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.

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

Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Strong – We May be in for a Wild Ride

We are in for one wild ride!
Photo by 立志 牟 on Unsplash

I’m as tired of sheltering in place as almost everyone is by now. It’s been months of not touching or seeing beloved friends and family. Zoom receptions don’t cut if – where’s the wine?

If the experts are right, we are ill-prepared for what’s yet to come ahead. This pandemic isn’t over, nor is the social unrest and discord in our political circles. 

If you ask me, all people deserve the right to nutritious organic food, health care, education, clean energy and a planet that isn’t degraded.

While we sort this out and deal with a global pandemic, here are a few tips to keep us safe, sane and strong, while making the planet a better place.

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What is Organic

How to Engage in Mitigating Climate Change Before It’s Too Late

Image from NOAA Website

If you are one of the many people suffering from and feeling the effects of our changing climate, like me, it’s time to get engaged.

The West Coast is still burning, with over 7 million acres charred so far.

My eyes water from the smoke and the displaced people—the lost wildlife and ecosystems. Zombie fires are erupting in the Arctic regions.

Sea levels are rising, and some believe that the dramatic changes in the Arctic suggest climate change could return Earth to Pliocene conditions of 3 million years ago. They say Florida and California’s Central Valley would be underwater, and it would be too hot to grow corn and wheat in the Midwest and Great Plains.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is on a record pace with 23 named storms through September. With two more months of hurricane season ahead, I fear we will suffer more flooding and damage.

the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has laid it out pretty clearly: “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

With a world gone mad with political and social upheaval, what can a person do to engage in mitigating the cause of these extreme events?

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Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

This Holy Darkness Is a Call for Food Policy Change

Smoke and Haze fill the West Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

As I write, the entire west is burning up in historic conflagrations.  According to Meteorologist Daniel Swain, “Around 3.5 million acres have burned so far in California in 2020. That’s around 3.5% of the entire land area of the state and is approaching *double* the previous record for the greatest acreage burned during a single year.”

The air is laced with smoke and ash; the orange sun some days does not come forth. The darkness shrouds me, and the air places a heavy weight on my chest.

The earth is sending us a message in this holy darkness—flames sown by our sturdy two-legged species; we have ingenious brains but hold no reverence for the future.

We act like animals in fights for survival as we subjugate her with overconsumption. Burning fossil fuels, destroying ancient forests for cheap hamburgers, farming with chemicals that add to global emissions.

I believe it need not be so and that we can begin to make a difference.

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Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Molino Creek Farm Ablaze with Fire and Hope – Give Them the Lift They Need to Alight Again

Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

I will never forget the first time I bit into a dry-farmed, early-girl tomato. It was 1984, and I was working at Community Foods, a natural foods collective. A coveralled man offered me a box of these red orbs to sell in our store.

I found them to be a bit small. Since they were organic, which was hard to source in those days, I took a bite.

The sweet, seedy richness exploded and dripped. The very essence of tomato-hood danced in my mouth. They were exquisitely sweet and firm with a touch of tartness—like a complex wine.

The dusty local farmer, Mark Lipson, would someday become USDA’s first organic policy advisor. He is one of the founders of California Central Coast’s oldest dry-farmed organic tomato endeavors, Molino Creek Farming Collective.

Last week, this historic and iconic community farm was ravaged by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that exploded across the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The pictures of the devastation are mortifying and terrifying!

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash
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