Tag: whole foods

Costco Working Hard to get more Organics

Costco Working Hard to get more Organics

Costco Shopping Organic Produce

To boost its supply of organic foods, Costco is trying something new: It’s working with farmers to help them buy land and equipment as it struggles to keep pace with customer demand.

At Costco’s recent shareholder meeting, CEO Craig Jelinek touted the vast amounts of food the company sold last year, from 83 million rotisserie chickens to $6.1 billion worth of produce.

As for organics, one of the fastest-growing categories in food sales and one in which Costco has become a major player?

“We cannot get enough organics to stay in business day in and day out,” Jelinek told the gathered investors.

Among the initiatives:

• Lending money to farmers to buy land to grow organics

• Raising chickens at its poultry plant in Alabama

• Working with Mexican vendor to get wild shrimp

• Contracting with Nebraskan farmers to raise cattle on organic fields

So to boost its supply, Costco is trying something new: It’s working with farmers to help them buy land and equipment to grow organics.

The effort is still in its infancy. So far, Costco is working with just one partner, loaning money to help San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce buy equipment and 1,200 acres of land in the Mexican state of Baja California.

But Costco is looking at expanding the initiative. The idea is to ensure a greater supply of organic foods at a time when demand is soaring but supply has not kept up.

While other retailers might have loan programs for suppliers to upgrade equipment or offer financial incentives such as advance payments or long-term contracts, helping farmers buy land to grow organics appears to be unusual in the industry.

The nascent program joins a list of other Costco food initiatives that try to ensure the warehouse giant can meet the voluminous demand of its customers.

The Issaquah-based retailer, for instance, has a poultry plant in Alabama dedicated to raising chickens for the fresh meat and rotisserie chickens it sells.

It started working with a Mexican vendor two years ago to get wild shrimp from the Sea of Cortez, allowing the retailer to diversify from relying on shrimp caught in Thailand, where human trafficking and slave labor in the fishing industry are pervasive.

And in the last year, Costco bought cattle and is contracting with owners of organic fields in Nebraska to have ranchers there raise the livestock to ensure supply for its organic ground-beef program.

Costco Organic Baby Spinach

“A few years ago, Craig [Jelinek] came to me and said: ‘Fresh food — we need to have sustainable lines of supplies into the future,’ ” said Jeff Lyons, Costco’s senior vice president of fresh foods.

Behind each of the initiatives, Lyons said, are the questions: “What do we see down the road that could be a challenge in terms of supply? And what can we put in place today to grow that particular scarce resource?”

Organic food is one such scarce resource, its supply limited in part because the transition from conventional farming to organic farming takes several years and is costly. Virgin land that is ready to grow organics is scarce or prohibitively expensive.

Demand, meanwhile, has leapt with sales of organic food jumping from $11.13 billion in 2004 to $35.95 billion in 2014, according to the Organic Trade Association, which represents the supply chain from farmers to retailers.

“Demand is increasing. But we’re not seeing the same level of farmland,” said association spokeswoman Angela Jagiello.

While organic-food sales reached nearly 5 percent of total food sales last year, organic farmland makes up only about 1 percent of U.S. farm acreage.

“We’re not seeing the level of growth we need in domestic supply to meet demand,” Jagiello said. “It’s the No. 1 strategic issue facing the industry.”

So stretched is the supply chain that some organic packaged-food companies, such as Nature’s Path and Pacific Foods, have bought their own farms or are raising their own chickens, according to The Wall Street Journal. Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, meanwhile, began providing financing to help farmers shift from conventional to organic food, the newspaper reported.

Fresh organic produce at Costco

For Costco, the idea of loaning money to longtime supplier Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce (A&W for short) took shape when Lyons took a tour of A&W’s Baja operations.

The supplier had heard about 1,200 acres of land in San Quintin, Baja California, that seed company Seminis wanted to sell.

The land had lain fallow for years, so it could be used immediately to grow organics, said Ernie Farley, one of A&W’s owners.

A&W, which had experience growing organic strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and tomatoes, told Lyons it wanted to pursue buying the land. The availability of this much land, not to mention that it could grow organics right away, was rare along the Pacific Coast, where acreage is often grabbed by developers.

But money was an issue. A&W didn’t have all the cash on hand it would need to buy the land outright.

And more recently, A&W has been dealing with fallout of a salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers produced in Baja California and distributed by A&W that infected 888 people in 39 states, hospitalized 191, and resulted in six deaths in four states. (Costco says that outbreak would not have affected cucumbers it sells, since it carries only hothouse cucumbers; the ones linked to the outbreak were field grown.)

