Friday, August 31, 2007

Organic Seasoned Sea Salt from Anglesey

"Multi-award winning Halen Môn (Anglesey Sea Salt Company) has chosen the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London from September 2-4, stand number 934, to launch two new products, including its first seasonal flavour organic sea salt.

Fleur de Sel has been created to enhance seasonal British produce whilst a finer sea salt has been developed for those who prefer to add their salt at the table with less of a crunch!

“All the products are being market tested, so we are especially keen to invite customers to taste them and give us their feedback,” said Alison Lea-Wilson, who runs Halen Môn with her husband, David."

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Pure Organics

"Once the province of epicures and health nuts, organic food has gone mass market. Americans spent some $16.7 billion on organic food last year, up from $13.8 billion in 2005 — and sales are expected to rise by 20% this year. But some aspects of organic's growing popularity trouble advocates like Mark Kastel, 52, from Rockton, Wis., who is now driving one of the food industry's biggest debates: does organic food's industrialization threaten its purity?"

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UK Energy Saving Promotes Organics

"September is traditionally the month when harvest festival services are held in schools and churches around the UK, a long-standing tradition during which we celebrate the year’s harvest. As this time of year approaches, UK Energy Saving has been thinking about organic food, which is becoming an increasing part of the UK ‘harvest’.

Organic produce is just one of the areas covered on the UK Energy Saving website,, with information on the benefits of buying organic. With regards to organic food and drink, some of the potential health benefits are illustrated, an area which is key in the decision of many to buy organic products. The environmental benefits of organic production compared to intensive farming are also of great interest and consumer awareness of this subject is increasing."

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

6 Out of 10 People Eat Organic Breakfasts

"As part of a UK-wide organic breakfast campaign, ‘Wake up to an Organic Breakfast’ run by the Soil Association, Rachel’s Organic, the UK’s first organic dairy, have just published a survey on British breakfast habits

The study conducted for Rachel’s Organics by YouGov questioned over 2000 British adults to gauge attitudes to organics in what is often regarded nutritionally as the most important meal of the day. Results also highlight the popularity of organic dairy produce, including milk butter and yogurt, for breakfast.

Amongst the findings, the Rachel’s Organic survey revealed that at least 1 in 8 (12%) adults skip breakfast altogether. Meanwhile, of those who do eat breakfast, some 6 out of 10 (58%) do actually opt for organic produce all or some of the time."

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Spray Kills E. Coli

"New high pressure ozone spray systems have been developed to remove E. coli from fresh produce, meat and poultry plants, their manufacturer claims.

Produce Safety & Security International said its Spherequat 1000, 5500 and 6400 units are proven in tests to help food processors reduce the causes of a number of food borne illnesses, including E.coli OH157:H7, Salmonella and Staphylococcus.

Processors are constantly looking for innovative ways to keep operational facilities and equipment clean and free from contamination, which can in turn, spoil foods and lead to costly recalls and loss of brand confidence."

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No Added Nutrition in Organic Milk

"Scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Scientists analysed the vitamin and selenium content of milk from organically-reared cows and compared it to that of milk from conventionally-reared cows. They thought they may see some differences since nutrient levels are understood to be directly linked to a cow's diet.

However their findings, presented at the conference of the European Association for Animal Production in Dublin this week, did not support the hypothesis, according to the Irish Independent."

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Aurora Signs Consent Agreement

"The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has entered into a consent agreement with Aurora Organic Dairy (Aurora) in response to a Notice of Proposed Revocation issued earlier this year alleging violations of National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Under the consent agreement, Aurora’s Platteville, Colo., facility must meet several conditions in order to continue to operate as a certified organic dairy operation. These conditions include removing certain animals from the organic herd and ceasing to apply the organic label to certain milk. Additionally, AMS will exercise increased scrutiny over Aurora’s operations during a one-year probationary review period. If Aurora does not abide by the agreement during that time, AMS may withdraw from the agreement and could revoke the organic certification for Aurora’s Platteville, Colo., plant."

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Orange and Lemon Greek Yogurt from Rachel's

"Rachel's Organic, Britain's leading organic dairy, has added a further Mediterranean touch to its Greek Style yogurt range with the launch of Orange and Lemon Greek Style bio-live yogurt. The move is in response to a growing consumer demand for richer, more indulgent and interesting yogurt flavours as organics become increasingly more mainstream."

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Canada's Green Star

"It likely comes as no surprise that a recent benchmark study undertaken by Alberta Agriculture and Food revealed that the organic food industry is on the rise in Canada – but that Alberta is experiencing the biggest organic retail boom might.

Released earlier this month, the Farm to Fork research project surveyed Alberta's organic producers and processors to gauge what is being grown and where it is being sold and used AC Nielsen data to get a view of the organic picture from the Canadian consumer perspective."

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Sunfood to Sell Organic Raw Cashews

"It isn’t often that a truly unique gourmet food is introduced widely to the North American marketplace. Sunfood Nutrition has accomplished this with their new Organic Raw Cashews. These premium raw cashews are sourced directly from small-scale cashew growers that handpick the nuts from certified organic trees in Bali, Indonesia.

Cracked open with traditional knives and then hand-polished to remove the thin skin protecting the kernel, these enormous cashews are incredibly sweet and soft and even have an attractive shiny-white appearance. “The hand-processing of the nuts by the local farmers is a labor of love that has nearly disappeared around the globe,” says David Wolfe, founder of Sunfood Nutrition. Traditional producers on average can only prepare about 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of raw kernels daily, but the Sunfood Nutrition focus is on quality - not quantity."

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Big Week for Organic Companies

"This week may be less active in shares traded because of the pre-Labor Day absence of many Wall Street pundits. But it is a very important week for organic food and health(ier) food companies. Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI) has closed the Wild Oats (NASDAQ:OATS) transaction, and the stocks should trade as one after this week. Whole Foods has surprisingly seen its shares rise more than 20% off of the post-Mackey SNAFU lows from just a few weeks ago, and that has been during a time that the market hasn't been all that hot."

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Packaging for Jim's Organic Coffee

"Offering the same great, high quality, organic coffee that consumers have come to expect, Jim’s Organic Coffee unveils updated, newly designed packaging that is not only brighter and fresher but is also more consumer and environmentally friendly.

Committed to a strong green initiative, Jim’s Organic Coffee will be the first company to offer sealed coffee bags that use renewable sources in their design. The coffee bags use a layer of modified Polylactide (PLA), which is derived from corn and comprises about 19% of its layering. The benefit of this innovative packaging is that the petroleum-based components of the structure are replaced with renewable resources thus dramatically improving the ‘greenness’ of the packaging."

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Actor Brolin Plans Organic Fast Food Chain

"BARBRA STREISAND's husband, actor JAMES BROLIN, has his sights set on becoming an organic fast food king. The entrepreneurial Amityville Horror star, who runs a lumber company and a building business, is the brains behind a new venture to sell healthy burgers. He explains, "I had an idea for healthful organic food and burgers for your children that looks like fast food, but everything would come from organic cattle, free run."

