What is New in the World of Natural Products

Organic milk bottles become art


Last weekend was the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim. It is an annual event in California and I believe it is the largest trade show for “natural” products. If you imagine one of Whole Foods largest stores on steroids that is what this  show is like.

As I relaunch SmartLifeways with more regular posts this seemed like a good place to start. Over the next weeks I will be writing more about the show. It was really well attended-mobbed is more accurate, so get ready for some new products to be showing up at your local natural foods stores.

I am sure that it was no coincidence that Whole Foods announced while the show was taking place that by 2018 all products containing GMO’s will be labeled in their stores. This announcement comes as many states across the country are trying to pass legislation or initiate ballot measures requiring GMO products to be labeled. In my opinion five years is way too long for Whole Foods to require labeling but at least it is a step in the right direction. In the meantime the Non-GMO Project is growing incredibly…I will devote a post to their work in the coming weeks.

Based on an overview of the show I would have to say three areas stand out most:

-Products are already being labeled Non-GMO, usually 3rd party verified by the Non-GMO project, by companies that really do care about their products (and their customers) or by companies that recognize consumer demand is huge for this.

-The gluten-free market has exploded. There is research showing that GMO’s can effect our digestive system and I wonder if there is a direct link between consumption of GMO’s and the need to switch to a gluten free diet…more on this hypothesis in the coming weeks.

-Sadly I must report that as the demand for “natural” food grows many companies are jumping on board and we are getting more and more junk food with a natural label. Surely it is an improvement to food with artificial ingredients but I would not consider all of it really healthy and much is made with genetically engineered ingredients. So even if it is in a Whole Foods, a Coop or another natural food market read your labels and watch out for sugar and other ingredients that do not contribute to your overall good health. And until there is real legislation or our government agencies step up to protect us with adequate labeling warning us about GMO’s, beware eating anything with soy, canola, non sugar-cane sugar (sugar beets are often GMO), and corn (this includes corn syrup) that is not organic since chances are good it will be genetically engineered.

2012 was a busy year for me as I spent much of it pursuing another area that has been waiting to come forth for a long time. Now I will be devoting more time to SmartLifeways as well as creating art. Welcome back and I hope that you find the information here helpful to create a more sustainable and health-filled life for you and your loved ones.

And if you are curious about my other work you can see some of it at Notice the Divine.

Thanks for being a part of SmartLifeways…..