My thoughts on GMOs, fertilizer, organic foods, antibiotic use, and other controversial ag topics.

Now I don’t claim to be a expert on any of these topics, but I know enough to have an opinion. Growing up I’m sure we all heard ‘eat what’s on the table, or don’t eat at all’ maybe you even tell your kids that now. Well that’s what I’m telling you. Eat what’s on the table, or don’t eat at all. Farmers are doing their best, using the latest technology, to feed everyone, everywhere. You may go to the grocery store and buy your food, even bring it home and cook it, but I hate to burst your pretty little organic, vegan, antibiotic-free, GMO-hating bubble – WE grow it and without US you would not have food. Period.

If you want GMO-free, organic corn from a no-till field, have at it! Nobody’s stopping you. Go out and buy your OWN equipment and land. If you feel you can do better, do it yourself. I don’t know if you know it, but land and tractors cost a little more than your Prius. We don’t need to change the way we’ve done things for years to accommodate to you. Worry about yourself and the food you eat, not what the rest of the world is eating. Plenty of people are completely happy eating the food we provide. There are regulations in order to make sure the crops are nutritionally safe. GMOs, fertilizers, antibiotics are used because they need to be in order to provide enough food and are used in a safe manner. So if you’re not happy with what we’re working hard to put on your plate, grow it yourself. We’re not forcing you to eat what we grow. Yes, you have the right to your own opinion and to eat what you want. But you also have the right to grow your own food.

So you’re the consumer, you should have a say in what food is grown to feed you? True. But when the food is completely safe and nutritional, you don’t have a right to force your opinions and beliefs onto everyone else. You can eat organic food, be vegan or Paleo, or GMO-free, I don’t care that’s your choice. There are plenty of those options available. So take what you can get, and be happy!

It has to do with a lot more than food also. Corn and soybeans are used for so much more than human food, and farmers have to fill that demand too. There are many uses you might not even know about. For instance, corn is used in: penicillin, ethanol, starch, whiskey, oil, glue, plastic, batteries, diapers, matches, textiles, dyes, crayons, drywall, varnish, spark plugs, toothpaste, aspirin, tires, livestock feed, and so much more. Soybeans are used for biodiesel, ink, lubricants, crayons, foam, animal feed, adhesives, carpet, upholstery, varnish, lacquer, oil, flooring tiles, cleaners, and again so much more. GMOs and fertilizer help farmers to get the most of their crop, so they are able to provide the most that they can each year.

Livestock and antibiotic use is another hot topic. Just like humans do when they are sick, farmers treat sick animals with antibiotics. Without antibiotics animals would die from illness and spread it to the other ones around them. There are regulations on the use of antibiotics for livestock. Livestock cannot be sent for slaughter for a certain time period after they have received an antibiotic, once the time period has passed they are back to normal and healthy to consume.

And don’t get me started on anti-factory farming activists. 96% of farms are owned and operated by families. Factory farming is family farming.Β  ‘Factory farms’ is just a big scary word that activists like PETA have made up to make farmers look bad in the media. Most farmers don’t abuse their livestock, they take care of them, respect them, and treat them humanely. Occasionally, there are cases of abuse. And those people are worthless scum. I get that. But let me put this in perspective for you: There are some awful, worthless parents that abuse there children. But that doesn’t mean all parents abuse their children and we don’t treat all parents like they abuse their children. So why act like all farmers abuse there livestock?

For some people the problem is more about the equipment then the crops themselves. They are worried about emissions, diesel exhaust, our carbon footprint, erosion, and the ozone. I get that these are legitimate concerns, but farm equipment is not the only things that pollutes the air and many people besides farmers are far more detrimental to the environment. Erosion over the years has been greatly improved. Tractors, semis, and diesel trucks have emission equipment on them, they have been greatly restricted and produce much less emissions to harm the environment. Farmers use much less fertilizers these days, and the formula is safer. All other chemical are in their current safest form and scientist are constantly working to make them safer.

