I love grocery shopping. I enjoy browsing the aisles to see what yummy options are available. I have fun choosing my meals for the week. I get excited about trying new flavors and discovering new indulgences. I appreciate the safe, nutrious, and unlimited options available.
But can you imagine going to the grocery store and actually being afraid?
Afraid that there are actually food options that are bad for your family. Afraid that you might purchase something that could hurt you or the people you love. Afraid that some of the items on the shelves are akin to poison. Afraid you’re going to choose wrong and suffer real consequences for it.
Unfortunately, in our world of rampant misinformation and disparaging campaigns such a reality exists for some people. It’s such a far cry from what I’m used to and what I know. I’ve never been afraid of food. I’ve never thought something was going to harm me. I grew up growing food with my family, so its never seemed like a dangerous thing.
Enter the biggest compliment I’ve ever received as an agvocate.
A woman sent me a message through my Facebook page a few years after I started this work. She was one of those people that felt afraid. She did the grocery shopping for herself and her family. She honestly thought she could walk into a grocery store in the United States and purchase food that was going to harm her family. She said the idea caused her anxiety and grief.
But then she started reading my material. She followed along on my social media accounts. She asked questions. She received answers. And little by little she realized there was nothing to be afraid of. She found she could trust farmers; trust that we’re trying to do right for ourselves, our families, the environment, and the consumer. She realized food can be a source of enjoyment, not worry.
I started blogging over 6 years ago. I wanted a platform that would allow me to counter some of the rampant misinformation about agriculture. I wanted to explain policy to folks from a farmer’s perspective. I wanted to share our family farm and the pride we have in our crops. And I wanted to restore some of the eroded trust between farmers and the world’s eaters.
I never imagined my work as an agvocate could affect someone like that though. I’m obviously proud and humbled. Confidence in our food supply is something I’ve always just taken for granted. And it motivates me to continue, even when people say really awful things.
Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up as a farmer’s daughter. But I was. So I’ll use my talents to share my experiences and tell the amazing story of modern agriculture.
If nothing else, that one message made it all worth it.
KEITH AYOOB says
This post is like fresh air. Thank you for injecting some #commonsense into the ag conversation. People forget to trust farmers and I do wish they’d be more comfortable trusting “conventional” farmers and allow them to do what is right for their own land. Farmers actually DO know what they’re doing. Now, if people would just be careful not to waste the >30% of the food they buy…
Dennis Laughton says
One never knows, when or where, that you may make a difference. If you don’t start for sure you never will.