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    Thrive Market Review

    Editor’s Note: We’ve been hearing awesome things about Thrive Market, but before we plunked down the $59.95 membership fee, we needed to know: Is it better than other online and local organic food options? We decided on a two-part strategy: Our writer road-tested the service, which she wanted to try anyway. Meanwhile, we compared the […] More

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  • Is Organic Agriculture a Myth, or a Viable Reality?

    Please forgive me for the long piece. But as someone with a lot of knowledge about pesticides and their use, and organic, new and novel farming techniques, I found this article by Scientific American to be an appalling hit piece against non-conventional agriculture. It’s so laden with misdirection, half truths and outright lies that I feel the need to address it directly. More

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  • Why Does Organic Seem Larger Than It Is?

    For a long time we have been hearing that “Organic is the fastest growing segment of the food industry.”  Organic advocates make the claim that Organic could “feed the world” or that it could be “the solution to global warming.”  There is definitely enough buzz about Organic to make all of this seem plausible.  The […] More

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  • Can Someone Explain “Organic Tobacco” to Me?

    I was at a turf industry trade show yesterday talking to a salesperson from a company that markets Organic fertilizer to golf courses (they describe it as the “natural amino acids found in feather, blood, meat and fish meals”).  There are actually a lot of better, controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer options for turf, but I decided […] More

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  • Critical Reasoning vs. Anti-Organic Backlash: Don’t Swallow the Hype!

    A May 2012 study attempted to link ‘exposure to organic food’ with ‘harsher moral judgments,’ and the popular media gleefully ran with it. Proclaiming the allegedly proven immorality and selfish jerkishness of organic shoppers, the blogosphere blew up with ‘study proves organic shoppers are smug a-holes!’ articles. But guess what? It had nothing at all to do with organic shopping! There’s a huge amount of well-funded anti-organic backlash in US media right now, and this kind of foolishness is a perfect example of why an ounce of critical thinking is worth a pound of hyperbolic pseudoscientific nonsense. More

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  • USDA Organic: 20 years Later

    [social_buttons] We are coming up on the 20th anniversary  of the The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.A. § 6501-22, November 28, 1990) in which Congress commissioned the USDA to develop a comprehensive national rule for what could be marketed as “Organic.”  It took until October of 2002 for the “Final Rule” to become law.  […] More

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  • US Organic Farming: Digging into the Numbers

    In 2008, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA (USDA-NASS) conducted a first-time, in-depth survey of the US organic farming sector.  A summary was published in 2010 from which it is possible to see state-by-state and crop-by-crop how many organic acres were harvested, how much they produced, and how much the crop was worth. […] More

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  • Is Organic Food Better For Kids?

    Last week the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report addressing relative benefits of organic versus conventionally grown food, for children. Various media outlets reported conflicting conclusions: some cited the AAP report as recommending organics for kids, and other sources cited the same report in asserting that organic food offers no benefits to pediatric health. So which is it? And why the conflicting reports? More

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  • Five Key Limitations of Organic Farming

    (updated 8/22/11) Yesterday I posted about what I believe to be the five best things about Organic farming.  These are attributes that I seriously believe are good ideas for how we should farm, and ideas that make sense to increasingly bring into mainstream agriculture (more cover cropping, more diverse rotations, more focus on building the […] More

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