Monday, March 31, 2008

FDA Won't Ban Carcinogen Found in Sunscreen Products

"[Rachel's introduction: A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. At the request of industry lobbyists such as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who represented the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, the agency has delayed sunscreen safety standards for nearly 30 years.]

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage.

A companion study published just one day earlier revealed that this chemical is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin.

Although oxybenzone is most common in sunscreen, companies also use the chemical in at least 567 other personal care products.

Environmental Working Group identified nearly 600 sunscreens sold in the U.S. that contain oxybenzone, including products by Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, and Banana Boat (see the full list of 588 sunscreens here) as well as 172 facial moisturizers, 111 lip balms, and 81 different types of lipstick."

Read the article

Top Ten Organic and Local Barriers for Lower Income Consumers

"Local Foods Connection is a non-profit organization that purchases produce, meat and other products from small family farmers and donates this food to low-income families. As part of our main program, we enroll families in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, through which they receive a box of fresh, organic produce every week for approximately 20 weeks. Running concurrently with the CSA program, we offer our clients opportunities to learn about nutrition and healthy meal preparation. They earn points for each educational activity completed and can use these points to purchase kitchen equipment. We have begun our tenth year of work in the Iowa City, Iowa region. We also serve Fairfield, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The “Top 10 Barriers” list was compiled by Local Foods Connection staff and volunteers, as well as social service agency personnel who serve the same populations we do. LFC serves single mothers, people with exceptional medical needs, immigrants, refugees and racial minorities in cities ranging in size from 9,000 to 200,000 people. We realize that people living in bigger cities or smaller towns, in Iowa or elsewhere in the country, might experience additional obstacles unique to their environment and consequently might not be well-represented on this list. Furthermore, we understand that some of the challenges on this list are confronted not only by low-income families, but by people of all income levels wishing to purchase more local foods and to add fresh food to their diet."

Read the article

Organic Chlorella May Detoxify Heavy Metals

"Awareness about pesticides in food and on agricultural crops has grown in recent years, but few people are aware that their bodies may contain heavy metals such as lead, copper, mercury or cadmium. Chlorella is a natural single celled algae that grows in water and is one of the highest plant sources of chlorophyll, a powerful cleanser and detoxifier. Now consumers can have the benefits of one of the richest wholefoods in the world in the form of supplements, such as Synergy Natural Organic Chlorella.

Heavy metals occur naturally but are widely used in agriculture and manufacturing – even in cosmetics, medicines, and children’s toys. They get into drinking water, food, air and soil and end up in our bodies. Mercury is put into teeth in amalgam fillings and lead is prevalent in contaminated soil, lead-glazed pottery, household dust and buildings which still have original lead paint."

Read the article

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Recall: Stonyfield Blueberry Yogurt May Contain Plastic or Glass Fragments

"LONDONDERRY, N.H. (AP) _ Stonyfield Farm is recalling several batches of its blueberry yogurt after consumers complained of finding plastic or glass fragments in the 6 oz. cups.

The company said there have been no reports of injury and the do not believe the problem is widespread.

The recall applies only to Stonyfield Organic Fat Free Blueberry Yogurt in 6 oz. cups carrying product codes printed on the cup bottoms that start with the following dates: Apr 13 08, Apr 14 08, April 15 08, April 25 08 and April 26 08."

Read the article

Since I was able to successfully take the vegan plunge, I stopped eating Stonyfield yogurt a while ago. I'm still mad about their soy yogurt having milk cultures in it!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

China Yingxia International Acquires Soymilk Companies

"NEW YORK, March 28 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- China Yingxia International, Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: CYXI) , (the "Company") a leading provider in the nutraceutical industry engaged in the development, manufacture and distribution of organic nutritional food products, supplements, and personal care products in China, today announced that it is in the final stages of the acquisition of six soybean milk production lines from King International Food Corporation Limited ("King"), a Sino-Australian joint venture.

The Company has spent over $4 million dollars to acquire production equipment, technical know-how, and marketing resources from King. The Company is now in the process of engaging a third party to provide an asset evaluation report to formally complete the purchase of the production lines. The Company expects the transaction to be completed before the end of the second quarter of 2008.

"We expect to begin production by the end of the second quarter after the acquisition formally closes," stated Ms. Yingxia Jiao, the Company's chairwoman. "This marks our first step toward becoming a major player in the soy milk business in China. We have other exciting projects in the pipeline for this year and I hope you can all join me for our fourth quarter and 2007 full year conference call next Monday."

Read the article

More on Organic Baby Food

"When image-conscious celebrities like Stella McCartney and Cindy Crawford start feeding their families frozen dinners, it's a good bet that there's a new trend afoot, or at least that TV dinners have come a long way.

Frozen dinner might not be a Bay Area foodie's first choice, since fresh ingredients and so-called slow foods are as basic to local dining tables as bread and butter used to be, but Shannan Swanson and Liane Weintraub want to convince people to think otherwise.

The entrepreneurial duo, based in Malibu but with ties to the Bay Area, have created TastyBaby, a line of frozen foods with organic products that are blast-frozen. They aren't the first to come out with a line of organic baby foods, but they're the most high-profile, having caught the eye of Hollywood A-list moms, and now local shoppers in stores like Whole Foods and Andronico's, too."

Read the article

Organic May Not be Profitable for All

"True lovers of organic food have always been willing to pay more for it: They spend $3.99 on a half-gallon of organic milk when a whole gallon of conventional milk costs $1 less. That devotion might soon be tested.

The forces that have driven grocery prices up sharply over the past year - growing demand for food in China and a global biofuels boom - have had an impact on the organic food market as well. Meanwhile, U.S. farmers haven't kept pace with demand for organic food, sales of which shot up 21 percent in 2006, and that has also sent prices soaring.

And supplies of organic soybeans and grains are squeezed - not only are they needed for human consumption, they serve as feed for the animals that will be sent to market as certified organic beef, chicken, eggs and pork.

"The organic community has suffered, and enjoyed, a wonderful explosion in demand of 20 percent per year for basic raw materials, but when you look at supply in the U.S., we're lucky if it's growing at 1 percent per year," said Lynn Clarkson, the president of Clarkson Grain Co., a grain-handling business based in Cerro Gordo, Ill."

Read the article

Friday, March 28, 2008

Is Your Mattress Filled with Chemicals?

"Susan Greenfield and her girlfriend Llina Kempner couldn't wait for their new memory-foam mattress top to arrive. For months, they'd heard friends rave about how the high-tech material molds itself to your body. But when they unwrapped the three-inch-thick pad in their Manhattan apartment, they noticed a strong, acrid odor. "My nose and my lungs were miserable," recalls Greenfield. For the two nights Kempner slept on the mattress top, she felt nauseated. After Greenfield, who is chemically sensitive, had an asthma attack in the middle of the night, the couple returned the mattress pad. But its stench lingered in the apartment for weeks."

Read the article

OTA Preparing for All Things Organic

"(March 27, 1:08 p.m.) To respond to the organic industry’s growth and transition to the mainstream market, the Organic Trade Association has revamped its annual All Things Organic conference and trade show, establishing a more comprehensive convention for all members, including those involved in the produce supply chain.

The conference, April 26-29 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, continues to be aligned with the Spring Fancy Food Show and the U.S. Food Export Showcase. However, annual conferences for the United Fresh Produce Association and Food Marketing Institute will be in Las Vegas.

Formerly known as “The Power of Five” because the five organizations co-located their events together, the Chicago show is now known as “The Global Food & Style Expo,” said Barbara Haumann, press secretary for the Greenfield, Mass.-based OTA."

Read the article

Most Common Organic in Canada

"Consumers by now are used to seeing a range of organic fruits and vegetables for sale in their local grocery store, but the most common certified organic product reported by Canadian farmers is probably not what they think — it's hay.

Field crops and hay lead the charge, according to a Statistics Canada study published today that analysed organic farming in Canada between 2001 and 2006.

According to the study, 2,462 farming operations reported growing certified organic field crops and hay, nearly half of them in Saskatchewan.

Canada has a competitive advantage for growing grains and oilseeds because of the climate and large expanses of cropland suited to mechanization.

Fruits and vegetables are the second most common certified organic products in Canada, and B.C. is the province with the highest number of farms producing organic fruit, vegetable or greenhouse products."