Lyons was supportive of A&W’s desire to buy the land, Farley recalls, and said that it made sense strategically for Costco to get involved, given the growing demand for organics and Costco’s desire to attract and retain customers over the next decades.

Costco ended up loaning A&W money to buy the land — neither company would say how much — and the deal is being completed.

Going forward, Costco will have first right to everything that meets its requirements that comes off that land.

In addition, Costco loaned A&W money to buy equipment to grow organic raspberries on another piece of land, also in San Quintin, that A&W is leasing.

“By helping them with financing, we got access to and purchased about 145,000 cases of organic raspberries that we normally would not have access to,” Lyons said. “Because they normally would not have done the deal or could not have done it. Or, if they could have, we may not have gotten first dibs.”

Costco is considering doing something similar with other companies, including a large group with operations in Chile and Mexico.

“There are lots of discussions going on,” Lyons said. “The challenge for the farmer is: ‘We may go down this road and what happens if something bad happens?’ We have to make sure we don’t get them in a position of financial trouble. We need to make sure the loans are totally secure. If it doesn’t work out for them, we want to continue to buy conventional from them to make sure they’re A-OK.”

Part of the reason the supply of organic foods is so limited is that it’s onerous to transition from conventional to organic farming.

“Traditional ag is the way it is because it yields more, which leads to less expensive food,” said Will Rodger, director of policy communications with the American Farm Bureau.

Transitioning to organic farming takes three years — the window set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for pesticides and other nonorganic substances to wash away from the soil. The switch often also requires new equipment and new processes to grow and manage the crops.

“The difficulty is that in this three-year window, you’re using organic methods but you’re only getting conventional prices for what you’re selling,” Rodger said. “The margins right now are better on organic produce. But you have to take that three-year hit.”

Some natural-food retailers have their own programs to help suppliers or to preserve farmland.

Whole Foods, for instance, has had since 2006 a loan program to help its local producers grow their businesses. About $18 million has been lent so far, for everything from helping farmers buy equipment to building greenhouses and packing facilities, according to the company.

PCC Natural Markets, meanwhile, supports preservation of farmland through PCC Farmland Trust, which the Seattle-based co-op founded in 1999.

The trust is independent of the co-op, though PCC’s annual support for it exceeds $100,000. The trust has worked to conserve more than 1,600 acres of Washington farmland, according to PCC. Some of the crops grown on those lands end up being sold by PCC, but that is not a requirement.

Aside from Whole Foods and now Costco, “it’s very uncustomary in the [food] industry for retailers to provide capital to suppliers,” especially given the industry’s thin margins, said Burt Flickinger III, retail analyst with Strategic Research Group.

And he’s not heard of any that provide loans for land.

Doing so “secures Costco a long-term supply, rather than having that land be developed or have that farmer or food producer be selling to Costco competitors,” Flickinger said. “This way, Costco strategically locks in a long-term, high-quality source of supply which its competitors will not have access to.”

That’s important because Costco has become one of the nation’s biggest sellers of organic food.

In 2014, for the first time, conventional retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Kroger bested natural-food retailers, including Whole Foods, in sales of organic foods, according to the Organic Trade Association.

And last year, after Costco said its sales of organic products exceeded $4 billion annually, one investment bank surmised the warehouse giant may have surpassed Whole Foods to become the nation’s largest organic grocer.

Flickinger says that, at the least, Costco is the top seller nationwide of the types of organic foods it carries. Other retailers, though, carry a broader range of products.

Still, Costco’s increased focus on organics is significant and comes at a time when organic food is the fastest-growing food category, increasing at 8 to 11 percent a year, versus 2 to 2.5 percent for food sales overall, he said.

That Costco is working on increasing its supply of organic foods is good news to Letitia Chapman, who was shopping recently for organic fruits and vegetables at Costco in Seattle.

A few months ago, the sales rep from Seattle decided to start eating more organic food as part of a lifestyle change. While the longtime Costco shopper liked the organic produce she found, sometimes Costco simply doesn’t carry enough organics, she said.

“I tend to end up going to Whole Foods,” she said. “If Costco could get more, that would be awesome.”

Proline Expert Thomas DeLauer’s 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reboot

Proline Expert Thomas DeLauer’s 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reboot

Proline Expert Thomas DeLauer’s 7-Day
Anti-Inflammatory Reboot

Inflammation is holding us back in so many ways, and no one is really explaining it to us. All we know is that it’s “bad,” but no one wants to tell us about how it’s keeping us from losing weight and how it’s making us feel like garbage. Mainly because the food lobbyists don’t want us to dip into their profits when we find out that inflammation is caused by most of the so-called healthy foods that we are eating now!