I think everyone needs to remember farmers are doing their best. We aren’t out to get you, we aren’t trying to harm you, we’re just trying to provide you with food (and many other things).

farm

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “My thoughts on GMOs, fertilizer, organic foods, antibiotic use, and other controversial ag topics.

  1. Thank-you! We own a family ranch & I am so tired of PETA & HSUS & other “greenie” groups telling everyone how bad farmers & ranchers are. I wish the consumer would get properly educated on exactly what goes into their food and what does not & how many regulations we have to follow & hoops we have to jump through & how little we actually get of the price they pay at the grocery store. I wonder if they would appreciate us a little more if we stopped feeding the world & made them grow their own

  2. I feel sorry for you. This is like hating people for not being christian or being the wrong color. Your intolerance is offensive and bombastic. I sincerely doubt i would buy anything from you. The majority of people want gmos to be labeled because they dont want to eat then. why firce us to? Good luck

    • I wouldn’t feel sorry for me. I stated that I don’t care what diet/food you choose, that’s your choice. There are plenty of options for you. People like you are trying to force all farmers to fit your lifestyle. I think it’s funny you’re trying to compare this to race and religion. My intolerance is to stupidity and lack of education. My guess is you don’t have a full understanding of what a GMO is, that you heard it was bad from the media and formed your opinion from there. I bet you nevet talked to an actual farmer regarding it. I mean would you trust the media with your health or a doctor? Obviously, the doctor. Think about it like that.

      • Amen Brandi! Homemade Organic websites saying organics are healthier and GMOs are bad…. or accredited research studies using FACTUAL findings to support GMOs are healthy and organics aren’t any healthier than conventionally farmed products?

        Love this post πŸ™‚
        Keep it up!

      • Some farmers are finding that using GMO feed caused huge increases in their breeding stock staying open and when switching back to non GMO feeds, the animals returned to normal conception rates. So how about people feed?? Just sayin’. I agree that the media can get out of line, but the media also can and does report what is going on in the world. Making the world a better place should be every persons priority. Farmers, reporters, doctors, lawmakers, seed producers, scientists, and consumers. That is why labeling is needed. In order to chose, we need to know what we are buying. Some folks could chose the GMO label for birth control.

  3. Thanks for reminding the world that 96% of US farms are family owned!! Not having grown up on a farm, but having family that are farmers, I know how hard the work and the business is….keep at it!!

  4. Good article, lots of good points in there, especially the family farms thing. You don’t hear just how much family farms contribute often enough. However, on the topic of antibiotics, it’s not so much the use of those antibiotics and people consuming then that’s a problem, it’s what can result from the widespread use/overuse of antibiotics. What is worrisome about the use of antibiotics, in humans or animals, is the development of resistance of the bugs to those antibiotics. This is a very large issue as it could send us back to the days before we ever had those antibiotics because once widespread resistance rises to an antibiotic it is essentially useless. Therefore, the use of these miracle drugs (not exaggerating) in both humans and animals must kept at a minimum as to avoid/stall the development of resistance for as long as possible.

    I’m sure you have heard about the idea of resistance before, but the threat it poses is massive and cannot be understated. It’s pertinent that people understand that because once we lose the ability to fight microbes effectively with antibiotics, things like strep-throat and bacterial meningitis could once again become death sentences rather than curable afflictions.

    • I am also a registered nurse so I know all about antibiotics and resistance. I also know how vital they can be to curing an illness. A new ‘fad’ if you will is to eat ‘antibiotic-free’ and restaurants boast their food is antibiotic-free. That’s what I’m talking about. I am not for the overuse of antibiotics.

  5. I’ve written quite a few of these types of posts on my blog in the past, so you know I’ll agree with you on all of these points! If people want to eat a certain way there is almost always an option if they are willing to pay for it. The way I see it, if a farmer can and wants to cater to them to make more money they can, but they shouldn’t be forced to. I think there’s a place and a time for both conventional and non-conventional farming practices, what bothers me is when people try to force the idea that there is no place at all for the conventional guys 😦

    On another note, we have what would be considered a “factory farm” but it is also run by only my husband and myself, and can run efficiently with no outside help. That is the definition of a family farm, no? So which is it? The world isn’t a black and white place, but thankfully I’m finding that most real life people (not the internet trolls) are willing to listen and learn, which is great!

