By Curt Mowery
Consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to food. Some choose organic. Others choose conventional. I like grain fed beef. My neighbor likes grass fed. The possibilities are endless and boil down to personal preference and what fits your lifestyle.
Farmers also have many choices when it comes to growing food. We weigh our markets, what our land will do, take a look at demand and our personal goals and come up with a game plan. However you choose to eat, there’s a farmer out there willing to grow it.
And that’s all good.
I am a farmer and a family man and what I hear–through the internet, through the media and through my own city friends–are legitimate concerns about the safety of food. Consumers want to know where their food comes from. They want to know the food they buy at a grocery store or a farmers’ market won’t hurt them. They want to make sure that food is wholesome and nutritious.
And when they ask me, my answer is always the same: Yes, your food is safe. I know. I’ve studied the science. I’ve honed my skills as a farmer. My family eats the food I grow.
I’ve been a farmer for 35 years and grow rice, sweet corn, soybeans, peas and watermelons just south of Houston. My market is your typical consumer who shops at the grocery store. They are looking for a wide selection of food at affordable prices.
I use technology to provide it. That includes modern equipment. Sometimes I have to use pesticides to save a crop. But I use them safely and well within the guidelines developed through stringent tests to make sure they do no harm to people or the environment.
I also use genetically modified seeds when I plant my soybeans and corn. Now I know genetically modified is one of those flash phrases that make people angry. It’s unknown and scary science that many people do not understand.
Truth is, genetically modified crops are not much different than traditionally bred crops. Genetically modified crops have been tested more than any other crops in the history of agriculture and proven safe. They allow me to grow more food on fewer acres so I can feed more people. They also allow me to use less pesticides, which is better for the environment on our farm and around it.
You won’t find me apologizing for using the tools of modern agriculture. I am always looking for ways to improve what I do so I can continue to provide a quality product for your family and mine at affordable prices.
It’s a huge task, but I’m up to it. Let’s grow together!
The above post is from Curt Mowery, a Texas farmer from Rosharon, Texas. Curt is one of four guest bloggers who are talking about food safety during Texas Food Connection Week, sponsored by Texas Farm Bureau, Feb. 16-22.