Food Systems: Organic Might Not Be Pesticide Free

A study was conducted that examined trace residues of 68 pesticides on organic and conventional crops

Trace residues of the pesticides tested in this study were found on organic fruits and vegetables. “For 37% of the chemicals, the average residue on organic samples was actually higer than the averages on conventional…

The amount of pesticides found on both organic and conventional food were in trace amounts and, for the most part, lower than US EPA established tolerance levels.

Finally, it is important to note that pesticides are sprayed on organic food, albeit those pesticides are “certified” for use on organic food and, in most cases, may be differentiated from pesticides applied to conventional crops. However, there may be some overlap between certified-organic and conventional pesticides.

Forbes, March 6, 2017

Food Systems: Organic Acreage Increases!


These are exciting times for agricultural and food consumption and for prosperous folks in this country, we are so lucky to have the luxury of food choices! More growers find it profitable to produce organic crops and more consumers choose to support those growers.

Reposted from Facebook, November 10, 2016

Food Systems: Indoor Ag?

The possibilities of urban and vertical agriculture are fascinating. These systems have the potential to rewrite the rules about what crops are grown where. They have the potential to solve transportation, water, and land availability issues.

A large downside? These systems are truly factory farming and could require large capital investment. That could be a big barrier for entry-levels farms.  

Also! The likelihood these systems are more vulnerable to catastrophic failure from pest infestations and pathogenic pandemics.

Agri-Stats: Commodities Feed Us

“Vegetables have the shortest distance between the consumer and the farm. They are a tangible, edible link between us and the people we think of when we think ‘farmer.‘”

Commodity crops aren’t represented by “the farmer most of us meet at the farmers market, the one running the farm of our imagination.” But, commodity crops are what feed us. According to the FAO, about 60% of the world’s calories come from just 3 crops: corn, wheat, and rice. Other commodities such as sorghum, soybeans, and millet are important, too.

‘If we are going to feed [the billions of people on the earth in 2050], and us, responsibly and healthfully, vegetables are not the answer. 

Haspel, Tamar. We Need to Feed A Growing Plante. Vegetables Aren’t the Answer. The Washington Post. December 15, 2016.

Food Systems: Organic


In 2015, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the organic industry continued to show remarkable growth domestically and globally, with 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world.

According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by more than 5 percent over the last year. Since the count [of farms] began in 2002, the number of domestic organic operations has increased by over 250 percent.

An ongoing list of USDA certified organic operations and reports on the number of certified operations can be found at