Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweeping Out GMOs

"Believing that genetically engineered foods are untested for health effects on humans, the Ashland Food Co-op has launched a program to get all such products off its shelves this year — and other area markets, including Shop N Kart and Food For Less, say they are steadily increasing offerings of GMO-free food.

Most genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are found in corn, soy, canola, cottonseed products and Hawaiian papaya, which means they're in a huge array of foods — estimates range up to 70 percent in processed food — says Co-op Outreach and Owner Services Manager Annie Hoy, who teaches classes on non-GMO shopping.

"They're made in a lab in ways that nature doesn't operate. It's an imprecise science. It may look, act and taste like corn, but it isn't corn," says Hoy, noting that science recognizes no species barriers, and will combine genes from fish and strawberries in order to extract a trait, such as long shelf life, color or ability to resist pesticides.

What most aggravates shoppers, she says, is that GMO foods are not required to be labeled as such, so it's difficult to screen them out of your diet."

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Organic Garden Fights Anti-Organic Claims

"The UK’s leading authority on organic growing, Garden Organic, is disputing claims made yesterday, Tuesday 26 February, on BBC 2’s Horizon programme, ‘Professor Regan’s Supermarket Secrets’ that there is little scientific evidence of organically produced food having any nutritional differences or benefits compared to non-organic food.

The Midlands based charity, celebrating 50 years at the forefront of organic horticulture this year, also criticises the programme for disregarding the massive environmental benefits that organic methods bring.

Garden Organic’s director of research, Dr Margi Lennartsson, said: “Despite the programme’s assertions, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that organic foods contain more desirable components, such as vitamins and minerals, and fewer harmful ones, such as pesticides and additives.

“New evidence that emerged last year, comparing organic and industrially produced crops, indicates higher vitamin C levels and polyphenols in kiwis, higher levels of phenols, flavonoids and vitamin C in apple puree, higher content of vitamin C, B-carotene and flavonoids in tomatoes, and higher polyphenol content in peaches."

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Organic Farming in Africa

"Approach any serious-looking college student in the Boston area, where I teach, and ask them what kind of food and farming system they would like to see. Most will say they don't want food from factory farms with a large carbon footprint. They want foods locally grown on small family farms. They don't want crops grown using synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides; they want crops grown "organically." They want farm animals to be able to range freely. They want "slow" food rather than fast food. And they don't want "Frankenfoods" - crops developed through genetically engineering.

What might such an idealized food system actually look like? Take a trip to Africa. The small farmers who populate the continent's impoverished countryside are living out something close to this post-materialist fantasy. Two-thirds of all Africans depend on farming or animal grazing for their food and income, and nearly all of their operations are small-scale."

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

OTA Against UDAF Dairy Labeling

"SALT LAKE CITY, Feb 26, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- An Organic Trade Association (OTA) representative today told the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) that OTA strongly opposes a proposed rule that would affect labeling claims on dairy products sold in Utah.

"This rule prevents organic dairy farmers and processors from truthfully communicating with retailers and consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices. It also prevents Utah consumers from exercising full and free choice in determining which products they wish to purchase," said Clark Driftmier, senior vice president of Aurora Organic Dairy, speaking on behalf of OTA and its organic dairy members at a UDAF Division of Regulatory Services public hearing on proposed rule R70-340."

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Organic Apparel on the Runway

"SANTA ROSA, CA February 27, 2008 – Fair trade organic apparel pioneer Indigenous has united with thinkproducts and numerous socially responsible fashion design teams to showcase the latest in sustainable apparel while benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the second annual thinkVitality Fashion Show.

Held at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA on Saturday, March 15 at 7pm, the thinkVitality Fashion Show will be preceded by a press conference at 4:30pm that will highlight participating company executives as well as the story of a 32-year-old breast cancer survivor. Emphasizing natural lifestyle elements as a means to not only treat but prevent illness and diseases such as cancer, the more than 20 companies collaborating in the commUNITY-dubbed fashion show aim to raise at least $200K to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure – the world's largest breast cancer research organization and prevention advocate."

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Green Shampoos and Lotions

"Not too long ago, organic beauty supplies — shampoos and lotions — were perceived as products for unkempt hippies.

But now they're for well-coiffed, urbane hipsters, too.

According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) trade group, sales of organic and natural "personal" products are soaring. They're now the fastest growing segment of the cosmetics market, increasing by 20 percent a year.

What's more, major retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom and Target are carrying organic skin and hair care products. They're not limited to health food stores anymore.

"Natural beauty products are taking the industry by storm," says Mariana Krambs, chief operating officer of Sumbody, a maker of organic products located in Sebastopol."

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Story of Happy Hounds Organic Biscuit Bakery

"NORTH EUGENE-- They're the words every dog loves to hear: "Want a treat?"

But what's inside most dog treats doesn't always love them back.

"There are so many dogs that are allergic to wheat and that's why they have skin conditions," said Debbie Russell.

So years ago, Russell started making her treats for her own dogs in her kitchen. She realized she wasn't the only one concerned about what her dog was eating.

Last year, she joined forces with good friend Krista Harrison to launch Happy Hounds Organic Biscuit Bakery.

"We no longer use wheat, we don't use corn, we don't use soy," said Russell.

"We don't use any artificial flavors, no bha, bht, propane glycol," added Harrison.

Instead, the ingredients in their treats sound more like a recipe for cookies--peanut butter, oats and honey, for example, go into Peanut Butter-Oatmeal bones."

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Canadian Cosmetics Can Now Be Certified Organic

"TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Strict natural and organic certification standards for cosmetic products are now available in Canada for the protection and benefit of Canadian consumers and the environment.

"I believe this certification standard places Canada firmly at the forefront of the organic industry," says Brian Lane, president of Certech Registration Inc. the independent accredited certifying body which has developed North America's first system certification standard for organic and natural cosmetics. "With this standard we aim to bring clarity to natural and organic cosmetics producers and create trust among consumers."

Through its IOS Cosmetics Standard, Certech is the first North American organization to bring Canadian producers a tool that guarantees that the claims made by certified cosmetics are proven and supported by facts verified through a rigorous and unbiased process; this offers a strong guarantee to consumers."

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Helen's Kitchen at the Top

"-The little brand that could has officially become the little brand that did.

* New 2007 SPINS data reveals that Helen’s Kitchen topped growth in conventional stores for new Natural/Organic brands, showing the highest dollar and percentage growth for a new product in the Frozen Lunch and Dinner Entrees Category. (Helen’s products have only been available in conventional grocery markets since March 2007.)
* Helen’s Kitchen ranks in the top 25 brands for overall growth of ALL new and established organic and natural brands in conventional stores, a list which includes such leading brands like Worthington Foods, Soy Boy, Applegate Farms and Glutino, according to SPINS data.
* During 2007, Helen’s Kitchen gave conventional stores only four (albeit all delicious) products to choose from – far less than most competing brands – yet experienced a stunning 3000% store placement growth."

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Clif Bar with Clif Wine

"Clif Bars and Luna Bars evoke images of an active, outdoorsy lifestyle. But I'll admit that I've always dismissed energy bars as unappetizing substitutes for real food. So it struck me as a little funny to hear the founders of Clif Bar espousing the virtues of good food and wine.

Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have gone so far as to start a Napa Valley winery, Clif Bar Family Winery. Certainly it's not uncommon for people who are successful in other businesses to decide to start wineries. A number of high-tech entrepreneurs, for example, have done just that. But an energy bar creator?

"We get a little of that," Erickson said, adding that the second reaction is usually "that's really cool."

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Natural Merchants Introduces Organic Spanish Red Wine to U.S.

"Rogue River, Ore. (PRWEB) February 26, 2008 -- Natural Merchants, LLC, with headquarters in Rogue River, Ore. and Cartagena, Spain, introduces Tarantas brand Organic Classic Spanish Red D.O. Crianza to open North American and European distribution. Europe’s largest organic wine distributor, Riegel Weinimport, immediately celebrated by negotiating distribution of the Tarantas label across Northern Europe.

We are very excited to be able to offer Tarantas to distributors across North America and Europe
Tarantas is produced by Bodegas Iranzo, Spain’s oldest estate bottled winery, by renowned winemaker Paco Galbardón–Professor of Enology at Spain’s oldest School of Enology. Only the finest Tempranillo and Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon (Organic-ECOCERT 70% Tempranillo/30% Cabernet Sauvignon) wine grapes are selected from Spain’s Oldest Estate Bottled Winery located in the Valencia wine-making region of Southeast Spain. The Crianza wine is aged in a combination of French and American Oak Barrels for a minimum of six months."

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Organic Baby Wearhouse Launches Website

"Asheville, North Carolina (PRWEB) February 26, 2008 -- Organic Baby Wearhouse has just launched their new website, The website features organic baby clothing, bedding and diapers and caters to those who are concerned with purchasing products that will not harm the environment.

