Back to the Future: Will the Tribe Move Us Forward?

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I was grateful to attend the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association INFRA conference last week in beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota. The legacy of food is reflected in the architecture that lines the mighty Mississippi. Signs of Gold Medal and Pillsbury’s Best are signals from a different era as they tower above dilapidated mills and stone river crossings.

A perfect place for the natural food retailers to reflect on the old and activate the new. Continue reading

Will Climate Take the Center Stage at Expo West this Year?

Do you believe our climate is changing? You may not be feeling the record warmth in the Arctic which has even the most pessimistic scientists rethinking their climate views. But you probably took note of the storms, fires, floods, and heat that caused at least $306 billion in destruction last year in the US.

Climate change is upon us now. Food and agriculture are some of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. As we gather this week in Anaheim, many companies have taken a pledge to leverage the power of the industry to reverse climate change together.

They aim to bring climate awareness to the center stage of this year’s Expo. Continue reading

The Rich History & Bright Future of Biodynamic

demeter-green-125x200Last July I had the great pleasure of visiting Germany and Austria as an organic ambassador with the Foreign Ag Service. As I interloped between embassies and ministries, I was able to savor the hearty cuisine and imbibe the most precious wines and beers. What I came to discover during my culinary indulgences was that almost all of the organic faire was Biodynamic. I soon learned that this wasn’t just another organic certification but an entire philosophy, one that beholds the farm as a healthy, living, breathing organism. The very nugget of Biodynamic is that the farm can be a self-contained and self-sustaining entity, responsible for creating and maintaining its own individual health and vitality. Continue reading

The Evolution of Agriculture – The Case against Cheap Food

Corn FieldThe agricultural revolution began some 10,000 years ago when one of our ancestors planted a seed, watched it grow and ate its fruit. It was time to stop wandering and plant more seeds. This ancestor, let’s call her Neolithia, was the grandmother of agriculture, from her labor sprung not only farming but civilization and industry. From that first seed to the cheap offerings of today, we are in dire need of an evolution of how we produce food. Continue reading

El Niño Brings Short-Term Relief to California’s Farmers

California DroughtThe forecasters predicted it, the young and wild boy-child, El Niño would come. A warm pacific current that often wreaks havoc promised torrential rains for the west coast of the North America continent. We believed in him like the god of water who would bestow wet blessings upon the land. California, my home for the past 39 years, has always been wet and green in the winter with golden dry hills casting the summer. These past few years, the boy went dry, and the rains ceased. 2016 was to be the year of relief, of promise, that El Niño would bring us water. If ever he forsakes us, much of California’s agriculture will be under duress.   Continue reading