Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bull Represents New UK Organic Meat Company

"An organic meat supplier is getting bullish with the launch of a new brand.

Cambrian Organics unveiled its new brand, epitomised by a logo featuring a Welsh Black bull, at the Royal Welsh Show last week and announced plans to expand and seek new customers.

The business, which was founded by a group of farmers in 2001, has built itself up on supplying high-quality organic meat through mail order, farm shops, box schemes and small retailers."

Read the article

Certification Wins

"Due to the shortfall in legislation and regulation in the ever growing US organic and naturals market, manufacturers are increasingly looking to EU certification for product ranges.

According to market research analyst Organic Monitor, many US manufacturers are recognising that certification is one way in which to compete in the over saturated organic market - an area of the cosmetics industry that is fraught with confusion over regulation of what should be deemed 'organic'.

"With the absence of any major regulations and private standards for natural & organic cosmetics in the USA and Canada, North American companies are increasingly making products according to European standards," said Organic Monitor."

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Organic Salmon Available at Morrisons

"MORRISONS has become the first retailer to stock Freedom Food labelled salmon that is also certified organic, into 164 of its stores nationwide.

Organic Boned Scottish Salmon Fillet and Organic Smoked Salmon comes from farms that are assessed to strict RSPCA welfare standards."

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Organic Wins When Recalls Appear

"Product recalls are like a death knell for food companies.

But for a niche segment of the food industry, recalls aren’t a thing to be feared — in fact, they may even be cause for celebration.

Organic food companies often reap the benefit when the traditional, mainstream market is hit with a scandal over tainted food or contaminated products.

“Food scares are always good for the organic industry. You can look at that historically,” said Maryellen Molyneaux, president of the Natural Marketing Institute, after speaking at the annual Institute of Food Technologists conference this week."

Read the article

Monday, July 30, 2007

FDA to Examine GMOs

"This little piggy's manure causes less pollution. This little piggy produces extra milk. And this little piggy makes fatty acids normally found in fish, so eating its bacon might actually be good for you.

The three pigs, all now living in experimental farmyards, are among the genetically engineered animals whose meat might one day turn up on American dinner plates.

Bioengineers have also developed salmon that grow to market weight in about half the typical time, disease-resistant cows and catfish needing fewer antibiotics, and goats whose milk might help ward off infections.

Only now, though, do federal officials seem to be getting serious about drafting rules that would determine whether and how such products can safely enter the nation's food supply."

Read the article

Wild Oats Shares Rise

"Shares of Wild Oats Markets Inc., which operates a chain of organic and natural food stores, rose Monday, the day before the company must defend its deal to be bought out by Whole Foods Market Inc.

The deal has been lambasted by the Federal Trade Commission as being anticompetitive. The FTC has filed a complaint seeking to block the acquisition on antitrust grounds, saying Whole Foods (nasdaq: WFMI - news - people ) is attempting to stifle all competition in the natural and organic food sector."

Read the article

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Appeal of Organic Cocktails

"On a Monday night around 9 p.m., three young Brooklynites stopped at Counter, a vegetarian restaurant in New York City's East Village. Laughing and chatting, they sampled organic raspberries, poached pears, fresh pineapple and strawberries.

That this bounty was found not tableside but at the bar, where the restaurant's menu of organic cocktails has been steadily expanding, only heightened the appeal."

Read the article

Supermarket in South Jakarta Fills Organic Gap

"The term "organic" within a restaurant's name might be a little intimidating for passersby.

Co-owner of Healthy Choice restaurant Steven Lie explodes the myth that organic food is less tasty than other food.

"There is no difference in taste between nonorganic food and organic. The only difference is the latter is healthier to consume because the ingredients have not been sprayed with pesticides nor given a hormonal injection," he said.

Organic food should be free of sugar, pesticides, preservatives, chemicals, gluten, trans fats, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hormonal injections: everything-free except for the price.

Steven said that the plants and animals are raised minus the chemicals or pesticides.

The Healthy Choice in Kemang, South Jakarta, is a three-in-one hub. As you enter the place it is a supermarket where you can find everything from onions, garlic and carrots to maple syrup, plus a counter for bread."

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Opinion on Mackey's Alter Ego

"The federal government is busy investigating potential steroid use by professional baseball players, allegations of gambling by a basketball referee and an alleged dog-fighting ring tied to a star football quarterback.

So perhaps its investigation into Internet messages by the co-founder of an organic and natural foods chain seems tame.

Over eight years, Whole Foods Market Inc. CEO John Mackey made postings on Yahoo stock forums under a pseudonym in which he lambasted the competition while cheering his firm's accomplishments.

It's not like we believe everything posted on the Internet.

We wonder, for example, whether gushy postings about restaurants actually were posted by their owners hoping to drum up business."

Read the article

"Unproven Benefits" of Organic Food

"SHOPPERS are paying up to three times more for the unproven benefits of organic food, consumer regulator, Choice, says.

More research was required to determine if organic food was nutritionally better, Choice said.

Retailers, however, argue organic food has passed the test of consumers, who pay more for believing it has better taste, no chemical residue and is healthier than non-organic food.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said the regulator supported the development of a domestic standard and enforcement framework for organic goods. "Until this standard is introduced, buying properly certified organic produce should ensure you're getting what you pay for," Mr Zinn said.

Among Choice's value picks for organic food were tomatoes, apples and chickens but organic carrots and eggs did not rate as well."

Read the article

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wild Oats Says Prices Will Fall

"Wild Oats Markets Inc. says prices at its stores will fall if they are bought by rival Whole Foods Market Inc., and regulators shouldn‘t oppose the deal because it would be good for consumers.

But in a court filing Friday that echoed recent comments by Whole Foods, Wild Oats lawyers said the FTC had a faulty view of the market."

Read the article

GMO Corn in Maine

"After pleas from farmers on both sides of the issue, Maine’s Bureau of Pesticides Control on Friday approved the registration of corn that is genetically engineered with a natural pesticide. Maine is the last state in the country to allow the modified corn to be sold or grown.

While dairy farmers said they needed the greater-yielding corn to maintain a competitive edge, organic growers said they feared for the health of Maine’s residents."

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Wintu Tribe Grows Organic

"If she could see it, Gene Malone's grandmother would surely be proud of the large garden thriving in her former backyard, feeding her people and the public.

The Oasis Road vegetable garden stocks a Saturday morning farmers market, started last month by the Wintu Tribe of Northern California. At first, the market was meant to provide fresh vegetables for the tribe's approximately 435 members, as well as neighboring tribes and low-income residents. But it since has expanded to serve anyone interested in organic food, said Malone, a Wintu Tribe council member.

The garden, measuring about 75 feet by 25 feet, sits behind the former home of Malone's late grandparents, Lala and West Curl.

"It was one of the things she wanted, for it to be used by the tribe," Malone said. "She and my grandpa always had a garden."

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Representatives Support Organic Bill

"The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives today for its unprecedented support for organic farming in its version of the 2007 Farm Bill. OFRF worked to secure passage of several important provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill which are critical for increasing U.S. organic farming capacity, including additional funding for organic agriculture research, technical and financial assistance for farmers to transition to organic production, and an increase in funding for offsetting the costs of organic certification. While these gains are significant, they still fall short of the funding needed to ensure that organics get their fair share of Farm Bill dollars."

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Organic Valley Opens New Facility

"A Wisconsin-based organic cooperative is set to open a $17.5 million distribution center in Cashton today, a sign company officials say points to the move of organic products from a niche market to mainstream consumption.

The new Organic Valley distribution center — which consolidates several operations spread around the state — is spread over 80,000 square feet.

The facility also features an automated storage and retrieval system and will serve as the primary warehouse for distribution of the co-op's fluid milk products from the Midwest and national specialty products."

Read the article

Organic Answers

"The organic food issue sounds simple. You find out that 97 percent of ordinary peaches contain pesticide residues. So you think you'd better go organic.
Well, it turns out that the whole organic issue has many layers of complexity and that there are multiple choices and no easy and definitive answer."

Read the article

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pricer? Oh, Really?

"It's a seven-letter word you'll see in nearly every grocery store: organic.

Many people want to know what the word really means and wonder if there are any benefits in buying the natural foods.

..We went to a local grocery store to compare the price of organic and conventionally grown foods. At Publix we found a gallon of the store brand milk for $3.99 while a gallon of the store brand organic milk was $4.99."

