Traveling the Path of an Organic Revolutionary
Keywords:Organic, Certification, Regulations, Policy
First paragraphs:In Organic Revolutionary, Grace Gershuny (former staff member of the National Organic Program [NOP] of the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]) recalls her journey helping blaze a trail for organic certification in the 1990s. Her memoir makes for a powerful recounting of the trials and tribulations of being tasked with the David and Goliath–sized job of leading a team to draft the rules for what would eventually become the first process-based set of regulations governing an entire set of food production practices. Creating definitions for those practices, crafting the rules governing those practices, and calculating how to pass such legislation amid political (and at times consumer-driven) opposition are the steps along Gershuny's journey.
For younger readers, who consider eating a political act and who care deeply about the impact their food dollars have on the health of their families, the environment, and the animals upon whom they rely for sustenance, it can be difficult to imagine a time before the existence of the USDA Organic label. Gershuny's book provides a first-hand account of how the label came into existence in 2002. Readers will walk in Gershuny's shoes, navigating a precarious political scene replete with landmines, including key issues such as whether the organic label should appear on foods produced through genetic engineering...
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