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Posts Tagged ‘GMO Labeling’

Happy Friday, all! Big plans this weekend? Hubs and I have big plans that involve little to no sleep because we’re moving H to her ‘big girl bed.’

If that doesn’t mean, “Congrats, mom and dad, no sleep for you,” I don’t know what does.

But hey, what are parents if they aren’t gluttons for punishment? Anyway, on to the Weekly Round Up!

  • The big news here in the agriculture community is the current state of the farm economy. If you’re not intimately involved in agriculture, it may be news to you. But for farmers, the downturn in the farm economy has been brewing for a while and it doesn’t look to improve too soon. To learn more about why that’s a problem for farmers – and you – check out these articles from Reuters (this one features one of my favorite farmers, Dave Kestel!) and Farm Futures.
  • Along the same lines, Illinois Corn Growers posted an excellent breakdown of how ag products are priced and the share the farmers receives – it’s Ag Econ 101. Where was this when I was in college?
  • This, because it’s awesome. Here’s the guys and gals out there growing our food. FB_IMG_1459210414746
  • In the same vein as the farm economy stories I mentioned above, here’s another that you may not be aware of. Recently, a wildfire broke out in Oklahoma and then rapidly moved into Kansas. Across the two states, ranchlands were burned, putting ranchers in a tough spot coming in to spring. For more information on how ranchers are dealing with the fires, check out this post from Tales from a Kansas Farm Mom.
  • This, because it doesn’t seem like a day goes by without hearing some other completely incorrect nugget of information regarding GMOs. This? This is good stuff. AnFB_IMG_1454119992741
  • And, speaking of GMOs – check out this article. I realize I’m a little biased because I think GMOs are all around pretty great. And I do have some issues with a couple of the statements made here (especially about pesticide use), but overall, I think it’s a great piece that outlines just how silly mandatory GMO labeling actually is.
  • And finally, this. Because, obviously. Farm to table

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Time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. And, just so you know, a lot of stuff happened this week. Prepare yourself.

  • Did you know June is Dairy Month? I love Dairy Month because I grew up with dairy cattle. Everyone else loves Dairy Month because, well, ice cream and hot weather were made for each other. In celebration of Dairy Month, here are all the awesome articles and memes you can check out:
    • Need some new recipes for satisfy your June dairy cravings? Check out this cookbook from http://www.DairyMakesSense.com.
    • This. Because, obviously. Keep Calm
    • Have you ever wondered how real milk stacks up against other popular milks like soy, almond or coconut milk? This handy chart can help.
    • And also this. Consequently, if you love all things cows, visit http://www.steelcow.com. Beautiful artwork that features all things bovine (and a few pigs and chickens, too)!Dairy Month
    • And this. Midwest Dairy
    • And, one more. Because you’re a glutton for punishment. Milk Sales
  • You might have seen this making the rounds this week, but if not, check it out. Flooding in Texas has affected cities and rural communities alike and, in the case of this rancher, the community came together to help him get his stranded cattle to safety — driving them nearly 70 miles! The pictures alone are worth the read.
  • This, which I found last week. Apparently, in June 1938, several members of Congress competed in a milking contest on the Capitol grounds. From the House Agriculture Committee’s Facebook page: “Texas Congressman Marvin Jones, who was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, served as the referee. According to new reports, he declared the contest a draw because after 10 minutes of milking, none of the contestants had more than a pint of milk to show for their efforts.” Wonder how the same contest with today’s Congressional delegation would go? We know they’re good at pulling legs. Milking Contest
  • This editorial, from TruthAboutTrade.org. Written by a Vermont farm mom, this article talks about the price of GMO labeling to the family farm. It’s an excellent read, straight from the horse’s mouth.
  • And finally, this article from BloodHorse.com. As someone who has a lot of experience in the horse industry, this was particularly interesting. The article focuses not on Triple Crown hopeful, American Pharoah, but instead, his pony horse, Smokey. What’s so interesting, for me, is the fact that Smokey has one heck of a pedigree and a whole lot of training to end up ponying horses on the racetrack. I’m just guessing her, but I would bet, with Smokey’s training and breeding, he was a six-figure horse when trainer Bob Baffert bought him to pony horses on the track. And, if all of that was just a foreign language to you, you should still check out the article, because there are pretty pictures of horses. And, it talks about American Pharoah, who just might be the first horse to claim the triple crown since Affirmed did it in 1978.

