Scotland declared a Fair Trade Nation
Scotland has become one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations, International Development Minister Humza Yousaf announced today.
The news comes on the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 and follows a nationwide campaign led by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum that has seen the people of Scotland rally behind Fair Trade principles.
The accolade means people, government, businesses, public bodies and community organisations across Scotland have come together to meet stringent criteria designed to promote Fair Trade.
Saffron Spice Found to Reverse Macular Degeneration, Preserve Eye Health
If you’ve ever priced saffron for a fancy creation in the kitchen, you may have opted to ignore the spice. Saffron is a spice stemming from the flower crocus sativus, and its rarity and difficulty to be collected cause it to be rather expensive. However, the cost may be worthwhile when you consider its potential benefits – especially those pertaining to eye health preservation.
Saffron has reportedly been used for ages, not only in cooking, but also in healing. It is said to encourage cellular repair in something called neuro-protection, something that is credited in the spice’s apparent ability to reverse the blinding effects of age-related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is the primary cause of blindness in older individuals. While most common in those over the age of 50, the issue can also affect those who are younger. Macular degeneration occurs when the most light-sensitive part of the retina is damaged, severely limiting sight of those thing in the central line of vision.
(Photo: Bret Hartman / Reuters)
Stand down Twinkies hoarders, you can start eating your secret stash.
Sales of certified Fairtrade products - from food to flowers - are soaring despite the recession, as the price gap with other goods shrinks
Have you eaten a banana today? Last year Britain imported an extraordinary 4bn bananas from some of the poorest parts of the world. But in a triumph for campaigners, one in three bananas consumed in this country is now certified as Fairtrade, guaranteeing fair prices for farmers.
While sales of organic food are sagging, Fairtrade is booming. Sales in 2012 were £1.57bn, up 19% on the year before.
In what has mushroomed into a mainstream sector, more than 4,500 items registered with the distinctive Fairtrade mark are on sale in UK supermarkets and independent shops to help ethically minded consumers do their bit to ensure fair and transparent pricing through the supply chain.
(Photo: Pizza Hut)
Long slave to the physical demands of picking up a phone, computer, smartphone, or tablet to place an order for food delivery, gamers can now create their own custom Pizza Hut pizzas — and order them — from their Xbox 360 console thanks to a unique partnership between Microsoft and the international chain.
Say what you will about Harvard kids — and their ecstatic band members — but they deserve some applause themselves for stopping to applaud the dining hall staff that braved a city-wide lockdown and all-out manhunt to do their jobs. It looks like chopped onions were on the menu today.
Whole Foods Market® and Gotham Greens to build nation’s first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse above Brooklyn store
Whole Foods Market is proud to announce Gotham Greens as its operating partner of the nation’s first commercial scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, currently being constructed on the roof of the forthcoming Whole Foods Market store in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is scheduled to open later this fall. Gotham Greens will grow premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round in the greenhouse for Whole Foods Market Gowanus, as well as other Whole Foods Market locations throughout New York City.
“Gotham Greens has been a valued local supplier of high quality, flavorful and fresh produce to Whole Foods Market since early 2011, making this greenhouse project a natural and extremely exciting next step in our relationship,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market Northeast Regional President. “We’re particularly excited to partner with a local organization with roots right here in Brooklyn and a mission in line with our own, in that we both care deeply about providing local, fresh and sustainably produced food.”
The new greenhouse will be designed, built and operated by Gotham Greens in partnership with Whole Foods Market. The specially designed rooftop farm will include advanced irrigation systems that use up to 20 times less water than conventional farming as well as enhanced glazing materials and electrical equipment to reduce overall energy demand. Based on the farm’s proximity to Whole Foods Market stores in New York City, the project will eliminate long distance food transport and its associated emissions, while ensuring product freshness, quality and nutrition for thousands of customers in the area.
West Virginia University is giving away free packets of seeds of what has been dubbed ‘the people’s tomato.’
Tiger Brands serves 10 millionth school breakfast
Tuesday 16 April 2013 was not a normal day at Gqebenya Junior Secondary School in the Lady Frere district, Eastern Cape. The Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and the CEO of Tiger Brands Peter Matlare attended this school to celebrate the serving of it’s 10 millionth breakfast meal.
