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As a long time advocate of the value of organic food and farming for a healthful lifestyle, on this part of our site, I will be sharing great ideas, people and projects that are doing good in our world. I only speak about people I know personally as that is my metric for ensuring to you that I know of what I speak. I invite you to explore and share your favorite ideas, people and projects that bring value to our communities. Give organic gift baskets from America's Best Organics and join us in supporting organic family farms in the USA! Thanks.
Here are a few of my favorite people and organizations working for good.
Alex Bogusky, Founder, Fearless Cottage, Partner, Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Alex’s career in communications began over twenty years ago when he joined Crispin and Porter Advertising in 1989 as an art director. He became the creative director five years later, a partner in 1997, and co-chairman in 2008. Under Alex's direction, Crispin Porter + Bogusky grew to more than 1,000 employees, with offices in Miami, Boulder, Los Angeles, London and Sweden, and with annual billings over $1Billion. During Alex’s leadership, CP+B became the world's most awarded advertising agency. In 2010 Adweek's Creative Director of the Decade turned his focus from being a brand advocate to a consumer advocate by launching The FearLess Revolution. He and his band of insurgents, in what they refer to as "the new consumer revolution," are creating, consulting, and reporting on the emergence of a sudden and powerful counterbalance to corporate power: an educated and empowered consumer.
Ann Cooper, Founder, Food Family Farming Foundation
Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. She is known as the Renegade Lunch Lady and founded Food Family Farming Foundation as a nonprofit focusing on solutions to the school food crisis. F3's pivotal project is The Lunch Box - a web portal that provides free and accessible tools, recipes and community connections to support school food reform. Ann believes all children deserve healthy food to grow their bodies, minds and future and that we must feed their knowledge while also providing wholesome meals to fuel their physical activities. Ann's life’s work is to transform how we feed our children in school each day, from highly processed to highly nourishing food — one school lunch at a time.
Sandy Gooch, founder, Mrs. Gooch's Natural Food Stores
Sandy Gooch is known as the mother of the modern day natural products retailing. Sandy founded Mrs. Gooch's Natural Food Store in L.A. in 1976 and thus began a journey that transformed the emergent natural and organic industry. It is what others say about Sandy that is so compelling such as "Sandy Gooch single-handedly established what quality means, not just for dietary supplements but in the natural health retail industry, including what a store can look like, what customer service can be. She epitomizes the best of everything we strive to be as an industry." Since selling her store chain, Sandy has pursued important efforts such as spearheading the Healthy School Meals Program in Los Angeles public schools. She serves with presidents and prime ministers on the Women's Leadership Board at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government—an international group that works to empower women worldwide. Among many accolades and awards, she was the only woman chosen among “50 Visionary Leaders Who Transformed Food Retailing” in 2003 by Supermarket News. We are honored that Sandy and her husband, Harry Lederman serve on Best Organics, Inc. advisory board.
Myra Goodman, author, co-founder, Earthbound Farm
Myra Goodman is the co-founder, with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm. She currently serves as executive vice-president and chief creative officer. Originally from New York City, Earthbound Farm started in 1984 when Myra and Drew began farming organically on their 2 -acre backyard garden in Carmel Valley, California. Today, their organic produce is farmed by more than 150 farmers on 30,000 acres and is available in 76% of American supermarkets. Annually, Earthbound Farm's organic farming avoids the use of more than 10 million pounds of conventional agricultural chemicals. Myra is also the author of Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook (Workman, 2006).
Mariel Hemingway, Author, Founder, Mariel's Kitchen
Mariel Hemingway has made healthful living her mission. Through her own personal journey, she has authored books about her life, yoga, nutrition and well-being including a cookbook. Her company Mariel's Kitchen gives her a pathway to share her passion for living a healthy, happy life. Mariel seeks to help others discover and enhance the best personal health through making positive, intentional choices about food, movement, home, and silence. Her beautiful cookbook, Mariel's Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life (HarperOne 2009) is an inspiration.
