The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

Organic Soil-based Farming Benefits All Life

March 24th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Soil health is foundational to all living things. Organic farming has enormous benefits for human and environmental health. While hydroponic container growing has merit in particular conditions, it is not organic agriculture.

The Organic Center Digs Deeper on Soil Health
by The Organic Center

When you buy organic, you’re buying into a type of agriculture with many benefits. Here’s the scoop on Soil Health. Read Full Article »

Keep Organics Rooted in Nutritious Soil

March 22nd, 2017

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by March 30

When food grown without soil (hydroponic) is allowed to carry the organic label, the environmental and health benefits that underpin organic farming are lost, and legitimate, soil-based farmers who steward the land are unfairly undercut by this cheaper/industrialized growing method.

You can do something about this …
      … to protect real organic farmers and nutritionally superior food!

Hydroponic Pepper Operation
(c) Dario Sabljak/Adobe Stock

In 2010 the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to prohibit hydroponics in organics.  Seven years later, the USDA has still not acted on this recommendation, turning a blind eye to the illegal organic certification of industrial-scale soil-less growers (both domestic and major importers).

Meanwhile, opposition to industrial organic hydroponic and “container” operations is growing. Organic farmers have organized and rallied to “keep the soil in organic.” Consumers are demanding nutrient dense food grown in soils high in organic matter.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch, have called for a moratorium on new hydroponic organic certification.  A letter signed by 45 organizations representing over two million members also called for a moratorium. The National Organic Program still has not responded.

Please join the resistance by telling the USDA to keep the soil in organics!

Post your comments online today — deadline March 30 Read Full Article »

Glyphosate Linked to Health Issues, Disorders, and Disease

March 21st, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is the active ingredient in many herbicides since its debut in agribusiness. Scientists have yet to determine exactly how glyphosate is causing health problems, but studies show that specific ailments arise in animals even with exposure to low doses of the chemical. Glyphosate is not allowed in organic agriculture.

Serious Health Conditions Studies Have Linked To Monsanto’s Roundup
Rodale’s Organic Life
by Markham Heid

Source: Mike Mozart, Flickr

This common agricultural herbicide has been associated with numerous health issues, but there are ways to reduce your exposure.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is easily the most heavily used agricultural chemical in the U.S., according to a 2016 study in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. And that’s starting to look like more and more of a problem.

“Roundup is widely used in gardens and commercial spaces, as well as in agriculture,” says Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group. It’s so widely used that it occasionally turns up in drinking water, Lunder says. That’s frightening because, since Roundup first hit the market in 1974, it has been linked to a bevy of health issues. Read Full Article »

Organic Soundbites May Not Be Organic Facts

March 21st, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: The newsreel spins so fast, it seems even reporters skim the news sometimes. Cornucopia encourages readers to examine studies of interest personally, and not just rely on media coverage.

What the latest research actually says (and doesn’t) about organic
The Organic Center

Source: Casey Lessard

Precise analysis of scientific articles isn’t always easy and almost never quick.  Today’s media has much to report on and respond to, and increasingly, corners get cut in taking the time to get the news out in the most accurate way. A new journal article published in Science Advances highlights many areas where organic agriculture excels: higher biodiversity, improved soil and water quality, greater profitability, and higher nutritional value.  But much of the current media coverage focuses less on the content of the paper and more on a few out of context quotes, and the guarded title of the article, “Many shades of gray—The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture”. Read Full Article »

In Memoriam: Dave Engel — Organic Farming Pioneer

March 20th, 2017

Cornucopia staff mourns the loss of organic farming pioneer Dave Engel. Dave helped found CROPP/Organic Valley and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Please consider making a donation to MOSES in memory of this long-time organic dairy leader (please see below).

David James Engel, age 65, died on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care in Viroqua.

David Engel

Dave Engel is survived by his wife, Marta W. Engel (Nee Weinfeld) of Soldiers Grove; his mother, Mary Roessel Engel, of Bismarck, N.D.; his children, Joshua (Teresa) Engel, Soldiers Grove; Noah (Ximena) Engel, Viroqua; Tobiah Engel, Baltimore, Md. and Lilly Engel; Minneapolis, Minn.; and grandsons, Otto, Yasmani and Rafael.

He is preceded in death by his father, Austin George Engel Jr. of Bismarck, N.D.

Dave Engel was born on August 9, 1951 in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Bismarck High School and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dave was a dairy farmer for 30 years and will be remembered for his work as a pioneer and champion of organic and family farmers. Dave was a founding farmer for Organic Valley where he sold milk for 23 years. Dave helped found and was the executive director of MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association). He also founded Nature’s International Certification Services. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000