“Certified Naturally Grown” label brings trust and confidence to consumers

It’s tough for consumers to make sense of the many food certification labels

There’s a steadily growing plethora of food certifications out there and it’s getting pretty confusing for consumers to make sense of them. And the label “natural” has become downright suspicious and meaningless.

Among the confusion, there are labels we can trust out there, including Non-GMO Verified and perhaps Certified Humane. Now it seems there’s another one that smaller farmers are embracing and that’s trustworthy.

Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), a grassroots non-profit created by a handful of farmers from New York’s Hudson Valley who were committed to organic practices, has ts own set of standards and certification process. Continue reading

Making Sense of California’s Water Restrictions

Water drop photoWith summer’s blistering ever-present heat, northstate residents are facing serious water issues.

Since the California State Water Resources Control Board implemented its new drought emergency water conservation measures on July 29th, many cities have implemented water use restrictions.

To learn more about California’s water restrictions and really understand what’s called for, click here.

California towns could face steep fines for overwatering

Lake Mendocino, one of northern California's iconic blue lakes, now largely a dry lakebed due to drought

Lake Mendocino, one of northern California’s iconic blue lakes, now is now

As the heat continues in California, the drought deepens. The conversations and worries about water rationing abound. Many of us have cut back voluntarily, allowing lawns to go brown.

In our 3rd year of severe drought, California regulators are now proposing stringent new conservation measures to limit outdoor water use, including fines of up to $500 a day for using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

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8 foods for which the California drought will create consumer sticker shock

Shasta Lake hit hard by the drought

Shasta Lake hit hard by the drought

The drought isn’t lightening up, even with the increase in rain California has seen in the last several months. Living in northern California, I drive regularly past one of our best sources of water – Lake Shasta. This year, water levels are seriously down, though it does look better than it did in February where the lake’s tributaries looked like mere slim creeks.Still water conservation and the effects of this continuing drought will cause ripples across our day-to-day. I came across a great article outlining some of the foods we normally take for granted that we can expect to see significant price hikes in over the coming months. Continue reading

Sustainable Foods Summit – a call for greater collaboration

Sustainable Foods Summit updated banner

The recent 2014 Sustainable Foods Summit that this writer attended in San Francisco was a remarkable and engaging two days. Over 160 senior executives debated key sustainability issues affecting the North American food industry. Ethical sourcing & biodiversity impacts, the role of sustainability metrics, and food ingredients for sustainability were some of the major themes covered.

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PREFABULOUS – an innovative opportunity for green living

The idea of prefabricated housing evokes visions of chunky, unattractive buildings that detract from the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood. In some exclusive areas, prefab homes are banned on the pretext that they’ll bring down property values.

But with new technologies and creative effort, the reality is knocking old perceptions out.

The newly released book PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home by Sheri Koones, features over 30 prefabricated homes that show how they can blend into a neighborhood or proudly stand out as a wonderful architectural star.

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Pure lavender products from Bayliss Botanicals

Baylisss Botanicals and Donna Bayliss have been pioneers in the cosmetic industry, offering pure, certified organic lavender in its botanicals

Consumers have grown familiar with seeing the terms natural, “organic”, and essential oils in their products. Whether they apply to our food, personal care or cosmetics, we’ve come to expect a level of quality when we hear or see these on the packaging.

But all is not always what it seems.

Donna Bayliss, the owner of Bayliss Ranch and Bayliss Botanicals, knows this firsthand.

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