Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, produce report, weekly update.

Make no mistake, friends — we’re talking about a very serious problem in the organic food industry when well-known brands like Wal-Mart, Costco — and even worse, the USDA — start seeing problems with organic food rule violations starting to crop up. It’s not even intended to smear the reputations of such brands, but here’s the thing: it’s pretty darn hard to keep regulations going for a market that’s so huge and tied together. Here. We’ll explain:

Aurora Organic Dairy Is the Supposed Culprit for Obvious Reasons: the Cows in Which Their Products Come From

Wal-Mart and Costco are particularly known for their major milk supplier, Aurora Organic Dairy, but it turns out that the company was found to violate rules of organic food policy in organic milk production for one obvious reason. Their cows aren’t organic either. The milk might go through the organic process, but the cows aren’t grass-fed or even free from antibiotics due to sickness or other debilitating conditions that would otherwise be naturally occurring or even genetic.USDA organic food market-1

It’s understandable, obviously. You want to maintain milk production, you do what you can, your cows can’t always be free of radicals or whatnot, and the ultimate underlying truth is that as long as you produce a quality product, ensure you don’t add any non-organics into that product, technically, your milk can still be considered organic and stamped with an approval from the USDA.

Call it a “domino effect” if you will. Sure, the cows — and the beef going with it — wouldn’t be organic in quality. This ultimately means the milk they produce won’t be as well, and there’s no way around it. Even if the milk is still natural. It’s still not considered organic, and here’s why:

Aurora Organic Dairy Was Actually Tested to Measure Their Organic Milk for Two Specific Fats

Grass-fed, completely organic, cows have one differentiated characteristic — their milk represents two essential fats not found in conventional milk. After testing, it turned out that Aurora Organic dairy products were missing those two essential fats for the most part. Bad news on the part of the USDA, which should be on the up-and-up as far as inspections to ensure that their label, their “organic quality” is what it says it is.

The fact is the USDA’s stretched beyond belief already. They rely on what has been called an “unusual system of inspections” relying on a “private inspector” approved by the organization and left to its own devices. It’s not enough when you have a huge supply chain of more than 31K farms and businesses all over the world.

The USDA has only 82 certified inspection firms. That’s it. You can see now that it’s not enough. Some inspections will undoubtedly miss the mark, and brands like Aurora Organic Dairy suffer — and consequently, so will we (and retail brands like Wal-Mart and Costco will suffer, too!).

It’s a Sad Fact for the Organic Food Market and the USDA, But What Do You Expect?

The organic food market is growing at an alarming rate. And we’re all struggling to catch up. Including the USDA. The great news is you can avoid all of that by signing up for Golden Gate Organics. You want true organic-quality groceries for your kitchen? You can get it right here. We can only hope great brands like Aurora Organic Dairy, Wal-Mart, Costco — and, of course, the USDA — can catch up as well as the market continues to swell.

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, tips & tricks, weekly update.

You’d think that imports would be a good thing, right? We see it with the automotive industry, the retail industry — well, just about everything. Even groceries. But organic food? That’s an entirely different beast, and one we’re not liking for a specific reason.

First Off, Recognize That It’s Not the Organic Food Market’s Fault

After all, this is a market getting bigger and bigger and bigger with no signs of stopping. Supply’s so strained that brands struggle to look for more channels to provide the public with the organic food they love so much. Needless to say, they turn toorganic food market-2 imports, most notably from the Ukraine, Turkey, India, and China. Here’s the problem with that:

These countries don’t possess the strict organic food standards we have. Presents a problem, don’t you think?

The issue is in regards to the regulations with animal feed. As we all know now, the so-called “organic food market” we’ve been seeing is plagued by the fact that it’s not really organic due to a domino effect. Only organic-only grains fed to cows can then literally source everything from organic beef to even organic milk. The way the products are processed is just one step of a very long staircase.

Because these countries don’t possess those regulations for organic-only grains, livestock gets what they get. For good reason, though!