The children were at school bright and early clearly excited by all the activity in their school - unusual in this beautiful rural windswept valley. They sang along with the dignitaries and proudly shared their breakfast with the Minister, CEO and Trustees of the Tiger Brands Foundation.
To quote the CEO, Peter Matlare “it was both surprising and humbling to share the 10 millionth breakfast with the little ones. It is really quite a remarkable achievement”. Adding further impetus to the impact of in-school breakfast feeding was Mr Matlare’s announcement the Foundation would supply kitchens to Gqebenya Junior Secondary, Nonesi Senior Primary and Kundulu Junior Secondary; a much needed addition to schools with limited resources yet fully committed to their learners and communities.
In just 22 months, the Foundation in partnership with the Department of Education (NSNP) has shown an effective in-school breakfast feeding programme can make a significant difference. An in-school breakfast is served by Tiger Brands to nearly 40,000 learners across 60 primary schools in 6 provinces every school day.
‘Random Acts Of Pizza’ Boston: Reddit, Restaurant Join Forces To Bring Food To Marathon Survivors
Wanting to offer some comfort to those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy, a California woman named Liz Kosearas took to Reddit on Monday afternoon to see what she could do to lend a hand.
“I just wanted to show some small support so I offered to buy pizza for people who were housing stranded runners,” Kosearas, a 23-year-old IT administrator who lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., told The Huffington Post of her decision to post a message on the subreddit “Random Acts of Pizza.”
But while Kosearas was expecting to get a few requests for food from people in the Boston area, she said she never could have anticipated the massive outpouring of support she got from the Reddit community, many of whom offered help of their own.
“It was amazing. Within 45 minutes, hundreds of people — people from all across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Barbados — had started commenting and offering to send pizza,” she said. “It made sense to [expand the effort] so I decided to start coordinating delivery to shelters and hospitals, fire departments, police departments, anywhere people were grouping.”
Though Kosearas admits that she was initially overwhelmed by the response and “had no idea where to even start,” she quickly jumped into action. With the help of a small group of other Redditors, none of whom live in Boston, delivery locations were determined and Anytime Pizza, a pizza shop located in Cambridge, Mass., was contacted.
“I’m not from Boston, I’ve never been to Boston. But I do know terrorism and this tragedy kinda hit home a little bit,” said Brian Lapsley, a 26-year-old computer programmer from Oklahoma City, Okla., who worked with Kosearas to organize the pizza delivery. “I had the ability to help, and this seemed like a pretty easy way to help people quickly.”
Lapsley, who says he remembers the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, was the Reddit coordinator who first contacted Perry Silveira, the co-owner of Anytime Pizza.
Silveira, Lapsley insists, was the “real hero” of the pizza effort.
SRI, the system of rice intensification, has taken agribusiness giants by surprise with its record-breaking harvests across the globe.
Activists win a victory against antibiotics in organic apple and pear production
After a meeting in Portland, OR this week, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected a petition to extend a loophole allowing the use of antibiotics in the production of organic apples and pears.
The loophole will expire on October 21, 2014.
The antibiotics in question, oxytetracycline and streptomycin, are used to treat fire blight in apple and pear production. However, safer biological methods using beneficial bacteria or yeast can also prevent fire blight from infecting new trees. Farmers who export to overseas markets already use the safer methods, as many countries outside of the US have banned the use of antibiotics in organic agriculture.
The decision came after activists from Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports), Food & Water Watch, and the Center for Food Safety delivered more than 30,000 petition signatures urging the NOSB to reject the use of antibiotics in organic farming. The groups argued for rejection of the loophole in order to meet consumer expectations about the integrity of the organic label and to respond to mounting evidence that antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a serious threat to public health.
Antibiotics are not allowed in any other types of organic food, including production of organic livestock.
In order to help farmers transition to antibiotic-free control methods, the Board also passed a resolution to encourage the USDA to investigate a transitional option for the emergency use of oxytetracycline until 2017. The agency must guarantee that any emergency use is extremely limited, ends as soon as possible and, most importantly, apples and pears from treated trees cannot be sold as organic.
Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest.
“This is totally innovative, and has never been done before in a public park,” Margarett Harrison, lead landscape architect for the Beacon Food Forest project, tells TakePart. Harrison is working on construction and permit drawings now and expects to break ground this summer.
The concept of a food forest certainly pushes the envelope on urban agriculture and is grounded in the concept of permaculture, which means it will be perennial and self-sustaining, like a forest is in the wild. Not only is this forest Seattle’s first large-scale permaculture project, but it’s also believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
When It Comes To Chocolate Sleepovers, The Chocolate Boutique Hotel Has It All Wrapped Up
Friends, fun, chocolate and a tipple or two; all the vital ingredients for a grown up chocolate slumber party. You can even have a midnight feast.
When it comes to girlie get-togethers, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel definitely has it all wrapped up with its new chocolate sleepovers.
For just £99 per person*, you can paint your portrait in chocolate, take part in a chocolate and wine tasting and sip chocolate cocktails before nestling down for sweet dreams in a chocolate themed room. You can even have a midnight feast.
As chocolatier Gerry Wilton points out, chocolate sleepovers are not just for kids.
“Whether you want to have fun with friends, celebrate a birthday or say a special thank you to your mum, chocolate sleepovers are a perfect way to spend an afternoon out, a cosy night in, to chat and be indulged,” he says. “It doesn’t matter whether you are 25 or 65.”
Far more fun than po faced spa sessions, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel’s fun filled chocolate sleepovers take place each day in Bournemouth from Monday to Thursday, starting with chocolate portrait painting at 3pm.
After immortalising yourself in dark, milk and white chocolate, you’ll get to take part in a luxury chocolate and wine tasting session before retreating to the Chocolate Bar to sip delicious chocolate cocktails, such as the Chocolate Martini and Chocmeister.
After a tipple or two, you can don your pyjamas and nestle down in one of the hotel’s 13 cosy chocolate themed rooms, such as the Cocoa Bean or the Aztec.
And if you fancy a midnight feast, Gerry and his team will raid the kitchen for you and tiptoe up the stairs with a stylish chocolate fountain, complete with fresh strawberries, marshmallows and a bottle of bubbly.
Following a night of sweet dreams, you can even have delicious chocolate pancakes for breakfast.
To find out more about chocolate sleepovers at Bournemouth’s deliciously different Chocolate Boutique Hotel, named one of the best six novelty hotels in the world by The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, ring 01202 556857 or go to www.thechocolateboutiquehotel.co.uk
Whole Foods, others to shun genetically modified seafood
Whole Foods Market Inc, Trader Joe’s and other food retailers representing more than 2,000 U.S. stores have vowed not to sell genetically engineered seafood if it is approved in the United States, a new advocacy group said on Wednesday.
The announcement from the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears close to approving genetically engineered salmon from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies.
If it gets final approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter this country’s human food supply. The United States already is the world’s largest market for foods made with genetically altered plant ingredients.
AquaBounty says its “AquAdvantage Salmon” can grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, saving time and resources. The fish is essentially Atlantic salmon with a Pacific salmon gene for faster growth and a gene from the eel-like ocean pout that promotes year-round growth.
Critics say such genetically modified products are not sufficiently tested for safety, carry allergy risks and should be labeled. Proponents disagree and say the products are safe.
Discount grocer Aldi, regional chains such as Marsh Supermarkets, PCC Natural Markets and co-ops in Minnesota, New York, California and Kansas also signed the commitment to avoid selling genetically-engineered fish.
“We won’t sell genetically engineered fish because we don’t believe it is sustainable or healthy,” said Trudy Bialic from PCC Natural Markets in Washington State.
Many popular processed foods - including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereal - sold in the United States are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them resistant to insects and pesticides.
Whole Foods, a 335-store organic and natural food supermarket chain, earlier this month said it will require all products sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores to carry a label by 2018 saying whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
At the same time, consumer groups are working at the state and federal level to require labels on products that contain GMOs.
Dozens of countries already have genetically modified food labeling requirements, with the European Union imposing mandatory labeling in 1997. Since then, genetically modified products and crops have virtually disappeared from many of those markets.