More people are continually becoming aware of the danger the Earth is in, and they are deciding to do something about the situation. One way to prevent damage to the Earth is by buying organic products instead of ones that are non-organic.

Anything that is certified organic has the guarantee by its country's government that it has been grown, raised or made in an "organic" way. This means that the products have been grown without the use of toxic chemicals or pesticides, insecticides or fungicides. Instead, farmers use methods that are safe, healthy and natural.

There has been an increasing popularity in organic products over the past five years, from organic food to organic apparel. Among the many organic items that can now be purchased are organic baby products."

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Mary's Gone Crackers Launches Snack Packs

"GRIDLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mary’s Gone Crackers, makers of gourmet gluten-free foods, now offers its line of delicious, super crispy crackers in a convenient snack pack. The 1.25 ounce single serve bags make it easier than ever to take the yummy, whole grain, gluten-free crackers on-the-go.

“Today’s busy consumers are always on the lookout for convenient options, but often the easiest choices are not the most nutritious,” said Mary Waldner, co-founder of Mary’s Gone Crackers. “Mary’s Gone Crackers’ new snack packs are easy to add to a lunch bag or to pop in a purse so a wholesome and satisfying snack is always on-hand. We are excited to give convenience a crunch with our uniquely delicious crackers.”

The snack packs are sold in boxes of 12 and are available in all five delectable Mary’s Gone Crackers flavors, including Original, Black Pepper, Caraway, Herb and Onion. Loaded with whole grains and seeds with no added oils, trans-fats, sugar or dairy, Mary’s Gone Crackers are organic and offer a good source of Omega-3s and provide three grams of protein per serving."

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Best Organic Companies to Do Business With

" The Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis - Organic Foods is a comprehensive evaluation of the UK market. The revised and updated 2008 edition analyses the financial performance of the companies important to the success of
your business. Using the most up to date information available, the analysis is ideal both as a tool to benchmark your own company's results and to study the market in more depth. Aimed at the busy manager, the Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis is both quick and easy to use thanks to the unique visual layout. The Analysis lays bare the performance of each company highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Do you know which companies are best to do business with? Do you know which companies are selling at a loss and whose profit margins are plummeting? Find out the answers to all these questions and more with the newly published Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis."

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Small Organic Businesses are Losing to the Big Guys in Germany

"Germany's organic food industry enjoyed a boom year in 2007. Turnover rose 15 percent, an increase of 5 billion euros ($7.4 billion). But that's not good news for everyone in the business. Organic food store owner Ralf Murmann has been running his business in Bonn for 33 years. Profit was never his sole motive. But in the past, he was able to make a living from the shop. Now, with the trend towards organic food booming in Germany, his store is on the brink of closure.

"We are not profiting from this boom. Shops of this size are the losers in this development", said Murmann. He stocks the same kind of yoghurts as the same organic supermarket two kilometres away. His store also has a big cheese counter, freshly baked bread, fruit and vegetables from local farmers. But Murmann's customers have been dwindling since ever more conventional supermarkets started to stock organic products.

"Organic is not just about labels," Murmann said. "When we started out, we wanted to change farming and to change business practices. We didn't want supermarkets built on greenfield sites.""

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

About Organic Wine

"The category of organic wines is growing slowly but steadily. The USDA lists certain requirements in order for wines to be certified as organic. These prerequisites state that a grape's origin must be from pesticide-free vineyards. A wine maker is also prohibited from adding any additional sulfites to the wine. Although the movement is still a little green, there are several easily accessible brands producing quality wines.

If California had an organic wine Mecca, then it might very well be Mendocino County. Lolonis Vineyards in Mendocino has been making organic wines long before it was trendy. Their non-vintage Cuvee of French Columbard, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay has naturally solved the dilemma of how to be pesticide free. Lolonis Lady Bug White comes from vineyards that use Mother Nature's own pest remover, the lady bug. Smooth as slate with fresh mineral notes and stone fruit flavors, Lolonis Lady Bug White is a perfect patio sipper and one of the more affordable organic wines at $13.44. It also comes in a red blend mysteriously dubbed Lolonis Lady Bug Red."

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Organics are a Solid Investment

"/24-7PressRelease/ - DAYTONA BEACH, FL, February 24, 2008 - The New Health Food Hut Restaurant ... The Healthy Fast food Alternative...... America is demanding healthier foods. We intend to supply that demand !

We will feature organic and all natural Burgers and Hotdogs, Raw Bar , Smoothie Bar, Wild Alaskan Seafood,Wild American Shrimp,and much , much more. Drive through, sit down, take out, home delivery , internet sales , and a built in retail area with health food store.All in one.We will be America's Healthy Fast Food Franchise.Second to none.....

Healthy, Natural and Organic Foods are in demand by the consumer, but current offerings are sorely lacking and quite limited. We are bringing healthy to the vernacular of the fast food industry."

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Tom Sanders Says Organic is No Better

"LONDON: If you are spending extra bucks on ‘organic food’ thinking that it is healthier than the ordinary foods, there are chances that you’re being taken for a ride, for according to researchers there is not much of a difference between the two.

According to researchers there is little evidence that an organic diet provides greater nutritional benefits or that non-organic crops grown using pesticides and chemical fertilizers are more harmful than their organic competitors.

Tom Sanders, the professor of nutrition and dietetics at Kings College London, claimed that organic food has no higher nutritional value compared to conventional food."

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

$150 Million Invested in Indian Farming

"New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Organic farming in India is set to get a major boost with investments of over $150 million coming into the sector, Food Processing Industries Minister Subodh Kant Sahai has said. “There is a plan to develop organic farming in India with investments going up to 100 million euros in 23 states with partial support from the government,” Sahai said at the Indian pavilion at Biofach 2008, the event that highlights immense potential in the organic food sector, in Germany.

Sahai said his ministry was also seriously considering the proposal from the industry to set up organic food parks in the country along with streamlining the agro-infrastructure with modernised facilities like cold chains."

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The Hazards of GM Foods

"This article discusses the potential health risks of genetically engineered foods (GMOs). It draws on some previously used material because its importance bears repeating. It also cites three notable books and highlights one in particular - Jeffrey Smith's "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Detailed information from the book is featured below.

Genetically engineered foods saturate our diet today. In the US alone, over 80% of all processed foods contain them. Others include grains like rice, corn and wheat; legumes like soybeans and soy products; vegetable oils, soft drinks; salad dressings; vegetables and fruits; dairy products including eggs; meat, chicken, pork and other animal products; and even infant formula plus a vast array of hidden additives and ingredients in processed foods (like in tomato sauce, ice cream, margarine and peanut butter). Consumers don't know what they're eating because labeling is prohibited, yet the danger is clear. Independently conducted studies show the more of these foods we eat, the greater the potential harm to our health."

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Friday, February 22, 2008

U.S. National Organic Program to be Revamped

"In February, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced organizational and structural changes for the National Organic Program (NOP) after five-plus years. "The NOP has been experiencing growing pains along with the organic industry," said Lloyd Day, administrator of AMS, which oversees the NOP, "and this new year brings an opportunity to make changes in the Program to keep up with growth in the organic industry."

The NOP is reorganizing into three branches: Standards Development & Review; Accreditation, Auditing & Training; and Compliance & Enforcement. Deputy Administrator for Transportation & Marketing Programs Barbara Robinson will assume overall leadership for the NOP in addition to her other duties, while Mark Bradley will assume leadership for the Accreditation, Auditing & Training Branch, and Richard Mathews will head up the Standards Development & Review Branch. No decision has been made for leadership of Compliance & Enforcement at this time."

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Review of O'Naturals Restaurant

"Well, here's a place that just might be a contradiction in terms: a fast-food restaurant that serves natural and organic items.

It's called O'Naturals, which should not be confused with au naturel. Consider yourself warned that you may not remove your clothing; learn from my mistake.

Even more unlikely than a fast-fooder serving healthful food is one that is part of a franchise, albeit a nascent and as yet very small one. But if the quality of the food I sampled at the Orlando O'Naturals is any indication -- and if there is any justice in the world -- there will be a lot more of these places around soon."

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Africa Takes Part in German Organic Fair

"Thanks to the International Trade Centre, 15 innovative companies and business networks from five African countries have travelled to Nuremberg, Germany, to take part in the world’s largest organic goods fair, where business worth millions of dollars is done every year.

ITC, the UN/WTO agency whose mandate is to help small, developing-country businesses export, invested some $100,000 so that firms and organizations from Rwanda,

Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Madagascar could take advantage of the unique marketing opportunity offered by the annual four-day BioFach fair, which closes on Sunday."

