Good morning to you! I hope your weekend was a pleasant one filled with lots of relaxation and happiness! This time of year, any weekend (or weekday, for that matter) is a positive one that is snow and storm free, in my opinion, for more reasons than one. Never a real fan of the cold and inclement weather that often accompanies it, the Spring, Summer and often times, Autumn, are times of year I look forward to for the warmer/sunny weather and the abundance of flowers and crops sprouting. That being said, recently, I was provided with the opportunity to experience a taste of the warmer months and the gardening that often accompanies it within the comfort of my very own home! At this point, you might be wondering, what in the world could she be talking about?! A garden within her own home? Keep in mind, I live in a relatively small condo/townhouse development where the grass and backyards are anything but plentiful. Yes, there is a small lawn the condo association takes care of, but there is minimal, if any, room for a garden of my own, much to my chagrin. Therefore, the opportunity I was presented with was appealing, exciting and a project I couldn’t wait to dig into (literally!):
ALL the “Root“WAYS: Learn How to “Undo Food” with Back to the Roots:
A relatively new company, Back to the Roots (www.backtotheroots.com), having formed several years ago is well on its way to revolutionizing the food, nonprofit, science community and beyond! Founded and based out of Oakland, California, two friends and former roommates at UC Berkeley, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, made the choice to forgo a career in the corporate world and focus on the unique and innovative ways/methods of nourishing the public. Having learned in a college class of the ability of mushrooms to grow entirely on “spent coffee grounds,” they made it their goal to investigate further and ultimately transformed their careers in the midst of their experimentation. Identifying themselves as “full-time mushroom farmers,” Arora and Velez operate under the philosophy they refer to as “Undoing Food.” According to their website, they “undo food,” with the goal of “reconnecting families back to where food comes from through fun and delicious ready-to-grow and ready-to-eat products.”
Back to the Roots History/Mindset:
- According to the official Back to the Roots website (backtotheroots.com), they are a multi-faceted company aspiring to meet the changing and evolving needs of families and people in general.
- They fully operate under the belief that “all food comes from the kitchen, not a lab; and where Research & Development teams aren’t biochemists, but our grandparents”, so to speak.”
- Community-Based: Heavily community-based and oriented with a strong interest in education and youth, as whole, emphasizing the importance of food and natural fuel. They stress the importance of making learning fun and enjoyable within the classroom through incorporating their full product lines and philosophy.
Back to the Roots Website/Social Media Platforms:
- The Back to the Roots website is filled with a vast array of resources – everything from recipes incorporating their products, links to their curriculum, a Press page featuring all of their recent awards/accolades/interviews, a tour of their facility, and an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the founders and their team.
- Online Ordering: All products are available for online ordering, with free shipping provided for orders of $25 or more, PLUS, if you subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll be entitled to a one-time discount of 15% off your next order.
- The team at Back to the Roots is always open and welcome to feedback and encourages new customers, fans and those who are curious in learning more to reach out via their website, or social media pages.
- Social Media: Come interact and follow Back to the Roots on their assortment of social media platforms – Twitter: @Backtotheroots Facebook: Back to The Roots Pinterest: @Back to the Roots & Instagram.
Back to the Roots PRODUCT LINES: Having familiarized yourself with the company, you might be wondering, so what exactly are these products? Well, take a tour of the products below and prepare to be intrigued and amazed:
READY TO GROW Products: (http://backtotheroots.com/collections/ready-to-grow & http://backtotheroots.com/collections/ready-to-eat)
- Mushroom Farm: Grow gourmet, organic Oyster mushrooms out of the box in 10 days! Lasts for months in the box, unopened. Simply open the box, mist with water and harvest days later (as stated on their website); non-GMO, 100% home-grown.
- Garden-in-A-Can Set (4-pack): organic seeds and soil – plant, water and grow on your windowsill! Available in Basil, Cilantro, Sage and Dill.