The Market Is What It Is Given What the U.S. Currently Grows as Far as Animal Feed

Sadly, almost all of the corn and soybean you’ll find grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if that’s what our cows are grazing, then technically, we’re not getting our healthy organic food from them. Because of our standards, we’re forced to import other grains from around the world supposedly considered organic.

Now don’t get us wrong: they just might be. However, the USDA or any other inspection service won’t be able to really determine if the quality’s there for imported grains. Once they’re shipped, that’s it. That’s what our cows get. And it’s pretty sad that we’re the net importer of organic goods, which is why you won’t often see the terms “locally grown” anywhere in supermarket chains.

The numbers are staggering: we literally import $160MM worth in “organic” yellow corn annually. That’s a 400% increase since 2014! In two years, we’ve seen a 75% increase in organic soybean imports; that’s currently at an alarming $250MM in costs.

The Question You Then Have to Ask Yourself Is This:

Are those imports truly organic? We’re willing to bet you can’t confidently say YES. We know that normally we’d be all for substantial growth in this organic food market, but something needs to bend here. Locally grown is the way to go as Golden Gate Organics supports it. Just SIGN UP RIGHT NOW AND BENEFIT FROM YOUR LOCAL EXCELLENCE RIGHT NOW!

The hope is that some sort of regulation exists that makes it possible for the entire world to benefit from healthy organic food. Until then, we’ll be going through growing pains.

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, produce report, weekly update.

Let’s face the facts — organic food, ESPECIALLY organic import food, gets costly. You’re paying a premium for the health benefit of organic produce, and there’s no way around it. The concept of all the painstaking process to ensure organic quality is a bit less cost-efficient than some of the methods necessary to bring quality groceries into supermarkets under the conventional way (non-organic). Is it worth it to pay a little extra? Absolutely. Sadly, some suppliers see it differently, but you can’t blame the issue —

Organic Import Fraud Really Is All About Money. Plain and Simple.

And it shows in overwhelming evidence. Case in point, look at the Ukraine.organic import money

It was recently revealed thart the Ukraine shipped out supposedly organic import stock of an amazing 36MM pounds of purely conventional soybeans (no way of knowing for sure) from Turkey to California and somehow, magically, became certified ORGANIC. It’s as if the import along the way somehow by supernatural means developed all the characteristics of organic food.

Cheap imports. That’s the name of the game. If we could just get that good stuff, ensure that it’s “organic” (again, we have NO WAY of knowing that it will be since it’s overseas) at a much lower price and then put our 100% USDA organic-approved-guaranteed stamp on it, sell it at a premium, and make some sort of a profit in our market, then we’re going to do it. It’s about money.

Sadly, the public suffers greatly.

Forget the Fact That This Is a Potential Safety Threat

I mean, there’s no way of knowing how these soybeans were grown and handled. Who knows what materials got carried with it on the trip overseas. Lots of variables and question marks there that can make any organic foodie kind of nervous. Again, though, it’s about the MONEY. Dollar signs. And we pay the price.

You can’t blame the industry, though, because a lot of mechanics go into ensuring that it works like a well-oiled machine. You’ve got retail, supply, demand, logistics. To keep it going, some kind of profit needs to be made somewhere. If not, eventually, we’re looking at a loss nationwide that’ll fold in on itself, and all for the price of people getting their organic food at a much lower cost (which is how it should be).

It’s just not the way it works. However, given the safety threat, there’s the burgeoning issue already stockpiling about other fraudulent shipments of organic grains going around, forcing the USDA to take a lot of action and undergo investigations.

The sad thing is this: that’ll cost all suspected parties a fine of up to $11K — PER VIOLATION. You can see the problem here. It’s, again, a money issue. And not a health one.

Just Another Reason Why Imports Are a Big Problem, Which Is Why….

You just have to go local! It’s an absolute. Of course, if you live around the Bay area in California, that’s easy. YOU JUST SIGN UP FOR GOLDEN GATE ORGANICS and keep it all within our good earth, right at home. Right where we belong.

