Thursday, July 31, 2008

Organic Business Owners Put Organics to Test

"The owners of a Queenstown business are putting their money where their mouths are, to dispel the perception that organic produce is more expensive than non-organic.

Destination Organic owners Stu Burt and Lyn Williamson are putting up $2000 to test their theory that eating and shopping organically is no more expensive than non-organic, and better for you.

And they want to give people the chance to see for themselves why they think eating organically is so good.

After switching to eating organically a few years ago after his wife got cancer, Mr Burt maintained the change changed his life.

"I did this [open Destination Organic] because I couldn't buy decent organic products on a regular basis in Central Otago."

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Organic Bistro Makes Debut in Minnesota

"SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jul 31, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Callaway Consumer Products has announced that its Organic Bistro Whole Life Meals line of healthy, delicious and convenient frozen entrees is now available at select retailers throughout the Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. "We are excited about our expansion into the Minnesota market because we know that busy, health-conscious shoppers in this area are looking for delicious, easy meal ideas," says Mark Preston, Organic Bistro's General Manager.
Organic Bistro meals including Wild Salmon, Savory Turkey, Ginger Chicken and Sockeye Salmon Cakes can be found at the following progressive retailers: Lunds & Byerlys, Cub Foods, Festival Foods, Kowalski's, Lakewinds, The Wedge Co-op, and select independents throughout the greater Twin Cities area.
Each Organic Bistro recipe creatively combines vegetables, heart-healthy omega 3 fats, lean protein and gluten-free whole grains to provide an enjoyable meal experience. "We create meals based on what we put in, not what we leave out," explains Laryn Callaway, ND, Founder and CEO of Callaway Consumer Products. "Our organic and natural ingredients are key to the superior health and taste aspects of Organic Bistro meals."

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Green & Black's Chocolate Founder Craig Sams Visits Australia

"AUSTRALIA'S appetite for all things organic is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world.

But consumers can't trust organic labels and that's part of the reason for Green & Black's Chocolate founder Craig Sams is visiting Australia.

The organic guru, chairman of the Soil Association, the UK's governing organic body, has devoted his life to promoting organic food.

He is in Australia pushing for a globalised standard that means a food labelled "organic" in our shops will be the same as an organic food in Europe, the US or anywhere else.

"Australia is missing a key bit of legislation that means a product can be just 40 per cent organic but still label itself 'organic'," he said.

"With laws coming later this year or early next, you will have to have 95 per cent organic ingredients to be able to use the word 'organic'."

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Court Reverses Whole Foods - Wild Oats Merger

"Your government, hard at work: Now that the Whole Foods (WFMI) and Wild Oats integration is well under way, the DC US appeals court has reversed a lower court's ruling that the takeover can go through without first being scrutinized by antitrust authorities.

The deal, completed last August, saw WFMI purchase the 110-store Wild Oats for $565 million. Since then, Whole Foods has sold 35 of the Wild Oats stores, closed 12 more and converted an additional 1/3 to Whole Foods stores.

The merger has not been undone, just sent back to the lower court for further consideration. However, tell us how this deal can be reversed now? Also, considering that every major supermarket in the country--including Wal-Mart (WMT)--has organic/natural food offerings, we're not sure what about Whole Foods would constitute a monopoly."

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CLIF Kid Introduces New Flavors

"CLIF Kid(TM), the line of organic and great-tasting snack solutions offering balanced nutrition for active kids, today added four new fruit flavors to their Organic ZBaR and Organic Twisted Fruit lines. CLIF Kid's new fruit flavors make it even easier for kids to enjoy snacks made from real fruit at home, school or on-the-go because of their convenient portability. As with all CLIF Kid products, the new CLIF Kid flavors help busy parents provide healthy and delicious options to their active kids with picky palates when they don't have time to bake from scratch or when they want to offer variety in their kids' snacks.

New Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry fruit flavors join the CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR(TM) family of baked whole grain organic energy bars for kids. Organic ZBaR is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, as well as valuable antioxidants and fiber. CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR was rated #1 among healthy vending machine snacks by the Snackwise(R) Nutrition Rating system, which rates snack food by nutrient density to help schools make smart vending machine choices. The line also includes Honey Graham, Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip flavors. (SRP: $0.79)

The CLIF Kid Organic Twisted Fruit(TM) line added Pineapple and Grape to its roster of chewy fruit rope snacks, which contain one serving of organic fruit in each single serve package. Organic Twisted Fruit helps kids meet their daily two to four servings of fruit. The line also includes Strawberry, Sour Apple, Mixed Berry and Tropical Twist. (SRP: $0.79)"

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Pizza Hut Introduces Natural Pizza with Organic Tomato Sauce

"July 28, 2008 // // Dallas, TX – As Americans show an ever-increasing passion for natural foods, Pizza Hut is bringing a delicious tasting new pizza to the table with the introduction of The Natural pizza. With satisfying, savory natural pizza toppings and a multi-grain crust, The Natural is sure to become the favorite pizza of food aficionados seeking options free from artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

The Natural may be topped with specifically created natural toppings including pepperoni, mushrooms, pineapples, green peppers, red onions and diced tomatoes. Customers also may enjoy the new Natural Rustica recipe, which features sliced Italian Sausage, marinated Roma tomatoes and fire-roasted red peppers.

Additionally, The Natural has a unique, flavorful multi-grain crust, which delivers eight grams of whole grains per slice, earning it a seal of approval from the Whole Grains Council. The crust is topped with an original sauce made from organic, vine-ripened tomatoes and natural mozzarella cheese. A medium one-topping pizza is $9.99. The Natural Rustica pizza is $11.99."

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Report from the Organic World Congress

"Most of our attention and energy as organic farmers and gardeners goes to acting locally. But occasionally it is exciting to think globally and travel to meet other people from around the world who are practicing, organizing, researching and lobbying for organic agriculture in their own local places. From Junune 17 through 24, 2008, I had the honor and pleasure of representing NOFA at "Cultivate the Future," the 16th Organic World Congress and General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in Modena and Vignola, Italy. The organizers of the conference did not shy away from the big issues. The official welcome announces: " We will be looking for ways on how Organic Agriculture contributes solutions to the major problems in this troubled world: from climate change to food insecurity, from gender imbalances to biodiversity loss, from rural depopulation to global injustice."

The Modena gathering was the largest and most diverse IFOAM congress ever held with over 1200 participants from 100 countries. The IFOAM General Assembly was also the best attended yet: sixty percent of the IFOAM members were present or represented by proxies. There were 248 voting members from 69 countries with about 90 proxies. I got to vote with NOFA's blue card at the three days of intense discussions and debates on the top priorities for organic agriculture."

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do Whole Foods 365 Products Contain Toxins and Ingredients from China?





