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Holiday Gifts for the Organic Gourmet

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ORGANIC ICE CREAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS-Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's, debut the company's new organic flavors to Bostonians with

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and Christmas music is already wafting through supermarkets and local malls. The message is clear: "Start shopping now!"

Of course, if you're as busy as the rest of us, taking advantage of the Internet to shop from home-to avoid long lines and ill-tempered drivers in packed parking lots-offers the perfect solution, and we have five great finds for the organic gourmet-food aficionado in your life.

1. Ben & Jerry's Organic Ice Cream

While Ben & Jerry's made headlines this year for introducing low-carb and no-sugar ice cream, few people know the company has introduced a new line of organic ice cream, available by mail order for holiday gift-giving. The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream By Mail (ICBM) Program features six pints of organic ice cream in any combination of four super-premium flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Sweet Cream & Cookies. The six-pack arrives in a reusable cooler.

2. Melissa's Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Melissa's/World Variety Produce, which stocks close to 800 traditional and exotic international fruit and vegetable varieties in its Los Angeles warehouse at any given time, wants you to think "tasty, creamy, tangy, aromatic, sweet, crunchy and delectable" for the holidays. Not all of the produce is organic, but the company's "Melissa's Organics" line includes specialty gift baskets that are popular year-round. Check out the Fresh and Dried Organics Basket, which includes (based on availability) fresh kiwi, apples, pink grapefruit, pears and oranges, accompanied by dried cranberries, mango, pineapple rings, papaya and raisins. And if you have a particular organic favorite, you can order a solo gift box of delicacies ranging from Organic Butternut Squash and Organic Nectarines to Organic Sugar Snap Peas and Organic Limes.

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From the Organic Authority Files

3. Endangered Species Chocolate Baby Bars

Jon Stocking, founder of the Endangered Species Chocolate Co., believes in saving the world "one chocolate at a time." The company's famed chocolate bars feature some of the most beautifully designed food labels you'll ever find, and 10% of profits are donated to support endangered species recovery. Check out the Box of 16 Organic Chocolate Baby Bars in your choice of six flavors: Organic Giraffe Baby Bar (milk chocolate with peanut butter), Organic Koala Baby Bar (dark chocolate with cherry), Organic Marine Iguana Baby Bar (smooth dark chocolate), Organic Puffin Baby Bar (milk chocolate with lime chiffon), Organic Snow Leopard Baby Bar (milk chocolate with mocha) and Organic Zebra Baby Bar (dark chocolate with tangerine). Named for their single-serving size (1.6 oz. each), Baby Bars make a positively yummy holiday gift, and you can contribute to a worthwhile cause.

4. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' Organic Coffee Tour

Waterbury, Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is renowned for its huge selection of international and flavored coffees, including a wide assortment of organic blends. Treat a friend or loved one to a 12-Month Fair Trade Organic Coffee Tour, with two bags of organic coffee delivered each month for a full year. There's Organic Mexican Select in February, Organic Rain Forest Blend in June, Organic Sumatran Blend in August and Organic Espresso Roast in December. Also available, in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation: the National Wildlife Blend, a mixture of Mexican, Central American and South American Fair Trade organic coffees with notes of chocolate and spicy fruit. Proceeds help support safe habitats for songbirds and other wildlife.

5. Understanding "Food Politics"

Give the gift of learning to anyone concerned about our nation's food supply. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health is a critically lauded, provocative and intellectually engaging exposé of how the American food industry assaults us with unhealthful advertising messages that persuade seemingly oblivious adults-and highly susceptible children-to supersize their plates with sugary, fat-overloaded, preservative-laden foods. Author Marion Nestle, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University, skewers techno-foods, soft drinks, the nation's Hamburger Helper mentality and even medical professionals in an effort to change the way we respond to savvy marketers who believe eating "green" is about the dollar bills that line their pockets.

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