Friday, January 18, 2013

"Real Food"

On a Personal Note: It's been a few months since I've posted - the holidays were hectic, and to top it off, Baby Girl got sick.  First it was croup.  We got over that, then a week or two later, she got a cold. Then she gave me her cold. (Don't you love how everyone loves to share germs?)   We are both over the worst, but the congestion and drainage seem to be hanging on.  I'm so ready to feel well again.

In the down time, we've had company, which is rare for us.  My best friend came down from the Dallas area and brought two of her kiddos.  We were able to give them a little peek into farm life - let them bottle feed the baby lambs, climb on the tractor, etc.  All little kids seem to love the farm - then they grow out of it.  Such a shame.

Our latest visitor is a farming friend from up in South Dakota.  Him and My Love met several years ago in the sheep business.  We went to visit him and his family right after we were married.  While he's here, we get an extra hand around the farm!  We've got him weaning lambs today - gotta love free labor! 

In the Field: Why I really wanted to post though, concerns this "Real Food" argument going around.  I'd love to call it a discussion, but it's gotten nasty - even the word "argument" seems too nice.  Americans are really on a kick of bashing farmers.  If you're not an organic farmer on 10 acres, then you're BIG AG and therefore, in the pocket of companies like Monsanto.  And that's just not true.

As a farm wife, these "discussions" interest me.  So I follow a few farming groups on Facebook. One of which is the non-profit group called the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.   https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/USFarmersandRanchers?fref=ts.  It was started a couple of years ago, as agriculture's attempt to inform consumers - to give consumers a peek into our lives, to explain why we do what we do. 

Today, they posted a link to this article on CNN.com: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/01/17/opinion-my-family-farm-isnt-under-corporate-control/.  The author, Brian Scott, explains how his family isn't under corporate control, like so many believe.  Everything he states is true.  What really gets to me though, is the comments.  Those are always the most interesting part of any article - to see what the "world" thinks. 

And the world is misinformed and hell-bent to stay that way.  Some of the comments border on ridiculous.  But nearly all of the comments that were not by other farmers were ugly - really nasty personal attacks.  Calling this man "BIG AG" and saying his article was a front paid for by Monsanto, etc.  There were a few though, very few, that were not other farmers, who actually appreciated his time and openness - for sharing his story and getting the truth out. 

WARNING!  SARCASM  TO FOLLOW!

So many seem to believe that we all need to go back to farming the way our parents or grandparents did it.  They don't want us to plow the ground because it is increasing erosion - but wait - that's the way it was done before!  They don't want us to spray pesticides - ok, so the only other way to get rid of insects is to pick them off by hand - please sign up to volunteer below!  They don't want us to spray herbicides - so I guess I'll be taking volunteers to help hoe the fields too.  And since I can't drive my tractor because of emissions, I'll just use my horse-drawn plow...wait...I can't plow...darn it!

No one has problems with increased technology in any other sector except agriculture.  People would think you were crazy if you demanded that computers and cell phones were hazardous to your health and therefore, all businesses would need to cease use immediately.  How do you think the world would react if US business reverted to 1950 technology?  But that is exactly what these "real food" believers are asking farmers to do.  They want us to cease using technology because it's "BAD" for you and/or the environment.  There is no proof that GMOs are bad for you.  There's no proof behind any of their statements.  Because if there WAS real proof - then those things would be illegal and no one would be doing them anymore.

No farmer is trying to kill other people.  No farmer is trying to destroy the environment.  If we were, we wouldn't have anyone to sell our crop to - and no land to grow it on.

If you have a beef with Monsanto - that's fine - make your argument to them. But don't bash those of us who pour our blood, sweat, and tears into feeding you and the rest of the world.  Respect what we do, because, without us, you'd starve.

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