Lots of conventional farmers want conventional and organic farmers to hold hands and be on the same team. Sunshine and lollipops and all that.
“We’re all part of getting the job done.”
Sure, we are all trying to feed people. But the only way organic farmers can market organic produce for a premium is if they convince consumers there is something wrong with conventional produce. And this is exactly what they try to do.
We see it all the time with restaurants that want to see their food by telling you the other guys are selling stuff full of hormones or antibiotics. The same happens with organic produce. “Buy our stuff for a higher price because the other guy is selling stuff packed with pesticides and bad things. And our stuff is more nutritional!”
Organic farmers will hold hand and sing songs with us. . . as long as they can keep scaring consumers into buying their food.
One Illinois mom ran into this very situation. Along with a group of other moms, she was on a tour visiting farms. They stopped at conventional and organic farms. And when she got to the organic farm, there weren’t fluffy unicorns….
It wasn’t exactly what we expected to hear at a farm tour sponsored by the Illinois Farm Families program.
What we expected when George Kalogridis, an Indiana-based organic certification manager, stepped in front of the crowd of Chicago Field Moms and downstate (cattle raising) farm moms a couple weekends ago during our tour of the Larson/Martz grain and cattle operation, was a few details on what’s allowed and not allowed on certified organic farms. Maybe a little on the types of pesticides they do and don’t allow. Maybe a little on what it takes to become a certified organic farmer. A chance to ask our questions.
Instead, we got indoctrination.
Finish reading here.
And once you’ve finished reading: congrats to her and her fellow moms for actually standing up to this guy and setting the record straight. We all need to stand up to the lies and misconceptions and I’m glad she had the courage to do that.
Colby D. Miller says
Thanks for this piece. Was just discussing with a cousin from the Northwest that conventional isn't any less safe or humane than organic
Sarah [NurseLovesFar says
More and more I'm starting to want to get brave about how I *really* feel about organic. We're conventional grain farmers and around where we live there's no organic grain growers that we know of so we don't see them as "competition" but I think that organic producers in general have to market their product as "better"…how else could they justify selling such overpriced food to a niche market? Their food is no more nutritionally better than conventional and they STILL use pesticides that are sometimes more harmful than synthetics! Organic is also arguably worse for the environment. I just find that a lot of producers and consumers of organic products have a "better than you" attitude to begin with…
Yes! I'm a "consumer" (with an interest and respect for farming and food issues). Recently, under tons of pressure to "go organic" I started doing some research. Fortunately I have a husband who would require a research paper before changing up the budget! I'm so glad I discovered the truth about the methodology behind the dirty dozen, that organic also uses pesticides, the additional land that would need to be cleared, etc. You just wouldn't know it from the popular press or the first 3 pages of google searches. So many moms like me are under pressure to do what's right for their kids and the world–if only this information could reach a lot of moms on a tight budget, there'd be real power for fighting the defamation of conventional agriculture. Anyway, from a non-farmer mom, thanks for the work you and your families do to produce my food, and for this blog! You are appreciated!