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Archive for the ‘Organic Food’ Category

Swedish court: Coop grocery chain ‘misled’ consumers by claiming organic food safer, healthier – Genetic Literacy Project

Posted: July 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm


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The makers of the viral 2015 Organic Effect video, which claimed that switching to an all organic diet can eliminate pesticidesfrom the body, are no longer allowed to promote the video or its claims, ruled the SwedishPatent and Market Court on July 3rdfollowing three days of hearings in mid-May. The Coop chain of Swedish grocery stores must not use the video or makeunsubstantiated claims about organic and conventional food or pay a fine of one million Swedish Krona (about $120,000 USD). The Swedish Crop Protection Association (Svenskt Vxtskydd), a trade association of nine Swedish crop protection companies, filed the lawsuit [in 2016], citing misleading and inaccurate advertisement.

The Organic Effect video totally [omits] the crucial fact that organic farming does use pesticides, albeit different than the ones used in conventional agriculture. Even though the pesticides used in organic farming tend to be naturally derived, whether a substance is synthetic or natural in origin, in and of itself, has no bearing on its toxicity or environmental impact.

Further,as Switzerland-based biologistIida Ruishalme pointed outat herThoughtscapismblog, the video left out information that conflicted with the videos shaky pro-organic assertions.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post:Organic Marketers Take Note: Makers Of Misleading Viral Organic Effect Video Lose Lawsuit

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Swedish court: Coop grocery chain 'misled' consumers by claiming organic food safer, healthier - Genetic Literacy Project

Written by simmons

July 11th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Organic Food

Organic Water Is A Sign That Americans Have No Idea What ‘Organic’ Is – HuffPost

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Much like asparagus water and water sommeliers, organic water is giving us pause. Though the concept isnt new, its surprising to see it making waves again.

Mintel, a global market research firm, claims that nearly 25 percent of Americansare thirstyfor organic water, which proves America doesnt understand the concept of organic.

As NPR first pointed out when organic water hit the scene a few years ago, something can only be considered an organic compound if it contains a significant amount of carbon. But a water molecule contains two atoms of hydrogen (H) and one atom of oxygen (O) and no carbon so its actually inorganic. And according to the USDAs labeling process for organic products, water and salt arenot includedas an ingredient that must be labeled organic.

But a trendy new company called Asarasiis taking advantage of a loophole. The brand is selling the first USDA organic-certified water, according to a report from Food Navigator.

Because Asarasis water is filtered through a living thing a maple tree it appears to pass the USDAs certification test.

Asarasis tagline encourages customers torethink your drink, in the hopes that youll try this tree-filtered water. The water, which comes from sugar maple trees, is leftover from the maple syrup making process, though it doesnt contain any sugar.

We have a beautiful base water that can be utilized in a lot of food and beverages, Asarasi CEO Adam North Lazar recently said in an interview with Food Navigator. Our goal is to replace what is used as water in the organic food industry.

Marketing water this way doesnt make it look special, Charles Fishman, author ofThe Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, told NPR when organic water started to make its mark around 2011.Lets go with cosmic water it all came from space in the first place how about selling it that way?

If youre still interesting in purchasing Asarasis organic water, check for locations selling the product.

TheHuffPostLifestylenewsletterwill make you happier and healthier, one email at a time. Sign uphere.

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Organic Water Is A Sign That Americans Have No Idea What 'Organic' Is - HuffPost

Written by admin

July 11th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Organic Food

Make No Mistake: Wal-Mart Executives Are Losing Sleep – Seeking Alpha

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The Whole Foods Market (WFM) and Amazon (AMZN) deal has the potential to fulfill the aspirations and promises of both John Mackey and Jeff Bezos. For John, its about making healthy, natural and organic foods accessible to more people around the world. For Jeff, its about a relentless determination to create the ultimate shopping experience for everything, and for everyone and, in the nearer term, to beat Wal-Mart (WMT).

Accomplishing those two goals is also essential to their success as a combined entity. Jeff Bezos must preserve the culture, which creates the Whole Foods shopping experience. He must figure out a way (assuming he hasnt already) to effectively streamline the two businesses, thereby leveraging his core business, and dominating the grocery market.

In the early 1980s, few people, John Mackey among them, would have anticipated the impact Whole Foods Market (formerly SaferWay) would have on the grocery industry, as well as on public health. They have been the driving force, bar none, of a subsector of the grocery industry, consisting of natural and organic foods. Natural and organic foods have significantly outpaced the growth of the overall grocery industry, according to the Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

And the Organic Trade Association claims organic food sales grew by over 8% last year, compared to less than 1% for the overall industry. There are few signs this trend wont continue, as our society becomes more health conscious, and rising healthcare costs remain a pressing concern for businesses and individuals alike. As the sector becomes more competitive, supply costs will naturally come down for natural and organic foods as well.

