Saturday, June 30, 2007

Indonesia Having Trouble Meeting Organic Demand

"Demand from overseas for Indonesian organic farm products has increased in the last few years but supplies cannot always meet demand because not enough farmers produce the product.

Caecilia Afra Widyastuti, senior program officer at SwissContact, an organization in the Swiss private sector for development cooperation, said Indonesian farmers were able to provide less than five percent of domestic certified organic products wanted internationally.

She said there was a high demand for Indonesian organic products from Australia, Europe, Japan and the U.S."

Read the article

Retailers Want to Be Organic Too

"New England supermarket chains are getting more serious about making organic foods available to shoppers.

Several regional grocers are getting a government-backed seal as “certified organic retailers.'”

Smaller supermarket chains -- such as The Kroger Co. and Lund Food Holdings, and now the Maine-based Hannaford Brothers Co. -- represent a growing number securing organic certification.

Organic foods are certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as free of pesticides and hormones. The designation also says the retailer will comply with handling standards nearly as meticulous as those for kosher or vegan foods."

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Yum, Poison!

"Does it ever seem perverse to you that much of the food we eat has been liberally doused with a mélange of toxic substances? For the members of the Institute for a Sustainable Agriculture Community (ISAC), chemical farming makes just about as much sense as adding cyanide to your 100 Pipers and soda…"

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Carrot Discrimination?

"Carrots grown on the Prince of Wales' Duchy Estates which were rejected by Sainsbury's have been snapped up by organic food lovers.

Tons of carrots produced on the prince's own organic farms - together with carrots from a farm owned by Soil Association director Patrick Holden - were snubbed as not being good enough for Sainsbury's shelves.

But they have gone down a treat with customers of the Riverford Organic Vegetables, one of the UK's largest organic producers, who deliver boxes of vegetables all over England.

The Devon-based company bought 25 tonnes of carrots - five weeks supply - from Mr Holden and all were quickly sold.

"Our customers are very discerning people who demand tasty carrots and they absolutely loved them," said farm manager Andy Johnson."

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Recall: Veggie Booty Contaminated by Salmonella

"A Sea Cliff food company said Thursday it was recalling a snack called Veggie Booty because it had been alerted by the federal government of possible salmonella contamination.

Robert's American Gourmet Food, Inc. said it was recalling all lots and sizes of Veggie Booty, which is distributed nationwide and in Canada through local distributors, Internet sales, phone orders, mail orders and retail outlets. The announcement did not say how much product was affect.

Veggie Booty is sold in a flexible plastic foil bag in half-ounce, one-ounce and four-ounce packages.

Robert's said it had been notified by the Food and Drug Administration and the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 51 cases of salmonella in 17 states related to the consumption of the Veggie Booty, mostly children three years or younger."

Read the article

It's too bad this had to happen because it pretty much tarnishes the reputation of the company and the snack. They should have been way more careful. I personally won't be buying Booty anytime soon, even though it's so readily available at Whole Foods and Wild Oats.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

OTA Names Dag Falck of Nature's Path Vice President

This news might be a little old, but:

"The Organic Trade Association (OTA) named Nature’s Path Foods Organic Program Manager Dag Falck to the Vice President seat representing Canada, during its annual meeting held at the All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show held at McCormick Place in Chicago on May 5.

"..Moving organic into the mainstream is a coming of age with its challenges,” Falck said. “Organic grew up different and unique, providing an alternative. Now organic is embraced by the mainstream and sitting at the tables with agriculture policy developers is a privilege."

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UK McDonald's to Offer Organic Milk in Beverages

"McDonald’s is going McOrganic.

The fast food chain announced yesterday that all the milk used in the teas and coffees it sells in 1,200 outlets in the UK will come from organic British cows from the end of next month.

The move is the latest attempt by the US giant to transform its image. It already sells 500,000 litres of organic milk in its children’s Happy Meals, but yesterday’s announcement is far more significant - equating to 8.6 million litres a year - and will make McDonald’s one of the biggest buyers of organic milk in the country."

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Hmm, they need to do much more than that to become even moderately respectable. Why make the beverages organic first when most people come for the food?

All Things Organic Expo Donated 16,812 Pounds of Food

"Seventh-year show featured more unique and innovative organic products than ever before; 2008 will bring new partners together in Chicago.

..All Things Organic donates any left over food samples to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The 2007 donation was 16,812 pounds, equivalent to approximately 12,600 meals."

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That's a whole lot of food!

Hydroponic Instead of Organic

"People pay a premium for organic produce but did you know that there is an even cleaner way to grow all your own fruit and vegetables at home, without paying a penny to the supermarkets? Market leader, Great Stuff Hydroponics, aims to explain how this is possible.

Known as hydroponics, the science of growing plants without using soil is set to become the next big thing amongst green-fingered, environmentally aware consumers. Instead of obtaining nutrients from the soil, plant roots are exposed directly to nutrient solutions, giving them balanced nutrition in an indoor, controlled environment. This method can be used to grow plants anywhere on earth, during any season."

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Can Food Stamps Buy Organic?

"A few members of Congress have recently taken a challenge to see if they can subsist on $21 a week, the average amount a food stamp recipient receives.

Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo. -- co-sponsors of legislation that would add $4 billion annually to the $33 billion food stamp program that feeds 26 million low-income Americans -- challenged their colleagues to join them in trying to eat for just $1 a meal.

McGovern conceded it was a struggle. "No organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything," he said as a food stamp recipient helped him shop. "We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat -- the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it's expensive. It's almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet."

Is it?"

Read the article

Organic Dairy to Your Door in MA

"In an ongoing quest to give customers exactly what they want, Crescent Ridge Dairy has expanded their offerings through United Natural Foods.

On the go, but need to feed the kids a quick, healthy meal? Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese - Shells and White Cheddar is just the ticket! Looking for a home cooked meal full of organic goodness without having to lift a finger? Choose one of Fairfield Farm Kitchen’s Organic Classics meals. The company even carries organic vegetarian meals by Moosewood. Stonyfield and Horizon organic milk products and Apple & Eve organic juice boxes round out an organic menu.

“More people are looking for the convenience of home delivery and the demand for local and organic products is through the roof. A few years back, we built additional freezer space in anticipation of additional lines and we intend to further add to our organic selection,” noted Mark Parrish, CEO of Crescent Ridge Dairy."

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No Catch

"No Catch... Just Cod, the world's first sustainable organic cod, launched last year and voted the best food service product at the 2006 Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards, can reach the kitchen within three days of harvesting compared with wild-caught fish that can spend up to 10 days in a trawler."

Read the article

I'm still skeptical about organic fish..

Raw Almond Ruling Takes Effect September 1

"Raw, organic almonds form the basis of Karyn Calabrese's garlicky nut pate, her vegan pie crusts and vanilla ice cream custards.

But under a new federal rule requiring that virtually all almonds be pasteurized to prevent foodborne illness, the Chicago restaurateur will have to substitute a new nut, or go to vast lengths to import her raw almonds from across the globe.

Industry representatives say tightening food safety rules to subject almonds to heat treatment will help expand the market for California farmers, who grow about 80 percent of the world's almonds in a flat strip of land sandwiched between the Pacific coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

But the regulation, set to take effect Sept. 1, has also angered everyone from organic farmers to followers of the restrictive raw foods diet.

"The almond is the king of the nut world and a main staple for raw foodists," said Calabrese, whose elegant restaurants feature small plates of raw, vegan food, none of which has been heated above 110 degrees. "I haven't even thought out what I'll do because it's just such a mind-blowing situation."

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Organic to Go Expansion

"What is growing even faster than the booming organic industry in the United States, now boasting a 17 percent growth rate in 2006? The answer is organic foodservice.

The rapidly growing organic sector's growth is evidenced by the recent commitment from institutional investors of $6.35 million of equity into Organic To Go (OTCBB:OTGO - News). The financing is targeted to help fund further expansion for the company, which posted a 61% growth rate in 2006.

