Friday, February 26, 2010

Corporate Baking Giant Sara Lee Hijacks Organics

"Cornucopia, Wisconsin: With the growing success of organics, and increasing consumer interest in buying foods that were grown on sustainable farms without toxic chemicals, Sara Lee Corporation has launched, with much fanfare, a marketing campaign for its EarthGrains bread, chock-full of environmental-friendly catchphrases.

Sara Lee claims that “Eco-Grain™,” an ingredient actually used in small proportions in its EarthGrains brand breads, is more sustainable than organic grain. What has been described as a “crass and exploitive marketing ploy” has angered many in the organic community.

“Corporations like Sara Lee clearly want to profit from consumers’ interest in ecological and healthy food production. But unlike organic companies, Sara Lee is doing practically nothing to ensure its ingredients are truly ecologically produced,” said Charlotte Vallaeys, a Food and Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based organic industry watchdog. “It’s a crass example of a corporation trying to capitalize on the valuable market cachet of organic, while intentionally misleading consumers–without making any meaningful commitment to protect the environment or produce safer and more nutritious food.”"

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Farmers Fighting for Their Health: Taking on Chemical Companies and Transitioning to Sustainable Ag

"The Ecologist reported recently that three French farmers have successfully sued chemical companies for cancer and Parkinson’s disease that resulted from their occupational use of pesticides–an issue as widespread as it is under-reported. A cereal farmer with 100,000 hectares of land in in the Vosges region, Dominque Marchal was the first farmer to have his leukemia associated with his daily pesticide use. His wife was determined to get to the bottom of the issue."

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Kirstie Alley Launches Organic Weight-Loss System Organic Liaison

"LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Through her site, award-winning actress Kirstie Alley has launched a brand new, innovative, affordable weight-loss program featuring the 'Rescue Me' kit.
Developed with top doctors and nutritionists from around the country, the program consists of the 'Rescue Me' Elixir, which provides the body with the nutrients, minerals, pre-biotics, and anti-oxidants it needs to curb excess-hunger and cravings. 'Release Me,' an advanced formula that provides the right balance of calcium and magnesium to help ease stress and promote cardiovascular health. The program also includes 'Nightingale,' the all-natural liquid formula sleep aide which contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid and L-Tryptophan -- the essential amino acid L-Tryptophan enhances relaxation and sleep, while helping to reduce carbohydrate cravings and alleviate muscle pains."

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recall: President's Choice Organic Chocolate Digestive Biscuits May Contain Undeclared Dairy

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning people who are allergic to milk not to consume President's Choice-brand organics chocolate digestive biscuits.

The CFIA and Loblaw Companies Ltd., the importer of the Scottish-made biscuits, said the recalled product might contain milk ingredients that are not declared on the label.

Officials said all packages of biscuits that do not declare the presence of milk ingredients are affected by the recall. The biscuits were distributed nationally."

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Sweetpea Baby Food Launches All-Natural Organic Cookies

"Toronto, ON – Family-friendly snacks for kids from one to 101 - Sweetpea Baby Food, a unique line of organic baby food manufactured in Canada, is launching a new line of organic snacks to build upon the success of its already popular line of frozen baby purées. Sweetpea’s new Organic Cookies are available in three delicious flavours that children will love: Banana Pear, Pumpkin Spice and Sweet Apple. From the young to young at heart, the cookies are good for everyone from one to 101."

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Food Makers Seek Organic Growth from Healthy Trend in Dubai

"DUBAI // Health-conscious shoppers have sparked growing interest in selling organic foods across the Middle East and the UAE wants to play a key role.

The IFFCO Group, which is based in the UAE and is one of the largest food makers in the region, is to introduce organic products within six months.

And the Kuwait-based food maker Al Yasra Food will invest between US$50 million (Dh183.6m) and $100m to expand its organics division in the UAE over the next five to 10 years."

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Conservation Funds Available for Organic Growers

"HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For a second year, Pennsylvania farmers transitioning to organic agriculture or those who are certified organic have the opportunity to receive assistance for applying conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) organic initiative. Applications are being accepted now until March 12, 2010.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pennsylvania has set aside $760,000 to support organic agriculture. Approved applicants may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 per year, totaling up to $80,000 over six years.
The EQIP organic initiative is designed to provide financial assistance in the form of payments of 75 percent of the average cost of a conservation practice, or 90 percent of the average cost of a conservation practice if the producer is in a traditionally underserved group, such as limited resource, beginning, or minority farmers."

