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.

Study Finds Higher Rates of Diabetes in Women Who Work With Certain Pesticides

December 19th, 2014

by Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Source: Jill Brown

A recent article in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine (Starling AP, et al. Occup Environ Med 2014; O:1-7) discusses the elevated diabetes risk for wives of farmers and pesticide applicators in both Iowa and North Carolina. The study found an increased risk of diabetes for women who used five distinct classes of pesticides. Similar risks were found among men who mixed pesticides- this study looked specifically at women who had ever mixed or applied pesticides themselves.

Not only do men and women have different pesticide exposure rates depending on how involved they are in the mixing and application of pesticides, their individual bodies are also thought to metabolize, or process, pesticides in different ways. This particular research sought to better understand how pesticide exposure affects women, with an emphasis on diabetes risk. Read Full Article »

Maine Local Food Movement Inspires Credit Union Focused on Small Farms

December 19th, 2014

Bangor Daily News
by Darren Fishell

Source: Jeremy van Bedijk

WHITEFIELD, Maine — The 100-acre organic farm that Rufus Percy and his wife started working a decade ago is mix of leased land, family land and mortgaged land.

Finding used farm equipment took them as far as Ohio. The barn where they raise about 100 hogs a year was built with the help of a grant from the Farms for Maine’s Future program and a federal grant.

“Most people aren’t that lucky though, as far as getting started,” said Percy, 35.

He’s one of the young farmers leading a resurgence in the industry that aims to re-establish more local food systems in the state, where Maine is leading the way. But before that really takes off, he said, the state needs to put its money where its mouth is. More specifically, more accessible funding needs to be available to the folks who grow food that Mainers put in their mouths.

“If we want to encourage a lot of young people to get into farming — be it small medium or large — we have to figure out how to make it not only attractive but possible,” Percy said. “If only Trustafarians can farm, then we’re all going to go hungry.” Read Full Article »

California Will Need 11 Trillion Gallons of Water to End Epic Drought, NASA Says

December 18th, 2014

by Andrew Freedman

Source: NRCS

Forget about the possibility that a single “atmospheric river” storm could end California’s worst drought in at least 1,200 years, NASA researchers said Tuesday.

Instead, it will take 11 trillion gallons of water, which is one and a half times the capacity of Lake Mead, Nevada, the country’s largest reservoir, to climb out of the water deficit the Golden State is in, new data shows.

The NASA analysis comes from satellite and aircraft-based measurements of groundwater and mountain snowpack in California, and was released at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday morning. The data also comes a week after a severe storm hit California, dumping more than nine inches of rain in some places, and just before another storm hits central and northern California. Read Full Article »

Ricardo Salvador: Build a New Food System

December 18th, 2014

Johns Hopkins
by Christine Grillo

The Center for a Livable Future and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences Grand Rounds bring you the 15th Annual Edward & Nancy Dodge Lecture

Please click here for Ricardo Salvador’s biography.

Creating a genuine food movement that galvanizes the nation is an audacious goal, but reform is the most American thing we can do.

That was the message delivered last week by Ricardo Salvador as part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s 15th Dodge Lecture at the Bloomberg School. Salvador, PhD, the director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, gave a talk titled “The Food Movement, Public Health and Wellbeing,” in which he outlined the miseries inflicted upon humans by the current U.S. food system, and possible paths toward improvement. Read Full Article »

In Remembrance: Theo Colborn, 1927-2014

December 17th, 2014

Beyond Pesticides

Source: JR Rochester

Beyond Pesticides is sad to say goodbye to a dear friend and colleague, Theo Colborn, who at the age of 87, passed away on Sunday, December 14 at home surrounded by her family. Dr. Colborn is author of the groundbreaking book Our Stolen Future, president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) and Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She is the author of numerous scientific publications about compounds that interfere with hormones and other chemical messengers that control development in wildlife and humans. Her incisive research has demonstrated that endocrine disrupting chemicals alter development of the fetus in the womb by interfering with the natural hormonal signals directing fetal growth. Her work has prompted the enactment of new laws around the world. Read Full Article »

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