We, however, don’t claim to be the answer to the huge problem the entire organic food industry is seeing. But it’s a telltale sign:

We’re doing something right. It’s our hope that someday soon the RIGHT will follow suit everywhere else.

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, produce report, weekly update.

The name of the organic dairy producer here in the U.S. making some headlines is Organic Valley. They’re the largest in the game, responsible for selling milk to such brands as Stonyfield Yogurt. You can’t their organic dairy; there’s just one slight problem, though — domestic shortages.

There’s Just Not Enough Supply of the Organic Grains We Really Needorganic dairy-1

Which is quite sad. And a bit alarming. What can we possibly do when such a reputable brand like Organic Valley resorts to buying imported feed? You can’t blame them.

You can’t even blame the sources as well, because it happens to be those local farms outsourcing for imported grains from Turkey and Romania, selling them to Organic Valley, and making the profit they need to stay afloat. Of course, we’re not saying that Organic Valley happens to use those grains at all. It just means that the fact we have to outsource for those supposedly organic imports makes it a bit difficult to maintain true 100% organic quality.

In all fairness, this is just a symptom of the problem, and not the problem itself. Call it the “fake” organic food market if you want: the fact is organic food is getting more and more popular, and much harder to keep up on the demand, which forces even farmers to outsource just to maintain the business relationships with producers like Organic Valley. After all, we have an economy to worry about.

There Is a Solution, However, and We Don’t Mean to Toot Our Own Horn….

Golden Gate Organics. Us. We’re cool. We’re cool, because we’re completely local. We don’t outsource. The farms we have business relationships with don’t either. The only issue is that we’re so local that you need to be in the Bay area just to receive our organic food deliveries. So, again, you just can’t blame the market. It’s gotten so big that there’s almost no way around it.

The hope is that one day we’ll be leveled out to the point that organics will have a decent share of the market without any loss of supply. Costs need to go down a bit. Investments need to be made. The thought leaders need to care more about the fact that organic food is important enough to warrant the cost. Something has to bend, people!

….But until then, you can always SIGN UP FOR GGO!

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

If anyone ever had doubts about the state of the organic food trend, all you need to do is read this article right here. THIS is the reason why Golden Gate Organics has been around for awhile — because organic produce, the organic food community, has grown in such a way to expand into the mainstream more than it ever has in the past.

You can sign up for deliveries of your organic food right here, in fact!

Now that we got that out of the way, of course, we’re willing to bet you’re wondering just how organic food is trending. We say it;organic food trends-1 why should you believe it?

It Just so Happens We Have the Organic Food Trends Right Here

And they’ll shock you, honestly. You wouldn’t have expected it, although you possibly would notice if you just walk into a grocery store and look at all the items. You might notice something only slightly different about the selection. Moreover, there’s a couple other trends going on out there that prove we’re in a new age of technology, birthing an on-demand society. What do we mean? Check out these links for yourself:

  • Grocery Store Chains— Your staples. The big names…no longer do you have to go to that specialty store for organic food. You know what we’re talking about — the little-known store off the beaten path with higher prices but better quality and selection. We’ve hit a breaking point: organic food, we think, is now making the mainstream, and here’s why:  What major grocery stores have to do with organic food trends.
  • McDonald’s— Yes, you heard correctly, the burger giant of the American Way, except it’s not what you think. It does turn out that organic food growth in the market is hitting the food service industry so hard that not only are new chains starting up with the primary focus being organic food, but even a Mickey D’s direct competitor will be leading the charge as well. Ever heard of Wendy’s? How about Honest Tea?
  • Your Smartphone— How could your phone have anything to do with organic food, or groceries for that matter?A little study done in 2015 actually found that 51% of consumers use their phones to shop for merchandise. Why not groceries? This explains why many startups and tech companies out there are tapping into the untouched market of groceries given it happens to be the largest category out there. We’re seeing features right now, actually. Here’s how.
  • Conscious consumerism–tons of food is wasted every day and landfills with food emit more methane into the atmosphere than cows. How do we reduce this impact on our environment? By giving the option to consumers to receive food that doesn’t look “perfect” but is perfectly edible. This imperfect produce cuts down on food waste and saves you money too! Learn more about why conscious consumerism is the way you can vote with your dollar every.single.day.
  • Speaking of waste, how about plastic?–Organic farms are working to reduce the amount of plastic being used in food storage and transportation, by finding recyclable ways to package their food, or by using no packing at all. It’s not surprising that the same people who are trying to improve our health and the planet’s health by using sustainable, non-toxic agricultural methods are also the forerunners of getting rid of single-use plastic. Here are 3 ways modern farmers are reducing plastic consumption.

