The Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables :Proper Storage Prevents Spoilage, Saving You Hundreds

Eating more fruits and vegetables is a requirement for every healthy eater. But when you buy more fresh produce, do you end up throwing away more than you eat? You’re not alone.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away nearly 31.6 million tons of food every year. And a recent University of Arizona study found that the average family tosses 1.28 pounds of food a day, for a total of 470 pounds a year! That’s like throwing away $600! 

Storing fresh produce is a little more complicated than you might think. If you want to prevent spoilage, certain foods shouldn’t be stored together at all, while others that we commonly keep in the fridge should actually be left on the countertop. To keep your produce optimally fresh (and cut down on food waste), use this handy guide.

In addition to storing your fruits and vegetable properly, it’s good to know approximately how long the fresh stuff will last. Plan your trip to the grocery or farmer’s market accordingly so that your foods are at the peak of freshness when you plan to prepare them, and you’re not throwing away food that’s gone bad before you get a chance to use it.

So, how long will it last? 
Once you’ve brought it home and stored it properly, you can prioritize your produce. First, eat the things that will spoil quickly, such as lettuce and berries. Save the longer-lasting foods (like eggplant and oranges) for later in the week.


1-2 Days 2-4 Days 4-6 Days 7+ Days
Artichokes
Asparagus
Bananas
Basil
Broccoli
Cherries
Corn
Dill
Green beans
Mushrooms
Strawberries
Watercress
Arugula
Avocados
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Grapes
Lettuce
Limes
Pineapple
Zucchini
Apricots
Blueberries
Brussels sprouts
CauliflowerGrapefruitLeeks

Lemons
Oranges
Oregano
Parsley
Peaches
Pears
Peppers
Plums
Spinach
Tomatoes
Watermelon

Apples
Beets
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Garlic
Hard Squash
Onions
Potatoes

Know your Refrigerator 

  • COLD ZONE  – The ‘cold zone’ is the coldest spot in the refrigerator, and is on the bottom shelves.
  • MODERATE ZONE  – The ‘moderate zone’ is the middle shelves, toward the front.
  • HUMID ZONE  – The ‘humid zone’ is the crisper drawer, which is used to keep a humid environment that helps keep produce with high water content fresher though can hasten spoilage if the humidity gets too high.
  • “WARM” ZONE – The shelves on the door is the warmest area of your refrigerator.
  • Do not put too much food in the refrigerator. If it is loaded to the point that there is no space between the items, air cannot circulate and this affects the temperature distribution.

Which vegetables should be stored where:

  • BEST in the FRONT of the FRIDGE: corn (after wrapping in a wet paper bag placed inside a plastic bag) and peas
  • BEST in the CRISPER: artichokes, asparagus (after trimming the ends and placing upright in shallow cool water, then covering with plastic), beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chiles, cucumbers, eggplant, fresh herbs, green beans, leafy greens, leeks, lettuce (after washing and drying, rolling loosely in a clean kitchen towel inside an unzipped zip-lock bag), mushrooms, peppers, radishes, scallions, summer squash, turnips, zucchini
  • BEST on the COUNTER: tomatoes (stored upside down), bananas, lemons, limes. There’s nothing as inviting as a big bowl of crisp apples on the kitchen counter. To keep those apples crisp and all counter-top-stored produce fresh, store them out of direct sunlight, either directly on the counter-top, in an uncovered bowl, or inside a perforated plastic bag.
  • BEST in the PANTRY (where it’s both dark and cool): garlic, onions, potatoes, shallots, sweet potatoes, winter squash

Refrigerator Storage Tips

  • For produce that is best stored in the refrigerator, remember the following guidelines.
  • Keep produce in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. (To perforate bags, punch holes in the bag with a sharp object, spacing them about as far apart as the holes you see in supermarket apple bags.)
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate, in different drawers, because ethylene can build up in the fridge, causing spoilage.
  • When storing herbs (and interestingly, asparagus, too), snip off the ends, store upright in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and cover with a plastic bag.
What to Store Where: A Handy Chart
Use this color-coded key along with the chart below:

  • Store unwashed and in a single layer
  • Store unwashed and in a plastic bag
  • Store in a paper bag
  • *Ethylene producers (keep away from other fruits and vegetables)

Store in Refrigerator

Apples (storage >7 days)
Apricots

Cantaloupe

Figs
Honeydew

Artichokes
Asparagus
Beets
Blackberries
Blueberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cherries
Corn
Grapes
Green beans
Green onions
Herbs (except basil)
Lima beans
Leafy vegetables
Leeks
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Okra
Peas
Plums
Radishes
Raspberries
Spinach
Sprouts
Strawberries
Summer squash
Yellow squash
Zucchini

 

Store on Countertop

Apples (storage < 7 days)
Bananas
Tomatoes

Basil
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic
Ginger
Grapefruit
Jicama
Lemons
Limes
Mangoes
Oranges
Papayas
Peppers
Persimmons
Pineapple
Plantains

Pomegranate

Watermelon

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Acorn squash
Butternut squash
Onions (away from potatoes)
Potatoes (away from onions)
Pumpkins
Spaghetti squash
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash

Ripen on Counter,
Then
 Refrigerate

Avocados
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Plums

Kiwi

*More about Ethylene: Fruits and vegetables give off an odorless, harmless and tasteless gas called ethylene after they’re picked. All fruits and vegetables produce it, but some foods produce it in greater quantities. When ethylene-producing foods are kept in close proximity with ethylene-sensitive foods, especially in a confined space (like a bag or drawer), the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce. Use this to your advantage if you want to speed up the ripening process of an unripe fruit, for example, by putting an apple in a bag with an unripe avocado. But if you want your already-ripe foods to last longer, remember to keep them away from ethylene-producing foods, as designated in the chart above.
Avoid Premature Spoiling of Fruits and Vegetables
As some fruits and vegetables ripen, they release ethylene, a gas that can cause other produce to become spotted, soft, or mealy. To prevent this, keep ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables separate from varieties that emit the gas.
Ethylene-producing

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Ethylene-sensitive

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Watermelons

Produce Life Shelf (approx.)  and how to Store Fresh Vegetable

  • Artichokes: Use within two to three days of purchase.
  • Asparagus: Should be stored in the refrigerator with a moist paper towel around the stems or can be stood up in a glass of cold water with a damp paper towel wrapped around the tops to keep them crisp.  They’ll still only be at their peak for a day or two.
  • Bell peppers: Up to two weeks.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower: Consume within a week.
  • Cabbage: Keeps for one to two weeks.
  • Carrots: Stays good for several weeks.
  • Celery: Keeps for one to two weeks.
  • Corn: Use the same day of purchase.
  • Cucumbers and eggplant: Keep for one week in the cold crisper drawer.
  • Eggplant: goes bad quickly and should be used within a couple of days of purchase and stored in a cool area.
  • Garlic: Garlic lasts longer in the refrigerator, so if you don’t use it often, keep it chilled.
  • Green beans: Within three to four days of purchase.
  • Leaf greens (beet tops, collards, kale, mustard greens, and so on): The wide variety of pre-washed lettuces can be a great timesaver for washing and storage. Always dry greens very well with paper or kitchen towels or a salad spinner and store them in a plastic bag with a couple of paper towels. Consume within one to two days.
  • Mushrooms: Store in a brown paper bag in the fridge and wash right before using.  Use within a week.
  • Salad greens: Rinse thoroughly, trim, and dry completely before storing wrapped in paper towel or in plastic bags in the crisper drawer. Keeps for three to four days.
  • Spinach: Trim, rinse, and dry thoroughly before storing for two to three days.
  • Summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash): Store for up to a week.
  • Tomatoes: can be very finicky ? they should be stored unwashed and always at room temperature. Any refrigeration will give them an unpleasant mealy texture and will kill the flavor and aroma.

Onions, potatoes, shallots, and hard-shelled winter squash don’t need refrigeration. They stay good for several weeks to a month when you store them in a cool, dry, dark drawer or bin.

