Rachel Willner holds an M.S. in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis. Rachel is interested in the way people express their worldviews and religious beliefs through diet. She has researched and at various times adhered to several specific types of diet, including veganism, vegetarianism, Halal, and Kosher. Her research also includes perceptions of GMOS, and how consuming or avoiding GMO products aligns with individual belief systems and personal expression.
Before joining the Non-GMO Project, Rachel practiced seed-saving as an intern with Native Seeds/SEARCH, got her hands dirty on organic horticultural farms in both California and Washington, and worked in the areas of food sovereignty and ethnobotany.
Most recently, she spent 3 years in Okanogan, Washington’s fresh fruit industry. She first served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the Okanogan County Community Action Council’s Food For All Project and then as a Program Specialist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA’s) Fruit & Vegetable Commodity Inspection Division. Rachel’s experience with both WSDA and US Department of Agriculture standards pertaining to the grade, condition, and phytosanitary status of export tree fruit has prepared her for exemplary management of the Non-GMO Project’s ever-evolving Standard.
When not eating out, Rachel enjoys agritourism, running, and botanizing in the beautiful North Cascades.