by Debbonnaire Kovacs

“Sometimes it takes a few simple ideas to start a revolution. For the French, it was liberté, égalité, fraternité. Our grand idea is simplicity itself. Simplicity, sustainability, integrity. This better way is not our own invention. We’ve found it in the rhythms of nature, the wisdom of generations, the virtues of family farmers. We invite you to join us, as we set the table for an amazingly tasteful revolution.”
So begins the Our Story page on the website of One Degree Organic Foods. This company caught the eye of Adventist Today when we learned that they had won the 2012 Nexty Award from New Hope Natural Media and the Sterling-Rice Group for a new product that best represents the future of healthy, organic food. According to, One Degree won the award because of their complete transparency, pure ingredients, and “veganic” cultivation.
What do these terms mean? It’s the essence of simplicity. Their supply chain is so transparent that by downloading their app you can scan the barcode of any of their products and trace the origin of every ingredient, even to seeing pictures and videos of the farms where your grain was grown and the families that grew it. These ingredients are not only grown organically, they are grown “veganically.”
Even organic farmers may use animal waste as fertilizer, but that waste may contain hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals which One Degree farmers believe can be harmful to the soil and to the food. So their organic products are grown without any animal products, which they call “veganic” growing.
One Degree’s website is so professional and complete that they look like a major company, but they’re actually pretty small, and they like it that way. One Degree is run by Stan and Kathy Smith of British Columbia, with their daughters, Sondra and Alonna, and Sondra’s husband, Danny Houghton.
Growing up in the country, the Smiths became very familiar with the connection between farmers and the earth, and more than ordinarily aware of the connection between all humans and the earth. As large agribusinesses have moved farther and farther from the original “one degree of separation” between people and their food, supporting huge monocultures, genetic manipulation (not the same as time-honored science of breeding plants and animals for better characteristics), heavy use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, the Smiths decided there must be a better way.
Starting with baking experience, first in a small bakery while they were in college and later with “Canada’s celebrated Silver Hills Bakery,” the Smiths have created a company that lives by the truth that “there is a natural connection between healthy soil, healthy plants and healthy people. The farther we roam from this idea, the less confident we can be that the food we consume is good for us, and for the larger community.” []
One Degree Organic Foods is a sister company to Silver Hills Bakery, both of which are for-profit members of Adventist Services International.
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