Friday, November 30, 2007

New Late July Chocolate Covered Sandwich Cookies

"After careful, albeit unscientific, research conducted in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts office of Late July Organic Snacks, the company found that their overall stress level leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday was considerably less on days when chocolate was freely distributed around the office. The chocolate came in the form of the company’s new organic chocolate covered sandwich cookies. Late July has started dipping small batches of their popular new Organic Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies by hand in smooth organic milk chocolate with a variety of toppings including white chocolate, peppermint bark & dark chocolate. These special cookies can be found exclusively on the company’s new webstore

The first batch features Late July’s Vanilla Bean with green tea sandwich cookies dipped in a European processed organic milk chocolate that is a slightly darker blend for a smooth, balanced, not overly sweet flavor. They are then drizzled with a wonderful, snowflake like white chocolate. A variety box of peppermint bark topping will also be available for the holidays."

All I can say is wow. Late July cookies covered in chocolate? What could be better than that? For more information on this great holiday gift, click here.

Yeo Valley Organic Makeover in 2008

"Yeo Valley Organic, the country's most buoyant organic food brand, is going to start the New Year with a major relaunch, setting a new, better-tasting, healthier standard for its yogurts, using 60% more fruit.

At the same time, the brand leader’s packaging is having a complete makeover, with a simpler, cleaner, more modern look. And once the new products reach shop shelves in 2008 they’ll be supported by a £3m press, poster and television advertising campaign breaking in February."

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2008 Organic Conference in Minnesota

"Minnesota's annual Organic Conference will be held January 18-19 in St. Cloud. Keynote speakers include Robert Marqusee, Director of Rural Economic Development for Woodbury County, Iowa, who has identified locally-grown, organic food as a key rural economic development tool, and Tom Frantzen, an organic crop, beef, and hog producer from Iowa who is also a national pioneer in on-farm research.

The conference will feature two other nationally recognized experts - David Jacke, a permaculture expert and author, and Hubert Karreman, DVM, a nationally known veterinarian with expertise in organic livestock systems and member of the USDA's National Organic Standards Board.

The 2008 conference will feature 36 breakout workshops and roundtable discussions on topics including production and marketing of organic crops, dairy and livestock, fruits and vegetables. A special mini-workshop will be offered for attendees who are considering transitioning to organic and want to learn the basics. A concurrent trade show will feature more than 60 companies and organizations from input suppliers, buyers and farm organizations."

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pennsylvania Dairy Label Ban Gets Shelved?

"A controversial decision by the state Department of Agriculture concerning dairy labeling is under review after facing strong public backlash.

Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced last month that the department would crack down on what it viewed as misleading labels on dairy products, including claims that milk was made from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

But early last week Gov. Ed Rendell's office initiated a review of the decision. Originally scheduled for Jan. 1, enforcement of the new rules has been delayed at least a month.

The controversy has focused on recombinant bovine growth hormone, also called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), which is injected into cows to increase milk production by about 15 percent."

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Tips for Finding the Right Organic Skincare

"(NewsTarget) We're all too familiar with organic food labels. Most of the ones found here in the U.S. display the USDA Organic seal or sticker, others show other organic certifiers such as QAI (Quality Assurance International) or CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and many more. The food items displaying these labels earn a healthy toss into the grocery cart, leaving us with a reassurance that it's clean, tasty, non-toxic and good for the earth. But, the questions arises, what about organic skin care products? Should we be looking for the same labels? Just how "organic" are the skin care products claiming to be organic, are the terms "natural" and "organic" the same, and, does it even matter?

Well if you're from the school of thought of "you are what you eat", then yes, it absolutely does matter. If you're not so sure, then this might be an eye opener for you. First a little Skin Trivia - Studies have proven, time and time again, that nothing you apply on your skin stays on the surface unless you immediately rinse it off. Your skin, being your bodies largest organ, has over 1 billion pores. It is your body's first line of defense against anything entering your body. Ironically, it is also a giant sponge, absorbing anything you put on it. It usually takes 10-15 minutes for a product to be completely absorbed into your skin, by this time, it is inside your body, "subcutaneously", which means underneath your skin. By this time, you cannot rinse it off."

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China Agri-Business Introduces New Products

"NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 11/29/07 -- China Agri-Business, Inc. (OTCBB: CHBU) today announced the successful introduction of three new organic ("green") products at the 23rd annual "China Agriculture Fertilizer and Machine Trade Show" held in Ningbo, China. The two-day show, which featured approximately 4,000 enterprises and was attended by 150,000 people, resulted in orders to the Company in excess of 10 million RMB (approximately $1.3 million) for 2008."

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Neptune Industries Talks With NOSB About Organic Seafood

"BOCA RATON, FL, Nov 29 (MARKET WIRE) -- Neptune Industries, Inc. (OTCBB: NPDI) addressed the National Organic Standard Board [NOSB] during a public comment session on Wednesday, November 28th in Washington, D.C. The NOSB held the Organic Aquaculture Symposium to hear and review public comment on its current recommendations to the USDA for organic seafood certification standards. The two issues of focus were the NOSB's current recommendations excluding carnivorous fish raised in open net pen systems, and aproposed Sunset provision, which would allow "organic" aquaculture diets to contain 12% fishmeal and 12% fish oil over a seven year phase out period. Open net pens allow solid waste and uneaten feed into the environment, are susceptible to predation and escapement, and according to certain research, can be a vector for the transfer of sea lice and other pathogens to wild fish. Fishmeal is a protein source derived from wild caught baitfish species, and therefore wouldnot qualify as an organic feed ingredient."

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Standards for Leafy Greens?

"Cornucopia, WI: In response to the E. coli 0157 outbreak last year in bagged spinach, the USDA is considering federal rules that could potentially require growers of all leafy green vegetables to follow specified guidelines in the fields and during postharvest handling. Farm advocates are concerned that small and medium-sized growers will be placed at an unfair competitive disadvantage.

