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The Wright Stuff
Bio-Based
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 20:51
Newport, Oregon, December 2014—This beautiful small city on the Pacific Coast of Oregon is the home of Rogue Ales—a growing brewery that sells its product in every state in the Union and dozens of foreign countries. They not only grow a lot of their own ingredients, they’re helping keep alive the history of this “last frontier” state, by paying respect to its growing techniques and practices—some of which have now been replaced by machines.

Earlier this fall, they had a special VIP visitor stop by at Rogue Farms, their central growing area, during the hop harvest. Her name is Shirley Wright. She’s 89 years old and sharp as a tack.

Shirley and her family were among the tens of thousands of Oregonians who came to the area around Independence, Oregon during the 1930’s for the annual hop harvest.
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What’s a Paraben? (And Should we Fear Them?)
Bio-Based
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 20:40
Everywhere USA, December 2014—First commercialized in the ‘50s, parabens are a group of synthetic compounds commonly used as preservatives in a wide range of health, beauty and personal care products. If the product you are using contains methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl and/or isobutylparaben, it has parabens.

These ingredients are added to deodorants, toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and makeups, among other products, to stop the growth of fungus, bacteria and other potentially damaging microbes. Researchers have also found that some 90 percent of typical grocery items contain measurable amounts of parabens, which is why even those who steer clear of potentially harmful personal care products also carry parabens around in their bloodstreams.

What worries public health advocates is that while individual products may contain limited amounts of parabens within safe limits set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), cumulative exposure to them over a range of several different products could be overloading our bodies and contributing to a wide range of health problems. 
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Ultimate Comfort Food
Business
Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:46
Everywhere, USA, November 2014—(With most of the country in a cold chill right now, just reading about these new soups made us feel warm all over. Hope it affects you the same way. Ed.)

Baby, it’s cold outside! There’s a polar vortex (or something similar) bearing down on much of the United States. Everyone is bundled up and rushing home at the end of the day. And everyone needs a quick, warm and healthy dinner solution. Enter Boulder Organic! Soups (formerly Boulder Soup Works). Boulder Organic! Soups.
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Should “Frankencrops” be Frightful?
Bio-Based
Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:26
Everywhere, USA, November 2014—Genetic engineering (GE) is the process whereby DNA from unrelated species is combined to produce improved or novel organisms. Proponents of GE insist that the benefits of increased crop yields and less agricultural waste outweigh the potential risks. But many environmental and public health advocates aren’t convinced.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), one risk of GE is that our new “frankencrops” could become invasive, toxic to wildlife, or dangerous in other, as yet unknown ways. But the most damaging impact of GE in agriculture so far is the phenomenon of pesticide resistance. Millions of acres of American farmland are infested by weeds that have become resistant to Monsanto’s popular herbicide glyphosate (aka, Roundup). Overuse of Monsanto's ‘Roundup Ready’ trait, which is engineered to tolerate the herbicide, has promoted the accelerated development of resistance in several weed species.
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Patches of Pink
Health
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 21:40
Columbia, Missouri, October 2014—As most of our readers will know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And a few years ago, in our neck of the woods, a young business professional came upon a wonderful and creative new idea to promote breast cancer awareness: Pink Pumpkins.

While most people pick their way through patches of orange pumpkins to adorn their front porches, Alisha Moreland stands amidst patches of pink in an effort to do her part to raise breast cancer awareness and encourage women to schedule annual mammograms.

Since 2007, Moreland has held “Alisha’s Pink Pumpkin Painting Parties” during the month. At these parties, she invites participants (people of all ages) — to paint pumpkins. They have four colors from which to work: black represents cancer, white is purity from cancer, pink for awareness, and silver represents hope. These “Pink Painting Warriors,” using small to medium sized pumpkins as their canvas, paint away, adding other decorations such as feathers, flowers, and rhinestones, and attach a message that reads, “Encourage a woman you care about to get her mammogram, or schedule yours today.”
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Who’s the Greenest of Them All?
Bio-Based
Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:52
Everywhere, USA, November 2014—Our friends at Earth Talk recently replied to a question about Sweden being the greenest country in the world and, if so, by what standards? Learn, too, where the U.S. ranks in this response:

It’s true that Sweden came out on top in the recently released ranking of 60 countries according to sustainability by consulting firm Dual Citizen Inc. in its fourth annual Global Green Economy Index (GGEI). Norway, Costa Rica, Germany, and Denmark rounded out the top five. The rankings take into account a wide range of economic indicators and datasets. It all relates to leadership on climate change, encouragement of efficiency sectors, market facilitation and investing in green technology and sustainability, and management of ecosystems and natural capital.

Sweden’s first place finish reflects the Swedes’ ongoing commitment to climate change mitigation and sustainability policies and practices. The country is a leader in organic agriculture and renewable energy as well as per capita investment in green technology and sustainability research. Upwards of 75 percent of Swedes recycle their waste, while only four percent of the country’s garbage goes to landfills. In fact, Sweden imports garbage from other nations to burn as a renewable source of energy.
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Thirsty for Something Different?
Health
Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:37
Everywhere, USA, November 2014—When you think of Thanksgiving, good food and good liquid stuff to wash it down with automatically comes to the fore. And with this being T-Giving time again, we decided to make it possible for you to read more about a new line of teas, called TK Hibiscus.

TKH is an all-natural hibiscus iced tea that is freshly blended, fresh brewed and refreshingly good for you (at least that’s what they tell us). Available in four flavors (see below), TK Hibiscus is USDA organic, gluten-free, and kosher. At just 40 little calories in a 16-ounce serving, the creators of this product promise us that our thirst will be quickly satiated by its bold, fruit-forward taste and fragrant floral notes, with a refreshing bite.
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Plastics
Bio-Based
Sunday, 23 November 2014 18:16
Remember that now iconic line (and the way it was delivered) in the now classic Mike Nichols film, The Graduate? In so many ways, things have changed.

The argument today is that we while we must continue finding new ways to feed our growing global population, we must not kill our planet to do it. A good example is getting rid of those ubiquitous little plastic bags we use to carry home the bacon. But even though it’s used here to grab your attention and encourage you to read further, ridding ourselves of plastic bags are just one of many problems we face.
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18 Rabbits
Health
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 21:35
San Francisco, California, October 2014—18 Rabbits, a family of organic, artisan granola products, continues its course of distribution, signing deals in 1700 new locations across the US.

Close to 1000 Target stores will carry exclusive new flavors of loose granola made especially for youth, plus their signature “Jr.” bars, portioned for smaller appetites. They’re also made without nuts, making them school-friendly. In addition, 18 Rabbits granola, select granola bars, and Jr. bars will be available in more than 250 Wakefern stores starting this month.
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