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How to Know if What We're Eating is Organic

How to Know if What We're Eating is Organic

One of the questions that I have been getting a lot lately is: how do we know if the food we are eating or buying is organic? The answer is pretty simple. The USDA has a list of approved profit and not-for-profit certifiers that inspect farms and manufacturing facilities. When these certifiers declare that a […]

Organic Regulation USDA Video
LivingMaxwell.com

One of the questions that I have been getting a lot lately is: how do we know if the food we are eating or buying is organic?

The answer is pretty simple. The USDA has a list of approved profit and not-for-profit certifiers that inspect farms and manufacturing facilities. When these certifiers declare that a product is truly organic, based on existing rules and regulations, the food manufacturer may then use the USDA certified organic seal.

While this is no fool-proof system, it is the best we have. Organizations such as the Organic Consumers Association are constantly on the lookout for companies that are trying to circumvent the rules. So, if maintaining the integrity of organic is important to you, please support them.

In this video, I also discuss what you want to look out for when buying organic fruits and vegetables in a store.


Egg Salmonella Scare Driving People to Organic

Egg Salmonella Scare Driving People to Organic

The recent salmonella scare, which spurred the recall of over 550 million eggs, has had an unsurprising effect: more people are purchasing local and organic eggs. If you’ve seen the movie Food, Inc., you know the inhumane conditions in which chickens are raised in our industrial food system. So, how can we be in the […]

Organic Regulation
LivingMaxwell.com

The recent salmonella scare, which spurred the recall of over 550 million eggs, has had an unsurprising effect: more people are purchasing local and organic eggs.

If you’ve seen the movie Food, Inc., you know the inhumane conditions in which chickens are raised in our industrial food system. So, how can we be in the least bit shocked that salmonella has emerged?

I’m not. And, with events like this, I am hoping that people are going to be making a more permanent shift to local and organic.

I don’t care what anyone, including our government, says. While by no means 100% fool-proof, organic farming and livestock methods are vastly superior and safer.

A few of the organic rules on chickens:

– They must be managed organically from the 2nd day of life.

– Organic feed and pasture only. Read more »


Organic Food is a Must for Pregnant Women

Organic Food is a Must for Pregnant Women

According to research recently published in the Environment Health Perspectives, pregnant women who are exposed to organophosphate pesticides have a very, very high probability of having kids who suffer from ADHD. The study tracked Mexican-American women in Salinas Valley, CA who were exposed to high levels of pesticides and then diagnosed their kids when they […]

GMO Pesticides USDA Video
LivingMaxwell.com

According to research recently published in the Environment Health Perspectives, pregnant women who are exposed to organophosphate pesticides have a very, very high probability of having kids who suffer from ADHD.

The study tracked Mexican-American women in Salinas Valley, CA who were exposed to high levels of pesticides and then diagnosed their kids when they were between 3 and 5 years old. The results were not good and also not in the least bit surprising.

A few notes on this.

1) Just because you don’t work on a farm doesn’t mean that you won’t get exposed to pesticides. Conventional food is full of them, as Kellogg’s can attest to with its claim that GMO food is safe.

The reason Monsanto and others design GMO seeds/food is so that they can sell farmers the corresponding pesticides.

2) It is very important to give young kids organic food as well. Their bodies are not developed yet and cannot produce the enzyme that detoxifies organophosphate pesticides.

We must continue to fight the politicians, USDA and multinational companies who insist on feeding us chemical-laden food that is harming us. And, the fact that this administration has put into office people like Islam Siddiqui shows that we must continue to push this cause every single day.

One of the best way to do it is to vote with your wallet.


Federal Court Rules Against USDA, Denies Approval of Genetically-Engineered Sugar Beets

Federal Court Rules Against USDA, Denies Approval of Genetically-Engineered Sugar Beets

Only several weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled against Monsanto in a very important case against genetically-engineered alfalfa. On Friday, the organic movement secured another victory when a federal court ruled against the USDA in a case involving genetically-engineered sugar beets. Despite the fact that GMO food wreaks havoc on the environment, the USDA has […]

GMO The Center for Food Safety USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

Only several weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled against Monsanto in a very important case against genetically-engineered alfalfa.

On Friday, the organic movement secured another victory when a federal court ruled against the USDA in a case involving genetically-engineered sugar beets.

Despite the fact that GMO food wreaks havoc on the environment, the USDA has had no qualms about giving Monsanto approval to sell its Roundup Ready sugar beet seeds prior to an environmental study ever being completed.

When farmers buy Roundup Ready sugar beet seeds, they also must buy the Roundup Ready herbicide, the toxic chemical sprayed on the crops. Other Roundup Ready crops have led to increased use of herbicides, a  proliferation of herbicide resistant weeds, and contamination of conventional and organic crops. Furthermore, the chemicals pollute the local water supply and destroy the soil.

The USDA’s behavior is totally reckless. Yet, it continues to cater to the needs of major agribusiness in this country and disregard what is best for the citizens it is supposed to protect. Read more »


Organic NYC – A Recap of the 2010 Fancy Food Show

Organic NYC - A Recap of the 2010 Fancy Food Show

When I went to Natural Products Expo West earlier this year, I was able to spend three full days there and take my time visiting each booth. I felt good about writing my Best of Show Awards since I was confident that I had seen everything. At this year’s Fancy Food Show at the Jacob […]

Company Stories Drinks Expo West Fancy Food Show USDA Water
LivingMaxwell.com

When I went to Natural Products Expo West earlier this year, I was able to spend three full days there and take my time visiting each booth. I felt good about writing my Best of Show Awards since I was confident that I had seen everything.

At this year’s Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC, my time was limited to three hours on one day. I did my best to see everything I could but there is no doubt that I missed some things.

A few key takeaways:

– I was stunned by all of the foreign food companies at the show. It seemed that every country from every continent had its own section.

– Organic food did not have its own designated area. I was curious if it would but was informed that with so many companies doing organic, it no longer made logistical sense.

– The energy was very different than at Expo West. This could be a result of Expo West being a smaller show and a unifying passion around organic/natural.

Now, for the most interesting and compelling products that I saw.

RUNA AMAZON GUAYUSA TEA

There seem to be hundreds of organic teas on the market and the first question that pops out of my mouth when I see a new one is “what makes this tea different from all of the other teas?”

There are three things that make Runa Tea unique. Read more »


Supreme Court Votes in Favor of Organic, Against Monsanto

Supreme Court Votes in Favor of Organic, Against Monsanto

About a month ago, I wrote a post about a very important Supreme Court case regarding genetically-engineered alfalfa. Last week, a verdict came out and it was a huge victory for organic food proponents. Yet, if you read the mainstream press, Monsanto did an amazing spin job and made it seem as if they had […]

Organic Regulation The Center for Food Safety
LivingMaxwell.com

About a month ago, I wrote a post about a very important Supreme Court case regarding genetically-engineered alfalfa.

Last week, a verdict came out and it was a huge victory for organic food proponents.

Yet, if you read the mainstream press, Monsanto did an amazing spin job and made it seem as if they had won the case. The New York Times certainly portrayed it in this light.

However, one organization that I trust wholeheartedly, The Center for Food Safety (CFS), saw the decision very differently. The legal issues are quite complex and the best way to get a good understanding of the verdict is to read what the CFS had to say.


The USDA Cracks Down on Organic Food from China

The USDA Cracks Down on Organic Food from China

Dangerous products from China seem to be the norm these days. U.S. consumers have had to deal with the toxic drywall disaster.  Then, we found out that Chinese-manufactured toys and trinkets contained cadmium instead of lead.  Cadmium is a known carcinogenic. Oh, and how about the milk that killed several babies and sickened thousands because […]

Organic Regulation USDA Whole Foods
LivingMaxwell.com

Dangerous products from China seem to be the norm these days.

U.S. consumers have had to deal with the toxic drywall disaster.  Then, we found out that Chinese-manufactured toys and trinkets contained cadmium instead of lead.  Cadmium is a known carcinogenic.

Oh, and how about the milk that killed several babies and sickened thousands because of the toxic powder that was used.

With doubts swirling that the organic food from China wasn’t really organic, the USDA has banned a major certifier, the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), from operating there.

The reason: OCIA hired employees of a state-owned agency to inspect state-controlled farms and processing facilities. There was absolutely no independence and a serious conflict of interest at hand.

A video had been circulating on Internet recently about how Whole Foods was using “organic” food from China yet the certifying agency, Quality Assurance International, who was hired by Whole Foods and whose certification seal was on the package, claims it never did any inspections in that country. This created a mini-scandal that Whole Foods refused to comment on. Read more »