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.
A large share of the people in the world cannot take farm to table for granted. Food security is an issue, especially recovering from disasters such as the deadly Earthquake last year in Nepal. Katherine Parker is on the font line helping solve problems, connecting farmers and markets and still finding time to enjoy local food and friendships. She has worked with communities and their farmers in Japan, Iowa, Cambodia and Nepal. Listen to the podcast and follow her on facebook.com/bokashi or read more stories on her blog, bokashi.blogspot.com
Consumers may wonder if what is said about their food and how it is produced, is truthful. The Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA has oversight and certification programs that verify specific claims, such as “antibiotic free”, cage free or country of origin. AMS Deputy Administrtor Dr. Craig Morris explains “checkoff” programs fund farmer/rancher promotion to consumers. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is still in effect for all commodities, except for beef and pork. Future areas of attention may relate to false claims on menus or farmers market about farm sources.