Turning Green’s mission of empowering this generation and mobilizing action to sustain a healthy planet is greatly supported by wonderful partners that share our vision. One of those partners working with us to change the world is Nutiva.
I interviewed John Roulac, who founded Nutiva in 1999 to create a better food system. As a vocal challenger of the industrial food system, he is a strong advocate for hemp agriculture, GMO labeling, organic farming and healthy food for all. Nutiva is devoted to pure and delicious foods that nourish our bodies and our planet, with social and environmental responsibility as their driving force. From sourcing 100% organic products, to obtaining fair trade certification, to greening their facilities and operations, to funding tree planting at schools in their local community, they are consistently seeking ways to make the best choices.
At the annual Natural Products Expo West in March, I had the opportunity to talk to John Roulac, the company’s CEO and founder. He highlighted an article he’d recently written, The Solution Under Our Feet: How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet. He explained how it ties in the health of our soils with the health of our oceans, and the role that sustainable agriculture plays in that process. “We’re putting all this carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, from several practices including industrial agriculture, coal and oil burning, and deforestation. Society is focused on what will happen to the temperature of the air, storms and weather, but we’re not focusing on what’ll happen to the oceans. What happens when you put a lot of carbon into the ocean? It becomes acidic, hence the population of plankton is reduced, which in turn reduces the oxygen supply. 2 out of 3 of the breaths that we take on Earth are from the plankton. The number one contributor to carbon emissions is agriculture, not transportation. Sustainable agriculture and organically managed soils can convert carbon CO2 from a greenhouse gas into a food-producing asset. It’s all about soil, that’s where life starts”
Here’s what else Roulac told us…
TG: What are you most passionate about?
JR: Revolutionizing the way the world eats.
TG: What is your favorite Nutiva product and why?
JR: Organic shelled hempseed because they’re so versatile. You can include them in salads, soups, oatmeal and smoothies. They’re also very nutrient-dense and rich in protein, omega-3, omega-6 GLA, magnesium, zinc and iron.
TG: What do we have to look forward to from Nutiva in the future?
JR: You can look forward to more innovative products and campaigns to shift agriculture from being extractive to regenerative. Instead of mining the soil, building the soil—educating more people about that practice.
TG: How do you respond to the statement from Big Ag that claims genetically modified crops are the only way to feed the world?
JR: Interesting, because Big Ag is in the process of killing the oceans because of their high carbon footprint. It is now becoming well known in the scientific community that oceans are becoming acidic from the carbon dioxide released from industrial agriculture, not from transportation. How are GMOs going to feed the world when they’re going to kill the ocean? In fact, the way we’re going to feed the world is through regenerative agriculture which builds soil instead of industrial agriculture which destroys the soil.
TG: What is the most important fight of the organic movement at this moment in time and why?
JR: Up until recently the GMO battle has been the big battle/effort, but today the next battle is challenging industrial agriculture as a killer of the oceans and that regenerative ag using compost to cover crops, crop rotation, and holistic grazing practices can sequester carbon and put it back into the soil. It is a complex and challenging subject because most people have no knowledge of it.
TG: What’s the most gratifying aspect of your work?
JR: I get to pursue my passion of creating a more healthy and sustainable world. I get to make a living doing what I love and impacting millions of people.
TG: What advice would you give to a young person who is setting out to change the world?
JR:Know thyself. The better job you do at that, the better job you’re going to do changing the world. Explore what you’re passionate about and do that, versus doing something that you think you SHOULD do. Enjoy yourself and while you’re here on the Earth figure out what you like to do. I like to understand natural systems, and help the environment and people.
This blog post was written by a guest-blogger: Ana Zabala
Zabala is a Junior at Colegio Rochester in Bogota Colombia and now sits as Communications Committee Chair on the TTG Student Advisory Board. She became involved with TTG after being named winner of the fourth annual Project Green Challenge in 2014. She always tries to think globally before acting so that her everyday choices are healing to heal the planet, rather than destroy precious resources. Zabala is striving to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle and is also extremely passionate about the fight against GMO’s. She hopes to work towards banning GMO’s in Colombia. Ana believes that with determinations and initiative, we can all work together to help save the planet!