When there are important issues about the environment and food, it’s a safe bet that the Environmental Working Group is involved. The founder and President of the EWG, Ken Cook joins our Farm to Table Talk for a conversation that ranges from GMO Labeling to Subsidies and their annual “Dirty Dozen” list. And Ken shares reasons to be optimistic about a future that all sides should welcome. Listen to the podcast and you can read the interview here https://podcasttexts.com/Farm-to-Table-Talk-KenCook.html
Prior to the Senate and House passing a mandatory labeling law that pre-empts the Vermont GMO labeling law, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal said that a sticker on genetically modified groceries may debunk irrational fears. The authors, economists Rich Sexton of UC Davis and Steven Sexton of Dukesay that with the recent release of another exhaustive report by the National Academies of Sciences attesting to the safety of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, “it is time for the food industry and advocates of genetically engineered crops to stand up for their products and put a label on them….This could be the best way to make consumers confront their irrational fears, to stamp out public ignorance and to save an important technology…”
Congress has passed legislation to pre-empt state GMO labeling laws such as as the one that has just gone in to effect in Vermont. Now what? Farm To Table Talk engages an expert who has been central to the development of approaches that will be used to give consumers the information they say they want– they want to know everything. Patrick Moorhead CMO of Label Insight paints a compelling picture of the likely future when consumers will know whether their food has been genetically engineered plus much much more.
In this episode we share some unique farm to table connections, recognize the best Food Podcasts in the World, find a unique food proposition among the 300,000 daily visitors to the Taste of Chicago on the Lakefront and introduce Chicago based game-changing insights on how food labels will soon tell you everything you want to know. The Death, Sex and Money Podcast hosted by Anna Sale is an extremely popular podcast, heard by millions. That’s why she was a Keynote speaker at the Podcast movement conference in Chicago. Surprisingly her advertisers and her latest guest show a respect for farm to table connections. Anna Sale and her family are moving to California, but that’s another story.
Next time you eat yogurt, give a minute to remembering that your yogurt was very recently in a black and white holstein cow on the McCarty Family Farm in Kansas. Kevin McCarty shares the unique story of his family moving their dairy from Pennsylvania to Kansas and building a special relationship with the Dannon Yogurt Company. It’s a story about sustainable farming from the cows, to the family, their team, the community, the Dannon company and a nutritious food for you and yours. www.mccartyfamilyfarms andwww.dannon.com
Growing the organic industry, from farms to tables, will require more research and better communications with consumers who are often confused by misleading food marketing strategies. To do the job right, there needs to be a system to raise funds from the industry. Marty Mesh the Executive Director of the Florida Organic Growers and Melody Meyer, Executive Director of UNFI believe that the answer is a national “check-off” program with assessments collected from Organic farmers and companies on the certified organic products they produce and market.
Vermont has passed a GMO Labeling law, “produced with genetic engineering”, that is to go in effect July 1. US Senators Stabenow (D) and Roberts (R) are introducing legislation that would pre-empt the Vermont law by enacting a national disclosure standard for “bioengineered foods”. Before you get overwhelmed with the opinions on both sides, listen to our Farm To Table Talk podcast to hear what will be proposed in the Senate bill and what is in the Vermont law. Would there be “technological challenges” to consumers to “bioengineering disclosure” through electronic or digital methods?
Urban Agriculture: production(beyond just home consumption), distribution and marketing of food is happening within the core and fringes of metro areas. LA based, Dr. Rachel Surls, is on the frontline of this movement for the University of CA Cooperative Extension Service. Rachel is also co-author with Judith Gerber of the book “From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.” (http://www.angelcitypress.com/products/c2co) Food production is coming back in LA, the number one Ag producing County in America for much of the last century.
New rules proposed for the USDA Organic Standards will raise requirements for organic livestock production. The Deputy Administrator of the USDA Organic program, Miles McEvoy explains how livestock are to be treated if the changes go in to effect. The continued growth of Organics is taking place globally with implications for imports and exports of organic foods. Conventional farmers converting to Organics are generally enthusiastic as they start down the transition road.
Consumers, especially Millennials, want their food to be “responsibly produced”. Whole Foods Markets are taking more steps to meet that demand at their over 400 stores and their brand new “365” store format. The Global VP of Perishables, Edmund LaMacchia explains the Vision, lessons learned and future of providing shoppers with truly responsibly produced food, Organic and Conventional if it meets 8 criteria. Communications and marketing of “responsibly grown” will continue to improve and to be a focus.