PHOTO: LEANDRO CHAVIRA
This summer, on Independence Day, my new nephew is due to be born in Des Moines, Iowa. There is nothing like a newborn baby to make you
look at the world differently. You want to protect it and make sure that it
has everything—especially good health. But as I think about my family in
Iowa and the pastoral cornfields, I worry about the billions of pounds of
atrazine, a known endocrine disruptor, that are dumped
on corn each year and how the toxins in the water in
Iowa could affect the little guy’s life. Then you start
thinking about baby food and lotions and cleaning
products. As more studies come out about the negative
effects of chemicals on health, especially children’s
health, it is impossible not to worry.
What brings me comfort is the fact that we are fight-
ing the good fight and together the organic industry is
making a difference. While we cannot avoid all the tox-
ins in the world, we can avoid many in our food and per-
sonal care products thanks to the organic movement. “Organic” is a safe
haven from a toxic world. Our cover story, “The Age of Toxic Anxiety,” ex-
plores how organic can offer peace of mind to consumers amid a time
when toxins are hidden in so many things we taste and touch.
Due to lack of labeling laws, we don’t even know what products have genetically modified organisms (GMO) in them, let alone these how GMOs
will affect our children’s health and environment. In the United States, GM
varieties have almost taken over the entire conventional market for corn
and soy, will likely soon take over others like alfalfa and sugar beets. Once
again, organic is the safe place for consumers looking to avoid GMOs. But
we have to protect this space and make sure that the biotech industry does
not contaminate organic crops. This issue’s Managing column gets into all
the details on this GMO battle. Additionally, in Dialogue, UNFI’s founder,
Michael Funk, addresses actions we can take to avoid GMO contamination
in organics through the Non-GMO Project and points out other important
steps to take to nurture consumer trust.
Another area of great concern as we think about the future is water and
food scarcity—yet more areas where farming practices can make a huge
difference. Through a revolutionary way of growing rice, Lotus Foods is part
of an agricultural movement that could save billions of gallons of water a
year and feed the world at the same time. Check out this amazing story featured in Enterprise.
While I worry about the future for my neonatal nephew, I know that
there is a group of passionate people who are committed to changing the
world—a group of which I am proud to be a part. Now, we all must reach
out to educate consumers and show them the way to a better tomorrow.
Chief Executive Officer Don Meeker
Publisher Stacy Atchison
Advertising Manager Bobby Meeker
Editorial Director Kathryn Schuett
Art Director Craig Van Wechel
Circulation Manager Andrea Karges
Administrative Manager Allison Demmert
Publishing Office 1945 W. Mountain St.
Glendale, CA 91201
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Production Office 1113 Ellis Street
Fort Collins, CO;80524
Stacy Atchison 424.298.8542
Bobby Meeker 818.842.2829
Adam Haas 407.601.5440
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