 

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O.M.G., you guys. It’s April. How the heck did that happen? April means I’m one month (well, a month and a week) away from my daughter’s first birthday. HOLY. CRAP. I’m not much on big (or small, for that matter) parties — especially for babies and toddlers. Despite that, we will be having a small party for H. And by small, I mean grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles only. And by that I mean we’re expecting almost 30 people at our house. Oy. I guess it’s time to put on my big girl pants and get the party planned, i.e. get the house cleaned. But I digress. It’s time for another Weekly Round Up:

  • This wonderful podcast, from my friends DeAnna and Holly (and a gal who I think should be my friend because, clearly, we’re both awesome – Emily). DeAnna, Holly and Emily regularly record their Confessions of a Farm Wife podcasts and, this time, they were live at the Women in Agriculture conference. It’s great!
  • And this Op Ed from the Washington Post’s Editorial Board. The Editorial Board examined the idea of GMO labeling and came to the conclusion that it’s just not necessary. Follow the link and read the op ed — it’s definitely worth your time.
  • This story, from KSDK.com. It’s not necessarily ag-related, but can be translated pretty easily into ag programs across the state since it’s possible they’re going to be facing some pretty hefty budget cuts themselves. When Gillespie High School construction trades teacher Mark Goldasich saw a measly $600, annually, for his budget — chopped from the year before — he knew he had to do something. So, with the help of his daughters, Goldasich started a Facebook page offering up the work of his students. Now, business is booming.
  • And this, in honor of April Fools’ Day on Wednesday. Posted by Yellowstone National Park, it does explain why so many of the roads up there are closed…Yellowstone April Fools
  • This article, which gives Holly Spangler her second appearance on this week’s Weekly Round Up. File this under questions you don’t ask a farmer. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for the planter breaking down or, in Holly’s case, a calf with an injured leg, when you ask, “How is planting going?” or “Calving going okay?”
  • And this. Again, not necessarily ag-related, but I had to share because it’s just so great! Temple Grandin is well known by parents who have kids with autism (and even those who don’t!) because she herself has autism and has done so much to help kids who are just like her. But you may not know she’s well known in livestock circles, too. Because of her autism, she understands how animals, who can’t always communicate with humans, feel and react to certain situations and has been instrumental in designing humane livestock handling systems. How cool is that?Autism Awareness

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Image: Whole Foods

As you roam up and down the aisles at the grocery store and begin throwing items into your cart, what drives your decision-making? Are you constantly searching for products with the best price? Perhaps, you think nutritional value supersedes all or the way the food is grown is most important. Or, maybe it’s a combination of all three.

If you ask Whole Foods, the answer isn’t all three — it’s just one of those things. Sure, they would probably tell you all three factors are important to their customers. But two weeks ago, they decided to throw the other two out the window by focusing on one — the way the food was grown — when they announced a five-year deadline for labeling products in their stores that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Anti-GMO groups practically threw parades.

In the end, it is Whole Foods’ decision. They are, after all, a private company. And they aren’t doing this because of a federally-mandated law. Unfortunately, it could cause a ripple effect for which Whole Foods may not be prepared, damaging their suppliers and hurting their customer base.

To put it simply, GMO labeling will drive current prices up and will lead consumers to believe that non-GMO products are more nutritionally complete or safer (which, unfortunately for Whole Foods, just isn’t true). What’s more, labeling could effectively decimate the organic foods market — a niche market that was built and has thrived on the marketability of being non-GMO.

If you’ve been here before, this GMO-labeling-just-doesn’t-make-sense argument shouldn’t be news to you — we’ve covered it before.

But, Whole Foods’ announcement brought the issue back to the forefront. And this time, it got some surprising responses from, well, surprising sources.

Take, for example, The New York Times:

The Food and Drug Administration says it has no basis for concluding that foods developed by bioengineering techniques present different or greater safety concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding. Nevertheless, bills are pending in several states to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients (a referendum to compel such labeling was narrowly defeated in California last November). For now, there seems little reason to make labeling compulsory.

Consumers can already find products free of genetically engineered ingredients, with labels voluntarily placed by the manufacturers.

In addition to buying foods containing voluntary labels, consumers wanting to stay away from foods containing GMO foods don’t have to look any further than the Certified Organic aisle at the grocery store.

The point is, farmers and companies who grow and use GMOs aren’t in the business of hiding information, or sweeping any kind of ‘dirty little secrets’ under the rug. We want the same thing you want: A safe food supply that offers consumers choices and, quite frankly, offers farmers choices, too.

Unfortunately, labeling mandates could make those choices disappear by making the organic market — a market that many farmers and growers have worked hard to develop — virutally obsolete and rising prices for all consumers.

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