The Lancaster Food Co. Salsa

Thinking about the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, images of the Amish working hard in the fields probably is the first thought that comes to mind. There’s also the iconic visions of decadent pies, rich comfort foods and a wholesome, simple way of life.

Yet among the seemingly vast fields of farming, there lies a disturbing secret – a 30% poverty rate. The Lancaster Food Company has made it their mission to help reduce that poverty rate while at the same time becoming the city’s first certified organic food company.

Eat Better. For Good.

The Lancaster Food Co.Supporting local organic farmers, and in turn helping support their families, is a passion for the founders of The Lancaster Food Company. Charlie Crystle and Craig Lauer want to source as many of their ingredients as possible from organic farms in and near Lancaster.

In addition to paying farmers for their organic produce and products, The Lancaster Food Company pays its employees a living wage of at least $14 an hour. Stock options in the company will soon be a benefit for employees, as well. While the increased per-hour paycheck helps to combat poverty, so, too, does The Lancaster Food Company’s desire to hire employees who might otherwise not be able to find a job, based on a legal record or lack of education.

The company’s entire food collection is USDA Certified Organic. The Lancaster Food Company currently offers organic sandwich breads, organic sunflower seed spreads, and organic maple syrup.

Sweet (sustainable) success

The organic maple syrup is sourced from one farm in northern Pennsylvania, one of only a few farms in the state that are USDA Certified Organic. Trees from certified organic maple syrup producers can only be tapped a limited number of times to ensure tree health, rather than the unlimited tapping from conventionally maple syrup producers which might harm the tree.

The fresh, soft sandwich breads are baked five or six days a week. Local apple cider, as well as organic honey and the organic maple syrup, are added to a few of the flavors for a taste of Lancaster.

The organic spread line currently offers sunflower seed spreads with additions such as Pennsylvania Maple Sugar, Sea Salt or Hazelnuts, Cashews and Almonds.

The Lancaster Food Company products are currently available at stores in the northeast.

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.