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Organic White House Garden Puts Some Conventional Panties in a Twist

by: Jill Richardson

Sat Mar 28, 2009 at 12:47:36 PM PDT


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In the aftermath of breaking ground on the new, 1100 square foot White House garden, Michelle Obama named chef Sam Kass to head the White House Food Initiative. And we know how Kass feels about food... he agrees with us!

All of this positive PR for organics feels very threatening to Big Ag. So one group, the Mid America CropLife Association, has sent an email defending chemical ag to Mrs. Obama. See the letter reprinted below.

Jill Richardson :: Organic White House Garden Puts Some Conventional Panties in a Twist
After sending the letter, MACA forwarded it around to others, with the following message:

Did you hear the news?  The White House is planning to have an "organic" garden on the grounds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the Obama's and their guests.  While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder.  As a result, we sent a letter encouraging them to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy.  Read below for the entire letter.

If you want to send your own letter, it can be sent to the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/cont... [emphasis mine]

Except one person on the forward list didn't shudder at the idea of an organic garden - and that's how the letter reached me. Here it is:

March 26, 2009

Mrs. Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500            

Dear Mrs. Obama,  

We are writing regarding the garden recently added to the White House grounds to ensure a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables to your family, guests and staff. Congratulations on recognizing the importance of agriculture in America! The U.S. has the safest and most abundant food supply in the world thanks to the 3 million people who farm or ranch in the United States.

The CropLife Ambassador Network, a program of the Mid America CropLife Association, consists of over 160 ambassadors who work and many of whom grew up in agriculture. Their mission is to provide scientifically based, accurate information to the public regarding the safety and value of American agricultural food production. Many people, especially children, don't realize the extent to which their daily lives depend on America's agricultural industry. For instance, children are unaware the jeans they put on in the morning, the three meals eaten daily, the baseball with which they play and even the biofuels that power the school bus are available because of America's farmers and ranchers.

Agriculture is the largest industry in America generating 20% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Individuals, family partnerships or family corporations operate almost 99% of U.S. farms. Over 22 million people are employed in farm-related jobs, including production agriculture, farm inputs, processing and marketing and sales. Through research and changes in production practices, today's food producers are providing Americans with the widest variety of foods ever.

Starting in the early 1900's, technology advances have allowed farmers to continually produce more food on less land while using less human labor. Over time, Americans were able to leave the time-consuming demands of farming to pursue new interests and develop new abilities. Today, an average farmer produces enough food to feed 144 Americans who are living longer lives than many of their ancestors. Technology in agriculture has allowed for the development of much of what we know and use in our lives today. If Americans were still required to farm to support their family's basic food and fiber needs, would the U.S. have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?

We live in a very different world than that of our grandparents. Americans are juggling jobs with the needs of children and aging parents. The time needed to tend a garden is not there for the majority of our citizens, certainly not a garden of sufficient productivity to supply much of a family's year-round food needs.

Much of the food considered not wholesome or tasty is the result of how it is stored or prepared rather than how it is grown. Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet more economical. Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive. However, a Midwest mother whose child loves strawberries, a good source of Vitamin C, appreciates the ability to offer California strawberries in March a few months before the official Mid-west season.

Farmers and ranchers are the first environmentalists, maintaining and improving the soil and natural resources to pass onto future generations. Technology allows for farmers to meet the increasing demand for food and fiber in a sustainable manner.