These organic food trends alone are enough for you to really see the writing on the wall. People want to get healthy, or stay healthy. For the longest time, we’ve shoved crap into our mouths, and now we’re paying for it.

It’s Time for Us to Give Our Children a Better World

Nothing’s better than organic. Plain and simple. You, again, have the opportunity to get premium service through GGO right here. Sign up! It’s FREE!

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It used to be commonplace to show up at your local grocery store and expect just one aisle devoted to organic food products. That’s it. Nothing else. It was a fact that organic groceries were not quite en vogue for obvious reasons: cost, accessibility, variety, supply. They were only just trying to break out the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality of why we should do anything different with our groceries and go with this thing called ORGANIC. What was the big deal?

Well, a LOT Was a Big Deal With Organic Food. And the Trend Has Shown That the Organic Groceries Cart Doesn’t Just Come From the Specialty Storeorganic groceries cart-1

The trends are in. And no longer do you have to go to that specialty store for organic food. You know what we’re talking about — the little-known store off the beaten path with higher prices but better quality and selection. We’ve hit a breaking point: organic food, we think, is now making the mainstream, and here’s why:

2014 was THE year that 50% of organic food was sold at conventional grocery stores. That’s right: 50%. People are buying organics these days Plain and simple.

What kind of stores? Just about any you can think of:

  • Kroger
  • Target
  • Wal-Mart
  • Even Costco

You name it, increases in total volume sitting in your quintessential organic groceries cart at the chain store are the norm, which means all those stores will be getting competitive. Offering more selections, dropping some prices, incentives, you name it.

So If You Were Wondering If Organic Food Was Ever Going to Get Popular….

There’s your answer. We suggest you cash in on that, make it easy, and sign up with Golden Gate Organics, though! Saves you a trip to the grocery store chain, plus time waiting in a long line.

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce.

Things will get seriously serious up in here with this crazy organic food trend. We’re just sayin’. Ronald’s not going to be happy. We’re probably expecting that you’ve read this already, and you might’ve heard of a little organic fast-food chain called Elevation Burger, but here’s a little something that should scare the crap out of Mickey D’s just a little bit more:

We Might Be Seeing the Organic Food Trend Tackled by the BEST OF THE BEST in the Game, Wendysand Sadly It’s NOT Going to Be McDonald’s

A little something that should scare the iconic fast-food chain into some action. Here’s why:

It does turn out that organic food growth in the market is hitting the food service industry so hard that not only are new chains starting up with the primary focus being organic food, but even a Mickey D’s direct competitor will be leading the charge as well. Ever heard of Wendy’s? How about Honest Tea?

The two have joined together in an effort to serve Honest tea organic beverages in all establishments nationwide. You can walk into a Wendy’s an order one right now. To spell it out for you, Honest Yea sources about 800K lbs of organic raw materials, which makes it quite the heavy organic food establishment. The partnership Honest Tea has with Wendy’s will require a good 1MM lbs of that raw material.

Staggering.

We Can Only Imagine Just How Much the Organic Food Trend Will Go. It May Just Be the Beginning.

We’re thinking McDonald’s will need to try their hand in it somehow. Or else Wendy’s might be able to also compete with the many other establishments out there serving organic food and still remain in the game with the big names, like Burger King and the like. What do you think? Can Mickey D’s do it? Or are they going to be sunk? You be the judge!