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Interview with Organic Bouquet CEO

"Organic Bouquet was formed in January 2001 with the goal to establish the national market for organic flowers. They have accomplished this by encouraging both small and large flower growers to initiate organic production while creating widespread trade and consumer awareness of the need for organic flowers. Their ultimate goal is to protect the environment and improve farm worker safety by eliminating millions of pounds of toxic pesticides from agricultural usage. Organic Bouquet has quickly become the market leader in organic flowers and is recognized in the trade as having established the natural products industry's newest category--organic floral. Their flowers are available online and in some of your favorite natural food stores, including Whole Foods Markets nationwide."

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Last Day to Comment on Non-Organic Organics

"1,433 Comments So Far On Proposal To Allow 38 Non-Organic Ingredients In Certain Certified Organic Foods

Today is the last day for the public to comment on the Department of Agriculture proposal to allow 38 non-organic ingredients in foods labeled with the USDA Organic logo.

Already, the proposed rule has engendered a sizable reaction. As of Monday morning, 1,433 public comments were available for review on the government’s site. (To comment, or to find and read information about the proposal, search for docket No. AMS-TM-07-0062 or for more detailed instructions, click here.)"

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Will Seafood Ever Be Considered Organic?

"What comes to mind when you hear the word 'organic'? Most Americans say it's foods that contain no additives or chemicals, grown only with the help of nature.

When it comes to seafood, the American ideal is 'harvested from the wild.'

Either way, Americans say the monikers would make them inclined to purchase better seafood."

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British Organic Sales Reach £2bn

"Britain's love affair with all things organic has hit new heights. A report to be published this week is expected to show that annual spending on organically produced food, cosmetics and clothes has reached £2bn.

The Organic Market Report, compiled by the Soil Association, will show that the nation's appetite for organic products goes beyond milk or carrots. The boom has extended to skin creams, lotions and shampoos, which are migrating from their niche in specialist shops to the shelves of major supermarkets."

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Easy Organic

"GOING organic is becoming increasingly popular and in the run-up to Organic Fortnight, which runs from Saturday, September 1, to Sunday, September 16, the Soil Association is encouraging businesses and communities to celebrate all things organic by staging events and promoting organic products up and down the country.

Many budding Gordon Ramseys are turning to their gardens for different ingredients, but not all of us have green fingers.

Help is at hand for residents wanting to go organic in the shape of environmentally friendly fruit and veg - delivered direct to your door."

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Toddlers Have Now Gone Organic

"CHICKENS, guinea pigs and rabbits roam free. Small children pick organic herbs and eat home-grown free-range eggs.

Water tanks have been installed, waste water from the bubblers is recycled and the resident worms are kept happy with food scraps.

Two new day-care centres have opened on Sydney's northern beaches with an environmentally friendly ethos."

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Artisan Natural

"A major fruit company has decided to convert 100 percent of its stone fruit trees to organic farming practices, part of the ongoing push to meet consumers' insatiable demand for healthier food.

But Stemilt Growers Inc., a bit player in the stone fruit industry but one of America's leading apple suppliers, is not waiting two years to capitalize on the switch. The company has created a new label — Artisan Naturals — to sell its naturally-farmed fruit, an effort to get a higher price for the fruit even if it cannot yet come with an "organic" sticker."

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Friday, August 24, 2007

New Organic Hotel in Wales

"WALES’ first organic hotel was officially opened yesterday, vowing to pursue organic and ethical buying practices as fully as possible.

While organic food and drinks are now a common sight on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus, the TYF Eco Hotel has extended the concept to bedding, towels and even cleaning products."

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Goodbye Wild Oats

"Whole Foods Market Inc. and Wild Oats Markets Inc. are cleared to proceed with their merger, a $565 million deal that could close as early as Monday, Aug. 27.

Late Thursday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the Federal Trade Commission's request for a stay to stop the merger. The appeals court also dissolved the FTC's Aug. 20 administrative injunction, which had prevented the deal from going forward while the court considered the FTC's motion.

"We are pleased to have cleared what we expect to be our last legal hurdle," said Whole Foods Chairman and Chief Executive John Mackey, in a statement. "We look forward to closing this merger and believe the synergies gained from this combination will create long-term value for our customers, vendors and shareholders as well as exciting opportunities for our new and existing team members."

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

School Lunch Plan Pulled

"A school-lunch chef has pulled his Organic School Project out of a Chicago elementary school after district officials balked at his plans to expand the program to more schools. The first and only organic meal program in the nation's third-largest school district had also provided Alcott Elementary with a pesticide-free garden, wellness classes, and composting; it failed in part thanks to long-standing prepackaged-food contracts and labor-union rules that prevented OSP volunteers from helping prepare the more labor-intensive organic lunches alongside paid cafeteria workers."

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Buying Organic Body Care Made Easier by Eco-a-go-go

"Eco-a-go-go Ltd announced its official launch to make buying everyday Natural and Organic Body Care Products easier for health conscious consumers.

"Eating Healthy organic food is easy today with plentiful good quality, assured organic food. Taking the next step and using organic or natural body care products is a mine field! The labelling regulations are vague making it difficult to make an informed choice, and finding out what a product is really like is virtually impossible without trying it" said Eco-a-go-go co-founder Gary Reed.

When visiting, customers can make an informed choice; all products have been used and honestly reviewed by the Eco-a-go-go team; there are also customer reviews, full product ingredients lists, manufacturers' product descriptions, packaging information, a chemical concerns page, and an explanation of Eco-a-go-go's practical and common sense approach to choosing products to supply."

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The Story Behind Snikiddy Snacks

"Three years ago, Mary Schulman, pregnant and tired, began to question her life.

Investment banking was her career, but by no means her passion.

After some brainstorming with her mother, Schulman, now 32, decided to start something that would not only benefit her future child, but also children around the country.

From this idea grew Snikiddy Snacks, an organic children’s snack company based in Bethesda. Started in 2005, the business has grown quickly in less than two years, with its products now lining the shelves of Whole Foods and other organic markets nationwide. ‘‘We fill a need in the market segment,” Schulman, of Bethesda, said. ‘‘There are some healthy, organic snacks, but I doubt you’d eat them."

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Flooding May Harm Organic Crops in Minnesota and Iowa

"Richard de Wilde estimates he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars this week when a foot of rain inundated his organic beef and vegetable farm in southwestern Wisconsin.

"Out of our 100 acres of vegetables, we had easily 30 under water," de Wilde, one of the state's largest organic farmers, said in a phone interview Tuesday. "If that was all a loss, it's $300,000. I'm thinking we're going to be able to salvage some out of there, but certainly it's more than $200,000 just counting crops."

He'll also have to replace fences, equipment and other water-damaged property at the 200-acre Harmony Valley Farm.

The damage from this week's floods could push some of Wisconsin's organic farmers out of business and affect the price of organic products nationwide. Only California has more certified organic farms than Wisconsin, and more than a third of the Badger State's 994 organic farms are in the five counties where rivers and streams overflowed.

Organic farms in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa were affected by the rain as well."

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Seeds of Change Works to Protect Santa Fe River

"Seeds of Change®, an industry leader in the sustainability of organic agriculture practices worldwide, has joined efforts with Mayor David Coss and the Santa Fe Watershed Association in a mission to restore and protect the Santa Fe River – recently designated the most endangered river in the United States.

On Thursday, August 23 from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., Seeds of Change will be contributing to the long-standing work the Santa Fe Watershed Association has been leading to protect the long-term integrity of the Santa Fe River’s watershed. In conjunction with the Seeds of Change annual Global Associate Meeting, nearly 60 global associates and partners will participate in the Santa Fe River restoration project.

