LONG POND, Pa.
The Food Forever Initiative and Pocono Organics partner to promote the importance and urgency of protecting the biodiversity of our foods
As race fans await the wave of the green flag that will start this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, Pocono Organics and the Food Forever Initiative, have announced a new partnership in a race to address global food diversity issues.
By becoming an official Partner Organization of the Food Forever Initiative, Pocono Organics will join a global community of organizations working to help raise awareness of efforts to conserve and use the diversity of the crops and livestock we rely on for food. The importance of this work is outlined in United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 2.5.
Through the partnership, Pocono Organics will increase the number of crop varieties grown on its 90-acre organic farm in Pennsylvania, one of the largest in North America, and which is open to the public. It also plans to host a Food Forever Experience in late 2020, working with innovative chefs and diverse ingredients to shed light on what the future of food could be like if we conserve and use these resources.
“We are proud to partner with the Food Forever Initiative to not only grow more diverse crop varieties on our farm, but also expand our communications outreach on the importance of biodiversity for sustainable agriculture, said Ashley Walsh, Founder of Pocono Organics.
Walsh recognized the benefits of organic foods and a diversified diet, as a result of her own health issues. “I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in my late 20s,” she continued. “That means that my stomach is paralyzed and I’m not able to digest food like normal people do. I saw the best specialists for this, but their solutions included removing parts of my stomach and inserting feeding tubes. Those weren’t options I was willing to accept, so I began researching and adopted an organic, diversified and more nutrient-rich diet. The results were undeniable: My health was improving because my body was getting the nutrient-dense food it needed.” Her experiences became the catalyst to start a regenerative organic farm, which became Pocono Organics.
Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust and Food Forever Champion said: “Ashley’s story is not only inspiring, but her vision for Pocono Organics is just as remarkable.
“We only use a fraction of the crop diversity that farmers have created over countless generations. Target 2.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls on us to conserve and use agrobiodiversity to build food systems that can sustain a growing world population with nutritious, climate-resilient nutritious foods. It asks us to do this by the end of 2020, one of the most imminent deadlines on the sustainable development agenda.
A farm like Pocono Organics with such a commitment to diversity – conserving food crops, but also planting them in sustainable systems, harvesting them, and serving them to hundreds of thousands of people – has real power to change how people think about their food choices.”
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Pocono Organics, one of the largest public-facing regenerative organic farms in North America, is located on a 90-acre parcel of land in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Pocono Organics has partnered with Rodale Institute, the global leaders in Regenerative Organic Agriculture practices and research, to manage the farm and further expand this mission and message. Sustainability is a hallmark of Pocono Organics which will draw power from 3MW, 25-acre solar farm, reclaim rain water from its greenhouse roofs for irrigation, and has initiated a robust composting program as part of a “closed loop” Farm-to-Track initiative with Pocono Raceway. In addition, the property will include a beautiful event space to engage the local community with special events, an organic farmer’s market and café, and a calendar of annual festivals. Pocono Organics is the winner of the Green Sports Alliance’s 2019 Innovator of the Year award. Pocono Organics was the vision of Ashley Walsh, granddaughter of Doc and Rose Mattioli, the founders of the Tricky Triangle, which has a reputation as one of the most eco-conscious venues in the sports world and annually hosts more than 250,000 people over a three-month period. https://www.poconoorganics.com/
The Food Forever Initiative
Food Forever is led by the Crop Trust, and aims to raise awareness of the work going on around the world in support of SDG Target 2.5, which calls on the global community to safeguard and share the “genetic diversity” of both crops and livestock by 2020. It’s doing this by rallying a range of stakeholders – be they politicians famers, chefs or race car drivers to lend their voices and help drive positive changes in the way we conserve, grow, sell and consume crop and livestock diversity. The Food Forever Experience is the initiatives flagship event series. www.food4ever.org
The Crop Trust
The Crop Trust is an international organisation working to support crop conservation in genebanks, forever. Through investment income generated by its endowment fund, it provides financial support to international, regional and national genebanks, and the world’s backup facility, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The Crop Trust’s global patron is His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. www.croptrust.org
For more information, contact:
Chief Marketing Officer, Pocono Organics
Communications Officer, Crop Trust
+49 (0) 171 1165036