NewHope360 editors scoured Twitter feeds to see who's using social media to spread dialogue about the natural products industry. Turns out, there's a lot of discussion happening, especially when you follow all of these at once, which you can do via this 50 Natural Influencers Twitter List.
From organic activists to health writers, here's who to follow. Follower counts, tweet "quality" and frequency were all taken into consideration, but we didn't attempt to rank these 100 influencers because they all play a role in driving industry forward.
Doctors and Nutritionists
Aside from Oprah, one could argue there's no one more influential on TV today than Mehmet Oz, MD, a cardiac surgeon, author and Emmy Award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show. For example, when he talks about acai or African mango, supplement sales spike.
Andrew Weil, MD, is a best-selling author, speaker and integrative medicine thought leader. He posts daily information on integrative medicine, natural health and wellbeing.
Stanford pediatrician Alan Greene, MD—father, author and past president of The Organic Center—launched DrGreene.com in 1995 to talk about organic and natural products and the green lifestyle. He tweets about this and more, and follows back on Twitter.
Alan R. Gaby, MD, is author of the textbook Nutritional Medicine, which informs healthcare practitioners on how to use nutritional therapy as an adjunct or alternative to conventional medicine. The book's more than 11 times the size of an average book, but his tweets are still 140 characters.
Celebrity dietitian, author of Mom Energy and "qualitarian," Ashley Koff, RD is internationally known for her health and wellness message, particularly her Ashley Koff Approved list that she gives to products that meet her quality standards. Plus, all those tweets? That's Ashley herself behind the screen.
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed companies and consumers to ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO choices. It also offers the only third party certification in North America for the Non-GMO label.
The Organic Trade Association represents businesses across the organic supply chain in North America. Advocacy calls to action and the latest organic news fills its Twitter stream.
J. I. Rodale, who founded The Rodale Institute, also launched Prevention magazine in 1950, sparking Rodale Press. Rodale.com houses all Rodale's magazines, books and content. The Twitter stream is constantly updated with the latest in healthy living.
The Organic Valley brand is a co-op of more than 1,600 family farms producing organic milk, cheese, butter, eggs, orange juice, produce and meats. They're constantly talking to their consumers on Twitter and sharing recipes.
Stonyfield Farm is the world's leading organic yogurt maker and producer of the Oikos and YoBaby and YoKids brands. Stonyfield understands how to do social media well and frequently tweets about recipes, events and sustainability to create a dialogue with its consumers.
The Soil Association is the UK's leading organic campaigning charity and certification body, pushing for planet-friendly food and farming. Tweets are relevant to farmers, scientists and nutritionists and often include the association's big events.
Seattle-based, non-profit Grist.com makes "lemonade out of looming climate apocalypse" by dishing out environmental news and commentary. The Twitter feed mainly publishes the latest articles from the site.
The Huffington Post's Green section posts the latest global environment and energy news, green technology, food politics, animal stories and more on its Twitter feed. The HuffPost, recently purchased by AOL, calls itself "The Internet Newspaper" and features news, blogs, video and commentary globally and locally in select cities.
Founded in 2003, TreeHugger is dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream by publishing more than 30 articles a day of green news. Part of Discovery's Planet Green, the tweet stream features modern green products and solutions as well as the day's news.
MNN covers a broad scope of environmental news, local foods, innovations and green inspiration. Its Twitter feed combines also features interesting retweets from followers.
GRACE Communications Foundation highlights the interconnections of food, water and energy, educating consumers, advocates and policy makers through web-based initiatives such as SustainableTable.org. Find tweets on local, sustainable food and food-related issues.
Mother Jonesis a non-profit news organization that specializes in investigative, political and social justice reporting. Its Twitter feed publishes the latest stories, many about environmental and food issues.
The official account for Whole Foods Market (based in Austin, TX) tweets cooking tips, recipes and answers tweeted questions from 9-5pm Mon-Fri. At 2 million followers, the store proves as much a force on social media as it does in the marketplace.
PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic co-op in the Seattle and Puget Sound area. The store tweets about its events, specials and articles from its website that range from how to pick a pumpkin to encouraging consumers to ask for GM labeling.
Central Market, a self-proclaimed "foodie's" store that operates in Texas, primarily tweets solutions for "Dinfor2" – dinner for two suggestions from their store with a price tag attached.
Advocacy and Associations
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) works to expose threats to public health and the environment from chemicals, farming practices, toxins, natural resources and more. On Twitter, the EWG posts and retweets the latest news surrounding these topics.
