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ZSweet Packet BoxThe makers of Zsweet have created easy to carry and use packets. Z stands for zero calories and is not only great for diabetics and pre-diabetic users, but tastes great in hot or cold beverages.For more information visit www.zsweet.com.



Photo: DaSilva Fine Brazilian CoffeeOrganic Coffee Market
Grows Dramatically in 2006
Growth resulting from awareness, availability and high quality

Sales of organic coffee are growing faster than one can say, “Espresso, please!” U.S. retail sales of organic coffee in 2006 increased 24 percent to 110.36 million dollars, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2007 Organic Manufacturer Survey. There are some estimates that indicate actual sales could be even higher.

Photo: DaSilva Fine Brazilian Coffee“The dramatic increase in organic coffee sales mirrors the continuing growth in the overall organic sector and reflects consumers’ increasing awareness of these products, their high quality, and the availability of these beverages in venues ranging from small coffee shops to ‘Big Box’ stores,” said Caren Wilcox, OTA’s Executive Director.

Participants in the Organic Coffee Collaboration--a project of the Organic Trade Association are driving much of the increase in retail sales. Consisting of the leading broker, roasters and decaffeinator in the United States, the companies provide much of the organic decaffeinated, caffeinated, flavored and instant coffees widely available at retail outlets nationwide and direct from roasters via the Internet. The companies are: Café Bom Dia (Coral Gables, FL), Dallis Coffee (New York City, NY) DaSilva Fine Brazilian Coffee (Winston-Salem, NC), Elan Organic Coffee (San Diego, CA), Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA), F. Gaviña & Sons (Vernon, CA), Fresh Harvest Products (New York City, NY), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT) and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, BC, Canada).

Regarding quality, Wilcox notes that several organic coffees from farms in Nicaragua won the Cup of Excellence competition in that country June 6, 2007. The prestigious award program, managed by the U.S.-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence, selects the best coffees produced in a particular country in a particular year.

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, avoid the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic coffee is grown in more than 30 countries, including the United States.

The Organic Coffee Collaboration is a project of the Organic Trade Association, the business association for the North American organic industry. The Collaboration includes:

Café Bom Dia (Coral Gables, FL) – Through the Marques De Paiva brand, Café Bom Dia is one of the leading suppliers of sustainable coffees in the U.S. It is the first coffee company worldwide to be certified as carbon-neutral meaning it is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and protecting our global climate for future generations.

Dallis Coffee (New York, NY) – a leading provider of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ coffees, selling to Whole Foods, universities and top cafes and restaurants across the country.

DaSilva Fine Brazilian Coffee® (Winston-Salem, NC) – Provides organic ultra premium single-estate coffee directly from Espírito Santo, Brazil, hand-selected and picked only from the most recent crops.

Elan Organic Coffees (San Diego, CA) - coffee developer and importer offering certified organic socially responsible coffees it develops through partnerships with village co-ops.

Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA) - worker-owned, Fair Trade Certified™ cooperative and one of largest U.S. organic coffee roasters.

F. Gaviña & Sons (Vernon, CA) – a family owned and operated specialty coffee roaster with over 135 years experience as growers, traders and roasters of fine coffees. The Gaviña family is committed to producing high quality 100% organic coffees for its Gaviña Gourmet Coffee and Don Francisco’s Specialty Coffee brands.

Fresh Harvest Products, Inc. (New York, NY) - its Wings of Nature® brand coffees are small-batch roasted to a temperature that peaks the flavor and aroma of each bean, and then custom blended after roasting to provide unique and flavorful varieties.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT) - one of the leading U.S. organic coffee roasters and number one on Business Ethics magazine’s 2006 list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”

Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, BC, Canada) - North America’s leading certified organic coffee decaffeinator, which decaffeinates coffee for three other Organic Coffee Collaboration participants: Café Bom Dia, Elan Organic Coffees, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

For further information on the Collaboration, including both cold and hot organic coffee recipes, purchase locations and fact sheets,
see http://www.ota.com/organic_and_you/coffee_collaboration.html.

