November 28th, 2016

London Drugs Celebrates #BCBuyLocal Week with Local BC and Western Canadian Products.

London Drugs Local Products

As a proud Western Canadian Owned Company (Based in Richmond BC) London Drugs knows the value of a strong, local economy. So this week we take extra care to focus on products made right here by our neighbours and friends. Here are just a few of them, from companies large and small. Whether you live in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, we hope you will share these local success stories and help spread the word.

Nature's Path Organic CerealNature’s Path  This company is an international success story, growing to become North America’s largest organic cereal maker. Much production is done south of the border now, but the company started here and is still headquartered in Richmond, BC.

Que Pasa Organic ChipsAnd don’t forget Que Pasa Tortilla Chips, (also brought to you by Natures Path), these chips are organic, delicious and made in a zero waste plant right in Delta BC.

Love Child Organics How about a BC company started by two new parents in Whistler? Can you GET any more local than that? Love Child has a great line of baby foods, and they work hard to produce in Canada and use North American ingredients wherever possible.

Holy Crap! From Dragon’s Den to commercial success, we are proud to have this organic, non-GMO star on our shelves. You just have to try it.

Hippie Foods GranolaHippie Foods  Another made-in-BC granola success story, this great brand comes from Left Coast Naturals, in Burnaby.

New World Organics From a small organic food store in East Vancouver, this local business continues to grow. You can buy their delicious granola in 908g packs, saving both packaging and money. It’s one of the best granola Green Deals in our store!

London Drugs Organic Coffee Selection

Locally Roasted Coffee! Your London Drugs coffee section is a virtual tour of amazing local roasters: Earth’s Choice, Ethical Bean, Salt Spring, Kicking Horse, Commercial Drive, Pacific Coffee… with all these fair trade and organic options, you don’t have to go any further. (And for Green Deal hunters, there’s almost always something on sale!)

Fresh is Best Tortilla Chips One of the tastiest products to ever come out of Kamloops, BC.

Hardbite Local BC chipsHardbite Chips Farmer-owned and farmer-grown, Hardbite operates BC’s only potato chip manufacturing plant. This company is so local they even have BC scenes on their packaging.

Bremner’s Juice Family owned right down the way in Delta, BC. This line of pure juices is just that – no additives, no sugar… just fruit!

Adwood Pine CrateAdwood Pine Crate Here’s a great product made from BC wood by a BC company – its sustainable, durable and looks terrific, whether you leave it unfinished or decorate it with your own local artistic touches.

black-mountain-vinylLocal Music There are some amazing bands right here in Western Canada – from 54-40’s CD of love songs (Delta, BC) to Alberta’s Jann Arden to Saskatchewan’s Northern Pikes. And you can get their music right here at London Drugs. We even have Vancouver’s Black Mountain on Vinyl in our amazing record section!

Manitoba Harvest Manitoban Mike Fata started this company back in 1998, and now they are the world’s largest manufacturer to grow, make, and sell their own line of hemp food products.

London Orchard Honey Made from pure Manitoba honey, manufactured by Manitoba bees.

Do YOU have a local product you’d like us to feature, or carry on our shelves? Let us know!

September 20th, 2015

What is ORGANIC anyway?

To celebrate Canada Organic Week (Sept 19 – 26) we have put together a list of  organic questions and answers, in a fun infographic. Scroll down for all the live links and a text version of all the info if that’s your thing.

Organic Questions and Answers Infographic for Canada Organic Week

Links:

Canada Organic Week

Wikipedia Organic Certification

Canada Organic

Organic Production Systems Standards

Environmental Medicine Organic Vs Conventional Foods Study

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods study

(Text Version)

These days people buy, eat and wear more organic than ever before. But with all the certifications, labels and details, even the greenest shopper may not know exactly what it all means. So the London Drugs Green Deal Team delved into the world of organic certification to answer a few basic questions.

What makes a product ‘Certified Organic’?


Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping. Synthetic pesticides and genetically modified seeds are not permitted, On-farm and facility inspections are conducted to verify that organic producers are operating within standards. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees the Canada Organic label. In the US, it’s the Department of Agriculture (USDA Organic)

Canadian Organic Standards also include principles like protecting the environment, minimizing soil degradation and decreasing pollution. 

Other countries with organic certifications include Australia, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan

What about ‘Organic Ingredients’?

Multi-ingredient products with 70-95 per cent organic content may have the declaration “contains x% organic ingredients,” but may not use the Canada Organic logo and/or the claim “organic”. Multi-ingredient products with less than 70 per cent organic content may only use organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the Canada 
Organic logo.

Only products with 95% organic content or more may be labelled as “organic” or bear the Canada Organic logo.

What’s the difference between Organic and Natural?

Natural means that:

• The food or ingredient must not contain an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, food additive or artificial flavouring agent.

• Must not have had any constituent removed or significantly changed (except removal of water).

