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The Blue Zones–Adopting Life Patterns of Long-Lived Communities

National Geographic explorer, Dan Buettner, studied long-lived communities around the world to determine best practices for longevity.  His book, Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer, was released in 2008, and became a national best-seller.  Then he worked to implement the practices in various places and measure the successes.  He reports the outcomes in his latest book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.

Blue Zone community projects are starting all across America, with three kicking off here in Hawaii.  Two of these three communities are located on the Big Island in Hilo and Waimea (Kamuela).  The celebratory starting day was October 17 for the Big Island Blue Zone projects.  Fun and educational activities and booths were followed by Dan Buettner’s presentation and book signing.

So what are the 9 Lessons (or what he calls the Power 9)?

  1. Move naturally.  He especially emphasized vegetable gardening!
  2. Purpose.  Why you wake up in the morning.
  3. Downshift.  Release stress.  Connecting with the Earth in the garden is one great way!
  4. 80 percent rule.  Stop eating when your stomach is 80% full.
  5. Plant slant.  More beans and vegetables, and only small amounts of meat about once a week.
  6. Wine @ 5.   One to two glasses of wine with friends and/or food.
  7. Right Tribe.  Social circle that supports healthy habits.
  8. Community.  Attend weekly faith-based services.
  9. Loved ones first.  Life partners and keeping family close together.

    Dan Buettner signing a book for Dr. Bogs.

    Dan Buettner signing a book for Dr. Bogs.

Dan Buettner and Dr. Bogs share a moment. He expressed gratitude for the work of Beyond Organic.

Dan Buettner and Dr. Bogs share a moment. He expressed gratitude for the work of Beyond Organic.

Zintro asked Dr. Bogs to Comment on The Future of Food Additives

The Future of Food Additives

October 28, 2013 by Leave a Comment

nutraceuticalsAccording to a new report from Packages Facts, a Rockville, MD-based market research publisher, consumers are driving a change in the reliance on synthetic and artificial ingredients in food products. “Food Additives: The U.S. Market” claims that more natural ingredients are going to replace the artificial ingredients that have been used consistently for over 50 years.

Research chemist John Mark Carter has concerns about the issues with stability and standardization when it comes to natural ingredients. “The trend toward more ‘natural’ ingredients is strong in the US and EU, where consumers can afford to choose more expensive products. But in addition to economics, there are two significant problems with these materials. One is their relatively low stability. Processed ingredients usually exhibit better shelf life, because impurities that accelerate spoilage are removed. The other problem is a lack of standardization. Naturally derived ingredients are usually variable mixtures of active ingredients with other materials. The active ingredients are rarely assayed and often poorly characterized.”

Dr. Jana Bogs, an independent researcher and consultant shares her perspective. “As consumers become more aware of nutrition in this information age, they want better quality products. Natural products are more ‘user friendly’ in the body than synthetics. Nature provides nutrients complexed in food form, the complexity of which is not able to be duplicated synthetically. One example is vitamin C from food sources which include a myriad of synergistic phytonutrients.”

She provides another example. “Consider the intake of calcium from food instead of from ground-up rocks. People were not meant to eat rocks. The calcium from rock sources, while ‘natural,’ is NOT natural as food for humans. This ‘rock source’ calcium ends up calcifying soft tissue–Aging!–instead of being utilized properly. Humans were meant to get calcium from foods. My work involves increasing calcium content (and other nutrients) in foods naturally through an enhanced growing process which starts with balancing soil nutrients.”

Aftan Romanczak, an expert in restaurant chain research and development, says, “The change to natural ingredients will always be dictated by supply and cost. Who will certify quality and supply? Not the FDA. Government regulatory budgets are stretched thin now and ineffective.”

Romanczak explains that changes depend largely on customer response. “How much are consumers willing to spend? The current products on the market are not cheap. The natural ingredient market will mimic the economy and increases or decreases in disposable dollars. Artificial ingredients will evolve into more effective synthetic compounds and the advances in nanotechnology will be the driver.”

Health foods and beverages marketing expert, Ninad Deshmukh, agrees, “The entire replacement of artificial ingredients in food products is not going to happen though I would be very glad to see such a day! The reasons include product cost, taste, and appearance- all continue to matter to the majority of the world’s population.”

What about the demands of health conscious customers in other countries? Deshmukh says, “Definitely people who are health conscious, care about earth and having money to afford will definitely drive the demand for natural ingredients. I have been involved with health food products manufacturing and marketing in India for the last 11 years and found that there is a niche market, though it’s growing. Price and taste still play a major role in choosing health food products for majority in India, where I am based.”

Color continues to be a critical factor in food appeal and marketability. The growth in color additives has been due to a transition from artificial colors to natural colors, with cost and formulation issues a critical area within the natural color additives market. However, consumer concern appears to be the fundamental factor in terms of the future of food additives.

Beyond Organic Consulting

Food Production Consulting from Garden and Farm, to Food Product and Nutritional Supplement Production with a Focus on the Ultimate Nutritional Content, Superior Flavor, and Extended Shelf Life achieved with Environmentally-Sustainable methods. The aim is to “Create Health from the Soil Up” by producing Nutrient-Rich foods using “Beyond Organic” techniques.

