We use a garlic clove as our logo because it’s the best image of our store’s driving philosophy: food that tastes good and is good for you, so that healthy practices can be integrated into daily life.

Incorporating garlic into everyday foods not only adds flavor but also promotes general health, and has been a Niehaus tradition for three generations. For us, health is part of our everyday lives, and garlic is the most visible symbol of that.

We have it, from a local family farm in Wisconsin. It’s behind the counter and sold by the pound. If you need a bottle, we have them available, or you’re welcome to bring your own and we’ll fill it.

Maybe – we’d be glad to check, in any case. If we don’t carry it regularly, we’re always open to special-ordering it for you. Or we may have something similar, or may know where you can get what you’re looking for.

We are always willing to take applications. If you have an interest in natural and organic foods and are willing to work, come on in and we’ll give you a job application to fill out or take your resume. Applications and resumes are kept on file indefinitely, unless you’d prefer otherwise.

Yes…What were you wondering about? We’re happy to answer questions emailed to us, Facebooked to us, or just called in or asked over the counter. Customer questions and their answers are posted weekly (or mostly weekly) both in our blog here and over on our Facebook. Have an opinion? Feedback? We always have a survey form out by the cash register, and welcome your comments.

There’s a lot information out there, and we try to collect some of the best and most informative articles so that you don’t have to go hunting. We’re building a resources page for those links, but until that’s available, here are the most common questions we get about natural and organic foods, why we’ve chosen organic, and what we carry.

When used for labeling food, ‘natural’ has very few regulations. The FDA allows it on foods that contain no added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. However, this puts no restrictions on the methods used to grow crops or raise animals, and applies very few limits to how processed or not food additives can be. The USDA requires that any products labeled natural that contain meat or eggs be minimally processed and have no artificial ingredients.

Foods labeled as organic are subject to a stringent set of USDA regulations and inspections regarding how crops are grown, how animals are raised, and what can be added during processing. To be USDA Certified Organic, crops must be unmodified genetically (non-GMO) and must be grown on soil that has not had any prohibited substances, like synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, used on it for three years before harvest. Animals must be raised in ways that allow their natural behaviors (grazing, or hunting and pecking), must be fed organic feed, and cannot be given any kind of antibiotics or hormones. For foods with multiple ingredients, all ingredients must be organic, and the foods cannot contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

If you want more information on this, visit:

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-the-usda-organic-label-means/

http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml

Ask ten people who eat organic food for reasons why they do it, and you’ll probably get ten different answers. (Which is to say, everyone has their own opinion and their own reasons, and these are ours.) The basic idea, though, is the same: it’s better for both the environment and you.

Whether it’s synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides used on crops, crops which themselves have been genetically modified, or growth hormones and steroids given to animals, these substances end up, at some level, both in the environment and in the final product that we eat.

Because all of these are relatively new, there are no long-term studies on the environmental effects, and no good information on what any of it does to either human or animal bodies. The studies that are available show that they aren’t designed to handle chemicals and highly processed foods, and that when they are forced to do so, they react badly.

Right now, the research isn’t there to show that this change in diet has actually caused the recent rises in degenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. However, the connection between food and health is strong, and should not be ignored. When we may be damaging both our planet and our bodies with conventionally produced food, eating organic is the safer, healthier choice.

We’re committed to ensuring that the products on our shelves are the very best of their kind. We want you to be able to walk into the store and be sure that when you choose an item, you’re getting the best product we could find, period.

  • We source as many products as possible from North America or European countries, as their organic certification requirements are the most stringent.
  • Our policy is not to stock foods from China, because of very different organic standards and concerns over heavy-metal contamination.
  • Because of concerns about elevated arsenic levels in rice grown in Texas and Arkansas, we source our rice from Lundberg Farms in California. For in-depth information on rice, arsenic, and our provider, visit: http://www.lundberg.com/info/arsenic-in-food/arsenic-faq/
  • We research new products with suppliers and manufacturers before we stock them, to ensure that we are carrying only the highest quality foods