Track 1: ORGANIC means "free of harmful pesticides." Much of Whole Foods ORGANIC "365" products ARE locally grown. But an internal document we obtained shows Whole Foods obtains a long list of organic products from OTHER countries - dozens from CHINA."

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Keep Weeds Under Control with Organic Mulch

"FAIRBANKS — Organic mulch is like dessert — you can live without it, but it makes life better. If you have never used organic mulch, you have no idea how much easier it can make your gardening life.

As you might suspect, an organic mulch is made up of things that used to be living. Compost, grass clippings, seaweed, shredded bark, leaves, sawdust … all of these and more can be used as organic mulches. (Paper is considered an organic mulch because it comes from trees.)

My favorite use for mulch is as a weed suppressant. Some books say it takes 4 to 6 inches to keep the weeds from coming through, but I have found that throwing down an inch or two from the very beginning of the season slows them down. The ones that do manage to come through can be easily vanquished with a hoe or another inch of mulch."

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tomato Grows Want Compensation After False Salmonella Warnings

"WASHINGTON _ Tomato growers can thwack the Food and Drug Administration next week, but their try for federal funds could be a long shot.

Two separate congressional hearings will enable California and Florida growers to bash the FDA for supposedly blowing a recent salmonella outbreak. Regulators initially raised warning flags about tomatoes, costing farmers a bundle before suspicions turned to jalapeno peppers.

"Clearly, the FDA has done a very poor job at tracking this outbreak," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif. "They blamed the wrong industry."

Cardoza chairs the House horticulture and organic agriculture subcommittee, one of two House panels convening food safety hearings next week. The other panel, an oversight subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently sent investigators to California's Central Valley to delve into the problem.

Finger-pointing, though, may be easier than finding viable fixes.

Four Florida lawmakers _ Democratic Reps. Allen Boyd and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Republican Reps. Adam Putnam and Vern Buchanan _ have introduced legislation compensating tomato growers and packers nationwide for their losses during the latest salmonella scare. The Florida Tomato Exchange pegs those losses at $100 million."

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Information on Organic Dry Cleaning

" Question: I'm seeing more organic dry cleaners. What does that mean exactly?

Answer: If a dry cleaner calls itself "organic," this usually means it doesn't use perchloroethylene, or perc, to treat clothes. In the U.S., the chemical solvent has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a hazardous air pollutant and a possible carcinogen.

Apparel cleaned with perc hasn't been proved to pose a health risk, but people living in buildings with perc-using machines may be adversely affected by the fumes. As a result, all dry cleaners located in residential buildings will have to phase out perc by 2020.

Businesses that have gone organic operate machines with an alternative cleaning agent. A few more common options include silicone-based solvents, liquid carbon dioxide or plain water controlled by computerized jets. Upgrading to this equipment comes at a price, so don't be surprised if you have to pay a few dollars more to have your clothes cleaned by an organic cleaner."

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Soil Association Organic Food Festival 2008

"The Soil Association Organic Food Festival, sponsored by Yeo Valley Organic, is Europe’s largest celebration of all things organic and kicks off this year’s Soil Association Organic Fortnight, a nationwide campaign bringing together individuals, communities, retailers, restaurants, schools and organic farms.

Now in its eighth year the festival will be host to over 300 organic companies showcasing the very best organic food, drink, fashion, skincare and homeware products. Visitors will be spoilt for choice with bustling food markets, a green planet pavilion, a demonstration kitchen, an exciting talks programme, food cruises around the harbour, and an arts and entertainment fringe that includes food demos, children's activities, and music."

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Raw Food Movement Seeks Cancer and Heart Disease Prevention Label

"Sedona, AZ - July 25, 2008 - A startling majority of American adults smoked cigarettes prior to the advent of the Surgeon General's Warning. Three decades later, merely 15% of Americans consider themselves to be regular smokers. Why so few?

Just as the popularity of smoking plunged due to widespread dissemination of knowledge of its potentially perilous consequences, Happy Oasis, founder of the Raw Spirit Festival, foresees a law requiring warning labels on pre-fabricated foods, including those chemically-preserved, fried, pasteurized, artificially dyed, hydrogenated, homogenized, roasted, toasted, canned, boxed, processed, injected with hormones and antibiotics, sprayed with pesticides and insecticides, genetically modified, and otherwise nutritionally emaciated.

The Raw Spirit Festival, gathering-place for today's hippest international food fashion called the Raw Spirit Movement, which is primarily based on consuming more fresh organic vegetables and fruits.

Oasis suggested that a possible Surgeon General's Warning could read: "Consuming this 'food' can cause a plethora of diseases including cancer and heart disease, and may lead to painful, pre-mature death."

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European Commission Launches Organic Promotion

"The European Commission will launch the European Union's new Organic Farming Campaign today at the Foire de Libramont agricultural fair in Belgium. Under the campaign slogan: “Organic farming. Good for nature, good for you”, the promotional campaign aims to inform consumers about the meaning and benefits of organic farming and food production. The campaign will focus on increasing consumer awareness and recognition of organic products, and especially on young people and children to carry the organic idea into the future.
“Consumer demand for organic products is growing, offering increased business opportunities for all sectors of the food supply chain. In launching this campaign, I call on all stakeholders involved in organic farming to promote the organic idea with the help of the new campaign slogan ‘Organic Farming. Good for nature, good for you," said Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the last few years, the number of organic operators – farmers, producers, processors and importers – has grown strongly. In 2005, there was a total of 182,305 of these operators in the EU-25, a 13.4 percent increase from 2004. In recent years, the European organic retail market has experienced strong growth of between 5 and 30 percent, depending on the country. Increasing consumer demand is strengthening the organic market and giving farmers and processors new opportunities."

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coconut Bliss Coconut Milk Ice Cream Available Online!

"Bliss Unlimited, LLC, creator of Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss(R), the first ice cream made from coconut milk, today announced that Diamond Organics, a premier online retailer of organic products for direct home delivery, will stock and ship Coconut Bliss throughout the country.

Made from a base of naturally rich, cholesterol-free coconut milk and sweetened with low-glycemic agave syrup, Coconut Bliss is USDA- certified organic and 100 percent vegan. It is a healthy alternative to dairy- and soy-based frozen dessert on a par with superpremium ice creams. Diamond Organics now carries the full line of flavors, including Cherry Amaretto, Vanilla Island, Dark Chocolate, Mint Galactica, Cappuccino, Naked Coconut, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge and Strawberry Lemon Love.

"This agreement with Diamond Organics is a milestone for the company, since it is the first to make Coconut Bliss available to consumers throughout the U.S.," said Bliss Unlimited cofounder Larry Kaplowitz. "Friends and fans on the East Coast and in the Midwest have been waiting for some time for this announcement, and we could not have a better partner than Diamond Organics to fulfill these requests."

