Photo credit: WordRidden
By now, many Americans are aware that Michelle Obama has plans to plant a local organic vegetable garden at the White House. While that sounds like a step in the right direction in terms of encouraging us to eat better and support organic farming, not everyone is convinced.
The ones who are not convinced this is what we should emulate are the industries that support “conventional” farming and food production. Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) was alarmed at the First Lady’s plans to break ground at the White House organically, so they decided to send her a letter educating her on the importance of conventional farming.
As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply. America’s farmers understand crop protection technologies are supported by sound scientific research and innovation.
It seems they also want to discourage farming and eating locally.
Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive. However, a Midwest mother whose child loves strawberries, a good source of Vitamin C, appreciates the ability to offer California strawberries in March a few months before the official Mid-west season.
The arguments the MACA made to discourage organic and local farming have to do with the need to keep food production as high as possible to feed as many Americans as possible.
With modern methods, 1 acre of land in the U.S. can produce 42,000 lbs. of strawberries, 110,000 heads of lettuce, 25,400 lbs. of potatoes, 8,900 lbs. of sweet corn, or 640 lbs of cotton lint.
I can understand this organization doesn’t want their business/industry to go down, but is their attitude really in our best interest? What if everyone started eating locally and adopted organic produce as a way of life? Would it destroy the American agricultural industry? Would people have less access to produce if local and organic production became policy?
What are your thoughts on this?
You can read the letter in its entirety here.