  • Farmers use reduced tillage practices on more than 72 million acres to prevent erosion.
  • Farmers maintain over 1.3 million acres of grass waterways, allowing water to flow naturally from crops without eroding soil.
  • Contour farming keeps soil from washing away. About 26 million acres in the U.S. are managed this way.
  • Agricultural land provides habitat for 75% of the nation's wildlife.
  • Precision farming boosts crop yields and reduces waste by using satellite maps and computers to match seed, fertilizer and crop protection applications to local soil conditions.
  • Sophisticated Global Positioning Systems can be specifically designed for spraying  pesticides. A weed detector equipped with infrared light identifies specific plants by the different rates of light they reflect and then sends a signal to a pump to spray a preset amount of herbicide onto the weed.
  • Biogenetics allows a particular trait to be implanted directly into the seed to protect the seed against certain pests.
  • Farmers are utilizing 4-wheel drive tractors with up to 300 horsepower requiring fewer passes across fields-saving energy and time.
  • Huge combines are speeding the time it takes to harvest crops.
  • With modern methods, 1 acre of land in the U.S. can produce 42,000 lbs. of strawberries, 110,000 heads of lettuce, 25,400 lbs. of potatoes, 8,900 lbs. of sweet corn, or 640 lbs of cotton lint.

As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply. America's farmers understand crop protection technologies are supported by sound scientific research and innovation.

The CropLife Ambassador Network offers educational programs for elementary school educators at http://ambassador.maca.org covering the science behind crop protection products and their contribution to sustainable agriculture. You may find our programs America's Abundance, Farmers Stewards of the Land and War of the Weeds of particular interest. We thank you for recognizing the importance and value of America's current agricultural technologies in feeding our country and contributing to the U.S economy.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Sincerely,

Bonnie McCarvel, Executive Director
Janet Braun, Program Coordinator
Mid America CropLife Association
11327 Gravois Rd., #201
St. Louis, MO  63126

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This part is disingenuous (4.00 / 8)
If Americans were still required to farm to support their family's basic food and fiber needs, would the U.S. have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?

Ever heard of Philo Farnsworth? He was a farm boy in Idaho back in the early days of the last century. Now I don't know what made him come up with the idea, but as he was plowing a field he came to the realization that the technique of interleaving the rows he was plowing could be adapted to the scanning of radiation onto the matrix of a cathode-ray tube. Or, in English, Farnsworth invented television while he was plowing. And he was a teenager at the time to boot.

In my field (high technology) and advocations (computers and radio), discoveries by amateurs rank right alongside those of professionals. I can't see why that wouldn't apply to agriculture as well.

The tone of this letter seems to be "let us take care of this, we know what's best for you." Their ox is about to get gored.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55


I'm thinkin' BBQ! (4.00 / 6)
'The tone of this letter seems to be "let us take care of this, we know what's best for you."

Them's fightin' words....

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....


[ Parent ]
Get out the pitchforks (4.00 / 5)
and turn them compost piles. :)

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55

[ Parent ]
Funny, (3.00 / 1)
That's how most of the people on this site sound to me.  

[ Parent ]
really? (0.00 / 0)
i don't find it like that at all.
people tell of their experiences. others say 'yes, me too' or 'no, i think this...'
the point being we're all trying to help each other to find/produce/grow/cook the most nutritious food possible.

i'd like to hear more about YOUR views.....
& why/how you came to that conclusion.

come firefly-dreaming with me....


[ Parent ]
Tonight's looking to be awesome dessert (4.00 / 3)
is homemade, blood orange tart.  Organic. Homegrown.

I sincerely hope that puts another half-twist in those panties.

If there's any egg in the recipe (I didn't have anything to do with making this...), that's homegrown and organic, too.

I hope that adds another half-twist.

We're coming to get you, Dow and Monsanto.  And you, "CropLife" Association.


Dear Janet Braun (4.00 / 4)
You couldn't be more wrong.

We live in a very different world than that of our grandparents. Americans are juggling jobs with the needs of children and aging parents. The time needed to tend a garden is not there for the majority of our citizens, certainly not a garden of sufficient productivity to supply much of a family's year-round food needs.