Read the article

I'm getting tired of articles like this. In my opinion, the quality of food is much more important than quantity.

"Full Circle" Review

Here's a review of Stater Bros. line of organic and all natural products from Well Fed Network. Although Stater Bros. markets aren't in my area, I figured the reviews might be of use to their shoppers.

Organic Baby Clothes are Must-Have

"Award-winning children’s clothes designer and retailer, Vertbaudet, report that the popularity of their organic baby clothes range has exceeded expectations.

Available from www.vertbaudet.co.uk the range includes bodysuits, blouses, t-shirts, dresses, cardigans, and other clothes for baby girls and boys.

The new Autumn / Winter collection “Organic BB. Bio” has just been announced in the new catalogue, this is a mini-collection of modern and elegant organic baby clothes."

Read the article

Mr. Harvey is Back!

"After successfully reforming the organic certification process for dairy farms, Maine blueberry farmer Arthur Harvey is at it again. This time, Harvey is arguing against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) decision to allow products with up to 5 percent synthetic or non-organic materials to bear the organic label.

Arthur Harvey first made headlines in 2005 when he began filing motions for the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to make organic certification for dairy farmers slightly more difficult. His proposed changes were accepted, and conventional farmers throughout the country began scrambling to convert to organic before the "Harvey ruling" went into effect June 4, 2007 (see "Milk Supply Outpaces Demand," Sustainable Industries, July 2007)"

Read the article

Pray his efforts are successful!

The Fine Food Store Moves into Organic

"The Fine Food Store, one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK, recently established Internet presence and now expands product range offered for sale on its online store.

The Fine Food Store was established with the expertise and combined knowledge of over 25 years experience in retailing quality fine food products, and being one of the fastest growing online businesses in the UK, the company continually expands its product range for delicatessen food and gourmet food hampers to sustain the demand.

David Porter tells, "The Fine Food Store is designed for the increasing number of people who are looking to buy a better quality of foods, where the very best ingredients are always used, where possible all ingredients are natural, and quality is never compromised on cost."

Read the article

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Baked Ziti!

I'm really excited because my Amy's Kitchen Baked Ziti Kids Meal is cooking. It seems like they just came in at my local Whole Foods so I thought I would mention it for those of you who were eagerly anticipating these delicious looking meals.

(I should really write those darn reviews I've been promising since I opened this blog!)

Amy's food is such a huge part of my life. All I do is eat their burritos and soups and everything else I can get my hands on.. I am.. living the Amy's lifestyle!

Ireland to Receive Funds for Organic

"FARMERS in Ireland will be able to get almost €22,000 a year for going organic - even before they sell any crops.

The European Union yesterday approved a €6bn rural development plan for Ireland which provides special payments for environmentally friendly farming methods and to encourage more young farmers into the business. The scheme will also support farms in disadvantaged areas.

Larger farmers will be able to get up to €21,650 a year while they are converting their farms into organic status - a process which takes several years during which their crops cannot command the higher prices attached to organic food."

Read the article

Organic Support Programs in Scotland

"A dynamic project to encourage more people into organic horticulture will continue for another year thanks to a second phase of part-funding from Scotland Food and Drink in association with Scottish Enterprise [1].

As Soil Association Scotland publishes the results of the first year of its Organic Horticulture Support Programme today, the organic charity says the new funding will be used to further develop tailor-made workshops and resources [2]. These are aimed at helping Scottish growers meet an ever-increasing demand for locally produced, organic fruit and vegetables [3]."

Read the article

Do People Care About Ethically Produced Clothing?

"More shoppers are willing to pay more for organic food than they are to pay for ethically produced clothing.

New research carried out by OMD Snapshots on behalf of Utalkmarketing.com has found that in a poll of almost 800 consumers almost half (47.5 per cent) said they would be prepared to pay more for organically produced food.

However, less than a third (32.9 per cent) said they would be prepared to pay more for ethically produced clothing."

Read the article

Ethically produced clothing has always been one of my biggest concerns. I think both organic foods and ethical clothing are equally important and people should be more conscious of what they are buying and where it came from.

Review of Honest Kids

"Honest Kids Organic Thirst Quencher. Goodness Grapeness, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, and Tropical Tango Punch. 69 to 99 cents per 6.75-ounce pouch or $4.99 to $5.49 per 8-pouch multipack.

Bonnie: Honest Tea has a new line of organic, naturally fruit-flavored, lightly sweetened drinks for kids. Each contains less than half the sugar of most other pouched drinks, without the use of high-fructose corn syrup. I like that. I also like that these contain some juice (7 percent to 10 percent) and provide 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. But I still think they're a bit too sweet."

Read the article

Why Organic?

"The organic food and beverage market has been predicted to surpass $86bn (€62bn) by 2009, with consumers increasingly turning 'organic' in search of health and safety in their food products.

According to a new report by Global Industry Analysts, Organic Foods & Beverages: A global business report published this month, health and well-being is becoming increasingly prevalent on consumer priority lists, helping to spur a double-digit annual growth rate in the global organic food and beverage market.

"Recent outbreaks of food scares and heightened awareness of the health benefits of organically produced ingredients are thought to be behind the dramatic turn from unhealthy ingredients such as carbohydrates, fat, calories and hydrogenated oils, and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, among others," states the report."

Read the article

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ConAgra Buys Alexia Foods

"ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) announced today that it has acquired New York-based Alexia Foods Inc., a privately held natural food company. Alexia Foods represents the leading natural frozen potato brand(1) and markets all natural and organic appetizers and artisan breads. Alexia Foods premium brands align with ConAgra Foods strategy of optimizing its portfolio and delivering innovative products that support sustainable, profitable growth.

Established in 2002 by founder and chef Alex Dzieduszycki, the Alexia brand generates approximately $35 million in annual sales of products which are available at natural, gourmet, club, and grocery stores including: Whole Foods, Sam's Club, Costco, Super Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and other large retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Alexia Foods will continue to operate from its existing Long Island City, N.Y. offices under the leadership of Alex Dzieduszycki and current staff who will become ConAgra Foods employees."

Read the article

Organic Food = More Nutritious Breast Milk?

"A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that organic dairy and meat products in a mother’s diet positively affect the nutritional quality of her breast milk—markedly increasing beneficial fatty acids.

Specifically, a diet in which 90% or more of dairy and meat products are organic is correlated with measurably higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a type of fat that is believed to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic and immune-enhancing effects, as well as a favorable influence on body fat composition. For newborns specifically, CLA is believed to especially aid immune system development.

“These findings provide scientific support for common sense, by showing that organic foods are healthier,” says Dr. Lukas Rist, who is the lead author of the study and the head of research at the Paracelsus Hospital in Switzerland. The study involved 312 breastfeeding women with 1-month old infants from the Netherlands."

Read the article

The Many Methods of Organic Gardening

"Gardening is taking on a new look as more family's gardens are going organic.

But what about when it comes to the bugs?

"For pest control they're probably very good. For disease control they're probably not quite as effective," said nursery owner Walter Andersen.

Andersen says more and more, customers at his nursery are asking for organic solutions because people are concerned about chemicals and the effects it has on their kids and pets.

"There's always some other method you can use besides pesticides. They may not always be as effective but there are many different methods you can use," said San Diego County Entomologist Dr. David Kellum."

Read the article

Grilling Seasonings and Marinades from Simply Organic

"Simply Organic®, the all-organic brand of spices and seasonings from Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM), is adding four new Grilling Seasons® products to the line of popular organic grilling seasonings and marinades, three of which -- the Vegetable Seasoning and the Lemon Pepper and Garlic and Herb marinades -- are not currently offered in the natural channel. Seafood Seasoning rounds out the new grilling seasonings.

"Our ready-to-use shake-on seasonings and convenient 30-minute marinades meet the demands of today's time constrained consumer," says Kory Kazimour, Simply Organic brand manager, "but at the same time, our grilling blends beat the national competition on taste across the board."

Read the article

Monday, July 23, 2007

Peru Bans GMO Potatoes

"A region of Peru that is a center of potato diversity has banned genetically modified varieties of the tuber. The Cusco regional government's Order 010 - approved by majority vote on June 21 and made public today - is intended to protect the genetic diversity of thousands of native potato varieties.

The order forbids the sale, cultivation, use and transport of genetically modified potatoes as well as other native food crops."