Mayor Coss has adopted the Santa Fe River as a cornerstone initiative of his administration. He will attend the project on Thursday from 9-10 a.m. The project will take place along the Santa Fe River at Santa Fe County’s San Ysidro Park, approximately 4 miles from the downtown plaza."

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Horizon Expands to 400 Farms

"Horizon Organic(R), which helped pioneer organic dairy farming practices 15 years ago, has significantly grown its farmer-partner network this year, which now exceeds 400 family farms, a milestone for the company. Through the second quarter of 2007, Horizon Organic welcomed 79 newly certified dairy farms into its rapidly growing family of farmer-partners, which is three times the amount over the same period last year."

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Green Growing in Sequim

"Two years ago, Pam Larsen had a dream of starting a group where members could learn and teach others about organic gardening.

Today that dream is a reality. Sequim Organic Growers is an active club that meets monthly — sometimes twice a month — to share learning experiences, gardening tips and friendship.

“I didn’t really have a vision two years ago, so it’s turned out better than I ever imagined,” Larsen said. “It’s an interchange of information between people and a lot of do-it-yourself learning.”

Larsen moved to Sequim about nine years ago from California and is the author of “The Rainshadow Vegetable Planting Guide.”

With more than 30 members, the Sequim Organic Growers is not accepting new members but instead is trying to help organize a community organic garden with Friends of the Fields and the Sequim High School Ecology Club. Larsen said the groups are hoping to have all the kinks worked out and a garden location announced by spring 2008. If that happens, the club will begin hosting public educational opportunities about organic gardening. Until then, members will continue researching and preparing demonstrations within the club."

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Finding an Organic Grocer

"So you’ve gone organic but now you’re finding that it’s difficult to stick to your goal of staying organic. You need help, but most definitely you won’t find it without trying. And one of the best ways of keeping your resolutions to stay organic, is by first of all finding an organic food store near you.

Why would you want to do this first of all? For the simple reason that if you have a ready source where you can find your daily organic food needs, you will be that much eager and able to keep to your resolution. And if you can’t find an organic food store near where you live, find one that’s on the way to work, or barring that find one that’s on the way to your favorite shopping mall."

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Almond Ruling Won't Be Delayed

"A new rule requiring all California almonds to be pasteurized will go into effect Sept. 1, despite farmers' requests to postpone the provision for six months, federal agricultural officials said.

The growers, represented by the California Almond Board, said they needed the extra time to get the necessary equipment and processes in place to avoid an interruption in the flow of nuts to market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's decision to implement the rule stemmed from salmonella outbreaks in 2001 and 2004 that were traced to raw almonds.

Farmers' worries about being able to meet the rule's requirements, particularly when faced with an expected bumper crop of 1.33 billion pounds of almonds this year, were taken into consideration, but public health was the main concern, federal officials said."

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Market for Organic Beverages Grows in Germany

"The number of non-alcoholic, certified organic beverages is steadily growing. In 2002, there were approximately 500 products available in Germany; by 2006, there were 1,500 non-alcoholic organic beverages available. Currently, it's not only pure fruit juices that bear the organic seal - manufacturers of drinks in other categories are also developing products with certified organic ingredients. WILD supplies the ideal concepts for organic products.

As a result of food scandals and reports on the high levels of pesticides in conventionally grown fruit and vegetables, increasing numbers of consumers are interested in organic products. In 2006, organic foods and beverages reached sales of USD 40 billion worldwide. Industry experts expect the high growth rates to continue in coming years."

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Judge Says Whole Foods Merger "Won't Kill Competition"

"Competition from conventional supermarkets would prevent Whole Foods Market Inc. from significant price hikes if it acquires rival organic grocer Wild Oats Markets Inc., a federal judge's ruling said.

Judge Paul L. Friedman released the reasoning Tuesday for denying the federal government's request Thursday to block the transaction.

The Federal Trade Commission has appealed Friedman's decision and has asked for a stay that would delay the merger pending the appeal's outcome. The appeals court has asked the agency and the companies to provide additional information on the request this week."

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Half of Babies Green in UK

"HALF of all babies in the UK now eat organic babyfood, a report claimed yesterday.

Now food manufacturers are aiming to cash in on the boom by developing ranges of organic meals for older children, so they do not switch to junk food.

Trade magazine The Grocer, who conducted the study, said: "If those babies can be persuaded to stick with organic as they grow, it would present enormous opportunities for manufacturers.

"The boom has come about in part because parents are making healthier choices for their children but also because parents' own lifestyles are changing."

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Louisiana Sees "Slow But Steady" Organic Growth

"Sunday's Advertiser report on Certified Organic Operations verifies the slow but steady increase in organic farming in Louisiana. It also emphasizes the ongoing debate over whether organic food - produced in operations that avoid or largely exclude the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and livestock feed additives - is actually healthier.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states clearly that it makes no claim that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food.

On the other side of the argument are people such as Brian Gotreaux. Featured in Sunday's exploration of organic operations, Gotreaux runs a 20-acre farm in Scott from which he sells a variety of organically grown produce to loyal, enthusiastic customers. One regular customer refers to it as her medicine.
Gotreaux's personal story supports the argument that organically produced food is healthier. He tells The Advertiser that his 10 adopted children have never been to a doctor. It is not that he rejects traditional medicine. His children simply don't need doctors, he says.

Louisiana has trailed many other states in development of organic farming. There are only 12 certified operations in the state. Those who have entered the field have had to overcome such things as drainage issues, pests, diseases and fast-growing weeds."

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Organic Growth in New Zealand

"Addressing the inaugural event, he said the group had achieved significant success, in such a relatively short time. The organisation, formed 14 months ago, is bringing together all the different parts including three of its constituent members: Bio-Gro NZ, the Biodynamic Association and Soil Health.

"This conference marks a coming of age of organic production in New Zealand. Organic production is a serious commercial option," he said.

Sales of organic products are increasing globally by between 10 and 20 per cent each year. The sector accounts for about four per cent of the world's food and beverage market and is estimated to be worth about $40 billion US - and this was particularly true in high value sectors.

"It is probably fair to say that for many of the pioneers of organics in this country it was an interest in environmental issues that got them started. But now, both in New Zealand and internationally, organic production is going from strength to strength," said Mr Anderton."

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Prisoners Work on Organic Farms in New Zealand

"Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor officially opened two organic gardens at the prison yesterday.

About 20 people, including representatives from the Organics Certification Body, AgriQuality, advisory organisation Organics Aotearoa New Zealand and produce supplier Fresh Direct, attended the opening.

O'Connor said the gardens would provide employment for up to 12 minimum-security prisoners, and four minimum-security prisoners at Christchurch Women's Prison."

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Luxury Organic Blankets from Robbie Adrian

"Robbie Mahlman and Susan Doris announce the launch of Robbie Adrian Inc. and its new line of luxury organic baby blankets. "We talked with many parents who wanted natural products for their children that were also stylish and colorful. That inspired us to create a line of luxury organic baby blankets, offering earth friendly elegance for discerning parents and their babies," explains Robbie Mahlman the company's President and CEO.

The new line of Robbie Adrian luxury organic blankets is made in the US, with 100% certified organic, USA grown cotton fleece and velour trimmed with natural silk in seven rich matching hues. "All of our blankets are machine washable and dryable because convenience is just as important as health and style," smiles Mahlman."

