The local food movement is enjoying the internet in all of it’s freedom (for now) passing along articles, studies and opinions around the world. Everyone is begging everyone else to read their article to believe whatever it says. Sometimes the truth is really hard to find in our complicated, over-connected world today!
I’ll give my two cents worth of advice about food quality in general before I write about Certified Organic and Non-GMO: we’re all going to have to care a lot more about our food than we used too. We have to pay close attention to every ingredient and label for what we purchase and put into our mouths. Please don’t throw your health a bone and assume because it’s got a positive sounding label (Non-GMO, Certified Humane, Certified Organic, Natural, etc) that everything about that product is good for your body.
There are more labels and issues than I have time to address, but I will deal with two of the biggest, starting with Non-GMO. The fundamental problem with Genetically Modified Organisms is the breach of God’s law in Genesis 1:12 when God says: “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” You may choose to ignore the Bible, but the truth is still the same: God created all plants to give us seed that would reproduce a plant that was just like the parent plant when the seed died in the soil and started to grow. GMO’s do not do this; they will mutate over the future generations of the seed. This fact is not the total information you need to know about GMO’s, but this is the single most important fact about the issue. GMO’s are not just a labeling issue, they’re not just a problem because of the increase in chemical use, they’re a problem because they ignore the boundaries of agriculture that God put in place.
So, it should go without saying that I am categorically against all GMO’s. And a label about food or animal feed not containing GMO’s is great. It’s a no brainer that we should know what we’re eating and buying, although as a side note to this post, I would side far more with Joel Salatin in this debate than not.
But! Labeling issues aside, there is a huge caveat to the Non-GMO label on feed and food. GMO’s were approved for commercial production in the late 80’s to early 90’s. Before that our supermarkets were still full of food that was killing us. Remember margarine? How about DDT? Why were there such problems before GMO’s? Because a Non-GMO label does not address the myriad of chemicals farmers use to manage Non-GMO crops. They can’t spray RoundUp during the growing season of their crop on their crop, but the list of chemicals that have run the agriculture machine since WWII, before GMO’s, is horrendous. I’ve sprayed some of them working for a local farmer some years ago.
I worked for a farmer who grew and sold Bermudagrass hay. Folks, the chemical bill to raise 24 acres of hay was absurd, and the amount of spray going on those few acres numbered in the hundreds of gallons a year. Did you know you can spray RoundUp on dormant bermudagrass to kill early spring weeds? But! Even having used RoundUp, the hay could have been marketed as Non-GMO.
Getting Genetically Modified Organisms out of our food, feed and our bodies is incredibly important, but please remember, it’s not the only poison to be concerned about.
So what about Certified Organic? If you haven’t noticed, I hate what our government is doing to our food, our Constitution, and everything else they touch these days. I don’t want our government to certify anything when it comes to food. The Certified Organic standard has been, is being, and will continue to erode until it is worthless. Remember this stink about the organic standard? This is only the tip of the iceberg. The same group of people that are drunk on the power and money they have “inspecting and regulating” our food are not the people I want to certify my food.
But! For now, for today, Non-GMO food and feed still contains a host of chemicals and Certified Organic feed or food contains less. That’s the bottom line for Tina and I and our two little children. I’ve suffered from allergies and digestive issues, Tina has fought eczema and gut problems herself and with both of our children, and all of these health issues are ongoing though steadily improving. As a family and as a part of My Dad & Me Family Farm we have strived to give our customers the best product we can because we eat this food first! We also strive to be as honest as possible in all aspects of what we produce. That’s why we put these charts on our website. Without a detailed breakdown of every aspect of what we do for each thing we produce, it’s hard to get at the truth. This chart is for our milk, this one for eggs, and this one for broilers.
Right now, we’re just thankful Organic has not been adulterated any more than it has, because even as farmers, we don’t have a good option for what we eat if Organic’s quality continues to fail. And while we’re glad to get Certified Organic for us and our chickens, the certification process makes the cost so much higher than conventional or Non-GMO, sometimes you wonder how you can pay so much for feed and food. While conventional feed stays in the $400-500 dollar range per ton, and Non-GMO is in the $600-$700 dollar range, Certified Organic is $1,1100-$1200 per ton. I’m not under the illusion that buying organic is going to save the world, though it might help curb the income that the non-organic food giants enjoy. The most import thing we can all do in this food movement is to get back to raising our food ourself! If we vote with our dollar, we can make a strong statement for what we want, particularly buying directly from the producer, assuming we can dodge a billion dollar machine trying to degrade even the best of labels. But if we opt out of the food system by farming our food ourselves we’ll strike the ultimate blow to industrial agriculture, Organic or not.
Choose your food carefully folks. Our lives, and more importantly the lives of our little children, depend on it.