Turkish Tales – An Organic Odyssey

Turkish Tales – An Organic Odyssey

Istanbul Blue MosqueI arrive in Turkey for the IFOAM conference lateon a Saturday, nearly on the other side of the world. I have landed in the ancient city of Istanbul, once Constantinople as named by the great ruler Constantine. The formidable walls that protected the city for 1,000 years are now crumbling. They tumble into the Sea of Marmara, along with restaurants and homes. Groups of men huddle around fires…

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Eat Real, Get Real, Why Food Day is a return to our roots

Eat Real, Get Real, Why Food Day is a return to our roots

Organic farmGrowing up in Iowa in an era much simpler and much more naïve, we did not have one “food day”. Real food was as much a part of our lives every day as the great seasons that rolled across the prairie. My German grandparents lived next door and cultivated a garden instead of grass for a backyard. Arbors of succulent concord grapes defined rows of string beans, tomatoes and sweet corn. My…

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Non GMO-Month heralds a David and Goliath battle!

Non GMO-Month heralds a David and Goliath battle!

Non-GMO infographic_lgAs I head off to the IFOAM Conference in Istanbul, I reflect that October is celebrated as Non-GMO Month. Celebrate we should, the Non-GMO Project has made many remarkable gains. Annual sales of products carrying the Non-GMO Project Verified seal now total more than $8.5 billion, growing more than 20% annually!  My local New Leaf Storein Santa Cruz is one of more than 2,000 retailers who are…

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Fair Trade Month: An Opportunity to Connect with the True Cost of Food

Fair Trade Month: An Opportunity to Connect with the True Cost of Food

Vigorous bananasMy father grew up in Iowa during the depression. Times were dire and he witnessed much hardship and suffering. Getting enough to eat was never an issue for his family but seeing others go hungry left its psychological mark. After returning from WWII he witnessed the Industrial Agricultural Complex taking hold in earnest and the availability of cheap food became a patriotic goal. Generations were…

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USDA approves chemical strikes on US Farmland

USDA approves chemical strikes on US Farmland

Pesticide SprayWhile attending Expo East in September the ominous email flew across my screen: USDA  granted final approvalof a new form of genetically engineered corn and soy, paving the way for a new technology to do battle in our fields. These patented seeds are part of a new technology named Enlist Duo Weed Control. The corn and soy have been genetically altered to withstand heavy applications of two…

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Participate in the Organic Process – The National Organic Standards Board needs you!

Participate in the Organic Process – The National Organic Standards Board needs you!

200px-National_Organic_ProgramI believe that organic is THE gold standard of food, textiles and farming. There is no food system in the United States that provides as many benefits to the planet and the people. It is also the most transparent, vigorously discussed and rigorously evaluated food system we have! (more…)

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Four Reasons I Choose a Plant-Based Diet

Four Reasons I Choose a Plant-Based Diet

Organic Farmers Market 3First of all I am not a vegan; I do not wish to be defined by a word. I choose to eat a vegan or plant-based diet on most occasions, and I am having a rollicking time discovering new culinary delights. I still stock a good cave-aged gruyere for my friends, my shoes remain leather bound and my animals dine on organic chicken dinners. Why then would I make such a drastic switch after years of juicy…

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What to Do at Expo East? Eat Party Learn! part 2

What to Do at Expo East? Eat Party Learn! part 2

Eat Party Learn Expo EastThis is the second installment leading up to Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland that I will be highlighting the many ways your experience at Expo East can be enhanced by the myriad of events and happenings. If you are coming to the show to buy or sell, there is something additional and essential for you to partake in! (more…)

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What to Do at Expo East? Eat Party Learn!

What to Do at Expo East? Eat Party Learn!

Eat Party Learn Expo EastTwice each year the organic and natural brands come together to show off their newest tastes, smells, textiles and health supplements. Be it the latest organic corn chip or exotic elixirs, ointments and unguents, you can try it all here at the show!  When I first attended Expo West back in the 1980’s, it was a simpler show with much less buzz. Now we have two humungous shows, East and West, to…

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Fall cometh and “Organic-Palooza” will herald the celebration!

Fall cometh and “Organic-Palooza” will herald the celebration!

The Future of foodI feel the hint of fall coming with that nip and hint in the air, the angle of the sun burnishes into orange. The leaves aren’t quite turning and the garden is still booming prodigiously. So, it seems natural to celebrate the end of summer’s fertility and the organic products produced from this northern-faced exposure to the sun we call summer.

September is traditionally “Organic Month,” and I…

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