organic fruits


The debate on food safety is heating up in Congress! The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) is planning to mark up S. 510, the Senate version of the draconian House food safety bill (H.R. 2749). This is a major step towards passing the bill. Big Ag and Big Food have distributed melamine-contaminated milk from China and salmonella-contaminated peppers from Mexico. Yet Congress hasn’t gotten the message that they need to solve the real problems – the centralized food distribution system and imported foods – and not regulate our local food sources out of business. We need your help to make them listen! Please read through the problems with the bill and then call your Senators (details below).

 PROBLEMS WITH THE BILL

 1. The bill applies to all food, not just food in interstate commerce. On its face, the bill applies to any farm or food producer, regardless of location, size, or scope of distribution. If the intent truly is to limit the bill to food that is crossing state lines, then it must be amended. And even then, the bill would still negatively impact small farmers and food processors who live near state lines and who cross state lines to reach local farmers markets and co-ops.

 2. The major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have all been caused by the large, industrial food system. Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized outbreaks. Yet S. 510 subjects the small, local food system to the same, broad federal regulatory oversight that would apply to the industrial food system.

3. FDA regulation of local food processors is unnecessary and overly burdensome. Federal regulations may be needed for industrial, large-scale processing facilities that source raw ingredients from multiple locations (sometimes imported from other countries) and ship their products across the country, but federal regulation is overkill for small, local processors. Existing state and local public health laws are enough for local food sources.

4. Relying on HACCP will harm small processors. S. 510 applies a complex and burdensome Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to even the smallest local food processors. Although HACCP may be good in theory a good theory for large, complex facilities, USDA’s implementation of HACCP, with its requirements to develop and maintain extensive records, has already proven to be an overwhelming burden for a significant number of small, regional meat processors across the country. In the meat industry, HACCP has substituted paperwork review for independent inspections of large meatpacking plants, while sanctioning small processors for paperwork violations that posed no health threat. Applying a HACCP system to small, local foods processors could drive them out of business, reducing consumers’ options to buy fresh, local foods

5. FDA does not belong on the farm. S. 510 calls for FDA regulation of how farms grow and harvest produce. Given the agency’s track record, it is likely that the regulations will discriminate against small, organic, and diversified farms. The House version of the bill directs FDA to consider the impact of its rulemaking on small-scale and diversified farms, but there are no enforceable limits or protections for small diversified and organic farms from inappropriate and burdensome federal rules.

6. S. 510 favors foreign farms and producers over domestic. The bill creates incentives for retailers to import more food from other countries, because it burdens family farms and small business and because it will be practically impossible to hold foreign food facilities to the same standards and inspections. The bill will create a considerable competitive disadvantage for ALL U.S. agriculture and food production (see analysis at http://ftcldf.org/news/news-20Oct2009-2.html ).

ACTION TO TAKE: 1. Contact both of your U.S. Senators. Ask to speak to the staffer who handles food safety issues and if you are able to speak to them rely on the talking points above to explain the problems with the bill. If you get their voice mail, leave this message: “I am a resident of _____. I am opposed to S. 510 because it will place unnecessary and burdensome regulations on our small farms and local food processors. Contrary to FDA’s testimony, the bill is not limited to food in interstate commerce. In addition, it does not address the root cause of foodborne illnesses, i.e., a centralized food system, and it will impact small and local producers. I urge Senator __ to take every action possible to stop unlimited FDA power from destroying our local food sources. Please call me back at _______” To find contact information for your Senators, go to http://www.congress.org or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. 2. Also contact the Chair and Ranking Member of the HELP Committee: Chairman Harkin, (p): 202-224-0767, (f): 202-224-5128 Senator Enzi, Ranking Member, (p): 202-224-6770

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By: Joseph Freeman Posted: August 27, 2009 02:33 PM BIO Become a Fan Get Email Alerts Bloggers’ Index
Where My Bees At? Five Brothers Rap and Dance To Save The Honey Bees
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-freeman/where-my-bees-at-five-bro_b_270589.html  

So you think you can dance? Can you do the honeybee?

In preparation for the first-ever National Honey Bee Awareness Day that took place on Aug. 22, big bee backer Häagen-Dazs used the creative efforts of five brothers from Los Altos, Calif. to make a short video raising awareness.

Max Lanman, a 21-year-old senior at Yale majoring in film studies (and the third-oldest Lanman brother), directed, edited and photographed the result of the request, a viral video entitled “Do the Honey Bee.”

The video, which was released Friday, begins hypnotically like any mainstream rap song. The beat leads you to expect a candy-colored car might glide by, dollar bills could rain from the sky or a troupe of well-tanned bikini-clad women may appear, crowding a bored rapper draped in fur.

Instead, suited-up beekeepers spit rhymes about the honey bee plight and dressed-up bees perform an invented dance.

