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.

Demand Real Organic Food from Real Organic Farmers!

December 14th, 2017

[Download the proxy here.]

Sign the Proxy Asking Major Retailers to Offer Genuine Organic Choices 

We need the stores we shop at to quit trying to sell us fake organic food from inhumane livestock factories, masquerading as organic, or hydroponic vegetables fertilized with conventional soybeans and grown in ground up coconut waste … or even ground up recycled plastic!

Top retailers like Whole Foods Markets, Costco, Target, Safeway, Walmart, and Kroger must be convinced to provide choices in their grocery aisles for authentic, nutrient-dense organic food grown in rich, carefully stewarded soil.

If the nutrients are not in our soil, they are not in our food …. and they are not in our families! Factory farm meat, dairy and egg production, and fruits and vegetables grown without soil rich in humus result in inferior flavor and nutrition.

Increasingly, grocery aisles are filled with faux organics brought to consumers by corporations that are selling out the true meaning of organics.  Read Full Article »

New Report Exposes Deceptive Marketing in $9 Billion-Dollar Snack Bar Industry

December 11th, 2017

Decoding Granola/Protein/Energy Bar Labels:
Avoiding Hexane-Extracted Ingredients

Scorecard Separates Gimmicky Junk Food from
True Organic/Nutrient Dense Brands

A new report exposes misleading marketing practices by food industry giants that market candy-like snack and energy bars as wholesome and nutritious. Issued by The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit food and farm policy research group, the report further exposes leading natural/organic brands for including cheap, conventional ingredients instead of creating nutritive products that qualify for the USDA organic label.

The report, and an accompanying scorecard, Raising the Bar, Choosing Healthy Snack Bars versus Gimmicky Junk Food, details how snack bar quality varies widely among brands, even among the many brands that market themselves as “made with” organic ingredients (a label with lower federal standards than certified organic). The report exposes USDA National Organic Program regulations that provide industry-friendly loopholes for the use of conventional, hexane-extracted ingredients in the “made with” organic category.

“The highly profitable snack bar industry is rife with gimmicky substitutes, such as protein isolates, instead of whole food ingredients,” says the report’s lead author, Linley Dixon, PhD, chief scientist at Cornucopia. Read Full Article »

Authentic Organic: Always the Best Choice

December 10th, 2017

Backed by Sound Science

[This article was previously published in the winter issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Anne Ross, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

An ancient Roman philosopher once said, “The greatest wealth is health.”

Choosing organically produced foods has always been, and continues to be, the best choice in nurturing the health of individuals, our communities, and the planet.

At a time when consumers are especially concerned about the integrity and origin of organically labeled food, a familiar question resurfaces: “Is authentic, organically produced food really better for me?”

For starters, numerous studies continue to establish that organically produced food has an enhanced nutritional profile.

Late last year, one of the most comprehensive reviews of existing research on organic food and production practices was published.1 Read Full Article »

The Cultivator – Winter 2017

December 10th, 2017

Winter 2017 Cultivator coverThe Winter 2017 Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter, is now available online. Download the PDF here.

In it you’ll find:

    • Healthy Snack Bar, or Gimmicky Junk Food?
    • Illegal Certification of Hydroponics Continues
    • Slower-Growing Chickens
    • Cornucopia Members Speak Up!
    • Authentic Organic: Always the Best Choice: full article with footnotes
    • Measuring Biodiversity on Organic Farms
    • Farmer Profile: As the Crow Flies

Read Full Article »

Fraudulent Imports, Urgent Action

December 9th, 2017

Will the USDA Heed the Call for More Stringent Regulations?

[This article was previously published in the fall issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Anne Ross, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

On July 18, Cornucopia submitted a formal request to the National Organic Program, petitioning the USDA to enact, on an expedited basis, critical regulatory changes to halt the entry of fraudulent organic grain into the U.S.

Cornucopia’s request calls for amending existing regulations to require new audit-trail protocols, mandating that importers trace grains back to overseas farms.

The petition also requests the USDA, in coordination with other governmental agencies, implement testing of all bulk imports of organic grain.

To ensure integrity throughout the supply chain, the USDA must immediately require certifiers to deploy inspectors to conduct unannounced pesticide residue testing on overseas farms located in known high risk countries.

While the petition awaits USDA review, the staggering losses to domestic organic grain producers continue to mount. Massive quantities of organic grain imports began to increasingly impact the market in 2015 and 2016. Read Full Article »

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