Have you ever noticed that the best graphic design images about food in this country have the Cornucopia Institute logo on them? They’re wonderful!
Their name sounds kind of boring, but the Cornucopia Institute is actually very exciting. We use their website to get information about the food we eat because this non-profit organization analyses the actual situation in the US.
What is it?
They call themselves an “organic watchdog organization.” Their goal is to protect small family farms, so they provide the kind of research that larger agribusinesses do not always make available. (Note: We are not opposed to the concept of large agricultural businesses. However, we can’t be certain that the information they supply about our food is un-biased because they, obviously, have a vested interest in protecting their interests.)
There are two co-founders:
Mark Kastel used to work for International Harvester and other agribusiness giants. Now, he has a 160 acre organic farm in southwestern Wisconsin.
Will Fantle is an environmental activist, specializing in renewable energy. He received an award for an article he wrote for The Progressive in 2000 about Chicago landfill sludge being recycled for fertilizer – Plutonium Pancakes.
What are they doing?
The Cornucopia website is extensive (deep) and current. There are many sections including:
News: The articles are up-to-date and each one includes a paragraph with Cornucopia’s take. The articles are archived, so if you’re interested in a particular issue, you can research it there.
You can participate in some of their studies:
Scorecards: Some of the most interesting information on the website (in our opinion) is the scorecards. There are ratings for all kinds of issues, including:
Organic Dairy This is the one most directly related to cheese making. We are proud to say that the highest rated milk comes from a farm in our county in western Massachusetts and that we did an article about them in 2010 – Chase Hill Farm. You can see the criteria involved in the rating for each dairy on the list. Here’s the one for Chase Hill:
Projects: There seems to be no end to the issues they are willing to tackle.
Hydroponics – Can a Soil-less Growing System be Organic?
GMO Scorecard – Congressional GMO Voters Guide: Who Sold Out the “Right to Know”