Read the article

Does Your Sunscreen Work? Is it Safe?

"The Environmental Working Group claims its new study covering more than 700 sunscreen products currently retailing in the US market finds that most of the products fall short of manufacturer's claims or else contain potentially unsafe ingredients.

The study looked at name-brand sunscreens and worked towards a database that lists products, outlining the ones that offer the best combination of both safety and effectiveness.

According to the EWG this criteria takes into account sunscreens products that are deemed to have been formulated with 'safe' ingredients, as well as having the highest rate of protection against sunburn, preventing the effects of longer-term damage to the skin."

Read the article

$86 Billion by '09

"San Jose, CA (PRWEB) July 23, 2007 -- The global organic foods and beverages market is delivering strong double-digit annual growth as health and well-being moves up high on the consumer's priority list. Outbreak of recent food scares, rising awareness of the long-term health impact of pesticidal residues in food, unhealthy ingredients such as carbohydrates, fat, calories and hydrogenated oils, and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, among others, have all turned the spotlight on organic foods, which are today given the status of a health food. North America and Europe between them collar over 80% of the world market for organic foods and beverages.

United States is the largest market for organic foods and beverages in the world and is projected to reach sales of over US$43 billion by the year 2010, as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Asia-Pacific region with a CAGR of more than 28% is projected to be the fastest growing organic foods and beverages market. Organic foods are rapidly making inroads into the mainstream food channel and emerging as a global phenomenon. Consumers today increasingly perceive organic produce as healthy for consumption as against the hitherto non-organic supremacy. Organic produce market is the largest segment in the organic foods & beverages market and is projected to reach sales of US$33 billion by 2010. In addition to health, concern for the environment is also driving a sect of consumers towards adopting an organic dietary regime. The non-dairy organic beverages market is also rising due to increased demand for organic juices and drinks. Non-dairy organic beverages market is set to witness the fastest growth of more than 18.5% during the ten-year analysis period."

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Clif Wine

"Clif Bars are a staple part of any backpacking trip I've ever been on.

These chewy energy bars, in my opinion, are the best on the market--they are neither too much like cookies nor too much like paste. They've got great flavors such as Cool Mint Chocolate, Peanut Toffee Buzz, Crunchy Peanut butter and they are all packed with carbohydrates, protein, and fiber to increase blood sugar levels and boost energy.

The family owned business, which has done quite well providing outdoorsmen with all the healthy nutrients they need, are now branching out to a product with entirely different benefits: wine."

Read the article

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Where-It-Came-From Debate Continues..

"That loaf of Sara Lee bread on the grocery shelf in San Jose was made with flour from U.S. wheat. But the Illinois-based food giant uses honey and vitamin supplements from China.

While Paul Newman's daughter uses California figs in cookies made by her Aptos organic food company, she turns to Mexico and Austria for other ingredients.

And even though a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman described Crest toothpaste "as a truly American product," it uses additives from China and Finland."

Read the article

Filling the Organic Niche

"Farmers farm. Marketers market.

In the case of some Amish and Mennonite farmers in southeast Iowa and the marketing firm Kalona Organics, the twain shall meet to bridge the gap between producers and urban consumers.

Organic food has been the most rapidly growing sector in the food industry for several years, and demand for local foods, organic and otherwise, also is on the rise.

Bill Evans, 46, founded Kalona Organics in 2005 to fill that niche with the milk, eggs and vegetables produced by his farmer-neighbors in southeast Iowa."

Read the article

Saturday, July 21, 2007

An Organic Future

"After preaching about organic farming for 34 years, a local nonprofit celebrated the fruits of its labor Friday.

California Certified Organic Farmers hosted a "housewarming" party, with organic wine and ale, naturally, in the parking lot at its new larger quarters at 2155 Delaware Ave. The nonprofit, formed in 1973 by 54 growers paying $25 in dues, now certifies more than 1,600 organic farmers, processors and retailers and more than 350,000 acres.

Sentinel staff writer Jondi Gumz asked those at the event about the future of organics.

Peggy Miers, executive director of California Certified Organic Farmers: "There's explosive growth and no end in sight. We've experienced 25 percent growth in the last year, which is why we moved. Organics are only 3 percent of the market now — all I see is opportunity for the future."

Read the article

China's Organic Troubles

"Some farmers in China are taking advantage of confusing rules to falsely label food

The word "wholesome" doesn't exactly spring to mind when describing Chinese exports these days. But for years now, Chinese farmers have fed soaring global demand for organic foods."

Read the article

Organic Logo Launched in Canada

"The federal government unveiled a new Canada Organic logo in Barrie, Ont. Saturday. The logo will show consumers which products have been tested and certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The stamp of approval will only be displayed on food that meets Canada's standards, including:

* the use of natural fertilizers in production;
* animals raised in conditions that mimic nature as much as possible; and
* products that contain at least 95 per cent organic ingredients."

Read the article

Friday, July 20, 2007

Who Owns Organic?

Which major companies are involved in organics these days? The Cornucopia Institute breaks it down for us in a section called Who Owns Organic. I thought I would post a link since it is definitely of interest.

Terressentials: The First Full Body Organic Line

"Terressentials of Middletown MD reports that USDA Organic Certification has been awarded for their premium artisan-crafted organic body care products, making them the first authentically certified full-line personal care products company in the world. The USDA Organic seal will appear on more than three dozen different products crafted by Terressentials, from USDA 100% Organic Lip Protectors and Facial Toners to the sought after "Organic Flower Therapy Silken Velvet Body Lotion." The line includes two dozen USDA 100% Organic skin care products, a rarely-achieved level of organic purity. "There are too many products for all of them to fit on the organic certificate," noted Deanna Baldwin of the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Organic Program."

Read the article

Organic Valley Sponsors Fair

"Community members, farmers, musicians, artisans and people across the Midwest will celebrate farming and America’s rural heritage at the fourth annual Kickapoo Country Fair, Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, at Organic Valley’s headquarters in La Farge.

The weekend-long festival — sponsored by the Organic Valley Family of Farms and more than 35 local businesses and organizations — showcases rural cultural traditions, farm and garden exhibits, music, dance, arts, natural and organic foods and cooking, green housing and renewable energy, community health and education and environmental responsibility."

Read the article

Are Imported Foods More Energy Efficient?

"FOR the conscientious, food shopping now poses yet another ethical dilemma: is it really better to buy locally rather than shipping fruit and vegetables around the globe?

A conference of experts yesterday heard that importing food from the other side of the world can actually be more energy-efficient than buying British produce and helps developing countries tackle poverty.

The debate threatens to split the organic movement and could leave ordinary shoppers confused as to what to do for the best. It also comes as the Scottish Conservatives launch a "buy local, eat local" campaign to support farmers and reduce food miles - the distance travelled from suppliers to supermarkets."

Read the article

Emmy's Turn Green

"Will green be the new black at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards?

Fox, which will air the awards show live Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. ET, has pledged to reduce the show’s "carbon footprint."

"We were inspired by Fox's commitment to the environment and we’re eager to partner with them to make this year's Emmy events more eco-friendly and carbon-neutral," said Dick Askin, Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy. "We are looking at every aspect of our Emmy season – from nominations to the Governors Ball – and making changes that will reduce our impact on the environment."

Read the article

Whole Foods Offer Extended AGAIN

"Whole Foods Market Inc. has extended the expiration date of its offer to buy competitor Wild Oats Markets Inc. to Aug. 10.

The original deadline was set for July 20.

The Austin-based company's proposed $565 million purchase of Wild Oats has been sidelined by a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit seeking to block the deal and controversy surrounding Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's anonymous online postings about the buyout plan.

As of July 19, holders of Wild Oats stock had tendered about 17 million shares, roughly 57.1 percent of the total amount outstanding as of April 27, Whole Foods Market says."

Read the article

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Antibiotic Fight

"THE Soil Association and the NFU have clashed over the findings of a Government report into anti-microbial resistance in humans and farmed animals.

The organic body accused the Government of ‘misleading’ the public about the ‘excessive use of antibiotics’ on farms in the report.

But the NFU hit back accusing the Soil Association of ‘scaremongering’ and using selective and outdated data to back its own agenda.

The document has brought together data from Defra, the Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency and other Government agencies to provide the first ‘overarching report’ on bacterial resistance to chemicals and antibiotics in farm animals, humans and food."

