Top 10 Food Trends This Year > Natural & Organic Is In

The Sterling Rice Group has identified the top food trends for 2013 when it comes to food and beverages.  Based in Boulder, The Sterling Rice Group collected data from food industry experts and trade shows in order to identify emerging trends in the organic and natural food space.  Remember that organic and natural DO NOT mean healthy.  Actually, most of these top 2013 food and beverage trends are not very healthy at all.  We probably will try them but just as a taste test.  The list of the top 10 natural and organic food trends for this year include:


Simply Originals’ Chicha Morada drink that’s made from purple maize


#1 | South American Super Foods

We’ve already heard of maqui and maca, but the next new food trend for this year will simply be South American super foods incorporated into everything from beverages spipked with purple maize to snacks with acerola cherries, maca powder and maqui fruit.


The Cookie Department “fully functional cookies,” fortified with probiotics and other ingredients that claim to detoxify and enhance your immune system.


ProYo frozen yogurt that touts 20 grams of protein per tube

#2 | Nutritional Desserts

Desserts have always been considered ‘unhealthy’ but they are addictive.  Now, companies are trying to promote the ‘nutritional’ desserts.  Remember that nutritional does not mean healthy either.  However, these wide array of functional desserts will try to tempt your taste buds and at the same time, give you an added nutritional blast.  From probiotics to detoxification and from added protein to fiber, these nutritional desserts will likely be one of the fastest growing food trends this year.


PB Crave nut butters


NuttZo is a peanut-free spread that contains a variety of nuts and seeds mixed with dark chocolate and other flavors.

#3 | Nut Butter

We’ve all tasted and fell in love with Nutella, the first true nut based butter/spread.  However, other nut butters are being launched very quickly and is becoming one of the top 10 food trends this year.  With a dazzling mix of flavours that includes berries, banana, cacao, nuts, honey and seeds, these ‘flavored’ nut butters add a bit of variety to the traditional peanut butter.


Simply Protein chips

#4 | Allergen Free Alternative Proteins

A growing trend in the snack space are high protein plant based snack foods that promote satiety boosters and are a great alternative to soy and dairy based products.  Another growing food trend in 2013 for these allergen free alternative proteins are gluten free products.


faux grilled chicken strips from Beyond Meat

#5 | Vegan and Vegetarian Meat Products

As more consumers are turning towards vegetarianism or veganism, another top 10 food trend for 2013 are high-tech mock meats.  From pea protein to soybean products and even quinoa and quorn meatless grounds, this seems to be a trend that will be proliferating into more product categories in the next year.


Mamma Chia “vitality” beverage line that “seed your soul.”

#6 | Bubble Tea for the Western World

Another food trend for natural and organic beverages are chewy type drinks.  Much like Bubble Tea from Taiwan, the new Western chewy beverages incorporate superfoods like chia, flax or kombucha to give you a bit of a bite.  They also try to make you feel full so that’s probably another marketing angle for weight loss diet.


Top 10 Food Trends This Year includes  Blk Fulvic Acid Water by Headlines & Heroes on flickr

#7 | Fortified Upscale Water

If VOSS or Vitamin Water wasn’t enough, another top 10 beverage trend of 2013 are fortified, high-end upscale water.  The newest one on the shelves is BLK which is made of highly alkaline fulvic acid that provides a black hue to the fortified water.  It promises to counteract the acidity from processed foods and meats.  Wow, why not just eat better to begin with?


Sneakz makes flavored milk drinks for kids with “a full serving of veggies” in every box, including carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
Earth Chips Cheezy Kale and Chocolate Kale

#8 | More Salad Green Products That Aren’t Salads

Another top 10 food trend this year is the use of leafy greens in various drinks, snacks and sweets.  We all know that both kale and arugula in addition to spinach and swiss chard are some of the most amazingly dense superfoods.  Now, consumers can enjoy a ‘full serving of veggies’ from a box.  Like it or not, healthy or not, these are definitely here.


Turmeric-based beverages are billed as yoga in a bottle


Neuro Bliss is a lightly carbonated beverage with added vitamins that claims to reduce stress and improve concentration.

#9 | Beverages with Higher Order Benefits

Not just functional (like heart health and weight loss), these new beverage lines will tap into your deep emotions, proclaiming high-order benefits such as calmness, inner peace and clarity.  Some of the new ingredients that will help consumers achieve this is turmeric based beverages.


Powerful Yogurt, billed as “the first yogurt in the U.S. designed for a man’s health and nutrition needs.”  This male-oriented Greek yogurt contains 20-25 grams of protein per cup, and like other wholesome dude food, the yogurt features dark, bold packaging  to appeal to the male esthetic
Tanka Bars that are made with buffalo and dried fruit.

#10 | Natural and Organic Foods Targeted Towards Men

From increased protein and fiber content to testosterone boosters, these brands and health foods targeted towards men follows the hugely successful foray of brands into the female product space.

