the zen of slow cooking at Winter Fancy Food Show: Earn Non-GMO Seal

January 10, 2018

the zen of slow cooking Spice Blends Earn Non-GMO Project Seal

New Packaging to Be Unveiled at Industry’s Winter Fancy Food Show


Lake Forest, IL - the zen of slow cooking® is pleased to announce that its gourmet slow cooker spice blends recently earned Non-GMO Project Verification, reaffirming the company’s mission to produce clean, high-quality products.

“We’re proud to be able to add the Non-GMO Project’s signature butterfly seal to our spice blend pouches,” says Meg Barnhart, who cofounded the company in 2012 with partner Jane McKay. “It reflects our commitment to operate transparently and produce wholesome foods.”

The company will officially launch their new packaging—featuring that coveted butterfly seal—at the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) Winter Fancy Food Show, to be held in San Francisco January 21-23. There, Barnhart will also accept the SFA’s 2018 Business Leadership Award.

Zen blends are carefully made with a combination of non-irradiated and Non-GMO Project certified spices. When Barnhart and McKay were selecting their primary spice purveyor, the non-GMO factor figured highly in their decision-making.

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are plants and animals created through genetic engineering. While GMOs are banned or must be labeled in more than 60 countries, labeling is not required in the U.S. or Canada. 

“We believe that everyone should be able to easily identify the ingredients they wish to shop for and cook with,” says Jane McKay, noting that many slow cooker seasonings do contain fillers. 

The Non-GMO Project is the only third-party verification program in North America that assures GMO avoidance. In order to achieve verification, the company undertook a rigorous, five-month assessment process that included third-party testing. 

the zen of slow cooking story 

McKay and Barnhart formed their company to achieve two goals: to help very busy families serve delicious, healthy dinners and to provide employment opportunities for adults with cognitive disabilities—a cause dear to Barnhart because of her son’s learning challenges.

Today, the company offers 10 slow cooker spice blends, including Coq au Vin (their best-seller) and Sichuan (winner of the SFA’s 2017 sofiTM award). They outsource product packaging to Planet Access Company (PAC), a Chicago-area company that employs adults with developmental disabilities. 

In addition, a portion of every purchase goes to their Drishti Donation giving-back program, which provides Slow Cooker Community Boxes—which includes a slow cooker and spice blends—to group homes of adults with special needs. The company recently received certified B CorpTM status, acknowledging its commitment to making the world a better place.

In response to customer request, they recently converted their most popular slow cooker recipes for use in electric pressure cookers like Instant Pot®. The recipes are posted on their .

Zen blends are sold at specialty grocers like Whole Foods and Peapod Online (where they’re packaged in popular meal kits) and on and .

Bound for the SFA’s Winter Fancy Food Show

In addition to exhibiting their newly redesigned packaging at SFA’s Fancy Food Show, Barnhart will be accepting the association’s . The award, which is given to executives who advance best practices benefiting the workforce, pays tribute to Barnhart’s commitment to creating employment opportunities for those with developmental disabilities. the zen of slow cooking will be found at booth #4700.

For more information, contact Lekas & Levine PR, 847.327.9530 or [email protected]

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