"Coconut Bliss is an ideal fit in our product catalog, since it is in line with our mission of providing the freshest, most wholesome and delicious organic foods to a national base of customers," said Kathleen Hamilton, cofounder of Diamond Organics. "We are delighted to be the first to make Coconut Bliss available to a national base of customers."

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Study Says Organic Sales Slowing

"Persistent rumblings about slowdowns sales in certain organic categories, as well as a suspected plateauing of overall organic segment movement, may have some truth behind them, according to new research from The Hartman Group, a marketing research firm based in Bellevue, Wash.

The group's latest national study, "The Many Faces of Organic: 2008," found that aggregate consumer use of organics dropped four percentage points from 73 percent of the population buying organics in 2006, to 69 percent in 2008.

Many factors are currently at play that could be prompting a plateauing of organic food sales, especially in certain categories, according to the report. Those factors include:
-- A renaissance within the 'culture of food' that has put increasing focus on formerly fringe food categories such as local and artisan products; and also segments that have dotted-line links to organics, but also stand on their own, including fair trade, humane, cage-free, and free-range.
-- A waning of consumer interest as 'organic' comes to mean so many things that its distinctive impact is blunted, and it becomes subsumed into a more conventional classification of "quality."

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Organic Fertilizer May Boost Crop Production

"A new fertiliser has been introduced to boost crop production. "It retains 100% nutrients in the soil and helps to increase yields, sometimes up to 60%," says John Magnay, a distributor of the product.

TwinN is formed by freeze-drying naturally occurring microbes, which are extracted from plants and cultivated in a laboratory. The process ensures the microbes are preserved at their optimum potency.

TwinN can be used instead of or in addition to reduced applications of chemical nitrogen. TwinN works both within the plant and around the root zone by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is easily available to plants."

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Organic To Go Launches Catering in D.C.

"Organic To Go(TM: 91.95, -0.92, -0.99%) (OTCBB:OTGO), America's first organic fast casual cafe chain to be certified organic by the USDA, is launching its catering service today, to herald the grand opening of the innovative brand's premiere East Coast debut. The varied, full service, catering menu, created for groups of five to 1,000, offers the full range of hot and cold signature dishes all made without harmful additives, antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones or genetic modification.

"We pride ourselves on creating delicious high-quality meals from farmers, ranchers and manufacturers dedicated to sustainable practices," said Jason Brown, Chairman and CEO of Organic To Go. "This translates successfully into catering for the educated and mindful consumers in this market with over 40% of our overall business coming from catering orders. Our customers simply want natural ingredients in delicious meals delivered to their offices. We make it easy for people to continue to eat the foods that are important to them, as well as provide the opportunity for a meeting planner to serve any size group a creative farm fresh breakfast, lunch or dinner that they can be proud of. It's what's inside that count."

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doctor Launches Kids Line of Omega-3 Snacks

"Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC), supplier of MEG-3® brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, is pleased to announce that Dr. William Sears has launched a line of nutritional snack foods for children. Dr. Sears, one of America’s most recognized pediatricians has launched a product called Popumz, containing Omega-3 EPA and DHA, from fish oil. Dr. Sears’ products are co-branded with the MEG-3® brand ingredient so consumers will know that they are getting the purest, safest source of Omega-3 from fish oil."

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2010 Vancouver Olympics to be Handled by Hain Celestial

"TORONTO, July 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Vancouver 2010 will be the first-ever Games to feature a distinctly organic flavour with today's announcement that the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has welcomed Hain Celestial Canada as the Official Supplier of natural and organic packaged grocery products for the 2010 Winter Games.

Hain Celestial Canada -- known for popular healthy foods such as Yves Veggie Cuisine, Terra Chips, Earth's Best baby food and Imagine organic soups -- has received exclusive Official Supplier sponsorship rights in the natural and organic packaged grocery products category for the 2010 Winter Games. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the Canadian Olympic team for Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012. The agreement enables Hain Celestial Canada to use 2010 Winter Games marks for promotional purposes."

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Women Lead in Organic

"Women are warming to organic food but men are less convinced, a new report says.

Organic food sales - especially fruit and vegetables - now top $600 million a year, according to the Australian Organic Market Report 2008.

The report found shoppers are tempted to buy organic food for health and environmental reasons, and because they think it tastes better.

Organic food looks better than it used to, boosting sales.

"Women are the primary purchasers," said the report, written by researchers at the University of New England in Armidale."

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Amy's Introduces New Soups and Pasta Sauce

"Amy’s is excited to be introducing three new soups and a light in Sodium version of a popular pasta sauce! When the leaves start turning and the cold air creeps in be ready to warm up with Amy’s Southwestern Black Bean Chili, Curried Lentil and Summer Corn & Vegetable soups. And try Amy’s new Light in Sodium Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce too!

New Amy's ProductsSummer Corn & Vegetable Soup:
This corn chowder is a light and flavorful soup. Made from organic corn, potatoes, leeks, red bell peppers and onions, it is flavored with traditional herbs, milk and butter - bringing you the fresh taste of summer, no matter what the season."

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Indiana Organic Farm Tour

"OLDENBURG, Ind. -- The Indiana Farm Sustainability Tour comes to southeastern Indiana this month to look at organic food production.
Click here to find out more!

On Thursday the tour will visit Langeland Farms in Greensburg and Michaela Farms in Oldenburg, Ind.

Pre-registration is due Tuesday and can be made at FARMTOURS or by calling Lynn Stocksick, (800) 359-2034. Cost is $15.

On-site registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at Langeland Farms, 3806 S. County Road, Greensburg. Owner Gary Reding raises organic hay, beef, popcorn and soybeans and has a processing facility that bags products for sale and shipment."

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Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Only Natural Gifts Introduces Papa Ben's Organic Peanut Brittle

"(PRLEAP.COM) It’s Only Natural Gifts, specializing in natural gifts and organic gift baskets for businesses and individuals, announces the addition of Papa Ben’s organic peanut brittle to the rapidly growing list of organic food items. Papa Ben’s has adapted their 60-year old traditional family recipe to consist of only 100% organic ingredients. The organic version of their popular peanut brittle is being offered exclusively through It’s Only Natural Gifts online store.

Papa Ben’s peanut brittle originated from a family recipe developed over 60 years ago by Ben Eichenauer. In the beginning, Papa Ben’s homemade brittle was made in small batches and became a holiday gift tradition for lucky family and friends. He passed the recipe down to his son John who has been keeping the family custom alive for the past 35 years.

It’s Only Natural Gifts offers Papa Ben’s peanut brittle in organic gift basket collections or as an item to be included in the popular build-your-own custom organic gift set. Peanut brittle aficionados can also purchase the product separately."