Organic To Go, with a growing presence in Seattle, WA, Los Angeles and Orange County, CA, and boasting more than 50 grab-and-go outlets and 14 total retail cafes, will utilize the new capital to pursue entry into a new market as well as to expand existing corporate catering services, new retail cafes and outlets. The next two cafes are expected to open in July in Woodland Hills, CA, making for a total of ten Organic To Go cafes in Southern California."

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Maca Extreme from Sunfood Nutrition

"Over the past decade, the health food pioneers at Sunfood Nutrition have been re-discovering ancient superfoods from cultures around the world and introducing them to health-minded consumers in the North American marketplace. The company’s latest discovery, organic Maca Extreme, is a nutrient-dense powder that is ideal for helping athletes, adventurers, raw food enthusiasts and people with active lifestyles boost their performance to the next level. Cultivated sustainably in the harsh high-altitude climate of Peru (11,000 - 14,000 feet), Maca Extreme is a raw, organic and concentrated form of the renowned maca root."

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Pizza Fusion in Aspen

"An organically oriented, green-minded, Florida-based pizza franchise will open its first Colorado location in Aspen a year from now, owners said.

The business, Pizza Fusion, serves organic and natural pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

The franchise owners, Linda and Rick Wilson, live in Aspen for one to three months each year. The Florida couple, who are opening three Pizza Fusions in their home state, married in Aspen six years ago and said they were interested in opening an Aspen location because "Colorado has a mind-set of being eco-friendly, eating locally grown food, being physically fit and healthy," and they said they felt like they were part of the Aspen community."

Read the article

Bring Pizza Fusion to Massachusetts!!

70 Percent Organic Acreage Increase in Washington

"Noting there may be some inconsistencies in reporting numbers, Washington State University researchers believe the state's certified organic acreage may have increased by 70% since 2002.

"We're careful to point out that the figures in this profile are a best estimate because of anomalies and inconsistencies in the available data," says WSU sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein.

The growth statistics are included in a profile of the state's organic acreage, crops and livestock compiled by the university's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Due to the uncertainties in the survey, Granatstein says his report represents a low-end estimate of organically farmed land in Washington."

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Syzmo: The Organic Energy Drink

"Integrated BioPharma's (Nasdaq:INBP) wholly owned subsidiary, The Organic Beverage Company, today announced the launch of its new Syzmo(tm) flavored drinks aimed at the high-growth, convenience and on-premises mainstream energy drink category. These new offerings will be widely available in mid-July. Syzmo(tm) products are currently sold through stores and distributors such as Whole Foods and Tree of Life.

"At the same time that we roll out the new flavors, we are also presenting our new packaging for this much broader distribution channel," said Jeffrey O'Neal, President of The Organic Beverage Company."

Read the article

I would be bouncing off the walls if I drank even a sip of this stuff! Take a look at their website and try to tell me that drink wouldn't make you crazy too! (Well, I guess that's the point.) But hey, at least it's organic.

Organic Dairy Talks

"The Federation Of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers) hosted the first of its kind Organic Dairy summit in Boulder, CO, on Wednesday June 20th. The summit was attended by organic dairy producers representing three regional groups from across the United States — Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Association (MODPA), Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA), and major organic dairy processors and handlers including Organic Valley, Strauss Family Creamery, Stonyfield Farm, Horizon Organic, Humboldt Creamery, HP Hood, Clover Stornetta, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Marketing Services, Aurora Organic Dairy, Radiance Dairy, and Wisconsin Organics.

The purpose of the meeting was to open a constructive and ongoing dialogue that would allow producers and processors to work cooperatively to strengthen the organic dairy and pasture production standards, assuring that the USDA National Organic Program’s standards remain the most comprehensive organic dairy regulations in the world."

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Blue Horizon Picked Up

"Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Co. announced today significant progress in making its brands and products available to US retailers and consumers. The company, which markets sustainable seafood and meal solutions featuring organic ingredients, has been picked up for distribution by Nature’s Best and Unified Western Grocers, two highly respected distributors serving natural/organic, specialty, and conventional retailers in the western states.

“More and more people are demanding clean and healthy seafood that respects both the ocean environment and its sea animal populations. We’re proud to be a front-running brand to meet that demand,” Tim Redmond said, president of Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Co., Inc. “The organic seafood category on the whole is gaining significant interest, and consumers are becoming more conscious about organic aquaculture and the significance of their food choices both for their own health and for the health of the earth.”

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Carrot Woes for the Prince of Wales

"Sainsbury’s rejected carrots grown at the Prince of Wales’s organic farm because they were rotten, it said today.

The supermarket giant said the quality of Duchy carrots from Highgrove had deteriorated after being stored over the winter.

It also rejected organic carrots supplied by Soil Association director Patrick Holden’s Welsh farm for the same reason.

The quality of carrots from both suppliers went downhill because they had been stored for several months after the September harvest, Sainsbury’s said."

Read the article

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Zealand Won't Follow EU GMO Standards

"New Zealand may become the world leader in organics after European Union ministers decided to allow the contamination of organic food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The new law adopted by the European Union's (EU) Agriculture Council allows organic food containing up to 0.9 percent GMO content to be classed and labeled as organic.

The Soil & Health Association said allowing GE contamination in Europe has given New Zealand a point of difference in the world as a GE-Free crop producer."

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Be Sure of Your GMOs in Moscow

"Moscow next week introduces a city-wide label to identify GM-free foods, a move ecologists hail as ground-breaking but which foreign producers say is complex and costly.

A handful of individual food producers around the world already use labels certifying their food is free of genetically modified elements -- but this is the first large-scale political effort to introduce such a system, Greenpeace says, expecting it to be watched by others as a test-case."

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Organic Produce Imported to Czech Republic

"Retail chains in the Czech Republic are extending their selection of organic foods but a major part of the products are imported from abroad, according to a survey by the environmental group Hnuti Duha.

Retailers say Czech organic farmers and processors lack capacity to produce organic food. Also, the state's support is not sufficient, the group said."

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Conventional Milk vs. Organic Milk

"People looking for another reason to buy organic milk besides the health and environmental benefits may get one they never anticipated - price.

With costs surging for conventional milk, consumers this summer will find prices for the two types of milk getting closer and closer, as opposed to when once organic milk could cost three or four times as much.

Conventional milk prices are getting pushed up by a variety of factors - Australian drought, disappearing European subsidies, higher feed costs due to corn-based ethanol production and swelling global demand chief among them.

At the same time, organic prices have stabilized and in some cases dropped due to what experts call a one-year glut in production caused by farmers taking advantage of a regulatory grace period regarding feed requirements. Hundreds of new farms are going organic, creating an abundance of milk that has even led to a price war of sorts in some parts."

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Organic Cotton Choking Hazard in UK

"An organic cotton fleece garment designed for children has been recalled from the market as it presents a risk of choking, a report has stated.

The European Commission's (EC) weekly round-up of items to be withdrawn noted that the overall - which originates from Germany but is retailing in the UK - fails to comply with relevant standards.

Although the garment is made completely from organic cotton fleece, it has five wooden buttons which were found to constitute small parts and pose a "serious risk of choking" according to the report, which is issued by the EC's Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products."

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India's Organic Farms Reap Benefits

"New Delhi: As India struggles to deal with stagnation in its crucial agricultural sector, small-scale organic farming initiatives near the Capital are providing clues on how to reap healthy profits from the land.

Many farmers in India, where more than 70% of the people depend on the land, eke out a living—or else fall steadily into debt—trying to grow water, fertilizer and pesticide-heavy crops on an acre or two of land.
French farmer Roger Langbour poses among corn at his organic farm in Gurgaon district
French farmer Roger Langbour poses among corn at his organic farm in Gurgaon district
Agricultural growth has clocked in at a mere 2%—far behind the economic growth of 9%—leading the government to decide to spend up to Rs25,000 crore in a push for large-scale, industrial farms.

“Small and marginal farms have become an unviable proposition,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month, announcing the four-year investment in farm technology and infrastructure."

Read the article

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Will Whole Foods/Wild Oats Merger Really Cause Trouble for Organic Consumers?

