Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Albert Lusk: My Friend and Pioneer in the Organic Produce World

Albert Lusk a True Organic Pioneer

My profession and personal life have been interwoven and influenced by Albert Lusk over the decades. He was driven by his passion for organic agriculture and founded Albert’s Organics in 1980 when Whole Foods had one location.

I was working at Community Foods, a Natural Food Store in Santa Cruz, in the early 1980s. When Albert began delivering organic produce from Southern CA, our store expanded its organic offerings.

He came to be a friend and a mentor, sometimes a competitor, and he married my good friend, Claris Ritter.

Over time his company became the largest certified organic wholesale distributor of organically grown fresh produce in the United States. It was purchased by United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) in 1998. A few years later, UNFI purchased my company, Source Organic. I became part of the Albert’s Organic family and carried on his legacy there.  

Albert retired and moved to Costa Rica. He was fond of hiking to a wild waterfall in Braulio Carillo National Park.

In late September, he went missing with his car as the only clue to his whereabouts near this densely forested region.

Albert loves hiking in the Mountains of Costa Rica

While the search is not over, the story of this organic pioneer can be heard from the many produce veterans who helped him build a nationwide organic produce network.

Continue reading “Albert Lusk: My Friend and Pioneer in the Organic Produce World”
well-being, What is Organic

What Does an Ecological Home Look Like?

This is what an Eco-Friendly home looks like in Iceland
Photo by Sharad kandoi on Unsplash

Ecological homes have been growing in popularity in the past few years. And there’s a good reason for it. We see our world in disarray—we are weathering a global pandemic and witnessing drastic changes in our climate. We all want to be part of the solution, and home is a good place to start.

I always wanted to build a new Eco-home but never had the financial fortitude to erect such a structure from scratch. I purchased a small “cabin” in the woods after the great 1989 Earthquake in Santa Cruz, CA. Over the years, I added additional space that included ecological attributes.  

Whether you are building a new home, adding square footage, or you just want to create a more earth-friendly environment, I have a few tips to help you create your Eco-Friendly home base:   

Continue reading “What Does an Ecological Home Look Like?”
Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, well-being, What is Organic

Five Habits to Adopt to Keep you Healthy and Productive While Working from Home

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

It’s been over 5 months of social distancing. If you’re lucky enough to have a job working from home, you probably consider yourself blessed. But staying focused, healthy and engaged in one room can take a toll on our body, mind and social spirit.

Here are five takeaways I have adopted that keep me fit and sane while earning a living at home.

Continue reading “Five Habits to Adopt to Keep you Healthy and Productive While Working from Home”
Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Six Days and Seven Nights – Eating Organic Makes a Big Difference

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Photo by Boston Public Library on Unsplash

I began eating organic food back in the 1980s before Federal Regulations defined the category. Pesticides originated as chemicals used in warfare, and I intuitively felt that ingesting food grown with them just couldn’t be right.

It’s true that sometimes I fudge a bit. If my local store doesn’t have organic onions (which is rare these days), and I need one for a recipe, I’ll buy a conventional one rather than go to another store.

After hearing about a new study, I will rethink my recipe. This research shows that when people eat organic food for one week, their levels of glyphosate drop dramatically! Continue reading “Six Days and Seven Nights – Eating Organic Makes a Big Difference”

Culinary Delights, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, well-being, What is Organic

Waste Not Want Not: Granny’s Tips on Reducing Food Waste

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Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

My grandmother used the old adage “waste not want not” for good reason. She was a woman who lived during the Great Depression, she grew our family’s food most of her life. Planting, nurturing, harvesting and preserving food was her life—and she didn’t intend to waste any of it!

In the US, we throw away 30-40 percent of our food supply. That’s 219 pounds per person and $1600 per family each year.

Wholesome food that could feed families in need is sent to landfills. Food is the single largest component taking up space inside US landfills.

If that isn’t enough to motivate you, think about the land, water, labor, energy and other inputs used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of discarded food.

For me, you and I, it may be about saving money. For others, it’s about contributing to the environment and doing your part to save the planet.

Whatever your reason is to reduce your food waste, I’m going to give you some hints from my pantry and Granny. Continue reading “Waste Not Want Not: Granny’s Tips on Reducing Food Waste”