• Must not have been submitted to processes that have significantly altered its original physical, chemical or biological state. (Source: CFIA)

Why is organic more expensive?


It isn’t always. But organic farming is more labor and management intensive. Organic-certified operations must have a plan and keep records that verify their compliance. Organic farms are also usually smaller than conventional farms and may not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.

Canada’s Organic Standards cover everything from seeds to weeds to transportation.

Is Organic food better for you?


The jury is still out. Some studies show that organics provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties, while being significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. Other studies have found there isn’t much nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods.

When you consider the effects of conventional pesticides in soils and waterways, more organic production is probably a good thing for everyone’s health.

The BOTTOM LINE:

Going organic is a personal choice, but it’s not a decision you should have to make on cost alone. That’s why London Drugs is committed to offering you some of the best organic options out there, at great prices. 
That’s the REAL Green Deal! Happy Organic Week!

September 17th, 2015

Nature’s Path shows why the importance of organic goes beyond what’s in the box

It can sometimes be hard to see what the real difference is between organic and non organic products. But there are a lot of differences in the way they are made. Nature’s Path is sharing that message with their latest video, ‘We Are All Farmers’. If you’ve never thought of yourself as a farmer, you just might after watching this. Have a great #OrganicWeek 2015!

Want to taste it for yourself? Nature’s Path products are available at your local London Drugs.

November 7th, 2013

A Great Green Gift Basket is as Close as Your Local London Drugs

green-deal-sustainable-giftbox-2

If you need a gift for a friend or client who is into all things ‘green’, look no further. A bundle of GreenDeal products from London Drugs will have something to please almost anyone.
For this box, I chose a variety of food, housewares beauty and cleaning products totaling about $65, including the classy suede-like storage box at $7.99 (I have not yet researched the supply-chain on this particular item, but I like that its very useful and reusable)

Here are some highlights:

Coffee: I chose Ethical Bean because it was on sale, but LD has an awesome variety of organic, locally-roasted fairly traded blends.
Reusable MugThis cool cup from Aladdin is made from recycled plastic and is recyclable at the end of its life. Open the cup and close the loop.

Organic Chocolate – It’s a good idea to have something in the pack that can be eaten right away. There’s a nice milk chocolate variety pack from Green & Blacks, and a dark chocolate bar from Camino – a Canadian Organic, FairTrade company that supports family farmers.

Nature’s Path Granola – I chose the organic fruit & nut blend, but they have lots of other great products, too. It’s an added bonus that their packaging looks tasteful enough to dress up the package.

green-deal-sustainable-giftbox-1smMethod Dish Soap – Sure its cleaning stuff, but it looks like art. Biodegradable, with full ingredient transparency on their website. It’s not Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free, but the Method company does a good job of Corporate Social Responsibility, including offsetting their energy and carbon footprint.

London Drugs Organic Tomato Sauce – This is an example of a great tasting, organic product that competes on price with national, non-organic brands.

Burts Bees Lip Balm – This is a nice treat for whomever gets to it first and claims it. A premium lip balm, from a great company that makes social and environmental factors a big part of their decision making.

To make a bodacious-looking package, I propped everything up with some crumpled newspaper underneath, arranged it and wrapped it all up with a strip of cloth from a spare piece of fabric.

Got someone sustainable to recognize? Check out our list of GreenDeal products, and make up your own gift box. It’s a local, personal gift that says you care about more than just saying ‘thanks’.

February 10th, 2012

Feel the Green Love this Valentines and help give a Million Dollars to Food Banks!


Here’s a heartfelt Valentine’s Day gift that says ‘I want our high-fiber love to live forever!’ And to share the love, for each bag sold, Nature’s Path will donate an equal value, up to $1 million in cash and food, to food banks!
Nature’s Path makes some of the best organic cereals around, and their new line of Love Crunch Granola takes it over the top. Check out these flavours:

Apple Crumble – with tart organic green apple pieces, roasted organic pecans and cinnamon.

Aloha Blend – Toasted coconut, juicy pineapple and white chocolate chunks. It’s like a crunchy pina colada for breakfast!

Dark Chocolate & Red Berries – Chocolate covered strawberries and raspberries! Made with real organic Italian chocolate, organic freeze dried berries and organic flax seeds. Each has at least 14 grams of whole grains per serving and no cholesterol, sodium or trans fat. Crazy love!

Bring a little Love Crunch to your morning. It’s a breakfast romance that you can keep going all year long!

January 17th, 2012

Meet the Green Team: Ken Vannucci – Green meets the Real East Vancouver Deal

Walking into the office of Ken Vannucci, the first thing that hits you is the scent of fine coffee, as he fresh-grinds a quick batch before brewing it right at his desk. With 9 brands of Fair Trade and/or organic beans in the London Drugs lineup, it’s just one area where Ken’s green passion and product expertise shine.

