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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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What Americans Think of Food

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Touch the Soil News #607 (feature photo – CCA 2.0) One of the world’s leading “market intelligence” agencies (Mintel) recently reported on American attitudes towards food. You can read the full release at: http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/food-and-drink/resolution-refresh-less-than-half-of-americans-consider-their-diet-to-be-healthy By the numbers, here are highlights of the research:   58 percent consider their diets to be not healthy 38 percent agree that healthy foods are worth the added expense Only 14 percent agree that regulatory approval indicates a food is healthy Only 16 percent trust health claims on food and beverage packages Only 23 percent agree that guidelines for diet published by the USDA are good for them 28 percent believe a food is unhealthy,…

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Soozies Doozies

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Touch the Soil News #470 (Feature logo courtesy of Soozies Doozies) This is a frivolous news piece as it caught our eye amidst so much other serious stuff. Soozies Doozies claims to be the only all natural, non-GMO, with many organic ingredients, no preservatives, refrigerated cookie dough. They are fashioned after a homemade recipe, bake in less than 12 minutes (conventional oven) and contain 20 individual pieces of cookie dough ready to heat. All cookie dough-pieces are easy to separate and bake. Soozies Doozies owners Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton are not your average foodies. Olivia is a food scientist with experience with several large baking companies. Robert is an engineer…

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Recycling Freight Containers for Farming

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Touch the Soil News #248 Called Freight Farms, the company manufactures what they call the “Leafy Green Machine.” It’s a fully contained farm in a used 40 foot shipping container. The unit comes with its own computerized brain that allows you to monitor and control temperature, moisture, humidity and nutrients flowing to the hydroponic system. And, you do all of this with your smartphone. All yours for about $75,000 per container. The growing lights are a pink hue and there are Bluetooth-connected speakers embedded in the ceiling making it easy to access our favorite playlist. But, don’t let the smallness of the shipping container fool you. In an area of…

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Something Fun – Food Ecommerce – Squeezing in Between Grocery Stores and Restaurants

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Touch the Soil News # 147 Appearing on the food landscape in America is a niche way of getting food. It’s formally called Food Ecommerce as its effectiveness is in part hinged on i phones for connecting with customers. It generally follows specialty food preparation – some of it local – and delivered to your house or location. The idea is to get consumers closer to the point of production. Venture capital and private investors, in the first half of 2015, invested over $550 million into individual companies and enterprises that fall into the Food Ecommerce category. In order to differentiate themselves from other food delivery companies, some companies focus…

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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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Kelp4Less Product News – Discovering Kelp’s Secrets

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Touch the Soil News #143 The use of Kelp as a plant growth supplement has been documented back to Roman times. In the early days, folks would scavenge the beach for kelp washed ashore and work it into their fields nearby. In rather recent times (1979) it was discovered that high levels of biostimulants were present in the cells of fresh kelp. These biostimulants later became known as Auxin and Cytokinin. The Auxin compound was found to cause increased root development. The Cytokinin compound produces greater flower initiation and augments cell division. Kelp is rich in amino acids and is 28 percent minerals by weight – including a large number…

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Food, Social Enterprise and the Caring for Others

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Touch the Soil News # 142 So what is the world coming to? A bright young woman with a Masters in Business Administration from Portland State has no interest in pursuing the Wall Street Model of business and profit. Instead, she is striving to bring healthy food to the underserved with a goal of only breaking even. Meet Amelia Pape. After graduation, she bought a van and started a mobile business called My Street Grocery in Portland, Oregon. Her mission was to sell healthy food in areas of Portland where there was little access to grocery stores. As her work and idea began to gain visibility she eventually approached Whole…

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National Farmers Market Week – And the Nation’s top 10 Farmers Markets

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Touch the Soil News # 136 Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared August 2 through August 8, 2015 as National Farmers Market Week. This year marks the 16th annual National Farmers Market Week. On Saturday, August 1st, Anne Alonzo, the administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, will kick of ceremonies at the Santa Fe Farmers Market – one of the top 10 markets in the nation. The growth of farmers markets in America has been nothing short of stellar. Interesting to note is that despite economic problems in the nation, the number of farmers markets has nearly doubled from 2008 to 2014. Some of that success also comes…

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