Author Archives: checkgmo

Really Safeway?

Shareholder Activists Visit Four Corporations to Urge Enhanced Fight Against Efforts by Organic Food Industry to Stigmatize GMO Foods

By: Judy Kent
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Washington, D.C. / Pleasanton, CA – At the annual meeting of Safeway shareholders this past Friday in Pleasanton, California, the overwhelming majority of shareholders followed the advice of the National Center for Public Policy Research and rejected an anti-scientific shareholder proposal that would have forced the grocery store chain to brand products containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) with labels.

The purpose of the mandatory-labeling campaign is to deter the sale of products containing GMOs by frightening consumers unnecessarily.

“Safeway’s shareholders sent a loud message to the GMO activists and lobbyists that represent them – science trumps baseless fear-mongering campaigns,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq.

Danhof spoke out against a proposal submitted by the Green Century Equity Fund that sought to require the company to identify and label all of its products that “may contain genetically engineered ingredients.”

“In the face of all of the uncontroverted scientific evidence that GMOs are safe, the proponent of the GMO-labeling proposal had the temerity to tell Safeway’s shareholders that no long-term scientific evidence exists to show that GMO foods are safe,” noted Danhof. “This is beyond willful ignorance. Some anti-GMO activists are shameless in their attempt to advance their agenda.”

Danhof countered the proposal by noting, in part:

This proposal is unscientific, unnecessary for Safeway’s business purposes and would increase food prices, disproportionately harming lower-income customers.

Numerous scientific bodies have determined that GMO foods are safe, including:

1. The National Academy of Sciences

2. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (which has stated that the “science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe”)

3. The American Medical Association (which has stated that “Bioengineered foods have been consumed for… 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”)

4. The Royal Society of Medicine

5. The World Health Organization

The European Union spent ten years and hundreds of millions of Euros to exhaustively examine GMOs, determining: “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”

The proposal can be found on pages 241 and 242 of Safeway’s proxy statement.

Danhof’s full statement against the proposal, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

The proposal failed, with only 10.25 percent of company shareholders voting for it.

“If GMOs are so bad and causing the human devastation that activists claim, why are groups such as the Green Century Equity Fund only calling for labeling?” asked Danhof. “If the science backed up its scary claims, it would be calling for an outright ban. And, if the science backed them up, I expect I might join with them. But the wild claims of the anti-GMO crowd have no scientific backing and simply rely on fear.”

Friday’s meeting marks the fourth time during the 2014 shareholder season that the National Center urged corporate America to do more to combat the assault from anti-GMO activists, which is in part funded by the organic food industry.

In late January, Danhof urged Monsanto shareholders to reject another anti-scientific proposal that sought to have the company work with the Food and Drug Administration to advance GMO labeling. As National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour said at the time, “[i]t’s easy for relatively well-fed Americans to overlook the tremendous promise of GMOs as a tool to combat malnutrition and hunger worldwide. Yet the demonization of genetically-modified foods could have a tragic result if it stops or slows the use of seeds that improve agricultural yields and nutrition in the Third World. GMOs are even more environment-friendly than traditional farming. As GMOs are safe, why surrender the benefits?”

Like Safeway shareholders, Monsanto shareholders overwhelmingly agreed with the National Center and soundly rejected the proposal.

Danhof also urged Monsanto executives to make the company’s scientists and health experts more available to the press to combat the high-level of misinformation and pseudoscience from anti-GMO zealots that pervades the GMO debate. As noted by the Wall Street Journal following the meeting, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant agreed with Danhof, saying that “it’s a really good idea” and that the company “need[s] to do more” to win the GMO debate.

In May, Danhof attended the Kraft Foods and Pepsi shareholder meetings to urge them to do more to combat the fear-mongering and deceptive narratives of anti-GMO special interests.

At Kraft’s meeting in Glenview, Illinois, Danhof noted that, by using fear, anti-GMO activist groups seek to confuse and successfully scare much of the public. He stated: “The anti-GMO attacks come from Americans who have likely never missed a meal in their lives. Their campaigns against GMOs are unscientific, fear-based and inhumane, but they are winning. In fact, one ABC News poll showed that 93 percent of Americans think the federal government should mandate GMO labeling – a tactic they hope will elevate GMOs with taboo products such as tobacco and alcohol.”