Thomas DeLauer Before After Diet Pics

*IMPORTANT: My results are not typical. As with any weight loss program, your results may vary greatly.

When I was 275lbs and struggling with my weight, the last thing that I thought about was inflammation causing my problems… I had always resorted to the basics… simple calories in vs. calories out to lose weight, BUT that was NOT the case here. There was something bigger at play because I was literally doing everything that I was ‘supposed’ to do.

Dangerous GMO corn

Meanwhile, my wife was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that effected her thyroid (hashimoto’s) and later, Lyme disease. It was the serendipitous timing of this that made me realize that inflammation might be playing a larger role then I had thought. I’m sure many of you have heard of these diseases, and the scary thing is that they can be affecting you and you might not even know it!

To make a very long story short, I began learning about inflammation, using my resources within the healthcare industry to dive into some heavy research on how inflammation works and how it could be holding my wife and I (and others) from living the lives that we wanted to live. Like so many others, it’s easy to not even realize you’re being held back.

I found that inflammation can cause all kinds of issues in the digestive tract making it so that you’re not absorbing nutrients. This was a HUGE step, because I WAS eating healthy, but I couldn’t lose weight at all! So when I realized that there were specific “health foods” that I was eating that were causing this to happen, it all made sense….

read more: Learn what these health foods are

If you’re not absorbing nutrients, then you body goes into starvation mode and that means that you will store fat! It’s a simple survival mechanism! This was the code that needed to be cracked! I needed to find a way to reduce the activity of the COX-1 enzyme and the production of prostaglandins (a fancy way of saying ‘how inflammation is caused”)

Thomas DeLauer Diet Plan

But the difficulty was finding a way to rid my body of the inflammation so that I could begin absorbing nutrients again. And back then, this was a long drawn out process, simply because the science wasn’t really there at the time. Most of us don’t really have the time or the energy to devote to experimenting with different foods to find what works for them.

Well, I did reduce my inflammation, and I was able to get back on track and ultimately become on author on this very topic, but it took a lot of time.

So over the past six months, using my experiences and my research I have developed a way to reduce inflammation within the body and to help the body absorb nutrients again, all with a WHOLE FOODS approach. As someone that has been in the healthcare industry before, I wanted to make sure this was a down-to-earth way to reduce inflammation.

Anyhow, it has been awesome to see how many people have been having success and not just reducing inflammation, but truly losing weight and kick starting their new lives feeling utterly amazing!

I want to invite you to take a look at the full protocol and the actual program and steps that you need to take right here

Just seeing some of the pain being lifted from people and seeing them realize what had been causing them so much grief before…

Thomas DeLauer Diet Plan Happy Customer Testimonials

*IMPORTANT: Results are not typical. As with any weight loss program, your results may vary greatly.

Thomas DeLauer 7-Day Anti-Inflammation Reboot

*IMPORTANT: Results are not typical. As with any weight loss program, your results may vary greatly.

Anyhow, you’ve all been so good to me by watching my videos and reading my articles, I thought that this would be a great special opportunity for you to get this reboot system, so head on over and check it out here – Thank you! Thomas Delauer

11 Superfoods Healthier Than Kale

11 Superfoods Healthier Than Kale


If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods with me, than you KNOW that I am obsessed with SUPERFOODS!

I’m the weird dude that smells like essential oils and has a cart full of foods that most people have never even heard of.

True story, last time I was in whole foods – the women in the superfood isle called 3 other people into the department to listen to what I had to say about changing your body’s electromagnetic field through high vibing food!

Why I love Superfoods

Currently, you and I are living in a toxic environment, my friend. Everywhere we go there are more and more toxins creeping up on us. Should you live in fear, build a giant bubble and only go outside in that plastic construct that protects you?

In studying about toxins and all the nasty things in our food and environment, it can be easy to get discouraged. Sometimes it can feel absolutely impossible to eat clean! Modern society had made cheap food convenient and healthy food something for the wealthy.

Should we be scared? Angry? Bitter? Sad? Hopeless? I don’t think so.

Mother Nature has not left us alone. She is still working hard to provide us with amazing, nutrient-dense, healing superfoods that can help protect and heal us from the toxins in our world.

I’m telling you, superfoods are some of the highest vibing food you will ever come across! If you are ready to raise your own vibes and start feeling amazing, you’ve come to the right place.

