Global Warming

Elizabeth Fuhrman  
Managing Editor

Ever heard the phrase “shop locally?” Organic products, especially produce, sometimes use marketing that touts this phrase. The original proponents of the organic lifestyle envisioned an industry devoted to the principles of organic farming that promoted “respect for the environment by buying locally so as to avoid burning fossil fuel to transport the organic foods to market,” states the Oct. 16, 2006, BusinessWeek. But increased demand, manufacturing and production of organic foods and beverages have made these two philosophical ideas diminish, the article reports.
While organic beverages continue to increase in the United States, I feel it is going to be harder for organic beverages that use imported ingredients to convey that organic is the better choice in regard to environmental issues. To meet the growing organic market demands, last year the United States imported between $1 billion and $1.5 billion worth of organic food, Mintel’s October 2006 Organic Beverages report states.
According to a consumer survey in Mintel’s report, two-thirds of respondents who purchase organic products define “organics” as referring to products that are made without artificial flavors or ingredients, as well as those that are environmentally friendly and pesticide- and GMO-free. So, consumers are saying that environmental awareness does play a role in their decision to purchase organic. Some beverage companies, particularly in wine, spirits and beer, are marketing organic beverages’ environmental consciousness regarding local ingredient sources and eco-friendly farming practices.
Consumers may be more drawn to organic beverages because of other reasons than environmental concerns such as perceived healthfulness, packaging or Fair Trade status. But as global warming is receiving more attention in the media this winter, eventually Al Gore and crew will be heard, and products might take a hit for sourcing ingredients from distant (albeit sometimes fair and sometimes better) origins.
A must-buy
Jean-Marc XO Vodka was selected as one of the “101 Things to Buy Before You Die,” a new book from Red Rock Press. The product’s clear, floral notes were highlighted as the best vodka every aficionado must experience in their lifetime. The book also features many luxury goods and everyday essentials authors Charlotte Willamson and Maggie Davis deem necessary purchases.
Banzai! chills out
Hershey’s Ice Cream announced it has partnered with Banzai energy drink to create a new frozen novelty. Available this month, Banzai Energy Ice is a frozen treat with the citrus taste and energy-enhancing benefits for which Banzai is known. The novelty will be sold in a 4-ounce easy-squeeze container.
University to ‘drink smarter’
Jim Beam and Robby Gordon Motorsports donated $20,000 to the University of Houston to fund the Century Council’s Alcohol 101 Plus program. Gordon is team owner and driver of the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet car. The donation is part of Beam Global’s Drink Smart responsibility platform, which aims to educate consumers on how to make responsible decisions about alcohol.
Best beer recipe chosen
The National Beer Wholesalers Association named Linda Rohr the winner of its cooking with beer challenge. Rohr, Darien, Conn., won with her quick and easy white beer-seafood ‘risotto’ with fresh herbs. The risotto-like dish is made with orzo pasta, scallops and shrimp, and was chosen as first place winner for its flavor, versatile serving options and ease of preparation. Rohr was chosen from 10 finalists from across the country who gathered in New York City for a cook-off.
Soaring cellar given title
At 1,151 feet, the CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant in Toronto can add to its credentials the title of owner of the World’s Highest Wine Cellar (in a building or tower). The restaurant’s wine cellar, dubbed Cellar in the Sky, was bestowed the title as part of International Guinness World Record Day. Despite its soaring location, the wine cellar was designed to resemble a classic underground cellar. It is climate- and humidity-controlled with double cherry doors and has a 9,000 bottle capacity.
An educational blend
PBS and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Waterbury, Vt., introduced PBS Blend Fair Trade Certified organic coffee. The blend will allow consumers to support public television, which is home to “Sesame Street,” “Antiques Roadshow” and other educational programs, through their purchase of PBS Blend coffee. The blend is sweetly balanced and smooth with full flavor and rich finish and is grown in Mexico. The coffee, available in whole bean or single-serve cups, can be purchased online at, with a portion of proceeds benefiting public television.