Danhof then asked Kraft’s CEO to “[e]xplain how much GMO labeling laws would increase food prices, explain the environmental benefits of GMOs and explain the potential life-saving benefits they hold for third-world consumers. I don’t need to tell you or your food experts all the benefits of GMOs, but we firmly believe it would be strongly in the company’s best interest – and the public’s best interest – if Kraft stepped up its efforts to educate the American public about them.”

Following the meeting, Danhof said that he “was encouraged by Kraft CEO Tony Vernon’s response to my question about GMOs. Vernon said that the company and the National Center are on common ground when it comes to the issue of GMOs. He thanked me for my question, and said that I stated the case for the promise of GMOs eloquently. Vernon is very passionate about the GMO issue and the benefits GMOs hold for the environment and public health. He agreed that the company must do more to engage and win this public policy debate. He noted that GMOs are in so much of what everyone in the meeting has been eating for the past 25 years, and are perfectly safe. He pledged that in the coming months, the industry and Kraft would be much more vocal and aggressive in speaking about the many benefits of GMOs.”

When Danhof arrived at the Pepsi meeting the following day in New Bern, North Carolina, multiple executives from the company’s government relations department approached him to discuss the GMO issue. They explained to him how they were engaging with stakeholders – including key players in Washington, D.C. – to better explain the health and environmental benefits of GMOs. They informed Danhof that Kraft executives reached out to Pepsi’s staff the previous afternoon to get some more information on the factsheets and beneficial information that Pepsi had already produced so that they may be able to make good on their CEO’s commitment to the National Center’s Danhof.

“This experience bolsters what we already know – that the Free Enterprise Project gets results. While some of those results, such as General Electric amending its corporate policy on green initiatives, received wide publicity, others, such as the Kraft/Pepsi communication, mostly go unseen, but are nonetheless vital toward advancing a pro-liberty agenda,” said Danhof.

At the Pepsi meeting, Danhof pointed out that anti-GMO sentiment – fueled by well-to-do Westerners – caused genuine human suffering and death elsewhere. He noted that: “Scientific American recently reported that the delayed application of Vitamin A-enhanced Golden Rice thanks to controversies stirred by anti-GMO activists had cost over 1.4 million life years in India alone since 2002. This is real human suffering and death. And it is children who too often suffer the most.”

Following the meeting, Danhof reported Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi saying the company planned “to use its resources to work with the Food and Drug Administration to get the word out about high-yield crops. She believes the FDA has a responsibility and a duty to educate the American people about food ingredients and safety. She also recognized the powerful role the National Center can play in public education through our broad outreach efforts and engagement with other food and beverage corporations.”

Bottoms up!


By:CNBC’s Joanna Weinstein
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One man says he has the answer to making sure you get the all the daily vitamin intake you need without ever taking a pill again.

Ray Doustdar is the CEO and founder of Buiced Inc., which produces a liquid multi-vitamin which he claims gives your body 100 percent daily value of vitamins from in a single 1-ounce dosage.

“I’m just trying to help people get their vitamins on a daily basis,” said the founder.

Doustdar had just 60 seconds to Power Pitch his big idea to a panel of experts with Dr. David Katz, founding director at Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Richard Demb, CEO of Abe’s Market; and Nikhil Kalghatgi, a partner at Vast Ventures.

A hard pill to swallow

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more of half of U.S. adults use dietary supplements–including multivitamins, minerals and herbs.

Doustdar was one of these multivitamin takers, but said he never enjoyed swallowing those “horse pills.”
“I would get nauseated each and every time that I would take pill form vitamins,” he said.

However, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, most Americans do not get enough vitamins and minerals in their daily diet. In fact, the Physician’s Desk Reference reports that only 10 to 20 percent of the nutrients in pill vitamins are absorbed into the human body, but absorption of liquid vitamins is about 98 percent. According to this research, liquid vitamins can be up to 10 times more effective than nutritional supplements in pill form.
Doustdar told CNBC he hired top scientists to help him form his liquid Buiced.
Buiced breakdown

Buiced liquid multivitamin is offered in a citrus lemon flavor and looks like carrot juice. The founder suggests adding Buiced to vegetable juices or smoothies, or taking it straight as a shot.

The product is manufactured in the U.S. and is available in two sizes: a 30-ounce bottle, which retails at $30 and as Buiced “mini’s” priced at $25 for a total of 18 bottles.

Doustdar said each mini bottle contains one full day’s worth of vitamins.

The bulk of Buiced’s business is through, and on Amazon (AMZN). Buiced is also available in Natural Food Retailers in the Los Angeles area, and more than a dozen Pilates, yoga and other fitness studios.

All of our panelists got to taste test the Buiced vitamin supplement. “I won’t be swapping out a good Bordeaux or a nice sauvignon blanc for this stuff anytime,” Dr. Katz admitted. Panelist Kalghatgi’s palate wasn’t too partial to Buiced, either.

“I couldn’t get over the taste. [Buiced] was really, really hard to get down,” said Kalghatgi.

Doustdar told the panelists he planned on expanding more Buiced flavors in the future.

But Dr. Katz said he liked that the product is GMO free, caffeine free and had very little added sugar. He asked Doustdar for evidence of Buiced’s health benefits.

“I look back on the decades of evidence about the benefits of vitamins. And I’m giving it to people now in a form that, to me, is much more convenient to take, in a product that’s more convenient to take,” the founder said.

Buiced is also not the first liquid multivitamin brand to hit the market. GNC Holdings (GNC) offers a variety of liquid vitamins including the GNC Mega Men Liquid multivitamin, and GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Liquid Multivitamin. Vitamin World offers liquid multivitamins such as the Origin of Life Complete Liquid Nutrition, and sells All One Nutritech Liquid Life Certified Vegan Multi Vitamin Complete Nutrition Fruit.

Buiced, like many dietary supplements, is not FDA approved. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act Law requires the manufacturer to be responsible for ensuring that its dietary supplement products are safe before they are marketed. “Buiced Inc. has ensured that our dietary supplement product is safe,” the founder told CNBC.

“We are able to maintain a very low overhead due to the proprietary manufacturing process and systems that we have created,” said Doustdar.

To date, the startup has raised $250,000 in total funds. However, Buiced has not raised any venture capital, and is 100 percent bootstrapped. Doustdar is the company’s only full-time employee, but he outsources manufacturers to generate Buiced.

The startup also just closed a deal with the Start Fresh Recovery Centers in California and Connecticut and are now part of their alcohol and drug treatment program.

Boosting sales?

Doustdar told CNBC that sales of his product are growing monthly, but would not disclose specifics regarding revenue. He did tell CNBC the startup is profitable, and said that the business has been built to be fully scalable on a nationwide and global basis.

Are we winning the GMO war?

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US Food Producers Turning GMO-Free with Little to No Advertising

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – US food producers have been eliminating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from their products without any special announcements, NPR reported.

While some companies, like ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, are advertising their healthy switch as loudly as possible, others are experimenting with the elimination of GMO “cautiously and quietly.”
“A lot of exciting cool things that are happening that for whatever strategic reasons get kept pretty quiet,” NPR quoted Megan Westgate of the Non-GMO Project, a North American non-profit organization committed to verifying and labeling Non-GMO food and care products, as saying.

The newly GMO-free products include the original plain variety of General Mill’s breakfast cereal Cheerios. The company has only announced its switch in its official blog and did not add any special labels to its box. US retail giant Target now produces about 80 GMO-free products under its house brand – and stays quiet about it as well. The reason behind such modesty, according to NPR, is that companies do not want to give any promises that they will not be able to keep.

The major challenge that the food manufacturers are facing is the low availability of GMO-free food sources, as according to data provided by the US Center for Food Safety, about 85 percent of corn, 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton produced in the United States in 2013 were genetically modified.