The USDA has released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that they are accepting public comments on. Members of the public have until December 3 to weigh in on the controversial proposal."

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The Near Future of Organic

"The top 10 trends to watch for next year include fresh and organic, superfruits, bold flavors, and probiotics beyond yogurts, according to Datamonitor's Productscan database.

The market analyst looks into its crystal ball and has identified the top trends in packaged foods for the New Year. Topping the list are new applications for probiotics, organic food for kids, and bold flavors for aging taste buds.

As we age, our senses of smell and taste can start to diminish and this is being translated into consumers demanding hotter, spicier and bolder flavors, says Datamonitor."

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Your Natural Toothpaste

"NEW YORK - Just as consumers are eating more organic foods, they’re looking for personal-care products made with natural ingredients too, and the health and beauty industry is going greener. So it’s only natural that interest in natural toothpaste is also growing.

For shoppers like Ducky Nguyen, 35, the ideal toothpaste not only cleans and freshens but also protects against cavities and gum disease as it whitens teeth. While browsing a Whole Foods Market in New York City, she said she had used Tom’s of Maine, a toothpaste marketed as natural, for eight years — once she got used to the flavors."

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Whole Foods to Start Magazine

"Whole Foods Market Inc. is starting its own magazine.

The Austin-based organic and natural foods grocer said Monday that it will launch Whole Foods Market Magazine in more than 60 Midwestern stores in January. It is working with Active Interest Media on the project.

The magazine will cover health, wellness, food, environmental issues and trends. It will have a wine column and stories on beauty and self-care products. It will also feature food recipes. The magazine will be published bimonthly on 100 percent recycled paper. The first printing will be 200,000 copies."

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Pharm Solutions Introduces First Food Grade Organic Herbicide

"CAMBRIA, Calif., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharm Solutions Inc. announced EPA Registration for the Bio Chemical "Weed Pharm," the world's first food grade organic herbicide. Weed Pharm, a non selective weed and grass killer, whose active ingredient is 200 grain "food grade" vinegar, has been the project of Pharm Solutions since early 2004. Pharm Solutions manufactures the only USDA Certified Organic Pesticides in the world (USDA Certification November 2006) and the "food grade" organic herbicide is a natural addition to the organic line."

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Every Tenth Purchase in Copenhagen is Organic

"Approximately every tenth purchase in Copenhagen is organic. This makes Copenhagen the capital with the largest organic share of foods worldwide. And consumers have a great deal to choose from, from the best gourmet restaurants to cafés, delicatessens and super markets, writes Berlingske Tidende.

The latest is that the public sectors also have seriously jumped the organic wagon. Within the Copenhagen authorities 45 per cent of al food consumption today is organic but the target is considerably higher."

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Australia's Organic Expansion

"The RNCOS report says that the rapid increase in overseas demand, mandatory certification and labeling requirements will drive the growth of the Australian organic industry in future.

RNCOS has recently released its market research report “Australian Organic Agriculture - Industry Analysis” to throw light on the Australian organic agriculture market. As per the report, the Australian organic food industry is anticipated to move ahead at a CAGR of about 25% during the period 2007-2011.

Owing to the labeling requirements and obligatory certification, Australia has got the international recognition as the dealer of authentic organic products, transforming its primary markets for the export of Australian organic products over years. During the early 2000, Europe accounted for 70% of the exports of Australian organic foods while countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, USA and Japan were emerging as its prospective markets. The BSA updated that by 2010, Australia would have 5% share of the worldwide organic exports making it an AUD 1.2 Billion industry."

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Introducing GelatoByMail

"NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Red Bank, NJ, United States, 11/26/2007 - Introducing GelatoByMail, an online store featuring Blackwell’s Organic Gelato and Sorbetto just in time for holiday shopping. Blackwell’s Organic is NJ’s first and only certified organic, dairy-free gelato and fruit sorbetto manufacturer.

NJ entrepreneurs, Marcia & Tom Blackwell, launch GelatoByMail, an online store featuring Blackwell’s Organic Gelato and Sorbetto just in time for holiday shopping. Blackwell’s Organic is NJ’s first and only certified organic, dairy-free gelato and fruit sorbetto manufacturer.

With so many special dietary needs related to food allergies, health concerns or personal choice, hosts and hostesses must continually address the dilemma of what to serve. Others are faced with choosing a gift for the person who has everything."

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Will Newcomers Spoil Organic in Germany?

"Some traditional organic companies in Germany are worried that their reputation could easily be spoiled by inexperienced newcomers on the rapidly growing market.

Organic is nothing unusual for German consumers. Organic products have been on their supermarket shelves for years and this wider availability has had a positive impact on sales.

The sector's growth has been largely driven by supermarket sales, which make up almost half of the total number of organic retail sales in Germany. In 2006 the trade in organic food products in both specialized organic stores and regular supermarkets topped 4.6 billion euros ($6.5 billion)."

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Learn About Your Food Through Agritourism

"AT an early morning hour most vacationers would spend unconscious, a few intrepid city dwellers outfitted in borrowed boots hunch over a creek full of watercress, carefully cutting the plants with kitchen scissors.

For their hosts, farmers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, it’s the start of a regular workday. But for the visitors, it’s a delicate balance between learning on the fly and trying to be of use on a working farm.

Hoeing, seeding and picking may not sound like a holiday, yet the appeal of agritourism is gaining in the United States. More and more people want to see where their food comes from, and the same drive that leads them to visit farmers’ markets or join community-supported agriculture farm-share programs draws them to the farm itself."

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Is There A Difference Between Organic and Conventional Salmon?

