Saturday, December 29, 2018

Growing for Seed, N.A. Sustainable Foods Summit 2019 & 39th EcoFarm Conference

 Growing for Seed: Small Scale Production & Seed Saving

January 15, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m - FREE | Viva Farms Ag Park | 16470 Washington 20 | Mount Vernon, Washington - Join OSA’s Micaela Colley and hosts Viva Farms for an evening workshop on small scale seed production and seed saving. Gain the tools you need to start growing and saving seed with a focus on work with culturally significant varieties. Spanish translation will be available. 

The workshop will be held on January 15, 2019, and is being offered free of charge thanks to support from the New Field Foundation Seeds, Soil and Culture Fund. Pre-registration is requested.

The North American Sustainable Foods Summit will be hosted in San Francisco on 16-17th January 2019. Other editions in this international series will take place in Latin America (São Paulo, 29-30th November), Europe (Amsterdam, 13-14th June 2019) and the Asia-Pacific. Each edition will bring together some of the most influential organizations involved in sustainability and eco-labels in the food industry. 

The aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues. 
  • How do organic, fairtrade and other eco-labeling schemes further sustainability? 
  • With growing proliferation in labels, what are the prospects for a single sustainability standard for food products? 
  • What are the practical application of sustainability metrics? 
  • What advances are occurring in sustainable ingredients? 
  • What developments are happening in formulation, production and marketing of sustainable food and beverages? 
Such questions are regularly addressed at this international series of summits.
The Sustainable Foods Summit is devised for key stake-holders in the food industry that include:

  • Food & beverage companies
  • Packaging companies
  • Academics & researchers

  • Ingredient & raw material suppliers
  • Industry organizations & NGOs
  • Investors & financiers

  • Retailers & distributors
  • Certification agencies
  • Other stake-holders
Please contact us for more details.

Organized by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor), the Sustainable Foods Summit is a climate-neutral event. The carbon footprint of each edition is determined by calculating the carbon and greenhouses gases. These emissions are offset by investing in soil composting and / or related projects.


39th Annual EcoFarm Conference


January 23, 2019 - January 26, 2019 

The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) presents the 39th annual EcoFarm Conference January 23-26, 2019 in Pacific Grove, CA. 

The event features 70+ workshops, intensives, keynote sessions, an exhibitor marketplace, and special events including an annual awards banquet, tastings, seed swap, live entertainment, and organic culinary fare. Workshops offer practical and cutting-edge information on crop production, livestock, soil health, marketing, distribution, and food systems. 

As the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West, EcoFarm is a prime networking and educational hub for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, researchers, and educators.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Quilter's Comfort and Wilderlove Farm Indiana Grown Members

L.A.O.'s Savory Chocolate Rub and Seasoning

Quilter's Comfort, L.A.O. Organics is a member if Indiana Grown featuring their certified organic nightshade free seasonings and herbal teas.  Another local,Wilderlove Farm, a family farm organically growing vegetables on approximately 1/4 of an acre also became a member of Indiana Grown in October. 

Indiana Grown is a state initiative that promotes growers of all types, food and beverage producers, sellers and agritourism. Its members include a wide variety of farmers, farmers markets, distributors, producers, processors, wineries, breweries, artisans, as well as retailers, grocers, hospitals, restaurants and more. 

Quilter's Comfort is also a new member of Equity at the Table (EATT) -  an easy-to-navigate database for food industry professionals featuring only women/gender non-conforming individuals and focusing primarily on POC and the LGBTQ community.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Indiana Food Freedom Legislation

Indiana Food Freedom

Cottage Foods 

 Indiana Senator Greg Walker announced that he will propose The Indiana Freedom in Homemade Food Contracting Act, also known as The Indiana Food Freedom Act, in the upcoming session of the Indiana State Legislature. The Indiana Food Freedom Act seeks to allow small-scale producers to make foods for sale in their home (or farm) kitchens, creating greater access for consumers to healthy, local foods. Additionally, advocates of the bill anticipate it will offer a boost to the agricultural economy and encourage sales for ranchers, farms, and home-based producers.

This bill will take a somewhat different approach from other food freedom bills in that it will require a formal, contractual agreement between the producers and consumers permitting the sale of foods prepared in unlicensed and uninspected private kitchens and farms. The contract will have to be signed and notarized, and there will be a one-week waiting period between the signing and any food exchanging hands. This requirement is presumably intended to address some of the common objections to food freedom bills by creating a barrier to so-called more casual transactions where consumers have not had time for significant thought before purchasing.