- Water Garden: A self-cleaning fish tank that grows food! It uniquely creates a “closed-loop ecosystem” – the fish feeds the plants and the plants clean the water! The garden comes with a fish tank & gravel, organic seeds/grow stones, natural fertilizer, coupon for Betta fish, fish food and a silent, submersible water pump.
READY-TO-EAT Products: (http://backtotheroots.com/collections/ready-to-eat)
- CEREALS: No bag-in-box (sold in recyclable cartons with non-toxic vegetable inks, 18% less paper and 25% less plastic than traditional cereal boxes). Available in the following varieties:
California Whole Wheat Stoneground Flakes: 100% whole wheat from Califiornia; organic cane sugar from Florida and sea salt from San Francisco Bay)
Cocoa Clusters: 100% organic stoneground whole wheat from California, pure-non-alkalized cocoa from the Dominican Republic, organic cane sugar from Florida, sea salt from San Francisco Bay)
Purple Corn Flakes: 100% non-GMO purple corn from Minnesota; organic cane sugar from Florida; sea salt from San Francisco Bay.
- Organic Breakfast Toppers: add flavor, texture, variety and color to your favorite cereal (hot or cold), yogurt, pudding, and/or other recipes/foods. Available in the following varieties:
Raisins, Sunflower Seeds and Buckwheat
Blueberries, Almonds & Buckwheat
Dates, Coconut and Chia Seeds
As I previously mentioned, much to my chagrin, my living space does not allow for much of a garden or growing environment for plants, flowers or other crops. Therefore, Back to the Roots provides the unique opportunity to fully grow my own herbs, mushrooms, and other plants right from the comfort of my own home! It is a company like no other and one that is truly dedicated to providing wholesome, safe and nutritious foods for all. The herbs grown in the can are fresh and flavorful and it takes a short period of time to grow them!
As the daughter of a teacher, their strong belief and presence in the world of education is one I fully support and appreciate and am glad to see their full integration.
From the mushrooms sprouting from the mushroom farm, to the ready-to-eat cereals like the Cocoa Clusters (my favorite – I’m a huge fan of the crunchy, cocoa taste, which is sweet, but not overly so with the right amount of texture, holding up well in milk and yogurt!), the possibilities are endless. The concept of the breakfast toppers is one I’ve never seen before, either, and one I truly appreciate, especially the variety with blueberries, given blueberries are relatively pricey this time of year! With Back to the Roots, it’s hard to be disappointed!
Now, let’s take a trip back into the different projects and initiatives Back to the Roots incorporates into its culture:
Back to the Roots within the Classroom (http://backtotheroots.com/pages/curriculum):
As a unique facet of the company, Back to the Roots offers a fully-developed curriculum which accompanies each Back to the Roots Ready-to-Grow-Product. The curriculum helps children understand each product while still enforcing the common core for science. The curriculum is comprised of three units:
- Unit 1: Mushroom Farm
- Unit 2: Water Garden
- Unit 3: Garden-in-a-Can
On the website’s curriculum page, teachers/educators can find and download the curriculum, associated activities, and other teacher resources for each unit. Plus, teachers/educators may be able to receive discounts on the product line and are urged to contact the appointed point person on their website. Plus, as an added bonus, for each photo Back to the Roots receives of the crops grown in classrooms, Back to the Roots will proudly donate a Ready to Grow product to the classroom of their choice!
“Grow One, Give One & Pour it Forward” Campaigns/Initiatives:
- After buying a Ready-to-Grow or Ready-to-Eat product, simply take a photo with a product or recipe you created with the product(s) and upload it onto the Back to the Roots website and a product donation will be made in your honor to a classroom of your choice! When purchasing and enjoying Back to the Roots products, it is truly an opportunity to both enjoy and contribute to your community or a community in need!
Well, there you have it! I’d like to give a world of thanks to Morgan and the entire team at Back to the Roots for providing me with this incredibly unique and eventful opportunity to sample all the Back to the Roots products! It was one I thoroughly enjoyed and was impressed with; they truly are “undoing food,” in all the “root” ways!