Whole Foods began simply because Mackey, as an employee at a small Austin natural foods store, believed he could run his own store and wanted to give it a try. Later, with a couple of stores that began to achieve profitability, his ambitions grew, and he aimed to continue expanding. In 2011, Whole Foods announced they would aim to hit 1,000 locations in the United States alone.

In 2013, the two Co-CEOs, John Mackey and Walter Robb, told Jim Cramer of CNBC their goal was to actually hit 1,200 U.S. stores. Not long after that interview, they sailed into an unrelenting hurricane a storm, which included numerous earnings and comparable same-store sales disappointments, as well as a food-weighing scandal. Earlier this year, in February, they announced they would be closing certain stores, and scaling back their goals for square footage.

Suddenly, with Amazon behind it, the concept of 1,200 Whole Foods stores seems more plausible than ever before, and Mackey is surely pleased, however careful to express it. With Amazon as its wealthy parent, it can reach a far wider audience, and make healthy, natural and organic products more accessible for everyone John Mackeys legacy. In his book, Conscious Capitalism, Mackey mentions that it wasnt until they went public that they, as a company, really felt they had any money.

Following their IPO in 1992, they expanded rapidly, largely through acquisitions of other natural food stores, and initiated a variety of other strategies that brought them to where they are today. Now, 25 years later, theyre at another crossroads, where greater capitalization can really set them up for their next stage of growth. Success has brought new entrants galore into natural and organic foods - mainly traditional grocery chains.

Whole Foods is faced with ever-steeper price competition. They have a cannibalization problem, in which new stores eat into the sales of existing stores, resulting in disappointing performance releases to the investment community. Whole Foods highly-paid team has been the root of the culture, which draws in its loyal shoppers, but their employment costs have been too high, leading them to reluctantly engage in cuts to their workforce, which have significantly damaged morale within the company. Theyve tried several solutions to their growth problems with less than favorable results. Merging online with brick and mortar is considered the next big wave for grocery. Where were they to turn next? Whole Foods needed this deal, and its a big opportunity.

Source: Whole Foods Investor Relations

Amazon, on the other hand, has been experimenting with grocery since 2008 or earlier. According to a Bloomberg report earlier this year, Amazons goal is to become a Top 5 grocery retailer by 2025, which would require about $30 billion in sales for the category. Currently, it sells close to $9 billion in online food and beverage products, and Whole Foods sales for 2016 were $15.7 billion. Although Amazon has not been a master of this category, it is becoming the unrivaled master of retail.

Quarterly sales growth at Amazon for the last five quarters has averaged 26.6%, and operating cash flow grew by an average of 45.2% each quarter for the same period. The slow takeoff of online grocery and grocery delivery has a lot to do with trust. People like picking out their grocery items, particularly fresh produce items. Such is the reason why grocers and Amazon alike have come to understand they need to have some combination of online and brick and mortar.

Whole Foods is a master of grocery, particularly in natural and organic foods, the fastest growing category in the industry. They handle fresh food better than any other company alive today. Although, in 2016, its food and beverage market-share was still only 1.7% compared to Wal-Marts 17.3%, Krogers (NYSE:KR) 8.9%, and Costcos (NASDAQ:COST) 5.1%, its one of the fastest growing major players in the grocery industry, and it has significant experience in food delivery as well.

With Instacart, its delivery partner, they collectively deliver more groceries to U.S. households than any other company, according to their 2016 annual report (albeit, this still makes up a small share of their total business). With its purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon instantly gains over 450 totally outfitted grocery stores as an alternative to spending billions developing pick-up locations on their own. Jeff Bezos and his team also gain invaluable information for moving into this space effectively this is one of the most critical factors. Lastly, they get a team of experienced grocers, a culture arguably the best in the industry.

Wal-Mart has 4692 U.S. stores in total, and 600 offer online grocery according to their latest annual report. They begin their report with, Innovating to serve customers better is how Wal-Mart became the company it is today. No, Low Prices, as a brand, is how Wal-Mart became the company it is today. A company, which indeed has very competitively priced items, but often resorts to lesser quality items to preserve its price identity.

With that also comes an outrageously poor shopping experience. As our economy grows, people demand better quality products and services. With this, Whole Foods and Amazon are the future, and Wal-Mart and other low-quality grocers and retailers are the past. Sure, Marc Lore, founder of Jet.com and new head of Wal-Mart ecommerce, has done okay at improving the Wal-Mart online experience. But thats the equivalent of developing a higher quality burger at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) anything is better than rock bottom.

Would anyone in their right mind claim the Jet and Wal-Mart experience exceeds that of Amazon.com or Whole Foods? As Greg Penner, Chairman of Wal-Mart, and a Walton family member told us at the Wal-Mart Shareholders' meeting this year, even his own mother was using the other site up until recently.

