The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

Plant-Based, the Beyond Burger Aims to Stand Sturdy Among Meat

May 27th, 2016

The New York Times 
by Stephanie Strom

beyond-meat-logo-232x300For the handful of companies working to develop plant-based alternatives to meat, finding a hearty stand-in for the humble hamburger is the holy grail.

One of those companies, Beyond Meat, says it has come up with that burger. The company will begin selling the Beyond Burger on Monday at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colo. — alongside the case where beef, poultry, lamb and pork are sold.

“This is what I had in mind when I started the company,” said Ethan Brown, who founded Beyond Meat in 2009.

Companies making plant-based alternatives to a variety of animal proteins are popping up everywhere. Jars of Just Mayo, an eggless spread made by Hampton Creek, now sit near Hellmann’s, and nut-based milks now account for almost 10 percent of the $20 billion milk market. Read Full Article »

Senate Agriculture Committee: Notes from May 26

May 26th, 2016

Should Corporate Agribusiness Lobbyists and Money Drive Organic Policy?

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) &
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Source: USDA

Representatives of the largest trade associations in the beef, pork, turkey, and egg industries testified before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. They told Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and ranking minority member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) absolutely the opposite of what family farmers, if they had been invited to attend, would’ve stated.

Representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United Egg Producers (UEP), National Pork Producers Council, US Cattlemen’s Association and the National Turkey Federation were all singing out of the same hymnal (and the elected representatives present joined in perfect harmony).

And what were all these lovebirds squawking about?   Read Full Article »

Groups Slam Feds for Weak Review of GMO Mosquito Risks

May 26th, 2016

Center for Food Safety

Source: es.dengue.info

Public health, food safety and environmental groups including Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a new and more thorough review of the risks associated with releasing genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes. Biotech and pest control company Oxitec is urging the FDA to speed approval of a trial involving widespread release of GE mosquitoes in the Florida community of Key Haven. Oxitec’s application to the FDA does not claim that the release of the GE mosquitoes would cause the reduction of diseases such as Dengue or Zika. More than 270,000 people submitted comments to criticize the FDA’s review of Oxitec’s planned release of the GE mosquitoes in Key Haven.

In its formal review of the company’s application and environmental assessment, the FDA fails to evaluate key issues surrounding the releases, including safety to human health, potential for the experimental mosquitos to move out of testing areas, and whether or not large numbers of the GE mosquitoes will actually reduce the spread of diseases like West Nile, Dengue or Zika. Read Full Article »

Strolling of the Heifers Releases 2016 Locavore Index Ranking the States in Terms of Commitment to Local Food

May 25th, 2016

Strolling of the Heifers

Vermont once again tops all the other states in terms of their commitment to local food, according to the 2016 Locavore Index.

The Index ranks the 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, using a variety of indicators related to local food production and consumption. It has been produced annually for five years by Strolling of the Heifers, a non-profit food advocacy organization based in Vermont.

Locavore Index 2016 graphic final Read Full Article »

Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA

May 25th, 2016

[Cornucopia has re-posted this article for its sole merit, which does not imply endorsement of the author’s opinions expressed elsewhere.]

Independent Science News
by Jonathan Latham, PhD

Source: Nerissa’s Ring

Piecemeal, and at long last, chemical manufacturers have begun removing the endocrine-disrupting plastic bisphenol-A (BPA) from products they sell. Sunoco no longer sells BPA for products that might be used by children under three. France has a national ban on BPA food packaging. The EU has banned BPA from baby bottles. These bans and associated product withdrawals are the result of epic scientific research and some intensive environmental campaigning. But in truth these restrictions are not victories for human health. Nor are they even losses for the chemical industry.

For one thing, the chemical industry now profits from selling premium-priced BPA-free products. These are usually made with the chemical substitute BPS, which current research suggests is even more of a health hazard than BPA. But since BPS is far less studied, it will likely take many years to build a sufficient case for a new ban.

But the true scandal of BPA is that such sagas have been repeated many times. Read Full Article »

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