Tag Archives: environment


So exciting, #GMO Labeling bill PASSES in #NJ! This is the first big step – GAME ON!!! #nongmo #justlabelit http://t.co/RdRX9vY4zT

— Dean's Nat Food Mrkt (@deans_market) June 17, 2013


Environmental Action

Want to get involved? Here is some news from Food and Water Watch NJ on some upcoming important events to ban fracking waste in our beautiful Garden State.

June 12th Day of Action

Keeping fracking waste out of our waterways and communities is critical to protecting our environment and public health.  Our state is vulnerable to this toxic and radioactive waste because Governor Christie vetoed a bill banning the treatment and disposal of fracking waste in our state in September.

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NEWS UPDATE: Fracking Waste Ban Bill

From Food and Water Watch:

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2013

Contact: Rachel Dawn Davis, 201.707.6558

Shrewsbury Residents Pressure Assemblywoman Casagrande on Fracking Waste Ban Bill at Local Action

Action Comes Amid Statewide Campaign to Overturn Governor’s Veto of Bill Protecting State from Toxic Fracking Waste This Legislative Session

Shrewsbury, New Jersey – Local residents joined with activists and community leaders gathered today to call on Assemblywoman Casagrande to support an override of Governor Christie’s veto of the Fracking Waste Ban Bill. This is a call-in-day to demonstrate widespread support of passing this bill. The legislation would protect residents by banning the disposal, treatment and discharge of toxic waste created through the process of fracking, a highly controversial natural gas drilling method. The legislation was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last year but NJ Governor Christie vetoed the legislation in September, caving to pressure from the oil and gas industry.

At the event activists dressed as ostriches, urging Casagrande not to “bury her head in the sand” but instead take immediate action to protect state residents.  We are asking Assemblywoman Casagrande to continue to vote “yes” when legislation is put up for a vote and stay firm if in the event of a veto by Governor Christie in which case an override will be necessary.

This is not a political issue.  This is a public health issue and one that poses serious risks to our children.  We are due an override of the Governor’s veto by our public officials,” said Rachel Dawn Davis, NJ Organizer with Food & Water Watch.

New Jersey’s wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to handle the toxins found in fracking wastewater and cannot remove all the toxics before discharging the waste into public waterways. Fracking waste is exempted from critical federal protections regulating the disposal of hazardous waste and toxic materials.

“Dean’s Natural Food Markets takes pride in educating our communities about the issues that affect our lives and our planet. It is our responsibility to share our knowledge in an effort to make a difference. We will continue to support people’s right to know, so they may be able to make their own educated choices,” said Dean Nelson, owner.

Analysis from the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services confirms the constitutionality of the legislation, directly refuting the governor’s claims to the contrary.  A recent study from Stony Brook University finds that the greatest risk of contamination of drinking water and environmental pollution from the fracking process occurs during the wastewater disposal period.

“Without water we do not exist.  It is our duty as humans to do our best to protect it,” said Joy Brody, Small Business Owner

No More GMOs.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

And that is what we are going to do. We are taking a big step, an aggressive step, one that not too many stores are willing to take. We’re not waiting anymore for GMO labeling laws.


Avoidance of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms):  While we do not claim to be GMO-free, we are taking decisive steps to move in that direction. Going forward, we will not accept any new Grocery item containing the top 5 most high-risk GMO crops (corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa) into our stores unless they are organic and/or verified by the Non-GMO Project. This includes products containing ingredients such as fructose that are produced using corn or soy.

We strongly encourage any manufacturer that is making a GMO-free claim to have that claim certified by the Non-GMO Project. This service will benefit both the consumer and the manufacturer.

Yes, it’s true. We are not bringing any more grocery products into our stores containing corn, soy, alfalfa, sugar beets or canola unless they are organic and/or Non-GMO Project Verified. Period. It’s not going to be easy, but we are 100% committed. We’re going to be scrutinizing ingredients like crazy, looking for all those hidden sources of the High-risk 5. Corn starch? Sorry, can’t bring it in. Soy lecithin in those cookies, not organic or Non-GMO Project Verified? Sorry, can’t bring it in. This is the level of commitment we are going to bring to make sure that moving forward, we will provide the safest food choices for you and your family.Revised-Seal

You may have a few questions about our non-GMO policy, so we’ve prepared a little FAQ.

