Whether we’re gulping, sipping or slurping, beverages are a major part of our dietary intake. Drinks are so important that their sweeteners, calorie content, energy boosting quality and the like have been under the microscope. Here, we review some of the most recent beverage-related news stories and how they have affected the natural/organic products industry.

Elk Grove Village, IL—The advantages of an organic diet are convincing, according to a new clinical report published in Pediatrics by members of the Committee on Nutrition and the Council on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, based here.

News from industry food companies.

New from New England Naturals is a new line of deliciouis all-natural granola clusters. These “grab & go” snacks are non-GMO, kosher, trans-fat free, cholesterol free and low in saturated fats. The clusters come in three flavors (Chocolate Toasted Coconut, Peanut Butter Cookie and Cranberry Almond Crispy) and are packaged individually in 2-oz bags.

Columbus, OH—The famous phrase about apples and the doctor may actually be true, at least when it comes to their concern over our cholesterol. A new study conducted at Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Functional Foods reveals that consuming one apple per day for four weeks was apparently enough to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol by 40%.

Washington, D.C.—Two new sets of research, one from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and another from Consumer Reports, indicate levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, in some rice and rice products grown in the United States that exceed five parts per billion (ppb). The five ppb safe exposure standard for arsenic in food has been proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is the level required for drinking water in New Jersey, the strictest in the nation.

The one organ in the body we can least afford to have lapse is the heart. Unfortunately, the majority of us routinely or even habitually lapse in protecting our cardiovascular health through diet. Part of this is simple dedication, but one also needs the know-how, as well as access to the right foods. A push in the right direction from a knowledgeable retailer doesn’t hurt, and you can go about doing this for your clientele by making your grocery section a heart-healthy haven. 

NOW Foods redesigned the packaging for its natural foods line, NOW Real Food. States the company, “The offerings in the food line are being rebranded and repackaged to reflect their quality and freshness, and to appeal to the healthy lifestyle shopper.” Several new products will be rolled out over the next few months.

Pacific Foods of Oregon added two new flavors to its Soup Starters collection. Thai Tom Yum is spicy and sour, made with authentic spices like galangal and lemongrass. The Tortilla Soup has a tomato base and is seasoned with green peppers, onions and lime. Add spices, veggies and protein to complete the soups.