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Deirdre Imus Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Organic Farmers Association Of NY

NEW YORK, NY, April 22, 2009 -- "Everyone should have the right to healthy food, and organic farmers deserve praise for eliminating toxic chemicals in our food supply," said Deirdre Imus (pictured), as she received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of NY (NOFA-NY) last week. 

The award was presented at a luncheon ceremony and panel discussion at Gustavino's in New York, attended by about 250 people, and hosted by supermodel Christie Brinkley.  NOFA-NY is the largest and oldest organization in New York State devoted to organic farming and gardening.

"Organic foods -- including grain and produce grown without toxic chemicals, and dairy products produced without added hormones -- are essential to improving the state of children's health," Ms. Imus said during the panel discussion.  Ms. Imus reviewed numerous studies on the health effects of agricultural chemicals on farmers, and noted that children are more vulnerable to exposure to toxins in chemical fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides than adults.  On the positive side, she said there is much greater access to organic foods and better labeling than just 5-10 years ago.  
Author, philanthropist and children's health advocate Deirdre Imus is the Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Co-Founder and Co-Director with husband and radio talk-show host Don Imus of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.  She is the author of The Essential Green You!, Easy Ways to Detox Your Diet, Your Body and Your Life, the latest in the New York Times best-selling Green This! series.  

Also on the panel and honored with lifetime achievement awards were: Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, owners of Candle Café and Café 79 in New York City who have been pioneers and leaders in the organic food movement, and Elizabeth Henderson, a member of the Governing Council of NOFA-NY and co chair of the Organic Committee of the National Campaign for sustainable Agriculture and co-author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture.

Moderating the discussion was Brian Halweil, a senior researcher with Worldwatch Institute who writes about the social and ecological impacts of farm practices, and is also publisher of Edible Brooklyn  and editor of Edible East End.  
Photo credit:  Getty Images

Where Food is Born

"Most children don't know where food comes from anymore," Ms. Imus said. "They're disconnected from farms and food sources. They think food comes in a box." 
Deirdre and Don Imus are trying to change that, and practice what they preach.  At the Imus Ranch, children get involved in growing and harvesting organic foods, grown in the ranch's state-of-the-art greenhouse -- and learn how good natural fruits, vegetables and nuts taste. "The longhorn cattle can feel pretty safe on our ranch, "Ms. Imus said with a smile.  "The ranch is completely vegetarian.  There is no meat on the menu."  
The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer is an authentic 4,000 acre working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico, which provides the experience of the American cowboy to children suffering from cancer and various blood diseases, as well as to children who have lost a brother or sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  
NOFA-NY strives to bring farmers, gardeners and consumers together to build a regional food system which is economically and ecologically sustainable.   Farmers benefit by realizing a fair price; consumers benefit from fresh, healthy food; the environment benefits from safe growing practices which foster biodiversity and reduce energy consumption.  A vibrant regional food system helps ensure that New York State farms remain as active farmland. 

Ms. Imus is the author of three national bestsellers. Her previous books include two others in the Green This! series, Growing Up Green, Baby and Child Care, a practical family guide to raising children in an ever increasing toxic world; and Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning, offering a wealth of insights and expertise for protecting families from harmful chemicals. She is also author of The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys, a national best-selling cookbook.

Numerous organizations have recognized Deirdre Imus' impact. Last year, the USO of Metropolitan New York honored her as "Woman of the Year."  She serves on the boards of several children’s health organizations, including the National Autism Association, Safe Minds, Generation Rescue, SKIP of New York, and East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc., Boriken Neighborhood Health Center


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