Natural Foods Merchandiser

Diane Goodman, organic food advocate, dies

Diane Joy Goodman, a key figure in the sustainable food movement, died of liver failure on Nov. 14. She was 61.

Goodman's passionate advocacy helped transform the landscape of food both locally and nationally. She served as chair of the California Organic Foods Advisory Board and was a member of the National Organic Standards Board and the Organic Trade Association, where she was an active member of many committees and task forces. She helped craft and pass the national organic standards in 2000. Most recently, she worked as a consultant helping clients understand those standards, navigate the certification process and communicate organic practices.

"She lived passionately committed to her beliefs, her work, her friends and her family," said her daughter, Allyson Jossel. "Her death leaves a huge whole in this universe, and there are no words to express how much my mother will be missed."

""She brought a real passion and commitment to helping convert large and small farms to organic practices," long-time friend and colleague Katherine DiMatteo, former executive director of the OTA, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Through her own deep engagement she became well-versed in everything organic. She brought all of that into her work and life, and the line between the two was quite blurred."

Born in New York City, Goodman lived in San Francisco for the last 30 years, except for the time she spent in Washington working on organic standards legislation. Early in her career, she worked for the pioneering produce wholesaler Greenleaf Produce. She kept a hand in produce, literally, helping procure fresh food for her daughter and son-in-law Laurence Jossel, who own the popular Nopa restaurant in San Francisco. Goodman often attended three farmers markets each week and could be spotted climbing into the beds of farm trucks, hand-picking figs for the restaurant.

The Diane Joy Goodman Memorial Fund has been established at Bank of America. The account number is #02699-70175. A memorial party to celebrate Diane Joy Goodman's life will be held Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Nopa.

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