Anyone who has been to a supermarket, especially in the past few years, has been bombarded by "organic". How about "certified organic"? If you haven't taken the time to understand what these labels represent, who paid for what to be "certified", and the deception that is involved...do yourself a favor and find out! I was SHOCKED this morning to hear about Whole Foods, the grocery chain in the US and Canada, and the "responsibly grown" rating syatem they use. WOW!! The rating covers 16 farming practices to protect human health, soil, water, GMO transparency, and farmworker welfare to name a few. This is the REAL DEAL...finally!
An article this morning in The Tico Times caught my full attention that talks about the rating system. Even more, the bananas that are mentioned becaues of the "best" rating are grown at EARTH University in Costa Rica. After a quick peek (that quickly turned into a deep read!) at the schools website, I found an AMAZING example of an education system that is a template for the future of education on the planet! Stay tuned, I will be sharing lots of eye opening insight in the coming days.
Without further ado, here is the article...enjoy!
"Bananas produced at EARTH University’s commercial plantation in the Caribbean province of Limón this month were classified as “best” at Whole Foods stores in Canada and the U.S.
The supermarket chain’s new “Responsibly Grown” produce rating system was launched earlier in October and divides fruits, flowers and vegetables into three categories: Good, Better and Best, based on suppliers’ farming practices.
Labels displaying the new classifications are being added throughout the chain’s 400-plus locations in both countries, “with the goal of helping consumers make informed decisions regarding their food,” Whole Foods said in a statement.
According to the classification system, a “Best” rating indicates “exceptional, industry-leading performance in a scoring system covering 16 farming practices to protect air, soil, water and human health, GMO transparency, pest management, farmworker welfare, water conservation and protection, soil health and waste reduction.
“We are proud of this recognition. Our customers now will know more about the university’s efforts in sustainable banana production. Our sustainable practices and social responsibility differentiate us from the rest of the market as we produce bananas in harmony with the environment. And, all of our produce is carbon-neutral,” said Roger Ruiz, the university’s commercial banana operations manager.
All income earned from EARTH bananas is used to fund scholarships for students, mostly from rural areas, the university states on it's website.
Approximately 400 students from over 30 countries currently study at EARTH, and 60 percent of those receive a full scholarship. Remaining students receive some type of financial aid."
Here are a couple interesting tidbits about EARTH...I'll share much more tomorrow.
First, EARTH students are recruited based on their academic and leadership potential, vocation, values and social and environmental commitment, regardless of their ability to pay.
- EARTH has approximately 420 students from some 35 countries.
- Approximately 40% are women.
- Approximately 83% are from rural communities.
- 60% of students receive full scholarships with the remaining receiving significant financial aid and /or educational subsidy,empowering promising young leaders from economically underprivileged communities.
Next, since 1990, EARTH University’s innovative educational approach has been preparing young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries and construct a prosperous and just society. EARTH offers a rigorous four-year undergraduate program in agricultural sciences and natural resources management and a prestigious, international faculty, providing a world-class scientific and technological education that emphasizes values, ethical entrepreneurship and environmental and social commitment.
EARTH was established by Costa Rican law in 1986 as a private, non-profit, international University and was created thanks to the support of the Costa Rican Government, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Have a sensational day! PURA VIDA!!