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Obama Appointment of Siddiqui to Agricultural Post is an Absolute Disaster for Organic Food Proponents

Obama Appointment of Siddiqui to Agricultural Post is an Absolute Disaster for Organic Food Proponents

You probably heard that over the weekend President Obama recess-appointed 15 people to different government posts in order to bypass Senate approval hearings.  What may have escaped you is that Islam Siddiqui was appointed as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. If you care about organic food and the […]

Beef Environment GMO Pesticides President Obama USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

You probably heard that over the weekend President Obama recess-appointed 15 people to different government posts in order to bypass Senate approval hearings.  What may have escaped you is that Islam Siddiqui was appointed as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

If you care about organic food and the environment, this move should outrage you.

A lifelong pesticide lobbyist and GMO advocate, Siddiqui’s confirmation in the Senate was opposed by more than 80 environmental, small-farm and consumer groups.

Siddiqui is vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, a trade group of biotech and pesticide companies, which is essentially a front organization for Monsanto.  CropLife has the proud distinction of many great accomplishments including fighting the initiatives of banning GMO food in California, claiming that pesticides positively impact endangered species, lobbying the Bush administration for human – and child – testing of pesticides and writing a letter to Michelle Obama urging her to use pesticides in the organic garden at the White House. Read more »


The Best of 2010 Natural Products Expo West

The Best of 2010 Natural Products Expo West

Last week, I spent several days in Anaheim, California attending the 2010 Natural Products Expo West.  It is the premier show for organic food companies and needless to say, I had a fantastic time. Not only did I get to see tons of new products and discover brands that I had never heard of, but […]

Company Stories Energy Bars Expo West
LivingMaxwell.com

Last week, I spent several days in Anaheim, California attending the 2010 Natural Products Expo West.  It is the premier show for organic food companies and needless to say, I had a fantastic time.

Not only did I get to see tons of new products and discover brands that I had never heard of, but I was able to meet the people behind all of these companies.

Ever since livingmaxwell launched, the one piece of feedback that I constantly hear is that consumers like to look in the eyes of the people who are making their food.

They want to shake their hands, engage in conversation and develop a degree of confidence that the food they are eating is truly organic.

I’m no different.

I, too, like to meet the people who make the food that I am eating.  I want to know if they are as passionate about and committed to organic as I am.  At Expo West, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to do this.

There were dozens of products that really impressed me, and many of them I will be showcasing on livingmaxwell in the months to come.

However, these six stood out from the rest. Read more »


Whole Foods Now Employs Healthy Eating Specialists, Interview with Gerrie Adams

Whole Foods Now Employs Healthy Eating Specialists, Interview with Gerrie Adams

I am writing from Orange County, CA where I am attending the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim which started yesterday. So, on Wednesday I made a visit to the local Whole Foods in Tustin to pick up a few things.  I love the experience that each Whole Foods delivers but this store […]

Company Stories John Mackey Nutrient-Dense Organic Whole Foods
LivingMaxwell.com

I am writing from Orange County, CA where I am attending the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim which started yesterday.

So, on Wednesday I made a visit to the local Whole Foods in Tustin to pick up a few things.  I love the experience that each Whole Foods delivers but this store is the most mind-blowing one I have ever stepped foot in.

I never thought I would say it but I must confess.  I now have Whole Foods envy.  How lucky are the people that get to shop here whenever they want.

Aside from the fact that it is a 68,000 square feet spectacle, I saw something that I had yet to see before — a special section where customers can sit down and consult one-on-one with a Healthy Eating Specialist.  All for free.

Several weeks ago, I profiled Whole Foods’ new Health Starts Here initiative and have been in constant conversation with many different store managers trying to get the inside scoop — do employees like it or not (in particular, those who work in the meat department), how are they going to roll it out, what are the internal training programs, etc.

One piece of feedback that I kept hearing was that there would be in-store training for customers on the program to answer their every question. Read more »


Organic Raw Cacao – What is it exactly?

Organic Raw Cacao - What is it exactly?

If you are not entrenched in the raw food world, there is a pretty good chance that organic raw cacao may be something new to you. Well, actually, let me rephrase that.  Organic raw cacao may be a new super-food to you. Organic raw cacao is derived from cacao trees, which are generally grown in […]

Raw Food Superfoods
LivingMaxwell.com

If you are not entrenched in the raw food world, there is a pretty good chance that organic raw cacao may be something new to you.

Well, actually, let me rephrase that.  Organic raw cacao may be a new super-food to you.