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

What’s this world coming to? The age of the Internet, or as many tech enthusiasts call, the Internet of Things. Not only can your phone be hooked up to cyberspace, but your microwave can, your TV can, your doorknob can, even you freakin’ pen can! Why not organic food? Sound too far-fetched. Be prepared to be wowed, because it turns out that soon you just might be a connected shopper someday soon.

We’re Not Joking. The Stats Are In, and the Convenient Connected Shopper Network May Be a Huge Force in the Organic Food Market

 

Here’s the thing — and we can attest to it, because we’re Golden Gate Organics (generally customers buy our stuff online) — organicconnected shopper-1 food purchases directly from the web in 2014 actually doubled — to 14%. That means in 2013, food purchases online only sat at a paltry 7%. Nothing to sniff at in a negative way, as at least some people are purchasing organics! But we repeat: that metric doubled in a year.

Let’s drive the point home a little more. A little study done in 2015 actually found that 51% of consumers use their phones to shop for merchandise. Why not groceries? This explains why many startups and tech companies out there are tapping into the untouched market of groceries given it happens to be the largest category out there. We’re seeing features right now, actually.

Of Course, Why Should We Care About the Connected Shopper Trend Anyway??

The tested method of getting into your car, going to the store, getting the cart, and shopping for your food still sweeps the nation. So why bother investigating any industry trends like this? There are plenty of reasons —

  • Price Comparisons Are Easier
  • Better Information and Access
  • Product Review Introductions
  • More Regulations
  • Direct Customer Service Help

Think about it. When in a store, you don’t get those options as easy. When all it takes is a simple swipe of your smartphone, the information you need, plus the purchase, and the delivery not only saves you the time, but earns you better products and choices in the long run.

More than worth it!

We Guess We Should Be Open With Welcome Arms to the Advent of the Internet

Well, we are. Other establishments should as well! The future of grocery shopping — nay, organic grocery shopping! — is looking pretty bright for organic food.

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

They’ve been around for the longest time, making us sick to our stomachs but somehow alleviating the stress of the day and filling our bellies enough to keep us going. Nothing against fast food, honestly — it serves a valid purpose in today’s society. But think about just how long the fast food phenomenon has been around. After all, Michael Keaton recently starred in the breakout film “The Founder,” heralding the launch of arguably the most prolific and biggest fast food chain in history (*ahem* McDonald’s). Needless to say, the fast-food market’s an American institution, having swam overseas at length to populate the masses over there. It’s been around so long, too, that ultimately we’re seeing a massive change in the market, and here’s why:

In the Not-to-Distant Future, We May See Organic Food Quality Enter Into the Space of the Fast Food Market

And it would be unprecedented. Think about it: veggie burgers sold at Burger King, tofu tacos at Taco Bell. The concept blows minds (and not stomachs). The thing is we’re already seeing that happen right now  with some breakout branches potentially forcing the trend on the big heavy hitters, like Wendy’s and such. And it’s not just a fad. It’s a success. You can see why Golden Gate’s big on organic food and produce already, because it connects to everything —

  1. Grocery Stores
  2. Farmer’s Markets
  3. Restaurants

fast food-1Yes, definitely restaurants. Not just your standard fare, but the fast-food kind. This ups the value of everything organic in a big way, which is a big reason why you can subscribe and have successful organic food delivery with GGO and supercharge your food health. The occasional trip out to eat, though, can’t hurt. We welcome it. The fact that restaurants are buying into this organic food trend is a big deal, but the question is this:

Will the big guys see the writing on the wall?

Come on, Burger King. We love the Whopper, but we’ve got to transcend the grease and Calories and go for something seamlessly satisfying without sacrificing our midriffs. It would take quite a while as the big chains out there still control the majority of fast-food-eating society, but over time when you see that health declines, and the healthier propel, ultimately the whole survival of the fittest mentality comes into play.

