It’s pretty tempting for those of us involved in production agriculture to shy away from the mainstream media. We like to keep them at arm’s length because, well, any closer and we might get burned.
And it’s not that we have anything to hide. It’s just that too many consumers and media professionals count themselves as experts when it comes to modern production agriculture and automatically discount our production practices and the tools we use to produce food for the world. After all, reading one story in the newspaper or one blog on the internet can make anyone a certified expert, right?
In the words of one of my friends, “It’s infuriating.”
But, as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Which is why, when I saw FoxNews.com had posted an article titled “Hormones in cows and what it means for your health,” I decided to go ahead and ignore the alarm bells going off in my head and read it. And boy, am I glad I did.
On a scale of one to ten, we give this article 11 points. Eleven points for actually doing the research and providing a fair and honest look at bovine somatotropin, or bST, which is a naturally occurring protein in milk that helps increase milk production and helps calves grow. Eleven points for reviewing hormones in meat and providing consumers with accurate information about how they’re used and why — and how much they ingest in meat versus other common foods. Eleven points for discussing antibiotics in a rational and logical way. And, 11 points for pointing out that today’s farmers aren’t using tools like bST, hormones or antibiotics to make a buck. They’re using these products to produce a safe and plentiful food supply. After all, our families are eating the same food consumers are eating, which is why we want to produce food in a way that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and safe for our livestock and ourselves.
Don’t believe me? Give it a read yourself. There’s so much great information, and it comes from author Felicia Stoler, a mom and registered dietician — and, aside from the fact that she and her family eat — not someone who is actively involved in production agriculture.
Hopefully, after reading her article, you’ll get the itch to what she did and do your own research when it comes to modern production agriculture.