Today, I urge you not to be an assumer consumer. It is a phrase that I thought of last night and I would define as “one who buys without prior research”. Let me paint the picture as it relates to grocery shopping.
You are at Hy-Vee picking up supplies for your daughter’s birthday party. You tell her she can pick whatever type of juice box she wants to share with her friends. She decides, and as you pull the 10-pack of fruit punch off the shelf, you see a label. It says “made with no high fructose corn syrup”. You shrug and throw it in the cart. That’s fine. The real kicker is your decision the next time you buy juice boxes. Did you take a few minutes on the internet to find out if research shows high fructose corn syrup is really bad for you (read more here) …..or did you just assume, and now you feel as though you ought to buy the alternative.
The same holds true for the label on milk that reads something like “Our farmers pledge: No rBGH”. First, it is a pledge because there is no way they can actually test the milk, as all milk contains growth hormone (whether from a human, cow, goat, etc). A glass of milk is a glass of milk. Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, American Medical Associaiton, American Diabetic Association, and the National Institute of Health all have independently stated that it is safe to drink milk regardless of the label? A glass of milk is a glass of milk. Please do your research and make an informed decision.
Now, on to the organic market. I need to pull myself in and not write 10,000 words and forget to make supper. I’ll sum it up with this: We don’t buy organic. I urge you to discover for yourself the equivalent nutritional value of conventional vs. organic. I urge you to learn what the USDA allows and disallows under the label “organic”.
Have you ever thought of it from the conventional farmer’s perspective? We’re trying to feed a growing world here. Organic farming is far less efficient, and every acre that is taken out of conventional production to provide food for the rich, is certainly not helping us to solve world hunger problems.
Lastly, no matter your decision to buy organic or not, I can personally assure you that all farmers care about their land. Seeing to the proper care of our land is vital to our livelihood. We plan to someday pass these acres to our children, and dream that our grandchildren will also have the opportunity we have had. We love it out here!
So, folks, add it to your to-do list: “Research what I am confused about concerning food”. Google! A great way, especially if you live in a rural community, is to ask a farmer about what they do on their farm. Also, check to see if your county is one of the many that celebrates a “Breakfast on the Farm” in the next few months. Move from being an ‘assuming consumer’ to an informed one. Thanks for reading!
P.S. This is easily my most controversial blog material yet. Please feel free to comment.