Yes, we know that you only have time for precious things, like writing an annoying corporate ag letter to a wonderful woman who's moving into the future. Dear Ms. Braun, come join us. You'll find when you're not pushing for disastrous biz-ag procedure there is plenty of time left in the day, and plenty of fossil fuels saved. Corp-ag doesn't feed America, they bloat America, and sneak as much corn, and processed corn into our diets. Forget about saving time, and crop yield numbers, that's short term and only considers the explicit costs. Ms. Braun we're in a new era. Get used to it. One more thing, you know the efficiencies you speak of? Ya, they're putting farmers out of business. Please stop, Thanks. If you're looking for a job, my garden could use some weeding.


Farmers and ranchers are the first environmentalists, maintaining and improving the soil and natural resources to pass onto future generations. Technology allows for farmers to meet the increasing demand for food and fiber in a sustainable manner.

No they're not and no it doesn't. They can't afford to be. The catch-22 of corn production doesn't allow that. Fossil fuels are not sustainable, but thanks for playing.

Dear Mrs. Obama,
Ignore this tripe. Thanks so much for teaching your/our children. Tearing up the lawn and putting down an organic garden is more than symbolic. It's leading to more edible landscape and nutritional education for our children. Keep it up!


Maybe there could be nothing better than allowing big ag (4.00 / 7)
to set up a "concept" garden on the White House lawn.  Imagine the power of such an image could have: a bunch of dirt stripped down with dust flying everywhere as huge machinery moves in to pump a bunch of fertilizer into the bare, raped soil; row after row of soy beans or corn as far as the eye can see; clouds of pesticides gassing the lawn and anyone unfortunate enough to be standing downwind; Mansanto "enforcers" standing around the edges so no one can steal the seeds, then ripping everything out so nothing can be planted again.  

You get the picture.

 


my heavens, do you think they read this letter (4.00 / 7)
before sending it?  what silliness: no one really believes that having an organic kitchen garden at the White House is a direct attack on farmers do they?

I suppose these folks want all the community gardens, the plants on the high-rise balconies, the kitchen garden at homes across America and the world to ONLY be treated with chemicals rather than grown using simple techniques that cut down on pests and weeds and give back to the soil.  what nonsense.


The idea that they are threatened by her garden (4.00 / 5)
Tells me more about them than 1,000 articles about organic gardening.

Goes nicely with the news today of Rep. Doogan outing mudflats, eh? Their overreactions tell us more about them than they intend.

As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.


[ Parent ]
ridiculous (4.00 / 6)
my guess is, if michelle obama is already feeding her family organics, and wants to grow organically, then she has already seen through most of these claims, including the claim that the reason food doesn't seem as tasty or wholesome is a result of how it is prepared or stored. there are a lot of dubious or just straight out untrue claims in this letter, and it seems like a waste of time, energy and money to send it to ms. obama!

oh seriously that was the funniest sentence (4.00 / 5)
that it's less wholesome because of bad storage or preparation. Riiight. As if that's the only reason why one would choose organic. I've heard enough stories about farmers being sickened or killed from ag chemicals that I'd rather choose foods made w/o them so no one will ever have to risk their health to make my food. Not to mention the environmental effects of chemical ag! I'd like to have a planet left in another 50 years. With, you know, a few living species left on it.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Yes...one reason (4.00 / 2)
I'm glad to be out of the greenhouses is the pesticides.  (Also my allergies are better now.)

You have to watch some videos about what to do if you get contaminated, safe handling practices, etc.  The scariest part relates to farm workers being exposed to crop dusting...

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. -- Calvin Trillin


[ Parent ]
lol!~ (4.00 / 4)
seems like the First Lady has struck a nerve . . .  

So outrageous that it's funny (4.00 / 4)
Although objectively, this is enraging...I'm just too giddy about the public reaction. Honestly, what good could have come from this letter that wouldn't be MASSIVELY outweighed by the possibility that it would be "leaked"?

Or are they subscribing to the old addage: any press is good press?

