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Organic Wine – Should We Lower Our Standards with Sulfites?

Organic Wine - Should We Lower Our Standards with Sulfites?

This morning I read a very well-written and interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times about what is going on in the organic wine world. For those who are unfamiliar with the details of organic wine, I wrote a blog post about this a while back. Essentially, naturally-occurring sulfites above a certain number are not […]

Environment Organic Regulation Pesticides USDA Water Wine
LivingMaxwell.com

This morning I read a very well-written and interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times about what is going on in the organic wine world.

For those who are unfamiliar with the details of organic wine, I wrote a blog post about this a while back. Essentially, naturally-occurring sulfites above a certain number are not allowed in USDA certified organic wine. Added sulfites are not allowed at all.

The Los Angeles Times discussed a movement going on that would allow sulfites to be added. Some organic wine producers want to be able to add sulfites because they think it would encourage more wine producers to grow more grapes organically, without the use of herbicides or pesticides. They also say that sulfites are important, given that wine is regularly shipped around the world and these sulfites are critical to help prevent the wine from going bad. Read more »


Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why? We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college […]

GMO Organic Regulation Uncategorized USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why?

We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.

Now that I got the sports plug in, let’s talk about Organic vs. Natural.

I am addressing this now because when I was watching the Rose Bowl game yesterday (TCU vs. Wisconsin), a major potato-chip manufacturer kept popping up with its “all-natural” ads. The vegetables in the ads looked pristine, the kitchen was sparkling white and the cutting board was beautiful. It was about as picturesque and healthy looking as you can imagine.

And, they kept saying their potato-chips were “all-natural”.

According to the USDA’s website, this is what “natural” means.

As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

Did you read that last sentence? There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

As a result, “natural” has been badly abused as a marketing technique, and tons of companies have used genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals, and growth hormones in the production of their “natural” foods.

Since the government has been unwilling to enforce any type of standard for the term “natural”, class action lawyers have gotten involved and filed lawsuits against corporations such as Pepsi (Naked Juice) and Kashi who have used ingredients that are anything but natural.

What to do?

Avoid buying products labeled as “natural” and purchase “organic” products.

Organic food has very strict standards — no GMOs, no toxic pesticides or chemicals, nothing artificial, nothing can be irradiated or grown in sewage sludge — and the certification process is rigorous. Organic food is MUCH healthier for a person and for the planet.

So, the next time some person or some advertisement says that a food product is “natural”, now you know what the word really means. Or, doesn’t mean.

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The Future of Food Documentary – Watch it For FREE Online

The Future of Food Documentary - Watch it For FREE Online

I just found out that there is a FREE online version of the very well-done documentary called The Future of Food, and I wanted to pass this information along ASAP. If you have never seen this movie, please watch it as it is extremely important. It gives a very detailed review of how GMO-food evolved […]

DVD/Movie Reviews FDA GMO Organic Restaurants The Center for Food Safety USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

I just found out that there is a FREE online version of the very well-done documentary called The Future of Food, and I wanted to pass this information along ASAP.

If you have never seen this movie, please watch it as it is extremely important. It gives a very detailed review of how GMO-food evolved in our country and the tremendous danger that it presents to consumers, farmers and our entire planet.

As I have said many times before, the argument that GMO-food is the only way to feed the world is one of the most flawed arguments that I have ever heard. This is propaganda that the biotech industry and BigAg wants us to believe but is simply not true.

Three things in the movie that I want to point out: Read more »


Destruction of GMO-Crops is on Hold – For Now

Destruction of GMO-Crops is on Hold - For Now

Last week, I wrote about how a federal judge ordered the destruction of GMO-crops for the first time ever. These genetically-modified sugar beets should have been uprooted already but that has been put on hold. To no one’s surprise, Monsanto was not going to just sit there and let this happen. So, the company appealed […]

GMO Organic Restaurants President Obama
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Last week, I wrote about how a federal judge ordered the destruction of GMO-crops for the first time ever. These genetically-modified sugar beets should have been uprooted already but that has been put on hold.

To no one’s surprise, Monsanto was not going to just sit there and let this happen. So, the company appealed this court decision and now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a temporary stay, which will block the destruction of these crops until December 23rd.

It is possible that the December 23rd date will get pushed back even further but that is all we know as of now.

This issue of GM-sugar beets is a continuing saga between our government (policies that started with President Bush and continue with President Obama) and proponents of organic food.

I’ll keep you posted on any new developments.


My Dinner Last Night at Caravan of Dreams

My Dinner Last Night at Caravan of Dreams

Last night I met up with a old friend of mine for dinner at Caravan of Dreams in NYC. Caravan of Dreams is an organic restaurant in the East Village that has been around for almost 20 years. Here is what I like about the place. 1) The food is very, very good.  I never […]

NYC Organic Restaurants Raw Food Water
LivingMaxwell.com

Last night I met up with a old friend of mine for dinner at Caravan of Dreams in NYC. Caravan of Dreams is an organic restaurant in the East Village that has been around for almost 20 years.

Here is what I like about the place.

1) The food is very, very good.  I never ever have a bad meal there.

2) They have a big selection of cooked and raw food – the menu is extensive.

3) The smoothie menu is very strong and contains many super-food options.

4) I can drink the water there. Why? Because my close friend does their water filtration system and I know it is the best.

5) The service is always excellent. The people are down-to-earth, friendly and accommodating.

Here is what we had. Read more »


Another Reason Against GMO – Food Waste

Another Reason Against GMO - Food Waste

If you listen to pro-GMO advocates, the number one reason they tell you why we need genetically-modified food is because there is no other way to feed the world. Not for one second do I believe this claim and as I have mentioned before, hunger is a political issue. For example, the people in North […]

Book Reviews GMO NYC
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If you listen to pro-GMO advocates, the number one reason they tell you why we need genetically-modified food is because there is no other way to feed the world.

Not for one second do I believe this claim and as I have mentioned before, hunger is a political issue. For example, the people in North Korea are starving because their leader doesn’t want to feed them. It has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of food.

I went to a fascinating talk yesterday co-hosted by Eating Liberally-NYC and Kitchen Table Talks where I learned yet another argument against the need for GMO — food waste.

At the lecture, Jonathan Bloom, author of the book American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food, talked about the tremendous amount of food wasted in this country and the statistics are staggering.

1) 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is wasted.

2) 150 billion pounds of food each year is wasted.

3) The amount of food wasted each year has a value of approximately $150 billion. Read more »


Consumer Survey: 41% of Parents are Buying More Organic Food than One Year Ago

Consumer Survey: 41% of Parents are Buying More Organic Food than One Year Ago

I understand that I may be on the extreme end of things, in terms of my interest in and passion for organic food. In this regard, I know I kind of live in a bubble. So, it is great to see that many other people are seeing organic food as a requisite to good health […]

Health Kids Pesticides
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I understand that I may be on the extreme end of things, in terms of my interest in and passion for organic food. In this regard, I know I kind of live in a bubble.

So, it is great to see that many other people are seeing organic food as a requisite to good health as well.

Funded by the Organic Trade Association and KIWI Magazine, a recent survey of consumers found that 41% of parents are buying more organic food today than one year ago. This figure is up significantly from the 31% who reported organic purchases in 2009 over the prior year.

The survey, which was conducted between August 11th – 27th this year, found that organic food purchases were spurred by three main reasons. Read more »