How to Eat Well in 2018 and Stay Within a Budget

 Consuming the news these past weeks, I was served up a ration of New Year’s food columns that all revolve around saving money. The titles lazy-Susan through my newsfeed: “5 Ways to Stop Blowing your Budget on Food” or “How to Save Money on Groceries every Month.”

While I digest their content on saving coupons and planning meals around what’s in flyers, it leads me to ponder…Should we not instead be asking how to eat well in 2018 and stay within our means?

Is saving money the ultimate goal to eating? Continue reading

Everyone Who Eats Should Pay Attention to the Farm Bill

Every 5 years or so Congress passes a far-reaching piece of legislation that influences what food is grown, how it’s grown, and who gets access to healthy food. This, in turn, affects the health of our topsoil, the quality of our water, and the prosperity of those who grow our food.

In addition, the Farm Bill addresses hunger, nutrition, and access to healthy local food. It is also the primary funding for most Organic programs in the US.

Congress is working on Farm Bill language now; if you eat and care about Organic, it’s time to get involved. Continue reading

Organic Fraud in the Marketplace – What it Means for You

The organic industry has been peppered with a spate of news about a few bad actors trying to sell conventional products as organic. Most notably, containers of fraudulent soybeans were found entering the US market from Eastern Europe through Turkish exporters.

This, of course, is bad for US producers who have to compete with prices created from a false supply chain.

It is also bad news for the organic industry as a whole. Every vitriolic headline casts doubt and uncertainty in the heart of the organic consumer. Continue reading

Can California’s Farmers and Fish Navigate the Current Water Dilemma?

We ended 2017 in California with one of the driest Decembers on record. San Jose had its second driest December since records began in 1893. San Francisco had its fourth driest dating back to 1849, according to the National Weather Service in Monterey.

Despite recent rains in the news, the entire state of California is still well below average in precipitation for the season to date.  California has seen less precipitation  due to a ridiculously resilient high-pressure ridge that knocks all the storms away from California’s thirsty landscape. Continue reading

USDA Study: 9 Problems Electronic GMO Disclosures Would Face

In July 2016 Congress passed the first national GMO labeling legislation in the U.S. It is set to go into effect in July 2018, but not before the Department of Agriculture writes extensive rules for the legislation, which left many questions unanswered.

One of the most controversial parts of the bill would allow companies to use digital disclosures such as QR codes. Due to the heated debate over digital disclosures, Congress stipulated that the USDA must complete a study to identify any technological challenges consumers might face if companies used a digital disclosure for GMO ingredients instead of on-package labels. Continue reading