The World’s Most Expensive Green Mega-Mansion

Is it possible to build a green mega mansion? Is that an oxymoron, or worse yet, unethical? 

One man is risking a fortune to prove it can be done.

Legendary real estate "artist" Frank McKinney is creating the world's largest and most expensive certified green mansion ever built. What is even more amazing is that McKinney is doing so on speculation, (without a buyer in mind) in Palm Beach County, Florida. The price tag? $29 million. 

McKinney is an American original; a real estate "artist", 2-time international best-selling author and visionary who sees opportunities and creates real estate markets where none existed before. At age 18, with $50 in his pocket and without the benefit of higher education, McKinney left his native Indiana for Florida in search of his "highest calling."

Green features of “Acqua Liana:”

  •  enough solar panels to cover a regulation-size basketball court and could generate enough energy for two average-size homes;
  •  a water system that collects enough “gray” runoff water to fill the average swimming pool every 14 days;
  •  enough reclaimed wood to save 7.5 acres of Brazilian rain forest;
  •  renewable woods that regenerate every three years vs. every 50 years for other hardwoods;
  •  pools, reflecting ponds, water gardens, misters, etc., to drop the site temperature 3 - 5 degrees over neighboring properties;
  •  recycling 340,000 pounds of debris during construction;
  •  air-conditioning and air purification systems four times better than an operating room in the Mayo Clinic.

New BreathBad air day? No matter how many times a home is scrubbed, wiped or disinfected, it can always use a little extra help quelling the smell left behind by furry friends, messy munchkins, foul foods and more. HoMedics’ new brçthe™ air revitalizer offers a chemical free way to clear the air in kitchens, bedrooms, laundry rooms, offices, living rooms, garages and basements without endangering babies, pets or the environment. Visit: www.homedics.com

visit: www.drpraegers.com

Dr. Praegers'Try these sensible products your children will love to eat! They are all natural, gluten free, contain no saturated fat, and are quick and easy to make. They are sure to be your childrens new favorite! The fun shapes will have them asking for more.

Broccoli Littles
Broccoli Littles
Gluten Free Fishies
Gluten Free Fishies
Pizza Bagel
Pizza Bagel
Potato Littles
Potato Littles
Spinach Littles
Spinach Littles

Great Organic Fast Food with Fantastic Flavor

Organic BistroWe all know that organic foods contain no additives, no chemicals, and no preservatives, and by consuming organic foods - neither will you. Organic Bistro knows that organic farming does not just take, it gives something back. Give and take - balance. These are important principles that they passionately support. But more importantly for Organic Bistro, organic veOrganic Bistrogetables, grains, nuts, fruits and spices taste better and provide higher levels of essential minerals and vitamins than conventional foods. Studies show that some organic vegetables contain more than 10 times the nutrient levels of their conventional counterparts.

Organic BistroAt Organic Bistro they build Whole Life Meals to provide the highest levels of nutrition, so organic ingredients are the smart choice. But that is not all; they believe that organic vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits and spices taste better. It's not scientific; they just eat the Whole Life Meals, then compare them to other frozen entrees made with conventional ingredients. Meals made with organic ingredients taste better. They believe it enough to pay the market premium for organic ingredients. You should try it for yourself.
Visit: www.theorganicbistro.com

Better for the ocean, better for the Earth:
Mission Playground Unveils Environmentally-Friendlier Surfboards and Board Shorts

Mission Playground, a San Diego based conscious active and lifestyle clothing company whose mission is to promote environmental awareness through their globally mindful designs, has released their first-ever environmentally-friendlier surfboards and board shorts.

In partnership with San Diego-based company Homeblown, Mission Playground’s surfboards are made using Homeblown’s proprietary Biofoam™, a true bio-based product from renewable, agricultural resources. These eco-friendly surfboards are manufactured using new chemistries in which the biomaterials are converted from all-natural plant oils into materials that provide functionality beyond petrochemicals. Additionally, Mission Playground’s surfboards will feature a variety of models and are available with environmentally-thought provoking art.

