Tuesday, August 24, 2010



Posted on August 12th, 2010, Written by econewsnetwork

Do you like ending your day with a glass of wine but would love to skip out on the headache the morning after? Don’t we all! Organic wine may be your answer! The no sulfite-added quality of organic wine can make a dramatic difference for those wine enthusiasts who are sensitive to this preservative regularly added in the traditional wine producing process. What’s even better, the organic farming and wine making processes are better for the environment and for our health.

America’s interest in naturally produced foods and goods has given a boost to the organic wine industry. So what makes a wine organic? According to the National Organic Program (NOP), organic wine is defined as wine made from organically grown grapes without any added sulfite. Organic or not, grapes naturally produce sulfur dioxide through the process of fermentation. A certain amount of sulfate is needed for the stability of the wine. However, conventional wineries add sulfate to expedite fermentation and longer preservation. An organic wine will include a maximum of 100 parts per million of sulfate (ppm) while the conventional wine contains over 350ppm.

Don’t be fooled! When looking for a great organic wine, be cautious not to confuse “sulfite free wine” with “organic wine” because the two differ greatly. Sulfite free wine is processed to remove the sulfate but it does not have to be produced in an eco friendly way.

Organic vineyards promote an environmentally safe way of farming by reducing the negative ecological impacts from chemicals such as pollution, soil depletion, and lack of biodiversity. To be considered organic, the grapes are holistically grown without the use of any pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and other synthetic products that are harmful to the environment.

Many organic vineyards, like Bonterra Vineyard, are centering their viticulture philosophy on biodynamic farming practices, which views the land as the focal point and as a living system that’s to be in tune with the totality of all life. These organic growing practices are dependent upon living organisms, weather, and moon patterns to keep perfect harmony with nature. Coturri Winery, located in the Sonoma Mountains of California, is also known for its dedication of being environmentally conscious.

How about the taste? California’s Coturri Winery has received numerous awards for its organic wines. Being the leading American organic vineyard, it has been featured in the Wall Street Journal more than six times since 1999 and has received the highest rating possible from Wall Street Journal reviewers Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.

In the east, a popular wine store in Wesley Chapel, Fla., Put a Cork In It, sells an assortment of organic brands along with conventional wines. The storeowner, Phil Kitchingman, says that organic wine is “a growing industry that will be the future of all wine partially because organic wine allows people to enjoy wine without worrying about headaches.” Kitchingman added that he sees an increasing number of people steering away from sulfates in wine by embracing the organic brands. The organic wine industry “is a great way for people with allergies to drink wine,” he commented. People can come on Thursday and Friday evenings to the store and take part in a wine tasting event for $25. At this event, you can learn about an assortment of wines while enjoying grapes, cheese and crackers, and great company. Kitchingman has recently featured a handful of organic wines at his events. Among these organic wines were The Casablanca, Chile Chardonnay, Novas, a major hit with its crisp honeyed fruit taste with a great balance of minerality. The Clos Roche Blanc, a Sauvignon Blanc from France, which was showcased as a fantastic wine to pair with seafood and chicken entrees. The Italian Pinot Grigio, Tiamo was a personal favorite of his that features a fresh citrus taste mixed with flavors of tangerine hinted with pineapple, white pepper and a light mineral finish.

The U.S. is catching up in organic wine production although much of these eco-friendly wines are imported from foreign countries. California produces more than 90 percent of the U.S. organic wine that is shipped all over the states. With the increase in national and global environmental issues, the organic industry has a hearty future. Organic vineyards are one leading example for the rest of America’s agriculture to follow.

Embrace organic wine. Both you and the environment can now be healthier.

Here is a list of must try U.S. organic wines!

Coturri Winery, Testa Cabernet Sauvignon. Mendocino County

Schweiger Winery, St. Helena

Mathieu Vineyard, Cote des Cailloux. Mendocino County.

Bonterra Vineyard, Chardonnay. Mendocino County.

Oster Wine Cellar, 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. Redwood Valley, Mendocino County

Korbel Champagne Cellar, Chardonnay. Sonoma Valley.