“The goal behind this was to make a mainstream rap video that appeals to the masses,” said Lanman in a phone conversation from New Haven.

The dancing in the video is a nod to a ritual of the honeybees, who after returning from a particularly good round of pollinating “dance” directions to the rest of their hive.

While other videos were shot by highly paid professionals, Lanman’s was a family affair; his oldest brother Fritz, 28, advised the budding bee activists; second-oldest brother James, 26, produced the song; younger brother Connor, 18, choreographed it and raps the first verse; youngest brother Christopher, 13, cameos as a dancing bee; high school friends were extras; and the video itself was shot in a family friend’s organic garden in Los Altos.

The friend, Jeffrey Warnock, has been teaching the Lanman brothers about bees since they were young enough to want ice-cream for every meal.

“It’s something my family has been involved with for a while. Ever since we were in elementary school we had first-grade field trips where we walked to his (Warnock’s) house and he’d show us his hives,” Lanman said.

The passion stayed with them. Most notably with Connor, who wrote a book called “Plight Of The Bee” that initially caught Häagen-Dazs’ attention. They contacted Connor and he contacted his brothers.

Then they all did the honeybee, so to speak.

Fifty percent of the ice-cream manufacturer’s ingredients come from the nuts and fruits which honey bee pollinations provide.

“We want to keep these little heroes buzzing,” reads a statement on the company’s Web site to raise awareness, http://www.helpthehoneybees.com.

And even if you don’t indulge in a little Caramelized Pear and Toasted Pecan, there is cause to worry.The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that honey bees are responsible for 90 percent of food crops.

According to the USDA, the disappearances– formally known as Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder–started occurring in 2006. Though causes are unknown, environmental groups like The Natural Resource Defense Council speculate that the unregulated use of plant pesticides are major contributors to the decline.

The save the bee buzz is catching on, and the Lanman brothers will continue to try and take it mainstream through different mediums like music.

“We’re hoping that “Do The Honey Bee” will help raise honey bee awareness in a fun and original way, and appeal to the greater population,” Lanman wrote in an email.

“The honey bee crisis affects the global community, and music is definitely the best way to transcend language barriers. We actually found a German forum where different people were talking about the video and the cause–it was really cool to see that our video generated discussion, and in another language!”

Dear Supporters,

I hate to send out a distress signal like this, but our lovely gov’t’s wisdom has offered me no choice.

There is a bill, that did not get a majority today, that will go for a revote again tomorrow.

It is called HR2749.

http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-15june2009.htm

Please understand that I am not being dramatic here when I say that if this passes with a majority tomorrow, I could go to jail for doing what I am doing with the farm. I’m not overstating the proposed legislation.

EVERYONE PLEASE for the sake of food and me not going to jail, call your representative in the a.m. and tell them NO on HR2749! Zach Wamp’s phone number is  202-225-3271! Please!

With all my gratitude,

Breann

Clover Wreath Farm
Certified Naturally Grown
Open Tuesdays 3-6 p.m. and
Fridays 11-2 p.m.
www.cloverwreath.com   

“There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil
 is more stable than one rooted in pavements.” -Aldo Leopold

Visit our blog: https://cloverwreath.wordpress.com/

Welcome to summer (almost)! I wrote this about a week ago when I came
home from the market and am just now sending it out. This is what
happens when the heat comes upon me- things move a little slower than
normal if I don’t have the kiddie pool in the backyard full of ice water..

The market this week was wonderful as usual and there were more people
shopping than ever. It started out looking (and even pretending) like it
was going to rain. That did not stop anyone from either coming to set up
their stand or to shop. I love that first rush of people- the ones who
seem like they have been sitting in their cars like vultures waiting for
the strawberries and chard to hit the table so they can swoop down and
buy them all up. Everyone has a list in hand and are sure they will be
able to get everything they need because they are the FIRST ones there.
And the next hour was nice with people socializing and sharing and
milling about sampling pesto and swapping lettuce stories. There are so
many people who are enthusiastic about the food they eat and want to
share it with all their friends. I love seeing new faces at the market-
especially those new faces who look like they’ve just heard the most
exciting news ever- ‘this is here EVERY Wednesday?! And it’s JUST food
and farmers?! .’

My body has been almost literally starved from the past winter months
and now my kitchen, fridge, freezer, and cabinets are chock-full with a
little (and sometimes a LOT) of everything that is in season. And since
my roommates and I have totally different schedules I don’t even have
that many people to feed. I end up actually cooking supper about three
times a week and eating leftovers.

(I developed this problem when I lived (and grew up) at Sequatchie Cove
and cooked for ten or so (very hardworking and hungry) people a day
where now it is literally impossible to cook a meal for two, let alone
one, people. What? You can’t eat a whole head of lettuce, three bunches
of kale, two bunches of beets, and a cup of rice and lentils cooked with
fennel bulb and garlic scapes by yourself? What have you been DOING all
day? Don’t you know it’s haying season?)

