Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News July 2019

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN Neil Blomquist is on a quest to persuade consumers that palm oil isn't inherently either un- healthy or immoral. He's fighting his battles in a world in which his audience has already been bom- barded with publicity that sug- gests otherwise. Palm oil came to dominate the vegetable oil market after trans- fats were discovered to be harm- ful to human health, partly because, like coconut oil, it's a solid at room temperature and has a high smoke point and largely because the trees that pro- duce the fruit from which the palm oil is made are so produc- tive. Oil palm trees are six to 10 times more efficient at producing BY LORRIE BAUMANN Tucked in among the restaurants on the Wicker Park neighbor- hood side of Division Street, Gar- den Gourmet offers Chicago, Illinois, commuters a taste of fresh and local in an easy stop on their way home from the nearby subway station. Inside the 2,500 square-foot space, they find abundant choices for craft beers and wines; fresh, organic pro- duce; a cheese case, grass-fed meats and a selection of pack- aged products to round out meals. "What distinguishes us is that we buy from a lot of local vendors here in Chicago," said Local Focus Drives Sales for Chicago's Garden Gourmet Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 18 Continued on PAGE 12 Owner Maher Farhan. "I buy from a lot of up-and-coming com- panies, mainly because they have good products. They're not al- ways there yet [with the power to distribute their products through distributors], and I know how it feels to start a business." Those local se- lections include the gourmet cuts of grass-fed meats, much of the seasonal pro- duce, pasta sauces, chocolate and the artisanal small-batch coffees from Intelligentsia and Dark Mat- ters. "Our customers are willing to try local," Farhan said. "I think it's great that people are willing to buy things just because they're local – or they're just starting – and they'd like to help out." "We have a local salad guy who comes in and makes vegan salads and little vegetable salads, and people just love his stuff. He has a great following," he added. "There's a lot of new CBD prod- ucts that are local. People come to us first to sell their products." Farhan opened the store in 2010. He and his wife were both recent college graduates – he'd been a political science major at the University of Illinois, Chicago and had graduated in 2008 and she'd graduated in 2009. Both Chicago natives, they wanted to stay in the city, but the local economy was reeling in the midst of the Great Recession. "It was very hard to find a decent job back then," Farhan said. "There New Funding Fans Flames for Beanfields' Flavors Rehabilitating Palm Oil's Reputation oil than oilseed crops such as canola, soybean, olive and sun- flower. A hectare of oil palms (about 2.5 acres) produces an av- erage of about 3 tons of oil per year, and theoretical productivity is more than 8 tons of oil per year. Soybeans, the world's second- leading source of vegetable oil, yield about half a ton of oil per hectare. In addition, oil palms are a permanent crop that doesn't have to be replanted every year. "You plant a tree, and you can harvest fruit from that tree for up to 40 years," Blomquist said. "It doesn't require annual replanting. Farmers are cutting fruit from the tree every week and get a constant flow of income." That productivity made the oil cheaper to produce than its alter- natives, which made it a natural choice in 2006 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration re- quired food manufacturers to de- clare trans fats on their product labels. Trans fats were banned from the nation's food supply in 2018, three years after the FDA ruled that they are unsafe to eat. Demand for the oil was also prompted by the passage of laws by Western nations in the mid- 2000s to encourage the use of veg- etable oils in fuels, which was supposed to reduce carbon diox- ide emissions and help curb global warming as well as cut the United States' dependence on foreign oil. BY GREG GONZALES At first glance, it'd be hard to guess that Tucson, Arizona's Continued on PAGE 10 Borderlands Flavors Beer With Science, Community, and Sustainability Warehouse Arts District was home to a fast-growing brewery. Right next to the tracks, in a brick building built in the early 1900s that was previously the Tooley & Sons Produce Com- pany, is the home of Borderlands Brewing Co. It was founded by a microbiologist and medical doctor who be- lieve that conserving water and supporting the community are just as inte- gral to their business as brewing delicious beer. "One of the things I think is universal for the craft beer world is that breweries are community gathering spaces," said Mike Mal- lozzi, co-Founder of Borderlands. "We take that several steps fur- ther. We're highly involved in the community. Tucson is a very unique community, in that it has BY LORRIE BAUMANN Fueled by several million dollars in new funding from a Series B round that closed in February, Beanfields is roaring ahead with new flavors of its signature bean- based chips on a product develop- ment trajectory that will take the company to a broader range of salty snack items featuring navy and black beans as their hero in- gredient. The new flavor varia- tions on existing products are launching at this year's food in- dustry trade shows, where they've already started creating some buzz, according to Arnulfo Ven- tura, the company's new Chief Executive Officer. Ventura joined Beanfields last July, brought on board by Bean- field Chairman and private eq- uity investor Mark Rampolla, of PowerPlant Ventures, to rejuve- nate the brand's relevance to its core consumers – the natural foods shoppers who'd abandoned the salty snacks aisle of their fa- vorite stores because corn and tortilla chips didn't meet their nutritional goals. What those VOLUME 84, NUMBER 7 JULY 2019 n $7.00 www.gourmetnews.com STONEWALL KITCHEN: Apple Blueberry Salsa SEE PAGE 20 HOT PRODUCTS: ESC DUOZ SEE PAGE 24 NATURALLY HEALTHY: Harvest Snaps SEE PAGE 18 NEWS & NOTES n Schuman Cheese Serves up an Array of Cheeses at 2nd Annual Cheesefest PAGE 6 RETAILER NEWS n Native Sun Purveys Holistic Wellness PAGE 12 SUPPLIER NEWS n Baking Mixes from the Heartland PAGE 14 NATURALLY HEALTHY n A More Convenient Way to Maple Your Morning PAGE 18 SUPPLEMENT n Food for a Healthier Lifestyle PAGE 19 News ..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................26 Calendar.......................................26 G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

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