Read the article

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whole Foods Defends Corrupt Organic Bodycare

"To: PrivateLabel Customer Service

Cc: "Jessie Walker (CE CEN)" , "Travis Bohmann (SW SWC)" , "Rachael Gruver (CE CEN)" , "Courtney Mudge (CE CEN)" , "Karen Roberts (SW WIL)" ,

Dear Ms. Riggs:

Your email response* is deceptive at best. First, you accuse OCA of making inaccuracies during their press conference but you do so without providing any specific examples. Second, your email uses the old and tried argument that the rest of the non-organic and commercial manufacturers use all the time: "Even if our product contains such and such chemical, we don't believe that our product represents a health risk."

You can believe whatever you want. But when it comes to my money and my health, I choose to avoid all products that contain any cancer carcinogens. Third, your email states, "these products ... are not in excess of California's Proposition 65 Safe Harbor level for 1,4-dioxane." The California's Proposition 65 Safe Harbor level for 1,4-dioxane is listed at 30 micrograms per day. OCA in its study found 365 products such as the Everyday Value Dish Liquid, Everyday Value Shampoo, and Everyday Value Shower Gel to contain detectable amounts of this chemical carcinogen at 1.6, 2.2 and 20.1 micrograms per gram, respectively."

Read the article

Dealing in Organic

"Organic food makers must make alliances with ingredients firms and farmers to ensure they have a secure supply of organic ingredients in the face of increasing demand, advises Frost & Sullivan.
In a new report called Industry outlook: Road map of US organic foods market, Frost and Sullivan draws attention to a number of food categories where organic wares are proving popular. These include: dairy, confectionery, snacks, bakery, beverages, meat, baby foods and processed foods.

The consultancy said that demand for organic products is putting pressure on domestic supplies of ingredients that conform to organic standards - and that is causing manufacturers to seek organic fruits, vegetables, grain, seeds, beans and herbs from overseas.

"The constraints in the supply of organic ingredients are a matter of grave concern for the organic food manufacturers, as this can undermine the long-term stability and growth of this otherwise booming market."

Read the article

Organic Helpline Launched in the U.K.

"A national advisory service for farmers who are thinking about converting their farms to organic was launched a Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre near Lambourn yesterday. The Minister for Sustainable Food and Farming, Lord Jeff Rooker, told people from the organic farming industry about the service, which will comprise of a helpline, website and free farm visits to give advice, to cover the whole of England.
The service will be provided by Natural England of behalf of central government’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and it is designed to help farmers decide if organic is right for them.

Ther service, which is funded through Defra, will cost the tax payer £325,000 a year to run. Lord Rooker said: "We really want to give a push to organic conversion. I have visited several organic farms, and every one has said the amount of information they receive is really important. "The pressure to increase how much organic produce is sold is now is on the retailers. The role of the government is getting consumers to make connections with what they are buying and the impact it has on the environment."

Read the article

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Honest Tea Introduces New Teas

"Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) March 26, 2008 -- Coming off of its tenth anniversary, Honest Tea launched a field marketing blitz this month by unveiling a new line-up of teas in PET plastic bottles with a fresh new look hitting the streets across the country, including the brand's top two markets of New York and Los Angeles.

The new lineup--which includes Citrus Green Energy Tea, Honey Green Tea, Lemon Black Tea, Peach White Tea, and Pomegranate White Tea with Açaí-- is USDA Certified Organic and each variety has less sugar and calories than most of the bottled teas on the market. Additionally, the level of Epigallocatechin Gallate (known as EGCG), the key antioxidant found in tea, takes a prominent position on the front of label to better communicate Honest Tea's superior antioxidant benefits. Unlike the new labels, the previous labels did not draw attention to the high levels of EGCG in Honest Tea's drinks.

Both green teas, Citrus Green Energy Tea and Honey Green Tea, have 250 mg of EGCG per bottle. And both white teas, Pomegranate White Tea and Peach White Tea, each have 150 mg of EGCG per bottle, significantly higher than most other brands."

Read the article

Defra Wants Farmers to Go Organic

"Today Defra launched a free national information and advice service for farmers thinking of converting to organic production methods. Plans were approved by the European Commission and funding made available to reintroduce the service. The new advisory service, which will be delivered by Natural England (NE) on Defra's behalf, will provide conventional farmers with free and impartial information and advice on the principles and mechanics of organic production to help them decide whether conversion is appropriate for their enterprise. It will comprise of a national helpline (which will provide initial advice and a comprehensive information pack), a dedicated website and a free on farm advisory visits service that will supplement the initial advice provided, where appropriate.

Welcoming the announcement Lord Rooker, Minister for sustainable food and farming said:

"As a Government we are keen to encourage English farmers to convert and adopt more sustainable production practices and take advantage of the wide range of opportunities offered by rising demand for organic food."

Read the article

Organic Applesauce Taste Test

"If you grew up on sugary Mott's applesauce, the unsweetened brands might take some getting used to.

When the first ingredient listed is apples, - and in a few cases a bit of extra water, juice concentrate or vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - the flavor relies solely on the fruit, which can potentially amount to tart or bland notes.

But the market now has a wide variety of brands from which to choose - almost double the amount that was available when the panel tested this product in 2001 - and many represent the category well. We sampled 12 brands of unsweetened organic applesauce, and everything from smooth to chunky to heirloom fruit was represented.

The results were surprisingly positive."

Read the article

SunOpta Introduces Single Serve Soymilk

"TORONTO, March 26, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) ("the Company") today announced that it has commenced production and supply of a new shelf stable single serve soymilk for a major global retailer.

This soymilk is packaged in the Tetra Pak Prisma package utilizing vertically integrated SunOpta soy ingredients and a third party co-packaging partner. This business is expected to add an incremental $10 - $12 million in revenue per year upon achieving forecast production targets.

Production of organic beverages at SunOpta's aseptic packaging operation continues to grow as plant capabilities and capacities are expanded, with production volumes approaching record levels. In addition, volumes processed via third party co-packaging partners using vertically integrated SunOpta soy ingredients continues to grow as the Company expands the range of its product offering."

Read the article

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Arizona State University Students Grow Organic on Campus

"The close observer will notice that ASU’s Tempe campus is dotted with fruit and nut trees.

The most obvious, of course, are the more than 260 Seville, or sour oranges, that are most numerous. These trees were planted many years ago, when sour oranges were in fashion in the Phoenix area.

But there also are sweet and blood oranges, grapefruit, lemon, kumquat, lemonquat, limequat, pecan, date, white sapote and olive trees, as well as herbs such as rosemary, garlic, chives and cilantro, and vegetables in season.

What does all this mean on a university campus?

While ASU is far from being a producing farm, it does generate a lot of food that has the potential to be sold, used by the chefs at the Memorial Union and University Club, or donated to worthy causes.

The growing food production on the Tempe campus also is the focus of a plant biology internship, “The Edible Campus,” instructed by Randel Hanson, an assistant professor who teaches courses in environmental studies and climate change in the Department of Social Behavioral Sciences on the Polytechnic campus."

Read the article

Beyond Organics in Sri Lanka

"Organic production has considerable potential in our agriculture sector in Sri Lanka. However, the term organic has been widely misused in Sri Lanka without having very clear understanding about it. Ecological farming systems, applying compost on crops, natural home garden practices, neglecting lands without applying natural and artificial inputs can not be defined or termed as organic. Organic chemistry has no direct relationship with organic agriculture. Organic is a kind of labelling system that is granted for ecological production when the whole process is certified by an accredited third party organization.

Economy of our country is mainly based on agriculture. We have a higher degree of biodiversity among most of the developing countries and we are blessed with nature gifted most suitable climatic conditions for having sustainable natural agriculture systems. The agriculture practices that have been carried out for many years with indigenous knowledge of our traditional farmers have contributed tremendously for the development of sustainable agriculture in Sri Lanka. Many well balanced eco systems including the Kandyan forest garden system play major role in protecting environment and maintain biodiversity in many parts of our beautiful island. Once these ecological farming practices are tuned to follow an efficient management system, such lands can be inspected and certified as organic according to international standards with shorter period of in-conversion at a lower cost. Without a third party guarantee on the compliance of set international standards on organic production methods, a product cannot be labelled, termed or called as organic."

Read the article

Monday, March 24, 2008

FresGen Kids Delivered to Your Kids

"Tempe, AZ — FresGen Kids™ prepares and delivers sustainable, all-natural, organic and waste-free meals to valley area schools for any and all parents interested.