The Indiana Food Freedom Act is the latest legislative effort to strengthen Indiana’s local food system. In 2014 Indiana passed Senate Bill 179 (SB 179), known as The Poultry Bill, which expands on-farm poultry processing in the state; the bill also eliminated regulation from county health departments over poultry, rabbit, and egg sales direct to the consumer. Additionally, Indiana has legalized the on-farm slaughter and processing of rabbits and amended a regulation on wild pigs ensuring that heritage breed hog farmers are no longer a potential target of the law.

Importance of Food Freedom  

Food freedom and cottage food laws are designed to free small-batch producers from the often arduous licensing requirements required of larger commercial operations, as long as they are selling direct to consumers. These laws recognize that direct producer-to-consumer transactions have a transparency and accountability that is not present when food is produced and distributed on a massive scale. Consider that all of the major recalls and large-scale outbreaks have occurred in the conventional system, under inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or their state agency equivalents. Re-connecting food producers and consumers and decentralizing our food system restores integrity and increases food safety in the long run.

Call to Action

If you live in Indiana, you can help this bill become a reality! Find out who your State Representative and Senator are at Then call their offices and urge them to support the food freedom bill in the upcoming legislative session. And stay in contact with their office throughout the session because building a relationship with your legislators is vital to successful, long-term change.

If you’re in another state and know of a good bill (whether it is to promote cottage foods, food freedom, raw milk, egg sales, or other), let us know! We’ll help spread the word and generate grassroots support for it. For members, FTCLDF also offers consultations on policy development and strategy.

Services provided by FTCLDF go beyond legal representation for members in court cases.
Educational and policy work also provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible. In addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts and social media outreach.
You can help FTCLDF by becoming a member or donating today.

Anyone wanting to make a contribution to support the work of FTCLDF can donate/find out more or join us today!

Monday, September 03, 2018

A Few Good Things about Bloomingfoods Coop And Why It Matters in Community

A Few Good Things about Bloomingfoods Coop And Why It Matters in Community

Apples at Bloomingfoods Fall 18 by Patricia C. Coleman
Local Apples Bloomingfoods Fall 18 by Patricia C. Coleman.  Apples are from Apple Works Orchard

Bloomingfoods matters.  I’ve asked a few people to tell me a few good things about Bloomingfoods.  Most of these folks have decades of experience with the Coop and are also member-owners of the store.  I encourage you to share your own reasons why Bloomingfoods matters. 

- Bloomingfoods and Coop was founded in 1975 and laid the foundation for the mega organics and bulk foods now being sold and consumed in Bloomington, Indiana and in most other communities across the nation.  Everyone realizes that Bfoods is in a major shift time.  What happens to the foundation of healthier foods truly depends upon the community of its members.  Even if you have been hurt by some past experience, that is just it, a past experience.  Let’s all grow on and up otherwise we step aside and allow mega corporation dollars to roll over the foundations of local foods in communities as it forces its way across the nation. 

Those very same corporations that now have their own organic brands previously spent huge sums of money working to deflect  and destroy coops, organic standards and GMO regulations for the healthy foods markets here and in other countries. 

The Coop is a store that has played a role in supporting some local growers and farmers and vendors and made the welfare of growers everywhere a priority.  Bloomingfoods created educational and community opportunities fostering the understanding of healthy food for healthy people and healthy community.  For decades Bloomingfoods has nurtured the seeds of sustainable community.  

I asked a few folks to tell me a couple of good things and here is some of what was offered. 

I appreciate Bloomingfoods because :
-- Bloomingfoods is locally owned, by its members.  This is just one thing, or maybe two,
-- it's the one that matters most, and that no big chain can match
--it is earthy and offers community and a sense of belonging
-- there is so much for shoppers and members to like:
---I can buy favorite foods, even kombu from Japan!
--It is a store where you LOVE to run into friends
--of the fact that Bfoods is of the community, for the community
--the staff for whom this is more than a job
--the comforting scale of the buildings
-- I have seen little children grown up shopping with their parents and then take their
   first jobs there
--of the bulk foods section
-- if I don't like something about Bloomingfoods, I have the power to try to change it
    through the democratic process.  How much power you have depends on whether
   others agree with me, and how involved I'm willing to get. The decisions in national  
  chains are made who-knows-where, to profit the owners or shareholders; if it's
  profitable to close a community's only natural-foods store, for instance, they'll do it. 
--It matters that Bloomingfoods is owned and run by members of our community.
--that it is a welcoming place
--it is ours
--it is a welcoming safe place for my children
--the big variety of local and organic foods
--the affordable and delicious deli
 --good food equals good health which equals longer life expectancy
--co-op is an opportunity to guide our youth in cooperative principles they may not   
   receive elsewhere in their education
--It is a place that has supported local growers and producers educating the larger
   community regarding health and community benefits of locally grown food.
--that it helped educate this city to the amazing health benefits of food.
--  it has helped the community to develop an infrastructure toward sustainability. 
-- it has the good old co-op feeling!
--of the fact that it connects personally to so many peoples’ story and a gem that you
   can still come home to, though very different, you can still come home.

