First Black Woman Elected to Senate Starts Organic Food Line

by Xara Aziz
U.S. Senate

Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, is breaking new ground after beginning a new venture in organic, biodynamic food.

Before getting into the food industry, Braun was an active member in politics, first as an Illinois state senator from 1978 to 1987, then as a U.S. senator for Illinois from 1993 to 1999. She would then serve as ambassador to New Zealand from 1999 to 2001 before she founded Good Food Organics in Chicago. The biodynamic products, also known as Ambassador Organics, includes a vast array of coffees, teas and spices currently sold in Whole Foods stores and other health-based stores nationwide.

In a profile interview with Essence, Brown discussed her new food line, but not before discussing the role she played in helping pave the way for Black politicians who would come after her.

“I decided to run when my little 10-year-old niece said, ‘But Auntie Carol, all the presidents are boys.’ And I stood there and I said, ‘Sweetie, girls can be president, too’ — knowing I was lying to her. And I just decided I was not going to let that lie stand. That was the reason I got out there to run,” she began. “And I hope that by doing so it made it a little easier for Barack and for Hillary, and for any nontraditional candidate. We need to open it up so that the American people can tap the best and the brightest in whatever shape they come in.”

She then began to discuss a farm project she began called Good Food Organics, which she calls the umbrella company for her biodynamic line named Ambassador Organics.

When asked why she chose to get into the biodynamic field, she said “That is the core, compelling proposition of this company. Biodynamic farming is the most sustainable farming model in the world, and we are the first company in America to market a line of biodynamic organic products. This will give people a point of reference for the best-quality, healthiest, purest organic products to be found anywhere on the planet.”

She further discussed what she hopes to bring to more Black consumers that haven’t gotten on the organic trend.

“Yes, over time I think that I can. With organics, as with a lot of things, the divide is less race than it is economics. In fact, a recent study by the Hartman Group found that the fastest-growing segment per capita of the organic market is among what would traditionally be called ethnic markets — blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other people of color.”

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