Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review of Amy's Organic Pound Cakes from SouthTownStar

"Amy's Organic Cakes. Orange, and Chocolate. $3.89 to $4.49 per 11-ounce cake.
Bonnie: It's worth hunting down Amy's new cakes in the freezer section of your supermarket - or making a special trip to a natural foods market to get them. They're as moist and delicious as homemade. They're also organic, vegan and contain no dairy.

A hefty slice of either serves up about 175 calories, 6 grams of fat (of which none is saturated) and about 16 grams of sugar, which is quite modest for something so tasty."

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Anyone else had the opportunity to try these? I've been looking for them at the market every time I go, but with no luck.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RECALL: Nature's Path Optimum Peanut Butter Energy Bars May Have Been Contaminated with Salmonella

"Washington, D.C. - infoZine - Nature's Path Organic Foods of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada is recalling Optimum Energy Bars Peanut Butter flavor, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The Optimum Energy Bars Peanut Butter flavor were manufactured using peanut butter recalled by Peanut Corporation of American because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The affected products are marked with the BEST BEFORE DATE OF 01OCT09A and sold in 2 oz (56 g) individually wrap bar with UPC code of 0 58449 77715 1."

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Review of Crispy Cat Candy Bars

Several months ago, I was sent some Crispy Bar candy bars to review, but due to the hustle and bustle of daily life, I haven't had the opportunity to post my thoughts yet. As you can tell, I've been neglecting this blog a bit, but I hope to get back on top of things soon. At any rate, on to the delicious candy bars!

Crispy Bar candy bars are somewhere between 70% and 90% organic, and if you were to look at the ingredient list, you wouldn't find any scientific or foreign sounding names!
Take a look at the ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Coconut, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin [Made without GMO], Organic Vanilla), Organic Brown Rice Crisp (Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Molasses, Sea Salt), Natural Peppermint Flavor, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Salt.

Totally pure through and through, Crispy Bar candy bars come in three different flavors - roasted peanut, mint coconut and toasted almond. After having the chance to sample all three, I can safely say these are some of the best candy bars around. Sweet without being overpowering, I was thrilled to find such a great product and have it be vegan. I have bought each flavor a number of times since my initial tasting and they have never disappointed me. So the next time you go to see a movie, consider grabbing a Crispy Bar from your local natural food store.

Other Crispy Cat reviews include:
Go Dairy Free's review
Sustainable Coop's review

Wild Flight Farm starts from scratch to build successful organic produce business

"Elena Bruns works the Wild Flight Farm vegetable stand at the Revelstoke Farmers Market this past summer. The Bruns started their business 16 years ago with little capital, equipment or experience and have built it up into a successful enterprise. Photo courtesy of Wild Flight Farms

This week’s Green Business Award goes to Wild Flight Farm. Co-owners Hermann and Louise Bruns supply Revelstoke with produce organically grown on their farm in Mara, located on the Shuswap River. This week I had a chance to ask a few questions that many grateful Revelstokians have been wondering about Wild Flight Farm."

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Organic egg production - For how much longer?

"During 2008, the financial problems that we are and will be facing have led to a reduction in the sales of organic eggs. Fortunately for the free range egg industry, those who have been purchasing organic eggs seem to be deciding that the perceived welfare advantage of free range egg production is one of the key factors in their decision making. I agree with this. In well managed free range units, even large scale ones; the welfare of the hens can be equal to that on organic farms. Therefore any minor alterations in the nutrient quality of the eggs from hens that receive organic feed are likely to be financially forgettable when times are hard. Does this mean that organic egg production is doomed? No, not quite, but the implications are that the share of the market for organic eggs will from now on be lower. Why?

So far, nutritionists and feed compounders have done wonders in sourcing ingredients and formulating feeds that can and do produce good results. However the crunch time is approaching when in 2010, the feed must have a content that rises from 90% to 95% organic. After this, there will be the mandatory final step to 100% organic ingredients in the feed."

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No Organic Cotton at the Green Ball

"Monday evening’s Green Ball at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington had all of the pomp befitting an industry on the rise. A few hours after walking in on the “green carpet,” Al Gore – to rousing cheers — said that the country would regain its “political will” to help the planet when Barack Obama is sworn in as president.

Denise Bode, chief executive of the American Wind Energy Association, described the event as a “pep rally for green energy.”

Rhone Resch, head of the Solar Energy Industries Association, told Green Inc. that his industry could create 800,000 jobs in the next three years. And the bands – from Maroon 5 to Melissa Etheridge – played on."

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shopping for Affordable Organic Foods Has Never Been Easier

"(ARA) - Providing a family with nutritious, well-balanced meals is hard enough for busy consumers, but in today's changing economy, affordability is also a factor. While it may seem like the cost of everything from gas to groceries is on the rise, the good news is that you can feed your entire family organic and natural foods at a lower cost without having to make an extra trip to a specialty health food store. Now you can find a variety of organic and natural products at your local supermarket, for a lot less than you might expect.

Many grocery shoppers are seeking ways to lead healthier lifestyles but also want foods that offer value, selection and convenience. Research shows that they prefer organic and natural foods -- the demand for these foods has grown 10 to 15 percent annually over the past 15 years as shoppers have become more mindful of the ingredients in foods they buy."