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Take Yet Another Look at Your Non-Stick Cookware

"There seems to be more evidence mounting in the ongoing Perflurooctanoic Acid (PFOA) debate. PFOA is used in the production of Teflon and other non-stick surfaces and is found in the packaging of candy bars, microwave popcorn, fast food packaging like french fry and pizza boxes, bakery items, drinks, paper plates, and a host of "stain resistant" products such as carpets. Other well-known brand names containing PFOA include Stainmaster, Scotchgard, SilverStone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph and T-Fal.

Although the DuPont Corporation has stated that PFOA is only used in the manufacturing process and should not be found in the final products, it must be noted that the chemical is found in the bloodstream of 95% of American men, women, and children. It seems that no one is quite certain how the chemical residue has made it into the bloodstream of such a large number of people if it is not located in the final product. Research has shown that PFOA was still present in the blood for approximately four years after exposure and levels were only reduced by half. It has been implicated by some research to cause increased instances of cancer in the pancreas, liver, testicles, and mammary glands. Also increased were instances of miscarriage, weight loss, thyroid problems, weaker immune systems, and low organ weights."

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Studies Suggest Pesticides are Killing Birds and Bees

"In 2007, The Daily News ran articles concerning the disappearance of bees, crop pollinators and songbirds. Farmers are becoming alarmed that there will not be enough bees around to pollinate their crops. These crops are our food supply. So what is happening to the bees? A look at our lifestyles gives us the answer.

Our dependence on chemicals permeates every aspect of our lives. Walk through garden supply departments and see rows and rows of chemicals. When citizens douse their lawns and gardens with pesticides to try to have the greenest lawn or the prettiest flowers in the neighborhood, they use chemicals that are toxic to bees.

In our pursuit of perfect produce, farmers spread pesticides, which are considered highly toxic to bees. Even the city of Longview spreads pesticides around the city and our parks to control the aphids and leaf miners, which irritate our residents. The pesticide in this case, is Imidacloprid, which was outlawed in France because of its toxicity to bees. This chemical stays in the soil for months and, in some cases, years. Even small amounts will disorient bees to the extent that they cannot find their way back to their hives. The bees also lose the ability to groom themselves, exposing them to mite and virus infestation and death."

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Twenty-Seven Brazilian Companies to Attend German Organic Fair

"Twenty-seven Brazilian companies will be participating in the Biofach organic product fair, to take place between February 21 and 24 in the city of Nuremberg, Germany. In sectors like food and cosmetics, they are part of the Organics Brazil Project, developed in partnership with the Institute for Promotion of Development (IPD) and the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex).

Biofach Nuremberg is the largest and most important fair in the sector, with over 2,600 exhibitors and 45,000 visitors from 110 countries. In 2007, the fair generated US$ 5 billion in business."

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Miami Becomes Organic Hot Spot

"An organic movement is cropping up amid the palms, hibiscus and orchids: South Miami-Dade is becoming the hot spot for naturally grown fruits and vegetables.

Both Coral Gables and Homestead are among the communities featured in the February-March issue of the national Organic Gardening magazine.

According to the magazine, ``Coral Gables is a verdant community of elegant homes, hotels and shops situated on Florida's Biscayne Bay. An organic movement is emerging, fueled by Community-Supported Agriculture programs and an influx of European chefs seeking out local produce.'"

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bedding Goes Green

"Eco-friendly products have been growing in popularity over the last several years. In response to this demand, online retailer has introduced a new organic cotton bedding line. Organic cotton is grown without chemical pesticides that are damaging to the environment.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) February 19, 2008 -- Online retailer has added to their eco-friendly bedding assortment with the addition of chemical free organic cotton bedding. As consumers have become more aware of how chemicals in our everyday environments can be harmful and concern over the health of our planet has grown, the organic or "green" movement has gained popularity over the last several years. In the past organic bedding was a fairly obscure segment of the bedding market with limited availability and high prices.

Traditional cotton production is very dependent on the use of insecticides, pesticides and other chemical inputs. In 2003, 55 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on conventionally grown cotton in the US, making it the third most pesticide dependent crop behind corn and soybeans. According to the Pesticide Action Network, "each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides". Certain pesticides used on cotton are known or probable human carcinogens. Pesticides can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply. Some immediate effects of this have been poisoned farm workers, contaminated wildlife and even killed fish and birds."

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Abu Dhabi Organic Farm Receives International Certification

"Dubai: The first internationally recognised organic farm in the UAE has been certified by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.

Spread approximately across 5 hectares, the Abu Dhabi Organic Farm has been a work in progress for about two years and finally received full certification in December 2007.

Organic produce grown on the farm will include tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots cucumbers and herbs amongst other vegetables and strawberries, mango trees and organic honey."

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How Celebrities Get Their Kids to Eat Organic

"Celeb moms and dads seem to swoon over all things organic nowadays, especially food. From vegan and macrobiotic diets, to fad foods like pomegranates and acai juice, it seems like Hollywood always finds new, hip ways to make food seem less fun and more functional. Angelina Jolie is known for eating healthy (her staple is fresh sushi), Gwyneth Paltrow follows a strict, veggie-heavy diet, and Demi Moore has a personal chef to create balanced meals for her family. Even dads Joel Madden and Toby Maguire are vegans. I just read a story yesterday that mom-to-be Halle Berry and moms Madonna and Meg Ryan have all been spotted sipping on the new energy drink made from an infusion of teas and sugar metabolized by Kombucha mushrooms to keep themselves upbeat."

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

French Organics See Positive Results

"In 2007, four of ten French consumed products from organic origin, a study of “Baromètre 2007 de l’ Agence Bio” revealed. 78% of parents demand organics for their children to make sure they grow up healthy - but especially for the benefit of the environment. Brands of dedicated supermarkets, but also traditional stores, offer certified products, which are now available everywhere. This confirms their success among consumers in France, reports the Italian organisation AIAB.

Organics are no longer a niche market, but have become a habit in the country. Consumers eat organics for the authenticity of products, but not only, as those who argue environmental sustainability as a main reason for the continuous growth confirm. In 2003, 79% of organic consumers stated they considered the environment as a factor - today there are 90%."

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Barlean's Organic Oils Receives Natural Choice Award

"WholeFoods Magazine has awarded Barlean's Organic Oils with the coveted Natural Choice Award for excellence in manufacturing the freshest and best selling flaxseed oil nationwide. Flax oil is the world's highest source of organic, vegetable based Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's are the fastest growing and most popular nutritional supplements today based on research supporting their use in the structure and function of numerous organs and tissues including heart, brain and eye health. Barlean's Organic Oils is the only company that gently extracts their flax oil on demand, then ships 2nd day air to health food stores nationwide to ensure absolute freshness and peak nutritional value."

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Planet Organic Acquires New Leaf

"EDMONTON, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - Planet Organic Health Corp ("Planet Organic"), Canada's largest natural foods retailer, today announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent whereby Planet Organic will acquire 100% of the shares of New Leaf Community Markets ("New Leaf") for (US) $9,750,000.

New Leaf is a leading natural foods retailer in Northern California, with three locations in and around the city of Santa Cruz. New Leaf generated revenues of (US)$26.4 million and EBITDA of (US)$1.5 million in fiscal 2007 (unaudited). In fiscal 2008, there are a number of growth initiatives currently underway including one store renovation and two selected new store locations, signifying significant near-term growth opportunities in revenues and cash flow."

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Monday, February 18, 2008

College Students Demand Organic

"CHICAGO ( -- If a meal of heritage turkey breast, roasted root vegetables and organic milk sounds like dorm food, you must be a member of Generation Y. University grub has come a long way from sloppy Joes and french fries.

College students, increasingly concerned about the source and quality of food they're eating, are demanding that schools purchase regional produce. That's forced major food-service companies to scramble for grass-roots alternatives -- and allowed some nimble regional rivals with good local connections to elbow their way into the $5 billion on-campus-dining market.

"There are so many organizations and different groups that have a cause," said Christy Cook, sustainability coordinator-Southeast region at Sodexho, a $7.3 billion company that also services health-care, government and corporate institutions. "One of the biggest trends I've seen is people are looking for more locally sourced produce, supporting the community and the farmers."

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Fruitus Relaunches

"Lyme Regis Fine Foods, a division of fast-growing snack group Glisten plc, has created a major new fruit snacking brand with the re-launch of its unique Fruitus range. Big news for the category, the brand has been extended and re-packaged to consolidate its position and provide a strong platform for future growth and brand development.

Boasting a new design that features bold, clear branding and rich fruit colours on a natural cream background, Fruitus now offers a much broader and more comprehensive fruit snacking offering that comprises moist fruit and oat bars and chewy fruit bites in a number of different varieties. All products in the range contain a whole portion of fruit per pack and have no added sugar, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

The inclusion of a unique new 'Fruitus tree' brand icon and use of recycled card for cartons and display outers underlines the brands 'seriously fruity' and organic credentials. Available in most major multiple retailers and health food stores, the launch is being supported by an extensive advertising and marketing campaign that is due to break in March. The campaign includes national sampling, consumer PR and national press advertising across a range of Sunday supplements and monthly titles with advertising creative by newly appointed Principles Agency."

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Mary's Gone Crackers Appoints Antonelli to Board of Directors

"GRIDLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mary’s Gone Crackers, makers of gourmet gluten-free foods, has named Richard Antonelli, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President of Distribution for United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), to its board of directors. The company elected Antonelli as part of an aggressive growth strategy planned for 2008, which also includes the addition of executive and field level management positions.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure Mary’s Gone Crackers remains a unique company with authentic and innovative products, and focusing on building a world class team to help us support this vision is essential to our success,” said Dale Rodrigues, President and CEO of Mary’s Gone Crackers. “When Rick expressed an interest in joining our team as a director, we all knew he would be a perfect fit. Rick’s knowledge of and experience in the natural foods industry will provide a unique layer of insight and vision for our board. We could not be happier.”

Antonelli has served in a variety of roles within UNFI, the nation’s leading wholesale distributor to the natural and organic foods industry, since its inception in 1996. Prior to working with UNFI, he served as Director of Sales for Cornucopia Natural Foods, the company’s predecessor. Antonelli also honed his entrepreneurial skills on the manufacturing side of the natural foods industry as Co-Founder and President of Fairfield Farm Kitchens."

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Recall: Nutri-Foods Sesame Seeds May Be Contaminated with Salmonella

"Nutri-Foods, Inc. ("Nutri-Foods") of Royal Oak, Michigan, is recalling its .50 pound packages of "Organic Sesame Seeds Natural - Unhulled" due to possible salmonella contamination, an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illness such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis."

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Organic Panificio to Open Restaurant in Marina del Rey

"MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Feb. 15, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Edward Czuker, managing member of The Waterfront -- MDR, LLC, is pleased to announce an agreement with The Organic Panificio, LLC to operate a gourmet restaurant featuring authentic and organic Italian cuisine at the site of the former Harbor House restaurant and Edie's Diner on the water's edge in Marina del Rey.

"This is a great day for us and for the Marina del Rey community," said Czuker. "We are proud to bring a top quality establishment that will fit into the community fabric of Marina del Rey and provide a unique dining experience in a casual, welcoming atmosphere."

The full-service restaurant will feature a bar, wine lounge, two dining rooms and banquet facilities. Waterfront casual and formal dining experiences will be available for patrons to enjoy the finest in organic meats, pastas, pizza, salads, sandwiches, and coffee. The Organic Panificio will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The principals of The Organic Panificio are Charles Colby and John Tennant."

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Grow Your Own Organic Currants and Gooseberries

"Gooseberries and currants are not at all difficult to grow and they tolerate a wider range of conditions than many fruit plants. The 3- to 5-foot tall bushes will grow well in most soils, in extreme cold (to Zone 3) and even in shade. Some tree fruits, such as apples and pears take years to begin producing fruit, but currant and gooseberry bushes will bear wonderfully sweet-tart fruits their first year. By the second and third years, you'll be giving away buckets of berries."

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New Organic Potato Varieties in Philippines

"LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The thrust toward organic agriculture got a boost with the production of new types of potatoes that Benguet State University (BSU) researchers labeled as “the country’s first organic potato varieties.”

Now available at BSU’s Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (NPRCRTC) are four potato breeds—Solibao, Gloria Kamaptengan, Tawid and Watwat—that could improve potato production in the highlands.

Organic potatoes are sold at P100 a kilogram in the wet market but the price could go up when sold in high-end markets like supermarkets, says Pat Acosta, an organic farming practitioner."

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Cook Delia Smith Doesn't Believe in Organic

"Delia Smith has declared that she does not “do organic” and understands why people buy battery-reared chickens.

The chef, who has taught the nation to cook for more than 30 years, said it was more important to make sure families had enough nutritious food to eat than to worry about how food is produced.

“I certainly don't like the way battery chickens are reared and I have put in my book, 'use free range', but on the other hand I’m aware that we still have a lot of poverty, particularly among children in this country,” she said.

Her new book, How to Cheat at Cooking, aims to teach people to cook with basic ingredients, including frozen mashed potato and tinned minced lamb. Recipes from the book will be published in the Telegraph magazine, Stella and at"

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Raw Milk Rally

"STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Raw milk dairyman Mark MacAfee rallied the sustainable ag community last Saturday, giving the keynote address to end the five-day Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) conference. MacAfee is co-owner of Organic Pastures, near Fresno, California and an outspoken raw milk activist.

PASA president, Brian Snyder, described MacAfee’s personal narrative as one of “perseverance to do what is right.”

For 15 years MacAfee served as a paramedic and assisted thousands of people, sadly watching many of them die. It struck him that many folks died despite “all these pills” he’d notice in their homes.

This experience galvanized him to take a deeper interest in preventative medicine and in 1999 he converted his organic dairy to a raw milk dairy, convinced by customers who approached him for raw milk sales, that there was a both a health benefit to and a market for raw milk."

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

China Needs Organic Education

"A push for safe and clean food in Asian countries and China in particular, sees Chinese agents actively seeking organic producers in Australia for large volume and immediate orders; and could lead to a collaborative Chinese-Australian approach to biological farm training, says Craig Sobey, Chairman of the Central Victorian Organic Network (CVON). Mr. Sobey said while China is set to boom, farming remains central to their way of life in many provinces.

He says there is now strong government support for the development of biological farming systems that reduce the plaguing effects of chemical use, such as contaminated water and that Australia is seen by Chinese consumers as the a benchmark in the production of ‘safe food.’

“All our overseas marketing excursions have shown us that Australian produce in the eyes of an Asian consumer, is like the Volvo of food – there is absolute recognition of its safety,” he said.

“Asian pacific countries are very concerned about the potential of an unreliable food chain and risks this poses for their children. That’s driving up demand for products like Australian organic, but it’s also driving the need for a collaborated information network.”

Mr. Sobey said though it was in its early infancy, there were plans underway for a project that could see Chinese agricultural students study biological systems in Australia."

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Duchy Originals to Sell Sandwiches

"Duchy Originals, the organic food brand established by Prince Charles, is moving into the lunchtime market with a range of premium sandwiches. The organic sandwiches will be stocked in Waitrose stores in London as well as the food hall in John Lewis on Oxford Street, before a nationwide roll-out.

Fillings for the sandwiches include smoked mackerel and cheddar cheese. They also use Duchy Originals ingredients, such as tomato relish,contain no artificial additives or preservatives, and are handmade using bloomer loaves created for the range. Prices start at Pounds 2.99.

The brand's growing portfolio also includes a range of garden tools and hair and body products."

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Organic Italian Wine Coming to U.S.

"ROGUE RIVER, Ore. (February 13, 2008) – Natural Merchants, LLC, with headquarters in Rogue River, Ore. and Cartagena, Spain, introduces for the first time to the U.S. market a pair of superior Italian organic wines. Giancarlo Ceci’s AGRINATURA PUGLIA Rosso and 100% Chardonnay are now available through individual distributors across the country.

Giancarlo Ceci, a well respected pioneer in the Italian organic community and owner operator of Agrinatura, is introducing his award winning NOP certified organic wines into the U.S. market through an exclusive import agreement with Natural Merchants. Neil Blomquist, former President and CEO of Spectrum Organic Products, now operating a consulting company, Sustainable Solutions, will be acting as Mr. Ceci's U.S. sales agent. Mr. Blomquist discovered Agrinatura's exceptional olive oil for the Spectrum brand several years ago, and a friendship was born that now carries over to helping launch equally exceptional wines for the U.S. consumer."

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Recall: Annie's Naturals Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette May Contain Undeclared Soy

"Annie's Naturals is voluntarily recalling 686 cases of 8 fl oz. bottles of all-natural Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette. The product could be mislabeled and may contain soy sauce (contains soy and wheat) and sesame that were not declared on the ingredient statement. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy run the risk of serious allergic reaction if they consume this product.

There have been no illnesses or injuries reported to date. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician immediately."

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Natural Selection Foods to Focus on Organic

"(Feb. 12) Natural Selection Foods LLC, San Juan Bautista, Calif., plans to phase out its growing and processing of conventional fresh produce as soon as this spring, and will emphasize marketing under the Earthbound Farm brand as the company’s two processing facilities convert to organic.

“We’ve farmed organically for 24 years, so we’ve always been an organic company that has sold some conventional product,” said Mike Stevens, senior director of sales. “A couple of years ago, we stopped referring to the Natural Selection Foods piece of the business to focus on Earthbound Farm.”

In 2005, about 30% of the company’s business was conventional, and by early February that figure had dwindled to about 15%, according to Samantha Cabaluna, director of communications. Natural Selection Foods processes about 2 million pounds of product every week, year-round."

