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    Program ID - bo051805

    Is Organic Elitist?

    One of the biggest complaints about organic food is price.

    In fact, according to conservative pundits like Henry I. Miller, the organic movement is not only elitist, but technophobic and possibly even racist.

    Unlike health professionals who have been increasing successful in educating the public about the benefits diet and nutrition, organic proponents have done a relatively inadequate job of educating talking about the true costs of organics.

    Simply put: If you pay more at retail, who benefits?

    This Wednesday, join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network ( as we take a look at some of the true costs of organic foods, and some innovative solutions to the unique economic barriers illuminated by the organic foods movement.

    This Week's Guests:

    Brahm Ahmadi — Co-Founder/Director, People’s Grocery

    Brahm Ahmadi is co-founder and co-director of People’s Grocery, a "food justice" organization working to develop a self-reliant and sustainable food system in West Oakland through community-based and youth-focused social enterprises, urban agricultural projects and educational programs. Brahm blends social enterprise, cooperative economics, agriculture, popular education, youth development and grassroots organizing into a strategy for community development that builds upon a foundation of justice and self-reliance. Brahm is also executive director of the North Oakland LandTrust, which preserves properties in North Oakland for the exclusive purpose of community gardening. In addition, he’s starting an Oakland Food Policy Council to bring a variety of stakeholders together to develop policies for a city-wide food system.

    Steve Schwartz — Founder/Executive Director, California FarmLink

    California FarmLink was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization to build family farming and conserve farmland in California by linking aspiring and retiring farmers. California FarmLink also promotes techniques and disseminates information that facilitates intergenerational farm transitions.

    Jim Cochran — Co-Founder/General Manager, Swanton Berry Farm

    Swanton Berry farm is a 200 acre operation that grows organic strawberries, ollaliberries, artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower. Jim started the farm in the early 1980’s, gaining organic certification in 1987 and becoming the first organic farm to unionize in 1997. The high-quality products grown on the farm are labeled with an organic seal and the United Farmworkers of America seal. As a leader in both profit sharing cooperative farming and organic growing, Jim has won awards from the Ecological Farming Association and the Environmental Protection Agency and has been a featured speaker at international conferences on small farm labor practices.

    More information:

  • People’s Grocery
  • California Farm Link
  • Swanton Berry Farm
  • UC-Davis study on organic farms and wages
  • Behind the Organic/Industrial Complex – Michael Pollan

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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