UPDATE > The Organic Industry Chart > Who Owns Organic Brands?

Just Add Good Stuff recently published an article about how organic brands are being acquired by large conglomerate companies.  The original chart was published in 2002 and updated in June 2009 by Phil Howard, a respected professor of Agriculture at Michigan State University.  Since then, the Organic Food Industry Chart 2013 has been published.  And here are the scary findings.


As noted previously, many of today’s ‘organic brands’ are not independent.  On the contrary, our organic industry has been completely transformed through the acquisition of organic companies by larger conglomerates.  This is happening at a frightening pace and it’s surely not going to stop any time soon.  Here are the latest acquisitions of organic brands by conglomerates worldwide as outlined in the May 2013 Organic Food Industry Chart by Phil Howard.


PEPSI purchased Naked Juice in November 2006.

COCA-COLA purchased Odwalla in 2001 for $181 million and Honest Tea for $43 million (40% equity) in February 2008 and then full 100% equity in March 2011.

NESTLE purchased Sweet Leaf Tea in May 2011 and Tribe Mediterranean Foods for $57 million in September 2008 through the Israeli subsidiary Osern Group in which Nestle has 50.1% equity stake.

DEAN FOODS purchased Horizon Foods in July 1998 with 13% equity stake and 100% equity for $216 million in January 2004.  In April 1999, Horizon bought out The Organic Cow of Vermont (now under Dean Foods).  Also, Dean purchased Alta Dena in May 1999 and White Wave/Silk in May 2002 for $189 million in May 2013.

MONDELEZ (formerly a division of KRAFT) bought out Green & Black’s in January 2010 and Boca Foods in February 2000.  They also own 100% equity in Back to Nature in September 2003 but in August 2012 they sold a majority stake to Brynwood Partners.

PERDUE FARMS bought Coleman Natural (May 2011) which owns Petaluma/Rosie (January 2002), Hans (August 2003), Draper Valley Farms (August 2007).

DIAMOND FOODS bought Kettle in February 2010 for $615 million.

MILLER-COORS bought out Crispin in February 2012 which owns Fox Barrel (January 2010).

HILLSHIRE BRANDS (formerly Sara Lee) bought Aidell’s Sausage for $87 million in May 2011.

JAB/D.E. MASTER BLENDERS (formerly Sara Lee) bought Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $1 billion in August 2012 and Tea Forte in January 2012.

HERSHEY FOODS owns Dagoba as of October 2006.

SNYDER’S-LANCE owns Late July in a minority stake purchase in December 2007.

CAMPBELL SOUP CO. owns Wolfgang Puck (July 2008) and bought Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion in July 2012.

M&M MARS bought Seeds of Change in 1997.

CONAGRA bought Lightlife in July 2000 and RALCORP (private label organic foods) for $6.8 billion in November 2012.  Ralcorp also bought Lovin Oven and Bloomfield Bakers for $140 million in March 2007.

GENERAL MILLS bought LaraBar in June 2008, Food Should Taste Good in February 2012, Cascadian Farm in December 1999 which owned Muir Glen back in March 1998.

TREEHOUSE FOODS bought Naturally Fresh for $25 million in March 2012 and Sturm Foods for $660 million in December 2009.

POST FOODS (spinoff from Ralcorp in 2012) owns New Morning and Erewhon as of January 2013 and bought Hearthside Foods (cereal division) in May 2013 for $158 million.  Hearthside bought Willamette Valley Granola in May 2010 and Peace Cereal and Golden Temple in September 2011.

FOSTER FARMS bought Humboldt Creamery in August 2009 for $19.5 million.

JOHN B. SANFILIPPE & SEN bought Orchard Valley Harvest in May 2010 for $29.5 million.

DANONE (Dannon) bought 92% equity stake in Happy Family in May 2013 plus Stoneyfield in October 2001 (40% equity) and January 2004 (85% majority equity).  Stonyfield also owns Brown Cow (February 2003).  In November 2009, Stonyfield brand licensed to CROPP (Organic Valley) for fluid milk.

J&J SNACK FOODS bought Kim & Scott’s for $7.9 million in June 2012.

J.M. SMUCKER bought Millstone in November 2008, Santa Cruz Organic in 1989 and R.W. Knudsen in 1984.

KELLOGG bought Bear Naked and Wholesome & Hearty for $122 million back in November 2007.  They also bought Kashi in June 2000 and Morningstar Farms/Natural Touch in November 1999 for $307 million.

AB INBEV bought Goose Island for $38.8 million in March 2011.

MAPLE LEAF FOODS owns CANADA BREAD CO. (90% equity stake) which owns Olafson’s Baking Co (July 2002).

CARGILL formed an alliance with French Meadow to develop nutritionally enhanced ingredients in May 2002.  French Meadow is controlled by RICH PRODUCTS CORP (July 2006).  In addition, Cargill formed a joint marketing agreement with Meyer Natural Foods in June 2010.  Meyer owns Dakota Beef (December 2010).

