Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know
1. CCOF Joins National Organic Farmers Group to Lobby Congress
According to Sustainable Food News, the Organic Farmers Association (OFA), a new national group launched by Rodale Institute advocating for U.S. organic farmers and ranchers on Capitol Hill, has added five new members.
The new members include:
- Oregon Tilth
- California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
- Minnesota Crop Improvement Association
- Organic Seed Alliance
- Iowa Organic Association
With over 16,000 U.S. certified-organic farms, and American consumers spending more than $43 billion annually on organic food and products, Rodale said organic farmers need a place at the table to advocate for national policies that will enable them to meet growing demand.
The OFA is also currently seeking candidates for their first elected Policy Committee. Candidates interested in serving on the first OFA Policy Committee must submit their candidacy online by July 17.
2. Organic Onions Healthier Than Conventional, Says Study
Five years ago, a highly publicized meta-analysis of more than 200 studies concluded that organic food was no more nutritious than conventionally grown food, according to Sustainable Food News.
Since then, however, additional work has suggested the organic foods contain more health-benefiting phytochemicals. Now, researchers have found that flavonoid levels and antioxidant activity in organic onions are higher than in conventional onions.
3. HFI, Global Organic Ingredients Supplier, Debuts Food Safety Service
Healthy Food Ingredients, LLC (HFI) introduced its IntegriPure microbial reduction process (MRP) system Sustainable Food News reports, an alternative to food safety heat treatments such as irradiation and other pasteurization technologies.
HFI said the chemical-free IntegriPure rotation-based system effectively reduces microorganisms while protecting the integrity and functionality of ingredients by "evenly distributing dry, saturated steam heat for consistent pasteurization, and the quick-cooling vacuum ensures ingredient stability and quality."
Fargo, N.D.-based HFI, the parent company of SK Food International, Suntava, Heartland Flax, and Hesco/Dakota Organic Products, sells non-GMO, organic, certified transitional, gluten-free, and identity preserved ingredients, including pulses, grains, seeds, soybeans, expeller oils, and signature products Suntava Purple Corn and AncientGrisps.
4. "Caulipower" Takes a Big Slice of the Gluten-Free Pizza Market
Ready-to-eat gluten-free pizza crust company Caulipower has added 1,000 retailers since its launch in February, with a product that taps into the current craze for cauliflower, ProjectNosh reports. Originally available in just 30 stores, including select Whole Foods Markets and Bristol Farms, the company now distributes to Albertsons, Harris Teeter, Meijer, Safeway, Wegmans and more.
The company aims to appeal to a wider audience than just gluten-free consumers by focusing on pizzas’ vegetable-based nutrition. “Everything about this [product] is trying to make nutrition more accessible for all,” Becker told Project Nosh. “A big part of accessibility is where it’s sold and… you can see from the wide range of retailers. It’s going to be available to many and be for everyone.”
Read more here.
5. What Happens When Organic Farms are Forced to Spray Conventional Pesticides?
In mid-May, the Azure Standard posted a video and call to action on Facebook labeled, “An Organic Farm Under Threat,” stating that the local government was about to spray Roundup and other toxic herbicides across more than 2,000 acres of certified organic wheat, peas, and barley.
Within days, officials in rural Sherman County—where less than 2,000 people live—had received more than 57,000 emails urging them not to spray the farm. The most comments they’d received on an ordinance in the past was five.
Read more here.
"They’re not stupid enough to go change that."
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Amazon’s plans to keep the natural grocer's high standards.
A commitment to customer service, growing, and strong grower relationships has been the hallmark of one of the nations’ leading organic growing/shipping/distributing operations. For over 20 years, Los Angeles-based 4Earth Farms has utilized smaller mixer business as a springboard to significant growth in its wholesale organic business and propelled the company into major growing organic deals across in the United States and Mexico.Read More
California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, CA, is one of the largest berry grower-shippers in the Watsonville area, the strawberry capital of the world. The company has a robust berry operation, both company owned and as a representative for outside growers. Cindy Jewell is the firm’s vice president of marketing.Read More
By Jenn LaVardera, MS RD
Though the phrase “farm-to-table” tends to conjure images of quaint shops and roadside stands, there are more ways than ever to get fresh organic produce from field to fork.Read More
Partnering with marketing research firm Nielsen, OPN analysis of organic fresh produce sales indicates organic berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.), and apples accounted for nearly two-thirds of all organic fruit sales ($73 million) during April. Total organic fruit sales ----commodity and value added---- for April stood at $120 million, with organic fresh vegetable sales reaching $208 million. Other organic produce items including herbs, juices, dressings and snack mixes totaled $54 million in sales for the month.Read More