I know many people think that conventional farmers are anti-organic. And some probably are. But truly, I support organic agriculture. What I don’t support is the misleading advertising that goes with it.
I recently met a woman who owns an organic feed mill and asked her a few questions. I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. After all, chances were good that she and I wouldn’t agree on some things. But, I must have been feeling a little frisky, because I asked anyway.
“What are the benefits of organic feed?”
“Well, for one thing, if you have cancer, one of the first things the doctors will tell you to do is to detox, and that means avoiding pesticides, so then, obviously, you have to go organic.”
Um, really? Did she forget about this list of pesticides approved for organic production? After we clarified that she was talking about synthetic pesticides vs. natural pesticides, and that natural pesticides are not necessarily safer than synthetic, she moved on.
“Well, I want my antibiotics to work when I need them.”
This is another favorite of the media and organic crowd. Yes, we use antibiotics on farms. No, there is not a link between farm use and human antibiotic resistance. We went on to discuss the details of our antibiotic use and she admitted that times had changed and farmers were no longer feeding antibiotics the same way they had in the past.
I encouraged her to focus on those changes and the ways that farmers are working to make things better for animals and humans, and celebrate that, and we agreed that organic is just another choice. (And then she jokingly said she didn’t want everyone to go organic, because then she wouldn’t get the premium she gets for growing that way!)
While I appreciate the variety on the menu in the United States today, I’ll take mine with a side of the truth. And please hold the B.S.