Monday, 24 August 2009
by WTN staff
Honolulu-based Indulge Hawaii has unveiled a new RTD iced tea that is sweetened with stevia, a first according to the company.
Called Plantation Iced Tea No Sugar Added, the drink is described as "a blend of brewed tea, pineapple juice and tropical flavors," in a news release. Indulge Hawaii President Byron Goo said the tea used is an Indian black tea. He did not elaborate on the brewing process.
Touted as a low-calorie beverage with just 10 calories per serving, Plantation Iced Tea is sweetened with Good & Sweet Reb-A, which maker Blue California describes as a "natural sweetener purified from stevia leaves."
"It’s thrilling to say we’re an innovation company," Goo said. "Now, we’re first to make a bottled iced tea using a brand new all natural, zero calorie sweetener derived from stevia.” Goo told WTN that Blue California had confirmed the claim.
Indulge Hawaii is a food and beverage brand that focuses on Hawaiian ingredients. The company’s stated goal is to use natural and organic ingredients whenever possible, support sustainable agricultural practices and make its community a better place to live.
A new pilot program in Hawaii should help another 100 or so of the state’s local growers get their food into local hotels.
House Bill No. 1471 was passed into law late July and established the Food Certification Pilot program, which will be managed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, with assistance from the Hawaii Department of Health.
The program is designed to coordinate purchasing agreements between agricultural cooperatives and hotels, restaurants and other buyers in the visitor and hospitality industries, according to the bill. The pilot program should help with that by developing and implementing safe food certification for locally grown produce.
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed the bill originally, saying the program “appears to be a gesture to improve food safety without the teeth necessary to make it a viable program,” according to West Hawaii Today.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority Special Fund will allocate $140,000 to establish the program. The idea is that if safe, local food is offered to local hotels and eating establishments, it could help Hawaii tourism.
Lingle argued there was no real connection to tourism. Her veto was overridden by the Legislature late July.
According to the West Hawaii Today article, only 32 of the state’s 2,000 farms are food safety certified by third-party audit. Supporters of the pilot program from the hotel and restaurant industry in Hawaii said food safety was a major concern for them, and that if good agricultural practices were followed and assured to buyers, it could make a big difference.
Sustainable Tropical Agriculture 294
June 12th-July 19th, 2007 University of Hawaii-Hilo is offering an experiential class this summer in diversified, organic, holistic agricultural practices with local experts Nancy Redfeather, Tracy Matfin, Craig Elevitch, Melanie & Colehour Bondera, Mike Brown, Geoff Rauch & more! The focus will be on practical solutions in organic farming with plenty of hands-on group projects and several field trips to working farms.
Topics to include: Bamboo Production/Marketing, Seed Saving, Growing Traditional Hawaiian Crops, Animal Husbandry, Organic Food Production, Soil Health/Compost/Compost Tea, Agroforestry/Diversity, Multiple Yealds/Niche Products, Myths of Industrial Agriculture, & Permaculture Principles & Techniques.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-12noon June 12-July 19th, 2007
For information call Sarah Sullivan, 808-756-1269
UH admissions office: 808-974-7414
Join us for this hands-on course at UHH Panaewa Farm!