What Every Restaurant Should Know About Going Gluten-free (Infographic)

The gluten-free market is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. Studies show that 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. would like to reduce gluten from their diet or eliminate it altogether. Just a few years ago, most individuals had not even heard the term “gluten-free.” Now, one sees gluten-free options in most grocery stores and restaurants across the nation. A testament to this increase, US Foods reported a 200 percent increase in demand for gluten-free foods since 2009.

But make no mistake; eating gluten-free is much more than just a trend. While it is a choice for some, it is a health requirement for others. Those diagnosed with celiac disease have no alternative but to eat foods made without gluten. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by consuming the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is estimated that the gluten-free diet is a necessity for an astounding 21 million Americans, despite many of them remaining undiagnosed.

This is a very important audience for restaurants to reach. With roughly a third of Americans seeking to eat gluten-free, adding these options to the restaurant’s menu can draw in a whole new crowd. Restaurants who add gluten-free items to their menu see, on average, an eight percent increase in sales. It makes sense that gluten-free mentions on menus have increased 275 percent from 2009 to 2012. Restaurants are starting to get it.

Still, there remains a problem. Around 96 percent of chefs and restaurateurs polled could not correctly answer four basic questions about gluten-free/containing foods. If neither the owner nor the ones preparing food in restaurants understand the difference, this could mean serious trouble for their customers with celiac disease.

In this infographic, the folks at PizzaMarketplace.com explore the need for gluten-free options in restaurants along with a list of steps restaurant operators should take when starting their own gluten-free programs. The infographic also offers gluten-free substitution ideas for some common gluten-filled foods like soy sauce, bread crumbs, flour, and wheat crackers. Check out the infographic to learn more about this important issue.

gluten free infographic

via Pizza Marketplace

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Survey Results: 50% Believe “Natural” Means No GMOs; Price is the Biggest Barrier to Buying Organic Foods

What factors influence a typical buyer’s decision to buy organic vs conventional foods? How well do consumers understand the differences between food marketed as organic vs those marketed as natural? These are questions we hoped to answer in our “Organic & Natural Foods” survey of 206 US consumers.

After compiling and analyzing the survey data, I’m pleased to report that it reveals some very interesting facts. In this blog post I will present the most notable conclusions we’ve been able to draw from the data.

1) 50% of respondents believe that “natural” foods don’t contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
While organic foods are required to be GMO-free, there is no such requirement for natural foods. In fact, there isn’t even a requirement that GMO ingredients be disclosed on the label.

2) When asked why they don’t purchase organic foods more frequently, 87% of respondents said “organic foods are too expensive”
“Organic foods are too expensive” (87%) was by far the most popular response, outpacing answers such as “I don’t feel that organic foods are any healthier” (18%), “I can’t find a convenient way to buy the organic foods I want” (26%), and “I don’t feel that organic foods are better than conventionally-grown foods” (19%).

Why don't you purchase organic foods more frequently

3) Nearly the same percentage of respondents with $100K+ annual income said “organic foods are too expensive”
While 87% of overall respondents said “Organic foods are too expensive”, 80% of respondents with $100K+ annual incomes also cited “Organic foods are too expensive” as the reason they don’t buy organic foods more frequently. In short, both high-income and low-income consumers consider organic food to be expensive.

Percentage of respondents who said organic food is too expensive

4) 43% of respondents believe that foods marketed as “natural” must meet strict guidelines set by the USDA.
While there are some explicit rules for foods marketed as “natural”, especially meat, the term “natural” is an ambiguous one. The USDA does not provide as strict guidelines for “natural” as they do for “organic”.

5) 33% of respondents believe that natural foods are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or sprays.
While organic foods are required to be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or sprays, foods sold as natural are different. Natural foods may be grown with synthetic pesticides or sprays, and the majority of them are.

Which are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or sprays

6) Respondents who purchase organic foods “Often” or “Nearly Always” were not significantly better educated regarding GMOs.
Of respondents who said they purchase organic foods “Often” or “Nearly Always”, 41% believe that natural foods don’t contain GMOs. However, these respondents were better educated on the difference between natural and organic – 0% of them believed that foods marketed as “natural” must meet strict guidelines set by the USDA.

Percentage of respondents who believe natural foods are GMO-free

Percentage of respondents who believe natural foods must meet struct USDA guidelines

Interesting: Where did survey respondents live?
Our survey didn’t have enough responses from each state to make the below data significant, but it’s still interesting.