"The director of the Federal Trade Commission's bureau of competition, Jeffrey Schmidt, must really have something against fresh produce, progressive labor practices and the humane treatment of animals. How else can you explain his bureau's logic-defying decision to challenge Whole Foods' proposed merger with high-end competitor Wild Oats?

The FTC is arguing that Whole Foods would monopolize the organic food market if it acquired Wild Oats. "If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers," Schmidt said."

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Garden of Life Whole Food Fiber Bar Allergy Alert

"Health Interlink Ltd has withdrawn certain batches of two varieties of its Garden of Life organic whole food fiber bars. The Food Standards Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.

The affected products are labelled as 'dairy free', but have been found to contain casein, a protein found in milk, which is not shown on the label. This makes these products unsafe for people with a milk allergy or intolerance, and they should not consume them.

Product details

-Garden of Life Organic Perfect Food Bar Red Raspberry batch number 3UA6166, expires June 2007
-Garden of Life Organic Superseed Bar Apple and Cinnamon batch number 3UA6273, expires October 2007"

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Decertified Dairy Not Looking for Recertification

"The Case Vander Eyk Dairy, which reportedly said it was seeking recertification of its 3,500 head organic herd, has decided not to pursue it after all.

The controversial dairy in the Central Valley of California had been certified by Quality Assurance International, but QAI suspended the company's organic dairy operations in May for failing to meet regulatory standards. The dairy then approached California Certified Organic Farmers about beginning the recertification process."

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ALERT: USDA Allowing Ridiculous Things in Organics

"After working closely with industry for nearly two years on developing this list, the USDA chose to overlook the landslide of public comment and set a new precedent wherein all industry requests for allowing nonorganic ingredients in foods labeled as "USDA Organic" are approved.

The USDA's passage of this proposal has resulted in the following:

-Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all.

-Sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" are now allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.

-Products labeled as "USDA Organic" and containing fish oil may contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury (note: nonorganic fishoil products have this same risk, but despite the USDA ruling, it is against the National Organic Standards to allow such toxins in organic foods)."

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This is INSANE.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't Pay for GMOs

"On 21 June a delegation representing 70 organic businesses, with a combined turnover of about £ 950,000,000, urged the Secretary of State for the Environment not to make organic consumers pay for GM contamination. The Government currently proposes to allow up to 0.9% GM in organic food without the GM companies being liable for this damage. This is despite the fact that in European law, 0.9% is not a general GM threshold, but rather a threshold below which accidental contamination does not have to be labelled."

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Read Your Labels When Buying Organic Skin Care

"Living a healthy life can be confusing.

Stores are stocked with so many “natural” and “organic” food options that claim to keep your body free of chemicals and pesticides, it’s hard to know what to eat. Now, the organic movement has spread to skin care.

Like organic food, organic beauty products are touted as having fewer chemicals, pesticides and preservatives than traditional brands. And the demand for them seems to be growing.

But are organic beauty products more hype than help? It depends on whom you ask."

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Stop the rBST

"Lebanon County dairy farmer Daniel Brandt had a shock June 13 when the milk inspector stopped by with some news.

According to Brandt, the inspector told him that beginning Oct. 1, Swiss Premium Dairy (formerly Wengert’s) will be requiring all its producers to supply 100 percent of its milk without using rbST.

Brandt, of Annville, had already heard that Rutter’s Dairy in York had notified its farmers of similar news. But Brandt said the announcement from Swiss Premium came “out of the blue.” At a meeting last December, he said, the Dean Foods-owned company told farmers it wouldn’t require them to give up the production-boosting hormone."

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Organic Trade in Britain

"Developing Organic Trade is a new international conference being held at Imperial College in London, September 12th- 13th, 2007. The conference will addressing the opportunities and challenges as the organic industry moves from niche to mainstream. This will include satisfying demand, food miles, animal welfare and organic standards, financing, and what to watch for."

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Rainwater Organics from Nature's Gate

"Levlad, Inc., maker of Nature’s Gate® Organics, has launched a groundbreaking line of certified organic body lotions, Rainwater™ Organics. The exceptionally pure lotions bear the USDA Organic seal, conferred only on products that contain 95% or more certified organic ingredient content, excluding water. They are manufactured at Levlad’s newly certified Chatsworth, California plant. The facility underwent a number of modifications, including creation of specific storage and handling areas for certified organic ingredients, development of special sanitization procedures for organic production lines, and other enhancements, in order to earn the certification and produce the Rainwater Organics line in accordance with the stringent requirements of USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP)."

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The Organic Diner

"A healthy crop of Chicago-area eateries has been emphasizing organic ingredients for several years now, but it was just this spring that we saw the opening of Crust, which -- pending official notification -- will be the first local spot to become a certified organic restaurant.

But what does it mean when you see organic ingredients listed on a menu, or when a restaurant gets the organic certification? And, if you're watching your budget, which menu items should you always try to get organic?"

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Earth to Kid Available at Western Whole Foods

"The makers of Green Babies, the world's largest selection of certified organic cotton clothes for babies and kids, today announced the launch of their new, made in US wooden toy collection, Earth to Kid.

"For almost 14 years we've been making the finest organic cotton clothes for babies and children; now we wanted to pioneer another natural movement: woden toys," says Hossein Fassa, half of the husband and wife Green Babies team.

Earth to Kids toys are made in the United States of non-threatened hardwoods. The current collection includes heirloom quality baby rattles, building blocks, a school bus with removable people, and a train whistle. More toys are planned for the holidays."

Read the article

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buy Out = Corruption?

"Steve Demos, founder and former president of Broomfield-based soy-foods giant White Wave, came out of a self-imposed two-year "exile" Wednesday with a message for his organic brethren.

"Dream big or don't leave home," he told more than 100 industry leaders at New Hope Natural Media's inaugural Organic Summit.

"We need to grow up, and we need to make money," he said. "The best recommendation for this industry is, make a bucketful of money - because you're moral, you're ethical and you'll figure out the right thing to do with that scale of influence and power once you have it."

Demos served as chief executive of White Wave until 2005 - three years after it was acquired by Dallas-based Dean Foods Co.

Demos was among the panelists speaking in a session titled "Is This the Organic We Wanted?"

Many critics have questioned whether organic-food sellers and producers will lose touch with their roots once big corporations get involved."

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Costs Still a Problem in Canada

"In the first cross-Canada study of factors that lead consumers to purchase organic, fair trade or locally produced foods, the Montreal organization Equiterre asked that question, and others, in an attempt to identify the major obstacles to what it calls "responsible food consumerism."

As expected, cost turned out to be a major factor in why some of us don't choose organic food. For example, 82 per cent of respondents said high price was the main obstacle to buying organic."

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Say Goodbye to Henry's and Sun Harvest if Whole Foods Prevails

"Whole_Foods_Market has said that it is planning to sell 35 stores if it wins its case with the US Federal Trade Commission concerning Whole Foods Market's merger with Wild_Oats Markets.

Whole Foods said that if it won its case with the FTC and closed the merger then it would transfer all 35 Henry's and Sun Harvest store locations, and a California distribution centre to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smart & Final Inc., a Los Angeles-based food retailer.

"We have determined that these stores do not fit into Whole Foods Market's long-term real estate and brand strategy," said Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. "It is important to us to ensure a smooth transition and to be open about our plans because of the employees and loyal shoppers at these locations. We believe both will be well served by Smart and Final's business focus."

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I am really going to miss Wild Oats.

South Africa Interested in Organic Cotton

"One of the images that the organic cotton movement uses in its publicity material is a photograph of a gaggle of children waving happily from the middle of a field of cotton plants.

Not particularly remarkable, until you read the claims made in the print alongside: that conventionally grown cotton accounts for about a quarter of total world usage of insecticides, including a number that are highly toxic to humans."

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Tyson Stops Using Antibiotics

"Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) issued a press release announcing a new strategy aimed at health-conscious consumers: The company will no longer use antibiotics on its chickens. From a marketing and branding point of view, Tyson's move makes a huge amount of sense."

