The Calm Earth Project
In 2007, Natural Vitality initiated our Natural Revitalization environmental action initiative which was renamed the Calm Earth Project in 2014. Funded by a percentage of product sales, this program is an extension of our corporate mission to change conditions on this planet to promote personal, societal and environmental health—which we believe are interrelated.
BIONUTRIENT FOOD ASSOCIATION
Originally a project of Remineralize the Earth, the Bionutrient Food Association is headed by second generation organic farmer Dan Kittredge. A recent report, based on US agricultural records, found that the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables has been dropping since records were first kept. You would need to eat five apples today just to get the same nutrients from eating one apple back in 1965!
The objective of the Bionutrient Food Association is the production and distribution of food grown so that it is naturally and measurably high in nutritional value. This means growing food for quality rather than quantity. The process involves working closely with farmers, distributors, retailers and consumers. The BFA has already trained over 700 farmers and other growers in the natural methodology of growing high bionutrient produce.
High bionutrient fruits and vegetables have very high levels of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and trace minerals. They also have exceptional flavor and are naturally pest resistant.
For more information see www.bionutrient.org
REMINERALIZE THE EARTH
Remineralize the Earth (www.remineralize.org) has been an ongoing part of the Natural Revitalization program since 2007. RTE sponsors educational and action programs designed to promote the use of glacial gravel and rock dust to restore natural minerals to our depleted soils. This cost-effective, non-petroleum-based fertilizer results in both enhanced organic growth and enhanced natural mineral content in our food crops. The revitalization of our soils with the subsequent enhanced crop, plant and forest growth will give us greater oxygen production as well as greater absorption of CO2. For more information about Remineralize the Earth, see www.remineralize.org
ORGANICS 4 ORPHANS
There are 53 million orphans in Africa, many of whom live on the streets. Others find shelter in an orphanage. Wherever they end up, nearly all are severely undernourished. Canadians Dale and Linda Bolton saw that the typical aid model of raising funds to buy food for orphanages only seemed to make the problem worse. Orphanages learned to depend on those donations and had little means to actively support themselves. They wanted to do something different and founded Organics 4 Orphans to build an aid model that empowered the communities to help themselves, too. They became the Canadian distributors for Natural Vitality, deciding to give all the profits after expenses to Organics 4 Orphans. Since 2004, Organics 4 Orphans has built staff in seven countries and trained African locals from 15 different countries. Those who receive training through the program, in turn, go out and teach communities how to grow organic foods sustainably. Each year, the Boltons spend two to four months in Africa, striving to meet the rising demands for their program. This year, Organics 4 Orphans will begin to tackle another critical aspect of health: access to clean drinking water. Of the 17,000 children who die every day in developing countries, 4,000 die from bad water. The Boltons are working in an area of Kenya called West Pokot where there are 200 villages that have no source of clean water. Their average life expectancy is at least a decade less than the rest of the country. Drilling water wells isn’t possible for these communities, but simple water filters can purify even ditch water. Natural Vitality has partnered with Organics 4 Orphans to purchase water filters for close to 100 villages. It will take a few months to install and train the villages how to use the filters, but the filters will save hundreds of lives. For more information visit www.organics4orphans.org
SLOW FOOD USA
Founded in 1989, non-profit Slow Food USA advocates ways of life that connect the pleasures of good food with awareness of food production and responsibility for the environment. It is part of Slow Food International, which was formed in Italy in opposition to the “fast culture” characterized by the industrialization and standardization of food production taking hold in Europe in the mid-1980s. Slow Food USA oversees 200 local chapters throughout the US, where members participate in educational and outreach programs such as presentations by organic farmers, dinners showcasing local ingredients, farm tours, regional lore discussed by food professionals, and the creation of community gardens. Slow Food USA believes that sharing the daily experience of cooking with local produce, and understanding the relationship of farm and plate, can restore the importance of the family dinner table and build communities rich with tradition. The organization also promotes public policy that supports biodiversity and safe practices in agriculture, and offers programs to schools and food professionals about the values of sustainability, protection of foods in danger of extinction, and the celebration of the many food traditions in North America. The philosophy of Slow Food USA is closely aligned with the core values and corporate mission of Natural Vitality. We are proud to be a sponsor of their unique and effective efforts. For more information, visit www.slowfoodusa.org
THE ORGANIC FARMING RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is the leading farmer-driven organic advocacy group in the US. Founded twenty-one years ago, OFRF dedicated itself to developing a comprehensive body of knowledge promoting science-based methods for organic producers. Today, OFRF works to transform agriculture by supporting the continuous improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems and conservation practices. Through its competitive grant program, OFRF promotes organic farming research and education projects, and provides farmers with the informational tools they need to be successful growers of highly-nutritious, organic food. OFRF also works to create federal farm policy designed to bring more farmers and more acres into economically viable organic production. Natural Vitality is very pleased to be a supporter of the Organic Farming and Research Foundation and its grassroots efforts toward the expansion of organic production. Learn more about OFRF at ofrf.org
CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY
Natural Vitality is a significant supporter of the Center for Food Safety . The Center for Food Safety works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.