Remember Food?

http://www.thereluctanteater.com


well they certainly could have (4.00 / 3)
sent it to the White House w/o having it leaked... but then they had to forward it around too :)

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Are you kidding? They INTENDED it to be leaked! (4.00 / 3)
These things aren't written for Mrs. Obama. These things are written to let you and me know how sagacious our agricultural benefactors are.

Gag. As if.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55


[ Parent ]
ag and the federal gov are sorry copanions, (4.00 / 6)
and they have been for a very long time.

My county extension offers a free master-gardeners' program; but it's only in conventional ag.

I've won't take it, for my own health.

I recently purchased a book, something like "How to Farm on an Acre," published by the USDA. It's basically a compilation of bulletins published by extension offices throughout the country. In the index, there are two listings for organic; one explaining that it's too difficult because you have to travel all over the place looking for esoteric soil amendments; the other suggesting you'd be better putting your time into learning how to maintain your tractors.

That Michelle Obama suggested putting an organic garden on the WH lawn (which, buy the way, I'm sure isn't organic -- that it's received constant applications of both pesticides and fertilizer) was very brave. That this is the mildest of first salvos, doesn't  surprise me.

The battle will heat up if Michelle doesn't tone it down. At least that's my prediction.

Me, I'm hoping she invites Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Joel Saletin, the farmer from Polyface, for a meal and broadcasts its prep on Oprah.

Thanks for sharing, Jill. Guess it's time for us to initiate some organic love for our first lady. Letter in the mail Monday, a.m.


Maybe it's time for an alternative (4.00 / 4)
What about Master Organic Gardening classes? Sort of like master gardening classes but you promote sustainable and organic methods instead of . . . well, whatever else gets promoted in master gardening classes.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55

[ Parent ]
It's not a 12-week summer program; it's a lifestyle commitment (4.00 / 4)
and a lifetime of learning to become a master organic gardener.

I'd settle for a simple "organic gardening" class. I wish I thought myself capable of teaching it; but there's too much I don't know. I'd be pretty damned good a teaching an organic networking class; how to find the answer to the latest problem class, however.


[ Parent ]
Here's what I was going by (4.00 / 1)
from Wikipedia:

The Master Gardener Program was started in Seattle, Washington in 1972, in response to repeated requests for gardening information from community members. Once volunteers are accepted into a master gardener program they are trained by Cooperative Extension office, university, and local industry staff in subjects such as: plant taxonomy, plant pathology, entomology, taxonomy, cultural growing requirements, wildlife control, and integrated pest management.

I'm not talking about something like a diploma mill or the horticultural equivalent of a computer certification boot camp where you go for a week and they force-feed you the answers to the MCSE tests (all too common in my industry). I'm talking about a recognized program where, if you have a question about gardening and you want real answers involving organic/sustainable practices instead of Monsanto press releases, you know who to ask. If I said anything that sounded like "four weeks ago I cud not spel P H D and now I are one" I certainly didn't mean to.

And anyone who isn't willing to make the commitment to sustainability and organics in gardening shouldn't be presenting themselves as a master organic gardener in any case.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55


[ Parent ]
this is exactly the program I'm talking about (4.00 / 2)
and nowhere in your program do description do you see the word "organic."

I'm sure they're different all over the country; here, you grow a plot at the extension service site, also work in the greenhouse, for a growing season.

And it's industrial ag, with fertilizers, pesticides, and all the other for-profit ag businesses subsidized by USDA.

There should be an organic version; I agree 100%. And I'm sure it would be as well received as Michelle Obama's organic garden on the WH lawn. There's too much money to be lost if we stop growing Scott Lawns, Omir.  


[ Parent ]
Just because Big Ag will sneer at it (4.00 / 1)
doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.

It just won't be done by me, at least for a while. I have adopted a new sig to emphasize my lack of expertise in matters agricultural.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55


[ Parent ]
I'm starting to worry about you, Omir. (4.00 / 2)
I thought you wanted to grow prize-winning pumpkins, the kind they make boats out of.

