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.

Don’t Repeat Mistakes That Led to Superweeds

July 18th, 2014

The Des Moines Register
by Neil D. Hamilton

Palmer Amaranth
Credit: USDA

The Des Moines Register deserves a hearty thank you for Donnelle Eller’s eye-opening Sunday article on glysophate-resistant Superweeds. It details a real threat to Iowa agriculture and raises important questions about responsibility and the way forward.

Some may believe it too soon or even unhelpful to consider how this happened and who bears responsibility for getting us into this mess. But if we fail to consider these questions, don’t we risk the likelihood our “solutions” will simply repeat our mistakes?

For over 20 years the farm chemical industry, led by Monsanto, has proclaimed the unquestioned benefits of genetically modifying seeds, and farmers gladly got on the GMO bandwagon as we raced to a golden era of high-tech agriculture. Claims of enhanced yields and one-pass weed control were hard to resist — especially as the seed industry bred resistance to Roundup, or glyphosate, into every crop and variety possible.

Truthfully, though, herbicide resistance is not inherently yield enhancing — not like the hybridizing work of Henry Wallace or any seed breeder who helps plants put more beans in the pod. What we created is simply a weed control system the main effects of which are to sell more Roundup and expensive modified seeds and allow farmers to cover more acres. Read Full Article »

Monsanto Wants You

July 18th, 2014

CI_CallingAllBloggers

Female bloggers that is.  The GMO and pesticide giant is seeking to (mis)inform you about their impact on food and the environment.  In addition to brunch, you get to ask questions!  Monsanto will reward your Sunday morning participation with $150.  Express yourself here. Read Full Article »

The Future of Farming Is A Gift From Our Past: Celebrating 90 Years of Biodynamic® Agriculture

July 18th, 2014

Demeter Association, Inc.
by Erin Sojourner Agostinelli

Demeter Certified BiodynamicNinety years ago this year, Rudolf Steiner addressed a group of farmers at a European farmhouse located in today’s Poland.  A well-known scientist and social advocate, Steiner is now best known as the founder of Waldorf education.  The farmers asked Steiner for help because they were very concerned about what they were witnessing on their farms.  Their farms’ soil was depleted, their seeds weren’t germinating, and their animals were suffering: the overall life and vitality of their farms was markedly declining.

It’s helpful to place this in the context of the times.  Prior to the advent of industrialization, our communities were agrarian and people lived on their farms.  They grew food for themselves and their farm animals.  Lots of different crops grew and the farm itself existed in a larger ecological context of forests, plains, and watersheds.  People lived in tune with the seasons and the celestial rhythms.  But by the turn of the last century, people moved from their farms to the cities.  Factories were built focused on increased production based on the increased utilization of our natural resources.  Read Full Article »

GMO Food Labeling Law Pressure Mounts

July 17th, 2014

The Des Moines Register
by Christopher Doering

Congress could face pressure to establish a uniform, nationwide law on the labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients as early as next year, as more states regulate the controversial technology found in much of the U.S. food supply.

The debate over whether to label salad dressings, soups, cereals and other grocery store staples made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, gained momentum in May after Vermont became the first state to require labeling of foods made from those ingredients. The measure, which is being challenged in court by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other groups, is set to take effect July 1, 2016. Read Full Article »

My Road to Organics: Cycling to Health, Vitality and Purpose

July 17th, 2014

[This story originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of  The Cultivator, The Cornucopia Institute’s quarterly print publication available to members and online.]

Many of us have had an aha! moment or moments that sparked our decision to farm, garden or eat organically. In this issue, Cornucopia board member Amanda Love tells how a cross-country journey awakened her to an organic lifestyle. Today she offers workshops, classes and retreats on how to prepare delicious, nourishing meals and live a harmonious life.

by Amanda Love, Board Member, The Cornucopia Institute

Amanda Love 2014Was it my grandmother who owned a health food store in New Mexico long before they were popular or my health-conscious mother? Was it reading Emerson and Thoreau in high school that opened my mind to new expanses? Or the college study-abroad trip to Italy, where I experienced real food, real family values and la dolce vita?

I’m not sure which of these had the most influence on me or if they all converged to make me begin to question my way of life and start doing things differently. But I do know that the real turning point for me came the summer of 1997, when I rode my bicycle across the country. This trip unequivocally changed my life. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
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