June 20th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: The longest running study on flavonoid levels and antioxidant activity in onions defies a 2012 study showing little or no nutritional difference between organic and conventional. As it happens, new research reveals that the level of key nutrients in organic is nutritionally superior.
Organic conditions boost flavonoids and antioxidant activity in onions
Five years ago, a highly publicized meta-analysis of more than 200 studies concluded that organic food was no more nutritious than conventionally grown food. Since then, however, additional work has suggested the organic foods contain more health-benefiting phytochemicals. Now, researchers have found that flavonoid levels and antioxidant activity in organic onions are higher than in conventional onions. Their investigation, in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, is the longest-running study to address the issue. Read Full Article »
June 20th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup, is not apparently lethal to ants but does change ant behavior. Behavior changes like those found by researchers below are alarming, and, in aggregate, may cause larger changes in the ecosystem.
Roundup caused lab ants to stop digging — but not because of its key ingredient
St. Louis Public Radio
by Eli Chen
A study at Webster University has revealed that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup can significantly change ant behavior.
Researchers began two years ago to study how ants are affected by man-made contaminants, including Roundup. The product has become controversial recently due to allegations that its key ingredient, glyphosate, causes cancer in humans.
The ant study hasn’t been published yet, but student researchers noted that the herbicide significantly affected western harvester ants.
“When we put Roundup in the habitat, all digging ceased. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t believe it,” said Victoria Brown-Kennerly, a geneticist at Webster University who supervised the project. “These chemicals are not lethal to the animals, but it’s definitely changing their behaviors.” Read Full Article »
June 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Food allergies and intolerances are a terrible burden to the afflicted. Cornucopia has reported on carrageenan, a common food ingredient which makes people ill, and DHA which sickens some infants from formula. Pesticide exposure is another possible culprit for food sensitivity. Cornucopia recommends a whole food, organic diet. A simple diet also helps eaters more easily discern which foods and ingredients may be causing trouble.
3.6 Percent Of Americans Found To Have Food Allergies Or Intolerances
NPR – The Two-Way
by Amy Held
Researchers are giving us new insight into the problem of food allergies and intolerances. A new study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital finds 3.6 percent of Americans are dealing with those problems.
The study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, looked at the electronic health records of 2.7 million people and identified 97,482 with one or more food allergies or intolerances.
Researchers defined allergies and intolerances as anything resulting in an adverse reaction to a food, including hives, anaphylaxis or shortness of breath.
Women and girls were found to be more likely to suffer from the problem — 4.2 percent compared to 2.9 percent among males. And people of Asian descent were the likeliest subgroup to be affected at a rate of 4.3 percent. Read Full Article »
June 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Solo vegetable farming is a dicey business, big growers have made it more difficult to find buyers, and the Amish lifestyle cultivates separation from the world, making internet advertising and timely phone calls impossible. Against these odds, a group of Amish farmers sell designer produce to restaurateurs in Washington, DC.
How a small Amish farm co-op came to supply D.C.’s top restaurants
The Washington Post
by Scott Rodd
With a crop of curly brown hair that folds under his fraying straw hat, Emanuel Stoltzfus stands beside a split-rail fence at the edge of his Pennsylvania farm and watches a heavy fog scuttle across distant hilltops.
“I was itching to get my fingers in the dirt,” says Stoltzfus, 41, who lives in Doylesburg. “So I grew some winter squash.”
That was 10 years ago. His start with Path Valley Farms — a co-op that connects many of the Amish farmers in Franklin County — was intuitive and unceremonious. He harvested that squash and took it to the co-op’s loading dock, where produce is gathered, sorted and boxed for deliveries.
Before joining the co-op, Stoltzfus picked up work hours at a nearby pallet factory. Other farmers used to bounce between carpentry and construction jobs. But as Path Valley Farms grew over the past decade, the co-op has become a lifeline for this Amish community. Farming has re-emerged as a sustainable venture, which, according to Stoltzfus (now the co-op’s president), helps preserve a central pillar of Amish culture: “Families can work together.” Read Full Article »
June 16th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: It is unknown what the implications will be of this purchase. It could help make organic food more widely available, or it could place other retailers, including co-op grocers, at a competitive disadvantage. There are serious unanswered questions. Interestingly, the owner of the Washington Post (Jeff Bezos) owns Amazon, and the Washington Post has been running a series of highly critical stories of failings in the organic community and management of the USDA’s National Organic Program.
Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion
by Nick Turner, Selina Wang, and Spencer Soper
Amazon.com Inc. will acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, a bombshell of a deal that catapults the e-commerce giant into hundreds of physical stores and fulfills a long-held goal of selling more groceries.
Amazon agreed to pay $42 a share in cash for the organic-food chain, including debt, a roughly 27 percent premium to the stock price at Thursday’s close. John Mackey, Whole Foods’ outspoken co-founder, will continue to run the business — a victory after a fight with activist investor Jana Partners that threatened to drive him from power.
The deal sends shockwaves across both the online and brick-and-mortar industries. Grocery chains plunged on Friday — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell as much as 7.1 percent, while Kroger Co. tumbled 17 percent — as investors worried that woes will mount in the increasingly cutthroat industry. Amazon and Whole Foods weren’t always seen as obvious partners, but Mackey has been under pressure to find an acquirer after Jana disclosed a more than 8 percent stake and began pushing for a buyout. That prodding irked Mackey, who has referred to Whole Foods as his “baby” and to Jana as “greedy bastards.” Read Full Article »