The Storied Grain: News and Inspiration

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’”

That simple line begins one of the most inspirational poems ever written. Many recognize it as the closing narrative from a classic film. King George quoted it to calm Britain during the dark early days of World War II, in a Christmas radio broadcast.

As a new Christmas season dawns, and the gate of a new year prepares to swing wide, we offer our own simply wrapped gift of inspiration and light in the December issue of our e-newsletter, The Storied Grain.

As always, the inspirational part is courtesy of the brave farmers whose hard work gathers the golden harvests that make our bread and flour possible. The light is the flame of transparency: a warm fire for consumers, and a bright glare for those in the food industry who seek to conceal chemicals, contaminants, impure additives and genetically altered ingredients from customers.

Well into his ninth decade, farmer Arnold Schmidt continues to inspire us with his unequaled resiliency and devotion to healthy veganic food. As you’ll learn in our profile, although he’s accomplished so much in his life, he’s really just getting started.

At the other end of the chronological spectrum is the manager of California’s most idyllic vineyard, the source of the irresistible raisins that sweeten our breads. Natalie Soghomonian inspires us with her vision, innovation and contagious enthusiasm in everything she does.

On the topic of transparency, The Storied Grain takes a sobering look at the ways food manufacturers play tricks on labels. Many of these mandated disclosures seem to have been written by corporate lawyers for an audience of investigative reporters. Average consumers are left in the dark, puzzled.

We also review our own transparency innovations: The QR codes and package information that allow customers to trace every single ingredient we use in our products, and meet every farmer who grew it. It’s a remarkable technology that puts you in touch with your food, and gives you the chance to meet some wonderful people: our farmers. In videos, magazine articles and photos, you’ll notice immediately that our farmers aren’t anonymous — they’re proudly accountable.

If you haven’t yet signed up to receive our newsletter, we invite you to subscribe at Meanwhile, we hope you’ll enjoy the stories packed into our inspiring December issue.

Unwrap it early, here: