About the WSJ article

I can’t verify the accuracy of the data of this Wall Street Journal article which mentions our company, Nature’s Path Foods, but it is gratifying to realize the growing public trust in our independent family company’s ethos, values and products. In an age of growing consolidation and ubiquitousness, Nature’s Path has steered an independent (of outside corporate control and Wall Street) course. Our goal is to not just succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of business, but to actually leave the Earth better than we found it, by supporting people, planet and spirit. Arran

WSJ article listing Nature’s Path as #2 organic brand. The #1 independent organic enterprise.

Need a Real Sponsor here

Who Owns What in Organic Packaged Foods

The consolidation of the food industry spares no quarter, including brands that are known for their small size and independence. Large food-processing companies are buying up organic brands, as the market for products made without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers continues to grow.

The latest consolidation on this list was Earthbound Farms, a packaged produce company, acquired by WhiteWave Foods earlier this year. WhiteWave, in turn, had been spun off from dairy giant Dean foods the year before.

Looking at the top brands by market share along with their brand owners might yield some surprises:

The Future is Organic

The Future is Organic (Washington Post article by Arran – Feb 17, 2014)

Growing up on our farm in the ’40’s and ’50’s, I learned from Dad how to nourish our soil with seaweed, crop rotations and deep mulches that produced abundant fruits and vegetables that were the envy of farmer neighbors – all without chemicals.  He taught the importance of always leaving the soil better—thus informing the way I endeavor to lead our family enterprise.

We can think of topsoil as a bank where we deposit for our future, and make periodic withdrawals in the form of quality food. By creating and maintaining good soil through sustainable practices, our precious planet can continue to sustain life indefinitely. Healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy people.  It’s that simple.

Unfortunately, that virtuous cycle is no longer the norm. Modern agriculture wages war against Nature with a vast arsenal of genetically modified crops, toxic herbicides and pesticides, with littlethought for the future.  Millions of tons of herbicide and pesticide residues, feedlot runoff and excessive use of fertilizers seep into the arteries of our land: the creeks, rivers, water wells and lakes, leaving a trail of pollution, loss of species and ultimately creating dead zones in our seas. Toxins inevitably end up in our food chain, severely impacting the quality and duration of life. There’s a high price for mass produced, cheap food.

We don’t need chemical agriculture or questionable genetically modified crops to meet our threatened world’s growing needs; half the food grown ends up wasted and never finds the bellies of the hungry. According to the United Nations, there’s an Urgent Need To Shift Away From Industrial Agriculture.  As humanity faces extreme weather, overpopulation, peak oil, scarcity of land and water, the need for replenishing food systems has never been greater. Herein lies the beauty of the power of organics and permaculture.  Organic farming requires 45% less energy and works with Nature to outperform chemical agriculture in years of drought. Organic methods use gentler, non-toxic ways of production, while championing a resurgence of family farms and gardens across the continent.  This is a good and enjoyable path to a sustainable future.  —Arran Stephens


To me, this poem of Rumi illustrates two things: firstly, that the real Saints or Masters are the door to the Ocean of Intoxication, and secondly, that service of others is the highest act.

Here is another lovely poem by Rabindranath Tagore:

Tagore Poem

Rumi Poem on disposal of his body

There is a lovely poem which I once heard from my Master, Kirpal (1894-1974) when Maulana Rumi spoke to disciples of his impending death.


When I die, take my body and cut it into pieces;

Spread it as manure on the field.

In that field, plant grain, and when ripe, gather it;

Then grind into flour, and bake it into bread;

Not those who eat that bread,

But those who serve it,

Shall have divine intoxication!

Rumi Painting

A Parable: God Speaks to Moses – and to all of us –

God one day said to Moses in secret: ‘Go and get a word of advice from Satan.’

So Moses went to visit Iblis and when he came to him and asked for a word of advice,
‘Always remember,’ said Iblis, ‘this simple axiom: never say “I,” so that you never may become like me.’

So long as there remains in you a little of self-love you will partake of infidelity.
Indolence is a barrier to the spiritual way; but if you succeed in crossing this barrier, a hundred ‘I’s will break their heads in a moment.
Everyone sees your vanity and self-pride, your resentment, envy, and anger, but you yourself do not see them.
There is a corner of your being full of dragons and by negligence you are delivered up to them;
and you pet them and cherish them night and day. So, if you are aware of your inner state, why do you remain so listless!

—Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds, 1974 (London), Routledge & Keegan Paul Ltd., pp. 87.

Poem of the One world

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

“Poem of the One world” by Mary Oliver, from A Thousand Mornings. © The Penguin Press, 2012. Reprinted with the permission of the author. (thanks to Juaneva Smith for sharing!)

#1 Moth BIG

Glimpses from our garden this morning as the sun washed its benison across the land…

Even though it was cool and crisp, i walked barefoot through the garden, over worm-castings in the grass, then along pathways through the perennials, the little orchard and the fall vegetables—deep rich kale green, shocking yellow decaying leaves, winter carrots, cauliflowers that will yeild heads in


spring, one could feel the earth energies flowing both ways, up through the feet and back to the land. You can smell honey within 15′ of the hives, and my girls (the bees) were busy making the best of the sun.

Soon, the cold will drive them into the hives for the winter. I walked past a Japanese maple with bright scarlet bark, and then the lotus pond which I dug by hand some years ago. The tall trees beyond, filtering the autumn gold, the bright air breathing me. Nature—the feminine Divine, is here, and my Master


‘s Hand is immanent in all.