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No-brainer organics 6/11
(This article is adapted from the "Good Living" column in the June 2011 ShopSmartmagazine.org.)

Two staples of American Pantries—macaroni and cheese and ketchup—are also guilty pleasures. They're not exactly health foods, but moms everywhere can take heart—it’s possible to buy better-for-you versions.

Organic processed foods are not as healthy as fresh foods, but they're still better than conventional processed foods. Organic ketchup is made with organically grown tomatoes, that means it contains no toxic pesticide residues or chemicals from synthetic fertilizers. And instead of high-fructose corn syrup, organic ketchup is made with organic sugar.

Lots of ketchup brands offer organic versions, including Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup, Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup, Muir Glen Organic Tomato Ketchup, and Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup.

When it comes to mac cheese, many brands say "made with organic pasta," but what you should look for is macaroni and cheese that is at least 95 percent organic. Dairy ingredients, like cheese powders and proteins, must come from milk that is also from organically raised animals fed an organic diet without antibiotics or animal by-products. And no artificial colors are allowed.

Buying organic mac and cheese isn't too difficult. Several brands, including Annie's Homegrown Organic Classic, Kraft, Back to Nature, Trader Joe's, and Wild Harvest, all make an organic version.

Related links

Healthy breads: White is the new brown. 6/11

12 Unhealthy 'health' foods and what to eat instead. 5/11

25 Healthy and delicious food bargains. 3/11

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