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Honored Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

There is some disconnect or divide, between perceptions of smaller farmers and larger ones, in the minds of many consumers. I frankly don't get it.

There is this notion that if you meet the small producer, everything is all rosy and maybe organic, but definitely healthful. If you buy it in the regular grocery aisle, it was produced by some Evil Empire, peopled by heartless, mindless Farmbots.

The truth is, I have tremendous responsibilities as a contract grower of 80,000-ish animals a year. Meds ar tracked, animal welfare documentation is legion. I have had other grassfarmers warn me not to get wrapped up (in one of our side enterprises) with certain other grassfarmers in any way that woukd refkect on our reputation...because they just bought culled dairy cows at the livestock market, passing them off as grassfed beef.

There is enough misperception of what the actual legal terms used in marketing are, the average consumer has no idea what he/she is actually paying more for, oftentimes. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of the Mexican cilantro that is creating serious illness. More of these pathogen-driven cases come out of people eating what they THINK is healthier, than out of bad Jack-in-the-Box burgers.
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Veteran Contributor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Kay:

 

Some of what you say is true, but not enough to sway the trend. In fact,  attacking as a strategy reinforces the lack of trust people have in large government, large farming, large almost everything. Having said that, most consumers still patronize that system in droves. So, no sense in reinforcing their suspicions. I say we are better off if we just leave a lot of this alone. I suspect it will be near impossibel to convince people that food grown in their back yards and locally is less safe than that shipped by faceless entities from unknown places.

 

I do sympathize with the situation as you explain. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Those big bad anti gmo people.

 

What are their motivations ?  what do they get out of the deal ?  it boils down, how do they make money on the deal ?

The answer is, they don't.....they don't own a conventional seed company, nor a basic chemical company, nor do i see

the big iron companies behind it.

 

 

but on the other hand, monsanto, and others DO have a vested interest......they are playing us like a fiddle.....let the farmers

tell everyone it's safe, since they have a "pure" image, while monsanto et al, have a corp. image, that the american people

don't like, these people know that, and that's part of their "plan", despite what they say or claim.

 

we need to face facts, walmart, the largest retailer of the united states, has a stated policy they do not want gmo's and are

trying to source products that do not contain them......re-read that line again.....and let it sink in

 

freto-lay, and other snack makers, are also wanting to get away from gmo's........alot of people eat their products.

 

the next leap, which i'm hearing noise of.....there is a move to have meat not feed gmo's.......this has not cought

on yet, but just wait.....that is where most of the gmo stuff goes is to animal feed.

 

so many "farmers" keep saying we MUST have gmo's......no we don't.  we didn't have them before.....and there are options,

it just means more work. any fool can go out, plant some seed, squirt some roundup on it, and go cut it....

they think they work so hard, setting in their air conditioned cabs and radio running and their cphone going....i'm old

enough to been thru the "real men" agriculture, before gmo.

and some will point, it will cut our yeilds in half......now, were hearing now how we are below the cost of production,

now if these products so wonderful, why are they not paying for themselves.....every day i talk to marketers.....the underlaying

problem......over supply.......can't you see the logic ?  but as it is said, insanty is doing the same thing over and over and

thinking there will be a different outcome.

 

Interesting thing to do a market study on........if we had half the production, and say products would double in price, we

would no longer have the gmo tech fees......would we be better off.....plus easier to export products, etc.

something to ponder.

 

oh about the comment about the contaminated organic foods.....organic and non-gmo are two different things, but

people can't seem to seperate that.

on the safety of organic, there was a study years ago, that did find higher levels of bad bacteria on some of the

produce.....but we equal to the others, once they were washed........don't you wash your veg ?

 

we have been so conditioned by "coperate agriculture"......yes, many others benefit from huge yeilds......but not the farmer.

consider, we have record crops......but that is not record income for the farmer.....but is for others.....

the grain companies....even local elevators....more bushels, more money

seed companies.....more seed sales, since it's the gmo that's making the difference

fertilizer companies.....more fertilizers to make the maxium yeilds

chemical companies......more sales, since you usually use more products mixed with roundup

commodity/cme.....more crops, bigger numbers, more trades more money

rail/truckers.....more bushels need to be moved around, more money

grain bin manufacturers.....more business, need more storage

equipment dealers.....a mixed bag......their mistake.....building the biggest thing they can....that was a mistake, there is

a law of scale....the equipment they build, can do so much, there are fewer units, thus smaller profits, not only in

sales but parts and service......and getting to the point where the cost of equipment is not cash flow-able.

look at all the new stuff hidden, and shutting down factories.