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Vegan Valentine's Day

"I am not a vegan. But I am vege-tarian with a pair of lactose-intolerant twins at home and a wife who abhors eggs. So, we tend to eat vegan by default. And this year, for Valentine's Day, I decided to get some vegan candy for my loved ones. The plan: head down to Rheb's Candy on Wilkens Avenue and put together a nice V-Day box. No meat. No milk. No honey. Just candy. Easy, right?

Crowded into the little store with other customers like truffles in a box, I took a number and window-browsed the glass cabinets full of chocolates filled with all varieties of fruit, cream, and nut. I've done my vegan homework, so I know that I've got to purchase sweet chocolate in the style it first hit the market in 1847--dark and milkless.

I had to pass on several of my favorite varieties of candy hearts and gummy sweets because they were made with gelatin. Baltimore's Vegetarian Resource Group ( lists the ingredients of gelatin as: "bones, skins, hoofs, and tendons of cows, pigs, fish and other animals." Thanks, reality; now you've gone and ruined Jell-O."

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Pet Treats Made With Organic Wheatgrass

"San Diego, CA (PRWEB) February 13, 2008 -- Bell Rock Growers, the pioneer grower and supplier of green nutrition pet products, adds new recipes to its popular line of healthy dog treats and cat treats. Formerly called Grass Goodies®, the newly branded and expanded Pet Greens® Treats will debut this week with exclusive show specials for retailers and distributors at the Global Pet Expo in San Diego (Booth #3846). Orders ship to stores nationwide early April 2008.

Pet Greens Treats come in four tasty recipes: Roasted Chicken or Deep Sea Tuna semi-moist treats for cats; Roasted Chicken or Savory Beef jerky-style treats for dogs. All four varieties of Pet Greens Treats are made with wholesome ingredients, including organic wheatgrass. Recipes contain no wheat gluten, no corn, and no artificial colors or flavors.

After experiencing the healing qualities of wheatgrass in my own life, I learned green nutrients also improve our pets' health
According to Bell Rock Growers Co-founder Catherine Hoffmann, the company's passion for Pet Greens began with her personal quest for greater well being. "After experiencing the healing qualities of wheatgrass in my own life, I learned green nutrients also improve our pets' health," says Hoffmann. "We developed Pet Greens to provide quality pet nutrition similar to green food supplements people include in their own diets."

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Amish Naturals to Sell Online

"HOLMESVILLE, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amish Naturals, Inc. (OTCBB: AMNT) today announced the launch of an enhanced e-commerce platform and the addition of a nationwide online retail store locator at: to enhance visibility of their proprietary line of organic pastas in response to the rapid growth in the number and diversity of North American retail outlets

The program enables Amish Naturals’ customers and web visitors to learn more about Amish Naturals’ line of organic pasta products as well as the products of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Prima Pasta brands, and search more than 2,382 retailers to easily and quickly find pertinent product and store information, including store locations, hours and phone numbers.

“Not only are we experiencing growth in the number of new retailers agreeing to carry our products, but the thriving market for organic and wholesome foods has our existing retailers expanding their current inventories to incorporate additional pasta cuts as well,” said Troy Treangen, Executive Vice President/COO of Amish Naturals. "Our upgraded web capabilities will allow us to enhance visibility of our brand, educate our customer base as well as direct them to nearest retailer or to our enhanced e-commerce platform to purchase our products."

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Organic Valley Donates $50,000 to School

"Through its Farmers Advocating for Organics fund, Organic Valley Family of Farms, the nation's oldest and largest cooperative of organic farmers, announced a $50,000 contribution to the University of Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers. The co-op's contribution is one of the school's most significant to date and will provide training and mentoring for students looking to a future in pasture-based organic dairy or livestock farming.

Organic Valley's contribution comes in an endowment as part of the WSBDF's recently launched endowment initiative. The initiative provides opportunities for organizations that value Wisconsin's agricultural heritage and rural communities to foster a new generation of farmers who will care for the land and grow its food. Since its inception in 1995, WSBDF has guided and inspired graduates into successful farming careers through winter classroom curriculum and business plan development, on-farm internships, farm field trips, conferences and networking."

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

DuPont, General Mills Sell 8th Continent Soymilk

"DuPont Co. and General Mills Inc. have sold their joint venture that makes 8th Continent soymilk, the companies announced Monday.

Terms of the sale to privately held Stremicks Heritage Foods, of Santa Ana, Calif., were not announced.

The sale does not include DuPont's Solae Co. joint venture with Bunge Ltd. of White Plains, N.Y.

Solae will continue to provide soy protein to 8th Continent's new owner under a long-term contract, said Craig Binetti, Solae's chairman and chief executive.

In addition to 8th Continent soymilk, the deal includes a line of juice drinks with soy and an antioxidant smoothie drink.

Binetti said the sale made sense because Stremicks would be able to extend 8th Continent's presence. Stremicks makes organic milk as well as Soy Dream soymilk and Rice Dream rice drink."

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Beyond Organic Cotton

"NEW YORK - Fashion trends come and go, but Shalom Harlow is optimistic the industry's latest interest in all things "green" isn't a passing phase.

The Canadian-born model was among those showcasing environmentally friendly couture at Earth Pledge's opener for New York Fashion Week.

"The establishment has to catch up," Harlow said after checking out the 2008 fall/winter collection for John Patrick ORGANIC. "It's really about time fashion started looking at its cause and effect on the planet. There's no need to compromise anymore ... you can be fashionable and responsible."

With heightened concern about toxicity from PBDEs (flame retardants) and other chemicals in clothing and products, organic and renewable materials, like bamboo, are gaining ground as alternatives to conventional fibres produced with pesticides, herbicides and defoliates."

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Trader Joe's Still Working on Phasing Out Chinese Exports

"Trader Joe's grocery stores are dropping foods from China to satisfy customers concerned about the quality of that country's products after last year's spate of problems.

By April 1, Trader Joe's will phase out single-ingredient Chinese imports such as garlic, frozen organic spinach, ginger and edamame, a green soybean, says spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki. The ban doesn't include products with ingredients from China, a leading source of vitamins and minerals used in many processed foods.

With 285 stores in 23 states, Trader Joe's is known for good prices on a wide selection of exotic items, from Australian licorice to Indian pilaf. Trader Joe's says the products it bought from China were safe. But "our customers have voiced their concerns about products from this region, and we have listened," Mochizuki said."

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Blue Horizon Spring Rolls Making Their Way to Whole Foods

"APTOS, Calif. — Blue Horizon Organic announced today that through initial distribution with United Natural Foods, Inc., its first-to-market, branded organic spring rolls have found a prominent home on the freezer shelves of Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.

"Just like Whole Foods Market, Blue Horizon Organic recognizes the relationship between the earth and its people; we have a responsibility to our planet through the choices we make, including the food we eat and how we shop," Blue Horizon Chief Operating Officer Jaap Langenberg said. "We're delighted to be included in Whole Foods Market stores."

Blue Horizon Organic spring rolls are made with organic wrappers, spices, and vegetables, plus two of the varieties include its antibiotic-free, farm-raised shrimp. Varieties include Chinese-style Shrimp, Thai-style Shrimp, and two certified organic vegetarian options, Indian-style Vegetable and Thai-style Vegetable. Eight spring rolls come in each six-ounce box, sold at a suggested retail price of $4.99. All are MSG-free."

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Appalachian Harvest Looking for Growers

"‘We are letting farmers know that their livelihood is still viable and can be very profitable.’ — Robin Robbins

Appalachian Harvest, an organic farming cooperative, is searching for new farmers to help meet the growing demand for organic produce.

“Right now, we have more demand than supply when you look at what our partners are wanting,” said co-op marketer Robin Robbins. “Over the last 10 years, organic has become evolutionary because that grocery shopper wants better quality and they want to know where the food comes from.”

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Glenny's Introduces Organic Vegan Marshallow Treats

"Glenny’s, the manufacturer of Soy Crisps, has just unveiled their newest product, Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats. Marshmallow crispy treats are such a wonderfully simple concept of sugar meets texture, yet until now the convenient versions had actually been off-limits to various consumers. Thanks to Glenny’s, a vegan, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free option now exists. Avoiding gelatin, butter, egg whites, and ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup has allowed this new Glenny’s product to don both the certified vegan and certified organic seals ...

Glenny's Brown Rice Marshmallow TreatThe ingredient list contains only Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Marshmallow Recipe (Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Guar Gum, Sea Salt), Organic Palm Oil, Vegetable Glycerol, Organic Rice Brown Extract, and Organic Vanilla Flavor. For those with food allergy concerns, they may contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds due to ingredients (see flavors that follow) and manufacturing processe."

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Awesome! Can't wait to try them.

Recall: Applegate Farms Hot Dogs May Contain Undeclared Milk, Soy

"FORT MYERS, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for approximately 8,784 pounds of hot dog products because the products may contain non-fat dry milk and soy, known allergens, which are not declared on the label.

