Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Fight Begins: OCA and Cornucopia Will Stand Up Against Aurora

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it will not investigate complaints filed Sept. 13 by organic watchdog The Cornucopia Institute against Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) and its two certifiers.

The news comes just days after three public interest groups, including Cornucopia, defiantly vowed to disobey a demand from AOD to stop making "false and disparaging" statements against the Boulder, Colo.-based dairy or face legal action.

"They're picking on the wrong people," Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the 850,000-member Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and one of the groups targeted by AOD, told Sustainable Food News. "We will never back down. If they dare sue us, they'll just make matters worse."

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Will African Organics Be Kept Out of Europe?

"The newly launched East Africa Organic Standard, designed to boost exports to Europe, could fall at the first hurdle if the largest licensing body in the UK decides in November that air-freighted produce no longer qualifies as organic.

African farmers have been highly critical of the UK Soil Association's (SA) controversial consultation on air miles, which may result in it refusing to endorse products imported by plane. Despite the fact that less than 1 percent of all UK food comes by air, campaigners argue that it is responsible for 11 percent of carbon emissions and therefore at odds with organic principles.

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Big, Organic Dairy

"Zipping along in a four-seat helicopter, Don Odegard can see Watts Brothers Farms from miles away.

Its dairy cows are dark dots ambling toward an indoor milking carousel. Others munch on grass in irrigated pasture before retreating from the Eastern Washington sun to shelters the length of three football fields. They rest there and eat dried organic hay and other feed before heading to the carousel again.

It's not exactly Old MacDonald's farm.

Watts Brothers, which started milking cows in December, is Washington's largest organic dairy with 2,200 milking cows.

State regulators and some small dairy farmers speak highly of it, but critics question whether milking thousands of cows is worthy of the term "organic."

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Developing and Expanding Organic

"After extensive consultations with producers, recommendations on how to develop and expand the organic agriculture industry have been presented to Premier Lorne Calvert.

Minister of regional economic and co-operative development Lon Borgerson was responsible for gathering information.

"The demand is over 20% a year in terms of organic sales and it is steady and market analysts say organics are here to stay. So my report makes recommendations to expand the organic industry from production to processing to marketing. We have about 1300 certified organic farmers in the province right now and others who are transitioning. That represents about 3% of the farmers.

Borgerson explains, this is also important for the economy."

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Northern California Whole Foods President Returns to Safeway

"Anthony Gilmore, president of the Northern California division of Whole Foods Market Inc., has joined Safeway Inc. as a vice president of lifestyle.

The move will end an 11-year tenure for the supermarket industry veteran at Whole Foods, the world's largest natural and organic food supermarket chain. Before taking over the fast-growing Northern California division, Gilmore oversaw operations in Whole Foods' Midwest and Southwest regions.

He is actually returning to Pleasanton-based Safeway, where he began as a courtesy clerk at the north Salinas store as a teenager in 1976. He moved up the ladder at Safeway, holding a number of management positions in the company's Northern California division before moving to Whole Foods in 1996."

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Registration for European Organic Congress Opened

"All interested parties are invited to the European Organic Congress, which will take place in Brussels on December 4 and 5, 2007. The congress puts focus on the future EU policy on organic food and farming within the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). This large-scale forum of the organic sector in Europe, which is organised by IFOAM EU Group, is expected to bring together around 200 participants representing the European Commission, authorities and organisations from the EU Member States, Members of Parliament and a broad range of stakeholders from all over Europe."

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7 Organic Tips

"If the prices at my local Safeway are used as a measuring stick, you have to be downright rich to afford an all-organic diet. But it's not just the wealthiest among us who crave food free from pesticides or like the idea of fewer steps from field to table. What about average-income consumers who would like to buy organic but haven't quite figured out how to do it on a real-life budget? Sound like you?"

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Target Deceives Consumers with Aurora Milk

"Ever wonder how Target Corp. could sell its organic milk for dollars less than other stores? Turns out the milk might not have been truly organic after all.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it had threatened to revoke the organic status of Aurora Organic Dairy, a Colorado farm that supplies Target and Wal-Mart, among others, with its organic milk.

The government found that from late 2003 until this spring Aurora, under retailer labels such as Target's Archer Farms, essentially sold conventional milk slapped with an organic label."

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Friday, September 28, 2007

80% of School Produce Has Low Levels of Pesticides

"More than 80 per cent of the fruit and vegetables handed out free in schools has low levels of pesticide, it has been revealed.

Some 50 out of 59 samples tested by experts showed up positive for one or more chemicals.

The Government insists the levels do not pose a risk to child health and that washing or peeling fresh produce will remove residues.

However, campaigners from The Soil Association, which supports organic farming, say it is wrong to give children produce with any level of pesticide."

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Tastybaby Frozen Foods Now Available

"Tastybaby(TM) (, a company devoted to a balanced and healthy lifestyle, today announced the immediate West Coast availability of its line of Tastybaby 100 percent organic frozen baby food through distributors UNFI and DPI. Next month, Tastybaby will be available for purchase at Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Mollie Stones and PC Greens.

"We are excited about the level of interest and enthusiasm among retailers to carry Tastybaby food," said Liane Weintraub, co-founder and CEO of Tastybaby who is a former journalist and avid environmentalist. "Our goal is to provide tasty organic baby food to families nationwide in order to help give children everywhere the best possible nutritional start."

Tastybaby is raising the bar by pioneering a new food category -- frozen, organic baby food -- which is widely recognized as the healthiest nutritional baby food option available today. By blast-freezing the freshest organic ingredients at their prime, capturing the ripest flavors and optimal nutrients and preparing baby food in convenient single servings, Tastybaby is helping make it possible for parents everywhere to practice green living without sacrificing life's pleasures."

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Organic Cereals Aren't Fortified: Are Your Kids Missing Out?

"Kids who go organic for breakfast may be missing out on their vitamins.

Since the 1940’s, commercial cereal companies have been adding vitamins to their flakes, puffs and O’s in order to replace nutrients stripped away during the manufacturing process. But the main appeal of organic cereals is that they’re made with only natural, organically grown ingredients free of additives, including artificial preservatives and colors — and often, vitamins.

For many kids, commercial breakfast cereal is the main source of daily vitamins and minerals. Take a look at Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes reduced-sugar cereal. A serving provides 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of seven essential nutrients, including iron, folic acid and other B vitamins. It also provides 10 percent of the recommended intake for vitamins A, C and D."

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My question is does the body even know what to do with fortification? It's obviously better to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible NATURALLY.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Zealand Against Air Freight Ban

"Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) has made a submission on the UK Soil Association's 'Green Paper on Air Freight', opposing the suggestion from Britain's largest organic certifier that air freighted products should be banned from carrying their organic label.

"OANZ accepts there are a range of negative environmental impacts from air freight, but these shouldn't be considered in isolation and shouldn't be used as a barrier to organic trade", said OANZ Deputy Chair David Wright."

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Aurora Will Sue You!!

"Letters received yesterday by The Cornucopia Institute, Organic Consumers Association, and the Center for Food Safety from Aurora Organic Dairy, based in Boulder, Colorado, threatened the three public interest groups with a lawsuit if they did not retract statements they had made concerning Aurora and refrain from filing a lawsuit against Aurora alleging consumer fraud.

The legal threats by Aurora are the latest salvo in a media battle stemming from formal legal complaints filed by The Cornucopia Institute in 2005 and 2006 with the USDA over Aurora’s alleged organic management practices. On April 16, 2007, the USDA confirmed Cornucopia's allegations by making administrative findings that the giant industrial-scale dairies, milking thousands of cows each, were not providing their cattle with pasture, as required by law, had illegally brought conventional cattle into their operations, and had committed a number of other serious improprieties."

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Woodbury County Leads the Way

"Woodbury County is leading the way in organic farming. In the last year, the county has added two programs to offer tax breaks and help to farmers who switch from conventional to organic practices. It's a trend that's catching on across the country.

12 years ago, Roger Lansink was bitten by a bug. The organic bug. He saw a magazine article about farmers growing their crops without pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals and was hooked. Lansink says, "Why not, if other people can do it why can't we do it." And so he did. Roger made the switch, meaning some big changes for his 850 acres of corn, soybeans, barley, oats and alfalfa. Lansink says, "It was a challenge at first, because you're totally changing your style of farming, so weed control is definitely a challenge at first. But it gets easier, the longer the farm is in an organic rotation, and the easier the weed control becomes." Weed control is maintained through crop rotation. Each crops effect weeds differently, so by rotating what you grow, you can interrupt the weed's life cycle and stop it from growing."