From preparation to packaging, FresGen Kids™ healthy and environmentally conscious food service approach claims stake in an emerging market. By providing nourishment that allows the minds and bodies of today's youth to thrive while preserving the Earth's invaluable resources, FresGen™ Helps Parents and Schools Keep Students and Communities "Green"."

Read the article

Demand for Organic Allotments Grows

"Councils have been urged to address a "chronic shortage" in the number of allotments being allocated by urban developers as demand for the plots of land reaches unprecedented highs.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales, says that 200,000 allotments – small plots of land which can be rented by individuals to cultivate their own herbs, fruit and vegetables – have been lost over the past 30 years.

But demand for the sites, which are usually rented for a small annual fee from local councils, has never been greater. The meteoric rise of organic food ranges, coupled with an increase in the number of environmentally minded people keen to grow their own produce, has resulted in waiting lists of up to 10 years in some parts of the country."

Read the article

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sustainable Table for Spring 2008

"Spring's arrival is big news to cooks like Jesse Ziff Cool. A well-known caterer in California and the author of "Simply Organic" (Chronicle Books), she has been shopping with the seasons since well before most of us first heard the term organic.

She has also made dinners for food writer Michael Pollan, has her own chicken coop, knows her local farmers by name and wrote one of the country's first organic cookbooks near-ly a decade ago.

Now updated, those first easy recipes and thoughts on buying and cooking sustainably raised foods, meaning those that protect the planet and people in their production, are the basis of this sunny, stunning new volume."

Read the article

Organic Accounts for 1%

"Whereas a few years ago, organic food was a rare occurrence in stores, that is no longer the case. However, the bulk of farms' organic production is exported. Including imports, organic food does not exceed 1% of the market, reports BUSINESS Magazin.

However, one example is Dumitru Argeseanu, the owner of a farm with 4,000 hens, which lay one million organic eggs each year. He started to build the farm in 2002 in partnership with the World Bank, and according to Argeseanu: "the first organic egg left the farm in 2004"."

Read the article

Friday, March 21, 2008

Six Years of Research Proves Organic IS Better

"Forty New Studies Published in Last Six Years Provide a Firm Foundation for Some Clear-cut Answers:

Yes, Organic Plant-Based Foods ARE More Nutritious, and Provide on Average a 25% Nutrition Premium

BOULDER, Colo. - March 19, 2008 /Natural Newswire/ - A comprehensive review of 97 published studies comparing the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods shows that organic plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) contain higher levels of eight of 11 nutrients studied, including significantly greater concentrations of the health-promoting polyphenols and antioxidants.

In this first comprehensive review of the scientific literature comparing nutrient levels in organic and conventional food completed since 2003, a team of scientists conclude that organically grown plant-based foods are 25% more nutrient dense, on average, and hence deliver more essential nutrients per serving or calorie consumed."

Read the article

Turn Conventional into Organic?

"Agribusiness stocks rose sharply today, following the announcement this morning of a new process that transforms conventionally raised produce into organic, instantly and at almost no cost.

News of the discovery reached the Washington Post just after midnight, in a press release from a little-known group called Favoring the Right of Americans to a Wholesome Diet. The organization’s letterhead describes it as “A Spontaneous, Grassroots Coalition of Real Americans, Just Like You and Your Neighbors, with No Links to Food Industry Giants Such as Monsanto, Kraft, or Smithfield.”

President Bush reacted swiftly, issuing an executive order mandating application of the process to all of the country’s produce. Explaining his quick response, he said, “Being a no-brainer, I didn’t see the point of tying up the Congress in another divisive debate. Not that this would have been divisive.” There is some uncertainty as to what “no-brainer” referred to; reporters are awaiting clarification from the White House."

Read the article

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dr. Bronner's Says No to Faux Organic Skincare

"The Organic Consumers Association and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps today issued a series of Cease and Desist letters to bodycare companies which have misbranded their products as "Organic" or "Organics" despite the fact that their cleansing ingredients are actually made from non-organic conventional and/or petrochemical material, preserved with petrochemical preservatives.

Dr. Bronner's has determined, based on extensive surveys, that organic consumers seek cleansing ingredients in "Organic", "Organics" or "Made with Organic" branded and labeled soaps, shampoos and bodywashes, that are made from organic as distinct from conventional agricultural material, produced without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, and such ingredients should be free of petrochemical compounds.

The major cleansing ingredient in Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic" liquid soaps, bodywashes and shampoos is Sodium Myreth Sulfate, which involves ethoxylating a conventional non-organic fatty chain with the carcinogenic petrochemical Ethylene Oxide, which produces caricinogenic 1,4-Dioxane as a contaminant. The major cleansing ingredient in Avalon "Organics" soaps, bodywashes and shampoos, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, contains conventional non-organic agricultural material combined with the petrochemical Amdiopropyl Betaine. Nature's Gate "Organics" main cleansers are Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (ethoxylated) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic" cleansers are Olefin Sulfonate (a pure petrochemical) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Juice "Organics", Giovanni "Organic Cosmetics", Head "Organics", Desert Essence "Organics", Ikove "Organic" Amazonian Avocado Bath & Shower Gel all use Cocamdiopropyl Betaine and no cleansers made from certified organic material."

Read the article

A Letter to Nature's Gate

"Editor's Note: One of our readers sent the OCA a copy of the following letter, which they had written to Nature's Gate in regards to the recent discovery yof the possible 1,4-Dioxane in the "organic" products:

To Whom It May Concern,

One hour ago I was giving my children a bath, with filtered water. As I washed their hair (with Nature's Gate Organics Shampoo) I was thinking about how lucky I was to be able to buy natural and organic products for them. How lucky I was to be able to shield them from the harsh carcinogenic chemicals that are in so many personal care products."

Read the article

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prince Charles Opens Organic Shop

"Britain's Prince Charles opened a shop selling organic products from his Gloucestershire estate Highgrove yesterday (17.03.08).

The 59-year-old royal and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, welcomed customers to their new premises in the small English town of Tetbury, just two miles away from their country home.

The shop offers various food products, including vegetables, strawberries and Highgrove honey from the princes' bee colony.

Other goods on sales include chinaware depicting the hens the prince keeps in his garden."

Read the article

Batter Blaster: The Organic Spray Pancake

"SAN FRANCISCO You want pancakes, but the idea of adding water to powder and stirring it around just seems like too much effort. Enter Batter Blaster, the pancake you just point and spray.

Gastronomic genius? Or sign of the apocalypse?

It all depends on how you feel about really fast food.

For Nate Steck, part of the two-man team that developed Batter Blaster, the product is a way to put something hot and tasty on the table of people who have lost touch with the most important meal of the day.

The product, which is organic, comes more than a century after the launch of the first convenience pancake product, a powdered mix that eventually would be called Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix."

Read the article

Small Organic Companies Being Beat by the Big Guys

"Does your purchase of organic milk conjure up images of happy cows? Do you buy brands like Nature’s Farm and Nantucket Nectars because you want to support small farms?

Well, this animated graphic will make you think twice about your organic purchases. It shows how small organic businesses (the green dots) get gobbled up by Big Food (the yellow dots) and private investment groups (the blue dots). Along the way, major food companies create their own versions of organic products (the red dots)."

Read the article

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Organic Center Researches the Real Benefits of Organic

"The Organic Center today releases an historic report that concludes converting the nation's eight million acres of produce farms to organic would reduce pesticide dietary risks by about 97%. The Organic Center provides the first-ever quantitative estimate of the degree to which pesticide risks from food can be eliminated through adoption of organic farming methods in "Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option", a new State of Science Review by Dr. Charles Benbrook, the Organic Center’s chief scientist.

Less than three percent of the nation’s cropland produces fruits and vegetables. Yet, according to The Organic Center, these crops account for most of the pesticide risks from dietary exposure in domestically produced foods. The 97% risk reduction can only be achieved if converting domestic cropland of organic is coupled with consumers choosing only imported produce that is certified organic. The estimates are based on up-to-date pesticide residue data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency's current methods for estimating pesticide dietary risks. Founded in 2002, The Organic Center is a non-profit devoted to presenting and providing peer-reviewed scientific evidence on how organic products benefit human health and environmental quality."

Read the article

Sara Snow to Endorse Blue Horizon

"Just in time for the start of Natural Products Expo West, Blue Horizon partners John Battendieri and Tim Redmond are proud to announce green lifestyle expert Sara Snow as their company's celebrity spokesperson. Blue Horizon's clean-farmed shrimp, organic appetizers and
entrees will be a standout, with Snow's endorsement during Expo West, March 14-16 at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center, Booth 2272.

