Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Yogurt on a Mission: The Stonyfield Organic Story

By Whole Story Editors, April 9, 2018  |  More Posts by Whole Story Editors
"I came in with a social and environmental mission — not a money-making mission — that’s what made it a success." — Stonyfield Organic co-founder Gary Hirshberg.
In 1983, co-founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg were running a nonprofit organic farming school on a small New Hampshire farm and were on a mission to help family farms survive, keep food and food production healthy, and help protect the environment. But the school needed funding. So they used milk from the farm's seven cows and began selling really good yogurt. 
The yogurt was a hit. A big one. And Samuel and Gary realized that a successful organic company could make a bigger difference for family farms, people and the planet than their school could. 
Today, Stonyfield Organic proudly makes organic yogurts, smoothies, dairy-free yogurts, frozen yogurts, milk and cream. They call themselves "obsessively organic," and like all organics, their products are produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics or GMOs.
Co-founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg
The company is still located New Hampshire — about 30 miles east of the original farm — but now their organic ingredient purchases support a huge network of food producers made up of hundreds of organic family farms, thousands of organic cows and more than 200,000 organic acres.
Stonyfield has also pioneered planet-friendly business practices from offsetting their yogurt works’ emissions, to making yogurt cups from plants instead of petroleum, to making their own renewable energy. These efforts have awarded Stonyfield a B Corp Certification, given to companies that use business as a force for good. It means they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. 
The thought and passion that started Stonyfield has only grown stronger — and they’ve never stopped working for healthy food, healthy people and a healthy planet.
Find Stonyfield products at your local Whole Foods Market.
Categories: Supplier Stories

How to Buy, Prep and Cook Artichokes

By Emily Hankey, March 31, 2018  |  More Posts by Emily Hankey

RecipePan-Seared Baby Artichokes

Emily Hankey is our produce butcher at the fruit and vegetable prep station in New York City’s Bryant Park store. Emily learned her cutting edge knife skills at the French Culinary Institute.
We are getting to the height of artichoke season. These thistles — yes, artichokes are thistles! — are in season from March until May/June, although they can go all summer under the right circumstances. I know a lot of people are intimidated by artichokes, either because they can’t see what’s inside, under the leaves or because they’re not sure how to cook them. But with this guide and a little patience, you’ll be on your way to enjoying this spring treat, whether you steam, pan-sear or bake it.


While grocery shopping, you encounter a huge pile of gorgeous, in-season artichokes. Now what? I tend to look for larger, round artichokes with thick bottom stems. Make sure all the leaves are packed together and intact, with light green or purple and green leaves.


You can leave whole artichokes in the fridge up to three days. Each day, prune any shriveled leaves and trim the stem. 
But I’m usually so excited about artichokes that I immediately begin prepping them when I get home. Doing the prep work in advance can save you a lot of time when you are ready to cook. Trim the artichokes according to your recipe, then store them in acidulated water (a fancy name for water with lemon juice!) for up to two days — this keeps them from turning brown. Make sure you pat them dry with paper towels before cooking, especially if you’re using a dry-heat cooking method such as searing.


I begin by peeling the stem with a vegetable peeler, starting from the base of the artichoke and going down the stem. You don’t have to peel too much off, but do remove the outer layer because it may have small thorns. If the stem breaks, it’s okay, no worries! Artichokes are delicious no matter their appearance.
I peel back the bottommost layer of leaves to help expose the shape of the choke. Next, I take a serrated knife and cut off the top third at the very peak of the artichoke, where all the leaves come together. Then I snip the tops off each leaf. If you’re roasting or steaming your artichokes, then the work is done!
Check out our “How To Prepare Artichokes” video to see these step-by-step preparations and get steaming instructions too. 

How to “Turn” an Artichoke

If you’re going to shave artichoke hearts, then it’s time to turn. (You'll need to pull the outer leaves off before you get to this step.) Turning refers to the process of removing everything but the edible center of the artichoke, called the "heart." Hold the artichoke in your non-dominant hand — if you’re right handed, hold it in your left. Start by turning the artichoke towards you, using a paring knife to remove the leaves from the base. It’s kind of like the motion of peeling an apple with a knife.
If I’m frying my chokes, I stop when I start to see the tiny, tender leaves at the very center of the choke. I cut it in half lengthwise, and use a paring knife to cut out the tiny hairs in the center. I then rinse it under running water to make sure I don’t leave any hairs. Cut the chokes lengthwise in half again, and they’re ready to fry.
If I’m shaving my artichokes into salad, I cut the tender leaves straight off like a buzz cut. You’ll then want to slide the tip of your paring knife just under the base of the hairs to remove them, then rinse fully in water before cooking or storing in lemon water.

