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Stopping the Sugar Train

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Touch the Soil News #392 After years of delay, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized new regulations on food nutrition labels. New are the requirements of having to list all added sugars to include the amount in grams and the percent daily value. This will be a big deal for food companies who now will have to identify the added sugars in their food. It is not unusual for sugary drinks to contain several times the daily allotted amount. The original Starbucks logo dates back to 1971 when the chain first opened. Starbucks is the second largest restaurant in the United States behind McDonalds. It is king of sugary…

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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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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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High Pressure Food Preservation – Is This the Next Food Rage?

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Touch the Soil News # 131 “Treating foods with high pressure rather than high heat or chemicals is a natural choice for better maintaining flavor and nutrients,” says biologist Carole Tonello. A high pressure processing machine (photo – courtesy of Hiperbaric) Tonello works for Hiperbaric, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of high pressure processing machines. High pressure processing evenly subjects fresh foods to high pressures in the range of 70,000 pounds per square inch and higher. The effect of this high pressure is to kill microorganisms while maintaining the biochemical properties of food. Tonello explains that with high pressure, there is very little effect on a food’s flavor, nutrients and…

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Grow A Row – Is This a Window into the Future of Food?

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Touch the Soil News # 127 The non-profit  “America’s Grow a Row” was started by a non-farmer – Chip Paillex – some 14 years ago in New Jersey. Back in 2002, Chip and his daughter rented a small 30’ X 30’ plot and started planting food crops for the first time in his life. One day they saw a three-line article in the paper that said if you ever have extra produce, “grow-a-row” for the hungry and bring it down to the food pantry. Chip Paillex – Founder of Grow A Row (photo courtesy of Grow A Row) Moved by the simplicity of the message Paillex and his daughter began…

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