"What's the difference between organic farmed salmon and the much-demonised variety that's kept in cages, stuffed with colours and pesticides, doomed to swim in its own faeces and prematurely slaughtered? Surprisingly little, discovers Joanna Blythman."

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More Producers Going Organic

"When organic farming started becoming popular, Thorp native Chad Pawlak decided to combine the public's interest in knowing more about the food served at the dinner table with helping boost the local dairy industry.

"When I came back home to Thorp, what I had recognized as being a problem was a lack of marketing in dairy," he said. "We have fantastic dairy producers producing in high-quality fashion, high-quality milk."

In 2001, Organic Farm Marketing was established, and the firm purchased Wisconsin Organics in 2005. OFM also started Grass Point Farms in 2006 after controversy began in the organic dairy community on setting the definition for grazing standards."

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pizza Fusion Continues to Expand

"November 21, 2007 // // Fort Lauderdale, Fla., – Over the next six months, Pizza Fusion, the leader in environmentally sustainable restaurant practices, will be opening several new locations throughout the south and northeast United States, including Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey; introducing all four states to their first ever LEED certified restaurant establishments. Through several area development and individual franchise deals, entrepreneurs are finding value into bringing Pizza Fusion's sustainable approach to organic food service to their communities."

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Furfural to Boost Sales by Going Organic

"Botanical firm Furfural Español has said an organic certificate for its rosemary extract will help boost sales by some €3m.

The company said yesterday it is tapping into growing consumer demand for organic certifications, which guarantees the quality of a product.

Furfural Español sells its products under the trade name Nutrafur and specialises mainly in extracts of the Mediterranean area, such as rosemary, olive and citrus products."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cost of an Organic Thanksgiving

"There's something about Thanksgiving that seems to prompt people to think about where their food comes from. Maybe it's all the cornucopias and sheaves of wheat depicted in supermarket circulars, or maybe it's the focus on the harvest. Visions of farmers bringing in the crops may lead people to think about how food gets to their table, and whether it would make sense, or even make a difference, to try to buy organic food for the holiday meal. The Grist editors asked me to create a Thanksgiving menu and compare the costs of using organic ingredients versus using conventional ones.

Most of us know there are important reasons to buy organic food: protecting one's health and the health of one's friends and family is key, of course. It's also better for the environment (including water sources) if there is less demand for produce grown with pesticides and fertilizer, and it's better for farmers and farm workers not to have to encounter these chemicals as they go about the work of feeding us."

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What an interesting article! Gotta love Grist.

Organic Carp Receives Thumbs Up from Food Guru

"CHANNEL 4’s River Cottage food guru, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has given the UK’s first organic carp the thumbs up as a tasty sustainable alternative.

In the last of three programmes on fish - ‘Gone Fishing’, Channel 4, 8pm, November 22 - Hugh visits a pioneering carp farm in Devon, which has grown its fish almost entirely on locally sourced organic feeds.

This is said to be in stark contrast to virtually all other fish farms in the UK."

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Whole Foods Falls 15%

"Whole Foods Market Inc. said Tuesday that its profit dropped 15 percent in the fourth quarter, partly because of $13 million in legal and other costs associated with its purchase of Wild Oats Markets Inc. But sales grew by 35 percent to $1.74 billion, the Austin-based organic grocer said.

Profit fell to $33.9 million, or 24 cents a share, from $39.8 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier, the company said.

After finalizing the purchase of its former rival in August, Whole Foods added 63 stores to its roster, selling or closing the rest of Wild Oats' 100-plus stores."

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New Amy's Products for Fall - Winter 2007

Great news everyone: Amy's is coming out with a bunch of awesome new products! (Of course, if you are signed up with their newsletter, you already know this.)

The new additions to the all-natural, organic frozen food line include four different kinds of hot cereal bowls, a single serve non-dairy cheeze rice crust pizza (whoo! dairy free!) a quesadilla kid's meal, black bean tamale verde and cheese tamale verde, and light in sodium spinach single serve pizza, mexican casserole bowl, Indian mattar paneer, shepherd's pie and macaroni & cheese.

Amy's says:
"Amy’s is very excited about the wide variety of new meals we are introducing this fall and winter. We have delicious tamales with verde sauce, a new mexican quesadilla kids meal (with chocolate cake), hot cereals for the morning rush, and more light in sodium versions of your favorites. We're really excited about our first gluten free/dairy free single serve pizza!"

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I think the great thing about Amy's is they don't just introduce one little product at a time. It's always a boatload! I'm particularly excited about the single serve non-dairy cheeze rice crust pizza and the quesadilla kids meal. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What it Takes to Go Organic

"The 7th Annual Iowa State University (ISU) Organic Conference is going on today in Ames. About 320 folks are in attendance, many of them ag producers looking into what it takes to go organic.

Associate agronomy professor Dr. Kathleen Delate organized the conference for ISU. She told Brownfield organic corn and soybeans are currently fetching $10 and $17 dollars a bushel, respectively. And she said there's no problem with organic penetration of the U.S. food system.

"Actually, that's been a breeze," Delate said. "There is much more demand for organic products than there is supply, and that's another push, is working with the Iowa Organic Association here to get more people to transition to fill that demand so we won't have to go to places like China to meet our demand for organic soybeans, for example."

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India Reaches 312,000 Hectares

"Mumbai: The certified land area under organic farming in India has reached 312,000 hectares.
According to the junior federal farm minister Kanti Lal Bhuria, the country is fast implementing the National Project on Organic Farming for production, certification and market development of organic farming."

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Only Natural Antioxidants Allowed in Organic FIsh

"THE Soil Association has met its target of eliminating the use of synthetic antioxidants in its certified organic fish feeds. Only natural antioxidants are now permitted in these feeds and their ingredients.