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Converted Organics Signs Licensing Agreement with MassOrganics for New Manufacturing Facility

"BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Converted Organics Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with MassOrganics I, LLC regarding the use of Converted Organics’ proprietary system for the manufacture of organic fertilizer products. MassOrganics I will install and operate the system at a new manufacturing facility to be constructed at The Sutton Commerce Park in Sutton, Massachusetts. In March, 2009 Converted Organics received a permit from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Environmental Protection to operate a food waste processing facility at the site.

As part of the agreement, MassOrganics I will pay a licensing fee to Converted Organics of $1,000,000 and a royalty of $20 per ton of fertilizer sold from the facility. Converted Organics has agreed to give MassOrganics I the right of first refusal for the development of similar facilities in Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont."

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Organic Trade Association appoints Legislative & Advocacy Manager

"The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has hired Will Telligman to fill the new position of legislative and advocacy manager in the organization's new Washington, D.C., office.

Telligman most recently served as legislative affairs coordinator for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) in Washington, D.C., after a year's stint as legislative affairs assistant with IDFA. Previously, he served as a congressional intern for Rep. John Spratt.

Telligman grew up on a farm, and both sides of his family have continuously farmed since the mid-1800s. He currently is completing a master's degree in agricultural policy at Johns Hopkins University."

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Organic Farm Seeks Customers

"The Stoneledge Farm Organic Vegetable CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) has several shares available for the 2010 growing season. The 24-week vegetable share, which feeds two to four people, features up to 45 different organically grown vegetables and herbs, as the growing season permits.

The cost for the season is $487. An optional 20-week fruit share is available for $225, and features both organic and conventionally grown items. Half-shares are available for those who have made prior arrangements with a share partner."

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Kaia Foods to Launch New Raw Kale Chips at Expo West

"February 2010 ‐ Kaia Foods, a leading raw food brand in America, will be showing at the 2010 Natural Products Expo West from March 12 to 14 at the Anaheim ConvenFon Center in Anaheim, CA. Their booth is #1912 in the Organic Pavilion.

Kaia foods manufactures three product lines ‐ Buckwheat Granolas, Sprouted Sunflower Seeds, and Fruit Leathers ‐ all of which are certified organic, gluten‐free, and raw. They will also be launching a fourth product line, Kale Chips, at the show. Kale Chips taste as good as regular potato chips, but they're actually healthy! Made with kale, sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted sesame seeds, and seasonings, they are dehydrated instead of fried."

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Riverford Organic Delivers Over 3,000 Boxes of Organic Produce a Week

"A FOOD delivery business which operates from a North Yorkshire family farm has become the fastest-growing firm of its type in the UK within three years of trading.

Riverford Organic delivers more than 3,000 boxes of organic produce across the North-East and Yorkshire every week, with order levels increasing as more people turn to healthy eating.

And the firm, based in Newby Wiske, is predicting further growth this year after deliveries of its home-produced vegetables increased by 40 per cent during last year. It is hoping to increase deliveries by a further 50 per cent.

Peter Robinson, with his wife Jo-ann, runs Riverford Organic from Home Farm, in Newby Wiske, and is the third generation of his family to operate the farm."

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Zona Rose Coffee Extends Coffee Line to Additional Whole Foods Market

"Zona Rosa Coffee™ ( is proud to announce the expansion of their specialty line of organic Latin coffee to three additional area Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:WFMI) in Los Angeles County.

As of today, three additional local Whole Foods Market locations, West Hollywood, 3rd and Fairfax, and West Los Angeles stores will be carrying Zona Rosa Coffee’s™ line of organic Latin coffees. With the addition of these Whole Foods Market stores it gives Zona Rosa Coffee™ six area locations which also include, the Arroyo Parkway, East Pasadena/Hastings Ranch, and Glendale."

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Recall: Health Valley Granola Bars May Be Contaminated by Salmonella

"As reported in a Food and Drug Administration press release, Lovin Oven, the manufacturer of Health Valley Granola bars has performed a voluntary recall on several of its flavors.

The voluntary recall is based on the potential of certain flavors being contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella.
The types of granola bars affected are Organic Peanut Crunch, Dutch Apple and Wildberry Chewy. The one thing in common as far as ingredients is that these bars contain organic toasted soy grits supplied by Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative of Ubly, MI.
This follows a recall by another granola bar manufacturer; because of the use of ingredients supplied by Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative."

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Family to Grow Organic Produce for Sale

"Eating organic, farm-fresh produce at every meal is no easy task for most families. But a family of farmers southeast of Fertile, Minn., wants to change that.