Sara Snow, in her primetime television series "Get Fresh with Sara Snow" now airing on the Discovery Home channel, bridges the gap between the mystique of healthy living and every day life, using tangible examples to help people make healthier choices in food, cleaning products, clothes and even transportation."

Read the article

My Organic Baby Picks An Olympic Spokesman

"Clearly Canadian Brands (OTCBB: CCBEF) (the "Company") today announced the signing of 3-time Olympic Figure Skater Kurt Browning along with his wife Sonia Rodriguez, principle dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, to a two year exclusive spokesman agreement for its My Organic Baby Line.

As the leading manufacturer and distributor of organic baby food in Canada, My Organic Baby is thrilled to partner with Kurt Browning and his family. As a professional athlete and father of two young boys, Kurt Browning knows the value of making healthy eating choices. That's why he and his wife Sonia made the personal commitment a year and a half ago to transition their family to natural and organic foods.

"Having already made the commitment to eating and feeding organic foods, Kurt, Sonia and their children are the perfect addition to the My Organic Baby family," said Orlee Muroff, President of My Organic Baby."

Read the article

Lifeway Introduces Kefir Snack Bar

"MORTON GROVE, Ill., March 14, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Lifeway Foods, Inc., (LWAY) , makers of the nutritious, probiotic dairy beverage called Kefir, announced today the introduction of the world's first line of probiotic Kefir Wellness snack bars, to be available in three great flavors such as Chocolate, Sweet and Salty, and Pomegranate. Lifeway's Kefir Wellness bars will debut at the 2008 Natural Products Expo West Show, the nation's largest natural and organic food convention, March 14-16 in Anaheim, CA.

Julie Smolyansky, Lifeway's CEO, commented, "We are very excited to introduce our new probiotic Kefir Wellness bars at a time when the awareness of all of our traditional Kefir beverages is at an all time high. As the country's leading supplier of Kefir, we found it necessary to introduce an alternative way for people to get the benefits of our original Kefir, but in a convenient, on-the-go package. Since refrigeration of our bars is recommended, but not required, they can be sold and shipped all over the world, and are especially great for people traveling, or do not otherwise have access to the refrigeration necessary for our traditional Kefir beverages."

Read the article

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tropical Traditions Introduces Organic Raw Coconut Water Vinegar

"SPRINGVILLE, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Tropical Traditions announced today that they added Organic Raw Coconut Water Vinegar to their product line. It is believed to be the first product of its kind introduced to the US market, as vinegar made from the water inside of coconuts is a cottage industry in the Philippines, and not a commercial one. Water from the inside of coconuts is highly valued due to its high concentration of nutrients. In the Philippines and other tropical places, raw coconut water is often left in the open air to ferment, where it eventually turns into vinegar. The acidic environment prevents the growth of undesirable bacteria naturally. Tropical Traditions worked with professors at the University of the Philippines for several years to develop an incubation system that could produce clean coconut water vinegar from their certified organic coconuts and retain the mother of vinegar (a colony of bacteria cultures) as a truly raw product. The mother of vinegar is used to inoculate future batches of organic coconut water vinegar.

Unlike commercial distilled vinegars that are produced with white refined sugar, Tropical Traditions Coconut Water uses only certified organic Muscabado whole cane sugar in the fermentation of their vinegar, grown by a cooperative of small-scale family farmers in the Philippines. The sugar is also Fair Trade certified. Muscabado sugar is a whole sugar that is extracted from the sugar cane using traditional methods. It contains all the natural nutrients found in raw sugar cane or molasses."

Read the article

Planet Organic to Open Its Largest Store

"EDMONTON, March 17 /CNW/ - PLANET ORGANIC MARKET, Canada's leading natural and organic products retailer, is pleased to announce the opening of a new store in Vaughan, Ontario.
At 13,400 square feet, it will be the largest Planet Organic store in Canada. This will be the second Planet Organic store in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), following the opening of the Port Credit store one year ago.
The Vaughan store is located in a new shopping centre complex on the borders of the densely populated communities of Vaughan and Richmond Hill, which are located in the northwest region of the GTA.
Planet Organic Market is a subsidiary of Planet Organic Health Corp., which owns other organic/natural retail and manufacturing subsidiaries in Canada and the United States.
Darren Krissie, VP of Corporate Development and CFO of Planet Organic Health Corp. says, "the network of Planet Organic stores across Canada and those subsidiaries operating under different banners in the United States will grow through expansions, like this brand new store in the Toronto area, and through acquisitions."

Read the article

Coconut Bliss Introduces Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge and Strawberry Lemon Love

"EUGENE, Ore. - (Business Wire) Luna & Larry’s Bliss Unlimited, LLC, creator of Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss®, today introduced two new flavors: Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge, a decadent chunky blend of their top-selling Dark Chocolate with nuts and fudge; and Strawberry Lemon Love, a refreshing sweet-tart blend of summertime fruits. The new flavors join other Coconut Bliss favorites Cherry Amaretto, Vanilla Island, Dark Chocolate, Mint Galactica, Cappuccino, and Naked Coconut at natural food chains, independent natural products retailers and conventional supermarkets.

In addition, Luna & Larry’s Bliss Unlimited is now sourcing ingredients that are certified fair trade as well as organic, including cocoa, vanilla extract, dark chocolate and coffee. The inclusion of fair trade ingredients reflects the company’s reverence for both people and the planet, and contributes to a more equitable worldwide trade model that supports farmers, labor, local communities, and the earth."

Read the article

Sunday, March 16, 2008

OCA Says OASIS Label Can't Be Trusted

"The OASIS standard was spearheaded and created exclusively by conventional industry members like Estee Lauder (owner of Aveda), Loreal and Hain (Jason, Avalon), without any input or comment period from organic consumers, organic farmers or personal care companies who have achieved USDA National Organic Program certification for the majority of their products.

The OASIS standard allows a product to be labeled outright as “Organic” (rather than “Made with Organic Specified Ingredients”) even if it contains hydrogenated and sulfated cleansing ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate made from conventional agricultural material grown with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and preserved with synthetic petrochemical preservatives like Ethylhexylglycerin and Phenoxyethanol. [Reference: OASIS Standard section 6.2 and AntiMicrobial List]

Products certified under the OASIS standard must only contain 85% organic content, which means that “organic” water extracts and aloe vera will greenwash conventional synthetic cleansing ingredients and preservatives, since the water content of water/ detergent based personal care products like bodywashes and shampoos represents around 85% of the product. The OASIS standard is not merely useless but deliberately misleading to organic consumers looking for a reliable indicator of true “organic” product integrity in personal care."

Read the article

Kiss My Face, Alba, Seventh Generation and Nature's Gate Products Test Positive for Carcinogen

"New tests of 100 "natural" and "organic" soaps, shampoos and other consumer products show that nearly half of them contained a cancer-causing chemical that is a byproduct of petrochemicals used in manufacturing.

Many items that tested positive for the carcinogen are well-known brands, including Kiss My Face, Alba, Seventh Generation and Nature's Gate products, sold in retail stores across the nation.

The findings of the Organic Consumers Assn., a consumer advocacy group, are sending a jolt through the natural products industry. Gathering today in Anaheim for a national trade show, many leaders worry that the test results will taint the industry in the eyes of the public."

Read the article

Organic for Kids

"SHEVILLE — As a young mother, Becky Cannon raised her two daughters with no sugar, meat or dairy products, but plenty of vegetables and whole grains. But Cannon worried as much about what her babies wore as about what they ate.

“I never put plastic on their bottoms,” Cannon recalled. Because she was living in Japan at the time, “I was able to find all these cool baby things.”

But finding natural diapers and other clothing without any harmful chemicals was harder in the U.S. a quarter century ago.

So when Cannon returned to Asheville, she launched her own mail-order business out of her home, then became a manufacturer of swim diapers and employed local seamstresses to churn out 10,000 a week."

Read the article

São Paulo Cereal Bar Maker Looking to Export to Saudi Arabia

"São Paulo – Cereal and organic bar maker Renk's Industrial, headquartered in São Paulo, is after importers on the Arab market. "Our main contacts are in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. We are still researching the organic product market there, but we know that there is a great potential for our products in the region," added Leandro Farkuh, commercial director at the company.