HAIN CELESTIAL and CARGILL formed an alliance to develop nutritionally enhanced ingredients in August 2003.  Hain Celestial owns the following organic brands: Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy Dream (December 2002), Celestial Seasonings (March 2000 for $390 million), Westbrae/Westsoy/Little Bear/Bearitos (October 1997 for $23.5 million), TofuTown (June 2007), SunSpire/MaraNatha (March 2008), Walnut Acres (June 2003) which also owns Mountain Sun/ShariAnn’s/Millina’s Finest/Frutti di Bosco, BluePrint (November 2012), Ella’s Kitchen (May 2013), Earth’s Best (September 1999), Nile Spice (December 1998), Spectrum Organics (August 2005 for $33 million), DeBoles/Garden of Eatin’/Arrowhead Mills (April 1998 for $80 million) and Breadshop/Health Valley/Casbah (April 1999 for $80 million).

As you can see from this chart, many of today’s organic brands are now owned and operated by some of the world’s largest food processors and conglomerate chain companies.  This gives the consumer fewer independent organic brands to choose from.  You can also see the change between June 2009 to May 2013, with several notable and very large acquisitions of organic brands in the food industry.


This information is provided by Phil Howard, Associate Professor at Michigan State University.

Sexiest Vegans in the UK for 2013 (PETA)

Sexy and vegan do work together! PETA just announced the sexiest vegans in the UK for 2013! And the winners include 1 woman and 1 guy. The sexiest UK vegan includes Laura Dalton who turned vegetarian when she was 9 years old and then became a vegan at age 18. Toby Channon is the sexiest male vegan in the UK for 2013. A personal trainer for many years, Toby Channon has been vegan for over 4 years and is an avid fundraiser for various charities! The votes were cast through PETA for the UK’s sexiest vegans for this year. According to Mimi Bekhechi, the PETA UK Associate Director, “On average, vegans are healthier and have more energy than meat-eaters do – and that makes them sexier too.”

Turns out the Parenthood hottie has strayed from his meatless diet.
“I’m really flattered to be named ‘Sexiest Vegetarian’ with ‪Kristen Bell, but sadly I can’t accept in good conscience because I eat chicken,” Dax Shepard tweeted this afternoon.
“I was vegan for a year, but that ended 6 months ago. I aspire to be more like Kristen Bell, but I’m not there yet,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
Dax Shepard first took up the veggie lifestyle in January 2012 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives.
Dax Shepard not a vegan

UK's sexiest vegans in 2013 winners
Other entrances into the UK sexiest vegans 2013 competition included: Georgina Bellot of Jersey Channel Islands, Shayna Weisz of Birmingham West Midlands, Amy of Lymington Hampshire, and Laura of Naas Kildare.
UK sexy female vegans
For the men’s sexiest UK vegan side, other notable entries included: Calum Eager, Pendle of Penzance Cornwall and Toby Channon (the winter). Congrats to all of you for adopting a true vegan lifestyle!
Male sexy vegans in the UK

CONSUMER ALERT! 75% of Honey from Supermarkets Are NOT Real Honey!

Experts from the World Health Organization and the Food Safety News have released their latest large scale tests and analysis on US supermarket honey and the figures are scary! According to the latest studies by the Food Safety News, approximately seventy five per cent (yes, that’s 3/4) of ALL HONEY sold at US Supermarkets isn’t real honey after all.

The official definition of ‘real honey’ from the World Health Organization is: real honey MUST contain true microscopic particles of pollen (of course), to be considered real, with an identifiable source. Honey that is void of pollen is therefore, ‘artificial’ or not real honey at all. This artificial honey that is being sold at US grocery stores is watered down and void of most nutrients. According to the Food Safety News study, about 75% of all honey sold in US Supermarkets is ‘artificial’ and is ridiculously over processed, devoid of any nutritional value and sometimes imported and laundered from China and overseas! In many of these cases, the natural and real honey is over heated to high temperatures and high pressure. The real pollen and nutrients are thereby completely forced out of the honey before it is bottled for export to US supermarkets. This technique has been used for decades and is now of great concern. In some cases, the Chinese artificial honey has dangerous amounts of chemicals, antibiotics, preservatives, heavy metals and artificial sweeteners to make it look and taste like honey. However, it’s all artificial honey. If you would like to read more about the Food Safety News study on artificial honey in US grocery stores, please continue reading.


Majority of honey sold in US supermarkets are contiminated with pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and are imported from China after being over heated with all natural pollen stripped out of it


The Honey Investigation by The Food Safety News

Just Add Good Stuff is alarmed by the findings from The Food Safety news in regards to the artificial honey problem in US Supermarkets. The supply chain of honey has been contaminated forever, and it is up to us to make important and educated decisions on what types of honey are safe, and which are not for our families. The Food Safety News started investigating US grocery stores and ended up buying 60 different containers of honey from 10 US states. In addition, to further enlarge their scope of study, they also bought from a wide range of US supermarket chains. All of the containers of so called ‘natural honey’ were sent to Vaughn Bryant, a professor and melissopalynologist specialist at Texas A&M University.