The Lambrights, an Amish family of 14, plan to pick up where the Mount Saint Benedict Community Supported Agriculture Garden of Crookston left off. The Lambrights moved from southwestern Wisconsin to establish a community with seven or eight other Amish families because land prices were making small-scale farming difficult in Wisconsin. Stacy Erickson of the Fertile area helps the family with communication and transportation."

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

USDA Pest Risk Analyses for Fresh Figs, Pomegranates and Baby Kiwi from Chile

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared two pest risk analyses, one for fresh figs and pomegranates grown in Chile and one for fresh baby kiwi fruit grown in Chile. The analyses evaluate the risks associated with the importation into the continental United States of fresh figs, pomegranates and baby kiwi fruit from Chile. "

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Grass-fed Cows Enrich soil, Improve the Environment, and Make Better Meat

"(NaturalNews) Cattle, particularly cows, have been the target of many environmental groups that believe raising animals for food is contributing to climate change and causing environmental harm. While true about the vast majority of American livestock that are raised using feedlots, pastured animals that are rotated among fields actually help to improve environmental conditions.

Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower, and Barbara Damrosch, gardening columnist at the Washington Post, are two of the most notable organic vegetable gardeners in the country. They are currently outfitting their farm in coastal Maine with a new barn that will hold a half dozen cows and some sheep. The couple plans to use the grazing animals to improve the soil conditions on their farm and help the environment."

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Organic Creamery Introduces Organic American Cheese Slices

"RICHFIELD, Wis., February 18, 2010 – DCI Cheese Company (DCI) is pleased to introduce an extension to its Organic Creamery line: Organic American cheese slices available in eight-slice straight stack and 16-slice twin stack packs. The new pasteurized process slices are available in the specialty cheese section of select retailers across the country.

Organic Creamery cheeses are produced in a manner that is beneficial to the health and welfare of people, animals and the environ ment. All products are hand-crafted by award winning Wisconsin cheesemakers with 100% certified organic milk. The fresh milk used in production is sourced from family farms that practice humane animal management and pasture grazing and is free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Additionally, no animal rennet or artificial colorings are used during production. Organic Creamery cheeses proudly display the USDA organic seal. "

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Natural and Organic Foods Fuel the Taste for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

"DELTA, BC, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - Vancouver 2010 is the first-ever Games to feature a distinctly organic flavour. Hain Celestial Canada, the Official Supplier of Natural and Organic Products for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is proudly offering spectators healthy alternatives at all venue concessions. From natural salty snacks to vegetarian hot dogs and chili, Hain Celestial is pleased to provide nutritious choices for all 2010 Winter Games fans.

Hain Celestial Canada - known for popular healthy foods such as Yves Veggie Cuisine(R), Terra Chips(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), and Imagine(R) organic soups - has exclusive Official Supplier sponsorship rights in the Natural and Organic Packaged Grocery Products category for the 2010 Winter Games. Hain Celestial Canada is a subsidiary of The Hain Celestial Group, a leading natural and organic food and personal care products company in North America and Europe."

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

New USDA Data Offers In-Depth Look at Organic Farming

"According to results of the 2008 Organic Production Survey released February 3, 2010 by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa ranks ninth in the U.S. in number of organic farms.

"This was USDA's first wide-scale survey of organic producers, and it was undertaken in direct response to the growing interest in organics among consumers, farmers, businesses, policymakers and others," says USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "The information will be an important building block for future program and policy development."

The survey counted 14,540 U.S. farms and ranches that were either USDA certified organic or were exempt from certification because their sales totaled less than $5,000. These operations comprised 4.1 million acres of land, of which 1.6 million acres were harvested cropland and 1.8 million acres were pasture or rangeland. In Iowa, 518 farms were reported, comprising 94,568 total acres."

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10 Struggling Maine Dairy Farmers Unite to Put New Organic Product, MOOMilk, in Supermarkets

"PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine dairy farmers hope their new organic milk, called MOOMilk, becomes as popular among natural-food buffs as Maine lobster is among seafood lovers.

Ten dairy farmers formed Maine's Own Organic Milk Co., MOOMilk for short, last year after their contracts weren't renewed by large milk distributor H.P. Hood LLC. A year later, the first half-gallon cartons of MOOMilk have reached dairy cases in scores of supermarkets and natural-food stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

MOOMilk gives consumers a new locally produced organic milk while offering farmers a glimmer of hope when the dairy industry is struggling, said dairy farmer Richard Lary, of Windy Acres Farm, in Clinton. In Maine, 200 dairy farms have gone out of business in the past decade, with 300 still in operation."

