News & Views

Organic Milk Actually Becomes Organic

Lots of buzz at last week’s Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference surrounded a rather astonishing development in the organic world: the U.S. Department of Agriculture had finally done something, well, good.

After five years of debate, on February 17, the USDA had amended the standards for organic milk to reflect what most consumers thought “organic” meant in the first place. So now (or at least by June 2011, when the amended standards take effect for all suppliers) when people buy milk labeled “organic,” they’ll be getting what they paid for.

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Locavore's Dilemma: Can We Eat Local and Still Enjoy Global Food Traditions?

The benefits of eating local cannot be understated: fresher and more flavorful products, economic support for local small-scale farmers and producers, less harmful environmental impacts and better appreciation for the delicious bounty to be found closer to home. But for many food lovers, embracing this philosophy comes with a trade-off.

Call it the Locavore’s Dilemma – how can one reconcile an earnest desire to eat local with the enjoyment of certain foods whose best examples are imported from great distances? Must we resign ourselves to giving up authentic Italian prosciutto or France’s renowned fromages, in effect abstaining from some of Europe’s finest culinary traditions, in the name of conscientious consumption?

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Shocking News! Real Food is Good for My Health!

I'm sure I've never looked forward to a doctor visit. Maybe it's because I've never hit my ideal weight (or my doctors' ideal weight for me), so I expect a talking to each time I go. Maybe it's because I passed out one time when I gave blood in high school, and the idea of my doctor's office taking blood is too close to the idea of giving blood for comfort. More likely, I've never looked forward to going to the doctor because nobody looks forward to going to the doctor. What's to look forward to?

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How Important is Organic Certification? At Nature's Prime Organic, The Answer is "Very"

Nature’s Prime Organic (NPO) Foods, an online source for buying organic meats and natural seafood, functions a bit like the hippie buying clubs that were so popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Then and now, buying clubs harness the power of collective purchasing and make hard-to-source foods available to more people.

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Food for Thought: Consider the Coconut

Food: we cook it, we eat it, and then we’re done.

Well, not quite. Like the good folk milling around the Tower of Babel, we also spend a great deal of time talking about it, except that we’re not always speaking the same language.

Food is, both figuratively and literally, on everyone’s lips and the discussion has never been so deep or widespread, providing fodder for everyone from filmmakers and politicians to home cooks and bloggers, who all have something different to say about what we eat. The array of issues is so dizzying, it’s enough to make you toss your salad.

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Equal Exchange Offers Fair-Trade Valentine's Day Treats

There's something irresistible about Equal Exchange organic chocolate. Maybe it's the fact that the company supports fair-trade practices and small growers. Maybe it's the knowledge that it's all organic. But frankly, I'm guessing it has as lot to do with the taste. Each variety I've tried has been all that I've hoped for - a delicious experience at a fair price. So given what we know about large-scale chocolate production, this year I'm considering giving my Valentine something we can both feel great about. Here are a few gift ideas from the folks at Equal Exchange:

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Tell the Dept. of Justice: Free Our Farmers! Break Up BigAg Monopolies Like Monsanto!

Photo courtesy of RawFoodLife.comPhoto courtesy of RawFoodLife.comLast December, we wrote about ana Sofia Joanes, food policy activist and director of the movie Fresh, and her campaign against BigAg monopolies.

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Better Burgers: A Guide to Buying Top-Quality, Great-Tasting Ground Beef

The following post was written by Carrie Oliver, founder and CEO of The Oliver Ranch Company and The Artisan Beef Institute. It originally appeared on her blog last October. We thank her for letting us re-post it here. You can read more about Carrie and her work, below.

A recent New York Times article on ground beef has led a lot of friends, colleagues, and clients to ask my thoughts on the issue.

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Don't Throw It All Away: What I Learned On My Winter Vacation

Back in November -- appropriately enough, on Thanksgiving Day -- four scientists for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, published a report about the environmental impact of food waste in America. They calculated that, every year, as much as 40 percent of America’s food supply is discarded! (That’s a 28 percent increase, by the way, since 1974.) If you divide that amount among every man, woman and child living in the U.S., we’re talking 1,400 kilocalories -- or 1.4 million calories -- per day, per person, that end up in the trash.

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At Open Arms of Minnesota, Nutrition Matters

Would you laugh if I told you the key to human potential is a bowl of vegetable soup? Or a plate of meat loaf? A chocolate chip cookie? If the food is part of a delivery from Open Arms of Minnesota, then it is indeed key to someone’s independent and meaningful life.

Since 1986, Open Arms of Minnesota has run a meal delivery program for Twin Cities residents living with, and affected by, chronic progressive illnesses. (Full disclosure: I’ve volunteered in their kitchen for close to twelve years.) Its largest and original client population is people living with HIV and AIDS. Open Arms also serves people with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), MS, breast cancer, and similar illnesses. The meals can be the difference between staying healthy and spiraling into disability. For many, this means living at home instead of going to a hospital or nursing home.

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