This is the start of a list of websites of interest.
Certification Organizations & Trade Associations
USDA Organic Labeling and Marketing Information
This is it — U.S.D.A. organic standards. Also the Labeling Packaged Products list.
See also: USDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts
Weston A. Price Foundation — nonprofit, tax-exempt charity disseminating the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets.
See also: A Campaign for Real Milk
The Organic Trade Association — membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America which promotes and protects organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy.
National Family Farm Coalition — represents family farm and rural groups whose members face the challenge of the deepening economic recession in rural communities.
03/03/2010: USDA review may approve Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa — Vote Today!
02/24/2010: Farm-to-Consumer sues FDA re raw milk
04/14/2009: HR 875 not so healthy for food supply?
03/25/2009: Food Safety Still High Risk to Economy
12/27/2008: China firms ‘to pay milk victims’ – but where?
12/13/2008: 2007 Settlement between the CDFA and Organic Pastures
09/05/2008: California Raw Milk and the attack against SB 201
07/29/2008: California State Senate Bill #201 passes the next hurdle
07/04/2008: SB 201 Fresh Raw Milk Act passes first hurdle
06/14/2008: Raw Milk versus Pasteurized Milk
06/14/2008: SB 201: clarifying production standards for raw milk
High Brix Defines Farm-fresh, non-GMO and Organic Food
Last Fall I drove an hour each way for 50 lbs. of farm-fresh, non-GMO produce — squash and carrots. I was on the trail of Winter storage vegetables with a high brix count. Farmer Timothy, along with a very extended family, run a farmer’s market business on NY Rt 11B in the Champlain Valley and are working diligently with the fertility of their soil to produce high Brix nutrient-dense foods:
Nutrient Dense Foods have very high levels of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and trace minerals. As a result they have the greatest impact on improving health and providing nutrition against disease. Major minerals are abundantly supplied as are trace elements such as selenium, chromium, iodine, and cobalt.
A layman’s understanding
As well as to fill our stomachs and to enjoy the pleasures of eating, we eat to obtain energy. In this quest, we also consume different kinds of sugars, not all of which are recognizable as what you’d think of as sugar. But how do we get that energy in a healthy manner? Blood sugar is another piece of the puzzle regarding how our bodies work.
What is blood sugar?
First, let’s start with a workable definition of blood sugar. From Answers.com we get:
Blood Sugar: sugar in the form of glucose in the blood.
In the United States, we pass the ketchup to the tune of over half a billion bottles every year. The modern word “ketchup” comes from a Chinese word ke-tsiap — a naturally pickled fish-brine, the universal condiment of the ancient world. The English added foods like mushrooms, walnuts, cucumbers and oysters to this, and it was still a naturally fermented brew.
Since most ancient times, lactic acid has been used to keep the intestines functioning efficiently, and different types of lacto-fermented juices were often the only remedy against infectious diseases.
I received an email invitation to take a survey from Whole Foods Market. I was happy to do it, and thereby discovered the Whole Foods Market forums. So I happily popped in to see what was happening, and discovered a discussion started in late November 2008, Organic Produce from China?, in which a forum member states:
Imagine my surprise when preparing a dish for Thanksgiving when I discovered that the Whole Foods “365 Organic Chopped Spinach” was labeled “A Product of China”. The front of the package is also labeled “USDA ORGANIC”. I had a conversation with several Whole Foods employees at the Walnut Creek store, all of which were puzzled and unaware that the spinach was from China.
Before we get to the video of Dr. Julie Gerberding of the Centers for Disease Control, watch this YouTube video of an interview of lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. by another lawyer discussing the data that vaccinations are causing autism in some children. Mr. Kennedy refers to the “proof” that this isn’t so as “classic tobacco science”; unfortunately, the story is rife with bureaucrats, a secret meeting and … I’ll let you decide:
That’s pretty sickening, although to many of us, this is not new news. Now, having seen that (and note that I’m not sure whether it was conducted before the next interview), view the video below with Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, and note the difference in tone and approach:
We received a tip from someone associated with Go Organic! for Earthday about their Grocery Makeover Contest. Curious about the title, I hopped over to OrganicEarthday.org. It was, as described, “a national campaign that educates and increases consumer awareness of the benefits of organic food and agriculture.”
As I’m <secretly> a fan of a few cooking shows <will I lose my web industry geek status if I admit to watching a reality show or two?>, I’ve come to appreciate what it takes to excel in the high art of cooking well.
Centuries old cultured milk beverage from Russia
Kefir, traditionally pronounced ke-feer’, but spoken as kee’-fer in the West, is a many-centuries-old cultured milk beverage from Northern Russia. Kefir is a fermented milk drink prepared with kefir grains (see the spoon in the picture).
Flavored kefir drinks, mostly, have found their way to market in the USA because North American consumers have not scored unflavored kefir high in sensory evaluations — it has a tart, somewhat “yeasty” taste with a mouthfeel described as “prickly” or “sparkling” due to the liberation of the carbon dioxide gas (CO2) as the culturing progresses.
Give a Strong, Tasty and Intense Edge to Food and Drink
Black pepper and cinnamon give a strong woody edge to food and drink that is intense and spicy. For over 2000 years, these two spices have been tasty preservatives for perishable foods and used, either accidentally or on purpose, as potent medicine. With wild honey(itself almost a panacea) to make the bitter plant remedies more palatable, we still have available a powerful legacy of pure and effective food from the days of our ancestors.