So anyway, I end up eating slaw, an egg, leftover pilaf, and a HUGE
salad all by my lonesome more often than I’d like. But my Greenlife
shopping has slowed down to coffee (I certainly won’t live without that-
I don’t care how many tomatoes are on the vine), toilet paper, sugar for
my various jams and ginger ales I’ve been cooking up, and some yogurt to
eat with my strawberries for breakfast (and other luxuries such as
potato chips (something else I’m not quite willing to live without),
avocados, flour, and fresh squeezed orange juice). Glory be! Of course
there are staples like beans and rice that I buy but the further I get
into summer the more I just rely simply what is in season. Which means I
have to have a LOT of it. Because I don’t just cook supper I also
freeze, ferment, and can for those dark cold months in the not so
distant future.

I (and I know the rest of yall are too) jumping for joy with having a
cucumber from Crabtree (or even jalapenos if you are lucky enough to be
in the Island’s CSA) to toss in my bag along with kale from Williams
Island, a nice fresh copy of Wild Fermentation that Breann from Clover
Wreath had for sale this week (I really like that addition to the
market- it is becoming so WHOLE- you can get plants, vegetables, bread,
honey, meat, and even BOOKS that will tell you how to use every bit of
your new loot) and TADA!- chicken from River Ridge Farm. Now maybe David
will be able to sleep at night without hearing me beg incessantly for
chicken. at least for a few weeks. (I am SO excited about this- maybe
because I’M exhausted from hearing my boyfriend beg incessantly (of
COURSE he is not allowed to eat any chicken he doesn’t know- at least
not to my knowledge. He can do whatever he wants when he’s not around me
but Fire and Brimstones if I hear about it)). It is so sweet and small
and I plan on roasting it whole with a little wreath of garlic scapes
(after I rub it down with some rosemary from the yard and salt). I also
got a stewing hen which gets me just as excited because I can make
delicate and delicious chicken broth and then use the meat for those
things I love but would NEVER make with a young tender chicken like
salad or pot pie.

And now. down to the business I like the most- talking about my kimchee.
I am sure that yall have been waiting so anxiously to hear whether snap
peas ferment well. And I am here to tell you in person that WELL is not
a good enough word. FABULOUS might work in a pinch. Especially when it
is combined with fabulous kohlrabi, fennel, and nappa cabbage from
Signal Mountain Farm and the last of the amazing garlic scapes from
Williams Island, and crisp crunchy radishes from Sequatchie Cove and
sweet wee beets from Clover Wreath. I am now plotting a turnip/black
radish extravaganza ferment from William’s Island.

The other night we had HOT DOGS. I would never have believed it but
Justin in the meat department at Greenlife whomped up the best ones EVER
with some Sequatchie Cove beef (if they don’t have any in the case then
just keep asking for them over and over until they do- that seems to be
the best way to get anything done). We had them on a Neidlove’s baguette
bun with mustard, cucumber relish from last year, and some of Ashley
from Williams Island’s famous pepper jelly from last summer. And I made
another potato salad- with the same mustard (also from Ashley), dill,
and garlic scapes, and green onions. But this time I mixed things up and
added some basil as well. And I made a slaw of broccoli and beets from
Sequatchie Cove, fennel bulb from Signal Mountain, kale and zucchini
from Williams Island and a dressing of vinegar, salt, and honey from
Sale Creek.

Excuse me for the distractions but I just remembered a candle I got from
Lou at Sale Creek honey. She started this week making little boxes from
calendar pages she’s saved up and you can get one and pick out candles
to make your own personalized gift box. I just got a teeny one with a
single tea candle made from pure sweet beeswax to give to my roommate
because she is my best friend and I appreciate her. That is the best
thing about little gifts like that- you can give them all the time to
whoever you want and you don’t even have to wait til their birthday or
bachlorette party. I also got a jar of honey for my boyfriend but for
more ominous reasons. to make strawberry t’ej with. That is an Egyptian
honey wine (not traditionally made with strawberries) and it doesn’t
sound as good to me as mead does. But I am wary in general of first-time
home brewers (I have some very vivid memories of dark-beer stains on the
ceiling when I was a young girl and Bill (my father) was experimenting
with the art of home-brewery). But sometimes gifts must float other
peoples boats and not just your own..