On May 2014 Vermont became the first US state to adopt a law, requiring food manufacturers to label the products made with genetically modified organisms. The law is scheduled to take effect in July, 2016. Maine and Connecticut have adopted their labeling legislation later this year and Oregon is expected to put this issue on a statewide vote on November.
Labeling measures in California and Washington failed in recent years.

Which Coconut Water is Healthiest?

by: Food Babe
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I love coconut water! When I’m traveling in the tropics, there is nothing better than drinking water straight from a coconut. Mother nature designed the perfect vessel for a drink that is so refreshing, slightly sweet, and keeps you hydrated in hot climates. You’ve probably heard that coconut water makes an excellent hydrating drink that replenishes electrolytes and can replace nasty chemical-filled Gatorade and Powerade – but there really is more to it than that. How do you buy the healthiest coconut water and avoid the worst?

The Best Coconut Water

Coconut water is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet

Coconut water contains a unique combination of B vitamins, vitamin C, micronutrients, and phytohormones that are exceptionally beneficial to your health. A scientific review of coconut water, published in the journal Molecules, highlights some of the ways that coconut water replenishes your body:

Helps to prevent heart attacks
Lowers high blood pressure
Can have anti-aging effects
Fights free radicals to help prevent cancer
Contains trans-zeatin which can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

That being said, I don’t want you to think it’s okay to pick up just any coconut water off of the shelf. Packaged coconut water is really flooding into the market recently. You can find it in bottles, cartons or powdered, frozen, flavored, carbonated, and sweetened. With all these choices it can be confusing and difficult to know if you are choosing the best one.

It usually costs at least $3 bucks a bottle, so it’s not exactly affordable- and if I’m going to spend my hard earned money on some, I make sure it’s worth it! Primarily, I look for coconut water that is the least processed and still has the majority of its nutrients intact. This is always going to be directly from a fresh coconut – but, of course that’s not always available. If you haven’t already heard, Pepsico and Coca-Cola have their own versions of coconut water – (O.N.E., Zico, Naked) – and you can only imagine what the corporations have done to it.
How To Ruin Coconut Water

Using a concentrate instead of fresh juice: Some coconut water companies get away with saying their drinks contain “100% Coconut Water” that’s “All Natural” even though it’s made from a reconstituted concentrate. Just like other juices in the store, they heat fresh coconut water and reduce it to a syrup. It’s cheaper for them to import this coconut water syrup, which they later add water prior to packaging. Any juice that has been heated to this extent loses a significant amount of its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes are denatured (i.e. the enzymes don’t work anymore).

Taking water from mature coconuts: This is a biggie. Young coconuts on the tree are usually green with an abundance of water in the center that is full of nutrients. Anyone that drinks coconut water straight from a coconut is drinking out of one of these young coconuts. As they begin to age, the nutrients in the water begin to seep into the meat of the coconut, and the water becomes less nutritious. It’s essentially watered-down. This also happens when young coconuts are picked and allowed to lie on the ground in the sun, for an extended period of time. While older “mature” coconuts might be used to make coconut oil, coconut milk and other coconut products, the coconut water from older coconuts is often discarded because it’s lacking nutrients and doesn’t taste the same. As the popularity in coconut water spiked recently, companies realized that they could buy up the water from mature coconuts and could get it cheaper than young coconut water. This is why it’s important to drink young coconut water and not get scammed into drinking the watered-down and less nutritious version.

Adding “natural flavors” or sweeteners: Young coconut water is refreshing and sweet, so there is absolutely no need to flavor or sweeten it – unless you are trying to hide something. Guess what happens when they use mature coconuts for their water? It tastes acidic, so they mask this taste with natural flavors or sweeten it up with sugars. I’ve heard that some companies use a centrifuge system to remove the acidic taste, but it’s a safe assumption that if you see a plain coconut water on the shelf with any natural flavors or sweeteners added it is from mature coconuts and not worth your money.