And Remember

Go slow, so you don’t cut yourself. You’re in charge, so don’t think you’re in a race against time. If you prepare your dish with love, everyone will be able to taste it!

Recipes to Try

In addition to Pan-Seared Baby Artichokes, one of my go-to recipes, here are four more I highly recommend.  
Categories: Food & Recipes

Add Some Culture to Your Cold One – How to Pair Beer with Cheese

By Cathy Strange, March 31, 2018  |  More Posts by Cathy Strange


Cathy Strange’s role as global specialty foods and cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market® puts her in the unique position of traveling the world to not only discover and encourage the world’s great cheesemakers, but also to help advance the artisanal food movement and investigate new food trends from around the world, one bite at a time.
Beer and cheese. If you haven’t tried them together before, you’re about to uncover a next level of snacking.

4 Reasons Why Beer Pairs Best with Cheese

  1. Beer’s effervescence makes an excellent foil for the creamy richness of most cheeses. The bubbles actually lift the cream off the tongue and refresh the palate.
  2. Bright refreshing notes in beer (think the fruit of an IPA or bite of a pilsner) complement and balance the salt in cheese.
  3. Unique yeast notes and hop styles found in beer celebrate and bring out cheese’s subtle notes and nuances.
  4. The bitter hops in beer add to the overall mouthfeel and accent flavors in aged cheeses.  



Suds and Curds: What Beers Go Best with What Cheeses

Just like cheeses, beer styles run the gamut of flavor profiles, textures and aromas. Here are some general pairing guidelines to get you started.

  • Fuller, darker beers (porters and stouts) do best with bold, flavorful cheeses – think blue or even Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Lighter beers like pilsners and wheat beers love young, fresh cheeses. Chèvre and other fresh goat cheeses are a good choice here.
  • Belgian-style beers with their floral notes shine with mild, buttery Trappist-style cheeses or washed rind cheeses like Taleggio.
  • Sip an IPA or other hop-forward beer and then have a nibble of an aged cheddar. You will not regret it. Ever.
  • Having fondue or making your famous grilled cheese sandwich? Give a bitter beer a try. This is a classic case of finding balance: if the cheese takes you in one direction, pair with a beer that takes you the other.
All our specialty cheeses are made from the milk of animals not given added growth hormones (rBST/rBGH) — come check out our incredible selection. And remember — our Certified Cheese Professionals love talking pairing!
Categories: beer, Cheese