The new Walmart.com, according to the Chairmans mother, has really improved so much! Its no secret, with online, Wal-Mart is chasing Amazons coattail. And overnight, it just got a whole lot more competitive. Not because of the size of Whole Foods, but rather, because of the number of stores/pickup locations and shopping data Amazon will now have to work with.

Im not predicting the end of Wal-Mart at all. Wal-Marts financial stats look much less pie in the sky than Amazons

WMT

AMZN

Market Cap

229.75B

461.55B

Sales

485.87B

135.99B

P/E

16.47

84.63

P/EBITDA

6.97

37.77

PEG Ratio (5yr expected)

2.94

5.22

P/sales

0.47

3.24

P/book

3.11

21.3

ROA

7.13%

3.62%

ROE

18.49%

14.18%

Source: Yahoo Finance

However, if Amazon maintains, or possibly increases its growth rate, those numbers could change quickly. With this deal, its very likely Amazon will steal some of Wal-Marts market share, across a variety of categories. People have been known to doubt Amazon in the past and been left in the dust. Many times its growth was believed to have reached its peak, and many wondered if it would ever turn a profit on its snowballing sales. We have been taught up to this point to be careful when underestimating Jeff Bezos.

Online grocery is expected to make up 20% of U.S. food and beverage sales by 2025. If merging online with brick and mortar is its next big opportunity, they may have found their solution. With Whole Foods, they have the leader in natural and organic foods, the fastest growing area of the broader grocery sector. With Amazons core business, they are the fastest growing big player in retail. They began as an online retailer, and Wal-Marts trying to become one. While Amazons sales have been growing like the universe, Wal-Marts are basically flat. Zero.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Amazon expects to close the deal with Whole Foods in the coming months, after which they will begin their integration. The big challenge will be in maintaining the culture that makes Whole Foods what it is, while simultaneously trying to inject big ideas and big changes into the grocers business model. Whole Foods is known for being compassionate and having low employee turnover, whereas Amazon has a cutthroat reputation and has one of the worst turnover rates of all Fortune 500 companies.

Amazon will find opportunity in taking many of Whole Foods grocery items, which include most packaged goods, as well as their whole body items like soaps and supplements online. Theyll also likely bring down prices to make natural and organic foods more popular among a larger audience. Jeff Bezos has a history of undercutting competitors, often running losses on certain items to win the market share. If he plays this game with Whole Foods, hes betting the natural and organic foods industry continues to scale, driving supply costs down accordingly.

With a larger Whole Foods footprint, Bezos will have more opportunities to gain Prime users his ultimate goal, creating a slew of other opportunities. According to Wal-Marts annual report, they plan to have online grocery available in an additional 500 stores by 2018. The question is, who will do a better job of merging online shopping with brick and mortar? Clearly, Amazon. Amazon has a long way to catch up with Wal-Marts total sales, but Walmart.com and Jet.com have a long way to catch up with Amazons online business.

If Jeff Bezos can continue to hover on Day 1, as he likes to call it, and maintain these spectacular growth rates by effectively integrating his business with Whole Foods, its believable the market will take Amazon stock to $1 trillion. Whether or not it ever justifies that figure with profitability is another story.

Disclosure: I am/we are long WFM.

Business relationship disclosure: I am part of a company that does business with WFM.

Additional disclosure: I/we might initiate a Long position in AMZN over the next 72 hours.

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Make No Mistake: Wal-Mart Executives Are Losing Sleep - Seeking Alpha

Written by admin

July 11th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Organic Food

Digging deeper into organic produce myths vs. reality – Yakima Herald-Republic

Posted: July 10, 2017 at 7:42 am


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In case there are any doubts left after the recent jump into 100-plus-degree weather, summer is officially here. Fortunately, the heat is accompanied by the bounty of the Yakima Valley: cherries, berries, peaches, apricots, hops and all the rest.

With the abundance of produce, another question arises: Buy organic or not?

Reasons for eating organic vary from person to person, but they generally focus on personal health and safety and environmental sustainability. And organic production continues to increase worldwide, with Washington state making a strong showing: The state accounted for more than 90 percent of all U.S. organic apples and sweet cherries produced in 2015, along with more than 80 percent of organic pears.

But growers and agricultural experts say there are some common misconceptions about what organic truly means.

Organic production has a lot of benefits, yet it does not completely ensure that the product is food safe, said Mike Roy, president of operations at Roy Farms, which has 450 acres of organic hops, apples and blueberries.

For smart, safe grocery shopping, here are some facts about organic production, focusing on produce.

PERCEPTION: Organic produce is perfectly safe to eat, as is.

