Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

ANNOUNCING: The Earth’s Best Story Now Available

The following is an excerpt from The Earth’s Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution by Ron Koss and Arnie Koss. It has been adapted for the Web.

Earth’s Best began as a speck of alluring light on a distant shore. It was a complete fantasy, and, like any good fantasy, achieving the impossible (as in reaching that light) was central to the plot. For some reason, Ron saw this light in 1976, well before it became visible to the collective naked eye. Maybe it was a destiny thing. Maybe it twinkled just for him and he happened to be looking.

Or was it me who saw that light way back then? Ron and I have endlessly debated this question. This is a twin thing. Sometimes our lives inexplicably merge, and it’s hard to tell whose experience was whose. Regarding that alluring light in 1976, Ron is more certain than I am about the moment, so for the record it’s his light.

For fantasy to take form, it insists on dreamers with a hell-bent passion to take center stage. Success may bring accolades such as “visionary” and “genius.” “Failure” and “fool” are also possible associations if the dream is a bust. The entrepreneurial personality tends to envision only success. If failure is more the preoccupation, it’s a red flag indicating some kind of mismatch between the venture and the prospective adventurer.

How does an idea successfully journey across the wasteland separating fantasy and reality, a vast expanse littered with the wrecks of fantastic ideas, brilliant people, and sure things, a place where colossal failure and entrepreneurial heartbreak is recorded? It would be fantasy in its own right to be tricked by the mirage that the best ideas, the best educated people, and those with the most money and experience are the most likely to navigate through this wasteland. Strangely, but perfectly, that is not the case.

The Earth’s Best Story is the tale of our journey from fantasy, through the wasteland, and into reality. It is as much a “how-not-to” story as a “how-to” story. More so, it is a “how-we-did-it” story. It will be an eye-opener for those who feel both righteous about the greatness of their ideas and entitled to a free Advance Directly to Go card, as we sometimes did, or for those who straight up seek the gold and power of entrepreneurial success.

On the face of it, our story is the tale of a journey to launch the first organic baby-food company in the United States. While of course true, our inspiration soared beyond baby food to a grander, multidimensional imagining, an imagining where the face of agriculture was transformed and the chemically dependent agribusiness paradigm was reduced in its prominence.

We envisioned a world where organic foods would become dominant, with an organic avenue right through the mainstream food thoroughfare. And in our dreams organic baby food would be a catalyst for that paradigm shift: a shift that would support and protect our fragile ecosystems, safeguard farm workers and their families, and walk the talk about doing right by those who are most vulnerable and precious to us—our children.

More personally, this book reflects the voyage of the Koss Brothers, Ron and Arnie. It is a story about our battle to overcome generations of encoded Koss family defeat and bitterness in business. It is also a story about our twin-ness and the unbreakable bond that began during the nine months we shared our mom’s womb.

Unbeknownst to us, as we traversed childhood and adolescence, a foundation of trust was laid that would one day become the bedrock to support the incalculable weight of an emerging Earth’s Best. And unexpectedly, we would discover the immense potential of the synergies resulting from this trust and leverage them in all ways possible. No energy would be wasted or sleep lost wondering about the other’s intentions, commitment, or integrity. We were free from such distractions and free to immerse ourselves in what really mattered—bringing Earth’s Best Baby Foods to life.

Interestingly, Ron and I could not retell our story in one voice, because despite the sameness (i.e., identical genes) it really is two unique stories, merging dynamically together. The writing process has been cathartic for both of us. You will soon clearly understand why.

Our shared hope is that The Earth’s Best Story, while in many respects a sobering tale, will inspire others to smartly venture off and do something amazing and positive to make a difference in a world that needs difference makers.

We invite you to take the Earth’s Best journey with us.

Buckle up!

Arnie Koss


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Chelsea Green to Revolutionize Industry with Edible Books

Move over Gutenberg: In advance of Earth Day 2015, environmental publishing leader Chelsea Green Publishing is announcing the introduction of an entirely new type of book – the completely biodegradable, and in certain instances edible, book. While some publishers tout the recycled content of their papers, or use of soy-based inks, Chelsea Green, which turned […] Read More..

Get More from Your Mission: The Social Profit Handbook

For-profit institutions measure their success primarily by monetary gains. But nonprofit institutions are different; they aim for social profit, or improving the well-being of people, place, and planet. The Social Profit Handbook draws from author David Grant’s decades of leadership in the education, foundation, and nonprofit worlds, and provides  leaders of social profit institutions with […] Read More..