I’ve said it over and over again on this blog. The folks that stand against conventional agriculture are not going to back down. Which is all the more unfortunate because they’ll use deception, misinformation, and straight up lies to attack us. Meanwhile, our farmers are working hard every day to provide safe and healthy food for a growing population. Part of this requires them to adhere to countless regulations, rules, and laws.
Unfortunately, there is probably only so much we can do to change the last part. Those regulations aren’t going to go away (although maybe with a good person heading up the EPA and White House we could streamline those, or at least use some common sense).
But, we have one guy, Barry Bedwell, who heads up the California Grape and Fruit Tree League, that says this is ok. We should use it to our advantage! Bedwell contends that we need to let consumers know about the safety measures we follow to grow our produce. To let them know that we have a sort of built in sustainability.
Because whether we like it or not, ultimately, consumers are the ones that will end up making the decisions about how our food is grown.
Education is key.
Bedwell explains that today, “Consumers are being bombarded with extremist anti-pesticide messages in an era when residues can be measured in parts per trillion. “People really do not understand those numbers,” he said. Consumers are led to believe detection equals risk and are wanting zero residues, an impossible bar to reach with the finite detection techniques now being used.”
Read more about Bedwell’s message here.
While I agree that Bedwell has a great point, I think it is a fine line to walk.
On the one hand, we want people to know that we produce safely while protecting our land and environment. We want them to know that there are plenty of regulations in place that do not let us just dump a whole tank of DDT onto the sweet corn before we pick it and sell it. Let’s be honest though, for some people, this just won’t work.
Do you HSUS advocates really care if we actually have a reason for using gestation crates? No.
We also don’t want people to think that those regulations are what make us farm the right way. The common sense answer seems to also be the right one. We don’t want to make the people eating our food sick, because that hurts us too. We don’t want to poison our land, because it’s our future too. We don’t want to ruin the water supply, because we drink it too.
Sometimes common sense works just as well.
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