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Support American Farmers

As someone who was raised in a rural town in Ohio, I have a strong connection with the farming community. In fact, many of my ancestors were farmers.  This is why it bothers me when I’m judged for buying organic. Usually, when the topic comes up, it’s followed by a rolling of the eyes and a speech about how expensive organic groceries are or how they’re not any healthier than the standard variety.

When most people think of shopping organic, they picture rich people or hipsters browsing through Whole Foods. However, numerous stores are now starting to sell organic products. Even Aldi and Winn Dixie have jumped on the organic bandwagon. I personally favor Trader Joe’s, but I know not all communities have one nearby

As much as people rave about shopping at farmers markets, I’ve never found it to be helpful. There are a lot of vendors simply using the guise of a “farmers market” to sell subpar products or produce. Plus, let’s be honest, what working person has the time or motivation to wake up early on a Saturday to go to a farmers market? (Not trying to hate on those of you who do prefer shopping farm to table, you overachiever you).

Buying “organic” is becoming increasingly affordable. More than that though, I believe organic products are worth the price even when they are more expensive. I’m not close to being rich and am constantly looking for ways to save money in my day to day life – but this is one area in which I don’t like to compromise.

Why? To support farmers and their way of life.

Young people and Progressives love to talk about chemicals in foods and animal abuse, but what about the abuse of farmers? Don’t get me wrong, I care about animals – but I care more about humans. Despite what most vegetarians and vegans believe, farmers care and love their livestock. Yes, they understand that the animals will be butchered, but they don’t want to cause suffering or abuse their animals. Many meat processing giants force farmers to keep livestock inside with no access to fresh air or room to walk around. Windows aren’t even allowed in many housing facilities. This not only is cruel to the livestock but to the farmer forced to follow protocol or lose their livelihood. Even worse, the cheapest meats are imported from countries like China, forcing American farmers to compete with extremely low prices and horrendous farming practices. Is this what we want?

Produce isn’t any better. You may not care that your food is covered in pesticides, but what about the farmers and their families who are covered in pesticides? Additionally, companies like Monsanto hold farmers to such strict rules that they can barely make a profit off their crops. Farmers are forced to buy seeds each year and are price gouged to the point that farmers sometimes lose money on their yearly yield. It’s no wonder we have seen an alarming increase in mental health problems for farmers and their families. Many families have farmed for generations, and now they must choose to be a pawn for Big AG or risk losing everything. This is no way to treat the backbone of our country.

There is a brighter side to all of this though. The number of Americans who have decided to support organic farms is rising, motivating even large companies to offer organic products. For example, Purdue now offers organic chicken at Walmart and BJs, making the option more affordable for families on a budget. Most conservatives believe in the free market where consumers are in control via supply and demand. If we demand ethical food production, then companies will be obligated to follow suit. Don’t be fooled, as food production can be both affordable and ethical. Not only do our families deserve better – but America’s farmers deserve better. We may not always be able to support farmers by eating organic products, but by incorporating more of them into our diets, we can do a lot of good for ourselves and our country.

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13 comments

  1. I do choose organic products most of the time. Produce that has skin I will eat especially. I get most of my meat from a local farmer so I know what it’s fed and how it is raised. I can go to the farm anytime and see for myself.

    I agree that organic doesn’t automatically mean more healthful. We have to educate ourselves and not blindly follow the heard.

  2. its all a gamble. there is much less of the deplorable conditions of farming described above that author leads us to believe. The “organic” movement is pretty much a fad, as opposed to being necessary for healthy food, and generally, the additional costs are not worth any benefits gained. For nutrition, studies have shown actually there are no differences.

  3. I choose organic when at all possible. I grew up in a small farming community in Southern Illinois. Farmers are my heroes!

  4. The future of farming is in GMO crops, increasing yields, reducing the need for pesticides and reducing losses due to pests etc.

    Organic is just a fad.

  5. The problem for U farmers is who U voted n for president, a [email protected]#k who will U farmers n the hole so deep and your country nto debt so far up your asses that U will never smell green. u want organic then U tell that [email protected]@#Khead Trump out of there if U want WHAT u want….

  6. Is It So Hard To Say Something Nice?

    We are blessed to have a wonderful extensive farm community of local farmers who truly care, ability to grow our own stuff, and Mennonite/Amish who grow heritage produce. We preserve more each year to help us through really tough winters when there is not much work.

    We can go from county to county to find some of the most exciting produce. Having Mennonites and Amish around helps because in our area, they tend to have very fair prices which help everyone to have the capability to raise more plants- flowers and produce.

    I would rather shop at those markets any day than the stores as I find the produce way too expensive and the quality inferior.

    I realize that is not possible for everyone, however.

  7. Stephen Moreland

    We, too eat organic foods as much as possible for a few reasons:
    – Produce grown on gigantic corporate farms have only a small fraction of the nutrients
    – Monsanto, Bayer, and others are poisoning us with the carcinogen glyphosate, banned in many other countries. They even spray it on corn after harvesting to accelerate drying
    – I fear GMO crops, as their haven’t been long-term safety studies done on GMO crops. Better safe now than sorry later; if and when they ever do safety studies
    – 40% of the population have MTHFR gene mutations which make it extremely difficult for the body to expel toxins.

    Glyphosate has caused super weeds that are resistant to it. To counter the super weeds, Monsanto is now pushing the even more toxic super poison, dicamba, available. They are now researching agent orange-resistant and aluminum-resistant crops. Yum!

  8. If pesticide consumption has been linked to specific diseases, like Parkinson’s, then how is avoiding pesticides, through the purchase of organics, be considered a “fad”?

  9. Peter Tomkinson

    Buy locally produced fresh food unprocessed or contaminated directly if possible from the producer who you may ask about it. It keeps your money longer in the local economy.
    Buy in season food that has not been treated and stored. Buy variety, every root vegetable available and find out how to consume it as tasty food.
    Buy as organic as you can to avoid the chemically polluted industrial ‘pretend’ food that is slowly destroying your health. If you do not understand why genetically modified is not acceptable do some true homework on it.
    Your life is a stake and deserves, needs your first investment more than a house, a car or any consumer goodies.

  10. I prefer organic, and will buy organic when I can. I will try to buy more from our local farmer’s market this year and I do have a small garden. Living in a small town, organic is not always easy to find, but I really do want to support the local farmers.

  11. David, Tony, Fred…tsk tsk, tsk, I fear you are either totally lacking in knowledge willfully, or your ignorance is by accident. Or, maybe youre a farmer who is being held hostage by GMOs. Whatever it is, PLEASE obtain an education about GMOs; how lacking in nutrition those crops are; and how, even our soils, air, water, etc, has been poisoned by GMOs, to the point of causing many diseases in humans, and in our animals. Recent independent studies have shown that even ‘organic’ produce, and the animals eating in our fields, are poisoned and tainted by these unnatural organisms. And, regarding ‘farmers’ markets,’ there are undercover documentaries which expose the fraudulent lengths which some unscrupulous people will go to to make a buck exploiting the ‘organic’ name, or possibly higher prices at farmers’ markets. These charlatans are purchasing bulk amounts of produce at a city distribution center, then, if they remember, removing the bar code labels, and putting the ‘fresh’ produce in cute little market baskets. They have claimed to have come “straight from the farmer’s field where it was picked fresh this morning.” In fact, the undercover film crew followed them to a central city distribution dock, where they picked up pallet after pallet of produce that had been picked up and shipped across the country. When they were asked where the produce came from, they gave the address of someone local, that the film crew checked out, and it was an abandoned field full of trash. When questioned further, and presented with the truth, the thuggery was revealed. Best thing is to ask questions, and be informed. There is a new-fangled contraption that you 3 guys might want to check into. It’s called a computer, with an internet connection, and access to uncle Google. Try it, you might just learn something useful.

  12. I was raised from a child on I suppose you could say organic since my grandfather did not use chemicals on his farm period. We got our veggies and other things from his farm and yes we also got our beef, pork and chicken via the slaughterhouse as well from his farm. I can see no good coming from GMOs or other warehoused cattle and food. I still buy organic from local organic farmers and their investment groups. For some reason organic just tastes better to me than what is in the store. Cost not withstanding both from personal and financial reasons I will ALWAYS buy organic.

  13. I watched a documentary on GMO farming. Private farmers that were in the documentary were mixed on their feelings about GMO’s. I personally don’t want GMO’s. What I noticed in this story and the replies is that there is no mention of the subsidies that the US government doles out each year. Billions! Unfortunately the greatest amount goes to corporate farmers, the ones who can afford lobbyist.
    If you really want to support local farmers then call your representatives and tell them no more lobbiest and tax dollars to large corporations. Brian Riedl, a Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute wrote a report on “How Farm Subsidies Harm Taxpayers, Consumers, and Farmers, Too” 2007.
    Sorry Fred Kolybaba, you can’t blame this on President Trump or several of our previous presidents.

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