Some stores in both Naples and Fort Myers sell the product.

This public health alert was initiated after a consumer complaint investigated by FSIS and Applegate Farms confirmed that the products were mislabeled."

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While I'm a vegetarian and no longer post articles on organic meat here, I realize not everyone is a vegetarian and meat recalls are still important to those who consume organic meats.

Friday, February 8, 2008

German Restaurant to Go Organic

"Le Pain Quotidien The Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidien (Our Daily Bread) cultivates naturalness, and this is the reason why more and more of the ingredients it has used since 2005 have been organic. The chain now has more than 80 stores in 12 countries and it is continuing to grow in terms of both quality and quantity. Every two months a new restaurant with integrated baker’s shop comes on stream.

Le Pain Quotidien “17 years ago, Alain Coumont was putting a large communal table in his shop and the people sat down around it.” This is how Harry De Landtsheer recounts the original idea of the founder of Le Pain Quotidien. The baker’s plus restaurant is still there in the Rue Dansaert in Brussels (see picture on left). The basic idea of eating good food together has not changed either. Mr Coumont quickly recognized that people not only wanted more and more to eat out but that they also wanted things to be natural. So the combined shops and restaurants have plain furniture made of pine; the metal or glass lamps are simple and the shelving for bread and bakery goods are old style. Often the floor is wooden too, a natural material under the feet of all who enter that shapes their perception of where they are. Wherever possible, the company tries to incorporate natural features in the spatial design, an example being the restoration of a stone wall in their premises in Paris (see picture on right)."

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Organic Clothing for Less than $50 in Idaho

"A year ago, Dave Sattler was looking for something to wear that was friendlier to the environment than his usual clothes. He sought clothing made of organic materials.

He was soon disappointed.

"I was trying to find eco-friendly clothing and there wasn't a lot of apparel that was eco-friendly and if it was, it was $70 for a sweater and a $100 for that," he said.

So Sattler, 32, decided to start his own company. In October, the Meridian resident launched an online organic clothing store called Sattler Clothing.

"What I'm trying to do is provide everyday things people can wear," he said. "I call it eco-friendly styles for the masses."

He's also tried to keep it affordable. Shoppers won't find anything over $50. An organic cotton T-shirt with the company's logo costs less than $20."

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Hemp Bliss Introduced to European Market

"Manitoba Harvest will Exhibit their Healthy Hemp Foods at the BioFach Organic Trade Show in Germany

Winnipeg, Manitoba (February 7, 2008) – For the past few decades, the movement of eco-friendly hemp products has flowed primarily from the European Union toward North America. Now, a dynamic Canadian company that helped re-establish sustainable hemp agriculture in North America in the 1990’s is ‘turning the tide’ by launching their award-winning Hemp Bliss organic hempmilk into European markets. Manitoba Harvest ( ) is a hemp foods pioneer that is crossing the sea to exhibit Hemp Bliss and their full line of healthy hemp foods at BioFach, the largest organic trade show in the world, from February 21-24, 2008. The BioFach event (, which is held annually in Nuremberg Germany, will feature more than 2,500 exhibitors, and will attract more than 45,000 retailers and industry experts from more than 100 countries.

Hemp foods are one of the hottest health food trends in North America, growing 39% from 2006 to 2007, and now Manitoba Harvest is expanding swiftly into international markets to capitalize on emerging global interest. “Our products have been available in Japan and the United Kingdom for a couple of years, but interest is really picking up in other countries where organic lifestyles and awareness of hemp’s nutritional value and culinary merits are growing,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils."

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Keep Your Ideals

"Now that the organic food sector is moving through adolescence and into adulthood, the industry must not lose touch with the idealistic movement that gave birth to it, said David Lively, marketing director for the Organically Grown Co. cooperative.

"A big baby has grown into a strapping youth that still needs its mother," Lively said at the Oregon Tilth conference Jan. 18 in Salem, Ore.

Volume vs. virtue

Organic food is at a philosophical crossroads, and it's crucial that the industry doesn't sacrifice its values for the promise of larger acreage and a greater market share, he said.

"It seems to me that we can succeed and yet fail," Lively said, noting that abandoning core principles - like support for small farms - the industry would become a "soulless shell" of its former self.

Retaining integrity even as the industry becomes mainstream poses a dilemma for organic producers, especially now that large manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are jumping into the market, according to Lively and other experts at the conference.

Not only are major companies launching their own organic lines, but they're also buying out existing organic brands. Lively sees the trend toward consolidation as dangerous."

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Conventional Baby Products May Alter Hormones

"Babies exposed to lotion, shampoo and powder had more than four times the level of phthalates in their urine as those whose parents had not used the products. Previous research found that the substances altered the children's hormones.

Infants and toddlers exposed to baby lotions, shampoos and powders carry high concentrations of hormone-altering chemicals in their bodies that might have reproductive effects, according to a new scientific study of babies born in Los Angeles and two other U.S. cities.

The research, to be published today in the medical journal Pediatrics, found that as the use of baby care products rose, so did the concentration of phthalates, which are used in many fragrances.

The lead scientist in the study, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana of the University of Washington's Department of Pediatrics, said the findings suggested that many baby care products contain a variety of phthalates that enter children's bodies through their skin."

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Review of Souen Organic Macrobiotic Restaurant in NY

"Don't be fooled by the utterly bland vegan/macrobiotic dishes that suddenly popped up in the dining halls at the beginning of the semester - a much better choice for such meals is right down the street at Souen Organic Macrobiotic Restaurant. Souen's hearty plates go directly against the stigma of flavorless dishes that accompanies the words "organic macrobiotic," and they are deliciously prepared according to the Japanese-based theory.

Walking into the SoHo location, I am always greeted with a friendly, clean and open atmosphere bustling with activity. The restaurant is almost always busy, but I can usually find a table for one or two with no wait. The service is prompt and cordial, although not overly attentive."

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Organic to Go Announces VP Retail Operation, Opens Four New Restaurants

"SEATTLE, Feb 07, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SBUX | news | PowerRating | PR Charts -- Organic To Go (OTCBB:OTGO), the nation's first fast casual cafe chain to be certified as an organic retailer, announced that Peter Tremblay has been appointed VP Retail Operations. The Company also announced the completion of four new cafe locations in three geographic areas - all of which are now operating.

Tremblay brings 20 years of leadership experience directing large, high-performance teams, as well as expertise managing brands and multi unit operations. Tremblay joined Organic To Go after spending 10 years in operations management at Starbucks Coffee Company (NasdaqGS:SBUX). His most recent position there was District Manager, Operations. Earlier at Starbucks, as Director, Public Affairs, Tremblay led strategic public affairs initiatives, which elevated Starbucks as a socially responsible company to key stakeholders and contributed to the company being listed #2 on Fortune Magazine's List of Most Admired Companies in America. Tremblay managed a store portfolio with some of the highest performing units; achieving numerous national and world records for the company in sales, store performance and business operations. Prior to Starbucks, Tremblay co-founded a gourmet corporate food service company and was a senior manager at a commercial real estate firm."

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Woolworths to Continue Organic Expansion

"Woolworths Holdings (WHL) said that it will continue to expand its organic food range, aiming to increase organic food sales by more than one billion rand by 2012.

Woolworths is one of the country’s largest retailers of fresh produce, currently supplying about a third of the fresh produce consumed through South African retailers, it said, adding that it was also a well-established leader in certified organic fresh produce.

It explained that certified organic foods were grown without the use of artificial chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, and complied with strict organic standards.

"Organic farming does not release potentially harmful chemicals into water supplies," it said.

According to the group, this is one of its measures that helped it minimise the effects that its business has on South Africa’s water supply.

It said that the agricultural sector was South Africa’s largest consumer of water, with just over 50% of the country’s water supply used for irrigation.

"Increasing demand for water, and decreasing water quality, makes careful water management a priority in South Africa," it added."

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Blue Sage Naturals Receives Organic Skincare Certification

"Blue Sage Naturals says it has become the first company in the world to offer comprehensive organic certification for its Sea Buckthorn range, touted as being a major boon to skin health.
Meeting growing demands from suppliers for all natural and organic cosmetic formulations, the company announced yesterday that it had been awarded National Organic Program (NOP) Certified Organic status for its Sea Buckthorn, SBT Seed and Berry oils.

The SBT oils, which are marketed as highly beneficial for use in skin care formulations, are higher in essential fatty acids, beta-carotenes, tocotrienols and vitamins than any other oil - all of which is said to benefit skin health, and in particular conditions such as rosacea and eczema.

Janine Phariss, president of Arizona-based Blue Sage Naturals, says that the oils are also added to cosmetic products to help speed up healing of scar tissue from cuts, scrapes and burns."

