Thursday, January 31, 2008

Supermarket to Install More Eco-Safe Sanitizer Units

"LOS ANGELES, CA -- 01/31/08 -- Eco-Safe Systems USA, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ESFS) is pleased to announce that a major customer, one of the nation's largest supermarket chains specializing in organic foods, which has in recent months installed several Eco-Safe food sanitizer units, is submitting new orders for immediate installation of more units. In response, the re-ordering process has been streamlined by Eco-Safe's marketing team, working closely with the customer's buyers and store managers to facilitate increased volume and more efficient manufacturing and installation.

Previous installations at this supermarket chain are performing extremely well, and when interviewed, a customer at one of these markets remarked, "I was surprised to find that my fresh chicken now lasts much longer than usual." "

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Irish Organic Growers Defend Nutritional Benefits

"The Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association has defended the nutritional benefits of organic food.

The association says views expressed at a Dublin conference yesterday showed the level of misconception and bias that operates in Ireland about organic farming.

It says Dr Con O'Rourke of the Food Safety Authority correctly highlighted the need for more scientific research about organic farming.

But the organic growers criticise research presented by the FSAI suggesting that there is no scientific evidence to show that organic food is more nutritious."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Strawberry Pesticide Ban?

"CONSUMER advocates are calling for independent mandatory testing on fruit and vegetables following an investigation which found more than half the Australian-grown strawberries tested contained residues of pesticides.

The findings have been described by a national chemicals watchdog as alarming and prompted calls to the Federal Government to remedy years of neglect over pesticide regulation.

The tests by Choice revealed that 17 of the 27 samples of conventionally grown strawberries, bought Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, as well as independent fruit retailers in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, registered residues of at least two types of pesticide or fungicide.

Three samples contained pesticide residues at levels that exceeded legal limits set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), or traces of pesticides banned for use on strawberries."

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Scotland Schools Encouraged to Go Green

"SCOTLAND'S schools and hospitals should be encouraged to include more organic food on their menus, a city MSP said today.

Labour's environment spokeswoman Sarah Boyack, MSP for Edinburgh Central, wants organic producers given easier access to supply public sector institutions. She said she would like to see targets for increasing organic and local food use.

Ms Boyack was speaking on the eve of a debate on the Scottish Government's food policy.

She said a recent European Union-funded study had shown that organic food was good not only for the environment but for people's health.

She 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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Pestcide-Free Valentine's Day

"For the guy who doesn't do sonnets, flowers can be the most straightforward expression of love on Valentine's Day. But if you're going to let your bouquet do the talking, be sure it's saying the right thing. About $200 million worth of roses sold in the U.S. are grown out of the country, mostly in Central and Latin America, where over-fumigating with toxic pesticides is common, protective equipment scarce and exposed workers risk getting asthma. In Ecuador, 35 out of 72 children tested by the Harvard School of Public Health had been exposed to organophosphate pesticides in the womb while their mothers worked for flower companies. These children showed both higher blood pressure and poorer spatial ability than children without prenatal exposures. And they may continue to be exposed through contaminated food or home pesticide use, causing significant increases in reaction times to stimuli."

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French Retailers Into Organic

"France's leading retailers yesterday pledged to reduce their impact on the environment under an ambitious plan backed by the government.
The Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution (FECD), which represents 93 per cent of the country's hypermarkets and more than 80 per cent of supermarkets, signed a charter that aims to promote sales of environmentally friendly goods, as well as those produced organically. It will also seek to increase levels of recycling in the country and lower carbon emissions from supermarkets.

Under the plan, the retailers, with combined sales of €178 billion, will launch a study to assess the carbon emissions of around 300 key items in an average French consumer's shopping basket. The results would then be communicated to consumers on product packaging from 2010."

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50% of Irish Consumers Have Not Purchased Organic Food

"A survey has shown that more than half of Irish consumers have never purchased organic food.

A Food Safety Authority seminar heard that the main reason cited for this was cost, with 54% believing organic food is too expensive.

80% of people surveyed said they understood the benefits of organic food to be free from pesticides and chemicals."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is Organic Growing the Key to Boosting the Economy?

"If you have five acres in the backyard and a Rototiller, you can make a living in organic farming, according to Luke Howard.

Howard is chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Commission, a 30-member panel made up of a cross section of farmers that advises the state agriculture secretary on farm issues. He is an organic farmer and also serves as the industry's representative on the commission.

"The organic food industry is growing rapidly and has been growing rapidly for many years," said Howard. "We have been seeing 17 percent to 25 percent growth nationally and in Maryland the past 10 years. Global sales now top $22 billion annually."

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$162,160 for Whole Foods CEO

"The chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc., the organic and natural food retailer, received compensation valued at $162,160 in fiscal 2007, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday.

John P. Mackey, 54, received a base salary of $93,500 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. He did not receive a bonus or awards of stock options.

However, he did get $68,363 in non-equity incentive plan compensation. The CEO also received $297 in matching funds from a company 401(k) program."

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Organic Whole Bean Coffee from Celestial Seasonings

"BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Celestial Seasonings(R), a leader in the specialty tea category, recently launched a new line of gourmet whole bean coffee. These 100 percent natural coffees are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified(TM), and are available in five distinctive flavors.

"Nearly 40 years of excellence and innovation in tea-making has made Celestial Seasonings a recognized leader in the hot beverage category," said David Ziegert, acting general manager at Celestial Seasonings. "With the introduction of coffee we are leveraging our flavor expertise and equity in this category. Additionally, our research found that tea drinkers enjoy coffee several times each week, so we are providing them with another great-tasting, high-quality option from Celestial Seasonings."

Coffee flavors include Morning Thunder(TM), Decaf Morning Thunder(TM), French Roastaroma(TM), Caramel Mocha and Vanilla Hazelnut. The coffees are packaged in a unique re-sealable zipper lock bag that helps prolong the freshness of the beans and preserve the flavor."

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Monday, January 28, 2008

More on Sesame Seed Recall

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the recall of Shiloh Farms-brand organic unhulled sesame seeds because of possible contamination.

Shiloh Farms of New Holland, Pa., initiated the recall because the seeds might be contaminated with Salmonella, creating a health hazard.

The product was sold in 12 oz blue and white plastic bags with a Shiloh Farms logo, USDA organic symbol and UPC bar code 047593303545."

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2008 Natural Products Expo West

"Natural Products Expo West ( is set for more than 300,000 square feet of natural and organic foods and personal care, healthy ethnic, sustainable living and alternative medicine products, with more than 1800 exhibitors showcasing their offerings. The trade show, produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media, will draw more than 47,000 attendees March 13-16 to the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Consumer interest in healthy products continues to grow. Natural products sales in the United States grew 9.7 percent across all retail and nonretail channels in 2006, topping more than $56.7 billion (up from $51 billion in 2005), according to The Natural Foods Merchandiser. For the first time since 1999, the mass market saw double-digit growth of natural products sales at 10.5 percent."

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Organic Warning

"Organic food has become a victim of its own success, says a new report.

The sector has exploded in the last few years, growing by 70 per cent since 2002. But a report from market research company Mintel says the industry is now threatened by its own popularity.

The report, published yesterday says the reluctance of farmers to convert their land to organic, and demand for biofuels, is limiting supply, particularly of grain to feed livestock.

And organic shoppers are unwilling to accept imported food, further increasing pressure on UK farmers, it claims.

"No one can deny the benefits of supporting British producers but this dramatic shift towards British organic food has created serious supply problems - there is simply not enough British-grown organic food." it says.

According to the report, the UK market for organic food will grow from pounds1.5 billion in 2007 to pounds2.2 billion in 2012. The Soil Association welcomed the increase in demand, describing it as a "major opportunity" for farmers, but said the Mintel figures were conservative, with organic sales "nudging pounds2 billion" in 2006."

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Organic Food Conference to be Held in Czech Republic

"The “Organic Food in Public Catering - Putting Health and Sustainability on the Plate Conference” will be held in Brno, Czech Republic, on March 5 as an accompanying event to the International Food Fairs SALIMA 2008. The goal of the conference is to support the introduction of organic and local food in public catering.

The Organic Food in Public Catering Conference is the first conference in the Czech Republic and Central Europe to focus primarily on the role of public catering, particularly school and hospital meals, in delivering both health and environmental benefits. A range of international experts with practical long-term experiences and will highlight best practice in various European countries in sustainably produced organic food use in public catering. This conference underlines the importance of putting food from sustainable sources, ideally organic, on the school, hospital, or any other public catering dinner plate to deliver benefits of public health, social justice, sustainable development and thriving local economies."

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Recall: My Organic Baby Cereal May Be Rancid

"OTTAWA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a Vaughan, Ont.,-based company are warning the public not to consume four types of My Organic Baby cereal for infants, saying the product may be rancid.

My Organic Baby has issued a voluntary recall for 227 gram boxes of Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal and Multigrain cereal - all with 'Best By' dates of April 2008 and June 2008.

The affected product has been distributed nationally in Canada."

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Australian Meat Producers Support Cloned Food

"Australian organic meat exporters say their business could be bolstered by the US Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to approve the consumption of food from cloned animals and their offspring.

“The decision has re-ignited a focus on organic – sales of organic beef and dairy products from Australia could be boosted as consumers in the United States search for an alternative source of protein and dairy products,” says Ms Dalene Brook, Business Development Manager of OBE Beef, Australia’s largest organic beef co-operative.

Australia has the largest area of certified organic land in the world (approximately 11.8million hectares certified to international standards) due to vast areas of rangelands certified for organic cattle and fat land production.

“Australia has some of the highest standards of food safety and traceability in the world protecting its primary industry environment. Australia’s clean and green reputation is highly regarded and a valuable asset for exporters in markets worldwide,” says Ms. Brook."

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I'm a vegetarian so I don't have to worry about cloned meat, but I've been posting about it since I think it's important.

The Story of Weardale Organic Soup Company

"THE Weardale Organic Soup Company began in a small cottage kitchen in the North Pennines, with a headful of ideas and a chopping board piled high with fresh local ingredients.

That was three-and-a-half years ago and now these home-made gluten-free soups made using Artisan production methods have become incredibly popular throughout the region.

Its range of mouthwatering local soups use vegetables produced within 50 miles of the company’s home, Elm Cottage, with the aim of cutting down on food miles.

Many organically certified vegetables are imported, but by producing the Weardale Local Soups the company is able to support local growers who produce good quality vegetables, grown without pesticides, right on the doorstep. As much local produce as possible is used from local organic wholesaler North Country Organics."

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Gusto Grilled Organics Opens in New York

"Washington, Jan 25: The first green- and organic-certified restaurant has opened its doors in New York City.

‘Gusto Grilled Organics’ is a Greenwich Village eatery serving 100 percent, organic, Latin-inspired cuisine for eat-in, takeout and delivery.

“We are completely organic,” Environment News Network quoted Alberto Gonzales, a majority shareholder of Gusto Grilled Organics Inc., as telling Sustainable Food News."

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Organic Valley and Byrne Dairy Team Up to Protect N.Y. Farmland

"(CSRwire) SYRACUSE, NY AREA - January 25, 2008 - New York Agricultural Land Trust (NYALT), a new non-profit organization dedicated to protecting land for the future of farming in New York, received contributions from both Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley to support the development of NYALT's communication and outreach plan.

NYALT, established this year as a 501(c)(3) organization, is already working toward protecting 11 farms in Central New York, including five farms from its 2006 round of funding, and six farms that were announced at the end of 2007. This effort will result in the preservation of over 5500 acres! Funding from Byrne Dairy, a Syracuse-based dairy processor, and Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farmers cooperative, will enable NYALT to create a website and printed materials for educating landowners and municipal officials about protecting farmland, as well as help the land trust to communicate with farm families interested in conserving their land for future generations."

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Maria Elena's Authentic Latino Inc. Introduces Organic Horchata Mix

"VALENCIA, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Maria Elena's Authentic Latino Inc. announced today the introduction of the nation's first Certified Organic Horchata drink mix, bringing the refreshing Hispanic flavor of Aguas Frescas to discerning consumers increasingly demanding new and great-tasting choices in Certified Organic and Natural drinks.

Maria Elena's new Organic Horchata drink mix is based on the popular Latino rice and cinnamon refreshment, and is a nutritious formulation of this traditional taste experience. Certified Organic, it is free of all Trans and Saturated Fats, and is calcium-rich, providing 15% of the recommended daily adult allowance of calcium. It mixes easily with water and can be served over crushed ice or refrigerated as a delectable thirst-quencher.

Manufactured in the USA, the new drink mix will initially be available at leading natural food retailers in Southern California in convenient 10-ounce packs for home use. It will also be available nationwide in a 1.5 Pound institutional pack for restaurants and coffee houses."

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Health Food Hut: The First Organic and All-Natural Fast Food Restaurant

"..We have done extensive research on the food industry for the last several years and we believe we have found the solution to the lack of health-conscious fast-food locations throughout the U.S.

The solution is Health Food Hut, the countries first Organic and All-Natural Fast Food Restaurant featuring all- wild Alaskan seafood, organic beef and chicken, organic salads and wraps, and much, much more. By eliminating the distributor, and buying direct, we will be able to be price our meals within reach of the casual fast-food buyer. The organic industry is growing fast, and we are ready to do our part and strike while the iron is hot... Health Food Hut will be unique in the industry. A fast-food establishment that offers healthy alternatives via in-store, carryout and drive-through purchases, comprehensive retail meat and produce offerings and even home delivery."

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Wholemato Introduces Organic Agave Ketchup

"New York, New York (January 23, 2008) –Ketchup recipes have been enjoyed in North America for almost 200 years, and these days, 97% of U.S. households have ketchup in their pantry or refrigerator. Wholemato ( has sparked a healthy ketchup revolution by taking ketchup flavor and quality to a whole new level with the launch of their Original Organic Agave Ketchup. This fresh-take on an old classic combines the rich flavor of premium ripe organic tomatoes with an artistic blend of spices and agave nectar - a natural sweetener that is one of the hot culinary trends in the healthy food marketplace.

The food science “magic” of agave nectar is that it is a robust natural sweetener comprised primarily of fructose. Therefore, it is sweeter to the taste buds – yet it does not adversely impact blood glucose and insulin. So, while it is a delightful sweetener for everyone, it is ideal for the millions of diabetics in America and parents of hyperactive children that have concerns regarding the glycemic levels in their food."

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Milk Label Troubles Move to Indiana

"While consumers were savoring a victory in Pennsylvania over dairy labels, Indiana has quietly introduced legislation that would stop farmers from telling consumers whether artificial hormones have been used in the production of their dairy products.

It’s the same issue that raised such a grass-roots ruckus in Pennsylvania last week that the Governor had to step in to stop a labeling ban that was set for February first.

Labels are the only way consumers can learn whether their dairy products have been produced with the use of the controversial milk hormone rbGH or rBST, commercially known as Posilac and made by Monsanto."

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Australian Organic Label Needs Work

"Consumers are being led down the garden path when it comes to organic food product certification, advocates of organic farming say. Organic food is big business and local growers are concerned organic certification is being taken advantage of by large wholesalers. Rosheen Holland, who owns Good Earth Garden, a 0.8-hectare organic vegetable farm on Gabriola Island, says provincial and newly formed federal certification doesn’t go far enough to determine what is and isn’t organic.