To compliment these new eco-friendlier surfboards, Mission Playground is also offering its first line of recycled polyester board shorts. There are three separate styles for men and women all of which are uniquely constructed using a blended 78% PET recycled polyester/22% polyester fabric. These eye-catching styles feature MP embroideries, screen prints, mesh and other unique details and will be available to the public in February 2008.visit www.missionplayground.com.

Miso-Cup Japanese Restaurant StyleGet Cozy with Miso-Cup this Winter

Something healthy and warming for cold fall nights, or something quick to enjoy for lunch at the office or anywhere. Miso-cup is really delicious and convenient. For information visit www.misocup.com.



The Nutritious Dairy Milk Alternative from Manitoba Harvest is the First Organic Hempmilk

Hemp foods are one of the hottest trends in the organic marketplace, and the prestigious Best New Food Product Award earned by Hemp Bliss Organic Hempmilk is the latest evidence of this healthy food phenomenon that is sweeping North America. Hemp Bliss is an innovative and nutritious new beverage from hemp industry pioneer Manitoba Harvest (www.manitobaharvest.com) that stood out above hundreds of other products displayed at the Natural Products Expo East from September 26-29 in Baltimore, Maryland. The award was voted on by retail and distribution attendees at the show, which attracted a record crowd of more than 25,000 attendees and 1,790 exhibits. Natural Products Expo is the largest event in the industry.

Hemp Bliss Organic Hempmilk provides the powerful nutrition and pleasant nutty flavor of hemp seed in a non-dairy hempmilk beverage. It is a nutritious and delicious alternative to dairy, soy and grain-based drinks and is the first line of organic hempmilks. Hemp Bliss naturally provides a boost of 1,200 mg of Omega-3 essential fatty acids and 5 grams of protein per serving. Overall, it contains more Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fats than any milk including dairy and other alternatives such as soy, rice and almond. “Foods that offer omega-3 essential fatty acids like hemp are hot because medical evidence touting the health benefits continues to grow,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils. Hemp foods also have a strong digestible protein profile, fiber and an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

Offered in Chocolate, Vanilla and Original varieties, Hemp Bliss is made from fresh organic hemp seeds and only the purest organic ingredients. It is widely available in stores across the U.S. and Canada and is offered in a 32-ounce carton for $4.99. It can be enjoyed straight up as a drink or used as an ingredient in a variety of recipes. Perhaps most notably, Hemp Bliss is a nutritious boost for smoothies (see recipe below).

“Hemp Bliss is the ideal product for people to try healthy organic hemp foods because it is a refreshing and convenient ready-to-drink beverage,” notes Fata. “This innovation is inspiring consumers to try other products in the hemp food category such as hemp seed oil, hemp seed butter, hemp protein powder and shelled hemp seed,” he adds. “People are finding out that hemp foods are extremely nutritious - and then they try them and discover that they have a great flavor and gourmet appeal.”

Recent sales data collected by the market research firm SPINs, indicate that sales of hemp foods grew by over 39% from August 2006 to August 2007. The Hemp Industries Association estimates that over the past 12 months, sales of hemp foods and body care products generated more than $65 million. A summary of hemp food and body care sales data is available by visiting http://www.thehia.org/PDF/HempSPINS2007.pdf.

Consumer demand for dairy milk alternatives has been growing for many years due to vegetarian preferences and concerns about dietary sensitivities to dairy, growth hormones in dairy milks, and animal rights and other environmental issues associated with dairy production. Some people simply don’t enjoy the flavor of dairy milk and find that they can gain nutrition by tastier means. Hemp Bliss stands out from ‘the herd’ of dairy milk alternatives including soy, rice and almond because it has a strong nutrition profile, a pleasant flavor and texture and it does not raise concerns regarding food sensitivities.

One Award for Product Quality and Innovation - and One for Industry Leadership & Social Responsibility

This is the second time in the last year that Manitoba Harvest has been recognized by its organic industry peers at the Natural Product Expo East trade show. In October 2006, the company was presented with the 2006 Socially Responsible Business Award at the show for their work pioneering sustainable hemp agriculture in the 1990s and for spreading organic farming in Manitoba ever since. In the 1990’s activist and co-founder Martin Moravcik worked with the Manitoba and Canadian governments to re-legalize hemp agriculture. The goal of reintroducing hemp farming came to fruition in 1998 when the Canadian government began issuing hemp farming licenses and he partnered with Mike Fata and Alex Chwaiewsky to form Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils. The company is now the largest hemp foods-only processor in North America.

