Down to Earth at the World Peace Festival!

Photo: Down to Earth Booth at the World Peace Festival

Down to Earth had a booth at the World Peace Festival, which took place last Saturday, October 2nd, on Moku Ola on the Big Island. Moku Ola, which means “Island of Life,” is better known as Coconut Island. However, Desiree Cruz, cousin of presenter Ernie Cruz Sr. and the MC of the event, noted that people were making an effort to refer to it by it’s traditional name, which keeps alive the knowledge that the island is a place of refuge and of healing.

The island was beautifully decorated with flower arrangements by members of Sokka Gakkai International, which helped plan the festival along with Hawaii County and the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association. Ms. Cruz said that she was excited by the turnout, and she hoped to make the Peace Festival an annual tradition.

Mayor Kenoi spoke about the importance of keeping the aloha spirit alive, especially in these challenging economic times. “No cost money, aloha,” he joked, flashing a shaka and a big grin to the audience.

Other presenters included noted peace activist Michael Nobel, Nayan Ghosh, the world renowned sitar player, and a number of bands and dance troupes representing different traditions in island culture. There were craft booths, yoga demonstrations, a face painter and delicious food from local restaurants.  Despite the overcast weather, spirits were high. People of all ages could be spotted dancing on the reinforced floor that was set up in front of the stage.

Anon Shine, our lovely new outreach coordinator, staffed the Down to Earth booth along with a team of volunteers. They gave away free iced yerba mate tea, chocolate earth balls and store coupons for 10% off.  In addition, they also had handouts available on the top 10 reasons to go vegetarian, and why going vegetarian is good for the environment.

Mahalo to Sokka Gakkai International, Hawaii County and the HDIA for making this event possible! Hopefully this great event becomes an annual tradition. We look forward to participating in the future!

Down to Earth Floats in Kailua July 4th Parade

Photo: Down to Earth July 4th Float

Team members from Down to Earth celebrated this Fourth of July Holiday with a float in the annual Kailua Parade on the island of Oahu, which was held today, on Monday the 5th. 

This is an annual event for Down to Earth, and everyone had a great time with this year’s theme, “You Eat What!”  Parade goers loved it too!  The theme was taken from one of Down to Earth’s t-shirts, which show a cartoon of a cow asking this question with a comical expression of alarm on its face.  The subsequent text says, “For the sake of the innocent animals, go vegetarian!

Kailua 4th of July Parade - "You eat what?"

Photo: Down to Earth July 4th Float

Today Down to Earth participated in the Kailua 4th of July parade. This year, along with our cow, we had a great banner with a cow asking "You eat what?" This was a big hit and we will have this new design on t-shirts soon. Our "30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale" was also a big hit with lots of customers stocking up on meatless sausages for their July 4 BBQs.

Thanks for shopping at Down to Earth.

Mark Fergusson

DTE Nutrition Class a big success!

Last Saturday's nutrition class held at out King Street store was a huge success with 30 customers signing up in advance and attending the program. Attendees learned:

  • The physical, ethical and environmental reasons to go Veggie
  • How to easily balance meals to ensure proper nutrition
  • Why getting enough protein without eating meat is simple
  • The real truth behind behind common nutrition myths and misconceptions
  • How to prepare a delicious vegetarian meal

Carmela from our Honolulu Wellness Department did a great job of teaching the nutrition aspect of the program (this was her first time doing so) and Saradha of our marketing department did the cooking class component.

Cooking classes are held monthly, nutrition programs are held quarterly. All programs are free, reservations are required, call 947-3249 to reserve a spot in our upcoming programs.

Thanks for reading.

Mark Fergusson

Down to Earth's Earth News

Check out our latest e-newletter that has several great stories and news about upcoming events. Visit www.downtoearth.org to read it.

The e-newsletter tells of our July 2nd "30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale – Love Life, Save Money", with 30% off on more than 100 items that you can use for your Independence Day celebration. The e-newsletter also includes the following great quote:

"We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner?'"
K.D. Lang
(Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter)

Thanks for reading, Love Life!

July 2nd 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale

The following is our press release about Thursday's 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale - hope to see you there:

Down to Earth July 2nd 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale
Love Life! Save Money!

Honolulu (June 29, 2009) – Down to Earth will hold a “Guiltless Grilling Sale” this Thursday July 2nd in which customers will get at least 30% off of more than 100 items for a vegetarian picnic. The sale has been timed to make it easier for vegetarians, friends of vegetarians, and those interested in a vegetarian lifestyle to be able to celebrate Independence Day with a vegetarian cookout.

The “Guiltless Grilling” theme of the sale is expressed in the slogan for this event, which is “Love Life! Save Money,” says Mark Fergusson, Down to Earth CEO.

Fergusson says the “guiltless” theme comes from the idea that by having a vegetarian feast one truly gets to “Love Life!”—which is Down to Earth’s formal slogan. He explains that this concept is based on the idea that one should love animals, not eat them. “And, of course,” he says “the great savings gives everyone much needed relief!

Customers will get at least 30% off of more than 100 items including:

  • Vegetarian meats & buns
  • Grilling vegetables
  • Dressings
  • Chips & Deli salads
  • Beverages
  • Frozen desserts
  • And more!

