USDA Organic vs. NonGMO


image of organic produce on a farm

We are what we eat, of course. Everyone knows that! However, we cannot forget that we are also what we eat….eats and that is where the labels “USDA” and “Non-GMO” both come in handy.

At Ocean Ranch Organics, we only craft the finest and most nutritious snacks that are USDA Certified Organic as well as Non-GMO.

But what is the difference? If something is organic, surely it is Non-GMO and if something is Non-GMO, then surely it must be organic, right? Wrong. Although all USDA Certified Organic foods cannot contain any genetically modified ingredients, the Non-GMO label does not always make the same promise.

All of the ingredients we source at Ocean Ranch Organics adhere to the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for organic production. 

That means all processes and operations in place are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and only using approved substances.  The farmers of our ingredients do not use GMO seeds and protect their products from contact with any prohibited substances. This is no frivolous practice as there are many prevention practices employed in order to maintain the purity of the organic ingredients.


According to the USDA, here are a few of the preventative practices farmers must use:

-Plant their seeds early or late, avoiding organic and GMO crops flowering at the same time and thus avoiding any possibility of cross-pollination.

-Harvest crops prior to flowering or sign cooperative agreements with neighboring farms to avoid planting GMO crops next to organic ones.

-Designate the edges of their land as a buffer zone where the land is managed organically, but even those crops aren’t sold as organic.

-Thoroughly clean any shared farm or processing equipment to prevent unintended exposure to GMOs or prohibited substances.

The certainty that the USDA Organic Seal brings is not exactly mirrored by the Non-GMO label; however, this is not to say that Non-GMO is any less helpful in guiding us as to what to put in our bodies to keep us healthy, properly fueled up, and ready to move.

The “Non-GMO Project” label assures that less .9% of the ingredients can be genetically modified.

Because that little percentage of ingredients may be genetically modified, they are not subject to the same strict restrictions that apply to organic crops. This means that some crops may contain toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers which are known to be damaging to the long term health of consumers. 

You can rest easy knowing that both the USDA Organic seal and Non-GMO on Ocean Ranch Organic granolas means that our product is certified organic and contains absolutely no genetically modified ingredients.

So, snack on, fuel up, and keep adventuring.

November 08, 2017

5 Healthy Snacks for Kids


fruit and yogurt healthy snack image



Healthy food = healthy children. As a parent, keeping your children well is priority number one. You want them to grow and become strong, successful, happy little humans. You want them to thrive.  This is no easy task and no one can really prepare you for what that entails. But, what we do know for sure is kids need to eat and habits begin at a young age. As parents, it is up to you to instill good eating habits in your children.  No pressure! I know I struggle to make quality food decisions at times. If you have healthy snacks prepared, you will be more likely to eat them, especially if they are readily available. Here are some ideas to make it easier on you busy moms and dads.


Start by getting your kids involved in the kitchen. They will feel empowered to make their own snacks and also learn how to choose the right foods. Plus, as they get older, they will know how to make food for themselves. You want them to know the basics so when they are ready to leave the nest, they have the tools they need to make their own food and wholesome food choices. When preparing foods for your rugrats, choose organic and all natural ingredients that are high in protein, fiber, and naturally occurring vitamins. These are all important in the development of young children. And hey, let’s face it, what parent wouldn’t be ecstatic if their child helped make their own food?


Let’s Talk Healthy Snacks for Kids


1.  Organic Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

Blend orange juice, shredded carrots, spinach, frozen strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple with plain yogurt – add granola for fiber and protein.  Smoothies are a great way to hide veggies and foods that maybe your child wouldn’t normally eat. Plus, they are super refreshing on a warm day.


2. Homemade Trail Mix

Almonds, Peanuts, Dried Goji Berries, Raisins, Sunflower seeds, Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds or any of your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Trail mixes are great because you can toss in whatever you have in your pantry. Plus, it’s a great way to pack in the protein and Omega-3s with all the yummy nuts and seeds.


3.  Yogurt Cups with Fruit and Granola

You can really use whatever fruits you have on hand or that your little ones enjoy.  Right now Persimmons are in season on the ranch; we paired with Carpinteria blueberries and Ocean Ranch Lemon Blueberry granola and vanilla bean yogurt. Topping the yogurt is an easy task for kids and makes it an interesting snack with the contrasting textures. Kids love that!


4.  Red Rice and Quinoa Crackers with Nut Butter and Organic Honey

With a similar taste to a regular rice cracker, adding quinoa adds lots of protein and you can top with your favorite nut butters, like almond, hazelnut or peanut.  Sprinkle with a little organic Ocean Ranch Honey Sesame granola, drizzle with organic raw honey and you’re good to go!


5.  Apple Slices with Honey or Nut Butter Dipped in Granola for Extra Crunch

Apples are an awesome source of fiber and Vitamin C, plus they are super easy to prepare.  Once you have put the knife away, bring your kids into the kitchen, and have them help finishing their snack.  Again, protein and organic honey will fuel your kids. Dip it in granola for the added crunch and nutrients.


homemade honey sesame granola with organic applesHomemade trail mix with almonds pumpkin seeds peanuts sunflower seeds raisins cranberries organic paleo



Next time your kiddos are telling you they are ready for another meal and its not quite dinner time, try one of these simple healthy snacks for kids.  The more children eat healthy when they are young, the more it becomes a habit for them as they grow older.  Kids rely on us to nourish their bodies, and study after study reinforce the importance of a balanced diet through childhood development.  Each of these easy munchies will not only keep your family happy and healthy, but also save you time to finish all thats on your to-do list.




October 05, 2017
  • About Us

    We hand make our granola using organic and natural ingredients. Real food, pure and simple. Our organic granola is slowly roasted in small batches to lock in the flavor and provide the perfect texture. Each flavor is crafted to have a little twist on the ordinary to make it extraordinary.

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    1072 Casitas Pass Rd, #199, Carpinteria, CA 93013
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