Read the article

Indiana Restaurant Chooses Organic When Possible

"The food is changing at Paynes Custard and Coffee, but in a natural way.

Owners Stephen and Jennifer Payne have decided to bring their eating habits to their home away from home.

Starting July 1, the restaurant and coffee shop added some organic ingredients to its eats."

Read the article

All restaurants should be like that!

FTC has Right to Block Merger

"In a high-profile exchange with Michael Pollan last summer, Whole Foods Market CEO and founder John Mackey took an avuncular approach to farmers' markets that might take business from his company.

"Whole Foods Market is committed to supporting local farmers' markets across the United States (and also in Canada and the U.K.)," he wrote.

Elsewhere, the executive has displayed a zeal to crush competition that might make his counterparts at Microsoft blush. Last spring, Mackey sent a blunt email to the Whole Foods board, explaining his intention to buy Wild Oats -- Whole Foods' only direct nationwide competitor -- for a price well above what many analysts thought Wild Oats was worth.

By taking over Wild Oats, he argued, Whole Foods would not merely be snapping up 110 fully functioning natural-foods stores across the nation. Grabbing Wild Oats would also buy Whole Foods the power to "avoid nasty price wars" in several markets, as well as "eliminate forever" the threat of a major nationwide competitor in the natural-foods space."

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Son Takes Control of Father's Organic Farm

"Five hours since he rose from bed and walked the 47-acre acre farm to see what needs to be done, Patrick Meyer is giving directions to three farmhands who are picking Italian kale and pulling radishes.

It's only 9:30 a.m. at Stoney Plains Organic Farm, but it's unseasonably warm and Meyer tells the workers to quickly get the goods washed in icy well water and then packed in a cooler for the next day's 78-mile trip to Pike Place Market.

In 24 hours the vegetables, along with 30 more products, will have gone from the dark, mineral-rich rocky ground outside this small, working-class community to Stoney Plains' covered booth across from Beecher's Handmade Cheese in the Seattle landmark."

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Feed Me!

"Nature's Big Bud Worm Castings, Inc. (www.naturesbigbud.com) has delivered a new gardening product to the marketplace: Nature's Big Bud Liquid Worm Castings, Premium 100% Organic Liquid Plant Food. This unique organic gardening item is now available in nurseries in the Southern California area and is soon to be distributed in Arizona and throughout the Midwest.

As the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides becomes less attractive to a growing number of 'green' minded gardeners, they are seeking alternative ways to grow plants which will produce excellent results without damaging the environment. Liquid worm castings (worm 'tea') are one of those ways - safe and effective yet non-polluting."

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Libby's Organic Becomes Growers Direct Organic

"Libby's Organic orange and apple juice has relaunched under a new brand identity, Growers Direct Organic, to create a stronger brand proposition for consumers in the ambient organic juice arena.

The Growers Direct Organic brand is an exciting opportunity to re-present Libby’s high quality offering as a stand-alone organic brand with a consistent identity focused on the natural organic provenance of the juice and family wholesomeness."

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Organic to Go Opens New Locations in LA

"Organic To Go (OTC: OTGO), the nation’s first fast casual cafe to be certified as an organic retailer, is opening two new locations here to satisfy busy, hungry eaters looking for healthy options during the work week. The Warner Gateway cafe at 21820 Burbank Boulevard opened on July 16, and just a half mile away the Warner Center Cafe in the LNR Warner Center Food Court at 5780 Canoga Avenue #C will open on July 25. Organic To Go offers catering, delivery and grab-and-go options in addition to its sit-down cafes.

Swiftly growing Woodland Hills, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, is an ideal spot for Organic To Go, which offers convenient organic and natural food to time-pressed office workers and families. The cafes are intentionally situated among numerous office buildings. Approximately 125,000 people work within a three-mile radius of the cafes. The San Fernando Valley, located just north and west of downtown Los Angeles, boasts a population of 1.74 million people and an average commute time of 29 minutes. Organic To Go believes these commuters deserve tasty and healthy food served up in an accessible way: quick, on site at the cafes or delivered to office or home. No other food service chain in the U.S. is offering this dual approach to organic convenience."

Read the article

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Organic Jam Wins Fancy Food Show Organic Category

"Colorado's contingent of gourmet food producers is home from the 53rd Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, and one member brought back the gold.

Brian Olesen's Organic Strawberry Colorado Mountain Jam was the first winner in the show's new USDA-approved organic product category. The 5-year-old Palisade company beat entries from such well-established firms as Oregon-based Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods and FoodMatch Inc., which imports olives and other foods from the Mediterranean."

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Organic So Sweet

"As more consumers become concerned about healthy eating and helping poor overseas farmers, they are increasingly reaching for organic and fair-trade foods.

Shoppers can now add organic and fair-trade sugar to their organic and certified free-trade coffee thanks to Sugar Land-based Wholesome Sweeteners.

The company works with sugar farm cooperatives in Paraguay, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Malawi and Mauritius.

This year, it is expected to earn $55 million in sales of sugar, molasses, blue agave sweeteners and other products that are organic or fair-trade certified, or both."

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Mackey Apologizes

"John Mackey, chief executive and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, apologised on Tuesday for anonymously posting comments about the natural and organic food retailer and its main rival on an internet message board.

"I sincerely apologise to all Whole Foods Market stakeholders for my error in judgment in anonymously participating on online financial message boards," Mr Mackey said in a statement on the company's website. "I am very sorry and I ask our stakeholders to please forgive me."

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Whole Foods Says "This Is Not A Plastic Bag"

"The organic grocery store Whole Foods introduced $15 reusable bags on Wednesday on the East Coast.

Plenty of people picked them up and the bags are already sold out."

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Organic Still too Expensive for Many in India

"The organic farm production is increasing every year to meet rising export demand, but has found little favour with local consumers as costs continue to be high, officials and retailers said. Organic farming is a set of simple practices without the use of chemicals and ensures healthy food is produced without harming the environment.

“There is great demand from exporters but in India people still do not prefer it because it comes expensive,” HR Jai Ram, who owns Era Organics, a certified retail outlet in Bangalore, said. Organic farming is becoming popular with Indian farmers and certified area under cultivation has risen 40% in 2006/07 from 2.5 million hectares a year earlier. Production in 2005/06 was 0.29 million tonne and is seen rising more than 20% in 2006/07."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Green Consumers Speak Out

"There are many perspectives about whether the Internet is dividing us or uniting people and communities.

Food activists tend to fall on the side of community building.

"It used to take days or even weeks to get the word out about an issue or rally," one organic food activist told me several years ago. "Our new weapon is e-mail. We can mobilize people in hours now. It's powerful -- and, believe me, we need it."

That activist, Chicago based Jim Slama, and his green public relations and marketing firm, Sustain (sustainusa.org), were central figures in convincing U.S. consumers to send more than 275,000 e-mails and postings to the Department of Agriculture in 2000 to take exception to the proposed National Organic Standards."

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Dean Foods Gets Sued

"A group of small dairy farmers in the southeast U.S. have filed a lawsuit against Dean Foods Co., the largest milk distributor in the country, accusing the company of price fixing.

Dean, based in Dallas, owns Nashville-based Purity Dairies and Horizon Organic, the largest organic milk producer in the United States. The 16 farmers, including eight from Tennessee, claim Dean used its influence and multistate network of milk cooperatives to run a monopoly."

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That Girl's Weave is Organic!

"We’ve all seen the trend in organic food but organic hair weave? Welcome to the latest trend in hair products.

Kaneka Corporation of New York are actively pushing their new Ultima Natural Protein Hair in the black marketplace. The hair weave is totally organic and marketed for extensions and braiding."

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United Natural Foods Plans New Facility in Sarasota

"United Natural Foods Inc. is planning to open a 352,000-square-foot distribution center in Sarasota.

The new facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007, will create 150 new jobs the first year and 250 jobs within three years, the company said in a release."

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ITC Foods Introduces Organic Spices

"ITC Foods today announced its foray into the branded organic spices segment.

Initial offerings comprise chilli, turmeric and coriander powders under the Aashirvaad Select Organic Spices range, ITC Ltd Divisional Chief Executive (Foods Division) Ravi Naware told reporters here."

