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Organic: Setting roots for all

Karen Washington
In this keynote speech at Natural Products Expo East 2018, farmer, community activist and James Beard Leadership Award winner Karen Washington delivers a powerful call to organic action that’s heartfelt and hard hitting.


“We must grow for the well-being of people, animals and the environment before profits. We need to educate our consumers about the cost and value of food. Our food is not free, yet we cannot discriminate based on a perception that certain people can’t afford healthy food.”

— Karen Washington, Rise & Root Farm


  • For some people, organic has negative connotations (e.g., expensive, elitist) and has become divisive.
  • The biggest challenge facing many young farmers is access to affordable farmland.
  • You can grow a lot of food on just 1 acre of land.
  • Studies show that consumers tend to associate higher costs with healthier foods, regardless of the evidence.

This session—Friday Keynote: The Big Ideas in Organic/Keynote Speech—was recorded at Natural Products Expo East 2018.

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