It’s easy for Americans to forget that the food they eat doesn’t magically appear on a supermarket shelf.

[Make sure you check out PART 2 as well!]

I love local products- could you guess? Last week, I had the opportunity to give a few local products a taste at Whole Foods for the pre-cursor event to their 2nd Anniversary Party last weekend. I had so many great products from so many great companies, it’d be selfish of me to not share.

To start, I went to Hudson Valley Harvest (Kingston, NY) and had the opportunity to taste salsa HudsonValleyHarvest& honey. Hudson Valley Harvest describes what they do on their website: “Hudson Valley Harvest aggregates and distributes product from over 50 Hudson Valley farms to restaurants, grocers, and institutions in the Tri-State Area to increase access to local foods.” Their mission is to change the food world, to provide healthy food and improve the well-being of local farms only working with those in the Hudson Valley region. What I love about their products is that on each label, they tell you which farm the product is from as well as how far it traveled. I loved their honey, couldn’t get enough of it. So if you’re looking to give these guys a try (you should) I’d start with that!

Next down the line was Emmy’s Organics (Ithaca, NY) where I tasted tEmmysOrganicsheir chocolate sauce and raspberry macaroons. Emmy’s Organics was started in 2009 when owners Ian and Samantha realized that Ian suffered digestive problems. They started selling their products in their local farmers markets and the rest is history! They say they summarize themselves in 3 words: INGREDIENTS, TRANSPARENCY, TRUST. I loved the flavor of their macaroons but that chocolate sauce is so delicious, you could incorporate it into recipes or just drizzle it over something sweet!

The next product I was pretty obsessed with after the first bite, Maple Hill Creamery (Little Falls, NY). I’m a huge fan of Greek yogurt but I hate that it usually MapleHillCreameryhas that weird smell or weird consistency to it, even though it tastes great. Maple Hill Creamery has a Greek yogurt that will blow your mind. The delicious flavor without the “weird parts” of Greek yogurt. It’s smooth, it’s delicious and you’ll be addicted and not even know you’re being healthier eating Greek yogurt. Their secret, it’s right on their website: “Our farmers and cows, who produce the highest quality, third-party certified, 100% organic grass-fed milk.”

Last (in this post anyway) was Ithaca Hummus (Ithaca, NY) who brought their Spicy Chipotle, IthacaHummusLemon & Garlic, and Lemon & Dill. I’ll be honest, there are a ton of hummus companies but this one is different. They use fresh simple ingredients (raw garlic, pressed lemon juice & 100% olive oil) and my favorite is that their product is on the shelves no more than 5 days after it’s made- incredible! My favorite was the Lemon & Garlic, two of my favorite flavors. For me, too much garlic is not enough garlic but this is perfect for the regular garlic folk. The balance of flavors in all of them was great! Don’t let the words spicy or chipotle get to you, it’s not that spicy it’s delicious!

Want more? Don’t worry, there’s more to come….

[Quote by Christopher Dodd]