"We need to have organic food checked in a lab and tested like other food", she said. "Some items being sold as organic are of much lower nutritional quality. Large organic wholesalers don’t use minerals to grow food because it's too expensive.”
Holland says the vegetables she and her husband grow are rich in minerals, have strong nutritional value and are grown as naturally as possible. "Our vegetables keep for three weeks in the fridge", she said. "People are amazed by that. It shows there is good cellular structure." The problem, says Sandra Mark of Edible Strategies, a Vancouver Island-based organization that works to educate the public on food security, is organic food is self-audited by growers, leaving the door open for deception."

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To Your Valentine From Raw Gaia

"Organic skin care company Raw Gaia announces the launch of a lovely new gift set, “I Love You” Box, from its distinctive range of living skin care products. The gift set is available now, in time for the Valentine’s shopping season.

The “I Love You” Box is a great gift idea for anyone wishing to treat a loved one with some of the purest skin care products available anywhere in the world. Raw Gaia is quickly becoming an increasingly popular and loved brand, due to the living nature of its products, made with organic, vegan chemical-and cruelty-free products.

Joint Managing Director Lisa Lennon comments, “Many people have told us how much they like the presentation of our gift sets and the little details we put into them, like the dried rose petals we add in the box. So we anticipate that the “I Love You Box” will be also very well received.”

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Apple & Eve Announce Expansion of Organic Sesame Street Juice Line

"PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Apple & Eve has just announced that it has expanded its popular Sesame Street line of juice boxes with the launch of new Sesame Street Organics 100% Fruit Juice Boxes - providing families who prefer organic products with a perfectly sized, all- natural organic 100% fruit juice that will make following an organic lifestyle as easy as "ABC."

Sesame Street Organics 100% Fruit Juice Boxes, which are fortified with calcium and contain a full day's supply of Vitamin C, are available in three favorite flavors: Big Bird's Apple, Elmo's Punch and Ernie's Berry. The Organic line showcases each of the three Sesame Street characters dressed as a farmer - highlighting the "fresh from the organic farm" spirit of the new products. In addition, Sesame Street Organics is packaged in kid-friendly 125 ml. (4 ounce) juice boxes - the recommended beverage size for kids ages 2 to 5, and the perfect fit for young hands to hold onto whether at the playground, pre-school or birthday parties. Sesame Street Organics are USDA-certified organic, and carry the Quality Assurance International seal that verifies that they are produced according to the strictest USDA standards."

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Recall: Bulk Organic Sesame Seeds May Be Contaminated with Salmonella

"Consumers are being warned not to eat prepackaged or bulk organic sesame seeds that might be contaminated with salmonella.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says a range of organic seeds, seen on this PDF chart ( were sold in both bulk form and in smaller unlabelled store packages.

No illnesses have been reported, but salmonella can cause a variety of symptoms including high fever, severe headache, vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It can be deadly for the very young or elderly."

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European Organic Credibility Crisis

"European organic production is not keeping pace with demand and many fruits and vegetables have to be imported. In Europe, organic foods are a victim of their own success, with production no longer able to keep up with demand, while purists claim that the initial ideals of clean, natural and healthy produce have been sacrificed for profit. Sales grew 15% in Germany last year and by almost 10 per cent in France, with a multiplication of organic brands and the launch of such produce lines by large supermarket chains previously associated with cheaper foods.

Enthusiasm for all things organic began as a movement led by hard-core nature enthusiasts, mainly in northern Europe, but now gains more and more adepts.
A 'Green Week' at Germany's agricultural fair saw organic brands with a hall of their own while visitors tucked into organically produced sausages before enjoying a glass of equally pure organic wine."

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Syzmo Energy Drink Review

"Product: Syzmo carbonated organic energy drink, $2.79 for a 12-ounce can, at Whole Foods market.

Key ingredients: Organic blue agave; caffeine; coffee fruit; guarana, green tea and yerba mate extracts, and vitamins C, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12.

The pitch: Energy drink that diabetics and hyperglycemics can enjoy because it’s sweetened with natural blue agave, not glucose, high fructose corn syrup or sugar.

How it works: High amounts of caffeine provide the energy boost, while slow-acting agave prevents the post-sugar crash."

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Stonyfield CEO Releases Book

"Green Goes Mainstream is the first in a series of conversations between TheDailyGreen's founder, Deborah Jones Barrow, and leaders in the green consumer revolution.

Can you imagine trying to sell organic yogurt to a supermarket chain 25 years ago?

During the Reagan Revolution?

Neither can I.

Gary Hirshberg CEO of Stonyfield Farms can. He was there at the very beginning of this country's dietary revolt against unhealthy, over additive-ed,faux foods. He's still there, but now he's running one of the most successful food package goods businesses in America."

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YoCalcium from Stonyfield

"LONDONDERRY, N.H., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Make no bones about it, the name says it all. Stonyfield Farm has renamed 2-a-Day, its high calcium yogurt, "YoCalcium" to make it an even simpler to keep bone health in mind. And now it's organic!

(Photo: )

Each serving of Stonyfield Farm's "YoCalcium" contains 50% of the recommended DV (Daily Values) of calcium. That's more than twice the amount calcium of other leading yogurts.

Finally, an easy way to fill an important need: 9 out of 10 women and teenage girls -- as well as many men and teen boys -- don't get enough calcium in their daily diets.(1)

"Getting enough calcium is a concern for everyone, and we wanted to make the benefits of this yogurt as clear as possible. It's never been easier to get the nutrition you and your family need and in such a convenient, tasty treat," says Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo."

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Organic Eprints

"The Organic Eprints archive is a tool to further develop research in organic agriculture. The main objectives are to facilitate the communication of research papers and proposals, to improve the dissemination and impact of research findings, and to document the research effort. In accordance with these objectives the archive is designed to facilitate international use and cooperation.

The archive will accept many kinds of papers: preprints (pre-review), postprints (post-review) and reprints (published) of scientific papers, conference papers and posters, theses, reports, books and book chapters, magazine articles, web products, project descriptions, and other published or unpublished documents."

Visit Organic Eprints

Idaho Co-Op to Sell Organic, Local Foods

"IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Organizers of a new eastern Idaho food cooperative say they want to provide farmers a place to sell their goods and consumers place to find a range of locally grown organic products.

Organizers of Eagle Rock Food Cooperative, expected to open in Idaho Falls next month, say the market is ripe for food considered healthier to eat and easier on the environment.

"I think Idaho Falls is ready for a co-op, and it's time," Marilynn Manguba, a leader in the effort to bring a co-op to the city, told the Post-Register. "We have a critical mass of people who want to do it."

She said consumers want local, organic food because they like knowing where it comes from and the belief that the shorter journey from field to market cuts down on pollution.

Federal studies show organic foods are attracting consumers because they are grown by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water. Organic meat comes from animals that aren't given antibiotics or growth hormones, and organic food is grown without synthetic pesticides, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Organic Spa Options


Here are a few more spas worth checking out:

Organic Chocolate Truffle Masque: Sanctuary Day Spa, 16A Seascape Village, Aptos, 95003, (831) 688-7727.

Perhaps the only way to enjoy chocolate without the calories, the organic chocolate truffle body masque is supposed to fight the signs of aging with the antioxidant qualities of cocoa, leaving the skin refreshed and moisturized like nothing else. The macadamia, almond and jojoba oils that nourish the skin are extremely hydrating, and the accompanying aromatherapy will remind you of your favorite dessert."

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Organic Farmers Meet Up in Massachusetts

"WORCESTER— Invite hundreds of organic farmers to lunch, tell each of them to bring food, and what do you get?

One heck of a healthy potluck, according to several people eating lunch at the winter conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts, held yesterday at Bancroft School on Shore Drive.

Besides chowing down at the pesticide-free potluck, farmers, gardeners, landscapers and agriculture enthusiasts of all ages attended workshops, browsed vendor booths and listened to speeches by Massachusetts Agricultural Commissioner Douglas W. Petersen and Elizabeth Henderson, the first president of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts.