Read the article

How lousy. Adding antibiotics for this long and only discontinuing the use because it's lucrative? I mean, it's good they are going to stop using antibiotics, but they shouldn't have been using them in the first place! It's sad how little companies care about their consumers.

Review Says Organic is No Better

"The overall body of science does not support the view that organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food, says a new review from the British Nutrition Foundation.

The review, published in the journal Nutrition Bulletin and authored by the BNF's Claire Williamson, could re-ignite the debate between conventional and organic fruit that has raged with claim and counter-claim from both sides."

Read the article

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Organic Valley Makes 1,000

"Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative representing organic family farmers across America,, welcomed its 1,000th farmer-owner this month: Bob Baker's dairy farm in Enumclaw, Wash.

"The Baker's organic milk will be processed in Seattle and distributed directly into the local marketplace—just miles from his farm," said George Siemon, chief executive officer of Organic Valley Family of Farms."

Read the article

Final Push for Farm Bill



Phone calls or faxed letters are needed immediately, directed to members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to urge them to include organics in their Farm Bill Proposal. The Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Tom Harkin (D-IA) is finalizing his initial draft version of the 2007 Farm Bill as we speak, and has promised to include all of our organic priorities. Now the other members of the Committee need to hear from us about the importance of including organic provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill. If we can get all the organic priorities into the initial version of the bill with the active, or at least tacit support of a majority of the Committee members, it will put us on the path to victory without having to try to amend the bill later in the process."

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Horizon Expands, But Still Stinks.

"Horizon Organic®, which helped pioneer organic dairy farming practices 15 years ago, has expanded into two new “Heartland” states. This brings the company’s total number of states with organic farmer-partners to 22. Seven family farms in Nebraska and one family farm in South Dakota joined Horizon Organic’s growing number of farmer-partners.

The seven new farmer-partners in Nebraska are located in the northeast corner of the state near Bloomfield and Stanton. The herds range from 35 to 120 dairy cows. Mike Wortman, a new farmer-partner from Hartington, Neb., who grew up on a dairy farm, held a city job for the last 15 years and has returned to his roots. He began dairy farming in 2006 and manages a 90-cow herd."

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Cornucopia offers a look at Horizon on their dairy report page.

UK Retailers Keep Going Organic

"Sales of organic food are rising strongly in Britain despite a downturn in overall consumer spending, with locally produced supplies struggling to keep pace with demand, leading retailers said on Wednesday.

David Cheesewright, chief financial officer for supermarket chain ASDA, said his company now stocks about 1,000 organic lines compared with 325 around 18 months ago.

"We've put a lot more choices in those areas (organic and premium own-brand) and they are growing very strongly," he told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in London."

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The whole "organic thing" is lucrative so what do you expect?

Whole Foods CEO Gives FTC Something to Go On

"John Mackey might have given lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission all the evidence they needed to kill the deal he so badly wanted.

The chief executive officer at Whole Foods, according to attorneys for Uncle Sam, was unusually honest with his own board about Whole Food's attempted acquisition of competitor Wild Oats Markets.

Mackey told colleagues, so lawyers contend, that if Whole Foods (nasdaq: WFMI - news - people )snatched up Wild Oats (nasdaq: OATS - news - people ), the acquisition would "eliminate forever" the chance of anybody else establishing a serious contender in the natural and organic grocery business. He also said that if his company managed to buy its smaller rival, the deal would allow Whole Foods to "avoid nasty price wars."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let's Get (Organically) Married!

"WITH the current trend to make marriages believed to be made in heaven as heavenly (read ostentatious) as possible, this theme wedding is a pleasant departure from the regular pattern.

So disposable utensils and all kinds of synthetic food are a strict no-no, with all the pandal (canopy) decoration, too, donning natural bling-bling.

At this organic event scheduled on Tuesday, Jitu Shah, a city-based textile merchant is going all the way to avoid anything synthetic in his brother’s marriage."

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Whole Foods Extends Offer Again

"Natural foods grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. said Monday it extended its offer to buy smaller rival Wild Oats Market Inc., a deal that is opposed by federal antitrust regulators.

Whole Foods said it was extending the tender offer through July 20.

As of Friday, Austin-based Whole Foods said about 58 percent of the outstanding shares of Wild Oats had been tendered or offered for purchase."

Read the article

Newsweek and Organic Propaganda?

"Part of a regular web-only health-centric column, "Tip of the Week," Newsweek ran a June 14 piece written by Ruth Olsen, called “How to shop for organic foods without breaking your budget,” that hit many of the usual myths and wishful thinking about organic foods, such as, organic foods taste better than conventional foods (which are labeled “nonorganic” in the article, implying they deviate from the norm and are somehow lacking), organic produce lasts as long as conventional and organics can be comparable price-wise to regular produce in supermarkets (emphasis mine throughout):

If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret the extra effort. Organic produce isn’t just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too, according to Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for The Organic Center. And that flavor boost might just make it easier to convince your children to eat their veggies, or to introduce them to new foods."

Read the article

Australian Organic Study

"Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of “Australian Organic Agriculture - Industry Analysis” to their offering.

The “Australian Organic Agriculture - Industry Analysis” report provides extensive research and objective analysis on the organic agriculture industry in Australia. This report helps clients to analyze the organic farming trends, the current scenario of organic food industry and the future of organic food industry in the country of kangaroos. The forecast given in this report is not based on a complex economic model, but is intended as a rough guide to the direction in which the market is likely to move. This forecast is based on a correlation between past market growth and growth of base drivers."

Read the article

Canadian Organic Label to Help Everyone

"New regulations surrounding the production of organic food in Canada will be beneficial to consumers, says an organic farming expert.

Later this year, the Canadian federal government will introduce a 'Canada Organic' logo that will identify food that has been accredited as being organic.

"I think it's a really great thing for consumers and the logo is going to make it that much easier for consumers to be able to identify and purchase organic food. That's a benefit for the environment and for their personal health," Laura Telford of the Canadian Organic Growers told CTV's Canada AM."

Read the article

No Pesticide Residue in Taiwan

"Taiwan's Council of Agriculture says that it will not allow any pesticide residues on produce that is labeled organic. There had been concern among environmentalists that the government may allow up to five percent of pesticide residue on organic foods.

But the council's minister Su Chia-chuan said Thursday that the government has decided to use a high standard."

Read the article

Bid With Your Lid 2007

"Grab your spoons, America! This summer, the National Park Foundation will receive a contribution from Stonyfield Farm Yogurt through their "Bid With Your Lid" program.

Through the "Bid With Your Lid" initiative, Stonyfield Farm makes an initial $20,000 contribution to the National Park Foundation and the other two participating organizations -- Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) and The Center for the New American Dream. An additional $40,000 -- for a total donation of $100,000 from Stonyfield Farm -- is allocated among the three causes based on public voting online or by mail with specifically marked yogurt lids."

Read the article

Bronte Organic in Traffic

"Paterson Arran has become the first independent Scottish food manufacturer to adopt the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) new front-of-pack traffic light signposting scheme with the launch of Bronte Organic, a new range of orang-utan friendly cookies.

The new colour coded labelling scheme has been incorporated on-pack to highlight the important nutritional information required to help consumers make healthier choices at a glance and clearly lists the fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt levels of each product."

Read the article

My only question is aren't consumers smart enough to read labels anyway? Do they really need to have it spelt out in capital letters? I think the traffic light labelling is a great idea, but at the same time, the FSA is treating everyone like children who don't know any better about nutrition.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The OTA Wants to Screw Us Over

"Warning that some popular organic foods could "disappear" from the marketplace, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) late Tuesday emailed the Agriculture Secretary urging quick approval of a proposed rule allowing manufacturers continued use of 38 nonorganic ingredients, which were effectively outlawed from products bearing the federal organic seal Friday by court order.

Today, companies still using nonorganic hops to make organic beer and nonorganic sausage casings intended for products bearing the U.S. Department of Agriculture's green-and-white organic seal are essentially in noncompliance with the agency's regulations."

Read the article

Brand Name Sham Organic Milk?

