Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Building a Better Food System is a Political Journey You Can Make 

You don’t have to climb these steps to get involved in Food Policy

I just returned from The Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, Calif., where 2100 of my favorite friends gathered to celebrate. Finally connected in person—after a year like no other—growers, buyers, friends, sometimes rivals—we celebrated the part we played in 2020.

As the world changed, organic food sales went wild. OTA reports that organic food sales soared to $62 billion, growing twice as fast as the year before. Yet organic food huddles still at around 4% of all food sales.

There’s clearly work to be done beyond growing, selling, and buying organic food—it’s policy and political work.

Continue reading “Building a Better Food System is a Political Journey You Can Make ”
Culinary Delights, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

It’s Never Too Late to Start an Organic Food Business

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on

When I started working in the organic business, it was a small niche market. Thanks to living in Santa Cruz, California, an original organic hot spot, not many knew the farmers like I did.

Last year was unprecedented with far-reaching consequences for humans and our health, the environment, and the economy. Those concerns continue today—our lives remade by the global pandemic and unprecedented climate behavior.

Organic food sales and home delivery businesses are thriving as a result.

According to the Organic Trade Association’s Industry Survey, organic food sales surpassed $56 billion in 2020. It grew 12.8% percent—the highest rates recorded in organic in well over a decade.

The global online food delivery market is expected to grow from $115.07 billion in 2020 to $126.91 billion in 2021.

Since both organic food and delivery services are booming right now – it may just be a good time to activate your inner entrepreneur and start an organic food delivery service.  

Continue reading “It’s Never Too Late to Start an Organic Food Business”
Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Who Am I to Tell You About Organic Farming?

Dont know much about farming
Photo by Uta Scholl on Unsplash

When I tell people I make my career in organic agriculture, they assume I am a farmer. They ask me what I grow with a curious tilt of the head. Since I am in my sixth decade, they cannot imagine me tilling, hoeing, or harvesting anything but sweet peas.The truth is I know next to nothing about farming except that it takes a multitude of diverse skills, a strong constitution, and an affinity for working alone with the soil. At heart, you must be a gambler, tending the earth with no financial guarantees. The crop is either good or bad, and the market strikes just right or not.   

I have spent many a dusty hour bumping along fields and orchards with organic farmers across the rural globe. So, I do possess a few insights.

Continue reading “Who Am I to Tell You About Organic Farming?”
Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Our Food Is Entwined with Climate Change and Health

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on

It’s with a certain foreboding that I witness the stream of climate events ravage the planet. My German friend whose river community has washed away. The Turkish hamlet where I once bought olives now torched to Aegean shores. The farmers who lost their cherries in the Oregon heatwave.

And the COVID-19 virus isn’t done with us yet, as the Delta variant comes marching through.

Our health and vitality depend on the food we eat. As fires, floods, and heat decimate the land and the food we grow upon it, I take pause to reflect.

How can we maintain vibrant health amid climate chaos?

Continue reading “Our Food Is Entwined with Climate Change and Health”
Organic Policy and Regulations, well-being, What is Organic

Organic Milk is a Better Choice and a Path to Change

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Before the Agricultural Revolution, some 10,000 years ago, hardly anybody drank milk—unless it was from their own mother. As our ancestors domesticated grains and animals, all began to change. By the 5th century in western Europe, milk from both cows and sheep became quite popular.

But it wasn’t until the 20th century that we embraced milk like a stampede of heifers. My father drank a glass of milk with every meal, my grandmother churned butter, and we enjoyed a brimming bowl of ice cream every night.  

It was a paradigm shift in thinking—drinking milk became a symbol of nutrition and safety, thanks to Louis Pasteur’s revolutionary pasteurization process.  

Today we drink far less milk than we did in the middle of the last century—in fact, the dairy industry is in udder ruins. Small dairies are closing because of changing consumer trends, trade tensions, and, most importantly, a century-long industry consolidation.

Organic milk offers a drop of hope for dairy farmers and consumers alike.

Continue reading “Organic Milk is a Better Choice and a Path to Change”