Food Trends. We’ve all seen them. Whether it’s kale, organic, non-GMO, clean eating, farm-to-fork…it’s all a trend. Yes, I said it. It’s a bullshit trend. Just like when Kim Kardashian struts her stuff in the newest Jimmy Choo’s or some crazy event happens in the US that is beyond words (we all know what movements I’m talking about), it becomes “trendy”.
For years, our ancestors ate what they could hunt, fish, or gather. They didn’t consider the meat they hunted to be gourmet. They didn’t consider the greens they ate to be “superfoods”. They didn’t care if it had mutated with another similar plant in the wild (which is how we’ve gotten a majority of the foods we consume today). They considered it something much more simple. Food. It didn’t matter if it was “organic” or “conventional”. It was food. Plain and simple. Food by it’s very definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is this:
1a: material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also: such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and condiments) b: inorganic substances absorbed by plants in gaseous form or in water solution
2: nutriment in solid form
3: something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies (food for thought) (source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)
It doesn’t say anything about whether organic is better (it’s not), or if foods that were Genetically Modified are bad for you (NEWSFLASH: THEY’RE NOT..we’ve been eating GM foods longer than you may think). It simply states that it a a material consisting of the basic things humans and animals alike need to survive. This is how our ancestors viewed it. Food was a means of sustenance in order to survive.
Recently, the International Food Bloggers Conference was in Sacramento, which calls itself the “Farm to Fork” capital. I was unable to attend this years festivities, but after having a really good conversation/vent session with some friends who did attend the conference, I have something to say.
While I appreciate the move to eat as locally and as seasonally as possible (hi, farm girl here, we ate that way while I was growing up), the terms “local” and “organic” don’t go hand-in-hand. In fact, let me take a moment to clear something up. Organic does *not* mean that pesticides aren’t used…in fact, some of the pesticides that are FDA approved for organic production are much more toxic *cough*rotenone*cough* than the “evil” glyphosate…or Roundup for those of you who don’t know the generic name! Don’t believe me? This .pdf, graciously provided to me by Dr. Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead of Regulatory Policy and Scientific Affairs for Monsanto and blogger herself, shows the toxicity level of glyphosate vs. other common household items (including the main subject of this blog..alcohol!). toxicity table 2016
I’ll give you a minute to read the graph.
Yes. Your cup of morning coffee is more toxic than glyphosate. Let that sink in.
So how to you determine what is bullshit and what is real in the food world?
Simple. Go to the source.
Yes, the idyllic little farm growing organic tomatoes is quaint and cute, as is the dairy farm where their grass-fed cows are happy and healthy.
Stop. For fuck’s sake, just STOP. A real dairy smells to high heaven. I’m sorry. You smell a dairy when you’re a upon it. If I drove past a dairy and couldn’t smell even the faintest hint of the unmistakable stench, I’d be concerned. The fields, depending on the time of the year, are muddy and gross. Same goes for a beef cattle farm. The smell of hay mixed in with cow excrement and mud is a smell that is deeply ingrained in my senses. If I don’t drift back to my childhood with that scent, then something is wrong. Yes, it’s gross, but let’s really think about it. Every animal creature on the planet does some form of this bodily function.
Let me tell you something…cows don’t care where they’re at. As long as they have the shelter they need (whether it be a milking parlor or a feeding loft) and food, they don’t care if they’re grazing in a picturesque pasture or if their pasture is overlooking at the county dump. They really don’t.
If you want to know what goes on at a farm, don’t rely on the videos from an animal rights organization or certain “food experts”. Please, I beg of you, don’t. They are known for going to the extreme. How do you find out how animals are really treated? How do you know what really happens on a farm that grows GM foods? Why not check out real farmers, like the following (which are some of my favorites on social media):
There’s also great sites like Ask The Farmers in which you can ask any question!
…now if you have a question about tree farming, my family and I are always more than willing to answer any questions!
But please, do yourself a favor and educate yourself by speaking to the producers directly. We all rely on farmers for the products we use every day. Why ask them yourself about their practices?