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New York and New Jersey: Organics to Your Door

"Organic food is the new buzzword among people concerned about health and the environment. And, a newly launched web site, OrganicDirect.com, makes eating better easier than ever while promoting consumer consciousness. OrganicDirect delivers organic, vegan, and healthy food right to the customer's front door.

Their online shopping and delivery service supplies New York and New Jersey with certified organic groceries, herbicide-free fruits and vegetables, natural baby foods, prepared meals, and more."

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Attacks on Organic by Biotech Lovers

"Recent attacks on the organic food industry are about discrediting it to soften up the public to accept genetically modified (GM) crops, Dr Maggie Lilith of the Conservation Council of WA and the Say No to GMO campaign told Green Left Weekly.

"The spate of recent claims that organic food is riskier and linked to health scares seems to have come from proponents of GM and those with a vested interest", said Lilith, who is also a member of the Fremantle Organic Growers Association. "The claims about the safety of organic foods are unfounded and aim to spread misinformation to the public."

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Label Your Skincare

"It happened with milk, produce and clothing. Now the debate about organics is hitting cosmetics, too.

Some of the biggest names in skin-care are jumping into the organic market, which until recently was a niche product for specialty stores. Estée Lauder, for instance, has nine products in its new Origins Organics line. L'Occitane en Provence and fashion designer Stella McCartney are also expanding into organics."

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kenya Upset over Food Miles

"In floppy hats and gumboots, Kenya's Kikuyu farmers are preparing for war with Britain. There isn't an AK-47 in sight, though there are plenty of organic cucumbers, carrots, French beans and cauliflowers.

It's a battle over who is to blame for climate change - poor African farmers who export their produce by air, or Western consumers who care about the environmental impact of 'food miles'."

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All about Organic Clothing

"For Teresa Lamb, the commitment to green living began on a small scale. She bought organic food at a store near the doctor's office where she works.

Then she went looking for organic cotton underwear and came upon a small boutique called It's Only Natural in Kansas City, Mo. The only apparel sold there is in Earth-sustaining materials including organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and Tencel, a fabric made from wood pulp."

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Visiting The Organic Café

"The Organic Café sits prominently in the Maroochydore CBD on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, offering indoor and alfresco dining for breakfast and lunch seven days a week. With its comprehensive menu offering a large variety of delicious and creative dishes made from certified organic produce, I knew I was onto a winner when I visited the café recently."

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Organic Farming Big in the Philippines

"PALIMBANG, Sultan Kudarat -- Organic farming method has swept hundreds of farmers off their feet in this coastal town notoriously known in the past decades for its erratic peace and order condition.

Situated at the southwest portion of Central Mindanao region, Palimbang is the dead end of all roads in the area since going further to other destinations has to be accessed using the waters of Celebes Sea."

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

The First Organic Rose

"The rose's fragrance is legendary but it's disappointingly rare in commercially grown flowers.

Except in the eco-friendly flower market, that is. Enter a bloom called Vitality, now being sold by the San Francisco-based online florist OrganicBouquet .com, which says this rose is the world's first certified-organic fragrant rose for commercial distribution."

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Recall: Organic Gerber Product May Be Potential Choking Hazard

"Gerber Products Co. has issued a recall on all packages of its organic rice and organic oatmeal cereals. The recall was announced Friday, and was issued because of the potential clumping of the baby food, which can pose a choking hazard to infants.

Gerber reports that they have received complaints of choking, but contends that there have not been any fatalities. We commend them for taking the appropriate steps to recall the products before any serious injuries resulted."

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Five Pounds of Chemicals Every Year for Us Girls

"Women who use make-up on a daily basis can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into their bodies each year.

Some of the compounds present in make-up have been linked to side effects ranging from skin irritation to cancer.

One class of cosmetic chemicals which could be dangerous are parabens. Traces of parabens have been found in breast tumor samples."

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School Lunches Need to Go Green

"PRACTICAL food education and sourcing local and organic food could help reverse the decline in school meal take-up, the NFU and Soil Association have said this week.

It comes after the Local Authorities Catering Association reported a 20 per cent decrease in the number of children eating meals at school.

Just four in 10 secondary school children now eat a school-cooked meal – believed to be the lowest level since school meals were introduced in the 1940s."

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Half-Gallons of Heavy Cream from Organic Valley

"Have a half of heavy: Organic Valley today is announcing it has begun offering its highly popular Heavy Whipping Cream in half-gallon, 64-ounce cartons.

Coming from the milk of pastured cows on family farms, Organic Valley cream is a favorite of many chefs. Some research has shown that milk from pastured animals has higher levels of Conjugated Lineolic Acid (CLA) and Omega-3 fatty acids.

By using a special flash heating and cooling technology, the ultra-pasteurized Heavy Whipping Cream can stay fresh up to three times longer than other creams. The regionally and locally produced cream already is available in quarts and pints."

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"China Free" Supplements?

"Frank Davis is proud that his company's whole food products, made with organically grown U.S. ingredients, are not only safe, but does a body good.

And he's ready to draw that distinction against imported foods from one country in particular, preparing to roll out a "China-Free" label to show consumers none of its ingredients come from the communist state.

The company sells whole food nutritional supplements for consumers and their pets. It also sells one-year emergency food supply and 144-hour emergency supply packages."

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Group Against Organic Seafood Labelling

"Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are trying to prevent use of the word "organic" on seafood product labels in the United States, filing a complaint and legal petition Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The complaint and petition filed by Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety, and Food and Water Watch are aimed at preventing use of the word "organic" on seafood products until the United States adopts rules governing what can be called organic seafood."

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Good Morning, Organic

"This year the Soil Association is asking everyone across the country to ‘Wake up to an Organic Breakfast’ to celebrate this nationwide organic awareness campaign. Hundreds of organic breakfast themed events will take place on farms and high streets, in cafes, hotels, restaurants, schools and clubs, to promote the health, taste, environmental, farming and animal welfare benefits of organic to the nation.

Organic Taste Experience, organised by the Soil Association and Jumping Jack Marketing, will enable thousands of people to taste delicious, top quality, organic food from a travelling sampling bus. To check out Soil Association Organic Fortnight events near you, go to http://www.soilassociation.org/organicfortnight."

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Promoting Organic in Lucknow

"In a significant initiative to discuss, share and promote assimilated approach towards sustainable agricultural practices, using information on latest research and technologies, Uttar Pradesh Council of Agricultural Research (UPCAR), Lucknow, in association with National Centre for Organic Farming, Ghaziabad, is all set to organise a national seminar on “Organic Agriculture: Hope of Posterity” in Lucknow.

“In view of the rapidly changing global climatic conditions resulting from abundant use of chemicals and synthetics, the importance of adopting strategies to provide nutritious food to the masses but also to save the fast depleting natural resources for the posterity, cannot be emphasised more,” said Chandrika Prasad, director general, Uttar Pradesh Council of Agricultural Research (UPCAR)."

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Antibiotics and the Environment

"It is estimated that between 9 and 13 million kilograms of antibiotics are used annually in the United States for raising livestock, with the majority being used for growth advancement and disease prevention purposes. Large amounts of antibiotics fed to livestock are excreted and end up in animal manure, which is commonly applied to agricultural land to provide crop nutrients. Therefore, food crops grown on manure-altered soils are exposed to antibiotics.

Large amounts of antibiotics fed to livestock are excreted and end up in animal manure, which is commonly applied to agricultural land to provide crop nutrients.

Scientists at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating the impact of antibiotic feeding in livestock production on the environment. This particular study, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), evaluated whether food crops accumulate antibiotics from soils spread with manure that contains antibiotics."

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New Chemicals Showing Up Everywhere

"Pesticides and fragrances are accumulating in people and Arctic land animals, part of a class of thousands of chemicals that need to be assessed for the potential to collect in the food chain, a study said.

Risk assessments currently look for chemical accumulations in fish. That misses substances that people and land animals retain and fish remove by breathing in water, according to a study by researchers at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

About one-third of the 12,000 organic chemicals in production fall into this category, constituting a previously unidentified class of potentially bio-accumulative substances, according to the journal Science, where the paper will be published tomorrow. New regulatory assessments are needed to prevent harm to the ecosystem and humans, the study said."

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John Mackey's Alter Ego Exposed

"John Mackey, a co-founder of Whole Foods Market, has never lacked for personality.

He is a self-described vegan and libertarian who pays himself $1 a year as chairman and chief executive and maintains a blog on the company Web site where the posts are occasionally barbed.

