Friday, April 30, 2010

Review of Bear Fruit Bars, USDA Organic real food bars made with nothing but fruit

"(NaturalNews) In the world of food bars, it's tricky to determine what's really good for you. In this article, I'm going to reveal some common myths about food bars as well as a full review of certified USAD Organic Bear Fruit Bars (along with an amazing discount on getting some for yourself).

First, let's expose some of the myths of common fruit bars. The most popular fruit-and-nut bar on the market is Larabar. This bar, by the way, isn't organic. It's made almost entirely from conventionally-grown fruits and nuts. It's not even owned by Lara anymore: She sold out to General Mills last year. So now Larabar is just another big-name brand with a mainstream product. Sure, it's better for you than a Snicker's bar, but it's nowhere near the best that the industry has to offer."

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India: Organic Food Market Worth $129.3m Shows Huge Growth Potential

"PR Log (Press Release) – Apr 28, 2010 – The report “Organic Food Market in India 2010” provides an analysis of the organic food industry in India including the huge export market, organised retail enhancing distribution network, government initiatives and increasing health consciousness among consumers. The key challenges identified encompass high prices of organic food, lack of integrated supply chain and difficulties for farmers, certification barriers.

Organic farming is an old concept in India in terms of the extensive farming carried out in the country. The organic food market is worth USD 129.3 mn and shows huge potential for growth in future. The increasing export market coupled with government's support has driven the market. "

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US Supreme Court Hears First-Ever Case on Genetically Engineered Crops

"Today the Center for Food Safety (CFS) faces off against Monsanto (NYSE: MON) in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of farmers and public interest environmental organizations. Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, 09-475. is the first case involving genetically engineered crops that has ever been heard by the Supreme Court.

Lower courts agreed that the planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa must be stopped because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had failed to analyze the crop’s impacts on farmers and the environment. Although it remains undisputed that USDA violated environmental laws, and that it must rigorously analyze the genetically engineered crop’s impacts before deciding whether or not to approve it for sale, Monsanto is arguing that the lower courts should have allowed the planting of the illegal crop to go forward in the interim."

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama administration bans two additives used in organic baby food

"The Obama administration announced Tuesday that two synthetic additives will no longer be permitted in infant formula or baby foods certified as organic because the widely used ingredients have not received legal approval for use in organic products.

The additives -- omega-3 fatty acid DHA and omega-6 fatty acid ARA -- are present in 90 percent of organic infant formulas and are marketed as promoting brain and eye development in ways that mimic breast milk."

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Volcano ash cloud and credit crunch give Wirral’s organic farms a boost

"ONCE upon a time, locally sourced organic food was the preserve of the rich. But now it seems the recession – and this week’s ash cloud – is changing all that.
The ash cloud that hovers stubbornly over the UK is stopping imports of fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables from across the globe. Suppliers are now having to look closer to home for fresh produce – meaning it’s out with African mange tout and in with British spring greens and new potatoes.
Similarly, as nitrogen fertilisers, used by conventional farms, increase in price, many organic foods now cost about the same as their conventional counterparts."

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Supreme Court to Hear Agribusiness vs Organic Growers in Biotech Alfalfa Case

"WASHINGTON, DC, April 21, 2010 (ENS) - The first genetically engineered crop case ever heard by the U.S. Supreme Court will be argued on April 27 and it has already attracted a lot of interest from food companies, farmers unions, scientists and legal scholars.
The case, Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, pits the giant agribusiness company against family and organic farmers over the issue of whether to allow the planting of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa after the Bush-era U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to analyze the crop's impacts on farmers and the environment.

In January, the Supreme Court granted the petition of Monsanto and its seed partner company, Forage Genetics International for review of a 2007 federal district court order which halted planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa, genetically engineered to tolerate exposure to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup."

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Fish oil maker wants to keep organic label

"A Dartmouth fish oil manufacturer is lobbying to keep its organic designation south of the border.

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. doesn’t want U.S. regulators to pull "organic" and "made with organic ingredients" labels from the company’s powerhouse dietary supplement powder that contains fish oil and gelatin.

"Removing fish oil and gelatin would be a travesty to the health-conscience consumers whose diet consists of partial or solely organic foods," wrote Paul Browner, Ocean Nutrition’s manager of regulatory affairs, in a letter to the National Organic Standards Board on April 9.

Next week in California, the board will begin a four-day review of 232 substances that have designations set to expire in 2012, and are currently on the national organic list."

