Dispatch from Washington, D.C.: New Beginnings

Melody DCI traveled to Washington, D.C. in early December to attend the SAFSF policy conference and hill visits. The newly elected 114 Congress had not yet been seated. Once seated, nearly half of them will have been in office for four years or less.  They will need to be educated. The current lame duck congress was in the midst of passing an omnibus bill, this year dubbed “cromnibus” for its ability to fund the government and enter into continuing resolution which means it extends the funding for only a limited period of time. I thought I was there to deliver my messages, well prepared and strong on federal GMO labeling and funding for organic agriculture.  Instead the message I received was more profound than anything I was about to deliver. Continue reading

All we are saying….Give Bees a Chance

HoneybeeI spent several years in my early twenties traveling on the West Coast sowing a few wild oats. The songs that accompanied my travels were often made up of powerful messages shedding light on social events that had run amok. The Vietnam War was raging, civil rights struggles were blazing and the songs drew us all together to highlight a common cause. If John Lennon was still writing songs today, I think he might be saying…. Let’s, give bees a chance…. Continue reading

Come fly away come fly me to DC

Capitol HillIowa in the 1960’s offered a life that was simpler and had a less complicated pace. The local airport was small and completely surrounded by towering fields of corn. One of our favorite Friday night rituals was for the entire family to trundle into the old Cadillac and drive to the airport and watch the planes arrive. My mother would pack a picnic supper to eat as we expectantly waited for the two evening planes to land from faraway places. One after the other they gloriously zoomed overhead. It sounds silly now but those were exciting times, and as the small propeller airplanes took off I sniffed my first hint of wanderlust. Who were these people cavorting off through the sky to distant lands? What could they possibly be up to? Continue reading

Ruminations on Food and Life

delicious organic produceThis Thanksgiving after I heartily enjoyed the succulent turkey, moist stuffing and fluffy mashed potatoes, I sat back and contemplated more than just the pumpkin chiffon pie. My full belly had set my mind to thinking about the meaning of food and how our relationship with food is a barometer of how we lead our lives. Food not only nourishes us but provides an opportunity to delve deeper into how we interact and savor the natural world.  My ruminations started with flavor… Continue reading

Oregon GMO Labeling – Alive and Counting!

large_rally_sign_ORTKOregon’s Right to Know Measure 92 will go down in the history books for two reasons; the closeness of the count and the record breaking funds that fueled the opposition.  And, even though the media called “defeat” shortly after election night, Oregonians kept counting. As ballots from different counties rolled in, the margin narrowed. Then 13,000 challenged ballots were discovered with signatures on the envelopes that didn’t match the voter’s registration cards. Those needed to be rectified. The margin narrowed and as of this writing the final unofficial results show the GMO labeling initiative failed by only 812 votes out of 1.5 million ballots! Continue reading