Part of the News Article Series courtesy of Viktor Franovik


From: Andy Soos, ENN, Published August 23, 2010 02:13 PM

Drinking tea is supposed to be healthy for you because of what it contains. In this case let us consider polyphenols. In theory, a polyphenol has the ability to act as an antioxidant to scavenge free radicals and up-regulate certain metal chelation reactions. An antioxidant helps to regulate or clean up the cell's internal functions and so make you healthier as a result. The first measurements of healthful antioxidant levels in commercial bottled tea beverages has concluded that health-conscious consumers may not be getting what they pay for: healthful doses of those antioxidants, or "poylphenols," that may ward off a range of diseases.

Tea is the agricultural product of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared and cured by various methods. "Tea" also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water, and is the common name for the Camellia sinensis plant itself.

Tea contains various types of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. In a freshly picked tea leaf, polyphenols can compose up to 30% of the dry weight. Polyphenols are highest in concentration in white and green teas, while black tea has substantially fewer.

The health benefits from drinking tea is sometimes pro and sometimes con. The theory is that the antioxidants do some good. Tea, after water, is the most commonly used world wide beverage.

Scientists have just reported at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) that many of the increasingly popular beverages included in their study, beverages that account for $1 billion in annual sales in the United States alone, contain fewer polyphenols than a single cup of home brewed green or black tea. Some contain such small amounts that consumers would have to drink 20 bottles to get the polyphenols present in one cup of tea.

"Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products," said Shiming Li, Ph.D., who reported on the new study with Professor Chi-Tang Ho and his colleagues. "However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."

Li and colleagues measured the level of polyphenols of six brands of tea purchased from supermarkets. Half of them contained what Li characterized as "virtually no" antioxidants. The rest had small amounts of polyphenols that Li said probably would carry little health benefit, especially when considering the high sugar intake from tea beverages.

The six teas Li analyzed contained 81, 43, 40, 13, 4, and 3 milligrams (mg.) of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle. One average cup of home-brewed green or black tea, which costs only a few cents, contains 50-150 mg. of polyphenols.

A regular tea bag, for example, weighs about 2.2 grams and could contain 175 mg. of polyphenols, Li said. But polyphenols degrade and disappear as the tea bag is steeped in hot water. The polyphenol content also may vary as manufacturers change their processes, including the quantity and quality of tea used to prepare a batch and the tea brewing time.

If one drinks tea to be healthy, one is better off with fresh brewed tea and not the better tasting commercial varieties.

For further information:

Part of the News Article Series courtesy of Viktor Franovik


From: David A Gabel Published August 23, 2010 12:18 PM

In the summer, it is a hobby of many people to lie out in the sun and work on their tans. Unfortunately, if done in excess, this hobby can lead to painful sunburns and possible skin cancer. A new study from the Tel Aviv University suggests that an effective way to prevent this is not only suntan lotion, but eating the correct foods. A diet rich in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids — common in Mediterranean regions — can protect the skin from the sun's rays.

he sun produces ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the Earth's atmosphere. Exposing human skin to these UV rays results in a darkening of skin color. The body's natural defense in protecting itself is to create a skin pigment called melanin. Melanin combines with oxygen (oxidizes), and this creates the tan color in the skin. However, overexposure can cause melanoma, which is a less common type of skin cancer, but results in 75% of all skin cancer related deaths. UV radiation also attacks the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to repair itself.

Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University's (TAU) School of Health Professions says the prescription is to "go Greek." This means eating foods common in a Mediterranean diet such as olive oil, fish, yogurt, and colorful fruits and vegetables. In combination with traditional methods such as suntan lotion and appropriate body coverings, this will combat the oxidizing effect of solar UV radiation.

The solution, Dr. Shapira explains, is to build up anti-oxidants in the body. She performed experiments at the Baltic Sea in conjunction with Prof. Bodo Kuklinski of Rostock University. They organized two groups, one of which consumed a drink high in anti-oxidants, the other had beverages such as soda. The group which drank the anti-oxidants had half as many oxidizing products (i.e. MDA) in their blood after five to six hours of exposure to the sun per day for two weeks.

Some of the most helpful anti-oxidants are carotenoids, which are colorful fruit and vegetable pigments. This includes the reds of tomatoes and strawberries as well as the bright oranges of carrots and pumpkins. Other good foods include fish, olive oil, and whole grains.

Foods to avoid include red meat, processed foods, and alcohol with the exception of red wine which is actually good for your skin. Also, people should avoid foods containing the compound psoralen (i.e. parsley, celery, dill, cilantro, and figs).