Pasteurizing it with heat: Coconut water is very delicate, naturally perishable, and should be kept cold. Have you ever stopped to wonder why most bottled and boxed coconut waters on the shelves aren’t in the refrigerated section? I recently checked out one of these bottles and noticed it didn’t expire for 2 years! This is because most coconut water at the store is heat pasteurized, which literally means that it’s been cooked to a very high temperature to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life. It has been shown that heat also destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and also denatures enzymes – stripping its benefits and much of its flavor. If coconut water is from concentrate, this would be the second time it’s heated. Obviously, your best bet is to seek out and find unpasteurized raw coconut water. This can be hard to find, but there is another way to kill bacteria while keeping the nutrients intact: HPP (high pressure processing). Without using heat, HPP is best way to preserve the goodness in coconut water, while extending its shelf life a little to make it more available commercially.

Dipping whole coconuts in formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphite: It’s been reported that some non-organic coconuts may be preserved for transport to the U.S. by dipping them in chemicals, including formaldehyde a known carcinogen. This leads to the possibility that these chemicals seep into the coconut meat and poisons the water. Some of my favorite organic cafes avoid this by getting frozen coconut water shipped directly to them.

We called up several of the most popular coconut water companies and asked where they source their coconuts (young vs. mature), if they dip them in chemicals, how they pasteurize them, and about additives and preservatives that they may use. We got a variety of responses, and it’s almost surprising to me how much some of these companies have screwed up something as basic as coconut water. I found several brands to avoid, because they are so heavily processed that the final product barely resembles natural coconut water.
Coconut waters to avoid at all costs:

Naked Juice Coconut Water – Although it’s not from concentrate, Naked told me that they use “mature” coconut water that is flash pasteurized with heat. The plain variety doesn’t have any additives, but all of the flavored ones have added natural flavors. This is also a Pepsico brand – a company that spent over $4 Million dollars to fight GMO labels – so they aren’t getting any of my business.

O.N.E. Coconut Water – This is another Pepsico brand that is flash pasteurized with heat. The flavored waters “with a Splash of Fruit Juice” contain natural flavors and “sugar” as an ingredient. As it doesn’t say “cane sugar” on the label, this could very well be from GMO sugar beets.

Pepsico told me that they couldn’t confirm whether their sugar is GMO because:

“the exact source of the sugar in our coconut water cannot be confirmed because we source our ingredients from around the world and that information is not available at this time. Please know that all of our products comply with all applicable food laws and labeling requirements. O.N.E. Coconut Water relies on the regulatory agencies charged with safeguarding our food supply when sourcing ingredients for our products”.

They are relying on the FDA’s regulations to protect us, although the FDA themselves say that the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the safety of the ingredients used in their products, including GMOs.

O.N.E. Coconut water

Zico – They sell two entirely different coconut waters depending on which packaging you choose. The waters in the bottles are made from concentrate and are a “blend of Asian coconuts” with natural flavors added. On the other hand, the ones in the tetra-pak cartons are not made from concentrate, have no additives, and contain only Thai coconut water that is packaged in Thailand. A bit confusing, isn’t it? While the tetra-paks (boxed) seem like a good choice, they use “Ultra High Temperature Pasteurization” to give it a long shelf life. This means it’s heated well above boiling point to 280 degrees Fahrenheit, which “kills everything” according to Scientific American, including beneficial nutrients. Plus, in case you didn’t hear the news, they were recently acquired by Coca-Cola – a big supporter of GMOs who have spent over 3.2 million to prevent GMO labeling.

CocoZona – We called and emailed them on several occasions, and they never replied to any of our questions – not even a peep! I always find it alarming when a company refuses to stand behind their product and isn’t transparent about their practices, especially since some companies have been caught lying about what’s really in the bottle. So, at this point, we know little more than what’s printed on the bottle of CocoZona, and the ingredient list reveals that it is made from concentrate. That’s enough reason to stay away from it.

Vita Coco – Don’t be fooled by all of those celebrity endorsements! Their waters are not made from concentrate, but they are all pasteurized with heat. Many of the flavored versions contain added sweeteners and the Cafe versions contain carrageenan. Even the seemingly plain 100% pure version contains added “fruit sugar.” Watch out for their coconut waters targeting kids, which are loaded with added sugar and many different natural flavors – they are not 100% coconut water! According to their website, Vita Coco Kids is also ultra high temperature pasteurized.