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What the National Organic Program does with Money

"The organic industry has gone wild in the last decade, but you wouldn't know it at the Department of Agriculture.

Despite year after year of double-digit growth, organics receive a pittance in financing and staff attention at the department, which is responsible for writing regulations about organics and making sure that they are upheld.

The National Organic Program, which regulates the industry, has just nine staff members and an annual budget of $1.5 million. A Florida real estate developer named Maurice Wilder received more than that in farm subsidies in 2005, some $1,754,916, to be exact, according to a subsidy database maintained by the Environmental Working Group.

Other parts of the department spend roughly $28 million or so a year on organic research, data collection and farmer assistance. It may sound significant, but the department spent far more than that, $37 million, subsidizing farmers who grew dry peas in 2005. (The farm value of dry peas is about $83 million a year. Consumers spend more than $14 billion a year on organic food, up from $3.6 billion in 1997.)"

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Concerns Over Organics from China

"U.S. Department of Agriculture auditors are scheduled to make their first -- and long-awaited -- trip to China this month to check on organic food operations there.

U.S. organic farmers and processors have been asking for closer USDA surveillance over Chinese organics, especially in the wake of recent problems with some products: antifreeze in toothpaste, lead in children's toys and banned antibiotics in fish. Imported Chinese wheat gluten also was the source of toxic melamine blamed in the deaths of thousands of pets.

Several USDA-certified organic products are imported from China, but soybean imports are of particular concern to Iowans."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Raking in the Cash

"A failed barrister, who pioneered organic vegetable boxes in this country, could reap a multi-million pound harvest in a deal that will value his company at around £50m.

Keith Abel, who dubs himself an "antipreneur", will become the latest in a growing line of businessmen to cash in on the organic revolution.

He founded Abel & Cole, one of Britain's largest organic food box delivery companies, in 1988. Since then, it has taken off, and now delivers weekly boxes of fruit, vegetables and meat - sourced directly from farmers - to 48,000 households in the South East. A family box - including Battavia lettuce and Guyot pears - will set you back £22."

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Europeans Interested in Organic Japanese Foods

"Demand for organic Japanese food has grown "phenomenally" over the last few years as more Europeans opt for healthier diets, according to a major importer who was recently commended by the Japanese government for his efforts.

News photo
Christopher Dawson, chairman of Clearspring Ltd., talks about the popularity of organic food products imported from Japan during a recent interview at his firm in London. KYODO PHOTO

Christopher Dawson, chairman of Clearspring Ltd., says his products have attracted much interest from supermarkets eager to stock his range of Japanese organic produce, which includes teas, noodles, soups and sauces."

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Will Consumers Pick Organic or Local?

"When it comes to their grocery dollars, consumers are torn between buying local and buying organic food. In a recent study by Mambo Sprouts Mambo Track tm research services, 36.1% of natural product consumers said they would choose local produce over organic items, while another 33.3% indicated the opposite. The remaining respondents said they were unsure which to choose.

Overall, consumers reported a preference for food that was both local and organic. Respondent comments reflected three distinct motivators for purchasing locally grown food: 1) better for the environment and sustainability due to reduced environmental impact of transporting food, 2) a belief that much local produce is fresher and healthier – even if not certified organic, and 3) a general mistrust or confusion regarding organic food labeling."

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Dutch Consumers Will Pay for Organic

"Some 80% of consumers are prepared to pay more for organic food, according to a survey by research firm Ernst & Young published on Friday.

Half of those prepared to pay more said they found a 20% premium ‘acceptable’ for organic food."

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Bionade Vs. World?

"Beer? Coke? Evian? All passé -- in Germany at least. A new organic soda called Bionade has taken the country by storm and now has its sights set on the world. But, as the company is now discovering, success brings its own problems.

It's a success story that sounds suspiciously like it might have been conceived in Hollywood. An entrepreneur sees that his family business is failing; spends years and virtually all the firm's money in developing a new product; and finally, 20 years later, his vision becomes a runaway hit."

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New Organic Grocer Opens in Florida

"Those wanting to grab a cart and shop at Ada’s Natural & Organic Foods have to wait till Saturday morning.

The 18,000 square foot Cape Coral store is expected to open at 8 a.m. in the Chiquita Plaza, 1242 Pine Island Road S.W.

“People have been grabbing carts and coming in anyway and we have to tell them no, no, no, not yet,” said Tara Bonadies, the grocery manager at the store’s Fort Myers location.

The store has around 60 employees and features an array of natural and organic products, meats, bulk items, prepared food area with seating area, and a refrigerated bulk room for preservative free products."

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FTC Appeals

"Federal regulators on Friday appealed a court ruling that allowed Whole Foods Market Inc. to purchase its rival organic grocer Wild Oats Markets Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission has also asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to delay the closing of the deal pending the outcome of the appeal."

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

More on Organic Baby Care

"The organic food sector for babies and toddlers is the largest within the organic baby and toddler care market. It is also the fastest-growing sector within the total (including non-organic) baby and toddler food market. Its success, coupled with an increasing concern over the amount of disposable nappies going to landfill, has also sparked a greater interest in reusable nappies. This sector — which is very much a cottage industry populated by `mumtrepreneurs' or work at home mums (WAHMs) — is moving gradually into the mainstream, with some large supermarkets stocking reusable (cloth or `real') nappies and Boots, for example, producing its own brand of reusables."

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Interest in Organic Skincare Grows in UK

"How many organic or natural products do you have in your make-up bag or bathroom cabinet? If the answer is quite a few, you're not alone, as more and more of us are thinking seriously about what we put on our skin.

The UK has seen a 170 per cent increase in new organic and natural beauty product launches."

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Ireland Releases Organic Handbook

"Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of "Handbook Of Organic Food Safety And Quality" to their offering.

Handbook of organic food safety and quality

- Improve the safety, quality and health benefits of organic foods

- Discusses the latest research findings in this area

- Focuses on assuring quality and safety throughout the food chain"

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Smith Dairy Goes Organic

"Smith Dairy Products Company, the leading regional maker of dairy products, beverages, and ice cream, today announced the rollout of a new Ruggles Organic Premium Ice Cream line, with four new flavors.

"With the growing consumer demand for organic products," said Penny Baker, Director of Marketing at Smith Dairy, "Ruggles Organic ice cream is a natural."

Flavors in the Organic line include Vanilla Bean, creamy vanilla ice cream with real vanilla bean flakes; Cookies and Cream, vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookie pieces; Blueberries and Cream, creamy blueberry ice cream bursting with tasty blueberries; and Mint Chocolate Chip, refreshing mint ice cream loaded with chocolate chips. Each flavor comes in a 1.5-quart container."

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Sama Baby Takes Off

"It has been a busy summer for luxury organic baby garment company Sama Baby, which sells and manufactures stylish, high-quality and environmentally friendly organic cotton clothing for children from zero to 2 years-old. "All of the buzz created by the great media coverage, recently, has been wonderful for launching our company and establishing our brand in the market," says Shivani Gupta, founder and president. Created in 2006, Sama Baby is now available in children's boutiques across the country and on the internet at"

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Amy's Pay Structure

"When state and local economic development practitioners wooed Amy's Kitchen to the Rogue Valley, they repeatedly talked up the wages the organic frozen food purveyor might offer.

