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.
Some people may be dimly aware that Thailand’s chilies and Italy’s tomatoes — despite being central to their respective local cuisines — originated in South America. Now, for the first time, a new study reveals the full extent of globalization in our food supply. More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else — often far away. And that trend has accelerated over the past 50 years.
Colin Khoury, a plant scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (known by its Spanish acronym CIAT) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the study’s lead researcher. Khoury tells The Salt that “the numbers affirm what we have long known — that our entire food system is completely global.” Read Full Article »
North Dakota voters overturned legislation Tuesday that loosened Depression-era regulations on corporate farming in the midwestern state.
A law colloquially known as the “ham and cheese law” was passed last year, exempting pork and dairy operations from the state’s longtime ban on corporate farming.
Supporters of the law said that it would bring more money to the state by boosting the two dwindling industries.
But opponents spoke up for family farming, arguing that local farms would not be able to compete with corporations who would have no stake in the local communities in which they would operate. The North Dakota Farmers Union unanimously voted to bring the legislature to referendum, just one week after it was passed. Read Full Article »
Today, six chemical companies control 63% of the seed market, and their combined R&D budgets are 15 times higher than all U.S. public spending on agricultural research. And with recently announced efforts to merge it’s about to get worse. Read Full Article »
Input-intensive crop monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots must be consigned to the past in order to put global food systems onto sustainable footing, according to the world’s foremost experts on food security, agro-ecosystems and nutrition.
The solution is to diversify agriculture and reorient it around ecological practices, whether the starting point is highly-industrialized agriculture or subsistence farming in the world’s poorest countries, the experts argued.
A new Purdue Extension publication examines the causes and effects of pesticide drift, including information on how to recognize and report a drift incident.
Pesticide drift occurs when chemicals used to manage weeds or insects are blown or carried off target by wind during application, posing a potential risk to people, animals and plants on neighboring properties.
“Whether it’s a next-door neighbor or a farmer who owns the field adjacent to your property, they have the legal right to apply pesticides to their property,” Whitford said. “However, pesticide applicators also have the legal obligation to keep those products on their side of the property line.” Read Full Article »