The products made by the industry from the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo are under umbrella brand BioBrasilProducts and there are also others: BioSanck, composed of fruit snacks and Brazilian nuts, eBar Organic, Brazilian fruit bars, o BioPalm, an assai bar and BiO2, a cereal bar with Brazilian fruit. "Brand BioBrasilProducts was created to be a reference in organic food in Brazil and worldwide," stated Farkuh."

Read the article

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Daycare Goes Organic

"When Evann Remington went to find suitable daycare for her 2-year-old daughter, a safe and clean facility that served healthy organic lunches and snacks topped the list of wants.

The options for safe and clean were plentiful, but the non-existent organic nutrition at daycare and schools was a problem that morphed into a catalyst for a growing business.

Instead of settling for non-organic fare, she founded the company Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc., and began supplying preschools with fresh prepared lunches and snacks made of local foods.

"I am not messing around," she said. "I wanted to grow rapidly and do it right."

Read the article

New Organic Fertilizer-Soil Amendment

"For farmers who want to sell organic, a new type of organic fertilizer-soil amendment can help maximize profit and production.

By increasing anaerobic to aerobic activity up to 30-to-1 and enhancing photosynthetic sugars, Wonder Grow, a USDA National Organics Program-approved organic fertilizer and soil amendment, can help producers boost yield, regardless of the growing system used.

Developed by Wonder Grow Plant Food, a Garden Grove, California-based organic farming pioneer, the organic fertilizer-soil amendment combines seaweed and yucca, two leading organic farming compounds used separately for decades but never combined. Wonder Grow is a multipurpose plant food that can be used as a starter fertilizer, penetrant, root builder, anti-stress compound and for mineral nutrition. Whether sprayed on leaves, watered into soil or both, it's designed to boost the natural immune system of seeds, seedlings, adult plants, fruits, vegetables and orchard trees."

Read the article

Friday, March 14, 2008

100 Conscientious Consumers

"These days, saving money isn’t the only thing shoppers are worried about. Now, consumers are very aware of the way their shopping affects the world, and there are a number of resources out there designed to help make responsible consuming easier. Here, we’ve compiled 100 of these resources, from shopping directories to sources of information.


Join these networks to get an ongoing look at what you can do to make your consumption more responsible.

1. Care2: Find news, other conscientious consumers, and more in the Care2 network.
2. The Sierra Club: This group protects the planet while offering lots of fun outings for members.
3. Responsible Purchasing Network: This network offers consultants and assistance for making your purchases more responsible."

Read the article

Tastybaby Launches New Flavor

"LOS ANGELES, March 13 --
With its characteristic fun and flair, Tastybaby(TM), the company which has put a new spin on pure, organic foods for babies & toddlers, introduces its 10th organic frozen food, "Corn in the USA." Made simply from 100% organic, American sweet corn, picked at the peak of ripeness, this new tasty puree is certain to be irresistible to babies, toddlers & even adults across America.

By month's end, Tastybaby's 10-item line will be available in 75 select grocery & natural foods stores nationwide. In the 6 months since the brand appeared in shelves, Tastybaby has secured national distribution & is currently available on the west coast through UNFI West & DPI West, in the midwest through Soderholm & on the east coast through Haddon House. The company will soon announce expansion into the rocky mountain region, the southwest & southeast.

Thanks to its premium look & feel, Tastybaby is especially proud to be the only frozen baby food that has gained entry into specialty retailer Bristol Farms in southern California. As a result, Tastybaby has captured new customers, both for the emerging category & for these visionary retailers."

Read the article

Mary’s Gone Crackers Introduces Sticks & Twigs

"ANAHEIM, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mary’s Gone Crackers, makers of gourmet gluten-free foods, today unveiled Mary’s Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs, a uniquely light and crunchy stick-snack. Perfect alone or dunked in a variety of dips, Sticks & Twigs are chock full of exotic whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, red quinoa, amaranth, and millet, as well as tasty and nutritious seeds including flax, sesame and chia seeds. Like Mary’s Gone Crackers innovative original snack crackers, Sticks & Twigs are organic, gluten-free and contain no added oils, trans-fats, or dairy.

“Mary’s Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs deliver a one-of-a-kind crunchy texture and taste thanks to the blend of hearty ingredients and intriguing flavor combinations,” said Mary Waldner, executive vice president of brand development for Mary’s Gone Crackers. “The selection of great tasting and nutritious gluten-free snacks is sparse, but our Sticks & Twigs are a scrumptious snack that anyone can feel good about enjoying. We are thrilled to offer consumers another way to make their snacks whole again.”

Read the articke

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Latest Organic News from OCA

"New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Planted-Based Organic Foods" will be released to the media Tuesday March 18th. The full report, Executive Summary, and press release will be posted on Monday March 17th. This report is the culmination of two years of work. The team that carried out the work and co-authored the report includes -

* Dr. Xin Zhao, University of Florida Department of Horticulture. With support from the Center, Xin developed a database that contains the detailed results of over 100 studies.

* Dr. Jaime Yáñez, School of Pharmacology, Washington State University (WSU), designed the screening method to assure the reliability of a study's analytical methods."

Read the article

Tofurky Becomes First Company to Sponsor the Humane Society Of The United States

"HOOD RIVER, OR., MARCH 5, 2008 - Turtle Island Foods, makers of Tofurky meat alternatives, is the first food manufacturer to become a sponsor of The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS). All Tofurky packaging in the United States, starting immediately, will carry The HSUS logo.

“Every time you go to the market, you can make choices that help animals,” said Paul Shapiro, senior director of the HSUS factory farming campaign. “We want our members and supporters to know that the delicious and nutritious food that Tofurky provides is a humane choice that should be on their shopping list.”

Read the article

Nature's Basket in India

"The advantages of these food products are: No Genetically Engineered Ingredients, Organic, No Artificial Colors, No Artificial Flavors, No Preservatives, No Added Salt or Sugar, Vegan, Wheat Free, Kosher.

Now, you can give your baby a healthy start to his or her life by feeding them Organic food which is a healthier option. Nature’s Basket brings you Organic food for toddlers from one of the world’s best known brand - Earth’s Best, which is the only brand which has a complete line of organic baby food and it is the first brand of baby food to be produced with NO Genetically Engineered Ingredients."

Read the article

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Organic Essence Introduces "Terra Splash" Pure. Organic. Soap.

"Crescent City, CA - March 14, 2008 - Organic Essence, makers of certified organic body care products, today announced their new product launch of "Terra Splash" Pure. Organic. Soap., an authentic USDA certified organic soap that carries the USDA logo. Ellery West, president of Organic Essence says:

"We're very excited to make a genuine organic soap available to the public that is verifiably safe and healthy. As consumers are becoming more aware, they are realizing that the word "organic" on the label does not necessarily mean the product is organic. Organic ingredients are important, but what may be more meaningful for people with health issues is what is not in certified organic products; no detergents, synthetics or chemical preservatives are allowed. Period. With "Terra Splash" Pure. Organic. Soap., you know for sure."

"The USDA certified organic logo means that a highly trained inspector has examined and certified that a product adheres to strict organic specifications. USDA certification is quite serious. Many people are unaware that by using most commercially available body care products as well as liquid soaps, they are absorbing small amounts of toxic chemicals right through their skin every day. We have been unknowingly exposing ourselves to chemicals for a long time and now we're left wondering why our generation is seeing this huge increase of cancer, allergies and ADD. Cancer survivors and people with skin problems are big fans of our products."

"Your skin simply isn't designed to resist the constant barrage of chemicals we expose ourselves to," says West. "Most people are not aware that the body care industry is self-regulated and has minimal government oversight or enforcement. It regularly ignores it own health study findings."

"There are all sorts of 'natural and organic' products in stores and markets, with healthy looking labels, but the only label you can trust is one that has the USDA organic logo on it. The USDA organic rules guarantee that there are no pesticide residues, no toxic petrochemicals or any harmful chemicals inside." Organic Essence, one of the pioneering certified organic body-care companies, makes only products fit for the USDA organic logo, that is, 95% and higher organic content. Look for "Terra Splash" Pure. Organic. Soap., "Shea Essential" shea butter, "Quick Spa Treatment" massage and moisturizing cream, and "Lotion To Go."

For more information, please visit Organic Essence.

Nutiva Introduces Bulk Hemp Foods

"SANTA PAULA, CA –NUTIVA, (, the innovative hemp foods and coconut oil company is introducing three-pound bags of organic Hemp Protein and Shelled Hemp Seed at Expo West Show booth #2231, March 14-16 in Anaheim, CA.

