Keep up to date with everything that’s happening in the natural food world, and learn about the news and policy changes that affect our communities.
Happy Earth Day! Celebrated every year on April 22nd since 1970, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, appreciate, and give back to the earth. Supporting sustainable food systems and making sustainable food choices is an important way to show Mother Nature how much you care this Earth Day.
The organic food market continues to expand as demand from consumers grows. However, while many farmers are interested in transitioning, it’s not exactly an easy feat. The USDA is hoping a new transitional organic label will help.
According to a study published in the March 2017 edition of “Emerging Infectious Diseases” — a journal by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — the researchers identified an increasing number of foodborne disease outbreaks related to imported foods.
A new rule from the FDA has gone into effect that aims to protect antibiotics used for human health by limiting their use in animals raised for consumption. Antibiotic use in farm animals is a highly contentious issue, as concerns over antibiotic resistance continue to rise.
As winter arrives, farm work slows down and agricultural conferences ramp up. There are many regional conferences working to promote and teach people about sustainable agriculture across the US. There are two prominent ones in the Mid-Atlantic region that are worth highlighting: Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed Conference organized by the Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) and Farming for the Future put on by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA).
The USDA announced that farmers transitioning to or striving to maintain organic certification will have more opportunities to utilize the cost share reimbursements that are meant to alleviate the costs of certification. Organic producers can now visit more than 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursements, making the cost share programs much more accessible.
Last week the USDA proposed three rules to protect family farmers and ensure their fair treatment by processors. The rules are a step in President Obama’s executive order released in April this year, “Steps to Increase Competition and Better Inform Consumers and Workers to Support Continued Growth of the American Economy”, meant to enhance competition in order to help consumers, workers, and small businesses get a fair shake in the economy.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted unanimously last month to exclude the next generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from U.S. organic standards. “Traditional” genetic engineering techniques were already excluded from organic standards, however the NOSB will likely continue to update the standards as new technology develops.
As if navigating your way around food labels wasn’t already challenging enough, it may get even more confusing. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is seeking comment on its newly proposed guidelines for animal raising claims made on food labels. Under the guidelines, certain claims would be allowed to be defined by the producers themselves, and thus would mean something entirely different from package to package.
On October 16th, 1945, 42 countries met in Quebec, Canada, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was founded. The FAO was built on the belief that the elimination of hunger for all people of the world can be achieved, and a desire to effectively manage the global food system so that it works for everyone. Every year, World Food Day is celebrated on October 16th in order to honor that commitment.