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Kellogg Says Kashi May Grow to $1 Billion Brand in 5 Years

"Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Kellogg Co.’s Kashi, the health- foods brand that makes Heart to Heart cereal, will increase sales by about two-thirds within five years, to more than $1 billion, said David DeSouza, the unit’s general manager.

Kashi, whose motto is “Seven Grains on a Mission,” had sales of about $25 million when Kellogg acquired it in 2000 for $33 million. Last year, it posted revenue of more than $600 million, David Mackay, Kellogg’s chief executive officer, said in a Feb. 10 telephone interview. Kellogg, the largest U.S. maker of breakfast cereal, had $12.6 billion in revenue last year and expects sales to grow 2 percent to 3 percent this year."

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bear Naked Encourages Consumers to 'Eat Natural, Play Naturally' With Adventure Sweepstakes

"LA JOLLA, Calif., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Bear Naked, the natural foods innovator, today announced the launch of its "Eat Natural, Play Naturally" sweepstakes, offering consumers the chance to win a domestic mountain bike trip offered by Western Spirit Cycling Adventures and one of 25 Cannondale® premier urban bikes (to be awarded in the form of a voucher to be used at a Cannondale Dealership) among thousands of other prizes. Bear Naked fans are invited to enter the sweepstakes any time between February 15 and May 1, 2010 online at"

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Heavy Snows Taking Toll on Greenhouses, Crops

"The heavy snows which are blanketing much of the eastern half of the country are taking their toll on greenhouse structures. Growers are reporting damage caused by the weight of the heavy snows, including damage to the glazing and structural supports.

Larry Gude of Gude Brothers Greenhouse in Middletown, Md., walked into his 67,000 sq. ft. greenhouse on Feb. 6, to find shattered glass and bent metal. The Frederick News-Post reported that Gude estimates the structural damage could be as high as $1 million with a plant loss of $750,000. Gude is hoping to salvage a portion of the 400,000 gerbera plants that were growing in the house. reported that Gude and his employees were working to try to save 25% of the crop.
Members of the Univ. of Md. Extension said that they have received several reports form growers in central Maryland and on the Eastern shore that incurred damage from both unheated and heated greenhouses collapsing from the heavy snowfall. One grower lost a third of the greenhouses at his operation. "

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Whole Foods Market Reports First Quarter Results

"AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: WFMI) today reported results for the 16-week first quarter ended January 17, 2010. Sales increased 7.0% to $2.6 billion. Comparable store sales increased 3.5%, or -0.5% on a two-year stacked basis. Identical store sales, excluding five relocations and two major expansions, increased 2.5%, or -2.4% on a two-year stacked basis. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") increased 26% to $186.0 million. Income available to common shareholders increased 79% to $49.7 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 62% to $0.32 per diluted share."

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Conference Highlights Organic Foods

"Despite Americans' continued primary reliance on a well-traveled, highly processed, fast-food diet, the organic/sustainable/local food movement has made great headway into the mainstream in recent years.

Thanks to best-selling books including Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation" and Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," as well as the award-winning documentaries "Super Size Me" and "Food, Inc.," along with efforts of renowned chefs such as Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver, we are beginning to reconnect with the origins of our food."

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stop Monsanto's GMO Contamination of Organic Foods

"During the Bush administration, Monsanto illegally won USDA approval for its genetically engineer(GE) alfalfa by convincing regulators to bypass a mandatory environmental review. In response to a lawsuit by consumer groups, the courts then stepped in and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA followed the law. In December, the USDA released its belated review of Monsanto's GE alfalfa seed and determined that Monsanto's alfalfa met the Obama Administration's standards, despite the risk of organic contamination.

This conclusion came despite the acknowledgment by USDA researchers that GE alfalfa is virtually certain to "contaminate" normal seeds. Cross-contamination is the number one concern with genetically engineered crops. "

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Score Organic in Africa – Organic Africa Pavilion at BioFach

"At BioFach 2010 in Nuremberg, Germany there will be an African Pavilion where visitors will enjoy African designs, colours, sounds and flavours. Around one hundred exporters, national organic movements and export promotion agencies will join together in Nuremberg to showcase the specialities from the Sub-Sahara Africa countries. For the participants it is a chance to display their products and to link up with interested buyers and colleagues. For the buyers it is an opportunity to make contacts with professional suppliers.

