Environmental Heroes: Laura Lynn Klein
Continuing our #WorldWow celebration, we’re pleased to give you the chance to get to know Laura Lynn Klein — another environmental superstar who wows us with her work. Laura is co-founder of Organic Authority, LLC a new media company that publishes OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com. Oh, and she’s also a trained chef, no big deal.
Laura chatted with us about how growing up in Colorado and her love for cooking turned into a career path she hadn’t envisioned when she went to school for business — and her lifelong love of mountains.
Sky Pond, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image by Steven Bratman. Creative Commons.
Findery: Where were you the first time you were truly in awe of nature?
LK: I grew up in CO in the rugged Rocky Mountains, it was very natural for me to be in nature. I knew, though, that I was a city person. I grew up and moved to LA. And it wasn’t until I left Colorado, and then went back, that I had an experience I recognized as awe-inspiring.
When I’m in what I almost always refer to as the Rugged Rocky Mountains, I feel at home. I am both totally connected but disconnected. I disconnect from technology, which my life revolves around, and it’s where I feel the closest connection to the universe.
Findery: How did your personal connection to the environment inform your career?
LK: It did and it didn’t. I wasn’t really thinking I wanted to do something with nature or the environment when I went to college. I wanted to start my own business and I was really into cooking. I grew up with a mother who threw fabulous parties and did things like take French culinary classes in Aspen and bring those ideas into our home. I was in LA working as an assistant at a talent agency and, every Monday, everyone was like, “What script did you read this weekend?” I always said, “Oh no, I’m reading cookbooks.”
So, 15 years ago, I started going to culinary school and that’s where I got interested in what produced the best tasting food and I found out that the best chefs in the world world have been using organic ingredients forever. started studying the science behind how conventional and organic food is grown in America and I got angry. I saw up close how America’s broken food system was responsible for America’s burgeoning health crisis. I felt Americans needed to know the truth behind our food supply and that’s when I launched OrganicAuthority.com.
The Swiss Alps. Image by satanoid. Creative Commons.
Findery: What’s one place in the world that you haven’t been that you’re dying to see? Why?
LK: I haven’t traveled to the Alps of Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany and Italy and I am dying to go there! I love rugged snow covered mountains and I want to ski them in the winter and mountain bike them in the summer. I love playing in snow covered mountains. The closest thing for me to feeling like a bird is skiing down a huge mountain as fast as my legs will take me, while taking in the taking in the awe and majesty of of huge 11-15k+ peaks. There’s nothing like it. That’s when I feel closest to the Universe and God.
In the summer I’d like to visit the same mountains, and mountain bike them to see the lush, green terrain that I skied in the winter. It gives me a chance to see and experience the same awe-inspiring terrain differently while taking in the smells and sights of summer like wild flowers, water falls, streams, rivers and green forests. And if I’m lucky, I’ll see some amazing wildlife in their natural habitat. There’s nothing like it.
I’m addicted to these experiences because they immediately bring me into the present moment and take me into a natural meditation. All the stresses of life, literally, melt away. I can forget about the dust and the grit of everyday life and completely relax while immersed in these experiences. That to me is truly getting away and unplugging from the everyday grind.
Findery: What else is on your mind?
LK: Being disconnected from nature, and food, is affecting people’s lives in so many ways. I didn’t connect the dots until I was really in my career and seeing that how America eats is destroying us. We don’t have a healthcare system, we have a disease management system. People have to have a respect for the food they put in their bodies. Second to the human brain, the most powerful healing tool we have on this planet is real whole foods. I’ve witnessed time and time again, people turning around their health and life by simply cleaning up their diet.