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Cutter & Buck Introduces Organic Cotton Line

"What a difference three years makes.

In 2005, Seattle sportswear company Cutter & Buck introduced organic cotton shirts with a hang tag detailing its commitment to environmental sustainability — and a retail price $4 to $5 above regular cotton shirts.

The market's response? "Disappointing," says Cutter CEO Ernie Johnson. "We probably were a little ahead of market demand at the time."

Now, Cutter is giving organic cotton another chance in the firm belief that consumer interest has come a long way since 2005.

The company's sales force began showing a new line of organic cotton shirts last month to retailers throughout the U.S., and this time, says vice president of sales Brian Thompson, the reaction has been "very positive."

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Vietnam Looks Into Organic Veggies

"Citizens worried about high levels of pesti-cides and bacteria in vegetables are taking food safety into their own hands by planting their own organic vegetable patches.

They may look healthy and delicious but vegetables bought at the market can harbour invisible threats, Ta Thuy Hien, a housewife in Hai Ba Trung District says. "A bad dose of food poisoning left my son in a critical condition after he ate some water morning glory we bought at the market." That was in 2005, Hien says. Since then she has cultivated a 10sq.m patch of land outside her house where she grows salad vegetables like basil, lettuce, onions and malabar nightshade.

"The vegetables are tastier and we don’t have to worry about the chemicals and hygiene. We are totally in control."

Hien isn’t the only one. Many of her neighbours have also cottoned onto the idea and planted vegetables in polystyrene boxes on the top floor of their house.

"Gardening is also a really sociable activity," Hien says. "People in the community often get together to share growing tips."

Personal vegetable patches are springing up all over the city, a shopkeeper who sells vegetable seeds says. "People know it’s one of the best ways of avoiding food poisoning," she says. "The best-sellers are quick-growing plants like water morning glory, field cabbage, white cabbage and cress. Prices range from VND3,000 to 10,000 per package."

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Don't Get Greenwashed

"Organic cotton sheets, sustainable flooring, recycled glass countertops. The words hint at something lovely and healthy, but what do they mean exactly?

Much like the word “organic” was used loosely years ago, the word “green” and all its synonyms are appearing everywhere in commercials, advertisements and marketing lingo. Its misuse has become so widespread, it has earned its own term — “greenwashing” — and the Federal Trade Commission has sped up plans to regulate the marketer’s tactics. The FTC’s final report (known as the “Green Guides”) may take more than a year to be finalized. In the meantime, here are some guidelines to get you over the hump.

1. Do your homework. The “do your homework” mandate can seem cliche at times, but it is truer than ever in this instance. “A quick search on the Internet can usually turn up a few reputable editorial sources and most likely some readers comments and ratings,” says Graham Hill. Hill’s Web site, Tree, features its own “Green Guides” section, which breaks down the top environmental attributes and concerns among major product categories, such as lighting, electronics and gardening. Locally, try More homework guidelines: Confirm green claims through a secondary source, and try to conduct at least part of your research over the phone or in person. “Ask sales reps about the various options they offer, and then drill down with specific questions,” Hill says. (What kinds of questions, you ask? See No. 2.)"

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Organic 365 Blog

"Phoenix, AZ, July 16, 2008 -- Organic Foods advocate, Lorraine Jacques, has partnered with Neekam company to create the Organic Food 365 Blog. This blog will act as a source of information and networking for corporate Organic Food, gourmet Organic Food, baby Organic Food, holiday Organic Food, unique Organic Food and more!

The Organic Food 365 Blog also stresses the importance of organic food stores. It is very critical to show appreciation to your local natural foods store and keep good business relations. With the popularity of natural food on the increase, shoppers now find organic produce, meat and dairy products more accessible than ever. Remember to not forget your local health food store in the mix.

"Organic Food has experienced enormous growth since the beginning of the decade," says Ms. Jacques, "The organic food industry has experienced extraordinary growth in the past several years, with almost seventeen billion in sales in 2006, 20.9% growth over 2005, and almost three percent market share among all foods. The Organic Trade Association sees continued strong results, with eighteen percent annual growth projected through 2010. Organic coffee alone reached one billion in sales for 2006, with specialty producers including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. This blog will highlight that growth."

This blog seeks to add to the publicity surrounding business organic dog food, organic baby food, organic pet food, organic cat food, natural organic dog food, organic foods online, organic pet foods, as well as help focus awareness on natural food issues."

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From Tombstone Pizza to Nature's Path Cereal

"Nature’s Path Foods Inc., a Canadian breakfast food producer, will get a $250,000 grant from the state for its new facility in Sussex, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Wednesday.

Nature’s Path has acquired the former Kraft Tombstone Pizza plant and will convert it to an organic cereal manufacturing facility. Over the next 18 months, the company plans to invest about $25 million in the plant.

The Commerce Department grant will be used to train at least 100 employees on new equipment and processes. Nature’s Path plans to create a minimum of 159 jobs in Sussex over the next year, according to Doyle.

Kraft closed the pizza plant at W227-N6088 Sussex Road last year, eliminating 300 jobs there. The closing was part of a larger cost-cutting program that Kraft undertook in 2006. Production from the Sussex plant was moved to other Kraft plants in Little Chute and Medford, adding 80 to 90 jobs at those locations."

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Healthy Shopper Don't Want to Give Up Organic Food Despite Prices

"In a display fridge at Claudia's Natural Food Market in Sylvania, Organic Valley Orange juice sells for $7.39 a half gallon. Nearby, a 15-ounce bag of Kettle Brand potato chips costs $5.29.

Despite rising fuel and food costs, sales at several local organic and health food markets remain strong, managers said. For loyal customers convinced that natural foods are the key to good health, purchases are not discretionary spending that can be reduced like movie tickets and restaurant trips, they added.

"Even if gas prices are $20 a gallon, I'm still going to be buying organic meat," said Diana Patton, a regular Claudia's customer. "It's not just like 'Oh, gas prices are up. Let's go buy meat that's injected with hormones and hurt [my] family.'"

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Pure Mendocino to Hold Cancer Benefit

"UKIAH, Calif., Jul 16, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The bounty of Mendocino County's organic farms, vineyards and coastal waters will be featured at the 4th Annual Pure Mendocino Celebration August 22-24, 2008. Proceeds of the three-day event will benefit the nationally recognized Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County (CRCMC). "These events are all about healthy living and sharing the sense of joy and well-being that comes from helping to fund care while sharing foods and wines that are created with the greatest respect for the land and the people who live and work here," said Sara O'Donnell, Executive Director of CRCMC. "Join us!"
Friday, August 22nd, 5-9 p.m.

The weekend kicks off with an all-organic dinner at Dark Horse Ranch, a Biodynamic(R) farm owned by Paul Dolan, partner in Mendocino Wine Company and co-chair of Pure Mendocino, together with Sara O'Donnell. The multi-course meal, prepared by Chef Craig Strattman of Patrona Bistro in Ukiah, showcases organic ingredients and wines from Mendocino County's diverse growing regions. Tickets for the Dinner are $135 per person or $1250 for a table of eight."

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Organic Food Directory

After summer boredom started to set in, I decided to start another project related to organic food. This project eventually turned into the Organic Food Directory. Although there aren't that many links so far, I hope to keep adding to it. Please make sure you comment or send me an email if you have a brand or product you'd like listed.

Kazana Super Nutrition Bars Now Available at Giant Eagle Locations

"Sewickley, PA (PRWEB) July 15, 2008 -- Komal Herbals, the maker of premium quality Ayurvedic-inspired all natural products, today announced that select Northeastern Giant Eagle stores have added its Kazana Super Nutrition Bars to store shelves. Locations include Giant Eagle stores that carry an organic and natural products section in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Inspired by the principles of Ayurveda, a natural healthcare system that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and uses the inherent principles of nature to bring the body back into equilibrium, Komal Herbals' new line of great-tasting Kazana Super Nutrition Bars are made using all natural ingredients.

Every bite contains an extraordinary flavorful blend of raw and unaltered food that is easy to incorporate into your daily routine."

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Easy Drink Pack Introduces Açai Daily Drink Packs

"Norcross, GA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/15/2008 -- The Brazilian açai berry, increasingly recognized for its antioxidant and other health benefits, took another big step into U.S. markets today with the introduction of Açai Daily Drink Packs.

Manufactured by Easy Drink Pack LLC of Norcross, Georgia, the açai packs contain a powdered, freeze-dried form of the berry’s pulp – the best way, says EDP, to capture powerful nutrients without introducing sugar or other additives.

“As more health-conscious people learn about açai, we think they’ll welcome a pure product that’s so portable and easy to use,” said EDP CEO Matt Francis. “We’re saying there’s no need for scoops or jars or bulky bottles – our customers can just open a tube and pour açai powder into their favorite drink.”

EDP also touts affordability in its new product, which Francis said will cost a typical consumer “less than a dollar a day – far less than other açai products on the market.”

The açai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) berry has recently been hailed as a “superfood” by the American Cancer Center and showcased in print, television and online media by Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray and others. The berries grow atop palm trees native to South America."

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Imperial Sugar Company Increases Stake in Wholesome Sweeteners

"Sugar Land-based Imperial Sugar Company announced today that has increased its ownership stake in Wholesome Sweeteners, also acquiring an option to purchase the remaining equity interest in the company.

Wholesome Sweeteners, an organic and natural sweetener company also based in Sugar Land, was formed as a joint venture in 2001 between Imperial and Edward Billington & Son, a UK-based agriculture and food company.

Under terms of the agreement, Imperial paid $4 million in cash to purchase five percent of Wholesome’s common stock from Billington, increasing Imperial’s ownership position from 45 to 50 percent. The deal also includes an option to acquire the remaining 50 percent interest still held by Billington.

The option can be exercised between Sept. 1, 2010, and May 31, 2011, at an agreed multiple of future earnings."

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Agricultural Revolution is Organic

"THE amount of Welsh land classed as organic grew by more than a fifth last year, prompting a leading expert to predict all of Wales’ farmland will one day make the switch.

The nation’s organic land area increased by 22% during the year ending January 2008, reaching 6.4% of the total agricultural area, according to statistics released by Defra.

Some 857 holdings are now in conversion or fully organic, compared with 710 in January 2007, showing that Wales is well on the way to meet the Welsh Organic Action Plan target of 10 to 15% of Welsh land organic by 2010.

Dr Nic Lampkin, director of Organic Centre Wales, said the growth reflected good market conditions and support from the Welsh Assembly Government."

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Chicago Whole Foods Closed Because of Mice?

"Rose Venditto was on her daily pilgrimage to the Whole Foods salad bar Thursday when she met the blockade of three employees and a closed front door.

"Rose," said one of the employees with an apologetic look. "I know you want lunch."

She handed Venditto a consolation prize. A $5 coupon. A tote bag. And a flier that began:

"Dear Valued Customers,

As you already know, the Health Department closed our store after finding that we did not fully comply with a few concerns they had, including evidence of mice."

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Duchy Originals Website Wins Award

"LONDON, Jul 11, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- BAIRY | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Duchy Originals, the pioneering organic food company founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1990, has won a prestigious APA (Association of Publishing Agencies) Award for its new website. The new website, designed by Story Worldwide, uses storytelling techniques to help Duchy Originals deepen its relationship with existing and new consumers and use its position in the market to encourage debate about the environment and methods of food production.

Beating off competition from British Airways, Tesco and Honda F1 Racing, Duchy Originals won the Best Designed Website award at the 2008 APA Creative Awards, which are designed to show 'how creativity can be used to engage a customer with a brand in the most compelling way'. The APA praised the Duchy Originals website for being "fresh and original" as well as being "exactly on-brand with some fascinating content"."

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weaver's Coffee & Tea Launches Organic Coffee and Tea

"Weaver's Coffee & Tea, a specialty coffee roaster, announced today that their handcrafted, artisan coffee is now available in specialty grocery and gourmet food stores. The company also announced the introduction of a new line of 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea. Fresh, hand-roasted Weaver's Coffee is available at select Whole Foods Market locations, The Real Food Company and Jackson's Wine & Spirits in Northern California, as well as other gourmet food stores such as Vicente Foods, Chefmakers, and The Victorian Baker Cafe in Southern California.

"This launch expands the reach of Weaver's Coffee & Tea and brings our fresh, hand-roasted coffee experience to a broader national audience," said Michael Brown, CEO. "Distribution into high-quality grocery and gourmet food stores will further extend our brand. We believe neighborhood retail is one of the best ways to reach new customers."

"We are very pleased to offer our new line of 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea as part of our ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainable business practices," said John Weaver, master roaster and president of coffee and tea. "We continue to hand-roast and ship daily. Our strict standards of quality control ensure our coffee is fresh, and our commitment to "cup perfection" remains uncompromised."

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Whole Foods Launches Real Deal Program

"AUSTIN, Texas, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market NASDAQ: WFMI, the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, announced today the launch of a new, national program to provide specially-priced product discounts, money-saving coupons and tips, and budget recipes to help shoppers continue to enjoy quality organic and natural foods while stretching their food dollar. The Company has also created a space on its website for customers to upload their own tips on how to enjoy a healthy Whole Foods Market lifestyle while sticking to their budget.

