There is no organic standard set by the USDA’s National Organics Program for seafood, and the green USDA certified organic label is not allowed on seafood products.

Also worth noting is the fact that because there is no USDA standard, it is also impossible for the USDA to prosecute manufacturers in other countries for mislabeling.

Though fish can’t be certified organic, it’s not too difficult to go to the market and find fish labeled as organic. This fish is generally farmed and fed organic feed pellets and possibly raised in roomier and cleaner swimming pens. None of these claims can be substantiated, however, so be wary of spending extra money on organic fish and thinking it’s better.

If you want salmon, look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild salmon from Alaska. Consider it a special treat — it is one.

To see which products are available with the MSC label in the US, go to: and click on ‘Where To Buy Sustainable Seafood.’

Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest cooperative of organic family farmers, strongly opposes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ruling that food from cloned animals and their offspring is safe.

“Organic Valley farmers work in harmony with nature; we don’t seek to alter it,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer for Organic Valley. “Organic Valley and its meat brand, Organic Prairie, will never allow the use of cloned animals on our farms and in our products. And, we assume the USDA will never change its organic standards to allow for cloned animals. Read the rest of this entry »

By Helen Kilbey

A quiet revolution is pulsing through the huge residential areas spread out on the edges of Cape Town.

Home to nearly a million people, these areas – known to South Africans as townships — are no strangers to revolution. Hotbeds of anti-government activity in final years of apartheid, their potholed streets have been pounded by countless angry protestors, the walls of their homes privy to many a mutinous conversation.

But 13 years after liberation , the battleground looks somewhat different. The enemy, once clear, has become vague and ill-defined. Those who once lived in fear of government bullets are now far more likely to be killed by Aids; those who hoped for “a better life for all” (the slogan that swept the African National Congress into power in 1994) are still faced with joblessness, poverty and crime.

Against this altered landscape, it makes sense that if the seeds of revolution are being sown, they are being sown a little differently.

Quite literally, in fact.

For today’s weapon-chest is becoming increasingly filled with vegetables: cabbages, carrots, beetroot, spinach leaves and heads of broccoli. One hundred percent organically grown.

It is a revolution fuelled by vegetables. Read the rest of this entry »

Appalachian Harvest, an organic farming cooperative, is searching for new farmers to help meet the growing demand for organic produce. They have a need for more than a dozen different types of organic produce that will go into more than 600 supermarkets throughout the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States.

“Right now, we have more demand than supply when you look at what our partners are wanting,” said co-op marketer Robin Robbins. “Over the last 10 years, organic has become evolutionary because that grocery shopper wants better quality and they want to know where the food comes from.” Read the rest of this entry »

According to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2007 Manufacturer Survey, organic foods are one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, with sales in 2006 increasing 21 percent to reach $16.7bn. But results from the same survey also indicate that supply is not keeping up with demand.

Some 55 percent of respondents (manufacturers) said that a lack of reliable supply restricted their company from generating more sales of organic products. 

Meat and dairy are amongst the categories hit by supply shortages, and according to OTA’s report these continued to be the two fastest-growing segments.

Demand for meat, which is currently the smallest category in the organic food market, shot up by 55 percent, placing total sales at $300m. Dairy, the largest organic segment, saw a 25 percent increase in sales, to reach a value of $2.6bn.

“We know we are not meeting demand with domestic supply,” said Caren Wilcox, head of the Organic Trade Association. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch The Real Dirt on Farmer John, a movie about life, farming, family & friends.


Results of year long study found children who ate a variety of conventional foods also ingested measurable and concerning amounts of organophosphates, widely used chemicals that kill insects by disrupting their brains and nervous systems.

When the same children ate organic fruits, vegetables and juices, signs of pesticides were not found.

“Once you switch from conventional food to organic, the pesticides (malathion and chlorpyrifos) that we measured in the urine disappeared. The level returns immediately when you go back to the conventional diets,” said Lu, a professor at Emory University’s School of Public Health and a leading authority on pesticides and children. Read the rest of this entry »

Approximately 50 percent of U.S. consumers consider at least one sustainability factor in selecting consumer packaged goods (CPG) items and choosing where to shop for those products, according to a recently released survey conducted by Information Resources, Inc.(IRI)

The 22,000 U.S. consumers surveyed were asked to determine the impact of four key sustainability features in their product and store selection—organic, eco-friendly products, eco-friendly packaging and fair treatment of employees and suppliers.  One-fifth of those surveyed were determined to be “sustainability driven,” taking at least two sustainability factors into account when making their selections.

“Sustainability has evolved from a niche segment concern to a major factor influencing purchasing and shopping behavior across a sizable consumer base,” says IRI Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Salzman. “Our survey indicates that consumers are focused more and more on the social and environmental impact of their CPG purchases, creating a viable and growing U.S. market for sustainable products and packaging with the potential to mirror well-developed markets in Europe and Japan. U.S. retailers and manufacturers are beginning to respond to that demand.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Ok, I’m seriously excited about the mission and integrity of a big company. I was doing research on aspartame (bottom line, the stuff is REALLY bad for you) and I came across info on Phoenix Organics, Australasia’s largest organic juice maker. Phoenix launched a campaign urging people to find out more about aspartame. Aspartame is the widely used, controversial artificial sweetener in many ‘diet’ drinks and foods and beverages marketed as containing zero calories.

The company turned 20,000 bottles of Phoenix Organic Cola into mini-billboards carrying its ‘Think Before You Drink’ message, and highlighting the concerns that have been raised about aspartame.

Company Directors Stefan Lepionka and Marc Ellis said that the Phoenix team had become aware of the controversy that has swirled around aspartame since it was approved for use in beverages in 1983, when they started doing research for a Phoenix Organics brand campaign.

“Having read the Bressler Report of the FDA and other reports on the effects of aspartame, we had the living daylights scared out of all of us,” said the Directors.

“Internationally the evidence is overwhelming; There are thousands of people who claim that aspartame made them sick. Read the rest of this entry »

1. Eat low on the food and marketing chain by buying direct from farmers, co-ops or free-trade distributors.

2. Stick with organic or sustainably-grown produce when possible. A study found that children who ate only organic produce had one-sixth the level of pesticides in their bodies of those who ate conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

3. Vary the fish and shellfish you eat to lower your exposure to mercury. Pregnant women should eat no more than 12 ounces a week of cold-water fish such as tuna and avoid shark, swordfish, and king mackerel altogether. Read the rest of this entry »