Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Foods News Bites

Muscling in
Nearly one-fifth of shoppers (17.4 percent) have purchased organic meat in the past three months, according to a study released by the Food Marketing Institute and the American Meat Institute. And according to the study, 86 percent of shoppers stay loyal to their primary supermarket when purchasing meat.

But it may be time for naturals markets to beef up their meat departments: Only 29 percent of organic meat was purchased in a natural foods store. Conventional supermarkets accounted for 48 percent of organic meat buys; butcher shops snared 10 percent; supercenters got 9.3 percent; and warehouse clubs 1.1 percent. Shoppers cited superior taste, better nutrition, long-term health benefits and fresher product as reasons for buying organic meat. For more information about The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shoppers' Eyes, visit

Coffee cuts risk
Scientists now have a better understanding of why drinking coffee helps people avoid pancreatitis, a condition marked by severe abdominal pain. Often brought on by excessive alcohol consumption, the inflamed pancreas releases high levels of calcium, which can severely damage pancreatic cells. Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that caffeine blocks the calcium channels. "The caffeine effect, however, is weak and excessive coffee intake has its own dangers," the researchers warned in their paper in TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences and Gastroenterology.

Chicken soup for the naturals soul
A new cookbook of Jewish food by Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D., and chef Judi Dick includes recipes for all the usual Semitic fare: kreplach, matzo brei, potato knishes. But with insights into Jewish holidays and traditions, A Taste of Nostalgia (Shaar Press, 2006) also includes tales to nourish the spirit and the mind as well as the body. Twerski, a psychiatrist, has written numerous self-help and Jewish philosophy books, as well as scientific papers on chemical dependency. Dick is an editor for ArtScroll Mesorah Publications and a highly regarded cook with expertise in traditional Jewish cuisine.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 5/p. 22

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