Why Did the Organic Check-off Die an Untimely Death?

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Back in 2010, I was on the board of The Organic Trade Association (OTA). At the time, we had a brilliant idea on how to grow organic agriculture. An Organic Research and Promotion Program or Check-Off would have provided an estimated $30 million annually for the organic community.

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Congressman Jimmy Panetta Reflects on Organic and The New Crop Greening His District

I have been lucky enough to live on the Central Coast of California for most of my adult life. Indeed the very essence of its rich agricultural landscape has profoundly shaped my career and belief systems. I was fortunate to connect with my Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who has also been touched by growing up on the Central Coast.

From artichokes to strawberries to lettuce to wine grapes, the Central Coast is the epicenter of organic agriculture producing over $5 billion annually. The community of farmers and farm workers that tills this fertile area produces more than 100 different crops and helps give the area its moniker “the Salad Bowl of the World.” Continue reading

Organic Week in DC: Why It’s More Important Now Than Ever to Be Involved

If you’ve ever walked the halls of Congress with talking points in hand, you know the thrill of democracy in action. Having the opportunity to advocate for funding or policy change with your elected Congressperson is the most important way for you to participate in the legislative process. With Farm Bill discussions underway and mid-term elections around the corner this year, it’s critical for organic proponents to show up and speak up for organic food and agriculture. Continue reading

Earth Day in Tunisia and The Origins of Olive Oil

This year I’ll be spending Earth Day in Tunisia. Not planting trees nor marching for science but instead wallowing my way through delicious Tunisian olive oils. I go as a journalist to discover the nuanced flavors each producer’s earth, sun and care impart. I will visit centuries-old olive groves and commune with those who have husbanded these ancient arbors for generations out of mind. Continue reading

Part 2: Gary Hirshberg Reflects on Why He Works So Hard on Organic Voices

This is the second of a two part interview with Gary Hirshberg. He has worked tirelessly for years building a better food system. He’s followed his heart to encompass a love for the planet and its people. From building a business with seven cows, his heart has driven his mission. Tirelessly defending people from toxic chemicals, protecting the environment all the while selling some darn good yogurt, propels him still tirelessly to this day.

With his accomplishments and accolades in hand many like him would have sauntered off into the sunset of retirement. But Gary keeps pressing and driving hard for a better tomorrow. With such passionate energy I had to sit down and ask him: “Why do you do it?”    Continue reading