REALITY: Organic production really addresses pesticide and herbicide residue levels, Roy said. However, many environmental factors are still out of farmers control: A lot of these things like listeria outbreaks, E. coli, salmonella those arent necessarily addressed through organic certification.

The risk of pathogens affects organic and conventional produce.

One of the things to keep in mind on all fresh produce is, theres no kill step. None of the produce is cooked, as opposed to meat, which is usually heated to high enough temperatures to kill nasty bacteria, said Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington Tree Fruit Association.

Fruits and vegetables are grown out of doors ... they sit in open bins at the store, where people handle them, he said. The expectation should never be that fruits and apples are completely devoid of bacteria. You should always wash your food.

As for which products are best to eat organic, thats a personal preference, local growers say.

Theres a popular dirty dozen list that grades foods on how contaminated they are, though its decried by conventional produce growers.

Many consumers make choices based on a foods protective skin, says David Granatstein, sustainable agriculture specialist with the Washington State University Extension in Wenatchee.

The core purchasers of organic food only buy organic products; if they dont have an organic option, they usually wont buy that product, Granatstein said.

But another group of purchasers does more of a risk-assessment process when deciding, he said: If theyre buying a banana, the risk of pesticide residue after they peel it seems much smaller than the risk on a bell pepper, for example.

Customers also consider how much of a product theyre consuming, and whos eating it: If youre feeding yourself versus your 2-year-old baby, you may have a very different process, he said.

PERCEPTION: Organic farms dont use pesticides or chemicals.

REALITY: Everything is made up of chemicals water, air, beer, chocolate.

The National Organic Program keeps a National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic crops and livestock, which can change from year to year.

Generally speaking, organic production uses nonsynthetic or natural substances and prohibits synthetic products, but there are some exceptions for specific uses as long as the substances do not contribute to contamination of crops, soil or water.

A few of those synthetic exceptions are chlorine-based products, copper sulfate, lime sulfur and peracetic acid.

While organic farms are careful to apply only approved substances, they are vulnerable to pesticide drift from other farms, even from far away.

A farmer could be spraying pesticides 200 miles away, but if the winds are right, it could end up being rained onto an organic field, contaminating the crop.

They have allowance for that, Granatstein said. Unless you live in a bubble, in a greenhouse, youre out in the real world. You cannot guarantee 100 percent protection.

Instead of conventional insecticides, farms may employ predators to take care of nuisance insect populations: Roy said their farms have released lacewings, predatory mice and ladybugs, as well as hawks to go after birds that eat the blueberries.

Fun tidbit about the ladybugs: While they do help get rid of aphids, Roy said they also farm aphids, keeping the population at a certain level to maintain their food source. For that reason, Roy Farms had to fire ladybugs as crop protectors.

PERCEPTION: Organic means small mom-and-pop operations

REALITY: Often, but not always. Organic farms come in all sizes, including big industrial operations, just like conventional farms.

As of January, Yakima County was home to nearly 100 certified-organic farms, orchards and ranches producing certified-organic crops or animal products, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Of those, 60 were listed with less than 30 acres of organic production, including 27 with less than 10 acres. A few even reported less than 1 acre.

On the other hand, 23 Yakima County farms were listed at more than 150 acres each. Zirkle Fruit reported more than 3,200 total acres of organic crops spread among 10 ranches.

In 2015, organic farms in Yakima County reported $55.9 million in sales, up 36 percent from 2013, according to Washington State University data.

Achieving organic certification is at least a three-year process, as fields and orchards must go exactly three years without being sprayed with non-approved pesticides or herbicides before the crop can be considered organic.

Growers have to submit a detailed plan to the U.S. Department of Agricultures National Organic Program citing which substances they will use on their crops, making sure they comply with national regulations.

One aspect of organic farming that is now being adopted by mainstream farming is its lessons in soil health and sustainability, Granatstein said.

Organic systems tend to store more carbon in the soil, he said, which is good for the soil and the atmosphere; and there tends to be greater biodiversity in organic systems.

Climate resilience farms are able to weather adverse conditions, drought or flood, he said. All the extremes tend to be buffered when you do improve the soils.

Thats where much of Roys interest lies: The environmental benefits of organic systems, and ways to go beyond purely organic systems to achieve even greater balance and sustainability.

Organic certification doesnt look at energy use or carbon footprint, Roy said.

I do think theres a better undefined system that needs to be fleshed out in future years, he said. Something that is truly sustainabile for the environment and for production.

