Canada’s Organic Products Regulations Go Into Effect
Leading Organic Food Producers in Canada Like Winnipeg-Based Manitoba Harvest are Eager for the Opportunity to Increase Public Awareness of Organic Agriculture & the Many Benefits of Organic Food
Canada Day is not the only festive event worth celebrating today. The long-awaited Canadian Organic Products Regulations take effect on July 1 across Canada. Manitoba Harvest is a pioneering organic hemp foods company that will be celebrating this important occasion at their certified organic processing facility in Winnipeg. Organic certification is the public’s guarantee that products meet robust standards, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is charged with enforcing the regulations.
Eating organic foods such as Manitoba Harvest’s organic shelled hemp seed, organic protein powder, organic hemp oil and their award-winning Hemp Bliss organic hempmilk is important because it reduces exposure to toxic and persistent pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers that are used in most conventional food production. Organic farming protects the environment, is more energy-efficient, and mounting scientific evidence shows greater levels of nutrients in organically grown produce and grains, when compared to conventionally grown products.
Even in today’s challenging financial climate, sales of organic products, including organic hemp foods, continue to grow. “More people than ever are concerned about the health of their loved ones, the health of the planet, and the health of small farms where much of the organic farming growth is taking place,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest. “They are aware that ‘organic’ is a healthier lifestyle for everyone and is worth their commitment and investment. In particular, parents of young children are trying to start their kids off right and give them the best chance to be healthy and thrive, and organic agriculture offers that opportunity to minimize exposure to chemicals,” adds Fata, whom’s company is an active member of Organic Trade Association .
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com) is one of the fastest growing private companies in Canada. Their line of organic hemp foods will be emblazoned with the new Canada Organic Seal that was released today. Products that are 95% organic or more can use the new seal. Products that contain 70-95% organic ingredients can only identify organic content and the percentage in the ingredients panel. Canada and the U.S. have signed the world’s first organic equivalency agreement, accepting each other’s standards and enforcement systems as equal. There are only minor differences, and farmers and food companies won’t have to certify twice to sell in both markets.
“The most significant ‘organic’ challenge we face is the stabilization of supply and demand for organic hemp seed,” says Fata. “We think that the new Canadian Organic Products Regulations will help solidify the marketplace, and with the government support, it will help elevate the awareness and profile of organic foods in the eyes of consumers, retailers, farmers and other businesses,” adds Fata. “Our company helped to get hemp farming going again in Canada in 1998, and we have seen that it has been a challenge for the agricultural infrastructure to stabilize and establish a steady balance between supply and demand. We try to neutralize this factor by working very closely with our farmers – so close that many of the farmers that supply us are shareholders in our company, and that bond helps us address supply challenges, and helps them too,” says Fata. “Over the past decade we have supported many Manitoba farmers by purchasing organic hemp seed from them,” adds Fata.
Since 1998, dedication to sustainable agriculture has been a key part of Manitoba Harvest’s success and the company is thrilled that demand for organic hemp seed is taking off. “Hemp farming is sustainable agriculture at its best,” says Fata. Hemp is naturally pest-resistant so pesticides are not used, and because hemp plants grow rapidly and close together, they crowd out weeds and don’t need herbicides. Hemp is also a soil-building plant that is excellent for crop rotation. Its strong roots anchor the soil to prevent erosion and cultivation generates virtually no waste and its byproducts are commercially useful.
Manitoba Harvest was honored with the 2006 Socially Responsible Business Award at the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore, Maryland for their work pioneering sustainable organic hemp agriculture in North America. "It is the support from, and leadership demonstrated by dynamic companies like Manitoba Harvest that help propel the organic industry forward," says Matthew Holmes, Managing Director of the Organic Trade Association Canada (http://www.ota.com/otacanada.html).
Hemp is hot, and part of the allure for consumers is the eco-friendly aspect of sustainable hemp agriculture. According to the data from marketplace data leader SPINs, hemp grocery sales grew in the sampled stores by 42% in 2008, and the Hemp Industries Association estimates the total 2008 retail value of North American hemp food, vitamin and body care product sales to be between $100 million and $120 million. Foods such as hemp that provide Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are hot because medical evidence demonstrating their health benefits continues to grow. Health-savvy consumers are also finding that in addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, hemp foods have a great flavor and gourmet appeal.
Nutrition experts tout hemp due to its balanced concentration of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids, strong digestible protein profile, plentiful fiber, and abundance of vitamins and minerals. Hemp foods are the richest vegetable source of Omega 3 & 6. Hemp also contains all of the essential amino acids and has an overall protein content that is comparable to soy beans and higher than that found in nuts, other seeds, meats, dairy products, fish and poultry. Hemp foods offer potential benefits associated with the prevention or attenuation of many of the leading health conditions that challenge people in North America including diabetes, cancer, lupus, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, hormone imbalance, depression and hypertension. The role of essential fatty acids in human growth and development, as well as their role in diseases like coronary heart disease, are hot research areas.