Bloomingfoods Coop has offered and continues to create employment opportunities that connects community through owner membership and education and this has been part of the national muscle that works to educate and obtain protective regulations regarding organics, GMO’s, Monsanto’s pesticides and food labeling.  Our Coop has been invaluable in community building and local foods education in particular and the organization worked diligently with local groups and individuals to develop and strengthen our local Farmers Market, Tuesday and Wednesday Farmers Market as well as the Winter Farmers Market. 

Bloomingfoods Coop is here because a small group of local people received a loan from, I think Cathy Canada, a then local because they valued having healthy organic and bulk foods available in the community.  Cooperative membership has grown to more than twelve thousand member owners.  These members and the community at large will decide what happens to the mother and father of organics, bulk and whole foods in Bloomington. 

I hope that every small business is paying attention because this pattern of destroying or neglecting locally owned small businesses in favor of those with large purses is truly death to communities.  Check out what membership means at Bloomingfoods Coop

I want to believe that people in this and other community’s want more connections with their foods than a faceless corporation can ever give.  I hope that the people here want stores that nurture and ultimately will try to stay within our community when times are tough. 

I hope that you will share into the larger community your reasons for why Bloomingfoods matters. 

I am member #244 and I think that the Coop matters.

Local Food Fairy

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fungicide Attracts Honeybees

When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.
The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels between the use of chlorothalonil and the presence of Nosema bombi, a fungal parasite, in bumble bees. Greater chlorothalonil use also was linked to range contractions in four declining bumble bee species.
Other research has shown that European honey bees have a very limited repertoire of detoxifying enzymes and that exposure to one potentially toxic compound -- including fungicides -- can interfere with their ability to metabolize others.
"People assume that fungicides affect only fungi," said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who led the new research with postdoctoral researcher Ling-Hsiu Liao. "But fungi are much more closely related to animals than they are to plants. And toxins that disrupt physiological processes in fungi can also potentially affect them in animals, including insects."
Continue Reading.

NOTE:  The annual Local Food News Updatefood update is underway!  
We hope that this is a great New Year for all creatures!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

the Heirloom Expo - September 2017

 the Heirloom Expo - September 5th – 7th, 2017 in Santa Rosa, CA2017

7th annual National Heirloom Exposition on September 5, 6, 7 in Santa Rosa, California.  We are again seeking volunteers to help us spread the word. We need your help especially if you live on the West Coast and would like to distribute brochures to let people know about the expo, please email us at  Please consider sharing the info with your garden groups, educational organizations, churches, pure food societies, etc.
The National Heirloom Expo features three full days of nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers that include Vandana Shiva, Ronnie Cummins, Jeffrey Smith, Robert Kennedy, Jr., along with many more.  More than 4000 varieties of local produce will by displayed.  Purchase gardening supplies, seeds, sustainable living goods, and so much more from 300 vendors.  The exhibit hall will be home to more than 150 heirloom related exhibits.
Please email us at and let us know how many brochures you can distribute to let more people know about this exciting event.

Why send them photos and stories pertaining to your or another’s garden.
Please email your photos and stories to and to the attention of Kathy.
Local Food is Asking the question:

“Why is seed preservation of great importance to all Eaters?”. 

Hope you, or someone you know makes it to 

Heirloom Expo 2017!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Will GMO Mustard Be On Your Table?

 The beauty of local food for body and appreciation is everywhere in richly colored flowers and ripening fruits!  Each year greater numbers of people, young and old take to growing some of their own food with most throwing in a few flowers.  They may grow in deep raised beds or in pots hight up on a second story balcony.  Not only gardens but chickens.  More and more when walking through neighborhoods you can expect to hear the soft clucking of hens or get glimpses of the small, uniquely designed chicken  houses.  Speaking of birds, Bloomington is now designated as a Bird City! 