And then on an another note- I got a WONDERFUL email from a certain
Courtney Mild who is a work share for Crabtree. She send me two meals
she had the past week and both sound spectacular (this word is not an
overstatement and I think every meal we eat should be just that). The
first was pizza she made with her roommate- it was all intermingled with
homemade crust, herbs from her garden, sausage from Sequatchie Cove (to
go back off on something else- I think it is really fun to watch the
competition as everyone tries to get in on their share of Trea’s link
sausage made with Cove pigs- a man today had not gotten his the week
before because Bill was talking to another Bill and he felt like he had
to wait his turn. I am here to tell you that there is no such turn. You
have to pull out your money and act like a true Italian and DEMAND you
have your sausage (granted THEY have it in the cooler). That is all the
fun in the market- this whole new culture that most markets and
countries already have..) Anyway. Courtney was lucky enough to have some
of that sausage and put it on her pizza along with pesto from Crabtree
basil, shiitake from Sequatchie Cove (shiitake are fickle creatures-
hopefully the Island’s logs will start producing soon as well as
Sequatchie Cove’s because they certainly come and go as they please-
it’s all based on how many squirrels are hungry, the heat, and how often
it rains), and zucchini from Crabtree. The next day she had grilled
potatoes from Greenlife with Alchemy veggie spice, grilled red cabbage
with pats of butter from her milk group (good (grass-fed,
un-pasteurized, un-homogenized) milk is hard to find around here and the
Tennessee rules are rather strict- it is defiantly legal but you have to
TRY to find it if you want to buy it), and dipped them in Tzatziki sauce
(a simple yogurt sauce (Greek?) usually served with grilled meat) made
of Greek style yogurt (thick yogurt that has most of the liquid drained
from it) from Greenlife, Crabtree garlic and cucumbers, and chocolate
mint and ‘renegade’ (I assume they made it through the winter) chives
from her garden.

I read that and I had two thoughts- the first was YES!- this is how
everyone should eat (with a little bit of this local farm, that local
grocery, and you very own garden) and the second was- thank you for
writing me! I love hearing about everyone’s kitchen times.

She is defiantly not the only person who has written though. It is so
fun and interesting to hear from everyone who come from different
backgrounds and totally different age groups. I love to see that
everyone around me is just as excited about learning and experimenting
as I am. Thank yall for writing and I really hope to talk to you at the
market.

So. I’m sorry if I sounded scattered, it’s simply the mosquitoes buzzing
in my ear. Hopefully I will be more prompt next week telling you what
I’ve been up to. (I would LOVE to tell you about the pizza we had the
other night (an idea all thanks to Courtney) but that will have to wait-
I just want to say that pizza is one of the easiest and funnest ways to
use up almost any vegetable you have lying around- the more unusual it
sounds the better it tastes. at least with pizza)

See yall soon, and try to stay cool (but remember a good sweat really
gets you ready for the glorious things to come)..

-Ann Tindell Keener
Market Letter June 21 (SUMMER!) (part TWO- excuse me- this a been a very
full week)

Ok. So here’s a little story about growing up at Sequatchie Cove Farm…

The farm is in a blessedly very rural part of Tennessee. To get there
you have to drive on a few small roads where most of the houses are
hardly bigger than the cars parked out front (it is funny in America how
small cars usually live at big houses and big SUVS live at the smaller
ones). One of our neighbors raised goats- mainly to eat up the
undergrowth in the woods, but sometimes to sell for slaughter. One day
he gave us a miniature Billy goat. I think now it was just to get rid of
the thing.

Back then we were just beginning farming and since Bill was a city
slicker from Atlanta he didn’t know that goats don’t like to be alone.
That poor goat lived a lonely life. He was constantly looking for lady
goats- or any goat at all- and as a result smelled EVER so strongly of
goat musk. You could smell his plea for companionship from across an
entire field. After awhile he turned mean and desperate and would chase
you and the cows and our dogs around in circles. One day Jimmy (our very
first calf born at the farm to Jersey, an ornery Jersey milking cow who
produced half a gallon of cream to every gallon of milk) had her first
calf. It must have been during a thunderstorm and she and her calf got
separated as soon as the birth happened (as calm as cows are they are
also prone to panic). Jimmy would not accept her calf as her own because
they did not get that initial mother-calf greeting. So Bill and I went
down in the field to bring the couple to the shed where they could
reconnect.

But our Billy goat was angry at the world by then and chased Jimmy
through the fence and me through another fence and the calf through
another until it was complete chaos. I don’t remember how we finally
made it to safety but somehow Bill, me, Jimmy, and her calf all ended up
in the shed with the goat on the other side of a very battered gate.

After that we decided it was time for the goat to go. We tried every way
to get him in the trailer until we finally ended up having him chase my
fifteen-year-old cousin in the trailer in a fit of goat rage and
cheering for my cousin as he quickly turned, ran out, and slammed the
gate. I hope the goat found a better home- complete with ladies a-plenty…

To conclude, we have learned a whole whole lot since then. Fortunately
most of the mistakes have been learning experiences and will not be
repeated in the same way- at least not anytime soon. But sometimes in
life I can still feel that goat chasing me. And as I run I learn from
it. I think that story popped into my head as I sat down to write this
because I feel a new wind blowing into Chattanooga. I felt like I was
fourteen again walking behind Jimmy to meet her calf in the shed with a
goat hot on our heels.

