Reaction to the White House Garden being entitled ORGANIC!
I have been watching the comments about The White House Victory Garden from the beginning and am not at all surprised that the less than organic side would eventually voice their opinion. There have been numerous blogs on the “letter” from the Mid America CropLife Association and I have really not seen one that supports their view.
As many of you know, I am not a supporter of chemical, non-organic, genetically modified agriculture, BUT when I read this letter, I found much that I do support. So much so, that unless I knew where it came from and therefore what they mean by “conventional farming” and “scientifically based” research, and “crop protection technology”, I would think we were all on the same page.
I don’t recall seeing their reference to synthetic fertilizer, herbicides or insecticides, nor the terminology genetically modified. Those are the things we object to, NOT THE FARMERS, not scientifically based research and not protecting your crops. This letter seems to imply that if you support organic, then you do not support farmers or trying to improve methods.
That tells me that they either do not understand the organic philosophy or choose to ignore it to try to make their point. They even use the word sustainable, as if it is THEIR methods, but sustainable agriculture (as I have EVER seen it described) is anything but synthetic chemicals and genetic modification.
Why do I object to synthetic (man-made) products and genetically modified seeds? We do not really know (even though they say it is all scientifically based) what the end results of these things really do to nature and ourselves, and because some of them are just lethal to all living things. DDT was a blessing, then DDT was the scourge of the earth.
We also do very little study on what the individual item does when combined with others. How does a chemical herbicide, react with a chemical insecticide and what does the combination of these two make? If you study chemistry you know that the addition of one element can change the identity of the end result immensely.
Another reason is because many are concentrated and human nature seems to be if a little is good, than more is better. We do it to ourselves all the time with medicines and vitamins.
In my eyes, organic can be compared to getting your nutrition from vitamins as opposed to its’ original source, food. We do not know all we think we know, and many will admit that a healthy diet of food is better than simply eating fiber, and vitamins because there is so much more in the real thing that we destroy or remove during processing. Apply that to feeding the soil and plant.
Are there times when the “crop protection technology” they speak of can be of value? Sure.. It is recognized that there are times when farmers have to step outside of the organic program to save their livelihood. Often that is when something is being grown outside of normal parameters or when the farm has heavy emphasis on one crop.
Most of the organic/sustainable farmers do not mono-crop, and since they work hard to understand the workings of their environment, they do not try to fit a square peg in a round hole by planting something that will need extreme measures to grow successfully. If they do, it is an experimental crop and if Nature says no, they still have their other crops to work with.
There is much more to be said about this subject, but I this is enough in one sitting. I found myself wanting to say something sarcastic and use quotes from the letter, but I will leave that to others. I never found that it accomplishes much, except for maybe a smile, which is good come to think of it.