[ Parent ]
Boats? Pah! Kids stuff! (4.00 / 1)
I want the kind of pumpkins they shoot out of these!!

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55

[ Parent ]
ahhhhh! (4.00 / 1)
you aspire to punkin' chunkin'!!!

come firefly-dreaming with me....

[ Parent ]
Organic Master Gardeners (0.00 / 0)
As a Master Gardener in Hawaii I have to say that in our training we had an entire section on organic gardening. The University of Hawaii has a scientist dedicated to organic gardening research. Furthermore, most of the other sections included organic information.
When people contact us for information we (most of us) try to offer simple and organic solutions first. Perhaps it is because we live on an island but we are keenly aware there are consequences to all our actions.  (What you flush today you swim in tomorrow.)
The purpose of the Master Gardeners is to help. If more people start asking questions about organic gardening, the Master Gardener program, where ever it is located, will have to provide the information.

[ Parent ]
You might want to do an email (4.00 / 4)
because snail mail is delayed by WEEKS. Has to be checked for anthrax.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
yeah but (4.00 / 4)
USPS is one of the few gov't programs that actually works!
i try to use it as often as i can. especially letters to politicians. i figure it means more if they get an actual piece of mail, so my voice/opinion maybe gets a bit more wieght, and the post office gets my business. i also try to order things in plenty of time so i can use USPS rather than UPS or Fedex.

come firefly-dreaming with me....

[ Parent ]
I prefer fax (4.00 / 2)
It doesn't have to be checked for anthrax and provides a hard copy, assuming staffers don't just chuck the faxes in the memory hole, and you get a confirmation that the fax was at least delivered to the fax machine number. Of course I wouldn't fax anyone 110 pages of supporting documents . . .

This works best if you have a phone plan that lets you make unlimited long-distance calls and an Outlook plugin or similar tool that lets you fax directly from your computer.

I have succumbed to the Twitter craze. @Omir55


[ Parent ]
Rodale has experimental gardens (4.00 / 2)
and is definitely committed to organic gardening.  I wonder whether they offer classes?

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. -- Calvin Trillin

[ Parent ]
They lost me at "Mrs. Barack Obama." (4.00 / 5)

 Their salutation is as outdated and old-fashioned as their knowledge, I see.

 Sexist AND Stupid. Hmmmph.


I agree (4.00 / 4)
I always hated that convention. I will never be Mrs. [my husband]. I might never get married. And if I do, it's highly unlikely I would take his name.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I didn't even notice.. good eye! (4.00 / 5)
What an awful lobbyist letter. Frankly I find that Mrs. Barack Obama stuff charming, but at the same time I'd probably have a different opinion if the roles were reversed. Something isn't quite right about that whole system. It seems to punish families with all girls or more girls than guys. Their family name should survive too!

Offtopic:
I'm watching the cutest scene. Just got my kitten two new toys and he is trying to play with both at once! Awesome!  


[ Parent ]
good point n/t (4.00 / 4)


As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.

[ Parent ]
The MACA got more bad news (4.00 / 7)
from the USDA's announcement last week that part of the new "peoples garden", in front of the main USDA office in DC, will be Certified Organic!  Sec. Vilsack told the NOP that the garden WILL be certified.

I was there as members of the NOP staff were helping to turn some very dead dirt, in preparation for the compost from the Rodale farm.  From a fuel mile aspect trucking compost from Pennsylvania to DC makes no sense, until you understand that Rodale will be a technical adviser to the USDA organic garden and the plot will be certified by a Pennsylvania certifier.

Yes, the USDA understands that it will take 3 years to transition the garden into organics.  However, the NOP is also making some raised beds and containers so a segment of the organic garden can be certified in the coming weeks.

Vilsack will also be announcing shortly a major new focus on organics a USDA.  We think it's a directive to integrate organics into every aspect of USDA.  That would mean that USDA staff, in every program, would have to be proficient in the regulations governing organics.

