November 1, 2012

Next Tuesday, California may become the first U.S. state to require the labeling of genetically modified food (GMOs). Such a win will likely set into motion the precedent for a new national standard—a standard which over 60 countries worldwide have already adopted. Unsurprisingly, the opposition, made entirely of giant pesticide/chemical corporations and no individuals—is campaigning aggressively, and even fraudulently, to keep GMOs a secret. DON'T BE HUSTLED. VOTE YES ON CA PROP 37—OR CALL YOUR CALIFORNIA FRIENDS AND MAKE SURE THEY VOTE YES NEXT TUESDAY.
-requires the labeling of GMO food, i.e.: "This product may contain GMO ingredients."
-bans the word "natural" as a marketing tool on GMO foods."Natural" has no legal or industrial definition. Stamping "natural" on everything from frosted corn flakes to processed meats and shampoo allows biotech companies, cosmetic companies, and food processors to manipulate consumers psychologically and financially.
•Put on the ballot by an individual concerned citizen.
•Over 60 countries worldwide require GMO labeling, including Europe, China, Japan, and India.
•The largest agri-chemical companies have spent over $40 million to stop Prop 37 and keep GMOs secret—the same bio-tech/pharmaceutical companies that formulated agent orange and DDT (which were declared "tested and safe" before use).
•Genetically modified fruits and vegetables produce their own internal insecticides which destroy the nervous systems of bugs, birds, and bees. •Pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides are environmental hazards worldwide. •No long-term, comprehensive studies on human consumption of GMO foods has ever been completed.
•Cases of autism, organ toxicity, IBS, allergies, and more have skyrocketed since GMOs were quietly introduced into our food systems.
•Ads by opposition are being bankrolled by the world's six largest pesticide companies to the tune of $1 million per day.

"Food prices will go up."
Adding a line of text to a label does notincrease food prices. Labels are constantly being modified and re-ordered. YES ON 37 gives companies ample time to transition.
Myth: "Encourages lawsuits against food manufacturers." There are no “bounty hunter” provisions in Prop 37, and there is no incentive for filing lawsuits. Food manufacturers and grocers will comply with the law and label their products – as they do for calories and other ingredients.
Fact: No on 37 campaign may face criminal charges. Potential criminal charges are being brought against the No on 37 campaign. The campaign has committed act after act of fraudulent advertising and manipulation. No on 37's ad campaign was exposed as dishonest from the outset, when it falsely identified spokesman Henry Miller as a doctor at Stanford (he is actually a researcher of pharmaceutical development and biotechnology at the Hoover Institution) and used images of Stanford in violation of university policy. The ad has since reappeared.
Read more at the Daily Kos. For more info, to donate, or help phone bank and volunteer:

Food Fighters: Organic Farmer Janet Brown

July 27, 2012

Janet Brown, Allstar Organics

As farmers market geeks, we hit up as many as we can, recently Marin County's Sunday morning market at the Civic Center. I got to chat it up with the regal Janet Brown, co-owner of AllStar Organics, which produces heirloom tomatoes, antique roses, herbs, salts (OMG, the best!!!), and now a line of organic hydrosols and essential oils.

Most flavorful, aromatic salt EVER.

AllStar Organics Hydrosols,

In Marin, Janet is a pioneer food-fighter—a founding board member of the area's first organic marketing association, Marin Organic, Chair of the Marin Food Policy Council, and former Program Officer for the Center for Ecoliteracy. She was one of few growers who hosted a visit from sustainable agriculture advocate Prince Charles in 2005. Basically, she knows what's up, from the inside out. Whenever I am lucky enough to come into contact with people like her, I dig for the truths the public never gets to hear.

There are various, long-existing organic certification programs. How did the standards of organic certification change when the USDA implemented the national standard in the 1990s?
The USDA National Standard superseded all previous existing organic standards. Today, there is only one, unified, USDA National Organic Rule that covers all aspects of organic production and distribution. All organic certifiers certify to the same standards. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is charged with reviewing the current organic rule, and recommending changes and upgrades when necessary. The goal of the USDA Organic Program is to protect and maintain the integrity of United States organic standards to the benefit of the organic farmers, organic consumers, and the USDA Organic Program itself.