Fruit Shelf Life (approx.) and how to Store Fresh Fruits

Most fresh fruits are quite perishable and require refrigeration. You can leave some fruits out to ripen, but when they’re ripe, they last longer in the fridge. Here are some suggestions on storing fresh fruits:

  • Apples: Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark place. Keep for several weeks.
  • Avocados, papayas, kiwis, and mangoes: Keep at room temperature until fully ripened and then refrigerate them to keep for several more days.
  • Bananas: Refrigerate to slow down their ripening. Their peel continues to darken, but not their flesh.
  • Cherries and berries: Keep refrigerated. For best flavor, consume them the same day you purchase them.
  • Citrus fruits (such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges): Citrus fruits, which don’t ripen further after they’re picked and are relatively long-storage fruits, keep for up to three weeks in the fridge.
  • Grapes: Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Mangos: can be ripened at room temperature in a brown bag until they give a bit in the palm of your hand and should then be refrigerated. Because the sugar is concentrated at the base of a pineapple, you can store them upside down for a day or two at room temperature or in the fridge to allow the sweetness to spread throughout the fruit.
  • Melons: Keep at room temperature so that they can ripen and grow sweeter. After they’re fully ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator for several more days.
  • Nectarines: Keep at room temperature so that they can ripen and grow sweeter. After they’re fully ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator for several more days.
  • Pears can be ripened at room temperature in a brown bag until they give a bit in the palm of your hand and should then be refrigerated.
  • Peaches can be ripened at room temperature in a brown bag until they give a bit in the palm of your hand and should then be refrigerated.
  • Pineapple: Because the sugar is concentrated at the base of a pineapple, you can store them upside down for a day or two at room temperature or in the fridge to allow the sweetness to spread throughout the fruit.
  • Plums can be ripened at room temperature in a brown bag until they give a bit in the palm of your hand and should then be refrigerated.
  • Tomatoes: (Yes, this is technically a fruit!) Store at room temperature for more flavor. Keep in a cool, dark place or in a paper bag to ripen fully.
Food is expensive, and most people can’t afford to waste it. Print off this handy chart to keep in your kitchen so you can refer to it after every shopping trip. Then you’ll be able to follow-through with your good intentions to eat your 5-9 servings a day, instead of letting all of that healthy food go to waste.


Feel Good For Speedy Results

 

Want to tap into the Law of Attraction? Is everyone getting results but you can’t seem to? This may be the missing ingredient. Let’s Go!!!

This is an easy one. Think of it this way: Feeling good assists the universe in bringing things to you. Energy is attracted to energy..its very simple. Likes attracts like. If you begin to generate joy from within now, you will continue to attract joyful things into your life like never before.

Try this sometime: when you are sitting around waiting for something to happen in your life and it doesn’t matter what it is… It could be a phone call for an interview, a call from your loved one or a call for a check that you are waiting for, the phone rarely rings when you sit around feeling stagnant, worried or even angry about something. Its when you move, get up, go to the bathroom or leave the house to run an errand- the phone rings. When you get active so does the energy around you. The universe responds to activity…

 

 

In addition, When you allow the body to feel peace and bliss throughout it, the thoughts that flow from you will be picked up and carried through the universe to attract more of the same. You cannot attract much when you feel bad or unbalanced. It is important to exercise, breathe deep and stay in the zone of feeling good! If you want to create magic in your life, you should first become the thing that you seek. Yes! Its thats the science behind it; Transform you and the universe will change too and all that you are inside will be reflected back through a multitude of resources sent first class straight to you.

There are several ways that you can feel good right now. You can change whatever you are thinking about to a positive thought or one that brings you back to the peace within you.

Feeling good is not a mystery, its all about doing it, playing some music, being around art, singing, dancing and meditation are just some of the ways to feel good. Its important to choose things that support the peace and bliss within you. What I’m speaking of is personally generating energy from within, that assists with co-creation on a regular basis. Finally, enjoying and sharing that energy with others. Constant- optimal- manifestation happens when we remain in a natural state of joy as much as possible.

 

 

 

There are several ways one can choose to feel good. Visualizing your desired present or desired future is one way. Remember this: the goal of Abundance Manifesting is to attract the end result to you. When visualizing you are to focus on only experiencing the end result of having received what you want. For faster results- Its important to see as many details of the goal you are manifesting, colors, smells, textures, etc. Also, smile inside and outside as you experience the feeling of having it.

It is your call! You are always creating more of whatever it is that you see the most in your head. At the same time you are creating more of it in the world too so its a good idea to focus primarily on the end result. Also focus the bulk of your energy on only things you want to see more of, with no exceptions. Otherwise, you will attract an experience of always being in the process of acquiring this or that thing or things you do not want to see. Instead of attracting the end result which is having what you desire and fully enjoying it.

As you go through your day, Are you feeling good? If not just choose to. Play some music, laugh, sing, dance, meditate, go outside and feel the breeze on your face. Whatever you choose- feel the peace within and ride that wave while you imagine and visualize all your goals and dreams. Never doubt the power of the Universe.

 

 

Know that whatever you energize with your thoughts- its coming to you soon. So focus- see the end result of you enjoying your blessings again and again. What are you waiting for? Don’t doubt. You deserve it! Go for it!

Organic Foods: Understanding Foods Labels, Benefits, Buying and Claims.

Organic food has become very popular in many parts of the world. As the demand for organic food increases so does the production, but currently the demand still exceeds the supply. What makes organic food so popular?

This guide to navigating the maze of organic food labels, benefits, and claims explores many confusing questions: Is organic food really healthier? Is it more nutritious? Is it better for the environment? What do all the labels mean? Why is it so expensive? How can I afford to buy organic food?

What is organic food?

Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. Beyond eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good fats, however, there is the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability. How foods are grown or raised can impact both your health and the environment. This brings up the questions: What is the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods? Is “organic” always best? What about locally grown foods?

What does “organic” mean?

The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as “organic”.

Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.

What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals, whose DNA has been altered. These products have undergone only short term testing to determine their effects on humans and the environment.

In most countries, organic products do not contain GMOs.

Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.

Is organic food more nutritious than non-organic food?

The evidence is unclear. Some studies suggest that, on average, organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain slightly higher levels of vitamin C, trace minerals, and antioxidant phytonutrients than conventionally grown produce. However, other studies have found no nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods.

The benefits of organic food

Organic foods provide a variety of benefits. Some studies show that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts. In addition, people with allergies to foods, chemicals or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods. In addition:

  • Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.

Why do pesticides matter?

  • Children and fetuses are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure due to their less-developed immune systems and because their bodies and brains are still developing. Exposure at an early age can cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction.
  • Pregnant women are more vulnerable due to the added stress pesticides put on their already taxed organs. Plus pesticides can be passed from mother to child in the womb, as well as through breast milk. Some exposures can cause delayed effects on the nervous system, even years after the initial exposure.
  • Most of us have an accumulated build-up of pesticide exposure in our bodies due to numerous years of exposure. This chemical “body burden,” as it is medically known, could lead to health issues such as headaches, birth defects, and added strain on weakened immune systems.
  • Organic food is often fresher. Fresh food tastes better. Organic food is usually fresher when eaten because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from!) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold.
  • Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. In addition, organic farming is better for birds and small animals, since chemical pesticides can make it hard for birds and small animals to reproduce and can even kill them. It is also better for the people who harvest our food.
  • Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed animal byproducts. The use of antibiotics in conventional meat production helps create antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. This means that when someone gets sick from these strains they will be less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease. In addition, the animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, both of which help to keep the animals healthy. The more crowded the conditions, the more likely an animal is to get sick.

Organic farming and locally grown produce

Organic farming refers to the agricultural production systems that are used to produce food and fiber. Organic farmers don’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Instead, they rely on biological diversity in the field to naturally reduce habitat for pest organisms. Organic farmers also purposefully maintain and replenish the fertility of the soil. All kinds of agricultural products are produced organically, including produce, grains, meat, dairy, eggs, fibers such as cotton, flowers, and processed food products.

Essential characteristics of organic systems include:

  • Design and implementation of an “organic system plan” that describes the practices used in producing crops and livestock products
  • Detailed recordkeeping systems that track all products from the field to point of sale
  • Maintenance of buffer zones to prevent inadvertent contamination by synthetic farm chemicals from adjacent conventional fields
Organic vs. Non-organic Produce
Organic produce:No Pesticides

  • Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost).
  • Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling).
  • Insects are controlled using natural methods (birds, good insects, traps).
Conventionally grown produce:Pesticides used

  • Grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
  • Weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides.
  • Insecticides are used to manage pests and disease.

Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables

What is local food? Unlike organic standards, there is no specific definition. Generally local food means food that was grown close to home. This could be in your own garden, your local community, your state, your region or your country. During large portions of the year it is almost always possible to find food grown very close to home at places such as a farmer’s market.

Why people buy locally grown food:

  • Financial benefits: Money stays within the community, and strengthens the local economy. More money goes directly to the farmer, instead of to things like marketing and distribution.
  • Transportation issues: The average distance an American meal travels from the farm to your dinner plate is over 1500 miles. This uses a lot of fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide into the air. In addition, produce must be picked while still unripe and then gassed to “ripen” it after transport. Or the food is highly processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation, and other means to keep it stable for transport and sale.
  • Fresh prod:uce Local food is the freshest food you can purchase. Fruits and vegetables are harvested when they are ripe and thus full of flavor.

Small local farmers often use organic methods but sometimes cannot afford to become certified organic. Visit a farmer’s market and talk with the farmers. Find out how they produce the fruits and vegetables they sell. You can even ask for a farm tour.

Fruits and vegetables where the organic label matters the most
According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., the following 12 fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide levels on average. Because of their high pesticide levels when conventionally grown, it is best to buy these organic:
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberrie
Non-organic fruits and vegetables with low pesticide levels
These conventionally grown fruits and vegetables were found to have the lowest levels of pesticides. Most of these have thicker skin or peel, which naturally protects them better from pests, and which also means their production does not require the use of as many pesticides.
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Corn (sweet)
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Peas (sweet)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Does washing and peeling get rid of pesticides?

Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling sometimes helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and buy organic when possible.

Organic meat and dairy

Organic meat, dairy products, and eggs are produced from animals that are fed organic feed and allowed access to the outdoors. They must be kept in living conditions that accommodate the natural behavior of the animals. Ruminants must have access to pasture. Organic livestock and poultry may not be give antibiotics, hormones, or medications in the absence of illness; however, they may be vaccinated against disease. Parasiticide (a substance or agent used to destroy parasites) use is strictly regulated. Livestock diseases and parasites are controlled primarily through preventative measures such as rotational grazing, balanced diet, sanitary housing, and stress reduction.

Organic vs. Conventional Meat and Dairy
These conventionally grown meats and dairy products were found to have the lowest levels of pesticides.
Organic meat and dairy:No antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides are given to animals

  • Livestock are given all organic feed.
  • Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and a healthy diet.
  • Livestock must have access to the outdoors.
Conventionally raised meat and dairy:Typically given antibiotics, hormones & feed grown with pesticides

  • Livestock are given growth hormones for faster growth.
  • Antibiotics and medications are used to prevent livestock disease.
  • Livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors.

What’s in your meat?

It is helpful to understand what the government allows in feed or to be used in conventional production:

  • Dairy cows – antibiotics, pig & chicken byproducts, hormones (for growth), pesticides, sewage sludge
  • Beef cows – antibiotics, pig & chicken byproducts, steroids, hormones, pesticides, sewage sludge
  • Pigs – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs (growth hormones are prohibited)
  • Broiler chickens – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs (growth hormones are prohibited)
  • Egg laying hens – antibiotics, animal byproducts, pesticides, sewage sludge, arsenic-based drugs

Understanding organic food labels

What do the food labels such as “organic,” “natural,” “free-range,” and “non-GMO” really mean? Understanding this terminology is essential when you’re shopping for organic foods.

The most important point to remember is that “natural” does not equal organic. “Natural” is an unregulated term that can be applied by anyone. Only the “USDA Organic” label indicates that a food is certified organic.

USDA Certified Organic Food Labels

When you’re shopping for organic foods, look for the “USDA Organic” seal. Only foods that are 95 to 100 percent organic can use the USDA Organic label.

  • 100% Organic – Foods that are completely organic or made with 100% organic ingredients. May display the USDA seal.
  • Organic – Foods that contain at least 95% organic ingredients. May display the USDA seal.
  • Made with organic ingredients – Foods that contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Will not display the USDA seal. May list specific organic ingredients on the front of the package.
  • Contains organic ingredients – Foods that contain less than 70% organic ingredients. Will not display the USDA seal. May list specific organic ingredients on the information panel of the package.

Meat and dairy labels: other terms you need to know

The organic label is the most regulated term, but when it comes to meat, we often see many other terms used. In order to make informed choices, it is helpful to know what some of these terms mean.

  • Natural – This label means “minimally processed” and that the meat can’t have any artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or any other artificial ingredients in it. Animals can still be given antibiotics or growth enhancers. For example, this term can be applied to all raw cuts of beef since they aren’t processed.
  • Grass fed – This term means that the animals are fed solely on a diet of grass or hay. These animals have access to the outdoors. Cattle are naturally ruminants that eat grass, so they tend to be healthier and leaner when fed this way. In addition, grass fed beef has been shown to have more of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Free-range – This means that the animals weren’t confined to a cage and had access to the outdoors. Unfortunately, the animal density can still be very high and the animals may have only short periods outside in an area that’s quite small. It is difficult to tell exactly what free-range means when you see it on meat packaging. You can contact the producer directly for clarification.
  • No hormones added – This term is allowed when animals are raised without the use of any added growth hormones. For beef and dairy products it can be helpful, but by law, poultry and pigs cannot be given hormones, so don’t pay extra for chicken or pork products that use this label.

What does “Certified Organic” mean?

Keep in mind that even if a producer is certified organic, the use of the USDA Organic label is voluntary. At the same time, not everyone goes through the rigorous process of becoming certified, especially smaller farming operations. When shopping at a farmers’ market, for example, don’t hesitate to ask the vendors how your food was grown.

Tips for keeping the cost of organic food within your budget

Organic food is often more expensive than conventionally grown food. But if you set some priorities, it may be possible to purchase organic food and stay within your food budget. Purchase the organic versions of the foods you eat the most and are highest in pesticides.

Venture beyond the grocery store. Consider the following ideas for finding organic food:

  • Shop at farmers’ markets. Many cities, as well as small towns, host a weekly farmers’ market, where local farmers bring their wares to an open-air street market and sell fresh produce direct to you. Often you will find items for less than you’d pay in the grocery store or supermarket. Bonus: it’s a great opportunity to socialize and get to know like-minded people in your neighborhood who might want to join a CSA or start a buying club with you.
  • Join a food co-op. Find out whether there is a natural foods co-op, also called a cooperative grocery store, in your area. Co-ops typically offer lower prices to members, who pay an annual fee to belong. However, you do not need to be a member to shop at a food co-op.
  • Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, in which individuals and families join up to purchase “shares” of produce in bulk, directly from a local farm. Local and organic!

Find farmers’ markets, organic farms, and grocery co-ops in your area:

Organic food buying tips

  • Buy in season – Fruits and vegetables are cheapest and freshest when they are in season. You can also find out when produce is delivered to your market. That way you know you’re buying the freshest food possible.
  • Shop around – Compare the price of organic items at the grocery store, the farmer’s market and any other venue (even the freezer aisle!). Purchase the most economical ones.
  • Remember that organic doesn’t always equal healthy – Junk food can just as easily be made using organic ingredients. Organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are usually still very high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories.

Why is organic food often more expensive?

Organic food is more labor intensive since the farmers do not use pesticides, chemical fertilizers or drugs. Organic certification and maintaining this status is expensive. Organic feed for animals can cost twice as much. Organic farms tend to be smaller than conventional farms, which means fixed costs and overhead must be distributed across smaller produce volumes. Most organic farms are too small to receive government subsidies.

Health is the Most Important Aspect of Life

Some people, for some reason or another, may not feel this way. But when it comes down to it, your health affects every aspect of your life. and it should be among your top priorities. In today’s society, if you aren’t eating organic, you are seriously compromising your health.