“I came to be a part of a large group of people who are doing good work and have a vision for the future,” said Ivan Ussach as he finished eating a walnut multigrain cookie at lunch. He said he recently decided to start growing herbs with his wife at their Petersham home, and he planned to attend an afternoon workshop on “Herb Gardening in New England.”

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

U.S. Doctors to Promote Vegetarianism in India

"Mumbai, January 18 A team of US-based doctors visited the city on Friday to encourage people to switch over to vegetarian food.

A research conducted by the Doctors from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), USA, proved the efficacy of low-fat vegetarian diet in reversing blood sugar levels of people with type II diabetes. “The westernization of the diet has played a major role in the diabetes epidemic. America should Easternize its own diet. If Americans learn to eat dal, rice, and palak, they would be slimmer and healthier,” said Dr Neal Barnard president of CRM."

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YoMommy from Stonyfield

"(PRLog.Org) – Jan 18, 2008 – Londonderry, NH – Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt-maker, announces YoMommy, the first yogurt created to address the specific nutritional needs of pregnant, nursing and new moms, and their growing babies.

Fortified with Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and DHA – all recommended by most physicians as essential for the health and nutrition of pregnant women and their babies – YoMommy also includes Stonyfield’s special blend of six live active probiotic cultures to enhance digestion and strengthen the immune system.

“With little ones of our own, we know babies need healthy moms,” says Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg. “We’ve created YoMommy to help expectant and new moms meet their special nutritional needs. We’ve also added DHA, a natural fatty acid that’s good for babies’ mental and visual development and good for new moms too!”

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Organic Growers School

"FLAT ROCK – The 15th annual Organic Growers School, a regional event that draws 1,000 exhibitors and attendees, is coming up Saturday, March 8, at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock.

The popular event includes workshops for beginning gardeners to advanced commercial growers, plus a trade show and seed exchange, and a children’s program. An on-farm session will take place Sunday, March 9.

The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes such cooking and stonescaping, as well as a seed exchange and trade show, according to a press release. This year’s school offers 69 different sessions, with topics ranging from beginning gardening to commercial farming and urban homesteading."

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Raw Milk Repeal

"Just two weeks after new restrictions on raw milk took effect, the Assembly Agriculture Committee voted unanimously this week to repeal them after the state's two raw milk producers said they would go out of business if they had to comply.

Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, the Hanford Democrat who supported the new limits last year and is now leading the charge to repeal them, said she was deceived by agriculture officials in the Schwarzenegger administration who said the limits had broad support.

As the committee met Wednesday, hundreds of raw milk backers protested the tighter restrictions on bacteria counts, which took effect Jan. 1.

Parra's measure, Assembly Bill 1604, would stop enforcement of limits for raw milk of 10 coliform bacteria or less per milliliter until June 30. Effective July 1, it would fix the limit at 50 coliform bacteria or fewer per milliliter."

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Article: Cloned Meat Has Me Thinking Vegan

"Thanks Jack.

Jack Spruance submitted today’s reader poll question “Will you eat cloned meat?” I have to say after posting the poll early this morning my vote was a fast ‘no.’

Ever since the FDA approved the sale of food from cloned animals earlier this week the concept of chomping on genetically engineered meat has made by stomach turn.

Aside from the fact that I find it just plain unappetizing there’s also the question of why? Have cows, sheep and pigs become so disenchanted with this world we’ve shaped that they refuse to reproduce?"

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Organic Center Report on Cloned Meat

"For more information on the concerns surrounding the commercial use of cloned animals in food production, The Organic Center has available for free download on its website a report published in April 2007 entitled "Is the FDA's Cloning Proposal Ready for Prime Time? ". The report, authored by James Riddle of the University of Minnesota, discusses why epigenetic changes in cloned animals are important in terms of animal health and food safety, and exposes the total lack of a scientific basis for the FDA's standard for judging that a cloned animal is safe to eat - "substantial equivalence" (i.e. the animal "looks" normal)."

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Organic Food Delivery?

"A few days ago, Epi-Logger Megan O. ("the 'O' stands for 'awesome') Steintrager brought up several issues about the green movement and how it plays into a growing divide between the haves and have-nots. Is healthy, locally grown organic food elitist?"

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Organic Food Coming to Abu Dhabi

"ABU DHABI – Locally produced organic products will soon be available in the UAE market with organic agricultural farms in the emirate of Abu Dhabi growing mostly fresh vegetables.

The project was initiated and developed by Al Qudra Agriculture, a division of Al Qudra Holding.

According to Dr. Abdulaziz Al Harbi, consultant and board member of Al Qudra Holding, the first organic crops will include a few varieties of green salad, cucumber, tomatoes and sweet pepper, which will be available in the market this summer.

“Right now, we are looking to get the international quality certificates, like Ecocert or Globalgap, which will recognise the organic quality of our products worldwide,” said Dr Al Harbi. Once the products are certified as organic, they may be labelled and sold, either locally or exported."

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Minnesota Organic Agriculture Conference

"Collegeville, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture kicks off a two day conference on organic farming today in St. Cloud, Minn.

The conference is set to tackle some of organic agriculture's biggest challenges, like weed control for crop farmers and animal health for livestock producers.

More farmers are considering getting into organic farming. Mary Hanks with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says that's being driven by strong consumer demand for organic food."

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

OTA Says Organics Will Never Be Cloned

"Jan 16,2008-FDA posted a risk assessment report, risk management plan and guidance for industry to outline its regulatory approach on animal cloning.

16/01/08 The Organic Trade Association (OTA) reiterated that meat, milk and other products produced from cloned animals will not be able to be sold as organic in the United States.

OTA issued the reassurance after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its conclusion that foods from cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those produced from traditionally bred animals. FDA posted a risk assessment report, risk management plan and guidance for industry to outline its regulatory approach on animal cloning."

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Organic Enriched Olive Oil from Italica

"New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB ) January 17, 2008 -- From spring water to cereal, grocery manufacturers are adding vitamin-enriched items to their product lines. Today, Italica Imports is introducing the country to an extra virgin olive oil from Spain that is enriched with fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, making it a rich source of antioxidants.

Italica PLUS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Italica PLUS) is the first Spanish extra virgin olive oil enriched with vitamins. While all olive oil promotes better health, Italica PLUS delivers even greater nutritional benefits with three vital vitamins. Use of Italica PLUS in your favorite recipes can help promote a stronger immune system, better circulation, strong bones and healthy teeth, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lucy Landesman, president of Italica Imports, said, “Italica PLUS Extra Virgin Olive Oil, like our traditional Italica Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is one the finest cold-pressed virgin olive oils on the market, and today you can use it knowing it’s enriched with even more vitamins and health benefits. Make your favorite sauces, salad dressings, marinades and other recipes even healthier for you and your family.”

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German Organic Food Shortage?

"Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- German consumers may face a shortage of organic food as supply fails to keep up with rising demand, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported today, citing the agricultural price-monitoring agency ZMP GmbH.

Sales of organic food rose more than 15 percent last year after an increase of 18 percent in 2006, giving what in German is called ``bio'' produce a market volume of about 5 billion euros ($7.3 billion), the newspaper said. 2007 was the fourth consecutive year of growth of more than 10 percent, it said."

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UK Bread Demand

"A NEW Defra LINK project is seeking to enable bakers to produce good quality bread using the maximum amount of sustainably-produced UK organic wheat.

More than 50 per cent of the wheat required for the UK organic bread market is imported, because the domestic crop does not consistently provide flour that meets the needs of the organic baking sector.

Field trials with different spring wheat varieties at three sites are assessing the effects on grain quality of appropriate approaches to soil fertility management."

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Starbucks No Longer Organic

"Starbucks Corp. plans to stop selling organic milk at its stores next month.