The Pavilion will serve as a hub of information on activities and services of different importers, trade promotion agencies, consultancies, NGO’s and certifiers. It will offer an opportunity for exhibitors to exchange information and contacts with relevant businesses from all over the world."

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Big Increase in Organic Farming in North Ireland

"The organic sector can be proud of the progress that it has made since 2000 according to UUP Agricultural spokesperson Tom Elliott.

Approximately 1.2% or 11,937 hectares of land is currently certified as farmed organically, a three fold increase in ten years.
Ulster Unionist Agricultural spokesperson, Tom Elliott MLA received the information in an answer to questions put to the North's Minister of Agriculture, Michelle Gildernew.

The Fermanagh Assembly member described the figures as encouraging."

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Organic Produce Company Excited for 2010 Import Season

"CF Fresh is looking forward to the first arrivals of South American Organic produce shipments next week. The season will start with organic white garlic and then move into organic Bartlett pears, followed by organic Red Bartlett pears near the end of the month.

“In March our selection will expand as we begin getting more pear varieties, from staples such as Packham’s Triumph and Golden Russet Bosc to specialty varieties such as Alexander Lucas and Abate Fetel. Argentine and Chilean apples will also begin to arrive in March, beginning with the Galas and early Fujis.” said CF Fresh Import Coordinator Addie Pobst."

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New Pasture Rules Issued for Organic Dairy Producers

"The Department of Agriculture issued new rules on Friday meant to settle a dispute in the organic agriculture industry over how much time cows at organic dairies must spend grazing on pasture. The ruling was cheered by many in the organic industry who said it would shore up consumer confidence in organic milk and could force some larger dairies in Western states to change how they operate.

The new rules clarify an older requirement that said only that organically raised livestock had to have access to pasture. That left a loophole for some dairies that would put cows out to pasture only during periods when the animals were not giving milk or would feed their animals almost exclusively on grain or other feeds."

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Organic Vegan Food Truck to Launch in Hoboken on Valentine’s Day

"The Cinnamon Snail, an organic vegan food truck, is launching in Hoboken on Sunday, and for vegetarians, there may no better way to dine with one’s significant other. The truck is serving full breakfast and lunch menus and desert pastries, such as hand-crafted vegan donuts and vegan puff pastries."

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Organic Flower Industry Growing, Focusing on Unusual Varieties

"Like florists all over the country, Terra Bella Flowers in Greenwood spent this week wrangling red roses.

Long-stemmed beauties from Ecuador stood in bins on the floor while arrangers' fingers flew to assemble bouquets for Valentine's Day this weekend.

Unlike most florists, Terra Bella's roses come with a string of credentials. They are certified by Veriflora, Flor Ecuador, Fair Labor Practices and the Flower Label Program.

They are "eco-roses" — not quite organic, but grown with fewer pesticides than your average flower."

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Friday, February 12, 2010

LaGrange’s Organic Food Co-op Loses Licensing Fight

"ELYRIA — Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge ruled Wednesday the Manna Storehouse, a LaGrange organic food co-op, is a retail store and should be licensed as one.

Jacqueline and John Stowers have claimed their organic food store on SR 303 was not a retail store and therefore was not subject to be inspected or regulated.

They maintained their claim even after the Ohio Department of Agriculture raided the store in December 2008 and seized food, electronic devices and documents because the store was unlicensed.

Burge wrote in his ruling “Manna’s exclusion from licensure as a ‘retail food establishment’ would have no rational basis.”"

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Organic Growers Alter Produce Plan

"Many Del Norters may be familiar with Ocean Air Farm’s community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes that are filled each week from June to October with fresh organic produce grown in Fort Dick.
Others might only know the farm’s produce from the farmers markets in Crescent City and Brookings.

Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayer Williams, the farmers at Ocean Air Farms, are trying out something new this year that melds the CSA program and the farmers markets.

“For us, it’s about giving the customer as many choices as we can,” Madeira said, “while still making the connection between the farm and people.”"

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RECALL: Applegate Farms Sausage May Contain Foreign Plastic Material

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall of about 1,485 pounds of Applegate Farms-brand sausage because of possible contamination.

The federal agency said Schmalz European Provisions of Springfield, N.J., initiated the recall of the ready-to-eat sausage products because they might contain foreign plastic material.

Being recalled are 12-ounce packages of "Applegate Farms Certified Organic Fire Roasted Red Pepper Fully Cooked Chicken & Turkey Sausage." Each package has a "use by/freeze by" date of Feb. 28, 2010."

