Our Mission and Vision
Founded in 2003, OrganicAthlete is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that unites people in a global effort to create a better world through sport. Our mission is to promote health and ecological stewardship among athletes of all ages and abilities by sharing information, building community and inspiring through athletic example.
The core values that guide OrganicAthlete combine the founding precepts of organic agriculture with an Olympic spirit. The organic movement was founded to preserve ecological integrity, establish equitable food systems, and grow wholesome, nutritious food. The fundamental aims of the Olympic spirit are to find the joy in effort, the educational value of a good example, and respect for universal ethical principles. The members of OrganicAthlete strive through word and deed to be living examples of the organic and Olympic ideals through:
- Compassion: We exercise with hearts of compassion with a deep reverence for all life.
- Truth: We endure through doubts and fears, aiming always for truth and integrity.
- Cooperation: We work cooperatively, giving selflessly to what needs be done;
- Leadership: We lead by honest example guided by social and ecological responsibility.
One day in late 2001 OrganicAthlete founder Bradley Saul was riding his bike through the pecan orchards south of Tucson, AZ, when a cropduster flew overhead. As the cloud of pesticides wafted over the road and onto him, Bradley thought, "there's something wrong with this." Already an organic consumer, Bradley soon started a newsletter for friends and family called OrganicAthlete that followed Bradley's passion for health, activism and sports.
The following year, Bradley became vegan after reading John Robbins' The Food Revolution. After experiencing the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet firsthand, Bradley was surprised to find that there weren't more athletes or athletic organizations advocating a vegan lifestyle. There are lists of famous vegetarian and vegan athletes, but there was no organization that united those athletes nor was there much in the way of education about vegan diets for athletes.
Much of the information about vegetarian and vegan diets for athletes is based on fear. "Where are do you get your protein?" By cutting animal products out of your diet, the thinking goes, you are diminishing your nutrition. This was the opposite of Bradley's experience and the findings of many reknowed doctors, nutritionists, and health professionals. Bradley thought, "Shouldn't there be an organization that teaches athletes of all ages and abilities about the benefits of a plant-based diet, unites them as a community, and inspires them with athletic example?"
By 2003, Bradley had found many athletes, doctors, nutritionists, and supporters, and in the fall of that year, OrganicAthlete officially incorporated at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in California. Bradley likes to say that OrganicAthlete really started when his Mom gave him $300 to buy a new computer. From that humble beginning and a vision for how to train for a better world, the organization has grown from a small group of athletes to reach thousands of people.