Natural Vitality is a founding supporter of Farm Forward (www.farmforward.com). Farm Forward implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farm animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture.
Food Tank: The Food Think Tank is an organization founded to help fix our broken food system. Some people don’t have enough food while others are eating too much. Food Tank is for farmers and producers, policy makers and government leaders, researchers and scientists, academics and journalists, and the funding and donor communities. It’s a space to collaborate on providing sustainable solutions for our most pressing environmental and social problems. Natural Vitaity is proud to be a Founding Member of Food Tank. For more information, visit www.foodtank.org
THE FRONTERA FARMER FOUNDATION
The Frontera Farmer Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting small, sustainable farms serving the Chicago area by providing them with capital development grants. The Foundation envisions a year-round interchange between sustainable farmers and consumers, including farmers’ market patrons and chefs, in which seasonal local agriculture provides the foundation for sustainable regional cuisine. Established in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Rick and Deann Bayless, founders of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, with the restaurants’ staff, created the Foundation out of their concern for struggling farmers and the importance of local produce to the vitality of Chicago’s culinary culture. Small local farms promote biodiversity by planting a wide range of produce, are more likely to operate using organic practices, and add immeasurably to the fabric of their communities. For more information visit: www.rickbayless.com/foundation
Heifer International was started 68 years ago by a volunteer relief worker. After ladeling out meager rations of powdered milk to orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War, Dan West, an Indiana farmer, realized that people needed “a cow, not a cup.” that simple idea, Heifer International was born. Since 1944, Heifer International has expanded to 30 different types of animals it provides and is now working with families in need across the globe to overcome poverty and hunger. The goal is to give families a hand up, not just a handout. It helps bring communities together and links them to markets in their area, and helps to bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Natural Vitality is proud to support Heifer International. To learn more about Heifer International, go to http://www.heifer.org
For three years we supported Conservation International, which has programs to preserve tropical forests from being destroyed. CI is also very active in programs to curtail the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. Their overall mission is to conserve the earth’s living natural heritage, our global biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature. During this period, Natural Vitality, as part of Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, was able to protect 5,000 acres of tropical rain forest.
American Forests is a world leader in planting trees to restore forest ecosystems. Founded in 1875, American Forests was pivotal in creating conservation strategies that have become widely accepted policies supporting forest advocacy, reforestation and public education in the US and across the globe. American Forests created Global ReLeaf in 1988 with the objective of reintroducing only native trees into areas that have been damaged by drought, fire, infestation, pollution, urban development, war and other natural or human causes. The program is distinctive compared to other tree-planting programs in its efforts to involve and educate the local community. Since its inception, over 32 million trees have been planted in every state in the US as well as in 33 other countries. Natural Vitality is very proud to support American Forests’ Global ReLeaf program and its goal of planting 100 million trees worldwide by the year 2020. For more information, visit www.americanforests.org