Try the Trend: Rosé Sangria

By Lindsay Robison, March 31, 2018  |  More Posts by Lindsay Robison

We turned to some of our favorite bloggers to uncover party-perfect Rosé sangria recipes. Mixing up a batch is an easy way to entertain because you can make it just before your guests arrive (wait to add the sparkling water or sparkling wine until it’s time to serve). It’s as beautiful to look at as it is fun to drink. Most start with Rosé and flavorful spring or summer fruit (fresh, frozen or puréed) and then may also include a touch of the following: liqueur, brandy, sugar and sparkling water or club soda. Easy, right? 
Better yet, a number of superb Rosés handpicked by our Master Sommelier and team are on sale from 4/4 – 5/29/18* and just right for sangria — like El Terrano Rosado and Camino Calixo Cava Brut Rosé. 
Raspberry Rosé Sangria
This straightforward recipe highlights fresh raspberries and lemon, with the option to punch up the berry flavor with a homemade raspberry simple syrup (yes, please!). Leslie Haasch, the blogger behind Stress Baking, offers handy tips to achieve the perfect sweetness level in her recipe, and she recommends trying a few batches if you have time before a big party. 
Rosé Sangria with Peaches
Already dreaming about summer’s stone fruits? Then earmark this recipe for peach season so you can enjoy peach two ways — fresh peaches and peach liqueur — paired with fresh strawberries. This sangria boasts great body with the addition of a fresh fruit purée. Tip: Look online for DIY peach liqueur recipes that don't use artificial flavors or colors.
Strawberry Plum Rosé Sangria 
This may be the crowning cocktail of summertime starring tart plums, sweet strawberries and fresh cherries. A splash of Chambord liqueur adds additional color and sweetness. 
Frozen Watermelon Rosé Sangria Slushies 
Frozen watermelon and raspberries make this way more exciting than the convenience store slushies of your youth (and the splash of vodka or tequila doesn’t hurt either). Honey and fresh lime brighten up this frozen crowd pleaser with refreshing simplicity. 
Pineapple Rosé Sangria
This tangy take on sangria from Julia Muller, the blogger and recipe developer behind The Roasted Root, lets pineapple shine two ways — with fresh chopped pineapple and pineapple juice. Toss in fresh whole berries for a refreshing, sweet springtime addition. 
*Valid 4/4 – 5/29/18. While supplies last. Not valid at Whole Foods Market 365™ stores. U.S. only. Wine sale prices not legally available in all stores. No rain checks. Cannot be combined with a case discount where prohibited by law. Must be 21. Please drink responsibly.
Categories: Trends & New Stuff, Beer & Wine

10 Bright, Fresh Spring Recipes

By Paula Forbes, March 31, 2018  |  More Posts by Paula Forbes

Recipe: Double Green Smoothie

When warmer weather finally hits, we’re ready to trade in those hearty soups, stews and roasts for lighter fare made with spring’s vibrant produce like crisp vegetables and juicy, sweet fruits. Check out these recipes then explore our produce department and discover all the colors of the rainbow — and lots of organic choices — to inspire your next meal.
Double Green Smoothie
Double green because it boasts two kinds of greens, both kale and baby spinach. Add in some dried fruit, nondairy milk, a banana and fresh berries and you’ve got a great start to any spring morning.
Recipe: Mandarin Cake
Mandarin Cake
Mandarins are little balls of sunshine, in season for a brief but glorious time in late winter and early spring. While they’re perfect for snacking on their own, we also like them in this lovely upside-down cake. Swap in any available mandarin as many lesser-known varieties linger into spring. 
Frisée Salad with Radishes and Burrata
This salad is just bursting with spring veggies: radishes, snow peas, haricot verts and more. A nice burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese pair fresh, vibrant, crunchy flavors together with a creamy texture. 
Lemon-Ricotta Kale Dip
One of the best ways to enjoy spring’s radishes, snap peas and carrots? Make this bright, creamy dip! Ricotta makes this super kid-friendly — and this dip is packed with kale, making it parent-friendly, too.
Pan-Seared Baby Artichokes
Simplicity is what spring cooking is all about, and this is just a simple, beautiful way to prepare the first artichokes of the season. Don’t be intimidated by these prickly beauties — here’s how to prep artichokes for all kinds of dishes. 
Green Pea Salad with Orange Blossom Honey
If “easy and fresh” is your cooking motto this spring, this combination of fresh blanched green peas, crunchy raw sugar snap peas and tender pea shoots is for you. Tossed with a vinaigrette of white balsamic vinegar, orange blossom honey and fresh tarragon, the salad is a match for a brunch, picnic or weeknight dinner.
Mushroom and Spinach Breakfast Puffs
Think of these as a cousin to soufflé, but significantly easier to make. Spinach and mushrooms come together with eggs for a wonderful weekend treat. 
Roasted Asparagus with Sesame, Chile and Garlic
This is a wonderful, hands-off way to take care of asparagus. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it has a lovely nutty, slightly spicy, garlicky kick.   
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
There’s nothing like that first time you light up the grill in the spring. Why not add some seasonal fruit to your grilled chicken or pork with this blackberry barbecue sauce? Just the right amount of sweet and sour, and fresh enough to kick off grilling season in style.
Roasted Radishes with Lemony Herb Butter
Meet your new favorite spring side dish. Roasting radishes makes them tender and slightly sweet, but adding the radish greens to the dish retains their famous bite. This technique works for all types of radishes, so experiment with what’s available.  
Categories: Food & Recipes