Vita Coco Kids

GOYA – This brand is heat pasteurized and contains added preservatives. Some versions are sweetened with sugar, which may be GMO. Because I vote with my dollars, I avoid any GOYA brand product as they spent over $56K to fight GMO labeling in California.

C2O – They told me they heat pasteurize their water up to 120 degrees celsius once the product is in the can for as long as 5 minutes. Although, they use no additives or concentrates, the length of this high heat processing puts it squarely on my avoid list.

Purity Organic – It’s made from concentrate and flash pasteurized with heat, so some of the goodness has been destroyed. It’s organic I know, but not all organic products use the best practices!

Coco Libre (Organic) – It’s made from concentrate, flash pasteurized with heat and has added “natural flavors.”
How do other popular coconut waters stack up?

Munkijo (organic) – This water isn’t from concentrate, contains no additives or added sugars and their young coconuts are sustainably grown and harvested. But I’m sorry to report they also use ultra high heat pasteurization to process their waters, so it’s far from the best on the market.

Coco Hydro by Big Tree Farms (organic) – I really like Big Tree Farms’ mission geared towards sustainability. Their unique version of coconut water is powdered and comes in packets that travel easily. So, there is no pasteurization involved, you just add water to reconstitute it. However, the process they use to evaporate the water uses heat, so it is not considered raw and some of the nutrients may be destroyed in the process.

Taste Nirvana (organic) – No concentrates or additives in this brand, and their young coconuts are sustainably grown, harvested and organic (though not labeled as such). I really like how it’s packaged in glass bottles. They are the only company that told me they use a “steam sterilization” process which is a combination of steam and pressure.

Amy & Brian (organic) – Other than the fact that they flash pasteurize the water, all other aspects are good – no additives, no added sugars, no concentrates. They also told me that their young coconuts are not treated with any chemicals or pesticides. I have to admit though, I’m not a fan of the cans they are in, even if they are BPA-free.

Harvest Bay (some varieties are certified organic) – They flash pasteurize their water for about 2 seconds at 120 degrees, and it’s not from concentrate. Some of their waters are now organic, and they are all non-GMO project verified. Although they add no sugars or additives to their plain version, most flavored varieties contain added sugar or natural flavors, so I’d avoid those.

Whole Foods 365 – They confirmed they don’t use a concentrate, however they heat pasteurize their water which comes “from around the world depending on availability”. Their water is also packaged in cans, which I don’t like!

Trader Joe’s – Their water is not from concentrate, but it is pasteurized. I have yet to hear back from them in regards to how they pasteurize their water (whether they use flash or ultra processing). They fortify their water with added vitamin C, which is a red flag that it has been heavily processed.
My top picks for packaged coconut water:

***This chart contains examples of the coconut waters we researched, however, there are many more available on the market or may be available in your neck of the woods. Please use this post as a guide to find the best coconut water in your area.***

The Healthiest Coconut Water

While the best coconut water is straight from a young coconut picked from a tree, these packaged waters below are as close to the real thing as you can get. They don’t use any heat processing or concentrates, so they aren’t cooking your coconut water. Some of them use HPP to kill bacteria, and a couple of these brands serve it up completely raw and unpasteurized.

Harmless Harvest (organic) – I’ve written about this brand before, and it’s no secret that they are my favorite. I had the pleasure of meeting with the founders of Harmless Harvest and I’m blown away with how open and honest they are about everything. They’ve become a success not because of marketing, but because of their good practices. In fact, they hardly spend any money on marketing at all (and bloggers are not compensated either). They source their young coconuts from small organic agroforestry farms that pay a fair wage to their workers. The coconuts are then frozen and shipped to the U.S. for packaging, after which they use HPP processing to kill bacteria and extend the shelf life to 60 days. Because it’s so minimally processed, some of the waters turn pink when the naturally occurring antioxidants or phenols are exposed to light – and you won’t find this in pasteurized coconut water. You can find this at Whole Foods and most natural food stores in the refrigerator section.