During this time of record-high worldwide food inflation, Whole Foods Market introduces "The Real Deal" program to help its customers enjoy high-quality, natural and organic ingredients, while sticking to their budgets. Getting more value for less and finding the real deals throughout the stores is the centerpiece of a new Whole Foods Market quarterly value guide available in stores beginning July 17. The 28-page value guide features meal plans and recipes on a budget, department-specific tips and savings, 365 Everyday Value(TM) product deals, and information about Whole Foods Market's commitment to Quality Standards.

Whole Foods Market has also partnered with Mambo Sprouts (, the leading coupon company for the natural products industry, to deliver Whole Foods Market customers a host of money-saving coupons, which will be included in the new value guide.

As part of "The Real Deal," customers will find specially-priced items in featured departments called "Real Steal," which can be found in all Whole Foods Market stores. Customers can look for the "Real Steal" signs to find these discounted items, such as whole golden pineapples for $2.99, frozen, sweet and wild Whole Catch(TM) Patagonian Scallops for $6.99, and Whole Ranch(TM) Sausages for $4.99."

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Greenling Celebrates Third Anniversary

"AUSTIN, Texas, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Greenling (, an award-winning online grocer that delivers organic and local food fresh to its customers' doors, marks its third anniversary this summer with plans to expand across Central Texas.

Greenling works with more than 30 local farmers in the Austin area and was voted Best Local Food Company in the 2007 Austin Chronicle's Readers poll, replacing previous winner Whole Foods Market. The grocer will expand its markets in Austin and San Antonio in 2008 by creating new delivery routes and product offerings, including organic wines and beers. Greenling also plans to launch operations in Dallas and Houston in the future, which support sustainable communities and agriculture. Greenling does this by establishing local relationships that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible."

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Organic Center Releases An Organic Pocket Guide

"BOULDER, Colo. – July 8, 2008 – Do you know that the greatest risks from pesticides in the diet come from eating conventionally produced fruits and vegetables? A new complimentary pocket guide can help consumers avoid the highest-risk fresh produce during both the summer season and winter, when a significant share of fresh produce is imported.

Available for free download at The Organic Center's Web site,, the "Organic Essentials" pocket guide presents lists of conventional fruits and vegetables that the Center has determined pose the most significant pesticide-related risks and – therefore – are the most critical produce items for consumers to purchase as organic.

In the wallet-sized four-fold guide, "Organic Essentials" offers two lists covering domestically grown fruits and vegetables that pose the greatest pesticide dietary risks, while two other lists apply to imported produce that typically enters the U.S. market in the wintertime."

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Orange County's Organic Baby Restaurant

"All I wanted when I went to the little strip plaza on the corner of Westcliff and Irvine Avenues in Newport Beach the other evening was the best cup of coffee in Orange County – at Martin Diedrich's Kean's Coffee, of course. But I came away with so much more.

As I was walking across the parking lot, I saw the sign advertising "fresh organic baby food." Eat in or to go. "I gotta see this," I thought.

So I walked into Pomme Bébé ("apple baby" in French) with zero expectations. Because, really, do you ever expect to run into the Baskin-Robbins of baby food? In fact, as the owners tell me, I could travel the world over, and never, ever find a shop that does what theirs does: sell fresh, totally organic baby food made right in the kitchen behind the counter."

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Manitoba Harvest Introduces New Organic Hemp Protein Powders

"Winnipeg, Manitoba (July 8, 2008) – More people than ever are supplementing their diets with protein powders to maintain optimal nutrition. According to data published in the June 2008 edition of The Natural Foods Merchandiser (, sales of Powdered Meal Replacements and Supplements during 2007 grew 15.9% in Naturals Supermarkets and 27.5% in the conventional grocery channel. To meet the growing needs of health-minded consumers, Manitoba Harvest™ Hemp Foods & Oils has launched two new ‘superfood’ protein powders that are convenient, fresh-tasting, and easy to digest.

Manitoba Harvest Organic Dark Chocolate Hemp Protein Powder and Organic Vanilla Hemp Protein Powder provide a boost of Protein, Omega 3 & 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and fiber to smoothies and other beverages, and they can be used in a variety of recipes (see below and at The new powders are offered in 16 oz. jars for a SRP of $19.99. These 2 products are currently exclusive to Whole Foods Market® in the USA and are Whole Trade™ Guarantee certified, guaranteeing that the ingredients are fairly traded. “We’re delighted to have partnered with Manitoba Harvest to launch these great tasting, nutrient rich, Whole Trade guaranteed products,” says Jeremiah McElwee, Senior Whole Body Coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “Hemp protein is a great alternative to soy protein, and vegetable derived proteins are the hottest area of growth in the category right now,” adds McElwee."

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WSU Sponsors Bi-Lingual Farm Walk

"Everson, Wash. - Tour Alm Hill Gardens, a 35-year old diversified, fresh-market organic farm and learn about an emerging, cooperative business model that is gaining interest around the state and country.

The July 28 farm walk, offered in both English and Spanish, will highlight the practices in the field and at the market that make Alm Hill Gardens unique. From one of the original year-round, direct-market farms at Pike Place Market, Alm Hill has transformed into a worker-managed cooperative that sells at 17 farmers markets per week, supplies dozens of northwest Washington restaurants, schools, and grocers, and participates in community-supported agriculture (CSA).
Alm Hill Gardens: berries grown inside a hoophouse allows the plant to thrive well into November.
Alm Hill Gardens: berries grown inside a hoophouse allows the plant to thrive well into November. Download high-resolution image.

Participants will learn about approaches to season extension and year-round farming, crop diversity (annuals and perennials), mixed berry production, and direct marketing strategies. Research taking place on the farm in cooperation with WSU will be highlighted, including integrated pest management and field trials of several varieties of fruits and vegetables."

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USDA to Redefine Organic

"A California lawsuit highlights the problems consumers have faced in the confusing regulatory terrain of organic and natural personal care products.

Consumers have had only piecemeal and incomplete regulation to guide them. But government agencies and other organizations are taking steps to improve public safety.

As one maker of personal products said, "It's a year of reckoning for the industry."

On May 29, state Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a lawsuit under Proposition 65 against four companies with "natural" personal care product lines containing the chemical 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

The four companies named in the lawsuit are Avalon Natural Products, Beaumont Products Inc., NutriBiotic and Whole Foods Market California Inc."

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All About Eco-Toilets

"NON–FLUSH, totally organic and self-emptying portable toilets which make use of hungry earthworms are being made in Knysna.

Knysna entrepreneur Adrian Wilson-Forbes said two test toilets at the Pezula resort had been operating successfully for the past seven months without any need for servicing.

This self-sustaining ecosystem houses earthworms in so-called worm houses made from recycled plastic in a container below the toilet bowl. The worms gobble up the solid waste and recycle it to produce compost.

Wilson-Forbes said: “The solids sit on top and are digested by the earthworms, which multiply or decrease in number according to the amount of food available.