The Seattle coffee giant has stocked organic milk at U.S. shops since 2001. Starbucks spokesman Brandon Borrman said the original reason for offering it was to cater to customers who wanted milk from cows that weren't given recombinant bovine growth hormone.

Earlier this month, Starbucks completed the switch to serving milk only from cows that weren't given the artificial growth hormone, which helps cows produce more milk.

For its turnaround effort, Starbucks has said it plans to reduce the number of offerings at its stores while adding more-exciting products. The company said this change is unrelated to the turnaround plan. Organic milk is scheduled to come off the menu Feb. 26. Starbucks has charged extra for drinks made with it."

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Yoga Mats and Organic Sheets from Gaiam

"There's a lot of green to be found in the green movement. Just ask Gaiam.

The Broomfield, Colo., retailer and media company offers more than 10,000 eco-friendly items, from kitchen composting kits to bedsheets made of bamboo and organic cotton. Its pilates DVDs and other media offerings are for sale in 70,000 stores.

Long before Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) WMT and other mass retailers were stocking organic milk and nontoxic cleaners, Gaiam GAIA was showing that items that tread lightly had big appeal.

"It's not like they're re-creating a whole new category here," said Gary Holdsworth of Singular Research. "It's a category that's always been around. It just hasn't been served well by mainstream retailers."

The company's name (pronounced GUY-um) is an amalgam of Gaia -- "Mother Earth" -- and "I am."

In addition to selling from its Web site,, it sells its products through catalogs and television infomercials."

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U.K. Diners Go for Local

"Consumers are more concerned about reducing their carbon footprint and place more value on locally-sourced produce than organic food, a new survey has found.

The poll, which was commissioned by shopping mall Westfield London, found that nearly two-thirds of diners feel that it’s important to source food locally.

More than half said they were not concerned if their food is organic.

Support for organic produce is highest in London where 55% of those questioned are committed to organic."

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HQ Sustainable Maritime Products are Organic

"HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc. (AMEX: HQS) ("HQS" or the "Company"), a leader in toxin-free integrated aquaculture and aquatic product processing with operations in the pristine Island Province of Hainan, PRC, today announced that the Company's products were certified "organic" by Chinese authorities.

The Company received the Certification attesting to the organic standards for its tilapia production, processing, labeling, marketing and management system. Certification came after an initial annual audit conducted by Beijing Continental Hengtong Certification Co., Ltd. (CHTC), a certifier authorized by The China National Accreditation Service for Conformity (CNAS) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the PRC (CNCA)."

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Ceapro Finds U.S. Distributor

"EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2008) - Ceapro Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CZO) has signed two US distribution agreements for its certified-organicTM lines, with KAH Specialty Products of New Jersey and Harris & Ford in the Midwest. Both are specialists in the growing organic natural ingredients sector (1).These signings build on the recently announced European distribution agreement with Laserson S.A. in France.

Said Mark Redmond, President and CEO of Ceapro, "Our focus is on expanding the markets for Ceapro's ingredients by geography and market sector to include the organic personal care markets and pharmaceutical clients. These are important new partners for Ceapro, granting access to markets and customers complimentary to those served by our existing distribution network."

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Local Instead of Imported

"I would like to respond to Alex Sheshunoff's commentary "Organic farming is un-green land grab" (Nov. 29). I am a farmer in the Palmer area, as well as the market manager for the South Anchorage Farmers Market, so I am admittedly biased. However, I am not a certified organic producer. Why? Because we live in Alaska, not California. Alaska is perfect for organic farming. It requires far fewer and in some instances no pesticides. A lot of the bugs and diseases that are only controlled by the regular application of pesticides in the Lower 48 can't survive Alaska's climate, or they haven't been introduced here.

For example, corn in Hawaii must be sprayed every two days to keep bugs from burrowing into the ears and eating the kernels. I have grown corn commercially for the past five years in Alaska; I don't spray my conventionally grown Alaska corn because the bugs that eat corn aren't here.

Alex refers to "pesticide-intensive stuff." In Alaska we don't have and probably don't even know what it means to grow a pesticide-intensive crop, unless he counts a manicured suburban lawn as "an agriculture product." I don't know of a farmer in Alaska who wants to apply pesticide. In California, pesticide application is a big business. In Alaska you won't find a single local listing for an agriculture applicator for pesticide."

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Agar and Carrageenan No Longer Organic

"Agar and carrageenan are set to lose their status as organic ingredients later this year, pending a review by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which would impact on the status of foods using them.
These hydrocolloids appear on the National List of exempted and prohibited substances, established by the National Organic Program (NOP) under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

Agar and carrageenan are among 11 exempted synthetic substances added in 2003 that are not automatically given organic status because they are not made from farmed plants. However, they use no pesticides and contain no additives and so considered deserving of an organic certification."

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RARE2B: Vegan Organic Skincare

"LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - January 14, 2008) - After years in development, Rare Natural Care, Inc. announces RARE2B®, a new skincare line that is 100 percent vegan, organic, vegetal and natural and made from non-GMO sources. The products include special ingredients like seaweed, olive oil and passion fruit seed oil that nurture and nourish the skin.

There are very few vegan skincare products on the market and many products that claim to be all natural are not. RARE2B® products do not contain any animal by-products and they are not tested on animals. They are also free of potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic chemicals, alcohol, PEG, TEA and petroleum by-products. The ingredients are Certified Organic, Eco-Certified, and/or natural derivatives/Wildcrafted (harvest)."

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Cloned Food Coming Your Way

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “is expected to declare milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring safe to eat as early as next week,” the Wall Street Journal reported. This ruling comes after six years of deliberation by the agency.

The FDA had ruled that cloned milk and meat from cattle, swine and goats were no different than from conventionally grown animals in 2006, but asked the food producers to refrain from selling such products pending a safety ruling.

The article stated that if the agency does approve the sale and consumption of cloned animal products, “it could be three to five years before U.S. consumers see milk and meat from cloned animals on store shelves.”

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It's pretty handy if you're a vegan right about now!

British Group Bans Nanoparticles

"The use of man-made nanoparticles has been banned in British products that want a sometimes-valuable "organic" label from the Soil Association. The group laid out the first organic standard in the world back in 1967 and continues to certify organic products in Great Britain.

Cosmetics from Johnson & Johnson and L'Oreal could be impacted, but in our snooping around, we didn't find any companies that currently have an organic label that would be forced to remove it (neither could the Financial Times). One widely used product containing nanoparticles is sunscreen containing titanium dioxide, which normally is white, but at the nanoscale, becomes transparent, allowing for "clear" sunscreen."

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Best Price Organic

"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― Making healthy choices are tops on a lot of people's lists when it comes to New Year's resolutions. With more and more organic and all natural foods at your local grocery store, you might be thinking of working them into your diet.

But how much does it cost to buy organic and all natural foods? Turns out it's a lot more at some stores, than others.

We set out on a mission to find out which of six stores offered the lowest prices on a list of organic and all natural foods. It was one of our toughest price comparison stories ever. That's because a lot of organic food is manufactured by small companies with limited distribution, making it difficult to find the same brands at all the stores. But our time and our money could save you some of yours."

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I thought it was funny the image from the article included a Kashi product. What.. was one ingredient organic?

Kenyan Participants Set to Attend Natural Products Expo

"Producers of natural and organic foods will be sponsored to attend a global trade show in the United States.

The sponsorship to be managed by ECA Hub —a trade initiative of the United States Development Agency (USaid) aims to help African businesses to take advantage of trade opportunities in the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). These include duty-free treatment and unlimited access to the United States market.

The natural products trade show offers Kenyan participants the opportunity meet US based partners that they can use to break into the American market.
Last year more than 47,000 people attended the show, sampling over 3,000 exhibits. Known as Natural Products Expo-West, the show is set for March 14 to 16 in Anaheim, California."

