Delivering the week’s top organic food news
9.23.2020
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With Time Running Out, the Kiss the Ground documentary Provides Clarity, Hope and an Inspirational Call-to-Action for Organic Brands


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Explaining a novel agricultural method is one thing.

But doing so in a way that touches an emotional chord so deeply that it compels you to rethink your business is something entirely different.

Yet, that is precisely what the new documentary Kiss the Ground accomplishes and why it is so compelling.

The film takes on “regenerative agriculture” — a term that has been increasingly used in the food sector over the past few years. Despite its growing ubiquity, there is real debate as to how many people actually can define this method of farming, including those in the organic industry.

Regenerative agriculture “improves” or “regenerates” the soil through four practices: cover crops, no-till farming, the planting of trees and perennials, and utilizing compost/mob grazing.

Implementing these strategies will deliver a massive win for all of us. Most notably, carbon is pulled out of the atmosphere and put into the ground, thereby cooling our planet and serving as a solution to our climate crisis. It will also result in more resilient and healthy soils while drastically improving profitability for farmers, the movie explains.

For the filmmakers, this documentary posed many challenges, including personal ones.

“When we started this project seven years ago, we were asking ourselves whether it was the responsible thing to have children or not,” said Rebecca Tickell, who made this movie with her husband Josh. “It was bleak and scary, and we were concerned. But we learned that the answer to regenerating the earth was right under our feet, and this information was very liberating. We started eating a regenerative diet and our health improved, and we saw real-life benefits as to what regenerative can do. Within the last seven years, we have had two kids.”

Despite the film’s ominous warnings about the state of the planet and that we only have a limited time-frame to reverse global warming, we are not faced with a doom and gloom scenario. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

“Even though this has been a dark year, there is real hope, not false hope,” said Josh Tickell. “Regenerating the earth can be done. Just look at the Loess Plateau in China, as we showed in the film, where there was no topsoil and no subsoil. A few decades later, the fact that an entire ecosystem had been rebuilt speaks to the power of regeneration. It is astonishing.”

IT IS UP TO ALL OF US

While the movie eloquently explains what regenerative agriculture is and gives us hope that the tenuous state of our climate can be reversed, the film should be spurring us into immediate action.

Specifically, all organic stakeholders must develop a regenerative strategy.

Not only is this the responsible thing to do for our planet, but it is a smart business decision. As consumers begin to truly understand regenerative farming and its importance to personal and global health, they will prioritize brands that are sourcing regenerative organic ingredients or are Regenerative Organic Certified.

The big takeaway from Kiss the Ground is that having a regenerative strategy is no longer a “nice-to-have.”

It is an imperative.

Yet, it will require everyone to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “What am I doing to help?”

(The filmmakers — Rebecca Tickell, Josh Tickell)

Kiss the Ground is now available on Netflix.

With gratitude,

Max Goldberg, Founder

New Organic Products

New Organic Products

Limited-Edition Heal Soul! Castile Liquid Soap from Dr. Bronner's

As part of its Heal Soul! campaign in support of psychedelic-assisted therapy and medicine, Dr. Bronner's has created a limited-edition “Heal Soul!” label on its 32oz. Castile Liquid Soaps, which are now available nationwide. The label aims to educate the public about these life-saving therapies and medicines, and the advocacy organizations and ballot initiatives that are advancing this work.

Superfood Granola and Oatmeal Cups from Nature's Path

Nature's Path has launched a line of superfood granolas and oatmeal cups, full of functional ingredients designed to contribute to optimal health. The new offering includes two granolas -- Golden Turmeric Superfood Granola and Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola -- and two convenient, ready-to-eat oatmeal cups -- Golden Turmeric Superfood Oatmeal and Cacao Superfood Oatmeal. Available on store shelves starting this month.

Regenerative Whole Wheat Flour from Among Friends

Among Friends is a new brand that focuses on single-ingredient products that are both regenerative and organic. Its whole wheat utilizes the entire wheat kernel, including the bran, germ and endosperm, and it is sourced from Vilicus Farms, one of the nation’s largest, certified organic dryland crop farms. Exclusively available online at Thrive Market.

