Organic: From Farm, Business to Legislation
Organic is a word that many today recognize as a standard of food quality and integrity, besides having a Non-GMO label. Moreover, there are two types of organic. One label of organic use some chemicals, and another label use other types of chemicals. So how do you even solve this when the very standard of food we consider isn’t as pure or true to its word. Regenerative Organic, a word coined by Robert Rodale. It was his intent to regenerate soil health knowing that our topsoil is rapidly depleting. As one prominent person said long ago, “The health of our land determines the health of our people.” Soil health to plant health to human health. It’s that of a simple equation. However, in reality the implementation is much more difficult, as commercial farms are not willing to give up 2 years without operation to convert to organic farming. And how much more to regenerative organic. It is their livelihood after all. ROC or regenerative organic sets a higher bar for agricultural certification. Organic matter enriched the soil, just as how farming was before this nation became industrialized.
How I became acquainted with it?
It was through visiting Melissa Phillips and her husband’s farm, Hidden Acre Farm, that I gained a little understand of the modern old practice. It is crucial to sustainability and impact both on the environment and human nutrition.
I was delighted to see and taste their produce. It does have its own flavor profile that does not require cooking or adding much seasoning. It’s good on its own.
More food companies today are looking for farms with high standard and integrity. If the people would demand it, it will open a market for these type of healthy and quality-sourced food. And that is what Amy’s Kitchen is looking for. Amy’s Kitchen is a family owned business, pioneering in organic food since 1987. It was named after the daughter of Andy and Rachel Berliner. They place #1 in frozen food section at Target and #2 at Wegmans. They are also in the top 10 of America’s organic food company, and the only family owned company in the top 10 list.
They are making incredible wave as they continue to cater to people with allergies, gluten sensitivity, lactose-intolerance and food restrictions, such as vegetarian and vegan diet.
Since most of their clientele are from the Northeast. They are making a big leap from California to open here in New York, and proud to say in Goshen.
This company is not only a story of success, family and community, but as well as understanding the needs of the people. Impactful, healthful and delightful, are words to describe Amy’s that receive so many appreciations from their valued customers.
I had a privilege to meet the President of Amy’s Kitchen, Xavier Unkovic. He shared his vision and experience in the company to the members of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, headed by the dynamic Executive Director Barbara Martinez.
As they continue to work with the community, they’re also working with NY State Senator Jen Metzger in reaching local farms to transition to organic farming. They’re hoping that more local organic farms will partner with them to produce tons of vegetables and herbs for the company and the community.
Senator Jen Metzger, champions the cause for organic farming and young farmer program in NY. Her legislation focused on these and these bills passed the senate successfully. Seven bills by the Senator passed to protect the NY farmers: 1) Young Farmer Loan Forgiveness, 2) Expanding Beginning Farmers Fund Eligibility, 3) Young Farmer Apprenticeship Program, 4) Food Hub Support, 5) Agriculture Hotline, 6) Farmers Markets in Parks, 7) Expanding Regional Markets.
Added to that are three bills to help reduce costs for farming operations: Agricultural District Protection, Reducing Farm Vehicle Paper Work, and Keeping Agricultural Property Available.
From consumers to farmers, businessmen, and legislators, they all act a crucial part in revolutionizing the diet here in America. Perhaps, it reminds me of a book of John Robbins, Diet for the New America, and his virtual summit with son Ocean Robbins, Food Revolution.
Myrtle Pettit is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. She finished her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Nutrition at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. Furthermore, her drive to combine theory and practice led her to Living Light Culinary Institute, Fort Bragg, CA, to be certified as a Raw Food Chef and Instructor. She also holds a Master Food Preserver from Cornell University. Myrtle offers one on one consultation, provides health lectures, seminars, and healthy cooking classes to promote a healthier lifestyle. She’s very supportive of her students’ journey to health in every stage.