Here's to You, Baby
There's something new on the horizon for parents who choose a healthy lifestyle but also seek convenience. Horizon Organic will produce the first-ever infant formula to be certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Horizon Organic Infant Formula with Iron, which is patterned after breast milk, contains organic fats, carbohydrates and proteins, along with 27 vitamins and minerals essential to an infant's diet. No antibiotics, growth hormones or pesticides are used in its production.
The powdered formula will be available in 13.2-ounce and 27.6-ounce cans. Horizon Organic will launch the product this fall in California, Washington and Oregon. Horizon is the only company currently producing USDA-certified organic lactose, an essential ingredient in milk-based infant formula.
If natural foods consumers are wary about sending their kids to school with sandwiches wrapped in petroleum-based plastic, there's a new alternative: edible food wraps.
Composed of concentrated fruit or vegetable puree, the wraps look like a sheet of paper, but they dissolve in the mouth. They come in flavors like tomato, carrot, mango, apple and papaya. OK, the broccoli-flavored one might be a harder sell with the school-age crowd. But if parents can get their kids to eat not just their lunch but the wrapping around it, they'll be sneaking in one more of their daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Because the wraps break down into simple sugars, they're biodegradable. And they can be made from off-grade produce, reducing the amount of agricultural waste. The wraps should be available by the end of the year.
Forget Gestalt, Try Veggie Therapy
Changing how we think about food may be the first step toward better nutrition. In a study published April 19 in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that a little counseling, either educational or behavioral, went a long way toward improving the eating habits of low-income adults.
Study participants were divided into two groups, each of which received "therapy" about the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables. One group was counseled in broad terms about such nutritional changes. The second group received individually tailored behavioral counseling about nutrition.
During the 12-month study, daily fruit and vegetable consumption increased by 1.5 portions in the behavioral group and 0.9 portions in the educational group. The proportion of participants eating five or more servings a day increased by 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Researchers also found that vitamin E and beta-carotene levels increased in both groups, with beta-carotene levels rising more in the behavioral group.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 7/p. 20