Planting Season and Food Thoughts

Hello friends. I’m still here, but it was a long, cold winter — we had snow just last week on May 8th! I’m so thankful for my two growing boys but between kids, farm, office, home and tiny dashes of socialization & exercise we are wiped out. Our baby has been sick a lot too, but I keep remembering to cherish the days he loves to be held. They won’t last long. Our crops are all planted as of Friday, and I’m breathing a big sigh of relief. I know it’s wet and cold around the country with some farms barely started planting.

I shared the following thoughts on social media yesterday, and I think they might resonate here as well. I’d love to answer questions or have a respectful discussion if you have comments. Thanks for stopping by!

With planting season upon us, I’m feeling inspired to share a few food truths — as a #mom, a #farmer and an eater. 🧀🥗 How often have you heard a well-meaning expert or friend tell you to eat food that doesn’t contain chemicals? Or to only buy #organic food because it’s raised without pesticide or fertilizer? I’ve heard this a lot, and each time it drives me a little more crazy. 🤪 Why, you ask? Because these statements are misleading and cause unnecessary worry.

Chemicals are part of everything in the world around us. Chemicals are not inherently good or bad, they just are. One of my favorite chemical compounds is the one most essential for life, 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen. H20 = water! 💦 We all want safe and healthy food; if you want to dive deeper into the chemical question start with a fun video called “This is Not Natural.”

Organic has increasingly become a more popular food choice, but many people don’t really know what it means. “Pesticide” and “fertilizer” sound scary, but most organic and traditional foods are grown with one or both. Yup! A pesticide is simply something that helps control pests (think bugs or weeds). And fertilizer helps improve soil health and gives nutrients to growing crops (think manure). Most organic farmers want to enrich their soil and keep bugs and weeds from destroying their plants, so they need to find solutions just like traditional farmers. The USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) has rules governing organic farms like which pesticides and fertilizers are approved. All farmers need to follow labels and guidelines for whatever products they use. 🌱

Both types of farms can be large or small and have varying sustainability and environmental practices. They can also both deliver a healthy food product. 🍎🥛

What to remember? Don’t let yourself be guilted or scared about your food choices by confusing buzz words. In general we are lucky to have a very safe, well-regulated, and abundant food supply. Many good food choices are out there! And a regular glass of milk is still healthier than that bag of organic gummy bears. 😊

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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3 Responses to Planting Season and Food Thoughts

  1. So true! I realize that there is a “threshold” of chemical applications/consumption, but I think responsible applications and use is more important than no use at all. If we did help out the plants with pesticides there might not be any plants left! But to defend the organic farmers – it’s tough work, and sometimes I don’t know if I would be tough enough to do it. The hard part seems to be responsible consumers – knowing how their food is actually produced. It irritates the daylights out of me in that chicken commercial that says “no antibiotics – ever”. So if a chicken is sick or injured they don’t give it medicine to help it!? That’s more inhumane than “no antibiotics”. Sorry … I’ll get off my soap box! But very well written and thought out!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I definitely respect the work of all farmers, and I know plenty of organic farmers do a great job. I get frustrated by the companies and marketers who misrepresent what organic means or use confusing language that’s meant to scare or confuse people. And I completely agree it is kindest to responsibly use antibiotics for animals who need treatment. The biggest ethical dilemma I have with organic livestock farming is those animals who have an infection or illness that should get antibiotic treatment. Generally they can’t or don’t get the medicine they need.

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