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Fruit & vegetables is the largest category in the EUR 20 billion organic food industry

"Fruit & vegetables is the largest category in the EUR 20 billion organic food industry. High consumer demand for organic products is propelling fresh fruit & vegetable sales across Europe. The market share of organic products is reaching 5 percent of fresh fruit & vegetable sales in many country markets.

High market growth rates are leading to product shortages, causing European retailers to develop global supply chains to ensure continuous supply of organic fruits & vegetables. Organic products are being shipped in from North & Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific to meet the shortfall in European supply.
This report predicts the market for organic products to double in the coming years. However, the supply-side is becoming increasingly competitive as mergers & acquisitions and rationalisation take place."

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U.S. Organic Product Sales Reach $26.6 Billion in 2009

"GREENFIELD, Mass., April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. sales of organic products continued to grow during 2009 despite the distressed state of the economy, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) revealed today in releasing findings from its 2010 Organic Industry Survey. In fact, organic product sales in 2009 grew by 5.3 percent overall, to reach $26.6 billion. Of that figure, $24.8 billion represented organic food. The remaining $1.8 billion were sales of organic non-foods.
"While total U.S. food sales grew by only 1.6 percent in 2009, organic food sales grew by 5.1 percent. Meanwhile, organic non-food sales grew by 9.1 percent, as opposed to total non-food sales which had a 1 percent negative sales growth rate. These findings are indicative that even in tough times, consumers understand the benefits that organic products offer and will make other cuts before they give up products they value," said Christine Bushway, OTA's Executive Director.
Experiencing the most growth, organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 38 percent of total organic food sales, reached nearly $9.5 billion in sales in 2009, up 11.4 percent from 2008 sales. Most notable, organic fruits and vegetables now represent 11.4 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales."

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Four Tips To Eat Greener This Earth Day

"On this the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Short Order asked four locals for tips on eating greener. And no, it doesn't involve remodeling your kitchen to make it eco-friendly, though that would be nice. Here's what they had to say.

Rebecca Carter of says: "Eat local and organic whenever possible. Miami's growing season is just about over, so eating locally is tough for the next few months. However, there are more ways to get organic food than just going to your local grocery store. Try joining an organic produce buying club like Annie's Organic Buying Club or Organic Produce Buying Club of South Florida to get tons of organic food at wholesale prices.

If you are a seafood lover, download the Seafood Watch iPhone app to find out if what you are about to buy is fresh, toxic, endangered or shipped from countries violating the fishing laws.""

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More Than 900 Schools Competing to Win an Organic Garden or Organic Vending Machine: 2 Weeks Remain to Vote

"GREENFIELD, Mass., April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Through May 1, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is helping schools access and offer students more organic food with a national contest to award a winning school with an organically grown garden or an organic vending machine. More than 900 schools across America are currently competing for the prize.
With its "Organic. Its Worth it in Schools." initiative, OTA -- which represents more than 1,400 organic food and product companies -- is calling on teachers, parents, students, educators and others over the next two weeks to vote for their favorite school to win an organic garden complete with seeds, soil and expert gardening support; or a fully stocked vending machine, which can feature organic items like milk, fruit, cheese, yogurt and snacks."

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Zella’s Soulful Kitchen: Bringing Healthy, Organic Soul Food to Whole Foods and Hospitals

"For most small businesspeople, getting a product into a store like Whole Foods is a dream. But if you’re a one-woman show like Zella’s Soulful Kitchen, that dream could lead to insomnia.

Started in 2005, Zella’s Soulful Kitchen was meant to be a catering business that would eventually grow into a restaurant. Chef Dionne Knox named the Oakland business after her grandmother—a woman who made everything from scratch and brought the family together around delicious meals—and focused on creating healthy, organic versions of soul food favorites like collard greens seasoned with smoked turkey, and home baked cornbread served with local honey butter.

Soon after launching, she joined La Cocina, a local food-business incubator, for the access to an “awesome commercial kitchen” plus plenty of unexpected perks, ranging from classes taught by other members to the monthly goal-setting check-in meetings, which Knox describes as “an opportunity to take a step back from your day-to-day and think about things in a different way.”"

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Japan Traditional Foods Announces Availability of Organic MEGUMI NATTO, Fermented Soybeans, in California markets.

"Sebastopol, CA (PRWEB) April 20, 2010 -- Japan Traditional Foods, Inc (JTF), announces launch of USDA organic Megumi NATTO, fermented soybeans, into grocery and natural food stores in California. With introduction arrives a fresh alternative to frozen imports that compromise aroma and flavor. Made in small batches in Sebastopol, CA, Megumi NATTO is first to offer this fresh organic option.