Here’s how:

  • Substances in conventional food such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and aspartame slow your brain down and reduce cognitive ability. They also cause obesity, cancer, and are sometimes laced with toxic metals.
  • Pesticides used on conventional food are a hazard to your health.
  • Growth hormones and antibiotics, in addition to the genetically modified feed fed to livestock, cause various health problems.
  • Nutritional value of the food is compromised, leaving you with less vitamins and minerals your body thrives on. This is caused partly by synthetic fertilizer which is used for conventionally grown foods.
  • Many foods are genetically modified. These foods with altered DNA are unsafe for consumption.
 

It is hard to measure how much money you save by buying organic in terms of your health. But one thing is for sure, you DO save money. By buying organic, you won’t be subjecting your body to all the negative aspects of conventional food. Cognitive ability will be enhanced, and you’ll notice your health problems disappear one by one, assuming you are eating a nutrient-rich diet and fresh produce. I think you’ll find this very enlightening – the money you actually save by making less visits to the drug store and feeling better.
You’ll save money because:

  • Prescription drug use will lessen, saving you money.
  • Drugs you buy at the drug store to “fix” headaches, stomach aches, and pains may no longer be needed, saving you money.
  • You’ll feel better and could find yourself turning to alcohol or cigarettes less.
  • Organic and whole foods fill you faster and are less addicting, therefore you will not need as much food to satisfy your physical hunger, saving you money.
  • So what is the difference in cost?

The Difference in Money Costs

It is true, sometimes organic food costs more directly than conventional food, which is often bought from large food manufacturers. However there is a a reason for the price difference, and it often has to do with quality. Certified organic foods with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seal will often be the foods that cost more than conventional products, but of course even other organic foods that do not qualify for the seal.

Certified organic foods may cost more because:

Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are prohibited. This leaves organic farmers with more expensive methods of controlling pests, diseases, weeds, and providing more nutrients for crops to grow.
Organic farming is more labor intensive and takes more time.
Yields for organic farmers are typically lower than those of conventional farmers. They end up with less crops while putting out more time and using more expensive means of growing.
Ultimately, organic farmers make less money than conventional farmers, and must increase price to make some profit and survive. The organic farms are usually smaller and don’t benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers receive.


Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies as conventional farmers do.
Not all foods qualify for the organic seal, however, as some companies follow use difference guidelines which aren’t as strict. So many times, organic food may only cost a little bit more, the same, or even less!

Deciding on which food to purchase is just a matter of good, better, and best. At least try to buy organic and see how much more you’re spending. Prices vary based on the food and the area you buy in, so the only real way to know is to do the experiment for yourself. If you find you’re spending too much in your eyes, don’t buy all organic. Another great way to consume high quality organic foods on a budget is home gardening. Purchase some 100% organic non-GMO seeds and get to work!

Heal Thyself

 

Transform, Relax, Rejuvenate!

 

Breathing deeper, eating healthier, drinking more water and just plain out doing whatever it takes to balance us out in our mind, body and energy field is an important task we should do to manifest more efficiently.

 

Personal healing for one person that may mean adding a new routine to their life, like choosing to do yoga 3 days a week. But for another it may mean completely easing back from running 6 miles a day to regain equilibrium in their body.

 

English: All Solutions By Yogi Tamby Chuckrava...

Some examples of healthy lifestyle transitions are: biking, roller blading, walking, reading, yoga (all types), writing, deep breathing, crocheting, knitting, mediation, healthy eating, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals to name a few.

 

What do these things have to do with the law of attraction? They have everything to do with it, you have to feel good to keep attracting right? So it is important to identify ways which you can stay feeling radiant and flowing so that you can reap the full benefits all the time.

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs

 

Yummy! Rose Quartz

 

Rose quartz is mesmerizing pink color. The pink color found in rose quartz is due to trace amounts of titanium, iron and manganese. When most people think of rose quartz they think of romance and love. It is true that rose quartz is used to balance emotions. This lovely quartz also brings warmth inner peace and creative elevation to its wearer.

 

This element can also awakens a greater appreciation for the artistic side of life. It is also said to ease stress and grief too. This gentle stone has the ability to increase self-esteem, confidence, compassion, patience. It is said to enhance your capacity to love others and yourself. It also nurtures the heart chakra which enhances the desire to let go, relax and take it easy.

 

Rose quartz is also used to treat depression, stress while raising the vibration to allow one to love again. Some say it can be used to aid in weight loss as well. It is great for the skin, bringing with it a youthful appearance. Rose quartz can aid nourish the kidneys, adrenals, genitals, liver, lungs and of course the heart. Rose quartz is used to increase fertility and protect against diseases too.

 

Affirmations Revisited With Joy!

Affirmations are more than a sentence. They are written for the purpose of reaffirming something a person wants to do or remember to do. Affirmations can be used for many things as it relates to the law of attraction they should be used to keep you in line with that which you say you want to attract more of into your life. Always phrase affirmations in terms of what you want rather than what you do not want. The brain cannot evaluate ‘not happy’ without thinking of being unhappy. You get reminded of the words you say whether you adding not or do not want to them. It is important to know what type of intelligence we are dealing with when we speak about the unlimited power within us and the matching stream vibration of unlimited power all around us.

 

Happiness

 

Affirmations can be repeated as many times a day. Pick affirmations that make you feel good. What works for you may not work for another. That is only natural. It is all personal preference. Studies have shown that people who repeat positive words to themselves daily boost their self image to themselves and the world at large. Affirmations are the key to unlocking the motivation that one may lack from minute to minute. It is not enough to say an affirmation if you are not feeling what you are saying. To continue the constant cycle of like attracts like decide what type of energy you want to see more of in your life, then pick your affirmations accordingly. Remember, energy follows thought.

 

 

Here is an exercise to discover what type of affirmations to us: Look at the two affirmations below. Which one will attract more of what you want, and which one will attract more of what you do not want? That is what you have to ask before using an affirmation. OK now for the exercise!

 

 

“People do not listen to me.” or

 

“Everyone enjoys listening to what I have to say.”

 

 

Smiley head happy

 

Next you will see how to turn your list of wants into affirmations. Make sure you are thinking of your personal wants so you can create your own list too.

 

 

Keep the following points in mind when crafting your affirmations

 

1) Phrase your affirmations in the present tense. Write them as if you are enjoying them right now.

 

For example: If your goal is to attract more love, a suitable affirmation might be: ‘I am surrounded with more and more love everyday. I feel love all around me’.

 

 

What are your dreams and desires again? Your affirmations should reflect what you want more of in your life.

 

 

Here are some examples of a goal and the affirmation crafted specifically for affirming …

 

 

1) Goal: abundance in all areas of my life

 

Affirmation: I am abundant in all areas of my life

 

2) Goal: stability

 

Affirmation: I am stable in all areas of my life

 

3) Goal: I want to win

 

Affirmation: I am a winner!

 

4) Goal: I want good health

 

Affirmation: I have ideal health

 

5) Goal: a husband and 3 beautiful children

 

Affirmation: I am enjoying my loving husband and children

 

 

6) Goal: to travel the world

 

Affirmation: I am joyfully traveling the world anytime I choose to

 

 

7) Goal: as a successful business executive

 

Affirmation: I am a successful business executive now

 

 

8) Goal: a healthy relationship with my family

 

Affirmation: My family relationships are happy and healthy

 

 

 

This may seem like a challenging exercise to some, but with practice you will be constructing your personal list affirmations in no time. The key to writing affirmations is to write with intention. Feel the positive vibration of being revolutionary in your life! Taking action is awesome!

 

 

More affirmations:

 

* I am living in the home of my dreams

* I have unlimited resources now

* I am completely healthy

* I am enjoying my ideal relationship

* I have the perfect career now

* I am financially independent

 

 

To attract this and more, write some affirmations and simply allow the universe to respond to your most desired thoughts. Saying affirmations out loud has been known to be preferred by some. However, saying affirmations out loud has nowhere near the same impact as repeatedly hearing the same words inside your mind.

 

 

So where do you place your affirmations now? Place them wherever you will be reminded of them.