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New Brunswick Organic Farming Conference January 31

"New Brunswick - Excitement is building for the 19th Annual NOFA-NJ Winter Conference -- Greener Fields, Greener Pastures: The Way Forward -- which will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cook Campus Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. NOFA-NJ’s (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey) Winter Conference is the premier gathering for the organic and sustainable food, farming, and gardening community in the state, and is the only venue which brings together all the stake holders in the local food system. Local and organic food and sustainability in general have captured national attention and this year’s agenda offers an exciting mix of introductory, intermediate, and advanced sessions on a wide range of topics relevant to everyone concerned with the local production of high quality nutritious food and its distribution within the state."

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People Looking for Green Alternatives to Looking and Feeling Better

"Lisa Agee, owner of New Milford-based Goatboy Soaps, said she sticks to the philosophy of "if you can't pronounce it or spell it, why would you want to put it on your skin?"

Some of those complex ingredients she's talking about include parabens and propylene glycol, which many people looking to live a "greener life" avoid because they aren't natural and could be harmful.

As more and more people are interested in living a greener, more environmentally friendly life, more of us are also turning toward purchasing all natural products from health food or specialty stores. They may cost more than the products with mass appeal, but many believe they have simpler and healthier ingredients."

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Organic Executives Launch Website to Support Tom Vilsack for USDA

"A group of NGO chiefs, activists, and Big Organic executives have launched a website and petition to support Tom Vilsack, president-elect Barack Obama's choice to lead USDA.

Participants in the site, known as, include Bob Scowcroft, executive director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation; Iowa sustainable-food activist Denise O'Brien (who recently guest-posted on Gristmill); Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the U.S. Humane Society; Gary Hirshberg, CEO of organic-yogurt giant Stonyfield Farm; Steve Demos, founder of soy-food giant White Wave (now owned by industrial-dairy behemoth Dean Foods); and several others.

Institutionally, the Organic Trade Association -- whose members range from tiny producers of hemp products to global agribiz giant Bunge -- signed on."

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Navita Naturals Introduces Sweet Cacao Nibs

"The cacao bean is a nourishing superfood that has played a fascinating role in the diet, medicine and culture of civilizations for many centuries. Now, Navitas Naturals ( is giving this legendary “Food of the Gods” a delicious modern update by blending their popular raw organic cacao nibs with raw organic Cacao Paste (liquor) and organic sugar cane juice. Navitas Naturals’ Sweet Cacao Nibs are a delicious treat right out of the bag and they also add bold flavor and crunchy texture to a wide variety of recipes.

The organic cacao beans used in Navitas Naturals Sweet Cacao Nibs are hand-selected for quality in the rainforests of Peru, and are then partially fermented to alleviate bitterness. The beans are processed at low temperatures to maintain maximum nutrient retention. Once extracted from the pod-like fruit, the beans are cleansed with purified water, peeled and partially ground to form small “nibs.” The crunchy nibs are then rolled in Navitas Naturals raw organic Cacao Paste (liquor) and then lightly mixed with organic sugar cane juice to create the ultimate ‘real’ chocolate treat."

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Story Behind Yummy in My Tummy

"Like many parents, Karen and Michael Stanley wanted to give their daughter the best when she was born 17 months ago.

Michael, a partner in Brasserie Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and manager of other restaurants including Tequila Ranch at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and Karen, a political consultant, decided to feed Sophia only organic food. They started out buying packaged, but found their choices too limited. When they started cooking it themselves, countless pots of peas, squash and parsnips left them feeling overwhelmed. There had to be an easier way.

What they did was start their own business, Yummy in My Tummy, an all-organic baby food store at in Davie, Fla."

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Australia Among the Most Innovative Organic Markets

"Being more innovative than most has paid off for three Australian organic companies, whose creative approach to business sees them looking forward to a prosperous 2009 despite the economic turmoil.
The recent opening of Z Mills in SE Queensland was a giant step for organic flour milling. Protection from light, reducing the temperature to 4◦Celsius or lower and using nitrogen to exclude oxygen from the milling process means that the enzyme reactions that cause rancidity in flour are virtually eradicated.
In addition, CEO Thomas Cunliffe reports, the process retains the grain roughage and essential oils, minerals and fibre so that the nutrient value of the flour is maintained.
The mill can be used for hard grains such as brown rice and hemp and trials are planned for milling China, tiny seeds of an ancient South American plant that is rich in anti-oxidants. Even the mill is a local product, a Queensland design in which the grain effectively mills itself through a contained, high-speed impact process that uses no water and 30% less energy than conventional mills.
Australian Harvest’s grape marc produce is also ready for the New Year, after making its mark at a major food expo in Dublin."

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Malawi Beating Poverty with Organic Methods

"Poverty and penury often push people in Africa into innovation. So it was with Jailos Kanyanga. The story began when government agents arrived at Mr Kanyanga's compound in this central region of Malawi, and demanded that he immediately repay money he owed under a fertiliser credit scheme – with "no further excuses".

The sum involved was 3,750 kwacha (about £17) – an amount that it was unimaginable the poor subsistence farmer would have to hand. If he couldn't pay, the agents said, they would seize his 11 pigs – livestock Mr Kanyanga saw as ensuring the survival of his family of eight. He was lucky. The local pastor lent him the money. But it was then that Mr Kanyanga resolved he could not allow himself to fall into such peril again."

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