There are very few people that I learn more from in the organic industry than Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Directory of the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in Washington, D.C.
Not only does Andrew Kimbrell preside over one of the most important non-profits in the fight for healthy and organic food, but he is also one my favorite interviews (see HERE and HERE).
For President’s Day recently, Andrew wrote an excellent piece about what is truly taking place in our country, and I wanted to share it with you below. If you like what he has to say here, be sure to sign up for the CFS newsletter and please consider supporting this phenomenal organization.
President’s Day is an appropriate time to reflect on the state of our U.S. democracy. And there is some very good news across the country about the spread of local democracy, but you have not heard or read much about it in the mainstream media. Remarkably, this democratic surge has taken place despite the massive influx of corporate dollars from those who want to stomp out popular rule as it threatens their power and profits. But more about them later.
Let’s start with the big positive. Too often, democracy has meant voting every couple of years for a candidate that is “the lesser of two evils.” But now citizens and their representatives all across the country are voting directly on major social and technology issues that impact their families and neighborhoods. Often, they are saying no to technologies that will poison their water, destroy their land and biodiversity, and threaten the health of their children and communities. Read More »
Right now in the U.S., there is no such thing as USDA certified organic fish. Why?
Because organic standards for fish have never been passed.
That may soon change, however. The USDA is getting close to finalizing organic aquaculture production regulations, based upon recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
And what is being proposed — including allowing ocean-based fish farms and the use of wild fish, meal or oil — is a horrible idea. Not only will these standards harm the ocean’s ecosystem, but they will impact the integrity of the organic seal.
Despite the fact that organic is more popular than ever and companies such as Walmart and Target are significantly boosting their offerings, one would think that support for organic in Washington, D.C. would be growing as well.
Sadly, that is not the case.
Not only is support for organic not growing, the Obama administration and his USDA are doing everything they can to weaken organic standards and dismantle the authority of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an independent, 15-member advisory board which helps to oversee the industry and make important recommendations.
THE SUNSET RULE
One of the most important policies that we have in organic is something called The Sunset Rule. What this means is the following. Read More »
Ever since I started eating organic food in 2001, people have asked me – why do you eat organic?
The most common answer that I give is that I don’t want to consume toxic pesticides or GMOs. That seems to resonate with people and they can easily understand it.
Over the last few years, however, my answer has evolved.
Of course, I mention the pesticides, but I also talk about how the chemicals used in conventional agriculture ruin our water supply (94% of our water now contains Atrazine) and sicken farm workers (residents in the farming community of Central Valley, CA are forced to drink bottled water because the tap water has become so contaminated from pesticides). Read More »
As a follow-up from that post, I got an e-mail from a reader asking how she would know if she is eating genetically-modified soy or not.
Figuring that many other people may have that same question, I wanted to explain how to avoid eating genetically-modified food (GMOs) and the things that you need to look out for.
#1 – Buy USDA Certified Organic Products GMOs are prohibited in organic food. Therefore, look for products that contain the USDA certified organic seal.
Even though GMOs are prohibited in organic, organic crops can be contaminated by GMOs through cross-pollination and drift. (That is why the proliferation of GMOs is a real threat to organic farming. The co-existence of GM-crops and organic crops is simply not possible, despite what our government would like us to believe.)
USDA rules require that organic certifiers test samples from at least 5% of the operations they certify on an annual basis. Read More »