May 11, 2006

What Do You Look For?

According to a recent ConAgra Foods Survey, people are paying more attention to the trust marks and quality seals on food packaging these days. At the top of the list are the words 'kosher' and 'organic', and while consumers look for descriptions like 'whole grains' they don't necessarily pay attention to the U.S. dietary guidelines set in the food pyramid. Read more about it here.

Just remember, while 'natural' can mean many things in the food marketing arena, ingredient lists tell pretty close to the whole truth.

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April 12, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

Confused about which mega-corporation owns which natural food label? We are too. That's why this chart constructed by Phil Howard, a post doctoral researcher from The Center for Agroecoloty and Sustainable Food Systems comes in so handy! Print it out and bring it along on your next shopping trip!

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April 9, 2006

Tom's of Maine Turns Around

Tom's of Maine, the purveyor of natural and organic body care products, has accepted an offer from the Colgate-Palmolive Company for $100 million dollars. This is a change of opinion since in previous years, Tom's of Maine has made negative comments regarding the use of artificial ingredients in the products created by their future parent company. Founder Tom Chappell claims "We have a commitment from Colgate that our formulas won't be tampered with."

Read more about it in this article on the Boston Globe's website.

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April 5, 2006

Some Dagoba chocolates recalled due to lead contamination

Here's a disturbing little tidbit I ran across: Oregon-based Dagoba has issued a recall on some of its chocolate products due to high levels of lead. You can read the news here, and see what the company has to say here. It seems like they are on top of the problem. Still, between the lead in lunchboxes scandal, the recent tragic death of a child due to a lead-contaminated piece of toy jewelry, and now this, it's enough to make you want to bubble-wrap your kids. Then again, as someone who lives in a very old house, and will very soon be moving to an even older house (1854!), I am highly lead paranoid due to all of the ancient paint we live with. My poor kids look like little pin cushions from all the times I've gotten them tested "just to make sure." Roll up those sleeves, kiddos, if I read any more stories like this mommy might need another test just to put her mind at ease.

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March 31, 2006

Disturbing News About Organic Dairy Farms

Organic milk is the driving the organics market, thanks to the millions of moms who are selecting the healthy drink for their kids. As a result, organic milk products have become the ambassador to the organic food world. That is why this news is so disturbing.

According to an independent study from the Cornucopia Institute, some organic dairy farms (including Horizon Organic and Aurora Organic, two of the largest organic dairy companies in the nation) are not living up to the organic standards and the USDA and the Organic Trade Association is letting them get away with it.

To find out more and, if you are so moved, sign the petition forcing a change in the organics board to stop the factory farms in organics, click here.

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March 24, 2006

What's the Whole Story On Whole Foods?

As we've mentioned before, when shopping for the most natural and healthy products takes some thought and sometimes even reading between the lines. The article "Is Whole Foods Wholesome?" by Field Maloney on Slate.com uncovers some not so wholesome truths about the grocery chain Whole Foods.

We never said being good was going to be easy.

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March 16, 2006

You Didn't Want To Know Anyway, Did You?

Part of the reason we can review and report on what is going on in the spin of the food world is reading the packaging (ingredient lists, etc.) and evaluating what is inside. But what if food producers didn't have to label what was going on under the lid?

Read "How Big Corporations are Taking Away Your Right to Know What's in Your Food" and then consider if this bill gets passed into law what would happen in the scenario presented in this article. Both of these are found on the Organic Consumers Association website.

And in case you wanted your voice to be heard, go here.

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March 14, 2006

Parents who bottle feed will soon have an organic option

Just-food.com reports that Hain, makers of the Earth's Best Baby Food line, will be introducing a first-of-its-kind organic infant formula this spring. This is sure to be welcome news to readers who bottle-feed, and we'll keep you posted when it becomes available.

Hain's Earth's Best Organics baby and toddler food line includes a wide variety of products such as jarred foods, biscuits, soups, and cereal bars.

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February 21, 2006

Is Organic Always a Good Thing?

As the market explodes with organic products, a general glance at the grocery landscape would give the perspective that we are a healthy nation leading environmentally conscious lives. Unfortunately, like all things in life, the organic market isn't black and white.

In "Does Corporate Organic Change Organic Landscape?" by Hillary Lindsay of Rabble.ca, we learn that large companies are able to undercut the small producer by subsidizing organic products with non-organic ones.

A very thought provoking article that will make you re-consider how much you're "lovin it" when you drink McDonald's Fair Trade coffee.

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February 20, 2006

Eating Organic Foods Eliminates Pesticides from Children's Bodies

A recent study shows that children who eat organic produce and grains can virtually eliminate two common pesticides from their bodies within a matter of days. According to an article on Forbes.com, in 2003, researchers recruited 23 children ages 3-11 from Seattle-area schools. Researchers monitored levels of two organophosphorus pesticides -- malathion and chlorpyrifos -- in their urine during a 15-day period in which they alternated between their regular diets and diets featuring organic fruits, vegetables and grain products. The researchers found that the pesticide levels dropped immediately when the children started eating the organic foods.

The article continues: "There is evidence that they're dangerous, said Dr. Nathan M. Graber, a fellow in pediatric environmental health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 'We know that at high doses, these pesticides can cause serious symptoms because they are toxic to the nervous system,' he said, adding that there's 'sound scientific reasoning' suggesting that low doses can hurt the developing brain."

The bottom line: if you can afford it, buy organic. For more information on which fruits and vegetables have the highest and lowest pesticide levels refer to this shopper's guide. If you can't find or afford exclusively organic produce, this handy guide will help you determine where you should allocate your dollars.

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