Samuel Fromartz

Samuel Fromartz is author of the recently published Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew. See excerpts and background at his website.

Organic Food

California schemin’: How a fake organic fertilizer bamboozled farmers and watchdogs alike

What’s the difference?: What seemed like organic fertilizer to farmers could have been spiked with the synthetic kind.Truck photo (left): Iris Shreve Garrott It’s no secret that the organic food industry has seen explosive growth, …

Bob job

The (not so) New Agtivist: Organic movement leader Bob Scowcroft looks back

Bob Scowcroft in 2008, in one of his signature shirts.Photo: Bart NagelAfter nearly three decades at the center of organic food and farming world, Bob Scowcroft recently retired as head of the Organic Farming Research …

Seeding the argument

Worldwatch report highlights how lopsided discussion is about Africa, food, and biotechnology

How come we hardly see op-eds on what paved roads, improved sanitation, more efficient distribution networks, soil conservation and a reduction in food waste might do for world hunger?

Marine buyology

Saving a community garden in D.C.

I never thought I’d be involved in a fight to save a city park, but here I am. The Marines are progressing with plans to move and expand their facility in Washington, D.C. They are …

About that organic broccoli from China

Helping U.S. farmers transition to organic

Organic food has take criticism lately, because a portion is flowing from overseas. (All those food miles, all that lost support for American farmers.) Well, there's a reason that trend is underway: Not enough American farms are growing organic crops and fewer still are converting, so demand is exceeding supply. With the Farm Bill, attempts are underway to address that problem.

Sustainable Fillet-O-Fish?

I’m lovin’ it

I've got an interview over at Salon with Charles Clover, a British journalist who has been covering the oceans for 20 years and has a book out, End of the Line. Among his more startling revelations: that McDonald's fish sandwich is more sustainable than Nobu's menu (the restaurant for the stars), because it is sourced from an Alaskan fishery certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. McDonald's, though, does not advertise the MSC label because then it would have to pay a licensing fee.

Dumping the sour 'organic' milk

Dairy farmers’ organic practices called into question

Regulation might not be the best way to create greener markets, but the right sort of regulations enforced the right way can work. That's a lesson in the organic market, which witnessed a first this week: a mega-organic dairy with 10,000 cows (3,500 "organic"), which was clearly skirting regulations, was suspended by a certifier and no longer allowed to sell "organic" milk.

The sweet smell of an organic coffee victory

It’s safe, for now

Organic coffee is safe, for now. In a victory for organic farmers in the developing world and organic coffee drinkers here, the USDA's National Organic Program has backed down and said that there will be no immediate change in the way these farmers are certified.

Coffee roasters perk up on USDA ruling

Sign a petition

The issue regarding certification of organic farmers in the Third World continues to gain steam. Equal Exchange, the organic and fair trade coffee group, has a petition drive (scroll to bottom of page) to block the USDA decision that would decertify organic 'grower groups' such as coffee co-ops. Grist had a spirited discussion on this previously.

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