  6. I agree with your article. I live on a family Walnut farm in California where farmers are constantly fighting regulations. But my mother and I chose to eat mostly organic food because it’s our choice. We don’t feel the need to make others change their farming techniques, because we know all farming operations are not run by big Ag companies, but rather small families like us.

    http://graysfarms.blogspot.com/

  7. While I agree with what you are saying, I think the abrasive way you present your case is off-putting. “I hate to burst your pretty little organic, vegan, antibiotic-free, GMO-hating bubble” and “I don’t know if you know it, but land and tractors cost a little more than your Prius” are just a couple of examples. Why do you assume everyone who cares about where their food comes from drives a Prius? This is your blog, and you can say whatever you want, but a true agvocate should be able to educate the public in a non-offensive manner without alienating any certain group. When you get defensive and spout off insults, you do more damage than good. You had gained a new reader in a fellow agvocate and farm girl until I read this post.

    • Well following me or not is your choice, but of course I’m always thankful for a new follower. Especially ones who have similar beliefs and backgrounds. I can see what you’re saying, but then again I can’t. Yes, I could have put those things in a more ‘politically correct’ way. And you say people who care about their food. I’m not talking about your everyday person who ‘cares about their food’. I care about my food. You care about your food. Everyone cares about their food. I’m not talking about those who chose a vegan lifestyle (organic, GMO-free, etc.) who are happy with it and the farmers growing their food and not trying to destroy farmers who don’t grow their type of food. If you really are a fellow agvocate and farm girl you know the exact type of person I’m talking about. The crazy activist, you know the ones that break into farms, spread false statements about agriculture, etc. The ones that are trying to force everyone to conform to their beliefs. They need a wake up call and their bubble burst. As far as the Prius/tractor statement, tractors and land cost more than a Prius, no? Sure I profiled these people, but if they are as eco-friendly as they claim, they should be driving a Prius (or the like). And please don’t question my advocacy and dedication to agriculture.

  8. We face many of the same issues in Canada, and regulations pose an ever – constant threat for us. There is just such an overload of misinformation out there that it is hard for the average consumer to sort through it all. Most of them have good intentions, but they look to the wrong sources for information. Somehow, as farmers, we need to get messages like your’s to the average consumer, so they have both sides of the issue. Then they could make an informed decision. The question is, how do we get the message to them?

    • I agree there is just an overload of misleading information and it’s hard for the average consumer to figure out what’s true and what’s not. I feel we just need to keep doing what we’re doing; ag blogs, coalitions, groups, speeches! We just can’t give up πŸ™‚

  9. I LOVE this line “land and tractors cost a little more than your Prius.” Oh my gosh, what a great blog post.

    Just as everyone has the right to drive what they want, they have the right to eat what they want. Just as you have the choice to say what you want, you have the choice to eat what you want.

    Great article. πŸ™‚

    Mary Jo

  10. One thing to make a point, quite another to create a “well written” article.
    You may need to brush up on your writing and communication skills somewhat.
    The writings come off as a tad bit angry in my view. As though you are cramming your feelings down ones throat.
    Stick to facts and refere to other articles and opinions and your blog will be much more “balanced” and attract more followers, or even a sponsor.

    • You’re darn right I’m angry. I’m sick of people insulting us and spreading false information in order to promote their own agenda. This is a personal blog, made for my opinions, I do not need to write a scholarly post every time. Although, everything posted is a fact. I feel my blog is pretty balanced, doing OK with followers, and I write plenty of sponsored posts. Again this is my personal blog, I’m not writing with the sole intention of sponsors. Not once did I say everyone needed to follow my opinion/eat as I do, in fact quite the opposite was stated. I don’t care about your diet choice or how you live your life, that’s your problem. My problem is when YOU are cramming your beliefs down everyone’s throat and trying to change the way everyone eats and farms. Because I will never (never ever) be vegan or even vegetarian. Bacon is WAY too good. But I feel that’s my choice (just as being vegan is yours) – so don’t worry about what I eat, just what you eat. As far as the farming issue goes: there are plenty of vegan, no-GMO, no-antibiotic, etc. options eat those and be happy. The rest of the world doesn’t need to conform.

