Jay Jacobowitz

At Retail Insights, we’ve recently completed our 2008 retail food industry overview, and natural products are $34.19 billion, or about 6%, of the $542 billion total food store business. If you just continue the trend lines as they’ve been going, with natural products growing 8% per year versus conventional foods growing 1% per year, by the year 2040, natural products will be $400 billion, or 54%, of the then-$745 billion retail grocery business. In other words, we will increase to 10 times our present size, adding $365 billion on top of our current $34 billion.

What do laundry detergent, automobile exhaust systems and saliva have in common? All three contain catalysts or substances that speed up a chemical reaction while remaining unchanged. In cars, this is useful for reducing the toxicity of emissions, but detergents and saliva contain a different type of catalyst—the enzyme.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

As regular readers know, one of my biggest peeves is the media writing uninformed articles about nutrition without bothering to check the facts. It is hard to tell which nutrient draws the most misinformation from the media, but creatine ranks high on the list. Why do so many in the media confuse a healthy nutrient with an unhealthy drug. Why are so many in the media under the impression that eating creatine (which the body uses naturally) is akin to taking performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids that change body chemistry?

Antioxidants. Chances are, you’ve heard this term thousands of times because of their importance to overall health. Given the broad (and possibly overwhelming) selection on the market, it may be tough to figure out how to select the best antioxidant supplements to add to your daily regimen. Here’s where vitamin C comes in. You’ve certainly heard of it before; you probably even know that oranges are full of it. But, do you fully understand how this antioxidant powerhouse works and why you need it?

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

Enough is enough! There was an onslaught of misinformation generated by the media when the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), a study of the role of selenium in prostate cancer, was halted in October 2008. The media incorrectly reported the termination of the study as evidence that selenium does not reduce the risk of cancer. The fact is that a large body of scientific evidence shows that several selenium-containing nutrients do reduce the risk of many types of cancers.

Last month, we began our conversation with Dr. Leon Schurgers about vitamin K2 with a discussion of the “calcium paradox,” in which so many people have harmful calcium deposits form in their arteries at the same time that the calcium content of their bones is decreasing. This calcium paradox is not a result of too little calcium in the diet, but of too little vitamin K2 that largely controls where the calcium goes. The objective is to keep calcium in our bones, not in our arteries. This is the role of vitamin K—putting calcium in its place!

Fair trade is a term you are most likely hearing with increasing frequency, but you may be hesitant or reserved from diving head first into its mysterious realm. You may have seen it on a coffee label, a banana or maybe your makeup, and are wondering exactly what it means. Here is your chance to take the plunge and find out.

Jay Jacobowitz

Natural products are expensive. Most shoppers think so. If you lower your prices to match conventional products, will shoppers change their minds? Probably not. Here’s the true story of one retailer who tried.

From time immemorial, amino acids have existed as building blocks to the creation and survival of organic organisms. These essential chemicals create proteins, which, next to water, make up the bulk of a human’s body weight.