Overall:

Frequent organic food buyers:

Survey Notes
Data was collected from 206 US consumers via an online survey administered by Survey Monkey. Survey participants were compensated for completing the survey, and a platform with a broad demographic user base was used to reduce self-selection bias. (In simple terms, survey respondents represented a diverse group of consumers, not just organic food aficionados.) To maintain data integrity, the sponsoring company and survey purpose were not disclosed to respondents.

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27 Reasons To Choose Food Grown Using Organic, Sustainable Farming Methods

According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic food products in the USA have grown from just $1 billion in 1990 to a whopping $26.7 billion in 2010. With promoters that include The Prince of Wales, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Julia Roberts, there’s no doubt that organic is in-style. But what are the actual benefits?

Here are 27 scientific reasons organic, sustainable farming methods are better. Better for the environment, for you and your family, and for farm animals.

Better For Our Environment

1) Non-organic agriculture pollutes our water sources
The EPA reports that “agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the leading source of water quality impacts on surveyed rivers and lakes, the second largest source of impairments to wetlands, and a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and groundwater.”

2) Chemical pesticide runoff can accumulate in fish
According to the National Library of Medicine, “pesticides in runoff can accumulate in fish, which can expose people who eat the fish to high levels of these chemicals.”

3) Pesticides and other chemicals can contaminate groundwater
According to a brochure from the University of Missouri-Columbia, pesticides can accumulate in groundwater, which can harm wildlife, crops, animals, and humans.

Pesticides kill an estimate 72 million birds per year.

4) Chemical pesticides kill birds
The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 72 million birds are killed by pesticides in the United States each year.

5) Fertilizer runoff is a primary contributor to dead-zones in the ocean
Scientists have found about 200 “dead zones” in the ocean – areas where marine life (including fish) has difficulty living. Scientists blame agricultural runoff as one of the main causes.

6) Organic farms have more abundant wildlife
A review of scientific studies found that organic farms are host to 50% more wildlife than their non-organic counterparts.

Soil in the US is being washed away about 10x as fast as it is being replenished. Organic and sustainable farming methods significantly reduce soil erosion.

7) Organic and sustainable farming methods reduce erosion
According to a Cornell University study, The United States is losing soil 10 times faster than the natural replenishment rate. USDA organic standards require the use of methods that reduce erosion on farm land.

8) Organic and sustainable farming methods improve soil quality
A panel of scientists at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science concluded that “growing body of sophisticated research” allows us to conclude that “organically farmed soils display improved soil health.”

9) Conserve energy and fossil fuels
Organic farming uses about 30% less energy that conventional farming methods.

10) Many of the worst environmental pollutants are chemical pesticides
8 of the 12 most dangerous persistent organic pollutants (chemicals that don’t break down, and so pose a long term threat to the environment) are pesticides.

11) Save the bees!
Bees and other pollinators are declining around the world, in part due to pesticides.

12) Science shows organic farms foster a much healthier ecosystem
Studies show that organic fields have deeper vegetation, more weed cover, and contain 88% more ‘epigeal arthropods’ (squiggly soil creatures such as earthworms).

13) Organic farms have richer plant and wildlife populations
A report by Britain’s Soil Association shows that wildlife is substantially richer and more varied on organic farms than on conventional farms. A typical organic field has five times as many wild plants, 57% more species, and 44% more birds in cultivated areas than a regular farm.

Better For You And Your Family

14) Reduce children’s exposure to toxic chemicals
A University of Washington study found that children fed a diet of organic foods were exposed to six to nine times less toxic pesticides than children fed a conventional diet.

15) Better tasting food
While taste is subjective and influenced by many factors, organic, sustainable foods often taste better, due to richer soil, varieties chosen for flavor instead of storage, and other factors.

16) More nutrients
Sustainable farming practices means foods are grown on healthier soil, varieties are chosen for flavor and nutritional value, and foods are harvested when fully ripe and processed to maintain flavor and nutrition. While choosing organic doesn’t guarantee higher nutrient content, organically grown foods often contain more nutrition, and science backs this up.

17) Eat foods without pesticides
USDA tests show that 63% of product samples have detectable pesticide residues.

18) Reduce your child’s risk for certain health problems
Several studies have found that children exposed to certain agricultural chemicals may have a higher risk for learning and memory deficits, and ADD.

19) Avoid genetically modified foods
Numerous scientific studies suggest that genetically modified foods may be harmful to the environment and human health. Certified organic foods are GMO-free.

