Thursday, September 17, 2015

Highlights from the National Heirloom Expo

For us Northern California types, the heat at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa this year was absolutely sweltering but that did nothing to dilute the value of the presentations, where farmers and scientists gathered to share information and knowledge about the good, the bad and the ugly.


Trendspotting - What's Hot: Plant Based Food

For the first time that I have ever seen, there was just about no line at the burger food stand - the longest food lines were at the food booth for Plant Based Food. I think this might be a trend? Certainly it's nice to see that Amy's offers an all veg, fast food, burger alternative drive through in Novato...and Sonoma-ans seem to be embracing unique gourmet foods made from plants.

In olden times (yesterday) we called such food vegetarian (or vegan, depending on the particulars). Today it's more chic to say plant based. Now you know.

The longest food lines were for the plant based cuisine.
Sonoma's great grain breads from Revolution
Wines from Biodynamic producers were on display at
the Demeter Lounge, which, as usual, provided comfy
couches and a shaded place to sip some cool Yerba Mate
and escape the heat
More Demeter certified wines...nice to see so many
all in place (outside of my house)

Carol Grieve of Food Integrity Now (podcast, which I have appeared on)
put together a panel of the all star scientific experts on Roundup (Glyphosate) and GMOs;
I will be writing a more in depth post in the coming weeks on the content the science
panel shared 
The panel included Don Huber, retired Purdue University professor, and one
of the few in the academic establishment who has been constistently
tracking scientific research on the dangers of GMO foods 
Retired USDA scientist Robert Kremer (now a professor at the University of Missouri in
soil microbiology) is an expert on the effects of glyphosate; he visited Napa last year
and mentioned that he saw the tell tale signs of Roundup's effects on
vine leaves (more on that in a future post). (We know Napa uses 30,000 pounds of
Roundup every year, according to California state data; Sonoma uses even more and
usage across the state on wine grapes amounts to 450,000 pounds per year.)


Cannabis growers cultivating medical marijuana Biodyamically may soon be able to receive Demeter biodynamic certification. This could be a significant factor for those who use medical cannabis as serious medicine. 

Currently there is a lot of testing for pesticides and other harmful substances in cannabis by distributors and edibles manufacturers, but no organic certification is available. 

Back in the Demeter classroom, there was an in-depth panel on Biodynamic
cultivation of marijuana with several presenters
Colum Riley, of Malibu Compost (Biodynamic compost), and a farming consultant,
provided in-depth tips on Biodynamic medical cannabis cultivation

Time magazine (and other media) reported this week that Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, is currently receiving more tax revenues from marijuana taxes than from alcohol taxes. According to the report, Colorado's revenues from marijuana taxation this year were $70 million, compared to $42 million for alcohol taxation.

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