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Defining 'Natural' Cleaners

"A growing number of home-cleaning products that call their ingredients "natural" are hitting store shelves. Now, an industry group is trying to clarify what the term means and whether manufacturers are using it appropriately.

The Natural Products Association, a Washington-based group representing manufacturers and retailers including Clorox Co. and Whole Foods Market, plans to release new standards Thursday for natural home care products. The group is issuing the guidelines out of concern that products like household cleaners and detergents say on labels that they are natural when they are made mostly of synthetic ingredients, says Daniel Fabricant, the association's vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs. Products that meet those standards will be able to display the association's seal."

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Watering Down Organic Milk

"On some bureaucrat's desk in President Obama's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sits a document that has the power to either destroy the nation's 1,800 family-operated organic dairy farms or come to their rescue.

In the early 2000s, virtually all of the nation's organic dairy farmers—not to mention the millions of consumers willing to pay a premium for organic products—agreed that milk certified as organic by the United States Department of Agriculture had to come from cows that had access to pasture. As government regulations go, it sounds pretty straightforward: room to roam, clean air to breathe, fresh grass to eat. And that was the general consensus on what the National Organic Standards required."

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Wisconsin Comes in Second as Leader of Organic Farming

"MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Wisconsin is second in the nation in the number of organic farms, according to numbers released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural (USDA) Statistics Service.

“Farming is the heritage and the future of Wisconsin, and we’ve worked hard to strengthen and diversify agriculture across the state,” Governor Doyle said. “Organic farming is one of the areas that Wisconsin is leading the way, and I am proud to support these efforts.”

According to the USDA’s survey, Wisconsin has 1,222 organic farms, the second highest in the nation, behind California. Wisconsin organic farms use 195,603 acres of land. Organic sales in the state total $132.8 million, including $30.1 million in crops sales and $102.6 million in sales of livestock, poultry and their products. Sixty-four percent of total organic sales in Wisconsin were from milk from cows."

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Healthy Chef Creations Announces the Creation of Momilicious- Nurturing Organic Meals for New and Expecting Moms

"ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthy Chef Creations, a nationwide supplier of fresh wholesome organic prepared meals for home delivery, today, announced the creation of Momilicious.

Take the guesswork out of figuring out what's wholesome and safe for your baby and you. Experience the scrumptious taste of natural, whole organic foods prepared by an award-winning spa chef. Depending on your stage of momihood, we will cater to your dietary preferences and daily caloric needs; starting at only $8.99 per meal delivered."

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Apple Rush Co., Inc.'s Organic Juice Product Line Offers a Naturally Healthy Alternative for Kids

"DOLTON, Ill., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple Rush Co., Inc. (Pink Sheets: APRU) is pleased to announce that the Company's organic juice product line offers children a healthy drink alternative. There has been a growing concern regarding low nutritional drinks and foods offered to children. Apple Rush is able to help eliminate some of these concerns by offering a healthy and refreshing drink, with no refined sugars.

According to U.S. News & World Report children who drank 100 percent juice in moderation consumed more vitamins C and B6, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, folate, calories, and carbohydrates. They also had significantly less intake of total fat, saturated fat, discretionary fat and added sugar, according to the article. The children who drank juice also ate more whole fruit than those who did not drink juice."

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Funding Available for Organic Producers and Farmers Transitioning to Organic Agriculture

"The 2008 Farm Bill set aside 1.2 million dollars to assist certified organic producers and farmers looking to make the transition to organic agriculture.

The NRCS is now making those funds available to producers interested in expanding their operation or making it better.

The assistance that we provide is both technical on how to do things how to get it set-up for organic farming and also providing financial assistance to implement some of the conservation related practices related to organic farming. So we can help in both ways,” said David Schmidt, a District Conservationist with the NRCS."

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Duchy Originals reports loss as sales slump

"Duchy Originals, the UK organic food business founded by the Prince of Wales, has booked a loss of over GBP3m (US$4.7m) as sales slumped and the company incurred costs from the sale of its bakery.

In a filing at Companies House, Duchy reported a loss of GBP3.3m for the year to the end of March 2009.

The loss was due in part to just under GBP2m in charges from the subsequent sale of its bakery site in Launceston."

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why It May Cost Us More NOT to Eat Organic

"The less we spend on food, the more we spend on health care," said Michael Pollan on Oprah.