“It takes a few weeks for the amount of worms to increase or decrease according to the quantity of food available and then the system finds its balance.”

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Ethical and Organic Skincare from BioEtic

"Bio Etic skincare ticks all the beauty boxes for today’s discerning consumers. The products are guaranteed ethical, organic and fair trade. And, not forgetting beauty products’ primary purpose, they are effective, therapeutic and a joy to use.

Eleven products comprise this deliciously sensual top-to-toe range. The products are enriching, exotic and subtle – perfect for people who want to treat themselves, but not at the expense of others.

The Bio Etic range has been carefully crafted using pure organic plant ingredients from around the world. This innovative range comprises many exciting natural ingredients from pink guava to organic quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and Inca Inchi oil to Mafura butter. These enriching raw ingredients are beautifully blended with essential oils, organic honey, organic sesame oil and organic cane sugar to deliver skincare products that are truly ethical, therapeutic and effective."

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Study Shows Broccoli Prevents Cancer

"LONDON (Reuters) - Just a few more portions of broccoli each week may protect men from prostate cancer, British researchers reported on Wednesday.

The researchers believe a chemical in the food sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumors, said Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain's Institute of Food Research.

There is plenty of evidence linking a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduced cancer risk. But the study published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS One is the first human trial investigating the potential biological mechanism at work, Mithen added in a telephone interview.

"Everybody says eat your vegetables but nobody can tell us why," said Mithen, who led the study. "Our study shows why vegetables are good."

Prostate is the second-leading cancer killer of men after lung cancer. Each year, some 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it."

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Organic Blueberries May Be Better

"Blueberries, one of my favorite fruits, have a wonderful combination of tastiness and nutritional benefits. They are low in calories and have high antioxidant content, enabling them to scavenge radicals that might otherwise damage the body. Blueberries in general have health benefits, but are organic blueberries even better than conventionally grown ones? A collaborative project between the US Department of Agriculture and Rutgers University attempted to answer that question, and the results came in the form of a recent publication in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

blueberries The researchers collected blueberries from five organic farms and five conventional farms in New Jersey. All the farms had similar surroundings with comparable environmental factors. Also, fruit were chosen for uniform size and color. They all came from the full sunny side of the bushes and were picked in early August. The scientists tested the berries for sugar, acid, and antioxidant contents."

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Organic Testing in New Zealand

"A senior researcher at GNS Science has come up with a test that can verify if vegetables in the supermarket have been grown organically. Karyne Rogers of GNS Science’s Stable Isotope Laboratory in Lower Hutt said the method was an inexpensive way to verify the organic status of vegetables by distinguishing between vegetables grown with organic or industrially made fertilisers.

A criteria in growing organic vegetables is that only organic fertiliser, usually animal manure, is used. As vegetables grow, they incorporate nitrogen from the fertiliser and it is this nitrogen which is analysed. The nitrogen isotope signatures of animal manure and industrial fertiliser are quite different. "It's an independent check on the growing regime. As far as I am aware, this is the first simple reliable test for organic vegetables", Dr Rogers said."

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to Find Safe Body Care Products for Kids

"Bath time can be such fun. But, as many parents have become aware, those sweet-smelling baby products may contain some pretty unsavory chemicals — from skin irritants to more serious substances linked to hormone disruption, even cancer. Such chemicals are especially bad because children's thinner skin (it doesn't reach full thickness until age 20) leaves youngsters more susceptible to toxins. Plus, kids are less able to process the chemicals that get into their developing systems. Without a degree in chemistry, what's a parent to do when confronted with the confusing multisyllabic chemical compounds in ingredients lists? You'll be relieved to learn that there are plenty of safe products out there, if you know what to look for."

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Ugandan Cotton Ruined by DDT

"KAMPALA – [05.07.08] The use of the controversial insecticide DDT to combat malaria in East Africa has highlighted the problems faced by growers of organic cotton in countries like Uganda where spraying the pesticide has spoiled organic crops.

Over 11,000 farmers in Apac and Oyam districts of Uganda are now stuck with cotton after it was rejected by buyers from the Dutch firm BoWeevil due to DDT spraying in the area.

Marck Van Esch, the managing director of BoWeevil, told local press, “DDT is a problem in any food commodity to the Western world. There is a zero tolerance there for DDT products,” he said. BoWeevil promotes and certifies organic cotton through agricultural projects in places like Turkey and Uganda where its Ugandan organic cotton is certified by Ecocert International and complies with the stringent NOP certification so it can exported to the USA."

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Canada Leads in Organic Tracking

"Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada today announced a substantial increase in the number of commodities to be included in a pilot project tracking trade data on imports for organic products.

The 20 new products bring the total to 61 and build on Canada’s role as an international leader and the first country to track trade data imports on organic products.

Additional products and varieties will be integrated in the next two to three years to develop a full list of codes to track both import and export trade in all significant organic agricultural products, and to help the industry determine market potential.

The pilot project, funded by AAFC, began in 2007, and is a result of collaboration between Statistics Canada, the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canada’s organic industry.

Statistics Canada classifies and publishes export and import statistics according to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, known as the Harmonized System. This is an international commodity classification developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation Council."

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cosmetic Imports Inc. Announces Expansion

"BEVERLY, Mass., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Cosmetic Imports, Inc. (CI) is a local retailer of the latest skin care, fragrances and cosmetics from around the world. Our new location is opened at the Beverly Commodore Plaza, 45 Enon Street, Beverly, MA. What makes this retailer unique is the boutique atmosphere, the breadth of products from hundreds of imported and US-based manufacturers, and friendly, knowledgeable beauty consultants.

The store atmosphere is warm and inviting. Customers can sample and read about all of our makeup lines, skin care and many spa products, unlike many overcrowded department store settings. CI offers samples to customers so they can try a line before fully committing to a new skin care regimen or makeup line.

"Each of our product lines are carefully selected to provide our customers with the newest and most effective ingredients and delivery systems available on the market," states Patricia Lever, President of Cosmetic Imports, Inc. "With over 900 SKU's, there are products for every age, and for both male and female. When you come into our store or shop online, you will find everything from certified organic, natural, holistic and cosmeceutical lines."

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Chocolate Soymilk Test

"A reader recently wrote in to request that we research chocolate soy milk for Taster's Choice. It seems that milk or lactose allergies and an interest in health food are prompting more and more consumers to opt for products made from soy.

The manufacturers have listened, and the options for chocolate-flavored soy milk are plentiful and varied.

Soy milk can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store as well as in shelf-stable boxes, often near the breakfast cereals. We decided to try both types for the tasting.

At first, we found 13 products to try, including three "light" versions and one unsweetened brand. When those fell into the bottom four, we decided to eliminate them from our rankings. It wasn't fair to taste them against the higher-fat versions. Still, of those light versions, Silk Light soy milk ($4.49/half-gallon at Andronico's) came out on top.

Of the regular brands, several of the products tasted received decent scores."

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All About Sweet Cheeks Organic Baby Food

"“Sweet Cheeks” baby food, made locally in St. Paul, is composed of all-organic and local (in season) fruits and vegetables. Minnesota-grown organic grains are also incorporated into the baby food and the product is made fresh weekly and sold frozen.

Owner Lori Karis, who has worked in Woodbury as a nanny, has more than 20 years’ experience making her own baby food.

She is introducing three levels of food for new eaters.

“Newbies” are single, easily digested fruits and vegetables. “Combos” introduce a bit of texture and a mix of veggies, fruits and grains.

The final level is the “Baby ‘role” — a baby casserole. It’s a combination of vegetables simmered, pureed and then combined with grains until chunky."

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Washington Organic Acreage, Production See Significant Increases in 2007

"WENATCHEE, Wash. - Certified organic acreage farmed in Washington state continues to expand, increasing by an estimated 27 percent between 2006 and 2007. Since 2004 the amount of certified acreage being farmed in the state has increased by 86 percent. Those growth estimates are documented in the annual profile of the state's organic acreage and crops compiled by the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"We're careful to point out that the figures in the profile are a best estimate because of anomalies and inconsistencies in the available data," says WSU CSANR sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein. "We've been conservative with our analysis, so this report represents a low-end estimate of organically farmed land in the state."

Granatstein and research assistant Elizabeth Kirby compiled and analyzed data from six organizations that certify organic farmland within the state. The Washington State Department of Agriculture Organic Food Program and Oregon Tilth Certified Organic have certified more than 98 percent of the organic acreage.

Granatstein points out that the certifying organizations request information from growers in different forms and categories, which makes a highly accurate analysis difficult.

The 2007 profile’s estimate of certified organic land statewide is 81,472 acres, up from 64,325 acres in 2006, a 27 percent increase. During 2007, 629 organic crop and livestock farms and 71 transitional farms in the state were certified by the combined certifying organizations.

Two-thirds of the state's organic land is devoted to three crop categories: forage crops for feeding livestock, vegetables and tree fruit.

Organic forage production again showed the most growth with an annual increase of 51 percent, now accounting for 35 percent of the state's total organic acreage. Certified hay and silage acreage increased by 84 percent to more than 12,000 acres and certified pasture acreage totaled 13,381 acres compared to 10,651 acres in 2006.

The report cites the recent expansion of the organic dairy sector and resulting demand for organic feed for fueling the dramatic increase.

Certified vegetable acreage increased by 4,500 acres in both 2006 and 2007, or 41 and 30 percent growth rates respectively. Certified vegetable acreage now totals more than 20,000 acres with sweet corn, peas, potatoes, green beans and onions being the major crops grown. The report states that Washington is likely the leading U.S. producer of organic sweet corn and peas, and ranked as the country’s third largest producer of organic potatoes in 2005.

Washington leads the nation in organic apple, pear and cherry production, primarily in irrigated areas of central Washington . Apples are the state's predominant organic tree fruit crop with apple orchards comprising 73 percent of the certified tree fruit acreage. Fuji and Gala are the leading varieties grown organically.

Thanks to the continuing growth in market demand for organic fruit and advances in organic pest control options, a significant amount of orchard acreage is in transition to organic production. The profile projects a 78 percent increase in organic apple acres, a 44 percent increase in organic pear area, and a doubling of organic cherry acreage by2009 based on the amount of transitional acreage.

The estimated farmgate sales of organic goods for 2006, the latest year for which figures are available, increased by 42 percent over the previous year to total gross sales of more than $144 million. Seventy-six percent of organic sales were from eastern Washington farms that comprise 69 percent of the state’s total organic acreage.

Grant County leads the state with 20 percent of the state’s organic acreage (15,565 acres), followed by Benton County at 14 percent (11,336 acres) and Yakima County with eight percent (6,148 acres).

In western Washington, Skagit County is home to six percent of the state’s organic acreage (4,476 acres), followed by Lewis County with five percent (4,159 acres), and Thurston and Whatcom counties each with four percent (2,959 and 2,839 acres respectively).

The full 2007 organic profile can is available for viewing or download at"

Does Organic Valley Rely on Factory Farms?

"Over the past 20 years, Wisconsin-based Organic Valley has grown into the nation's largest organic cooperative, carving out a niche selling milk from small dairy farmers who treat their cows like members of the family.

So imagine the shock within the organic food world when an industry watchdog group recently discovered Organic Valley quietly has been getting some of its milk from a giant Texas dairying operation with more than 5,000 cows.

"Buying milk from this factory farm could potentially be catastrophic to our marketplace reputation," said Darlene Coehoorn, a longtime Organic Valley member from Rosendale, Wis., where she milks 50 cows with her husband, Dan.

Headquartered in La Farge, Organic Valley sells organic dairy and other food products in all 50 states under various labels. It now represents more than 1,200 organic farmers in 34 states, with sales rising to $432 million last year, a three-fold jump since 2003."

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Campbell Buys Wolfgang Puck's Organic and Natural Soup Line

"CHICAGO ( -- The king of condensed soups is taking a big step upscale by acquiring the Wolfgang Puck soup business from Country Gourmet Foods for an undisclosed sum. Campbell has also entered into a licensing agreement with Wolfgang Puck Worldwide for the use of the Puck brand to market soup, stock and broth products throughout North America.

The move not only allies Campbell with a celebrated chef but brings it further into the growing realm of organics; Mr. Puck has been vocal about his desire to use organic ingredients at all of his restaurants and in all of his packaged-food products."

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About Gusto Organics: The First 100% Organic Restaurant

"I sprinkle my cereal with organically farmed blueberries, the spinach in my salad is nothing but organic, and the only meat that passes through my lips is antibiotic and hormone-free (yup, organic). I can proudly state that my fridge is often stocked with the makings of at least two divine repasts that are free from chemically treated ingredients, but yet the question always lingers: What happens when I dine out?

If I lived deep in the country, miles away from civilization, dining out wouldn’t even be an option, but I live in New York City, where apartments are small, kitchens are smaller and counter space is a perk reserved for the rich and famous (OK … or the very lucky). A few nights of cooking must be balanced with a few nights out, and if I could have it my way, those nights would be memorable and organic.

Until recently, it wasn’t difficult to find a restaurant that featured a handful of organic ingredients, but a menu that boasted 100 percent organic ingredients simply didn’t exist. (Really, it didn’t exist.) Then January 9, 2008, rolled around and marked a day in dining history — when Gusto Organics, the first USDA-approved, 100 percent organic restaurant opened its doors."

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