The new three-pound bags are Certified-organic and vacuumed sealed. With strong retail customer demand for larger sizes, Nutiva is now selling these convenient bulk hemp foods to cafes, juice bars, co-ops, and Internet re-sellers.

"The word is spreading fast that hemp is a nutritional powerhouse. By buying in bulk, our customers can now save money and reduce packaging waste," states Nutiva CEO and Founder John W. Roulac."

Read the article

U.S. Organic Industry Fears GMO Contamination

"KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Widespread contamination of U.S. corn, soybeans and other crops by genetically engineered varieties is threatening the purity of organic and natural food products and driving purveyors of such specialty products to new efforts to protect their markets, industry leaders said this week.

A range of players, from dairy farmers to natural food retailers, are behind an effort to introduce testing requirements and standards for certification aimed at keeping contamination at bay. That goal is rapidly becoming harder, however, as planting of biotech corn, soybeans, and other crops expands across the United States.

"Now there is a real shortage of organic grain for animal husbandry and dairy operations," said Organic Consumers Association national director Ronnie Cummins. "People are having to be real careful."

Read the article


"BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clif Bar & Company now makes energy bars for conquering both the mountain and the molehill. The company will launch its new CLIF® BAR MINI Energy Bars, made from all-natural and organic ingredients, on Friday, March 14, at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, Calif. (Booth #3648)

At 28.4 grams, CLIF BAR MINI Energy Bars are close to half the size of standard CLIF BARs. Designed as healthy snacks, the new bars give people more choices for getting just the right amount of sustained energy for their specific needs and activity levels.

The nutritionally-dense CLIF BAR MINI Energy Bars are small enough to fit easily into pockets, backpacks, and desks. Delicious, convenient, and organic, CLIF BAR MINI Energy Bars contain the same energizing, nutrient-rich combination of protein, fiber and carbohydrates found in full-size CLIF BARs."

Read the article

How exciting!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Java Pop Launches Javaccino Organic Coffee Latte

"11/03/08 Java Pop, the maker of organic coffee soda Java Pop, is introducing Javaccino Organic Coffee Latte in three flavors, House Blend, Mocha, and Vanilla. Java Pop has always made products with, not only the best organic ingredients, but also the least number of ingredients necessary to achieve great taste. Javaccino Coffee Lattes are no different. Each 9.5 ounce bottle is a smooth blend of coffee, lowfat milk, cane sugar, and natural flavors. They contain no artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. Just like a specialty product, Javaccino is micro brewed with Fair Trade organic coffee from Sumatra, which gives it a great coffee shop taste. It has been certified organic by the organic certifiers.

Javaccino Coffee Lattes are a new way to enjoy coffee throughout the day. Paul Hendler, founder of Java Pop, states, “As a former coffee shop owner, I set out over a year ago to develop a cold coffee drink that had the rich coffee flavors found in your local coffee shop.” With the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee, Javaccino offers consumers a new and refreshing way to recharge and enjoy their coffee break. So whether it is first thing in the morning, mid morning, the afternoon, or as a dessert or mixer, Javaccino is the perfect coffee break."

Read the article

Wildwood Introduces Probiotic Soymilk

"FULLERTON, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Wildwood Organics, a division of Pulmuone Wildwood, a leading U.S. provider of soy food products, today launched Probiotic Soymilk(TM). This delicious beverage is certified organic, heart healthy, low fat, kosher and contains eight (8) grams of soy protein per serving. Probiotic Soymilk(TM) is also free from saturated fat, dairy and cholesterol.

With seven live and active cultures, Probiotic Soymilk(TM) is available in 10 ounce vanilla, blueberry and pomegranate flavors and in 30 ounce family size packages with an additional plain flavor option. The MSRP is $1.69 for the 10 ounce and $3.29 for the 30 ounce, respectively.

"Our new Probiotic Soymilk(TM) is better for you than soymilk and is delicious as a snack or meal replacement for people on the go," says John Breen chief operating officer of Pulmuone Wildwood. "Studies have shown the benefits of drinking soymilk with probiotics and we are receiving terrific feedback on introducing this beneficial product to the marketplace."

Read the article

SunOpta and Colorado Mills Come Together for Organic Oils

"TORONTO, March 11, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture with Colorado Mills LLC ("Colorado Mills") of Lamar Colorado, to build and operate an organic and natural vegetable oil refining facility. The venture will be operated as Colorado Sun Oil Processing LLC and will be owned 50% by SunOpta and 50% by Colorado Mills. The processing facility will be located in Lamar, Colorado, adjacent to Colorado Mills' existing crude oil processing facility, and will be capable of refining approximately 35 million pounds annually of natural and organic sunflower, soybean and canola oils. The refining facility is expected to be operational late in 2008.

SunOpta has had a business relationship with Colorado Mills for a number of years, and in 2006 financed an expansion of existing facilities to increase organic oil seed crushing capacity to meet SunOpta's growing organic oil requirements. This investment has proven successful and has led to the establishment of this venture. Once in production, the joint venture will refine existing crude oil for both Colorado Mills and SunOpta and provide cost efficiencies and increased capacity to service fast growing markets."

Read the article

New Nativa Introduces Affordable Organic Line

"TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart(R) is unveiling its exclusive, new line of organic foods with 170 items sprouting up in store aisles across the country. The rollout of Nativa(TM) Organics is the largest-ever food product launch in the company's 40-year history and one of the most comprehensive retail offerings of organic food products in Canada.

From Victoria to St. John's, the new Nativa Organics line will be conveniently available in the national retailer's more than 1,000 locations by April, 2008.
"Consumers have made Shoppers a trusted Canadian brand," says Beth Stiller, Director of Product Management, Corporate Brands, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We are proud to now offer Canadians a great way to provide their families with the benefits of organic food, from a source they already trust."

Read the article

California Group Against Aerial Spraying

"SANTA CRUZ -- The California organization responsible for certifying organic farmers shifted its stance on how to fight the light brown apple moth Monday, revoking its support for aerial spraying to mitigate the pest.

The board of directors of the Santa Cruz-based California Certified Organic Farmers said it instead backs "diversified ground pest management approaches," such as using natural predators and biological insecticides to combat what the state says is a threat to California's agriculture industry.

Meanwhile, protesters descended on the state Capitol on Monday to protest the state's plan to expand aerial spraying to eradicate the pest throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, while a group of cities has formed a coalition to combat the state's plan for further aerial spraying."

Read the article

Monday, March 10, 2008

Country Life Launches First Organic Gluten-Free Vitamin

" Auburn, WA (PRWEB) March 10, 2008 -- The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) announced today that it has certified Country Life Vitamins as certified gluten-free. Country Life has been producing a full line of quality vitamins and nutritional supplements since 1971. Country Life's entire product line is gluten-free, allowing them to meet the needs of a growing market of persons following a gluten-free diet, who may not be able to meet all their nutritional needs from the foods they consume.

GFCO standards are met through a rigorous process of third-party audits and frequent product and ingredient testing at the manufacturing facility and from consumer shelves by GFCO. GFCO sets strict standards that finished products may not contain more than 10 ppm gluten, twice as strict as the proposed FDA and Codex definitions for gluten free.

We are thrilled to receive the gluten-free certification. We have always strived to provide the most innovative and healthiest personal care products for our customers. Receiving this certification only furthers our commitment
This announcement comes at the perfect time for Country Life as they are planning a March launch of Real Food Organics-a new and innovative line of vitamins that offers a unique way to supplement your diet through vital nutrients everyday. The line is derived almost entirely from certified organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, sprouts, legumes and grains."

Read the article

Organic Gardens Popping Up

"More prospective farmers will finally have the chance to get their hands in the soil at Las Flores Community Garden in Thousand Oaks. The Conejo Recreation and Park District helped to double the garden's size, opening up space for those on the months-long waiting list.

In 2002, a half-acre west of the dog park was designated an organic garden with 49 plots. The 34 members who cultivate this land include a doctor of genetics, a history teacher, a young couple and two Eagle Scouts. They share life experiences and botanical knowledge in quiet exchanges while seeding and nurturing the land.

"We had no idea it would be at this point now," said Fayde Macune, president and co-founder of the garden. "We're full. People are having a good time."

Read the article

First Juice: The Ideal Beverage for Your Kids

"MT. FREEDOM, N.J., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents of young children know how hard it can be to feel good about the foods their children like and want. Cultivating healthy eating habits early on, when research shows lifelong habits are forming, is a goal shared by all parents. Getting more of the "good" stuff and less of the "bad" into toddlers' diets is tough and demanding work. Now there's a juice that offers real help.

