Cornucopia News Archive

Demand Real Organic Food from Real Organic Farmers!

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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

Sunday, 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 »

Fraudulent Imports, Urgent Action

Saturday, 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 »

Conventional Calves?

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Loophole Exploited by Factory Organic Dairies

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

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

Source: Adobe Stock

All dairy cows must give birth before they begin lactating. The role played by these calves in a dairy’s operation reflects a farm’s dedication to organic ideals.

When a dairy cow “ages out,” or suffers irreversible health problems and is removed from milk production, she is replaced to maintain the same level of production.

Ethical dairies raise the calves they birth out as replacements for declining milk cows, a “closed-herd” method, keeping the animals within the organic system. Factory dairies will often purchase conventionally raised heifers and transition them to organic production.

Under the existing regulations, dairy farmers converting to organic farming are allowed a one-time transition of their existing herd to organic production. After that one-year process, all animals brought into a herd are supposed to be managed organically before birth, for at least the last third aof gestation.

However, some industrial-scale organic dairies, with the approval of their certifiers and the USDA, flout this rule by purchasing replacement heifers that were born and weaned using conventional methods. Read Full Article »