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.
June 29th, 2015
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is pushing a proposed USDA-sanctioned “check-off,” or tax on organic farmers and processors, to pay for research and promotion activities.
But a growing number of organic farmers and organizations OTA works with are opposing the check-off scheme. Many of these same farmers have a bitter taste in their mouths from similar check-off taxes they experienced in conventional agriculture.
Visit noorganiccheckoff.com to learn why opposition to this OTA scheme is mounting. Read Full Article »
June 29th, 2015
The Motley Fool
by Rich Duprey
The grocer has been a friend to organic growers up to now, but its new produce rating program might undo all the good work
Whole Foods Market‘s (NASDAQ:WFM) new produce rating system might have been launched with the best of intentions, but we know what’s paved with such well-meaning works, and the grocery store chain is barreling down the highway full throttle.
A responsibility to act
“Responsibly Grown” is Whole Foods’ attempt to quantify the entire farming process, from seed to harvest, worker to waste, and everything in between. It is using the results to provide customers with at-a-glance information about those foods that takes all those factors into consideration by ranking produce as good, better, or best (or unrated, if the farmers don’t participate in the program).
What Whole Foods’ Responsibly Grown program is actually doing is creating a schism in farming that might ultimately undermine the organic movement’s growth trajectory. Read Full Article »
June 26th, 2015
by Tyler LeBlanc
It’s hard to go anywhere these days without running into a super-food. From farmers’ markets to your local grocery store, shelves are increasingly packed with items like goji berries, chia seeds, kelp and … sauerkraut?
That’s right, sauerkraut. Not a traditional super-food by definition, this stringy, pale product of fermentation is the victim of a serious case of mistaken identity. Not only is sauerkraut really good for you, but it also changed the world.
Simple, fermented sauerkraut played an important role in helping prevent scurvy — an affliction known in its day as the scourge of the seas, responsible for an estimated two million deaths between 1500 and 1800 — on sailing ships around the world. Read Full Article »
June 26th, 2015
by Carey Gillam
A widely used farm chemical used as a key ingredient in a new herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences “possibly” causes cancer in humans, a World Health Organization research unit has determined.
The classification of the weed killer, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, was made by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The IARC said it reviewed the latest scientific literature and decided to classify 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” a step below the more definitive “probably carcinogenic” category but two steps above the “probably not carcinogenic” category. Read Full Article »
June 25th, 2015
by Julia Westbrook
Parts of Europe continue to rebuff Monsanto.
France took another shot at Monsanto recently by banning the sale of the herbicide Roundup in garden centers. The decision from the French Ecology Minister, Segolene Royal, comes just months after World Health Organization dubbed glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, a probable human carcinogen.
This measure aims to protect amateur gardeners from a chemical that is questionable at best; at worst, a potential cancer-causer implicated in all sorts of other health problems, too.
Mary Ellen Kustin, Environmental Working Group’s senior policy analyst, says that the U.S. should take a cue from France and pay closer attention to the carcinogen warning now attached to America’s most popular weedkiller. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should heavily weigh the world’s leading cancer experts’ recent classification of glyphosate as the agency moves through its process to re-register this widely used herbicide,” she says. “In the U.S., most glyphosate is sprayed on farmland—roughly 280 million pounds annually.” Read Full Article »