First Juice(R) organic fruit and vegetable juice beverage is the first juice for toddlers that is significantly lower in sugar and calories than traditional juice offerings, with nothing artificial. It also comes in a convenient spill-proof sippy-top container. From its organic and reduced sugar attributes to its nutritional value and convenience, First Juice(R) offers everything a parent could want in a juice for their child.

First Juice(R), which has been specifically designed for children ages 6-30 months, is a new healthier juice alternative, with 50 percent less sugar than the leading 100 percent fruit juices. Each eight ounce serving of First Juice(R) contains only 12 grams of natural sugars from organic fruits and vegetables compared to 27 grams of sugar in an eight ounce serving of 100 percent apple juice. A blend of organic fruit and vegetable juice concentrates and purified water, First Juice(R) has been carefully designed with the right amount of flavor for young, developing tastebuds, with the intention of steering them towards an appreciation for flavorful yet less sweet tastes."

Read the article

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Elzinga & Hoeksema's Organic Greenhouse

"KALAMAZOO — A new, state-of-the-art greenhouse in the area is expected to provide Meijer Inc. stores with organic vegetables and potted plants.

The four-acre Elzinga & Hoeksema Organic Greenhouse in Pavilion Township, has been in the works for two years, will have 50 employees (some new, most seasonal help), and carried a $4 million price tag.

But Mark Elzinga, president of Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses, appears to have looked beyond cost during the development of the project.

Besides being organic, the greenhouse will rely on sustainable energy sources. "Just the reduction of our carbon footprint alone to me justifies our efforts, not to mention the subsequent beneficial effects upon the earth," Elzinga said.

Organic growing means that artificial fertilizers, pesticides and any type of human engineering of plants have been excluded from the process."

Read the article

Saudi Arabia Looks Into Organics from Brazil

"São Paulo – Importers from two Arab countries sought Brazilian organic foodstuffs during Biofach, a trade fair for the sector held in February in the city of Nuremberg, in Germany. The information was supplied by the consultant for Differentiated Products and Markets at the Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development, Marcelo Nunes, who attended the fair.

The Ministry promoted the participation of 10 family agriculture cooperatives and associations in the fair. According to Nunes, one of the farmers in the Association of Organic Farmers of Taquaritinga do Norte (Aprotaq), based in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, even closed a coffee sale with a Saudi buyer.

An importer from the United Arab Emirates who was interested in coffee and cocoa visited the Brazilian stand at least three times. According to Nunes, he imports both unprocessed and finished products. At the stand of the Ministry, he also received information about tropical fruits and cupuassu, which is also used for chocolate manufacturing."

Read the article

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hain Celestial Group Acquires MaraNatha and SunSpire

"Continuing to satisfy its hunger for new acquisitions, organic food maker Hain Celestial Group Inc. said it has agreed to buy two food brands from a Maryland-based investment banking firm.

Melville-based Hain, Long Island's 14th-largest company in terms of sales, announced two acquisitions in 2007.

Hain said late Thursday that it had agreed to acquire the MaraNatha and SunSpire brands and their nut butter manufacturing facility in Ashland, Ore., from American Capital Strategies Ltd., an investment banking firm in Bethesda, Md."

Read the article

Good Start in Bangalore

"They believe, natural way of living and healthy food habits are mantra to sustain health of the society. They promote natural and organic foods as a mission and passion.

Aparna Kumar, a bio technologist and Vidya Sadanad a psychiatrist at JP Nagar in Bangalore are trying to encourage the principles of organic agriculture by silent revolution. To bridge the gap between organic farmers and the consumers, they go out and campaign against packed food and junk food. Profit is not their motto.
These two women started a small outlet in Bangalore to create consumer level shift towards organic produce. The organic farmers come to them and with a little
margin they sell the natural produce to the consumers. For them organic produce were not a fashion statement but a way of life. They bring a combination of both organic and natural produced directly to consumers."

Read the article

Thursday, March 6, 2008

OASIS: The U.S. Seal for Organic Cosmetics

"In a major development within the cosmetic and personal care industry here in the U.S., representatives from a number of the leading companies in the industry have come together to create OASIS, the first U.S. industry standard for certifying organic cosmetic products.

OASIS (Organic and sustainable industry standards) is a collaborative effort between a number of companies including Estee Lauder, Aveda, L'Oreal, Private Label Select, Oh Oh Organics, Hain Celestial Group and others. The organization is a registered 501c 6 Mutual Benefit Trade Association designed to represent the concerns and goals of companies that make sustainable and organic products for the beauty and personal care industry. The organization has 30 founding member companies which include both product and ingredient manufacturers as well as distributors.

Fueled by the lack of U.S. industry standards and the increased harmonization efforts of similar policies and standards in the EU, OASIS is aimed at providing clear industry standards. "We (US beauty industry) needed to have a voice in this discussion," said Tim Kapsner a Senior Research Scientist with Aveda."

Read the article

Marrone Organic Innovations Launches GreenMatchEx

"Marrone Organic Innovations, Davis announces the introduction of its new burndown herbicide, GreenMatchEX for the control of weeds on certified organic cropland.

The herbicide is based on lemongrass oil, a highly herbicidal essential oil. All components in the patented, concentrated formula are organic, food grade ingredients, and the product is exempt from registration by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The weed killer meets the requirements of the National Organic Program rule for use in organic production.

"Weed control is the number one unmet need in organic production" explains Julie Versman, Marketing VP for Marrone Organics. "GreenMatchEX is an effective, non-selective product, controlling a wide variety of post-emergent grasses and broadleaf weeds."

Read the article

Navitas Naturals Introduces Power Food Powders

"Novato, CA (March 5, 2008) – Navitas Naturals is taking consumers for a healthy culinary journey with the launch of five new power food powders: Mesquite Power, Goji Power, Yacon Power, Lucuma Power, and Camu Power. Although these five exotic ‘power foods’ are new to North America, ancient cultures in Asia and South America have enjoyed these nutritious foods for many centuries as a key part of their diet and traditional herbal medicine. Mixing the powders into drinks and other recipes is an easy and delicious way to help achieve optimal whole food nutrition. Lucuma, Yacon, and Mesquite are also enjoyed as diabetic-friendly alternative sweeteners.

Market research has shown that consumers are actively seeking new taste and nutrition experiences. This appetite for international food combined with the growing trend for healthier organic options is fueling the popularity of organic ‘power foods’ from around the world. By reintroducing ancient, natural foods to the Western world, Navitas Naturals is expanding the functional food category and providing options with more bio-available essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals than most supplements and chemical extracts."

Read the article

Whole Foods Launches Online Series for Kids

"AUSTIN, Texas, March 6 --
Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, announced today it is launching Whole Earth Generation, a video podcast series dedicated to raising environmental awareness among today's youth.

The initiative kicks off today with a search for six fresh-faced personalities ages 8 to 17 to be considered as hosts of this green-themed series. Children from all over the United States and Canada have a shot at becoming the face of the original online series, premiering March 11, 2008 and running through April 29, 2008.

"We are excited to celebrate Earth Month this year at our 270 stores and also online with this series aimed at encouraging green-minded youth to spread the word about eco-friendly actions and how they can make a difference," said Heather Kennedy, Senior Coordinator of National Marketing for Whole Foods Market. "So many shoppers tell us they have learned how to be more environmentally conscious by listening to their kids. We hope this program takes that trend to an even broader audience via the Internet."

Read the article

Limited Organic Air Freighting

"Following an extensive first round consultation on the issue of air freight – lasting 4 months, receiving nearly 400 responses from the public, NGOs, industry, government and international agencies plus meetings with 100 organisations – the Soil Association’s Standards Board [1] recommended that the organisation’s standards should be changed so that organic produce can only be air-freighted if it also meets the Soil Association’s own Ethical Trade or the Fairtrade Foundation’s standard. [2]

A second round of consultation launched today (6 March), in accordance with best practice, gives people the opportunity to comment on the implementation of this recommendation and provides an opportunity to ensure it is practical and fit for purpose. [3]

Anna Bradley, chair of the Soil Association’s Standards Board said,
“This has proved to be a powerful and positive process – ensuring the best outcome for people and planet. This second stage of consultation gives the opportunity for people, especially affected licensees, to comment on our proposal, ensuring the final published standard is workable and effective."

