Cornucopia News Archive

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 of 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 »

Mulch Your Soil, Inside and Out

Monday, December 4th, 2017

An Interview with David Montgomery and Anne Biklé

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

by Jennifer Hayden, Ph.D

Photo courtesy of
W.W. Norton and Company

What does soil health have to do with human health? A lot, it turns out. Healthy soil leads to a healthier environment, which improves health for everyone who lives near, or shares water with, farmland. And, healthy soil leads to healthier food, which improves health for those of us eating it!

But there’s more. When I recently sat down to talk with David Montgomery and Anne Biklé, authors of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, they described an unseen world thriving in healthy soil that parallels the profusion of life inside our bodies.

They’ve carefully studied how biodiversity in the soil and in our guts are related. Their book on the topic is well worth a read by anyone interested in exploring the interconnection between soil health and human health. Here are some excerpts from our wide-ranging conversation. Read Full Article »

Thank You

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
Source: Sharat Ganapati

A huge thank you to our many friends who donated to Cornucopia yesterday.

Your support for our work topped all previous Giving Tuesday outreach efforts.
We are humbled by this tremendous showing.

Thanks again for your confidence in our work.

Read Full Article »

Organic or Grass-fed Beef?

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

You Don’t Have to Choose

[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

While both USDA certified organic and grass-fed beef offer significant benefits compared to products produced by cows confined to a feedlot, these two labels are different.

USDA certified organic cattle must be fed entirely certified organic feed, which means the pastures must be certified along with any grain and hay the cattle are fed. None of the organic feed, including the pastures on which the cattle graze, can be sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.

In addition, organic beef cattle cannot receive antibiotics, growth-promoting hormones, or other drugs banned in organics. Also, unlike conventional cattle, organic cattle must graze for a certain percentage of their diet. Read Full Article »

Your Authentic Food/Farmers in Peril: Double Your Donation – Protect Organics! [Giving Tuesday]

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Dear Good Food and Farming Advocates,

On this this national day of charitable giving, I invite you to contribute to a cause I know you’re passionate about: good farming and good food.

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, a generous Cornucopia member has offered to DOUBLE all donations in support of authentic organic and local food and farms. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to double your impact with a gift to Cornucopia today.

Supporting Cornucopia amplifies your voice. That’s the voice calling for:

  • Ecologically sound agriculture.
  • Humane animal welfare.
  • Economic justice for family-scale farmers and ethical food companies.
  • Truly authentic organic food products — fight the corporate takeover of organics.

Read Full Article »