20) No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
Organic foods are not allowed to contain artificial ingredients. Artificial food additives have been linked to certain health issues.

Better For Animals

Organic farming means raising animals in a healthy, natural, free-range environment.

21) Sustainable farming means that animals are treated humanely
Organic farms don’t crowd animals in small cages or pens where they can be exposed to high levels of manure and toxins.

22) Animals have access to fields/free range
Organic cows are required by USDA guidelines to be allowed to graze at least 120 days a year.

23) Animals aren’t fed artificial hormones
A study by the European Commission (EC) found that hormones in meat “poses a serious threat to the public, particularly vulnerable groups like pregnant women and prepubertal children.”

24) Animals aren’t fed antibiotics
Scientists have found that administering antibiotics to animals, especially via medicated feed, poses a number or risks to the health of animals, humans, and the environment.

25) Happy, low stress animals means better food
Scientific research has identified links between animals who are treated well and better, safer food.

26) Sustainable breeding
Aggressive breeding of animals to produce more food (milk, eggs, beef, etc) has resulted in animals which are more susceptible to disease. Chickens have been bred to grow so fast their legs are often unable to support them.

27) No inhumane practices
Unsustainable farming practices have led farmers to do things such as remove chicken’s beaks and cow’s tails. Sustainable methods allow animals to live in a natural, humane environment.

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Natural vs. Organic vs. Sustainable Foods

Reading food labels in the grocer’s green aisle can be downright puzzling at times. Food manufacturers compound the issue by throwing all kinds of words at us. Several of the more important labels that you should be familiar with are “natural”, “organic”, and “sustainable”. These words are not synonymous, and actually denote important differences in the way our food products are raised, grown, and treated. A closer look will reveal that a few words can actually make a big difference.

What Does “Natural” Mean?

Out of the three terms, “natural” might be the least meaningful in terms of health or environmental impact. Generally speaking, natural food is simply food that contains no artificial ingredients (such as artificial sweeteners, flavors, etc.). The label “natural” doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about ow the food was grown. Meat from animals treated with artificial hormones may still be labeled as “natural”. Natural foods are sometimes grown on farms that use synthetic pesticides a practice that is distinctly unnatural for the environment and for human longevity. “Natural” is a good start, but stopping at just “natural” isn’t enough.

“Natural” food means:

  • No added synthetic ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, etc.

What Does “Organic” Mean?

Compared to the disappointment of the “natural” label, we see much more meaning in the word “organic.” A food item must meet a detailed set of farming and production requirements set by the USDA in order to be legally considered organic. Organic foods must be free of toxic persistent pesticides and herbicides, foods derived from genetically modified organisms (also known as GMOs), antibiotics, growth hormones, and (thankfully) sludge and irradiation. This is why we see fewer organic foods than natural foods: All organic foods are natural, but few natural foods are genuinely organic.

“Organic” food means:

  • No added synthetic ingredients
  • Grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.
  • No genetically modified organisms
  • Animals must be raised without hormones or antibiotics
  • No irradiation

Be aware that foods labeled “made with Organic” only have to be 70% organic.

What Does “Sustainable” Mean?

The third term, “sustainable,” actually has less to do with ingredients per se, and more to do with how food sources and the environment are treated. While the U.S. government did define the term “sustainable” in 1990, it is a lengthy definition that may leave some room for interpretation. In essence, sustainable food production must “enhance environmental quality,” use nonrenewable resources efficiently, integrate “natural biological cycles and controls,” “sustain the economic viability of farm operations,” and “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.” In many ways, sustainable is more a philosophy or a way of life than a strict, enforceable definition.

“Sustainable” food often means:

  • Grown using methods that benefit the soil, such as composting, crop rotation, mulching, etc.
  • Grown using methods that benefit surrounding land and wildlife
  • Often sold locally and/or direct to consumer to reduce fuel usage and ensure food is fresher
  • Uses sustainable strategies to reduce the need for irrigation and conserve water
  • Animals are raised in a healthy, natural environment
  • Farmers and other parties are paid and treated fairly

Why You Want All 3: Natural, Organic, And Sustainable

The best food of all, however, is all three: natural, organic, and sustainable:

  • Natural means that no artificial ingredients have been added to your food.
  • Organic is a strict legal definition that forbids chemical pesticides, GMOs, etc.
  • Sustainable is a philosophy that means the food was grown while trying to benefit the environment and people.