Although- I’m not really sure at the same time what that story has to do
with anything. It was all I could think about when I sat down to write
this though so I thought I’d share it.

So without further ado I want to say- YEA to the Movies on Main. I have
to admit that I didn’t thoroughly follow the New Food Economy Week rules
and proceed the movies with a visit to the Terminal Brew house. I
instead spent the afternoon at Williams Island Farm hoeing morning
glories out of pepper plants and then helped cook a meal of homade pasta
and meatballs. But I don’t think that is too bad…

It was so nice to sit down on the ground and watch a couple movies
projected against Neidlove’s wall in the middle of Main Street hubbub-
complete with fire trucks roaring out. And the movies were such a great
selection. I get so tired of seeing really intense movies about
slaughter houses and huge conventional farms. I think by now most of us
have read Fast Food Nation or seen Our Daily Bread. We KNOW what is
going on and that is why we shop directly from local farm. The horrors
are so passé. I liked the movies because they were simply nice
documentaries on the SOUTH. The first was about a moonshiner who sang
songs and ballads I know almost by heart throughout the movie and the
second was about a small town who cooks barbeque ’whole hog’. I think
that these movies were more educational for me than a lot of other ones
could be. They were simple and straight forward and both had a lot of
darkness. The moonshiner was a terrible alcoholic and the barbequers
lived solely to cook pigs and developed all kinds of lung problems from
breathing in smoke all the time…

But this is US. I liked both of the movies because they were kinda based
on food but really focused on CULTURE. They did what they did because
they loved it, had fun, and truly believed in it. A man wants to spend
his whole life cooking whole hogs to just give people a good barbeque
sandwich? He will give up family and health just to make his neighbors
happy to eat SANDWICH?

Ah. Ok. So I will stop with that. I just want to say that the movies
were MOVING to me (isn’t that what they are supposed to do?). They made
me think more clearly about the very region I live in and be very proud
and at the same time ready to move on…. There is a lot from the past
that we can take- mainly this passion for the BEST (whether it be
barbeque (which CANNOT be made from simply a shoulder or ham I’ve
learned) or moonshine- and there is a lot that we have to keep from losing))

And now I am ready to move on to the next day where we had our Community
Discussion with Bill Keener, Sandor Katz, and Trea Moore at GreenSpaces
on Main Street. What a wonderful collection of people right there.
Sandor was really nice to have around to somehow keep Bill’s comments on
the ground. I know from twenty three years of experience (and having
inherited a bit of it myself) that Bill can get a little carried away
and leave the rest of us thinking- truckloads of cantaloupe WHAT? But
really it was a nice discussion- Bill and Sandor opened by talking a
little about food, local food, and what the heck it all means in the
first place and why we should even care…

And Sandor said something that reminded me of my whole spiel on buying
peppers in the middle of winter at Greenlife and about awareness- this
is our job. Peppers sell the heck out of themselves at Greenlife in the
middle of winter. I personally would never buy one- that actually has
never crossed my mind. That is not to say that you should STOP buying
from Greenlife because they sell peppers in the middle of winter (they
ARE a grocery store afterall). But it would be really nice if we all
could stop and look around us and think, are peppers even in SEASON? And
some people don’t even KNOW how to do that. Some people don’t even know
seasons exist. Sandor said- just because he is conscious of what he eats
and where it comes from he is not going to stop some treating himself to
some luxuries like a nice juicy pineapple, which we cannot grow here
(although my mother did a few summers ago- it was about the size of my
fist but delicious and juicy all the same), or chocolate, or avocados.
But we have to think of these things as just that- treats and luxuries.

But the best part about eating in season is that EVERYTHING becomes a
treat. The first strawberry, the first snap pea, the first stalk of
asparagus, the first head of lettuce, bunch of kale, beet, pepper,
cucumber, and glory be- the first tomato! Have you EVER tasted anything
so sweet, or crunchy, or juicy, or wonderfully bitter, or just plain
ALIVE? I know I haven’t. I remember when I was little my favorite foods
were raspberries, cheese, olives, and tomatoes. The cheese and olives
I’m sure were around a lot but I KNOW what that first raspberry tastes
like. I think I even wrote a poem about it. And tomatoes- expect me to
faint on the spot at the sight of the first tomato (I try to stay
conscious though- just to make sure no one else eats it). As Frank Stitt
said- eating like this creates a hunger and desire that we don’t
otherwise get. It brings huge amounts of joy into the simple act of
eating (which, in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t think is simple at
all- it’s about as simple as a spider web covered in the morning dew).

But I think I’ll stop now before I get carried away (or maybe I’ll say
one more thing). Right before the talk was over my mother and I had to
rush off to see the last performance of Sothern Connections at the
Chattanooga Theater Center. I didn’t feel too bad about leaving because
this was a play written by a local playwright and performed by mostly
people I knew. And it was a whole lot of fun. It was a perfect way to
end a day of local-community consciousness.

NOW I’ll stop. I want to write about the fun cheese tasting at
Sequatchie Cove and the fabulous lunch but that is going to wait til
part THREE. Because I also want to find some space to talk about what
I’ve been cooking and I know there’s none of that.

But- it has been really nice to see new faces at all of these events.
That is so refreshing and encouraging. Thank everyone for coming and
I’ll see you all at the market- if not before.

-Ann Tindell Keener

Organic Bytes - If you can't see this message contact us oca@mail.democracyinaction.org

 

July 1, 2009 Organic Bytes #180: Who’s Killing Organics? Horizon, Silk, Whole Foods Market, UNFI, and More… Health, Justice and Sustainability News from the Organic Consumers Association

www.organicconsumers.org

 

Breaking News of the Week Horizon Sells Out Organic Farmers With New “Natural” Milk Dean Foods’ WhiteWave division has announced it will release a new non-organic “natural” version of its popular Horizon dairy products. Horizon is the largest organic dairy brand in the marketplace, and many consumers will likely alternatively purchase the Horizon “natural (conventional) ” brand at a premium and at a time when organic dairy farmers are already experiencing record losses. 

 

 

Alert of the Week Breaking the Organic Monopoly and the “Natural” Foods Myth Whole Food Market and United Natural Foods, Inc.: Undermining Our Organic Future After four decades of hard work, the organic community has built up a $25 billion “certified organic” food and farming sector. This consumer-driven movement, under steady attack by the biotech and Big Food lobby, with little or no help from government, has managed to create a healthy and sustainable alternative to America’s disastrous, chemical and energy-intensive system of industrial agriculture. However, the annual $50 billion natural food and products industry is threatening to undermine the organic movement by flooding the marketplace with conventional products greenwashed with “natural” labeling. “Natural,” in the overwhelming majority of cases, translates to “conventional-with-a-green-veneer.” Natural products are routinely produced using pesticides, chemical fertilizer, hormones, genetic engineering, and sewage sludge. “Natural”,”all-natural,” and “sustainable,” products in most cases are neither backed up by rules and regulations, nor a Third Party certifier. These are label claims that are neither policed nor monitored. For an evaluation of eco-labels see the Consumers Union Eco-Label website. For example: * Tests Show Widespread Presence of GMOs in So-Called “Natural” Foods * So-Called “Natural” (non-organic) soy milk, including leading brands such as “Silk,” are made with conventional soy lecithin, utilizing the hazardous chemical, Hexane, as an extraction agent. * Dozens of “natural” and “made with organic” personal care and household cleaning products contain known carcinogens such as 1,4 Dioxane. Just about the only personal care products you can trust are those bearing the “USDA Organic” label. * 90% or more of the vitamins and supplements now on the market labeled as “Whole Foods,” “natural” or “food based” are spiked with synthetic chemicals. Despite the massive popularity and demand for certified organic products, retailers like Whole Foods Market, and wholesalers like United Natural Foods Inc., continue to push “natural” products at a premium price, while, in effect slowing down the growth of organics with their near market monopoly. In fact, the majority of products sold and distributed by Whole Foods Market and UNFI are not certified organic, but rather so-called “natural.” Meanwhile, independent and cooperative grocers often offer more certified organic products at competitive prices. Will you stand up for organics? Contact Whole Foods Market and UNFI today and tell them that you will buy only certified organic products for you and your family.

 

Related News of the Week: Dr. Bronner’s Ups Ante in Lawsuit Against ‘Organic’ Personal Care Cheaters Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps filed its Second Amended Complaint today in San Francisco Superior Court against falsely labeled “organic” personal care companies that use non-organic pesticide-intensive agricultural and/or petrochemical material to make the main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients in their products. Defendants include, among others: Hain-Celestial (Jason “Pure, Natural & Organic; Avalon “Organics”); Levlad (Nature’s Gate “Organics”); Kiss My Face “Organic”; YSL Beaute Inc (Stella McCartney’s “100% Organic Active Ingredients”), Country Life (Desert Essence “Organics”); Giovanni “Organic Cosmetics”; and the certifiers Ecocert and OASIS. Learn more Alert Update of the Week Stop Big Brother NAIS The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working for over five years to force a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) on American farmers and animal owners. NAIS is designed to identify and track each and every individual livestock and poultry animal, even those owned by family farmers, hobby farmers, homesteaders, and pet owners. USDA is seeking to engage stakeholders and producers to hear not only their concerns about the National Animal Identification System, but also potential or feasible solutions to those concerns. The information and ideas gathered will assist Secretary Vilsack in making decisions about the future direction of animal traceability in the United States. The deadline to submit comments to the USDA is August 3, 2009. Learn more and take action Political Plunder of the Week Who is Spending What on Lobbying?

