Kickapoo to K Street – An Organic Odyssey

fall foliage I have taken many a circuitous journey not the least of which was a mid-May tour dedicated to organic food and agriculture. Varied in scenery and scape, it offered resolutions of grandeur and revelations of growth. On this excursion, I discovered new evidence of organic vitality and vigor while sampling many of its succulent edible delights, all in the company of friends and heart family. Continue reading

Urgent! – Tell Congress not to be a Billy Goat and “Butt out of Organic!”

Capitol HillThe National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has been kicking around animal welfare standards since 2002. That’s when it first delved into the debate and passed its first recommendation clarifying rules to outdoor access for livestock in organic.  How much room should a hen have? How much pasture grass should a cow munch? Are animals allowed to spread their wings, frolic afield and have something to crow about? After much debate and years of public comment, the National Organic Program (NOP) recently issued a draft regulation on animal welfare that reflects the sentiment and intent of the organic community. Now, four companies (and their conventional agriculture trade association) want it overturned. Continue reading

The Dirty Dialogue in Organic: Where Do “Ponics” Belong?

shutterstock_283999568A few weeks ago I trundled off to yet another National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in DC. This is a place where a dedicated assortment of organic disciples (and hooligans) spends countless hours deliberating and commentating on the intricacies of organic production. How to balance the needs of the farmer and manufacturer with the expectations of the consumer and be true to the spirit of the organic regulations? The discussion is sometimes laborious and often pointedly impassioned. The latest feverish dialogue spurred on by a cavalcade of differing views is: where if any do new ways of producing food fit into the organic world? Does Hydroponics, Aquaponics or Bioponics belong?   Continue reading

The Evolution of Agriculture – The Case against Cheap Food

Corn FieldThe agricultural revolution began some 10,000 years ago when one of our ancestors planted a seed, watched it grow and ate its fruit. It was time to stop wandering and plant more seeds. This ancestor, let’s call her Neolithia, was the grandmother of agriculture, from her labor sprung not only farming but civilization and industry. From that first seed to the cheap offerings of today, we are in dire need of an evolution of how we produce food. Continue reading