Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Foods News Bites

Stop and drink the roses
There's nothing like a good soft drink—the full flavor, the thirst-quenching wetness … the aroma? Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.-based Purifique has launched an aromatherapy beverage. A botanical infusion, the drink is said to energize, soothe, focus and improve the moods of those who imbibe by creating powerful olfactory associations. The tonic comes in two flavors—er, scents: cinnamon rose and ginger mint. The company claims to use an ultrapure distillation process, and sells the drinks in Champagne-style bottles.

An irregular finding
Katie Couric may need to tweak her message. It seems that dietary fiber does not reduce the risk of colon cancer after all. An analysis of 13 studies, involving more than 725,000 European and North American adults, found that when other factors—such as red meat consumption and alcohol intake—were accounted for, there was very little effect from a high-fiber diet. The authors of the review, which was published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, cited biases, inconsistent definitions of the types of fiber and the failure to account for other factors in earlier studies that had established a link. "Although high dietary fiber intake may not have a major effect on the risk of colorectal cancer, a diet high in dietary fiber from whole plant foods can be advised because this has been related to lower risks of other chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes," they wrote.

Exporters juiced over American market
A severe shortage of organic raw materials is causing producers to source their ingredients from overseas, according to a December report by Organic Monitor, a provider of business intelligence on the organics industry. The company estimates that more than $1.5 billion worth of organic fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans and herbs are being imported, compared with only $150 million in American exports of organic foods. "Nearly all market sectors would grow at much higher rates if sufficient supply was available," the report said. Because of shortages, one organic orange juice maker has decided to withdraw from the market, according to the report. While the hurricanes in Florida had a severe short-term impact, the report attributes much of the organic undersupply to a dearth of organic farmers. "Unless more American farmers consider converting to organic practices, exporters are likely to capitalize on this lucrative market."

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 2/p. 24

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