As it turns out, that was only the half of it. For seven years, Mackey had an online alter ego.

Using the pseudonym Rahodeb, a variation of Deborah, his wife's name, Mackey typed out more than 1,100 entries on Yahoo Finance's bulletin board over a seven-year period, championing his company's stock and occasionally blasting a rival, Wild Oats Markets. The story was first disclosed on The Wall Street Journal Web site Wednesday night.

Responding to a posting on March 28, 2006, Rahodeb wrote: "OATS has lost their way and no longer has a sense of mission or even a well-thought-out theory of the business. They lack a viable business model that they can replicate. They are floundering around hoping to find a viable strategy that may stop their erosion. Problem is that they lack the time and the capital now."

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Next YoBaby

"Some posed with stuff animals. Others wore bunny ears, Halloween outfits or - gasp! - nothing at all.

Entrants in the first Stonyfield Farm YoBaby Cover Contest in 2005 were all pretty darned cute, so YoBaby is once again searching the nation for a baby and toddler who may appear on its organic yogurt packaging in the months to come.

Partnering with Stonyfield Farm, the world's leading organic yogurt maker, is The Picture People, family portrait experts with 175 locations in malls nationwide.

The YoBaby Cover Baby Contest will include two grand prize winners: a baby, age 6-12 months, and a toddler, 13-24 months. Winners will receive a $5,000 US Savings Bond, a childhood of portraits from The Picture People, and an all-expense paid trip - parents in tow, of course - to San Francisco for a professional photo shoot."

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New Sliced Cheeses from Organic Valley

"Organic Valley today announced it has extended its line of certified organic sliced cheeses with a new offering of Provolone, Baby Swiss and Muenster cheese varieties sliced in 6-ounce packages. The new SKUs are additions to the product line that currently includes Mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack.

The first brand in the nation to offer organic cheese, Organic Valley already offers its Provolone, Baby Swiss and Muenster cheeses un-sliced in 8-ounce packages."

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Lower Level of Sulfites in Organic Wines

"Some people salivate when they see "organic" as they are shopping at a store. Others roll their eyes.

But for those asking which wines have low sulfites, organic wines tend to have lower sulfite content than most others. Sulfites result from many aspects of the wine-making process, but organic wines can be your best bets because they contain only naturally occurring sulfites."

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Burton's Foods Introduces Organic Biscuits

"Burton's Foods today announced the launch of its first organic biscuit range, The Edinburgh Bakery.

The launch is a significant strategic development for Burton’s Foods that extends its bakery heritage into the growing organic market.

With over two thirds of consumers preferring ‘foods that are natural’, there is an increasing trend towards organics and naturally healthy ingredients, stemming from a need for a reassurance of food origins.

The organic biscuit market has seen sizeable growth of 20% over the last three years, with over one in ten households now consuming organic biscuits. The Edinburgh Bakery range is set to encourage more consumers to buy into organics by using complimentary flavours and premium ingredients."

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Clearly Canadian Acquires My Organic Baby

"CLEARLY CANADIAN (OTCBB:CCBEF) (the "Company") is pleased to announce that its recently acquired My Organic Baby food line has been listed as the only baby food to be sold in all 68 Canadian outlets of Babies "R" Us, a division of Toys "R" Us. This listing continues a trend of major Canadian retail listings for the brand which now includes Loblaws, Canada's largest supermarket chain, Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada's largest drug store chain, Whole Foods, Highland Farms and Capers. With other recent grocery chain listings in Western Canada adding nearly 100 stores that carry My Organic Baby product, the brand is trending well towards our goal of placing it in over 1,600 retail stores within the next 12 months."

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Organic Debate Reheats Over Tomato Findings

"In the left corner, the organic-is-better-for-you group is waving aloft a fertilizer-free tomato. And in the right corner, the it-ain't-necessarily-so lobby is touting a bottle of tomato ketchup.

New findings based on work at the University of California-Davis and the University of Minnesota published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have reignited the organic-versus-conventional produce fisticuffs show."

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The Six Steps

You know how the USDA is giving consumers a period to comment on the new laws that would allow ridiculous things in organic food? Well some people are having trouble commenting so The Daily Green has broken the process down into six steps:

"1. Visit www.regulations.gov and enable your Web browser so that it allows pop-up windows from www.regulations.gov.

2. Under the heading, “Submit Comments,” click “All Documents Open for Public Comment.”

3. Scroll down, or search with the page, for Docket ID “AMS-TM-07-0062″ in the left-hand column. The title of the proposed rule is “National Organic Program (NOP) Amendments to the National List of Allowed And Prohibited Substances.”

4. To comment, click on the yellow cartoonish bubble icon in the right-most column (To read the rule, click on the document icons to the left of the bubble icon.)

5. Fill out the fields with your personal information and comment, and then hit “Next Step” at the bottom right-hand side of the screen.

6. Preview your comment, change or print it if desired, and then hit “Submit.”

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Rachel's Organic Fined

"Rachel's Organic, in Aberystwyth, has been fined £3,250 and ordered to pay costs of £2,673 after a worker was hit by a forklift truck and broke a leg.

The dairy company admitted a charge under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

It said it had taken steps to "tighten the practices in this area".

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

China Has New Organic Strategy

"China Organic Agriculture, Inc. (OTCBB:CNOA), a growth-driven agricultural and products company leading China's organic foods revolution, has announced its Strategic Initiatives for fiscal 2007 and beyond. This announcement was made by Jian Lin, Chief Executive Officer of China Organic Agriculture.

To view a multimedia presentation on China Organic Agriculture, please click here: http://www.trilogy-capital.com/content/cnoa/video/cnoa_intro.html.

China Organic has set forth a solid, high-growth business model to continue to make a significant impact in the fast-growing market for organic foods in China. The Company is firmly committed to expanding operations and increasing our profits and has already set in motion several initiatives to expand capacity and extend our reach into other booming economies in Asia. The Company’s three-part, highly-focused plan consists of:

1. Significantly driving shareholder value through a high-margin, high-growth business model that capitalizes on China’s burgeoning $13 billion market for organic foods

2. Expanding market share by gaining new partnerships with major supermarket retail partners in China and other emerging economies in Asia

3. Continue to expand agricultural production capacity and maximize output to meet increasing demand for the highest quality organic rice products"

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Feed the World with Organic

"Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same amount of land—according to new findings which refute the long-standing assumption that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that in developed countries, yields were almost equal on organic and conventional farms. In developing countries, food production could double or triple using organic methods, said Ivette Perfecto, professor at U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and one the study's principal investigators. Catherine Badgley, research scientist in the Museum of Paleontology, is a co-author of the paper along with several current and former graduate and undergraduate students from U-M."

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Organic Farming Ain't Easy

"The organic food industry brings in more than 14-billion dollars a year. However, it only accounts for two percent of the US food supply. As perceptions change about organics going from odd-shaped vegetables and not so appetizing tomatoes to shiny apples, more people are turning to organic foods.

However, organic farming is more difficult than conventional farming. News 13 met a local farmer who truly believes in the principles of organic farming.

For Sam Bellamy farming is a family business. In its sixth generation, Indigo Farms in Brunswick County, NC is proud to return at least part of its land to a traditional form of farming.

Bellamy said organic farming is not easy. “It's about finding a better way it really is,” said Bellamy. “You can do things, but I think you should always be trying to do something better and find a better way to do things."

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Monday, July 9, 2007

New from Choice Organic Teas

"To help beat the heat of summer, Choice Organic Teas introduces three delicious, organic and Fair Trade Certified™ iced teas for foodservice. Organic Black Iced Tea, Organic Mango Ceylon Iced Tea and Organic Moroccan Mint Green Iced Tea are available in cases of 30 pre-portioned 3-ounce packets, which yield 3 gallons of freshly steeped tea when used in an automatic iced tea brewer. These products will debut at the National Association of College and University Food Service's Annual Conference in Seattle on July 12 - 13, 2007. For samples and information on these new iced tea products, stop by booth 144."

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An Interview with John Mackey

"Whole Foods' (Charts, Fortune 500) $5.6 billion in sales make it the largest purveyor of organic and natural food. Its planned acquisition of Wild Oats (Charts) would make it even bigger, but the government wants to halt the deal. The 53-year-old founder and CEO answers your questions about the merger as well as some from Fortune's Matthew Boyle.

Do you feel singled out by the [Federal Trade Commission's] attempt to block the Wild Oats merger? - Name withheld, Orlando

Look at the track record of the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] in the last six years. They have approved 96 oil and gas mergers. They approved Smithfield buying the No. 2 pork producer, giving them around 30% market share in the U.S. [In 1999] they approved Exxon and Mobil merging. It's ludicrous to single [us] out for anticompetitive reasons. [The rules] are obviously being selectively enforced."

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Where to Eat Organic in UK

"Popular UK-based travel website i-escape.com picks its top five places for organic food.

1.) Milia, Crete, Greece

At this beautifully restored hamlet hidden in a fold of Crete's White Mountains, everything you eat has been grown or reared on their fields – most of it organically. They make their own jams and raki (grappa), raise pigs and hens, harvest local chestnuts, oranges and arbutus, and use fragrant wild herbs and extra-virgin oil. The ebullient local chef creates magical recipes, served on the terrace or by a blazing fire in the cosy dining room."

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Organic AND Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce

"Enjoyed by the British since the reign of Queen Victoria, Worcestershire Sauce is surely one of our more versatile and well-loved “secret ingredients”. So when Geo Organics decided to produce a version that is not only organic but vegetarian and gluten-free, they knew they faced a challenge to meet the exacting standards of Worcestershire Sauce fans.

The “new recipe” Organic Worcestershire Sauce is a deep fusion of flavours that will delight discerning diners and creative cooks.

Vegetarians in particular will love the fact this Worcestershire Sauce is not based on anchovies – like the traditional recipe. As it’s free from barley derivatives, it will also be welcomed by those on a gluten-free diet. And if you eat meat and fish and are not gluten intolerant you’re still in for a treat – because, as ever, Geo Organics has ensured this product tastes superb."

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Point of Live Earth was..?

"John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an organization that helps companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, said Saturday that Live Earth will produce about 74,500 tons of the gas.

"We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effect of Live Earth," he said, speaking by telephone. But, he added, "if you can reach 2 billion people and raise awareness, that's pretty fantastic."

Certainly, on the way into the show, some of the 65,000 people who'd spent $110 on a ticket appeared unaware of the seven-point pledge that Al Gore, the event's chief impresario, had asked all spectators to make. Asked about it, they offered blank looks and said they were there for Madonna (whose annual carbon footprint, according to Buckley, is 1,018 tons -- about 92 times the 11 tons an average person uses per year)."

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Why Organic is More Expensive

"Next time you see an organic tomato at half-again the price of a conventional one, blame weeds.

More than diseases or hungry insects, weeds account for the high cost of organic crops, farmers and industry experts say. Weeds crowd plants, steal nutrients and cut yields.

Conventional farmers can fight weeds with a menu of proven herbicides. But organic growers rely on hand labor, delicate plowing between rows, even spraying vinegar -- whatever they can come up with.

It all adds to the cost of that tomato in the store."

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Buy Green

"HERE’S one popular vision for saving the planet: Roll out from under the sumptuous hemp-fiber sheets on your bed in the morning and pull on a pair of $245 organic cotton Levi’s and an Armani biodegradable knit shirt.

Stroll from the bedroom in your eco-McMansion, with its photovoltaic solar panels, into the kitchen remodeled with reclaimed lumber. Enter the three-car garage lighted by energy-sipping fluorescent bulbs and slip behind the wheel of your $104,000 Lexus hybrid.

Drive to the airport, where you settle in for an 8,000-mile flight— careful to buy carbon offsets beforehand — and spend a week driving golf balls made from compacted fish food at an eco-resort in the Maldives.

That vision of an eco-sensitive life as a series of choices about what to buy appeals to millions of consumers and arguably defines the current environmental movement as equal parts concern for the earth and for making a stylish statement."

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The Challenges of Organic Farming

"John and Katy Ehrlich believe they're strengthening community ties, promoting healthy food choices and encouraging stewardship of the land by raising organic produce on their Cowichan Valley farm.

Organic farming prohibits the use of chemicals, hormones or antibiotics. The Ehrlichs say this natural way of raising crops at their acreage of four years, Alderlea Farm in Glenora, is both labour intensive and immensely satisfying.

"You can't play golf on Sunday," joked John, 42, of the workload during a recent interview on his front porch. "In the growing season, we work a lot," added Katy, 49."

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

China Sees 80% Increase in Organic Revenue

"China Organic Agriculture, Inc. (OTCBB:CNOA), a growth-driven agricultural and products company leading China s organic foods revolution, has released revenue and earning guidance for calendar year 2007.
The forecast released today projects record-setting revenues of approximately $16 million, representing an 80% increase over the $9 million for the comparable period of 2006."

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Canadian Farmers Want Clearer Standards Now

"Organic farmers want to see the definition of what can actually be sold as organic food tightened up.

"The use of the term organic is used very freely these days and soon it will be restricted so that only certified organic farmers can use that term," said Stuart Collins of Bryson Organic Farms near Shawville, Que.

Canada is due to implement national standards for organic labelling, but not until the end of 2008."

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Organic Calendar for July by Gail Morris

"Harvest and dry herbs such as thyme, rosemary and lavender for potpourri and cooking. Putting thyme in plastic bags now will provide tea material for cold seasons. Thyme kills germs.

Give extra attention to azaleas: Aerate and granular feed, and fertilize with Ruffin and sulphur or Rabbit Hill Farms Azalea Food or Bunny Trails."

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Organic Nz Names New Editor

"New Zealand's leading magazine on organics and sustainable living, Organic NZ, has a new editor.

Adelia Hallett joins the magazine this month and begins by producing the September/October issue.

Organic NZ is published by the Soil and Health Association, an organisation established in 1941 to promote sustainable agriculture and nutrition. Co-chair Steffan Browning said that Ms Hallett was a good fit for the magazine."

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Organics in Hong Kong?

"One of the most popular questions I received on my recent trip to Seattle was, "Can you buy organic foods in Hong Kong?" I was not surprised by this because as the mother of a toddler, it had been a focus for me when we first arrived in Asia. In the world of organic, Erik and I mostly focus on meat and dairy, versus fruit or vegetables, so this is where I started. Knowing that a global definition of "organic" likely did not exist, I had to determine what was most important to me. I decided I would be satisfied if I could find meat [and dairy] that was reared [produced] without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Western groceries here are proud to offer American meat and offer large signs boasting the latest cuts imported from the US. As it turns out, they all offer a small selection of US organic meats. For a small fortune, I am always able to purchase chicken breasts and ground beef."

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A Hand from Whole Foods

"Organic farmers looking to expand their operation may apply for low interest loans from Whole Foods Market, a nationally certified organic grocer.

Through the local producer loan program the company plans to offer up to $10 million annually in loans to qualifying producers. The interest rates are based on the prime rate currently ranging from 5% to 9% fixed or variable with annual resets."

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Orgenetics Gets Certified

"Orgenetics, Inc. is one of North America's leading manufacturers and distributors of premium quality Vanilla, various herbs, herbal extracts, Vanilla extract and essential oils. And now, it has become a Certified Organic by Organic Tilth, a USDA-approved certifying agency in accordance with the National Organic Program (NOP).

Consumer awareness is growing and about 70% of the U.S. population buys Certified Organic products at least occasionally. Hence many food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic manufacturers are looking for reliable sources that provide quality Certified Organic ingredients."

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Ruth's Hemp Foods Says to Vote Hemp

"Ruth's Hemp Foods is proud to introduce a special edition hemp snack bar to promote support of Vote Hemp. Vote Hemp, a Washington, DC-based industrial hemp advocacy group, is funding the legal costs of two North Dakota farmers, Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge, in the farmers' lawsuit against the US Drug Enforcement Agency. 100 percent of all profits from the first three months' sale of the Vote Hemp Bar will go directly to Vote Hemp. Thereafter, 20 percent of the bar's profits will be donated to Vote Hemp for the entire life of the bar.

Ruth Shamai, president of Ruth's Hemp Foods and a supporter of Vote Hemp's tireless work in the US, was a key activist in the cadre composed of leading environmentalists, agriculture experts and entrepreneurs that lobbied successfully for the legalization of industrial hemp production in Canada in 1998. "The United States government should get past all the drug association rhetoric and take a clear-eyed look at low-THC industrial hemp for its many valuable assets, including it being a healthy, nutrient-dense food," says Ruth. "And, as a bonus, it is a very low-impact, environmentally-friendly crop."

