Why I went to Washington

OTA in WashingtonI was barely off the plane from Bolivia, and the ink was barely dry on my “high altitude” diaries when the call came in. The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, backed primarily by the Grocery Manufactures Association and other biotech companies, was up to its old tricks again. Despite the cheery name the folks behind this coalition want to introduce a bill that would look like a solution to…

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Bolivian Diaries – Part 2 - Going deeper, delivering gifts

This is part 2 of a three part series. You can read Bolivian Diaries – Part 1 here. 
Quinoa ComesI fall deeply asleep in the mining town of Oruro, which, at 14,350 feet, is one of the highest places we will visit. The town is relatively wealthy thanks to the copious amounts of silver, tin and lead extracted from the nearby mountain. The streets are newly paved and lined with parks festooned with magical…

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Climate Change deserves a declaration!

The worldJust a few weeks ago the United Nations group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concluded that things are worse than anyone predicted. This is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change and the report held some dire warnings. The ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, and water supplies are under extreme pressure. As heat waves, heavy…

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Bolivian Diaries – Part 1 - Getting high

High QuinoaThe airplane from Lima soars over the majestic Andes. As we begin our decent, expansive Lake Titicaca is glimmering in the late summer sun. The city of El Alto comes into view with its masses of adobe structures perched on the flat plan called the “Alti-Plano”.  Below El Alto is the city of La Paz, nestled in a precipitous round basin where the high plane ends. This vast basin is filled with over…

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The true cost of conventional food means organic is worth every penny!

What is the true cost of foodWhile traveling with a friend a few weeks ago, I bemoaned the lack of good organic food in airports and restaurants in many areas of the US. I wasn’t happy that my travel schedule took me away from my diet of fresh organic vegetables, grains and proteins. Even while I work for more organic food consumption, I can’t always achieve it in my work schedule. My travel companion questioned my approach…

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Don’t Drink the Water?

Agricultural WaterIt’s a fact that 80-90% of all the corn and soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified to withstand heavy applications of herbicides. The exponential growth of GMO crops has produced a host of super weeds that have evolved to withstand the chemical onslaughts. To combat this cycle, more super-herbicides are applied each year to eliminate the super-weeds. Conventional farmers are now…

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Viewing the National landscape of GMO labeling

http://righttoknow-gmo.org/states

http://righttoknow-gmo.org/states

We are witnessing what could be a watershed moment as invigorated GMO labeling initiatives continue to pop up across the country. The discussion started a few years ago when the non- GMO project created a way to identify the absence of GMO ingredients in our food supply. Certifying that products don’t contain GMOs is great, but doesn’t address the 80% of all…

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Label GMOs? It’s time to get involved!

Speak upWhen I was at Expo West in March, I heard a plethora of discussions on GMOs in our food supply. What struck me was the losses we have suffered in California and Washington states have in many ways helped raise awareness with consumers across the nation. Those losses can be considered wins in sentiment and momentum, but they also present risks. The three-strikes-you’re-out rule doesn’t exactly…

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The National Organic Standards Board needs you!

200px-National_Organic_ProgramThis Spring, all organic stakeholders will have a chance to put their idealism into action. The National Organic Standards Board, or NOSB, will meet April 29 to May 2 in San Antonio, Texas, at the St. Anthony Hotel with the intent of hearing what you have to say on materials and the organic regulations.

The biannual meeting is an opportunity for advocates, consumers and growers to weigh in on…

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USDA gives small and medium sized farms a helping hand!

Helping HandJust after my Blog “Where will Future Organic Farmers of America come from?” was posted, a related announcement came from USDA giving possible solutions to my question. The Agricultural Act of 2014 included funding for organic and sustainable farm initiatives. The latest applications of these funds are programs designed to assist small and medium sized farmers and ranchers! (more…)

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