 

 

Areas to place your affirmations:

 

 

1. mirrors

2. everywhere you frequently pass

3. car dash board

4. pocket

5. cell phone

6. desk

7. head board

8. wall(s)

9. refrigerator

10.notepad

 

 

Only when you choose have the Resolve and Determination to lead a Happier and more Positive life, will you be Naturally inclined to use a Healing Process of Positive Affirmations. You cannot “force” yourself to be Happy. However, you CAN choose to be Joyful at anytime. When you make this Choice, you can Reinforce and Invigorate the process with living and eating balanced. Healing and Positive Affirmations look good on you. Remember~ Affirm the peace within you, Visualize Luminous Images all day and Feel Sparkling Rays of Strength and Courage within and surrounding your Being! You can do it!

Find Out Which Organic Food Companies Owned by Mega Corporations.

It may be shocking to you, but a large number of organic food companies are actually owned by mega corporations such as Pepsi and Kraft. These companies carelessly implant genetically modified ingredients into their food products and are environmentally destructive, but their organic food subsidiary companies are often toted as environmentally safe and health conscious. One such example is the Honest Tea company, which is actually owned by the Coca-Cola company. Perhaps it’s time to see if your favorite organic food company is actually owned by one of these mega companies.

18-entry

“Organic” has undergone a transformation from a movement to a $20 billion a year industry in the United States. This project explores the changes in ownership and control that have accompanied the implementation of a federal organic standard. The transition began in the late 1990s, as the US Department of Agriculture moved to replace an existing “patchwork” of differing state/regional standards. Some of these changes are well-hidden, as few companies that have acquired organic brands make these ownership ties apparent on product labels. At least sixteen major organic brands have resisted enormous buyout offers, and remained independent. The overall trend, however, is increasing industry domination by large, transnational corporations.

PepsiCo and Naked Juice: Confused About GMOs

Organic food has its origins in a movement to create a more sustainable food and agricultural system, which grew rapidly in the 1970s. Farmers and their allies eventually developed state and regional standards to certify that foods labeled as organic were actually grown according to the practices that they followed. By the 1990s these standards differed slightly from certifier to certifier. The development of the USDA National Organic Standard in place of this “patchwork” was widely predicted to accelerate trends of increasing corporate involvement in this sector. The first draft of the national standard was released in 1997; this project explores changes in ownership and control have since occurred.

Over the past decade many small organic food brands have been snapped up by giant corporations. Clearly, this can be bad for standards and quality.

Who owns your favorite organic food label? Think most organic products and companies are independent- think again. Odwalla = Coca-ColaGreen and Blacks Chocolate = CadburyCascadian Farms = General Mills. The list goes on and on. In fact, if you see it at a chain grocery store, your favorite organic or natural foods product is probably owned by a big corporation.

It’s no secret that there’s been consolidation in the organic and natural foods industry over the past decade or so. And clearly, consolidation can be bad for standards and quality.

These  Who Owns Organics?  charts have been passed around The Internet for years. Most people are shocked the first time they see them (Hershey’s owns Dagoba?).

Organics have always been big money, even in a recession. This attracts well-capitalized companies who want to invest, and who can blame them?

Mega packaged food companies and investor groups buy successful organic brands that were started by visionaries who began the companies with a commitment to the organic ideal of family farms, a clean environment, and simple food without additives. But often, when the big companies buy in, this ideal flies out the window.

I’ve chosen ten of the more prominent organic and natural brands to survey. I’m comparing the stories they tell their customers to the  likely (and often proven) reality, based on who owns them.

I purposely put all of the prominent, still-independent brands in this list because I want to tell their stories. But this isn’t a story about small vs. big, small being good and big being bad.

All the independents listed below are big companies, but they have the ability to uphold higher standards and work within their missions because they aren’t beholden to the intense scrutiny of the money managers.

Just for fun, can you guess which ones they are?

Amy’s

Amy’s Kitchen is the real deal. Named after the actual daughter of the company’s founders, Amy’s mission was to create a line of vegetarian food products for busy families that would be healthier than typical convenience, frozen, and packaged foods. Started in Petaluma, Ca., the company remains an independent, family-run business to this day and Amy herself blogs about her life as a college student(including her organic agriculture classes at Stanford). The company headquarters is still in Petaluma where the founders live. All Amy’s foods are vegetarian, but not all are organic. I get a kick out of looking at the old photos of the early days on the company website. I try to cook everything from scratch, but if I’m going to eat a frozen meal, make mine Amy’s!

Arrowhead Mills

Owned by Hain-Celestial, which also owns many other natural and organics brands. The good thing about Hain-owned brands is that they don’t generally try to fool their customers. They come right out and say it. The story on Arrowhead’s website is a folksy one about founder Fred Ford in the Texas panhandle, but it clearly states when the company was purchased by Hain. The other good thing about Hain is they specialize in natural and organic foods, so I feel a bit better about buying their brands. But Hain is also partially owned by Heinz, so that’s the reality.

I like Arrowhead because their product line is not processed. They sell mostly whole grains, beans, and nut butters (high quality ones at that). I do wonder where they source their raw ingredients, especially with this line: “bringing deliciously wholesome choices from America’s Heartland to your table.” Though it may not be, that line sounds like pure marketing to me. It’s true that many of these crops can be more cheaply grown in China and I’m not saying that Arrowhead sources from China. I can’t find any evidence of it (or that they buy from anywhere outside the US), but then again, their website and none of the product packages I surveyed for this article state country of origin information. Your guess is as good as mine.

Cascadian Farms

If they have to tell you it’s a real place, there’s something not quite right. Oh, and General Mills owns Cascadian Farms. Founder Gene Kahn was featured in the excellent book, Organic, Inc. defending himself against those who would say that he sold out. General Mills also owns Muir Glen and Small Planet Foods, both of which are mentioned on Cascadian Farms’ website, while General Mills is not. General Mills is one of the largest packaged food companies in the world and has a joint operating agreement with Nestle. In the fourth quarter of 2009, General Mills posted revenues of $3.646 billion. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it sort of brings the pastoral image into question.

Eden

If you guessed Eden Foods as one of the independents, you guessed right. In this fantastic article the founder of the company tells his story about fending off the advances of multiple large corporations. Why? Because he wanted to run the company his way, with careful attention to the quality of the product and sustainability practices. Eden is probably my favorite organic food company, mostly for being pioneers in BPA-free cans. (Except for the tomatoes, for which they are looking for an option). According to the company’s website, they process their soybeans without toxic chemicals. All Eden soy products are made from multi-tested GEO free, USA family farm organically grown soybeans, with no refined sugar and no synthetic processing aids. They do not add isoflavone supplements or soy protein isolate. All of the above questionable additives and practices are routine in the industry. Plus, they employ people in Detroit, one of the country’s most economically distressed areas. What’s not to like?

Horizon

I’m not sure what the giggling children on the Horizon website have to do with organic milk, in fact, I’m not sure what Horizon has to do with organic milk either. The company is owned by Dean Foods, a huge conglomerate that is said to be in control up to 90% of the milk market in many states. The company has reported record profits this year as dairy farmers all over the country have gone under. The company is currently being sued by farmers and also being investigated by the Justice Department for monopolistic practices. In other news, Horizon has long been accused of selling “fake organic” milk by the Cornucopia Institute. Enough said.

Nature’s Path

I was surprised and delighted when I found out that this Canadian company is still family owned, because I like their products. The son of an ecologically-minded organic farmer, founder Arran Stephens believes in not expanding the company beyond the point where he can personally run it. The company does a lot to support organic farming, packages their products as sustainably as possible, and engages in many green business practices. While I don’t usually eat packaged cereal, if I were going to, I’d buy Nature’s Path over any other brand. There’s some interesting reading on their website about the family and company origins. At first glance the site looks like it was developed as a homey, “real” brand by a team of corporate image experts, but then you read the content and it’s too personal to be branding. So refreshing.

Newman’s Own Organics 

Privately owned by Nell Newman, this company is an offshoot of the original Newman’s Own company, started by Paul Newman. They make tasty snack foods that are less bad for you than the chemical laden non-organic foods, but they are still snack foods and should be used sparingly in favor of real, cooked from scratch food. The company is very transparent about the ingredients in their products. Although the original Newman’s Own company gives tons of money to progressive charities, I don’t see this as part of the Newman’s Own Organics branding.

Organic Valley

Organic Valley is a true cooperative of family farms, meaning all farms that sign on share in the management and the profits. The company is involved in advancing the organic movement through organizations like Rodale Institute. Their website is very interactive. You’ll find various community pages and a cool little calculator that lets users figure out how many pounds of synthetic nitrogen, pesticides and fertilizers they’ve prevented from being released into the soil, air, and water through buying Organic Valley products. I buy my dairy products from local-regional suppliers, but if I’m in a big national grocery chain store and I have a choice between the store brand, Horizon, or Organic Valley, I’ll always choose Organic Valley.

Stonyfield * Please see the response below from Stonyfield Farms.

Depending on whom you ask, founder and CEO Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm is a sell out or a visionary. French company Groupe Danone bought a huge ownership stake in the company, but Hirshberg is still CEO. Critics charge that companies like Stonyfield dumb down organics by engaging in questionable sourcing. A few years ago when the demand for organic milk outstripped supply, Stonyfield was under fire for buying powdered milk from New Zealand and shipping it here to make yogurt. This year, Stonyfield got into trouble with organic farmers because when demand for organic milk went down and the big companies (like Hood, Stonyfield and Horizon) stopped buying or lowered the prices paid farmers, dairy farmers were left holding the bag.

White Wave – Silk

White Wave, the company that makes Silk Soymilk, was once thought of as one of the most exemplary companies in the organic business. When Dean Foods bought the company in 2002 things slowly started changing. They introduced new flavors made with non-organic soybeans, and this year they did something unforgivable to many. They sneakily changed all the Silk soymilk products to natural from organic. They didn’t change the packaging, UPC codes or prices and they didn’t inform consumers or their grocery customers. All they did was very, very quietly change the word “organic” to “natural” on the front of the package. But then what do you expect from Dean Foods? See above.

People buy organic and natural foods for many reasons: their own personal health, the health of the planet, matters of taste and the desire to support family farms. When faced with the dizzying array of choices on the shelves, it’s satisfying to look behind the marketing hoopla and choose the products that are most likely to align with your own personal values.

Below is a response from Stonyfield Farms:

Every organic ingredient we purchase has been certified organic through a rigorous process using third-party certifiers and by meeting other requirements as outlined by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Standards. Stonyfield was an active participant in the formulation of those standards, and we worked hard for their implementation in 1992. We’re also proud that our organic ingredient purchases support more than 100,000 acres of organic farmland, keeping toxins out of the air, water, soil and food.

We source all of our milk from family farmers in the US. We have not purchased milk from New Zealand. At one time, we did investigate getting organic milk from family farmers in New Zealand in the event that our US organic milk supply couldn’t cover our needs. This situation never came to pass.

Milk for our organic yogurts is sourced through Organic Valley/CROPP and the milk for our organic milk brand is sourced by HP Hood, so we don’t pay farmers directly. What we have done is worked behind the scenes with both these partners to try to lessen the impact on farmers due to an organic milk oversupply and softening consumer demand. Our efforts have included Stonyfield giving a group of Hood-terminated farmers in Maine $50,000 to support their efforts to get a Maine organic milk brand off the ground. It has also included ratcheting up our marketing to try to stimulate sales. We also work hard to communicate the health and environmental benefits of organic food to convince consumers that organic milk is worth the price.   We take our obligations to farmers seriously, and our sourcing practices are constantly reviewed and refined. We pride ourselves on “walking the walk” as well as “talking the talk” as a responsible business and an organic pioneer.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s for $326 million in 2000

The ice-cream maker said Unilever was determined to nurture Ben & Jerry’s commitment to community values, and its commitment to donate 7.5 percent of profits to social causes.

However, in 2002 the company was accused of abusing its “All Natural” label by the Center for Science and Public Interest and in 2005 Ben & Jerry’s CEO Walt Freese admitted the company had grown soft on continuing its traditions of social consciousness.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Kellogg’s bought Kashi for $32 million in 2000

Kellogg’s bought the maker of natural cereal for an undisclosed amount.

After the acquisition, customers became afraid of Kashi using genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, known to be used in Kellogg‘s’ cereals.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

ConAgra bought Lightlife Foods in 2000

Lightlife produces vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes like Smart Deli slices and Smart Bacon, which made it a logical acquisition target for ConAgra, one of the world’s largest packaged food companies.

But ConAgra has also fought against some natural food initiatives. In 2002, the company joined its competitors in stopping the state of Oregon’s Measure 27, which would have required it to label products that have genetically-altered ingredients.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Coca-Cola bought Odwalla for $181 million in 2001

“I think everybody is now chasing nourishment.” said Odwalla President Shawn Sugarma in 2004. “Obesity and its related health problems are a huge concern for anybody in the food business today.”

Known for blends such as C Monster, Mo’ Beta, Rooty Fruity and Viva Las Veggies, the juice and natural food bar makers stopped selling the fresh-squeezed orange juice that had made Odwalla famous since it wouldn’t last the days and weeks the juices are in transit or on the shelf.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Colgate-Palmolive bought Tom’s of Maine for $100 million in 2006

After the acquisition, Tom’s of Maine loyalists complained about the new toothpaste’s sweet flavor, the new plastic packaging, and the new smell of deodorant soap.

Basically, they complained about everything.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

L’Oréal buys Body Shop for $1.1 billion in 2006

An index that tracked public perception of more than 1,000 consumer brands found that “satisfaction” with Body Shop had slumped by almost half since the deal by Body Shop founder, Dame Anita Roddick, to sell the company to L’Oréal for $1.1 billion.

Campaigners against animal testing and the Swiss multi-national Nestlé, which has a 26 per cent share in L’Oréal, also called for a boycott of Body Shop.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Clorox bought Burt’s Bees for $913 million in 2007

After the deal went through, scores of customers called Burt’s Bees and accused the company of selling out.

John Replogle, the chief executive of Burt’s Bees, says he personally responded to customers who left their phone numbers.

9 Ethical Small Brands That Are Actually Owned By Major Companies

Mars bought Seeds of Change in 1997.  Seeds of Change was founded as a seed company specializing in organics back in 1989. After candy-giant Mars bought the company, Seeds of Change was allowed to keep running mostly as it did before.

In 2010, Mars decided to close the Seeds of Change Research Farm and Gardens, which boasted thousands of varieties of plants.The shutdown drew criticism because the farm had been synonymous with the brand and was a part of its marketing.

It is the natural progression of business. In 2005, US organics accounted for 2.6% of the food market, growing at a rate of 17-20% a year resulting in a $52 billion industry in 2008.

The plus side

  • Organic food is easy to find, is plentiful and the costs are reasonable.
  • The food is predictable in quality, flavor and taste. Often smaller producers have a smaller production line and work in small batches with less strict ingredient or quality controls. While this can add to the uniqueness, it occasionally can produce unexpected results.
  • It can expand the organic market, adding and converting farmers and updating practices to the mainstream.

The minus side

  • It is difficult for small labels to compete, or expand beyond their local distribution network.
  • Often you will find less variety and more processing as these growing newly-corporate brands age.
  • The companies may begin to change their values, altering and dropping expensive or non-growth-related practices.

What you can do
If this news is troubling to you, try shopping at smaller local stores and farmers markets. These are the best ways to find local organic producers and products. Be proactive- keep up on the practices of your favorite organic brands to ensure they don’t change once acquired by larger corporations. Many organic companies retain their management, values and practices and are managed as a ‘hands off’ brand. Since organic practices can vary from company to company (within the standards), it is always a good idea to know the practices of your favorite brands.

I am not suggesting you should avoid these brands just because they have corporate owners. But it might help you decide where to put your money if there are certain companies whose policies you disagree with. I’m curious, does corporate ownership affect your buying habits?

Organic Processing Industry Structure

The development of the USDA National Organic Standard in place of differing state/regional standards was widely predicted to accelerate trends of increasing consolidation in this sector. The first draft of the standard was released in 1997; what changes in ownership and control have since occurred?

