October 28, 2010

Top 30 Natural Food Company Take Overs: Who Really Owns Your Favorite Organic Brand?

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I recently had the pleasure of defending one of our favorite natural foods brand to a friend, who mistakenly thought it was owned by a grocery giant. When seeking proof for Nature's Path's independence, I came across the above chart.

Such information is always so disheartening. To discover your favorite organic brand is actually owned by a company you have no faith or confidence in to uphold organic standards can be depressing. From Horizon using feed lots to Silk Soymilk choosing GMO Chinese soy over organic American farmers, rarely does a corporate acquisition mean good things for natural food. Although this chart is two years old, the information is important for consumers to reflect upon thier brand loyalty.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 14, 2010

The Good and the Bad of Baby Carrots

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I still remember the first time I tried baby carrots. It was at my aunt's house one Thanksgiving when I was a child, and I thought they were so unique and delicious. I don't know what it was about changing the shape of a carrot and making it uniform that made it taste better, but actually baby carrots, which are not really baby at all, do have higher sugar content and less beta-carotene than their adult relatives. Care2 reports on the "odd evolution" of the baby carrot:

Some would say that baby carrots are the dumb, consumer-driven spawn of the more dignified garden-variety carrot. Others, namely farmer Mike Yurosek, would say they are a genius exercise in agricultural efficiency, and a hell of a moneymaker. As the baby carrot lore goes, Yorosek got tired of seeing 400 tons of carrots a day drop down the cull shoot at his packing plant in Bakersfield, CA (the culls are those carrots that are too twisted, knobby, or plain ugly to be marketable). Sometimes more than 70% of his carrots were tossed, composted, or fed to livestock. In an effort to recoup some of these losses, Yurosek devised a way to take these culls, shape them and shave them into those familiar baby carrot fingers and essentially turn waste into profits (most baby carrots sell for 50% more than conventional carrots - it is all in the packaging).
Knowing baby carrots are made from culled carrots has changed my opinion of them, but I am still concerned that some baby carrots are treated with bleach. Organic baby carrots do offer a safer options, as they are soaked in a citrus rather than a chlorine solution.

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by savanna-smiles

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2010

Join the Slow Food Movement!

Slow food, the obvious antonym to fast food, is a movement that is growing across America. The Slow Food Nation says we need to "take back control of our food" so our food is "good, clean, and fair".
The three central principles of the Slow Food plan are these: food must be sustainably produced in ways that are sensitive to the environment, those who produce the food must be fairly treated, and the food must be healthful and delicious.
It's a simple concept that will change your health and benefit our environment. If you haven't joined yet, it's time!

Via: Huffington Post

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 23, 2007

Call your senators re: the Farm Bill

Starting today or tomorrow, the Senate Agriculture Committee meets to finalize its version of the 2007 Farm Bill. It's not too late to call your Senators and ask 'em to make sure the Senate invests significant in improved access to healthy foods, protection of our air and water, increased opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers, and equitable program access for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Look up your Senators' contact info
, call and ask to speak with the aide who works on the Farm Bill. Then ask him or her to ensure that the 2007 Farm Bill provides increased mandatory funding for your priorities, including:

* access to healthy foods,
* conservation programs,
* new markets, value-added enterprises, and local food systems,
* organic farming, and
* beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Healthy, local organic food is important, and it needs support. Voice yours now.

For more info, check out the Healthy Farm Bill website.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 9, 2007

Building the Green Economy: Excerpt on AlterNet

Building-Green-Economy.jpgAlterNet's top story comes from the new book Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.

They excerpt an interview with Anuradha Mittal, Founder and Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, a non-profit research and advocacy organization that works to ensure public participation and democratic debate on crucial economic and social policy issues. Her take on the biggest problem in the U.S.:

(F)ood, instead of being about communities, is now about commodities. It is controlled, not by the family farm, growing food for families and communities, while maintaining bio-diversity; it has come to mean large corporate industrial agriculture farms, where machines have replaced farmers, where monocultures have replaced biodiversity, where corporate agribusiness has replaced family farms. What we see as a result is a disconnect between us and the food system where we have been reduced to mere consumers. So we have to rethink our relationship with the food system before we can effectively challenge that.

Read AlterNet's excerpt from Building the Green Economy.

Buy Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

August 17, 2007

Weekend Reading: The Eat Local Backlash


Tom Philpott has a great Grist column this week on The Eat Local Backlash.

The column seeks to address articles and op-eds in the Economist and New York Times suggesting that eating locally produced foods can have more of an environmental impact than consuming mass produced (and far traveling) food from the supermarket.

ArrowContinue reading: "Weekend Reading: The Eat Local Backlash"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

August 2, 2007

Uh-Oh, OREO - Late July Organic Sandwich Cookies


Watch out, Nabisco! Late July Organic Snacks just introduced an organic sandwich cookie that goes head to head with the Oreo, and might just win!

The Hyannis, MA-based company, founded by the same family that brought us Cape Cod Potato Chips, is known for its tasty crackers and mini peanut butter sandwich cookies. Last month, they launched their Faux-REO in two flavors -- Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean with Green Tea. According to Late July's website, these cookies

are like the sandwich cookies you remember as a kid, but all grown up. They deliver outstanding flavor using the finest organic ingredients like dark chocolate and whole grains with unexpected benefits like antioxidants and fiber giving new meaning to the term “smart cookie.”

Smart cookies, eh? Sounds right up our alley.

Late July Organic Sandwich Cookies are available at Whole Foods and Wild Oats and online.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 13, 2007

Eating Local with a CSA Share from The Food Project

4-About-Us-03.jpgHooray for June! Time for longer days, warm nights, and -- perhaps best of all -- the start of our CSA share from The Food Project.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a "share" of a local farmer's crop at the beginning of the growing season, and all summer you receive "dividends" -- baskets and boxes of fresh summer produce.

Russ and I bought our CSA share from The Food Project, a local nonprofit that employs city and suburban youth working organic farms inside and outside of the city.

In addition to growing veggies for CSA members, The Food Project distributes their organic produce to local soup kitchens and sells it at inner-city farmers markets. Youth who participate in the program learn about the food system, organic and sustainable agriculture, and about access-to-food issues facing inner-city residents.

Crew,-bulldogs,-04.jpgLast week, our share included enough greens to feed an army -- arugula, mizuma, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, baby field greens, and a handful of radishes and turnips. It provides a great lesson in eating locally (see Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral), and a great reminder of how good food tastes when it's fresh from the farm.

Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture and find a CSA near you.

Support The Food Project.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 5, 2007

Coffee Made from Soybeans?

Coffee Lover.jpgWill Soy Espresso be the next big taste trend in coffee shops? It will if Marina Kushner has anything to say about it. Kushner, founder of Soy Coffee LLC, sent an email last week introducing Soyfee, a soybean and caffeine-free coffee blend she is selling to health food and gourmet shops (and via her website).

ArrowContinue reading: "Coffee Made from Soybeans?"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 23, 2007

Stonyfield Organic Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt


YUM ALERT! Just discovered Stonyfield Farm Organic Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt. Oh, organic fro-yo, where have you been all my life?

I'm salivating over Creme Caramel, a 1/2 cup serving of which has just 150 calories, 2% of your daily fat and 15% of your daily calcium. Heck, I may need to eat two servings. :)

Stonyfield Farm Organic Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt also comes in Cookies'N'Dream, Minty Chocolate Chip and Raspberry White Chocolate Chunk. The company also makes a nonfat version and a super premium ice cream.

Stonyfield Farm Low Fat Organic Frozen Yogurt is available at your local supermarket.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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