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.
August 12th, 2014
Facing Consumer Pressure, More Firms Are Jettisoning GMOs From Their Foods
The Wall Street Journal
by Annie Gasparro
Two years ago, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. initiated a plan to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from its ice cream, an effort to address a nascent consumer backlash and to fulfill its own environmental goals.
This fall, nearly a year behind schedule, it expects to finish phase one, affecting its flavorful “chunks and swirls” like cookie dough and caramel. The only part left to convert: the milk that makes ice cream itself. Thanks to the complexities of sourcing milk deemed free of genetically modified material, that could take five to 10 more years.
“There’s a lot more that goes into it than people realize,” said Rob Michalak, Ben & Jerry’s director of social mission.
Two decades after the first genetically engineered seeds were sold commercially in the U.S., genetically modified organisms—the crops grown from such seeds—are the norm in the American diet, used to make ingredients in about 80% of packaged food, according to industry estimates. (Take a quiz about GMOs.) Read Full Article »
August 12th, 2014 Helen Kees, Board President
Wisconsin organic beef and produce farmer Helen Kees was elected board president at Cornucopia’s March 22 annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kees, a third generation farmer, with her husband Bob and daughter Chris, holds the distinction of being one of Wisconsin’s first certified organic beef producers. The family direct markets vegetables and beef as well as wholesales to Organic Valley Cooperative.
New York organic dairy farmer Kevin Engelbert was elected board vice president. Engelbert, along with his wife Lisa and family, was the nation’s first certified organic dairy farmer. Their family farm produces a wide variety of organic cheeses, veal, beef, pork, pasture, hay, corn, soybeans, and vegetables. Engelbert, a fifth generation farmer, is a former member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
In addition, Barry Flamm, PhD, previously on Cornucopia’s policy advisory panel, was elected to the board. Read Full Article »
August 11th, 2014
Internationally renowned natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. Judy Carman about the dangers of eating genetically modified foods. Read Full Article »
August 11th, 2014
The New York Times
by Mark Bittman
|Olivier de Schutter|
Image Credit: Heinrich Boll Stiftung
I wish Olivier de Schutter had the power to match the acuity of his analysis, but it’s great that we’ve had an advocate whose vision is as broad as that of the corporations who have for the last 50 years determined global food policy. Since 2008, the human rights lawyer has had the title of United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food. (His second three-year term ends this week.) This is obviously not a genius marketing title and, even worse, the position carries no real power.
Still, the notion of an impartial observer who can see trends as corporations do — across political borders, and agnostic to them — is a valuable one. It’s easy enough for individual Americans to see how our problems may resemble Canada’s; it’s much more difficult to imagine ourselves struggling the way Indonesians do. That’s what De Schutter has done: shown us that the issues with the food system are as global as trade. Read Full Article »
August 8th, 2014
(Beyond Pesticides, August 7, 2014) Residents of St. Louis, Michigan aren’t used to seeing large excavators and dump trucks haul piles of dirt from their front yards or entire blocks of big, neighborhood trees felled. What they are used to seeing are dead birds —sometimes even spontaneous, mid-flight deaths of the birds— and because of a toxic series of events, disasters, and delays spanning decades, the two sights are inextricably connected.
As one St. Louis resident described to the Detroit Free Press, dozens of dead robins and blackbirds had been collected from her backyard in the 18 years she has lived there, with the most recent just a couple weeks ago. This experience and other similar stories from the area prompted researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) to start figuratively and literally digging. Read Full Article »