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.

Powerful Organic Trade/Lobby Group Recruiting Family Farmers

October 22nd, 2014

OTA/Corporate Interests Creating “Trojan Horse” to Soften Image,
Increase Influence

OTAIn a move that would look just as cynical as if General Motors decided to create their own workers-union, the powerful Organic Trade Association (OTA) has created their own Farmer Advisory Council and is now discounting memberships to smaller family farmers in an attempt to soften their current image as a hard-knuckled corporate lobby group.

Over the past few years the OTA has received increasing criticism for their lobby efforts that have allegedly helped water down the federal standards governing organic farming and food production.  The latest dustup in Washington surrounding OTA activities concerns their attempt to sell Congress, and the organic farming community, on a scheme that will tax farmers and other industry participants to do research and promotional work.

“Trying to recruit farmers is an attempt by the OTA to redeem their damaged credibility and sell their agenda on Capitol Hill,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector at The Cornucopia Institute.  “The agribusiness lobby is also attempting to dilute the influence of nonprofit groups and cooperatives that legitimately represent the interests of family-scale farmers — and frequently differ with the OTA on regulatory policy.”

Over the past two years the OTA has run into a buzzsaw of opposition from farmers, and the groups that represent them, after proposing a commodity checkoff that would create an estimated $40 million per year.  “Farmers are understandably skeptical about being forced to pay into such a fund because of a long history of corruption, mismanagement and lack of effectiveness in existing checkoff programs showcasing milk mustaches, ‘incredible edible eggs,’ and ‘the other white meat’ (pork),” Kastel said.

The OTA is held in low esteem by many farmers and organic food advocates because of their past history and alleged duplicity in dealing with other interests in the organic food movement. Read Full Article »

Tune In to Food Sleuth Radio

October 21st, 2014

CI_SleuthRadio

Join Melinda Hemmelgarn, a registered dietitian and investigative nutritionist, for 28-minute, weekly interviews with national experts in food, health and agriculture. From physicians to film makers, writers, farmers, scientists and chefs, Food Sleuth Radio navigates our complicated food system. You’ll discover how farm and food policies impact our environment and public health, and learn the secrets to eating well. Provocative, practical and personal, Food Sleuth Radio helps us think beyond our plates to find “food truth.”  Award-winning Food Sleuth Radio ranks among the top national “green food radio shows.” If you care about what you eat, tune in. Read Full Article »

When It Comes to Food Packaging, What We Don’t Know Could Hurt Us

October 20th, 2014

Ensia
by Elizabeth Grossman

Credit: dvs

It’s almost impossible to imagine life without flexible, transparent and water-resistant food packaging, without plastic sandwich bags, cling film or shelves filled with plastic jars, tubs and tubes, and durable bags and boxes.

While storing food in containers dates back thousands of years, and food has been sold in bottles since the 1700s and cans since the 1800s, what might be considered the modern age of food packaging began in the 1890s when crackers were first sold in sealed waxed paper bags inside a paperboard box. Plastics and other synthetics began to appear in the 1920s and ’30s, shortly after chemical companies started experimenting with petroleum-based compounds and pioneering new materials that could be used for household as well as industrial applications.

Fast forward to 2014: Upwards of 6,000 different manufactured substances are now listed by various government agencies as approved for use in food contact materials in the U.S. and Europe — materials that can legally go into consumer food packaging, household and commercial food containers, food processing equipment, and other products. Read Full Article »

Introducing Carrot

October 20th, 2014

Introducing Carrot

Carrot is designed with you in mind. It’s a seamless experience, meticulously crafted, from beginning to end. It’s not just a vegetable, it’s what a vegetable should be.

Visit http://www.introducingcarrot.com/ for more information. Read Full Article »

Can E. Coli in Supermarket Meat Cause UTIs?

October 17th, 2014

Frontline
by Tim Molloy

Credit: Mattosaurus

Any urinary tract infection is bad, but some are getting worse. Along with the burning, piercing pain that typically accompanies a UTI, these infections pose another challenge: They’re getting much harder to treat.

For the past 20 years, doctors have been tracking a troubling rise in antibiotic-resistant UTIs, which primarily affect women. There are an estimated 8 million UTIs in the United States each year, and though most of these infections are still treatable with more powerful antibiotics, some otherwise healthy patients find themselves in need of IV treatment — and in some cases can develop deadly bloodstream infections.

“You don’t have a normally healthy 30-year-old woman come in, who’s never been in a hospital, with a resistant urinary tract infection that’s moved to her blood,” Elizabeth DuPreez, an infectious disease pharmacist who helped treat cases in Flagstaff, Ariz., explained FRONTLINE. “Where did she get that organism from?” Read Full Article »

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