Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Truth Is Boring

Okay, so Food Inc. and all of its propaganda against Evil American Agriculture has struck again, and, again, I did not keep my mouth shut. Luckily, it was just in the context of a friend's Facebook status, and I was able to comment without having to get up on my soap box, or even having to get up out of my chair, but still. . .

Why is it that sensationalized stories are always taken as fact? Why is it that we as Americans, or maybe just humans for that matter, are drawn to drama? And if it is our nature to crave excitement, action, and drama, then why is the truth usually pretty boring?

Never has a People magazine been sold just because the person on the cover was living on a farm, enjoying three kids, a dog (sometimes), and a happy marriage. No one is knocking down my door trying to get the truth on American Agriculture, or being a mom, or a former teacher, or a running junkie.


Because our life is pretty UNEVENTFUL! Oh, there are days that I have a lot going on, but it generally involves some one needing another bath because of an unfortunate run-in with a yogurt or something along the lines of having to pick up Joe in the middle of a field in order to get him a sandwich. Rarely would the daily goings-on of my life necessitate being photographed to be put in a section called, "The Buzz."

But that's okay. That's why we are living the life that we have chosen. Besides, who wants paparazzi on a gravel road, anyway?

I guess the one-sideness of the information is truly what gets me going. The fact that friends and relatives of ours are getting their information from a movie is disappointing to me. Moreover, what's even more distressing is that they are believing only what people like Oprah, Michael Pollen, or Michael Moore are saying as the truth, without asking questions from people like me. Now, I'm not saying that everything we do is right, and everything these people--who I realize are very, very successful in their fields-- is not true, but in some instances, the information tends to pay attention to one side more than another.

So, I feel as I should repeat the big soap box points I have:
1) Farmers are not all evil.
2) The use of chemicals, the safe use, on our crops and medicine for our cattle will not cause you to get sick, get cancer, or sprout an eleventh toe.
3) And, there's a big difference between Big Corporate Agriculture and people like us. However, we're all still working hard to keep your food safe and cheap.

I wish there was a forum that the not-so-great farmers (those evil ones Michael Pollen and HSUS keep flashing in front of us on a big screen), as well as farmers like us and execs from big and small agricultural corporations could come together and talk. I wish that we could get all sides to this story out. I know that this is not probably possible, however, it would be nice to have all sides of a story out there on a big screen. However, we're not in this profession to get a fat wallet or be recognized on the street. We are farmers because, frankly, Joe loves it.

So, we'll just keep on, keeping on. We are good stewards of the land, thanks to the crazy amount of paperwork Joe has to fill out for the FSA (Farm Service Agency) and NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) in order to keep our operation and all its practices aligned accordingly to federal and state regulations. So why are people like us, who are, surprisingly in the majority of agriculture, never contacted by Oprah, Michael Pollen, or even a local newspaper for that matter?

Because, we're boring, and we like it, thankyouverymuch.

However, I might get a little testy because of a random Sunday morning Facebook status.


  1. Wonderful article.

    About people getting "their information from a movie" ... I can't believe that Otis, the Holstein on Nickelodean's Back at the Barnyard, has an udder! A classic case of misinformation.

  2. Thanks for this post. It made for great conversation today on Facebook.

  3. I am going to tweet and facebook this...thanks for writing down what we all want to say!

  4. What a well written, well articulated article! Thank-you for sharing 'our' side of the story.

  5. What a great post. I just discovered your blog, and I find it unique that you are a farmer and a runner (just like me!) I'll have to keep followig you. You've inspired me to consider tackling the whole "Food Inc/Michael Pollen/etc" issue in an upcoming blog post. Thank you:)

  6. Hey Emily, just know everyone does not buy into the one-sidedness. Great post!

  7. Call me uninformed, but what happened? You never actually said what you're mad about, just that you're mad.

    The movie about your life didn't say so either.