May a farmer exceed the USDA standard? What standard does AllStar Organics hold itself up to?
An organic farmer is free to farm in any way that at least meets the standards of the USDA Program. For many, the USDA rule is a floor, not a ceiling. Many organic farmers are operating organic systems that are extraordinarily sophisticated, elegant, smart and mature. Based on their own body of knowledge about crops they farm, their own special conditions, and their own sense of design and aesthetics, their entire enterprise may exceed any formal requirement of the USDA program. Farming is a means of self-expression for the farmer. Examples of this are: returning optimum amounts of organic matter to the soil each year, having a regular mineralization program, improving soil biotic life, using more heirloom and open-pollinated varieties or crops, leaving hedgerows and flowering borders as nectar sources, conserving water whenever possible, diversifying the farming operation, selling more of the harvest directly, opening the farm to the public, etc. Allstar meets the USDA requirements for certification, and, like most organic farmers, we also work hard on those things that we care about, whether or not the rule requires it.

When we see non-certified stands with signs that read "No pesticides" or "No spray, no chemical fertilizers," might their food be as clean as certified organic products, or is this a claim used to distract buyers from other detrimental practices they may be utilizing?
Certified organic farmers go through inspections, pay multiple fees, fill out quite a bit of paperwork, and go through multiple more inspections to prove that they are meeting the USDA requirements in order to be able to call themselves organic. There is no other organic certification. Signs that say, "Certified delicious," "Certified California Grown," "Certified Clean" are attempts to cash in on the obvious value of the organic enterprise. They're really distractions—claims without weight—and end up confusing the shopper at the market. If it matters to you, the organic label is your only real assurance that the food you buy does not contain chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, germination accelerators, waxes, GMOs, irradiation, reconditioned sewage sludge, fungicides, and other contaminates.

What are the most important questions to ask growers to ensure we're buying from the cleanest, most sustainable stands possible?
The organic grower should have a certification document displayed on their stand at the market. You can ask how far away the farm is from you. You can ask about diversity and variety. Taste is always a good indicator of something being done well. Fresh is a critical component to nutrition.

Some people complain that organics are "too expensive" (but we notice they get their nails done every week). Can you explain why purchasing organic products is such a worthy investment?
When you buy organic products, you are supporting a system of production that is designed to avoid harm to the environment. That's good for the food you eat, but also for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the world you live in. It is possible to eat your values. Simply seek out and choose the food that is produced consistent with the values and ideals you say you support. You can build the food system you want one mouthful at a time. Americans have become accustomed to the price of cheap, subsidized food. The small increase in price for organic represents the true cost of producing the food and bringing it to market. It is an unsubsidized system that is one of the most admirable joint enterprises I know of. The organic system was built between the organic farmers and the eating public, and it is sustainable. NOTE: If you care about organics and GMO-labeling, please support and follow the progress of California's Prop 37, the Right To Know Initiative (Nov. 2012), which will require the labeling of genetically modified foods. If it wins, California will be the first U.S. state to set this precedent...and maybe your state is next?

Why I'm Not A Millionaire by David Wolfe

January 14, 2012

Now THIS is a leader. Hot off the press, the essay below is a letter released today by our dear friend David Wolfe. Check it out, we wish the whole world would.

WHY I'M NOT A MILLIONAIRE by David "Avocado" Wolfe

Many people think I am a millionaire. I have certainly been responsible for millions of dollars in book sales (hundreds of thousands of copies of my books have been sold in the past 12 years). I've also put my name on products that have sold in the countless millions as well (over $30 million from one of my former companies alone). And I've helped support many independent businesses that have gone on to become multimillion dollar ventures too… but I, David “Avocado” Wolfe, am not a millionaire. You are probably wondering how this could have happened. Am I a fool? Have I allowed unscrupulous people to take advantage of me?

First off, I need to clear the air: not only am I not a millionaire now, I was never a millionaire in the past, and I certainly don't want to be a millionaire anytime in the future. Many people believe I own I don't. I was offered a large percentage of the company last year and I refused. Many people believe I own, The Longevity Now® Conference… and I don’t. I love these businesses and I support their success and they support mine, but I don't have any ownership in any of them at all. I also don't own any stock in any companies… nor do I own any companies that own companies. Many people think I own lots of property too. I don't. I operate two organic farms that are mostly owned by banks and if I ever end up owning any equity in these properties at all, I will immediately donate them to charity.