The scary findings by Vaughn Bryant include these and many more:

Fact #1 > 100% (one hundred per cent) of Winnie the Pooh honey sold at Walmart stores had ALL POLLEN REMOVED. There was no trace of natural, nutrient pollen in this container of honey whatsoever. Be careful and eat at your own risk!

Fact #2 > 77% (seventy seven per cent) of various types of honey bought from Target, Sam’s Club and Costco (often referred to as ‘big box stores’) contained ZERO POLLEN. Again, just like the Walmart Winnie the Pooh honey, this product is ‘artificial’ and contains none of the natural nutrients that honey is known for.

Fact #3 > 100% (one hundred per cent) of McDonald’s and KFC honey packets contain NO POLLEN. Just like the above, these are all artificially manufactured honey, which means that the added chemicals, antibiotics and heavy metals are used to mimic what real honey should taste and look like. It’s not real honey whatsoever.

Fact #4 > 100% (one hundred per cent) of honey purchased from CVS Pharmacy and Walgreen’s (two trusted drug stores in the US) contained ZERO POLLEN yet again. All of the natural pollen had been filtered out and heated at extreme temperatures.

However, there was so glimpse of good news in the Vaughn Bryant/The Food Safety study:

Fact #5 > Local honey from Farmer’s Markets, Co-Ops and even Trader Joes contained the FULL AMOUNT OF ORIGINAL POLLEN. These were healthy, natural and organic honey that contained the full amount of nutritional value.


Add fuel to the fire, but we believe that the only reason why natural honey is filtered and heated is to hide where it came from. Both heating and filtering of natural honey costs a lot of money. Plus it diminishes the quality and nutrients of the honey.

Other interesting facts is that the United States as imported over 208 million pounds of honey from overseas in the past 18 months alone. The majority (over 60%) came from Asia… the most of that coming from China. However, the rest of the honey from Asia probably also came through China on its way to our shores and supermarkets. Further studies have shown that many of the imported honey is watered down and contains obscene levels of high fructose corn syrup in addition to lots of other heavy metals, chemicals and illegal sweeteners.

Not only are consumers misinformed about the origins of the artificial honey, but it is also detrimental to your health!

Therefore, in our conclusion, it is of utmost importance that you only purchase locally produced, non-GMO/organic honey. Natural honey in its unaltered, unheated and unfiltered state has many health benefits and is a great option to refined sugars.


The best type of honey is organic honey that is locally produced and gmo free

Here are some of the sources for the facts and figures described in this article: The Food Safety News (, Mother Earth News ( and Food Renegade ( Just Add Good Stuff originally learned about this honey problem through Natural News (

Do you know what’s really inside McDonald’s Fries?

I love McDonald’s French Fries. Their crispy, salty and so easy to eat. Like many of you, I grew up eating McDonald’s fries as a kid. I have so many childhood memories that are directly linked to having McDonald’s fries with friends and family. From ‘super-sizing’ to ‘value meals’ McDonald’s has always done a great job marketing their fries as a great snack, appetizer, main meal and dessert.

So our question to you is: Do you know what’s really inside McDonald’s French Fries? Do you know the ingredients and the nutritional value (or lack of) of these tasty treats? Well, we’ll try to break down what’s really inside McDonald’s fries in this article and we’ll leave you with some frightening and some less scary thoughts and conclusions about our findings.

Plus, McDonald’s French Fries are actually NOT VEGETARIAN food. You’ll see why…



THE INGREDIENTS of McDonald’s Fries (5.4 oz large French Fries)

Here’s a quick rundown of the actual listed ingredients on McDonald’s Fries so that everyone is aware of what’s really inside them:

Vegetable Oil (natural beef flavor*, hydrogenated soybean oil, canola oil)
Citric Acid**
Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate***

In addition, the oil used in the frying technique contains tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).

* The ‘natural beef flavor’ in the vegetable oil ingredient contains both hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as its starting ingredients.
** Citric acid is the preservative for McDonald’s fries
*** Sodium acid pyrophosphate maintains the beautiful color of the French fries



THE NUTRITION FACTS about McDonald’s Fries

Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional value of McDonald’s French Fries:

Calories: 500
Fat: 25 grams
Carbohydrates: 63 grams
Sodium: 350 mg
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 6 grams




In order to get that yummy, crispy, greasy, and addictive taste, McDonald’s fries are double fried before they get onto your plate. These otherwise healthy and starchy potatoes are cut, boiled and fried once before they are even shipped to the restaurants. And then, they are fried once again before they make it into your Happy Meal. By then, they don’t really even resemble potatoes any more.

