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Podcast – November 17, 2021

UR Love Podcast: Regenerative Organic Farming with Neka Pasquale, Caryl Levine, and Ken Lee, Founders of Lotus Foods

By Neka Pasquale, Founder of Urban Remedy


Regenerative Organic Farming is a step beyond what most consumers know “organic” to be. The process and new Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) aim to change our food systems through three main pillars:

Soil Health through practices such as conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, promoting biodiversity, no synthetic inputs, and no GMOs.

Animal Welfare through creating freedom from discomfort, from fear and distress, from hunger, from pain and diseases, and promoting the freedom to express normal behavior. It also promotes pasture-raising, limiting transport, and providing shelter.

Social Fairness through fair payment for the farmers, good working conditions, democratic organizations, transparency and accountability, and long-term commitments to farmers.

In this episode, Lotus Foods Founders, Caryl Levine & Kenneth Lee, delve into the company’s commitment to sustainability and its foray into achieving ROC. Lotus Foods sources their rice from small-holder farmers, benefiting both people and planet. We are proud to share that we partnered with Lotus Foods to feature their traditional Basmati Rice, which is Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM Silver, in our new Organic Chickpea Coconut Curry dinner. This rice is the first to achieve this rigorous new standard and we are so proud

About Caryl Levine

Levine is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO behind Lotus Foods, one of the most innovative, organic and fair trade specialty rice brands in the country. After a 17-year career fundraising in higher education Levine now leads Lotus Foods marketing and sales and is primarily responsible for the image and positioning of the Lotus Foods brand, the development of all packaging and merchandising materials. Recipient of the 2014 Specialty Foods leadership award for vision, Levine has been an invited speaker around the world and most recently at the 2015 World Food Prize, the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative mid-year meeting, the 2013 Social Venture Network Conference and the 2012 Bioneers Conference. Levine is a founding member of the Whole Grain Council and a member of the Social Venture Network. She holds a MPA in Public Administration from the University of Hartford.

About Kenneth Lee

Lotus Foods is one of the most innovative, organic and fair trade specialty rice brands in the country. Its products have received many awards from the Specialty Food Association and Natural Products trade groups. Ken has over 20 years of experience importing rice from smallholder farmers in developing countries who had no previous export experience and providing them access to a global marketplace. Responsible for establishing Lotus Foods’ primary account base, Ken has developed extensive personal and capacity-building relationships with the company’s suppliers throughout the world.

Prior to founding Lotus Foods, Ken worked in the insurance industry and was a financial consultant. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island.

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