The Organic Center held its annual VIP dinner at Expo West, with the overarching theme of organic research.

Emceed by Green Living expert and television host Sara Snow, presentations highlighted The Center’s diverse research projects, such as its important new report about non-antibiotic fire blight control. Due out later this year is research done in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service on what affects the presence of arsenic in organic rice.

Snow called The Center the “primary organization helping us understand the science behind organic…It’s been a remarkable year for The Organic Center.”

At the fundraising dinner, The Organic Center gave its first Award of Excellence to Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. He is one of the first researchers to prove the benefits of organic. In receiving the award, Benbrook stated, “We all want to see the benefits of organic food shared more broadly. We can’t become complacent. We’ve got to find a way to bring more young farmers and more land into organic. Science is a powerful tool [for accomplishing this].”

All told, the event raised over $500,000 for the non-profit research group.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2014