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.
Center for Food Safety today (April 6, 2015) sharply criticized Monsanto’s announcement that it is giving $4 million toward monarch population restoration. Two decades of the company’s top-selling crop system – Roundup Ready corn and soybeans – has nearly eradicated milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s sole source of food, in cropland in the monarch’s vital Midwest breeding ground.
“Monsanto brought in $15.85 billion in sales last year. This pledge for monarchs equates to only 2 hours’ worth of their sales – hardly a substantial commitment. Regardless of amount, the only way to save monarchs is a major reduction in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop systems, which are the leading cause of Monarchs’ threatened extinction,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety. “Throwing a pittance of money at the problem is not a real path to survival; this maneuver is an attempt to greenwash Monsanto’s image, nothing more.” Read Full Article »
Nate Storey’s greenhouse in west Laramie, Wyoming is packed with vegetables growing in long, upright plastic towers.
Storey’s set-up is an urban farmer’s dream: the waste from fish tanks fertilizes the crops through plastic tubing that drips water onto the vertical garden. The greenhouse is small, but produces a lot of food.
Like a proud father he shows off bok choy, butter lettuce and spinach.
“You can grow anything. People have grown some crazy stuff with the towers,” Storey says. “We’ve grown tomatoes and very large statured crops, watermelons. It works until they’re about 20 pounds apiece and then things start falling.” Read Full Article »
Washington — A growing demand for organics, and the near-total reliance by U.S. farmers on genetically modified corn and soybeans, is driving a surge in imports from other nations where crops largely are free of bioengineering.
Imports such as corn from Romania and soybeans from India are booming, according to an analysis of U.S. trade data released Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association and Penn State University.
That shows a potential market for U.S. growers willing to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds, said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer of the association, which includes Whole Foods Market Inc., Whitewave Foods Co. and Earthbound Farm.
The report is “a help-wanted sign” for U.S. farmers, Batcha said. “There are market distortions that are pretty striking.” Read Full Article »
Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?
DEFEND FARMERS’ OWN SEED SYSTEMS
Farmers’ fields are the first line of defense against bad seed laws. This means organising to rescue, collect, maintain, develop, share and use local farmers seeds. It is very important that women and young people are all involved. You can start a project with neighbours or local associations, talk to market or street vendors, get schools or you work place involved, etc. Seed fairs and visits to farms and gardens are an important part of this work. Read Full Article »