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Amish Naturals Introduces 13 New Pastas

"Amish Naturals, Inc. (OTCBB: AMNT), a brand known for trademark values of authenticity and quality and Amish culinary craftsmanship, today announced thirteen new additions to its line of premium organic pasta products premiering at the Natural Foods Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland.

Additions to Amish Natural's line include: Fiber Rich, Garlic Parsley, Tomato Basil, Whole Wheat, Spinach and Plain varieties of both bird's nest style Spaghetti and Penne Rigate cut pastas.

Amish Naturals will serve booth visitors tastes of its organic pastas during all three Expo East tradeshow days (Thursday, September 27 through Saturday, September 29) at Booth 3852 in the Baltimore Convention Center."

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

KEIKO Offers New Organic Green Tea Powder

"Green tea (matcha) is a nutritional power food and consumers know it! KEIKO Teas offers KEIKO Kabuse No. 2 Green Tea Powder. This is a high quality, certified organic, half-shaded, Japanese green tea powder for use in food, as well as health supplements and beauty products."

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Sonoma Organic Farm Makes the Best Out of Cow Manure

"Manure from 240 cows at an organic Petaluma dairy farm is being converted into renewable electricity.

The Petaluma City Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were at the St. Anthony Farm today where Sonoma County's first methane digester went on line.

The digester will use bacteria to break down manure from the cows and produce biogas which will then be converted into renewable electricity in an adjacent generator.

At the heart of the system is a 27,000-square-foot covered manure lagoon digester. Flushed manure from the organic dairy and wastewater from the farm's creamery will be pumped to the 2.3 million gallon covered lagoon. Microbes will then convert the organic matter into 17,000 cubic feet per day of methane rich biogas."

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Can Organic Food REALLY Feed the World?

"Recent studies have re-visited the idea that organic methods of agriculture would be sufficient to feed the world – but they are flawed because of naïveté about agriculture in developing nations.

Can organic food feed the world? A recent study, published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems provides new data that suggests it can. However, I have some grave reservations about this prospect that are based on my experience as a scientist and my time living and working with real farmers in developing nations."

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Eateries and Grocers Offering Organics at Fair Prices

"Although people say it's good for the body and soul, finding organic food can be tricky. But a few organic restaurants and grocers aim to make health nuts happy.

"Chico has some great organic options," said Stephanie Mendes, a biochemistry major. "I've eaten much healthier since I came to college."

Grilla Bites offers healthy, fast food downtown at 119 W. Second St. and 196 Cohasset Road. The restaurants serve sustainably grown, pesticide-free breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to its Web site.

"We have a lot of unique things here," said chef Derek Hoffman."

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4th National Organic Agriculture Congress Opens in the Philippines

"The 4th National Organic Agriculture Congress opens in Iloilo City on October 17-18, 2007 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center. The theme of the Congress is "Converging Thrusts for the Organic Industry Development in the Philippines."

This event is organized by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fishery Product Standards of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAFPS), headed by Director Gilbert Layese. The Congress is organized in cooperation with the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) chaired by Prof. Marilou Ang – Lopez, and the Panay Organic Producers Association, Inc (POPA), headed by Ms. Dawn Jamandre. ABS-CBN is the media partner for the event."

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WhiteWave to Offset Impact of Expo

"WhiteWave Foods Company (WWFC), maker of Horizon Organic® and Silk® Soymilk, announced today that it will offset the environmental impact of The Natural Products Expo East by purchasing green tags, or renewable energy certificates. WWFC will purchase enough green tags to cover the energy used to power all 425,000 square feet of the Baltimore Convention Center for the Duration of Expo East from Sept. 26-29."

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Polish Market to Sell Organics

"Warsaw - Tesco, one of the major players on the Polish retail market, introduces a range of fresh organic produce. First organic fruit and vegetables appeared on the Tesco shelves in Poland in the beginning of September. The British giant has more than 250 stores in Poland and additional 31 operating under the name of Savia."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Organic to Go Acquires Simon's Gourmet Sandwiches

"Organic To Go has acquired Simon's Gourmet Sandwiches in San Diego, representing its third acquisition in the county.

This expansion brings the company's total cafes in San Diego county to five, with one cafe in La Jolla and four downtown, as well as Organic to Go kiosks on campus at the University of San Diego and San Diego state. The company now has 21 cafes in its briskly growing west coast roster.

The Simon's Gourmet Sandwiches locations will be changed to Organic To Go branded operations and require new production and handling standards in keeping with USDA certified organic regulations. The Organic To Go menu is expected to be ready for retail and delivery service by winter."

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Yerba Mate Saves Your Skin and the World

" All soaps are not created equal. Most consumers have no idea that many popular, brand-name soaps contain beef fat, as well as artificial chemicals and additives that are often tested on animals, according to Scott Cecil, President of personal care products company Save Your World(TM).
(Photo: )

And many soap companies use non-organic, non-renewable resources in mass production processes that exclude glycerin from their final products, therefore decreasing its natural moisturizing effect, Cecil says. See

According to Cecil, "We believe that consumers need to look for safe, yet effective products from natural, sustainable and renewable sources." See

"A company that shares our values, like Save Your World(TM), fits perfectly into the Whole Foods Market culture," says Noelle Wagner, Midwest Regional Whole Body coordinator.

Yerba Mate, an evergreen plant that grows in the shade of the rainforests in South America, is a unique ingredient found in all Save Your World(TM) products. It contains nearly all of the vitamins needed to sustain life, including vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B complex, carotene, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin C complex, in addition to 15 different amino acids."

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Happy Bellies: The First Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal

"Nurture, Inc., the parent company of HAPPYBABY(R), the first nationally distributed fresh frozen organic baby meals, today announces the launch of HAPPYBELLIES(R), the first baby cereal with Probiotics and the only organic baby cereal with DHA. The newest innovation from Nurture, Inc. supports the company's long standing commitment to provide the healthiest, most beneficial first and advanced foods for infants and toddlers, while also serving as a trusted educational resource for parents. HAPPYBELLIES is the only baby cereal recommended by the renowned Pediatrician, Dr. Robert "Bob" Sears, MD. Dr Sears has worked with Nurture, Inc. since inception teaming up to develop a full range of healthy meals for babies and toddlers as well as providing helpful feeding tips on product boxes and their website."

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Consumption of Organics in Bulgaria Grows

"Until recently Bulgaria's consumption of organic products was limited to herbal teas. This is now changing, the newspaper reports. A state prison recently got in touch with the "Balkan Biocert" organisation to find about possibilities for producing organic products in prisons."

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Recall: Soy Deli Tofu Tainted With Dangerous Bacteria

"State health officials warned people today not to eat tofu products from a South San Francisco company because the food may be tainted with a dangerous bacteria.

The company, Quong Hop and Co. , has recalled all varieties of its Soy Deli brand tofu with a date code of Dec. 17, 2007, and three other brands: 16-ounce Quong Hop brand Water Pack Tofu with a date code of Sep. 23, 2007; 12-ounce Soy Deli brand Water Pack Tofu with a date code of Sep. 23, 2007, or Oct. 9, 2007; and 30-ounce Soy Deli brand Nigari Tofu dated either Sep. 23, 2007, or Oct. 17, 2007.

The date code, printed in blue ink, can be found on the front panel of all the products."

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Aurora's Sweet Deal

"CORNUCOPIA: In a startling revelation today The Cornucopia Institute made public a document indicating that not only did the USDA find that the nation's largest organic factory-farm dairy operator "willfully" violated the federal organic standards, but that one of its certifiers, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, had, also, "willfully" failed to legally perform their oversight responsibilities under the federal regulations.

In a letter dated April 16, 2007, Mark Bradley, Director of the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP), notified Colorado of a formal Notice of Proposed Suspension of its accreditation as a certifying agent for organic livestock.

USDA investigations of both Aurora Organic Dairy, operating factory farms in Texas and Colorado, and their certifiers, were prompted by a formal legal complaint filed by The Cornucopia Institute in 2005. The USDA confirmed Cornucopia's allegations that the giant industrial-scale dairies, milking thousands of cows each, were not providing their cattle with pasture, as required by law, had illegally brought conventional cattle into their operations, and a committed a number of other serious improprieties."

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Wayermann To Sell Organic Liquid Malt Color

"German malting company Wayermann is posed to tap the trend towards organic colourings by introducing an organic version of its Sinamar natural liquid malt colour.

The Bamberg-based company is mainly involved in making 80 varieties of malt and eight varieties of liquid malt extract (including some organics). Until now, it has offered only one all-natural liquid malt colour, for use in beer, baked goods, tea, soft drinks, spirits and pharmaceutical goods.

