Filling Their Sales

If organic food is so popular, why are so few farms transitioning their land? Grist By Tom Philpott On a recent trip to Austin, I visited the flagship Whole Foods — a vast space where people gather en masse to render financial sacrifice to that new god, organic food. From the depths of the parking… Read more »

A Wild Bird Chase

The Guardian by Peter Melchett All through the main bird migratory season last autumn, and during this winter, the U.K. government has been testing wild birds for avian flu. They found evidence of the low pathogenic variety of bird flu, which seems to have been present in wild bird populations for a long time, without… Read more »

Voting Beyond Our Forks

Attention shoppers: it’s going to take more than consciousness at the checkout line to fix our broken food system Whole Life Times By Christopher D. Cook Bacterial scares aside, these are propitious days for good food. Burgeoning interest in organic, nontransfatty, local, slow, GMO-free foods suggests a ripening of consciousness that could transform today’s corporate… Read more »

Organics at a Crossroads in 2007

By Mark Alan Kastel Now that annual sales of organic food products have reached $16 to $17 billion, and increased marketplace demand is causing ramped-up offerings by major supermarket chains, can the organic industry retain the meaning behind the organic label? After all, no other product or market sector I know of better exemplifies the… Read more »

Amber Fields of Bland

The New York Times By Dan Barber Tarrytown, N.Y. THERE’S invariably something risky, if not risible, about allowing Congress to decide what’s for dinner. Bad decisions about agriculture have defined government policy for the last century; 70 percent of our nation’s farms have been lost to bankruptcy or consolidation, creating an agricultural economy that looks… Read more »

Is the National Animal Identification System Mandatory or Voluntary?

By Judith McGeary Numerous sources have reported that the National Animal Identification System, or NAIS, is voluntary. But is that really true? On November 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a “User Guide“ for NAIS. In it, USDA states that NAIS “is voluntary at the federal level.” Those are critical words — they… Read more »

So, What if Wal-Mart Made a Mistake?

by Jim Goodman That was the question asked by the host on a recent Public Radio call-in show. Her question to her guest from the Cornucopia Institute was in regard to recent charges that Wal-Mart was passing conventional grocery items off as USDA certified organic. A mistake? I doubt it. Seriously, think about it, you… Read more »

The Organic Conversation Begins Anew (again) By Bob Scowcroft Consider the word “organic.” I suspect that readers of this journal would conjure up an incredibly wide range of images. Maybe it was the restaurant patronized last night. How about nutritionally superior and locally farmed produce? Others might find themselves going right to what their youthful consumption of heavily processed, pesticide… Read more »

Leafy Green Sewage

Op-Ed Contributor The New York Times By Nina Planck FARMERS and food safety officials still have much to figure out about the recent spate of E. coli infections linked to raw spinach. So far, no particular stomachache has been traced to any particular farm irrigated by any particular river. There is also no evidence so… Read more »