 

 

notice.......did you see anywhere, the farmer made more money due to the depressed prices.

 

everyone thinks records crops means record income for farmers......that is usually not the case (i should say record profit)

 

Veteran Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Kaye -  Just imagin not getting a label on the produce  - anti  '' C O O L''  lobbies are  in  D  C  pushing this at a break neck pace - interesting --- 

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Honored Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Marketing is not " my" problem, as a contract grower. By the time China finishes the further-processing plants in construction last time I checked, demand ought not be a problem for the pork we raise.

Interestingly, major protein producers have " process certified" in systems other than organic. Given that nearly half if organic certifiers have been found lacking, one has to ask how good that system is, anyway.
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Honored Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

It is just not true --------- the consumer is not in charge,,,,,,, They are not "always right"-------Gambling is a great example and is never right.  No matter how many customers buy it......

 

"The customer is alway right " is a rediculous statement.    

The customer just wants to survive the day, see a friend, and do something good for their kids......

Other than that they are no different that the livestock at the fair being led around by a ring in the nose.....

The PR firms are the money leading the customer around by the nose.

All we mean when we say the customer is always right is that the money is always right........ Most profit wins........ and that is never true.  Not in baseball and not in any other choice we make.....

 

I'm comfortable with that.......and I am not foolish enough to think that there is not money involved with all the "do good" "environmental" "health" promotions.  It is always about the power and money.......  Why else do they need your $19 a month to save a beaten dog.....

 

You all need to send more money to the anti fast food alliance because it is the PR Firms that are winning.  Even though there is not a franchise in Kansas, I am convinced that a nice BIG Carl's Jr burger is the healthiest food out there..... "Beef, it's whats for dinner"...and my favorite fast food.......I have never had...

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Honored Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

The thing is, there is a pretty huge divide in America over food.

Some of it is political/ economic. We give people a LOT of money to provide adequate food for their families, either in direct aid or in subsidjes to agriculture. The mob scene in gricery stores here in the South, whenever the weatherman says "Snow!" Is about the onky time we ever experience shortages, and then it is just bread and maybe milk.

There are more hours dedicated to watching shows about preparing meals for our families than most of us spend actually making meals for them. We have a fascination with exotic ingredients and novel ways of presenting them, yet most of us have a " usual", at least when we are eating out.

If you have ever known a true " foodie" and listened to the ridiculous heights of snobbery involved in their obsession, you would grasp what's going on here. There is food for "us" the masses, which they deem to be crap...then, there is FOOD for "them", the epicurian elite.

Our household sits somewhere in between. We try to make meals more than just calories, and limit certain food groups as much as we can - we neither one need bread, for example. The variety of international influences alone makes our repertoire of spices daunting.

What America really needs to figure out is how to be well fed, not just overfed.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Kaye  - lots  of  substance  in your  closing  statement ---

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Senior Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

I have heard some interesting talk the past few months - It even made me think a little about non versus gmo - But we lost our 15 year old Dobie in March - but as time has gone on it was just to quite around here with just Ali - So we went on the hunt for a new puppy = Doberman of course - Smiley Happy  Well we taked to 4 top breeders - and every one will not feed any food that has grains in it and they feed more fresh raw type meats - most chicken for a protein along with eggs - all open range with no drugs in them -  I just let them talk - you know - when they asked what I did for a living - I think a couple about had the big one - after ranting about how unsafe our products are with all the chemicals and drugs used in todays farming - I as aways -- had some good storied to tell them and I had a few - really questioning what they were doing after our talk - But they also had me thinking on some things like the grain deal -

 

