Movie: Symphony of the Soil – NYC Showing, Panel Discussion, and Free Ticket Giveaway

In a world where we are in a daily struggle against the proliferation of GMOs and toxic pesticides, one essential aspect of our ecological system gets widely ignored – the quality of our soil.

As I often say, the quality of our food is largely dependent upon the quality of the soil. Without healthy soil, our plants cannot provide us with the vital minerals and nutrients that we need. And that holds true for organic food as well. (A farm needs only to be free of chemicals for three years in order to be certified organic.) Read more »

Top 10 Green Vegetables by Nutrient Density

When you go into the produce section of Whole Foods, you’ll notice signs that say “ANDI Score” with a number associated with that respective food.

Created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” and ranks a food’s nutrient density on a scale from 1 to 1000.

The ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities, and by dividing the nutrient level of a food by its caloric content (N/C). Read more »

Dirt! The Movie – A Great Documentary About the Importance of Soil

I was at a party the other night and got into a discussion with a bakery owner about how some of the best organic products that I have reviewed on livingmaxwell are from Italy.

Italian Volcano orange juice, Bionaturae fruit spread and Middle Earth Organics pasta sauce were a few organic brands that immediately came to mind.

What is it about food from Italy that makes it taste so good?

I believe it is the soil quality.

Unlike in the U.S., their land has not been ravaged by long-term, toxic pesticide use.

This means that Italy has been able to maintain rich, healthy, and biodiverse soil.  As a result, the country grows fantastic tasting and nutritious food. Read more »

Study: Organic Ketchup Has Higher Levels of Antioxidants than Conventional Ketchup

Last year, I wrote about a groundbreaking study from Washington State University that said that organic strawberries have higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid than conventional strawberries.

This research was the subject of much conversation in the organic industry because now we could point to objective, independent research that validated the superiority of organic.

Well, for those who still don’t believe that organic is a better option, maybe a recently released report from Spain will make them think differently.

In a study performed at the University of Barcelona Science and Technology Centres and reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ketchup made from organic tomatoes proved to have higher levels of polyphenols than ketchup made from conventional tomatoes. (Polyphenols are biomolecules with antioxidant properties and protective effects in the human body.) Read more »

My New Favorite Organic Snack?

I was never a peanut butter and jelly kid growing up. In fact, it really turned me off.

So, it is kind of ironic that decades later, a much healthier version of the traditional PB&J is now one of my favorite snacks.

Read more »

Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice – My New Favorite Bottled Organic Juice

While many of you know that I am huge fan of freshly-made pressed organic juice, I do drink bottled juice as well.

I’ve been drinking Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice for a few years now and have really come to love it as of late.

There are three primary reasons why I like it so much:

1) The taste is very, very unique. It is slightly tart, very refreshing and unlike any orange juice that I’ve had.

Also, The Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice tastes incredibly healthy. As the juice goes into your mouth and down your throat, you can almost feel the nutrients pouring into your body.

2) The orange trees are grown in phenomenal soil. On livingmaxwell, I tend to repeat a few different phrases over and over again.

One, I am a water fanatic. Two, it is all about the soil.

Very healthy soil means that the food grown in it will be very nutritious. And vice-versa. Read more »

Ethne Clarke, Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening Magazine, on the Basics of Gardening

In this interview with Ethne Clarke, Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening magazine, we talk about the real basics of gardening.

Ethne Clarke knows this subject inside and out. Not only does she run the most prestigious magazine in the organic gardening world but she is the author of 15 books on landscape history and gardening.

The two specific subjects that we cover are: 1) how to test your soil and 2) what are the best vegetables to start with if you are an absolute beginning, like myself.

One fascinating thing I learned from Ethne Clarke was how sea vegetables can be used in gardening.

Also, make sure you check out the Organic Gardening website if you want some great ideas/tips — they break it down by month and geography.