Cornucopia News Archive

Sick Cows/Sick People – The Grass-fed Antidote

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
Sick Cows
The Grass-fed Antidote
Image: Marc Cesario, Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall, VT

Almost all of the beef available in supermarkets across the country comes from sick cows that pose a significant risk to human health. The Cornucopia Institute, a national food and farm policy research group, has just released a video educating consumers on where their burger meat comes from. The informative, short video, Sick Cows/Sick People-The Grassfed Antidote, shows just how unhealthy typical beef production is and what consumers can do to find excellent meat for their Labor Day barbeques.

“Most beef cattle in the U.S. are morbidly obese and likely suffer from diabetes and fatty livers,” said Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s senior farm policy analyst. “Very few would survive to old age if not sent to slaughter.”

Like people, a cow’s diet and environment strongly influences its health. The conventional U.S. beef production system depends on a network of farmers and ranchers who raise cattle on grain, with access to pasture, for the initial portion of their lives. But the final “finishing” months of a beef animal’s life is invariably spent wading through manure and mud on massive, crowded, grass-free feedlots, where thousands of other animals are fattened on GMO corn-based feed.

“These animals have evolved to eat grass and other fresh plants. High production grain-based rations, along with routinely administered drugs to promote growth and stave off the inevitable illness from their unnatural diet and living conditions, makes factory-produced animals sick,” added Cornucopia’s Kastel, who narrates the video. “Sadly, this conventional beef is what many will be grilling up on Labor Day weekend.”

But Americans don’t have to eat meat from sick animals. There is a more humane, healthy alternative: 100% grass-fed organic beef, available at your local co-op, specialty retailer, or farmers market.

Read Full Article »

Battling BPA

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Controversies Over Its Use in Organic Food

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

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

Source: Adobe Stock

The basic principle of organic food and farming is one of health, whether it be in promoting health in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption.

Because organic foods are synonymous with good health, consumers are often surprised to learn that the USDA currently allows the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in cans and other packaging materials that contain organic foods.

Many consumers are familiar with BPA, a man-made chemical used to manufacture certain plastics and resins.

We are exposed to BPA through diet when it leaches out of containers into the food or liquid held therein. Read Full Article »

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.

To unmute, click on the sound icon in the lower right corner of the video.
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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 »