On the heels of a previous report highlighting lack of enforcement and oversight in our food system, the U.S. Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) new report on whether milk marketed as organic actually meets the National Organic Program’s standards is a real wake-up call to the organic community. And so it should be. Consumers pay a significant premium for organic products and rightly expect transparency and oversight. However, the OIG's new report, "Agricultural Marketing Service National Organic Program - Organic Milk," exposes major failings of the National Organic Program’s (NOP) certification and auditing systems. At a time when consumers are turning their backs on industrialized farming systems – and genetically modified (GM) farming in particular – the new report raises real questions about exactly what people are paying for when they buy organic milk.
Ninny Nu’s Organic Farm by Tanya Sousa with illustrations by Amber Alexander (Radiant Hen Publishing) is a classic tale of farm animals competing to produce the best crop ever for the Mayor. Ninny Nu, a house cat, runs an organic farm, treats her animals well, and refuses to use a tractor. Farmer Jack, a jack rabbit, is an intensive farmer with a loud tractor. He confines his animals in the barn and overproduces on his land.
In this story Ninny Nu teaches the important lesson that high quality food comes from a healthy, happy farm. After the Mayor’s competition, she teaches other farmers about her way of raising livestock and vegetables compassionately. With short paragraphs on each page, this book is a good introductory look at farming for older children. The illustrations by Amber Alexander are expressive and full of farming landscapes and animals.