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Organic for Beginners

"The lack of young farmers is threatening the future of agriculture. Plenty of young people want to get into farming and ranching, but few can afford the high startup costs of land, machinery, and operating capital.

Most production today is marketed as generic grain or livestock, where the only way to compete is to produce for less. These short-term gains are quickly lost as others learn these skills or adopt the new technology.

The one practice that has kept many farms solvent is an increase in production. But steadily increasing production means greater investment, an option not available to most wanting to get into agriculture. Is it possible the “get bigger or get out” philosophy is making it impossible for young people to get in?"

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What About GMO Contamination?

"Early Beginnings in the 80's

Widespread development and use of organic standards began in the 1980's to safeguard and systematize an alternative way (organic) of agriculture and handling food. Among a detailed list of prohibited substances in organic systems are chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. Because the organic system recognized from the start that it would likely remain a small component of agriculture, and that contamination would inevitably happen through background pollution such as polluted water, air and drift, it proposed a system based on a "practice standard," rather than on measuring the purity of an end product. This practice standard defines and prescribes certain methods that are designed to eliminate (or minimize) the potential for contamination from the list of prohibited substances. Thus testing has not been relied on as a primary method to verify organic integrity, and instead a system and philosophy of following an "organic practice standard" has been adopted worldwide."

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Will Burt's Bees Change Clorox?

"IN the summer of 1984, Burt Shavitz, a beekeeper in Maine, picked up Roxanne Quimby, a 33-year-old single mother down on her luck, as she hitchhiked to the post office in Dexter, Me. More than a dozen years Ms. Quimby’s senior, the guy locals called “the bee-man” sold honey in pickle jars from the back of his pickup truck. To Ms. Quimby, he seemed to be living an idyllic life in the wilderness (including making his home inside a small turkey coop).

John Replogle, C.E.O. of Burt’s Bees, tastes the company’s avocado butter hair product.

She offered to help Mr. Shavitz tend to his beehives. The two became lovers and eventually birthed Burt’s Bees, a niche company famous for beeswax lip balm, lotions, soaps and shampoos, as well as for its homespun packaging and feel-good, eco-friendly marketing. The bearded man whose image is used to peddle the products is modeled after Mr. Shavitz."

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OCA Expects Organic Cosmetic Boom

"The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) expects the number of organic certified personal care products in the US to rise sharply during 2008 as consumers pick up on the importance of certification.
The analysis is in line with the conclusions of a recent report from the market research firm Organic Monitor, which predicted extensive growth in certified natural and organic products.

Market growth combined with greater awareness of USDA certification is persuading manufacturers that certification is necessary in order to attract knowledgeable organic consumers, according to the OCA."

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Aurora Dairy to Reduce Environmental Impact?

"A leading organic dairy processor in the US has announced a new research initiative for reducing its carbon footprint, as part of a new funding program designed to improve efficiency in sustainable production.
Aurora Organic Dairy, in cooperation with the University of Michigan, says it hopes to find solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of all aspects of its operations from cattle feed through to processing and packaging use.

Regulatory and consumer pressures are forcing processors to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to portray themselves as environmentally responsible in producing their products."

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Ireland's Organic Future

"Glenisk, the family operated organic dairy, has unveiled its vision for an organic Ireland with the announcement that it is seeking 100 new organic dairy farmers as suppliers. Glenisk is celebrating a major relaunch involving the introduction of new products, new-look packaging, a new website and new partnerships forged to promote sustainable living and a healthy planet. The company has just completed an €8.5 million development at its plant in Killeigh, Co Offaly, to increase capacity and facilitate production of its new products. The Glenisk workforce has this year risen from 25 to 55.

At the same time, the company, which spearheaded the growth of organic dairy farming in Ireland, has doubled its plant volume by supplying a new line of yogurts and fromage frais products, Stony, Yogurt on a Mission™, which is being distributed across the UK. Owned by Stonyfield UK, part of Stonyfield Europe, which acquired a 37% minority stake in Glenisk in June 2006, Stony, Yogurt on a Mission ™ is blazing a trail as the UK’s first healthy planet brand."

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sterling Airlines to Offer Organic Food

"Sterling Airlines has announced it will be introducing organic food on all its scheduled flights, claiming to be the first carrier in Northern Europe to do so.

Among the organic meal choices offered to customers will be sandwiches and muffins, with Brunchbags available for €8 (£6) and sandwiches costing €6.50 (£4.90).

"In-flight food has never been especially exciting, but we have decided to change all that," said Michael T Hansen, the airline's commercial manager."

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Whole Foods Selling Yotta Bar

"The Yotta Bar(R), developed by two Michigan parents as a result of struggling to get their two-year old to eat his vegetables, provides one full serving of hidden vegetables and fruit in a low-calorie granola bar with three fruit flavors. Yotta Bars are now available nationwide at Whole Foods stores for those consumers needing to sneak extra servings of vegetables and fruits into their diets.

"How many times have we all heard the phrase, 'you have to eat your vegetables'", asks Undercover Vegetable Company(R) Co-founder Melissa Ewing. "According to the USDA, 89 percent of Americans today do not eat the daily recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Most people you know fall into that category and need to supplement their diets with an easy and appetizing way to eat healthier."

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The Organic Orbit Restaurant to Offer Free Wine

"The Organic Orbit restaurant, located in North Boulder, enhances their pledge to eco-fine dining in 2008 by converting the Orbit Bar's wine list to 100% organic and Biodynamic wines. In celebration, they are offering their customers one free bottle of biodynamic wine per table with purchase of two dinner entrees. Reservations are required for this promotion and customers are asked to mention this special offer when making their reservation.

The offer is valid between now and February 14, 2008 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Reservations can be made by calling 303-440-8348 or online at"

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Woolworths Supports Organic Cotton in Africa

"CLOTHING and food retailer Woolworths expects about 30 tons of this year's organic cotton needs to be met by a pilot project in Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

The project, a collaboration between Woolworths, the ComMark Trust, Cotton SA and the international Organic Exchange organisation, is running on a number of farms in Eastern Cape and Limpopo, directed by the Agricultural Research Council's Institute for Industrial Crops.

The ComMark Trust, a regional development initiative aimed at reducing poverty, has committed about R1m to aid farmers with start-up costs, and the Organic Exchange will provide technical support for farmers.

Woolworths organic cotton business project manager Emil Grey said there was a need for more technical expertise in organic farming. The retailer had agreed to buy fibre from participating farmers once the cotton had been harvested."

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The Painted Lady Organic Eatery in Chicago

"The folks behind Bleeding Heart Bakery recently moved that little organic hot spot to 1955 W. Belmont Ave. and opened a new organic restaurant in its old location on West Chicago Avenue. The new place is called The Painted Lady Organic Eatery, and like the bakery, its focus is on seasonal food made with USDA certified organic ingredients and with as many products made locally or by small farmers as possible.

In short, this is the place to go if you adore Green City Market and have read the organic and local screed The Omnivore’s Dilemma two or three times.

The vibe is fun, funky, casual, a little bit crunchy-tattooed. The walls are painted hot pink, lime green. The tables are diner-retro. The menu is vegan-friendly -– most everything can be made without animal products of any kind. This is a place that stocks a lot of seitan."

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Turtle Mountain Introduces Dairy-Free Yogurts

"Turtle Mountain, those wonderful creators of So Delicious and Purely Decadent dairy-free ice creams, have just released an entire line of dairy-free yogurts. Available in five flavors, the new So Delicious yogurts are made with certified organic ingredients, fortified with Vitamin B12 (vegetarian friendly), formulated for maximum calcium absorption, a good source of Pre- and Probiotics for enhanced intestinal health, cholesterol free, and of course, certified vegan."