FitLife’s Top 11 Superfoods

#1 Chlorella
Chlorella

Chlorella is a single celled microalgae that is loaded with nutrients needed for many body functions. This is one of the very first super foods I ever purchased!

Daily consumption of chlorella has been linked to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some evidence shows that chlorella, which is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, may help to relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia and other similar disorders like hypertension and ulcerative colitis.

Because chlorella is high in chlorophyll, it also helps to control hunger cravings, body odor, relieve swelling and redness from infections, promote cleansing and healing in the body and even protect DNA against fried foods.

#2 Moringa Leaf
Moringa Leaf

In 2007, Moringa leaf was recognized by the National Institute of Health as the Botanical of the Year! It is said to have saved more lives in Third World countries than any other plant and has potential to treat over 300 diseases.

An animal study done at the University of Allahabad showed Moringa lowers blood sugar levels by up to 29%! This puts Moringa Leaf high on the list of foods that may help those suffering from diabetes.

This superfood may also prove to have potent anti-cancer properties. A study at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute showed Moringa leaf can kill up to 93% of lung cancer cells!

Moringa leaf is also believed to boost the immune system, increase metabolism and help with weight loss, aid digestion, help with tumors and ulcers and to detoxify the kidneys and liver.

#3 Spirulina
Spirulina

Spirulina is a natural algae powder. May not look pretty but it is a nutritional monster! Spirulina is packed with chlorophyll, protein, iron, Vitamin C, D, A, E, B12, folic acid, potassium, calcium and ALL all essential amino acids!!

Studies have been done that show components in spirulina have neuroprotective benefits and may have potential as an alternative drug therapy in aging related disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Spirulina has been found to have incredibly high levels of antioxidants. It has 4 times the ORAC (or antioxidant value) of blueberries! It is a good source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA – an essential fatty acid) that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a major cause/contributor to a number of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

Because of its high chlorophyll content, spirulina is a natural detoxifier and cleanser that removes foreign material (heavy metals, toxins etc.) from the body.

#4 Mint
mint leaves

Here’s a superfood you’re probably familiar with. Mint has an impressive lineup of antimicrobial, antiviral anti-tumor, anti-allergenic and antioxidant properties.

Mint is most well known for its healing effects on the digestive system. It soothes the stomach and also triggers the production of more saliva and digestive enzymes in the mouth. This helps to start the breakdown of foods before they even hit the intestines, making for more comfortable digestion.

Peppermint may help to alleviate gas and other sources of abdominal pain due to its relaxing effect on the muscles of the intestines. Some studies have found peppermint oil to be as effective as Buscopan for treating colonic spasms.

Dr. Mercola quotes several studies saying that Peppermint oil capsules are “the drug of first choice” in patients suffering from IBS.

#5 Matcha Green Tea
Organic Green Matcha Tea

A Japanese priest named Esai said of green tea: “Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete.” Matcha has remained a staple in sacred Japanese ceremonies for centuries.

Green Tea is is packed with antioxidants and nutrients, which reduce stress, regulate hormones and promote relaxation and mental clarity. It has long been used for weight loss and boosting the metabolism.

This superfood has particularly beneficial properties for the liver. Our liver is incredibly important as it removes toxins from the blood, regulates the composition of blood, processes nutrients and metabolizes drugs and substances like alcohol.

Matcha protects the liver from harmful chemicals, helps slow dehydration, inhibits tumor growth in the liver, protects against damage that is caused by medication, etc. The caffeine in matcha appears to help strengthen serum and membrane density in the liver.

#6 Wheatgrass
wheatgrass

Some of the most powerful animals on the planet live off a diet of mainly grass. Turns out that consuming one ounce of wheatgrass is nutritionally equivalent to eating two pounds of greens…!

Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll; a green-pigment molecule that gives plants power to absorb energy from the sun. Studies have shown that chlorophyll may help to protect DNA from toxin damage, suppress appetite, sooth infections and has powerful cleansing properties.

The chlorophyll in wheatgrass may also help those with anemia or other blood-related disorders. Animal studies have shown that administration of wheatgrass returns red cell count back to normal in animals with anemia within 4-5 days!

#7 Ashwagandha
ashwagandha herb

Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine and use of the root can be traced back over 3000 years. It has been called “King and Queen of Herbs” and is esteemed very highly for its medicinal properties.

The Ashwagandha plant is a tonic and an adaptogen, which means it restores the brain and body to homeostasis after physical and psychological stress. Ashwagandha helps our bodies maintain balance and improves our ability to cope with stress.

A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine shows that Ashwagandha achieves a highly significant reduction in stress and anxiety, and serum cortisol levels. In fact it was able to reduce cortisol up to 27.9%!

