Book Mark: Maria Rodale's The Organic Manifesto

Oftentimes, the planet’s environmental woes can feel a tad overwhelming—but not for Maria Rodale. Rodale is the granddaughter of the father of organic gardening J.I. Rodale, newest head of the Rodale publishing empire and co-chair of Rodale institute, and she not only has “you-can-do-more” convictions—she has a manifesto.

On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a review of The Organic Manifesto, Rodale’s recently published book about “the ills of chemical farming”:

Aiming to keep things simple and readable, Rodale writes in passionate gushes, but she also provides nine pages of fine-print footnotes.

She praises U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack because he dug up the lawn of the agency's D.C. headquarters and planted an organic garden. But in page after page of zingers, Rodale lambastes the Farm Bill for favoring conventional farmers and chemical companies for not being transparent about their products.

GMO seed giant Monsanto gets a multipage drubbing.

She says the company has "wrought disaster" with all its chemicals and likens the contamination of non-GMO crops with GMO pollen to rape.

In a time of anxiety, when so many people are of the opinion that we’ve reached a point of no return, it is comforting to have such a strong voice, angered by the thought of helplessness.

Rodale wants us to know we’re not helpless in all this. She thinks we should apply the most basic law of the marketplace: Vote with our wallets. Whatever we start demanding and buying, industry will produce.


On a different note, while researching Rodale, I stumbled upon the Rodale website and found some very exciting things. Click here for Maria Rodale recipes, here for A-Z body and mind remedies and here for "topics"—thoughts on everything from skin care to sexual health to backyard chickens.