Cornucopia News Archive

Finding the Best Food at Your Local Farmers Market

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Join Cornucopia’s cofounder at his local farmers market in Viroqua, Wisconsin, searching for the best certified organic and non-certified local food. In this short video he explains the benefits of shopping locally and why you seek out certified organic farmers first, and then use Cornucopia’s new DIY Certification Guide to ask non-certified farmers educated questions about their growing methods.

Viroqua, in Vernon County, Wisconsin has a vibrant market. It’s thought there are more organic farmers in Vernon County in any county in the United States.

Read Full Article »

Squawking About Organic Chicken

Monday, August 7th, 2017

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

by Marie Burcham, JD, Farm and Food Policy Analyst
at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

During the presidential campaign of 1928, a circular published by the Republican Party claimed that if Herbert Hoover won there would be “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” Hoover saw chicken as a luxury food that he wanted to make accessible to every American. President Hoover got his wish; chicken is now the most consumed meat in the United States.

Per capita consumption of chicken and turkey has increased steadily since 1965. Chicken is currently the most widely available organic meat.

Unfortunately for shoppers who want to purchase healthy and ethical organic chicken, choosing a brand is complicated. Read Full Article »

A Seat at the Table

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Healthy Farmers Beget Healthy Food at Lady Moon Farms

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

by Rachel Zegerius
Communications and Development Associate at The Cornucopia Institute

Anaïs Beddard grew up at Lady Moon Farms playing in farm fields, working in the old oak grove packing shed, and cultivating genuine friendships with farm employees and their families.

Source: Greig Cranna

Each employee is part of the family at Lady Moon Farms. With a team of nearly 300 workers, the Beddard family can’t fit them all at the dinner table these days. If they could, they certainly would.

From the time Chris and Tom Beddard embarked on this journey together nearly 30 years ago, they have prioritized the lives of their farmworkers as highly as the soil.

What started as five acres and a dream is now the largest organic vegetable operation east of the Mississippi, with nine farms in three states (Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida) and over 2,600 tillable acres.

This year, Tom will receive the Rodale Institute’s esteemed 2017 Organic Pioneer Award—recognition of their successful path. Read Full Article »

Organic Industry Watchdog Lobbies for Stricter Regulations Governing Imports

Monday, July 24th, 2017

After 10 Years of Pressure by The Cornucopia Institute, an Article in The Washington Post is Changing the Competitive Landscape in Organics

A recent Washington Post investigation illustrated serious flaws in the organic certification program at the USDA, undermining confidence in the organic label and spotlighting the harm domestic organic grain farmers continue to suffer at the hands of unscrupulous competitors in the international supply chain.

The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry research and policy organization, is taking action to hold the USDA accountable.  Cornucopia has sent a formal request petitioning the USDA to enact critical new regulations that will make it increasingly difficult for fraudulent organic imports to cross U.S. borders.

In addition, the watchdog group will be reporting to consumers and wholesale buyers which organic brands exclusively source domestic organic feed for their meat, dairy products and eggs.

“Cornucopia is using both legal and marketplace channels to put an end to this profiteering that damages the organic label,” said Will Fantle, Cornucopia’s research director. “We are putting pressure on the USDA as we develop tools to help buyers avoid these wholesale scams in the marketplace.” Read Full Article »

Farmer’s Footstep the Best Fertilizer

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

News from the Spring NOSB Meeting in Denver

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

by Linley Dixon, PhD, Senior Scientist
at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

With five new members of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the debate over whether soil-less, hydroponic systems can be certified organic felt like starting over from scratch.

Those of us who have followed the workings of the NOSB for years now are beginning to feel exasperated that something so basic as the legal requirement to foster soil fertility in organic systems is up for debate.

Organic cannot be defined solely by inputs. Rather, sequestering organic matter by supporting complex biological systems in the soil is a prerequisite of organic production. For those of us involved in organics for the last 30 years, our response is……….duh!

The bigger question: Why are NOSB members complicating this issue? It is obvious to organic farmers, and many consumers, that hydroponic and large industrial “container” operations are not organic precisely because they are entirely based on the continuous supply of liquid fertilizers and inputs. Read Full Article »