Can Organic Agriculture Save the Insects and Our Gardens? A New Study Suggests It Can

animal bee bloom blooming

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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

California State Congresswoman Introduces First Organic-to-School Pilot Program

flat lay photography of three tray of foods

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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

Groundbreaking Study Reveals Immediate Benefits of Eating Organic

variety of vegetables

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Conventional wisdom would tell us that eating food sprayed with toxic chemicals can’t be good for us. Avoiding flesh or fruit grown without poisons seems like a much healthier alternative.

Now a groundbreaking study led by researchers at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Friends of the Earth (FOE) reveals the benefits of an all-organic diet. The study, “Organic Diet Intervention Significantly Reduces Urinary Pesticide Levels in U.S. Children and Adults” found that eating organic significantly reduces the amount of measurable pesticides present in our body. Continue reading

Organic Programs Go Adrift During Government Shutdown

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The federal government shutdown is going on its fourth week with no clear resolution in sight. According to estimates from S&P Global, the shutdown has already cost the U.S. economy $3.6 billion, and If it continues two more weeks, the economic damage could surpass $5.7 billion.

The shutdown is causing issues for farmers across the nation. Local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices have been closed, affecting farmers with agency loans. Food safety inspectors are working while missing paychecks, and important Ag data isn’t being collected. What does the shutdown mean specifically for the Organic Sector?

Many organic programs are left without moorings in this uncharted territory. Continue reading

An Organic New Zealand Odyssey

fern-1540867As you read this, I may be streaming over the largest body of water on the planet. The Pacific will beckon as I careen across the International Date Line, south to my favorite island nation, Aotearoa, literally the land of the long white cloud according to the Maori tongue. It is also known as New Zealand. Continue reading