The following totals are for the first quarter of 2009:

1) $42 Million: Health Care, Health Insurance, & Pharma

2) $31 Million: Oil

3) $20 Million: War

4) $17 Million: Telecoms

5) $15 Million: Financial

6) $10 Million: Automotive

7) $7 Million: Life Insurance

8  ) $6 Million: Biotech

See a full list of what specific corporations are investing in sculpting public policy in their favor: visit http://www.organicconsumers.org/

New Food Economy FlyerThe Main St Farmers Market will be officially dedicated this WEDNESDAY JUNE 17TH AT 4 PM. Be there with us as we dedicate the market with a special ceremony including dedication by story teller Jim Pfitzer and the ringing of a cow bell from Chamonix, France to open the market. We are hoping to fill the streets to show support for the market, your farmers market, so bring your friends. 4pm sharp this Wednesday!!!!
For further info, including directions, visit: www.mainstfarmersmarket.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOpkkE1G6pQ our little movie by Pete!

Farmers’ Market June 3, 2009

I’m back from the market today and I have a nice glorious feeling in my
bones- I feel a little TIRED. I walked up with a basket of bagels at
five til four with the intent of plopping them down on the William’s
Island table and rushing off the see what delicacies Alexzanna Farm had
when suddenly we were swarmed by people wanting to buy arugula, spring
mix, garlic scapes, eggs, kale, and patty pan squash that was all
scattered with marigold flowers (I don’t think they had them posted for
sale but next week if they’re still there try to snag/buy a handful to
throw in your salad- they also make a really beautiful dye if you have
time). And everyone was SO enthusiastic and fully appreciated the beauty
of the new produce boxes and the lushness of the arugula.

And we stayed that busy for the next hour and a half. Smiling, selling,
and chatting it up about the best way to cook things and whether you can
eat the Asian green mix raw (you can and it is my new favorite salad
(and I put it on all my sandwiches- even the fried egg one I had for
breakfast) can be hard work- and very rewarding.

When I finally escaped the Island’s booth I had a chance to walk around
and mingle. Of course Suzanna from Alexzanna Farm had totally sold out
of everything (she is like the ‘specialty foods’ section of the market-
she has the peas and asparagus and nettles (all of which I missed out
on- I was hoping for one last nettle batch before the season was over).
I stopped and talked to Eddie from Sale Creek Honey about bees mating
and what an impact that long rain spell we had had on them (it is nice
to learn something totally new- I would write about it here but I KNOW I
don’t have room so you’ll have to stop and ask him yourself and then you
will feel so connected with the bees you will HAVE to have a jar of
honey and a rich smelling candle).

Then I moved on to the Clover Wreath booth where Breann was talking
about something to do with the nastiness in the corporate food world (as
a mother of young children she is VERY passionate about what is in food
and knowledgeable about all of the ‘scary’ stuff that is out in the rest
of the food world). I would have stopped and talked but I was so
distracted by her baby goose wandering around eating nappa from Signal
Mountain Farm and weeding the fig tree from Sequatchie Cove, the bunch
of sweet tiny beets and a cookbook she was selling called From Asparagus
to Zucchini. I got a copy today and haven’t had time yet to look at it
all the way through but I peaked in. It is written by farmers, CSA
members, and chefs and is all about local seasonal food. I think that is
the PERFECT set-up for a cookbook for lots of reasons. Farmers and CSA
members always end up with really creative ideas for things because by
the end of the season you HAVE to start getting a little wild. You lose
your fear of- what if this doesn’t turn out right?… because there are
pigs to feed it to and what is one or two lost collards in a sea of
many? And the book also has some nice information about local food and
economy.

That reminds me of a little rant I would like to step into about how
IMPORTANT this market is to Chattanooga. It is nice to walk around and
talk to people and realize that everyone is buying this food because it
is fresh and it tastes good and it makes your insides laugh with joy.
But I have really been thinking about this whole idea of community since
I was out at William’s Island the other day for their farm day. Chad led
a nice discussion on Community and what it really means. And this is IT.
When you buy a bunch of kale you are making yourself healthy and happy
but you are also creating a wonderful strong community. Your money is
going directly to the very person who has been caring for that kale
since it was a wee kale seed and going straight back into the soil that
you stand on. That is a nice feeling all in itself. Nevermind what your
taste buds will do when you get it home and wilt it with some garlic and
toss it in a squeeze of lemon juice. When I eat I always like to think
of the connections I have with the food. It is becoming very normal for
me to think of not just the animal the meat I am eating came from or
whether the produce it organic, but WHO raised this cow, and where did
they raise it? When I eat a salad I think of who grew the lettuce, and
who picked it and sold it to me… There is something very simple about
the joy that farmers put into their food that I personally think you can
actually TASTE it. I know for a FACT that if I try to cook in my home
when I am angry or upset it won’t turn out the same as it does when I am
focused on the preparation of the food itself. Especially with sensitive
things like fermentation and baking…. I don’t want to sound too
‘far-out’ and it is hard to explain these things without doing so but I
also think that this lack of connection to the very most basic things we
surround ourselves with everyday is a sickness in itself….

