Celebrate Earth Day ... by eating! 8 guilt-free foods

April 22, 2011 at 9:40 AM ET

Kettle /
Kettle brand potato chips are made in a plant that is powered by solar panels, so don't feel bad about snacking!

Any trip to the supermarket offers a ton of tasty options, but why not support the companies and brands whose environmental practices are as sound as their products? Next time you’re browsing the aisles, vote with your pocketbook and try these sustainable — and delicious — products.

1. Santa Cruz Organic Fruit Spreads. These spreads (available in strawberry, blackberry pomegranate, seedless red raspberry and apricot) are made from real organic fruit, which means they actually taste like fruit and not sugary goop. (Combine them with SCO’s organic peanut butter for the most eco-friendly PB&J you’ve ever had.) Plus, the company purchases Renewable Energy Certificates to offset 100 percent of the electricity used to make their products.

2. Organic Valley Flavored Organic Half-and-Half. The newest addition to OV’s line, these creamers (available in hazelnut and French vanilla) will spice up your morning cup without adding artificial flavors. And since Organic Valley is committed to the concept of locally grown, if you buy their products at your grocery store, they probably came from a regional farm. Still not convinced that buying organic is worth it? Their website also has a handy little feature that lets you see the impact your purchases have. (Buying a 16 oz. container of half-and-half weekly prevents the use of 3.1 pounds of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and 19 grams of synthetic herbicides and pesticides annually!) 

3. Stonyfield Farms Organic Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt. You won’t miss the fat in these super-flavorful frozen treats (though they do make ice cream for a truly decadent dessert), and every time you purchase a Stonyfield product, you’ll feel good knowing that the company gives 10 percent of their profits to initiatives that help to protect and restore the planet. In 2010 alone, their Profits for the Planet program donated $2.5 million to environmental causes.

4. Popcorn Indiana Chip’ins. Available in four flavors (jalapeno ranch, hot buffalo wing, sea salt and white cheddar), these “chips” are actually made from popcorn. The hot buffalo wing flavor tastes like a Dorito, only much, much healthier. You’ll love both the nutritionals — a serving of 18 chips has just 4 grams of fat and 130 calories — and their nod to nature: The company is a certified member of the Non-GMO Project, Certified Fair Trade and they recycle much of the packaging that goes into manufacturing their products.

5. TalkingRain Beverage Company twist.  A reformulation of this organic flavored water means that now you can enjoy their exotic flavors like Mandarin white tea, West Indies lime and more with zero calories! (The new version, available in early July, will be sweetened with Stevia.) But what’s even better is that because their Pacific Northwest water source is so pristine, the company can pump the H2O directly from the ground right into the plant, eliminating the need for trucks!

6. Kettle Brand Baked Sea Salt Potato Chips. It’s hard to believe these chips have only 3 grams of fat per serving. They’re as flavorful as a full-fat chip! And Kettle pays as much detail to its products as it does its production methods: Their plant is powered by more than 600 solar panels (which reduces annual C02 emissions by 65 tons), and their company vehicles are run on biodiesel, converted from the leftover safflower and sunflower oils used to make their chips.

7. Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Seeded Flatbread Crackers. Crackers can often be calorie bombs, full of hydrogenated fats and devoid of healthy carbs. Not these. Loaded with omega-3-rich flax seeds and free of trans fat, they’re crunchy, nutty and all-around yummy. They also come in packaging that’s made from 100 percent recycled paperboard and printed with vegetable-derived ink.

8. Simply Organic Spicy Chili Mix. If you like your chili spicy, without a side of MSG or multisyllable ingredients, this is the seasoning to use. Added bonus: Every time you purchase a Simply Organic product, you’ll be supporting the SO 1% fund — Simply Organic donates 1 percent of their sales to organic agriculture initiatives.

Really want to help the environment? If you have the guts, try eating bugs:

Get more tips and recipes for seasonal eats at Made By Michelle.