Promoting Economic Justice for Family-Scale Farming

NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE

News From the Cornucopia Institute

February 20, 2016

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40 Years of Research: Organic Farming Can Feed the World

Source: Suzie's Farm

Source: Suzie's Farm

Washington State University researchers looked at 40 years of scientific research comparing organic and conventional agriculture and concluded that organic agriculture can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment, and be safer for farm workers. The review study, “Organic Agriculture in the 21st Century,” reports that organic farms can out-produce their conventional counterparts in the increasingly common severe drought conditions. Consumers are willing to pay higher prices to organic farmers for their efforts to avoid externalized costs like pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Co-authors Reganold and Wachter recommend policy changes to encourage organic agriculture.

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Good Fats are Better in Organic Meat and Dairy

Source: USDA

Source: USDA

A new meta-analysis of 196 studies on milk and 67 studies on meat reports that organic milk and meat contain 50 percent higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional meat and milk. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, lower the risk of heart disease, improve cholesterol, and more. The higher levels of omega-3 in organic meat and milk are due to the cows grazing on pasture, per federal regulations. Most conventional dairy and meat cows spend their lives indoors, eating grain. Charles Benbrook, one of the study’s authors, notes, “It’s not something magical about organic. It’s about what the animals are being fed.”

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TPP: Bad News for Farmers, Consumers, and the Environment

Source: US Embassy

Source: US Embassy

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest trade deal in history, was signed in New Zealand this month, among concerns continuing to mount in the U.S. and elsewhere. Under provisions in the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, TransCanada is seeking $15 billion in damages over the Obama Administration’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline. TPP would open the door for further corporate lawsuits against governments. The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy criticizes further negative implications for farmers and ranchers, consumer labeling, food safety, and other state and local policies supporting local food and energy systems. You can contact your Congress members to share your concerns here.

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Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Herbicide in History

Source: Mike Mozart

Source: Mike Mozart

Although biotech proponents insist that planting genetically engineered crops decreases the need for herbicides, the introduction of Roundup Ready crops in 1996 resulted in farmers spraying 20 times more glyphosate on U.S. fields, and 15 times more glyphosate worldwide. Between 1974 and 2014, over 3.5 billion pounds of glyphosate was applied in the U.S., two-thirds of it between 2004 and 2014. These statistics from a study by Charles Benbrook, published in Environmental Sciences Europe, are especially poignant in light of the World Health Organization’s 2015 finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Benbrook hopes his work will stimulate more research and assist with early detection of problems from glyphosate exposure.

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Join Cornucopia’s Board and Staff in Illinois: March 19

Bushel & Peck's Local Market

Bushel & Peck's Local Market

Meet at Bushel & Peck’s Local Market in Beloit, Wisconsin from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for an evening of networking and advocacy with Cornucopia’s board of directors and staff. Attendees will enjoy farmer-sourced appetizers and libation. Cornucopia’s cofounder, Mark Kastel, will discuss how, together, we can defend the authenticity of our food supply. Come at 3:00 p.m. to tour a biodynamic vegetable farm with Angelic Organics Learning Center in nearby Caledonia, Illinois. Bring the whole family, and spend time with friendly livestock, including new goat kids! Please RSVP.

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CORRECTION:

Source: Lotus Johnson

Source: Lotus Johnson

In our last issue, a story that we did not author erroneously referred to alfalfa as a perennial grass. Alfalfa is, in fact, a perennial legume.

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The Cornucopia Institute

is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
TEL: 608-625-2000 | FAX: 866-861-2214 | www.cornucopia.org