From the Ground Up

Inspiring views on the evolution of soil and agriculture.

Organic Marketing Causes Unwarranted Fear and Stress on the Misled Public


For my final blog leading up to the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, beginning June 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I need to address my concerns about the marketing strategies of the organic industry.

Organic marketing causes unwarranted fear and stress on the misled public. Something should be done.

There is so much negative marketing done by the Organic industry I don’t know where to begin. I will stay close to home for now. In my last blog I mentioned a brochure that came out inserted in the Western Producer, called “The Organic Advantage”. It was published to entice farmers to switching to organic production. The Organic s organization in question had very little response. Prairie farmers are too smart to fall for that kind of slick advertising, no matter how many “advantages” they suggested.

The last article in that brochure on Page 14 titled “Back to Basics” had my blood boiling it was so laced with deception. The first paragraph went like this:

“Gluten sensitivity, food intolerances, pesticides on fruit, polluted rivers and streams and mutations in nature: these are a few reasons why so many people are going back to basics and adopting an organic lifestyle.”

I don’t know where to begin but this is all so wrong. To blame modern agriculture for any of these issues and afflictions is wrong.

• Celiac is a disease not a sensitivity

• Food allergies have been around as long as man

• Safe levels of pesticides are present on fruit conventional or organic. The answer: wash your fruits and veggies.

• Polluted waterways occur with far more frequency under conventional farming methods –  no-till modern agriculture has shown marked improvements to runoff water from agricultural land.

• Mutations in nature – technically if there weren’t mutations in nature I don’t think we would have evolved so I assume this is about GMO.

GMO’s are one of the biggest evolutions in the history of agriculture, and the Europeans are missing out on it because of propaganda like this. Thankfully some headway is now being made! Here are some interesting facts about GMO from a leading activist and colleague, Dr. Cami Ryan.

This quote sums up my thoughts on the subject quite well. “Every major international science body in the world has reviewed multiple independent studies—in some cases numbering in the hundreds—in coming to the consensus conclusion that GMO crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods.” – Jon Entine, Forbes.

The Organics insert goes on to say: “In recent years more and more individuals have been suffering from illnesses relate to chemical exposure. Effects can range from mild skin irritations to chronic issues such as birth defects, tumours, nerve disorders, or even death. Infants and toddlers are most at risk –”

Wow, if you were a single mom feeding your family and read this wouldn’t it stress you out? Cause panic and fear? You can’t afford to buy organic so now you are a bad Mother because of it, as if parenting wasn’t stressful enough? My feeling is that most illness is stress related. This type of propaganda making people feel unsafe while eating their food, a basic requirement for survival, is quite likely causing unwarranted worry and stress which is more likely to cause illness than any type of food you eat. It reminds me of the placebo effect: basically if you are given a pill with nothing in it but you are told convincingly that it will heal your illness, 1/3 of people are healed. This is the power of the mind at work. There is a lot of evidence showing that positive thinking is healthier than negative thinking.

My point here is to simply say that this negative propaganda put out by the organic movement is causing more illness due to stress and simply making people believe what they are eating is killing them.

It is time to do something about this extremely deceiving information. I believe it is not only hurting modern agriculture, it is hurting people too. Fear-mongering is not the answer to questions about how to live a long and healthy life.

I like to quote author and journalist, Michael Specter who says: “We’ve never lived in a time where we needed science so badly.”

I encourage you, once again, to approach this issue with the help and support of scientific facts. Resist the temptation that is all around us to fall for attempts to scare us into spending more money for food that isn’t healthier. Though a simple choice such as this might seem to be “no big deal”, the impact is far more severe. By letting an emotion-laden campaign such as this succeed, we all do serious damage to the reputations of those who work so hard to bring us actual, healthy food, while preserving the land that nourishes us. I encourage you to get involved in the fight-write blogs, comment on social media, stand up for modern agriculture and defend the science behind it to everyone who will listen, because we will be the folks the world is relying on to feed them; we need to let them know we are offering them the safest, and most sustainable food that we can.

I hope to see you at Congress next week in Winnipeg!


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