Whenever I hear the New Jersey Lottery slogan, “Give your dreams a chance,” I can’t help but imagine what I would do if I won the big jackpot. I have a few earmarks nailed down: the local animal rescue center, college funds for my son and nieces, and my county’s homeless shelter and soup kitchen. “Who else could really use a handout?” I always find myself asking. Recently, I surprised myself with a name that came to mind: our very own U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Food labels. Some of us know exactly how to read them, and some of us aren’t clear about what “natural,” “Non-GMO” or even “organic” really means. Here is a short guide that can help.

In June, we chatted with John J. Cannell, M.D., about the optimal dietary intake of vitamin D. This month, we will discuss the safety of vitamin D.

If you are an independent natural products retailer with a brick-and-mortar store, you may be feeling a bit perplexed about how to move your business forward. In today’s marketplace, several forces at once are bearing down on independents as never before.

Enough is enough, already, with the technological advances. Let me rephrase that: Enough with the technological advances that make us lazy and blunt our mental acuity. Hear me out on this one before you throw your iPad at me. Gadgets that make life more efficient or safer or greener can be things of wonder. But, there are times when a step forward in technology means a step backward in our understanding of how things work.

In April, we chatted with John J. Cannell, M.D., about the function of vitamin D and the recent developments that affect our need to increase our dietary intake of vitamin D. This month, we will discuss optimizing our vitamin D intake.

Recently, I had the pleasure of flying across half the world and back so that I could attend two different, back-to-back Codex meetings at both ends of the trip. That was the fun part. The hard part was reconciling the supposedly disparate concepts embodied in these two Codex committees as they worked on standards for food additives and contaminants in food.

The universe enjoys a complicated intersection of different types of people. We’ve got the outdoorsy folks, the mall rats, the weekend warriors, the couch potatoes and everything in between. After all, it takes all kinds to make the world go round. Perhaps one group of people to which we as an industry should pay more attention is the “all-or-nothing crowd.”

Backpackers across the globe marvel at the landscapes set before them as they trek across the terrain. Many factors help make a successful backpacking adventure such as knowing what to bring, efficient packing and minimizing your environmental impact on the places you explore with all-natural products.