“Educated customers want to buy ‘green’ when it comes to food,” Vannucci explains, as he steps up to a shelf merchandising diagram on the wall, “Look, we have Kashi, Nature’s Path, Annie’s Naturals, New World Natural Foods… all right next to the traditional brands. And check out these coffees. Ethical Bean, Commercial Drive and Salt Spring are all roasted right here in the Lower Mainland. You won’t find that at other drug stores.”

Being Merchandise Manager for OTC, Vitamins, Diet and Nutrition, Grocery, Baby and Paper products puts even more on his plate, including herbal and homeopathic products.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a product like Melatonin to help you sleep. But maybe you want to try something like Traditional Medicinals Organic ‘Nighty Night’ Tea first, and see if a more natural remedy works for you. Or try a combination of the two to use less medication. And if you have any questions, our pharmacists are right there to answer them. Basically, our role should be to help people do a little better overall. And if natural and organic is part of that for you, we have options.”

So does buying with all these ‘green’ variables in mind make his job more difficult? Vannucci just smiles.

“Sure, it would be easier to stock only traditional big brands. And we obviously love those brands, too. But I think giving people choices like organic, natural or gluten-free is part of the positive impact the grocery section can have on peoples‘ health.”

If that all sounds a bit green and fuzzy for a mainstream retailer, Ken’s 20 years of East-Vancouver practicality quickly puts it in real terms.

“There’s no question we are here to make a profit, but London Drugs management really supports me in longer-term decisions to do the right thing. The bottom line is, I want to give people a chance to buy better stuff without having to mortgage the house.”

We’ll raise a cup of fair-trade java to that.

For more of Ken’s Real Green Deal realism, you can follow him on twitter @KootenayBorn

September 23rd, 2010

DEADLINE EXTENDED!! Buy New World Granola and 50¢ from every bag goes to help flood victims in Pakistan


Great news! New World Natural Foods has extended their program to help Pakistan until the end of October!

The last time I blogged about New World Natural Foods for GreenDeal.ca, they were raising money for Haiti’s earthquake victims.
That project raised $3600 much-needed dollars for Canadian Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief.
Now when you buy a bag of New World’s excellent granola, they will donate 50¢ to help victims in an even greater disaster – the tragic floods in Pakistan.
New World Granola is is Certified Organic (by Quality Assurance International) and is made right in BC. As a local, family run company, that 50¢ from every bag comes right off the bottom line, so it’s a commitment that means a lot.
Pakistan’s situation is truly deserving of more support than it is getting, so why not stop by your local London Drugs to stock up on New World Granola for the winter and help out? And maybe tweet, blog or Facebook a few friends while you’re at it.

September 17th, 2010

Bring some organic choice Back to School mornings with Nature’s Path.

If your kid is like mine, he (or she) changes their taste in cereal almost weekly. In order to promote healthy eating and avoid starting the day with a meltdown, I find it handy to have a variety of organic cereal on hand at all times.
That’s where Nature’s Path comes in. They have been steadily growing their selection of organic breakfast cereals over the years so that now whatever your taste – hot, cold, sweet, natural – there’s something to try. Here are a few of the favourites around our house:

Organic Hot Oatmeal Variety Pack
These are instant, tasty and varied. Flavours include apple cinnamon, flax and oats, maple nut, and multigrain raisin.

Optimum
This is a more power-packed cereal with extra fiber and protein, fortified with vitamins and soy isoflavones. A good selection of grains too, with flax flakes, puffed kamut grains and loose flaxseed. Plus organic cinnamon flavour. Mmmmm!

Hemp Plus Granola
OK, I’m a hippie. But this stuff is good! Whole grain, organic and low-sodium too. Groovy.

Organic Whole Grain O’s – GLUTEN FREE!
For parents with kids who have gluten sensitivities or wheat allergies, it can be a real pain to find cereal options. This is a variation on the classic ‘O’ made with organic corn and whole grain rice that brings the fun back, especially as little toddler finger food.

Nature’s Path makes their products in 3 locations: Delta, BC; Blaine, WA; and Mississauga, ON. Their home office is located in Richmond. BC, where they have an on-site organic garden, some really big compost bins, a rooftop garden, and a rainwater harvesting system.

That’s a pretty real Green Deal!

January 25th, 2010

New World Granola offers Haiti Aid with every package.


The outpouring of help for Haiti from all corners of the world just came a bit closer to home. From now until February 28th, Burnaby-Based New World Natural Foods will contribute 50 cents from every bag of granola sold to the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief fund.
New World Granola is Certified Organic (by Quality Assurance International) and locally made, which means less greenhouse emissions from shipping compared to brands made further away. It’s also very tasty. I know because I had some this morning.
It should also be noted that it is not easy for a smaller manufacturer to make such a donation. Their pockets aren’t as deep as those of the multinationals, and every penny of profit given up matters a great deal. So next time you’re in London Drugs, stock up on some New World Granola (hey, it’s not a bad idea to have some in your own earthquake kit) and help send a few more dollars to those that need them so badly.