NATTO is a traditional food of Japan, recognized for centuries for its unique health benefits. Fermentation enhances nutrition of soybeans. During fermentation a beneficial bacteria, Bacillus natto, is added to soybeans. This results in production of the enzyme Nattokinase. This enzyme has been found to dissolve blood clots and thin blood. Megumi NATTO is high in protein, good source of dietary fiber, and rich in Vitamin B2 & K2."

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Whole Foods Market To Cut Energy Consumption By 25% Per Square Foot By 2015 - Update

"(RTTNews) - Natural and organic food retailer Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFMI) on Tuesday announced that it intends to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% per square foot by 2015. The company added that it has also committed to wind energy, more on-site renewable energy, and aggressive green building, advanced refrigeration and transportation practices, which is expected to result in significant emissions reductions.
The Austin, Texas-based retailer said it has designed new stores to be more energy efficient, and several of these stores have been awarded Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill certification, which recognizes eco-friendly commercial refrigeration systems.
As part of a Department of Energy partnership, Whole Foods noted that it was awarded resources to design new stores and retrofit older ones. The program pairs Whole Foods with National Renewable Energy Labs to create, test and validate design concepts that will move toward net-zero energy commercial buildings."

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GreenSpace: A call to make all food organic

"Not long ago, Maria Rodale got fed up and decided to speak out. The result is Organic Manifesto, a feisty, I-can't-take-it-any-more diatribe about the ills of chemical farming.

She shows her radical stripes as early as Page 4: "We are all being poisoned, contaminated, sterilized and eventually exterminated by the synthetic chemicals we have used for the last 100 years to grow our food."

The alternative - the imperative - is to insist on organically grown food, which she says will cure our bodies and save the planet.

Rodale's organic passion runs deep. She's the granddaughter of J.I. Rodale, known as the father of organic gardening. Her father followed suit."

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yongye International, Inc. Sees Bright Future Ahead for China's Agriculture Industry

"BOSTON, April 17 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Yongye International, Inc. (NasdaqGS: YONG), a leading organic fertilizer manufacturer in China, sees great potential ahead for the country's agriculture industry. Wu Zishen, CEO and Chairman of Yongye International, while speaking at Harvard's China Review Conference 2010, emphasized that business opportunities in the Chinese agriculture industry are highly promising and used the tremendous success of Yongye International and its Shengmingsu brand of organic fertilizers as a model company for the industry.

The conference afforded Mr. Wu the opportunity to speak on topics related to "China's Future after 60 years of Growth" and where he was a featured panelist in the Entrepreneurship track where he spoke on "Moving Forward in Business." He stressed that China would continue to be an important factor in the global economy in the 21st century and discussed how China's agriculture industry would continue to develop as an inextricable part of the world's overall economic growth. He added that, "continuous growth of grain production over the last 6 years in China has also increased income for farmers and exemplifies the growth of the agriculture industry as a whole." He mentioned that in 2009, the central government of the PRC increased its agricultural budget by 21.8% to RMB 725.6 billion over that of 2008 and plans to increase it another RMB 93 billion in 2010. He believes that the Chinese government's support for agriculture has also come in the form of promotion of organic fertilizers, such as Yongye's Shengmingsu, and this will continue in the foreseeable future."

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New Tiny Footprint Coffee: World's First Carbon-Negative Coffee

"MINNEAPOLIS, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With every sip of new Tiny Footprint™ Coffee (, coffee lovers will be doing their part to reduce harmful carbon emissions.

How? It's all in the math. On average, it takes 4 pounds of carbon to make 1 pound of coffee. With the purchase of its coffee, Tiny Footprint Coffee makes a contribution toward the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation ( in Ecuador to plant carbon-sucking trees that each suck up 54 pounds of carbon from the environment.

That's 54 pounds of oxygen-producing, atmosphere-cooling, carbon-sucking trees minus 4 pounds of negative carbon to produce 50 pounds of karma goodness that Tiny Footprint coffee drinkers are contributing to the environment with every sip of Tiny Footprint coffee."

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Ten good reasons why GMOs are not compatible with organic agriculture

"Despite fundamental differences in what they represent, there are occasional calls to allow the use of genetic engineering (which produces genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs) within the USDA National Organic Program. GMO varieties are currently most widespread in corn, soybean, canola and cotton crops, in dairy production, and in minor ingredients, such as dairy cultures, used in food processing, but new products are being introduced and commercialized.

Here are 10 essential points that I believe show why GMOs are incompatible with organic production.."

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Palm Beach skin-care expert Tammy Fender launches product line at Saks

"Before Tammy Fender became an in-demand aesthetician and developed her signature skin-care treatments and products, the West Palm Beach-based professional worked at the cosmetics counter of a local department store.