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Digging deeper into organic produce myths vs. reality - Yakima Herald-Republic

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July 10th, 2017 at 7:42 am

Posted in Organic Food

In Move to Expand into Organic Food, Campbell’s Buys Pacific Foods – FoodSafetyTech (blog)

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Scott Horsfall is Chief Executive Officer of the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA). The LGMA verifies that Californias handlers of lettuce, spinach and other leafy green products are following a set of accepted food safety standards on the farm. The LGMA was formed in February of 2007, and Horsfall joined the organization in May of that year as its first CEO. From 2002 through 2006 Horsfall was CEO of the Buy California Marketing Agreement, the organization designed to promote sales and consumption of locally-grown produce. Joining the California Grown campaign as Chief Operations Officer in 2002, Horsfall oversaw the creation of its marketing programs, and was promoted to CEO in 2003.

Prior to joining California Grown, Horsfall was President of the California Kiwifruit Commission (CKC), a position he held from 1997 to 2002. The CKC implements marketing and research programs on behalf of the states 400+ kiwifruit farmers.

Horsfall began his career in California agriculture with the California Table Grape Commission, Fresno, CA, where he served most recently as Vice President, International Marketing. At the CTGC, Horsfall oversaw an annual $3.5 million export promotion program. During his tenure grape exports increased over 600% in 14 years. He has served on several industry boards and committees. He served as chairman of the United States Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC), was a member of the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee (ATAC) for fruits and vegetables and is a past chairman of the Produce Marketing Associations International Trade Conference.

Horsfall has a MA in international relations from California State University/Fresno and a BA in communications from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

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In Move to Expand into Organic Food, Campbell's Buys Pacific Foods - FoodSafetyTech (blog)

Written by admin

July 10th, 2017 at 7:42 am

Posted in Organic Food

Fighting organic fraud – Finger Lakes Times

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By MIKE HIBBARD

mhibbard@fltimes.com

PENN YAN There were 392 certified organic farms in New York state in 2005.

That number had jumped to 1,050 by 2015, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said there are certainly more today as consumer demand continues to increase for organically grown food.

While Schumer applauded that exponential growth during a visit to Penn Yan on Friday, he said that demand has created an issue that is hurting local and New York farmers organic fraud.

Organic farming is a great industry, but its under threat. Like every industry, you are finding people who want to cut corners, Schumer said at the Birkett Mills, which has been in business since the late 1700s and milling organic grain for about 20 years. That is what we are finding now.

Schumer was joined by Penn Yan and Yates County officials, Birkett Mills staff including company President Jeff Gifford, and local organic farmers. Together they called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with the Office of the Inspector General to immediately address organic fraud.

Schumer pointed to the efforts of Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens, pioneers in New York state organic farming who started the movement about 20 years ago in the Penn Yan area. They own Lakeview Organic Grain and attended Fridays event.

Birkett Mills has been around since 1797, when George Washington was president. A lot of our farmers depend on Birkett Mills, he said. Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens are like the George Washingtons of organic farmers in the Finger Lakes.

Agriculture is the backbone of upstate New Yorks economy. Increasingly, organic produce and products are becoming lucrative for producers across Yates County, enabling them to bring jobs and investments to the region. But these producers are threatened by foreign imports that illegally mislabel products and undermine New Yorks farmers. I am demanding that the USDA redouble their efforts and work to stop these producers in their tracks, Schumer added. Consumers must know that when they purchase a product that says certified organic, that they are getting what they paid for. The threat of phony organics entering our domestic market could undermine that confidence.

Schumer pointed to last months Washington Post investigative piece that revealed proof of fraudulent grain shipments being sold in the United States. The report exposed a shipment of 36 million pounds of non-organic soybeans and corn shipped from Ukraine and Turkey to California that were illicitly labeled as USDA organic when they reached the U.S.

The scam reportedly boosted soybean prices by $4 million, while deceiving American consumers and hurting U.S. organic producers. Of the 36 million pounds, more than 21 million pounds had already reached farms and mills by the time authorities acted.

Schumer added that the USDA is aware of dozens of overseas producers who are putting fraudulent organic certificates on their products and selling them at inflated prices. At least two of them are Chinese.

Someone slapped an organic sticker on these products and no one caught it. If consumers stop trusting the organic label, this whole industry here is in jeopardy, he said. There are consumers who buy organic products, like my daughter, who believe in them. USDA is supposed to be the cop on the beat, but they havent been doing enough. Its time for USDA to strengthen its oversight.

According to the 2014 USDA Organic Census, New York state is the third largest state in the nation in the number of organic farms, fourth in the number of organic farm acres and seventh in annual sales. Schumer said the USDAs efforts have not stemmed the tide of non-organic imports and the agency must work with the Office of Inspector General to determine new, innovative ways to address the issue.

Since the 1990 passage of the Organic Foods Production Action, the USDA has had the sole responsibility of certifying that products grown domestically and internationally meet organic standards. When a product is labeled organic, that means that farmers produce the food with methods that maximize soil health, conserve water and reduce air pollution.