Today, Americans spend almost 20 cents of every dollar managing disease - diabetes, allergies, asthma, cancer, obesity - and only 10 cents of every dollar on food. The jury is still out on what exactly may be causing all of these epidemics, but genetics don't change that quickly, the environment does. And increasing evidence points to the role that diet is playing in the onset of disease.

In a perfect world, we'd all be growing our own organic vegetable garden, but most of us don't yet live in that world. With picky eaters, limited time and a limited budget, we are trying to do the best we can with what we've got and are frustrated by the price discrepancy between conventional food and "organic" food at the grocery store."

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EU Gets 'Euro-leaf' Logo for Organic Food

"A new EU-wide "Euro-leaf" logo will be compulsory from 1 July for all pre-packaged organic food produced in any of the 27 EU member states.

The green logo, featuring the 12 EU stars in the shape of a leaf, will be optional for imported produce."

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Plum Organics Introduces Single-Ingredient Organic Baby Food Line

"NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Plum Organics™, the leading premium organic baby food brand in the nation, announces the introduction of its "JUST" line: six single-fruit purees of USDA organic baby food made with 100 percent fruits with no added sugar, juice, colors or flavors.

The new "JUST" fruit options include JUST Apples, JUST Peaches, JUST Pears, JUST Bananas, JUST Prunes and JUST Mangos. Each organic fruit is gently cooked and pureed until smooth, then packaged in a BPA-free, lightweight pouch that pours easily onto a spoon for a mess-free eating experience -- a method that reduces food waste and eliminates the need for double dipping."

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Survey: Minn. A Leader in Organic Farming

"ST. PAUL — A new survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that Minnesota ranks among the Top 10 states with the largest numbers of certified organic farms.

According to the 2008 Organic Production Survey, Minnesota’s organic sector generated $69 million in sales in 2008. Nationwide, organic sales totaled $3.16 billion."

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Green Paints Perform Well, Gain Popularity

"Green paints are becoming popular. For the first time, nearly all top-scoring paints had among the lowest levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) , according to tests of more than 50 paints by Consumer Reports.

The tests, published in the magazine's March edition, rate these paints as "very good" or "excellent" for single-coat coverage and finds that almost all contain no more than 50 grams of VOCs per liter, a fraction of the 380 grams once common in the most-used, low-luster paints."

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Green & Black's Commits to Move Entire Chocolate Range to Fair Trade Certified in United States

"PARSIPPANY, N.J., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Pioneering organic chocolate maker Green & Black's today announces its commitment to move its entire chocolate range, worldwide, to Fair Trade – including the United States. Fifteen years ago Green & Black's led the Fair Trade movement by launching Maya Gold® – the first ever Fair Trade Certified™ product in the United Kingdom. In the United States, Green & Black's is the number one chocolate in the Natural channel(1). Green & Black's entire range is already organic, and thanks to continued expansion around the world, this move will make Green & Black's the world's leader in organic and Fair Trade chocolate."

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nasoya Introduces TOFU PLUS

"AYER, Mass., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- TOFU PLUS, the nation's first and only tofu "beefed up" with nutrients needed by people looking to lower or eliminate meat from their diet without sacrificing nutrition, is being introduced by Nasoya, America's leading tofu company (, on March 12-14 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.

TOFU PLUS is fortified to provide 20 percent of the daily nutritional requirements of the vital nutrients that can be harder to get when meat is less prevalent in the diet. These include B-2, B-6, B-12, Zinc, D-2 and Calcium. TOFU PLUS is also low in saturated fat, free from sodium and cholesterol, is a good source of Iron, and contains naturally occurring phosphorous. Made from premium quality, organic soy beans, TOFU PLUS is produced in Nasoya's organic-certified plant outside of Boston.
"We're all taking steps to be healthier, and eating less meat is a choice many are making. But many consumers worry that veggie-based foods like tofu may not provide all the nutrients they get in meat," said Susan Rolnick, Nasoya Marketing Director. "Nasoya designed TOFU PLUS to make this transition easier for consumers. We fortified TOFU PLUS with B vitamins, Vitamin D, Calcium and Zinc, some of the essential nutrients found in meat, but not in traditional tofu."

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Taiwan Company Under Fire for Mislabeling Origin of Organic Food

"TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A producer of organic foods was facing fines Monday for misrepresenting the origin of its products as hailing from Ilan County.
Yuen Foong Yu Biotech Co. Ltd, an affiliate of prominent paper manufacturer Yuen Foong Yu Group, said it had started last December to print the location of the packaging procedure on its labels instead of the region of origin. The change was completely legal, Yuen Foong Yu Biotech President Ho Yi-chia told a news conference Monday, blaming the confusion about the labeling on unclear legislation.