The introduction of a new, organic version of colour is an indication that even small-scale players in the food ingredients market are seeing potential in an area that is attracting considerable consumer interest."

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School Lunch Becomes.. Delicious?!

"Riverway Learning Community smells good. Really good.

Since school began, neighbors of the Minnesota City charter have had a call for the noon meal that rings much louder than any cowbell clanking. The aroma of made-from-scratch, organic, and locally-produced meals now wafts from the homey building, enticing teachers and students alike to the lunchroom.

The school’s switch to freshly prepared organic foods has reversed an age-old rite of school passage: these kids actually like school lunch."

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Cargill Launches Organic Snacks

"Cargill this week will unveil two prototype snacks formulations containing organic and natural sugar-replacement ingredients.

A chocolate hazelnut cereal containing a natural sweetener, and an organic cranberry almond granola bar containing organic glucose syrup are two of the products Cargill plans to reveal at the Natural Products Expo East this week in Baltimore.

More and more consumers are demanding healthier or additive free products. A recent Datamonitor report indicates trhat consumers in the US and Europe are looking for food and beverages that cater to more indulgent tastes, while remaining convenient and healthy."

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Publix Jumps on the Organic Wagon

"When shoppers visit the new Publix GreenWise Market in Palm Beach Gardens they'll be able to buy their organic fruits and vegetables, made-to-order lobster ravioli and Tide laundry detergent. Plus, they'll find 50-year-old olive oil and wines priced at $250 a bottle.

The prototype store, which will open to the public on Thursday, is in many ways a conglomeration of an organic grocer, gourmet specialty market, restaurant and traditional supermarket all rolled into one."

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Organic Gardeners Turn Three

"Sixteen-year-old Michelle Miranda's favorite snack used to be potato chips.

“Now,” the New London High School junior said, “I love green beans.”

Healthy eating habits are just a few of the lessons a group of New London students have learned working for Fresh New London, a nonprofit organization that grows organic produce and promotes the accessibility of fresh vegetables in the city.

A host of people, some of whom are involved with Fresh New London and others who are not, attended a Harvest Potluck and Celebration of Autumn at the organization's community garden at Mercer and Williams streets Saturday."

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sustain Mizzou Donates to Missouri Food Bank

"On a warm September day, a group of environmentally conscious students gathered around rows of peppers, cabbage and sweet potatoes and went over what is ripe and what can be thrown away. After a short lesson, the picking began and cardboard boxes filled with bright yellow peppers. For the Sustain Mizzou organization, this is just a regular Thursday.

Sustain Mizzou is a student-run effort that aims to increase awareness and volunteerism for the environment. Its members coordinate many recycling programs on campus and lend a helping hand to bike transportation and energy management. Two years ago, the organization added another venture to the mix with the Farm Project.

For the past two years, Sustain Mizzou has gathered organic produce to donate to the Central Missouri Food Bank."

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Organic Growers Busted in California

"What should be a busy weekend for farmers markets in northern California will instead be a bust for some growers in Solano County.

Earlier this week, California Department of Food and Agriculture officials imposed a 114-square mile quarantine around the city of Dixon following the discovery of Mediterranean fruit flies.

That quarantine prohibits the movement of host fruits and vegetables outside the quarantine area and severely impacts mainly organic farmers. "They're going to get hurt by this," said Solano County Agriculture Commissioner Jerry Howard."

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The Organic Delivery Company Wins Award

"The Organic Delivery Company was proud to receive the most consumer votes as small retailer of the year. The delivery service was in good company with other awards going to Last, Marks & Spencer and

The internet shopping industry presents the OLGA awards to inspire, encourage and reward individuals and companies who are using internet shopping to progress towards conservation of the earth's resources and/or a reduction in their carbon footprint."

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America Gets a Taste of Indian Organic Food

"Americans are set to get a taste of Indian organic food, including the famous spices, at an organic expo in Maryland's Baltimore city from Sep 27.

Visitors to the 'BioFach America Organic Products Expo 2007' at the Baltimore Convention Center from September 27-29 will get a taste of a range of exquisite and traditional organic food products from India including the famous spices, snack foods and other cooked preparations that have been made for the contemporary lifestyle."

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Organic Beer and Wine Tasting in California

"CCOF announces its Second Annual Organic Beer and Wine Tasting event in collaboration with the annual Harvest Festival at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in San Francisco. The event takes place on Friday, October 26, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., where resident Ferry Building food vendors will pair with visiting CCOF certified vintners and brewers to offer tasty bites and accompaniments, many made with delectable certified organic ingredients.

This year's event will showcase a premiere wine selection with more than 25 CCOF organic wineries and breweries offering tastes of their spectacular products throughout the night. On board so far is Adastra Wines, Barra of Mendocino, Butte Creek Brewing, Coturri Winery, EMTU Estates, Hallcrest Vineyards, Hawley Wines, Mendocino Wine Company, Mountain People Wine, the Nevada County Wine Guild, the Organic Wine Works, Scaggs Vineyard, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Terra Savia, and Tres Sabores.

Food and wine enthusiasts can purchase tickets at the door, $25 for 10 tastes or $15 for 5 tastes, which includes a commemorative wine glass. Live music will set the tone as attendees taste and sample their way around the Ferry Building."

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Your Health in a Vending Machine

"Combining three unremitting consumer trends — convenience, organics and health — YoZone by YoNaturals is a vending machine dedicated to organic products.

Based in San Diego, YoNaturals offers an alternative to vending machines that are typically stocked with junk food.

Trend monitoring group reports that YoNaturals offers a wide range of items, from fresh fruit to products by well-known brands like Tazo (tea), Clif Bar (energy bars), Vitamin (beverages) and Horizon Organic (dairy). Operators and location managers can choose from more than 150 natural and organic foods and beverages, order through an online ordering system, and have the products delivered in less than three days.

YoNaturals is actively seeking locations across the US such as schools, shopping centres, offices, hospitals and fitness centres for placement of YoZone machines, seeking to cater to consumers on the go who are interested in healthier food options."

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Interest in Kosher Organic Chicken Grows

"THE refusal of organic-food certification bodies to recognise kosher poultry faces a new challenge from the man running Anglo-Jewry’s biggest kosher abattoir.

Stephen Grossman, who took over the helm of Lewco-Pak in Bedfordshire earlier this year, has begun talks with one of a number of organisations that certify products as organic, though he was unwilling to reveal which one.

Mr Grossman told the JC this week: “This is at a very early stage. It is a complicated process and I want to investigate it thoroughly. I do not know if I will be successful, so I would rather not say yet to whom I am talking.

“I started this because a friend asked why they could not buy kosher organic chicken. I am a member of the British Poultry Council, so I began by asking their advice and I have gone forward from there."

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Christian Family Believes in Organic Too

"The Hale family has embraced organic farming because it is healthy, good for the environment and less cruel to animals. But do not mistake them for nature-worshiping New Agers or back-to-basics hippies.

They are part of a small movement of conservative Christians who believe the Bible demands an organic or natural approach to agriculture.

The Hales support the Republican Party and back conservative former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to be the next US president, and they take their faith seriously.

The eight children, aged nine to 24, were schooled at home, in part to shield them from corrosive secular influences. The four girls and mother Connie dress modestly in long skirts."

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Which Celebrity is Most in Need of an Organic Breakfast?

"Pete Doherty has come out on top for once, but as the celebrity most in need of an organic breakfast, according to a new poll commissioned by the Soil Association. The poll of 1,000 UK mums on asked which celebrity most needed to wake up to a hearty organic breakfast and poor old Pete came top of the list with 37% of the vote.

Joint second for a much needed healthy start to the day was LA new kid Victoria Beckham and Radio 1 motormouth Chris Moyles with 17% each. Pete’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Kate Moss, faired a little better with only 6% thinking she needed some foodie tlc but Britney racked up 10% of the vote.

The results come mid-way through Soil Association Organic Fortnight, a UK-wide celebration of all things organic which sees businesses, communities and individuals across Britain coming together to host events and promote organic products."

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Organic Christmas

"This year's organic Christmas is set to be bigger than ever as organic food and drink sales in the UK nudge the £2 billion mark for the first time. Sales of organic products through box schemes, mail order and other direct routes increased by a staggering 53 per cent last year.

Organic fashion and the booming health and beauty sector are experiencing huge growth with a 30 per cent increase in the number of health and beauty products licensed by the Soil Association. At current growth rates, the UK market for organic cotton products is estimated to be worth £107 million by 2008."

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Breakfast Cereal Bunnies from Annie's

"Annie’s new Breakfast Cereal Bunnies are bunny, heart, flower and ring-shaped organic breakfast bites made from toasted whole grain oats.

No icky additives or pesky preservatives inside! Made with only natural and organic ingredients available in three great-tasting flavors – Oat, Honey and Cinnamon.

We've strived for excellence and perfection in our new Breakfast Cereal Bunnies. We hope they earn the same level of trust, loyalty and enthusiasm you have shown for our other products, like our all-natural Cheddar Bunnies and our very popular all-natural and organic mac & cheese pasta meals."

Visit the product page

I saw this cereal the last time I went to the market. It's so cute I thought I'd mention it. Maybe I'll try it and review it sometime? Annie's products are usually tasty.

Organic and Natural Cosmetics Reach 7 Billion

"Global sales of natural & organic cosmetics are soaring with revenues projected to approach US $7 billion this year. New research by Organic Monitor ( finds that North America and Europe are the two engines of growth, comprising the bulk of the US $1 billion sales increase this year.

The major drivers of market growth are the mainstreaming of natural & organic cosmetics, inward investment and growing consumer demand for green products. Distribution of natural and organic cosmetics is increasing in supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies across North America and Western Europe. Investment is coming in from large cosmetic manufacturers, retailers, private and financial investors."

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The Origins of Organic

"While organic farming and products have been around since the beginning of farming we have just begun to return to our roots with an organic concept. The organic industry has begun to change in the last two decades, evolving into an industry that produces several produces with the organic label. Shampoo, soaps, food, and clothing can be considered organic depending upon how the products were created. Organic products are created when synthetic materials are no longer used. With organic farming synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators, and livestock feed additives are largely excluded. How the industry has grown since the beginning of the twentieth century is important to understanding where we can go with organic production.

The organic movement began with agricultural scientists and farmers placing themselves against the industrialization of agriculture. In other words these individuals wanted to keep production of organic foods to provide healthier products for consumers. With the mechanical advances as well as biochemical advances farming began to change. The use of pesticides was easily spread through out the crops. DDT was also created to help reduce pests in the farming industry. The idea with growing technology was to keep producing as much food and products as possible to meet consumer demand. These pesticides were able to keep the crops from being ruined during an insect invasion as well as help the farming industry no longer lose money for a bad crop. The downsides are the pesticides themselves. We didn’t understand in the beginning that the pesticides could actually harm humans."

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Is Organic the Way of the Future for Namibia?

"ALTHOUGH it is widely believed that organic farming is environmentally friendly and its produce much healthier than if chemicals are used, some Namibians do not think it can satisfy the country's food needs.

Organic produce are considered healthy because this method of farming does not use artificial fertilisers, pesticides or growth accelerators, which could be harmful to the environment.

Instead, organic farmers use natural compost and manure fertilisers on their fields.

Other organic methods include crop rotation and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control weeds, insects and other pests.

So, is this the way all Namibian farmers should go? The President of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Raimar Von Hase, seems sceptical about organic farming."

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Cornucopia Institute Is Prepared To Kick Some Butt

"The Cornucopia Institute said Thursday it filed a legal complaint with the federal government against the certifiers of the country's largest private-label producer of organic milk.

The Cornucopia, Wis.-based group said it is so upset that the USDA found "willful violations" of organic regulations at Aurora's operation during an investigation earlier this year but failed to levy fines or yank the dairy's organic certification that is threatening civil litigation against Aurora.

Boulder, Colo.-based Aurora is the country's largest private label organic milk producer and maintains five farms in Colorado and Texas with more than 5,700 acres of certified organic pastureland.

The USDA launched an investigation based on a formal legal complaint over Aurora's management practices filed by Cornucopia in November 2005. Following a one-year investigation, the USDA sent a notice of noncompliance to Aurora in April saying it had "willfully violated" 14 provisions of the Organic Food Production Act regulations.

But instead of revoking the organic certification, the agency and Aurora worked out a settlement last month. That has Cornucopia stirred up."

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Behind Maggie's Organics

"Bená Burda laughingly recalls the president of golf-clothing manufacturer Cutter & Buck saying he wanted to shake her hand. He was amazed that Burda-unaware of what a convoluted, difficult sector the apparel industry is-dived right in to create one of the first organic cotton clothing companies in the United States.

When Burda began her organics industry career in the early 1990s, she didn't envision cotton socks and camisoles-she was working for Little Bear Snack Foods, producing organic corn chips. But 15 years later, she has helped formulate industry standards for organic textiles, created a new business model with a worker-owned textiles cooperative in Nicaragua and continues to raise awareness for organic textiles through her line of cotton garments, Maggie's Organics. It started with talking to an organic farmer about corn chip color."

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U.K. May Ban Food Additives

"The government will this week come under fresh pressure to protect children by moving towards an outright ban on potentially "hazardous" chemical additives in food, following the intervention of the influential organic food industry.

A powerful coalition of companies - whose members include the supermarket Waitrose, baby food manufacturer Organix, chocolate maker Green and Black's, and Britain's biggest organic brand, Yeo Valley - has accused the government's Food Standards Agency of failing to consult it over new guidance for parents on the side-effects of E-numbers, and of ducking the opportunity for tighter regulation."

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Organic Winemaking Growing in Popularity

"Simply put, growing good grapes requires planting the right vines in the right soil in the right climate and letting nature do its work.

Of course, it's never that simple. Growers are at the mercy of weather, soil conditions and pests in a never-ending quest to control a patch of ground that can produce fruit that will make good wine.

But a growing number of Oregon vineyard operators have concluded that simpler is better: They're growing grapes without pesticides and without chemical fertilizers. They're relying on cover crops and mechanical means to control weeds. They're managing their vineyards as self-sustained, living units."

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Not Much Evidence

"DO you ever buy organic food?" I asked my wife. She quickly answered, "No". Then I asked, "Why do some people buy it?" She replied what most people say, "Because it's free of pesticides".

But is this true? And with increasing food prices, is it prudent to spend hard-earned dollars on organic farm products?

A report in the Nutrition Action Health Letter provides much more insight about organic foods. It states that a Neilsen study showed 34 per cent of Canadians purchased organic foods to avoid pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Others in the study believed these products were more nutritious than conventional foods.

The problem is, there is little data on the risks associated with eating fruits and vegetables that contain pesticide residues. For instance, this morning I had a fresh peach with bran cereal, a breakfast I've always considered to be a healthy one. But then I discovered Nutrition Action's list of the top "dirty dozen" fruits and vegetables that contain pesticide residues."

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Restoring the Organic Milk Premium

"WITH ‘conventional’ milk prices surging ahead, the current organic margin has been eaten into and the Organic Milk Suppliers’ Co-operative OMSCo admits that supplying the retail market demand is not going to get any easier.

But an October 1 price increase for producers, said sales and marketing director Richard Hampton, should restore the premium to “where we feel it ought to be”. He said it was still being finalised but should be in the region of 7-8ppl. And if conventional continued to move upwards, so organic would have to follow."

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Surya Brasil Launches Organic Body Care Products

"Brazilian company, Surya Nature, Inc., gears up for Natural Products Expo East 2007 with the introduction of its new organic Amazonia Preciosa body care line. The show will be held from September 27-29, 2007 at the Baltimore Convention Center featuring Surya Brasil at booth #254 as well as placement at Biofach booth #2333/2432. The company offers premium hair color and hair treatment formulas, temporary tattoos and body care products currently sold in over 15 countries around the world.

Surya Brasil’s new Amazonia Preciosa body care is an extension line to the already popular shampoos, conditioners and hair masks using special Amazonian plants such as Acai, Cupuacu, Buriti, Babacu, Andiroba, Murumuru, Brazil Nut and Preciosa. The line is vegan, certified organic by Ecocert and does not contain sulfates, artificial dyes, artificial fragrance, parabens, silicone, DEA, phthalates, GMOs or propylene glycol. The “award-winning” pots for the face products are 100% biodegradable flasks with no chemical ingredients in their composition and once discarded degrade naturally in 8 months. Products include liquid hand soap, shower gel, facial toner, hands and body lotion, leg and foot balm, massage oil, facial mask with clay, facial moisturizer and clay mask."

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Organic Perigord Truffle Powder from NutraGenesis

"The Perigord truffle is coveted for its reputation as a gourmet delicacy. It is also a powerhouse flavor enhancer, magnifying the complexities of all types of foods in both sweet and savory applications. Use of this highly valued truffle was previously limited by supply, high cost and freshness.

