Texas Farm BureauBy Mike Barnett

When it comes to abundant and affordable food, I guess I’m agriculturally incorrect.

Both Gene Hall and I have been talking about the rising cost of food recently. It seems to drive those who pooh pooh modern agricultural practices crazy.

In their eyes, the way we grow food for our nation and much of the world is much more than wrong—it’s a disaster waiting to happen which will make the Biblical ten plagues of Egypt look like a Sunday picnic.

Their perfect world calls for food production without pesticides and CAFOs and GMOs. Food, in their eyes, should be locally grown and all fertilizer should be natural.

You may think I’m crazy, but I agree with them. Well, a little. There is a place in our agricultural production scheme for organically grown food and grass fed livestock and all natural and local food and non-GMO crops. Where I differ with these food elitists is that although all the practices can be profitable for farmers, none will stand the test of feeding a rapidly growing world population.

That thought never seems to enter the food elitist equation. If we go their route—as my blogging partner Gene Hall pointed out on a recent Facebook conversation—someone is going to have to make some heady decisions about who will eat and who won’t.

It’s not a decision I’d be willing to make.

Modern agriculture and farmers and ranchers may be agriculturally incorrect in the food elitist eyes. But agriculture will have to be correct to continue to feed 7 billion people and counting.

I think we’re on the right track.

Visit the Texas Farm Bureau website at www.txfb.org .
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Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
Follow Mike on Twitter and Facebook.

2 Responses to “When it comes to food, are you agriculturally incorrect?”

  1. The food elitists believe that food is too cheap, and therefore any practices that make it more expensive would be a benefit to mankind.

    The readily available and inexpensive food supply that our nation is blessed with, thanks to modern agricultural practices, is actually a devil in disguise, they argue, because it encourages obesity. Never mind that Americans are eating more fresh fruits and vegetables than they were 30 years ago (not exactly a cause for obesity). Never mind that people aren’t exercising nearly as much as they used to (exactly a cause for obesity). It’s apparently inexpensive and reliable food that causes obesity.

    The argument that food–one of the most basic requirements for human life–is too inexpensive is an argument that only an elitist can make, particularly when a large portion of the global population is food insecure. I don’t know if the elitists would be willing to make a call on who gets to eat and who doesn’t. Like you, I wouldn’t be willing to make that call.

  2. Candace, I agree with everything you say. I often wonder if these people really think before they speak.

    As for their obesity angle, food can make you fat, skinny, healthy or sick. It’s all about the choices YOU make as an individual. I don’t know why so many people do not understand that concept.

    Great insight. Thanks for sharing!

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