In the News
See what folks are saying about us...
Organic standards fight over synthetics shows there’s room for a third system
"The Rodale Institute, a nonprofit group dedicated to organic agriculture, stands by naturalness. Executive Director Mark Smallwood says the mere fact that we’re talking about this 'perpetuates the incorrect notion that humans are smarter than Mother Nature, and we need man-made answers. We always rely on cultural practices, methodologies and products aimed at working with nature, and synthetics throw off that balance.' He emphasizes that soil health is critical, and that building it is the way to 'leave more resources for future generations.'” (The Washington Post, June 13, 2014 )
Can Organic Farming Counteract Carbon Emissions?
"Organic practices could counteract the world’s yearly carbon dioxide output while producing the same amount of food as conventional farming, a new study suggests...Citing 75 studies from peer-reviewed journals, including its own 33-year Farm Systems Trial, Rodale Institute concluded that if all cropland were converted to the regenerative model it would sequester 40% of annual CO2 emissions; changing global pastures to that model would add another 71%, effectively overcompensating for the world’s yearly carbon dioxide emissions." (Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2014 )
How Walmart's New Mass-Produced Organics Line Could Threaten Organic Farming
"When Walmart announced plans to open a new line of super-cheap organic foods, Smallwood's reaction was mixed. Like many Smallwood recognized the potential for Walmart--the nation's biggest grocer-- to expand the organic foods model. But, while some food justice advocates have welcomed the move as it promises to make organic foods available to the masses, Smallwood says there is a good reason organics are priced the way they are. He fears lowering the price of organic foods would fail to reflect their true production costs, and Walmart organics could ultimately threaten the greater organic farming world." (Alternet, 05/11/14)
Why you should be skeptical of Walmart's cheap organic food
"Smallwood explains that the concept of a 'premium' associated with organic food is misleading, because the price of an organic good reflects the true cost of its production. 'So there’s a question in my mind about how Walmart is going to pull this off and be able to make profit,' Smallwood said. 'And for them to even come out and make that statement before they’ve started is a huge question mark. Somebody’s going to have to pay, and my hope is that it’s not the organic farmer.'”
One Solution to Climate Change and Growing Healthier Food Is Right Under Our Feet
"Organic farms, like the famous Rodale Farming System Trial in Pennsylvania, showed that building up soil carbon has other benefits too. It also acts like a water sponge and helps maintain crop yields when conventionally grown crops are dying of thirst during droughts. Unfortunately, extreme droughts may become the new normal as climate change alters our weather patterns, giving us yet another reason to implement organic farming on a large scale." (Huffington Post, 03/18/14)
Students in the Veteran Organic Farming Program take courses such as soil biology, animal science, integrated pest management, principles of sustainable agriculture, and commercial vegetable production. They also participate in three practicums at Rodale's 333-acre organic farm, which has grain crops, an orchard, greenhouses, and heritage-breed hogs, goats, cows, and oxen. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 01/31/14)
Hubert Karreman, veterinarian for the Rodale Institute, said organic livestock producers don’t wall their animals off from harsh weather ... “If they can be outside, they should be outside,” he said. “Giving animals the choice of where they want to be on a 24/7 basis is the key, not keeping them inside and confined all the time like conventional agriculture does.”
Applegate organic and natural meats is giving thanks by giving back this year and honoring local food heroes making positive changes to our food system. Our very own Coach Mark Smallwood has been nominated for all the good work we do at Rodale Institute.
Berks Country: New vet at Rodale (11/06/13)
Making dinner for Alice Waters (09/23/13)
Pollinators in Peril (05/13)