About Manitoba Harvest
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. The company mission is to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable and organic agriculture. Manitoba Harvest produces cold-pressed Hemp Oil, Shelled Hemp Seed, Hemp Seed Butter and a line of Hemp Protein Powders at their new, certified organic state-of-the-art facility. They also produce Hemp Bliss® - the award-winning and first-ever line of organic non-dairy hempmilks. In addition to their own popular brand of hemp foods, Manitoba Harvest supplies many other leading consumer brands with nutraceutical and functional hemp food ingredients.
In February 2009, Manitoba Harvest partnered with Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100% of their facility's electricity with wind power offsets, and all of their facility's natural gas usage through carbon offsets. The program demonstrates Manitoba Harvest's strong commitment to sustainability, their support for wind power and renewable energy, and their dedication toward the fight against global climate change. To learn more, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.
REUSABLE ECO SACKS MAKE SHOPPING A SNAP
Eco Friendly, reusable, washable bags to carry and store all your produce safely.
Finally, a smart eco solution! www.3bbags.com.
Environmental Magazine Asks: What’s Hiding in Your Sunscreen?
The Environmental Magazine (now posted at: www.emagazine.com) looks at how nanotechnology has changed what we eat, wear and apply to our skinunfortunately with little regulation and little understanding of the long-term consequences, both to our own health and that of the natural world.
Sunscreens, energy drinks and high-tech clothing are just a few of the 800-plus consumer products made with nanomaterials: those manufactured at the scale of atoms and molecules. Sunscreen that turns clear on the skin contains titanium dioxide, an ordinary UV-blocker in extraordinarily small particles. Odor-eating socks are made with atoms of germ-killing silver. Supplement makers boast of amazing health effects from swallowing nanosolutions that are completely untested for effectiveness or safety.
Nobody -- not even the world’s leading nanoscientists -- knows what nanoparticles do inside the body or in the environment.
Nanotechnology, a fast-growing global industry, is essentially unregulated. “This is basically virgin territory,” says Rutgers University environmental scientist Paul Lio. “The fact that it’s virgin territory is not good for the field, and it should be fixed really quickly.”
Advocates and independent scientists agree that we need to get ahead of the risks before it’s too late. They are worried about unleashing a powerful new technology that could have vast unintended consequences.
Nanotechnology describes the ability to manufacture and manipulate minuscule materials into forms such as quantum dots, spherical buckyballs and cylindrical carbon nanotubes. These engineered nanomaterials take on unusual properties -- changing color, for example, or becoming electrically conductive or penetrating cell walls. And they have many uses. Carbon nanotubes, or CNTs -- made by rolling up sheets of graphite just one atom thick -- are extremely light and strong; they show up in high-end tennis rackets and bicycle frames. Nanosilver is used as an antimicrobial agent in everything from paint to toothpaste to teddy bears. Nanometal oxides are blended into ceramics and coatings, making them more durable.
Nanotech offers enormous potential benefits. Medical researchers are investigating ways to use nanomaterials to target tumors and then deliver tiny amounts of drugs directly inside the cancer cells, sparing the healthy cells. Possible green tech applications include cheaper, more efficient solar panels and water-filtration systems, energy-saving batteries and lighter vehicles that use less fuel.
That’s the upside. But early research on the potential hazards of nanotech is producing major danger signs. Workers handling nanomaterials face the biggest risks. But there are concerns for consumers, too, especially with products -- like cosmetics, food and supplements -- that go directly on or in the body. And with potentially toxic nanomaterials washing down the drain and into the water and soil, there’s reason to worry about environmental damage as well.
Ignoring the Dangers
Studies on nanotech’s downsides are a mere nanospeck compared to the research that’s being done on how this technology can benefit humanity -- and corporate profits. Of $1.5 billion in federal nano spending each year, only between 1% and 2.5% goes toward studying environmental, health and safety risks. Worse, there’s no national strategy for deciding what questions need to be answered, or what to do with those answers as they arrive.
Of the studies that have been done, results are alarming:
Last year, British researchers reported that when long, straight carbon nanotubes -- shaped like asbestos fibers -- were injected into mice, they caused the same kind of damage as asbestos. A follow-up study this year, by this country’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), found that when mice inhaled CNTs, the tiny tubes migrated from their lungs to the surrounding tissue -- the very spot where asbestos causes the rare cancer known as mesothelioma.
One reason nanomaterials can cause trouble is simply that they are small enough to evade the body’s defenses. In a University of Rochester study of the accidental nanoparticles known as ultrafine pollution, they bypassed the protective blood-brain barrier and slipped directly into the brain’s olfactory bulb. Other research demonstrates that nanomaterials can penetrate into the deepest parts of the lungs. From there, they cross into the bloodstream and various organs.