MasterFlavor™ Truffle is grown using a proprietary process that satisfies the demand for this ultra-premium truffle by producing a powder which is DNA certified authentic Black Perigord truffle. Use of this highly valued truffle was previously limited by supply, high cost and freshness."

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YHA To Sell Organic Wine and Coffee

"Starting this month, the YHA will serve selected organic wines and Fairtrade organic coffee in its hostels across England and Wales. The YHA’s food and beverage manager stated that this move was a real commitment to organic production and a major step up regarding quality and taste. Visitors are able to choose from a list of 50 organic wines (red, white, rosé and sparkling wines) and Café Direct’s Fairtrade organic coffee."

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Organics at Earthrise Farm

"The Fernholz farm has been off drugs for three years now.

All sunshine and sweat, the Fernholz farm uses no pesticides, herbicides or genetic engineering. And that’s precisely how School Sisters of Notre Dame Kay and Annette Fernholz like it.

“It’s a wonderful feeling that there are no chemicals on our 240 acres,” Kay Fernholz said.

While three Fernholz brothers take care of most of the all-organic farming on the family’s 240 acres situated near Madison, Minn., Kay and Annette have their own 11-acre plot called Earthrise Farm."

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Drug Mart To Open Health Section

"Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. CEO Jurgen Schreiber says the drugstore giant will rework its health and living department with organic product lines and launch a new VIP card in the first quarter.

Schreiber told a Scotia Capital retail conference Tuesday that "driving penetration is absolutely a key factor for (Shoppers) for the next year."

He added that while the health and living section of its stores include vitamins and food supplements, he believes the department is "not optimized."

"We want to be playing in health in every aspect," he said. "We will launch a very significant range of organic products in the first quarter" of next year."

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Export Debate Begins

"The International Trade Centre is taking a strong stand against a proposed ban on airfreighting organic fruits and vegetables from developing countries to Britain.

The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DfID), jointly with ITC, has organized a seminar in London today, 17 September, to debate the controversial issue.

The Geneva-based ITC, an agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, believes this that a ban of airfreight would have a very limited impact on greenhouse gas emissions, but is very likely to be detrimental to producers and exporters of organic products in developing countries."

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Organic To Go Acquires Sunflower Cafe

"Organic To Go (OTCBB:OTGO), the nation’s first fast casual café chain to be certified as an organic retailer, today announced its acquisition of Sunflowers Café and Bakery at 4660 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla. The La Jolla location will be converted to an Organic To Go branded operations, offering food made with certified organic or natural ingredients for dining at the café, take out and corporate catering. This is the second acquisition in two months for Organic To Go which made San Diego its fourth region in July.

A longtime hotbed for healthy living and organic food, San Diego now boasts hot growth for Organic To Go, which posted 69 percent growth for second quarter sales over the same period last year. The company is finding lunch a ripe frontier for today’s time-deprived consumer.

This most recent acquisition brings the total number of Organic To Go Cafes to 19. In addition to San Diego, the company has retail cafés in Orange County, Los Angeles and Washington State. Organic To Go’s commitment to rapid expansion in the health-conscious environs of greater San Diego County is also taking root in branded Organic To Go kiosks on San Diego college campuses, including SDSU and USD."

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Organic Fruit Bars Stay Organic Thanks to ARS

"Flavorful, all-fruit snack bars, made from organically grown apples and berries, stay moist and chewy for up to 24 months, without the need for artificial preservatives. That's thanks to an innovative process developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in California.

The organic bars are marketed under the Bear Fruit Bar brand by Mountain Organic Foods LLC of Hood River, Ore. The company holds a license from ARS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency, to use the patented technology."

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Save the Vegetables!

"GARDEN Organic at Ryton is encouraging people to grow and cook organic food to save rare varieties of vegetables which are threatened by extinction.

Along with home-ware company Portmeirion, it is launching the 'Go Organic' campaign to raise funds for the centre's heritage seed library, which conserves 800 species of rare vegetable.

It wants food lovers to host an organic meal for friends and family and donate the proceeds to the charity."

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No Catch Launches First Organic Cod Fish Fingers

"NO CATCH has launched its fresh, 100% sustainable, organic cod NO CATCH…JUST FISH FINGERS, with UK wide distribution to commence in Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Booths, Wholefoods and Planet Organic.

The launch of NO CATCH fish fingers follows the brand’s growth within the UK seafood market and marks the fast growing brand’s first value added product offering – of which is backed by 14 awards for its taste, environmental and fish welfare friendly credentials."

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The Organic Push

"Market saturation within the North American natural and organic sector is pushing manufacturers to obtain organic and natural certification for their products, according to a recent report.

The report, published by Organic Monitor, predicts that the natural and organic sector which is the fastest growing in the North American cosmetics and toiletries industry, will see extensive growth in certified natural and organic products.

Of particular significance is the increase in the number of companies, American as well as European, who are looking to Europe for this certification, due to the lack of certification bodies in the US."

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cage-Free in Ohio

"As animal activists pressure Wendy's and other food companies to cut back on buying eggs laid by caged chickens, many of Ohio's largest egg farms have quietly gone "cage-free" with some of their production in recent years.

Nationally, Ohio ranks second to Iowa in egg production, largely thanks to Mercer and Darke counties, the nation's top egg-producing counties. The two counties had a combined 16 million egg-laying hens, according to the most recent agriculture census in 2002.

Chickens housed in buildings longer than football fields and confined to what are called battery cages supply the bulk of eggs in Ohio and nationwide. But many Ohio egg producers are responding to changing consumer preferences by producing cage-free and other specialty eggs such as organic and eggs with higher amounts of Omega 3."

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Fear of GMO Alfalfa

"Wisconsin is a long way from the Pacific Northwest, but Coon Valley farmer Jim Munsch worries that genetically engineered alfalfa grown there could contaminate his farm and harm his organic beef business.

Alfalfa is used for livestock feed. Almost all of the seed comes from a concentration of growers in states such as Montana and Washington.

Munsch worries that genetically engineered alfalfa, called Roundup Ready, threatens to contaminate alfalfa seed farms in the Northwest and ruin traditional strains of the ubiquitous crop nationwide.

Other Wisconsin farmers worry that cross-pollination could occur in their own backyard if genetically engineered alfalfa spreads from field to field."

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Whole Foods' G'Day Australia! Sweepstakes

"Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is offering its Fl@vors e-newsletter subscribers a chance to win a seven-night trip-for-two to Australia.

"For eleven years running, Americans have put Australia on the top of their travel wish lists," said Luke Jones of Tourism Australia. "We've cooked up an amazing travel giveaway sure to thrill Fl@vors subscribers, old and new. Australia's cities are gateways to bite-sized tastes of the whole country, perfect for those who only have a week or two to travel -- and we picked three destinations that are a great mix of dining, nightlife, culture and natural wonders."

The Fl@vors G'Day Australia! Sweepstakes is partnering with -- run by Tourism Australia, Australia's national tourism bureau -- to offer subscribers a chance to experience the marvels of Australia from the vantage point of one of three of the country's gastronomic capitals: Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane."

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Organic Landscaping Takes Time

"Last week I reported my gleanings from an MSU seminar for organic farmers. I described how organic farmers can now produce a greater volume of crop and thus earn more money than farmers can using the latest conventional farming systems. The key for the organic farmer is to plant a cover crop on their fields every fall and every four years add a layer of compost. So how do we replicate that system in the home landscape?

To reach the point in your home landscape where you are needing little or no fertilizer, little watering, have few weeds, and have the best looking yard in the neighborhood -- we have to do three things few of us are now doing."

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Organic Stand Opens in Preston

"The first fruit and vegetable stall to specialise in organic goods has opened at the indoor market.
The stall, owned by Gary Howkins, is located in the lower market food hall.

A spokesman for Preston council said: "There are six other fruit and vegetable stalls, but this is the first that is specialising in organic produce and reflects attempts to increase the product range."

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Glenisk Seeking New Organic Dairy Farms

"GLENISK, the family-operated organic dairy, has invested €8.5 million in its Killeigh, Co Offaly plant, where it has created 30 jobs.

It is also seeking 100 new organic dairy farmers, introducing new products, new-look packaging, a new website and new partnerships in a major re-launch.

The company, which spearheaded the growth of organic dairy farming in Ireland, has doubled its plant volume by supplying a new line of yoghurts and fromage frais products."

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Californian Eatery Dishes Out Organic Food

"The Lean and Green Health Bar serves up some mouth-watering items, 95 percent of which are organic.

