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Organic Food vs. Organic Thoughts

Organic Food vs. Organic Thoughts

As you probably know by now, I am pretty fanatical and passionate about organic food. It is what I love. It has a superior taste to conventionally-grown food.  Also, it is best for my health, the farmers’ health and the planet. Given that I am so concerned about what I put into my body and […]

Personal Issues Uncategorized
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As you probably know by now, I am pretty fanatical and passionate about organic food. It is what I love. It has a superior taste to conventionally-grown food.  Also, it is best for my health, the farmers’ health and the planet.

Given that I am so concerned about what I put into my body and my overall health, I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately: organic food vs. organic thoughts.

So, what do I mean by this?

Organic food is clearly the best food for me and is critical to good health. There is no doubt about that. However, when I have negative thoughts, feelings of guilt or doubt, or start beating myself up for a variety of reasons, is that negating the benefits of my organic food habit? Read more »


Congress Adjourns, Delays Vote of Food Safety Bill

Congress Adjourns, Delays Vote of Food Safety Bill

News out of Washington DC — Congress has adjourned until after the mid-term elections and no further action was taken on the food safety bill. What does that mean for organics: We are safe, for now. Both the Senate and House will be back on November 15th and will likely only be in for a […]

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News out of Washington DC — Congress has adjourned until after the mid-term elections and no further action was taken on the food safety bill.

What does that mean for organics: We are safe, for now.

Both the Senate and House will be back on November 15th and will likely only be in for a week before leaving for a Thanksgiving break.

No specific agenda has been announced for the lame duck session after the elections.

I’ll keep you posted once new developments take place.


Maria Rodale Interviews Max Goldberg on Maria's Farm Country Kitchen

Maria Rodale Interviews Max Goldberg on Maria's Farm Country Kitchen

For those not super-entrenched in the organic world, Maria Rodale may not be a household name.  However, Maria Rodale is part of the Rodale family, which is as close to royalty as it gets when it comes to organic food in the U.S. In 1947, Maria Rodale’s grandfather, J.I. Rodale, came to understand the connection […]

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For those not super-entrenched in the organic world, Maria Rodale may not be a household name.  However, Maria Rodale is part of the Rodale family, which is as close to royalty as it gets when it comes to organic food in the U.S.

In 1947, Maria Rodale’s grandfather, J.I. Rodale, came to understand the connection between soil quality and health, and founded the Soil and Health Foundation, forerunner to the Rodale Institute.

More famously, he also founded Organic Farming and Gardening (now known as Organic Gardening), which was the first organic magazine of its kind. This venture led to many other books, magazines and served as the foundation for the Rodale publishing empire.

Now led by Maria Rodale, the company is the leading multimedia company with a focus on health, wellness, and the environment, and the largest independent book publisher in the U.S.

Rodale reaches 70 million people through its various media properties.

Aside from her job as chairman and CEO of Rodale, Maria Rodale has her own blog called Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen.

In her blog, Maria Rodale asks me seven questions that cover various organic and non-organic issues. If you want to know why living organic is important to me, who my favorite musician is and what is the one kitchen appliance I can’t do without, please go check out the interview.


Young Thai Coconut Shortage

Young Thai Coconut Shortage

If you are like me, a lover of young Thai coconuts, then you are probably having some withdrawal as of late. Due to the political unrest in Thailand, getting coconuts has been next to impossible. Every juice bar, supermarket or store I go to in New York City tells me the same thing: they can’t […]

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If you are like me, a lover of young Thai coconuts, then you are probably having some withdrawal as of late. Due to the political unrest in Thailand, getting coconuts has been next to impossible.

Every juice bar, supermarket or store I go to in New York City tells me the same thing: they can’t get any and don’t know when they’ll be back on the shelves.

The only thing that I have seen is a brand of water called Exotic Superfoods Organic Young Thai Coconut Water. It is shipped frozen in a plastic bottle and gets defrosted once in the U.S.

In Manhattan, both Integral Market on 13th Street and One Lucky Duck in Gramercy have been carrying this product over the last few days. For how much longer they’ll have supply is anyone’s guess.

Young Thai coconuts have been a staple in my diet for many years.  I love cracking one open and drinking the water. It is supposedly the best post-workout drink available because of its electrolytes. The coconuts are also great for breakfast smoothies (coconut milk) and raw ice cream (coconut meat).

Despite the fact that New Yorkers love Young Thai coconuts and we miss having them, I hope things get squared away in Thailand soon. Lives have been lost and that matters a lot more to me than not having one of my favorite fruits.


IMPORTANT: The USDA is Close to Approving Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Disastrous Consequences for Organic

IMPORTANT: The USDA is Close to Approving Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Disastrous Consequences for Organic

Last night, I interviewed Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a non-profit based in Washington DC. The website says that CFS “protects human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.” In plain language, […]

Non-Profits Organic Regulation The Center for Food Safety Uncategorized USDA
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Last night, I interviewed Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a non-profit based in Washington DC.