Read the article

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The War On Bugs

""The War On Bugs," by Will Allen (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008, 336 pages, $35 paperback)

Let's say you've chosen strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight, so you've purchased a supply of the bright red berries. Like many of us, you've bought them without giving serious thought to any health risks that might be associated with such a seemingly innocent purchase.

But read Will Allen's thoroughly documented examination of the use of pesticides in the California strawberry harvest and you may have some second thoughts. These juicy berries may not be as harmless as you think, although one might assume that they would not be available if the federal government believed they were a danger to our health."

Read the article

2400 People Attend Wisconsin Organic Conference

"LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The 19th annual Organic Farming Conference filled the La Crosse Center Feb. 21-23 with 60 workshops, 130 exhibitors, a new Organic Research Symposium and keynote speakers.

Attendance reached 2,400 people.

"The conference was incredibly successful, it just seems to get better every year," said Faye Jones, executive director of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service. MOSES hosted the conference.

Gary, Rosie and Nicholas Zimmer of Otter Creek Organic Farm in Avoca were named the MOSES 2008 Organic Farmer of the Year. The Zimmers grow 1,200 acres of organic crops, milk 200 cows, have 50 dry cows, 300 heifers, 100 beef cattle and 100 pasture-raised feeder pigs."

Read the article

Organic Health Supplements Growing in Popularity

"(ARA) - Millions of Americans use supplements to enhance their health every day, studies show. But did you know that some supplements - those that contain artificial coloring, chemicals, sweeteners and other additives - may actually be detrimental to your health?

A growing body of evidence suggests that many of the additives found in our food and some health supplements may cause adverse reactions in some people. In fact, one study by researchers at North Shore Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York, found a link between certain foods and additives like artificial coloring and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder."

Read the article

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Jones Soda Launches Powder Drink Mix

"Jones Soda Co. (the "Company" or "Jones Soda") (NASDAQ: JSDA) announced today that its entire line of 24c vitamin-enhanced powder drink mixes is now available nationwide at Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket.

"We are very excited to launch the 24c products in our stores and feel they offer a great product with organic sweeteners to our customers," said Jeremiah McElwee, Whole Foods Market's Senior Whole Body Coordinator. "The 24c flavors are unique and the exclusive variety pack gives customers a chance to try them all in one box."

Read the article

Country Fresh Inc. to Launch Organic Line

"HOUSTON, TX -- 03/04/08 -- Country Fresh, Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of fresh-cut produce and ready-to-eat meal solutions, today announced the launch of the Country Fresh Organic(TM) line of whole and fresh-cut produce. More than 70 organic items are now processed through the company's six USDA Organic-certified facility locations.

Leveraging its exclusive group of suppliers and regional presence with a dedicated distribution network, the company's Country Fresh Organic line is available for daily shipments to national retail locations. Each whole produce item from the Country Fresh Organic line features a peel off tape label clearly marked with the word "Organic" and the associated PLU to ensure accurate produce codes are scanned or entered at the cash register. The peel off tape, instead of the dime-size PLU stickers typically applied to loose fruit and vegetables, is simple to remove and minimizes any potential impact to the produce skin or surface."

Read the article

Some States May Label Cloned Food

"The debate over cloned food in the past year has been ferocious. As the Food & Drug Administration weighed whether to allow food from cloned animals into the country's food supply, more than 30,000 public comments flooded in, with the overwhelming majority opposed to the move. Lea Askren, one consumer who wrote to the agency, called the practice "unethical, disturbing, and disgusting." Yet on Jan. 15, the FDA sided with the scientists who have researched the issue, saying that meat and milk from cloned animals are "as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals."

Read the article

Monday, March 3, 2008

One Year Since Pet Food Scare

"Just about a year ago, tainted food killed more than a dozen dogs and cats around the United States, and a massive recall involved more than 100 varieties of edible pet products from a range of big-selling brands. As the crisis snowballed, there was a lot of talk about how the recall had given a boost to the sellers of natural, organic or raw pet foods, as panicked consumers sought safe alternatives. In fact, such brands reported that sales had doubled or tripled or better, while news accounts said that mainstream brands were scrambling. A fundamental shift in mass-market consumer behavior seemed to be under way. Was it?

Food scares seem increasingly routine lately — in February, a California company ordered what has been reported as the largest beef recall ever — and they have caused organic-product spikes at least since 1989. That’s when “60 Minutes” highlighted the potential dangers of a pesticide called Alar that was used on apples, an episode that might count as a key moment of the contemporary organics movement, according to Samuel Fromartz, author of “Organic, Inc.”

Read the article

Parents Paying the Cost to Avoid Chemicals

"WASHINGTON - There's a six-week wait for a $15 stainless steel sippy cup made without harmful compounds. Some big box chains are eager to start selling a $300 organic crib mattress that was tested to ensure it doesn't emit any dangerous gases.

Last year's recalls of lead-tainted toys alerted many parents to the possible presence of toxic substances in their children's favorite playthings.

Entrepreneurs and national retailers learned a lesson too: Uncertainty over the safety of the everyday products that surround their children means parents are willing to pay handsomely for peace of mind."

Read the article

French Organic Seed Company Fined for Selling "Illegal Seeds"

"Association Kokopelli, which is a French independent organic seed saving and selling organisation was fined €35,000, last week, after being taken to court by corporate seed merchant Baumaux.

Association Kokopelli were found guilty of selling traditional and rare seed varieties, which were not on the official EU-approved list. Such seeds are deemed illegal to sell on the grounds that it gives the seller an “unfair trading advantage”.

Dominique GuilletThe European Commission met this week to draft the new legislation for seed control, which is planned for 2009, and the case of Association Kokopelli being found guilty sets a dangerous precedent and will potentially further restrict the geographic movement and range of crop varieties."

Read the article

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cornell Students Running Organic Farm

"It’s great to eat local. You can eat amazing stuff and at the same time know that your bite is loaded with more than just flavor. You’re supporting your local economy and the environment. But wouldn’t it be cool to take a step further and actually get involved with the production of your food? At Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill , you can do just that!

During the semester it is pretty hard for students to plant and maintain a garden. Time commitments aside, you probably wouldn’t get much in the way of harvestable produce before you take off in May. Also, not many of us have the space for a garden – whether you live on North, West, Collegetown or elsewhere. We could try to till up the Arts Quad, but I doubt that would go over well with the administration… So that’s where Dilmun comes in!"

Read the article

Organic Workshop in Ohio

"WOOSTER, Ohio -- A workshop this month will help Ohio farmers learn how to profit from the growing demand for organic food.

"Organics 101: An Introduction to Organic Crop Production," will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 20 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave.

Marketing organic crops, economics of organic production, organic certification, organic standards and locating approved production inputs will be among the topics. Crop rotation, pest management and soil biology will also be discussed."

Read the article

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Emeril Lagasse to Shoot Show from Whole Foods

"Score one for major product placements. Emeril Green, the new program from former Food Network kingpin Emeril Lagasse, will be shot entirely inside a Whole Foods Market. Using only organic and sustainably-produced food, Lagasse’s show, broadcast live, will also serve as a real-time advertisement for the upscale supermarket; Whole Foods employees will be the ones picking out the ingredients for his recipes, in what we hope involves running around with shopping carts and a stopwatch a la Supermarket Sweep."

Read the article

Whole Foods Launches Premium Body Care Standards

"AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In response to growing consumer interest and confusion about natural personal care products, Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, has developed a new Premium Body Care standard and labeling seal of approval, setting a new industry benchmark. The new standard raises the bar for defining quality natural personal care and helps consumers decipher which body care products in its Whole Body(TM) departments contain the most natural and highest quality ingredients.

"Personal care products are not regulated like food in this country so there are currently no consistent standards for them laid forth by any governing body. Customers have been bombarded with brands and products claiming to be 'natural,' which can be confusing," said Jeremiah McElwee, senior global Whole Body coordinator. "Our goal is to provide an alternative approach for our customers, so they know that when they see the Premium Body Care seal they are getting safer, higher quality personal care products. We invite shoppers to look for the new seal, which can be found on nearly 1,200 products in our Whole Body departments."

Read the article

Ellen DeGeneres to Start Organic Pet Food Range

"Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is adding pet food entrepreneur to her name by launching a range of natural dogs' dinners.

The pooch-loving star has teamed up with Halo, a company known for its organic pet food varieties, for the new venture.

She tells Parade magazine, "Ours (range) is all human grade. It's all natural. And yes, you can eat it."

Read the article