Based on evidence like this, the European Union’s occupational health and safety agency issued an expert report in March, citing nanoparticles as the number-one emerging risk to workers. In the U.S., NIOSH has issued a guidance document urging employers to avoid exposing workers to nanomaterials -- for example, by enclosing equipment and using ventilation to reduce dust and fumes. But NIOSH has no regulatory power; it can only suggest.
And concerns continue to grow regarding the ability of nanoparticles to contaminate other people or the environment as they come loose from our sunscreens and clothing. Nanoparticles might also wash down the drain and create dangerously toxic environments for microorganisms -- or inhibit good bacteria in sewage treatment plants from doing their work.
“The take-home message for me is, the behavior of these particles is very complex,” says Cyndee Gruden, a civil engineering professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio. “When you take a nanoparticle and put it into the environment, you have to know how it’s going to behave. And we don',,t.”
THE BENJAMIN CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF THE PERFECT NIGHT’S SLEEP WITH SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY PACKAGE
The Benjamin, know for its innovative Sleep Program including a Sleep Concierge, a Perfect Night’s Sleep Guarantee, 12-pillow Menu and list of sleep inducing amenities celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year with a special overnight package.
Starting at $359 per night, the 10th Anniversary Package includes one 40-Winks spa treatment at the hotel’s Wellness Spa, a bottle of champagne, choice of a pillow from the hotel’s 12-choice pillow menu delivered to the guest’s home after their stay and a luxurious one bedroom suite. The package is available for stays through December 30, 2009. Travelers can book by calling 1.866.222.BENJ and mention package code TENTH.
Over the past 10 years, The Benjamin has gone to extraordinary lengths to back up the guarantee of a good night’s rest in New York, “the city that never sleeps.” Realizing the number one business productivity tool is a good night’s sleep, the hotel added a Sleep Concierge to the staff, who makes sure that guests get everything they need to sleep peacefully including advice on pillow selection and other sleep-related issues. The hotel features a 12-choice pillow menu and The Benjamin Bed, a Serta® mattress created exclusively for The Benjamin, with specially engineered convoluted foam cushioning and layers of fibers quilted to the mattress for a luxurious surface feel. The hotel also recently teamed with the National Sleep Foundation to introduce “The Sleep Retreat,” an intensive two-night respite designed to teach guests the art of sleep.
The Benjamin, located in the heart of midtown Manhattan at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 50th Street, provides an experience of true luxury and supreme comfort in an intimate, boutique-style setting. Classically elegant accommodations, world-class amenities, premier technology and seamless, superlative service are the hallmarks of The Benjamin. Known for its comprehensive sleep program, The Benjamin features the industry’s first and only Sleep Concierge, a 12-choice pillow menu and custom Benjamin Bed. The Benjamin brand is operated by DHG (Denihan Hospitality Group), a privately-owned company with more than 40 years of hospitality management expertise. The Benjamin is a proud member of a worldwide alliance of hotels including Joie De Vivre in the United States, Rotana Hotels in the Middle East and First Hotels in Scandinavia. For more information, visit www.thebenjamin.com or call 1-888-4-BENJAMIN.
What started as a plan to cut escalating energy costs within Hilton's European and African hotels became an environmental cultural initiative called Hilton We Care. At the program's launch, a "Green Box" was sent to all hotels within the two continents, containing all of the program's information, materials, and training resources. Their environmental policy focuses on energy efficiency, waste reduction, water efficiency, and eco-friendly chemicals, four big environmental factors for any company.
The program inspires employees to take concrete action around the hotel, helping to reduce energy waste, identifying areas of improvement, focusing more on environmental related issues - becoming more proactive instead of relying solely on the hotel engineer for such initiatives. It also sets goals in percentages to reduce consumption of water and energy.
If you're planning on doing some European travel, but want to stick with a name you know, any Hilton is a good option for supporting eco-friendliness in accomodations. The Hilton website even provides guests with ideas for "taking home" the green lifestyle.
RED MANGO INTRODUCES THE FIRST PROBIOTIC ICED TEA JULY 27
Includes New and Exclusive Probiotic GanedenBC30®, in Its All Natural Frozen Yogurt
Red Mango, the fastest-growing retailer of authentic nonfat frozen yogurt, today announced it will become the first retailer to offer made-to-order iced teas fortified with probiotics. Three proprietary flavors, all incorporating GanedenBC30®, a patented strain of probiotic shown to help support the immune system and regulate the digestive system, are available in participating Red Mango stores beginning July 27. Additionally, Red Mango’s Original, Pomegranate by POM Wonderful® and Tangomonium™ authentic frozen yogurt sold throughout New York will now include GanedenBC30 through an exclusive agreement. By September, all other Red Mango stores will have frozen yogurt with GanedenBC30.
