A new organic oasis at SFO

Open only two weeks, Dogpatch Caffe is a surprising discovery at San Francisco’s newest terminal.

On a recent trip,, I had the good fortune to fly into SFO’s new terminal. Spacious and well lit, at late evening, many of the retail stores and dining establishments were already closed. But like a bright beacon, I suddenly spied organic fresh food ahead.

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Shea Butter Bar relieves dry winter skin

Vermont Soap Butter Bar

This Shea Butter Bar is certified to USDA organic standards and helps heal a variety of skin conditions

Cold winter weather wreacks havoc with our skin. Over the years I’ve tried numerous remedies – from moisturizing skin lotions to using mayonnaise for dry cracked hands. Thankfully, I’ve found better, healthier solutions.

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Walmart and organics – progress or hype?

In 2006, in an effort to modernize and broaden its appeal to a wider urban customer base, Walmart announced it was launching a push to sell more organic food. And although numerous consumer groups met the announcement with some skepticism, a number of manufacturers rushed to create organic versions of their products to meet the megaretailer’s demands.

Six years later, it’s interesting to look at how successful Walmart has been.

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Navitas Power Snacks – delicious superfoods made simple

Antioxidant-rich superfoods may help you live longer, healthier lives

Finding good quality snacks can be a challenge.

Narrowing things down to foods with ingredients that are considered “superfoods” helps. Broadly defined, these are unprocessed foods that help you lead a healthy lifestyle – that may help maintain or reduce your weight, fight illness or disease and maybe even live longer.

There are those who swear by raw foods, a group I’m not necessarily one of. But after trying Navitas Naturals Blueberry Hemp Superfood Power Snack, I’m at least partially leaning that direction.

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Recycled surfboard waste helps clean up toxic spills

Surfboard "waste" is now used to help clean up toxic chemical spills

Almost every industry generates some kind of waste, the majority of which often ends up in landfills. The surfboard industry is no exception.

The powdery dust created by shaping a surfboard from a slab of polyurethane foam has now been transformed into a new, super useful product called  SPILLINEX™, which can quickly absorb harmful chemical waste.

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New online organic store – an buyer’s opportunity for healthy savings

Green Polka Dot Box - for healthy food at more affordable prices

The importance of eating healthy is all over the news. And the benefits of eating organic continue to be touted. The problem for many is the elevated cost.

A new buyer’s club for organic and natural foods will officially launch in the next few weeks. Called Green Polka Dot Box. it will feature the same quality products you’d expect to find at any quality natural foods supermarket like Whole Foods, but for a lot less. To quote a colleague of mine, it’s like Costco online without the hassle of having to go there.

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Abe’s Market – an online family and eco-friendly place

Abe's Market offers a wide variety of natural and organic products from smaller, top quality retailers

 

Families looking for quality affordable, natural and organic products have plenty of options these days. But it’s often challenging to find the great products offered by smaller companies.  

Abe’s Market – an online marketplace for natural and organic products – provides an easy and affordable way to find what you’re looking for.  

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EVOLVh brings simplicity and organics to hair care

No one wants to have a bad hair day

 

Around 65,000 beauty salons throughout the U.S garner almost $17.5 billion in annual sales. Hair care products play an important part, consisting of from 5 to 15 percent of that number. 

“Nobody wants to have a bad hair day,” said Boris Oak, founder and CEO of EVOLVh Inc., a family owned, San Francisco Bay area company that produces top quality, organic hair products. 

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Beat It! Insect Repellent stops insects naturally

Summer brings out all sorts of creepy, crawly, and/or pesky flying insects. 

In the past, we’d reach for a heavy duty insect repellent for protection. Remember those TV ads with the guy inside a glass cased-room filled with mosquitoes? 

These days, there a number of natural insect repellents on the market. Some work better than others but most have an incredibly strong scent that can knock you back f you’re the least bit sensitive to smell. 

I recently found a natural insect repellent that not only works well, but its scent won’t announce itself from a distance. 

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Walmart misrepresents products as Organic – again

Wal-MartWal-Mart is in hot water again. A Wisconsin watchdog group, The Cornucopia Institute, has filed legal complaints with the USDA alleging that Wal-Mart, and a North Carolina-based company, HOMS LLC, are violating USDA organic standards by using conventional agricultural oils and other USDA Organic sealingredients in pest control products that utilize the word organic and the green “USDA organic” seal. The products in question are marketed under the Bio Block label.

The USDA Organic label by law can only be used by producers that follow the rigorous standards mandated by Congress and administered by the USDA’s National Organic Program.

HOMS' BioBlock - there's nothing organic about it

HOMS' BioBlock - there's nothing organic about it

HOMS apparently violates this mandate by prominently displaying the USDA Organic label on the Bio Block products without specifying what organic ingredients were used, and without disclosing the identity of the organic certifying agent, also required by federal organic regulations. These products were discovered on the shelves of Wal-Mart stores, resurfacing concerns long held by The Cornucopia Institute, and others in the organic industry, that Wal-Mart has failed to take the organic standards seriously.

This isn’t a new situation with Wal-Mart. In 2007, federal investigators found that Wal-Mart’s store “organic” milk, from Aurora Dairy in Colorado, had “willfully” violated 14 organic standards, including confining their cattle to feedlots, instead of grazing, and bringing thousands of illegal conventional cows into their organic operation.

Cornucopia researchers further found inside Walmart stores that the company was mislabeling conventional foods as organic, including yogurt, sugar, rice milk, soy milk and produce. Even after they notified Wal-Mart’s CEO of the problem, no action was taken to fix the problems until until officials of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the USDA took enforcement actions against Wal-Mart in 2007.

Buyer BewareSo, once again, the biggest retail corporation in the U.S. is playing fast and loose with organics, duping American consumers into thinking they’re buying something that’s healthful.  Word to the wise: if it says organic and it’s at Wal-Mart, you probably can’t believe it. A number of organic-minded groups are keeping an eye on this – and turning up the heat on Wal-Mart. But until the feds step in, buyer beware

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