Solstice and Stevia the World Keeps Turning

earth-revolves-around-the-sunThis week we celebrate the first day of summer, my 57th summer solstice. This first day of the summer is when the North Pole is at its maximum tilt and slant towards the sun. The sun reaches its highest point in our sky, the warmth and light intensify in our northerner climes. We experience the longest day and the shortest night. As our world leans in towards the light, these turn and returns are symbolic of lessons that return, must be learned and relearned. Remembering our mistakes and taking heed for the future is key as we navigate the future of food and the planet. Continue reading

Organic Barnyard Blues

CowmooI can hear a mournful song of the organic barnyard blues. The organic community is disgorging a chant across many acres of farmyard zones. It’s been years in the making, we labored and dialogued about Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. How much room should the bird have; the bovine to feast on green grasses? Do the organic sow and her piglet offspring have the space to stand up, fully stretch their limbs and lay down throughout their weeks of gestation? How then shall the harvest be wrought, with what small methods of kindness and humane actions amidst the slaughter? These are the ruminations and ponderings of many an organic policy wonk, farmer, rancher, milker and processor. Continue reading

Foxwood Reverie – Who’s Guarding the Organic Hen House?

FoxwoodsIn May I made my annual pilgrimage to the land of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal nation nestled within a rock-strewn forest in Connecticut. An unlikely tower rises up from the rolling foliage, Foxwoods Casino, a cathedral to craps, blackjack and slots. It’s also the lively venue for the annual UNFI New England Tabletop Show, a festive place for vendors to display their wares to hungry retailers ready for a bite and a deal! As I sampled my way through the booths, I was reminded time and again that organic has a long way to grow beyond 5% of food and 1% of agriculture. There are several foxes we must shoo out of the house if we are going to grow our organic flock. Continue reading

Eat Lobby Play – Hot Policy in DC

Capitol HillMy journey from Kickapoo to Washington DC unfolded, and I arrived just in time for a shimmering May heat wave. The locals, however, were beside themselves with languid delight having just come off weeks of cold gray, rainy weather. After dusting the country mud off my boots and donning a suit, I headed over to the noteworthy Newseum – famous to many who tourist their way through town. I wasn’t here to read the daily grind, however. I arrived in Washington DC to attend OTA’s Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days, to educate, circulate and pontificate to Congress on all things organic. Of course dining my way around Capitol Hill was tantamount to my journey. Continue reading