From eggs steamed in a cappuccino machine to organic smoothies that taste like an orange creamsicle and more than three dozen toppings for a salad, the cuisine is a healthy option when it comes to fast food.

"I've always struggled with being able to eat healthy on the go," said owner Miguel Patterson. "The truth is the biggest topics in the U.S. today (are) obesity and the environment."

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Organic Can Be Less Expensive

"The recent syndicated column attacking the value of organics has two big problems. First, it is suspiciously similar to a national effort by chemical companies to discredit organic. Second, and more important, organic food is better for your health, and organic agriculture is better for the environment. Which isn't to say that local isn't important, too.

But back to organic. "Organic" is two fairly different things: a system of agriculture based on soil health and natural systems and a marketing label controlled (not always well) by the government."

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Go Organic With Your Lawn

"This is the best time of year to obsess on your lawn. If you want to do it organically, here are some ideas from the experts:

Buy a soil-test kit to see what shape you're in. They cost about $10 at state university cooperative extension offices and garden centers, and the results will help you determine which organic fertilizer you need.

If your soil's like cement, aerate the lawn to loosen it before you apply compost or organic fertilizers made from things like alfalfa and corn gluten. Home Depot rents aerators for $88 a day, $62 for four hours.

Brew a nutrient-packed "compost tea" to feed the lawn. Great stuff. Find how-to details at"

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400 Scientific Papers Saying Organic Isn't Better

"A superb article in the Australian popular science magazine Cosmos debunks the organic food and farming craze. On claims that organic is more nutritious, the article notes:

A comprehensive review of some 400 scientific papers on the health impacts of organic foods, published by Faidon Magkos and colleagues in 2006 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, concluded there was no evidence that eating organic food was healthier.

Even if it can't be proved that eating organic is healthier, advocates claim it is nutritionally superior. Some studies, especially those reported by the organic farming advocate group, the British Soil Association, show that organic produce has a higher content of vitamin C, minerals and anti-oxidants such as flavonols, polyphenols, lycopene and resveratrol."

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Whole Foods Launches Organic Wines

"Whole Foods Market , the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, introduces Green Path wines, organically grown and sustainably packaged Chardonnay and Shiraz, to its stores this month.

Green Path wines are made with certified organic grapes using a growing process with minimal environmental impact. The winery’s sustainable practices also include vigilant water management and waste recycled as compost. Additionally, Green Path wines are bottled in environmentally friendly Tetra Pak Tetra Prisma packaging.

“Whole Foods Market has designated September as Organic Harvest Month, and with the launch of such products as Green Path wines, we hope to emphasize our dedication to organically grown and sustainably produced products,” said Ron Megahan, Whole Foods Market Pacific Northwest regional president."

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Dickinson College Farm Project

"At the Dickinson College Organic Farm near here, the school is putting its money where its mouth is. Literally.

Matt Steiman bent his lanky frame over a box of fresh tomatoes sitting at the base of a tree on a farm near here owned by Dickinson College.

"Want a couple? They’re really good," he said.

The tomatoes in the box were grown by Dickinson workers and student volunteers on about 1 acre of the 90-acre property. In the coming years, about half of those acres ought to be in full production, growing produce for the school’s dining halls using principles of organic farming and powered largely by the sun."

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Organic Herbs, Spices and Seasonings from McCormick

"McCormick Canada has launched a new expanded line of 100 per cent organic herbs, spices and seasonings certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI) to meet a growing demand by Canadian consumers for healthier, better tasting organic products.

The McCormick Gourmet 100 % Organic line of herbs, spices and seasonings includes Turkish Bay Leaves, Coriander, Cayenne Pepper, Chinese Ginger, Cinnamon from Saigon, Cloves, Cumin, Italian Seasoning, Marjoram Leaves, Red Pepper, and Rosemary from Spain."

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Organic Training in Uganda

"Joshua Byamukama, a farmer in Kyenjojo district, has had his farming skills boosted with the help of a non-governmental organisation, Kulika Charitable Trust Uganda. "I have been able to grow a variety of improved fruits and vegetables with the skills I acquired and this has boosted my income," said Byamukama.

Kulika has set up a sh800 million agricultural training institute at Lutisi, 37km on the Kampala-Hoima highway. The centre will train farmers in sustainable agriculture and farmer-to-farmer extension work.

Kulika chief executive officer, Elijah Kyamuwendo, said the centre, with residential facilities and a demonstration farm, will train farmers in organic agriculture. "We have trained over 2,000 farmers since 1993, 243 of these as key farmer trainers countrywide," he said."

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Will Organic Save China's Reputation?

"This spring and summer, reports of tainted pet food, cough syrup, and seafood from China entering the US market have focused attention on China's sub-par export standards. Following a barrage of negative press coverage, fully two-thirds of Americans now have little or no confidence that food from China is safe to eat. But what about average Chinese, who don't have the luxury of buying food imported from other countries?"

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Shrimp You Can Trust?

"With ever increasing health and safety concerns about food sourced from places such as China, consumers are increasingly vigilant that the seafood and shrimp they buy is free of unwanted pollutants and chemicals, with certification to back its cleanliness and purity. Meeting that assurance, Blue Horizon Organic Seafood Co. will feature its certified organic “shrimp you can trust” at the upcoming Natural Foods Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 27-29.

Blue Horizon shrimp is raised in Naturland certified ponds in the north of Ecuador far from any industrial or human contamination. Naturland is the leader in organic aquaculture certification and certifies operations all around the world. Blue Horizon is working in conjunction with both Naturland and QAI, other companies, organizations like NFI (National Fisheries Institute) and the NOP task force to bring about USDA standards for organically raised seafood, which are expected to be in place in 2008."

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Get Sponsored by Planet Organic

Cosmic Cookie Athlete Sponsorship

Announcing the athlete's identity in Edmonton who will receive
healthy, monthly support from Planet Organic Market while they
train to represent Canada in world sporting events

Tuesday September 18, 2007
10:30 am

Planet Organic Market (Old Strathcona Centre)
7917 - 104 Street Edmonton Alberta

Planet Organic Market began selling natural and organic food
over 15 years ago, and our mission has always been:
- To contribute to the personal well being of our customers.
- To protect the health of the earth.
- To make eating a robust and joyful event.

Aspiring Canadian Olympic athletes
Senior Planet Organic Market staff

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pesticide-Prone Fruits

"We're all concerned about food safety, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Last year's spinach scare raised everyone's awareness for potential problems created by improper food handling. The increased demand for certified organic produce indicates that folks care about more than just how their food's handled, too; they want it to be nutritionally sound and chemically uncontaminated.

Worldwide fruit and vegetable production is, simply, big business. I'd like to believe that some kindly gentleman in blue coveralls made certain that a peach headed for my table was carefully grown, hand picked at its peak, gently packed and rushed to my supermarket; but that's a decidedly Pollyanna scenario."

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84% of U.K. Moms Buy Organic

"More than 8 in 10 (84 per cent) of UK mums believe that organic food is better for their family and are leading an 'organic revolution', according to the Soil Association.

The survey - commissioned by the organisation to coincide with its Organic Fortnight which is currently underway - indicates that organic food is no longer the preserve of middle-class and celebrity 'yummy mummies' as an increasing number of mums are recognising the benefits of organic food."

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Organic Oil Helps Kids with ADHD

"Hyperactive schoolchildren who are often forced to take drugs to combat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) could soon be offered a natural replacement to traditional drugs.

A study carried out in one school revealed that incorporating an organic oil, Udo's Oil, into their diets helped reduce behavioural problems by a massive 76pc.

The survey also claims that the addition of the supplement to their daily diet had a significant impact on their overall school performance and attendance."

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The Prince Vs. The Food Additive

"Prince Charles has issued a clarion call for society to stop a generation of "over-industrialised" children poisoning themselves with food additives.

Echoing the Daily Mail's campaign to ban potentially harmful food colourings and preservatives from the food chain, the heir to the throne described the situation as "terrifying" and blamed the plague of anti-social behaviour on the eating habits of young people."

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Naturally Iowa Becomes Publicly Traded

"Naturally Iowa Inc. the world's first and only dairy that is manufacturing biodegradable bottles made from corn in its dairy processing production plant, announced it is a publicly traded Company, completing a reverse merger into a public entity.

Naturally Iowa Inc., ( operating through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Naturally Iowa, LLC, is a fully certified organic dairy processor that produces superior organic and all-natural fluid milk, ice cream and drinkable yogurt. Naturally Iowa distinguishes itself from other dairy processors and producers by offering the highest quality organic and all-natural dairy products packaged in an environmentally-friendly, sustainable container that completely biodegrades in 60 to 100 days in an industrial compost facility."