On April 1st, Kathleen Marrigan and two other very environmentally friendly candidates should be confirmed by the Senate.

We also sense there may have been, nothing to confirm, but their just maybe a crack in the ice concerning GMO's.  Just the idea that GMO's may no longer be a sacrosanct subject at USDA is stunning.


WOW! (4.00 / 3)
Sea change?????

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....

[ Parent ]
omg! Rodale compost! (4.00 / 4)
YES! YES! YES! I think I just had an orgasm! That is so wonderful that they are involving Rodale in this effort. Let's hope their relationship migrates beyond the garden and into the front door of the USDA building where perhaps Rodale can influence some policy!

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
"Conventional" Agriculture... (4.00 / 2)
Calling it conventional agriculture disregards thousands of years of non-chemical practices.  I'd really like to see that term turned on it's head.  Let's make chemical warfare agriculture into the outsiders.

The one thing that they never factor in when they tout their yields and fencerow to fencerow practices is soil health.  As a (very) small scale farmer, the most important thing I have is my soil.  They may be able to keep their yields up, but in the long term, they're sacrificing the health of their(our) soil.  Imagine a day when we run out of the raw materials (ie oil) for the production of the petro fertilizers and chemicals...  At that point, their soil will have a hard time supporting much.  My soil on the other hand, will be healthy and productive.

I think they do feel threatened by the WH garden.  If people start growing their own food, they may actually realize that they've been duped by the "quality" of food that's been fed to them for years.  If people start demanding better quality, I believe that "conventional" ag will have a very hard time delivering.


I agree with the nomenclature (4.00 / 2)
but for current culture clarity, it's the terminology used.

reclaiming "conventional" might not be as important as rebranding industrial=unsustainable.


[ Parent ]
one can only hope.... (0.00 / 0)
If people start growing their own food, they may actually realize that they've been duped by the "quality" of food that's been fed to them for years.  If people start demanding better quality, I believe that "conventional" ag will have a very hard time delivering.


come firefly-dreaming with me....

[ Parent ]
metafilter! (4.00 / 2)
Congratulations on the link on "the blue".  I love Metafilter, so I was thrilled to see you get linked there!

My Panties Remain Untwisted (0.00 / 0)
This is Brad from Monsanto.

Monsanto thinks it great if people garden, including the first family. Its important that more people understand the challenges farmers face.

I garden myself and seldom use any pesticides, not because of any aversion to them, but because I usually don't need to use them in my garden (other than some fungicides on my cherries).

Gardening ain't farming though:

1. I can pick hornworms off my dozen or so tomato plants pretty easily. Whole different story though if I had a dozen acres or more.
2. If my garden fails, I go to the market or farmstand and buy what I need. My livlihood doesn't suffer (as would a farmer's) and the impact on broader food security would be infinitesimal.

Look at late blight, or corn earworm or any of the other pests that farmers are up against every day, and it is a much bigger challenge.

Some crops can be grown organically for sure, but the inputs are higher as are the costs of the produce. Not everyone can afford this.

In some locations, certain crops cannot be grown organically. I live in central New England. It is really hard to grow apples there organically. So, do we ban pesticides and ship 'em in from reclaimed desert in the Pacific Northwest? Is that sustainable?


glad your panties are untwisted (4.00 / 3)
perhaps the Monsanto guy on MACA's board of directors should share those thoughts with the rest of the board.

Can I ask though - why do you think inputs cost MORE to grow organically? Re: organic apples, I believe those are considered hard to grow organically everywhere yet somehow the organic producers do it. I remain a skeptic that it's really so impossible to do in your region since somehow the organic growers find a way.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman


[ Parent ]
having been a "farmer" (4.00 / 3)
and now a gardener, I can honestly say this: you're full of shit.

[ Parent ]
and it would really be better (4.00 / 2)
if your garden were in this condition instead of you.

[ Parent ]
I don't think I feed my kid Stawberries from Califonria if I loved him or her (4.00 / 1)
Howdy,

  Someone sent me a copy of the above letter on the White House Garden and I have just located this site. It is interesting.

 If the  Midwest mother whose child loves strawberries, a good source of Vitamin C, appreciates the ability to offer California strawberries in March a few months before the official Mid-west season, LOVES her kid, she would never ever even let her kid touch let alone eat conventionally grown strawberries from California.

That is because in order to kill the soil to grow the berries Methyl bromide is heavily applied. In 1988 under the Montreal Protocol, the nations of the world agreed to eliminate all use of Methyl bromide by 2001. Since 2001 the US administration has lobbied for and gotten an exception to keep using this stuff on strawberries and tomatoes and other crops and horticultural plants.  

 Methyl bromide depletes the ozone layer, which is why it was originally banned. Since then we now know the compound attacks the central nervous system, and damages the lungs and kidneys of humans. It has been linked to reproductive disorders, including birth defects and cancer etc. It is a serious poison.

The replacement product methyl iodide is even worst. which is why growers have been allowed to keep suing it. About 80% of the strawberries in the US come fields in California where this stuff is heavily used.



Why don't you contact the Mid America CropLife Association? (0.00 / 0)
Instead of posting comments here (where you are likely preaching to the choir), I encourage you to share your feedback with the authors of the letter, Bonnie McCarvel and Janet Braun. Here are their email addresses, pulled from the Mid America CropLife Association website:

bonnie@maca.org
janet@maca.org

Let them know what you think!

Best,
ShanFrancisco


wow (0.00 / 0)
Mrs. Obama just wants to start a organic garden. It's a little bit of political PR, and has a little bit of education values . But still it's just a garden. It doesn't mean anything. Maybe it's a good example for children, etc. - personally, I don't think so...
Why CropLife Association even bother to write this letter/manifesto?  

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- Ghost Town Farm
- Goods from the Woods
- The Green Fork
- Gristmill
- GroundTruth
- Irresistable Fleet of Bicycles
- John Bunting's Dairy Journal
- Liberal Oasis
- Livable Future Blog
- Marler Blog
- My Left Wing
- Not In My Food
- Obama Foodorama
- Organic on the Green
- Rural Enterprise Center
- Take a Bite Out of Climate Change
- Treehugger
- U.S. Food Policy
- Yale Sustainable Food Project

Reference
- Recipe For America
- Eat Well Guide
- Local Harvest
- Sustainable Table
- Farm Bill Primer
- California School Garden Network

Organizations
- The Center for Food Safety
- Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Community Food Security Coalition
- The Cornucopia Institute
- Farm Aid
- Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
- Food and Water Watch
-
National Family Farm Coalition
- Organic Consumers Association
- Rodale Institute
- Slow Food USA
- Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Union of Concerned Scientists

Magazines
- Acres USA
- Edible Communities
- Farmers' Markets Today
- Mother Earth News
- Organic Gardening

Book Recommendations
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
- Appetite for Profit
- Closing the Food Gap
- Diet for a Dead Planet
- Diet for a Small Planet
- Food Politics
- Grub
- Holistic Management
- Hope's Edge
- In Defense of Food
- Mad Cow USA
- Mad Sheep
- The Omnivore's Dilemma
- Organic, Inc.
- Recipe for America
- Safe Food
- Seeds of Deception
- Teaming With Microbes
- What To Eat

User Blogs
- Beyond Green
- Bifurcated Carrot
- Born-A-Green
- Cats and Cows
- The Food Groove
- H2Ome: Smart Water Savings
- The Locavore
- Loving Spoonful
- Nourish the Spirit
- Open Air Market Network
- Orange County Progressive
- Peak Soil
- Pink Slip Nation
- Progressive Electorate
- Trees and Flowers and Birds
- Urbana's Market at the Square


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