Lemonocity™ (Lemonade Green Tea), Mysteaque™ (Vanilla Black Tea) and Fanteasia™ (Wildberry Hibiscus Tea) iced teas are each uniquely delicious, low-calorie, sweetened with natural cane sugar and contain a significant amount of probiotics, or good bacteria. Since its inception, Red Mango has focused on educating its customers about the advantages of authentic frozen yogurt and the probiotics Red Mango contains.
“Red Mango provides easy and delicious ways to be healthy,” said Dan Kim, Red Mango’s founder, president and chief executive officer. “Our new iced teas have both the benefits of antioxidants and probiotics, and our frozen yogurt became even healthier with the addition of GanedenBC30.”
GanedenBC30 provides additional health benefits because of its excellent stability, which helps it survive better through the digestive system. Scientists now recognize that 70 percent of our immune system is actually living in the digestive tract, which emphasizes the importance of digestive health.
“Red Mango is redefining a healthy treat. Their nonfat frozen yogurt, already naturally rich in probiotics is now fortified with the GanedenBC30 strain. It’s a delicious all-natural treat that is good for you,” stated Dr. Steven Pratt, the physician who revolutionized the superfoods movement and author of bestselling “SuperFoodsRx” and the recently published “SuperHealth: 6 Simple Steps, 6 Easy Weeks, 1 Longer, Healthier Life.”
Red Mango frozen yogurt is 100 percent natural, made in the ways real yogurt is made, and offers a deliciously authentic yogurt flavor. It contains significant amounts of live and active cultures that are beneficial to one’s health, has no fat, is gluten-free and contains no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
In 2007, Red Mango became the first natural frozen yogurt concept in the U.S. to be certified by the National Yogurt Association’s Live and Active Culture seal program, which confirms that Red Mango meets or exceeds the criteria for healthy frozen yogurt.
New Mexico, the World’s Top Healing Destination
Healers have, since ancient times, played a vital, mystical role in human societies. Today, while westernized physicians get much of the attention, many time-honored healing methods have sadly fallen by the wayside in many parts of the world—but not in New Mexico.
“The Land of Enchantment,” as it is known, has never stopped being a premiere global destination for natural healing. Something about this magical state has kept drawing an abundance of talented healers who are experts at preserving age-old methods of creating mental and physical peace.
Maybe it’s the ethereal desert scenery, the dry air or the soothing waters. Or perhaps it’s the preponderance of local cultures who value their ancestors’ native traditions as much as they do the earth itself. Whatever the reasons, they come together to create one clear certainty: New Mexico’s large, diverse community of healing practitioners makes the state the world’s top alternative-healing destination.
Elizabeth Bryant, Ph.D, a doctor of natural science who moved to New Mexico from Aspen, Colorado four years ago, says her new locale is “so magical, I never look back.”
“New Mexico is a spiritually powerful, spiritually leveling place,” says Bryant, who opened The Wellness Center in Truth or Consequences, where she incorporates psychotherapy, Chinese massage and other modalities to deal with hormonal, physical and emotional issues. “You have to leave pretension, ego, ambition and baggage behind. It causes you to be still, to listen to yourself, and to look into the mirror of your own soul.” She acknowledges that is not always an easy thing.
“But then, New Mexico is not really a place you come to rest,” adds Bryant, “It’s a destination where you learn to experience yourself. That’s why it is such a healing space.”
It is no surprise, then, to learn that northern New Mexico is dotted with healing-arts schools, the graduates of which scatter throughout the state to help locals and visitors cleanse and renew themselves. They do so through the mastery of such holistic therapies as massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic practices and integrative medicine.
Their skills also encompass more esoteric, lesser-known ways of inducing healing, including crystal healing, sound healing, folk healing, breathwork, energy therapy, hypnotherapy, craniofacial therapy, magnetic therapy, polarity therapy, Qigong, Watsu, Reiki and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
“The healing options available here are limitless,” says Jennifer Hobson, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department. “There is truly something for every taste, need and budget. Whether you’re just soaking in the timeless geothermal mineral springs in places like Ojo Caliente and Truth or Consequences, or being totally pampered by state-of-the-art treatments and techniques at one of the many resorts and day spas, it’s a guarantee you will return home relaxed and renewed.”
Hobson adds that New Mexico’s multicultural history has yielded many indigenous-inspired healing methods and products that are unique to the area. “You can be massaged in a Native American teepee, scrubbed with blue corn meal, Anasazi beans and pumpkin seeds, and be lulled into tranquility by ancient drumming techniques,” she says. “The healing practices in New Mexico are imbued with a special sense of place.”
Many travel to New Mexico to be touched by the prolific healers and the stunning landscapes. Visit New Mexico, and you’ll be on your way to achieving self-awareness and peace on every level: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
For more information, please visit www.newmexico.org