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    Annie: The Mac and Cheese Mom

    A Q&A with the founder of Annie’s Naturals, the company that has proven that you can make mac and cheese without the artificial ingredients that might cause harm

    Your Name: Annie Withey

    Your Occupation: Home manager, organic vegetable farmer, consultant/co-founder of Annie’s

    Your Blog/Website/Twitter Profile: I dont’ have one but check our Annies.com

    Your Go-to food that you cannot live without: Aged cheddar cheese would be hard for me to live without

    What characteristic do you most admire in a person? Respectfulness

    What do you most deplore?: Discrimination

    What is your best trait?: Loyalty

    Which person living or dead would you most like to have a meal with? U2’s lead singer, Bono. I have been following him and U2 since I first heard them blasting through powerful speakers in a Volkswagen Vanagon while traveling California’s Route 1 way back in the early 1980’s. Soon after, it was at a U2 concert that I learned about Amnesty International from concert volunteers who worked the crowd — that was the first time I had seen a cause promoted at a concert. Bono spoke of human rights abuses between songs and I have admired his intelligence, compassion, and boundless philanthropic energy ever since. Bono is a mentor, for sure — a musician on a mission.

    What would you serve? Annie’s (of course!) seasonal vegetables from our farm, and Guiness.

    What trait do you most deplore in our food? GMO’s. There is no way to justify GMO’s in our food, in my opinion.

    If you could deliver five words to Congress what would they be? Lobbyists out of Washington now!

    If the USDA asked you to replace the word “organic,” what would you use? I have spent the most time on this question and I am having a difficult time coming up with asingle word to replace “organic.” My best answer is “real.”

    If you were a piece of food, what would you be? A perfectly ripe Bartlett pear.

    What is your current state of mind? At peace, thankful, optimistic and proud. At peace with who I am …finally. Thankful for the love I feel for, and from, my husband and our daughters. Looking forward to our next growing season and, lastly, incredibly proud of the team at Annie’s and all the positive energy they are generating.

    What is your motto? What goes around, comes around.