How to Eat Well in 2018 and Stay Within a Budget

 Consuming the news these past weeks, I was served up a ration of New Year’s food columns that all revolve around saving money. The titles lazy-Susan through my newsfeed: “5 Ways to Stop Blowing your Budget on Food” or “How to Save Money on Groceries every Month.”

While I digest their content on saving coupons and planning meals around what’s in flyers, it leads me to ponder…Should we not instead be asking how to eat well in 2018 and stay within our means?

Is saving money the ultimate goal to eating? Continue reading

Big or Small, Does Size Really Matter?

Having spent the first 19 years of my life in Iowa, I am keenly aware of the juxtaposition of big Ag and small family farms. For the most part, Iowa is a vast rolling landscape of corn and soy, planted and harvested by one agricultural soldier with his tractor, GPS and a battery of inputs. In places like Kalona, Iowa, the Amish community farms with draft horses and wide-brimmed hats. Their small family plots produce vegetables, corn, eggs, milk and delicious cheese curds.

Both models can be certified organic if the inputs and practices align with the regulations.

As the demand for certified organic continues to surge, large-scale organic production fuels the growth of the burgeoning $50-billion industry. What are the challenges and benefits of Big Organic and Little Organic. Does size really matter for the movement? Continue reading

A Tale of Ten Acres Continues – UNFI’s Agrarian Path to Local Organic Food

It’s springtime in Racine, Wisconsin and the ten acres adjacent to our distribution facility lay ready for cultivation. The cover crop planted last fall had worked its subterranean magic, suppressing thistles and weeds, building topsoil, micronutrients and loam. The prolific rains had rendered the land moist and open, ready for planting. Steve Spinner’s vision for creating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program near a UNFI facility was as close as placing a seed in the soil. The only hitch in this idyllic giddy-up was finding a suitable farmer willing to undertake the organic dream. Continue reading

If Eating Organic Was a Color – It Would Be Shades of Grey

shutterstock_262694438For a colorful world of grocery – from bright red raspberries to deep blue corn chips –  it is remarkable how the organic food industry has various shades of grey. While this blog post is no “50 Shades of Grey” novel, it is a hot topic with no perfect answers!

Some of the big “grey dilemmas” I personally struggle with include: Continue reading

Summertime and the Living is Easy…. It’s Gazpacho Time!

Heirloom tomatoesSummertime…the cucumbers are growing and the tomatoes are high. Your kitchen’s hot and your Cuisinart is hungry, so hush ‘what’s for dinner?’  Gazpacho―it’s your summer ally!

Continue reading