This is the first time such a requirement has been placed on any sector of the fish farming industry. Four months have now passed since the deadline set by the Soil Association in July 2007, and all those involved in the production of Soil Association-certified organic fish feeds and their ingredients have successfully switched to natural products."

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The Problem with Bannng Air Freighting

"The proposed ban on air freighting of organic produce into the UK could have implications for the flavour industry, as some valuable raw materials are grown far way and would not survive lengthy sea freighting times.

The controversial ban on produce that is flown into the UK being certified as organic until it meets ethical and fair trade standards was proposed by the Soil Association last month. Most of the attention to the issue has centred on fresh fruit and vegetable product.

But Melissa Naish, global purchasing manager & European sales for Earthoil Plantations, said that that a ban could pose problems for some classes of produce."

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Taking a Bite Out of Duchy Mince Pies

"Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Chef Heston Blumenthal looks in puzzlement at a Duchy Originals organic mince pie.

``It's got a bit of grit in the mince there,'' he says, examining the filling. ``I don't know what that was. And there's a slight rancidity to the pastry. It's a bit doughy. It's as if -- this might be human error -- it smells of raw pastry.''

We're sitting in a charming old upstairs room at the Hinds Head, the pub Blumenthal owns near his three Michelin star restaurant, the Fat Duck, in the village of Bray, west of London. The chef has agreed to a blind tasting of boxes of mince pies."

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"it" Girl Launches Door-to-Door Organic Meal Service

"LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "it" Girl Public relations, one of the leading Public Relations agencies in Los Angeles, expands their lifestyle division with the addition of Optimal Nutrition Inc. (O.N.I.). O.N.I. bestows a customized door-to-door organic meal service that encourages a conveniently healthy and organic lifestyle for the busy professional, the super star celebrity, athlete and the average family.

What is setting O.N.I. apart from all other health food regimes are their efforts to promote a healthy body and mind. Each organic meal plan is tailored to fit the lifestyle of each client. Optimal Nutrition Inc. designs and portions each meal specifically to the client's needs based on their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), body fat, activity level, caloric intake and other factors. The O.N.I program drives your body to function and perform at a higher standard than any other competing meal plan. When clients put optimal nutrition in, they get optimal performance out."

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pennsylvania Bans Hormone-Free Label

"HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania is stopping dairies from stamping milk containers with "hormone-free" labels in a precedent-setting decision being closely watched by the industry.

Synthetic hormones have been used to improve milk production in cows for more than a decade. The chemical has not been detected in milk, so there is no way to test for its use, but a growing number of retailers have been selling and promoting hormone-free products in response to consumer demand.

State Agriculture Secretary Dennis C. Wolff said advertising one brand of milk as free from artificial hormones implies that competitors' milk is not safe, and often comes with what he said is an unjustified higher price."

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Darjeeling Grows to Love Organic Tea

"DARJEELING: Darjeeling is known world over for its special varieties of tea. With the Western people becoming increasing health conscious, the tea producers here are increasingly diversifying into non-traditional segments.

The latest fascination is organic tea that is hugely popular among western consumers.

Many tea producers in Darjeeling are now producing and marketing the organic variety of tea. Though the concept is not new to the region, tea experts claim that people are returning to the organic and healthy varieties of tea as is the case with other food items these days.

Organic variety of tea is cultivated using natural products for manure and pest control."

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Avoid GM with Organic

"Nearly all the milk, dairy products and pork in UK supermarkets are being produced from animals fed on genetically modified (GM) crops, and none of this is labelled, claims the Soil Association.

Director Patrick Holden said the situation amounted to “deception on a grand scale”. Supermarkets are widely allowing the use of GM feed, said the association, after it tested animal feed and reviewed company policies."

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Organic Cashew Farming in Indonesia

"Farmers have been using the vast tracts of semi-arid land and degraded land in Kubu district, Karangasem regency, for cashew nut production.

The cashew nut plantations have become the primary source of income for hundreds of families in a program that has been so successful that its coordinators was recently named the winner of a food resilience award, to be handed over by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Nov. 15.

"We're grateful we can work better. I hope we can survive so that more farmers can enjoy the benefits of this program," said Nyoman Menget Adriasa, 40, the coordinator of the five farmers groups in Kubu that are united under subak abian (farmers who work on dry land)."

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Organic Fish Farm Seminars

"The principal owner of AquaRanch Industries said there’s more to the fish farm coming to Clovis than just fish.

Besides raising more than 30,000 tilapia a year, the company plans to market several organic byproducts from the fish farm, including vegetables, herbs, fertilizers and animal supplements.

Garth Waston spoke Wednesday at a seminar on organic food held at the Clovis Civic Center.

Watson said the company plans to grow “Every produce that’s grown in New Mexico.”

But more than just telling people about organic foods, AquaRanch served about 130 people a lunch of organically grown fish. The company also served salad and dressing made with organic vegetables."

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Keeping Crops Organic

"Farmers are constantly struggling to maintain their livelihood while ensuring a supply of nutritious food for residents of Maine and people throughout the nation.

For Maine's organic farmers, the choice to farm organically is being threatened by regulation recommendations soon to be submitted to the state Legislature. Citizen voices can help ensure that solid regulations protect farmers' right to choose how they farm, including farming organically.

On Friday, the Board of Pesticides Control will consider recommendations for rules governing the use of corn that is genetically modified to incorporate Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Depending on Board of Pesticides Control's recommendations, the livelihood of Maine's organic dairy farmers could be at risk."

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Raw Gaia Introduces Organic Chocolate Face Pack

"Organic skin care company Raw Gaia announces the launch of the world’s first raw chocolate face pack. This is a mouth watering product helps to promote a smooth and toned complexion. Raw Gaia is a vegan society certified producer that takes the principals of a raw food diet and works them into natural cosmetics.

Raw Gaia started by producing the first ever “living” skin care product, what is now called For Her Daughters Living Moisturiser. It was (and still is) hand-made through a special low temperature process, using only organic, cold-pressed butters and oils, infused with some essential oils."

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Tips for Organic Thanksgiving

"Look for local sources for your ingredients. Go to farmer's markets and farm stands, or at least a grocer that buys from local farmers. When you buy from a local producer, you get the freshest food, which tastes best and is most nutritious. And buying locally saves on energy (less used to package and transport the food to you). Last but not least, when you support your local farmers you help them to stay in business, preserving invaluable open spaces in your area. To find the farms nearest you, visit the Local Harvest Website and you can search by zipcode."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Phytobase Launches Super Food Dark Chocolate

"NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Orem, UT, United States, 11/14/2007 - Phytobase, makers of Chocollissima and ChocoLeans, have once again successfully managed to blend an indulgent dark chocolate treat with healthy super-food ingredients.

Amoriss™ is a bite-sized organic dark chocolate bonbon infused with a unique combination of red wine extract (the "French Paradox"), resveratrol and antioxidant-rich super fruits. It is an ultimate feast of the senses with amazing heart-healthy, longevity and anti-aging benefits.

And just like in Paris salons and spas, which are famous for their chocolate facials, Amoriss also can take it to a different level in indulgence. When melted and applied for 15-20 minutes, Amoriss acts as a nourishing, moisturizing and antioxidant facemask treatment for healthy-looking skin."

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From Tobacco to Organic Produce

"Buying organically-grown vegetables and sprouts directly from the farmer is now possible at Slegers Greenhouse.
Slegers is located on Calvert Drive, between Strathroy and Cairngorm.
Owners Jo and Pauline Slegers have opened a small farm-gate store that offers a variety of different garnishes, as well as greenhouse grown lettuce.
They also have various other vegetables that are certified organic from other producers in the province.
Slegers premium organic farm is a Canadian, family-farmed greenhouse/grow operation.
The Slegers name was associated with tobacco farming from 1969 to 1995. There was a nine-year overlap where the family had both the greenhouses and tobacco operation."

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Investigation of Organic Farm at the Center of an Avian Flu Outbreak

"Veterinary experts are investigating biosecurity at the organic farm at the centre of the current avian flu outbreak amid fears that the H5N1 virus has already spread to two nearby farms.

Industry sources said last night that workers at Redgrave Park Farm, near Diss, Norfolk, had also spent time at the other farms, both of which are within the 1.9-mile (3km) protection zone. It is being suggested that routine cleansing and disinfecting between holdings was not a priority and that facilities were basic.

There is concern that 45,000 free-range geese may be infected. Fred Landeg, the acting chief veterinary officer, said that an immediate cull would be ordered if there was any evidence that there had been “dangerous contacts” between flocks and farms.

There was disbelief in the poultry industry and among ornithologists that, despite government warnings of the high risk of avian flu transmission during the spring and autumn migration periods, the free-range birds were not kept away from wild birds at an ornamental lake on the farm."

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Indonesian Farmers to Government: Go Organic!

"Indonesia's farming body has called on the government to help small-scale and family-run farms implement sustainable and organic farming to help combat climate change.

The Federation of Indonesian Farmers Association (FSPI) said December's climate change conference in Bali would be the most opportune time for the government to introduce a program targeted at small and family-run farms.

FSPI executive Tejo Pramono told a media conference Tuesday family farmers should focus on organic farming methods to help reduce the use of fertilizers and fossil fuels.

"By changing the farming system, small-scale farmers can significantly cool down the earth and reduce greenhouse gas emission," Tejo said."

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Sainsbury Sees 27% Organic Increase

"Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- J Sainsbury Plc, the U.K.'s third- largest supermarket chain, said first-half profit rose 27 percent on increased sales of organic food. The retailer will also start a property venture with Land Securities Group Plc.

Net income climbed to 161 million pounds ($334.5 million), or 9.1 pence a share, in the six months ended Oct. 6 from 127 million pounds, or 7.5 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. That beat the 157.6 million-pound median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales gained 2.6 percent to 9.25 billion pounds."

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Organic Salmon and Halibut to Hit Shelves

"FRIEND of the Sea - an eco-labelling scheme for marine capture fisheries and aquaculture - has confirmed certification of the Framgord salmon and halibut production, in the Shetland Islands.

Atlantic halibut was formerly a very important food fish, but its slow rate of population growth means that it is unable to recover quickly from overfishing, says Friend of the Sea. The fishery has largely collapsed and now it is endangered throughout its range, according to the IUCN Redlist.

"Having retailers source Atlantic halibut only from certified aquaculture production is the only way to save this species from extinction in the wild," affirms Dr Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea. "Consumers do not want to eat wild-caught species threatened of extinction."

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Organic Roadshow

"ONE OF Australia’s premier organic events will arrive in Armidale for the first time.

The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) Road Show will be held at Armidale Golf Club from 8.30am to 4pm on Friday, November 30, and will provide participants with a wealth of knowledge direct from successful regional organic producers and business owners.

The event will be of particular interest to food producers, processors and retailers in the area.

Part of the focus on the event will be the renewed focus on research and development that growth in the organics industry has allowed."

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clorox Purchases Burt's Bees (What?!)

"In October 2007, Clorox Company, the multi-billion dollar manufacturer of plastic bags, bathroom cleaners and laundry bleach, announced that it was acquiring natural cosmetics maker, Burt's Bees for $925 million.

Of course, Burt's Bees is no longer the tiny honey and beeswax candle business that Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby founded in Maine in 1984. In fact, since 1993, the bearded Burt has not even owned the business that markets his face and his bees. More to the point, in 2004, 80% of Burt's Bees was acquired by an investment group and by 2006 the company had grown into a professionally managed $250 million business selling lipstick, toothpaste and hand cream in grocery store chains throughout the United States and around the world. Thus, like the Cheshire Cat's smile, the brand will survive the Clorox acquisition even though the small cottage industry Burt's once was will have disappeared like so many honey bee colonies around the world."