One of my very favorite things about Ashwagandha (this blew my mind) is its ability to stimulate neurogenesis – the birth of new cells! Not very many plants out there can do this!

In human clinical trials, taking Ashwagandha by mouth for only five days suggested anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects just as strong as when taking certain pharmaceutical drugs.

#8 Turmeric
turmeric root

Turmeric is a popular spice that is widely used in India. It’s easy to use and inexpensive and my cupboards are absolutely full of it! The main ingredient found in turmeric is curcumin and most of it’s medicinal properties come from this active ingredient.

Research has linked turmeric to lower incidence of certain cancers like breast, prostate, lung and colon. Turmeric combined with onions has been shown to prevent colon cancer. A study published in the journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that turmeric and quercetin (found in onions) help prevent and even reduce precancerous cells in the colon. Turmeric combined with cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower is helpful in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for preventing and alleviating symptoms of arthritis, muscle soreness, and much more. In research studies, cucumin is comparable to anti-inflammatory prescription and over the counter drugs like hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone.

Curcumin contains potent antioxidant effects. Clinical studies conducted on curcumin have found that it is able to neutralize free radicals that in many instances cause cancer.

Besides the benefits of antioxidant properties that turmeric provides, turmeric also is great for liver detoxification and improves liver function, cardiovascular protection, reduction of cholesterol levels and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Think we’re finished with this awesome superfood yet? Think again! Studies suggest turmeric is superior to Prozac in treating depression!

#9 Lemon
lemon slices

We’re big fans of lemons here at FitLife and use them on a daily basis for their nutritional, medicinal, healing and beautifying properties. There are SO MANY THINGS you can do with lemon juice and lemon peel that I could write a long book about them all!

Although lemon is an acidic fruit, it has an alkalizing effect on the body. Lemon balances the body’s pH, which in turn protects the body from illness and disease. You see, disease CANNOT thrive in an alkaline environment!

Lemons contain powerful antibacterial and anticancer properties and are rich in vitamin C. They also help to purify your blood and clean out the kidneys.

Drinking [eafl id=1053 name=”Perfect Water Purifier – articleLink2″ text=”clean filtered water”] with fresh squeezed lemon every morning is an excellent and easy habit that can make a big difference in your health!

#10 Beets
organic beets

Beets are packed with potassium, iron, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, manganese, folic acid and zinc. Beet juice is high in antioxidants and known for its ability to cleanse the liver, which has many benefits to the health of your skin!

When the liver becomes overloaded with toxins, it often sends them to the skin for detoxification help. In trying to process these substances, the skin can become inflamed or irritated. So supporting the liver is vital to maintaining beautiful skin!

Beet juice has also been shown to boost stamina. A study showed athletes who drank beetroot juice could exercise 16% longer than those who didn’t. That’s pretty impressive.

Beet juice may also be a helpful tool in overcoming symptoms of leaky gut.

Don’t get stuck only using the roots – the beet greens actually contain more nutrients than the roots!

#11 Monk Fruit
Monkfruit

Did you know that monk fruit is 170% sweeter than regular sugar? Not only that but it is full of medicinal properties that have been recognized since the 13th century. It was known by Chinese monks as the longevity fruit and is believed to be a factor in their living to be over 100 years old.

Monk fruit is a powerful anti-allergenic because of its antihistamine-like effects. Histamine is also a problem in those with asthma, making this superfood beneficial on the respiratory system.

Monk fruit is also believed to sooth the digestive tract and boost the immune system.

If you are looking for that extra boost in life…

If you are wanting more energy…

If you are combating a challenging disease or illness…

I would HIGHLY recommend you turn to superfoods. They will give you the edge you need to jump to that next level of health and vitality.

If you’re busy and worried about having enough time and money to buy and make enough superfoods to keep you on top of your game, the FitLife team has created a green superfood powder with all the above listed superfoods just for you.

All you need to do is mix it with [eafl id=1053 name=”Perfect Water Purifier – articleLink2″ text=”filtered water”] and go!

This juice promotes neurogenesis. That’s the replication of brand new brain cells. What do you think juice like that could do for the rest of your body?

Join me for a glass of [eafl id=995 name=”Organifi Text – articleLink1″ text=”GREEN JUICE”] each day and together, we can raise the vibration of our world by doing whatever we can to be our best each day.

It starts with FOOD – it starts with YOU.

And I see you out there… and I want you to know that I am so proud of you for all the work you’re doing.

Keep it up!

Remember, we’re in this together.