Even while economic developers and politicians talked family-wage jobs, Amy's Kitchen representatives were noncommittal and avoided talking specific figures until it came time to hire staff.

While management and skilled positions definitely fit in the realm of family-wage earnings, many hourly wage earners start in the $9-$12 range — not exactly United Auto Workers pay.

"Amy's Kitchen has always said that we pay a competitive wage for the food-processing industry," said Chief Operations Officer Scott Reed in an e-mail. "Others may have characterized our pay structure in different terms but we have been consistent in describing our pay policies as competitive for our industry."

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Study Says Organics Have Higher Risk of Fecal Contamination

"A new study on food safety reveals that organic produce may contain a significantly higher risk of fecal contamination than conventionally grown produce.

A recent comparative analysis of organic produce versus conventional produce from the University of Minnesota shows that the organically grown produce had 9.7 percent positive samples for the presence of generic E. coli bacteria versus only 1.6 percent for conventional produce on farms in Minnesota."

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Brockleby's Organic Pork Pie

"The first organic Melton Mowbray pork pie is being launched at two of the year's most prestigious food festivals.

The launch marks a milestone in the proud history of one of Britain’s most famous regional specialities – a history which dates back more than 200 years.

Brockleby’s Organic Pork Pie is the first authentic Melton Mowbray pork pie to be granted official organic status by the Soil Association.

This special pie is made using organic pork from Saddleback pigs raised by farmer Richard Mee at Oakley Grange Farm in Stathern, Leicestershire."

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Kucinich for Organic and Fair-Trade

"During a campaign stop at Concord Cooperative Market yesterday, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich dropped a desert into his shopping basket.

"Bush has his Patriot Act, but my law is vegan chocolate cake," he declared.

Kucinich, 60, a congressman from Cleveland, used his visit to advocate for organic foods and fair trade goods, in addition to his trademark campaign platforms of a universal health care system and an anti-war foreign policy.

"There's a finite number of resources on this planet, and it's our responsibility to protect them so future citizens can use them," he told a handful of reporters at a press conference outside the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium. "Each decision we make chooses to protect or hurt the planet - the products we buy, the food we eat, the cars we drive, the energy we use to fuel our homes."

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Australian Farmers Against GM Canola

"Australia's peak organic farming body is predicting widespread legal action if genetically modified (GM) canola is allowed to be grown in Australia.

The Federal Government this week began pushing for the introduction of GM canola, saying it is safe.

South Australia has a moratorium on the commercial planting of GM crops, which is under review."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

General Counsel of Wild Oats on Leave

"Wild Oats Markets Inc., which operates a chain of natural and organic grocery stores, said Monday it placed its general counsel Freya Brier on administrative leave.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wild Oats said Brier will be on leave pending the resolution of a dispute under her severance agreement, involving whether a constructive termination has occurred in anticipation of a change in control."

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FruitaBü Introduces Sploooshers

Stretch Island Fruit Co.™, the original all-natural fruit snacks developer since 1976, today announced the launch of FruitaBü™ Organic Smoooshed Fruit™ Sploooshers™, a refreshingly fun, organic fruit snack for kids that provides one whole serving of organic fruit in each colorful, squeezable tube. FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Sploooshers are filled with organic fruit puree that kids can squeeze and slurp, while giving parents an all-natural snacking option that children are sure to enjoy.

“FruitaBü’s line of organic fruit snacks give on-the-go kids a variety of portable ways to enjoy fruit,” explains John Henry Siedlecki, spokesperson for FruitaBü. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of Americans fail to consume the current recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Our mission is to increase fruit consumption and the new FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Sploooshers are an easy way to help children squeeze in an extra serving of fruit each day.”

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Pizzey's Milling Introduces Organic Flax

"Pizzey's Milling has introduced two new ingredients under its Meadowpure flaxseed brand, one to meet demand for organic flaxseed and the other incorporating fish oil to overcome the EPA/DHA versus ALA debate.

The MeadowPure selection process for the premium milled organic flaxseed involves careful selection of seed, which the firm says enables it to turn out a consistent product.

"After many years, we are finally satisfied that the product we are bringing to market is stable and of the highest quality. There was no point in adding organic to the line if customers were not guaranteed that each batch would be the same," said Linda Pizzey, president of Pizzey's Milling."

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USDA to Revoke Aurora's Organic Certification

"The Cornucopia Institute has learned that the USDA appears about to revoke the organic certification of the nation's largest industrial dairy operator, Aurora Organic Dairy, with corporate headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

Aurora operates several giant factory dairies milking thousands of cows each in semi-arid areas of Colorado and Texas. The company has been the subject of a series of formal legal complaints filed with the USDA by The Cornucopia Institute. The complaints from the Wisconsin-based farm policy group filed in 2005 and 2006, called for a USDA investigation into allegations of numerous organic livestock management improprieties on Aurora’s facilities.

“After personally inspecting some of Aurora’s dairies in Texas and Colorado, we found 98% of their cattle in feedlots instead of grazing on pasture as the law requires,” stated Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s senior farm policy analyst. Cornucopia also found that Aurora was procuring cattle from a non-certified organic source in apparent violation of the law. “Our sources tell us that the USDA’s investigators found many other violations when conducting their probe of Aurora."

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Monday, August 13, 2007

OCA Makes Horizon Pay

"Although management at Dean Foods has always discounted the concerns of organic consumers and farmers, who built this growing and successful industry, the numbers are in and their expensive greenwashing campaign has not succeeded in cleansing their reputation in the marketplace - you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -organic consumers don't think that vertically-integrated, corporate-owned industrial dairies (factory-farms), managing as many as 8000 cows, can really be "organic."

A recent graphic from the Wall Street Journal's website, indicates that sales growth of Horizon products in supermarkets was at about 10-15% last year (a little hard to read the chart-the company reported to analysts that there sales growth was in the low teens). That is in stark contrast to the second-largest player in the organic market, Organic Valley, that saw dairy sales grow by 37%. We fact-checked this against a major regional West Coast organic milk bottler and their sales grew by 35% last year."

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And the Greenest City is..

"In a weathered barn strung with twinkle lights, I stood chatting with a farmer who topped his slick hair with a baseball cap. Under the beamed roof, children ate cookies on bales of hay while their parents two-stepped across the creaky floor.

Outside, gaggles of people drank beer and ate slices of wood-fired pizza topped with beets and goat cheese, both local products. Banners flapped in the breeze near the brick oven, declaring "Thank you, farmers" and "Good food helps." Other people ambled through a garden crowded with hollyhocks, black-eyed Susans and daylilies, where the swell of cricket songs drowned out laughter spilling from the barn. Tents filled with long tables for the party glowed as darkness fell.

I was nearly glowing, too. I had been in Burlington, Vt., for less than 24 hours, and already I felt like an insider."

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"A Celebration of Sustainable Living"

"Standing some distance away from the main concourse, where vendors displayed everything from handmade hula-hoops to organic body products, Christopher Noonan could not take his eyes off the horses.

The Worcester resident listened closely as Dale E. Perkins, of Rutland’s Heifer International Overlook Farm, explained to the small crowd how to drive the animals.

“You really need to take these guys around,” Mr. Noonan said with a grin.