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Feast of Fields Helps Small Organic Farms in Ottawa

"When you can't get the time of day from the big grocery chains, it's time to become a marketing professional, says one farmer

Although this is one of the busiest times of year for organic farmers in the Ottawa region with fall harvest at hand, many are taking the time to team up with the top chefs in Ottawa for Feast of Fields 2007 at Vincent Massey Park this weekend.

Not only will it be a fun contest to see who can create the best dish judged by the audience, it is also a way for small organic farmers to make a crucial link to their markets in a business dominated by huge factory farms, mostly from south of the border."

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Review: Dr. Kracker Klassic 3 Seed

I guess my favorite snack in the world is crackers. Forget cookies, cake or candy.. I just love crackers.

Last week, I spoke about the wonders of Late July crackers. This week I thought I would give a shout-out to my other favorite brand of crackers, Dr. Kracker.

I tried their Klassic 3 Seed crackers several months ago and have been hooked ever since. The flavor is so distinctly delicious, and they have this amazing crunch. They are pretty nutritious too, being organic whole grain crackers and all. The seeds also boost the nutritional value (one serving contains about 6 grams of protein!)

I haven't tried the other flavors which are Pumpkin Seed Cheese, Seeded Spelt, Sunflower Cheese, Muesli, Graham, Seedlander and Veggie Spelt, but I can imagine they are graintacular! (I know, I'm going to hell for saying that. Publicly.)

If you happen to see them, give them a try. Tell me what you think. I have a feeling you won't be disappointed.

Aurora Dairy: Defrauding Consumers Since '03!

"After years of complaints and aggressive public advocacy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week did what it should have done long ago: It forced the largest private- label organic milk company in the nation - Boulder-based Aurora Organic Dairy - to amend its farming practices so they comply with regulations.

The department also threatened to revoke the company's organic certification, which allows it to sell organic milk, if it failed to comply during a one-year probationary period.

This enforcement action was among the most significant the USDA has taken to protect the organic marketplace. Earlier this year, it shut down a big organic dairy in California, which also flouted the regulations."

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MelanSol: A Natural Sunscreen

"They say good things can come from adversity. That seems to be the case for Peter Zahner, who developed a line of natural sunscreen following a bout with basal cell carcinoma.

A Bonita Springs resident and native of Switzerland, Zahner became somewhat of a self-educated expert on sunscreens in the years after his diagnosis. Finally, in 2002, dissatisfied with the way most sunscreens performed and increasingly skeptical about their safety, he set up a makeshift laboratory in his home to come up with a better product. By 2005 he had hit upon the formula for MelanSol, made from 100 percent natural ingredients."

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Kerala's Organic Farming Drive

"Kochi: Out to turn Kerala “organically” green in the next five years, the state government is all set to launch its scheme for organic farming, which entails keeping out chemical fertilizers and pesticides from its farmlands, on 1 November, Kerala’s formation day.

V.S. Vijayan, chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, says the draft of the organic farming policy has been readied and the first round of discussions has been held with farmers and agriculture experts, including scientists, and their feedback will be considered before the policy is finalized. A few more rounds of deliberations will be held across the state in the next few weeks, he adds. The main issues that cropped up were financial support for conversion to organic farming and marketing strategies for the produce."

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Fabulous Brands Introduces Organic Noodle Varieties

"For those careful about their diet, Fabulous Brands is launching four delicious new organic noodle varieties under its King Soba Noodle Culture brand.

Made from whole grains and free from wheat and gluten,
the new noodle varieties are: Organic Black Rice, Organic Sweet Potato & Buckwheat, Organic Pumpkin Ginger & Rice and Organic Brown Rice & Wakame (sea vegetable)."

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The Organic Delivery Company Revamps Website

"The Organic Delivery Company are a thoughtful bunch of souls - they want you to have only the best choice of tasty, organic food. They also know how comfy slippers are so are happy for you to stay in yours whilst they delivery yummy stuff straight to your door – what nice people.

Today they are very excited.

‘Why?’ I hear you shout!

Well, if you pop on to then you’ll see – this week is the launch of their brand spanking, bright and bouncy new website! They’ve been working very hard on it all summer, even on the really sunny days. They wanted to make sure that ordering all of your favourite stuff was as easy peasy as possible. It’s time for your elevenses now so make a nice cup of tea, find a tasty biscuit and log on and have a little look...."

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Vietnam Food Scare

"A frown crosses the face of Nguyen Thi Huong as she peruses the fresh produce at a Vietnamese market -- a series of food scandals has left her worried about just what is safe for her family to eat.

Vietnamese consumers have been hit by a string of bad news, with dangerous pesticides found on fruit and vegetables, cancer-causing chemicals in soy sauce and formaldehyde in the national dish, pho noodle soup.

"What can I buy now?" the 55-year-old housewife said, scanning the farm produce, tofu and meats at Hanoi's bustling Xanh market. "All the food looks fresh and good, but I can't be sure it's safe for my family."

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Kashi Wants You to Snack Better

"Kashi Company, the premier natural food company, plans to help rid the world of a million bad snacks1 with a national Kashi Snack Drive. As part of the drive, Kashi will give away snacks in four U.S. cities – San Diego, Chicago, Boston and New York City from Sept. 16-30 – and encourage people to trade in what they consider questionable snacks for more nutritious Kashi® ones made with all natural ingredients such as whole grains, nuts and fruit.

People will be invited to sample tasty nutritious snacks including Kashi® TLC™ granola bars, crackers and cookies at a Kashi Snack Drive booth manned by Kashi employees. Those who can’t attend one of the four snack drives can log on to to join the fun and receive a free Kashi® snack. The free online sample is valid now until the end of September or while supplies last."

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Kashi is still missing the point though. Sure, their products are natural, but does that even matter if they aren't organic? Natural with pesticides? Who needs that!?

BrandStorm Inc. Introduces Gojilania Juice to the Nation

"BrandStorm Inc. announced today that it has expanded distribution for Gojilania, its organic fresh-pressed Goji juice. The full line of Gojilania-branded juices is now available at natural and organic foods markets throughout North America.

The Goji berry (Lycium Barbarum L.) has long been revered for its properties believed to be associated with vitality and longevity. Loaded with nutrients, Gojilania is made from all-natural Goji berries, contains no added sweeteners, no other juices, no artificial ingredients and is rich in high-potency antioxidant Vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins, amino acids, potassium, protein, and polysaccharides."

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Filmmakers Help Out Struggling Organic Farms

"Jai Kellum stands -- stunned yet smiling -- in front of a channel of dirty water, as she describes the catastrophe that destroyed Avalanche Organic farm, which she owns with her partner, Joel Kellum.

The smile, like the voice -- sing-song, almost laughing -- is deceptive, because the words she uses in this video are not happy ones. The nine-minute production, "Flooded Midwest Organic Farms, " by Madison filmmakers Gretta Wing Miller and Aarick Beher, is making the rounds on the Internet.

Miller, who made a much-admired documentary film on Wisconsin organic farms two years ago, made this short followup after the floods of August turned a season of plenty into a season of survival. The video is featured extensively in a large fundraising effort, Sow the Seeds Fund, which will be used to help organic farmers."

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Wegmans Organic

"Danny Wegman, chief executive officer of Wegmans Food Markets Inc., sends his buyers around the world in search of products to sell in his upscale grocery chain. To Thailand for shrimp. To France and Italy for cheeses. To South America for winter fruit.

But this summer, he and his wife, Stency, are supplying Wegmans' Canandaigua store with fresh, organically cultivated produce that is grown less than 10 miles away, near the couple's Canandaigua Lake home.

The Wegmans Organic Research Farm, which sits on nearly 50 bucolic acres owned by the family along West Lake Road in Canandaigua, is in its first year of production. The farm's mission, according to Wegman, is to provide locally grown fruits, vegetables and honey to nearby Wegmans stores and, eventually, to serve as an educational model for local growers, employees and consumers who want to learn about organic food production."

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Organic Turns 40

"The 40th birthday of organic:

The organic market has come a long way since Sams opened his restaurant. In 1992 was worth just £150 milion but it now tops £20 billion globally and is worth £2billion in the UK

Organic’s original celebrity fans:

These days it’s Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow who are known for their love of the latest food trends. Back in 67, celebrity organic fans included the likes of John Lennon, Terrance Stamp, Mark Bolan and Yoko Ono, all regulars at Seed. How many people would have predicted that the macrobiotic food they were tucking into would now be purchased by two thirds of us."

