The Cornucopia Institute - Helping to Keep Our Food System Honest


By Nancy Smorch

As you have probably already figured out, it’s not only extremely difficult to weed through all of the information available about food and healthy eating, but also to trust what information you may decide to act upon.

One resource I have found and trust is The Cornucopia Institute. As they state:

“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.”

I would strongly encourage you to spend some time perusing their site, but beware, it’s easy to get lost on it for hours at a time! It’s a wealth of information for those of you with questions, including information on organics and farming in the media, and news-related articles where The Cornucopia Institute confronts companies and the government about organic claims and policies.

It also has reports such as “Dairy Report and Scorecard, Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Milk” where you can see if your favorite organic milk is really organic, or if it comes from factory farm milk supplies (you’ll be surprised at the results!).

There is an “Alerts” page where they inform the public on issues that need quick awareness or action to occur in a timely fashion, such as “GMOs: Tell Makers of Similac That Our Babies Are Not Human Lab Rats.”

They also have a Projects section, where they are heavily involved in various farm and organic-related issues such as the “Authentic Almond Project” where you’ll learn that “raw almonds” produced in the U.S. aren’t actually raw.

One of the areas of research I found extremely timely for me was their piece on carrageenan. I have recently worked to remove it from our own food supply.  Carrageenan is a commonly used food additive, which is derived from red seaweed.  It is used as a gelling, thickening, and stabilizing agent.

Initially, I didn’t really have any specific evidence that it wasn’t a good thing, but my instincts said something wasn’t right. I mean, why do you have to put carrageenan in almond milk or ice cream... or anything for that matter? You don’t see the Italians putting carrageenan in their authentic gelato, so you would think we could do the same thing here in the U.S.

I actually had a feeling that carrageenan might be causing some intestinal issues, and it turns out my instincts were right on track. It became a struggle to find foods that I wanted to continue to eat, but that didn’t contain carrageenan, but I’m making progress. Click here to read the report on carrageenan – I hope you find it as interesting and helpful as I did!

I find that with anything you are doing or anything you are passionate about, you must surround yourself with people and resources that can help you achieve your goals. The Cornucopia Institute is one of the resources I know I can turn to help ensure I stay on my path toward my goals – those of providing healthy, nutritious, and safe food for myself and my family.