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I've always loved yogurt, but lately, I've been trying to cut it out of my diet in an attempt to adopt a semi-vegan diet. My experience with soy yogurt is limited, but the brands I've tried have not impressed me. (Yeah, ew) I'll keep an eye out for these though.. Hopefully, they're good.

A Look at Priti: The Only Organic Spa in NYC

"Having trouble keeping up with our increasingly organic, eco-friendly world? Let me be your guide! From all-natural makeup to the best in eco-conscious jeans, I will test and review the products and treatments that are best for you and the planet.

As the owner of Priti, the only all-organic spa specializing in luxurious manicures and pedicures in New York City, Australian native Kim D’Amato is at the forefront of a natural beauty revolution."

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EU's Pesticide Package is Potentially Harmful

"As the EU's pesticides package moves into the final stages of adoption, new research shows that all Spaniards are affected by at least one type of pesticide, fungicide or insecticide classified internationally as potentially harmful to human health.

The Commission proposed in July 2006 to tighten pesticide usage and authorisation rules in Europe, as concerns over the health and environmental impact of such plant protection products grows."

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'Better Organic Bread' Project in U.K

"Field and baking trials of new UK wheat crops are currently underway, as part of a project to boost the country's organic bread market.
The new 'Better Organic Bread' project, organised by the Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group (CCFRA), along with Defra and the Home Grown Cereals Association (CCFRA), was organised in response to the current low quality of wheat crops across the UK.

CCFRA spokesperson Richard Stanley told that at the moment, manufacturers must import over 50 per cent of the wheat to be used in organic bread, due to the low protein quality of UK crops."

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FruitaBu Partners with Brown Bag Naturals

"Stretch Island Fruit Co., makers of FruitaBu Organic Smoooshed Fruit, all-natural organic fruit snacks for kids, today announced it has joined in partnership with Brown Bag Naturals, a company that prepares and delivers healthy bag lunches directly to schools throughout Southern California.

As Brown Bag Naturals first "Pantry Partner", FruitaBu fruit snacks, which contain one-half to a whole serving of organic fruit per package, will be featured prominently on menus designed to offer parents nutritious, organic and all-natural school lunch options for their kids."

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Monday, January 7, 2008

2008: The Year of Green Personal Care

"WASHINGTON, Jan 07, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), representing more than 500,000 members, is pleased that consumers will have more choices than ever before of high quality USDA organic personal care products, such as soaps, lotions, cremes and balms in 2008. Organic synthetic-free personal care products which comply with the USDA's National Organic Program's (NOP) strict standards for organic food, will be more widely available as manufacturers have begun to catch up with consumer demand. Personal care companies may represent that they are NOP certified "organic" and display the USDA organic seal, or "made with organic," so long as such products are certified to meet the NOP standards.

"We are pleased that despite widespread misleading organic claims on shampoos, body washes and lotions made with synthetic surfactants, silicones and preservatives, numerous companies have stepped up to make real organic alternatives that will be widely available in 2008," said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the OCA. "Organic consumers expect their organic personal care to be free of synthetic foaming agents and preservatives, and companies should not just add token organic ingredients on top of such synthetics to make organic product claims. Consumers should look for the "USDA Organic" seal on products if they want to be certain they are truly organic. Some of the organic brands that we recommend in 2008 include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Sensibility Soaps, Terressentials, Origins Organics, Trillium Organic, BeeCeuticals Organics and Aura Cacia Organics. The majority of these brands' products are certified to the USDA gold standard," says Cummins."

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Lyme Introduces Pomegranate and Blueberry Fruit Bars

"Lyme Regis Fine Foods, a division of Glisten plc, has added a new Pomegranate and Blueberry variety to its award winning range of Fruitus moist organic fruit and oat bars.

This unique fruit snacking brand is the first in the UK to use pomegranate as an ingredient.

Widely recognised as ‘superfruits’, pomegranates and blueberries contain high level of antioxidants that protect the body from negative free radicals and have a beneficial effect on the function of blood vessels and heart health."

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Britain's Supermarkets to Ban Cruel Eggs

"BRITAIN’S supermarkets are to ban the sale of eggs from battery hens amid a growing consumer backlash over the impact of cheap food on animal welfare.

Sainsbury, Morrisons and the Co-op said this weekend that they would ban or phase out the sale of eggs from caged hens. Eggs from battery hens have already been removed from Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

The move is likely to mean that within three years most supermarkets will sell only eggs from barn, free range and organic hens."

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Safeway to Expand Organic Line

"Safeway Inc. grocery store said it was striking partnerships to sell its "O Organics" line in Asia and South America. The products were introduced in 2006 and had been sold exclusively at Safeway's network of almost 1,800 stores in the U.S. and western Canada. (Picture: Matt Miller from Safeway)

Since O Organics products were launched, the line has grown to 300 items, including milk, chicken, food entrée and juice products."

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Organic Silk Debate Begins in Bangalore

"Bangalore: All things organic – from food products to cosmetics – have a huge market these days. And if an idea being floated by the Central Silk Technological Research Institute (CSTRI) takes a concrete shape, the lustrous silk saris could also go organic.

The research institute, attached to the Central Silk Board, conducted a seminar on Friday which debated the possibility of producing organic silk, never attempted so far anywhere in the world.

Subrata Roy, Director of CSTRI, suggested that wild varieties of silk such as “Tussar” and “Moga” could be the first ones to go organic, followed by those produced through sericulture. There were already inquiries on organic silk from countries such as Brazil, he said."

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Missouri Gives Organic Industry Thumbs Up

"The Missouri Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Missouri Organic Association (MOA) and the University of Missouri Extension, is working on promoting Missouri organic products and educating consumers about the organic industry through online media.

Jefferson City, MO - infoZine - MOA has recently redesigned their Web site adding a Buyer's Guide for viewers to easily search for organic products in their area and includes a weekly organic podcast."

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Paraná, Brazil: Model for Organic Production

"The southern Brazilian state answers to one third of the companies connected to the OrganicsBrasil programme, which it houses. The state also has around 100 industries and 4,000 farmers dedicated to the production of organic food, which reaches 75,000 tonnes a month.

Curitiba - Paraná is considered a model in organic production in Brazil. Of the 42 Brazilian companies integrating OrganicsBrasil, a programme geared at promotion of the sector on the foreign market, 14 are from the state of Paraná. In all, there are around 100 industries and 4,000 farmers dedicated to the production of organic food in the state, which reaches 75,000 tonnes a year."

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Detox with Fresh!

"Feeling a bit porky (or suitable vegetarian substitute) after Christmas and New Year? If so, you might want to try out two tasty new 'detox' products from Fresh! organic food: a salad for the purist, and a rye bread sandwich for the ‘I try hard but I really need a few carbs’ detoxer.

If you're going for the full-on, body cleanse, the detox boost salad is stuffed with all things green and healthy, from Kiwis to broccoli and sprouts to seeds which Fresh! tell me is stuffed with enough goodness to 'keep you going all afternoon'. For those simply seeking a change from the season's fatty fare, the 'Diva' sandwich is full of houmous, carrots, celery and cucumber packed between two slices of organic rye bread. As someone who's over-done the cheese in recent weeks, I'll certainly be reaching for the Diva, but I hope it won't throw a strop on my desk..."

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Whole Foods Fires Man for Catching Shoplifter

"John Schultz, the Whole Foods Market employee who was fired after he tried to stop a shoplifter, said he has received several job offers and lots of support from the public after publicity over the incident.

"It makes me feel great," said Schultz, who is weighing a job offer from an organic market set to open in Ann Arbor in February.

Meanwhile, officials of Whole Foods, which has been harshly criticized in blog postings about the incident, have reiterated that their policy is designed with employee safety in mind. And a representative of the Michigan Retailers Association says the policy is not unusual.