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Made in the U.S.A.

"UNTIL recently, Bill Allayaud, who works as a director for the Sierra Club in Sacramento, thought people who checked labels on clothing or toys to make sure they were "Made in the U.S.A." were everything he was not: flag-waving, protectionist, even a little xenophobic.

But lately, he said, he is becoming one of them.

"Everything I buy now, I look at the label," said Mr. Allayaud, 56, who explained that the "buy American" movement - long popular among blue-collar union workers and lunch-pail conservatives - no longer seemed so jingoistic, and was actually starting to come into vogue for liberals like himself who never before had a philosophical problem with Japanese cars or French wine."

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Pharmaca: A New Kind of Pharmacy

"In an era when it seems a Rite-Aid, Walgreens or CVS is popping up on almost every other corner, something unusual happened in La Jolla last week: A new pharmacy opened, and people seemed excited about it.

“This is a great store. I expect to be sending many of my patients here,” chiropractor Michael Ackerman said during the grand opening Thursday of Pharmaca Integrated Pharmacy on Girard.

..There are no pantyhose, DVDs or frozen food. Instead, there are smooth tan shelves fashioned from recycled wood products brimming with luxury-brand organic health and beauty products. The gray carpeting is made from recycled milk containers. The soothing paint colors on the wall are environmentally friendly."

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Kenya's First Organic Corner

"Leading local supermarket chain Nakumatt holdings has unveiled an organic foods corner at the Nakumatt Westgate branch as part of a pilot project to rollout similar sections in all its branches.

The new organic food corner will be administered by Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) member Green Dreams Limited, who will also supply quality organic foods ranging from vegetables, fruits, poultry, dairy and a range of dried products.

Alongside produce from its own organic farm, Green Dreams Limited will also source produce from small scale out growers."

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Recall: Organic Pastures Raw Cream Contaminated With Listeria

"The California Department of Food and Agriculture has issued an order to Organic Pastures Dairy Company to withdraw from retail distribution Grade A raw cream manufactured at their facility in Fresno, due to detection of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Under the recall, Organic Pastures brand Grade A raw cream with code dates SEP 14 through SEP 21 is to be pulled immediately from retail shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators. Until further notice, Organic Pastures may not produce raw cream for the retail market."

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Review: Late July Cookies

I finally got my hands on the new Late July cookies, and the verdict is.. they are are delicious! Sometimes it can be difficult to find satisfying and tasty organic whole grain treats, but these cookies are that and more.

Any dark chocolate lover would be pleased with the rich dark chocolate. The cookie has a nice crunch and the dark chocolate inside is smooth and pleasant. I usually don't enjoy dark chocolate all that much, but the flavor in these cookies is irresistible. Definitely not at all bitter or unpleasant like some dark chocolate desserts.

The vanilla bean with green tea has just the right amount of vanilla flavor. It's sweeter than the dark chocolate, but it's also not too sweet. The flavor of the cookie adds a great contrast to the sweet vanilla bean inside.
(I think a lot of people might look at the flavor and say "Huh? Green tea?" and might assume the cookie has a strong green tea flavor, but I didn't notice it at all. If you look at the ingredients, you will notice organic green tea extract is the very last on the list.)

The flavors are amazingly good, and I can definitely see myself buying them in the future. One thing that makes them stand out from other cookies is they aren't so sweet than you can't taste the other ingredients. Both cookies have a really balanced flavor which I think makes them way more enjoyable than other brands.

Go out and buy a box (or two or three or four..) already!

(To find out more about the cookies, click here or visit the Late July website.)

Nature's Avenger

"California, long known as the leader in the environmental movement in the U.S., has the strictest registration and evaluation process for herbicides to be allowed for sale and distribution in that state. So, bringing a new product into California is a challenge and a huge win when it is accepted.

With that being said, Cutting Edge Formulations, Inc. (CEF) announces that its new herbicide, Nature’s Avenger® Organic, is now EPA registered in the State of California and is available for sale and distribution. “Nature’s Avenger is ready for its close-up!"

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Organic Food Security

"In Switzerland, organic farming is recognised as an efficient, sustainable agricultural system. Sustainable agriculture and consistent yields, together with increasing fluctuations in climate are becoming ever more important in tropical areas also. A Swiss research project is now beginning a long-term study in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ecological methods of agriculture will be researched based upon their capabilities for food security, alleviation of poverty and protection of the environment in the tropics."

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Organic Shoppers Looking for More Than Just Food

"Seeing rows of organic fruits and veggies at the local supermarket is nothing new. And amid growing concerns of food contamination, don't expect it to slow down: Supermarkets, from Publix to Wal-Mart, have been rapidly expanding stores' square footage devoted to organic produce and meats.

But the organic craze is giving way to even more organic products - and none of them are edible. The proliferation of products is making at least one analyst ask if there's a limit to the demand for organics."

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Reduced Prices for Organic Fortnight

"To mark the UK’s biggest celebration of organic food, Organic Fortnight, Morrisons have reduced prices by a third on over 100 of their own brand organic products. The Soil Association’s annual drive to promote the benefits of eating organic produce runs from the 1st to the 16th September and Morrisons are holding staggered promotions in store throughout Organic Fortnight, encouraging customers to try a great range of organic products.

This year the Soil Association is asking everyone to ‘Wake Up To An Organic Breakfast’ so why not make the leap to organic with the most important meal of the day? To make it easy for you, at Morrisons we have everything you could possibly crave for a breakfast, from Pork Sausages and Eggs, to Low Fat Yoghurt and Muesli to Tea Bags and Jam, all Organic naturally."

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Farm Aid Receives Praise from Peak Organic Brewing

"Peak Organic Brewing, (, a supporter of Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN FESTIVAL ( ) in New York City on Sept. 9th , today praised Farm Aid for forging the urban-rural partnership needed to ensure the survival of the American family farmer.

"By holding the Farm Aid concert in the Big Apple, Farm Aid is giving us all a wake-up call. It is time for urban and rural communities to work together to ensure the survival of U.S. family farmers. Family farmers, especially organic farmers, are creating the highest quality products in agriculture today, and they deserve to be supported. Thank you Farm Aid for leading the way," said Jon Cadoux, the passionate craft brewer who founded Peak Organic Brewing Co. ("

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Demand for Raw Milk Soars

"The demand for raw, unpasteurized milk is booming. According to Sally Fallon, president for the Weston A. Price Foundation, the number of raw milk drinkers is now at about half a million people across the United States -- many of them willingly breaking the law, purchasing their milk from "underground black markets," and other creative setups.

Twenty years ago, the Food and Drug Administration banned interstate sales of unpasteurized milk, but individual states determine how raw milk is allowed to be bought and sold within their borders. The sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in 15 states, whereas 26 allow it with restrictions. Only a handful of states, including Washington and California, allow it to be sold in stores."

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Watch Out for Parabens

"A vigilant label reader, 36-year-old Karen Altschul of Vernon Hills has known her favorite lotions and sunscreens contained parabens, or synthetic chemicals used as preservatives. But now that she routinely sees products at Sephora touted as "paraben-free," she wonders: "What, exactly, are parabens, and are they dangerous?"

Those are questions more consumers are asking now that "paraben-free" offerings have hit the mainstream; products made by Burt's Bees, which never has used parabens, are available everywhere from Whole Foods and Target to Borders, CVS, Walgreens and even Hallmark stores."

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Canada Begins the Organic Salmon Debate

"An association representing B.C.’s organic agri-food industry may discuss whether some farmed finfish and shellfish can be certified during a meeting this month.

Lee McFadyen, chair of the Certified Organic Association of B.C.’s standards review sub-committee on aquaculture, said a set of draft standards – written by the Pacific Organic Seafood Association – is currently before the association’s board of directors.
Those standards, she added, may be discussed at a mid-September meeting.

“I think anybody who wants to take an organic approach to food production needs to have a standard the public can recognize and that growers can follow,” said McFadyen, herself a self-described organic grower since 1962."

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Kroger Begins Marketing for Organic Line

"THE KROGER CO., ONE OF the nation's largest retail grocery chains, is wasting no time in launching marketing for its new organic foods line, announced in August.

The latest 19-page Kroger "mymagazine" currently being sent to Kroger Plus loyalty card members is dedicated to organics.

Kroger spokesperson Meghan Glynn confirms the mailer was sent out to coincide with and promote the expanded line of store-brand Private Selection Organics. She would not reveal how many consumers received the magazines or how they were selected. "We don't release specifics regarding marketing efforts," she said. "I can tell you there are other advertising initiatives around this on regional levels."

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