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Food Film Festival at Michigan Organic Conference

"EAST LANSING - This year's Michigan Organic Conference features a special food-related film festival along with more than 20 educational sessions for organic consumers, gardeners and farmers, according to former Dowagiac resident Kurt Cobb.

The conference will take place at the Kellogg Center on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.

It begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, with the film festival and continues from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, with educational sessions, exhibits, a gourmet organic luncheon and more films.

A local foods reception follows the conference sessions.

The conference offers a unique venue for consumers to connect with the people who grow, process and sell organic food in Michigan.

Consumers will find more sessions than ever to attend, including ones on cooking with local, organic ingredients; fresh milk and cow shares; organic food and human health; forming an organic buying group; and how to be an organic activist."

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mona Lisa Suite Hotel Looking to Go Green

"Mona Lisa Suite Hotel, the new 240-room all-suite luxury hotel scheduled to open next month in Celebration, Fla., today detailed steps being taken to make the hotel a leading choice for guests who seek luxurious, high-touch accommodations while minimizing their impact on the environment. To further validate its dedication to being environmentally friendly, the hotel will seek certification from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Lodging Program. According to hotel executives, the move is part of the hotel’s commitment to serving the best interests of hotel guests, the neighboring community and other stakeholders.

“Guests are consciously looking for hotels that support the same environmentally friendly decisions they are making in their own homes. It is important that we add value to our local community as well as to guests who choose our suites as their home away from home,” said Jetse Pottinga, regional vice president of operations for Graves World Hospitality, the property’s management company, and general manager of the hotel. “We are committed to doing our part to conserve and protect the area’s natural resources. In addition, our Green Team will continue to look for new ways to reduce waste, minimize pollution and maximize sustainability.”

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Lacombe Research Centre Scientist Speaks on Organic

"Organic farming is a viable alternative for some, but isn’t an option for everyone.

“If everyone was into organic farming there wouldn’t be a market for it,” said Dr. Neil Harker, research scientist at Lacombe Research Centre.

“I don’t think it is for most, just because we are not ready. It doesn’t produce enough food. It has lots of agronomic risks.

But on the flip side, Harker says it can be profitable.
“For those who are willing to get into less economic risk, you have assured prices,” said Harker who will be giving a presentation on organic farming at the Going Organic Conference in Camrose March 4 to 5.

The Lacombe Research Centre has been doing research on how to reduce reliance on herbicides by growing more competitive crops, which compete better with weeds."

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Green & Black's Chocolate Challenge

" PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooking intensely delicious food with one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive," could be a reality for five creative home chefs. Green & Black's(R), a best-selling organic chocolate brand, announced today a call-for-entries for the Green & Black's Chocolate Challenge. Home chefs across the country are invited to showcase their love of organic chocolate by submitting an original five ingredient or less recipe that incorporates at least 2 ounces of Green & Black's chocolate, a photo of their prepared dish and an essay on their growing taste for organic and how their recipe wows their family and friends, for a chance to win a cooking session with Curtis Stone, host of the "Take Home Chef," which appears on TLC. Five winners will receive a cooking session with Curtis in New York City, starting with a shopping adventure at gourmet New York City markets in search of fresh, organic ingredients and ending by enjoying their delicious meal together. Winners will also receive tickets to the James Beard Foundation Awards, the Oscars of the food industry.

With similar philosophies and passions for using the best ingredients, Green & Black's and Curtis Stone are encouraging home chefs to heat up their kitchens with organic and natural ingredients. Curtis will share tips designed to inspire people to create their own 5-ingredient or less organic recipes on the Green & Black's Web site ( through April 21, 2008.

"I love Green & Black's because their chocolate is made with the finest organically grown cocoa beans that give it this intense, unmistakable flavour," said Curtis Stone. "Great food is one of life's best pleasures, so get in the kitchen and show us how you cook, create and celebrate! I can't wait to see everyone's recipes and spend a day shopping and cooking with the five winners."

In addition to getting a chance to win a cooking session with Curtis Stone and tickets to the James Beard Foundation Awards, Green & Black's Chocolate Challenge entrants will help cocoa farmers in Belize. For each valid entry received, Green & Black's will build on its existing relationship with the Toledo Cacao Growers' Association in Belize by supplying the members of its cooperative with funds to plant and grow to maturity one hardwood tree. These hardwood trees, as part of a reinvestment in the indigenous rainforest, will help provide the necessary shade to shelter the farmers' cocoa trees and allow them to thrive, providing greater economic opportunities for these farmers in Belize."

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India Gets Into Organic Vegetables

"Ever tasted jaggery made out of sugarcane freshly harvested from a kitchen garden and processed with ladyfinger juice and common building lime? It melts like butter in the mouth.

The product, grown in an organic farm located near Bangalore, is selling faster than hot cakes as India is gradually waking up to the delights of indigenously grown and processed organic food.

Like elsewhere in the world, food models in India are changing to suit health, lifestyle and market needs in a sustainable back-to-basics surge. The refrain is: back to the traditional grower for your daily quota of chemical-free vegetables.

The food model that India is gradually embracing is Western in nature."

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Garden On Wheels

"Organic food has become quite the trend in recent years, and with sustainability and the environment on everybody's minds, it seems the trend is here to stay. Although high prices and a lack of variety at the grocery store hinder many from actually trying synthetic-free food, there are companies out there willing to help.

Garden On Wheels is a local, family owned business looking to help open the world of organic food to the people of Bloomington-Normal. Created and run by the Abraham family, the company is serious about their work.

"We're not a hippy dippy company. We're the real thing," Clark Abraham, family patriarch, said. "We talk the talk, you know, but we're also walking the walk."

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Raley's to Sell Private-Label Organic Products

"With its private-label products filling more of its shelves, Raley's is betting big that it can take the strategy into one of the fastest-growing segments of the grocery industry: organic products.

Today the company unveils its Full Circle label of organic and natural goods. The line includes about 120 items – from lentil beans to laundry detergent – that meet government organic criteria or what the company calls its "natural" standard.

West Sacramento-based Raley's believes it can tie its brand more closely to healthy eating options, fend off old competitors and cut off emerging rivals exploiting the demand for organic goods. It also underscores how organic products have gone from a boutique business that often offered unpalatable high-priced items to a mainstream industry that mass-produces attractive goods for less."

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Yeo Valley to Start £3.6m Campaign

"Yeo Valley, Britain's leading organic food brand, is set to launch the organic sector's biggest ever advertising campaign, covering television, press and posters running throughout the year.

With a spend of £3.6m, the brand has planned the campaign to support a major relaunch of its entire range, incorporating a new brand design, new products and improved recipes.

Both press and TV work uses the theme “A breath of Fresh Air From the Country”, and in style, continues the new look of Yeo Valley’s redesigned packs.

Building on the idea, the brand is sponsoring the weather forecasts in the London, Meridian and HTV West regions. Together these will give the brand coverage of most of southern England and reach around a third of UK homes."

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CLIF Bar "Save Our Snow" Roadtrip

"BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keys? Got ’em. Snowboards? Yep. Vegetable oil from last night’s fried wontons? Check.

CLIF® BAR is firing up its vegetable oil-powered Vixen RV and is heading for the hills this February and March for its second annual “Save Our Snow” Winter Roadtrip. Hitting ski slopes and nearby universities in Washington, Colorado, California and Oregon, the Roadtrip will meet boarders and skiers on their home turf to talk about climate change.

CLIF BAR, maker of all-natural and organic energy bars and drinks, has teamed up with a host of pro skiers and boarders, including world champion snowboarder Jeremy Jones, who will join the team in select locations throughout the tour. Jones has become an icon in the sport as an environmental ambassador through his life choices and his non-profit organization, “Protect Our Winters.”

The “Save Our Snow” Winter Roadtrip is part of CLIF BAR’s nationwide Natural Energy Tour Series and will share ideas on how small changes in a person’s choice of food and transportation can help prevent global warming and protect the places where they love to play. Organic food eliminates the use of pesticides and is far less energy intensive then conventional farming methods—better for people and the planet. A growing body of research indicates organic food can have more nutrients."

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

You CAN Afford Whole Foods

"Whole Foods is a great place for shoppers on a budget. Really!

Lurking beside the Bleu d'Auvergne and the Chilean sea bass is a supermarket ripe with deals ready for hard-working individuals wanting a little more bang for their buck, company officials say.

And they can prove it.

Perhaps hoping to combat the store's "Whole Paycheck" nickname, Whole Foods branches in Santa Fe and other cities, under a directive from the company's Austin headquarters, recently began offering weekly tours on how to "value shop" and affordably stock a pantry.