The sale will be held at all four of Down to Earth’s stores: Honolulu, Kailua, and Pearlridge on Oahu 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; and at our store in Kahului, Maui, 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

New DTE Community Outreach Team Leader

Photo: Sabra Rebo

We have a new Community Outreach Team Leader and we’re thrilled to tell you about her. What makes this announcement so exciting is that Sabra Rebo is a Registered Dietitian (RD). This is the first time in our 39-year history that we count an RD among our ranks. 

Sabra was graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics. She moved to Hawaii eight years ago and comes to us with great experience at multi-national Sodexo Inc., which is a food services and facilities management company, and Straub Clinic and Hospital, where she also helped with community outreach. She has been a vegetarian for the past 12 years.

She will lead our continuing cooking classes and guest lectures through partnerships with a wide variety of health and environmental experts. She envisions adding nutritional seminars and events, providing consultations, and helping to produce educational materials on various nutritional topics—among many other ideas we’ve been discussing.

We’re so fortunate to have Sabra on our team. She will take our community outreach to new heights as we look forward to a long-lasting relationship.

When you see her about the stores, please make Sabra feel welcome as the newest member of the Love Life! Community Outreach team at Down to Earth.

Down to Earth tries to deliver gift basket to Rush Limbaugh

Yesterday, December 31, 2009, our community outreach team tried to deliver a deluxe collection of fruits, vegetables, and other vegetarian foods to Rush Limbaugh, the leading conservative radio commentator, who had been hospitalized at Queens Medical Center in Hawaii with chest pain. The fruit basket was ordered by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRN). Unfortunately, when our team got to the hospital they were turned away by staff who would not confirm whether Limbaugh was a patient there or not. The news media were staking out the hospital but apparently did not get to see Limbaugh. However, in today's breaking news, Limbaugh was released from Queen's after spending two days there and gave a press conference praising the Queen's medical staff for their excellent care. The gift basket had with it a note from the PCRN stating that, “The single most important thing that an individual can do for their health is to adopt a vegetarian diet.” This message is amazingly similar to Down to Earth's key message so we had no problems with including it with the basket. Our full message is:

"The single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet."

Today the Honolulu Advertiser ran an article on the Limbaugh story and mentioned that Down to Earth delivered a food basket to him. The following is from the Down to Earth press release, one interesting point is that heart attacks peak over Christmas and New Year (the moral is that eating meat is bad for you at any time, and eating too much of it can result in immediate heart attack): The doctors’ group sent Limbaugh wishes for a quick recovery and invited him to join an online program that helps people prevent and reverse heart disease and lose weight. By coincidence, the program, called the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, begins on New Year’s Day. Limbaugh, who has been publicly struggling with weight problems, hosts the most-listened-to radio talk show in America, broadcast on more than 600 radio stations nationwide. In a letter to Limbaugh, PCRM President Neal D. Barnard, MD, wrote: “In our grandparents’ day, people knew the value of humble beans, vegetables, and fruits, often growing them in their own family gardens. These foods have essentially no cholesterol and very little saturated fat. Nowadays, many Americans are very liberal with meat, dairy products, and end up needing to rely on medications to counteract the effects of their diets.” Heart attacks peak in late December and January, mainly due to holiday eating habits. PCRM scheduled the online vegan program to counter the trend and expects tens of thousands of people to participate. The program includes daily recipes and messages of encouragement from doctors and celebrities. Happy New Year to all our customers, team members, vendors, service providers, and blog readers. I hope you have a great 2010! Thanks for reading. Mark Fergusson

Why is a moon rock worth $10 million?

Honolulu Advertiser today (January 11, 2010) had a story about some moon rocks that turned up during an inventory of the governor's office collection of gifts. What is interesting is that the rocks were called "priceless", and valued at around $10 million. They have a picture of one, it looks like a piece of lava from the Big Island, and is encased in resin.

Now, why exactly is it priceless? What is the $10 million value based on? If it is the cost of the lunar missions divided by the number of rocks brought back from the moon then I can understand how they calculated the estimated value. Otherwise, the rock itself has actually no value, it is just a rock like any other rock, it just cost a lot of money to go and get it and bring back!

New Weekly Produce Flyer Saves You Money!

Down to Earth will introduce a new weekly flyer offering great savings on fruits and veggies from our Produce Department beginning on July 1st.  The new flyer titled, "This Week's Produce Specials," will be distributed in the stores and feature organic and local produce as much as possible.


Take advantage of these great sales and get your five fruits and veggies a day!


The first edition of the flyer will feature organic nectarines and peaches for $1.99 per pound. That's $2 per pound savings!


Organic blueberries will be on sale at $2.99 for 6 oz. You'll save $3!  Organic kale will be priced at $2.99 a bunch, saving you a dollar, and organic broccoli will be on special for $3.69 per pound. 


Local apple bananas from Oahu's Sugarland Farms will be on sale for $1.09 per pound.


Why Organic?


An important consideration in selecting organic produce over conventional items is that in order to receive the USDA Organic Certification they are grown without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, sewage sludge, ionizing radiation or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).


A telling example comes from a recent report by The Environmental Working Group, which found that conventional nectarines were this year's second most pesticide-laden produce. Blueberries were number 5 and peaches were number 6 on the list! So these are definitely fruits you want to get organically if possible.  Kale made number 9 of  The Dirty Dozen, their list of the twelve produce items most recommended to buy organically.


All these items are on sale July 1- 7. Down to Earth is making it easier for you to eat and be healthy.