So what’s really inside McDonald’s fries? Well, the deep frying process gives us a taste of what’s actually in them in order to make them so delicious and addictive.

Dr. Ochner, a respected New York Obesity Nutrition Research Centre research associate, has studied health and nutrition for many years. In the case of the questions: what’s really inside McDonald’s fries, he summarizes the ‘Canola Oil’ ingredient has low grade corn oil or soybean oil. Although ‘healthier’ then some other oils, Dr. Ochner mentions that the canola oil is used in deep frying the McDonald’s fries, which in any circumstance is NOT good for your health. In addition, canola oil (both corn and soybean oils) are very high in calories and if you consume too many McDonald’s fries, you will end up GAINING WEIGHT just from the oil intake itself.

Secondly, the Hydrogenated Soybean Oil comes about through the ‘saturation’ of regular soybean oil. Through a complex and clearly unnatural process called HYDROGENATION, soybean oil changes from unsaturated to saturated fats. Now why is HYDROGENATED Soybean Oil used in McDonald’s French Fries preparation? Well, saturated fats like hydrogenated soybean oil is easier to cook/fry with and in addition, boosts the PRESERVATION time of the fries. What most consumers don’t realize is that saturated fats become TRANS FATS. These unhealthy fats also lead to all sorts of health problems, most notably, heart diseases, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Although the FDA requires ‘zero trans fat per serving’, it really isn’t ZERO. It’s LESS THAN 1 GRAM PER TABLESPOON and through this glaring loophole, McDonald’s is able to serve these unhealthy French Fries without changing the preparation or ingredients.

Thirdly, Citric Acid is used as the preservative for these fries. So when you look at what’s inside McDonald’s fries, it’s actually quite scary. Although citric acid is deemed ‘safe’ for consumption, you can clearly see its effects on preserving McDonald’s French Fries for longer than 2 months as seen in Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock’s amazing 2004 documentary about the Fast Food industry.

Fourthly, Natural Beef Flavor is an ingredient used in the preparation of those yummy McDonald’s French Fries. The name itself is actually quite disturbing to us … what do you think? The history surrounding the ‘natural beef flavour’ is that McDonald’s French Fries used to be cooked in beef fat. That was until beef fat became too expensive and hard to come by. That’s when McDonald’s decided to change to canola oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. In order to keep the delicious ‘beef flavor’, McDonald’s had to concoct a natural beef flavor to RESEMBLE the real thing. The flavoring contains both hydrolyzed milk and hydrolyzed wheat products.

So what are the big ramifications for this switch to ‘natural beef flavor’? Well, McDonald’s fries are actually NOT CONSIDERED VEGETARIAN FOOD anymore! Because of the hydrolyzed wheat and milk products in the natural beef flavoring, McDonald’s was sued in 2002 when members of a Hindu community filed claims that McDonald’s did not disclose how the French Fries were prepared. And guess what? They won a $10 million payout.

Lastly, Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a scary and very effective preservative used in the preparation of McDonald’s French Fries. Remember what Kris Carr always says …. If the food lasts longer than we do, just don’t eat it! Not only that, but recent studies have linked TBHQ to DNA damage through generations as well as stomach ulcers.




Now that we’ve covered the preparation/frying ingredients used in our most beloved fries, here are some details about the other ingredients used in them.

Firstly, Dimethylpolysiloxane is a SILICON product used as an ANTI-FOAMING AGENT before the cut potatoes are shipped. This is used possibly for fewer ‘spill’s and therefore, less clean up. We need to do more research to see if dimethylpolysiloxane is harmful if consumed.

Secondly, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate is another preservative used in McDonald’s fries. This time, it’s used to keep the beautiful golden color. It’s also used in many muffin/pancake mixes, waffles, puddings and cakes and also canned fish, cured meats and flavored milk. Yuk! And remember, if sodium acid pyrophosphate is not used on McDonald’s French Fries, they would turn BLACK within days.

Thirdly, Dextrose is the 3rd ingredient listed, which means that in terms of quantity of ingredients, dextrose comes just after potatoes and oil. As we all know, dextrose is sugar which obviously is used to make us addicted to the fries.


OUR CONCLUSION about What’s Inside McDonald’s Fries

None of the ingredients in McDonald’s French Fries would fit in the Just Add Good Stuff recommendation list. As you know, we are all about raw organic foods that are gluten and dairy free. Having said that, we can also conclude that most of these ingredients in McDonald’s Fries and what’s actually inside them is very UNHEALTHY for ANYONE to consume. These hidden ingredients are actually what makes them so delicious and addictive at the same time.

The processed, non-organic potatoes used in McDonald’s French Fries should already cause alarm bells ringing. Add to it the many preservatives and saturated fats (through highly refined oils) and you have a visit to the hospital. Then, add a dash of sugar and it will keep you coming back for more. Remember that McDonald’s Fries are full of empty calories which means that they won’t fill you up with much nutrients. On the contrary, they will make you crave even more unhealthy saturated, salty and sweet foods.

