Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas in the Country 2014

I am excited to say that I am participating in Christmas in the Country gift exchange between agvocates, agricultural bloggers, and country folks! This exchange is hosted by Laurie of Country Linked, The Uncharted Rhoade, Robyn from The Ranch Wife Chronicles, and Erin from Diaries from the Dirt Road

 I can't wait to find out what Christmas in the Country will bring. Check back on January 7th when we link up to see what we all receive. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A litte Thanksgiving Gratefulness

As I sit here writing this post, I slip back in time and sadly sound so much like my grandmother. Were you ever told as a child that you have to eat all the food that was put on the plate in front of you without complaining because there are millions of people in the world that are starving and would love to have any food?

There are roughly 925 million people world wide that are undernourished. 14.5% of American households are suffering from food insecurity. Those are not the people that you will find complaining about the food that they receive. The won't refuse it because it isn't organic. They won't check the label to make sure it doesn't contain a product made with GMOs. They gladly accept knowing that all food will provide them with nourishment.  So why as consumers, do we find ourselves complaining about our food? Why are there people scaring others into thinking that our food is killing us, when science has proven otherwise?

My Grandparents, John and LaVerne.
As a child, my brother and I lived with my grandparents and one thing that we were not allowed to say in our home was, "I am starving." I remember making the mistake of saying that only once! My grandfather slammed his fist on the table and then spent the next two hours giving us a sermon about what being starved was really like. See, my grandfather grew up poor in Germany, the son of a blacksmith, with 12 brothers and sisters right in the heart of World War II. He immigrated to the U.S. soon after the war ended in 1947. He knew what starvation really was because as a child he was starved. My gramps would eat anything and everything. If it had mold on it, he would scrape it off, leftovers would become a conglomeration of an everything soup, and he would chew chicken bones because he felt that the morrow in the middle was the best part of the chicken. I could share some of the war stories that my grandfather shared, but that would be an entire book as his stories always ended up as a several hour sermon, and most times the Bible would be opened and it would become a parable of sorts! 

All farmers, organic and conventional, work very hard to provide the world with as much food as possible. Without modern day farming practices there would be a lot more than 925 million people starving in this world. As farmers, we support each other, encourage each other, and help each other to provide a vast bounty of healthy food to feed the world. Complaining and picking apart our food, demanding that farming practices change and just simply degrading the food that is grown by farmers is not going to help feed the 925 million starving people nor the well-fed 7 billion people in the world.

So as Thanksgiving approaches here in America, take some time to think about the food that we have on our plates every day and then think about those that won't be having any food today. Be thankful and grateful for the bounty of which God has blessed us with.

Would you turn down food made with GMOs if it meant that your family would go hungry this Holiday season?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trusting GMO's?

Over the weekend my husband and I watch the movie, GMO OMG! We are always trying to stay on top of things, so what we know as farmers what we are up against. I have to say that the movie was not what I expected. It was not an all out bash against GMOs and those that grow them. Now it certainly wasn't about praising them, but it wasn't and all out farmer roast!

I do have to give the guy praise, he was honestly trying to make an educated decision for the health of himself and his family, and for that I applaud him. That is what our purpose is as agvocates, to educate and inform so that consumers can make and educated decisions based from fact and not fear, 

Some of his tactics were a bit silly, and were ultimately trying to scare consumers, such as running through a field of corn with medical suits and gas masks, but he was trying to get his point across. However, even after all the interviews, travels and questions, he decided that there was nothing that truly proved GMOs to be dangerous, so he and his family continued to consume them.

However, there were a couple of points that really stood out to me personally. At one point he interviewed a farmer that grew GMO crops, and asked him if he was a Christian. He questioned him about playing God by genetically modifying an organism and changing what God has made.

Well, this is no different than what the medical field does everyday. Do surgeons not use pig and cow heart valves to replace broken ones in humans? You don't hear people complaining when their life has been saved. Do we not put another gene into our bodies through vaccinations? Do you hear about people wishing that the medical field would return to the way it was before 1930? Do you see anyone wishing for scarlet fever, mumps and polio to make a come back in society? A GMO is no different than the plant having a vaccination for diseases, worms, and many other things that prevent the plant from growing and producing efficiently. 

The father in this movie stated something else while trout fishing with his children that really caught my attention, and I feel is the ultimate answer to this debate, " Who are we going to trust to take care of this land?" Well, I know the answer to this problem. We need to trust in our Lord and Savior. He made the earth, he has a plan, he has given us as humans the intelligence and technology to do what we are able to do today, both in agriculture and medicine. 

Through out time, it has been proven that with distrust comes unrest, and that is what we are facing in the world today. We have lost trust in God and His plan for us and now have put the ultimate trust in ourselves. God's plans are here to prosper us, not to harm us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The 'Blame Game'

So this post was written this summer when Chipotle and Factory vs. Family Farms issues were being debated. However in light of recent issues, I felt that it could certainly be applied to recent debates. 

I have started to get more involved with political and agricultural issues because agriculture is being attacked. No matter the farming practices, organic or conventional, agriculture as a whole is being debated. 

I try really hard not to get mixed up in political issues, especially when I comes to agriculture. I am interested and read about them, I form my own opinion, but I don’t always speak it. My husband has a job that can very easily be impacted by what I write about agriculture, so try not to put my opinions ’out there’. 

However, I have been doing a fair amount of research in agriculture lately, and have been reading a lot of the Factory vs. Family Farm blog posts, and catching up with the whole Chipotle debate and a few other hot topics in agriculture. And, what I don’t understand is why farms are being blamed, or accused for the problems in our food. Maybe it is just my background and understanding of farming, but I don’t feel that farms are to blame.

There is a blame game being played, and I understand that there will always be one, but I know from experience that what farmers grow in the fields or pastures is not what I am buying in the store. Haven’t you ever bought meat that is so plumb that it looks like it is dripping in juices, just to bring it home, grill it and it shrinks up to a fraction of the size that it was in the package and tastes like a rubber tire? Well, it was plumb full of artificial ‘juices’. 

What I am buying in the store is filled with additives, preservatives, fillers, dyes and waxes to make the food look or taste better, not to mention all of the processing that the food has gone through. Anyone with a small amount of knowledge in chemistry knows that the more anything is processed or cooked, especially nutrients in food, the more it breaks down, therefore the less beneficial to the human body. The farmer is not the one processing or adding to their crops, or filling their meat with ‘artificial juices’, they just grow it.

On the other hand I am also not pushing for our country to go all organic. That is also not a healthy alternative for either animal or human. Without modern farm management and practices there wouldn’t be enough food to feed everyone and the financial burden couldn’t be afforded by neither consumers nor farmers. The health and well being of both animals and humans would also be extremely compromised.

Another point that I don’t understand is what exactly are farmers being blamed for? Cancer? Obesity? Diabetes? What?

As I stated earlier in the post that this is purely a blame game that is being played, but ultimately it comes down to personal responsibility and making decisions that are best for you, your family and your health. As we have always heard, actions do speak louder than words. Farmers just grow the food that is demanded of them by consumers, they aren’t the ones that are putting the food into our mouths.

I think that it is great that people are trying to find out where their food comes from, however when you start to make accusations or just even start making lifestyle changes, please do some research and make an informed and educated decision.