This podcast expands on Joe’s visit to rural Pennsylvania and the Rodale Institute, the cradle of organic gardening in America. Founded in 1941, by visionary J. I. Rodale, and nurtured by four generations of the Rodale family, today the Institute resides on a 333-acre farm. Rodale Press has evolved into the largest multi-media company dedicated to restoring a healthy planet and continues to pioneer the organic movement through research and it’s books and magazines. Rodale’s flagship publication “Organic Gardening” (1942) still enjoys a robust following today. Watch the episode here.
In her interview Rodale Inc. Chairman and CEO Maria Rodale, granddaughter of J. I., gives her frank, research-based opinion about the far-reaching effects of chemicals and pesticides so prevalent in our lives today. Generations ago chemicals and pesticides were unheard of but as science progressed so did the notion of “better living through chemicals”.
That simply isn’t true and there is sufficient evidence to indicate that eating organic food is good for our health. There is also mounting evidence that the agrichemicals we continue to ingest lead to certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, autism, and ADHD. Maria’s call to action is to “demand organic” and is passionately and eloquently stated in her book, “Organic Manifesto”.
Through conscientious efforts and dedication the USDA Certified Organic label has evolved to provide a way for consumers to identify products that meet their strict standards. Seventy years ago organic was simply an idea but fortunately today, consumers are waking up to what ‘organic’ really means to our health and the health of the planet. There are consequences related to the way we farm and garden and even to the decisions we make in our daily lives.
The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial®, was begun in 1981 when few institutions were seriously studying organic farming methods. It is the longest running side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming methods in the US, and one of the oldest in the world.
The organization lives by the mantra that “healthy soil equals healthy food, equals healthy people, equals a healthy planet” and has proven that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming methods. The reason is the exquisite care given to the soil by nurturing it with natural amendments and cover crops.
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