One day will forever remain historic in my high school as the "Little Debbie Massacre." What started as a simple game of Turkey Bingo in the cafeteria, soon resembled the Apocalypse. In an instant, students started tossing Twinkies, smashing Swiss-Cake Rolls, and catapulting Cosmic-brownies- all the while, a Zebra Cake zipped past my head and hit someone in the face, students starting climbing on tables, screaming in the halls and creating a giant riot. It was awesome.
Nonetheless, today I find that the idea of a food fight has been redefined.
While I constantly find myself annoyed or amused by the chatter of social media about agriculture, I haven't said too much.
Still I find myself questioning the overall message that we convey:
If it is our mission as agriculturalists to produce food, not only for ourselves but for the growing hungry population then...
WHY ARE WE PITTING OURSELVES AGAINST EACH OTHER?!?
Non-GMO vs. GMO
Caged vs. Free-Range
Grass fed vs. Corn fed
ORGANIC vs. CONVENTIONAL
Antibiotics vs. Natural
FAMILY FARM VS. CORPORATE FARM
No-till vs. Plow
...Vegetarians vs. "Normal" Meat-Eaters
This food fight between agriculturalists about- how, what and who is better is relentless!
* Why get upset with organic farming? They are also supporting the universal mission of providing a nutritious food supply, and helping alleviate hunger. Who knows whether or not it will be the end-all-solution to world hunger, but it is just another way of producing food.
* Why get upset at someone who doesn't like eating meat, or if there is a "vegetarian option"? They don't judge you because you don't like eating mushrooms, tomatoes or (heaven forbid)... peas. They support agriculture through their daily purchase of vegetables, fruits and soy foods.
* Why get upset with companies like Chipotle or McDonald's because of their decision to have cage-free/crate free animal products? They aren't eliminating or "bashing" agriculture! Why get so defensive about this topic, just because they disagree with the conventional way you farm. They are simply choosing a different farmer to supply their pork, eggs or chicken, which they agree with. Agriculture is changing, just as much as societal beliefs, as does fashion as does music. Its totally preferences.
A typical Facebook status, or link to such topics will conclude with a comment about : We must "EDUCATE" and inform "CONSUMERS" because "THEY" don't understand.
First of all, (last time I checked) we are ALL consumers. We all eat, so don't make this separation greater. Further more, it introduces an idea of "US vs. THEM." The mentality that people from a non agricultural background are uneducated and ignorant truly illustrates our own weakness. We are not perfect and we do not understand everything. Just because another person does not understand or view agriculture the same way you do doesn't make them stupid!
That person in class who prefers organic, or caged-free or rBST free-milk supports agriculture, just in a different way. They may not know what you know, and I bet they understand plenty of things you don't. Why make this a battle, competition or game of defense?
Agriculture is, and always has been an industry of collaboration to feed the world.
It's just silly.