In a letter to the Time Magazine editor, National Pork Board President Tim Bierman responds to the article “America’s Food Crisis and How to Fix It” appearing in the current issue. Following is the letter Bierman sent to the editor of Time magazine:
A recent Time magazine article titled “America’s Food Crisis and How to Fix It,” makes many false statements and draws indefensible conclusions about modern pork production. To set the record straight based on facts, I offer a few comments and corrections on behalf of America’s pork producers, who continue to work diligently to provide safe, affordable and high-quality food every day.
First of all, what food crisis? The drought in sub-Saharan Africa is a food crisis. Americans have access to abundant, safe and affordable food that is the envy of the rest of the world. It is produced by caring farmers using methods that are supported by science and backed by experience.
Unfortunately for your readers, the food plate of the article’s author, Bryan Walsh, is half empty. He blames modern pork production for much of what he considers to be today’s environmental concerns. He says pigs eat too much corn-based feed, which in turn, relies on too much commercial fertilizer. Walsh fails to credit pork production for its contribution to a recyclable and completely organic system that provides animal nutrients for crops. He also fails to mention no-till cropping methods, greenways and the land set aside for erosion control and wildlife areas—all of which occur regularly on America’s farms and go a long way in preventing soil erosion and nutrient runoff.
Walsh’s harangue drowns the many positive steps American farmers have taken over the past decades to become better stewards of all resources entering and leaving America’s pork operations. Had he taken the time to call to me or the professional staff at the National Pork Board, he quickly would have learned how pork producers – through their own programs as well as through governmental regulation – have made environmental stewardship a way of life.
It baffles me how Walsh could write: “Our food is not only bad for us, but even dangerous.” This clearly is not only false, but reckless. The author surely must know the importance that American farmers place on food safety. Their families, after all, eat the same food.
Read the full letter.