"QAI has been widely criticized in the organic industry for certifying Vander Eyk and a number of other large industrial-scale dairies in the desertlike conditions of the West, where cattle have little if any access to pasture. The Cornucopia Institute has also filed legal complaints against dairies owned by Dean Foods (Horizon Organics), which owns an 8000-head dairy in Idaho, and Aurora Organic Dairy, milking thousands of cows in Texas and Colorado, which produces private-label milk for grocery chains including Wild Oats, Trader Joe's, Safeway, and Wal-Mart. Until recently Dean Foods, the industry leader, was purchasing some of its organic milk from Vander Eyk."

Read the article

This is pretty troublesome. A lot of people blindly purchase brand name products, but in the end, they don't really even know what they're getting. What's a consumer to do? Buy lower cost sham organic milk or do a little research and find REAL organic milk? Research sounds like the best option. For more information on REAL organic milk and farms, check out Cornucopia's organic dairy report. It's a great resource that I find myself rereading again and again.

Britain's Organic Champion

"Outside the Highgrove house of Prince Charles, 160 km west of London a sign bearing the words “Warning! You are now entering a GMO free zone” stands to deliver its message to those visiting the estate. Prince Charles is regarded by some as the champion of Britain’s organic farming movement."

Read the article

I wish more Duchy Original products were available in America and at lower prices! $5.99 for a few biscuits?! Even I'm not crazy enough to buy them.

£1 billion in Organics

"Organic food sales in Britain topped £1 billion in the past year, figures show.

The amount spent on pesticide-free goods in shops rose by 9.3 per cent in the year to March 2007.

Dairy goods and fresh produce were the biggest sellers, according to analysts TNS Worldpanel. Milk made up 19 per cent of organic growth, while sales of organic meat, fish and poultry increased by 11.5 per cent."

Read the article

Even though it's repetitive to report on stories like this, it makes me happy to see organic growth. It's like "Wow! So many people are finally getting the whole "organic" thing!"

The Manitoba Farm Family

"It all started when the Boulangers realized something wasn't quite right on their farm.

The birds had disappeared, kittens were dying after eating pesticide sprayed insects, and Nicole Boulanger's chemical intolerance landed her in the hospital.

The Boulangers decided to go organic.

And now, thanks to their innovative thinking and strong family ties, the Boulangers are being honoured as this year's Manitoba Farm Family.

"It has been such an honour," said Nicole. "It's kind of overwhelming."

Read the article

Experience Organic at Goathurst

"OWNERS of an organic farm in Goathurst hosted a successful open day last week, designed to encourage residents to see first-hand how they make their unprocessed produce.

More than 200 people graced Huntstile Organic Farm, as owners Lizzie Myers and John Ridout held their second annual open day event, offering a host of activities and attractions for all who attended.

Farm-goers were treated to a tractor and trail tour of the farm, guided by John, enabling people to see various areas of production."

Read the article

It's great when organic farms try to get people involved. I hope to take a tour of an organic farm sometime soon myself. Actually, I might even volunteer on one growing produce for the homeless. That would be a truly fulfilling experience.

Will Kroger Beat Whole Foods?

"It is no secret and not even a surprise that Whole Foods Market Inc.(NASDAQ: WFMI) became such a large success. Anyone who is into natural foods knows the story well. Problem is, Whole Foods is often referred to as "Whole Paycheck" because its prices are significantly higher than comparable goods elsewhere. And yet, shopping in a Whole Foods store, it is easy to realize that much of this demand is seemingly inelastic as the stores are packed and the register lines full.

Now enter Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Kroger used to be just another one of the many grocery stores out there. After years, the food retailer has finally figured out that not only could it carry many of the same organic and natural foods that Whole Foods does, but that it could also do it at a lower cost. To top it off, Kroger also figured out that the profit margins were better than the ones on other packaged goods of lower quality and price."

Read the article

Natural Product Agreement

"DuPont and Marrone Organic Innovations, Inc. (MOI) have signed an agreement to provide MOI with exclusive access to natural product discoveries from DuPont for development as biopesticide products.

The agreement provides MOI with a portfolio of product candidates discovered by DuPont during screening of microorganisms through their collaboration with Instituto Biomar, SA."

Read the article

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Come Back, Bees!

"Scientist says bees around the world are in danger of Colony Collapse Disorder.

They believe it's caused by pesticides and insecticides infringing on bees' natural habitats."

Read the article

China's Green Food

"Various pollution-free organic produce now makes up 20 percent of edible agricultural products on China's markets, according to sources at the ongoing National Working Conference on Pollution-free and Green Food.

Statistics from the meeting showed there are a total of 23,636 certified pollution-free agricultural products, 4,615 manufacturers producing 12,868 kinds of certified green food, and 520 manufacturers producing 2,278 kinds of certified organic food in China.

Ma Aiguo, director of the Center for Agri-food Quality and Safety, said at the meeting that China will certify another 20,000 kinds of pollution-free farm produce, green food and organic food during the 11th five-year-plan period (2006 to 2010) and increase their share in all of the agricultural products on the market to 35 percent."

Read the article

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Organic Nutrition Debate Rages On

"The overall body of science does not support the view that organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food, says a new review from the British Nutrition Foundation.

The review, published in the journal Nutrition Bulletin and authored by the BNF's Claire Williamson, could re-ignite the debate between conventional and organic fruit that has raged with claim and counter-claim from both sides."

Read the article

The Greening of America

"With more and more people “going green”. the organic boom is growing stronger than ever. It seems everything is going organic from toothpaste, to deodorant, pet food and now even the sheets you sleep on.

Some are calling it “the greening of America”."

Read the article

It's really the greening of the world!

Tips for Buying Cheap Organics

"If you think eating organic on a budget means making do with a handful of grapes or rationing portions from a single hormone-free chicken, starve not. With these five shopping tips, you can stock your shelves with no-pesticide, free-range, shade-grown goodies -- and still have money for those coveted hemp shoes."

Read the article

The five tips from this article are:

-Troll the aisles of price-busting warehouses and discount stores.
-Download coupons.
-Negotiate at farmers markets.
-Order online.
-Think through your purchases.

Most of us already do these things though, right?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Use Organic Hops!

"Anheuser-Busch's organic beers have become fully organic — at least for now.

The nation's largest brewer said Wednesday that because of inaction on proposed regulations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it had started using 100% organic hops in its two beers that carry the "USDA Organic" seal. Previously, less than 10% of the beers' hops were organic.

"We have now begun brewing our nationally available organic beers with 100% organic hops, although at this time we have a limited amount of organic hops available," Doug Muhleman, vice president of brewing operations for Anheuser-Busch, said."

Read the article

From the OCA, With Love

"Dear Mr. Fecht:

As a longtime member of IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, the Organic Consumers Association recognizes that the proposed revisions of the IFOAM "Benchmarks of Standards" were clearly drafted with the four principles of organic farming-health, ecology, fairness, and care-in mind. Unfortunately, in its attempt to foster international equivalence, the new draft IBS is likely to encourage wide disparities in organic standards."

Read the letter

Cartoons Support Organic?

"When it comes to pushing spinach, Popeye has some competition.

A whole crew of new and old children's characters is getting into the green and healthy business, with companies licensing their images to sell everything from baby carrots, clementines and grapes to organic cereal and pastas designed specifically for children.

Nickelodeon's SpongeBob Square-Pants currently adorns bags of spinach, organic frozen edamame and more recently white and yellow plums. His fellow Nickelodeon cartoon character, Dora the Explorer is hawking pears, apples and baby carrots. And the letter of the day is "O" for organic for "Sesame Street's" Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, whose toothless smiles grace boxes of organic alphabet pasta, cereal, crackers and cookies."

Read the article

I know that when I was younger, I wasn't influenced much by television, but I guess some kids are? Hopefully, this will do some good.

Coffee Crisis

"A move by the US to change the organic certification process is likely to make it more expensive and difficult for small-scale organic coffee growers in the developing countries, who produce the bulk of organic coffee in the world, to continue to survive.

