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.

What Is a ‘Natural’ Food? FDA Seeks Public Input for Definition

November 27th, 2015

Journal Sentinel
by Rick Barrett

NaturalLabel CornucopiaFederal regulators are seeking public opinion on the use of the word natural on food labels, a move that could change the way hundreds of products are advertised.

Phrases such as “made with natural ingredients” are commonly used in the food industry, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have a definition for what constitutes a natural food.

On Thursday, the agency said the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption, and that it doesn’t require special labeling.

Foods with no artificial or synthetic ingredients could be considered natural, according to the FDA. However, it doesn’t address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides and irradiation, when the term is used on a product label.

Often, the word natural is little more than a marketing gimmick, said Mark Kastel, founder of The Cornucopia Institute, a family-farm advocacy organization based in Cornucopia. Read Full Article »

Advocates, Consumers Slam GMO Salmon Approval

November 27th, 2015

by Associated Press

Critics call it “frankenfish,” but the Food and Drug Administration granted approval Thursday of the first genetically modified animal cleared for human consumption in the US. The engineered salmon could be available within a couple of years. (Nov. 19) Read Full Article »

Putting the Chicken Before the Egg

November 25th, 2015

The New York Times
by Stephanie Strom

Source: Martin de Witte

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — A decade ago, a couple running a dairy business in Northern California visited a Mennonite farm where the owner had used a flock of laying hens to teach his children business principles and instill values like responsibility and care for nature.

They returned home and bought 150 hens for their boys, Christian and Joseph. “My parents told us, you and Joseph are in charge of keeping these 150 birds alive,” recalled Christian Alexandre, who now heads the family’s egg business.

What started as a parental effort to instill solid values has become the mainstay of Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms. Within five years, Christian and Joseph were tending 1,500 hens and had a deal in place to supply eggs to Whole Foods stores in Northern California. Christian remembers Walter Robb, co-chief executive of the grocery retailer, showing up at one of his football games.

The rusty red chickens foraging in the fields outnumber the cows 10 to 1 — and the roughly five million eggs they will produce this year command prices that make organic milk look cheap. “The egg business has kept the dairy going for several years,” Blake Alexandre, Christian’s father, said. Read Full Article »

Owner of Vermont Organic Dairy Farm and Harvard Biology Graduate Educates the NOSB on the Meaning of “Organic”

November 25th, 2015

Greg Jackmauh holds a Harvard degree in biology and owns a Vermont organic dairy farm. He’s a longtime member of The Cornucopia Institute.

Greg Jackmauh

My name is Gregory Jackmauh. I am a resident of Barnet, Vermont and live on an Organic pasture-based, intensive rotational grazing dairy farm that has been certified since 2003.

I graduated from Harvard College with an Honors degree in Biology and am a member of The Cornucopia Institute.

My premise is simple: The word “Organic” has a meaning that has existed long before the USDA began to consider the term.

In my 1924 edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary it says “organic” means “acting as an instrument of nature” and “forming a complex, self-determined, unity”. To me and to many others here today and watching from a distance this definition is quite easily understood. “ORGANIC” means a naturally occurring relationship between land, plant, micro-organism, and animal that is harmoniously in balance and self-sustaining.

Modern agricultural processes have gotten away from following an “organic” model throughout the decades and centuries, and there are those of us who passionately feel that returning to an “organic” approach to agriculture is a critical step to stabilizing our environment and our planet. Read Full Article »

A Fisherman’s Plan to Feed the World and Reduce Climate Change

November 24th, 2015


Source: Farrukh

One of the most prestigious prizes in sustainability, the Fuller Challenge, has been awarded to a commercial fisherman turned entrepreneur who once worked on factory trawlers pillaging the seas of fish. Following hurricanes Irene and Sandy, Bren Smith, founder of the ocean farming non-profit GreenWave, said he had a change of heart and began to search for a more sustainable form of fishing seafood.

“I had to adapt and reimagine how I was going to grow for this new era of climate change … what species do I pick, what technologies do I use,” he said.

Enjoy this clip from Marketplace of Bren Smith, interviewed by David Brancaccio, produced by Shana Daloria and Beidi Zhang:

Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000