I work with gardeners and farmers performing soil and plant tissue tests to determine what their plants need to express their full potentials, and create “Beyond Organic” quality foods.

I work with food product and nutritional supplement companies to acquire the best quality “Beyond Organic” ingredients, develop recipes/formulations for unique, tasty products, and assist with packaging and marketing.

Be a part of the Next Wave in the nutrition marketplace–Go “Beyond Organic”! More farmers using “Beyond Organic” methods are needed. More “Beyond Organic”
food product and nutritional supplement producers are needed. Consumers want the best quality. Buyers are ready, ARE YOU? Let’s work together to bring GREAT products to the marketplace!

Jana Bogs, PhD

(808) 938-9888

Helping you create the Best Food Ever!

Organic–it’s not just a label on good products–it’s a mission!

People in the organic industry are on a passionate mission to make the world a better place. It’s not a profession one enters just for the money–it’s about doing things right. Organic farmers feel good about what they grow, organic product companies feel good about what they produce, and consumers feel good about using these products. A lot of people are aware and concerned about the planet, so buying organic is helping them do something.

Besides feeling good emotionally, organic products help people feel good physically because they contain fewer toxic chemicals. That starts in the field with the farmer not having to “suit up” with a full body suit and a gas mask to spray toxic chemicals. Farming can be fun again! Scientific studies prove that children fed organic food have significantly fewer toxic chemicals in their blood. As cancer rates rise, consumers look for ways to decrease their personal toxic loads. The extra cost is absolutely justified, and the buying public votes “organic” with their dollars.

Other scientific studies show increased levels of antioxidants in organically-grown foods. Again, this appeals to the health conscious consumers. This quest for greater nutrient density is being answered by researchers such as myself who are moving “beyond (just) organic” to nutrient enhancement of food crops. This is accomplished through careful testing of soil and plants, and then supplying the plants with optimal nutrition so they can express their potentials. These nutrient-rich plants, in turn, supply us with outstanding quality food. Nutritionally-enhanced vegetables can have up to 10 times the mineral content of typical produce. This naturally-enhanced “beyond organic” food is the next big wave in the organic industry!

Article on “What’s Next for the Organic Industry”

What’s next for the organic industry in the US organic food and organic product areas? What are the challenges to future growth?      Posted on April 1, 2011 by zintro

In 2009, total US organic sales for food and non-food products were $26.6 billion and growing. With mass market retailers increasing their offerings of organics, where might the industry be headed?

The US organic products industry has seen strong growth over the years and should expect to see continued growth, says Peter Leighton, an expert and recognized leader in the areas of consumer products, nutraceuticals, and human nutrition. “In spite of weak economic conditions, the category remains vibrant,” he explains. “There are a host of drivers that fuel this growth, but the critical component is the acceleration of scale. As demand increases for organic products, more organic inputs are allocated, thereby reducing the endpoint costs for consumers.” This, in turn, fuels greater growth.

Environmental issues are increasingly playing a strong role in that growth, notes Leighton. “More data is demonstrating the value of sustainable agricultural practices and the health and environmental benefits of natural pesticides,” he says. While to date one of the greatest consumer triggers for organic products has been the health halo of the products, increasingly the industry will see environmental and ecological triggers driving consumer action, as these have a much more significant point of differentiation.

Carlos-AgNet, an expert in organic product lines and a consultant to organic companies and certification groups, says that the saving grace for the organics industry is a decade’s old demand that has seen supply increases. “This demand is providing unprecedented opportunity for those that can develop a retail organic product,” says Carlos-AgNet. “The industry has recently seen an explosion of beverages and beauty products.”

One of the challenges that Carlos-AgNet sees for the organics industry is the certification process. “Basic standards for organic certification receive a wide interpretation within the national standard and between countries, which inhibits trade in international products, such as food and textiles,” he says. New product areas in the organics industry bring with them a new generation of standards that are difficult for producers to sort out. Instead, cosmetic and food manufacturers are choosing voluntary or non-organic standards, such as natural, to avoid having to go through the national organic standards.

“The US market is decades behind Europe in organics and agriculture transformation,” says Carlos-AgNet. “A real threat to US producers could be the replacement of US producers of agricultural products with those from more advanced agricultural economies.” He states that this shift may not affect the US organic retail market.

Dr. Jana Bogs is looking beyond organics to the next step the industry might take to increase nutrition in organic fruits and vegetables and natural ingredients. Bogs is an expert in food science, horticulture, nutrition, and agriculture.

“Several scientific studies have shown significant decreases in nutrient density in fruits and vegetables over the past half century,” Bogs says. “There is a lot more research to be done, but we currently have enough knowledge to produce significantly higher quality produce at the current time. Some producers understand how to grow beyond-organic foods, but they need a better marketing system.” She adds that food and nutrition supplement companies who are looking to capture a larger percentage of the market would do well to look into these optimally-grown foods.