People want to live longer. To live longer, you have to eat better. And you can’t eat better if you’re eating grease all the time. We saw it with the Subway Diet, and there are other casual eating dives promoting some form of healthy eating, but sooner or later, organic products will make their way into kitchens and promote the next big thing in culinary genius. Think about it: the only thing better than whole grain…is organic whole grain. And the benefits are clear.

As We Mentioned, There Are Seven Reasons Why Organic Food Will Change the Entire Industry

Something has to give, right? Here are seven reasons why the market will give in. Successful fast food chains with emphasis on green quality and organic excellence are the reasons, starting with….

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill — Surprising, right? To see this chain on the list? After all the food organic food-1safety scandals they’re dealing with, you really just have to read this and learn why organic food is number one with them.
  • Elevation Burger — Before you start thinking that this is just a local mom-and-pop burger joint, check this report out about what the latest trend is all over the East Coast and Midwest.
  • Veggie Grill — This should be a no-brainer given the name of the restaurant, but you won’t believe what else they do at their establishments. Let’s just say you can have “Happy Hour” there.
  • Dig Inn — Not just a play on words, or a pun, but this restaurant takes the idea of healthy eating and turns it into a buffet scarfing session unlike anything you’ve ever seen. See for yourself.
  • Native Foods — Another no-brainer, what with the name of the restaurant. Still, not only does this restaurant’s cuisine taste damn good, but it looks good — and, yes, you’re looking at a fast-food genre here as well.
  • LYFE Kitchen — If there’s any food service out there — organic food service, to be exact — capable of bringing about the newest trend in the fast food industry, it’s this restaurant. You’ll be blown away.
  • Sweetgreen Restaurant — Here’s a little disclaimer for you: this restaurant isn’t simply a “salad bar.” Actually, it’s nothing like a salad bar, as in there’s no bar. It’s just a big feast-fest, and here’s why.

Here’s the craziest part of this list: this is only a fraction of the number of fast-food chains breaking into the industry with a focus on organic food!

It’s Pretty Clear — People WANT to Eat Healthier, But Still Want the Convenience of Fast Food

And it will only be a process, okay? An arguably long process. Think about it. All the Mickey D’s, Burger King’s, and Taco Bell’s in the world have to either weather this storm, or join in on the maelstrom that is organic food! You be the judge — what’s going to happen? You think everyone from Wendy’s to Checkers can accomodate? We. Shall. See!

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic.

Mince no words (only garlic and onion) when talking about Chipotle Mexican Grill. Yes, this chain’s arguably the largest chain of its ethnic cuisine, but also the one going through the most tumult given e.coli stuff and food safety concerns plaguing the establishment. It’s not stopping the Mexican juggernaut from touting the biggest USP its still pushing to this day, which may be one of the reasons why stock shares in the venue still are decent despite the negative reviews.

What’s That USP? Nothing But the Fact That Chipotle Mexican Grill Right on Chipotle Mexican GrillTheir Website Will Commit to Sustainably Raised Food

A major commercial chain — supporting sustainability — dare we say, organic quality? Who knew? In fact, their website states that all the meat from animals is ensured to be raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, hence organic meat. Additionally, organic and local produce is a big winner for them “when practicaly, so Chipotle has proven that a fast-food chain doesn’t even have to be die-hard organic to support it.

The company’s even placed solar panels on their buildings, using low-VOC paint and energy-efficient lighting. With all paper products made from unbleached material, you’re guaranteed a fully green restaurant with organic tendencies.

Granted…. It’s not a solely dedicated organic fast-food restaurant. But Chipotle Mexican Grill certainly can be named as the first fast-food restaurant to support and launch an initiative toward better health. We’re wondering if it had anything to do with the food safety scandals and claims. A blessing in disguise?

Today, Chipotle, Tomorrow, the World

It may seem like only a matter of time before organic food and groceries hit the mainstream (for some, it already has). Couldn’t come any sooner. To this day, the United States may still be the most obese nation in the country. With these kinds of initiatives, though, that may soon change.