"The Coffee Crisis” used to refer to the disastrous plunge in world coffee prices in the 1980s and 1990s that bankrupted hundreds of thousands of smallholders around the world. The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) is now poised to bring us the ‘Organic Coffee Crisis.’ With a breathtaking disregard for transparency, consultation and public debate, the NOP is moving to make it prohibitively expensive and logistically impossible for small-scale organic coffee growers."

Read the article

Learn Green and Change

"Spend an afternoon at Smokey House Center in Danby, learning how this organic farm/CSA operation raises organic vegetables, fruits, maple syrup, and natural beef, pork, lamb, and turkeys, while it also changes the lives of area at-risk young people, teaching them academic, social, and workplace skills. Youth participants in the Smokey House Center program sell the products they have raised each Saturday, May through October, at the Downtown Rutland Farmers Market.

There will be an opportunity to visit Smokey House Center itself on a guided tour, Saturday, June 16, at 3 p.m. See this year-round operation that combines farming and forestry, producing top quality agricultural products in an environmentally and socially responsible manner."

Read the article

Whole Foods Addresses FTC on Website

"Natural food grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. said Friday it added a new section to its Website to post updates on the Federal Trade Commission's challenge to its acquisition of smaller rival Wild Oats Markets Inc.

The FTC said earlier this month it will try to block the deal on the premise that Whole Foods will probably raise prices and reduce quality and services if the transaction goes through."

Read the article

You can read about the ongoing Whole Foods vs. FTC saga here.

Green Fest in Canada

"Celebrating everything green is the Organic Islands Festival, now Canada’s largest outdoor “green” festival.

Running July 7-8 at Glendale Gardens and Woodland, the third-annual green bonanza offers a glimpse into the lives of organic farmers, sustainability experts, horticulturists and carbon neutral activists.

More than 100 exhibits will display everything from mud home building to conservationist transit options, to an interactive local diet cooking demo with natural chefs."

Read the article

Hain Troubles?

"Hain Celestial Group Inc. (HAIN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday it has been informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency is conducting an informal inquiry into the company's stock options practices.

Hain, the U.S. company that makes organic and natural foods and personal care items, said it intends to cooperate with the investigation.

Hain gave no other details in a brief statement."

Read the article

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Shamrock Farms Make an Organic Move

"Shamrock Farms is about to bet the farm on consumers' eagerness for organic products.
Thursday, the Phoenix-based company was to launch a line of organic milk and sour cream, placing it among the first major dairies in the country to tap into the growing natural foods market.

Organic food is a $16.9 billion industry in the United States, and it's surging as consumers opt for local, sustainable, environmentally friendly products.
Shamrock's gamble means that starting this week, Arizonans can get fresh and relatively affordable organic milk for the first time."

Read the article

Waitrose Preparing for Competition with Whole Foods

"The opening of organic supermarket Whole Foods Market in London last week has put its closest rival, Waitrose, on the defensive. The John Lewis Partnership-owned supermarket has shut its flagship store in Marylebone for a planned two-week refurbishment, which will include the installation of a breakfast bar, deli, ready-cooked counter and an organic fresh foods section."

Read the article

How long before WFM tries to devour other supermarkets in England too? I am going to miss Wild Oats...

0.9 Percent GMO

"Environmental groups have hit out at the new organic regulation on which EU agriculture ministers reached political agreement this week, claiming it opens the door for GMOs in organic foods.

..However the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Europe is at loggerheads with the organic ethos, and organic advocates are highly sensitive to the possibility of GM contamination.

Under the new regulation, organic food can still be labelled as such if it contains up to 0.9 per cent GMOs, the presence of which is "adventitious or technically unavoidable."

Read the article

Caribou Coffee to Offer Organic Acai Pulp Smoothie

"Beginning June 25, Caribou Coffee will sell its first-ever Acai (pronounced ah-sci-ee) Smoothie at all Caribou Coffee locations. "Caribou Coffee is the first coffeeshop in the country to offer an Acai Smoothie," states Michael Coles, Chairman and CEO of Caribou Coffee. "We have always had smoother, better tasting coffee at Caribou, and now we have a wonderful, new smoothie for our customers to enjoy that not only tastes great but has some great health benefits as well!"

"..Our Acai Smoothie is a bright purple, icy blend of organic Acai berry pulp and guarana seed, a natural source of caffeine. Consumers who enjoy a sustained energy boost and prefer real fruit beverages are sure to love the Caribou Coffee Acai Smoothie."

Read the article

Organic Growth No.38919829

"The organic revolution is sweeping across Europe, and the area of land dedicated to environmentally-friendly, pesticide-free food production has more than doubled over 10 years.

Organic farming now accounts for more than 4 per cent of agricultural land in the EU, more than double its 1998 share, says the statistics agency Eurostat."

Read the article

You might be wondering what the title of this post is supposed to mean, or perhaps you already know. Every day, I think there's at least one article talking about the "organic revolution" and "the growth of organic." I probably shouldn't even bother posting them, but I do just for the sake of posting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

July 31 Showdown for Whole Foods

"The Federal Trade Commission will see Whole Foods and Wild Oats in court July 31 when the commission presents oral arguments in its preliminary injunction hearing rejecting the merger of the two natural foods companies.

Last week the commission filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. challenging Whole Foods' proposed acquisition of Wild Oats on the grounds that the transaction would violate antitrust laws by eliminating competition in the "premium natural and organic supermarket" industry. The commission also received a temporary restraining order preventing Whole Foods from buying any Wild Oats stock."

Read the article

Cruelty on Organic Poultry Farm

"Concerns have been raised about the alleged cramped and dirty conditions on an organic free range poultry farm in Norfolk.

Activists at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary claim to have shot footage of chickens at the Traditional Norfolk Poultry (TNP) farm, in Stow Bedon, living in cramped and rat-infested sheds.

They claim to have even filmed footage of dead baby chick left laying on the ground and being eaten by the vermin."

Read the article

GMOs Permitted in Organic?

"The EU-27's agriculture ministers have agreed to new organic food production and labelling standards from 2009, but green groups say that the rules are lax and will allow widespread contamination of organic products by genetically modified organisms.

Despite the opposition of Belgium, Greece, Italy and Hungary, the Council adopted, on 12 June 2007, a controversial regulation on organic production and labelling, which the Commission says will make life easier for both farmers and consumers by creating an EU organic logo for all products containing at least 95% organic ingredients."

Read the article

Pubs Not Bothered by EU Organic Labelling

"From now on pubs will be exempt from new European Union (EU) rules on food labeling.

The new rules are designed to make it easier for consumers to identify organic and food.

However, it will be left to individual countries to decide how to regulate the restaurant sector until 2011, when the EU plans a further review.

Under the new rules, the EU organic logo will be mandatory on organic food sold in shops, but can be accompanied by national or private logos. The place where the products were farmed has to be indicated."

Read the article

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What to Trust in Skin Care?

"Many beauty products found in health food stores contain harmful ingredients and are not 100 percent natural, no matter what they may claim.

There are no federal certifications or official guidelines for beauty products, so anyone can claim that such a product is natural or organic. Some "organic" beauty products contain only a single-digit percentage of organic ingredients.

Alba Body Lotion, a "natural" body product, contains ingredients such as octyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3, and methyl/propylparaben, for instance. The EPA has linked methyl parabens to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers."

Read the article

I guess the bottom line is ALWAYS read labels!

Horizon Feeling the Heat

"The parent company of the nation's largest brand of organic milk Tuesday lowered 2007 earnings expectations for a second time this year blaming, in part, a current "considerable disruption in the organic milk market" due to oversupply.

Listing the challenges facing Dallas-based Dean Foods Co., Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer, also warned that sharply rising conventional milk prices could hit all-time highs by the third quarter.

He warned the higher costs would put pressure on profits for its Dairy Group. Meanwhile, the opposite supply dynamic in the organic milk market could have the same bottom line impact.

"Our Horizon Organic brand is facing significant near-term industry-wide oversupply of raw organic milk," Engles said."