You’re not taking in any new items containing GMOs, what about everything else in the store? Aren’t you knowingly selling us GMOs?

Few if any stores in the US and Canada are truly GMO free. We’re not there yet, but we are working hard to move in that direction. Going forward we will do our best to limit any products that contain GMOs and continue to find suitable organic/non-GMO replacements for items containing GMOs.

You can help us do this by choosing Non-GMO Project Verified and Organic products when you shop, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.  Look for the seal, check the Non-GMO Project’s iPhone app or product search page, or ask a staff-person for help.

What about other departments, such as Produce and Fresh Foods?

We have no GM produce, as all the produce we sell is organic. This same produce is what we use in our Fresh Foods department. We have taken great care to ensure that almost all ingredients in our kitchens are organic or Non-GMO Project Verified; we still continually seek out replacements for products which do not meet those standards.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at info AT deansnaturalfoodmarket DOT com.

We would like to give a HUGE Thank You to the Non-GMO Project for their collaboration! Please visit them at http://www.nongmoproject.org for more info.



Big Announcement: VIP from NGMOP

Hi everyone, GREAT news – we have confirmed guest speaker Courtney Pineau from the Non-GMO Project to come speak at our store, this is HUGE! All those Project verification logos you see on so many products in our stores (and all over the country!) – these are the people who put them there. Come learn about the Non-GMO Project from the source itself.

Dean’s Natural Food Market invites you to attend an in-store presentation from Courtney Pineau of the Non-GMO Project.

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are organisms which have been genetically altered by inserting genes of one species into another species (also known as “genetically engineered”), creating combinations meant to be pest and herbicide-resistant, but possibly with health risks to consumers. GMO foods have not been proven to be safe for us to eat and may in fact be linked to many health issues such as food allergies, infertility, autism, digestive problems and others.

Over 50 countries worldwide have banned GMO crops. In the USA, GMO foods such as corn, sugar beets, soy, canola and zucchini have been present in our food supply since the early 1990s,have been present in our and do not yet require federally-mandated labeling.

The Non-GMO Project is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and uphold a standardized definition of “non-GMO” for food and other products that are produced without genetic engineering. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization in North America offering independent verification of testing for products in the US and Canada. Products which have been verified by the Non-GMO Project as being free of GMOs can be identified by their verification logo on the packaging.

This free presentation starts at 2 pm on Sunday, September 23rd and will take place in our Shrewsbury location at 490 Broad St. (Rt. 35 N), Shrewsbury NJ. All ages are welcome to attend.

PROP 37: The GMO Game-Changer

Let me start out by saying, we don’t usually get political here on The Dish or on any other social media, you won’t see us endorsing political candidates in the upcoming elections, none of that. This issue, however…we’ve gotta talk about Prop 37.

Proposition 37 or the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is a measure on the ballot in California this November which, if passed, would require food companies to label foods containing GMO (genetically-modified organism) ingredients. You see, as of now, the FDA doesn’t require GMO identification. They require nutrition content, allergens and ingredients, but not GMOs – so basically, we’ve all been eating GE (genetically-engineered) foods since the early 1990s and never knew it. Still don’t.

What’s the big deal, so what if we eat GMOs? We’ve been eating them since the 90s and we’re all fine! Are we? We’ve written about it before, and contrary to what the big biotech corporations of the world would have you think, they have not been proven to be safe. They haven’t proven to be safe at all. In fact, tests done all around the world are preeeeetty much strongly leaning towards the UNSAFE side of the yard. I mean, it’s just like ohhh, OVER 50 COUNTRIES NOW HAVE BANNED THEM. (India just joined this list this past week, yay!).