With the recent launch of 15 Fender skin-care products at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Worth Avenue branch, the 41-year-old aesthetician might be said to have come full circle.

While still in her teens, Fender opted out of a job offer from a major cosmetics firm to create skin-care products, instead pursuing an independent career as an aesthetician and the creator of organic cleansers, tonics, creams, serums and oils that are an essential part of what she calls her holistic, healing-oriented approach."

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President Arroyo signs organic agriculture act

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved a measure that will provide incentives aimed at promoting organic farming in the country. This could soon result in farmers refraining from using chemicals and adopting ecologically sound, economically viable farming practices.

Republic Act (RA) No. 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, signed into law on April 6, primarily lays down the groundwork of a program that would promote organic farming and the sale of chemical-free agricultural produce in the country.
It supersedes Executive Order (EO) No. 481 on Dec. 27, 2005, which was issued for the same purpose."

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Fresh Harvest's Wings of Nature Bars Will Be Carried in CVS

"NEW YORK, NY, Apr 14, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Fresh Harvest Products, Inc. (FRHV 0.07, +0.00, +1.39%) , a developer and marketer of natural and organic products, is pleased to announce that the company will be selling its Wings of Nature Organic Snack Bars to CVS, starting in its South Florida region. The products will be available in approximately 80 retail locations, with placement in the stores slated to be up front at the checkout and should begin in May 2010."

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Feed Your Inner Gardener with 'Humble Seed'

"SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Humble Seed cultivates the gardener within all of us with irresistible "seed that feeds" kits. Each kit features premium seed packets for an array of edible plants. First-time entrepreneurs Jim and Kristen Mitchell, who launched the online business today, aim to inspire would-be growers by making seed selection easier while enhancing variety, flavor, and nutritional value."

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UAE farm breaks new ground in marketing fresh produce

"Organic fruit and vegetables cannot get fresher than this. Everyday new produce arrives to fill the shelves of a small family-run shop which has been cultivating organic fruits and vegetables for 10 years.

The Naswa Organic Farm situated on the Hatta road grows up to 65 types of vegetables and herbs that are then sold in its shop of the same name in Umm Suqueim. The concept of the shop is that nothing is stored and due to the relatively low quantities produced, it flies off the shelves.

Organic farming has been a growing trend in the UAE over the last few years, and this is the newest shop to open its doors. The only difference is the produce is all grown in the UAE and is sold straight from the farm to consumer."

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Whole Foods Market, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call and Webcast

"AUSTIN, Texas, April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: WFMI) today announced it will issue financial results for the Company's second fiscal quarter ended April 11, 2010, after the market closes on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Following the release via the wire services, the Company will host a conference call with financial analysts and investors beginning at 4:00 p.m. (CT).

To participate, dial (800) 862-9098 (domestic) and (785) 424-1051 (international). The conference ID is "Whole Foods." Please dial in at least five minutes before the start of the conference call. A simultaneous audio webcast will be available through a link on the Company's website at The webcast will be archived for a minimum of 30 days."

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Farmers go organic in the use of eco-friendly planting method

"Hundreds of farmers in Klaten regency, Central Java, no longer fully depend on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, applying eco-friendly organic fertilizer instead.

Leader of the Tani Mulyo farming group, Juwandi, said that at present, 75 percent of the farmers' crops in Karanglo and Polanharjo villages were provided with organic fertilizer. The rest still used chemical ones.

"We will use 100 percent organic fertilizer during the upcoming planting season," he said.

He said previously, farmers depended on chemical fertilizer, which was expensive as well as harmful.

"Seventy percent of farmers here cultivate farms on a profit-sharing basis. Expensive fertilizer and pesticides impacted on their finances," he said."

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Study: Core Organic Consumers Seek Local, Clean Products

"Core organic consumers -- those who are the most loyal to buying organics -- are seeking more authentic, clean foods through farmers' markets and community support agriculture (CSAs), according to the State of the Organic Consumer 2010 by The Hartman Group.

Overall, the organic industry has grown steadily since 2000 before leveling off in 2008, said Arwen Kimmell, senior ethnographic analyst with The Hartman Group and lead analyst on the study, "Beyond Organic and Natural." About 75 percent of consumers use organics, and one-third buy organics monthly, up from 22 percent in 2000, she noted. "Consumers are using the same or more organics than a year ago, indicating the economy isn't stopping organic purchases," Kimmell said. The size of the organic market was not identified by this study."