Read the article

What's Growing in Poland

"The goals of the Polska Ekologia association are to protect the rights and business’ which are members of the program, and also to promote organic farming and goods. The program, writes Liliana Lehrer-Rychel, which operates throughout Poland, began in November 2006. Support for the association comes from the Mazowieckie district’s administrative center."

Read the article

Put a Face to Your Milk

"An animal uprising, fomented at a Monmouth dairy and scripted by a Portland ad agency, broke out Monday.

Bessie, Rosie and the other 148 milking cows at Jon Bansen's organic dairy are leading the Internet revolution, complete with Web videos, a "history" of the cow movement and a bovine Bill of Rights.

Their message: Cows need to run free on grass. Cows have the right to dignity and joy. Sisters have to stick together."

Read the article

Trail Power from Navitas Naturals

"Navitas Naturals, supplier of premium organic power foods, launches Trail Power™, a healthy line of snack mixes made with exotic raw organic berries and nuts that pack a power punch of antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The three varieties, Goji-Golden Berry-Mulberry, Goji-Cacao Nibs-Cashew and Three Berry-Cacao Nibs-Cashew, are USDA certified with 70% organic ingredients and certified kosher through Earth Kosher™. Available in both retail and bulk, the mixes are packaged in 4, 8 and 16 oz re-sealable bags for snacking as well as 10 lb bulk for retail bins or food service."

Read the article

For more information on Trail Power, visit Navita Naturals.

Recommendations from Good Earth Natural Foods

"Heath food does not come in a box,” is a philosophy that Caron Jagodzinski firmly holds to.

As owner of Good Earth Natural Foods in Austin, Jagodzinski believes that organic foods, the majority of her merchandise, are a more nutritious, quality choice than processed goods.

“It really refers to the state of the soil,” she said.

“Look for products without sugar in them ... the least processed food,” she recommends.

Jagodzinski said organic foods are scientifically proven to be better for your health than foods treated with herbicides and pesticides."

Read the article

The Competition Begins

"Whole Foods Market has opened its first UK store.

The impact of the global natural and organic retailing champion on British grocery retailing can be felt across the capital already, with Waitrose announcing the launch of its first upmarket food store in Marylebone. Despite an unrivalled organic and natural product offer in the UK, Whole Foods' long term prospects are questionable.
'Content In Kensington this weekend, shoppers were queuing to sample the US behemoth's offer. On Saturday, staff at the M&S outlet on Kensington High Street were giving away free fruit salads to entice customers to their premises and distract them from Whole Foods Market's (WFM) new flagship store."

Read the article

Only the Best for Your Kids

"According to a recent report "World Organic Foods And Beverages Report (2006)" published by RNCOS, it has been found that in comparison to the world organic food market's present growth rate, US organic food market will decelerate, but the region would remain the highest revenue generator globally even in the future.

Parents, at present, are more concerned about the health hazards of conventional food their children are exposed to. This worry is causing them to drive the sales of organic baby food, consequently encouraging more and more, firms to either join or expand their present offerings in this sector."

Read the article

New EU Logo

"EU ministers on Tuesday ended 18 months of squabbling over new rules for organic farming and came up with a labelling system aimed at informing consumers better on what they are buying.

Farmers who sell produce containing at least 95 percent organic ingredients will use a special EU logo, along with a label to indicate the product's origin. Below that, there will be labelling of the organic ingredients present.

"This is an excellent agreement which will help consumers to recognize organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying," the EU agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, said. Environmental groups sought even tougher standards."

Read the article

Monday, June 11, 2007

UK's Chicken Problem

"Organic chickens sold by leading supermarkets have been labelled a health threat by a damning investigation.

Researchers claim they are more likely to carry the deadly food poisoning bug campylobacter than factory farmed chicken.

As many as nine in ten of the organic chickens showed up positive for the bug.

And up to one in four carries a superbug version of campylobacter, which is particularly harmful to humans. "

Read the article

Save Your World Products Available at Whole Foods

"Save Your World(TM) ( announced today that Whole Foods Market , the world's leading natural and organic grocery store, has approved Save Your Skin(TM) exfoliating soaps, body lotions, and shower gels for sale in its Midwest stores.

"..The unique ingredients in Save Your Skin(TM) products, along with their unique rainforest preservation perspective, greatly complement the interests of the discerning Whole Foods Market customer," says Noelle Wagner, Midwest Regional Whole Body coordinator. "A company that shares our values, like Save Your World(TM), fits in perfectly in the Whole Foods Market culture."

Save Your Skin(TM) and Save Your Hair(TM) premium-quality brands are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and are handcrafted, paraben-free, and pH-balanced. Yerba Mate contains nearly all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life. Rich in vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B complex, carotene, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin C complex, it also contains fifteen different amino acids."

Read the article

Geesh, Whole Foods is in the news a lot lately!

UK Organic Shellfish Standards

"FARMED shellfish is about to be certified organic for the first time in the UK, the Soil Association announced today.

Consumers will soon see the familiar Soil Association organic logo on shellfish such as mussels, scallops, oysters and clams.

In response to increasing demand from shellfish growers, the Soil Association has developed an organic standard for the certification of bivalve shellfish production. Shellfish growers from Shetland to the Channel Isles wanted the organic standard as a guarantee to consumers of high quality. The Soil Association says it also wanted to recognise the inherently organic nature of farmed shellfish.

The Soil Association’s bivalve shellfish standard was considered by the Government’s Advisory Committee on Organic Standards (ACOS) last month - and was officially recognised by the Government (Defra) soon after. This gives the green light for certification to commence."

Read the article

Stonyfield Wants You to Take Action

"Stonyfield Farm and Environmental Defense today launched a petition drive to urge Congress to expand farmland stewardship and protection programs in the 2007 Farm Bill.

This month, a message printed on over eight million Stonyfield Farm yogurt lids will tell consumers: “In the time it takes to eat this yogurt, ten acres of farmland will be lost to development” and urge consumers to take action such as signing a petition to Congress seeking more funds for USDA programs that reward farmers when they help preserve open spaces and provide a healthier environment."

Read the article

Will Oxygen Lower Organic Prices?

"Researchers say they've found a new, inexpensive method of extending the shelf life of organic produce — a finding that could end up preventing needless waste and save consumers a few dollars in the process.

Edna Pesis, an agriculture researcher at the Volcani Center in Israel, said that putting apples in storage with low levels of oxygen for a week allows the fruit to be kept in cold storage for a longer period of time without causing any damage, according to the June issue of Chemistry & Industry magazine."

Read the article

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wild Oats to Cooperate with Whole Foods Troubles

"Wild Oats Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ: OATS) today was informed that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will file a lawsuit in Federal District Court to block Whole Foods Market, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: WFMI) proposed acquisition of the Company, and seek a temporary restraining order pending the Court's ruling on the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction.

"We continue to believe very strongly that this merger is in the best interest of all our constituents," said Greg Mays, Chairman and CEO of Wild Oats Markets."

Read the article


New Zealand Food Miles

"Two months ago, Tesco started putting an aircraft logo on all air-freighted food it sells. It believed it was responding to rising UK consumer concern about climate change.

But consumers have kept buying as much of the stuff as ever, it says. Some think the logo signals the food is fresh, not that it's damaging the environment."

Read the article

I Say Go All the Way

"The confusion about organic foods begins, for most people, in the produce department: Is that organic Granny Smith apple from Chile really worth 30 cents more than the one grown in Washington state? Is it healthier for my kids? Will buying it save a struggling family farmer? Will it help the planet?"

Read the article

The DEET Debate

"With summer almost here, camping gear is coming out of the basement, backyard barbeques are underway and everything fun to do outdoors is on the calendar. But along with summer fun comes the eternal party-crashers: bugs.

Although treating insect bites after they occur can be effective, if you're going to be in a heavily wooded area, sometimes prevention is the best medicine.

Usually, I'm a big fan of anything natural, organic or non-chemical. But when it comes to insects, I find the natural bug repellants just don't give enough protection. Citronella candles, citronella skin products and Burt's Bee's Insect Repellant smell and feel much better than regular insect repellant - but they are just not as effective as repellants with the chemical DEET.

