Who Will Fund the Challenges Facing Organic Today?

Rain on plant

The political winds are against us. We are in an era of stagnating and dwindling regulatory oversight by the current administration.

Organic seems to be floundering in its own juices.

Trump’s USDA withdrew the final animal welfare rule that consumers and legitimate producers all agreed upon for over decade.

The administration meddled with the NOSB’s work plan, withdrawing work on Aquaculture, Apiculture and Pet Food. There will be no regulations to advance organic in these areas in the near future.

They killed the idea of a check-off that would have raised much-needed funds to bolster our still adolescent industry.

This is indeed an unfriendly crew cutting and slashing rules and opportunities that organic wants. Continue reading

Are Genetically-Engineered Animal-Replacement Products the Answer to Factory Farming?

I am an ardent opponent of factory-farmed animals. I care about food and agriculture, the latter I sometimes fear was our original fall from Eden. The beastly way we have turned animal production into a heartless row of cages and confinement displays our belief that we are somehow above the animal kingdom—we are now masters of the universe.

Is it possible that our next play at masters of the universe—genetic engineering— is a solution to factory-farmed animals?

What’s at risk as we search for the next solution to feed a hungry world? Continue reading

Part 1: Gary Hirshberg reflects on GMO Labeling, Political Activism and Why He’s So Involved

Since the late 1970’s Gary Hirshberg has worked tirelessly to build a better food system. He’s followed his heart to encompass a love for the planet and its people. From building a business with seven cows, his heart has driven his mission. Tirelessly defending people from toxic chemicals, protecting the environment all the while selling some darn good yogurt, propels him still tirelessly to this day.

With his accomplishments and accolades in hand many like him would have sauntered off into the sunset of retirement. But Gary keeps pressing and driving hard for a better tomorrow. With such passionate energy I had to sit down and ask him: “Why do you do it?”    Continue reading

Is the USDA Label Strong Enough for All Organic Growers?

In response to my blog earlier in the week I sat down with the Coalition for Sustainable Organics (CSO) . They’re a group of growers committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. They advocate for the continued allowance of containerized growing methods under the National Organic Program while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs.

They believe that everyone deserves organic produce, and growers must continue to find ways within the organic framework to expand supply.

Lee Frankel is the Executive Director of CSO. He recently elaborated on the current state of hydroponic and container growing in the US organic standards and the movements to create additional add-on labels in the organic marketplace. Continue reading