Organic raw cacao is derived from cacao trees, which are generally grown in countries near the equator (Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia to name a few). They can be purchased either as beans, nibs or in powder form.

Just as the name states, organic raw cacao is raw. This means the organic raw cacao is not heated above 118 degrees. That is generally considered the highest temperature that food can be heated before it loses valuable enzymes, minerals and nutrients.

Organic raw cacao is believed to be an incredibly healthy food for many reasons. Not only does it contains very high levels of magnesium, which supports a healthy heart, but organic raw cacao is full of anti-oxidants and amin-acids, such as arginine and tryptophan.

My preferred organic raw cacao brand is from Sunfood. Here is what I have to say about Sunfood’s organic raw cacao powder.


Steaz Launches a Great Initiative to Empower Women

Steaz Launches a Great Initiative to Empower Women

After speaking with Eric Schnell, the co-founder of Steaz, one of the most well-known organic beverage brands, it is no surprise that he and his company have just launched a really fantastic program that seeks to help women. And, I am not just saying this because he is a fellow Bostonian. Giving back and creating […]

Company Stories Drinks Non-Profits
LivingMaxwell.com

After speaking with Eric Schnell, the co-founder of Steaz, one of the most well-known organic beverage brands, it is no surprise that he and his company have just launched a really fantastic program that seeks to help women.

And, I am not just saying this because he is a fellow Bostonian.

Giving back and creating a better world is something that he has been taught his entire life.

During his childhood in the 1970s, he grew up in a house that had solar panels, spent a few years living with his family in an ashram and was fed organic food from the very beginning.

Each year since the founding of Steaz, Eric and his team have tried to do something new and different to promote these same ideals and values.

Previous endeavors include: becoming the first sparkling beverage company to have the USDA Organic seal, switching to all Fair Trade ingredients and operating a carbon-neutral business.  The goal this year was to create something very their own and long-lasting.

Hence, the idea for the SEED Initiative.

The program, which stands for Social, Environmental and Economic Discovery, uses a three-dimensional model of giving.  Steaz makes grants in the form of cash, products and mentoring to women who have done outstanding work in the community.

Six women, all of whom now form the committee to select future winners, have received the award this year and can direct the grant to the charity of their choosing. Read more »


IMPORTANT: The USDA is Close to Approving Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Disastrous Consequences for Organic

IMPORTANT: The USDA is Close to Approving Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Disastrous Consequences for Organic

Last night, I interviewed Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a non-profit based in Washington DC. The website says that CFS “protects human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.” In plain language, […]

Non-Profits Organic Regulation The Center for Food Safety Uncategorized USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

Last night, I interviewed Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a non-profit based in Washington DC.

The website says that CFS “protects human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.”

In plain language, this organization battles the people who are polluting our environment and corrupting the integrity of our food supply.

What is important to note is that when CFS files lawsuits, it often succeeds.  This includes several victories against Monsanto and others.  Recent wins include: stopping GE sugar beets, halting GE crops in wildlife refugees, preserving r-BGH free labels on dairy products, and passing California law to protect farmers from the hazards of GE crops.

Andrew Kimbrell and his team are amazing advocates of organic food, and I cannot express how lucky we are to have such competent and committed people fighting for our cause in Washington.

The interview I shot with him will be up very soon, but I received an email from CFS today and wanted to share it immediately.

The organic food community is under serious attack from the USDA.  Yes, the USDA.  It is considering allowing GE alfalfa, which would have disastrous consequences for the organic food industry and the well-being of small and family farms. Read more »


RootDown LA: Reconnecting Youth in South Los Angeles to Farm-Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

RootDown LA: Reconnecting Youth in South Los Angeles to Farm-Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

If you haven’t watched Jamie Oliver’s keynote address at the recent TED conference, you need to.  The speech was an all-out assault on the food that Americans eat and how it is literally killing our population. It is a shame that we have to have someone who isn’t even a U.S. citizen give us a […]

Kids Non-Profits Organic Vegetables
LivingMaxwell.com

If you haven’t watched Jamie Oliver’s keynote address at the recent TED conference, you need to.  The speech was an all-out assault on the food that Americans eat and how it is literally killing our population.

It is a shame that we have to have someone who isn’t even a U.S. citizen give us a wake-up call but that is the dire situation we are in with our food system. The truth is that our government is failing us and not acting in our best interest when it comes to health.

One of the great things about doing this blog is that I get to publicize organizations who are working diligently to reverse this severe crisis we now face. One such group is called RootDown LA.

RootDown LA, a project of Community Partners, is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles whose purpose is simple: to get kids reconnected to real, whole foods that are not processed nor laden with chemicals. Read more »