The Living Maxwell Show on Periscope: “Live” from the Whole Foods Market Holiday Bazaar in NYC

Last week, I attended the Whole Foods Market Holiday Bazaar here in NYC, and it was a fantastic afternoon!

The Bazaar was a preview of many of the holidays items that will be out later this year, and several of the company’s department heads were also in attendance.

I had the opportunity to interview Doug Bell, Global Wine Buyer, and Cathy Strange, Global Cheese Buyer, both of whom shared their industry insight, offered very useful advice about cheese and wine, and took questions “live” from viewers.

If you’re unfamiliar with Periscope or want to know how it works, I explain it all below.

Enjoy the video!

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Wednesdays at Whole Foods – Wine Talk, GMO-Labeling Update, and Biodynamic Bonanza

On the first Wednesday of every other month, I have a column called Wednesdays at Whole Foods. It showcases the most interesting news, products, store events, and happenings at the company.



If you are a wine aficionado, Whole Foods Market has something very cool for you.

On eight different Thursday nights throughout the year, the company hosts Twitter Wine Tastings.

The Twitter Tastings are led and moderated by the global wine buyers Doug Bell and Master Sommelier Devon Broglie, who hand-pick in advance the four wines to be discussed. Read more »

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 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 Restaurants, Markets and Delivery Services in Paris

(This is the second of two posts written by Lora Krulak, a vegetable expert, nutritionist and recipe re-creator who is currently living in Paris. Her first post appeared yesterday.)

Last month I walked into a client’s house and on his kitchen counter was the most random yet beautiful arrangement of produce, truffles and bread. When he saw me staring at the haphazard array, he immediately got a bit defensive and said, “What can I do with rutabaga, fingerling potatoes and basil? Do you have a recipe for all this stuff?”

He told me about the weekly delivery he’d been getting from Le Haut Du Panier, the Grande Dame of organic/bio food delivery in Paris – cheeses, breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, and even oysters and books from organic producers around Paris. Truly extraordinary. The website alone makes you want to buy and eat everything! Honestly, they make Fresh Direct look like a sad midnight deli.

Le Haut Du Panier is not alone. There are similar services sprouting up around the country but mostly they’re based in Paris.

Comparable to the CSAs in the states, one can order a box and pick it up, with costs starting at about 8 Euros ($US 11) per week and scaling up depending on what’s ordered. Not too hefty a price to pay for such an assortment of fresh organic produce.

Bio is becoming “la mode” in Paris, with crowds and lines at markets and organic restaurants. There is a fully organic trade show of just organic/bio products next week, with workshops on everything from how to compost in your closet to how to make your own organic perfume. Read more »

Organic Wine – Does it Contain Sulfites?

In wine, there are naturally occurring sulfites and added sulfites. The naturally occurring sulfites are a by-product of the fermentation process and it is nearly impossible to have a sulfite-free wine.

Winemakers have been working with sulfite agents, added sulfites, for hundreds of years. They were originally introduced in Europe as a preservative and are used to prevent spoiling.

It is possible, however, to have a wine that is free of added sulfates and that is organic wine. The four main attributes of USDA certified organic wine are:

– Made from grapes that are certified organic

– No toxic or synthetic chemicals, preservatives or pesticides may be used in the grape-growing process

– No added sulfites in the winemaking process

– The sulfite level (from naturally occurring sulfites) cannot exceed 20 parts per million.

Aside from USDA certified organic wine, which is not too common, there is also wine that has “made from organic grapes” on the label. The two main differences difference between a wine that is “made from organic grapes” and a USDA certified organic wine:

– It can contain added sulfites

– Approved sulfite level is higher — 100 parts per million. Read more »