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Hemp has always scared me a bit so I'm sure a lot of other consumers feel the same. I wonder if that can be changed?

Greenhouses Green with Envy

"When it comes to energy use, conventional greenhouses aren't all that "green." For example, it takes hundreds of gallons of propane each year to heat the 816-square-foot greenhouse at the Dartmouth Organic Farm.

Not so for the farm's second greenhouse, being built new this summer on the farm's site on Route 10, three miles north of campus: thanks to passive-solar and energy-conserving features, this one won't need fossil fuel to provide a reasonable growing environment."

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Brazilian Businesswoman Wants to Export Organic Teas

"The businesswoman Débora Lima wants to conquer the foreign market with her own brand of organic teas, Namastê, launched in Brazil two months ago. The medicinal herbs are planted along the banks of the São Francisco River, in the municipality of Santana do São Francisco, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe. The first contact with the possible importers is due in October, during the international organic product fair Biofar, in the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo."

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Biodynamic? Organic?

"People sometimes ask me if organic wines are better. "Better" is a loose term. Organic refers to the viticulture or how the wine was made. The organic method of production employs no synthetic chemical products such as pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. It also aims to build the health of the soil and reduce pollution and pesticides. So, if you are looking to avoid unnecessary chemicals, then yes, it's better."

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Hain Celestial Group is Everywhere

"Right now, it seems like everywhere I turn, I see an increase in organic and natural food and products offerings. People in this country and abroad are more and more conscious of what they are consuming, both for the sake of the planet and for their own health reasons. A recent New York Times article pointed out how it also has become fashionable to buy organic. This is great news for companies that have long been players in the organic and natural foods market.

One of these is Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), based in Melville, NY. This leader in the natural and organic food and personal care products industry has a strong presence in North America and Europe, and is pushing into Asia."

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I Buy Organic, You Starve

"Reverse culture shock can be one of the hardest adjustments for any journalist or aid worker.

It's one thing acclimatising to the very immediate demands and deadlines of an assignment in a strange and often hostile environment. It's quite another then having to readjust to the alleged normality of a comfortable life in the West when you get back. To put it bluntly, it can really do your head in.

I was reminded of this again this week wandering around the new Whole Foods superstore in west London. This is a branch of a U.S.-based organic produce emporium that's finally made its way across the Atlantic. It's big, it's brash, and it's eye-wateringly expensive."

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ENERGY: The First Certified Organic Energy Drink

"New Organic essn ENERGY is the first USDA certified Organic and Mission Organic energy beverage delivering pure-energy sourced from nature, not test tubes.

Organic essn ENERGY is produced by San Francisco Bay Area-based SkylarHaley, whose award winning product portfolio includes essn sparkling juices, Stoneridge Orchards dried fruits and AchievONE nutritional coffee beverage. New essn ENERGY'S innovative formula is derived from nature's own super nutrients and powerful antioxidants including Kenyan Green Tea, Brazilian Yerba Mate and Guarana."

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U.S. Sees Organic Chocolate Boom

"Organic chocolate sales are booming as more U.S. consumers seeking untreated natural ingredients are choosing the sweet treat to satisfy their cravings, and mainstream companies are entering what was once considered a high-end market.

Chocolate is the largest growing snack segment in the U.S. organic market, according to an industry study, with organic sales tallying a 49 percent increase in sales in 2006."

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About GMOs

"Our ability to tinker with nature has outstripped our ability to regulate what we create, says Yves Tiberghien, a political scientist who specializes in global regulatory mechanisms for technology and trade.

Consider that almost 70 per cent of the products we buy at the grocery store contain genetically engineered food. Yet we don’t know their long-term impact on our health, the environment, or how they may tip the future balance of power in the global economy.

“Corn and soy are the two main culprits since nearly all processed foods uses ingredients such as corn syrup, corn starch or soy lecithin,” says Tiberghien."

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tibet to Go Organic

"Tibetan refugees plan to introduce organic farming in India with the help of an Italian NGO.

"A pilot organic village will be set up in each of the 12 major agricultural settlements spread across India," said Ngodup Dorje, head of the agriculture and cooperative division of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.

The model villages will receive all inputs in the process of organic conversion ranging from training programmes and exposure tours of organic farms, besides procuring seeds and making eco-friendly compost."

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Organic Coffee Taste Test

"John Weaver, coffee buyer for Cafédirect, knows his Palenque from his Kilimanjaro and his Machu Picchu. The rest of us are not so sure.

We’re gathered around dishes of green (coffee) beans and dry grounds and there’s a heady smell in the air as we learn how to ‘cup’ coffee. We run through the different ethical labels, including Utz Certified (‘traceability and trust’ but no guaranteed minimum price) and Rainforest Alliance, which places the emphasis on conservation."

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Ecopet Shampoo

"Is everything going to the dogs? If Elinor McEwan has it her way it will.

The Devonport resident has created a range of organic shampoos especially for dogs.

Is it just becoming a bit on the trendy side? Mrs McEwan says no.

"I don't think people with pets see it as silly. If it's safe on the dog's skin it saves on vet bills, just like feeding them the right food."

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Prince Charles Tops List

"The Live Earth event on July 7 follows on from Live8 and Live Aid when millions of people across the world will again unite in their support of a global issue, on this occasion to combat the climate change crisis.

While stars like Bono and Bob Geldof have been instrumental in filling stadiums for good causes, Prince Charles has made the most significant contribution to improving the environment according to a new report from Friends Provident, the first provider in the UK to launch an ethical fund for individual investors."

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Canadian Organic Festival Needs Helping Hands

"It can take a lot of work to live a sustainable organic lifestyle.

And it takes just as much work to run a festival dedicated to it as co-ordinators of the third annual Organic Islands Festival are finding out.

For the July 7-8 event to go smoothly about 150 volunteers are needed, said Rae Abbott, volunteer co-ordinator. Only about half of those positions have been filled, she added.

The requirements aren’t stiff. Everyday skills like recycling, garbage collection and confidence working with people are key, Abbott said."

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More Research Saying Organic is Better

"Organic fruit and vegetables may be better for the heart and general health than eating conventionally grown crops, new research has found.

A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found that they had almost double the quantity of antioxidants called flavonoids which help to prevent high blood pressure and thus reduce the likelihood of heart disease and strokes.

Alyson Mitchell, a food chemist, who led the research at the University of California, believes that flavonoids can also help to stave off some forms of cancer and dementia."

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stonyfield Takes Part in Live Earth

"Stonyfield Farm's environmental mission and the debut of its non-profit focusing on climate change made its participation in Live Earth a foregone conclusion.

The world's leading organic yogurt maker - which has supported healthy food, healthy people and a healthy planet for almost 25 years - is an Official Partner of the worldwide concert event that will bring attention to climate change.

Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent series of nine concerts taking place July 7 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis. Live Earth will reach this worldwide audience through an unprecedented global media architecture covering all media platforms - TV, radio, Internet and wireless channels.

"Live Earth hopefully will be a global moment of truth when it comes to climate change," says Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo. "Millions will learn more about how we can secure our futures and save the planet, but we must act. Live Earth will help spread the message that our future is now."

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InStyle Chooses Rainwater Organics from Nature's Gate

"The recent NACDS Marketplace Conference in Boston, Massachusetts attracted more than 750 buyers, category managers, marketing and merchandising executives from the drug, food, mass, club, value and specialty retailing arenas. The industry’s largest venue for new product introductions also drew a team of six young trend spotters from InStyle Magazine, scoping the floor for the items they covet the most and feel best fit the beauty needs of their peers.

In the highly competitive skin care category, The InStyle Your Look Style Scouts conferred the distinction of “Most Wanted” on the new Rainwater™ Organics Lotions line from Nature’s Gate Organics. Rainwater™ Organics comprises four body lotions that proudly carry the USDA certified organic seal, conferred only on products that are at least 95% certified organic.

“InStyle magazine is a trusted and revered resource for beauty and style-conscious consumers, ” said Paddy Spence, President of Nature’s Gate. “By selecting our Rainwater Organics lotions as their top skin care pick, InStyle is also leading a major trend and helping to effect planet-caring changes in the beauty and personal care industry. We are thrilled to be recognized and supported by such a dynamic voice.”

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