Headwinds and Hope : Organic Week in DC

Capitol Hill

This not so much a factual account of my week in DC but rather a philosophical musing of the state of organic today.

I knew full well the political atmosphere in DC when I arrived—it is muddled with shear turbulence. So too the organic industry is experiencing a bumpy trajectory even as it streams ahead with over 6% growth.

Organic has been under a barrage of political threats and media scandals that just don’t seem to stop. Continue reading

Everyone Who Eats Should Pay Attention to the Farm Bill

Every 5 years or so Congress passes a far-reaching piece of legislation that influences what food is grown, how it’s grown, and who gets access to healthy food. This, in turn, affects the health of our topsoil, the quality of our water, and the prosperity of those who grow our food.

In addition, the Farm Bill addresses hunger, nutrition, and access to healthy local food. It is also the primary funding for most Organic programs in the US.

Congress is working on Farm Bill language now; if you eat and care about Organic, it’s time to get involved. Continue reading

Why Getting Dirty Can Help Save the World

I owe soil an apology.2015 Year of Soil 2

For many years I only considered soil as dirt, mud, insignificant, yuck! If you were like me, the only time you thought about soil was when you were washing it off your boots after a hike in the woods or perhaps you cursed it as you removed weeds from your garden. I have walked all over soil, literally and philosophically. Now I know better, and I want to share why. Continue reading

Let’s Celebrate October as National Farm to School Month!

Farm To SchoolAs the Executive Director of the UNFI Foundation, I see allot of requests for support of farm to school initiatives. What better way to fight obesity and chronic health issues than by educating our youth on healthy and nutritious eating.

I am constantly amazed at the number of young people who don’t know what broccoli looks like when it is growing- “what are those giant green leaves?”  That beet-root actually comes from beneath the soil and not out of a can! Honoring October as the National Farm to School Month is an admirable way to highlight this deficiency of food knowledge and its relationship to nutrition. Continue reading

Let’s make every day Food Day

Food Day -MAP-2013It says a lot about our eating habits that we need to set aside a day to remind us all to eat real. Less than two hundred years ago, most of our ancestors grew and harvested everything they ate. Before the days of refrigeration and processed food, eating real was about surviving. Many of our culinary favorites are derived from ways of cooking, preserving or fermenting food straight from the source. There is a movement afoot to remind us of those days and bring us back to the origins of what we eat and where food comes from. Continue reading