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Earth Week is coming... Get involved!

Earth week is coming and there are plenty of ways to get involved and do your part. If you have a Pizza Fusion near you we have a week packed full of fun activities for the whole family.

You can read about what we're doing here. If you're not near a Pizza Fusion but still want to get involved check out this article by Discovery's Plant Green.

Earth Day 2009: First Steps to Volunteering
The planet needs you and you need it: make this Earth Day the beginning of lifelong volunteerism.

Volunteering. Do you volunteer? Do you think about volunteering? With the current climate crisis and state of the economy, we all have to look out for each other in every way we can, and that means volunteering. In short, it's time to move from awareness to action. It's time to participate. [READ MORE]

Pizza Fusion coming to Saudi Arabia!

Go big or go home right? We're very excited to announce our expansion into Saudi Arabia.

Pizza Fusion, pioneer of the environmental and organic restaurant movements, announced today that a master franchise development agreement has been completed for Saudi Arabia between Pizza Fusion Holdings Inc. and Samir Food Co. Ltd., a Samir Group company. The development agreement provides for new locations throughout Saudi Arabia, with the first restaurant scheduled to open in Jeddah in late June and additional locations planned for Jeddah, Riyadh City, and Kingdom wide.

You can read more here.

High Fructose Corn Syrup - It's worse than you thought.

From a post by Janet on The Ethicurean:  www.ethicurean.com

That much-debated sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, is going to need more than a pricey PR campaign to fix this one.

After one set of scientists found mercury — yes, everyone’s favorite brain-impairing element — in almost half of commercial HFCS, another bunch of scientists decided to get specific and tested 55 common consumer products that use HFCS. And guess what? Almost a third of them contain mercury.

How did the heavy metal get in there? In making HFCS — that “natural” sweetener, as the Corn Refiners Associaton likes to call it — caustic soda is one ingredient used to separate corn starch from the corn kernel. Apparently most caustic soda for years has been produced in industrial chlorine (chlor-alkali) plants, where it can be contaminated with mercury that it passes on to the HFCS, and then to consumers.

David Wallinga, M.D., and his co-authors of “Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup,” are naming brand names in their report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. At the top of the list: Quaker Oatmeal to Go, Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce from Heinz, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce, and Nutri-Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars. Oy!

And, although soft drinks, the über-users of HFCS, surprisingly weren’t the worst offenders, I’m betting Coca-Cola Classic (coming in at 12th) gets consumed in far higher dietary quantities than Oatmeal to Go.

That’s all bad enough, especially considering no level of mercury is considered safe and that it’s especially toxic to growing brains — that is, the brains of the people consuming the highest levels of HFCS (children) and the brains of babies in utero. (See the figures in the report.) Worse: People at the FDA and USDA knew about the presence of mercury in HFCS and did nothing about it.

According to a press release from the IATP, Renee Dufault, the lead author in the first study (”Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar,” published today in Environmental Health [PDF; abstract here]), was working at the FDA when the commercial HFCS was tested. The IATF release reports, “While the FDA had evidence that commercial HFCS was contaminated with mercury four years ago, the agency did not inform consumers, help change industry practice or conduct additional testing.”

I suppose we’ve already known the FDA is sweet on HFCS (and food from cloned cattle) and can’t find a pathogen when it’s actually looking for it. But if you can’t trust Mr. Quaker, whom can you trust?

$19,000 Electric Car Coming to US in May 2009: Introducing the Wheego Whip

Big Brother has called... If you would like to read this fancy article, you can by visiting here: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/19000-dollar-electric-car-on-sale-in-united-states-may-2009.php

GenGreen includes Pizza Fusion in its State of the Green Union report for Autumn 2008.

GenGreen is pleased to announce its State of the Green Union report for Autumn 2008. This special feature will be released seasonally and will not only highlight developing trends in the eco-sphere but will also provide information about local independent businesses and service providers demonstrating these trends across the country.

With economic issues affecting the prices and availability of food all across the country, more people are concerning themselves with how their food is grown, where it is produced and how it makes its way onto their tables. More than ever before, people are opting for locally sourced organic foods and seeking out restaurants and other food service providers that do the same. CSA’s and community gardens are popping up in cities and towns everywhere and people are getting their hands dirty for the good of the planet and each other. This is why we have chosen Organic Everything, Eat Local and Agritourism as the three greenest trends of Autumn 2008.

Organic Everything

Despite studies that allege organic food has no health benefits over conventionally grown food and steep prices increases over the last year, organically grown foods have continued to increase in popularity. A report released in 2006 titled, Organic on the Menu: Healthy Eating Trends in Foodservice, stated that “In the last ten years, demand for organic foods has doubled and is expected to more than double again in the next few years.”

