Change Your Life, Volunteer in Morocco!

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the exotic kingdom of Morocco? Have you yearned to savor couscous tagines in Marrakesh or to awake to strong tea and morning prayers in Fez? The country conjures up dreams of old movies and foreign intrigue as it straddles Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. It offers mysterious foods and flavors and also boasts a wide range of organic producers yearning to enter the international market.  If you have the right skill set, there may be an opportunity for you to savor Moroccan flavors and help organic growers all in one elegant mission.

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Organic Cannabis is Likely to Be a Joint Effort

California led the nation in legalizing medicinal marijuana in 1996 when Proposition 215 passed. Fast forward to November 2016 when the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon Washington, and the District of Columbia.

According to a report by Arcview Market Research, North American sales came in at a smoking $6.7 billion in 2016 and are projected to top $20.2 billion by 2021. The industry is booming larger and faster than the dot-com era, and there is no bust in sight.  Continue reading

Serving up a Vegan Burger or Genetic Roulette?

Not all plant-based meat alternatives are created equal. For years the vegans among us have chomped down on black bean burgers and seitan chicken balls, alternatively feasting on Tofurky breast and stuffing. Animal rights groups laud the artisanal vegan meatloaf and tempeh bacon as righteous culinary trends. Who doesn’t want to see an end to confined animal feeding operations by voting with your vegan fork? As technological tongue twisters like CRISPR-CAS9 and Synthetic Biology are changing the face of medicine and agriculture, they are also landing directly onto your vegan plate. One of the newest plant-based products is sizzling with gene-editing techniques to create an impossible burger with potential hidden consequences. Continue reading

Can Organic Soil Trump Climate Change?

The names bluster through in a destructive alphabetical roll call, Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Like apocalyptic horsemen, the storms sweeping through the Atlantic all reached category four and higher. Fueled by super-warm ocean currents, this unusually active hurricane season provides devastating evidence that our planet is warming. Our climate is changing.

Agriculture is one of the greatest contributors to greenhouse emissions, but we all gotta eat – right?  Now a trailblazing study, partially funded by the UNFI Foundation proves that organic agriculture is a way to feed the planet while reducing our contribution to climate change. Continue reading

Why the OTA Had to Sue USDA

It’s not something that you’d expect to hear—the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is suing the USDA. In fact, it’s an extraordinary occasion that hasn’t been witnessed before in the organic theater. But again these are extraordinary times. Most often the OTA works closely with and is an important resource for the National Organic Program, a division of USDA. They work hand in hand with the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) to increase organic exports worldwide. Why then would OTA embark upon this seemingly adversarial act? Continue reading