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Out-of-the-Box Organics Idealist: Ann Withey

Ann Withey, creator of Annie's Homegrown mac and cheese mixes, has a passionate following. Here's how she stays healthy the organic way.

Ann Withey is very much like any busy mom who wants to feed her kids in a healthy way. The difference is that Withey, the founder of Annie's Homegrown, actually created the first all-natural macaroni and cheese mix in 1989 as a follow-up to her launch of Smartfood Cheddar Popcorn in the early '80s. Ann and her husband, Rob, also work a 100-acre organic farm in Hampton, Connecticut, and sell their onions, garlic and soybeans at the local farmers' market. Her commitment to organics extends to her kitchen at home, where she tosses organic carrots in lime butter and roasts free-range chicken with citrus and ginger. Ann's two girls love her cooking—and her mac and cheese too.

Annie's Grocery List

Equal Exchange Coffee "The breakfast blend has a well-rounded flavor, and the company supports fair-trade practices and small farmers." DETAILS equalexchange.com.

Fantastic Foods "We love their jasmine rice. It's sweet and nutty and cooks to perfection. Their falafel mix is great too. It's supereasy and tastes authentic." DETAILS fantasticfoods.com.

Organic Valley "We especially like their butter and cottage cheese, but our loyalty is based on their commitment to family farmers and the environment." DETAILS organicvalley.com.

Stonyfield Farm "The low-fat yogurt is creamy and thick." DETAILS stonyfield.com.

Walnut Acres "The grape juice has a true Concord grape flavor." DETAILS walnutacres.com.

Cleaning the Healthy Way

Ann names her favorite supplies for cleaning everything from windows to teeth.

Seventh Generation "The paper towels, napkins, tissues and toilet paper are made of 100 percent recycled paper." DETAILS seventhgeneration.com.

Sleepy Moon "The hand-cut soaps are made locally in small batches with pure essential oils and herbs." DETAILS sleepymoonsoaps.com.

Tom's of Maine "Our girls like their Silly Strawberry toothpaste, which uses calcium and silica to clean, not artificial sparkles and flavors. My favorite flavor is Cinnamint. I'm a cinnamon freak." DETAILS tomsofmaine.com.

Vinegar and water "Mixed, they make a very basic glass cleaner."

Published November 2005
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