Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Laura Klein: An organic authority for Southern California (and the world)

Our occasional Q&A on Southern Californians doing green stuff 

What happens when a trained chef decides to revolutionize hippie-food into what she calls “eco chic” organic fare? In Laura Klein’s case, she launches Organic, now a well-known web resource for organic eats and lifestyle. Klein, who lives with her husband in West Los Angeles, is founder and publisher for the web magazine dedicated to food and healthy living. Want to know what’s in your fast food chicken? Klein has you covered. Need a recipe for homemade mouthwash, tips on how to avoid toxins, or a recipe for a Maui cocktail? She’s your woman.

Recently, we spoke with Klein, who shared with us her thoughts on the organic food movement and if she thinks she’d win in a cage match with Al Gore. (Hint: she’s scrappy.)

Tell us about yourself. Why are you green? 

I practice an eco-friendly lifestyle because we are exposed to way too many chemicals in our daily life through our food, and consumer products like our personal care products, cleaning products, water, air and more.

What’s more, my health and my family’s is a high priority for me. Health insurance rates are sky rocketing, medical care coverage is decreasing and we simply can’t rely on our government to take care of us. We have to take our personal health care into our own hands and practice prevention in our everyday life.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your field? 

Educating the public on the truth about the chemicals and toxins in our food supply, personal care, cleaning products and more. One of my biggest intentions is to empower consumers so when they go and buy products they can make healthier choices and demand healthier food; because if the demand is there for healthier products, manufacturers will create them.

Who do you admire most in the green movement right now? 

One of my heroes is Alice Waters. She is really one of the foremothers of the food revolution. She has always looked to local seasonal foods that are raised naturally, without all of the pesticides, toxic chemicals, antibiotics and hormones to serve at her restaurants. Her work with school children with the Edible Schoolyard project is really amazing to watch.

What do you think the future will be for the organic food movement? 

That it will continue to make huge strides. It is here to stay. Particularly as people get educated on the truth behind our conventional food supply, like the chemicals that are used on our everyday food that are related to serious human disease like cancer, and the overuse of antibiotics and hormones in animals that are leading to serious health issues in humans and animals.

And let’s not forget the poor living conditions those animals live in on feed lots. I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but I choose my meat very carefully. If we had to pay a little more for our meat, would that be so bad? Maybe everyone would eat a little less of it, respect it, be thankful for it, lose a few pounds and get healthy.

If you could ask a presidential candidate any question about the environment, what would it be? 

Why aren’t more presidential appointees and government officials representative of the people’s will vs. corporate or special interests? Many appointees have a clear conflict of interest and don’t represent the will of the people.  Our current Secretary of Agriculture has a clear bias to GMO development and approval. How about protecting America’s biodiversity?

Who do you think would win in a cage match – you or Al Gore? 

 Me. I’m scrappy and quick!

Want to know more about Klein and her commitment to organic living? You can find her at

Photo courtesy of Laura Klein