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Organic Link Love – Delivery Services, Wine Bars, Whole Foods of China, and More

We have gotten several good pieces of news over the past few weeks. Most notably, GMO-labeling is now officially on the ballot in Colorado, and the vote will take place in November.    

The USDA announced that it is cracking down on misleading organic marketers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that it will be phasing out genetically-engineered crops and will ban bee-killing pesticides on national refuges.

Huge kudos goes to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has publicly come out against the dangerous Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement. If you’ve never heard of TTIP, see my recent post about it. Very scary stuff.

Some troubling news out of Europe. 20% of organic products in Poland fail to meet legal requirements, and EU organic rules may mean that certified food is not truly organic. Furthermore, these new EU rules could damage the UK organic sector.

It was reported that 43% of organic food sales are fruits and vegetables, and the U.S. exports organic products to over 80 countries.

Organic berries are showing huge growth, including very strong demand from Costco. To meet the growing demand for organic food, a group in Maine has established a $3 million fund to train the next generation of organic farmers.

Food Safety News pulled a false story regarding Dr. Bronner’s organic virgin coconut oil.

Things are really heating up in the delivery space. Whole Foods has leaked a few details about its brand-new home delivery service and the full plans will be disclosed on September 1st. This should be very interesting.

Farmstr, an online marketplace for organic food, is testing a partnership with Uber, and Sprig is a new organic food delivery service app started by Google’s former executive chef.

In a very smart move, Rodale has decided to convert its Organic Gardening magazine to Organic Life and added a new editor-in-chief from Saveur. Wakaya Perfection has partnered with The Chopra Center to create an organic wellness line.

Organic feeding tube meal developer Functional Formularies has closed a $1.6M investment, and organic energy bar company Simple Squares was featured in The New York Times. Learn why Perdue going organic could mean cleaner water for the environment.

There is growing interest for organic products in the Czech Republic, and read about the entrepreneur who is trying to build the Whole Foods of China.

It goes without saying that GMOs have been in the headlines lately, as they always are.

Organic farmers seek to intervene in the GMO ban case in Hawaii.  International and Chinese experts slam GMOs and glyphosate at a big conference in Beijing – this is something important to watch.

Organic farmers and traders hold a protest against GM-food products in The Philippines.

A district judge in Mexico last month overturned a permit issued to Monsanto that allowed commercial planting of Roundup-ready soybeans.  The judge said that co-existence between GMOs and honey bees is not possible.  This is a huge victory, although an appeal is likely to occur.

There is a new book out called Deadout, which is a thriller about GMOs, organic farming, and colony collapse disorder.

The word “organic” is disappearing from some restaurant menus, and a new bar called Sort of Wine Bar opened in Brooklyn that is focused on organic and biodynamic wines.

Inn at Dos Brisas, a luxury ranch/hotel outside of Houston, has expanded its certified organic farm on premises, and Greenstar, the first organic brewery in Illinois, recently launched.   

Swedish clothing company H+M is the biggest user of certified organic cotton in the industry. Legendary musician Neil Young has boycotted non-organic cotton and asks fans to do the same.   

A New York techie has returned to his homeland of India to aid organic cotton farming there and started an organic t-shirt company.

Feeling inspired and want to incorporate more organic cotton into your wardrobe?  If so, definitely check out the fantastic organic clothing by PACT.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink