Internships support new concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems

… and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) to integrate undergraduates into the seasonal work of the campus’s 33 acres of organic farmland and market gardens. With support from the Clarence E. Heller Foundation and a U.S. department of Education Higher Education Challenge Grant, CASFS staff and UCSC faculty have crafted an internship program that complements the environmental studies major’s new concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems. To continue reading this article, please …

Organic Movement Is Unstoppable! — Organic Food Demand Growing Faster Than Domestic Supply

… last decade. Back in 1997, the industry was worth $3 billion as detailed by the U.S. department of Agriculture. Six years later, the revenue went up by more than 200 percent to $10 billion, with an annual increase in sales by 20 percent. With the following numbers, experts predicted organic food would grow from 2 percent to 3.5 percent in their share in the U.S. food market by 2010. Unfortunately, the supply for organic food isn’t keeping up with demand. First and foremost, many U.S. farms …

Abbott facing lawsuit over “non-organic” Similac | Food Industry News | just-food

… the U.S. department of Agriculture’s current National Organic Program standards. We comply with all requirements to maintain this certification. All of the ingredients named in this lawsuit are approved for use today in organic infant formulas.” Source: Abbott facing lawsuit over “non-organic” Similac | Food Industry News | just-food …

India’s Independent Farmers Embrace Organic | Al Jazeera America

By Ankita Rao & Bibek Bhandari | May 31, 2015 CHAINA, India — For two decades, Mahender Singh grew his vegetables without chemicals on his 10-acre plot of land in Pipal Mangoli, a village in southeastern Punjab. Then in 1967, an official from India’s Agriculture department arrived in the nearby city of Patiala with a bag of chemical fertilizer, and farming in Punjab changed radically. With the introduction of chemicals such as urea, phosphate and pesticides as well as new farming …

5 Most Common GMO Foods

By Morgan Chilson | May 29, 2015 A significant percentage of many food crops contain GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. As much as 80 percent of conventional food contains GMOs, according to the Non-GMO Project, and that can make it challenging to avoid these controversial products. The U.S. department of Agriculture announced in early May 2015 that it would begin certifying foods that are GMO-free through the Process Verified Program, and those foods will be labeled, NPR said. The Non-GMO …

The Dirt on Growing Food in Water: Some Think It Can’t Be Organic | TakePart

… comment sections—the dynamic is a part of how federal organic standards are determined. Case in point: In late April, the National Organic Standards Board, a 15-person board appointed by the secretary of agriculture, recommended to the department of Agriculture that hydroponics, a method for growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil, be banned from receiving official organic certification. The USDA promptly ignored the recommendation, which has organic advocates furious. …

MSU organic farming study finds diverse benefits using sheep : Ag Weekly

By Jenny Lavey, MSU News Service | May 2, 2015 BOZEMAN, Mont. – Using domestic sheep rather than traditional farming equipment to manage fallow and terminate cover crops may enable farmers who grow organic crops to save money, reduce tillage, manage weeds and pests, and reduce the risk of soil erosion, according to Montana State University and North Dakota State University faculty members. The preliminary results are from the first two years in a long-term U.S. department of Agriculture …

Just Because Your Chicken Is Organic Doesn’t Mean It Was Raised Humanely | Mother Jones

By Twilight Greenaway & Adrien Schless-Meier | April 23, 2015 The USDA’s organic standards don’t prevent animal cruelty—but that may soon change. This piece was originally published by Civil Eats. Do you ever wonder why so much organic food also carries animal welfare labels? The short answer is that while the US department of Agriculture’s organic standards are very precise about pesticides and other growing practices for the crops that people and animals eat, it doesn’t …

Organic seafood standards coming in 2015

By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | April 18, 2015 WASHINGTON – After more than a decade of delays, the government is moving toward allowing the sale of U.S.-raised organic fish and shellfish. But don’t expect it in the grocery store anytime soon. The Agriculture department says it will propose standards for the farmed organic fish this year. That means the seafood could be available in as few as two years — but only if USDA moves quickly to complete the rules and seafood …

U.S. forced to import corn as shoppers demand organic food : Business

… organic under U.S. department of Agriculture guidelines. Organic poultry and dairy operators shun feed made with seeds from Monsanto Co. and other domestic suppliers in favor of foreign products even as the U.S. remains the world’s top grower of corn and soybeans. As a result, imports to the United States of Romanian corn rose to $11.6 million in 2014 from $545,000 the year before. Soybean imports from India more than doubled to $73.8 million. Sales of foods certified by the U.S. as free …