While some people may claim that “you can’t taste the difference,” organic foods are grown within strict guidelines that make sure you and the environment are protected from potentially harmful agricultural methods like spraying chemical pesticides. An article that appeared in the Boston Globe earlier this year noted that “the organic market makes up nearly 3 percent of the overall food market, a share that has increased every year for the past decade” making organically produced foods a small but fast-growing segment of an otherwise sluggish food industry. Statistics like these just verify what you already know if you visit your local grocery on at least a semi-frequent basis: it’s getting easier to find an organic version of just about everything. Even beer.

New Belgium Brewing Company

That’s right; micro-brewers dedicated to sustainable production practices are springing up all over the country. Take for instance, New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. Colorado is overflowing with great brewing companies, but one would be remiss to ignore the incredible story of sustainability and philanthropy told by Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewing Company. Armed with an amazing recipe of environmental and social responsibility mixed with employee-owned enthusiasm and selfless community involvement, its no wonder New Belgium produces some of the most delicious beers in the world. New Belgium’s beers range in flavor and style from the toasty Fat Tire Amber Ale to the zesty Mothership Wit Organic Wheat, and many intriguing small batches in between.  The New Belgium facility boasts progressive green design, with its own wastewater treatment process, on-site energy production using methane, and solar lighting. Lastly, but not least, Team Wonderbike, the brewery’s bicycling advocacy program has more than 10,000 members who have pledged to offset more than eight million car miles by riding their bikes. New Belgium beers have been spotted in fine restaurants and questionable taverns nationwide, and are available at most liquor stores. www.newbelgium.com

Eel River Breweing

Farther West in Humboldt County, California, Eel River Brewing is one of many small craft breweries that are proud to produce only 15 thousand barrels of beer annually. Eel River shuns the ideologies of mega-corporation breweries that only care about churning out millions of barrels of low-quality beer and instead focuses on living their motto; “Be natural. Drink naked.” Eel River was the first Humboldt County brewery to be certified organic and has won multiple awards at such prestigious events as the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Championships. Eel River produces seven varieties of organic beer, including a Blonde Ale and Porter. www.eelriverbrewing.com

Otter Creek Brewing and Peak Organic Brewing Company

And lest we forget the Northern climates, Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont, and Peak Organic Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, have been producing certified organic brews since 1998- long before it was trendy in any way. The vision of both these breweries is simple: local, organic, collective, sustainable, and handcrafted, and they have been pioneers in realizing this vision since they opened. Several years ago, Otter Creek, which produces Wolaver’s Organic Ales, became the nation’s first brewery to switch their boiler fuel source from diesel to B20, effectively reducing CO2 emissions by 120,000 pounds per year. The Peak Organic Web site includes a neat feature where visitors can post images of their favorite “peak” experiences in the great outdoors. www.ottercreekbrewing.com and www.peakbrewing.com

Stone Mill Pale Ale from Anheuser-BuschAnd if you’re not in the mood to search out microbreweries, you’ll be pleased (or surprised) to learn that even beer giant Anheuser-Busch has been dabbling in the organic beer market producing Stone Mill Pale Ale, brewed with a combination of 100 percent organic Palisade, Tradition and Hallertau hops, and 100 percent organic Metcalf and Harrington barley malts harvested from small, family-owned organic farms. Stone Mill Pale Ale is brewed by Michelob Brewing Company at an organically certified brewery of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., located in Merrimack, N.H.   www.stonemillpaleale.com

Eat Local

Freshness and quality have always been invaluable elements for any chef or restaurateur. And for more and more chefs across the nation, finding the best ingredients also means reconnecting with local growers. Buying locally produced foods allows you to experience the seasonal diversity of your region, helps to maintain the local economy, and means that food spends less time in transport, allowing it to retain more of its nutritional value. Since the locavore lifestyle first started gaining attention in 2005, people have been taking a look at where their food comes from and questioning why food is being shipped in from distant (or even international) growers when there are small family farms in the next valley producing marvelous produce or meats. Restaurant chefs are no exception, and as a result, restaurants across the country have begun offering menus that are chock-full of locally and sustainably sourced goodies.

Pizza Fusion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Pizza Fusion proves that the words “chain restaurant,” so often uttered in disappointment, don’t have to mean low quality food. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Pizza Fusion proudly serves up delicious, gourmet pizza in its purest form - untainted by artificial additives, like preservatives, growth hormones, pesticides, nitrates and trans fats (just to name a few). While they’re famous for pizza, their 75% organic menu features an eclectic variety of gourmet sandwiches, salads, desserts, beer and wine. But the goodness doesn’t stop there. In the interests of holding up their strong environmental mission, Pizza Fusion seeks out local and environmentally conscious vendors and suppliers and educates the general public on the importance of sustainable living through ecological community service, consumer education and environmental mentoring, like their Organics 101 course for kids. Visit their website for locations nationwide www.pizzafusion.com.