Day 5 was a glorious and much needed rest day for the Organic Valley cycling team. Now a peloton of 8, we lost one farmer and gained two additional brave souls. Although we took a break from cycling there was still work to be done and the day started off sampling Organic Valley Organic Fuel and Balance at Whole Foods Market Oakland. The traffic was constant with many informed shoppers and wow, cyclists everywhere to try the new products. Sampling was a success!FullSizeRender

For a late lunch we stopped in downtown Berkeley at the famous Cheese Board, just down the street from Chez Panisse, where we indulged in pizza, salad and cookies made from locally grown ingredients. photo1This iconic pizza collective is a 100% worker owned business, a business model that’s similar to how CROPP Cooperative is owned by Organic Valley farmers.

The highlight of the day was the Organic Valley Grass Up event at the David Brower Center near the UC Berkeley campus. Bringing together influentials in the sustainable food movement, the evening was filled with conversation, connections and cocktails with a call to action to Save our Soil! Among the influential speakers was Matthew Dillion from Seed Matters. He described how conventional plant breeding has degraded the nutrient contents of 43 plants. He also noted we need to take back our land grant Universities, as the original mission statement in 1862 was to serve the sons and daughters of rural America. Another featured guest, Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, from the Pesticide Action Network explained that, “80 years after the dust bowl we’re still pushing for continuous planting of row crops from fence row to fence row. Healthy soil matters and are living much like our gut bacteria.”

Coach Mark Smallwood from Rodale talking about soil

Coach Mark Smallwood from Rodale talking about soil

In the words of Rick Adamski, “We are a part of nature, not separate from it. The health of our bodies, our land, and our animals are all the same.”

Cheers!

Cycling for Sustainability is an adventure series. To check out our previous day’s adventure click here. To see all of the posts from this series click the “cycling for sustainability” tag at the top of the page.