  11. I get where you are coming from…. these regulations and environmentalists are having a bad effect on your way of life, your struggle to survive. No where did you address one of their main concerns, that is the residual effect of chemicals, antibiotics and un-natural seeds as they infiltrate on our water supplies, our wildlife, our cells, and our children who end up with this toxic world when we are done with it. Safety laws are passed using studies conducted by the drug and GMO producers and lobbyists who pay off our legislators. What is right with that!!!!! Farmers, this is bigger than you even know. Even you are being lied to and kept in the dark. The farm bills are controling you. Think of all the money made on chemicals and antibiotics and GMO seeds. How in the world did mankind ever survive before WWII and the introduction of these toxic methods? I love growing my own veggies and meats. I am a cancer survivor and eating the least amount of toxins is my gift to myself. I know everyone cannot do this. I feel there should be labeling, but I also don’t trust that even that will be reliable and believable. So many people are non-tolerant of corn and soy these days. It is because we eat toxins when we eat these foods. My farmer grandpa died at age 59 from cancer and gramma died at 66 from cancer too. He sprayed and used chemicals before everyone knew how harmful they were to human health. I wish you well as you farm. It is not easy to compete in that industry. You work hard and don’t deserve to get cancer from it. Hope you don’t either.

    • s – You do not get cancer from farming. My fil farmed all his life (his Dad was a farmer also) and he is going strong at 94 years old. He did his own spraying with far more dangerous chemicals than are around today. Why don’t you consider the city, village and rural folk who have to have weed free lawns and spend all the money on chemicals so that their lawns are gorgeous as a golf course and that these chemicals also leach in to our water system. Go to any big box home improvement store and see the chemical aisle that untrained people can put on their lawn, plants, flowers, etc. We have to be certified pesticide applicators to put any pesticides on our crops.
      Just some food for thought.

      • Is it true that GMO corn and soybeans have Round-up in them? So I have heard. Even a bug won’t eat it…. but it is in my cupboard because someone decided it is safe. We live in a toxic world. And a toxic way to think is that chemicals have a safe level. Recent studies show that toxins are being passed on in DNA from one generation to another. The term vertical stacking was used. Ever hear if it? Sounds like our poor judgement will effect our kids and grandkids’ in more ways than just poor soil and water quality. The quality of health in the US is declining. Folks are getting diabetes, cancer, heart disease and overweight much earlier in life. I’m not blaming farmers, I’m thinking laws, rules, competition, denial, greed, whatever, … some folks in our society are not noticing yet. The ones that are seem to be fighting an up-hill battle.

  12. I’m married to a farmer, grew up in FFA, my papaw and all of my family were farmers and I still want to know that my food is natural! Yes I know GMOs help farmers have a higher yield and therefore provide a life for their families but think about what we are putting in our children’s bodies. I just want there to be some options. Not everyone needs to do it because we all can’t afford it (I know we can’t) but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be available! Thank you for sharing your opinion though and your life! Farm life ain’t easy and people need to know!

  13. We are farming down here in New Zealand. It is illegal for us to use hormones or GMO anything in agriculture in this country. Guess what? People still get cancer here. Our stock are fed solely on grass, grazed naturally the God intended. “S”, don’t assume farmers are a bunch of ill-informed yokels. Farming is a high tech, cut throat business requiring a multitude of skills and the very latest information. Studies conducted by or sponsored by chemical and pharmaceutical company’s don’t hold much water unless they are able to be repeated and published in reputable journals and critiqued by a group of peers.
    Great article Brandi. We face similar issues down here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s