Certified organic farms cannot use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or hormones.

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Fighting organic fraud - Finger Lakes Times

Written by simmons

July 10th, 2017 at 7:42 am

Posted in Organic Food

Hampstead volunteer fire company to host Tasty Food Truck Tuesdays – Carroll County Times

Posted: July 9, 2017 at 8:44 am


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The public is invited to Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company's inaugural Tasty Food Truck Tuesday event Tuesday, July 11. The free admission event will be held 5 to 8 p.m. at the fire company on North Main Street.

"It helps raise funds for a much needed company," said Michelle Godfrey, event organizer and owner of MG Events & Design. "We want to bring the community together in a family friendly and safe environment."

Godfrey said the first Tasty Food Truck Tuesday will feature 10 to 12 different food trucks including GoGanics; Spud Nation; Tacos El Rey; The Local Oyster; Flat Chance; Truck Of Deliciousness; Kona Ice; and Smoke, Rattle & Roll.

Half of the vendor participation fees will be donated to the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company, Godfrey said. In addition, all proceeds from beverages sold by the HVFC will go to the fire company.

"We plan to do this on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month through the end of October in the fire station parking lot," Godfrey said. "There's plenty of free on-site parking and additional parking in nearby lots. The fire department will be directing traffic."

Hampstead Town Manager Tammi Ledley said the town's streetscape project does not start until Aug. 14, and she expects that it will not interfere with the recurring event.

"During the two weeks before the project, people may see personnel doing sediment control and utility markings, but there will be plenty of parking at the municipal public parking lot and along the street," Ledley said.

Godfrey said the event will feature a variety of foods for every palate.

"It's a unique menu that you can't get anywhere else," Godfrey said.

Goganics owner Nureya Monroe said she is "looking to get to know Carroll County people."

"We love that we're doing it with the local fire department and that we're able to support them," Monroe said. "The whole idea is to spread the word that organic food is affordable, local and fun. It doesn't just have to be vegetables. It can be hamburgers and hot dogs. It's good for the planet and good for our bodies."

Spud Nation manager Alex Cooper said he chose to be a part of the Tasty Tuesday event because of Godfrey's reputation as a talented event organizer with a passion for food trucks. He said the event's location, close to the Baltimore-D.C. metropolitan area, will give visitors access to a great mix of trucks and cuisine.

"Carroll County itself is a blossoming market for food trucks be it regular events like this one or special events," Cooper said. "Our truck is a nonprofit, farmer-owned and membership-driven food truck. We are representing Potatoes USA, the association of U.S. potato growers. Our task is to promote, showcase innovative, new and exciting potato dishes alongside featuring members' products, be it fresh or frozen."

Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company Capt. JJ Lynott said the idea was inspired by Arbutus Volunteer Fire Company's Food Truck Wednesdays.

"It's been extremely popular there, and we're always looking for creative ways to raise funds," Lynott said. "It's something different and new. I think that it will catch on and be very popular. We're looking forward to it."

michel.elben@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7873

twitter.com/MichelElben

What: Tasty Food Truck Tuesdays

When: Second and fourth Tuesday of each month through October, beginning 5to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 11

Where: Hampstead volunteer fire company, 1341 N. Main St., Hampstead

Cost: Free admission. Food prices vary.

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Hampstead volunteer fire company to host Tasty Food Truck Tuesdays - Carroll County Times

Written by simmons

July 9th, 2017 at 8:44 am

Posted in Organic Food

Campbell to acquire organic soupmaker Pacific Foods – Supermarket News

Posted: July 8, 2017 at 12:42 am


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Campbell Soup Co. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire organic counterpart Pacific Foods for $700 million in cash.

The deal would be Campbells fifth acquisition in the last five years, and the fourth of a natural/organic food company, as it attempts to remake its portfolio around the burgeoning health-and-wellness movement.

Pacific, based in Tualatin, Ore., makes organic broth and soup, shelf-stable plant-based beverages and other meals and sides. It had sales of $218 million in the 12 months ended May 31. Campbell described Pacific as natural foods industry pioneer with strong health and well-being and organic credentials, particularly with younger consumers.

Pacific is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following, Denise Morrison, Campbells president and CEO, said in a statement. The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food. Moreover, Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell strategically, culturally and philosophically. It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being.

Campbell said it plans to bring its scale to Pacific Foods and invest in the business to drive full force growth. The company expects to expand distribution; boost marketing support for brand building to engage consumers and shoppers; and invest in R&D and the supply chain.

Pacific Foods will become part of Campbells Americas Simple Meals and Beverages division, which includes Campbells soup, simple meals and shelf-stable beverage units in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The division is led by Mark Alexander, president, and includes leading brands including Campbells, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace and Plum Organics.

