Recently, a mega-food manufacturer did something very uncharacteristic of big business. In the name of helping to save the environment, it rolled out compostable bags for a line of its snack chips. This product is marketed to your average, mainstream supermarket shopper.

University Park, PA—A recent report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition indicates that walnut oil and walnuts may improve one’s reaction to stress. Sheila G. West from Pennsylvania State university and her team examined how foods containing polyunsaturated fats (such as walnuts) can positively affect blood pressure at times of rest and during times of stress.

Retailers usually lease their retail spaces because the cost of owning, developing and maintaining real estate is beyond the budget of most. With limited capital, most retailers rightly focus on “Job No. 1”: retailing.

Boston, MA—Natural Products Expo East, held here October 13–16, wrapped up its run in Boston with a 1,300-booth exhibit hall and an organic-heavy educational line-up, due to its combined program with the Organic Summit and the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic show. Next year, Expo East is slated to return to Baltimore, MD, September 21–24.

Arlington Heights, IL—John Carlson, co-founder and president of Carlson Laboratories, will retire after 45 years of heading the company. Carlson will not completely break from the company, instead serving as its Director Emeritus, an “advisory role,” says the firm.

Carlson has been an active member of many organizations including National Nutritional Food Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the National Institute of Nutritional Education and others.

Rockville, MD—Based on results from a 10-year study tracking the retail industry’s efforts to improve food safety factors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concludes that the presence of certified food safety managers on site to oversee and enforce food safety practices in stores significantly increases compliance with food safety practices.

Washington, D.C.—In October, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the first report of a two-phase study examining nutrition rating systems and symbols on front-of-package (FOP) labeling. This first report details the nutrition science basis for FOP labeling systems and concludes that FOP labeling systems ought to reference serving size, calorie information, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium to effectively assist consumers in making healthful food choices.

Albuquerque, NM—Homeopathic medicine supplier Heel USA held an editors’ summit in early October.

DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma received the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York “for his outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility and in particular for DSM’s partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme.”