As you can see, defining these terms can help us to make informed decisions and feel more assured about our food choices. As consumers, our job is to stay informed, read labels carefully, and make the effort to support only those products that fit with our values and lifestyle. As for natural, organic, and sustainable food items, we must keep a close eye on the exact phrasings that manufacturers put on their packaging. After all, making good food choices begins with checking the word choices.

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Drought in America: 12-Week Animation

Judging by this animation of the current US drought, farmers from coast to coast are struggling mightily against Mother Nature’s stingy grip on precipitation.

Source: University of Nebraska’s Drought Monitor

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Baby Greens Salad With Goji Berry Vinaigrette

If you’re looking for a meal that is filling, nutritious and low in calories, you won’t find anything better than greens. Spinach, kale, collards, and different types of lettuce are among some of the most nutritious foods you can eat calorie wise. High in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, most greens have an astonishingly low calorie count — around 20 calories per cup. This is why salads are always labeled diet foods; you can eat a lot of it and not be hungry.

Of course, no one wants to eat a big bowl of raw greens without dressing, and most commercial dressings are high in fat and calories, but offer little in the way of nutrition. Not so with this goji berry vinaigrette. It’s easy to put together and made from ingredients that are good for you like heart healthy olive oil and of course goji berries, which are super high in antioxidants, as well as surprise – protein – to round out your big bowl of greens in a way that is flavorful and nutritious.

Navitas Naturals Organic Goji Berries are dried berries that are great for snacking, but also easy to use in recipes such as this salad dressing. Slightly sweet and a bit tart, it’s the perfect compliment to balance out bitter greens. You can mix and match your choice of toppings, using various nuts, or fruits and even add a bit of cheese (blue or goat would be nice), but for a simple and easy meal that will fill you up without weighing you down, this salad will do it. Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. Just shake up and you’re ready to go!

Baby Green Salad with Goji Berry Vinaigrette
Serves 2

6 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup organic goji berries, plus more for sprinkling

Put the apple cider vinegar and goji berries in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until berries are plumped and soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the honey. Blend until smooth and slowly drizzle in the oil. Blend until creamy.

To the baby greens with the blueberries, onions and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and more goji berries and serve immediately.

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25 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Also Farmers

Sometimes called the world’s second oldest profession, farming has been the career of choice for countless individuals over the millenia. Among these countless farmers you’ll find heads of state, royalty, actors, and other renowned individuals who made contributions to the history of both farming and mankind.

While all of the 25 farmers-turned-famous highlighted in this article were not proponents of organic methods, we’ve highlighted several that did promote organic agriculture and other sustainable practices. Enjoy!

James Cagney was a farmer

James Cagney

Perhaps most remembered for smashing a grapefruit into the face of Mae West in The Public Enemy, James Cagney was a passionate farmer, owning one each on the east and west coasts where he bred and raised cattle and horses. Cagney was also interested in soil conservation, lecturing on the subject when awarded an honorary degree from Rollins College.

Soil conservation is more than a hobby with Cagney. It is a passionate preoccupation. In the east, he is forever wrestling with problems and devices for replenishing the bleached-out soil on his farm so that his prize breed of Highland cattle can get the nourishment to which their forbears in Scotland were accustomed. In California, where he raises trotting horses of the celebrated Morgan strain, his problems are more concerned with providing water for the soil through irrigation.” ~Ottawa Citizen

Orville Redenbacher was Once a Farmer

Orville Redenbacher

You don’t become the king of kernels without some experience in agriculture. Orville, who grew up in Indiana, was raised on a farm, and often sold — can you guess what? — popcorn from a roadside stand. Orville would go on to attend Purdue University, where he was a member of an agriculture-focused fraternity and earned a degree in agronomy.

Sam Houston was Once a Farmer

Sam Houston

Though Sam Houston, arguably Texas’ most famous historical figure, was never quite fond of farming (he may have even run away from home to avoid it!), he was in fact a farmer, living his first 16-years alongside his 8 siblings in the fields of Virginia and Tennessee, where he very often had to be drug back to the fields after wandering off in boredom.

Thomas Jefferson was Once a Farmer

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, Founding Father and 3rd President of the United States, was very much an experimental farmer, one who focused on scientific agriculture techniques. His farm, a 5,000 acre plantation named Monticello, served as a source of food for his family and as a form of laboratory. Jefferson is reported to have experimented with over 300 varieties of more than seventy species of vegetables from all around the world and also experimented with growing fruit, choosing to focus on pears, plums, almonds, and apricots.