Pacific was founded in 1987. CEO and co-founder Chuck Eggert will stay on as a supplier of key ingredients through his family farms. Weve spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors, Eggert said. Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldnt do alone, reaching more people while increasing our impact on sustainable agriculture.

Campbell acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012, organic baby-food company Plum in 2013, and fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015. Campbell also acquiredthebiscuit company Kelsen in 2013, which boosted its international brand portfolio.

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Campbell to acquire organic soupmaker Pacific Foods - Supermarket News

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July 8th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Organic Food

FOG celebrates 30 years of healthful food – Gainesville Sun

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Cleveland Tinker @ClevelandTinker

Dealing with social justice issues associated with organic farming has been at the core of Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers of Gainesville's work since the group's creation.

Known as FOG, the nonprofit this month will celebrate 30 years of fighting for organic farmers, farm workers rights and for people on the lower rung of the economic ladder to have access to healthy food.

Both the Gainesville and Alachua County commissions declared July FOG Month.

Marty Mesh, executive director of the Gainesville-based organization, said it was established to support and promote sustainable organic agriculture through educating consumers, farmers, businesses, policy makers and the general public about issues associated with organic farming.

We decided to collaborate with farm worker organizations and other groups to promote organic farming standards domestically, Mesh said.

As part of its ongoing efforts to educate people about and promote certified organic farming, FOG will host two workshops this month.

The first, co-sponsored by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will be held from 1-4:30 p.m. July 24 at the Straughn Professional Development Center at 2142 Shealy Drive on campus.

It will focus on organic vegetable production and high-tunnel research results, and discussion topics will include benefits and challenges of high-tunnel production; disease and pest management; economic considerations; high tunnel structures; organic certification and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cost Share program and soil fertility and crop nutrient management.

High tunnel farming allows farmers to extend the growing season of their crops by using a conservation practice available through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program offered by the USDA.

The second workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 27 at Frog Song Organics at 4317 NE U.S. Highway 301 in Hawthorne. It will focus on organic tomato grafting and high tunnel production.

Vegetable grafting is a horticultural technique combining parts from two plants to form one plant.

Both workshops are free, and those interested can register by calling 352-377-6345, extension 123, or emailing tyler@foginfo.org.

People from out of town attending the first workshop will be able to get reimbursed for their travel by the USDA, said Tyler Nesbit, FOGs education and outreach coordinator.

To celebrate its 30-yearanniversary, FOG will host an Organic Food and Farming Summit Sept. 17-19. It will be an opportunity for farmers to interact with innovators and leaders in organic agriculture to gain knowledge and training through farm tours, workshops, a trade show and a day of presentations on available resources, Mesh said.

FOG has spent its first three decades fighting for social justice in organic agriculture, primarily ensuring that healthy food gets to people most in need, educating organic farmers on issues and policies that affect them and educating and promoting the public about issues related to organic agriculture and improved food systems.

FOG, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, oversees the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program in Florida. The program provides financial help to those obtaining or renewing their certification with the National Organic Program.

To be eligible for reimbursement this federal fiscal year, producers or handlers must have received or renewed certification between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30 of this year. The amount of reimbursement is 75 percent of certification costs, up to a maximum of $750.

For information about cost on the cost share program, email costshare@foginfo.org.

FOG also offers a program that makes fresh, local produce more affordable and accessible to low-income families. The Fresh Access Bucks program increases the purchasing power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) recipients by providing a dollar-for-dollar match for Florida-grown fruits and vegetables.

For instance, a SNAP recipient who spends $10 of their benefits at the farmers' market gets an additional $10 in Fresh Access Bucks to buy more fruits and vegetables, Mesh said.

The program is part of the Alachua County Farmers' Market, held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at 5920 NW 13th St.

For more information about Fresh Access Bucks, email info@freshaccessbucks.com.

Local residents can also get fresh organic fruits and vegetables from the Community Supported Agriculture program through Siembra Farm in southeast Gainesville just south of T.B. McPherson Recreation Center.

Cody Galligan, owner of the 20-acre farm, said $30 gets buyers an assortment of fruits and vegetables delivered to their homes.

Its a great way to support local farmers and for families to get fresh organic fruits and vegetables at a reduced price, Galligan said.

Follow this link:

FOG celebrates 30 years of healthful food - Gainesville Sun

Written by grays

July 8th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Organic Food

THANK A HOOSIER FARMER: Red Oak Farm is a consumer-supported organic ag business – Goshen News

Posted: at 12:42 am


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ELKHART Its confining to describe Red Oak Farm as a farm as this urban ag operation is more than planting and harvesting.

Nicole Bauman is one of six adults who live in two houses on a large city lot at 1721 Prairie St. The group of friends who call themselves the Prairie Wolf Collective due to nearby street names, divides tasks among themselves. Baumans task is to operate the farm.

