A Brief History
In June of 2002, H.J. Heinz Co. introduced the first organic ketchup by a mainstream, mass market food producer. Up until that time, only then-niche organic brands such as Muir Glen, Walnut Acres and the private label line of supernatural retailer, Austin, TX-based Whole Foods Markets, had risked venturing into the small but fast-growing branded organic foods segment. Around this time, conventional supermarkets were in various stages of toe-dipping into the natural and organic waters, expanding and then shrinking shelf space for the products depending on their stomach for risk. By 2003, the U.S. had entered a recession—mild by comparison to the Great Recession of 2007–2009—which caused a slowdown in sales of natural and organic foods within these traditional supermarkets.

The thing I hate most about visiting the doctor is being reduced to a number. In the race to get to the next patient, far too many physicians scan the “high” or “low” column of a lab report, not even caring to look at the numbers within the range or consider other factors that affect a patient’s health. Instead, they swiftly move to the prescription pad faster than you can say, “Take two, and call me in the morning.”

Savvy shoppers are always looking to get the most “bang for their buck,” even when it comes to their dietary supplements. Green foods, with their wide variety of benefits ranging from fighting bad breath to acting as anticarcinogens, are some of nature’s best multitaskers.

Last month, we began a discussion about the many health benefits of Pycnogenol with Frank Schönlau, Ph.D., scientific director of Horphag Research (distributor of Pycnogenol). He joins us again this month to highlight some more exciting research about how Pycnogenol supports cardiovascular health, women’s health, skincare and more.

Sunset pinked the German sky as the Codex delegates sat at their conference-room tables, a long first day already behind them, still debating health standards that will affect billions worldwide. Naturally a day filled with such debates—especially over technical language for draft guidelines for vitamin-and-mineral Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) as well as draft Principles about adding essential nutrients to foods—would trick the delegates’ sense of time as they crawled through reams of documents, making a long day seem even longer. At such times, natural health is a frequent casualty because overall vision is sacrificed on the altar of hyper-technicality. But not this time. Instead, this first day of the 35th session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) saw health granted a reprieve, however provisional, as the executioners stayed their hands for reasons unknown.

How much potassium do you think you get daily? The full 4.7 g/day that the Institute of Medicine suggests? If the trend from a recent survey holds, probably 61% of you believe you consume this amount every day—and nearly all of you are dead wrong.

Ears. They’re our key to the unseen world of sound. That is why it is important to keep our ears safe and healthy. Infections, wax buildup and tinnitus can affect balance and hearing. Here are some natural ear care remedies that can keep ears funtioning at their best.

Through the years, there have been many clinical studies demonstrating a plethora of health benefits for Pycnogenol. So many, in fact, that since my first column on the antioxidant properties of Pycnogenol in 1991 (1), I have written six books about the (increasing) health benefits (2–7). Through the years, we have discussed Pycnogenol’s benefits on joints (8), the heart (9, 10), skin, (11), inflammation (12) and more. Now, we know better how Pycnogenol works to bring about these diverse health benefits.

The natural products industry is a pretty comfortable place to be. I say this as someone who unintentionally swerved into the business 36 years ago when my friends encouraged me to interview for sales manager at a start-up New England natural foods distributor. I wanted to teach classical guitar. Well, I got the job, for $150 a week. Of course, my living expenses were $140 per month for rent, and food costs were heavily subsidized by mysteriously damaged cases of Wha Guru Chews and miscellaneous organic free range grains, nuts and seeds from our warehouse and returning delivery trucks.