Beth Robertson-Martin and General Mills are working to protect pollinators—and our food supply.
By Jane Black
One June day in 2014, Beth Robertson-Martin found herself standing on a dirt road dividing two California tomato fields. On one side sat a farm that was nothing more than a 300-acre carpet of dried-out dirt. "It looked like a scene from Mad Max," she remembers. "Everything was dead." On the other side was a 6-foot-tall hedgerow, a tangle of white-blossomed milkweed, sunflowers and elderberry bushes that General Mills had planted alongside the tomatoes to create a habitat for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
To meat or not to meat? That is the question. Recent innovations in lab-grown meats seem to be making non-meat burgers and tacos a tastier option than they have ever been. But are these products too good to be true? And are non-meat alternatives always more ecologically responsible than actual meat? This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio have some thoughts on the matter. We speak with the co-founders of Soil4Climate, Seth Itzkan and Karl Thidemann, about the mission of their organization.
Meet Adam Lassiter, agronomist for Smithfield Foods. Adam takes pride in working with farmers to sustainably produce grain for Smithfield’s hogs. To date, Smithfield has helped hundreds of grain farmers implement conservation practices in the Southeast and Midwest.
Did you know that bee extinction could end life on earth? Without pollination from bees, the world’s food production would be completely compromised and negatively impact the ecosystem, agriculture and food production for humans.
By Shauna Sadowski, Head of Sustainability | Natural & Organic Operations, General Mills
In 2016, I travelled to Bluffton, Georgia, to visit Will Harris of White Oak Pastures to learn more about his farm which provides beef to our General Mills’ brand, EPIC Provisions. Harris runs a multi-species ranching operation with over 100,000 animals on 3,000 acres of open pastures and tree-lined corridors. His diversified farm starkly contrasts to neighboring fields that specialize in single crops such as cotton, peanuts or corn.
The Wellness Economy is one of the biggest industries today as many are looking for solutions to manage health and well-being. Pollution, manufactured goods, and other pressures are among some of the factors driving people to consider simpler, more natural options. Those same stresses are also impacting the health of the planet – so why not invest in the same type of care for the environment?
At General Mills, chief sustainability officer Jerry Lynch is working with organizations that have direct relationships with oat and wheat farmers in the northern Great Plains to help the company meet its goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2025. Almost half of the company’s carbon footprint, and 99% of its water footprint, comes from agriculture, Lynch says.
Several years ago, Maria Carolina Comings, a General Mills executive who presides over the company's organic brands (Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and Epic) was approached by a professor with the University of Minnesota's Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics about a new grain it was researching and developing. It's a grain that held great promise, he said, and could positively impact the environment.