Less Is More

Let me be clear: I own very little. I have an 11 year-old Jeep, one computer, a stereo that I have had since 1986, a drum set I bought in 2000, my books, my plants, enough clothes to fill a suitcase, and a few necessities (blender, grounded flip flops, toothbrush, etc.). As you can see, I don't own much at all. Why…?

The ancient Taoist Immortals embraced the philosophy of renunciation, living with the Earth, discipline, as well as abandoning attachment to worldly pleasures, wealth, and reputation as a path to longevity and health. Throughout my whole life, ever since I first saw David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine in the television program Kung Fu, I have become more and more enamored with the ascetic life of a Taoist Immortal. In addition, I believe having nothing gives you the ultimate freedom of having nothing to lose. Because when you have a lot, you have a lot to lose. One of the owners of Sunfood Nutrition, Robert Deupree, is worth an estimated $50 million. Do you really think if Mr. Deupree has to make a choice between doing the right thing and doing anything that will put his many millions in jeopardy, he will take the higher path?  His partner in Sunfood Nutrition, E. Douglas Harbison is the son of billionaire Earle Harbison who ran Monsanto for 10 years. Do you really think Mr. Harbison has any interest in selling the best superfoods on the planet if it risks putting his father's legacy in jeopardy? I don't have answers to the questions above. I only offer them as something to consider: The more things one owns, the more one has a vested interest in protecting those things s/he has acquired. I also believe that the higher one climbs on the tree of life, the thinner the branches; it's better to be somewhere towards the middle where the branches are strong and where the people who make up our world actually live. If you know me then you know that I never speak negatively about people or their companies, however I feel the time has come to protect the natural food industry with some much needed clarification. As one of the pioneers of this industry I feel this is my responsibility.

My Favorite Place in the World…

One of my favorite places in the whole world is Costa Rica. Costa Rica has no military, guns, tanks, or soldiers, at all. Do you know why? Because they don’t have any natural resources, such as gold, oil, or precious minerals that other countries value. When you have nothing others value, you have nothing to lose. And yet because I value Costa Rica’s natural attributes, with it’s deeply healing volcanic hot springs, intricate rainforest ecosystems, beautiful mountains and beaches, and fertile farmland… Costa Rica, for me, is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

New Ideas About Wealth

This brings me to my next question: What constitutes real wealth, anyway? There are many multimillionaires suffering in hospital beds, eating hybridized, genetically modified processed foods, who are spiritually, emotionally, and mentally confused. There are many billionaires even, suffering from poor health and unable to experience the vast number of enjoyments they have spent their life acquiring. I have few assets, and yet I’ve never lacked for anything. I’ve never eaten anything but the best food ever… slept in the best (grounded) beds ever… traveled to the most exotic lands ever… experienced the most extraordinary health ever, shared the company of the most beautiful friends and family, and most of all, met 100,000's of fantastic, wonderful people like you who are hungry for the knowledge I share. I am, in my estimation, incredibly rich — perhaps the wealthiest person in the world. Only my wealth isn’t “mine”, it’s available to anyone who chooses to reconsider where true wealth and freedom is found. And where is true wealth found? Consider the following:

  • True wealth is a peaceful state of mind.
  • True wealth is abundant physical health.
  • True wealth is spiritual connection to source energy.
  • True wealth is emotional wellness.
  • True wealth is found in serving others.
  • True wealth is knowledge of oneself, knowledge of one’s environment… and finding and following your mission in life.

In addition:

  • True wealth cannot be hoarded, only shared.
  • True wealth is not created by what one has acquired, but by what one gives away.
  • And true wealth (or happiness in oneself) is directly proportional to the happiness one brings to others.

So let’s consider that our previous notions of “wealth” and “resources” are possibly outdated and irrelevant. Let’s also consider that making money for its own sake is a meaningless and never-ending, never-fulfilling endeavor.


The last time I owned a company was in 2009 when I was the CEO (and 50% owner) of Sunfood Nutrition. When I was an “owner” of the company, I not only found myself surrounded by greedy sharks looking to use my name to sell more stuff to more people (and not caring about the quality or source of the products)… but I also found myself working harder and harder for less and less.  In fact, Sunfood Nutrition is a good, but tragic, example of what happens when the power of greed and control overtakes the power of doing some good in the world (I will share my epic battle - in exquisite detail- against the crooks at Sunfood in the future, and it is quite a story). Since July 2009 (when I was defrauded out of the company assets) I have had nothing to do with that company and I am continuously shocked at the criminality and unconscious behavior displayed by the people who run it.