Having done a study on what’s inside McDonald’s French Fries, we can also conclude that McDonald’s nor it’s fries are the only or worst culprit. There are many other fast food products served that are much worse. These include:

KFC’s Chicken Pot Pie = 790 calories and 45 grams of fat
McDonald’s Angus Bacon & Cheese Burger = 820 calories and 41 grams of fat
Burger King’s Double Whopper = 830 calories and 50 grams of fat

Other ‘healthy alternatives’ are also not very healthy. Take for instance the Hardee’s Gluten Sensitive Low Car Breakfast Bowl which contains 740 calories and 61 grams of fat.

Our recommendation is to gradually take out the bad stuff in your diet and replace them with true whole foods, plant based nutritional foods.


The New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center
Hardee’s: Gluten Sensitive – Low Carb Breakfast Bowl
Burger King: Nutrition Facts
KFC: KFC’s Nutrition Guide
60 Minutes: Is Sugar Toxic?
Morgan Spurlock: Super Size Me
SciVerse: Toxicology of Tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
McDonald’s: McDonald’s History
McDonald’s: McDonald’s Nutrition Facts
Luz Plaza: What’s Really Inside Those McDonald’s French Fries

So Who Do You Think Owns Organic Brands? You would be truly surprised and frightened by who actually OWNS ORGANIC!

We want to let you in on a little secret: buying and eating organic products doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthier or more nutritious. Most of the time, it does. But sometimes, organic brands and organic products are now what they seem to make out to be. Read all about it below:


At Just Add Good Stuff, we always promote self-education and awareness about what actually goes in and on your body. So we would like you to ask yourself … who owns organic? Who actually owns organic brands and who’s behind the clever marketing that is transforming our eating and buying patterns? The truth will scare you… it sure frightened us when we dug a bit deeper into the organics industry and how it is affected by the big conglomerates.


The frightening research that was published by Phil Howard, a respected professor of Agriculture at Michigan State, shows how the organic industry has changed over the past few years. So who owns organic? Did you know that organics and organic brands are now being gobbled up and taken over by the big conglomerates without the consumer even knowing? Well, Phil Howard embarked on researching which organic brands have been bought out and are now controlled by some of the 25 large conventional worldwide food processors.


He produced this Organic Food Industry Chart back in 2002 when the organic industry was at its infancy. This was also the first year in which the USDA first implemented the organic food labeling system/standard. In addition, Phil Howard also published an animated graphic on how the organic sector consolidation has taken place between 1997 and 2007.




Here’s some of his research in the ‘who owns organic’ question in the United States (and globally):

HEINZ is in strategic partnership with HAIN CELESTIAL. Hain Celestial is the maker of many ‘organic brands’ that include Celestial Seasonings, Soy Dream, Rice Dream, Arrowhead Mils, Garden of Eatin’, Spectrum Organics, Earth’s Best and Westsoy. In addition, Hain Celestial controls ShariAnn’s, Little Bear, Westbrae, Mountain Sun, Walnut Acres, Nile Spice, Casbah and Breadshop, which in turn are controlled by Heinz.


KELLOGG owns and controls BEAR NAKED, WHOLESOME & HEARTY (garden burgers), KASHI CEREAL and MORNINGSTAR FARMS (and Natural Touch, makers of many organic veggie burgers and vegetarian/vegan products).

GENERAL MILLS owns both CASCADIAN FARMS (organic produce) and MUIR GLEN (organic canned products).




HERSHEY FOODS owns DAGOBA (organic chocolate).


DEAN FOODS owns WHITE WAVE/SILK (organic soy products), ALTA DENA, HORIZON (maker of top selling organic milk products) and THE ORGANIC COW OF VERMONT.

NESTLE owns TRIBE MEDITERRANEAN FOODS (maker of top selling hummus in the United States).




Now, we’re not concluding that these organic products and fresh organic produce are unsafe, but as a consumer, wouldn’t you want to do more research into how this happened, and whether these so-called organics are truly unaltered, healthier and more nutritious than other brands that these conglomerates own? If these big global companies are buying out all the smaller organic produce and organic brands, they will have complete control over the organic industry… which to us, is quite scary.


There are, however, some independent North American certified organic food brands that are not yet owned by big companies (as of late 2009). These independent organic food brands total more than $25 million worth of annual sales (and growing) which make them likely acquisition targets in the near future. However, right now, here is a list of independent organic brands:

  • Lundberg Family Farms
  • Equal Exchange
  • Nature’s Path
  • Newman’s Own Organics
  • Organic Valley
  • Frontier Natural Products (includes Simply Organic products)
  • Turtle Mountain
  • Golden Temple (includes Yogi Tea and Peace Cereal products)
  • Cedarlane
  • Alvarado Street Bakery
  • Applegate Farms
  • Pacific Natural Foods
  • Clif Bar (also includes Luna Bars)
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Eden Foods
  • Level Ground Trading
  • Alter Ego Chocolate
  • ProBar
  • Galerie au Chocolat

NEWS > Huh? The United States APPROVES more pesticides that cause mass bee deaths BUT the EU BANS these same chemicals

As soon as we read the news headlines here at Just Add Good Stuff, we just couldn’t believe it.  We honestly though it was a late April Fool’s joke.  As the latest reports came out in regards to the mass bee deaths (especially the large scale deaths of honeybees – also known as the Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD) in the world that were directly linked to new crop pesticides and chemicals being delivered to our foods, the public is questioning not only the safety of our food, but also its adverse affects on our complete food chain.