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Popular Veggie Burgers Contain Poisonous Chemicals

"Summertime is around the corner, and many of the city's vegetarians are gearing up for their rooftop BBQs with their soy burgers and tofu dogs, resting peacefully with the fact that no animals had to die so they could eat. But were other humans harmed in awful factory conditions that exposed them to deadly chemicals? Probably.

A new study shows that a number of popular soy products contain trace amounts of hexane, which listed as a "hazardous air pollutant" by the EPA and is known to cause nervous system failure and skin disorders in humans. It's unclear how much hexane you need to eat before getting side effects, but do you feel lucky, veggie?"

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Debate Increases Over Value of Organic Foods

"(April 13) -- Sales of organic foods in the United States are increasing by double digits annually. The government says that in 2009, cash boxes at grocery stores, farmers markets and roadside stands collected as much as $28 billion from the sale of presumed pesticide- and drug-free fruits, vegetables and meat.

But as the growth of the organic market soars, so do the questions about what consumers are actually getting for their money."

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Organic Baby Food Can Be Bought In Jars Or Made At Home

"Baby food is going green, and that's no strained peas.

A rapidly expanding selection of make-your-own baby food guides with such titles as "The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book," "Feeding Baby Green" and " Whole Foods for Babies and Toddlers" offers wholesome recipes for petite palates.

New gadgets for creating gaga gourmet are showing up on store shelves. Williams-Sonoma stocks the trendy Babycook, made by French company Beaba. The $150 appliance steams, blends, defrosts and warms homemade baby foods.

Sales of organic baby foods are shooting up faster than a 2-year-old — close to 60 percent in the past five years, according to industry statistics — and the numbers continue to grow."

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Sales of Organic Fresh Food Falling in the UK

"Sales of organic fruits, vegetables, and meat are plummeting in the UK. In the past year they have fallen by 12.9% in all as cost-conscious shoppers watched their pennies. The independent sector has been hardest hit with farm shops and health food outlets' sales dropping by 17.7%. The supermarkets experienced a decline of 12.2%. Sales of boxed fruit and vegetables delivered to the home fell by 9.8%.

The good news is organic milk sales increased and sales of organic baby food grew by 20.8%. This is all courtesy of an annual report issued by the Soil Association, the Organic Market Report 2010. which provides a snapshot of consumer activity this past year in the organic sector."

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turkey, Organic Farming Struggling to Grow

"According to data provided by the University of Adana, organic agriculture in Turkey accounts for a turnover that does not exceed 150 million US dollars, compared to a global total amount accounting for more than 46 billion dollars in 2008.

There are 9384 officially registered organic companies in Turkey with a total area of 141,752 hectares and a total production exceeding 415,000 tonnes. "

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Organic food sales plunge as shoppers tighten belts

"Shoppers are turning away from expensive organic food as they cut back on their household budgets.
Sales of organic food, drink and other products fell by 12.9 per cent compared to last year.
The Soil Association's Organic Market Report 2010 published today showed that sales in the UK dropped from £2.1billion in 2008 to £1.84billion last year."

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Men’s Health Selects EDEN® Organic Spicy Pumpkin Seeds in Best Organic Food Category

"April 7, 2010 - Men's Health magazine chose EDEN Organic Spicy Pumpkin Seeds as one of the "20 Best Organic Foods for Men" in the April 2010 issue; the top choice in the "Best Fiery Snack" category. "Seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne, these put spicy chips to shame," states Men's Health. "...Add them to your grocery list to upgrade your diet, strengthen your body, and help heal the planet."

EDEN selected organic pumpkin seeds are dry roasted at their certified organic Michigan facility, and misted with EDEN organic tamari soy sauce carrying organic garlic and organic cayenne pepper. A unique, hot-and-spicy food great for parties, travel, camping, backpacking, and nutritious snack. Sprinkle on salads, pasta, vegetables, and soups for a healthy flavor boost."

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African Farmers Growing Organic Foods for European Market

"African farmers are making more money producing organically grown crops for European markets, where demand for healthier food is growing.

Nearly 5,000 farmers in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone are exporting organically-grown produce to Europe, after gaining organic and fair-trade certification with help from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)."

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Organic food producers see strength in new alliance

"A new organization representing the organic food business is marking its first year in operation this week, as demand for chemical-free food is growing along with the volume and diversity of production.
But the niche sector is not immune to the vagaries of the market.
Growth, scope and challenges are some of the issues producers will discuss as the Manitoba Organic Alliance holds its second annual meeting at the Headingley Community Centre on Saturday.
Organized last year with the assistance of provincial funding, MOA executive co-ordinator Deborah Unger said the idea is the group will speak on behalf of the organic producer sector on regulatory issues and the implementation of those regulations."