The website says that CFS “protects human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.”

In plain language, this organization battles the people who are polluting our environment and corrupting the integrity of our food supply.

What is important to note is that when CFS files lawsuits, it often succeeds.  This includes several victories against Monsanto and others.  Recent wins include: stopping GE sugar beets, halting GE crops in wildlife refugees, preserving r-BGH free labels on dairy products, and passing California law to protect farmers from the hazards of GE crops.

Andrew Kimbrell and his team are amazing advocates of organic food, and I cannot express how lucky we are to have such competent and committed people fighting for our cause in Washington.

The interview I shot with him will be up very soon, but I received an email from CFS today and wanted to share it immediately.

The organic food community is under serious attack from the USDA.  Yes, the USDA.  It is considering allowing GE alfalfa, which would have disastrous consequences for the organic food industry and the well-being of small and family farms. Read more »


Organic Flowers: An Essential Part of Valentine's Day

Organic Flowers: An Essential Part of Valentine's Day

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this is the time of year when we cannot forget to incorporate organic into our plans. And for sure, this includes flowers. Why? Ginger Thompson, a great journalist for the New York Times, wrote a fantastic piece several years ago on the flower industry in Ecuador. The local […]

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this is the time of year when we cannot forget to incorporate organic into our plans. And for sure, this includes flowers. Why?

Ginger Thompson, a great journalist for the New York Times, wrote a fantastic piece several years ago on the flower industry in Ecuador. The local workers, who are in desperate need of money, have little choice but to work for these companies and suffer the dire consequences of being exposed to the poisonous chemicals used on the flowers. They are getting sick but it is a question of illness or hunger.

Furthermore, the chemicals inevitably get into the soil and pollute the water supply.

It is a very, very sad situation, and there are no easy answers.

What we can do, however, is increase our consumption of organic flowers. If consumers demand organic, chemical-free flowers, growers around the world will change their ways or suffer economically. We need to create change with our wallets.

Valentine’s Day is a huge day for the flower industry, and for those of us concerned about the environment and the well-being of our fellow citizens, organic flowers need to be just as important as organic apples or grapes.

Here are two flower companies, both of which are well-respected in the organic community, that can do next-day delivery for Valentine’s Day

* California Organic Flowers

* Diamond Organic Flowers


Whole Foods Launches "Health Starts Here" Campaign: Pushes Plant-Based Diet, Says to Reduce or Eliminate Consumption of Animal Products

Whole Foods Launches "Health Starts Here" Campaign: Pushes Plant-Based Diet, Says to Reduce or Elimi

I almost fell over yesterday when I was at the Whole Foods Market (Fresh Pond Store) in Cambridge, MA. Let me explain… Before entering the check-out line, I was looking at the marketing materials related to Whole Foods’ new Health Starts Here campaign — an initiative based on a plant-based, nutrient-dense diet. The first thing […]

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I almost fell over yesterday when I was at the Whole Foods Market (Fresh Pond Store) in Cambridge, MA. Let me explain…

Before entering the check-out line, I was looking at the marketing materials related to Whole Foods’ new Health Starts Here campaign — an initiative based on a plant-based, nutrient-dense diet.

The first thing I saw was the big poster that ranked foods based on an index called the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI).  ANDI was created by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., the chief medical officer of an organization called Eat Right America.

Foods are ranked from 1 to 1000, with the most nutrient-dense foods having the highest scores.  Collards and kale have scores of 1000 while soda has a score of 1.  What was displayed at the store today was an abbreviated list and did not contain all the scores that are available on the ANDI website link above.

The second thing I saw was the display of about seven books where magazines are normally stacked.  This is where I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

There was a copy of The China Study by Colin Campbell, PhD.

For those unfamiliar with this book, it is the culmination of 20 years of research into the lifestyle habits of people in rural China and Taiwan.

Dr. Campbell said that “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.”

I had heard about The China Study a few years ago through some of my raw food friends.  Given that raw foodists eat an organic/vegan diet, Dr. Campbell is a household name within this community for obvious reasons.

The fact that a supermarket, which sells a ton of animal products, would sell The China Study is nothing less than completely and utterly shocking.

The third thing I saw was a marketing brochure (see below) about the Health Starts Here campaign.  It listed four healthy eating principles: Plant Based, Whole Foods, Low Fat and Nutrient Dense.

The first row in the third bullet point under the Low Fat criteria said “Reduce or eliminate consumption of animal products”.  I had to stare at the paper for about 10 seconds in order to believe what was actually written there.

Not only does Whole Foods have The China Study sitting by its cash registers, some of the most valuable real estate in the entire store, but the the market is now telling consumers not to buy the animal products that it is selling!

Inconsistent Marketing Messages

Another interesting point here is that there has been a lack of consistency in the messages that Whole Foods has been delivering to the public in regards to this program. Read more »