Gary Hirshberg, Author, Activist, Chairman, President and CEO, Stonyfield Farms
Gary Hirshberg has overseen the growth of the organic yogurt company Stonyfield Farm from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school in 1983 to its current $300 million in annual sales. One of the company's five missions is "to serve as a model that environmentally and socially responsible businesses can also be profitable" and Gary has realized this vision in every aspect of the company. His proactive and informative book Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, Gary makes another contribution to the exploration of doing business with respect to customers, employees and earth. A percentage of the profits from this book will be invested in the Hirshberg Sustainability Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
Thomas Harding, President and CEO, Agrisystem International
Tom Harding is an international specialist in certified organic food and farming production systems. He is the founding president of the Organic Trade Association; past president and world board member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements based in Germany; founder and past president of OCIA International, one of the world's leading organic certification agencies; and co-founder and past president of the Institute for Alternative Agriculture. Tom has advised farmers, leading manufacturers, NGOs, and governments the world over on best practices in certified organic production. For more than 40 years, he has had a significant influence on the growth of organic farming and global trade in organics. We are honored that Tom serves on Best Organics, Inc advisory board.
Chris Kilham, The Medicine Hunter
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator. The founder of Medicine Hunter Inc., Chris has conducted medicinal research in over 20 countries. He is the FOX News Medicine Hunter and appears on Fox News Health online in the US and international television markets. He also writes a weekly column for FOX News Health. Chris is the author of fourteen books, including Hot Plants, The Five Tibetans, Psyche Delicacies, Tales from the Medicine Trail and Kava, Medicine Hunting in Paradise. Chris lectures extensively on holistic health and botanical medicines, throughout the United States and the European Union, Hong Kong, Thailand, Dubai, Australia, Peru, Vanuatu and many other countries. He is helping protect and bring medicinal herbal wisdom to a broader audience.
Brigitte Mars, Author, Raw Food Chef and Herbalist
Brigitte Mars is an herbalist from Boulder, Colorado, with over 35 years’ experience in natural medicine. She lived for two and a half years on solely wild edible plants while living in a teepee in the Ozarks in the early seventies. She is the author of Addiction Free Naturally, Sex, Love and Health, The HempNut Cookbook, Rawsome!, and Healing Herbal Teas. She has a nutritional and herbal private practice, works as a practitoner for Pharmaca and has a local weekly radio show called Naturally. Brigette radiates health and is a leading authority on herbal remedies. Her latest book, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies presents hundreds of natural and time-tested methods for treating hundreds of common ailments including burns, insect bites, skin rashes, PMS, and upset stomach. The book includes thrifty and easy remedies that can be made from items commonly found in the pantry, refrigerator, and garden.
Jeffrey Hollender, Author and Founder, Seventh Generation
More than two decades ago, Jeffrey Hollender founded Seventh Generation with the idea of creating a different way of doing business. Since then, the company has established new benchmarks for ethical and sustainable corporate behavior, grounded in the principles of employee ownership, pay equity, environmental responsibility and transparency. At the same time, Seventh Generation is the country’s leading brand of household products and a recognized pioneer in its category. Jeffrey has written several books sharing his insights and experiences in business, the most recent is PLANET HOME: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most.
Hunter Lovins, President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions
Hunter Lovings is the genuine article, no nonsense educator and advocate. Hunter and her team educates senior decision-makers in business, govenment and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life. In partnership with leading thinkers and implementers, Natural Capitalism Solutions creates innovative, practical tools and strategies to enable companies, communities and countries to become more sustainable. She was named Time Magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and in 2009 Newsweek dubbed her a "Green Business Icon." She has co-authored nine books including Natural Capitalism, and Transforming Industry in Asia.
Bill McKibben, Author and Co-Founder, 350.org
Bill McKibben is a writer, activist and co-founder of 350.org. A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, McKibben is the author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change. His new book Eaarth; Making a Life on a Tough New Planet is heralded, as a no-nonsense manifesto illustrating how global warming is no longer merely a threat; it is a reality that has changed the world in profound ways. Best Organics hosted Bill at our At the Epicenter education series.
Robyn O'Brien, Author and Founder, AllergyKids Foundation
Robyn O'Brien is a critically-acclaimed author, researcher and mother of four, who has leveraged her experience as a food industry analyst to uncovering how one of life's most basic activities - eating - has become a risk to our health. She has been called "Food's Erin Brackovich" by the New York Times, and in her first book, The Unhealthy Truth, she sheds light on the food industy and the impact that new ingredients and additives now found in our favorite foods are having on the health of our families. She is working to restore the health of the American children and founded the AllergyKids Foundation, an organization designed to protect the 1 in 3 American children with autism, allergies, ADHD and asthma linked to additives in the food supply. Her work has been praised by Ted Turner, Dr. Oz, Erin Brockovich and seen in the New York Times, on CNN, the Today Show and other media. Her incredible book is a must read for parents and those who care about the health of our children.
