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  • Ken Cook, Co-founder and President of EWG

How our Food Choices Affect our Health and the Health of the Environment

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Ken Cook, president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), is widely recognized as one of the environmental community’s most prominent and influential critics of industrial agriculture, U.S. food and farm policy and the nation’s broken approach to protecting families and children from toxic substances. Under Cook’s leadership over the past 23 years, EWG has pioneered the use of digital technologies to expose the harms done by misconceived crop subsidies, crop insurance and runaway agricultural pollution. The organization has also empowered American families with easy-to-use, data-driven tools to help reduce their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in foods, drinking water, cosmetics and other household products. Ken earned a B.A. in history, B.S. in agriculture and M.S. in soil science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He and his wife Deb Callahan live in Marin, California with their son, Callahan Cook. Contact Information: Learn more about EWG at their website A few videos about the Environmental Working Group: To get in touch with EWG: To follow up after the presentation: TO MAKE A DONATION TO THE EWG: About the Salon: Making safe and healthy choices for you and your family can be tough in today’s food climate. The nation’s focus on conventional produce, packaged and processed foods, factory-farmed meats, and valuing “simplicity” over nutrition has left many wondering how they can feed their families without adding an enormous chemical or health burden. Ken addressed the current state of affairs in today’s food system, how various food choices affect the environment, and how we can reduce our exposure to pesticides, food additives, antibiotics in meat and more with a few simple tools. Plus, he discussed how we are pushing to change the food system with every purchase we make.

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