The Right2Know March descended recently on the Twitter scene, quickly racking up followers interested in their effort to demand GMO labeling via their march from New York City to the White House, Oct. 1-16.
Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA), a non-profit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. The non-profit posts videos, giveaways and Fair Trade product shout outs on Twitter.
Protecting our food by empowering whistleblowers, the Food Integrity Campaign is a program of the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. Daily tweets on the latest food safety threats, questionable practices and food trivia.
As the largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare, look to this Twitter feed for often shocking international news on the causes they care about.
The Natural Products Association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including those involved in foods, dietary supplements and health/beauty. We've partnered with them to produce the NPA MarketPlace show.
The global, grassroots movement takes to Twitter to spread the idea of combining the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Civil Eats promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems as part of building economically and socially just communities. Tweets feature new articles posted by more than 100 contributors to the site.
This Twitter account is for the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation's "Life…supplemented" campaign, a wellness education initiative promoting healthy diet, supplements and exercise.
A project of Equal Exchange Co-op, the Fair Food Fight said it best on its Twitter account: "A blog and social media site connecting people who give a crap about local, organic, and real food. And Mexican wrestling."
Food and Health Writers
Well-known food writer Michael Pollan of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, writes about food politics and nutrition and has appeared on numerous TV shows to promote sustainable, healthy eating choices.
Home cook Mark Bittman writes about food for the The New York Times and is author of How to Cook Everything and Food Matters, which takes a look at how eating too much meat is detrimental to health and environment.
Robyn O'Brien, a former food industry analyst, wrote The Unhealthy Truth after discovering her children had allergies to food additives. She also founded the AllergyKids Foundation to build community around restoring the health of children and the integrity of our food supply.
Published by a team of naturopathic physicians and acupuncturists, WellWire aims to inspire a health revolution, posting natural health tips and articles to its Twitter account.
Tom Philpott is the cofounder and full-time farmer at Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, N.C. He recently became a food and ag blogger at Mother Jones. He previously has written about food and food politics for Grist.com.
While her professional bio says columnist Tara Parker-Pope "sifts through medical research and expert opinions for practical advice to help readers take control of their health and live well every day," her Twitter profile reveals a more personal side of Parker-Pope: author, busy mom, lapsed runner and pack leader of four ill-behaved small dogs.
Co-founder and editor of CivilEats.com, Naomi Starkman is a food policy consultant and aspiring organic farmer. Her tweets follow the mission of CivilEats.com.
Paula Crossfield is managing editor of CivilEats.com and Huffington Post blogger who writes and tweets about food policy. Her twitter stream is well curated with lots of fabulous RTs. She also admits to being a rookie gardener and avid cook.
Journalist Dan Mitchell tweets interesting tidbits about the food business, policy and economics and has written for titles such as the The New York Times, Slate and NPR.com.
Tom Laskawy blogs about food, agricultural policy and the environment at Grist.org and Beyond Green. To get a taste of his tweets, one must only read a part of Tom's bio: "He is on record as believing that wrecking the planet is a bad idea."
Bloggers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future post commentary on current events about how our industrialized food production systems impact human health and the natural environment. Tweets link to the blog posts.
Maria Rodale is the CEO of Rodale Inc. and author of Organic Manifesto. She's also "cooking up trouble, dishing out advice" at her blog, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen. Her opinionated tweets offer a glimpse into her professional and personal life.
Raj Patel is a New York Times best-seller for The Value of Nothing, activist and academic working to change the global food crisis. Tweets offer a global look into food policy and other social concerns.
Author of Diet for a Hot Planet Anna Lappe is a real food advocate, public speaker and mom known for her work on sustainability and food systems. She also cofounded the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund to support grassroots democracy movements worldwide addressing the causes of hunger and poverty.
Shauna James Ahern, blogger-turned-cookbook-author at Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef, blogs about her journey from Celiac diagnosis to falling in love with her husband and becoming a mom. She's one of the most popular gluten free bloggers.
Stacy Malkan is co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and author of Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. Her tweets are a mix of advocacy and education surrounding chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has become increasingly social with a blog and now a Twitter account which usually tweets its latest blogs. As the policy and regulation setter for U.S. agriculture, it definitely made our Top 100.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's official Twitter account tweets its latest news, food safety issues and alerts. This account links to the eight other FDA topic specific Twitter accounts, such as animal health and recalls.
Part of the USDA, the National Agricultural Library is the world's largest library devoted to the subject. Tweets include information about crops, animals, food, nutrition, water quality and more.
Environmentally-friendly farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley just joined Twitter. Salatin is known for authoring seven books about farming and has appeared in films such as Food, Inc.