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The Cost of Not Eating Your Fruits and Veggies

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Touch the Soil News #773 (feature photo CCA 2.5 Generic) The Canadians have come up with a way to measure the cost of not eating enough fruits and veggies. The Canadian Journal of Public Health found that three quarters of Canadians fail to meet the Canadian Food Guide recommendations for daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Two years ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that only 1 in 10 Americans eats enough fruit and veggies. Here is where it gets interesting. The Canadian Journal of Public Health reports that the deficiency of Canadians in eating fresh fruits and veggies costs Canada about $4.39 billion a year. There is…

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Ancient Grains – People Want Something Different

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Touch the Soil News #191 The research company “Packaged Facts” has recently reported on the stellar rise of ancient grains in U.S. diets. Unlike modern hybrid “gluten” wheat grains – that have removed diversity from human diets – ancient grains are providing a nutritious alternative. The most recent data is for the 52 weeks ending 7/13/14. Following is a short recap of their treks to greater use: Sales of Kamut, also known as Khorasan Wheat, are skyrocketing Kamut – sales up 686 percent. Kamut is the trademark name for Khorasan Wheat. This ancient grain is a wheat species whose kernel is twice the size of modern-day wheat. According to legend,…

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Reasons to Garden Are Escalating

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Touch the Soil News # 153 There are hundreds of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) around the world drawing attention to the fact that food availability today – and moving forward – is not as it was. One source we have deemed credible is the World Resources Institute (WRI). The WRI has some 450 experts that crunch data in over 50 countries. The WRI maintains offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States. With an annual budget of $65 million, the WRI is one of the world’s top resources in identifying hot spots and issues of ecological concern. While there are a number of areas the WRI focuses…

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Impossible Foods – Getting the Google Eye

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Touch the Soil News # 148 To get a more complete picture of what is going on here, a few words about Impossible Foods. Impossible Foods was created by Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD and a Stanford University Biologist. The business is three years old and is located in Redwood City, California. To date, Brown has assembled an impressive staff of researchers and developers to include over 50 scientists, farmers and engineers. Their goal – make the best meats and cheeses you’ll ever eat – from plants. The team looked at specific proteins and nutrients from greens, seeds, and grains to recreate a very realistic experience of meats and dairy…

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Can you Name the Largest Food Company in the World? (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 146 Forbes Magazine and News has been one of the closest followers of Cargill, its finances and its global footprint. In its November 23, 2104 issue, Forbes writer Dan Alexander provided some rare insights into what Cargill is presently doing: Creating a $100 million cocoa plant in Indonesia. Putting in a $91 million livestock-feed factory in Korea. Building a large dairy feed facility in India capable of producing 1.2 million metric tons a year. All in all, Cargill has poured more than $3 billion into upgraded facilities, acquisitions and new projects around the world over the past year. Besides being directly involved with food production,…

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Organics by the Numbers – Is it Time to Consider a Career as an Organic Farmer?

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Touch the Soil News # 144 The Organic Trade Association (OTA) represents over 6,500 organic businesses across all 50 states. Members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, retailers and others. The OTA recently reported on the current state of Organics. “Our latest industry data show robust demand and great opportunity for the organic sector,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA. Thanks to the work of the OTA, the following information is made available about organics in America. U.S. Organic Sales reached $39.1 billion in 2014, up 11.3% over 2013. (see Info Graphic #1 below) Organic non-food sales reached $3.2 billion in 2014, up…

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The Nation’s Top 100 Restaurants – Can You Find Your Favorites? (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 138 Here are restaurants #50 to #1. Surprising is the Starbuck’s Coffee is the nation’s #2 restaurant. Restaurants #50 to #26 #50) Steak ‘n Shake                        $952,000,000 #49 Bob Evans                                 $959,900,000 #48 Bojangle’s                                  $1,000,000,000 (one $billion) #47 Culver’s                                       $1,000,000,000 #46 Waffle House                             $1,100,000,000 #45 Ruby Tuesday                            $1,200,000,000 #44 Five Guys Burgers n’ Fries      $1,200,000,000 #43 Wawa                                          $1,200,000,000 #42 Zaxby’s                                       $1,300,000,000 $41 Red Robin                                  $1,400,000,000 #40 Carl’s Jr.                                    $1,500,000,000 #39 LongHorn Steakhouse            $1,500,000,000 #38 Golden Corral Buffet               $1,700,000,000 #37 Jimmy Johns’s                          $1,800,000,000 #36 TGI Fridays                               $1,800,000,000 35 The Cheesecake Factory            $1,800,000,000 #34 Whataburger                             $1,800,000,000 #33 Texas Roadhouse                     $1,900,000,000 #32 Hardee’s                                      $2,100,000,000 #31 7-Eleven stores                           $2,100,000,000 #30 Cracker Barrel Country Store $2,100,000,000 #29 Panda…

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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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Green Sense Farms – Deeper Insight to the Change Coming

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Touch the Soil News # 133 When it comes to raising food, most farmers think about things like land, tractors, harvesting equipment and chemicals. For some crops this may not change much. For other crops, particularly lettuces, micro-greens and herbs, the future may be totally different. Green Sense farms, working with Royal Phillips – a global leader in lighting – is taking a completely different approach. Capital expenditures for setting up farming include specialized LED lighting, a large indoor facility, growing towers and a physical location that puts them within 100 miles of 20 million people. Photo courtesy of Green Sense Farms – from left to right Rob Schlyer -…

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The State of Vermont Arm Wrestles the GMO Cartel – the Biggest Showdown in U.S. Food History

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Touch the Soil News #116 –– includes 1 video   Over the last 20 years, the GMO cartel has scored success after success in controlling seeds, promoting chemical agriculture through plants resistant to pesticides, high level lobbying in Congress, the USDA and the FDA and spending millions to block state referendums to have foods labeled that contain GMO crops. In the process of getting their way, the Monsanto Corporation – the lead organization in creating GMO agriculture – has become popularly labeled as the most hated corporation in the world. Over the last three years, several key states have initiated referendums to label foods containing GMOs only to be marginally…

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