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Dry Clean the Organic Way

"Chester - It is the mark of all good trends that they expand beyond their original incarnations.

Chai now comes in hot and cold. Facebook is open to everyone. Texas Hold 'Em can be played on the Internet and watched on TV.

Now organic has moved beyond the produce aisle - having made stops in the hygiene, dairy and meat sections - and left the supermarket entirely to enter the dry cleaners.

A blue-and-white sign outside Woodbury Cleaners in Chester - and two other chain locations in Orange County - advertises "New Organic Dry Cleaning."

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Farmers Confused By Labels

"There's a tectonic shift under way in organic agriculture. An organic label was once a way for smaller farms to find a market niche with produce free of synthetic chemicals.

But as the demand for organic produce and other products has grown, large farms have started muscling in, sparking intense competition for space in farmers markets, health food stores and chain supermarkets.

The shift toward big organic has farmers feeling like they must choose between the principles of healthy eating and environmental stewardship that sprouted the organic movement and federally sanctioned organic certification, which is essentially a marketing program."

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Eat Vegetarian, Save the World

"It seems a surprising suggestion. Can it be true that what we put on our dinner plates could have an effect on global warming? It appears so. A new report is to warn the livestock industry generates 8 per cent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions - but that eating some meat is good for the planet. It will also say organic farming may be no better than intensive methods for reducing emissions, though organic practices have other advantages.

The report, which aims to be the most comprehensive study of the subject yet completed, claims a vegetarian diet including cheese, butter and milk would probably not noticeably reduce carbon emissions because dairy cows are a major source of the biggest greenhouse gas pollution from livestock - the methane released when cattle burp."

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Friday, November 9, 2007

A Vegan Thanksgiving

"IRVINE, CA -- 11/09/07 -- Native Foods Restaurants, a group of five vegan, organic restaurants in Southern California is, thankfully, providing delicious vegan/vegetarian alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

For those hosting Thanksgiving gatherings, Native Foods offers "Thanksgiving Wellingtons," an elegant display of puff-pastry filled with savory Native Seitan, kale, portobello mushrooms, orange glazed yams, fabulous stuffing, caramelized onions and served with shallot mushroom gravy on the side. All ingredients are organic. Wellingtons come frozen and you bake them -- they are ready in about one hour and serve six. Wellingtons are $52 each and can be ordered online ( or by contacting any of the restaurant locations."

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Organic Clothing Sales Reach $1 billion

"PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. — With global retail sales of organic cotton topping $1 billion last year, companies in the supply chain are searching for the best way to maintain sales momentum and deal with climate change, high oil prices and savvy consumers."

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The Organic Fertilizer Association of California Meets

"The Organic Fertilizer Association of California (OFAC) has been formed by leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers of fertilizer products that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program’s (NOP) standards. The purpose of the new association is to represent the California organic fertilizer industry and promote the knowledge of safe and effective organic farming systems through outreach, education and regulatory/legislative efforts."

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Reduce Allergies with Organic Milk

"Mothers who drink organic milk during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can help their babies beat eczema, asthma and related allergies, according to ground-breaking research.

The study suggests the conditions can also be kept at bay if children drink organic milk themselves. Researchers conclude that "the consumption of organic dairy products, within the context of an organic diet, is associated with the ... reduced incidence of eczema".

There are growing concerns about the increasing prevalence of conditions such as eczema and asthma worldwide, especially in westernised countries. It is estimated that one-third of children in western societies show symptoms; in the UK there are fears that more children are being affected as a result of pollution and traffic fumes."

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Save at Planet Organic

"Planet Organic Health Corp., Canada’s leading natural products retailer, has just announced consolidated sales for the fiscal year of $ 55.3 million, compared with $ 37.7 million last year. This means an increase of 47 %. The company’s CFO stated that all divisions were growing as planned and the company was looking forward to a prosperous fiscal year 2008. (Picture: Planet Organic store)

Two new Planet Organic Market locations were built, one acquisition was added to the market group, and more were reported to be on the horizon."

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Organic Tea Company for Sale

"Clipper, the organic and Fair Trade tea brand, is set to sell a stake in the business in a deal that is likely to value the company at £20m-£30m.

A sale of some or all of the business is likely to net the company's founders, Lorraine and Michael Brehme, a trained tea taster, a multimillion-pound windfall.

The divorced couple are understood to have appointed advisers from Smith & Williamson to advise on strategic options.

The Brehmes started Clipper in 1984 with just £50 and two chests of tea sold in 1kg bags to health food stores around Britain."

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Chipotle Eliminates rBGH Cheese

"Before the end 2007, Chipotle Mexican Grill will no longer serve any cheese made with milk from cows treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). That will make Chipotle the first national restaurant chain to eliminate rBGH entirely from items on its menu.

Chipotle began serving 100-percent rBGH-free sour cream last year, and has begun shifting to rBGH-free cheese over the last several months, a move it will complete by year-end, making 100 percent of its cheese rBGH-free. It also serves rBGH-free, organic milk at some of its locations."

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Scottish Schools Receive Organic Push

"An MSP is calling on Scottish schools to include more organic food in their menus.

Sarah Boyack, MSP for Edinburgh Central and Labour's spokesperson for the environment, highlighted research showing the environmental and health benefits of organic produce, reports the Scotsman.

She wants public sector organisations to open up to organic providers and said there should be targets for increasing the use of both organic and local food.

Ms Boyack said: 'Schools and hospitals and the public sector generally have huge purchasing power, but at the moment it's just very big farmers and retailers who get access to that market."

