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Better Choices

How Do Your Favorite ‘Organic’ and ‘Made with Organic’ Snack Bars Rate? Take a Look at Cornucopia’s Scorecard

When you are in the checkout line at the supermarket and looking for a nutritious snack to satiate your hunger, take caution when selecting an energy bar.

The energy or snack bar market is big business — a $9 billion industry — and many people are easily fooled by the slick marketing that food companies employ to get you to purchase their products.

The absolute first thing to look for is a certified organic snack bar — one that has the green and white USDA organic seal on it.

And it’s very important not to fall into the trap of thinking that certified organic bars and ones that say “made with organic ingredients” are the same thing. They are categorically not the same.

Because of a loophole in organic regulations, many “made with organic ingredients” bars contain protein isolates which have been processed with the neurotoxic solvent hexane — a byproduct of the gasoline refinement industry.

In order to help you figure out which snack bars are the best, among both organic and conventional, The Cornucopia Institute has just released a brand new report called Raising the Bar: Choosing Healthy Snack Bars versus Gimmicky Junk Food.

Raising the Bar exposes misleading marketing practices by food industry giants and calls out leading natural/organic brands for using cheap, conventional ingredients instead of creating nutritive products that qualify for the USDA organic label.

As it turns out, the highest rated brands in this report are Simple Squares, Bearded Brothers, and Larabar Organic with Superfoods. These three are all USDA certified organic and use only organic fruits, nuts, and seeds without any added sugars, gums, flours, protein isolates, or preservatives.

To read Raising the Bar – Executive Summary, click HERE.

To read Raising the Bar – Full Report, click HERE.

To see how your favorite snack bars rate, check out the Snack Bars Scorecard, which is mobile-friendly.

This scorecard is just another extremely valuable piece of research from Cornucopia, one of the organic industry’s most important watchdog organizations. These people are doing the very hard work to keep us both safe and informed.

A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Pure Rooms – Setting a New Standard for Healthy Traveling

For those of us who are extremely committed to health and wellness, the reality is that maintaining this lifestyle is very difficult when traveling.

At home, we have much greater control over our environment, but we lose that control when we go on the road, regardless of how aesthetically pleasing the living conditions may be.

Fortunately, the world is starting to change, and there are now businesses entirely focused on meeting the needs of the wellness-minded traveler.

One such company that I recently discovered is Pure Wellness, whose main offering is a Pure Room — a hotel room unlike anything I have seen before.

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

An Illegal Fungicide Found in Conventional Orange Juice – Another Reason to Buy Organic

Stories about the toxicity of our food supply just keep rolling in.

As I wrote about recently, numerous samples of conventional apple juice were found to have unsafe and illegal levels of arsenic. And now orange juice is having its own set of problems.

Coca-Cola, which makes Minute Maid and Simply Orange, reported to the FDA on December 28th that some Brazilian growers of oranges that are used in the company’s juices and those of its competitors had sprayed their trees with carbendazim, a toxic fungicide.

As a result, the FDA temporarily halted all shipments of imported orange juice while it conducts field tests. Products already on supermarket shelves that have “low levels” of carbendazim (80 parts per billion) may still be sold.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows — most notably, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West —  talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can and reading books, I have come to the following conclusion:

You can take almost any food in the world and some health expert will have something good to say about it while a different health expert will have something bad to say about it.

So, what I do is educate myself as much as I can and then make my own decision about whether I should be eating it or not.

The following five organic foods seem to be the most controversial. While books could be written on all of the foods below and by no means am I covering all of the pros/cons of each, I will try to highlight the most salient points.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink