The newest, tastiest organic snacks

Photo: www.purefun.ca/www.gobiofood.com/www.picklesplease.ca/

Green Living investigative writer Graeme Stemp-Morlock visited the Guelph Organic Festival and found the best in organic snacks.

There was a time not that long ago when I dreaded visiting the health food stores. I've got nothing against organic face moisturizers but I usually wanted something I could really sink my teeth into -- literally -- that didn't taste like cardboard. Well, the days of slim organic pickings are over.

Long tradition of organic
The Guelph Organics Festival celebrated its 27th anniversary this year with more than 75 exhibitors showing off their latest farming methods as well as offering samples of delicious green goodies.

Jams and jellies
I started off with Crofter's organic jams. What surprised me most was the wealth of flavours: morello cherry, blood orange, pomegranate (which was my favourite). How can you go wrong with flavours like this?

Around the corner was GoBIO! – an irresistible booth for me, a mere mortal greenie, powerless against the call of the organic gummy bears. That's right -- organic gummy bears -- sweetened with organic cane juice and flavoured with caffeine-free organic fruit.

The company also offers fruit jelly mixes and puddings that are gluten-free and vegetarian. The chocolate pudding was especially tasty.

Chocolate to go green over
GoBio! is also the distributor for Vivani organic chocolate. Now, being a card carrying chocoholic with a conscience and discriminating taste buds, I have sought out the best organic Fair Trade chocolates for years. Vivani is the best. Four Times Gold Medal 2006 winner for the best selling organic chocolate with all Fair Trade and organic ingredients.

In the name of research, I tried several flavours. The Ecuador Chili was by far the best bar among the bunch. How can something this sweet, rich and spicy be bad? For tamer taste buds, check out their orange or lemon flavored chocolate bars.

National candy
PureFun uses the slogan, "We're famous for the ingredients we DON'T use in our candies." Their candies really are free of additives. Now on sale in Petro-Canada gas stores and Shoppers Drugmarts, I still can't believe this company can offer 36 different flavours of hard candies.

I was a sucker for their tasty pomegranate lollipop. However, the best PureFun product is their maple cotton candy. Consider yourself warned -- it's addictive.

No jerking around
Another cool company offering non-GMO, organic foods was Tasty Eats, offering meatless jerky made from soy protein and shitake mushroom in flavours of teriyaki, spicy and hickory smoked.

Crackers for the sensitive
Those with gluten allergies should try Casabi Organics crackers. Better tasting than regular supermarket fare, these crackers are made from cassava, a root from South America. They come in garlic, onion, and cinnamon flavour. Buy them online or at your local health food store.

To go with your organic cheese
My final stop was Sunshine Farms to taste their organic pickles and other pickled vegetables like asparagus, carrots and beets. Their spicy organic baby dills are a firecracker of spice.

Speaking of all this food is making me hungry. I'm off to my new favourite place—my local whole food store—to find the best tasting food.