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Organic Bouquet Introduces Holiday Wreaths

"AN FRANCISCO, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Organic Bouquet (, the eco-flower pioneer, celebrates Thanksgiving by introducing dozens of new organic holiday wreaths, charitable bouquets, and delicious organic gift baskets.

"We strive to give back at every facet of our company," said Gerald Prolman, CEO of Organic Bouquet. "Our decorative wreaths are individually handcrafted in the Pacific Northwest by local farmers and artisans, and all our flowers are grown in a manner that is good for the environment and safe for the farm workers."

The Autumn Gift Collection includes:

America's Second Harvest charitable bouquet ($49.95) -- supporting the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the US. ASH secures and distributes nearly 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products through their Network of more than 200 regional food banks and food-rescue organizations. Purchase of these beautiful long lasting Esperance roses with light green and cream tones and pink edges, and 5% of the sale will be donated to America's Second Harvest. "We are very proud to support America's Second Harvest in its vital efforts in the fight against hunger," added Prolman."

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New York Grocer to Become First Organic Certified Beef Handler

"NEW YORK, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food Emporium, the Manhattan-based specialty gourmet grocery chain, announces today it will become the first major grocery store to be certified to handle and cut organic beef in its full-service meat departments. Sixteen Manhattan-area Food Emporiums will begin cutting fresh certified organic steaks in-house as a value-added program for its customers on November 8.

Working in close partnership with Dakota Beef, the nation's leading certified organic beef company, Food Emporium stores have undergone a rigorous certification and verification process by International Certification Services allowing them handle organic beef in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). Without organic certification, the only way grocers can sell certified organic beef is pre-packaged. "With this organic certification, we have raised the standard of our full-service meat departments by making organic a centerpiece in the premium, gourmet experience we offer our customers," said Ray Donnelly, Senior Merchant Meat and Seafood for The Food Emporium. "No other beef supplier has brought so much extra value to our meat program as Dakota Beef has with this organic certification and their premium organic beef," he added."

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Organic Spray Pancakes?!

"Sometimes something comes along that, whilst not strictly speaking a gadget, has all the hallmarks of something that needs to be shared with the world, for the greater good. These Batter Blasters are a perfect example.

Making food is rewarding, but messy. Better for your health, but time consuming. Putting pancake batter in an aerosol can is therefore one of the smartest things I've ever seen, and goodness, it's got 'organic' plastered over it, so *must* be healthy."

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Organic Arrives in Maine

"BETHEL, Maine — If by Saturday’s end Maine’s organic farmers weren’t convinced they were on the right track, Sunday’s speakers at the 18th annual Farmer-to-Farmer Conference sealed the deal.

Maine consumers for the first time are demanding organic products at a rate that outpaces production.

Two hundred farmers who specialize in everything from vegetables to flowers to miniature cows attended the three-day seminar sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Over the weekend, they heard about alternative energy, weed control, grants, and specialty topics such as goats and flowers.

Most were already optimistic about their future in organic farming, but hearing that the demand for locally grown organic food is outstripping Maine growers’ production really put the frosting on the cake."

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

California Pizzeria to Sell Bionade Soda

"Berkeley, CA, November 04, 2007 --( In the city of Berkeley, California, Bobby G’s Pizzeria, a ten month old restaurant on University Ave., is the first retail establishment in Berkeley, and one of the first in the country, to sell what many consider to be the hottest, or hippest drink on the planet – Bionade organic sodas. Created in Germany, these organic sodas are huge hit in Europe. Now, after being written up in Time Magazine (Jan. 22, 2007), Bionade is poised to take the U.S. by storm.

Bionade sodas are made with all natural ingredients such as malt, water, cane sugar, and fruit essences. Created by a master brewer, Bionade is made using the same processes as and following the purity requirements traditionally used to make beer…but with no alcohol. It took eight years and a family fortune to perfect the recipe, but finally this wonderful drink is available in the U.S., at only a couple of select locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as Berkeley’s Bobby G’s Pizzeria."

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Peterson Gets Slammed

"Web Note: For Collin Peterson's previous outrageous statements on how organic consumers are "dumb" for paying more for local and organic foods see "Dumb Quote of the Week" in Organic Bytes #121:

Now after a slew of irate letters from some the nation's organic consumers, Representative Peterson appears to have experienced a dramatic shift in consciousness, or at least a realization that he should keep his pro-corporate agribusiness, "dumb" thoughts to himself"

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Organic Bakery Run By Kids

"LAHORE: The first-ever organic bakery run by special children will open in Gulberg in the next week.

Around 40 special children will bake food items at the bakery. The bakery is a project of Roshni Association. It is part of a campaign against environment pollution and to promote organic lifestyle in the country. Shahida Perveen from Roshni Association said it would be the first organic bakery across the country where special children would bake several food items. She said, “We will offer whole grain bread, pastry, biscuits, pizza, cakes and patties. These items will be prepared with organic ingredients.” She said that the money earned from the sale would be spent on the welfare of special children."

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Buying Green Cosmetics and Household Products is Too Confusing!

"Though scientists, environmentalists and manufacturers probably will debate the dangers of chemicals in popular products for years to come, many consumers wonder what they can do today to make "greener" choices at the store.

Unfortunately, experts say, deciphering the labels of personal and household products isn't as simple as selecting organic produce. There's no standard, enforceable definition of a "non-toxic" or "environmentally friendly" household cleaner, says Urvashi Rangan, senior scientist and policy analyst at Consumers Union. Such terms don't provide consumers with any real guarantees about products' ingredients, she says.

There's no real standard for "natural" or "organic" cosmetics, either, says Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group.

The Food and Drug Administration requires that cosmetics companies test their products for safety so consumers don't develop a rash or eye infection. But it doesn't require companies to study whether products contain chemicals such as endocrine disruptors.

