Educating consumers on the agricultural supply chain, the effect on our environment, and the importance of healthy food ingredients in our diet. 

What is Dirt to Dinner?

Dirt to Dinner is providing you with a better understanding of food. The food industry has become opaque as farming practices and technology change. We want to make the process transparent. You should know what is happening to your food from the time it is grown until the time it makes its way onto your dinner plate. To that end, we have come to understand the food supply chain in three different categories.

Sustainable Agriculture will examine food grown with the best technology and environmental solutions to feed a growing population. If you are interested in topics on a global scale you have come to the right place. Despite the emotions the word “technology” evokes when talking about our food, it is an integral component to what ends up on your dinner plate.

Food Ingredients will examine the often puzzling nutritional claims of food processing companies. Marketers are constantly trying to appeal to consumers by stamping “healthy” labels on their products without careful consideration. We want to identify what foods are actually good for you! As for those possibly unhealthy foods, we want to help determine if their labels really are what they say they are.

Diet Trends will investigate and help put into perspective which diets are healthy and whether they will provide a result that can last.  Many fad diets are just that—a fad.  We explore what it takes to be healthy today and tomorrow. 

At Dirt to Dinner, we start with a clean perspective on each topic and maintain total objectivity. Each article features “The Dirt” which tells you our approach to the topic and why we think that is important. Science, research, and best practices determine our “Bottom Line” summary. Some of the answers to questions you will find now and in the future are: 

What is the difference between organic and conventional?
What exactly does GMO mean?
Are some sugars better for you than others?
Should we all be on a gluten free diet?I
What is going on with all this ‘cleansing’ everyone is doing?
Would you choose wild or farmed salmon for dinner?
What about those hormones in your children’s milk?
What is BPA?  Are we worried about it in our plastic?
What is precision farming and how does it help preserve our soil and the environment?
What are micronutrients and how do they advance crop nutrition?

The list is endless and we want to hear from you. If you are interested in the Dirt to Dinner team investigating a specific topic, let us know!
For inquiries or article requests, please email:

 Meet our Team! 

The women behind Dirt to Dinner have a lot of experience in the food industry. 

Lucy Stitzer has an avid interest to ensure the world has safe, clean, affordable, and enough food to feed our future generations. She believes there is a delicate balance between the environment and feeding a global population. She wants to see food grown and delivered to the grocery store in a sustainable manner. This means large and small agriculture using technology and best practices to preserve water, use fewer chemicals, create healthier soil, protect clean air, and still see an increased yield per acre. She is a mother of three children, two of whom had a compromised immune system early in their childhood. She wanted to ensure that the ingredients in her meals were safe and healthy for her family. She is active and enjoys running and other outdoor sports, and, not to mention, maintaining a healthy diet is important to her. Lucy is a shareholder of Cargill Inc. and served on the Cargill Board for many years. While she has a strong understanding of the food supply chain her perspective is completely based on independent research and her views are her own. She also serves on the Board of Hamlin Capital Management, Aspire Beverages and Rush Creek Golf Course. Her prior career was in banking and she has a B.A. in English from Hollins University.

Caroline Breed began her interest in food ingredients as a college student trying to navigate the dining hall. The idea that your food could be coming from just about anywhere didn’t sit well with her. As a student trying to avoid the “freshman fifteen”, she came to understand the importance of healthy food and how valuable good nutrition really is! Needless to say, she is curious about fad dieting—and whether or not they can be considered healthy?! She has investigated everything from giving up gluten to the cayenne cleanse and it was this initial interest that brought her to the Dirt-to-Dinner team. Her research is based on interviews and primary source information. Before joining us, Caroline worked at Bloomberg before moving on to the publishing industry, where she has been for the last two years.  Caroline attended the University of Richmond and graduated with a BA in Communication and English.

Lisa Hurst is passionate about food ingredients and sustainable agriculture. As a mother of three, she works hard to provide a healthy, balanced diet for her family. In addition to being an accomplished home cook, she maintains a vegetable garden—which initially sparked her interest in food ingredients! Having spent her fair share of time in the grocery store aisle, she is constantly bombarded by marketing claims such as “organic,” “natural” and “hormone free”, but wonders what they actually mean for her families’  health. Lisa has dedicated her time to investigating these claims through primary research and interviews to help you understand the truth behind nutrition labeling. And although you won’t find much processed food in her cabinets, you will certainly find a tin of Wilbur’s Chocolate Buds in her larder! Lisa also has an avid interest in the visual arts.  She expresses her creative side as a photographer and website designer. Lisa is a graduate of Middlebury College and in her prior years worked in marketing and communications.

Susan M. Leaman, Vice President of iDecisionSciences, LLC has worked as a consultant to the fresh produce industry since 2006. Susan works with companies and associations to develop solutions that address produce-related food safety issues. In her personal life, she is passionate about nutrition and healthy eating, enjoys gardening and tennis, and (along with her husband aka the household chef) enjoys hosting friends and family in sharing good food and wine.  As a mother to two school-aged children, she is embroiled in a daily struggle to get her children to more eat fruits and veggies instead of sugary snacks. Susan holds a master’s degree in toxicology from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.

Diane R. Wetherington is CEO of iDecisionSciences, LLC, and a provider of specialty crop consulting services, and iFoodDecisionSciences, Inc., a software solutions provider for the food industry. Helping the food industry supply consumers with healthy, safe food in a cost-effective, environmentally-sustainable manner is what drives Diane in her work. She believes data and data analytics are key to better understanding and improving both food growing and processing.  She is an avid runner and enjoys eating as much local food as possible while traveling. Diane previously held leadership positions with AT&T and MasterCard, where she worked in developing technological solutions for their customers. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics both from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Garland West is a writer and business consultant with several decades experience in food and agricultural issues, most notably those involving food security and economic development.  Over his career, he has applied his academic training in journalism to coverage of agricultural, environmental and trade policy in Washington and Europe, and has written articles, speeches, issue analysis and commentary on these and other matters for clients that include major corporate leaders and prominent global consulting firms.  His resume includes postings in Washington, Minneapolis, London, New York, Chicago and Detroit, both as a corporate executive and president of his own company.  He and his wife Nancy today reside deep within in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they maintain an animal sanctuary and savor a more contemplative and relaxed pace of life. 


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