Mr. Noonan and Mr. Perkins were just two of the many Central Massachusetts residents who headed to Amherst this weekend for the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s 33rd annual Summer Conference, which ran from Friday through yesterday. Joined by more than 1,400 other farmers, enthusiasts and vendors, proponents of the organic movement came together in what the program called “A celebration of sustainable living.”

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Santa Cruz Looking for Five Interns

"California Certified Organic Farmers is seeking to train five interns in the essentials of the organic industry, starting in October. The selection process begins Sept. 7.

Participants will complete 360 hours of work in exchange for a certificate and experience. The training will cover organic certification, inspection, production and marketing and include work at the world-renowned UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Brian Bluestein will be the intern program coordinator."

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Fertilizer Debate

"In Canada, Communities Can Legally Restrict Lawn Chemicals On Private Property; The Fight Heats Up In America

An increasing number of people are actively seeking more natural alternatives to conventional lawn chemicals, reports the Chicago Sun Times. The movement mirrors the rising popularity of organic food, and is engendering similar controversy over consumers’ rights.

With rates of many cancers, autism and other problems on the rise, researchers continue to probe possible links to environmental triggers. The Harvard School of Public Health recently found that people reporting exposure to pesticides had a 70 percent higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease than those not reporting exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that kids are at greater risk from chemical exposure, since they are smaller, have less developed immune systems, and also spend more time at home, in the yard, and low to the ground."

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New Director for Planet Organic

"Planet Organic Health Corp.("Planet Organic") - (TSX Venture Exchange - POH) announced today that Brent Knudsen has been appointed to the Board of Directors.

Mr. Knudsen is the managing partner of Partnership Capital Growth Advisors, LLC. Since 1983 Mr. Knudsen has focused his business development in the healthy and active living and aging markets. Prior to founding PCGA, Mr. Knudsen was an original partner in North Castle Partners where he was key in developing EAS, the leading active nutrition brand in the U.S., Red Door Spas, the dominant market presence in prestige salons and day spas and the original acquisition of Naked Juice."

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Beyond Organic

"Brook LeVan is normally a pretty cheerful guy, but get the founder of Sustainable Settings talking about the prospects for the United States in the near future, and he becomes almost grim.

LeVan, with his wife, Rose, operates Sustainable Settings on a small ranch just outside Carbondale, where he is engaged in a campaign to revive small-scale farming and community interdependence on a variety of levels.

With his combination research center and demonstration project, he is raising "beyond organic" vegetables, fruits and livestock, selling the produce at area farmers markets and out of a small shed on the grounds of his ranch."

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Organic Planet Festival 2007

"The 2007 Organic Planet Festival will return to Humboldt County Aug. 26, featuring music, food and beverages, lectures, the world’s largest organic salad, an eco-hip fashion show, a non-toxic children’s village with a petting zoo and dozens of exhibitors.

The daylong event will be hosted by Eureka-based Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and is Northern California’s only organic, toxic-free festival, according to a CATs news release. The event will provide a family friendly way to share information about living healthier lives, chiefly by raising awareness about how to “get more organic” in food, jobs, homes and leisure as society advances in the 21st century.

Eureka Natural Foods will be present to share the world’s largest organic salad and the Wildberries Marketplace children’s area and petting zoo will be bigger than years past. Ray’s Food Place is bringing naturopathic doctor, Dr. Steven West, to consult with festival attendees."

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Bistro Organic Opens in Munich Airport

"Who said that air travel has to be a stressful event vis-à-vis delayed flights, lost luggage, long queues at the check-in counter and fast food gobbled down between gates? At Munich Airport, flying can also feel like a day at the spa-literally! With the opening of the new Bistro Organic at Gate G30 / Level 04 airside in Terminal 2, health-conscious air travellers have a new option for keeping fit on the fly.

As the latest addition to the family of 40 restaurants and eateries run by Munich Airport's F&B subsidiary, Allresto, Bistro Organic provides a "mini retreat" from the hustle and bustle of airport rush hour. With seating for around 60 guests, the Bistro Organic space is visually separated into two different zones by a large aquarium-like installation and a calming décor featuring earthy greens, browns and terra cotta."

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Demand for Organic Soybeans Growing

"Before harvest, New Hampton organic farmer Tom Frantzen will cultivate and till his organic soybean acres at least four times to prevent weeds because he can't use chemicals to keep his rows clean.

His work spills onto the kitchen table and computer den, where he keeps three-ring binders of receipts, spreadsheets and an online journal of farm work - all required under U.S. Department of Agriculture organic rules.

The payoff for that effort is substantially bigger profits, said Frantzen and other Iowa organic soybean farmers.

Few farmers are switching over, however. With demand for organic soybeans rising fast, a shortage of beans in the United States and Canada has forced food companies and livestock producers to import organic soybeans from China and elsewhere."

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Concerned about the Future of Organic Beer? Then Sign Here

"The USDA is proposing to add 38 ingredients to a list of allowable conventional ingredients in products labeled as "USDA Organic" (products that are at least 95% organic). The OCA has been petitioning the USDA to remove some of the more problematic proposed ingredients, such as factory farmed animal intestines, mercury-laden fish oils, and hops. For the latter ingredient, the USDA was heavily lobbied by the beer giant Anheuser-Busch, who has previously claimed that organic hops are not commercially available and has been selling its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" using conventional hops grown with chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Thanks to the amazing feedback from citizens like you, Anheuser-Busch has announced it is now using 100% organic hops for its organic beers and pledges to continue to do so."

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Farm Aid 2007

"For the first time at a major concert, Farm Aid said Wednesday its goal is to serve 100 percent local, organic, humanely raised and family-farmed food at its New York City event Sept. 9.

Dubbed Farm Aid 2007: A Homegrown Festival, the show will promote food from family farmers and raise funds for Farm Aid's work throughout the year to strengthen family farm agriculture.

The event features a full day of music with family farm food vendors and hands-on, interactive exhibits with farmers and activists. The festival at Randall's Island is Farm Aid's first concert event in the Big Apple."

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Can We Trust Organic Drycleaners?

"When architect Peter Tovell dropped off a handful of clothes at his Toronto dry cleaner recently, he left feeling confident that one thing would not be there when he picked them up.

"It won't have that chemical smell that a lot of dry cleaning has," said Mr. Tovell, who attributes the difference in odour to his cleaner being one of a small but growing number offering "organic" cleaning.

The "organic" trend began in the produce aisle, then trickled into cosmetics, clothing and pet supplies. Now, dry cleaning is on the laundry list of goods and services being marketed as organic to an eco-conscious public hungry for all things green."

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Friday, August 10, 2007

"Rendered Meats"

"Barb Fannon's homemade treats use only the finest ingredients: organic eggs, fresh goat's milk and ripe blueberries.

To some, it's extravagant, but after this year's pet-food recalls, Fannon wouldn't think of feeding her dogs anything less. And apparently, a growing slice of the Valley agrees with her.

"Jeez, I didn't know they would be a hit like this," Fannon said of products from her new company, Healthy Dog Express. "I've started something."

When one of Fannon's dogs died shortly before companies fessed up to the pet-food problems in March, she stopped trusting average dog foods and started doing research. From there, she discovered that ingredients such as "rendered meats" could mean anything from road kill to undeveloped eggs."

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Waiting for a Plot

"PEOPLE who want plots at some of the city's allotments face a wait of up to seven years because of a surge in popularity in healthy, organic food.

