What does sustainable agriculture really mean?

LEO StandardWe hear the words sustainable agriculture bantered about in various places. In fact, it is one of the top search engine phrases on the Internet. There are many farming associations with sustainable agriculture in their missions and many organizations with the term in their names. I believe the USDA organic symbol is the GOLD STANDARD of sustainable agriculture, but because the words are used in such a myriad of contexts, some clarification has long been needed. Before now there wasn’t a firm and definable definition of the concept. The Leonardo Academy recently announced a new draft standard named the LEO-4000 National Sustainable Agriculture Standard, which aims to define exactly what sustainable agriculture means. It will reward individuals and organizations who follow the standard with a new label. Continue reading

Why Just Label It? Why now?

America wants labeling!The fact of the matter is we may be at a tipping point when it comes to labeling GMOs in our food supply. The two state initiatives that failed by slim margins in California and Washington brought national awareness to the issue. Most consumers and parents around the country asked, “If there is nothing wrong with it, why not just label it?” Now there are state initiatives in Oregon, Connecticut, Colorado, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Hawaii. Connecticut and Maine have passed legislation that requires a host of Northeastern states with 20 million some residents to pass similar legislation before their laws take effect in earnest.  The Just Label campaign has been making a lot of headway both publicly and behind the scenes to bring attention to the fact that we need national labeling, and we need it now. Continue reading

US Farm Bill – What’s next for organic?

OrganicHow many years and how many blog posts have we spent on the Farm Bill? With all the dysfunction in DC, we all thought all the glaciers would melt before Congress passed this large piece of legislation. My friends, the Farm Bill is about to become reality! Continue reading

Don’t Stop, go to the Organic One Stop Shop!

Organic one stop shopWhen I was a fledgling organic foodie in my early days at Community Foods in Santa Cruz, I didn’t know that much about organic. I simply knew it was cleaner for the waters, helped to build soil fertility and did not use toxic chemicals. I could recite the number of the California organic product code but that was about all I knew about regulations. To this day I am still learning about the intricacies of organic food and agriculture.  For those of you who buy, sell, grow, eat or simply ENJOY organic food there is now a place you can get all the information you need on organics. Continue reading