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.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

I called upon vitamin K researcher, Dr. Leon Schurgers. Dr. Schurgers was kind enough to share his thoughts on the functions of vitamin K, discuss the significance of new research findings and comment on the potential implications for clinical practice for us. Since February is Heart Month, we will focus largely on the cardiovascular system, but also discuss skeletal health.

In 2008, vitamin D made headline after headline thanks to mounting research about its health benefits. A common thread among the key findings is that this vitamin is extremely important for many aspects of our health—and most of us aren’t getting enough of it.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

As we understand more about gluten intolerance (not an allergy) and its related problems including gluten-sensitive enteropathy, celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, Gee-Herter’s disease and others, we can help more of the thousands of affected people achieve better health. There are many more gluten-free products available to help. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if the problem is not corrected as soon as possible, damage to the intestinal tract worsens, suffering increases, and the absorption of vital nutrients suffers, compounding all health problems!

Did you know that natural and organic foods are in a “premium” class that is completely separate from gourmet and conventional foods? Neither did John Mackey, CEO of Austin, TX-based Whole Foods Market when he agreed to acquire arch competitor, Boulder, CO-based Wild Oats Markets for $565 million in February 2007. Fast forward to December 9, 2008, and Whole Foods is suing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is still trying to block the deal based on the flawed logic that natural and organic constitute a “premium” category of foods that only these two competitors sell, and that by acquiring Wild Oats, Whole Foods will have monopoly pricing power that will harm consumers.

We do our best to ensure that babies are happy and healthy as they grow and develop. But so much of our efforts are focused on their diets; what they should and should not eat, how much and how often. This is only a small portion of caring for a baby, as they are especially vulnerable to the health risks posed by harsh chemicals and synthetic materials in conventional products. Thus, parents (and babies) are demanding safer, gentler alternatives to traditional diapers, wipes, bottles and skin care products—and the natural products industry has answered. 

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

A dozen years ago, on Christmas day December 25, 1996, great joy emanated from a clinical trial showing that suffering and death could be cut in half simply by taking a selenium supplement.