Immuniteez Immune Support Pops from Momeez Choice

Momeez Choice, makers of organic soothing remedy pops, is expanding its product line with the launch of Immuniteez, an organic immune support pop for kids. These organic elderberry pops help to support the immune system, as they are made with Vitamins C, D and E, as well as zinc and selenium. Available now online and at Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Wegmans.
This Week's News Items

Weekly News Summaries

First Course
Food Business News

Thanks to General Mills, a 34,000-Acre Farm is Now Organic

By Jeff Gelski

Very cool! General Mills partnered with the South Dakota farm to invest in the transition to organic and then agreed to source organic wheat from 10,000 acres for its Annie’s Mac & Cheese pasta products.

Bloomberg

Whole Foods Market sees Online Sales Triple

In an interview with Bloomberg, Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey said that online sales have surged during the pandemic and some of those shoppers will return to stores when they feel safe again.

Forbes

rePlant Capital -- a $250M Fund Seeks to Improve Soil Health

By Chloe Sorvino

Led by Robyn O' Brien, Don Shaffer and David Haynes, rePlant Capital will make loans to regenerative and organic farmers, all with the goal of improving soil health.

Second Course
Eater

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Climate and Agriculture?

By Lisa Held

The Democratic presidential candidate supports a zero-emissions goal for ag and wants to incentivize carbon markets, but his platform makes no mention of animal agriculture or organic farming.

The Washington Post

ROC Certification could Become the Gold Standard for Wineries -- and the Earth

By Dave McIntyre

Just like Tablas Creek, many other wineries -- and organic brands -- will be seeking the Regenerative Organic Certified label.

Food Navigator

Mutual Recognition for UK and EU Organic Food Regulations a ‘Matter of Urgency’

By Flora Southey

Stakeholders fear organic food exports will be banned if mutual recognition is not agreed upon between the UK and EU by December 31, 2020.

Third Course
Food Dive

Glyphosate Residue Free Certification Eclipses $200M

According to SPINS data, the Glyphosate Residue Free certification market has reached $204 million, an increase of 58.2% over the previous year.

Center for Food Safety

EPA Reauthorizes the Super-Toxic Atrazine

The EPA announced the final interim decision reauthorizing the use of the toxic pesticide atrazine in the majority of U.S. states., a decision that does not provide protections for public health or endangered species.

Civil Eats

How Patents Threaten Small Seed Companies

By Kristina "Kiki" Hubbard and Cathleen McCluskey

The use of wide-ranging utility patents by a few powerful multinational corporations could make it harder for small companies to breed future crops.


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This Week's Quick Hits

Quick Hits

* Meet the Regenerative Organic Certified early adopters.


* A great read. Madrid’s best new restaurant is also an ambitious social experiment.


* Congrats to OrganicEye for celebrating its one-year anniversary!


* Dwight Richmond, a former merchandising and category leader for both Whole Foods Market and The Fresh Market, has joined FDM Sales.


* From September 17th to the 24th, organic hard kombucha/seltzer brand Flying Embers is donating 100% of its online sales to support the Oregon fire crisis.


* This Friday, September 25th, Pocono Organics is hosting the Food Forever Experience, an awareness-raising campaign to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Target 2.5, which calls on chefs to advocate for the wealth of diversity within our food system.


* On October 1st, Regenerative Rising (formerly known as At the Epicenter) is hosting a virtual Women Leading Regeneration on the Land.


* Whole Kids Foundation has awarded $33,000 in grants to young entrepreneurs and is teaming up with Mikaila Ulmer (founder/CEO of Me & the Bees Lemonade) and other teen pioneers to host a virtual roundtable for business-minded kids on October 3rd.


* In its tenth year of reporting through the Sustainable Food Trade Association, Straus Family Creamery just published its annual Sustainability Report.


* Willie Nelson and FarmAid refuse to use non-organic cotton for their t-shirts.


* Leading organic researcher Dr. Kathleen Delate held a virtual Organic Field Day at Iowa State University.


* In research news, Cornell received $2M for an organic, value-added grains project, Penn State was awarded $1M to boost organic production and conservation, and the University of Tennessee received $500,000 to study the organic production of grains.


Organic Insider