to lie down. The crowded feedlots don't allow for that and the animals are often uncomfortable and stressed. At Wild Zora, we like using meat from farmers we know: We know they treat their animals with respect and care. Clearly, a feedlot is not a humane environment for cattle, even if the grain they eat is organic.
It's not healthy for you
Commercially produced grain-fed beef is likely to contain antibiotics and growth hormones. And even if you choose meat labeled as "no antibiotics", you are still missing out: Grain-fed beef is significantly lower in Omega-3 acids and vitamins A and E. Eating 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef will provide your body with CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a powerful nutrient. CLA is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
How about environmental impact?
You might have heard that grass-fed cattle produce more methane, which is a greenhouse gas. Articles pushing this outdated claim tend to overlook all the benefits.
Carbon dioxide reduction
Well managed pastures contain a variety of green plants which use the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere far better than farmed grain fields.
Less dependency on fossil fuels
Because animals pick their own food, farmers need to use less gas-powered machinery and electricity than when they harvest, process and deliver the grain. The animal waste is dispersed on the pasture, so there is no need to use machinery to move it.
Unlike a grain field, a pasture is a diverse ecosystem with native plants. Grazing cattle also provide natural fertilizer, encouraging a healthy plant growth and improving the soil quality.
Did we mention that grass-fed beef also tastes better? To see for yourself, try some today!
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Rosemary adds its woodsy, crisp flavor to lots of popular dishes. Today, we use rosemary mostly as a seasoning, but you can take full advantage of its health benefits by using it in a variety of ways. You can inhale its scent, clean with it or eat it. If you need a quick rosemary snack, grab one of our Mediterranean Lamb bars. The new Apple Pork Wild Zora bar combines rosemary with the familiar notes of parsley, sage, and thyme.
Throughout history, rosemary was prized for its many qualities, beyond culinary use. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed rosemary improved memory; when preparing for exams, students wore rosemary wreaths on their heads.
In Medieval and Renaissance times, rosemary was used to ward off plague and as a deodorizer. It was still believed to help memory and later it became the symbol of remembrance and faithfulness. As such, it was often used at both weddings and funerals.
Here are three easy ways rosemary can boost your health:
#1. Plant it for mental clarity
Wearing a rosemary wreath while studying might seem silly, but rosemary stimulates brain activity. If you struggle with "foggy brain" every afternoon, try diffusing rosemary essential oil or rub a fresh rosemary sprig between your hands and inhale deeply.
Rosemary is easy to grow in pots, so try keeping a small plant close to your work space. You can grow it outside, too. In warm climates, rosemary is a perennial and will grow into a nice shrub. If you live in an area with cold winters, you will have to replant your rosemary every year, or you might keep it in a large planter that can be moved indoors during the cold months.
#2 Spray it to kill germs
The medieval beliefs that rosemary will ward off plague were not without merit. Rosemary has strong antimicrobial properties. If you like to clean your home without toxic chemicals, rosemary will be your best friend. By killing bacteria, it neutralizes odors and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean. Use fresh rosemary, lemon and vinegar to make a simple all-purpose cleaner.
Photo by Mick Telkamp
#3 Eat it for your digestive health
It's not a coincidence that rosemary is often paired with pork or lamb. It tastes wonderful, but more importantly, rosemary helps you digest those meats. Because it stimulates the bile flow, rosemary is crucial to digestion of fatty foods. Like other herbs in the mint family, it helps with indigestion, excessive bloating, and stomach cramps.
When cooking with rosemary, try to use it fresh. Simply strip the leaves off the woody stem (if the stem is soft, you can skip this step), and give them a rough chop before adding them to your dish. You can add whole sprigs to stews, soups and sauces, but be aware that the leaves will fall off and you might need to strain them. If you use dried rosemary, crush it well, because the dry leaves stay hard and are not pleasant to eat.
Try this recipe:
Not in the mood for a large meal? On the go? Traveling? Get the wonderful benefits of rosemary from a healthy snack, like Wild Zora Mediterranean Lamb Bar. Don't forget about the new Apple Pork bar! It combines pork with rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme for your taste buds and your digestive health.
How do you like to use rosemary? Let us know in comments!
