I begin with a confession. This summer is the second time I have tended a garden since I was a child alongside my grandfather. For most of my adult life, I was too busy trading organic faire, building businesses—doing what I could to heal the planet through food and agriculture.
I am enjoying this garden with its prolific beans, squash, tomatoes and red Peruvian corn. It’s aswarm with bees, pollinators and insects who work to seed the bounty.
With all I’ve read about the mass extinction of insects, it makes me ponder. What would happen to my garden if they all disappeared? Continue reading
As a follow up to my interview with Chuck Benbrook, I was astounded to see the verdict come through on the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury awarded them an astonishing $2 billion in damages for their exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and their subsequent fight with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Chuck testified in the case on April 17th, and he focused on Monsanto’s “stewardship” and lack thereof for its Roundup-brand herbicides.
Chuck comment that “This verdict will surely get Bayer’s attention. Talk about chickens coming home to roost.” His May 13thblog post, Has Bayer’s Day of Roundup Reckoning Arrived?, elaborates more on the verdict.
What does all this have to do with organic products? Herbicides like glyphosate are explicitly forbidden in organic production. Continue reading
California has always been at the forefront of change in the food movement. It’s the state that first passed organic regulations in 1990 and birthed the first certifier, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).
The first Farm-to-School projects also sprang forth in the Golden State in 1997, at Santa Monica-Malibu United School District and The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.
At long last, both Farm-to-School and Organic-to-School may come together. On February 21st, Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced AB 958 which would create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program in California. Continue reading
I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF. Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic.
During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation.
Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Continue reading
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