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Organic Soup Kitchen Expanding

"Organic Soup Kitchen of Santa Barbara, California held its first annual Easter Feast at the Veterans Memorial Building on Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

During the event, Founder and Executive Director, Anthony Carroccio, announced "Starting June 1, we'll be expanding our community outreach program to provide daily meals to individuals and families in need at different locations throughout the city."

It has been a vision of Organic Soup Kitchen to launch a mobile unit into the community to reach not only the homeless, but many other individuals and families who are struggling in the poor economy."

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Everyday Organic: Saying no to 'GMO'

"Living out here at the end of my dirt road, I welcome spring with simple rituals around my small farm. One of my favorites involves turning rows of earth into a new garden and sowing heirloom seeds I've saved from last season's harvest. These are things I know to be good.

Every detail, from the perfume of enlivened soil to the sight of tiny green leaves sprouting toward the sun, appeals to my senses and are perfect little gifts. It's all part of a cycle that has been circling throughout the eons, assuring the fruition of nature's many gifts and making this planet a veritable paradise. I don't need to know the science behind every little miracle; it's enough that I can count on them happening, each in their own sweet time."

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recall: Whole Foods Yellowfin Tuna Steaks May Contain High Levels of Toxin Histimine

"Whole Foods Market, the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, is recalling frozen yellowfin tuna steaks because the fish could have high levels of the toxin histimine.

The affected tuna steaks were sold in 12-ounce packages labeled "Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks." There is a best if used by date of Decemeber 5, 2010 and lot code 4853309157A on each package.
The Centers for Disease Control says high histimine levels can cause scombroid poisoning, an allergic reaction with symptoms including tingling or burning sensations in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea."

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Dirty secret about organic cosmetics

"Organic products, from oranges to shampoo, normally cost more than their conventional counterparts. Despite this price difference, many people are willing to pay more for products they believe are better for both them and the earth.

You can generally trust organic label claims on food products when you see the Department of Agriculture’s “USDA Organic” symbol. But consumer groups warn that when it comes to organic cosmetics and personal care products, you may not get what you expect.

“It’s the Wild West out there,” says Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Organization. “We want consumers to be able to trust the organic claim on a cosmetic product and not have a bunch of snake oil salesmen out there claiming to be organic when they are not.”"

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USDA's deputy secretary discusses challenges for organic food market

"Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary at the Agriculture Department, sat down with The Washington Post to discuss the agency's eight-year-old National Organics Program and the challenges ahead for the organics market, which is growing as much as 20 percent a year. In an investigation published last year, The Post pointed to several problems in the program, including the agency's failure to discipline violators and to properly test products labeled organic. The USDA's inspector general issued a report last month identifying the same problems and calling for changes."

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

EAST EUROPE: Organic Farming Blossoms

"PRAGUE, Apr 1, 2010 (IPS) - Eastern Europe's organic food industry is mushrooming as it brushes off the effects of the global recession, and more consumers in the region turn to healthier foods.

Some countries now have twice as much agricultural land turned over to organic farming as those in Western Europe, and experts are predicting a bright future for the industry in the former communist bloc.

Christof Arndt, project coordinator at the Dresden-based EkoConnect non- profit group promoting organic agriculture in Eastern Europe, told IPS: "The last few years have seen a huge rise in organic farming, food production and consumption in Eastern Europe, and the market is developing really quickly - despite the recession."

In Eastern Europe under communism, almost all farming was collectivised and controlled by the state. When the regimes fell, some farmers began offering organic products. These were initially seen as a curiosity by many consumers, and organic food became available in the mass market only slowly. "

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Trinity Rescue Mission farm to supply organic produce to Jacksonville’s hungry

"When residents of Trinity Rescue Mission sit down for their daily meals, they're usually eating the kind of food that's easy to donate: canned vegetables and boxes of processed food that don't spoil.

But soon, those in Jacksonville struggling with homelessness will dine on organic bush beans, beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom green peppers and hydroponic cucumbers grown locally - and specifically for them."

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Wal-Mart in Trouble Again Over Organic Marketing Practices

"Cornucopia, WI — The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based public interest group that focuses on food and agriculture, today filed legal complaints with the USDA alleging that Wal-Mart, and a North Carolina-based company, HOMS LLC, are violating the USDA organic standards by using conventional agricultural oils, and other ingredients, in pest control products that bear the word organic and the green “USDA organic” seal. The pest control products in question are marketed under the Bio Block label (see front of bottle, back of bottle, and company webpage product screenshot).

