As a loyal customer, I am grateful for you and the other Texas farmers and ranchers who grow the fruits, vegetables, meat and other products that I buy and serve to my family. Each week, I know the shelves at my local grocery store will be stocked with a large variety of products with plenty of price, flavor and nutrition choices.
I’ve come to rely on those many food options, and there are some things that I’ve just come to expect. I know that, compared to other countries, our food is fairly affordable. I expect that the food I buy in the grocery store and order in restaurants is safe. I am not concerned with the abundance of our food supply—the food I want is always on the shelf when I go to buy it.
There are other issues, though, that I don’t hear you talk about much. I want to know more. And I want to talk to you—the men and women in the fields—about my concerns. Here are five things I want to talk about…
- Organic vs. Conventional Farming—I’ve heard a lot recently about how organic food is a safer and healthier option. I want to feed my family nutritious food that is good for their current and future health.
- “Genetically Modified Organisms”—If a seed has been mutated, how do I know it won’t do something strange to me? Should more research be done for us to feel safe eating these crops?
- Animal Welfare—I care about animals, and I want to know that cattle, pigs and chickens are treated humanely. I don’t necessarily want to give up eating meat, but I do want to know that they are raised under good conditions.
- Chemicals & Pesticides—Are the chemicals you spray on crops bad for the environment? Our food should be grown without harming our rivers, fields and wildlife. I also want to know if pesticides are harmful for people.
- Climate Change—I’m concerned that the environment is being negatively affected by large industries, including agriculture. Should we switch to practices like grass-fed beef and free-range chickens to reduce our carbon footprint?
These are a few of the issues that concern me. I care about my food and want to know where it comes from. I want to see what life is like on a farm. I want to get to know you.
Can we start a conversation?
A Concerned Consumer
Editor’s Note: Check out 5 things farmers want consumers to know on Texas Farm Bureau’s other blog, Texas Table Top.