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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Valentine's Day "Flours"

Air Date: Week of

Wendy Gordon of the organization Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet chats with Steve Curwood about the group's Valentine's Day suggested gift alternative to typical long stem red rose "flowers", of organic "flour". The advocacy group hopes to draw attention to the idea of organic foods as loving items worthy of exchange.


CURWOOD: Beyond chocolate, when most people think of Valentine's Day gifts, they think of candlelit dinners and long-stemmed red roses. But this year the New York City-based group Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet has a novel idea. Wendy Gordon is the group's executive director.

GORDON: We're offering flours as well, but our flowers come with a U not a W: F-L-O-U-R-S. These flours are all organic and that means the farmers that created the flour made it without pesticides.

CURWOOD: This is supposed to be romantic?

GORDON: (Laughs) Well, I think humor is really the basis of all romance and so we thought that people would find this a special treat.

CURWOOD: If I were to try to give this to my sweetheart, what could I tell her?

GORDON: Tell her you love her, and that with this gift it's packed with purpose. And you're sharing with her a message of love about her health, your health, and the environment. Because this flour has been grown in a more environmentally responsible way.

CURWOOD: Now what kind of flours are these? If they're not roses and peonies and such, what's the variety of flours that you're offering?

GORDON: Well, we provide 3 different flours. One's an oat flour, one's an amaranth, and one's a whole wheat. Delicious varieties, and they can be used in almost any kind of baking. The amaranth has a stronger flavor than the others do, and they might not be as familiar to people, but actually it's quite a lovely flavor.

CURWOOD: Tell me, does the amaranth have any sort of, you know, amorous effect at all?

GORDON: Oh, it might.

CURWOOD: Now, you'd like to see people buying organic flour all year round, of course, wouldn't you?

GORDON: Yeah. No, that's -- the hidden message here is that Mothers and Others is an advocacy and education organization, and the underlying purpose there is to really educate people about the availability of products that are grown organically. And to encourage them to buy these products and to encourage their stores to carry them. So that we can in a sense build the market and build the availability, the supply, and the demand really, for organic and sustainably grown foods.

CURWOOD: This is what's at the heart of it?

GORDON: That's at the heart of it.

CURWOOD: Now, what can people do if they can't find organic flour at their local store and they want it?

GORDON: First of all you can call Mothers and Others, and we can help you find organic foods wherever you live, at any time of day or night. But also, you can go to your supermarket and encourage them to carry these products. And what we can do for you is help your store find a distributor in their area. So we try to make it a little easier for everybody, the consumer as well as the supermarket.

CURWOOD: Our guest has been Wendy Gordon, Executive Director of Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet. The group promotes sustainability in the nation's food system. Have a good Valentine's Day.

GORDON: Well thank you, and you also.



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