Walk down the food aisles and you will notice a new label multiplying on the shelves. Non-GMO labels are one of the fastest growing label phenomena in the grocery aisle today. Recent polls indicate that 92% of consumers want to know what is in their food when it comes to Genetically Modified Ingredients. That’s exactly why these labels are growing in popularity and recognition. They represent one way to assure consumers that they are not feeding GMOs to their families. The other sure fire way to avoid GMOs is to purchase certified organic products. It’s just that simple and most hungry shoppers don’t even realize it. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe, but we are already flying past the middle of 2014. For organic, it hasn’t been an aimless trajectory. It’s been an auspicious year so far for organic agriculture and organic products, with several wins in the Farm Bill and from the USDA. The Organic Associations’ 2014 Industry Survey showed that organic grew to an astounding $35.1 Billion and future growth is likely to keep pace or exceed the growth rate in 2014. Let’s take a midyear pause and look at how the organic industry is shaping up and where the challenges lie on this fantastic organic journey. Continue reading
I am attending the Sustainable Ag and Food Systems Funders (SASFS) conference in Denver this week and a provocative subject was raised about the dominant story we harken to regarding our agricultural system. The message is everywhere: in subway stations, at the baseball game and of course on television. “How do we feed the world? We feed the world only through more technology, greater concentration and the exploitation of resources.” But in truth, are these strategies really serving us? How do WE feed the world when our agricultural system has created food deserts, obesity, and the decline of the family farm, degradation of our soils and waters, and exploitation of our animals? Should not the narrative first be how do we feed OURSELVES?
I have the good fortune to spend some of my work week researching and reviewing news and information as it relates to organic food and agriculture. Because my job is to communicate findings, I am often called upon to speak to groups equally as interested but not afforded the time to invest in such extracurricular investigations. I have become the tribal bookworm and the town crier, pretty ironically considering that I spent most of my adult life in the world of fresh produce (reading and writing only after hours, please). One of the topics I regularly research and address is the ramifications of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), specifically GMO crops. When I happened upon an email from The ETC Group I discovered one issue with GMOs that I hadn’t fully pondered. That being “How are genetically modified organisms spreading into the environment and affecting the natural evolution of our planet? “ Continue reading
While Oregon,Colorado and several other states are racing to put GMO labeling initiatives on their state ballots, a very different sprint is occurring at the USDA. The two competitive dashes appear to be heading in opposite directions and could end up cycling back in a grand collision of values and money. One team seeks to bring as many new bio-engineered products to the farm and dining table as quickly as possible. The other tag team is speeding ahead with state labeling initiatives in over 30 states. What happens when we finally have national mandatory labeling and many of our crops are dominated by genetically modified species? Continue reading