Dig Deeper

Chemical cotton

By Melody Meyer, Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations, United Natural Foods Incorporated (UNFI)

Did you know that every conventional cotton product we use has an effect on what we eat and that the by-products of conventional cotton production used in our clothing, personal care, bedding, furniture etc. go back into our food supply? Here are a few facts you need to know about cotton… (more…)

Want to avoid GMOs? Look for this label.

By Coach Mark Smallwood
Follow Coach’s blogs posts at Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen and EcoWatch

What do Cheerios and apples have in common? They are the latest and very public battlegrounds for the GMO debate. But these two mainstays of American childhood nutrition are headed in opposite directions. While the arctic apple, genetically modified to not brown when cut, is all but set to be approved for production, original Cheerios is now GMO-free. And while general public is wholeheartedly in support of knowing what is in their food, shoppers are still confused as to what all the labels really mean. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: January 24, 2014

Every Friday we share some snaps from our 333-acres in Kutztown, PA. Our photographers? The staff members who keep this farm chugging along. Enjoy a sneak peek at what’s going on here at Rodale Institute! (more…)

Improved compost management for certified organic operations

Outcomes from current standard composting processes can range from high quality composts (rich in carbon, nitrogen, and healthy biota) to simple organic material (rich in carbon but low in nitrogen and biota) to noxious, harmful failures, depending on the input materials, weather conditions, and management practices used. Even following certified organic regulations is no guarantee that quality compost is being produced. (more…)

Allowed or prohibited?

By Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador, OMRI

At OMRI we are often asked why we consider one material to be allowed for organic use, while a similar material might be prohibited. Sometimes an applicant will even try to persuade us to accept a specific ingredient that, from their perspective, should be allowed in organics. Decisions regarding allowed and prohibited materials actually rely on a much larger process and more stakeholders than just OMRI.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a volunteer board comprised of representatives from various sectors of the organic industry, work year-round to discuss the pros and cons of each material proposed for organic use. The board meets twice yearly to vote on final recommendations to the National Organic Program (NOP). It is then the NOP which chooses to begin the rulemaking process in accordance with an NOSB recommendation to allow the material or not. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: January 17, 2014

Every Friday we share some snaps from our 333-acres in Kutztown, PA. Our photographers? The staff members who keep this farm chugging along. Enjoy a sneak peek at what’s going on here at Rodale Institute!


Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) internships available!

We are now accepting applications for Internship Positions in our Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) Program for the 2014 growing season. The ASC Program is a modified farm share program offering affordable payment plans to make fresh, local, organic produce accessible to just about anyone in the community. Internship participants will be trained and involved in every aspect of running a small local organic grower’s business.

The ASC Program focuses on hands-on training in seed starting, greenhouse production & seasonal extensions, transplanting, pest & weed management, soil health, introduction to large equipment, harvesting, processing, marketing, customer relations, and working with community partners.  (more…)

The heart of a farmer

By Sara Snow

I’ve been wondering lately how many farmers have always seen themselves as farmers? Even if they didn’t start driving daddy’s tractor at age 9 and take over the family farm themselves shortly into adulthood, did they always know that someday that’s where they’d be? See, I know quite a few late-in-life farmers. Farmers who used to work desk jobs. Farmers who used to be globetrotting, briefcase carrying workers. Farmers who used to make cheese (that’s at least vaguely akin to farming) or cook cheese (and a lot of other foods) in restaurants. Did they always feel like they were farmers at heart?

When I was young my dad was like a lot of other dads; he put on a crisp shirt and shiny shoes and headed off to work each morning. It’s true that most of the work he did happened behind a desk, a computer, or on a phone, but he had a mission, and that was to change the world for the better through better food. He may not have seen himself as a farmer back then but he had an inkling I think. (more…)

Senior Director of Development opportunity

The Senior Director of Development is a senior position who is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the Rodale Institute’s development operation including:  capital campaign, annual campaign, major gifts, corporate relations, foundation relations, donor relations, events, and development services. This position will be responsible for leading and implementing fundraising strategies for Major Gifts and implementing a cultivation strategy. This includes developing and implementing a short and long range development plan, meeting with current and potential major donors, and expanding the donor network. The Senior Director of Development supervises all members of the Development and Communications Team. The Senior Director of Development reports to the Executive Director. (more…)