Christina Pirello, Author, Host, Christina Cooks! and Founder, The Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative
Christina Pirello is one of America’s preeminent authorities on natural and whole foods. She’s made it her purpose in life to show Americans that they can look their best and feel great too, by learning to eat natural, organic food. Since 1988, Christina has been teaching whole foods cooking classes, conducting lifestyle seminars and lecturing all over the United States about the powerful role food plays in our lives. Christina is the Emmy Award-winning host of the television series Christina Cooks, which airs weekly on over 150 national public television stations nationwide and in 50 foreign countries on Discovery Health and Create TV. Christina has written five cookbooks including the bestselling Cooking the Whole Foods Way, which was recently named the "Healthiest Cookbook of the Decade" by the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. She has founded Health Education Initiative to change our relationship with food. With education as its foundation, the goal of the organization is to provide a number of specifically designed programs to schools, communities and the food industry.
Horst M. Rechelbacher, Farmer and Founder, Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients
Horst Rechelbacher is the founder of Aveda Corporation and Intelligent Nutrients. Aveda is a plant-based beauty company that manufactures hair care, skin care, makeup, purefume and lifestyle products. Horst founded Intellingent Nutrients, a certified organic, non-toxic plant-based health and beauty company. He is a distinguished environmentalist, author, artist and innovative business leader who changed the face of the beauty industry through his steadfast commitment to the development of sustainable, eco-friendly consumer products. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to the study of pure plant essences and their psychological, physiological and environmental benefits, the importance of using organically grown ingredients and creating businesses with social and ecological practices that help preserve the environment.
George L. Siemon, CEO and Founder, Organic Valley Family of Farms
One of the nation's foremost organic agriculture advocates for nearly two decades, George Siemon is best known for his leadership in organizing farmers and building market support for organic agriculture. George, himself an organic farmer, champions a system of farming that supports family farms, defends the ethical, humane treatment of farm animals, benefits the environment, and gives consumers high-quality organic food. In 1988 Siemon joined a half-dozen neighboring family farmers to found the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP), known more familiarly as Organic Valley® Family of Farms, in Wisconsin. Under Siemon's leadership, Organic Valley has become the largest organic farmers' cooperative in North America. Siemon and his family have owned and operated an organic farm since 1977.
Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology
Jeffrey is dedicated to disseminating information about GMOs in food and agriculture. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the risks associated with genetically engineered foods to our agricultural seed stock and native plant species, and the health of people, animals, and the environment. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide are built on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why GM foods must urgently become our nation's top food safety priority. Jeffrey has lectured in 30 countries, and has appeared on BBC and NPR radio and on television on FoxNews and the Dr. Oz Show.
Elysabeth Williamson, Yoga Teacher and Author
Elysabeth Williamson has been a teacher and innovator in the world of Yoga for over twenty years. Her unique, heart-centered teaching style comes from over thirty years of training and practice in a variety of yogic traditions. She is the developer of Principle-Based Partner Yoga™ techniques and published The Pleasures and Principles of Partner Yoga. She is the recipient of ‘The Independent Publisher’s Award’ in 2006. Elysabeth is deeply committed to sharing the transformative power of Partner Yoga through presenting international classes, workshops and Teacher Trainings. Partner Yoga is a visionary practice that expands the traditionally individual science of Yoga into the realm of relationship. In traditional Hatha Yoga practice, a person places his or her body into specific postures, while focusing on breath and body alignment. Designed for two or more people, Partner Yoga positions utilize the forms and principles of individual postures while incorporating the presence of another to deepen the impact of the pose.
Marci Zaroff, Founder FASE & Under the Canopy, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Portico Brand Group
Marci is a sustainable textile pioneer, figurehead and authentic trailblazer who coined the term "ECOfashion" and speaks internationally on organic and sustainable fashion and green business. Marci helped define and draft the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the 1st USA Fair Trade Certification for textiles with TransFair/Fair Trade USA. Marci latest venture, FASE: Fashion, Art, Style, Environment focuses on organic and sustainable materials to create fashionable and affordable clothing. She also is an advocate for Operation Warm one of the largest nonprofit organizations distributing new winter coats in the United States. The new winter coats are distributed to children in major geographic regions including the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware, with concentrated urban efforts in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Seattle.