If you’re like many Americans, the start of a new year brings with it the excitement and promise of self-improvement.
Psychotherapist Victoria Duda helps us understand the root causes of addictions and provides some helpful advice on how to rid yourself of an unwanted habit.
Hypnosis 4 Progress - Clinical hypnotherapist servicing Burntwood, Cannock, Heath Hayes & surrounding areas. As more Americans quit smoking, estranged tobacco farmers are coping with their grief by switching to growing domestic stevia, instead.
Tobacco farmers are finding it easy to transition from tobacco to stevia because much of the same farm machinery is used for both plants. Stevia First Corp, an agricultural biotechnology company based in California’s Central Valley is also focused on the industrial scale production of stevia. According to Agribusiness, a Raymond James publication, artificial sweeteners have been dominant, but the trend is now toward natural sweeteners. The leaf of the stevia plant has 9 to 12 sweet-tasting compounds known as steviol glycosides, including Stevioside (‘STV’) and Rebaudioside A, the sweetest and best tasting of the compounds.
Reb A is 300 to 400 times sweeter than an equal weight of sugar, but it has zero calories and a low-glycemic index.
From mid-2009 to mid-2010, new product launches using stevia extracts increased by 200%, with products launched in 35 countries – 237 new products in the first half of 2010 alone, according to market research firm Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD). Food manufacturers are fighting a consumer backlash against sugar, fat and salt after ballooning global obesity rates in recent decades.
More than 1,100 products using stevia as a sweetener launched globally in 2013, according to Food Business News.
Signing a contract with an unnamed American food manufacturing giant, the Greek tobacco farmers have decided to give up on the age-old practice of growing Greek tobacco in Agrinio. Growing a crop with no health advantages, and huge health risks, to support an industry making billions of dollars by poisoning human beings can, at the very least, only be regarded as unethical. Aisha Abdelhamid Aisha Abdelhamid is a native of Long Beach, California, residing in Egypt.

Go Green, Go Solar!Going solar is an excellent financial and economic choice that cuts your footprint, cuts your bills, and boosts your local and national economy all at the same time.
Or, if you’re ready to jump in and get a solar quote, head on over to Cost of Solar to get your free report on how much solar could save you… and the planet! Inspired Economist is part of the Important Media network of blogs working to make the world a better, more inspiring place to do business. Around half of us commit to a New Year’s resolution every year, according to a University of Scranton study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, but only around 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. On this episode of the podcast we take two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions – losing weight and quitting smoking, and talk to a couple of experts about how you can maximize your chances of seeing those commitments through. We’re also joined by Tessa Ferrier, personal trainer, who provides helpful insight into how to approach weight loss from a diet and exercise standpoint. Involved with selecting and breeding advanced varieties of the stevia plant, Stevia First is pinning hopes on local organic stevia leaf cultivation to catalyze growth of the California stevia industry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that stevia intake could eventually replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners. Numerous studies have shown that Reb A, unlike sugar, does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) notice for Reb A sweetener use in food products.
For this reason, they are now using stevia to sweeten Smucker’s jams, Crystal Light drink mixes, ice cream, and even Malibu Spiced Rum. Coca-Cola uses stevia in more than two dozen products globally, including Sprite and Fanta in some European countries, to cut calories by 30 percent.
The international growing fields for stevia are expanding, and many more farmers are making the switch.
Lured by the appealing prospect of three yields per year at €4,000 per acre, they say they will now grow the natural sweetener, stevia, instead. This is very good news: a no-calorie sweetener that is neither artificial nor harmful and a profitable, non-lethal alternative crop for tobacco farmers.

Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries. Sweet Green Fields planted its first plot in North Carolina in 2011, and has been expanding every year. The total global sweetener market was estimated at $58.3 billion in 2010, and the market for all natural, zero-calorie sweeteners made with stevia is increasing dramatically.
Typically Reb A is used in powder or liquid form to improve taste and raise the intensity of sweeteners in foods, beverages, and tabletop sweeteners. It is also pH and heat stable, which means it can be used in baking processes without changing its chemical makeup or losing any of its sweetness. Also in 2008, after a decade of study, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (“JECFA”), administered jointly by the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), raised the acceptable daily intake level for stevia.
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) followed suit, and approved Reb A for general consumption near the end of 2011.
PepsiCo uses stevia in its Next cola in Australia, as well as some Tropicana orange juices and SoBe Lifewater. Just last week, 55 farmers from Agrinio, Greece, caught on to the idea of switching to the sweet new crop that is much better for everyone’s health.
Ross is a former art director of the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and United Press International. We feel that the market can support that,” said Hal Teegarden, vice president for agriculture operations at Sweet Green Fields. However, it is very encouraging that there is an alternative crop offering economic incentives for more farmers to quit tobacco.

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