Everyone knows my mantra is always “buy organic”, but today I want to give a shout out to a wonderful product that is not organic. I know, that’s shocking coming from me, but I want to give credit where credit is do and Wyman’s Wild Maine Blueberries deserve some lovin’.
You might think the word “wild” implies organic, but it does not. While the low bush blueberries grow in the wild, rather than cultivated in plowed fields, they are tended to so as to assure a healthy harvest. Wyman’s uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices – if you are unfamiliar with that term it means they use the bare minimum of chemicals only when needed. IPM standards are not as high as organic standards, but they are far better than conventional practices which use chemical pesticides and herbicides prophylacticly. Wyman’s website has some great information on the many ways their company strives to be sustainable – everything from participating in studies for new organic fertilizers to supporting bee health initiatives.
Before I transitioned to an all organic lifestyle several years ago, I used to buy Wyman’s regularly. When I made the switch to all organic, I ended up usually getting cultivated blueberries. (side note: the blueberries that appear on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list are cultivated high bush blueberries – the wild ones are low bush and have very different growing conditions).
Last night I sent my hubby shopping for groceries. I had asked him not to buy Cascadian because even though they are organic, they are owned by General Mills who recently spent $1,230,000 to defeat a GMO food labeling law in California. Strike one. There has also been concern in recent years about where the berries are actually grown. Their website makes it sound as though the berries come from their small family farm in Washington State, but if you search for and read the tiny print on the bags, you can see that while packed in the US many are imported from other countries. Strike two (transparency issues) and Strike three (horrible carbon footprint). Since the frozen local organic berries I typically get were out of stock, David ending up bringing home the Wyman’s for the crisp I was making today. I did a little homework to find out about their harvesting practices and was delighted with what I found. Check out their impressive sustainability practices http://www.wymans.com/about/sustainability.php
They are a great product to support. Not only is the company striving to improve practices, the berries are just fabulously delicious. The crisp turned out to be the best one I have ever tasted. Oh yeah – and it’s gluten free!
- For The Filling:
- 3 Bags of Wyman's Frozen Wild Maine Blueberries
- 1/3 cup organic sugar
- 1 T organic cornstarch
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1/4 t sea salt
- For The Topping:
- 3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1 stick softened organic butter (8 T)
- 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
- 1 rounded t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 rounded t ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl
- Pour filling into an 8X8 glass baking dish
- Cream sugar and butter til pale and fluffy
- Stir dry ingredients together and add to butter mix
- Use hands to mix together
- Sprinkle topping over filling
- Bake until bubbling in center and brown on top - about 1 hour
- cool 30 minutes before serving - if you can...