Give Thanks that Hope Springs Organic

I had lunch with a colleague last week, an organic advocate, businesswoman and friend. I had not connected with her in far too many years. We both built businesses and believed in organic before there was such a thing. We reminisced about the passion and energy we carried with us as we created new brands in the marketplace. We were eager to promote a different way to grow and produce food; one without harmful inputs that wasn’t dependent on big chemical companies.

We meet years later, both needing a shot of hope and a dose of gratitude. Continue reading

Will FDA Alter the GMO Argument For Organic?

Why do consumers buy certified organic food? They cite the avoidance of persistent insecticides, herbicides and hormones, and to protect the health of their families and the environment. Another significant guarantee the organic label provides consumers is the lack of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs in organic production. A new initiative by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA aims to change public perception on GMO’s. How could the organic label be affected? Continue reading

Organic Cannabis is Likely to Be a Joint Effort

California led the nation in legalizing medicinal marijuana in 1996 when Proposition 215 passed. Fast forward to November 2016 when the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon Washington, and the District of Columbia.

According to a report by Arcview Market Research, North American sales came in at a smoking $6.7 billion in 2016 and are projected to top $20.2 billion by 2021. The industry is booming larger and faster than the dot-com era, and there is no bust in sight.  Continue reading

Serving up a Vegan Burger or Genetic Roulette?

Not all plant-based meat alternatives are created equal. For years the vegans among us have chomped down on black bean burgers and seitan chicken balls, alternatively feasting on Tofurky breast and stuffing. Animal rights groups laud the artisanal vegan meatloaf and tempeh bacon as righteous culinary trends. Who doesn’t want to see an end to confined animal feeding operations by voting with your vegan fork? As technological tongue twisters like CRISPR-CAS9 and Synthetic Biology are changing the face of medicine and agriculture, they are also landing directly onto your vegan plate. One of the newest plant-based products is sizzling with gene-editing techniques to create an impossible burger with potential hidden consequences. Continue reading

Unbuckling the Corn-Belt – One Drop at a Time

There is an African proverb that speaks to our modern agricultural dilemma. It is said that “dirty water cannot be washed.” Yet we continue to pollute our waters with our agricultural practices in the heartland of the continent. Corn and soy are planted in vast expanses, modified to withstand extreme applications of pesticides and herbicides. They are also reliant on vast devotions of synthetic fertilizers.

All these agricultural inputs end up in our waterways and drinking water, harming our health and the environment. There is no easy method to “wash away” these pollutants so pervasive in our waters.   Continue reading