This study is timely, especially with the specter of climate change. Higher temperature and humidity can aggravate the damages from UV rays to the point where sunscreen may not be enough.

Also, society has reached a point where it has become fashionable to have a deep tan. This was not always so. In earlier civilizations, dark tans were associated with long hours of manual labor out in the sun, and therefore, a lower social class. Some women would apply heavy makeup to their faces to appear as white as possible, a trend that continued to the Victorian Era. Sun bathing then became popular in the mid-20th century, starting with fashionistas and media stars. Now, record numbers of women work on their tan year round (tanning salons also expose the skin to UV radiation!). Hopefully, Dr. Shapira's research with TAU will help all sunbathers avoid potential skin diseases.

For more information on anti-oxidants:

Interesting Articles Series taken from News Networks, Courtesy of Viktor Franovik

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Last Wednesday, Franovik Designs, Salud al Dia Magazine and the Miss Earth/Miss Teen Earth Florida organization joined at the networking event of the year at the Hyatt Bonaventure in Weston.

Franovik showed a collection made for the evening of short recycled cocktail dresses made of vintage garments, curtains and bedsheets. Guests were amazed of the collection, some could not believe that they were made for these materials.

Among the guests were several hospitals, University of Miami Hospital, Kendall Regional, Baptist, Memorial and Tenet. Their were other universities, chambers, pharmaceuticals, among other industries.

Brittney Ronda, the current Miss Teen Earth Florida and Lauren Goodman, the current Miss Teen Gulf Coast-Miss Water wore Sachs and Crowns and took pictures with guests. We were all interviewed by a West Palm Beach TV station and

Sandra Silva, Miss Earth Florida's Pageant Director was present along with the mothers of the delegates. I want to Thank my crew, Dianna Hechevarria-makeup artist, my photographer Christopher DeStefano and my lead fashion designer Francisco Perez.

A special thanks to all the ladies, Brittney, Lauren, Cindy, Britanie and Necol. Also Carlos Sanchez, Carmen Martinez, and the staff from the Hyatt Bonaventure for taking care of our needs while there.....

Viktor Franovik

Designer: Francisco Perez
Stylist: Viktor Franovik
Makeup: Dianna Hechevarria
Photographer: Christopher DeStefano
Miss Earth Florida: Sandra Silva

Monday, August 9, 2010


For those that know me, you know I'm a sucker for a pretty face....Sometime ago, I was walking into my house and my husband Frank told me he found a sickly cat that was abandoned by his mother because the cat had no lower lip.

That crushed my heart, the kitten had a beautiful little face and I feel in love. I took him in and gave him a name, We called him Chicky. I fed Chicky everyday and nursed him to health; and believe this his lower lip grew a little. He had one tooth on the lower lip.

He grew some more and we could not contain him in the house, he wanted to be outside. So everyday as I was leaving to work he would run out and sleep under the trees till we got back.

He played with us at first but just wanted to eat and go. Sometimes at night he would go out and other cats around the neighborhood would beat him out. when I heard his cries I would run out like a parent to fend for his children.

I would throw water at the other cat and bring Chicky in. He was hurt but I would nurse back to health. From there on I would bring in at night. When Chesca would go out, he would want to play with her but my dog would not have it.

I would look forward to come home to be with my immediate family, Frank, Chesca and my little cat Chicky. He always had trouble eating so I would prepare his food differently. I would cut his food into smaller pieces and make it a little soupy so he could eat. He ate it all but Chicky would not gain weight.

A few days ago I noticed he hadn't come home, I called his name and he would not come. Every night like a worried parent I would go outside my porch and no Chicky. Thinking the worst I'd go outside to look around the are and the greenery and nothing.

Today, I got home and smelled something in the air; smells like something is de-composing. I go outside and start to look. Sure enough I see my little Chicky under a tree, laying there as if he was sleeping, flies all over the place, lifeless.

I run inside the house to tell Frank, he can't believe it, we are both crushed. We lost our little cat and find myself writing about it. He was in our life for a few months, I miss him already. I never took pictures of him especially of his cute little tooth.

I went online and checked out some pics so I could share what he looked like and what he would look like had been alive. I buried my little cat and as I write this, I could see his little grave. RIP

Good bye my little Chicky.....I miss you papi......