We don’t need organic food to thrive

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

As a member of the agricultural community in Decatur County, I take offense to the editorial in the Nov. 21, issue of The Post Searchlight. The fact that our community produces very little organic food does not make our citizens less intellectual, uninformed, or backward. Food choices are a decision each family must make in an intelligent, thoughtful, and nutritional manner.
The lightning rod for disagreement becomes people’s personal opinion. Is organic healthier, is it safer, or more sustainable? These questions can be answered by science on the societal level, but from the emotional side, the individual must decide their own unique choice. This is where the editor’s comments become self-gratifying from her life experiences and fall short of the true need of our community, state, or nation.
A quote from the late Malcom Forbes, It’s much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem, seems to fit Ashley’s comments concerning our community.  The problem we face is a growing population and an ever diminishing land base to grow food.
Technology and the American farmer has produced the cheapest, safest food we have ever seen.  We live in a time of tremendous prosperity.  We awaken each day to clean safe water, a refrigerator with more food choices than some third world residents would have in a life time, and a series of safety regulations that help to make our food the safest on the planet.
As a dairy farmer, I wish to inform the public that non-organic milk sold in our local stores is not from hormone or antibiotic riddled animals. I can attest, that dairy farms nationwide adhere to some of the most stringent guidelines ever imposed on our industry.
Your editorial initially caught my attention as one of conflict between organic and conventional food systems, but as I wrote this letter to your paper, I realized the real problem is me and the farming community throughout this state and country.  We have not done an adequate job educating you, “The Millennial”, about food production and addressing your food concerns.  We must reach out to school groups, civic groups and individuals and let them know we are concerned about their fears regarding food.
Thank you Ashley for inadvertently bringing the real problem about our farming community to the discussion.
Paul Johnson, DVM

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