Around here a few years back - there was some toxins in the corn - many were getting rejected - left and right - to many ppm in it - yet they would just go home , sit for a while and then take the same load back - just to have it pass with fling colors - this was being dumped at ethanol plants = ddgs for feed = some to dog food companies and so on - so what really was going into our food chain - us and our pets - which here are family ? What do's the chickens really have in them ? and so on and so on - then we wonder why  people -- just don't trust are products , Then let me throw this out there - which is on subject but coud have it's own tread - On Channel 13 Indy last week - I think it was - It was on doping animals at the 4 H level - this was on the State fair - boy it was pretty good - and then everybody watching this has more questions ! And what these animals are doing in the food chain - I would want to eat that S--- !  This show was on Lambs -  I for one have always been proud of the food we produce - yet its not really us - but what we deal with or who we deal with - The doping is easy to fix - Parnets have ruined 4-H - it's not for the kids today - its all about mom and dad's game and how deep there pockets are - just banned the the parents for life from any shows and kick out the kids for a couple of years - problem solved . But the other is not that easy - Pet food is BIG business and they promoto there - drug free - heathy foods against our gmo - skull and cross bone food we produce - we know thats not true - thats is where we have to start - we have to regain trust - and boys and gals - in todays world - that may be a pretty tall order .

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The big money behind buying organic or "NO GMO"

Regarding that "tall order", I think it's simply because we let the perceived problems get too far out of hand before taking any actions.  We've always had some organic production, and that was and remains really a non-issue for most of us.  Yet, some of the psuedo-science behind the "educational" information behind the organic demand growth remained essentially unchallenged, at least in the media, for too long.  In this regard, you also cannot really separate the organic issue from the gmo issue -- same types of psuedo-science claims, same types of marketing strategies aimed at the same types of consumers, same generally lacking psuedo-science challenges, same treatment in the non-farm, and sometimes farm, media.

 

I might not get the order right, but you'll get the idea.  We had RR beans, and all the GMO fear-mongering.  Then we had the cow injections so they would produce more milk, BST or whatever that was -- don't really know how that one turned out, but kind of convinced me to avoid that milk.  Then we had BT corn, and more GMO fear-mongering, along with killing all the butterflies.  Then we had the Starlink fiasco, unapproved for export, along with more fear-mongering, and false claims about allergic reactions.  I even remember eating at a Taco-Bell or something like that in KC area during the Starlink fiasco, and they didn't serve taco shells made from yellow corn because of what they claimed was a "corn shortage", which was total BS, and was their reaction to the psuedo-science based lawsuits stemming from the false claims of allergic reactions to the Starlink corn.  And, somewhere in there, some groups and the media coined the term "Frankenfoods", which really got the public's attention.  The list goes on and on, and continues with the fear-mongering about our food supply, not enough carbon reduction, potential engine damages, etc., all caused by using 10% or 15% corn ethanol in our unleaded fuel.  And, more recently, how our seed coatings are killing all the honey bees, colony collapse disorder -- there still might be some truth to that one, but the scientific evidence behind the claims remains questionable -- it's been shown that there are other factors that are affecting bee health much more than our seed coatings (for example, mite problems, bees not adapted to areas where they're used, bees over-worked with too much travel and insufficient recovery times, etc.).  And, the seed and chemical companies aren't helping us any when they roll out products prior to obtaining the necessary approvals for all likely marketing channels.  Most of any rebuttals or challenges to the psuedo-science claims are often discussed in agricultural media sources, but often do not get included in media frequented by the general non-ag public.

 

All that said, I'm not anti-organic, non-gmo is also fine, as is non-organic and gmo, and I'm both a supporter of and investor in bio-fuels, it's just that the psuedo-science and false claims that permeate the media, seemingly unchallenged, really irks me.  At best, it is irresponsible journalism.  Yet, the impact is that instead of the media adequately backing up the claims they report, it burdens the agricultural community with the task of disproving the claims, often at great expense, damaged markets, damaged public perceptions, etc.

 

And, ECIN, really sorry to hear about your dog.  I lost my 17-year old Pointer late last fall, and haven't looked for a new pup yet, though it seems like everyone who has pups around here keeps trying to give me one.  The pet food thing you mentioned really hit home with me -- I didn't worry too much about grain products in dry dog food, but I totally had quit buying any cheap canned dog food, and basically any food or potentially ingested product that comes from China, for me or the dog.  And yes, any Aflatoxin corn, and Vomitoxin wheat, that gets delivered to a buyer, gets used somewhere.