Natural Foods Merchandiser

Food Bites

India Adopts Organic Standards
Late this summer, the Indian government put its stamp of approval on an agricultural program designed to reduce environmental degradation and stimulate international demand for its export products.

The logo "India Organic" will appear on products certified to a set of national production, processing and shipping standards. Similar to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, products with a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients can be labeled "organic," while those with between 70 percent and 95 percent can be labeled "made with organic ingredients."

The Indian government intends to register the trademark globally and hopes the move will allow its agricultural export sector to capture some of the growing market for organic products in the United States, the European Union and Japan. A senior state official said that India had an advantage in the organic sector because the country hadn't yet fully embraced industrialized methods.

Don't Mess With Junk Food
This fall, Texas students with a sweet tooth will find the fare available during lunch a little less to their liking. The state has strengthened a policy restricting sales of the junkiest junk foods.

The sale of soft drinks, hard candies, gum, nonjuice popsicles and other items determined by the Texas Education Agency to be "foods of minimal nutritional value" will be forbidden in school cafeterias, hallways and common areas where federally subsidized school meals are served or eaten.

Although the rules sound tough, most chocolate bars, potato chips and ice cream will still be sold. Under dietary recommendations set forth by the USDA, those foods provide sufficient nutrients to not be targeted by this attempt to improve the nutrition of school-age children.

Veggie Might
Australia, like the United States, has long been a melting pot for immigrants and their native cooking styles, many of which have a long history of meatless cuisine. Straddling the divide between Western and Eastern influences, Charmaine Solomon has compiled an exhaustive resource for vegetarians. The newly updated Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2002) has more than 600 recipes from around the world—French, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Indian and Asian—to present a gamut of vegetarian dishes.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 9/p. 22

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