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Agriculture Diversity Includes GMO, Celebrities

August 30, 2012

The last few years I’ve been blessed to be accepted into an agriculture community that appreciates diversity, celebrates all of agriculture and have made some friends I know I can count on. Some of their blogs appear in my blogroll over on the side. I’ve learned more than ever none of us, even within agriculture, know it all, and we never will. Within a network we can broaden the answers we give. There’s been friends made because of agriculture social media that I know I couldn’t have better folks backing us with information when we need it…and have held me accountable in the reactionary department! I value them more than they probably know.

But it still stuns me that otherwise intelligent people fall over themselves to agree with a celebrity who talks of “cheeseburger farms” and how *her* crop is the only perfect protein. While repeating poison/poisonous more times in a half hour to incite fear in people listening, without mentioning that her chosen crop – macadamia nuts – is poisonous to dogs, and only two varieties are edible by people. (Wikipedia notes “Only two of the species, Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla, are of commercial importance. The remainder of the genus possess poisonous and/or inedible seeds”).

Now don’t get me wrong – macadamia nuts are tasty. Kitty loves them, as do I. They are a tasty addition to ice cream, or as a snack – but they are no more a main staple diet item than rosemary is. It’s *part* of a diet, one that we all can have a part in providing. Eating just nuts is no more healthy than eating just beef or just rabbit or just crackers. It’s part of what makes the food rainbow a taste experience, but is just part of the pantry!

In this morning’s Huff Post I saw an article that said:

  • I am a small farmer. My husband and I grow about 100,000 oysters each year in the waters off Cape Cod. We’ve been doing it for three years, which is about seven seconds in farm years. But it’s enough to know that the world of small agriculture has, in addition to hard-working, upstanding, growers of fine fresh foods, its share of farmers who are unscrupulous, unpleasant, and unskilled.

Go into any community like ours, and any small farmer there will be able to tell you who does it right and who doesn’t. He can tell you who files bogus insurance claims or underpays workers. He can tell you which roadside “farm stands” sell produce from the local supermarket, marked up. He can tell you who’s intent on fleecing the government and who isn’t really organic. He can tell you who kicks his dog. He probably won’t, but he certainly can.”

Now there were almost immediately folks saying she’s not a farmer. But she’s right – there is good and bad in all sizes of farms. And while oysters may be a niche market, it’s still a part of the food choices.

Unfortunately, with a chance at a conversation on the Huff Post there wasn’t a balanced conversation. As Jeff was talking of the wildlife on the farm, Rosanne jumped in, talking over him with “Why do GMO crops destroy heirloom seeds and organic foods then and why is Monsanto stepping in to outlaw organic farming then?” With all due respect to Ms. Barr (which is more than she gave Jeff), GMO crops have zero affect on my heirloom tomatoes and peppers. The Moskvich are still Moskvich, the Black Krimm are still Black Krimm. If there is demand for both – and yes that includes profit, then both have a place. If you the consumer choose one or the other or both that decides who has a place, not Monsanto (who has an interest in organics also).

When it comes to food choice options we all have them. Those who can afford it have more options, but eliminating anything eliminates option. Eating or not eating is a bad place to be.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2012 5:29 PM

    Hehehe interesting, usually people from the city and those who know little of the provenance of their food are ignorant of the origin and who feed them. Recommended Tools information agriculture in my country, at least the government does something to remove the doubts and ignorance of the people who want to know who makes hte food that they eat.

    • September 1, 2012 8:15 PM

      Thanks for stopping by. There is often a disconnect, yes, but it’s even more frustrating when those involved in agriculture drive a bigger wedge of misunderstanding. We’re all in the same view of providing food choices.


  1. Who Do You Listen To? « Slow Money Farm – Life, Farm, Food

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