Letter from the Editor: Organic Authority’s New Look, America’s Changing Food Story

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Kale on Shovel Natural Industry

We are thrilled to launch the new Organic Authority website design! It has been six months in the works. Things change rapidly in the internet world, and we wanted to give our brand a fresh, modern, and clean look and feel to improve the reader experience.

We still cover the same great content you’ve come to grow and love, including a variety of recipes, natural beauty tips, organic gardening, nutrition, wellness, and the latest in food news. I’ve always felt strongly that Americans needs to know the truth behind their food supply-- it was one of the driving reasons why ten years ago, I launched Organic Authority (after completing culinary school) in the first place.

There are some cool new features to the site that we hope will compel you to navigate around more easily, read a few articles, share with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and even bookmark.

We’ve updated our navigation headers to more accurately reflect the content we cover and have simplified it to clean it up. Chew News can now be found under Foodie Buzz, and Delicious Beauty is now under Nutrition and Wellness.

Our home page has a cool new carousel that features our most recent articles. And when you roll over the navigation with your cursor, a new mega menu drops down with images that allows you to navigate our most recent content in those channels. If you’re reading Organic Authority on a mobile device, use the hamburger menu in the upper left corner of the page to navigate the site.

Since we launched Organic Authority ten years ago, a lot has changed in the natural living industry. The ideas behind the movement are no longer fringe, or just for hippies-- it’s a trend making its way into the mainstream.

Vegetarian and plant-based options are making their way onto menus everywhere since kale became the new beef in 2011, and more organic and natural food products are being sold in conventional grocery stores than ever before. Natural beauty products are taking over mainstream beauty retailers, and are just as effective--if not more so--than their conventional counterparts.

Over the past ten years, consumers have also become smarter and savvier about where their food, natural beauty, and other consumer products come from, and what’s in them--thanks in large part to the internet. They want to know how their food is grown, what chemicals were used on the farm (or not), what additional ingredients, preservatives and chemicals products are processed and packaged with, and how far an item has to travel to get to their local store.

Consumers have figured out that just because something is on a store shelf doesn’t mean it’s safe for human consumption (or good for the environment).

Cheap, unrecognizable, processed food ingredients that once favored the manufacturer, are being removed by major manufacturers because of you. Consumers have demanded change, and it’s happening. Junky, lab-derived ingredients that have long dominated the center aisles of America’s grocery stores are starting to be replaced with real, simple ingredients that are recognizable and pronounceable. These are the foods that favor the consumer and the farmer. Our planet, too. We still have a long way to go, but it’s undeniable progress.

Food manufacturers still lying to their customers are being called out on social media, through online petitions, and a wide range of personalities from Alice Waters and Michael Pollan to Beyoncé and Leonardo DiCaprio.

If a consumer eats meat, they want to know how the animal they are about to eat was raised. Was it raised humanely and fed a natural diet? Or was it fed the equivalent of junk food and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones? Consumers want to know.

And the war to label GMOs? There have been major victories in this battle most recently -- and I would go out on a limb and say the consumer has already won. Even though we don’t have a national labeling law that forces manufacturers to label GMOs, smart manufacturers are listening to their customers and have already labeled their products as ‘GMO-Free’ and carry the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.

With the failure of the DARK Act, (“Deny Americans the Right to Know”)--a bill that did not pass through the Senate earlier this year--which would have stopped pending state GMO-labeling laws in Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine, major food manufacturers have fallen like dominos. One by one they are coming out with statements to say they will either label GMOs in their products or remove them completely. That’s a big win for Americans who want total transparency in our food supply.

With the increasing consumer demand for organic and natural products, big food manufacturers have taken notice with a big interest. They are investing in smaller, more innovative companies in the natural food, beverage, and beauty world because they want to share in the growth. And maybe they’re even starting to care about the planet a little bit, too.

Through the years, Organic Authority has aimed to deliver you the stories you care about. Stories that will improve the quality of your life and fit your lifestyle. Our mission: to inspire change through better living and empower individuals to live that change. 

You’ll notice we still run ads across Organic Authority, it’s not a perfect monetization solution. But it’s been one of the best ways that we can easily monetize the website (on a bootstrapped budget) and make our content available to everyone without putting up a paywall. Yes, sometimes ads appear on Organic Authority that may seem off-brand, but with today’s technically-complicated programmatic advertising bidding systems, sometimes ads get through that we don’t agree with (even Google sends through ads that violate their own policies, like auto-play videos). We’ve never taken outside funding, and Organic Authority, Inc., has been completely bootstrapped by my husband and myself from day one.

We thank you for reading Organic Authority and hope you will continue to read our content on a daily basis and follow us on your preferred social media platforms. You’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

And if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, what are you waiting for?! Never miss a story. Join the conversation now.

Image credit: kale on shovel via shutterstock

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