“From breakfast, or noon at the latest, to dinner, I am mostly on horseback, attending to my farm or other concerns, which I find healthful to my body, mind, and affairs.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Isaac Newton was Once a Farmer

Isaac Newton

Another rebellious soul, Sir Isaac Newton was born into a farming family, his father a prosperous farmer by the same name (minus the Sir of course). Luckily, for science, Sir Isaac Newton ditched his hoe and began focusing on academia.

Prince Charles was Once a Farmer

The Prince of Wales

Scientist farmers, Commander in Chief farmers, Hollywood farmers, and yes, even royal farmers. Prince Charles, a passionate advocate of organic farming, converted the Duchy home farm to a completely organic system in the mid-80s to showcase both its environmental and commercial benefits.

“Capitalism ultimately depends on capital, but our capital depends on nature’s capital. The two are in fact inseparable.” ~Prince Charles

Bob Evans was Once a Farmer

Bob Evans

Best known for the pork sausage found on the menus of his self-named restaurants, Bob Evans was also a champion of nature conservation for over 40 years, encouraging his fellow farmers to utilize more efficient grazing techniques that are better for the environment. He was honored three times by the National Wildlife Federation for his efforts.

Johnny Cash was Once a Farmer

Johnny Cash

At the age of 5, Johnny Cash began working and singing in the cotton fields alongside his family. The family farm, 20 acres of cotton and other seasonal crops, was flooded on at least two occasions and even inspired Cash to write “Five Feet High and Rising.”

Eddie Albert and Tom Lester were Once Farmers

Eddie Albert and Tom Lester of Green Acres

These two turned out to be perfect cast members for Green Acres. Eddie Albert, who played the lead role, Oliver Wendell Douglas, an accomplished lawyer from New York who moved to the countryside to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a farmer, was an advocate of organic farming and actually influenced Tom Lester, the glib, oft-aloof “Eb Dawson,” to take up organic farming as well.

I grew up on a farm, and now I own it. Eddie Albert got me involved in organic farming.” ~Tom Lester

“Albert was also very involved in organic farming and gardening, as evidenced by the crops that could be found at his Amalfi home in the front and back yards. Depending on the season, he grew tomatoes, radishes, beets, carrots, chives, rosemary, and even tall rows of corn. Albert took his farming skills to the inner-city in the 1970′s, establishing City Children’s Farms in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and many other cities.” ~Pacific Palisades Post

Henry Clay was Once a Farmer

Henry Clay

The “Great Compromiser,” as he was known, Henry Clay was perhaps the greatest senator (Kentucky) in U.S. history, serving three terms as Speaker of the House and even a stint as Secretary of State. However, despite Clay’s obvious political prowess, he preferred spending his time on the farm and practiced a scientific method of agriculture, developing his estate into a model of progressive farming. Clay’s agrarian passion also included breeding and raising cattle.

Ulysses S. Grant was Once a Farmer

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and the most famous general of the Civil War, was also a farmer, having tended 60 acres worth of land just outside St. Louis from 1858-1865. Luckily for Americans, he was a failure at farming, which lead to a career in the military and his eventual Presidency.

Roseanne Barr was Once a Farmer

Roseanne Barr

Though she only recently began farming, Roseanne chose to make a reality television show out of her organic macadamia nut farming venture. Unfortunately, Roseanne’s Nuts, the title of the show, was short-lived, only lasting from July to September of 2011 before Lifetime chose to cancel it.

“I’m a farmer now, and it’s fantastic… My goal is to be totally self-sufficient and grow everything that I eat. There’s something about earning your dinner that’s cool… I got the fame and the fortune that I always wanted. But I have to say what I have now, it’s even better.” ~Roseanne Barr

Wendell Berry was Once a Farmer

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is a man of elegant words, an intellectual responsible for more than forty books of fiction, poetry and essays. An activist against war and other social end economic issues, Wendell has been farming the same hillside acreage for forty years, a plot of land that’s been in his family’s hands since the 1800s.

