Media/News Archive

Leopold Center in Danger – Call Today

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is in danger of being defunded by the state of Iowa, which would effectively close the doors. The legislation is currently sitting on the governor’s desk. Call Governor Branstad TODAY asking him to protect the Leopold Center.  Call 515-281-5211 or submit comments at https://governor.iowa.gov/constituent-services/register-an-opinion. The Leopold Center’s importance extends well beyond Iowa’s borders.


Cost-Cutting Sustainability
DTN – The Progressive Farmer
by Chris Clayton

Iowa Lawmakers Push to Dismantle Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Just three weeks ago, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was celebrating its 30th anniversary with guest lecturers, including some of the former state legislators who helped create the center.

But in a surprise move last week at the Iowa statehouse, lawmakers voted to eliminate the sustainable agriculture research center by zeroing out the Leopold Center’s entire funding stream. Read Full Article »

Egg Labels Explained

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Egg cartons have an increasingly dizzying number of claims stamped across them, and we regularly receive questions on their meanings. This article decodes them well. Cornucopia’s scorecard for organic eggs helps consumers decide which organic brands are produced with the highest integrity and best management practices.


What All of the “Cage-Free” Stuff on Egg Cartons REALLY Means
Bon Appétit
by Adrienne Rose Johnson

Source: Saecker

Brown, white, jumbo, organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed, humane, farm-fresh: My grocery store literally has 15 types of eggs. The cheapest dozen cost $3.56 and the most expensive are $9.99. Some cartons look like advertisements for down-on-the-farm hoedowns, a fantasy of cheery chickens and farm folk in a quilting bee or at a barn-raising. There’s Meadow Creek Farm, Happy Egg Co., Scenic Vista Farm: Would I rather my eggs come from a meadow or a scenic vista? Do happy chickens with a view lay better eggs?

And they all pretty much look the same. Even the giant flat shrink-wrapped pallets of eggs seem okay: they’re jumbo, “farm-fresh,” and “natural” just like cute little organic 6-packs. But are they the same?

We pinned down what those labels mean. Read Full Article »

Earthworms are Farmers’ Friends

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Earthworms are our allies in soil creation, aeration, pollution clean-up, and more. These humble creatures provide many ecosystem services. Note: In some states, earthworms are considered invasive, changing forest ecosystems which evolved without earthworms. Highly invasive jumping worms should be reported to state environmental regulators.


Earthworms are more important than pandas (if you want to save the planet)
The Independent
by Sarah Johnson

Source: slappytheseal

Not all wildlife is created equal in our eyes. Take the earthworm, which doesn’t have the widespread appeal of larger, more charismatic animals such as gorillas, tigers or pandas. Worms are never going to get a strong “cute response”, so they won’t ever be the face of a conservation campaign.

But what Darwin rightly recognised is that – panda fans, avert your eyes – worm conservation is much more important once we factor in their provision of what we now call “ecosystem services”, which are crucial to human survival. Read Full Article »

Farmers Worldwide Recognize Soil’s Importance

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Healthy soil is alive, and farmers who care for the life of soil see many benefits. This article offers inspiring examples of farmers working with the land.


Is soil the great new integrator?
Environmental Health News
by Lisa Palmer

Source: Chesapeake Bay Program

From the drought-plagued Valle del Cauca in Colombia to the High Plains of West Texas, farmers are learning to work with the land instead of against it.

Carlos Hernando Molina pressed his boot onto the shovel and the blade cut into the earth. He rocked the handle, turned over the clump of soil, and fingered the dirt to point out the worms, bugs and plant fibers as the soil crumbled.

His land was alive. Worms twisted and beetles scurried to hide. Microorganisms were there, too, but you couldn’t see them working to help plant fibers decompose, making the soil ready to supply nutrients to roots. The shovel-full of soil was the definition of healthy, but it didn’t always look this way. Read Full Article »

USDA Testing for Glyphosate in Limbo

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: While the USDA claims glyphosate is harmless, and therefore hardly worth the expense of testing for, they did start limited testing for the herbicide last year. According to this article, a FOIA request gathered information about alarmingly high levels of glyphosate in honey and in oatmeal. Testing was to commence in earnest this month, but the plan seems to have been scuttled. Glyphosate, produced by Monsanto as the active ingredient in Roundup, is prohibited for use in organic agriculture.


USDA Drops Plan To Test For Monsanto Weed Killer In Food
The Huffington Post
by Carey Gillam

The FDA has found glyphosate in honey,
but further testing has been shelved
Image source: Marina Avila

Much more research is needed to understand the impact on human health of chronic dietary exposures to pesticides, many say.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has quietly dropped a plan to start testing food for residues of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicides.

The agency spent the last year coordinating with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in preparation to start testing samples of corn syrup for glyphosate residues on April 1, according to internal agency documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. Documents show that at least since January 2016 into January of this year, the glyphosate testing plan was moving forward. But when asked about the plan this week, a USDA spokesman said no glyphosate residue testing would be done at all by USDA this year.

Read Full Article »