Enough of that…. I then moved on to Tom from Signal Mountain Farm and
got a whole bunch of fennel, and some radishes. And around to Sequatchie
Cove for some green onions and then back to the Island where Ashley’s
pesto and my bagels were being sampled out together.

I liked today’s market because the variety of summer is creeping in. I
am writing this with a zinnia stuck behind my ear and three more in a
vase on the kitchen table. The Island had the first whispers of summer-
basil and patty pan squash- tucked in amongst the usual spring greens….

As to what I’ve been cooking… We had hamburgers the other night
(sometimes I get this wild craving for a big fat juicy hamburger) with
meat from Sequatchie Cove Farm. On the bun I spread some arugula pesto,
next came the burger, then a few Asian greens, then some pickled green
tomatoes from last summer, a few slices of Sequatchie Cove bacon and on
the top bun a dabble of Lusty Monk mustard from Ashville (Ashley at
Williams Island makes some amazing mustard and hopefully I can convince
her to sell some at the market…it is very easy to make and I also make
it myself but it is fun to just buy a jar…). We also had a potato salad
(the potatoes were from Greenlife from a farmer I had not met- but we
all have to make some sacrifices- at least I know who Greenlife is…). I
have never used mayonnaise in potato salad- I just boil the potatoes,
slice them when done but still hot, and toss them in mustard. While I
let them cool I sautéed some garlic scapes and chopped up some green
onions. I threw them and some chopped dill in with the potatoes,
drizzled on a bit of olive of and sprinkled some salt and there we were.
While I boiled the potatoes I made a slaw of nappa cabbage, thinly
sliced kohlrabi and teeny beets, and some chopped garlic, a drizzle of
honey, and some salt and white wine vinegar.

For breakfast the next day I had some scrambled Island eggs and a piece
of Neidlove’s sourdough with arugula pesto and some of those Asian greens…

We’ve also had pilaf (brown rice and green lentils) served with sautéed
shiitake (Sequatchie Cove), radishes, kale, and leeks.

And I made some pasta the night before (alas I forgot to bring my pasta
maker (I was away from my kitchen) and am not longer as young and
patient as I used to be to roll out my own dough (or maybe I’m simply
spoiled by the machine)) with a white sauce and shiitake and leaf beets
from Williams Island. (these have been called many things in the past
but I think leaf beets will do just fine). They are really good cooked
like you would spinach… The white sauce was really a béchamel. I like to
make one that goes like this- sauté garlic, minced onions, and thyme in
a sinful amount of butter, add some cream or milk (enough to coat your
pasta), warm it through and them dump in a handful of freshly grated
parmesan (I have no idea why anyone would ever NOT grate it themselves
but if you don’t and would like to-first make sure you have a really
fine sharp grater- there is a very nifty one called a Microplane which
is based off of a carpenter’s rasp and is wonderful for many things
(nutmeg, zesting lemons…)) and let that bubble until the cheese is all
melted in. The cheese acts as a thickener and since I didn’t have any
this time I used a roux of equal parts butter and flour. That is a
béchamel. I think about a cup of hot milk and a tablespoon each of
butter and flour (melt the butter and cook the flour til it is slightly
brown and smells delicious and THEN throw it in the milk) is about the
proper proportions… With the pasta we had a nice big green salad and a
crunchy oven-warmed-up baguette from Greenlife (I like to alternate
Neidlove’s and Greenlife baguettes- just to keep things lively)

My pea, kohlrabi, fennel, nappa, bok choy, radish kimchee is coming
along swimmingly (which means that is smells and tastes like it is going
to be the best one yet).

BUT… it seems that I have written on for too long. I was planning on
telling you about what I was going to do with the fennel (roast it
probably with the wee little beets I got- or maybe slice some of it thin
with kohlrabi and cabbage and make a slaw (my favorite in-between spring
and summer dish- in case you haven’t noticed), how I was going to use up
the rest of my greens (put them in EVERYTHING until everyone complains
(and then ignore them) …or invite myself to about a million pot lucks (I
kind of went overboard in the green department last week- but I am very
determined to use every last one)… but I will stop now and let it be that.

I really like hearing back from people- especially at the market where
we can talk about whatever ideas pop up in your kitchen. Ashley from the
Island and I are planning on having special treats from now on at their
table and I would love to talk to people there about what they’ve been
up to- despite the billions of ideas I have about cooking I really love
other people’s too… (like when Erin told me today that she saw a recipe
for an apple and fennel tart- but of course.)

Yep. Till next week, good cookin, eatin, and make sure you invite some
people who REALLY like greens over for dinner….

-Ann Tindell Keener

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