“We need a 50-year farm bill that addresses forthrightly the problems of soil loss and degradation, toxic pollution, fossil-fuel dependency and the destruction of rural communities.” ~Wes Jackson & Wendell Berry

“If you impose this program (National Animal Identification System) on the small farmers, who are already overburdened, you’re going to have to send the police for me. I’m 75 years old. I’ve about completed my responsibilities to my family. I’ll lose very little in going to jail in opposition to your program – and I’ll have to do it. Because I will be, in every way that I can conceive of, a non-cooperator.” ~Wendell Berry

Harry Truman was Once a Farmer

Harry Truman

Another President with farming experience, Harry S. Truman lived and worked on his family’s Missouri farm from 1906-1917, quitting his job as a banker at the age of twenty-two to do so. Though he would eventually sell the farm and return to the city, the farm vote was largely responsible for him becoming President.

“…All sorts of wagers were made that I wouldn’t stay over ten days–two weeks–a month–a year at the outside. I stayed ten years…. I thought maybe by cussing mules and plowing corn I could perhaps overcome my shyness and amount to something.” ~Harry Truman

“A riding plow gives one a chance to think of all the meanness he ever did and all he ever intends to do. I have memorized a whole book while plowing forty acres.” ~Harry Truman

Benjamin Franklin was Once a Farmer

Benjamin Franklin

Though Benjamin spent most of his time in the city, he was incredibly passionate about agriculture, which he called “the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground in the kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” Throughout his life, he promoted the distribution of agricultural knowledge and products between nations, wrote several books and essays on the subject of agriculture and was responsible for introducing Scotch kale, Swiss barley, Chinese rhubarb, and kohlrabi to America from Europe.

“There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Catherine Hagel was Once a Farmer

Catherine Hagel

Catherine Hagel, an American woman, was once the third-oldest validated person in the world. She lived to the age of 114, but what you may find even more interesting is that she farmed until the age of 100!

“Hagel’s husband died in 1966 at age 74. Hagel remained on the 40-acre farm until 14 years ago — 20 years after her family first tried to persuade her to leave…” ~Star Tribune

Jimmy Carter was Once a Farmer

Jimmy Carter

The son of a peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter’s connection with farming began at a young age. In high school, Jimmy became a member of Future Farmers of America and later joined the Naval Academy. While in the military, Jimmy’s father passed away and the future President was forced to resign his naval commission in order to return with his family to Georgia and take over the family peanut farm. Carter quickly made a success of his late father’s business, soon after becoming governor of Georgia and eventually the 39th President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“I started out when I was five years old, going out to my father’s field and pulling peanuts up out of the ground.” ~Jimmy Carter

Francis Marion was Once a Farmer

Francis Marion

Considered the father of guerrilla warfare, Francis Marion, or the “Swamp Fox,” served in the American Revolutionary War, wreaking havoc on the British in their attempts to occupy South Carolina. However, prior to becoming a war hero, Francis Marion joined the crew of a ship and headed to the West Indies. Disaster struck when a whale rammed their schooner, forcing Marion and the rest of the crew onto a smaller boat. Unable to fetch any food or water from the ship prior to it sinking, they remained at sea for six days before finally reaching the safety of land. Needless to say, young Francis, only fifteen-years-old at the time, quickly returned to South Carolina and took up farming before solidifying his place in history.

Jim Bechtel was Once a Farmer

Jim Bechtel

Winner of the 1993 Main Event at the World Series of Poker, Jim Bechtel earned $1,000,000, a fortune for the typical cotton farmer, which is just what he was when he entered his first WSOP in 1979, finishing 2nd in the $1,500 no limit Texas hold ‘em event. Jim’s career earnings now exceed a whopping $2,500,000.

Magnus Samuelsson was Once a Farmer

Magnus Samuelsson

Perhaps the most successful strongman competitor in history, Magnus Samuelsson has made it to the World’s Strongest Man podium five times and was once the champion. Some of Magnus’ other feats include breaking a man’s arm en route to a European arm wrestling championship, winning Sweden’s version of Dancing with the Stars, and competing in a World Rally Championship event, where he finished 35th of 55. To top it all off, he’s a full-time dairy farmer.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was Once a Farmer

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was a 5-star general in the United States Army and also its 34th President. During World War II, Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and was responsible for supervising the invasion of North Africa along with the invasion of France and Germany from the Western Front. Like many Presidents before him, Ike, as he was also known, came from a family of farmers. In 1950, just a few years before becoming President, Eisenhower returned to his roots, purchasing a farm adjacent to the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The farm was plagued by poor, worn out soil, which the soon-to-be President considered the perfect testing ground for his life-long interest in soil conservation.