A debate has been raging for years whether non-food products, such as pet food and personal care products, are included in the strict regulations that determine the use of the word “organic” on packaging. Most of those products at least had organic ingredients involved in their manufacture, whereas Bio Block pest control products contain not a single organically produced ingredient."

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Organic food still remains a niche category in the Indian market

"Three years ago, Neeti Dhawan, 25, started buying organic food on her doctor’s suggestion. She is now addicted to all things organic, cosmetics included. “It helped. I felt a lot better and physically active and my medical problems disappeared; I can concentrate on my work better,” says Dhawan, a Delhi resident.
For Kavita Mukhi, an eco-nutritionist, organic food isn’t just about eating healthier: it is also about keeping the soil healthy by not poisoning it with chemicals. “We should not need health food stores — all food should be healthy,” she says. And even fun?"

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Valley eating up green giant's organic produce

"The farmer who has groupies gets up at 4:30 each morning, goes to bed at 11 each night and answers his phone during all other hours because people need him. His phone is clipped to the elastic suspenders he wears always, because a belt doesn't do the job anymore and something has to keep his denim where it belongs.

He is tall, with thick gray hair, apple cheeks and a slight stoop from decades spent hunched over rows of cabbage and cauliflower, his hands plunged into dirt. He is 66, except when he talks about growing things, and then he is a boy of 7 - eyes bright with wonder, face filled with joy."

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Organic Standards For Different Products

"“Organic” standards are different with regards to fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, cosmetics, processed foods and cotton and coffee, and even savvy natural products shoppers can be confused. An article by Julie Deardorff from the Chicago Tribune outline what the term means for each of these grocery departments.

She starts by noting nutritionists are still in argument over whether organic foods are nutritionally better and said it would be difficult to say definitively one way or the other. However, many choose organic not only for personal health, but for the health of environment and farmers."

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Organic cheaters exposed by public protest at health products trade show

"(NaturalNews) The Organic Consumers Association has long fought against what it calls "organic cheater brands" -- personal care products that use the name "organic" in the product name or brand, yet are not truly organic products at all. This year at the Expo West Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California, the OCA staged a very visible public protest to expose what it calls "sham poo products" that are "organic cheaters."

The protest was part of the OCA's Coming Clean Campaign which continues to expose dishonest or misleading products in the skin care industry. Due in large part to the OCA's efforts, Whole Foods now says it will enforce honest labeling by taking a closer look at the word "organic" on personal care products"

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Quarterly Report Examines Organic Produce Sales Trends

"The volume of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased by American grocery shoppers increased over the past year, according to the United Fresh Foundation's Fresh Facts on Retail report for the fourth quarter of 2009.
The report shows an overall weekly volume increase for fresh produce of 6 percent over Q42008, as well as dollar sales increases for some categories of fresh fruit and vegetables, often a result of lower prices.
Fresh Facts on Retail is produced in partnership with the Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, and measures retail price and sales volume trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories."

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USDA Mulls Tougher Organic Pet Food Rules

"The United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) has put into place a new recommendation that has the potential to create a problem for a number of pet food manufacturers. The agency recently released a recommendation that pet food should not be called organic if it contains vitamins and minerals that are not organic, even if all other ingredients are organic. Pet food companies, like human food companies, can currently have their foods certified as organic if they are fully organic aside from vitamins and minerals. This policy change would require a major shift in direction for pet food manufacturers using the current standards, as the food they are producing now could no longer be marketed as organic. Some would also need to discard packaging they have already printed, along with printing plates that feature the word ³organic.² Some manufacturers may also have food that has already been produced which they would be unable to sell."

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Facebook Scam Targets Whole Foods Shoppers

"Whole Foods, a popular health and organic grocery chain, is the subject of a new Facebook scam that phishes for users’ credit and other personal information.

A deluge of fraudulent Facebook Pages are popping up that promise a limited number of users Whole Foods gift cards. These Pages are accruing thousands of fans and siphoning off sensitive and lucrative data."

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Michelle Obama Enlarges the White House Organic Garden

"Last year the First Lady planted an organic garden on the grounds of the White House. It was so exciting; a beacon of change: a new government, a new organic garden--the first since war-time's Victory Garden.

The harvest was a huge success. Fifty five different kinds of vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, and greens were grown. This resulted in 1,000 pounds (!) of food, harvested and eaten by White House staff and at State dinners as well as donated to nearby homeless shelters. Now, into its second year, the garden is being expanded by another 400 square feet."

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In a New Campaign, Whole Foods Channels Its Inner Organic Activist

"The people at Whole Foods (WFMI) want you to know that they’re mad as hell at the U.S. food system and they’re not going to take it anymore. In a campaign called “Let’s Retake Our Plates!”, Whole Foods rails against the way food scientists have created fake food and turned generations of innocent Americans into “walking food science experiments.”

It’s not exactly a march on Washington, but you get the sense reading the new web site that CEO John Mackey wouldn’t mind if it was. The campaign — clearly a response to heat the chain has taken for straying from its revolutionary roots to become what critics contend is a corporate sellout — highlights Whole Foods’ long-standing rigorous policies, such as barring from the store any artificial ingredients, antibiotics and hormones in meat and unsustainable seafood."

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Improve oversight of organic farms, investigators tell California

"California must improve its oversight of the state's organic farmers or face Agriculture Department sanctions, federal investigators say.
In a new report, investigators recount both "significant improvements" and lingering shortcomings in how California and the U.S. Department of Agriculture itself monitor more than 2,000 certified organic farmers. In particular, investigators cite a longstanding lack of compliance and enforcement procedures designed to keep the fast-growing organic industry honest.
"As a result," the Agriculture Department's Office of Inspector General noted, "the California (state organic program) is not equipped to properly enforce the requirements of the (national organic program).""

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North American Organic Brewers Festival Looks to Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time

"PORTLAND, Ore. - More than 15,000 beer lovers will converge upon Portland this summer to take part in the world's largest all organic beer festival. The sixth annual North American Organic Brewers Festival (NAOBF) will take place June 25 through 27 in Portland's Overlook Park at the intersection of N Fremont and Interstate Ave.

Event hours are Noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission into the event is free. The purchase of a $6 reusable, compostable cornstarch glass is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens (more for select beers), and a four-ounce taste costs one token. Patrons receive a $1 discount toward the tasting glass with a validated MAX ticket or three cans of food - preferably organic - for the Oregon Food Bank."

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Twenty New Dairy-Free Foods: 2010 Expo West and Beyond

"To even attempt to identify ALL of the new products unveiled at Expo West 2010 would be futile. Even so, we have gathered together as many relevant new product announcements as we could unearth from this mega natural food show, in addition to some new products we have recently received announcements about via email.

Please note that I am simply reporting about these new finds - I haven't sampled any of the following as of yet, nor are we affiliated with any of these companies. The links will take you to the corresponding company websites for more information. Now, read, enjoy, and perhaps discover a new food or two to add your next online or in-store grocery list ..."

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why We All Need to Demand Organic and . . . Worship the Worm

""What is wrong with us? Why do we seem to care so little about our own safety, our own health, and the future of our children?" asks Maria Rodale, farmer, author and CEO of Rodale Inc. "Why are we willing to pay thousands of dollars for vitro fertility treatments when we can't conceive, but not a few extra dollars for the organic food that might help to preserve the reproductive health of our own and future generations?"

In her powerful and informative new book, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, Maria Rodale has done all of the thinking and the research about organic farming for us. Yay, we don't have to think! Following in the path of her grandfather, JI Rodale, who launched Organic Gardening and Farming magazine in 1942 and her father Robert Rodale, who devoted his life to educating others on health and environmental issues, Maria Rodale explains why and how we must immediately begin to undo the damage we have done to the environment and to ourselves."

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High quality organic food made in Poland

"Polish organic food keeps to high standards, shows a report by the Supreme Auditing Chamber.

Between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2009, the Chamber checked the quality of organic food produced by Polish eco-farms. Out of 712 food samples only 4, or 0.6 percent, did not meet standards.

The Chamber praised the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for eliminating fake organic crops."

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Sherborn's Silverwood Organic Farm begins CSA operations

"Silverwood Organic Farm has commenced operations, becoming one of the few farms in MetroWest focused on providing organic produce to customers through the increasingly popular Community Supported Agriculture model.

Silverwood Organic Farm will provide fresh, organic, sustainably grown produce directly from the farm to families in Sherborn, Dover and surrounding communities. The harvest season will span a five-month period beginning in June and lasting into October. In addition, there will be a winter share for the months of November and December."

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Lifeway Foods to Announce Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results on March 31, 2010

"MORTON GROVE, Ill., March 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lifeway Foods, Inc., (Nasdaq: LWAY), makers of a nutritious, probiotic dairy beverage called Kefir, announced today that it will host a conference call and webcast on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. EDT to review the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009 financial results and other ongoing business updates. Participating on the call will be Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO and Edward Smolyansky, Chief Financial and Operating Officer. A press release with the fiscal 2009 financial results will be issued shortly after the market closes on March 31, 2010. "

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