Gardeners are calling for the city council to provide more sites after a new study revealed the waiting list has topped 1000 in Edinburgh, while there are only 1400 plots.

The Capital had the longest waiting lists in Scotland, the report by Scottish Allotment Gardens Society found."

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Become an Organic Intern

"CCOF announced today the rollout of its comprehensive organic intern certificate training program. The ambitious program is currently recruiting motivated individuals who will complete 360 hours of project work in exchange for a certificate and valuable career training.

Interns will learn an overview of the rapidly expanding organic industry and undergo training in the essentials of organic certification, inspection, production and marketing. The rigorous training will be balanced with fun organic events and hands-on experience working at the world-renowned, CCOF-certified UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

"The demand for education is overwhelming. We are inundated with requests to participate in events but we do not have the staff to attend. We are hoping this program will provide the support we need to expand our educational efforts and increase public knowledge about organics," says Viella Shipley, CCOF Marketing Director."

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Farmers Left Out

"It's hard for many of us living in this clean green South Pacific paradise to fully comprehend. But in the industrialised nations of the northern hemisphere a consumer revolution is taking place – for an increasing number of those city dwellers the green values of the food they eat is more important than price.

By green, they mean the animals must come from farms where they are well cared for and allowed to roam free, where their waste does not contaminate waterways and where the use of fertiliser and other chemicals is carefully governed.

Fruit, vegetable and cereal crops must also have as little chemical use in their growing as possible. And the carbon burnt in growing, harvesting and transporting this produce to market must be kept to a minimum.

It's a lot to ask, but we are working hard at achieving this.

The Government is paying for a PR campaign in Britain to tell shoppers there how well we are doing.

So, you can imagine the dismay of the struggling small organic food industry – which raised the banner of environmental sustainability long before it became politically advantageous to do so – when it rates hardly a mention in government propaganda."

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Tomato Fest

"Tomato-philes will have ample opportunity to savor locally grown, organic, naturally farm ripened, vibrantly colored and bursting with flavor iterations of their favorite fruit Aug. 13 through Sept. 9 during the Second Annual Katchkie Tomato Festival (, produced by Great Performances (, the leading catering concern. For the month-long food festival, the chefs at six of the New York City restaurants operated by Great Performances (GP) - Café Opaline, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Garden Court Café, Mae Mae Café, Sotheby’s Café, and Wave Hill - will present tempting tomato centric dishes priced at $8 to showcase the 6,000 pound, multi-variety tomato crop from Katchkie Farm (, GP’s new 60-acre organic farm in Kinderhook, NY."

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Even the Olympics is Organic

"Most of the organic vegetables to be delivered to the athletes' village and press center during the Beijing Olympic Games and ensuing Paralympics will be grown in the village of Donglongwan, about 100 kilometers northwest of Beijing.

Organic eggplants, tomatoes, onions and other vegetables will be grown in a 30-hectare field surrounded by a two-meter-high steel fence."

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It's funny how it will be 08.08.08 in NO TIME. The years go by too quickly!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Organic Nursing Dolls?

"With increased public awareness of the environmental triggers for asthma, allergies, and chemical sensitivities, more people are seeking organic cotton plush toys and dolls for their children. As an online retailer that specializes in earth-friendly, labor-friendly, vegan products, is proud to offer one of the largest collections of dolls and stuffed toys made from pure, certified organic cotton, all made with fair labor and most made in the USA.

Owner and founder Melissa Zenz recalls "When my daughter was about two years old, we bought her a nursing doll as a gift. I believe firmly in the benefits of breastfeeding for health and environmental reasons, and wanted her to have a doll that she could use to role-play this loving and routine aspect of our lives that was so unfamiliar to most of the people we knew."

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Slightly odd, but cute.

German Market Looks to Organic Cotton

"Organic cotton from Punjab may find German markets as there is a great demand for the product from that country, state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said Wednesday.

"This project has been started in Abohar and we found there is a great demand for organically grown cotton in Europe, especially Germany," Badal said speaking at Assocham organised business meet with the ambassadors and commercial counsellors of Arab and African countries here."

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Rust Found in Organic Baby Food

"A MUM whose one-year-old daughter fell ill after eating organic baby food was shocked to find rust inside the lids of two jars.

Baby Evelyn Hopkins suffered a stomach upset after dad Rod fed her half a jar of HiPP Organic creamy rice pudding with apple.

It was only when mum Linda later tried to feed her the remainder of the jar that she noticed a dark brown layer in the lid, some of which had dropped onto the rice."

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Fruit & Yogurt Bars from Barbara's Bakery

"Natural and organic foods pioneer Barbara’s Bakery expands its best-selling snack bar line with the introduction of Fruit & Yogurt Bars, the first all-natural snack bars to combine real fruit fillings and creamy yogurt wrapped in a tasty pastry-like whole grain crust.

Available in Cinnamon Apple, Blueberry Apple, Cherry Apple and Strawberry Apple flavors, each 8.9 ounce bar offers more calcium than a six ounce cup of fresh yogurt and contains 8 grams of whole grains. Like all Barbara’s Bakery’s products, the new Fruit & Yogurt Bars contain no refined white sugar, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils or trans fats."

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Got Hemp Milk?

"The herd of non-dairy milks has gained a strong ‘bull’ of a competitor – Hemp Bliss organic hempmilk from Manitoba Harvest ( Consumer demand for dairy milk alternatives has been growing for many years due to vegetarian preferences and concerns about dietary sensitivities to dairy, growth hormones in dairy milks, and animal rights and other environmental issues associated with dairy production. Some people simply don’t enjoy the flavor of dairy milk and find that they can gain nutrition by tastier means."

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Kroger Adds to Organics

"Increasing customer demand for organic foods has prompted Kroger Co. to expand its choices.

The company is adding more than 60 organic products to its Private Selections brand, including pasta, waffles, tea, peanut butter, snacks and milk. Most should be available in Kroger stores by the end of September, according to a news release."

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hain Buys Baby Line

"Hain Celestial Group Inc. will spend $3.4 million to buy TenderCare International Inc. and add its line of diapers and baby wipes to its fast-growing lineup of products.

Hain has been described as the nation’s largest maker of organic groceries. In May it bought WhiteWave, the maker of TofuTown tofu and other mock-meat products, and that purchase followed close on the heels of others that expanded the company’s non-dairy and meat-free product lines."

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Testing Organic Fertilizer

"The Kroger Store on Hardy Road in Vinton is now testing an organic plant food manufactured by TerraCycle, Inc. The “Worm Poop” plant food is a high quality fertilizer that comes ready to use, with no mixing required. Unlike many eco-friendly and organic products, TerraCycle comes at no premium costing only 4 dollars a bottle.

TerraCycle is the first product to be sold at Kroger Stores that is not only made from garbage, but also packaged in garbage! TerraCycle Plant Foods are made from organic waste that is composted by worms, liquefied and packaged in reused soda bottles."

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Going Back to School Healthy

"Whole Foods Market,the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is sending students of all ages to the head of the class with a variety of tools to help stay on the nutritional track during the busy back-to-school season.

By going beyond the typical offerings that target the K-12 back-to-school set, Whole Foods Market is offering two handy brochures packed with coupons and information. While one brochure offers nutritional guidance to kids, tweens and teens, the other is specifically tailored to college students. The Company will also produce back-to-school themed podcasts and offer tasty recipes sure to help fortify brain power during the school year."