On Christmas Eve, Schultz, a 35-year-old former Marine from Ypsilanti Township, was fired from his job of five years at Whole Foods, 3135 Washtenaw Ave., after he tried to help stop a shoplifter the day before. Store management said he went too far and violated a policy against touching customers when he caught up to the man and grabbed his jacket."

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Harmful Pesticides Found in Me and You

"A study carried out by researchers from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada, in collaboration with the Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, found that 100% of Spaniards analyzed had at least one kind of persistent organic compound (POC´s), substances internationally classified as potentially harmful to one’s health, in their bodies. These substances enter the body through food, water or even air. All of them tend to accumulate in human adipose tissue and easily enter into the organism through the aforementioned mediums."

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Organic Meat Producers Being Short-Changed in U.K.

"Yes, we know we should be vegetarians, but we really do like a bit of British, organic meat now and then, and that's why we were gutted to learn from a report published today by the Soil Association that "supermarket pricing is holding back UK organic meat production".

The report explains that in the past year, imports of organic meat have increased and most British organic meat farmers who supply supermarkets have been short-changed. On average, supermarkets pay farmers a shocking 40 pence less per kilo of beef than it cost to produce it.

SmartPlanet talked to a British organic livestock farmer and supplier to a major UK supermarket, who thinks the Soil Association's report is spot on. The farmer wants to remain anonymous, but tells us: "The prices on organic meat, lamb especially, are historically low, but it's difficult to know whether the impetus comes from the processors or the supermarkets."

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The meat producers aren't being nearly as screwed as the poor animals they are slaughtering for profit!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Organics in Croatia

"Processors and traders from Western and Eastern Europe are increasingly looking for organic raw materials abroad. Croatia – an official candidate for EU membership since June 2004 – is considered a potential supplier of organic raw material in the medium term. In 2006, 5,000 hectares in total were being organically managed by 340 registered farms.

This accounts for approximately 0.6% of the arable land in Croatia. The most important crops are cereals (wheat and corn), followed by grasses, herbs, fruits, vine and olives. In addition, there are some 17,000 hectares of so-called organic bee pasture; this certification is unique throughout the world. These areas do not include the collection of wild plants such as herbs, wild berries and mushrooms, which plays a relatively big role in all Balkan states."

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Murcia Sees Organic Demand

"There is a demand for organic produce among those taking family holidays in Murcia, it has been argued.

According to Fresh Plaza, research by Agro Profesional's Javier Herraiz Ramos reveals that the organic cultivated area in Murcia has risen from 100 hectares in 1997 to 25,000 hectares in 2007.

Fresh Plaza notes that this is a 250 times increase in the space of a decade."

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Java Green Wins PETA's Proggy Award

"Washington - Washington, D.C., eatery Java Green has won the Most Progressive Restaurant category in PETA's 5th Annual Proggy Awards. Java Green--which used to sell meat but now has an all-vegetarian menu--is being commended for satisfying the growing hunger for healthy, humane, and delicious meatless options and always adhering to its socially responsible policies. Java Green owner Dai J. Kim will receive a framed certificate, and the restaurant will be featured on PETA's award-winning Web site PETA's Proggy Awards ("Proggy" is for "progress") recognize animal-friendly achievements in commerce and culture."

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Zenxin Organic Park in Malaysia

"Learn a thing or two about organic farming and food at the Zenxin Organic Park at Batu 9 Jalan Batu Pahat-Kluang where organised tours are free.

Those with strong legs can walk the 700m long attap corridor and venture through the 100-acre park filled with blocks and rows of dragon fruit trees, kangkung, sawi, pumpkin, brinjal, passion fruit and herbs.

For those who prefer to cycle, there are bicycles for rent at the entrance.

Open to the public since last year, the country's largest organic park has drawn busloads of visitors from all over the country and Singapore to experience firsthand organic vegetable farming."

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Chef Robbie Wood to Make Organic Baby Food

"Robbie Wood is starting the new year by making a big change - going from creating fine-dining experiences for customers at an upscale restaurant on Tybee Island to cooking lots of baby food.

For a little more than half a decade, Wood was the executive chef at Georges' on Tybee, which was scheduled to have closed on New Year's Eve 2007.

Starting this month, Robbie's going to be devoting much of his time whipping up entrees for infants.

And he's excited about the endeavor, because it will be part of his new corporation and because the baby food he'll be making will be organic.

Robbie - a 29-year-old resident of downtown Savannah who spent much of his youth on Tybee - is an enthusiastic advocate of the healthful effects of organic food, a subject he's researched and become quite knowledgeable about."

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Organic Cosmetic Market Continues to Grow in America

"Animal byproducts weren't something Holly Tashian wanted to smear on her face. But it was hard to get away from lanolin, a fatty substance secreted by sheep, which was in many of the cosmetics in her makeup bag.

"I began to realize what I was putting on my face, and it's pretty bad stuff," says Tashian, a Nashville, Tenn., musician and a feng shui consultant. "I've just gotten turned off about what is going on in the cosmetics industry."

To be certain of the products she was using, Tashian switched to organic makeup, swapping out her lipstick, mascara and eyeliner for those made by the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care brand. She's still using an old compact of blush powder just because she hates to waste anything but plans to go all-organic once that runs out."

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Bees Return to Organic Farm

"The beekeeper just couldn’t understand it.

His bees were returning to their hives laden with pollen and nectar. This was highly unusual because as winter approaches, the amount of food for bees normally dwindles as they get ready for their long winter hibernation. Yet amazingly, these bees were coming back all plump with pollen.

“They’re probably going to Luscher Farm,” the beekeeper was told by the people who own the land where he keeps his hives.

As guesses go, this one was a bullseye."

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hungry Vegan Launches Meal Delivery Service

"BLACK MOUNTAIN — The Hungry Vegan has launched a nationwide vegan and organic meal delivery service.

The service offers a new menu each week that includes 12 different items ranging from comfort foods, such as winter chili, to gourmet selections, such as roulades."

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Organic Kids Meal Reviews

"If you've made the usual resolution to eat more healthfully in this new year, don't forget to apply that same principle to what you serve your children.

Two companies have made that task easier by creating new frozen convenience foods aimed at young palates. Amy's Kitchen of Petaluma, maker of natural and organic products, has a new line of kids meals: Kids Meals Mac n' Cheese, and Kids Meals Baked Ziti.

The Mac n' Cheese comes with a small portion of organic broccoli with cheese, a slice of focaccia, and honey-sweetened organic apples. The Baked Ziti meal is gluten- and dairy-free. In fact, the ziti and focaccia are made of rice, and include only dairy-free cheese. Each 8-ounce serving comes frozen; just heat in the microwave to serve. The entrees are about $4.29 at Whole Foods stores, as well as select Safeway and Costco stores. For information, go to"

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Lurpak Goes Organic

"The UK's number one butter, spreads and margarine (BSM) brand is further extending its award winning product portfolio this January with the launch of Lurpak Organic Spreadable, one of the first organic products from a major BSM brand.

Lurpak Organic Spreadable, Lurpak’s most significant launch since Lurpak Spreadable Unsalted in 2006, hits retailers shelves from January 2008 and has received listings across the major retailers.

Jessica Hardcastle, brand manager for Lurpak, said the new addition to the range further strengthens the Lurpak offering: “Our research tells us that consumers want an organic BSM product from a brand they can trust."

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Organic with a Touch of Toxic Chemicals?

"Thousands of tons of organic vegetables sold in British shops this year were produced using toxic chemical pesticides, it emerged yesterday. Many shoppers - who pay premium prices for "naturally" grown veg - are unaware that any chemicals are allowed on any organic produce. Under Soil Association rules, a small number of sprays are permitted.

But yesterday it emerged that increasing numbers of potato farmers have been asking for special permission to use large amounts of copper fungicide over the summer and autumn. According to new figures, a third of UK organic potato farmers were given permission to spray crops with fungicides made with copper - a heavy metal that can cause liver disease."

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