Session 1: What is the Real Organic Project?
It's not an ordinary certifying organization. Tractor rallies, protests, grassroots gatherings, and passionate voices are the heart of the Real Organic Project. It represents the farmers who want to provide food the right way. No cutting corners. It's a group of people who care about agricultural systems and are fighting to reclaim the word "Organic" -- a word that was stolen by lobbyists and big agricultural corporations. It's a movement to provide the transparency that we need.
This is our story.
Session 2: What is Soil Health?
Soil is the source of life. It's home to a complex network of bacteria, viruses, minerals, fungi, worms, insects, and decaying organic matter, all of which work together to create an inexplicably nutritient-dense medium. It's the perfect elixir, forming the base of all terrestrial ecosystems' food webs. Just as energy passes through food chains, so do the minerals and micronutrients that are converted and mined by the subsurface biome -- signatures and gifts of the soil. What mysteries lie beneath the soil? Can soil be replaced by other mediums for growing food? How do we ensure that soil health is the center of agriculture?
Sessions 3: Farming and Climate
Humans have been farming for over 10,000 years, but some studies say that we only have 60 years of farmable soil left on the planet. The topsoil is being killed on a large scale by the forces of deforestation and chemical-laden agriculture. As the amount of living soil decreases on Earth, so does the potential for carbon sequestration via photosynthesis. The fate of life and soils are intimately intertwined. Thankfully, there is a straightforward way to both reverse the effects of climate change and restore our soils. The answer? Decreased carbon emissions paired with real organic farming. Yep, even the real organic beef and dairy farms are good for the climate.
Session 4: Health and Nutrition
Stuart McMillan of Legend Organic Farm once said, "Organic agriculture is more than simply the presence or absence of pesticides." While the elimination of toxic pesticides and herbicides from food is certainly a step in the right direction, there's more to the equation when it comes to consumers' health. Let's take the example of an egg. An egg from a bird with limited outdoor access and an all-grain diet differs from a truly organic egg in more ways than just taste and appearance. The concentration of healthy cholesterol and omega-3's is also much higher in a truly pasture-raised bird. Our health depends upon knowing the difference.
Session 5: What Can We Do?
Farmers and eaters throughout the United States and beyond are pushing to create transparency within a disjointed food system. But what are the most important steps for us to take moving forward? Where do you contribute? How do we hold each other accountable?
Healthy Food • Healthy Soil • Healthy Climate
"I was riveted to each week’s broadcast. Sent out links to everyone I could think of. I loved coming to know the main characters and their voices, from different perspectives, through the course of the symposium, as they become new heroes. Each week’s focus made a case that seemed reason enough to go Organic but added up to a powerful, sweeping initiative with a million arms.
BLESSED UNREST! To consciously link them multiplies the effect."