These chemicals - which include preservatives called parabens that are found in many shampoos and conditioners - act like hormones and are linked to reproductive and development problems in infants, Houlihan says."

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Fair Trade Certification in America

"Responding to burgeoning demand for products made with socially responsible practices, global organic certifier IMO (Institute for Marketecology) introduced a new standard for fair trade certification in the United States dubbed Fair for Life.

The social and fair trade certification program is based on standards from ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions, FLO (Fairtrade Labeling Organization), SA8000 (Social Accountability International), and IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) social criteria, and covers labor rights issues including pricing and premiums.

IMO developed the IMO Fair Trade & Social Responsibility Program after they found a need for it in the market, Kerry Hughes, IMO's new U.S. representative, told Sustainable Food News.

"Currently, other fair trade certifiers are not open to the wide range of products that IMO certification can cover," Hughes told Sustainable Food News. "It is also integral in our program that because we have certifiers all around the world . we can certify operations that already have the systems in place for organic, thus making the certification process smoother."

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Improving the Organic Farming Scheme

"This year’s Wales Organic Conference brought some good news for would-be converters. BARRY ALSTON reports from the Royal Welsh Showground.

THE Organic Farming Scheme is to re-open in Wales next month – with some significant improvements developed in consultation with the industry.

It includes:

• A new payment of £1,000 on the first hectare of land entered into the scheme to help with costs of certification and training.

• A new payment of £200 per ha per year for organic horticulture, specifically to encourage more farmers to grow field vegetables to increase the local supply of fresh organic produce.

• Greater access to the arable payment rate which was previously restricted to AAPS eligible land."

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dean Foods Off the Hook?

"Cornucopia, WI., Oct 31, 2007 /Natural Newswire/ -- The Cornucopia Institute sharply criticized the conclusion by USDA that an 8000-head factory dairy in Idaho was operating within the federal organic standards. Cornucopia had requested an investigation based on its site visit to the giant industrial-scale dairy, owned by Dean Foods, and the gathering of evidence from other industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of the operation.

The USDA informed Cornucopia today that it had closed its investigation into Dean Foods’ Horizon dairy in Paul, Idaho and another corporate-owned facility in Kennedyville, Maryland. The USDA investigation was in response to a formal legal complaint filed by Cornucopia in 2006.

"We know from our visit to the Idaho facility that they had no functional pasture meeting legal requirements and were unable to graze their huge dairy herd," said Mark Kastel, codirector of the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. Cornucopia's legal complaint included interviews with the veterinarian and with livestock professionals associated with Horizon’s Maryland dairy indicating that they were not pasturing the animals there, either."

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Organic Diet to Your Door

"ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthy Chef Creations, a nationwide fresh home meal delivery service, announced today the creation of their Enlightened Cuisine - personalized organic diet meals. This unique combination offers dieters a highly convenient, "no excuses" means to merge the need for better eating habits into their busy lifestyles.

"We didn't start out with the intention to create a diet. However, we noticed that our customers were reporting superior weight loss as a result of eating our portion-controlled organic and whole foods meals, customized to their liking. One of the significant side-benefits of the organic diet is that it addresses some of the food safety concerns consumers are worried about, namely Trans Fatty acids, acrylamide and cloned meats. Our customers don't have to worry as they have our promise that our food is free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), preservatives and hormones. I personally select all the ingredients for freshness and quality." -- The Healthy Chef, John Procacci"

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Irish Government to Promote Organic

"The Irish government has called on business in the agricultural sector to keep up with the public's growing appetite for organic food.

Responding to research finding that organic foods often contain high levels of beneficial compounds, Food and Horticulture Minister Trevor Sargent said: "Ireland's production must keep up with growing consumer demand if Irish farmers are to reap the benefits of organic conversion and if Irish consumers are to have access to affordable organic foods.

"Therefore, I am urging Irish farmers to examine the commercial opportunities that exist with organic conversion."

Mr Sargent said that the new Organic Farming Scheme would increase payment rates for producers of such food, and that other grants were available."

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Yorkshire Provender Company Launches Organic Soups

"The organic soup category warms up for winter as the Yorkshire Provender Company (formerly known as the Yorkshire Soup Company) enters the organic market with the launch of five organic vegetable soups.

The range has specifically been developed around the seasonality of British farmed vegetables and unlike some other organic soups, is made from fresh vegetables only.

Initially three soups will be launched - Root Vegetable and Pearl Barley, Caramelised Onion with Aspall Cyder Vinegar and Beetroot and Celeriac with Ginger, quickly followed by Parsnip with Honey Vanilla and Mace and Savoy Cabbage and Puy Lentil. A ‘soup of the month’ will complete the organic winter range.

“Our new organic soups are the smoothies of the vegetable world and the recipes reflect the contents of an organic vegetable box as we buy directly from what is being harvested right now. We prepare all our own vegetables and then cook them sympathetically to preserve the colour, flavour, texture and nutritional value of the original ingredients,” said co-founder Belinda Williams."

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40 Groups Against Weakening Organic Standards

"WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of concerned advocates from 44 organizations have sent a message to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), urging caution as that body considers whether or not to weaken USDA Organic Standards, it was announced today. The NOSB is meeting in late November of this year to consider the report of their Aquaculture Working Group. If acted upon, their recommendations would allow fish to carry the USDA Organic label - despite being raised under conditions that fail to meet basic USDA Organic principles.

In their letter, the groups - which collectively represent more than one million stakeholders and concerned citizens -comment on the Aquaculture Working Group's recommendations to allow use of fishmeal from wild fish (which has the potential to carry mercury and PCBs) and open net cages (which promotes pollution from fish waste, can spread disease and parasites killing wild fish and allows escapes of farmed fish into the wild). The coalition letter to the NOSB can be found at:"

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