UPDATE: Check out MORE THAN HONEY documentary by Markus Imhoof that was released June 2013.  Watch the trailer here -or- visit the website here. Synopsis: Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of MICROCOSMOS), in flight and in their hives, reveals a fascinating and complex world in crisis.


honey bee feature


For those of us with children, grand children and even great grand children, it’s horrifying to hear about the mass bee deaths and large scale deaths of honeybees reported over four continents in the past few years.  The mass bee deaths are NOT a natural phenomenon, but the global mass bee deaths have been linked DIRECTLY to wide spread use of pesticides and chemicals passed by our own health and agriculture agencies.  These are the same organizations who are suppose to protect the environment and protect our health.  Huh?  What happened?

As mentioned across most news sources, a 2013 report by the United States Department of Agriculture highlights the continuing large scale deaths of honeybees, which are critical to our food chain.  Many environmental groups and the general public are baffled by why and how the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to APPROVE new pesticides that are HIGHLY TOXIC to honeybees.  These same pesticides are linked to what is commonly referred to as the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD and a “honeybee pollination crisis” around the world.

The Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or the mass bee deaths around  the United States alone would highly strain OVER 100 CROPS worth over $200 BILLION GLOBALLY PER YEAR!

The vegetables and fruits that are most susceptible to the global mass bee death caused by the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder would be, APPLES, PLUMS, AVOCADOS AND ZUCCHINIS.

Other secondary crops affected by the mass bee deaths caused by CCD or Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder includes ORANGES, CUCUMBERS, AND OTHER FLOWERING FRUIT TYPES.  These crops are worth even more than the $200 billion globally per year quoted above!




A new USDA (US Department of Agriculture) Report talks about the massive decline of honeybee colonies that is a cause for alarm.  The long term issue is now at a critical stage and is close to being non-reversible if the problem is left too long.  The USDA Report on the massive decline of honeybee colonies does not provide any immediate solutions nor does it explain any direct link.  Here are more facts and figures from the USDA Report on the decline of honeybee colonies in the United States:

In 1947, there were approximately 6 million honeybee colonies in the US.  By 1990, the honeybee colonies plummeted to 3 million in the United States. And by 2013, the honeybee colonies now stand at only 2.5 million in the US.

Commercial honey bee colonies would expect to lose about 10-15% per year, but in the past 5 years (ever since neonicotinoid pesticides have been more prevalent in crops), they have declined dramatically from 28-33% PER YEAR!

The USDA Report cites “multiple factors … including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, drought/environmental factors  and pesticide exposure” as contributing factors to the  massive decline in honeybee colonies in the US.

Local activists and environmentalists believe that the main factor causing the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD are highly toxic chemicals and crop pesticides.  Beyond Pesticides, which is one such group, seems convinced that the insecticide SULFOXAFLOR is directly responsible for the honey bee colony collapse in the United States.  The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency just passed the use of the SULFOXAFLOR pesticide for use on all crops … which many people believe is highly toxic to honey bees.





Hmmm … something doesn’t sit well when there is a discrepancy between how global environmental protection agencies have different views on pesticides and chemicals used in our daily lives.  Just in April 2013, the EU BANNED the use of ALL NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES which includes SULFOXAFLOR which is a “4th generation neonicotinoid”.   This was in the wake of the declining honeybee populations in the European Union member countries.  The 2 year moratorium on NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES including SULFOXAFLOR will be used to study its effects on the honeybee population as well as to learn more about the Colony Collapse Disorder that is currently affecting the EU as well.  Here are more facts and figures:

The Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD mass bee deaths have been happening in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands.

The European Food Safety Agency has stated that the neonicotinoid pesticides pose an “unacceptable risk to bees and their use should be restricted” at all costs.

The EFSA also mentions that “habitat loss and pathogens, a growing body of science points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key contributing factor in drastically declining bee populations”.

Obviously, major pesticide manufacturers disagree with the two year EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and sulfoxaflor which was recently approved in the US for use on crops.  Both Bayer CropScience and Monsanto have scoffed at these findings and even questioned the decline of honeybee populations throughout the world.

