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The Rockit Apples Are Coming

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Touch the Soil News #695 (photo courtesy of Rockit Apples http://rockitapple.com/ ) A Rockit Apple is the world’s first specialty-bred miniature apple. The idea is to have an apple of a size perfect for small snacks and children. The apples are packed in a tube of 3 to 5 apples for children and on-the-go consumers. Founded in 2010 by Phil Alison of New Zealand, the apple is about 1.5 times the size of a golf ball. Now, 7 years later, the company has established growers and marketers on five continents. Plans are to have growers in both the North and South hemispheres, so that Rockit apples can be available anywhere…

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News Roundup – Food-Chain News You Might Have Missed

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Touch the Soil News # 134 Kraft-Heinz Merger, Now a Reality The much publicized merger between Kraft Foods and Heinz is now completed according to a recent company press release. Together, the two companies form the third largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth largest in the world. The Company’s immediate focus will be on integrating the two businesses, establishing a new organizational structure and delivering its 2015 financial objectives. Unfortunately for the employees, stockholders have high expectations, some of which will be funded by eliminating jobs. Estimated are 7,000 job cuts at Heinz and as yet an undetermined number at Kraft. Following is a short…

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Dacha Gardening – Small Gardens Produce 51% of Food in Russian Federation

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The discussions will rage onwards in terms of dependence upon industrial food systems – and why there should be an exodus. In an interesting twist of fate, turns out home gardens produce 41.1 percent (in terms of value) of the crops and meat produced in the Russian Federation. Small peasant farms produce another 10.2 percent of the Federation’s food. (Source: Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation for 2013 – most recent year for which numbers are available.) Popularly called Dacha Gardens, these home enterprises produce approximately 80 percent of the Federation’s fruits and berries, over 66 percent of the vegetables, 80 percent of the potatoes and nearly 50…

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Food Hardship – Is the Solution Food Gardening?

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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) recently published its 2014 National, State and Local Index of Food Hardship. Food hardship is a state of being in which there is struggle to put food on the table.  According to the report, food hardship afflicted between 17.2 and 18.6 percent of Americans at various times over the last seven years – that’s between 55 and 61 million people. Here are some of the highlights: Mississippi has the highest food hardship rate of any state at 24.7 percent. About one out of every 4 people in Mississippi is food challenged. North Dakota has the lowest food hardship rate of any state at…

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After Many Years – Consumer Preferences Are Changing Grocery Stores

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April 10, 2015 │Consumer Reports In the past, if asked what makes a grocery store great, the answers might have been low prices or checkout speed. A new Consumer Reports poll reveals that one of the top considerations today is whether food is fresh, healthy and made with high standards. The typical shopper makes about 83 trips a year to a grocery store, spending around $5,400. The Consumer Reports poll found that grocery shoppers are demanding a wider choice of healthy, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish as well as more organics and local produce. In addition, the clamor for fresh includes freshly prepared meals that can be taken home.…

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USDA Approves “Frankenstein” Apple for Human Consumption on Friday the 13th

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A popular term for foods that have been genetically tampered with is “Frankenstein.” Part of that labeling stems from risks that you can’t control or predict all the variables that come out of genetic engineering. To complicate things, there are many conflicting reports that do not support GMO safety. There are also the risks of polluting the food genetic pool. PR Watch, recently reported that the USDA received 73,000 comments that overwhelmingly opposed the commercialization of the genetically modified apple – called the Arctic Apple. In addition, the USDA also received disapproval from the U.S. Apple Association, the Northwest Horticultural Council (which represents growers who produce over 60 percent of…

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