For articles providing more detail on these graphics see:
Howard, Philip H. 2009. Organic Industry StructureMedia-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus, 5(3). [online]
Howard, Philip H. 2009. Consolidation in the North American Organic Food Processing Sector, 1997 to 2007International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 16(1), 13-30. [PDF]

OrganicT30Jun09

Things that You Should Know about Processed Food and The Food Industry

With America‘s obesity problem among kids reaching crisis proportions, even junk food makers have started to claim they want to steer children toward more healthful choices. In a study released earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 32 percent of children were overweight but not obese, 16 percent were obese, and 11 percent were extremely obese. Food giant PepsiCo, for example, points out on its website that “we can play an important role in helping kids lead healthier lives by offering healthy product choices in schools.” The company highlights what it considers its healthier products within various food categories through a “Smart Spot” marketing campaign that features green symbols on packaging. PepsiCo’s inclusive criteria–explained here–award spots to foods of dubious nutritional value such as Diet Pepsi, Cap’n Crunch cereal, reduced-fat Doritos, and Cheetos, as well as to more nutritious products such as Quaker Oatmeal and Tropicana Orange Juice.

But are wellness initiatives like Smart Spot just marketing ploys? Such moves by the food industry may seem to be a step in the right direction, but ultimately makers of popular junk foods have an obligation to stockholders to encourage kids to eat more–not less–of the foods that fuel their profits, says David Ludwig, a pediatrician and the co-author of a commentary published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association that raises questions about whether big food companies can be trusted to help combat obesity.

Eating processed foods is a vicious cycle. They are convenient, they taste good, we get quick energy and pleasure then comes the slump. We rebound from this slump by eating even  more processed food and the vicious cycle continues.

No doubt they’re easy and they taste good. They’re everywhere you look. Grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores and even hard ware and farm supply stores. They’re the answer to our busy lifestyles, but just because they’re easy doesn’t mean they’re not causing a whole bunch of problems.

Over time, your energy drops. Perhaps you notice weight gain or other signs of aging. Processed foods seem like the answer to today’s busy lives. New fads and fancy advertisements make promises that keep us coming back for more.

But before you hit the vending machine or the fast food window, find out what the processed food industry doesn’t want you to know:

  1. Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to overeat.Whole foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. When foods are processed the components of these foods are modified (for example, fiber, water and nutrients are removed) and in other cases, components are concentrated. In each case, processing changes the way they are digested and assimilated in your body.Eating highly processed or highly concentrated foods can artificially stimulate dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), which plays a role in addiction. In this way, you are eating foods that lack nutrients and fiber, but create a pleasurable feeling. A food addiction starts because you feel good when you are eating these foods and they make you think they taste better. You crave that pleasurable feeling again and again and viola…this is what starts a food addiction.
  2. Processed foods are linked to obesity. Additives in processed foods, like high fructose corn syrup, sugar and MSG have been linked to weight gain and obesity. Dr. Mercola recently reported about a new study that showed childhood obesity could be reduced by 18 percent, simply by cutting out fast food advertisements during children’s programming. The Australian government is clearly more concerned about their children’s health as television advertisements to children were banned several years ago. Too bad the almighty dollar’s getting in the way of our kids health here in the US.
  3. Processed foods often contain ingredients that do not follow the principle of food combining, which can lead to low energy, poor digestion, illness, acidic blood and weight gain. An example would be a frozen meat and cheese pizza. Cheese (a dairy product), meat (an animal protein) and pizza crust (a grain product) make a terrible food combination that can wreak havoc on your digestive health.
  4. Processed foods contribute to an imbalanced inner Body system, which can lead to digestive problems, cravings, illness and disease. Beneficial microflora cannot survive in your digestive tract when you are poisoning them. Like us they thrive on foods that are made by nature not by man.
  5. A diet high in processed foods can lead to depression, memory issues and mood swings. Ingredients in processed foods are often the lowest cost and sub-par, nutritionally. For example, the fats and oils used in processed foods are refined, which means they are stripped of the essential fatty acids necessary for healthy blood sugar levels, moods and memory. Your heart, hormones and brain suffer when you choose to eat these fats and oils. Instead choose the organic, unrefined or “virgin” fats and oils.
  6. Processed foods often go hand in hand with “eating on the run” or multitasking. Most people will choose convenience if they are on the run and in today’s busy lives, who of us isn’t? Unfortunately, multitasking while eating causes people to lose touch with their natural appetite, often leading to weight gain. Additionally, multitasking sends the wrong signals to your digestive system, which needs to be in a restful mode to digest properly.
  7. Nutrition labels on processed foods are often misleading and have harmful health effects. Many labels say “sugar free,” but contain other sweeteners like agave, which is like high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, product labeling may hide ingredients like GM (genetically modified) foods and harmful additives like MSG. (These are hidden behind words on the label like “natural flavorings” or “approved spices”).
  8. Diets high in processed meats (like hot dogs and deli meats) have been linked to various forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.
  9. Eating too many processed foods can lead to infertility and malnutrition. Processed foods, like cereal, are stripped of important vitamins and nutrients that your body truly needs. You could be eating a large amount of calories and still be malnourished if your diet is high in processed foods.Animal studies have shown that over three generations, a deficient diet causes reproduction to cease.  Today, infertility is on the rise, affecting 7.3 million people in America.
  10. Processed foods are made for long shelf-life, not long human life! Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for a long time without going rancid or affecting the taste of the food. Food manufacturers spend time, money and research on beautiful packaging and strategies to lengthen shelf-life, with little attention on how the foods will lengthen your life or create lasting health.
  11. Junk food makers spend billions advertising unhealthy foods to kids.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, food makers spend some $1.6 billion annually to reach children through the traditional media as well the Internet, in-store advertising, and sweepstakes. An article published in 2006 in the Journal of Public Health Policy puts the number as high as $10 billion annually. Promotions often use cartoon characters or free giveaways to entice kids into the junk food fold. PepsiCo has pledged that it will advertise only “Smart Spot” products to children under 12.
  12. The studies that food producers support tend to minimize health concerns associated with their products.In fact, according to a review led by Ludwig of hundreds of studies that looked at the health effects of milk, juice, and soda, the likelihood of conclusions favorable to the industry was several times higher among industry-sponsored research than studies that received no industry funding. “If a study is funded by the industry, it may be closer to advertising than science,” he says.  
  13. Junk food makers donate large sums of money to professional nutrition associations. The American Dietetic Association, for example, accepts money from companies such as Coca-Cola, which get access to decision makers in the food and nutrition marketplace via ADA events and programs, as this release explains. As Nestle notes in her blog and discusses at length in her book Food Politics, the group even distributes nutritional fact sheets that are directly sponsored by specific industry groups. This one, for example, which is sponsored by an industry group that promotes lamb, rather unsurprisingly touts the nutritional benefits of lamb. The ADA’s reasoning: “These collaborations take place with the understanding that ADA does not support any program or message that does not correspond with ADA’s science-based healthful-eating messages and positions,” according to the group’s president, dietitian Martin Yadrick. “In fact, we think it’s important for us to be at the same table with food companies because of the positive influence that we can have on them.”
  14.  More processing means more profits, but typically makes the food less healthy. Minimally processed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables obviously aren’t where food companies look for profits. The big bucks stem from turning government-subsidized commodity crops–mainly corn, wheat, and soybeans–into fast foods, snack foods, and beverages. High-profit products derived from these commodity crops are generally high in calories and low in nutritional value.
  15. A health claim on the label doesn’t necessarily make a food healthy.  Health claims such as “zero trans fats” or “contains whole wheat” may create the false impression that a product is healthy when it’s not. While the claims may be true, a product is not going to benefit your kid’s health if it’s also loaded with salt and sugar or saturated fat, say, and lacks fiber or other nutrients. “These claims are calorie distracters,” adds Nestle. “They make people forget about the calories.” Dave DeCecco, a spokesperson for PepsiCo, counters that the intent of a labeling program such as Smart Spot is simply to help consumers pick a healthier choice within a category. “We’re not trying to tell people that a bag of Doritos is healthier than asparagus. But, if you’re buying chips, and you’re busy, and you don’t have a lot of time to read every part of the label, it’s an easy way to make a smarter choice,” he says.
  16. Food industry pressure has made nutritional guidelines confusing.  As Nestle explained in Food Politics, the food industry has a history of preferring scientific jargon to straight talk. As far back as 1977, public health officials attempted to include the advice “reduce consumption of meat” in an important report called Dietary Goals for the United States. The report’s authors capitulated to intense pushback from the cattle industry and used this less-direct and more ambiguous advice: “Choose meats, poultry, and fish which will reduce saturated fat intake.” Overall, says Nestle, the government has a hard time suggesting that people eat less of anything.
  17. The food industry funds front groups that fight antiobesity public health initiatives. Unless you follow politics closely, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that a group with a name like the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has anything to do with the food industry. In fact,Ludwig and Nestle point out, this group lobbies aggressively against obesity-related public health campaigns–such as the one directed at removing junk food from schools–and is funded, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, primarily through donations from big food companies such as Coca-Cola, Cargill, Tyson Foods, and Wendy’s.
  18. The food industry works aggressively to discredit its critics. According to the new JAMA article, the Center for Consumer Freedom boasts that “[our strategy] is to shoot the messenger. We’ve got to attack [activists’] credibility as spokespersons.” Here’s the group’s entry on Marion Nestle.  The bottom line, says Nestle, is quite simple: Kids need to eat less, include more fruits and vegetables, and limit the junk food.”
  19. Many supposedly healthy replacement foods are hardly healthier than the foods they replace. In 2006, for example, major beverage makers agreed to remove sugary sodas from school vending machines. But the industry mounted an intense lobbying effort that persuaded lawmakers to allow sports drinks and vitamin waters that–despite their slightly healthier reputations–still can be packed with sugar and calories.
  20. Less-processed foods are generally more satiating than their highly processed counterparts.  Fresh apples have an abundance of fiber and nutrients that are lost when they are processed into applesauce. And the added sugar or other sweeteners increase the number of calories without necessarily making the applesauce any more filling. Apple juice, which is even more processed, has had almost all of the fiber and nutrients stripped out. This same stripping out of nutrients, says Ludwig, happens with highly refined white bread compared with stone-ground whole wheat bread.

The bottom line, says Nestle, is quite simple: Kids need to eat less, include more fruits and vegetables, and limit the junk food.”

LOA 101: What Do You Want?

 

What do you truly want?

The first step in manifesting what you want is to identify what you want. The Universe needs to know what your heart deeply desires before you can begin the process of manifesting with awareness. If you do not know where you are going, the universe does not know either. Before you answer the question. Please take a few seconds to visualize the universe as unlimited in its source and power. What if you could have everything you wanted without restriction and the rest of the world would still have plenty.

There is no reason to hold back now is there? The universe is already aware of the correct time and space to send you what you desire. As you write down your goals..I want you to be totally unreasonable about the goals you write down. The key to acquiring anything in this life is to first identify what you intend on attracting first.

You must be clear on what you want since the (unlimited stream) we call the universe wants to support your most desired as soon as the time is right. When is one thing you do not have to think about. The universe measures time in a totally different sense than we do. The universe is vast and limitless! You need not be concerned about how or when something will happen. Leave that task to the Forces that be  to take care of.

Again, the first key to having your desires is to identify what they are. For example: What do you want to see in your life 3 years from now, what about 3 months from now or even next month? Start asking questions and write down some answers. This exercise does not have to be too intense, but it is a major step in moving forward on your manifesting journey. Look at it as an opportunity to be the best you can be!

Clarify your goals with joy. Over time you may want to add to your list and tweak it to your liking. That is great. Do not think of writing down your goals as a one time thing. Over time you will definitely have more goals and desires. Remember I said dream big!

Adding to your goals from time to time will keep your list current and in harmony with the direction you are walking in. Here is an example of someones list of goals:

1. abundance in all areas of my life

2. stability

3. I want to win

4. good health

5. a husband and 3 beautiful children

6. to travel the world

7. as a successful business executive

8. a healthy relationship with my family

In a future post you will see how to turn your list of wants into actual affirmations which is a very important step in the law of attraction process.

As time goes on uncertainty about what you desire will go away, then a new vibrancy can flow into your mind and bring to the surface all the things that make you smile. As you watch your desires come to life. You will find even more reasons to smile.

When individuals do not feel open about identifying their goals its because there is usually fear present.

It is important to understand that fear is nothing but a diagnostic message that the kidneys are sending to the brain signaling a call to us for attention. When we experience fear it is not an emotion as we have been conditioned to believe. Instead it is natures alarm from the kidneys to come balance and heal this particular organ.

Please read more about this in the Chinese 5 organ profiling system. This process is quite simple but very comprehensive as well, the body shows us exactly what is out of harmony all the time. We only have to know how to read the signals it sends out. As with everything else in the world, with time, comes greater understanding.

Next just for fun, write a list of things you do not want, put that list on top of the trash, place it in a drawer, in an envelope or throw away the list of things you DO NOT want. Smile as do it. You may want to keep this list tucked away somewhere instead of simply throwing it away for review later. This way you can see the difference it has made in your life to have attracted what you want.

The Law of Karma Defined

Karma as action and reaction: if we sow goodne...

Karma is defined as many things. Some say it’s definition is:  You get what you put out. Whatever you release into the universe, Comes back to you in one way or another.

Some religions say karma is a person who has done bad things in past lifetimes, resulting in misfortune in future lifetimes. Karma is also defined as obstacles too. Karma is also birth, aging, sickness, and death.

Karma is not a punishment or reward but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts from a past action. According to some Indian religions. Karma is not fate. They believe we have  free will, so we are always free to  create our own destiny.

Take a look at the another notion of karma. Westerners say words like: You reap what you sow, live by the sword die by the sword or what goes around comes around. In other words: What we put out is returned to us.We can expect the same result when we do something for or against another. This is like the Law of Attraction in some ways. Ex: If you think about a person with a good or bad intention for them you are sending energy at that moment.

English: Karma Dance

You move on in your life however, At some point in your life that energy will be reflected back to you. Karma will return to the person in some way, no one knows how or when though. The karmic return will happen whenever the universe finds the time to complete its karmic cycle. Other religions say The law of cause and effect is another way of saying The Law of Karma. The life should be measured by the amount of karmic debt one has.

Karma plays an important role in determining how one’s life should be lived.In another notion about The Law of Karma it is said that before we came to earth we choose how (and when) to receive the challenge of earthly life lessons of retribution for the wrong done in previous lives. This could have taken the form of Disabilities, physical or mental impairment or even a stagnant life are due to the choices one makes before being born into a new life and into new body on earth.Whatever we put out will potentially come back to us in some way. It’s important to know about Karma.

In Indian religions is the concept of “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called saṃsāra) originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies. The idea that the moral quality of one’s actions influences one’s rebirth is absent from India until the period of the shramana religions, and the Brahmins appear to have adopted this idea from other religious groups.

English: Shri 1008 Mahavir Swami

In the west, karma is often confused with concepts such as the soul, psychic energy, synchronicity (a concept originally from psychoanalyst Carl Jung, which says that things that happen at the same time are related), and ideas from quantum or theoretical physics. There is an absolute connection between Karma and quantum physics But that would be an even longer article to break down the argument. We will keep it simple on this article.

Karma means “deed” or “act” and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, that governs all life. In some definitions of Karma; The effects experienced are also able to be reversed by good actions and are not necessarily a sealed fate. Yey!

That is to say, a particular action now is not binding to some particular, pre-determined future experience or reaction; it is not a simple, one-to-one correspondence of reward or punishment. So it is not only a thing with karma where it is of a spiritual nature but it is also the inner workings of something larger than you and I working as a constant, limitless law that must be carried out no matter what is going on, at all times and in all spaces.

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a...

So the law of attraction and the law of karma are very similar, yes? Though they are still different. The Law of Attraction states that you are always attracting like a magnet to you, as a result of your thoughts and karma, you receive back what you put out.

And based on this karmic count you must repeat certain lessons on the earthly plane until you correct all that you have done outside of divine order. There is a strong connection between the two of these Laws but they are very different.

It seems The Law of Karma is the consequence of the actions that are out of alinement divine order that follows us for several incarnations until we fulfill the Karmic debt by setting things right and The Law of Attraction is what we use to reject and attract things magnetically moment to moment with our feelings, thoughts and actions.

It is important to watch what you do, think and speak. Why you might ask? Because you will create more of that in the world and you will attract more of it to you. So there, go forth and enjoy life fully knowing that, it is truly beautiful! Plus you have a paint brush to make is as colorful as you choose to!