Inspectors and consumers groups disagreed with the company’s arguments, saying the true region of origin of each organic product should be clearly and honestly listed on the labels. Media reports alleged some of the company’s organic products came from suppliers that had not yet received official homologation as organic farms."

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Food Stamps to Encourage Poor to Buy Organic Food

"Low income families could be given food stamps to allow them to buy healthy organic food, according to the director of the Soil Association.

Patrick Holden, the director of England’s leading organic organisation, also suggested that the poor could be encouraged to eat better by learning to cook with fresh produce instead of relying on expensive junk foods.

Mr Holden was speaking to the Birmingham Post as the Soil Association held its annual conference at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham. The two-day event has been discussing ways to counter criticism that organic food is expensive and elitist."

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Green Fashion Show by Natural Clothing Company Brings Community Together

"Snohomish, WA (PRWEB) February 1, 2010 -- How we can live sustainably, minimize our impact on the environment but still have fun and look great? An eco-friendly community gathered at Grilla Bites in Snohomish, WA has some practical ideas.

On January 16, 2010 Natural Clothing Company, invited by local Grilla Bites Cafe, presented a selection of beautiful organic clothing, made with all natural fibers. Featured were versatile hemp dresses, sweaters and pants, naturally dyed scarves and hats, organic cotton blouses and skirts as well as bamboo clothing with a popular line of reversible tops and cropped pants. Even a hat made from recycled grocery bags got well deserved round of applause. Gracious models streaming down the runway were a local artist, a Historic Downtown Snohomish representative and local students. Annie, the host and owner of organic Grilla Bites Cafe, was also wearing eco-friendly, fair trade organic clothing from Natural Clothing Company."

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Whole Foods Contributes $2.7 Million to Haiti Recovery

"Whole Foods Market Inc.’s customers and employees as well as the Austin-based grocer’s Whole Planet Foundation have donated a total of $2.7 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

In just two weeks, customers at 289 Whole Foods stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom donated nearly $1.7 million to a variety of relief organizations, including Action Against Hunger, the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Doctors Without Borders, Food for the Poor and Partners in Health."

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Organic Farming Boosts Farmers Markets

"Big retailers are facing competition from farmers markets, as buyers seek fresher food grown without agricultural chemicals.

In the rich soils of Byron Bay, farmer Alisdair Smithsom grows seasonal fruit and vegetables for local markets, and is helping to grow the local economy at the same time.

Farmhand Beck was unemployed when she moved to the area, and found the best way to eat organic food was to volunteer on an organic farm for one day a week in exchange for a box of vegies.

"A year and a half later, I'm living on the farm, working on the farm, and it's fantastic," she said.

The 130 acre ReGensis farm, at Myocum to the north of Byron Bay, was established in 2001, and focuses on organic whole systems agriculture, best-practice farm forestry, and environmental regeneration and repair."

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Soil Association Confronts Image of Organic Food as Elitist and Expensive

"n the beginning the organic movement struggled to shed its image of wonky carrots sold by hippies with dirty cuffs and sandals. Now it has the opposite problem: associated with high-priced jars of chutney and biscuits sold by slick marketing men to the dinner party classes.

Now the UK's biggest organic body, the Soil Association, is confronting its posh image problem with a special session at its annual conference this week devoted to debating "organic elitism".

"Organic is now seen as expensive and elitist," says the programme. "Have we been complicit in this positioning and how can it be challenged?""

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Proposal in Federal Budget Aims to Boost Organic Food Labels

"WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's record $3.8 trillion budget proposal includes a $3.1 million boost in a program important to Vermont's organic farming industry.

Obama's budget, which must be approved by Congress, would increase spending for the National Organic Program by 44 percent, to $10.1 million. The program certifies that organically produced foods meet national standards. The increase includes $2.1 million for regulatory review and enforcement and to forge agreements with other countries to help expand exports."

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New USDA Data Offers In-Depth Look at Organic Farming

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2010 – The nation’s organic farms and ranches have higher average sales and higher average production expenses than U.S. farms overall, according to results of the 2008 Organic Production Survey released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“This was USDA’s first wide-scale survey of organic producers, and it was undertaken in direct response to the growing interest in organics among consumers, farmers, businesses, policymakers and others,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “The information being released today will be an important building block for future program and policy development.” "

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