Summer definitely arrived early in Indiana.  Many June plants are in resplendant glory, while others have already exited the scene, chickory is beginning a season of full on bloom, perrenial Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa,  joins the color show with its dynamic orange!   The early heat and many heavy storms has been a challenge to plants and local growers.  One good thing thus far is that farmers have already had one early harvest of their hay fields.

So why the title?  Read on.

“Monsanto and Bayer, Dow and Dupont, and Syngenta and ChemChina. They control more than 65 per cent of global pesticide sales. Serious conflicts of interest issues arise, as they also control almost 61 per cent of commercial seed sales.”

Say no to GM mustard

There are formidable social, economic and environmental reasons why it should not be cultivated

The manner in which the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) recently cleared the proposal for genetically modified (GM) mustard is extraordinary to say the least. It makes a mockery of the commitment in the Bharatiya Janata Party manifesto that “GM foods will not be allowed without full scientific evaluation on the long term effects on soil, production and biological impact on consumers”. The Prime Minister had delighted consumers by lending his weight to the promotion of organic food. On the other hand, GM and organic are completely incompatible.
The alluring promises of higher yield and lower pesticide usage which induced many, including myself as Textile Secretary to the Government of India in the 1990s, to welcome Bt cotton have now been belied. Despite increased fertilisers and irrigation, the expectations of enhanced cotton yield have not been realised. Most of the countries that have higher cotton yields than India do not grow GM cotton. The package of promises sold to us did not reveal all of this. If I had an inkling of the future at that time, Bt cotton would not have been introduced in India.

Yields as a touchstone

We would now be foolish in accepting the yield promises of the GM variety of mustard, a crop which is an integral part of every Indian’s food. Ab initio the yield claims on which GM mustard has been cleared are not even remotely reliable — being based on comparisons with 30-year-old cultivars, and not on more recent high-yielding hybrids. The highest yields in mustard are from the five countries which do not grow GM mustard — U.K., France, Poland, Germany and Czech Republic — and not from the GM-growing U.S. or Canada (see graph based on FAO data). If India is desirous to increase its mustard yield rapidly and safely, this can be done by adopting the practice of System of Mustard Intensification, for which successful trials have been done in Bihar through a World Bank project. Results showed higher yields and better income. All this without the spraying of any toxic herbicides, which is the undisclosed story of GM mustard.
GM mustard’s yield increase claims have been successfully challenged now, prompting the crop developers and regulators to retract on that front — it is another matter that many reports continue to claim that GM mustard will increase yields.

Gaps in evaluation

There have been numerous severe deficiencies in the evaluation process of GM mustard. The risks to health, environment and agriculture have not been evaluated even through those inadequate tests which were conducted at the time of Bt brinjal examination, though mustard is far more extensively grown and consumed than brinjal.
HT (herbicide tolerant) GM crops have been condemned by a number of medical professionals and other scientists for increasing chemical herbicide use, leading to serious health conditions — at all stages, but most worryingly at the foetal stage. A scientific report from Argentina found a fourfold increase in birth defects and a threefold increase in childhood cancers in HT soya areas. Shockingly, the GEAC has conveniently omitted to have any herbicide-related studies. A small committee was constituted to “examine” the safety dossier — the tests that were done and the deliberations of GEAC were shrouded in secrecy. After a scathing order from the Central Information Commission, the GEAC made a sham of public consultations, through an opaque and perfunctory eyewash process.


The U.S. is a prime example of a country which has galloped into the GM mode of agriculture. Studies have shown a strong correlation between growth of GM crops, the herbicides they promote, and diseases such as acute kidney injury, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s and cancers in the past 20 years in the U.S. Seventeen of the 20 most developed countries — including Japan, Russia, Israel and most of Europe — refuse to grow GM crops. An unacceptable marketing trick, that of promotion of a “swadeshi” GM, is being used to break down resistance to GM crops in India’s vast market, ignoring that safety concerns are the same — swadeshi GM or not.

Losses and pernicious effects

The GEAC had itself rejected a similar HT GM mustard proposal by Bayer in 2002. The same reasons apply now. A herbicide-tolerant crop promotes constant exposure to a single herbicide — which eventually results in weeds becoming resistant. Over 20 species of weeds in the U.S. are now resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide. As desperate farmers tried to control these “superweeds”, there was a tenfold increase in use of glyphosate in 16 years.

Please continue reading.

T.S.R. Subramanian is a former Union Cabinet Secretary
This article originally appeared in the

For more on GM Read the Food News articles at

Thank you!  May we each have an abundance of healthy, regenerative foods and environments!

Food Fairy