The USDA and EPA believe that more research needs to be conducted in order to understand this Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder.  Furthermore, they believe that the research and analysis must be done in a “very slow review of the evidence”.  They currently believe that the honey bee population decline in the US is due to a parasitic mite called Varroa destructor, a bacterial disease called European foulbrood in addition to the use of pesticides including neonicotinoids which is a neuroactive chemical.  However, the USDA and EPA are not directly linking neonicotinoids to the problem of the US Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder.

The USDA report and EPA review will take at least an additional 5 years.  As of early 2013, the US honeybee population is not at a 50 year low.


What do you think about the approval of SULFOXAFLOR in the US while the same chemical pesticides have been banned in the EU?  Please sound off and give us your opinion and COMMENT BELOW!


More information about the honey bee colony collapse world wide here:


Reversing the collapse of the honey bee industry from CBC (Canada)

The European Union has banned an insecticide they believe is killing off honey bees. Some Canadians are calling for a ban too. But many farmers say the science isn’t in yet so don’t make them stop using a chemical that’s so important for protecting their crops.



The Plight of the Honeybee from National Geographic

Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer’s crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn’t followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.


US approves new pesticides linked to mass bee deaths as EU enacts ban from RT

In the wake of a massive US Department of Agriculture report highlighting the continuing large-scale death of honeybees, environmental groups are left wondering why the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to approve a “highly toxic” new pesticide.


Third of US honey bees killed last winter, threatening food supply from Wired

Nearly one in three commercial honeybee colonies in the United States died or disappeared last winter, an unsustainable decline that threatens the nation’s food supply.


Mass honeybee deaths linked to insecticides from the CBC

In an effort to reduce health risks to honeybees, Ontario’s agriculture ministry is asking grain farmers to take extra care when planting crops this spring. A Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs entomologist said that “virtually all corn seed” is treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide, which could pose a threat to the health of honey bees. Tracey Baute said “neonicotinoid contaminated dust” is eventually carried into the air and could be linked to the death of thousands of bees.


Basic Honey Bee Facts

Honey bees receive more attention than any other insect, but they are one of the most important to our biological system. Find out what a honey bee is and why colony collapse disorder is threatening their population and our food supply.


What do you think about the approval of SULFOXAFLOR in the US while the same chemical pesticides have been banned in the EU? Please sound off and give us your opinion and COMMENT BELOW!

NEWS > Active Learning New York School Goes All-Vegetarian

Active Learning Elementary School is the first US school to go ALL-VEGETARIAN!

As of January 2013, the Active Learning Elementary School in Queens New York, NY began offering all vegetarian meals for ALL of its students.  According to a CNN Report, the all vegetarian Queens New York school sees health and nutrition as part of educating the whole child.  For us at Just Add Good Stuff, this is incredible news!  We’ve always believed that there was something wrong and something missing with our current educational system.  From elementary to high school, our students are NOT taught anything about 2 of lives most important things: health/nutrition eduction and financial education.  It looks like Active Learning Elementary School has some forward planning and forward thinking educational professionals leading the way!

As of May 2013, the all vegetarian New York elementary school has moved to all-vegetarian meals five days a week. The Active Learning Elementary School in Queens has nearly 400 students, from pre-kindergarten to third grade, and was founded five years ago on the principle that a healthy lifestyle leads to strong academic achievement.

“We decided on a vision where health and nutrition would be a part of educating the whole child,” school principal Bob Groff said.

The New York vegetarian elementary school first went meatless three days a week in mid 2012. It also tested meals on a small group of students, gathering feedback and changing the menu accordingly. The New York Department of Education also noted that many of the students attending the Active Learning Elementary School were already more accustomed to eating more vegetarian/clean eating diets than most US students.  This is because almost 85% of all students here were of Hispanic or Asian decent … who’s diets have always been more notably ‘vegetarian’.  Many vegetarian Active Learning New York students were used to vegetarian meals at home too.

One of the sticky points with an all-vegetarian student meal in New York and the United States is that it has to be approved by the USDA.  In most cases, the USDA just wants to make sure that the proper mix of nutrition and nutritional foods are consumed by students of all ages.

The hardest part to adhere to is the amount of PROTEIN PER SERVING as no animal meats were being served at the all vegetarian New York school.  Officials said that it was a combination of routine (the routine of eating animal proteins) as well as the lack of education (that many vegetables and whole foods have adequate amounts of plant based proteins per serving) that were tough to understand.  In the end, the Active Learning New York vegetarian school opted to serve more tofu, roasted chickpeas, vegetarian chili, brown rice or falafel in their all vegetarian meals.

Students appear to be enthusiastic about their healthy meals. When you’re healthy, you can do better on tests and you can fight more diseases.

Currently, New York schools, which provide meals for 1.1 million students daily, offer principals vegetarian and non-vegetarian lunch options.

We are really impressed with what the Active Learning Elementary School has done in adopting an all-vegetarian mindset in combination with educating our children about health and nutrition.  This is ground-breaking and we are hopeful that other New York schools will also do the same.

Click here for the original CNN article: New York school goes all-vegetarian.