Different Mindsets

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Premium farmland can be found in the UkraineI have been in Poland for two weeks now. We have visited various types of farms in addition to a Cargill wheat plant. People at the plant told us how they process the wheat into gluten, animal feed and ethanol. We discussed the fact that the European Union does not allow genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and two facility employees said that GMOs will cause you to grow another leg! That statement blew me away.

In the United States, more than 85 percent of our row crops are planted with GMO seed. We have been using genetically modified organisms to maximize land use and produce crops more efficiently. 

There are major differences between the United States and the European Union in terms of farm production. The EU has many laws and regulations that restrict their production with quotas. We like to produce more, but we must abide by the laws and regulations we also must stay in line with what consumers want. We discussed organic farming at length, as the majority of EU farms are organic. 

We also visited the Ukraine, which is not part of the European Union. Farmers in this region do not allow the use of genetically modified organisms either. The Ukraine has very rich, dark soil that would be every American farmer’s “dream soil.” Ukraine farmers do not utilize this land like we would, even though it is recognized as the "bread basket" of Europe. A family in Ukraine owns 1.2 million acres and they don't utilize it to its full potential. 

The biggest shock to me was when the professionals at the wheat plant told us we would grow another appendage by consuming GMOs. It was shocking to learn that if producers in the Ukraine were to farm with GMOs and utilize their rich lands, they could give U.S. and Brazilian farmers a run for their production in the grain market. 

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NW Indiana  |  June, 14, 2013 at 09:11 AM

Allison, thank you for this hilarious and interesting report. Could you visit a Polish Sausage Market, fix and eat the sausages, and send a report? But don't let them Polish pull your leg (too much). If you lose the choice of what you can grow, or what can be grown on your land, are you a sovereign nation?

Waterloo, IA  |  June, 14, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I've had a hard time taking "science" in the EU seriously since the Italians jailed those seismologists for failing to predict an earthquake. There was a time when Europe was the scientific center of the world, but I can see that era has passed.


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