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.

Gardener’s February To-Do List

February 12th, 2016

Rodale’s Organic Life
by R O L Staff

Source: USDA

Everything that needs to be done in the dirt this month, wherever you live.

Here’s your February gardening guide for North America’s USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3-10. If you don’t know what zone you live in, check the map here to find out. We’ve left off zones 1–2 (far-north Alaska) and zones 11–13 (small section of the Florida Keys, the Pacific coast between L.A. and Mexico, and Hawaii) since zones 3–10 cover 99 percent or more of the gardeners in the U.S. Read Full Article »

Behind Closed Doors – the Vulnerability of Big Meat.

February 12th, 2016

by IATP’s Ben Lilliston

Hog CAFO with liquid waste lagoon
Source: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project

Already in January, workers entered 10 massive, confined turkey and chicken operations in Indiana and sprayed foam designed to suffocate the birds. When the cold temperatures froze the hoses, local prisoners were brought in to help manually kill the birds. Other operations shut down the ventilation systems killing the birds as heat temperatures rose. More than 400,000 birds have been euthanized so far in an effort to contain a new strain of avian flu in the U.S.

Last year, approximately 45 million birds were killed to contain the spread of a different avian flu strain in the U.S. Two years ago, a massive piglet virus outbreak killed millions of pigs (an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. hog population).

The rapid spread of new disease strains, made worse by a changing climate, is one very visible reason why the expansion of factory-style animal production is viewed as unsustainable. As Olivier De Schutter, Hans Herren and Emile Frison point out in commentating on livestock’s ecological footprint– this industrial model of meat production “yields too many negative outcomes on too many fronts to be justifiable.” Read Full Article »

Why Organic Food Might Be Worth the High Price

February 11th, 2016

by Mandy Oaklander

Source: Gerry Thomasen

A new study says organic food has many advantages

The most infamous fact about organic food is that it’s expensive—about 47% more expensive, according to a recent analysis from Consumer Reports. But a new review study published in Nature Plants analyzed everything research currently knows about organic farming versus the conventional kind and found that organic offers a lot of good that outweighs its sticker shock.

When organic farming first began, it was derided as an idealistic and inefficient way of feeding people. Not surprisingly, there was little research about it. “There were just a couple handfuls of studies back in the ‘80s,” says John Reganold, professor of soil science and agroecology at Washington State University and co-author of the new study. Reganold has been studying organic agriculture for more than 30 years. “At the turn of the century, it just skyrocketed, and now there are probably at least 1,000 studies,” he says. Read Full Article »

Organic Agriculture Key to Feeding the World Sustainably

February 11th, 2016

Science Daily
Source: Washington State University

Source: Suzie’s Farm

Study analyzes 40 years of science against 4 areas of sustainability

Washington State University researchers have concluded that feeding a growing global population with sustainability goals in mind is possible. Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers.

The review study, “Organic Agriculture in the 21st Century,” is featured as the cover story for February issue of the journal Nature Plants and was authored by John Reganold, WSU regents professor of soil science and agroecology and doctoral candidate Jonathan Wachter. It is the first such study to analyze 40 years of science comparing organic and conventional agriculture across the four goals of sustainability identified by the National Academy of Sciences: productivity, economics, environment, and community well being. Read Full Article »

The Food Movement is Small? Not from Where We Sit, It Isn’t.

February 10th, 2016

The Washington Post
by Chellie Pingree and Anna Lappé

Source: USDA

In her latest column for The Washington Post, “The surprising truth about the ‘food movement,’ ” Tamar Haspel argues that the number of people who really care about where their food comes from, how it is grown and its impact on our health and the environment is surprisingly small.

We think she’s wrong. As two people who talk to consumers, farmers and retailers every day about food buying choices, we can tell you that the level of awareness and concern for the food we are eating is higher than it has ever been — and shows in changing attitudes and in changing habits, too. Read Full Article »

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