The farm consists of an adjacent vacant lot that is leased from the city of Elkhart. That lot of less than 1/8th of an acre produces all sorts of vegetables and herbs for community-supported agriculture members who arrive each Thursday to fill bags and boxes. The members purchase a share in the garden in the spring and then are entitled to a box full of produce each week.

The shares can even be purchased by people using food stamps.

So far, 14 people have purchased shares this year, according to Bauman. She has several more shares available on a pro-rated basis because the garden is very productive this year.

Fresh produce is also available for purchase by the public each Thursday afternoon when the supply allows.

Community-supported ag

Such small-scale urban food producers are part of the community-supported agriculture movement that has popped up in the nations urban centers, according to Bauman.

We are trying to do a little bit of intentional community and experimenting with different sustainability practices, she said. And trying to be connected in this neighborhood where there is a long history of organizing and community building.

Bauman reaches out to the community by holding occasional classes on food preservation and canning. This fall, she will provide educational sessions for students at the nearby Roosevelt Elementary School. The Prairie Wolf Collective is also working on lead paint abatement projects.

Close by

Some of Red Oak Farm's neighbors have become good customers.

Kathee Kirchner lives just down the street. You can see her front porch from the collective's front yard.

You cant get any fresher than this, she said of the greens she was placing in bags.

Kirchner pointed out that Bauman raises exceptional okra, which she likes to share with friends.

Kirchner said she used to get organic produce from another local farm, but that business stopped its delivery service, so she found Red Oak Farm a few doors from her home.

Organic food is a staple in Kirchners diet, and she enjoys Red Oaks vegetables and herbs while they are in season.

There was a lot of love put into it, she said of the farm.

Out of season, Kirchner said she turns to organic foods she finds in local markets.

There are some market chains where we can get organic food from, but its just not the same, Kirchner said.

The other aspect of that is I love supporting the horticulture in the community, Kirchner said. Having a farm in the neighborhood. Jason (Nicoles partner) and Nicole do everything they can to conserve resources and to share with people in need.

Second season

This is Baumans second season of gardening on the property. Before that she was employed at another local organic farm.

Organic growing is something Bauman has experience with, having grown up on a small Ontario, Canada, farm that specialized in organic products. She sold microgreens to restaurants when she was in high school.

She said Red Oak Farm is not certified as an organic producer because the cost is prohibitive for such a small producer, but the practices used are totally organic.

For instance, her technique for controlling cabbage beetles is to plant small plots of the garden staple and then patrol the plants daily and pick any bugs off by hand. She said, so far, she has only lost one small planting of tomatillos to an insect infestation.

Thats fine, she laughed. That is part of the game.

She foregoes the use of pesticides, even those concoctions gardeners mix up themselves or purchase from suppliers of organic products.

Even that will harm beneficial insects, Bauman said. Like pollinators. So I just keep trying to build my soil. The healthier your soil is the healthier your plants are and the less the bugs are going to harm them.

Small vs big

The community-supported agriculture movement is ideal for small ag operations such as Red Oak Farm, according to Bauman.

People can go to the grocery store and buy a whole lot more for the same amount of money than purchasing here, Bauman said. Which has to do with farm subsidies, which is why that food is really cheap and also is not the same quality. Yes, it is a challenge for sure.

For small food-production operations like hers, Bauman said she cant afford to subsidize the cost of food for her customers as she is barely making minimum wage now. So she relies on the her payment plan through the CSA program to make it easier for people to purchase her fresh produce.

She is also optimistic that local low-income residents will see the value in Red Oak Farm products.

It is an opportunity for there to be truly fresh organic produce right here, Bauman said. I am set up to accept SNAP benefits, often called food stamps, WIC vouchers and seniors farmers market nutrition program vouchers. So people on those programs can come and purchase stuff.

Re-use and beauty

Eight years ago the city of Elkhart demolished a vacant house at where the garden is now, Bauman said. She believes Red Oak Farms repurposing of the lot is sending a positive message to the south side neighborhood.

It is an exciting thing for the people in the neighborhood to see that Oh, this space matters to people and this neighborhood is not forgotten and there can be business initiatives and environmental initiatives and beauty right here.'

And people in the neighborhood seem to have noticed the garden, according to Bauman.

I have experienced a lot of community building around it to, she said. By being out here all the time I get to know our neighbors better. ... I see neighbor kids and they stop by to see what I am doing and try a radish or a carrot. It builds a lot of connectedness.

Follow Roger on Facebook and also on Twitter @rschneider_TGN

Originally posted here:

THANK A HOOSIER FARMER: Red Oak Farm is a consumer-supported organic ag business - Goshen News

Written by admin

July 8th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Organic Food


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