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

The National Organic Program needs you!

The National Organic Program administers the O...

The National Organic Program administers the Organic Seal to products that meet the requirements. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The National Organic Program (NOP) receives recommendations on policy and proposed regulatory changes from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This 15 member board is comprised of specialists in various areas of the organic industry. The experts also rely on YOU, the organic community, to provide comments on their proposals and deliberations in order to make the best decisions on how to move our industry forward. Continue reading

Boycott that Brand! Is this the real path to change?

Boycott?The organic media is ablaze with boycotts and declarations of industry treason. Familiar brands you thought you could trust, ones that have been proudly displayed on shelves for years, are now under attack. Retailers who have embraced the organic and natural movement are demonized as villains. Continue reading

Mr. Organic: Q&A with Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program

Miles Smiling in a Strawberry Field (2)It’s hard to find anyone who knows more about organic policy than Miles McEvoy. Miles began working in organic agriculture for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in 1988. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working on farms, with fisheries and in forests.  He says this background provided him with valuable context on the keys to sustainably producing and harvesting food, while still running a successful business. His perspective is a unique one, in that it combines the idealism of a grassroots farmer and environmentalist with the knowledge of someone who’s spent years working within WSDA and now the USDA.

I recently sat down with Miles for an interview on topics ranging from organic history to new initiatives to challenges for our industry. Below is the first part of the two-part interview. It has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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