Earth Day Every DAY: The Cornucopia Project

The Cornucopia Project is doing a lot for the farming environment. Here’s a summary:

PROMOTING ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR FAMILY-SCALE FARMING
NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE
NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE
DECEMBER 23, 2017 Cornucopia on Facebook Cornucopia on Twitter Cornucopia on Youtube Cornucopia on LinkedIn Cornucopia on Pinterest Donate

Mark Kastel on the Two Organic Labels

Mark Kastel

Cornucopia is increasingly seeing the rise of two organics. One is promulgated by big corporations, with weaker standards and potentially suspect ingredients—all facilitated by a compliant USDA—behind the cloak of secrecy. The other organic holds true to the founding precepts and is practiced by local farmers and a group of still independently owned brands following the spirit and letter of organic law. Codirector Mark Kastel recently discussed the growing organic divide on Facebook Live. Watch the video on our website.
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Authentic Organic: Always the Best Choice

ImageSource: Adobe Stock

Studies continue to show the health benefits of organic foods, including nutritional advantages. Organic milk has a 50% higher content of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional. Chickens fed organic feed have stronger immune systems, and organic chickens aren’t fed preventative antibiotics, a practice which creates antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Due to superior soil health, produce grown organically has a greater concentration of multiple antioxidants than conventional. Eating an organic diet also limits our exposure to dangerous pesticides. Investment in organic foods, and the authentic organic farmers who grow them, is an investment in our health. Cornucopia works to ensure that organic food remains the most nutritious and environmentally responsible choice.
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Fraudulent Imports: Cornucopia Takes Action

Source: Adobe Stock

Cornucopia filed a rulemaking petition with the USDA in July to enact regulatory changes that would halt the entry of fraudulent organic grain into the U.S. Cornucopia’s formal request calls for new audit-trail protocols, testing of imported organic grain, and inspectors to conduct unannounced pesticide residue testing on farms in known high-risk countries. The rise of cheap organic grain imports since 2015 has resulted in estimated losses exceeding $250 million for American organic grain farmers. Consumers can use their buying power: Cornucopia is preparing scorecards that will highlight exemplary organic brands committed to using domestic grain. Those brands that use imported organic grains will be red-flagged.
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Organic Crisis Garners Congressional Attention

ImageSource: Paul Seventy

Months of Washington Post investigative stories have echoed Cornucopia’s years-long allegations of lack of enforcement and lax organic rules. Some farmers are seeking alternative labels, and Rodale is promoting an add-on label to fill in gaps left by current organic regulations. The Organic Trade Association has even sued the USDA, over organic animal welfare concerns. Rep. John Faso (R-NY) recently proposed a bill to double the National Organic Program’s budget, providing funds to improve enforcement. It remains to be seen whether the current administration can summon the political will to restore the integrity of the organic label.
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Organic Animal Welfare Rule Dumped

Source: Macman68

Organic stakeholders have worked for over seven years to improve organic animal welfare standards. Cornucopia contended the rulemaking process was a ruse to delay enforcement action against “organic” factory farms denying their livestock outdoor access. Regardless, the proposed rule that emerged from the lengthy process was withdrawn by the Trump/Perdue USDA in response to concerns raised by the giant confinement egg production operations – some with barns holding 200,000 birds. The withdrawal raises troubling questions about the future of organic regulations – regulations that were sought by the organic community with the establishment of the organic program. For now, find out which brands are truly organic, and which make a mockery of the organic label, on the Scorecards tab at Cornucopia.org.
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Microbial Life in Your Soil and Your Gut

David Montgomery and
Ann Biklé
What does soil health have to do with human health? A lot. This interview with David Montgomery and Anne Biklé, authors of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, examines the unseen world thriving in healthy soil that parallels the life inside our bodies. When farmers feed their soil organic matter, it nurtures the microbial life that improves soil health. Biklé suggests a shift away from processed foods to those that feed the gut microbiome. While you prepare your holiday menus, consider adding extra organic leafy greens and vegetables to feed your body’s own microbiota.
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