Juice Press (organic) – This water is totally raw. It’s not pasteurized or processed with HPP. Their coconuts are shipped frozen to the store and then they ship it fresh to you with a 3 or 4 day shelf life.

Exotic Superfoods (organic) – Another fave, this water is 100% organic and raw. It is not processed with any heat or HPP – but it’s kept frozen to preserve freshness.

Liquitera (organic) – This bottled raw coconut water is also organic, without any pasteurization. It’s only available at their stores in New York.

Vital Juice (organic) – It’s never heated or frozen, and it’s preserved with HPP, 100% organic and non-GMO project verified. It is currently only available at stores in Washington and Oregon with plans of expansion, and you can also order it online on Amazon.

Unoco (wild coconut) – Made from wild coconuts (not from a plantation) and processed with HPP without any additives. It’s only available in California right now.

Suja (organic) – Suja makes a coconut water blend, Tropicaloe, which is made from freeze-dried coconut water mixed with pineapple, apple, aloe, lime, mint and spinach juices, all preserved with HPP. This juice is exclusively sold at Whole Foods stores.

Keep in mind that while I think coconut water is amazing, I don’t drink it every day, I use it as a treat or on days I am very active and sweat hard!
If you know someone who loves coconut water or needs a great substitute for soda, Gatorade, Powerade or other unhealthy drinks – please share this post!

We must educate as many people as possible about their choices to change the marketplace. When we change the marketplace and start spending our money on the best and safest brands, we change the world!

5 Foods that promote Sleep

5 Foods To Treat Insomnia & Improve Your Sleep

According to the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, nearly 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffers from insomnia. Although most of these people suffer from short-term insomnia, many of them also suffer from chronic insomnia (i.e., difficulty falling or staying asleep for more than six months). Such sleep deprivation can significantly decrease the quality of one’s life. While stress related to work and family remains the number one cause of insomnia, eating the wrong foods — such as those rich in sugar, caffeine, gluten or polyunsaturated fat — can also contribute to insomnia. Therefore, improving one’s diet is an important first step toward ending insomnia, especially if one favors foods that are known to improve sleep.


Five Foods That Aid Sleep

1.) Almonds

Almonds are one of the best foods for treating insomnia since they’re excellent sources of magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxant and contains anti-stress properties. A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences in December 2012 found that magnesium supplementation could “improve subjective measures of insomnia, such as ISI score, sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, and likewise, insomnia objective measures, such as concentration of serum renin, melatonin and serum cortisol, in elderly people.”


2.) Cherries

Cherries and cherry products have often been linked to improved sleep. For example, a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in December 2012 found that volunteers who consumed a tart cherry juice concentrate for seven days demonstrated “significantly elevated” total melatonin content in their urine compared to the control group. Consequently, the study group experienced improved sleep quality and efficiency.


3.) Bananas

Many people are often surprised to find that bananas can aid sleep, since they’re well-known for boosting energy. Nonetheless, bananas are also rich in magnesium, potassium and tryptophan, which are the “magic trio” of sleep boosters. Tryptophan is especially effective in this regard since it is the precursor to the two neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin, which modulate sleep.

4.) Valerian

The root of the valerian plant, which is usually consumed in tea or tincture form, has been used as a sleeping aid since Ancient Greece and Rome. Moreover, its sedative and anxiolytic properties have been proven by numerous studies. For example, a 2011 study published in Menopause found that valerian extracts provided a “statistically significant” improvement in sleep quality among postmenopausal women suffering from insomnia. The study authors concluded that the “findings from this study add support to the reported effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.”

5.) Oatmeal

 Although oatmeal is usually associated with breakfast, its nutritional composition — high in magnesium and potassium — also makes it a suitable evening food. Even the very nature of oatmeal (warm, soothing and soft) is indicative of sleep and calm. Moreover, oatmeal tends to be mixed with milk, which is one of the best-known relaxation drinks.

Article Source:

By Michael Ravensthorpe