Insights SmartNews

Farm Babe: Only Organic hides behind its lies & goes on comment-deleting spree

Published:

I support farmers. Big, small, organic or not.

SO LONG AS … they’re honest.

I’ll never forget this time I attended the MOSES Organic Farming Conference. I sat and listened to an executive from Organic Valley do a breakout session where all she did was rail against chemicals used in conventional farming. To which I replied during the Q&A: “OK, so will you next address the chemicals used in organic farming?”

Much to my pleasant surprise, the organic farmers in the audience agreed with me. One woman said that we should be all inclusive and support all farmers. That we are all in this together, and just because she choose to (proudly!) farm organically, doesn’t mean non-organic farms are doing it wrong. They are her neighbors, her farming brothers and sisters.

Another woman spoke up, that she doesn’t like the way that Organic Valley was marketing her organic milk. Another one said that labels are watered down and people don’t trust them anymore. Another person said, “What’s next for labels? Made with LOVE?” One other person said that she isn’t even proud to be an organic farmer anymore.

By the way, the woman from Organic Valley who led that breakout session is no longer with the company.

No one likes to be lied to or misled. If you want to talk about what makes your product great, yay! But putting down others or lying to people? Not the way to go.

A few days ago, I had a run in with the Facebook page for Only Organic (an activist organization that shares an office floor in Washington with the Environmental Working Group and is funded by corporations in the organic food industry), which is doing a big fearmongering campaign against conventional agriculture called “Skip the Chemicals.”

But you know what? Organic farming uses plenty of chemicals! So when I saw their ad, I had to respond. After all, there are over 8,000 branded pest-control and related products approved for use in organic farming, and everything is a chemical.

I said in my reply post:

“If a farmer wants to grow organic, that’s fine… but please stop lying to people. Come on down to Florida (one example) where the pest pressure is so high due to the tropical climate… organic farmers may absolutely spray weekly here if they need to.

Sometimes organic farming uses more pesticides than their non organic farming counterparts.

It boils down to pest pressure, not label.

Fearmongering and lying to people is never okay. Why not connect with commercial growers and agronomists who actually tend crops? Perhaps you should raise awareness on why pesticides are needed in the first place and that if farmers can’t protect their crops, the world would all starve. There are MANY MANY checks and balances in place to ensure your food is safe. Farmers are being regulated to death on this.

Your. Food. Is. Highly. Regulated. And. Safe.

I appreciate farmers… organic or not. As long as they’re honest. Which this page is not.”

After leaving this comment, many others reacted and responded to it, backing up what I said. One organic farmer even chimed in on how he grows both organic and conventional apples and explained exactly what he sprays and how he sprays more in organic and at a higher rate. I can relate to what he said and have toured many an orchard myself and have written on this before. A pesticide can be used in conventional farming, and they change an inert ingredient and then it can be allowed in organic. Oftentimes, the chemistries are very similar in both organic and non-organic systems.

Unfortunately, after my comment on the “Only Organic” page was left and had nearly 600 likes, it was deleted, and I was blocked and banned from their page. It appears that hundreds of people since have been banned or seen their comments deleted.

Facts be damned!

At the time of writing this, of the 93 comments on the post, only two remain standing. You can read more about this in this comment section where scores of people are talking about how they’re all being silenced. It brings me back to other big organic lying shill campaigns like #silencedbystonyfield or #bannedbyfoodbabe

Enough. When will the organic food industry realize that lying to people is never OK? And why are they not being sued for false advertising? I’m actually genuinely curious about this. Really, where are the lawyers on this?

Farmers are amazing. Where would we be without them? But pinning “us vs. them” within our sector does nothing but create division in an arena already full of misinformation and underappreciation. I’m also worried that continuing down this “labeling the consumer to death” path will continue to backfire — to the point where no one trusts anything anymore within the food sector.

Interestingly, the Only Organic Facebook page lists “trust” at the top of their About section. How ironic.

It’s anything but. Note the other part of their page that says when they ban people. What it should say is, “We reserve the right to ban anyone who tells the truth and corrects our disinformation.”

It also assumes people are stupid or won’t fact check. Like, what if someone wants to have a career in chemistry some day? Where is the celebration for STEM? Agronomy? Food science? Why not teach our children that just because it’s a “chemical” doesn’t mean it’s bad. The dose makes the poison. And literally everything is a chemical.

Let’s hope that more people see through this nonsense and continue to celebrate the safety of our food supply and connect with the science behind it all with #factsnotfear.

 

Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is a farmer, public speaker and writer who has worked for years with row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

Sponsored Content on AGDaily
Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.