You may be thinking “Eh, it’s in California, it doesn’t affect me,” – but it can.

California is huge, gigantic. They are the first large state to get this close to passing a labeling law. If they pass it, every food manufacturer who wants to sell in the state of California is going to have to comply by updating their labeling to identify if the product contains genetically modified ingredients. This would mean an across-the-board change as these companies aren’t going to have “California only” packaging. We would all finally know what the heck we’re eating and be able to make our own informed choice as to whether or not we want to eat it.

There is a backlash: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and others are putting their big $$$cha-ching$$$ towards fighting this law from happening. Why? They’re spinning it a few ways. “It would be the equivalent to a skull and crossbones on the package and people won’t buy it,” “There’s no proof GMOs are harmful,” to my favorite, the scare tactic of “This will make the cost of your groceries skyrocket.” (I’d link to the opposition’s website to be fair, but it’s just so offensive, it makes this author literally angry.) Many companies you’d be surprised at are donating funds to defeat the law, too.

Regardless of if you think they’re safe or not, we all have a right to at least know and make our own choices. Hey, you might think GMOs being dangerous is a bunch of malarkey and that’s fine – then you can make the choice to eat them. Just as lots of us will make the choice to buy organic and support Non-GMO Project-verified products.

You may not live in California, but it doesn’t matter. Helping to educate, plant the seeds and possible persuade some on-the-fence voters to choose “Yes” can make a difference. Spread the word, make people see and most of all, support the companies who support Prop 37 – http://www.carighttoknow.org/endorsements

Hooray for LA

Yesterday, Los Angeles became the first major US city to ban plastic shopping bags being given out at supermarket checkouts. HOORAY for LA! The historic ban will go into effect over the next 16 months as plastic bags are phased out. What’s more is, there is a 10-cent charge for paper bags in place as well, a “dis-incentive” to get people to really wake up and start bringing their own bags to the market.

Plastic bags affect our oceans, our forests, everything. They choke marine life, they litter the landscape, they sit in landfills and they don’t biodegrade. In California alone, 12 billion plastic bags a year are consumed and less than 5% are recycled. Gross.

If you recall, we stopped using plastic bags in our stores this past Earth Day. I asked Kelly, our illustrious Customer Service Leader, how our customers reacted – or did they react? “Most people didn’t mind, some were happy,” she says. “There were a few who seemed…not upset, but not happy. But they understood and got over it. Most of them liked them because they used them for other things.” All in all, we felt that our customers, the people who are part of our Culture, they would not only get it but embrace it, which they did. Our daily count of people bringing in their own bags has significantly jumped since.

There are many US cities and communities who have already put their own ban in place, but none as sprawling and high-profile as LA. We really hope Los Angeles’ historic decision (Californians always seem to be making those, don’t they?) sets a precedent and spreads like a viral YouTube video – because it’s time to end this plastic bag nonsense.

For our big Customer Appreciation Day on Sunday, June 3rd, we’re giving away our limited edition “Go Green with Dean’s” reusable bags, which we hope you like and use. Every bit counts, right? Right!

Votes for Totes Contest 1st Runner-up “Go Green with Dean’s”

New Product Spotlight: Twin Oaks Tofu

New Product Spotlight

Look for the New Product Spotlight logo for what's new at Dean's

There’s a new product we’d like to tell you about – thing is, this one isn’t on a shelf really, but rather on the salad bar and in our Fresh Foods cases. Introducing…..! Twin Oaks Tofu.

First a little about Twin Oaks Community Foods. Located in Louisa, VA, Twin Oaks is a worker-owned cooperative started over 40 years ago, an eco-village and egalitarian community founded on the principles of sustainability, nonviolence, equality and ecology. They are 500% dedicated to making the Earth a better place and do so by practicing what they preach and living as eco-friendly of a life as they they can. They all pitch in and do the work, they share food, housing, vehicles and other resources, minimizing waste and making as small an impact on the environment possible. Honestly, it sounds wonderful, can I go??

So let’s get to the tofu. Continue reading