The past three decades have been an incredible journey—one where I have had the great honor and pleasure of learning from some of the most notable food warriors from cooks to nutritionists to agricultural wizards. The culmination of what I have to share comes to you via What The Fork Are You Eating? And as I await its release into this world, quite a bit of time has been spent reflecting—while I may know more now than when I started putting words on paper almost two and a half years ago, there is so much that I still don’t know and want to learn.
Coincidentally, a friend recently asked how I keep all of this food information in my head. After a moment of thought I said that staying focused on what I know and deferring to others for what I don’t is critical. Thus paying tribute to the people and organizations that have literally helped build my backbone of knowledge is necessary—many were by my side while I diligently researched and wrote What The Fork.
Some of the true food and nutrition experts that have inspired and guided me over the past thirty years include Annemarie Colbin, Andrew Weil, Frances Moore Lappé, Kathie Madonna Swift and Marion Nestle. In addition, there are a large handful of amazing organizations that tirelessly devote their days (and nights) to promote food system safety and accountability. And I am deeply honored to know so many of these change agents and be fortunate enough to work alongside such authenticity. I urge you all to check them out, sign up for action alerts, follow them on social media for up-to-date info and take part in food truth seeking. So I bring to you…
Animal Welfare Approved
AWA audits, certifies and supports independent family farmers raising their animals according to the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” AWA has come to be the most highly regarded food label when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming, and sustainability.
Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood
CCFC’s mission is to support parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world.
Center for Food Safety
Center for Food Safety aims to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.
Consumer Reports mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To further advance its mission, Consumer Reports work with the organization’s more than 1,000,000 online activists to change legislation and the marketplace in favor of the consumer interest.
Corporate Accountability International
Corporate Accountability International protects human rights, public health and the environment by waging and winning campaigns challenging the abuses of some of the world's most powerful corporations.
The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. They support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Its mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG drives consumer choice and civic action with its game-changing investigations and research on toxics and environmental health, food and agriculture, and water and energy.
Food and Water Watch
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, they help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping the global commons — our shared resources — under public control.
Food MythBusters diligently spreads the real story of our food, debunking persistent myths about sustainable food and farming, through compelling media, a new online information center, and grassroots events.
Grace Communications Foundation
GRACE Communications Foundation develops innovative strategies to increase public awareness of the critical environmental and public health issues created by our current food, water and energy systems, and to promote a more sustainable future.
Institute for Responsible Technology
The Institute for Responsible Technology educates policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. They investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that's fished or farmed in ways that protect sea life and habitats, now and for future generations. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are "Best Choices" or "Good Alternatives," and which ones you should "Avoid."
Natural Resource Defense Council
NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. Their dedicated staff work with businesses, elected leaders, and community groups on the biggest issues we face today. Their priorities include: Curbing Global Warming and Creating the Clean Energy Future; Reviving the World's Oceans; Defending Endangered Wildlife and Wild Places; Protecting Our Health by Preventing Pollution; Ensuring Safe and Sufficient Water; and Fostering Sustainable Communities.
Their mission is to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products, educate consumers, and provide verified non-GMO choices.
Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association is an online public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. They are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
Recirculating Farms Coalition
The Recirculating Farms Coalition is a collaborative group of farmers, educators, non-profit organizations and many others committed to building local sources of healthy, accessible food. Through research, education and advocacy, they work together to support the development of eco-efficient farms that use clean recycled water as the basis to grow food. They believe these recirculating farms can create stable green jobs and supply sustainably-grown food—fruits, vegetables, herbs and humanely-raised seafood—in diverse communities nationwide, and someday, worldwide.
Union of Concerned Scientists
Union of Concerned Scientists work to ensure that all people have clean air and energy, as well as safe and sufficient food by calling on the combined knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens, all with the end goal of building a healthy planet and a safer world.
As the New Year is upon us, I ask that you learn about one or more of these organizations and take part in food truth seeking. For a more complete list, you can check out Redeemable Resources (Appendix E, Page 349) in the What The Fork Are You Eating? And if you know of any other organizations doing the right thing, please share!