Organic Matters – Tantalizing tidbits from this week’s food news

NewsIt’s Friday and I am writing to you from beautiful Corvallis, Oregon where I’m attending the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference. If you aren’t able to be here, remember that the Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be live streaming the sessions. Register here for the live broadcast on Feb 5th and 6th.

I’ve uncovered a plethora of good material this week during my digital treks and nocturnal analyses. It’s a conundrum how Organic continues to flourish while, at the same time, pesticide use is on the rise. The true cost of conventional food production is considered and a look at how climate change is being tackled through agricultural practices in California. Not to be overlooked are GMO labeling initiatives and emerging technologies, both forces changing our food system.

Here are some of the juiciest tidbits from the week: Continue reading

Spinning the Web of Organic Food Systems

farm-bbIt was a fine rainy winter afternoon in January when I set off to visit UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Affectionately shortened to “CASFS,” this is a 33-acre paradise of organic farmland and gardens where undergraduates from the University go through an apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Since its inception over 50 years ago, over 1500 young, ardent souls have ploughed the soil, mulched the compost, and sown the seeds of agroecology in order to make a difference in the world. These seeds have sprouted into an organic food nexus that encompasses the central coast where I live, improving lives here and throughout the good food movement across the country. Continue reading

Organic Matters – Tantalizing tidbits from this week’s food news

NewsThroughout each week I trundle through a lot of reading material. I read during my morning jaunt. I peruse articles before the lights go out at night.  I no doubt subscribe to far too many newsletters and blogs. I diligently perform this ritual in order to stay up to date on food and agriculture news and trends.

It suddenly dawned on me that many of you simply don’t have as much time to study and ingest the same mountain of material.  While facts continue to be unturned, and ideas are being offered up on the plate of newsfeeds and blogospheres, these tidbits can subtlety change our food system. Here are some of my favorites from the week:

 Pesticides Pesticide Spray

A new study could shed light on whether an organic diet helps to decrease pesticide exposure among young children. Civil Eats asks   Is Feeding Your Child Organic Food Enough to Reduce the Pesticides in Her Body?

Watch Hawaii Center for Food Safety’s newest animated video which details the pesticide-seed industry’s practices in Hawaii; Paradise is in Peril! Watch and share: bit.ly/PinPAnimation

GMO’s GMO Safety

The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture committee is debating a bill that would require GM foods to be labelled. My Champlain Valley New Hampshire lawmakers considering bill to require GMO labelling

 

Seeds African gold

Can’t join the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference in person next week? Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be live streaming a selection of sessions directly from the event. Register Here for the live Broadcast Feb 5-6th.

 

Consumer Trends Grocery cart full of organic produce

Such traditional factors as price, taste and convenience hold less sway over consumer purchasing decisions, according to a food industry report. New purchasing influences, such as health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency, are motivating consumers and forcing food and beverage manufacturers and marketers to adapt. From Food Business News “The US consumer has changed”

Good Eating delicious organic produce

Stop worrying so much about not getting enough protein, and remember that plant-based protein is a lot easier on the planet than animal protein. Buy organic food whenever you can. Source your food as locally as possible, and eat seasonally to avoid racking up major food miles. Eat less and waste less. Be open-minded and creative about new cuisines. Relax. Have fun. Sustainable eating isn’t synonymous with masochism. Read this opinion piece from Outside Online on how: Eating Right Can Save the World

Got GOTS? What is the Global Organic Textile Standard?

Organic CottonSince embarking on this capricious journey called blogging, I have learned quite a lot about agriculture and our food supply. Of all the things I’ve learned, the fact that cotton and our food are inexplicably linked was quite a mind bender. In my post, “It’s time to think about Organic Cotton,” I uncover the fact that conventional cotton production is very toxic, considered the world’s dirtiest crop due to its heavy use of pesticides, and is almost always genetically engineered. Combine that with the fact that as much as 65% of all cotton production can end up on our plate, through cotton seed oil, or indirectly through the milk and meats of the animals fed cotton seed meal and cotton byproducts. It’s a recipe for a toxic platter from farm to frock to fork. Continue reading

Beyond the Dirty Dozen… Tips to Shop Organic Throughout the Store

Shopping organic is a journey. At first, you might start by learning about the Environmental Working Group’s  Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, a guide on buying organic and avoiding pesticides in produce. But, what about the rest of your grocery cart or basket items? While choosing organic veggies and fruits is a terrific start, this blog post serves to give some guidance on how to bring your organic shopping knowledge to the next level – in every corner of the store. We need to go beyond the produce section in order to grow the demand and the availability of organic.shutterstock_15941416

Continue reading