by Carl Haakenstad, Bulk Buyer
At the Oneota Co-op, we are always on a mission to research and bring in high quality foods that have been sustainably grown and prepared. With these high quality standards in mind, I was excited to see the Cornucopia Institute release its new Organic Cereal Scorecard.
The Cornucopia Institute is a non-profit education and advocacy organization whose mission is defined as, “Seeking economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development our goal is to empower farmers – partnered with consumers – in support of ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.” One thing the Cornucopia Institute is known for is their “scorecards” that give food manufacturers a score based on their commitment to organic agriculture, support of small farmers, animal treatment, or other criteria based on economic or environmental sustainability. These scorecards are a powerful tool for helping consumers determine whether the brands that they buy are living up to the promises that are printed on their labels.
When the new Organic Cereal Scorecard was released, I was very pleased to see four brands that we sell in the Bulk department ranked with the highest score of “five grains.” Brands ranked as “five grains” are considered “trustworthy and committed to organics, produced by true heroes in the organic industry.” The Bulk department carries these cereals and granolas from the following five-grain ranked companies.
Grandy Oats – An independently-owned company marketing 100% organic granolas out of Brownfield, Maine.
• Classic Granola, Swiss Style Muesli, and Low-Fat Cranberry Chew Granola
Great River Milling – An independently-owned milling company marketing all-organic flours, cereals, and pancake mixes. Great River Milling purchases Green-e certified renewable energy to offset 100% of their electricity used in Fountain City, WI.
• Seven Grain Cereal (though their pancake mixes are great for breakfast also!)
Nature’s Path – A family-run, independent company that has been committed to organics and sustainability for 25 years. They are also a founding partner of the non-GMO Project.
• Hemp Plus Granola and Ginger Zing Granola
Tierra Farm – An independent, employee-owned company from the Finger Lakes region of New York. On-site solar panels supply 70% of their electricity needs.
• Triple Berry Granola, Pistachio Mulberry Granola, Strawberry Currant Banana
Granola, and Apple Cinnamon Walnut Granola
The full report can be found online at www.cornucopia.org/cereal-scorecard/. While you are there, check out all of their other scorecards and reports and see how well some of your favorite brands live up to their promises.