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.
October 27th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Center for Food Safety hosted a conference for ranchers in Hawaii, “Healthy Soils, Healthy Ranching.” Ranchers and experts gathered to network and learn from one another, and to begin carbon monitoring. Cornucopia supports this and other initiatives on sustainable farming that recognize the importance of soil and its intimate connection to farming.
Healthy Soils, Healthy Ranching in Hawai‘i
Earlier this month, Center for Food Safety brought together its Soil Solutions program and its Hawai‘i office to host “Healthy Soils, Healthy Ranching” – a conference for ranchers from across the state of Hawaii at Puʻu O Hoku Ranch on the island of Molokai.
This conference brought together forward-looking ranchers with a variety of experts to share best practices, review emergent science on the role of soil health in climate change mitigation, and create a rancher-to-rancher network for future data monitoring and collaboration. Participants were welcomed to the beautiful ranch by Ashley Lukens, director of Hawai’i CFS. Soil Solutions program director, Diana Donlon brought attendees up to speed on the climate angle by outlining the direct connection between soil degradation and excess atmospheric carbon. Read Full Article »
October 27th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Many of us in the good food movement are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of GMOs escaping into the environment. A research team from Rice University in Texas has developed a device to detect GMOs in water.
New Device Could Detect GMOs That Have Escaped Into Environment
by Tara MacIsaac
Researchers led by Rice University Professor Scott Egan have received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the environment.
The research team is developing a tool Egan said is the ecologist’s version of a Star Trek tricorder, according to an Oct. 10 university news release.
The device, called a light transmission spectrometer (LTS), is already able to detect signs of genetically modified DNA in water samples and the team is now refining the technology. Read Full Article »
October 26th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Agriculture in Haiti has been in recovery from destructive hurricanes, an earthquake, and prolonged drought. When Hurricane Matthew recently took fruit trees, fishing nets, and homes, it became clear once more that any humanitarian response will need to help repair Haiti’s agriculture.
Hurricane Matthew leaves the farmers and fishermen of Haiti struggling to survive
by Jacqueline Charles
MORNE LA SOURCE, Haiti — Marie-Lucienne Duvert looked out from under the eaves of her mud and wood-frame house, as her husband tried to repair the damaged roof above her head, and tried to come to grips with the expanse of devastation staring back.
“There isn’t even a tree left to catch a breeze,” said Duvert, 63, surveying the once-majestic coconut palm trees that now stood like inverted wet mops and the toppled plantains, avocados and dried-breadfruits littering the ground. “This was our livelihood. Now it’s all gone, destroyed.” Read Full Article »
October 26th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Many beekeepers treat their hives with miticides every year to kill Varroa mites, parasites that feed on developing bees. Some beekeepers suspect that if beekeepers did not treat them, bees would evolve to live with Varroa mites, producing a hardier bee. The interviews in this video begin about 30 seconds in, and offer first-hand accounts from beekeepers who keep feral bees, evolved to live with Varroa mites, and do not treat.
Treatment free beekeeping in Gwynedd, Wales
by Felix Remter
Watch the video. Read Full Article »
October 25th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: It has long been thought that the first farmers came from one place and spread out across the world. Recent DNA evidence shows the first farmers sprang up separately and in the same timeframe across the Fertile Crescent. Farming continues to evolve today.
How the First Farmers Changed History
The New York Times
by Carl Zimmer
Beneath a rocky slope in central Jordan lie the remains of a 10,000-year-old village called Ain Ghazal, whose inhabitants lived in stone houses with timber roof beams, the walls and floors gleaming with white plaster.
Hundreds of people living there worshiped in circular shrines and made haunting, wide-eyed sculptures that stood three feet high. They buried their cherished dead under the floors of their houses, decapitating the bodies in order to decorate the skulls.
But as fascinating as this culture was, something else about Ain Ghazal intrigues archaeologists more: It was one of the first farming villages to have emerged after the dawn of agriculture. Read Full Article »