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Articles by 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.

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  • 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.

  • … or at least one representative

    The House of Representatives held its first Ag committee hearing ever on organic agriculture today. I attended the hearing and found out Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the California Democrat who chairs of the House subcommittee on horticulture and organic agriculture, belongs to an organic CSA! For a full report, see the post on Chews Wise.

  • Organic coffee deep-sixed

    Due a recent decision over at the USDA's National Organic Program, organic coffee, in the U.S. at least, may be a thing of the past. I wrote about this decision on Salon and did not shout it out to Gristies right away (mea culpa), but I am now.

    The USDA decision, which affects the way small farmer cooperatives in the Third World are certified, will also dry up supplies of organic cocoa and curtail bananas. So eat your organic Dagoba bars now while they're still available.

    It doesn't look like there's a solution right away, though a friend over at PCC -- in Grist's backyard of Seattle -- tells me the solution might be to build certification organizations in local markets. In the meantime, however, certifiers, coffee farmers and NGOs that work in the Third World are perplexed and upset.

    I'll be updating over at Chews Wise blog and post any big moves here.

  • Still got the ‘mmmm’ factor

    Over at Chews Wise, one of our contributors attended a book party in New York last night that featured a tasting of "gourmet" Twinkies, organic-vegan Twinkies, and the off-the-shelf commercial version.