Everyone Who Eats Should Pay Attention to the Farm Bill

Every 5 years or so Congress passes a far-reaching piece of legislation that influences what food is grown, how it’s grown, and who gets access to healthy food. This, in turn, affects the health of our topsoil, the quality of our water, and the prosperity of those who grow our food.

In addition, the Farm Bill addresses hunger, nutrition, and access to healthy local food. It is also the primary funding for most Organic programs in the US.

Congress is working on Farm Bill language now; if you eat and care about Organic, it’s time to get involved. Continue reading

Organic Fraud in the Marketplace – What it Means for You

The organic industry has been peppered with a spate of news about a few bad actors trying to sell conventional products as organic. Most notably, containers of fraudulent soybeans were found entering the US market from Eastern Europe through Turkish exporters.

This, of course, is bad for US producers who have to compete with prices created from a false supply chain.

It is also bad news for the organic industry as a whole. Every vitriolic headline casts doubt and uncertainty in the heart of the organic consumer. Continue reading

Can California’s Farmers and Fish Navigate the Current Water Dilemma?

We ended 2017 in California with one of the driest Decembers on record. San Jose had its second driest December since records began in 1893. San Francisco had its fourth driest dating back to 1849, according to the National Weather Service in Monterey.

Despite recent rains in the news, the entire state of California is still well below average in precipitation for the season to date.  California has seen less precipitation  due to a ridiculously resilient high-pressure ridge that knocks all the storms away from California’s thirsty landscape. Continue reading

USDA Study: 9 Problems Electronic GMO Disclosures Would Face

In July 2016 Congress passed the first national GMO labeling legislation in the U.S. It is set to go into effect in July 2018, but not before the Department of Agriculture writes extensive rules for the legislation, which left many questions unanswered.

One of the most controversial parts of the bill would allow companies to use digital disclosures such as QR codes. Due to the heated debate over digital disclosures, Congress stipulated that the USDA must complete a study to identify any technological challenges consumers might face if companies used a digital disclosure for GMO ingredients instead of on-package labels. Continue reading

Make a Political Difference in 2018

I spent the early part of my early adult life buying, selling, and trading fresh organic produce. I was too busy building businesses and helping farmers grow theirs, to pay attention to pesky things like regulations or federal funding. Heck, I was so naïve I didn’t even know about the Farm Bill and its billion-dollar effect on food and farming.

Then in 2007, an entire universe of possibility opened up when I walked into the halls of Congress to advocate for organic funding in the next Farm Bill. I realized from that point forward that staying politically engaged is one of the most powerful ways to support the organic movement and the trade. Continue reading