Manitoba Harvest contracts thousands of acres of hemp seed production in Manitoba with more than 20 farmers that are shareholders. The company owns and operates a kosher and USDA certified organic facility and their products are distributed to thousands of stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Manitoba Harvest products are also sold as bulk ingredients to food and cosmetic manufacturers. Since Manitoba Harvest is an integrated producer of hemp food products they control production from “seed to shelf,” and are therefore able to ensure freshness and quality. For more information, visit www.manitobaharvest.com or call 1-800-665-HEMP.

Celebrate the Hemp Bliss Best New Product Award with This Healthy & Delicious Recipe

Brazilian Acai Protein Power Shake

Makes: 2 Cups; Prep Time: 5 min

This is a powerful shake that can be used as a meal replacement. It is loaded with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  • 1 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bliss organic hemp milk
  • 1 scoop Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Protein Powder
  • 2 packs Organic Acai – (Sambazon Original Blend - 100g each)
  • 1 tbsp Green Foods Powder (Amazing Grass SuperFood blend)
  • 1 tbsp Maca Extreme (Sunfood Nutrition)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until creamy smooth.

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard about the die-off of coral reefs due to global warming. I’ve also read that coral reefs themselves store carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the main global warming gases. So if coral reefs are dying out, isn’t that a double whammy that increases the CO2 in the atmosphere? -- Tom Ozzello, Maplewood, MN

Coral Reef - Getty ImagesAccording to marine scientists, the world’s coral reefs—those underwater repositories for biodiversity that play host to some 25 percent of all marine life—are in big trouble as a result of global warming. Data collected by the international environmental group WWF (formerly World Wildlife Fund) show that 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate sign of recovery, while about 50 percent of remaining reefs are under imminent or long-term threat of collapse.

Most scientists now agree that global warming is not a natural phenomenon but a direct result of the continual release of excessive amounts of CO2 and other “greenhouse” gases into the atmosphere by human industrial and transportation activity. And the small but prolonged rises in ocean temperature that result cause coral colonies to expel the symbiotic food-producing algae that sustain them. This process is called “bleaching,” because it turns the reefs white as they die.

But researchers working with the Coral Reef Alliance have found that while coral reefs do store CO2 as part of photosynthesis, they tend to release most of it back into the ocean (so they are not what are known as “carbon sinks”). As such, the release of CO2 from dying coral reefs is not a major concern.

Of course, the ocean itself is a large carbon sink, storing about a quarter of what would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. Landmasses (and their plants) soak up another quarter of all the CO2 emanating from the Earth’s surface, while the rest rises up into the atmosphere where it can wreak havoc with our climate.

Recent findings indicate that the Antarctic Ocean is getting less efficient at storing CO2, and this raises serious questions about the ability of our oceans to handle everything we throw at them. The study’s authors fear that “such weakening of one of the Earth’s major carbon dioxide sinks will lead to higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the long-term.”

Not everyone is forecasting gloom and doom. Some Australian researchers believe that coral reefs around the world could expand in size by up to a third due to increased ocean warming. “Our finding stands in stark contrast to previous predictions that coral reef growth will suffer large, potentially catastrophic, decreases in the future,” says University of New South Wales oceanographer Ben McNeil, who led the controversial 2004 study that was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters. “Our analysis suggests that ocean warming will foster considerably faster future rates of coral reef growth that will eventually exceed pre-industrial rates by as much as 35 per cent by 2100,” he adds.

In spite of such theories, the majority of marine scientists remain pessimistic about the future of coral reefs in a warmer world. One can only hope that the optimists are right.

CONTACTS: WWF, www.panda.org; Coral Reef Alliance, www.coralreefalliance.org;
“Coral reefs may grow with global warming,” New Scientist,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:
www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com.
Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved