GMOs are evil
GMOs are a valuable technology used in science, medicine, and agriculture. Farmers use them to increase yields, reduce inputs, improve the soil, and provide resistance to drought, insects and weeds. There are GMOs being used all throughout society, and there is a very good chance you’ve consumed or used a GM product today. We do believe people should be free to avoid GMOs if they want to, but GMOs have been around for 2 decades (over a trillion meals consumed) without a single sickness or health issue resulting from consumption. We’ve written about why farmers use GMOs and their many misconceptions here: What the Peterson Farm Bros Think About GMOs
Monsanto is evil
One of the biggest misconceptions about agriculture (or on the internet really) is that Monsanto is an evil company bent on poisoning humanity. Anyone who is familiar with Monsanto or who knows a Monsanto employee knows this isn’t true. Most of what you hear online about Monsanto is either greatly exaggerated or simply not true. We don’t believe Monsanto is perfect and we know that many people are frustrated with how much money they make compared to farmers. However, if Monsanto was truly evil, farmers wouldn’t buy their products and their employees would not enjoy working for them. Plus, they are actually doing a lot of good things! We address 15 myths we’ve discovered about Monsanto here: 15 Myths About Monsanto
Organic farming is the only sustainable way to farm
We are advocates for diversity in farming. We are believers in organic farming and think all of agriculture can learn a lot from what organic farmers do, but we also believe that farming is not a “one size/type fits all” industry. Our world is a complex, diverse place that faces complex, diverse problems that require complex, diverse solutions! We need big farms, small farms, conventional farms, organic farms, GMO/non-GMO, etc. in order to find those solutions and meet the needs of 9 billion people by 2050! Please watch: Greg’s Ted Talk for more on this subject!
Organic food is always safer, healthier, more environmentally friendly and is not grown using pesticides
Again, we are believers in both organic farming AND organic food! We do believe that if people want to buy food that has been raised organically, farmers should be allowed to meet that need. However, we don’t believe that organic food is ALWAYS safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly. Many people buy organic food to support small farms, get healthier and safer food, and protect the environment. We believe that you can do these things without necessarily purchasing organic food. Plus, one of the biggest myths out there is that organic farmers do not use pesticides. They do. There is just a great amount of misleading information being put out there about the difference between conventional and organic food. You can read our entire opinion of organic food here: Conventional AND Organic
“Raised Without Antibiotics:” Antibiotics and vaccines are used throughout the livestock industry to prevent animals from getting sick and help the ones who do get sick recover. Not using antibiotics on an animal who gets sick increases the suffering of the animal and is inhumane. Animals are never “pumped full” of antibiotics. Antibiotics and vaccines are very expensive and farmers would be stupid to overuse either one. All milk and meat is antibiotic free. There are strict withdrawal times for both that prevent antibiotics from reaching the food supply. (Read our entire opinion of antibiotics here)
“Hormone Free:” All humans and animals have naturally occurring hormones in them, so meat and milk from animals will never be “hormone free,” but hormones can be added to an animal in production. All pork and poultry products are free of added hormones! Cattle that do receive hormones receive a tiny implant (size of a tic tac) that increases the efficiency of how they grow, it does not “fill the beef full of hormones” but adds a minuscule amount (Read our entire opinion of hormones here)
“Non-GMO:” A non-GMO label makes sense for products that have the capability of being GMO, but many non-GMO labels are on products that are never GMO. The only GMO crops being grown are corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, sugar beets, papayas, canola, squash, and alfalfa. A “non-GMO” label on foods other than these creates fear that the opposite (GMO) exists in that type of food. We do believe in freedom of choice for consumers and so we aren’t anti-labeling, however, we do believe any sort of non-GMO label can cause confusion in uninformed consumers, making them believe GMOs must be dangerous, an opinion that we’ve attempted to debunk in our GMO blog.
“Gluten Free:” Gluten free labels are great and are needed for people who legitimately suffer from gluten intolerance. However, if you do not legitimately suffer from gluten intolerance, there is no need for you to avoid gluten. Gluten has been consumed for thousands of years and is in many products that accompany healthy diets. The gluten-free fad has been beneficial in providing new products for people who are actually gluten intolerant, but is causing problems as well.
“Grass-Fed:” The grass fed label on beef can be very misleading. All cattle are fed grass throughout their lives. Even grain-finished cattle are raised on grass for the first half of their lives. From there they are transitioned onto a grass/forage/grain diet and eventually finished on mostly grain for the last portion of their lives. “Grass-Finished” is the appropriate label and refers to the ending period of cattle’s lives when they are being finished. We believe both grass finished and grain finished are sustainable ways to produce beef. Learn more here: Why do we have feedlots and grain-finished beef?
Our food supply is poisoned by agricultural practices
Farmers are not poisoning the food supply. It makes zero sense that we would produce dangerous products that we ourselves consume! A vast majority of farmers use technology like GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc. If you believe that these things are killing us, you must also believe that the thousands of farm families like us are willingly producing this poison! We would never do such a thing! If the farm families who used these types of technology knew they were dangerous or poisonous in any way, we would stop growing them and stop consuming them. We haven’t.
Most of the unhealthy products you consume come from the middle steps between the farmer and your plate. Evidence shows that added sugar, added fat, and added preservatives are causing health concerns rather than GMOs, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. These are being added by profit-hungry companies, that are agreeably hard to trust. However, at the beginning of the equation are farmers, and farm families that are creating healthy products you CAN trust! Evidence is clear that limiting calories, avoiding added sugar, fat, and preservatives and exercising daily are what is best for your health. There is no evidence that technologies used in agriculture are bad for your health.
Agriculture is destroying the planet
There is no way that farmers and the agricultural industry can feed and clothe billions of people efficiently without making a huge impact on the environment. However, farmers are making a lot of progress in minimizing that impact! It takes less input to grow beef, pork, poultry, and crops than it ever has, thanks to the technology we talk about on this page. Conservational farming, waste regulation, reduced emissions on machinery, and better management practices are all ways farmers are reducing their impact. We still have a lot of ways to improve, but you can’t say we aren’t trying! You can read more about how farmers are reducing their impacts on our blogs: Reducing Impact
Family farming is dead and corporations rule
96 percent of the farms in America are family farms like ours, according to the USDA. The vast majority of the food being produced in America is being produced by family farms. Corporations do play a big part in the industry, but they do not “control” or “rule” the food supply. Farmers are still at the root of the food equation, and are growing healthy, nutritious crops better than they ever have! Technology, efficiency, and commodity prices have definitely increased the size of these family farms, and many of them farm thousands of acres and thousands of animals, but they are still the same value-driven family farms that were around 50-100 years ago! Read more in our blog: Family Farming
Farmers are only in it for profit
Profit is definitely one of the central motivators in how a farmer farms. A farm would not work and a farmer couldn’t support their family if the farm was not making money. Money factors into most decisions made on a farm. However, there is so much more to farming than how much money is being made. Farmers have a rough job, one that requires many hours of hard work in tough conditions. The bottom line is that the vast majority of farmers farm because they love what they do and care about taking care of what they have and raising healthy food for people to eat, not because farming makes them rich.
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