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Organic Cotton from Uganda

"FOR Alex Okello and his family, growing organic cotton means one thing: no more poverty. "In 2005 when I heard that Dunavant Uganda was reviving organic cotton production and offering incentives, I joined a cooperative society," Okello says.

Dunavant is an international organisation that gives cotton farmers in the north outputs, teaches them new methods of farming and buys cotton from them."

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Monday, August 6, 2007

A 100% Organic Story

"A North-east farmer plans to switch to 100% organic produce - and set up a shop and cafe to sell it.

Insch-based Mike Davis hopes to promote North-east produce as the "best in the country" with his multi-million pound investment.

He said about 20 people could be employed at the new site, proposed for land near Oldmeldrum, which he will run with his wife."

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Organic Festival in Bristol

"This year's Soil Association Organic Food Festival - the biggest organic festival in Europe - is not just about food.

Although there are going to be over 300 organic food exhibitors, there will also be something for non-foodies, such as organic health and beauty products, textiles and the UK’s first national organic fashion show."

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Stonyfield Sponsors Museum

"The Children’s Metamorphosis today announced that Stonyfield Farm has committed to a three-year, $10,000 per year sponsorship of the struggling children’s museum. Part of Stonyfield’s Profits for the Planet initiative, the funds will be used for Met operating expenses and for a new exhibit aimed at educating and exciting young Met patrons about organic farming.

“The Met is a perfect match for our efforts to encourage healthy food, healthy kids, and a healthy planet,” said Maureen Wolpert, senior product manager at Stonyfield Farm. “We’re pleased to help the museum get back on solid financial ground, and excited about sharing our vision of natural, organic-based agriculture with the thousands of kids and families that visit the Met each year.”

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North Dakota Organics

"North Dakota's organic food industry will get an opportunity to promote and educate consumers through a new Web site, Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson says.

The state Industrial Commission has approved a $30,000 grant for the development of a Web site and educational and promotional materials, Johnson said. He is a member of the commission, along with Gov. John Hoeven and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem."

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Public Views on Organic

"We asked our readers to tell us: "Is organic food inherently better for you? Or is the difference negligible?" Here are your responses."

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Fresh Organic Produce in Turkey

"A new organic farm collaboration in Çannakale, Ömercan, aims to bring consumers closer to a natural lifestyle, through the weekly delivery of vegetables to homes around Turkey. The farm stretches over 151 hectares and Chevrel Traher a horticulturalist and landscape designer believes it can serve as a model for Turkish farmers as well."

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

GMOs ARE Damaging

"Parm Randhawa was surprised by the results of a GMO test on samples of organic soybeans taken from a railcar. "The samples tested positive as much as 20% on one sample. That was quite high," says Randhawa, who operates California Seed and Plant Lab, a GMO testing lab based in Elverta, California.

Randhawa tested the soybeans after getting a positive GMO test result on organic soybean oil made from the beans. Detecting genetically modified material in oil is difficult because transgenic DNA breaks down from the heat of oil processing."

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Friday, August 3, 2007

BioCordoba: Spain's Organic Trade Show

"BioCordoba, Spain’s only trade show for the organic sector, takes place from September 27 to 29 this year. It is changing its traditional venue from the Palacio de la Merced to the Cajasur Pavilion, since an expansion is required. The new venue has an area of approximately 12,000 square meters. The exhibition surface area had been enlarged before – last year’s surface was already 67 % bigger than for the previous edition. The main organiser, the Regional Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, endorses its commitment to consolidate BioCordoba as a national point of reference."

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More on Organic Fertilizers

"So it's finally cool for mainstream America to be green. Organic products are showing up everywhere, from what we put in our gardens to the clothes we wear.

Some organic choices require little thought, such as selecting organically grown carrots. We know they were grown without harmful chemicals. But what does the farmer – or you as a gardener – select to fertilize and grow food organically?"

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The Amazon Grocer

"Has enough time passed since the sensational demise of and its Web-to-doorstep grocery delivery peers for another company to try again? Inc. sure hopes so.

The Web retailer quietly began taking orders for fresh produce and other grocery items Wednesday from residents of Mercer Island, a Seattle suburb, and dispatched a fleet of 12 delivery trucks from its grocery distribution center in nearby Bellevue to deliver those alfalfa sprouts and acorn squash in one-hour time slots.

.. The selection includes organic, kosher, wheat-free and other specialty categories, but not books, music or sporting goods, and the shopping cart and checkout process are completely separate from the main site."

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Falling Short

"The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) said Monday that funding provisions for organic farming in the 2007 farm bill "fall short" of what's needed to keep up with burgeoning market demand.

The U.S. House of Representatives Friday ignored a veto threat from President Bush and approved a $284 billion, five-year farm bill in a 231-191 vote. Organic farming advocates were hopeful the legislation would reflect the growing market demand for organic foods and earmark the necessary funding to support research and market development for the industry."

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Organic Boost in Ireland

"EU approval of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme for the period covering 2007-2013 will provide a major boost for organic production here, Food Minister, Trevor Sargent, has said.

The approval by the EU’s Rural Development Committee approved means that the new organic farming scheme, along with REPS 4, can be finalised and launched in early August."

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Whole Foods Shows Off Farmers Market

"Slowly, but surely, the new farmers market outside the Whole Foods grocery store in Fair Lakes is attracting a following. And last Sunday, people from near and far came to sample, peruse and buy.

"I LIKE IT because I found the things I needed to buy today, like tomatoes, eggplant, coffee and Boston lettuce," said Virginia Run's Kavitha Iyengar. "And the people are nice," added her husband, Murali. "I like the interaction with the vendors. It's an honest, hometown thing."
The market began in May and will possibly run until Halloween. It's each Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and Dale Stirzel, Whole Foods' assistant store team leader, couldn't be happier."

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Define Natural

"Can chicken injected with up to 15 percent salt water and seaweed extract be packaged with a "100 percent all natural" label?


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the salt water and seaweed are natural. Injecting natural products into another natural product is not unnatural, the USDA says.

However, the USDA policy has divided the poultry industry and united a coalition asking the federal government to redefine its diluted version of "natural."

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Holy Lamb Offers Organic Bedding

" A weeklong camping trip among California Redwoods seven years ago inspired Willow Whitton of Olympia to start her own business.

It wasn’t the tall trees that were the source of Willow’s inspiration. It was rather a last-minute pillow she had purchased for her trip.

While Whitton would have preferred a pillow made of organic materials, she said she got a decent night’s rest on the pillow made from nylon and other synthetics."

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Let the Battle Begin!

"Whole Foods squeezes it rivals by slashing its prices as much as 5 percent when other natural foods markets open nearby, an economist testifying on behalf of federal antitrust regulators said Tuesday.

"I would say Whole Foods responds to competition from other players" in the premium organic natural foods stores, said Kevin Murphy, an economist at the University of Chicago.

The grocer cut prices in Boulder in anticipation of Wild Oats opening a flagship store nearby, Murphy said."

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Whole Foods Chocolate Allergy Alert

"Whole Foods Market and the Food and Drug Administration are recalling "365 Organic Everyday Value Swiss Dark Chocolate Bars." The bars might contain almonds that aren't listed on the label."

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