A Mission-Driven Life
So you might be wondering why I continually recommend the products I love without getting rich in the process? Because it’s my mission in this life to search for the most time-tested, scientifically-researched, healthiest, most valuable (even magical) raw foods, superfoods, superherbs, and longevity technologies and share my discoveries with as many people as possible. All the money that I could have put in my pocket has been consistently reinvested back into expanding our choices and broadening all of our horizons.It is my mission to give a voice to the healthiest choices ever — especially those that have yet to see their day in the Sun. It’s not about making tons of money. It never has been. It is about the mission and the message. I have found this to be true of nearly every great achiever I have ever met — their mission and message in life comes first. And the one thing I really want is a planet that is filled with: the best foods, the best herbs, the most extraordinary organic farms, massive wild tracts of land, and the healthiest humans possible.
  • A planet where we are all supported in implementing the best solutions ever to overcome our health challenges.
  • A planet that works for 100% of humanity and supports the spiritual health of all living things.
  • A planet that has put the LOVE back into every project and endeavor.
The more I share the knowledge I have been gifted… the closer, I believe, this dream to be. There have been BIG changes for the better in the global health scene and in our world in general over the last 20 years. We are making progress.

The Proper Role of Money

So where does the role of money fit into all of this?
We must appreciate the power of money and understand its important role in making things happen in the world. Money is not the root of evil; it is a very powerful—but also limited—force. Without money, there is no way we can ship thousands of kilos of organic, non-GMO, non-CCN-51 hybrid cacao from the jungles of Ecuador to a store shelf in the United States. We cannot package and distribute cacao just because we want to, we require money to make that happen. At the same time, I cannot use money to improve my spiritual practice or to achieve a peaceful heart; to do that I require discipline, hard work, and concentration. Again, money is not the root of evil… but it’s not the root of everlasting happiness either. We need a balanced approach in our understanding of what money can and cannot do for us. Which brings me to my last point:

If I don’t want to own anything, why don’t I do everything for free?
My answers are simple: I have put out hundreds of high-quality education videos out on the Internet for free—more, I believe, than any other health activist in the world. I have also spoken at countless events for free in my career, but have I found that whenever I give too much away for free—it is less valued, easily discarded, or not appreciated. Too many free events attract takers and drainers (or “drainbows”) and those who feel entitled. In addition, I believe in a fair energy-exchange. The information I produce and products I recommend create jobs and income for thousands of hard-working people. I have always felt the obligation to support my contractors, suppliers, and farmers, even at great personal sacrifice to myself. The products I create and distribute are good for the majority of people in every area: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual and are based on my 20+ years of research. Not everything is for everybody, but by working with probabilities, I know most people will discover something unique and special in what I have to offer. And in quality the stuff I bring to the market is unsurpassed in the health food and natural products industry because my field experience has given me the connections no one else has.

Ignoring the "Whiners"

My experience has been that the people who whine and complain about money (or anything for that matter), are the people who daily do what they hate and who are the most disconnected from their mission. These types of people often fall into the “drainbow” category — they take or attack but rarely give or appreciate. As a consequence, these types of people don’t want to do too much, but they expect a lot in return. They often believe that anyone who makes it in the world did so through fraud and deceit, instead of through hard work and integrity. I work very hard, seventeen, eighteen hours most days. I am a firm believer that hard work combined with solid motivation (wanting little for oneself) and integrity along with a powerful life-mission (wanting a lot for others) creates an effortless, almost imperative desire to continually do the right thing. I am not saying I have always done the right thing. Mistakes happen and are part of life. Nor am I doing the only right thing; I am doing what I perceive is right for me. What is right for you? I don’t know. That is for you to consider. My hope is that we can work together to spiritually put money in its correct and appropriate role until such time as humanity has moved past the need for money. The true wealth of friendships, deeper connections to source energy, spiritual peace, health, and tranquility of mind will be our reward.

Written by: David “Avocado” Wolfe, January 2012 Founder of the non-profit Fruit Tree Planting Foundation ( Author of: The Sunfood Diet Success System Eating For Beauty Naked Chocolate Amazing Grace Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms The LongevityNOW Program Host of over 2500 health events worldwide.