"We cater to a whole variety of people, from gourmets to those feeding families on a reasonable budget," said Tom DiRuggiero, marketing director of the Santa Fe Whole Foods. Organized tours in the City Different run every Wednesday afternoon and will continue at least through February. While the Casual comparison idea hasn't exactly caught fire yet -- a Journal reporter and photographer were the only participants during the Cerrillos Road store's second tour Jan. 30 -- guides DiRuggiero and Jeremiah Schultz, chef de cuisine, are eager to spread tidings that Whole Foods budget shopping is not an oxymoron. Their advice boils down to two rather simple suggestions: Buy generic and shop the sales. The company's private-label 365 Everyday Value brand, which offers a multitude of items, is "probably the greatest value we have to offer in the store," DiRuggiero said. In addition to 365, Whole Foods carries two other private lines: 365 Organic and the somewhat more expensive Whole Kitchen and Whole Pantry. "Compare the prices and it's really not out of line with what you see in other stores," DiRuggiero said."

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Organic Textiles in India

"The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit organized one day Seminar on "Organic Textiles – Farming to Finishing” in Mumbai on January 18, 2008.

Mr. Mahendra Tanna, Vice-President, TAI Mumbai Unit welcomed the Chief Guest, Dr. J. N. Singh, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, Guest of Honour, Mr. Dilip Jiwrajka, Managing Director, Alok Industries Limited., Key Note Speaker, Dr. C. D. Mayee, Chairman, Agricultural Scientist Recruitment Board, speakers and delegates.

Mr. C. Bose, President, TAI, Mumbai Unit mentioned in his presidential address about consumer demand for organic textile is growing in double digits. The consumer awareness for ecology & environment is growing all over the world. There is increasing demand for ecofriendly & organic products. This also extends to organic textiles. More number of large retailers & buyers are pushing the demand for organic textiles."

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Coca-Cola Purchases 40% Stake in Honest Tea

"Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to purchase about a 40% stake in Honest Tea Inc., a fast-growing maker of premium and organic bottled teas, for about $43 million, according to people familiar with the deal.

In addition, Atlanta-based Coke will have the right to purchase the remainder of the company, currently valued at $110 million, after three years, these people said.

The investment in the maker of Heavenly Honey Green, Peach Oo-La-Long, and other teas, comes as the world's largest beverage giant has been under pressure to improve its lineup of ready-to drink teas, which make up a tiny but fast-growing beverage category in the U.S. Coke lacks a strong contender in the popular beverage segment, whose volume rose 24% in the first nine months of 2007, according to Beverage Digest, an industry publication. The company's tea brands, with Nestea as its largest, rank a distant number four in U.S. market share to PepsiCo Inc., which commands the leading share with Lipton tea, marketed in a joint venture with Unilever PLC."

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Monday, February 4, 2008

GM Contaminated Canola in Canada

"Canadian farmers have experienced "widespread contamination" of their crops by genetically modified (GM) canola, two visiting farmers say.

Terry Boehm, vice president of the Canadian National Farmers Union, and grain farmer Arnold Taylor are embarking on a 10-day Australian tour as both NSW and Victoria are set to relax their bans on GM food crops.

"For Canadian farmers, they have experienced widespread contamination," Mr Boehm told reporters in Sydney.

"There are issues of liability that haven't been addressed, producers are facing much increased costs for their seed - they are paying technology-use fees that are required in order to access the GM seeds."

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Y Water: Organic Beverage with Toy Bottle

"Designer Yves Béhar of San Francisco-based design and branding firm Fuseproject has created a boldly-colored water bottle that is also a children's toy. Designed for beverage producer Y Water, the stackable bottle is an interlocking set of building blocks, once combined with Y Knot biodegradable rubber connectors."

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Organic Fraud

"With organic foods raking in $16 billion and more annually, some are concerned that Department of Agriculture standards and independent third-party verification may be insufficient to prevent fraud.

Science to the rescue.

In a recent study published in Journal of Environmental Quality, Spanish scientists describe how they use "nitrogen isotopic discrimination" to determine if non-organic, synthetic fertilizers were used on sweet pepper plants. Because organic fertilizers derived from manure have compositions of nitrogen isotopes that differ from synthetic fertilizers, produce grown with different methods can be distinguished.

Organic foods are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, which are often derived from natural gas and/or phosphates minded from the Earth; without the use of chemical pesticides designed to kill weeds, insects or diseases, and without the use of genetically engineered seeds."

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Banning Dursban

"What's in a name? If it ends in "ban," watch out.

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially began the process of removing two of the most widely used pesticides in the U.S., Dursban and Lorsban, from the consumer marketplace. The toxic products will be phased out of stores and wholesale warehouses over the next two years due to what the EPA cites as potential nervous system and brain damage to young people. The ban was made under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which requires the EPA to restrict a pesticide's use if it poses a threat to children.

Technically speaking, Dursban is an organophospate insecticide and a member of a class of chemicals developed during World War II to attack the nervous system. Chlorpyrifos can cause headaches, seizures and even death. Dursban is found in everything from flea collars to garden and lawn chemicals, while Lorsban - also made with chlorpyrifos - is used to protect crops."

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Prince Charles Wants Organic in Hospitals

"Prince Charles will wade into the debate about hospital food this week when he tells NHS leaders that patients deserve good-quality meals from locally sourced produce rather than cheap dinners that are trucked in and reheated.

In a visit to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, the prince will highlight the importance of the health service using organic foods and talk about the 'virtuous circle' created by using local produce. 'Food miles are reduced, the food is fresh and local farmers and suppliers benefit,' he will tell chief executives. He will say it is 'crucial that food given to patients helps rather than risks hindering the process of recovery'.

The Royal Brompton, a specialist heart hospital in Chelsea, is a leader in the field of hospital nutrition. It spends £3 a day per patient - three times more than some hospitals. A spokeswoman said: 'We cook our food on the premises using fresh ingredients, not ready meals. We have a head chef whom we recruited from outside the NHS, a fully equipped kitchen and skilled staff, including a trained pastry chef."

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Benefits of Organic Herbal Tea

"Within the world of tea, evidence has clearly shown that there are immeasurable health benefits of organic herbal teas. We will discuss two such teas: black tea and green tea.

To understand why organically grown tea is so popular today: the very method of growing and processing black and green teas helps to protect, rather than deplete, our natural resources. Organic foods are grown on land that has been free from the use of synthetic fertilizers, growth regulators, insecticides or herbicides for at least three years. Instead of harmful chemicals, farmers use methods such as composting, crop rotation, and interplanting to control weeds and pests, replenish the soil, and sustain the health of our planet."

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bernod Group Introduces First Organic Cotton Candy

"VALENCIA, Calif., Feb 01, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Bernod Group, manufacturers of Unique Novelty Food Concepts, today announced the launch of its SpunCity brand of Certified Organic Cotton Candy, the first nearly guilt-free indulgence of its kind to ever be produced and distributed in the U.S.

"This new product is not just the only Certified Organic Cotton Candy that provides an all-natural, deliciously decadent treat, at the same time it satisfies even the sweetest sweet tooth," declared John Mularky, a Principal and Co-Founder of the Bernod Group. "People ask me how it's possible, and I tell them that this is an example of exactly what makes us unique," he added."

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Frutarom Organic Innovations

"North Bergen, New Jersey, January 29, 2008 – William Graham, Vice President Flavor Division, Frutarom USA Inc., announced that the company has expanded its New Jersey facility through the addition of 3,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art flavor development laboratories.

The fully operational addition features dedicated R&D and application laboratories for the beverage, confectionery and bakery segments with space allocated for other markets as Frutarom continues to expand its flavor development capabilities, with a strong focus on natural organic flavors.

In making the announcement, William Graham said, “In addition to expanding of flavor development resources, the new laboratories support Frutarom’s leadership position in the development of organic flavors. We put our passion for taste and health together to innovate ground-breaking in-demand natural organic flavors to appeal to consumers who prefer healthier food and beverage selections.”

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Salmonella Risk Higher in Battery Eggs

"The Soil Association can reveal that a recent government survey shows that organic laying hen farms have a significantly lower level of Salmonella. Salmonella is a bacterium that causes one of the commonest forms of food poisoning worldwide.

The study showed that 23.4 per cent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella compared to 4.4 per cent in organic flocks and 6.5 per cent in free-range flocks.

The research also showed that the highest prevalence of salmonella occurred in the largest holding size category (30,000 birds or more). This was over four times the average level of salmonella found in flocks closer to the maximum size allowed under Soil Association organic standards."

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Bad Weather Causes Problems for China's Organic Agriculture

"It has been called the worst snow storm in half a century and it is still going on. Many parts of China, especially the central and eastern regions, are paralyzed, due to disruption in transportation leading to brown outs (coal not getting through), a drag on the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, and as is becoming more and more evident, a disastrous impact on winter food crops.

According to reports, this is what is happening:
1) Heavy snow is causing many greenhouses to collapse leading to crop destruction;
2) Disrupted rail service is stranding food that cannot be adequately refrigerated thus causing spoilage; and
3) Insufficient produce getting from the hinterlands to the cities leading to skyrocketing food prices and exacerbating out-of-control inflation."

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