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Nightshades, a large family of plants that include such kitchen staples as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and paprika, are a dietary issue for some people. Wild Zora now offers TWO delicious nightshade-free snacks.
Nightshades are blamed for increased inflammation and a host of other medical issues, such as migraines, GI tract irritation, and arthritis flare-ups, among others.
The culprit is a group of alkaloids these plants contain. One of them, called solanine, impacts metabolism of neurotransmitters which means it can negatively affect your nervous system if it builds up in your body. That certainly sounds scary, but remember that many nightshades, like peppers and tomatoes, are full of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Furthermore, ripe nightshade fruits and vegetables contain only traces of alkaloids and won't affect most people.
Artichokes, cherries, huckleberries, and blueberries don't belong to the nightshade family, but they also contain solanine.
At this point, there are no major scientific studies on the effects of nightshades. Anecdotal evidence has linked nightshade consumption to rheumatoid arthritis in certain people, however, there are also many people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, but nightshades don’t seem to have any impact on them. It has been suggested that some people are more sensitive to alkaloids than others.
Some can also have an allergic reaction to nightshades. The reactions can vary from a rash to anaphylaxis. The nightshade allergy is rather rare, so is not considered a common allergen.
How do you find out if nightshades cause your painful arthritis flare-ups or leaky gut?
1. Start by keeping a food journal. Check labels carefully and ask questions when you eat at a restaurant. Don't forget to write down any medications, vitamins, and supplements you take. Note all the symptoms you experience.
2. Try to avoid nightshades for at least two weeks. This can be tricky because nightshades are common ingredients in many foods. Be careful with spice mixes and store-bought salad dressings, as they often contain paprika or cayenne pepper.
3. Share your food journal with your doctor. The information you gathered will help you both determine whether nightshades are the culprit behind your condition.
Eating a nightshade-free diet can be challenging, but it's not impossible, and Wild Zora is here to help: our Mediterranean Lamb bar was our first nightshade-free flavor and we added a new nightshade-free Apple Pork flavor.
We asked and you answered. The number 1 reason people like Wild Zora bars is for travel and those times in-between meals when they can't find or have time for some REAL FOOD.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you need Wild Zora on your next trip.
1. Real Food
Oftentimes when traveling, you will find yourself in a nutritional void known as the Food Desert. Access to healthy food is limited or non-existent. You feel stuck, trying to choose a lesser evil. Luckily, that Wild Zora in your bag provides balanced nutrition with less sugar, grains, and starch than conventional snacks. With organic fruits and veggies and responsibly raised meats, Wild Zora has your back.
What better way to get some healthy sustenance than with easy-to-handle meat and veggie bars made from minimally processed meat, mixed with organic veggies and no artificial ingredients? The bars are not sticky and although they resemble jerky, they are tender and easy to chew. You can take a Wild Zora bar with you and enjoy only the highest quality food ingredients on-the-go wherever you go.
3. No Chemicals or Allergens
Wild Zora contains NO chemical preservatives or ingredients that you can't pronounce. We also have NO added sugar or processed sweeteners, hormones or antibiotics, gluten, nuts/peanuts/tree-nuts, soy, MSG, or milk (except for our Parmesan Beef flavor). On top of that, we provide flavors that have NO nightshades and are AIP-friendly (our Lamb flavor and soon, the new Apple Pork). That's a lot of NOs that we're awfully proud of.
Wild Zora bars use only low Glycemic Index carbohydrates such as healthy, high-fiber, organic fruits and vegetables which provide you with longer lasting energy without the sugar high and inevitable crash. This comes in very handy while traveling, wouldn't you say?
Oh, and did we mention that Wild Zora Meat & Veggie bars are extremely tasty? That's the most important part! With five globally inspired flavors, it's hard to pick a favorite.
So there you have it. The top 5 reasons why Wild Zora is your new favorite travel buddy. Which one will accompany you on your next adventure?
Rest easy, we source only the highest quality beef from vendors like Pasture One. Pasture One grass-fed and finished beef is beef as nature intended. Nourished by nature, their cattle are part of a natural cycle, in harmony with their surroundings. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Learn more about Pasture One in this video!