“I tell all the same thing—I just want to be a one mule farmer in Virginia or Georgia or Tennessee.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Richard Pearse was Once a Farmer

Richard Pearse

Richard William Pearse was a New Zealand farmer and inventor who, according to witnesses, beat the Wright brothers to flight when he flew and landed his plane on March 31st, 1903, nine months prior to the Wright brothers’ own historic flight.

“Pearse’s designs and achievements remained virtually unknown beyond the few who witnessed them, and they had no impact on his contemporary aviation designers. However, his concepts had much in common with modern aircraft design, and others later implemented these concepts without knowing of Pearse’s efforts. As a result some have described Pearse as a man ahead of his time.”

“Pearse must be the first and the only aviator who had at that time designed his own unique internal combustion engine; and designed his own aircraft (pre-dating the microlight by about seventy years).” ~Geoff Rodliffe

Vaughan Smith was Once a Farmer

Vaughan Smith

Vaughn Smith, founder of Frontline Television News, once a collective of freelance video journalists, made his name capturing footage of wars and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, and more. He holds the distinction of being the only person to capture uncontrolled footage of the Gulf War, when he bluffed his way into an active duty role while dressed as a British officer in 1991. Presently, Smith owns and operates the Frontline Club, a London institution which aims to champion independent journalism and provide insight concerning international news and its coverage. The club boasts a restaurant that Vaughn keeps stocked with produce from his mixed organic farm, a farm which has been in his family’s care for over three centuries.

“Nowhere else within 100 miles sources raw materials from its own farm, offers wines at not much above retail prices, and has a chef who puts his heart into every dish.”

“All our animals are free range and naturally reared. Sources for ingredients that we cannot supply ourselves are carefully considered: we support small high-quality independent producers such as artisanal cheesemakers, a forager and various producers within Borough Market. All of the fish we serve is caught sustainably from day boats off the southwest coast of England..”

Oliver Cromwell was Once a Farmer

Oliver Cromwell

One of the most polarizing figures in English history, Oliver Cromwell was responsible for overthrowing the English monarchy and instituting a republic in 1649. Though the Commonwealth of England was short-lived, it remains the only time in English history that the country was ruled by someone other than a king or queen. Some English consider Cromwell a hero (royalists obviously do not). The Dutch, however, who were allies of the English until Cromwell took England to war against them, consider him a power hungry usurper. He also brutally conquered Ireland and Scotland, “uniting” the three countries with himself as dictator for life, leaving the Irish and Scots with little good to say about England’s Lord Protector. Prior to solidifying himself in world history, Cromwell was your typical commoner, a struggling tenant farmer who kept chickens and sheep, selling their eggs and wool to support himself. He certainly would not have been remembered for that.

“I would have been glad to have lived under my wood side, and to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than to have undertaken this government.” ~Oliver Cromwell

Howard Graham Buffett was Once a Farmer

Howard Graham Buffett

Howard Buffett, a corn and soybean farmer, is the eldest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffet and his designated successor. An advocate of no-till conservation, his thesis, The Partnership of Biodiversity and High-Yield Agricultural Production, was published by Harvard in 1996. Mr. Buffett also founded the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, an organization that aims to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished nations through agricultural resource development for smallholder and subsistence farmers.


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Healthy LOLs: 10 Health-Related Comics & Funny Pictures

I thought you knew what you were doing!?

Back in the good ol’ days…

The real goal of medication…

(Source: eFunnyCartoons)

I thought the idea was to exercise more, not less…

How NOT to live a long and healthy life…

I don’t think that means what you think it means!

(Source: BC)

30 minutes on the bike…

(Source: icanhascheezburger)

That’s one way to get exercise

(Source: Jerry King)

You might be lazy if…

The scale knows…it knows…

(Source: Cubunga)

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Grocery Store Wars – The Dark Side Of Your Grocery Store

Your grocery store has been invaded by the dark side – foods grown using unsustainable methods, genetically modified foods, and toxic pesticides. Can Cuke Skywalker restore harmony?

Learn the ways of the farm and join the Organic Rebellion today!

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Welcome to the ViJuvenate Blog

Welcome to our blog.

The team here at ViJuvenate will post regular articles here on topics such as:

  • Organic food – news, tips, and scientific research about eating healthy.
  • Farming – articles on organic and conventional farming…it’s good to know where your food comes from!
  • Healthy cooking – recipes and how-to’s on cooking fabulously healthy and tasty foods.
  • Our products – learn more about the products we sell.
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