Hershey, PA—A coalition of independent natural food stores and co-ops, along with several human rights and consumer groups, has sent an open letter to The Hershey Company, urging it to make a substantially larger commitment to relying upon ethically-sourced, Fair Trade cocoa for its chocolate products. The letter comes in the context of reports that illegal and often forced child labor is a major issue with overseas cocoa production.

Before the ballots open on California Prop. 37 on November 6, there are numerous factors and perspectives with which to be familiar. The fate of the proposition that would mandate labeling in the state on all food products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is in the hands of voters. The result will likely carry policy implications for the rest of the country, and has the potential to make an immediate impact on the entire food industry due to the size California’s consumer base.

Sensitive diet products—gluten-free, allergen-free and intolerance-friendly—are big, big business today. They’ll be Bill Gates big by 2017, when the global market is predicted to crest $26 billion (1). It’s a classic case of supply meeting demand. The result for those with special dietary restrictions is increased selection and a more fulfilling experience with their food. The implication for product makers certainly involves more profit, but there’s also an imperative to continue to satisfy, reach out to and protect their new customers.

Earth Island introduces Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Gourmet, a line of heart-healthy and soy-free dipping sauces and spreads. The line includes exotic flavors such as roasted garlic, pesto, chipotle and barbecue. Also new are two classic sauces, horseradish and tartar, remixed with vegan style. All products are gluten free, kosher parve, cholesterol free, dairy free and non-GMO with no preservatives or trans-fats.

FungusAmongUs presents a line of 0.5-oz dried mushrooms, which includes mushroom medley, porcini, shiitake, maitake, crimini, black trumpet, chanterelle, portabello and oyster. These mushrooms are both low carb and certified organic, and can be used as flavor enhancers in numerous recipes.

1-2-3 Gluten Free has come out with Olivia’s Outstanding Multi-Purpose Flour Mix. The all-natural, gluten-free flour is made in a facility free of wheat, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, egg and soy. This fortified flour mix is also corn free, GMO free and made in the USA.

Little Duck Organics has a new Tiny Fruits flavor. Little Duck’s Pineapple & Mango Tiny Fruits is made with organic freeze-dried pineapple and mango, perfect for little hands. Little Duck’s mission is to distribute the highest quality, best-tasting organic kids’ snacks.

In need of an all-natural juice infused with exotic and healthy flavors? Look no further than RAAW and its natural juice blends from Raw Foods International, LLC. The RAAW family now includes Strawberry Purple Carrot, Very Berry Wheatgrass and Mango Guarana. All juices include fruits and vegetables, with no added flavors, sugar or preservatives. They are gluten free, vegan, kosher and Non-GMO Project verified.

The Spice Hunter Quick & All Natural Soups are an ideal meal solution in a just-add-water container. The Spice Hunter Quick & All Natural Soups are certified gluten-free, and varieties include Chicken Vegetable, Chipotle Black Bean, Curry Lentil, Green Chile & White Bean, Split Pea and the following Reduced Sodium Cups: Chipotle Black Bean, Curry Lentil, and Split Pea. Also available are kosher-certified soup bowls.

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