Organic Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt Co-Founder and Chariman Gary Hirshberg energized the crowd by sharing the story of his foray into organic dairy production with just seven cows back in 1983 when the venture was considered on the fringe. Reminiscent and as rousing as Al Gore in “Inconvenient Truth,” Hirshberg recited the evidence and statistics to support that chemicals in our food have been a 50-to-60-year experiment on the human population that has proven dangerous and even deadly. Especially convincing were Hirshberg ’s stats on the extraordinary rise of food allergies in children over the past few decades.
While Hirshberg’s straight and hard facts about cancer-causing-chemicals in our food were hard to stomach, he presented an alternative path and actions that consumers can take to rid, such as questioning our food sources and voting “yes” on Proposition 37, a ballot initiative in California to require food labels to disclose when products are made from genetically altered ingredients.
“It’s’ not about increasing yield and feeding the world, as the big bioengineering companies would have you believe,” said Hirshberg . “Most food is genetically modified so that it is pesticide-resistant, so that the chemical companies can sell more pesticides to spray on our crops. The only greater ‘yield’ that increases is in the stocks of the chemical companies.”
Alongside inspiring speech-making, the food and company were delightful. Stand outs include luscious salted chocolate bark from Firefly, Margarita cheesecake with a pretzel crust from Sweet Spils; a melt-in-your mouth toasted lemon meringue on a graham round from Plantine; pound cake and browine bite fudge fondue to die for from The Melting Pot; exquisite cake samples from Ji’s Cake Boutique; flavor-bursting berries with fresh cream from Clover Organic Farms; and bite-sized red velvet delights from Kira’s Kiss Desserts.
Besides the desserts, guests were invited to load up on healthy products from a number of vendors who support and abide by the high quality and safety standards of Healthy Child Healthy World, such as Episencial skin care products, adorned with kid-fave Eric Carle illustrations; eco- and people-friendly house cleaners and detergents from Earth Friendly Products; incredible Unreal “unjunked” candy; Sneaky Pete’s nutrient and fiber-infused drinks; assorted high-quality kid and adult supplements from Nordic Naturals; lots of Luna bars; and handy hair ties and headbands from Soybu, made from recycled-materials.
The general ambience was fun and festive, with a live DJ and an outdoor night club vibe, and the hosts were fresh-faced and friendly – save maybe the officious young woman from Clover who booted us out of their “reserved” lounge. Well, at least their cream was sweet.
Healthy Child Healthy World was founded by parents Nancy and James Chuda, who lost their precious four-year-old daughter Colette to a cancer caused by pesticide exposure. Their grief turned into a crusade to raise public awareness of the toxins in our foods and to put pressure on food producers to seek alternatives to unsafe additives and pesticides.
While the mission of Healthy Child Healthy World is serious, the mood at Date Night was celebratory, as attendees savored the successes of the growing movement toward a world free of man-made toxins in our food and environment. As guests raised their glasses of organic vodka and wine, they cheered the progress made so far and fortified themselves for the challenges ahead, and had a naturally good time.