DEET is a chemical found in bug sprays such as OFF and Deep Woods. Once applied to the skin it disrupts the insect's ability to detect carbon monoxide exiting the skin, which is how they find their prey for food."

Read the article

Pesticide Drifts

Larry Jacobs, the CEO of an organic culinary herb farm, was stunned to find out some of his crops were contaminated with pesticides in late 2006. His biggest problem was and still is that under law, there isn't much he can do about hazardous pesticide drifts from other farms:

"Last October, I received news that no organic farmer wants to hear: pesticides had been detected during a routine crop inspection. The pesticides were identified as organophosphates, some of the most toxic chemicals used on food crops. We immediately took steps to ensure the organic integrity of the product we send to market. Today, the source of contamination has been identified, but we are unable to stop ongoing pesticide drift under current law."

Read the article

It must be horrible to own an organic farm and have something like this happen. Trying to care for the earth rather than destroy it, but having your efforts wasted by others' carelessness.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Organic Sales Still Up in US

"U.S. sales of natural and organic products increased 9.7 percent last year across all channels, reaching $56.8 billion in total sales, according to The Natural Foods Merchandiser's 2007 Market Overview.

Natural and organic food sales at natural food stores were up 11.7 percent in 2006 fueled by strong sales in the fresh meat, seafood and beer and wine categories. Produce remains the largest category with sales of $3.3 billion, up 11.5 percent over 2005."

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It's funny because I see so many people buying conventional junk from the supermarket that I almost forgot how popular organics are.

GMOs and Food Allergies

Here's an article about GMOs and allergies. It's interesting so I thought I'd share it.

Will USDA Relax Organic Standards?

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering relaxing its standards for organic foods, it was reported Saturday.

The USDA is considering a list of 38 new non-organic ingredients that would be permitted in organic foods. Almost any type of manufactured organic food could be affected, including cereal, sausage, bread and beer, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday."

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I just thought I'd post this because I didn't realize that cereals and bread would also be in the line of danger. Stupid USDA!

Friday, June 8, 2007

First Video of Disgraced Organic Dairy in California

"A video eulogy to the controversial Vander Eyk Dairy, “A Eulogy Written on a Country Pasture,” was released today by Amanda Rose, Ph.D., neighbor of the Vander Eyk Dairy and author of forthcoming Rebuild from Depression, a book on food nutrients and depression.

The video includes images of the confined cows in the Pixley, California, dairy and young heifers on the 10,000 acres of pasture land belonging to the Vander Eyk family. The images are accompanied by the classical holiday favorite, Ave Maria.

“The pasture land appears to be empty today,” said Rose.

Organic dairy watchdog organization The Cornucopia Institute reported yesterday that organic certifier Quality Assurance International removed organic certification from the Vander Eyk Dairy in May."

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Whole Foods Needs New Marketing Technique in UK

"Whole Foods Market, the natural and organic supermarket that opened in London this week, should not impose its American retail template on the UK market or it will fail, according to a leading transatlantic brand expert.

Allyson Stewart-Allen, the founder of International Marketing Partners, which advises companies on business across cultures, says that British consumers are unlikely to take to "enthusiastic" American marketing claims."

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Troy to Get Trader Joe's?

"A Trader Joe's in downtown Troy? Developer Jeffrey Pfeil would like to see it, and so would some other people.

Pfeil has been unable to convince the upscale grocery chain that the Capital Region is a suitable market. But he is still trying to lure a small grocer to the Troy building he is redeveloping at Third and State streets."

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I don't see why they can't just put one there. I mean, I would LIVE in Trader Joe's if I could.

Ethical Shoppers in the UK

"The appetite for ethical shopping has reached a new high.

A report out today shows that consumer demand for organic and Fairtrade produce has soared, and the number of shoppers who recycle packaging has risen 11 per cent.

The research is released days after London's first organic food superstore, Whole Foods Market, opened in Kensington."

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Feed the Cows

"It comes as no surprise to anyone that the number of organic farms is booming to meet consumer demand for healthy food. In Washington, a state known more for its apples than any other crop, there are 45 organic dairies. Five years ago, there were just two.

The challenge has been feeding all of those cows.

Acreage of organic forage, such as hay and alfalfa, has grown 40 percent in the past two years, yet isn’t keeping pace with demand. In particular, high-protein crops like soybeans that are necessary feed for dairy cows are in short supply in some regions, forcing some companies to import them from as far away as China."

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

International Organic Conference

"Organic agriculture was practiced in 120 countries, representing 31 million hectares and a market of US $ 40 billion in 2006, FAO states in a paper on occasion of the international conference in Rome. The paper identifies the strong and weak points of organic agriculture regarding its contribution to food security."

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The Darkside of Organic

"Organic food remained on the fringe until the nineties when the “Alar scare” over a possible carcinogen used on apples led many consumers to seek out organic foods. This represented a much larger market: those more concerned about personal health than planetary health. This inevitably drew in large corporations as they realized the organic market was growing up to 20 percent a year.

Food writer Michael Pollan popularized the term “organic-industrial complex” to describe practices such as packing thousands of cattle into factory farms to produce “organic” milk and growing “organic” lettuce on 1,000-acre farms.

..Increasingly, organic produce is being shipped thousands of miles from Mexico, Central America — and possibly China in the future — as the Wal-Martization of organic food takes hold, pressuring prices and health, safety and labor standards downward. And it means adding to global warming by relying on a petro-economy to grow, process and transport organic food from around the world.

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Princeton Misses Wild Oats

"The signs were removed from the building's façade, replaced by a small note taped to the automatic entrance door which read: "May 31st is the last day. Wild Oats." Inside, the many bins where organic produce normally would sit were empty except for a lone basket containing garlic. Store shelves and coolers were half empty, too."

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When I first read this, I thought it had to do with the Whole Foods merger and I was a little upset, but it turns out it has to do with leasing.

Higher Prices? Reduced Quality? Fewer Choices?

"If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality and fewer choices for consumers," Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC's bureau of competition, said in a statement.

In its investigation, the FTC uncovered evidence that Whole Foods saw the deal as a way simply to eliminate its main rival in dozens of cities, lawyers close to the case said. The premium Whole Foods was willing to pay for Wild Oats and its plans to shutter many of those stores led investigators to suspect the deal would lead to higher prices for consumers, those close to the investigation said."

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London's New "Industrial" Supermarket

"Shoppers queued yesterday for the opening of the first Whole Foods Market store.

The 80,000sqft food palace in West London marks the start of what its bosses hope will be a retail revolution.

The firm has aggressive plans to open 40 similar stores in cities across Britain.

Bosses believe they are in a strong position to challenge the limited ranges, produced on an industrial scale, of the big supermarkets."

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GMO Benefits?

"Genetically modified cotton and maize with a built-in insecticide is better for the environment than conventional crops sprayed with insecticide, according to research that pulled together data from 42 different studies conducted across the world.

The researchers found that fields of GM crops had considerably more biodiversity because the insecticide in the plant is less harmful to "non-target" insect species. However, when compared with conventional plants that were not sprayed with insecticide, the GM varieties did have a slight detrimental effect on non-target insects."

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Stony, Yogurt on a Mission Launches in UK

"Stonyfield Farm, the U.S. brand that made its name with quality products and a unique social-environmental mission, has created a new European organic yogurt brand in its own image -- albeit funkier and more politically charged.

Stony, Yogurt on a Mission™, a brand with a healthy dose of humour and a little gang of cartoon activists called "Stonies' each with their own "mission of the day" includes organic yogurts, low-fat yogurt desserts and children's fromage frais products. It is the UK's first healthy planet brand, according to the company founder.

.."We surely will appeal to people's appetite for organic, delicious products, but we also want to engage their hearts and minds," says Hirshberg. "The health of our planet is too important to leave to scientists and politicians. We want our consumers, their families and friends, to learn more about healthy food and how they can help create a healthy planet, for all of us. Stony's message is one of hope - we can make this planet a better place."

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Everyone probably already knows how much I love Stonyfield. I'm glad people in the UK now have the chance to experience such great organic yogurt.