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

Tunisian Odyssey: Biodynamic Ben Ammar and Roman Ruins

Tunisian Olive Grove

Our second day in Tunisia begins again with a rolling bus ride through unfenced fields of wheat and oats. Shepherds dressed in traditional North African garb tend their small flocks of goats and sheep.

Mighty storks build expansive nests in the arms of the electrical towers, rearing their young after flying from the very bottom of Africa.

It is beautiful, and I wish more olive oil aficionados could experience this pristine scenery.

Our destination is Ben Ammar,a biodynamic farm nestled above a series of great waterless canyons lacing up olive groves. Continue reading

Tunisian Odyssey: A Sample of Ancient Flavors

TreeI find myself once again in Tunisia—the people are goodhearted—almost innocent—it feels safe here.

The people are so honest that the handmade ethnic baskets are left outside the hotel store at night—no one touches or lifts the precious items from their corner.

In this whitewashed, stucco, sun-splashed landscape, the dust of the Sahara nestles and rests in the nooks and crannies of almost everything.
Continue reading

Earth Day in Tunisia and The Origins of Olive Oil

This year I’ll be spending Earth Day in Tunisia. Not planting trees nor marching for science but instead wallowing my way through delicious Tunisian olive oils. I go as a journalist to discover the nuanced flavors each producer’s earth, sun and care impart. I will visit centuries-old olive groves and commune with those who have husbanded these ancient arbors for generations out of mind. Continue reading

Part 2: Gary Hirshberg Reflects on Why He Works So Hard on Organic Voices

This is the second of a two part interview with Gary Hirshberg. He has worked tirelessly for years building 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