Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More competition for Whole "Paycheck" Foods, Publix Supermarkets

I knew this would begin to happen. Do you remember Boston Market and how everyone thought they were the best thing ever for hot family style foods? Then the grocery stores realized they could easily remodel and provide areas in their stores for the same purpose, which killed BM's market share. The shares tanked and they ended up closing most of their stores after over expansion.

I love Whole Foods, Wild Oats, PCC, etc, but I'm sure you have noticed can very expensive to buy Organic from Whole Foods. In addition, Whole Foods and Wild Oats were two of the only national chains and for a while, were able to command higher prices. While there expansion has not been as aggressive as Boston Market, I think Whole Foods may have taken their situation for granted. I've told Ferbit that it's only a matter of time before the supermarkets begin to expand their organic sections. Plus, smaller stores like Trader Joes will begin to carry more organic foods to enter this hot market. I'm sure jitters about new competition is why Whole Foods stock isn't performing that well.

This article from CNN/Money is a further example of what I have been talking about. Publix, a large chain in the south is opening a smaller sized chain store called GreenWise. Even though it is a separate store, it can still leverage the strong buying power, shipping, and warehousing of Publix.

I would really like to see Whole Foods succeed and believe they made a great decision merging with Wild Oats. It was really funny to see people arguing during the merger that these two companies would form a "monopoly" in the organic foods market. Whatever!!

As Whole Foods grows, one thing that concerns me is the amount of money they put into their new stores in order to be green. It's great to be green to help the environment and save energy costs, but at some point it can get a bit obnoxious and waste unnecessary expenses. They also have a practice of paying more for stock items, because they want to make sure the supplier makes more money. It's really dangerous to set alternative prices (price floors) against the free market, even in the organic/local market.

Here are a few quotes from the article that says it all…

"Prices really draw in consumers. Most consumers can't go out and spend their whole paycheck on natural products," she said.

In recent years, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Safeway Inc. (SWY), Albertson's and other big supermarket chains have also expanded their organic offerings and other smaller supermarket chains including Kroger Co. (KR), Lund Food Holdings Inc. and Hannaford have become certified organic retailers.

"I can't wait," said Kim Jones, 40, of Jupiter, who only buys organic and often shops at both Publix and Whole Foods. "It will be nice to have one-stop shopping at GreenWise and hopefully their prices will be more competitive than Whole Foods."

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Many people who know I'm into nutrition automatically assume everything I buy is organic. Which is not the case. Buying local is way more important than buying organic. Milk is a perfect example.

We buy raw milk that the girls and I drink and then hubby buys pasteurized milk for himself. It's not that he doesn't love raw milk, but it's so extremely expensive, we try to keep a mix. We also buy half-n-half for our coffee. But we don't buy organic - raw or pasteurized.

Sadly, Horizon Organic (owned by Dean Foods) is the largest producer of organic milk. Notice their products are ULTRA-pasteurized? It's because their "organic" cows are being treated about as well as their non-organic cousins. They get a smidge more room and are fed organic grains, but they're still smashed into miles of open warehouses, stepping in their own rivers of poo, breathing in heavy amounts of ammonia (sad attempts to keep the place clean and cover the feces stench). Many of the animals are sick (from being fed grain when they need grass and then living in their own pathogen/parasite infested poop) and they have vets standing by to monitor their status. Factory Farms regularly give antibiotics (mixed into their food) because of their horrible living conditions to keep them alive. If you treat organic animals the same way, but cannot give them antibiotics, that breeds massive infection. So they must "ultra-pasteurize" the milk because it's so full of pathogens. The photos you see online of happy cows at pasture are BEFORE they're sold to Horizon for milk production. Horizon loves to highlight this to downplay what happens to the animals as soon as they step onto one of Horizon's facilities.

In this case, local is more important than organic. Sunshine Dairy is our favorite (second to raw). They bring in milk from individual farmers in the area - the individual farmers insure loving care and quality and most focus on sustainable farming practices. Antibiotics are only used to save the life on an animal. Once better, the animal is repeatedly tested for antibiotic residue before re-introducing it back into the herd for milk production. The milk is not ultra-pasteurized and from what I've read on their website, exceeds state guidelines. THIS is more important to me than any expensive USDA Organic label.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Being a Parent: Update

This is an update to my earlier post on Being a Parent. And I've really got a good update too! :)

My little sweetie has been working SO HARD for the past two weeks on improving her behavior. The magnets have been a huge success and every morning she picks out a new one. The first week, she had four fantastic days, but permanently lost her magnet the other three. This past week, she's kept all seven (lost it, but re-earned it a few times)! As extra incentive, my mom promised her a REAL PEDICURE if she made it the whole week. :)

So here's the photo my mom snapped of her earlier today getting her pedicure (sitting in a spa massage chair) at a little nail salon nearby. She used her cell phone so the quality isn't so great, but it's really cute. My mom said she intently watched EVERYTHING the woman did - filing, lotion, massage, painting, etc. She picked out purple polish and then they painted two little white flowers with rhinestones on her big toes.

The German immersion program starts back up Tuesday so hopefully her behavior continues to improve. I emailed with the owner (really small school) and she said she will totally support my magnet reward program and keep me updated each time when I pick her up.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A moment to remember Jennifer Dunn

So sad to hear Jennifer Dunn passed away yesterday from a sudden blood clot. Feel free to read the Fox News article for more details.

My prayers are with her family.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mosquito Control - Gotta love Mother Nature

Thought I'd give everyone an interesting update...

The mosquito craziness is gone! It was the weirdest thing ever, but also quite fascinating. Because of all the little babies flying everywhere, it attracted more dragonflies. We always get a lot of dragonflies, but suddenly there were tons. There were also a lot more of those hover-flies (the ones that look like bees). Both predators absolutely DEVOURED my out-of-hand mosquito population!

So I actually have FEWER mosquitos now than I've had in previous years. WEIRD!


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Book Recommendations on

I've added a new section to my sidebar that's really fun. Amazon has an Associates program that I signed up for so I can personally recommend books (and products) and get credit when people click and purchase them from here. Yay!

So listed in my sidebar are nutritional, political and homeschool books that I highly recommend. The homeschool books will change to what we're currently working on. The politcal and nutritional books will just continue to build. :)


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Natural Deoderants SUCK!

Ok, someone please explain HOW natural deoderants are supposed to work. I've tried several of them with very little success. I keep reverting back to my old, toxic standby. :-(

I've tried the Crystal rock (the one you have to wet), the Crystal roll-on and Avalon Organics lavender deodorant. Those are the only three I've tried. I'd like to try Weleda's version next, but I'm hesitatant to throw my money away on another product that doesn't work.

Does it work similar to my post on sunburns??? That maybe better nutrition causes less body odor? Because I can be very careful about what I eat when I know I'm going to be in the sun all day (so as not to get sunburned), but deodorant is a whole different issue... If this is the case and nutrition does impact odor, then the only way to NOT STINK is to eat perfect 24/7??? Just a theory...

If I'm missing another huge part of the natural deodorant effectiveness, please share. For those of you who DO use natural deodorants, what brand do you use and how effective is it? Do I need to reapply it more often? This is one topic that I'd like to understand better because I hate that I'm continuing to buy this toxic brand.

Thanks for your thoughts!!! :)


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