Can The National Organic Program Regulate Perfection?

OrganicI’ve been in the organic industry for several decades now, and there is an increasing trend to move the organic standards towards complete and utter purity. Some in the organic community are clamoring for the National Organic Program (NOP) to regulate perfection in the organic rules. They want zero tolerance, exact measurements and prescriptive protocols. I wonder, can organic achieve ultimate perfection in an imperfect world? To what end does this ultimate penchant for perfection actually harm us? Continue reading

Bavaria and Austria Put the Culture in Ag

Bavarian AgricultureIt’s time to get the organic delegation back on the road. In Munich we head out to the Ministry of Agriculture to meet government employees, farmers, certifiers and various trade associations focused on organic agriculture. I am about to get a taste of the culture of this ancient land and its deep correlation with food and “Agri-Culture”. Continue reading

German American Delegation Begins, Ends with Wurst Salad Ever

Speakin in GermanyAfter a day of rest, recuperation and culinary remediation, it’s time to get to work. The very reason I have been called on this trip is to speak about US and German organic trade. So I don my suit, heels and hose, and I march right into the American Embassy, which by chance is located next to the celebrated Brandenburg Gate! My ambassadorial work begins. Continue reading

A German Expedition

Brandenberg I always marvel at the mysterious buoyancy of a 747 as it lifts itself and all its passengers gently off the ground. Like a feather rising effortlessly into the night sky. Cutting through the San Francisco fog I am headed to Germany and Austria, land of my ancestors, beer and bratwurst, sauerkraut and schnitzel. I head east to the motherland to promote the trade of US organic food, working with the USDA and the OTA. It’s a mission I accept with great anticipation of the culinary delights of my ancestors intermingled with heaping portions of organic dialogue.

I stand at the ready to serve! Continue reading

What Both Parties Ag Platforms Tell Us About the Future

Capitol HillWith both primaries behind us, it is nigh time to settle in and look beyond the chants and cheers, the ever waves of signs, the bright lights and impassioned speeches. It’s time to uncover the dirty details of where both parties stand on agricultural policy. What is the philosophical platform each one holds that will support us into our agrarian future? How do they compare with your ideas on food and farming? Let’s take a deep dive into both parties’ platforms!  Continue reading