• EPA Delivers Blow to Latest Attempt by HSUS to End Family Farms

    Scott Pruitt has  a history of standing up  to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and now he’s done it again as Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    Back in 2009, along with a number of its animal rights and activist environmentalist organization cohorts, HSUS submitted a petition to the EPA requesting that Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) be listed as major sources of air pollution that endangers public health or welfare under the Clean Air Act. Doing so would require that the EPA promulgate rules and regulations for performance standards for any new or existing CAFO ...

  • Organic Farm Under Attack? The Rest of the Story on Azure Farms

    “An Organic Farm Under Threat. An Urgent Message from Azure Standard.”
    Those are the words that greet viewers of a Vimeo video posted by Azure Farms, a certified organic farm located in central Oregon. Watching the video, viewers learn from David Cross, the farm’s marketing director (there’s your first clue), that Sherman County, where 2,000 acres of the farm is located, has recently changed its statutes to require the eradication of certain noxious weeds. Mr. Cross claims that Azure Farms could certainly work to control those noxious weeds through organic methods, but would only be able to eradicate them by spraying “toxic ...

  • All Eggs Are…

    These days, if it fits on the label and is technically true, a marketing person probably will probably try to slap it on a product. Eggs are no exception!
    The use of hormones is prohibited in egg production. As with meat, sick poultry that have been treated with antibiotics are kept away from the other birds and the eggs are kept separate. The FDA considers all eggs to be natural and non-GMO.

    Click HERE, to learn more!

  • Hunt’s Marketing Boasts No GMO Tomatoes

    Ready for another silly marketing ploy?

    The day after Christmas, Hunt’s (you know, the canned tomato company) proudly posted a video on Facebook showing a tomato field with the caption: “No matter how far afield you look, you won’t find a single genetically modified tomato among our vines.”
    Well done, Hunt’s. Actually, the same could be said for every single other company using tomatoes in any of its products. That’s because there are no genetically modified tomatoes available for commercial cultivation or sales anywhere in the entire world.
    Click here to read the rest of the post.
    My name is ...

  • Sonoma County, CA Votes to Ban GMOs

    Some more election news out of California. Sonoma County has voted to make it unlawful to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically modified crops. As I reported in June, the law does not prohibit people from consuming or selling GMO foods, or using genetic modification for medications.
    Farmers – this one was totally directed at you.
    The vote to ban GMOs was won by about 12% points. Some local races also became embroiled in the controversy and anti-GMO candidates were able to win their seats as a result.
    Click here to read more.
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter ...

  • Organic Produce at Risk for Foodborne Pathogens, Too

    Does organic food have higher incidences of foodborne pathogens?
    That’s exactly the question that some scientists from the CDC tried to determine. In a recently published study in the Journal of Food Protection, researchers reviewed reported cases of outbreaks of food-related illnesses from 1992 through 2014. Using reports from the CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, they found there were 18 outbreaks caused by organic food, which were linked to almost 800 illnesses and 250 hospitalizations. More than half of the outbreaks occurred from 2010 through 2014, which researchers attributed to the growing number of people purchasing organic produce.
    Click here to ...

  • Major Ag Groups Stand Up to Dannon

    There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing farmers and industry groups stand up against companies profiting from fear-based marketing schemes at the expense of modern agriculture.
    I reported back in May that Dannon, one of the leading sellers of yogurt in the United States, had announced a “pledge” to consumers, promising to implement into its yogurt production sustainable agriculture, naturality, and transparency. Dannon’s plan included animal welfare issues, asking farmers to turn away from GMOs for sustainability reasons, and encouraging consumers to make healthy choices.
    Click here to read the rest of the post.
    My name is Amanda. I’m ...

  • Animal Farmers Talk About Animal Welfare

    Over my time of blogging for agriculture, I have realized that animal agriculture has a perception problem. For example, many people that are completely supportive of other modern agricultural production methods think that farm animals are widely abused. While we don’t have animals on our farm and it doesn’t directly affect me, I hate to see that my animal farmer friends are so poorly viewed.
    To combat some of these misconceptions, I asked animal farmers pertinent questions about animal welfare, animal care, and the intersection of profits. In this 3-part series, you can get some perspective and feedback from ...

  • Surprise: Fear-Based Food Marketing Scares Consumers

    Fear-based messaging about food is pervasive today, and new research shows it is actually taking a toll on how people perceive food.
    A study performed at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research surveyed low-income consumers about what types of information influences their shopping decisions regarding fruits and vegetables. The results, which were published in Nutrition Today, showed that these consumers worried more about certain conventionally grown produce having higher pesticide residues than organically grown produce, making them more unlikely to purchase any fruits and vegetables at all. This comes at a time when the overall consumption of fresh ...

  • Pork & Medicines

    October is officially Pork Month!
    Did you know that there are about 40 types of medicines, including insulin, that are made from pigs?
    Click here to find out more!
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter (and sister!) of conventional farmers in Southwest Michigan. I’m also a practicing attorney. For 26 years, my family ran and supplied a roadside market selling our own fresh fruits and vegetables. We now farm corn and soybeans.
    Unfortunately, misinformation about food and agriculture is pervasive these days. My goal is to help educate consumers about conventional farming and give people a glimpse ...

  • New York PTA misguided on GMOs

    What do the penalties of passing a stopped school bus, sign language as a second language, and the availability of genetically modified foods in school cafeterias all have in common? These are all issues, among others, that the New York Parent Teacher Association will vote upon at its upcoming annual convention.
    Click here to read the rest of the post.
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter (and sister!) of conventional farmers in Southwest Michigan. I’m also a practicing attorney. For 26 years, my family ran and supplied a roadside market selling our own fresh fruits and vegetables. ...

  • Non-GMO Skinny Pop Popcorn

    I bet it was really hard for the makers of Skinny Pop Popcorn to verify that this bag of popcorn was made without genetically modified popcorn…. because, you know, there is no genetically modified popcorn.
    This is precisely the type of marketing gimmick that makes me wish the United States would adopt Canada’s law against labeling products non-GMO if there is no GMO equivalent. Seriously, how misleading and confusing is this for consumers that don’t know any better? A person could easily think that other brands of popcorn were made with genetically modified corn.
    Click here to read more.
    My name ...

  • Sep EPA: Glyphosate Not Likely A Carcinogen

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency has (finally) announced its conclusion that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round-Up, is likely not a carcinogen. The proposed position will be reviewed next month by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel. A final opinion will be released next year.
    For those trying to keep up, let’s do a quick recap.
    In early 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency nestled under the World Health Organization, made a puzzling conclusion when it announced that it was classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. But since that time, ...

  • Is There GMO Canola Oil?

    What if I told you that there was absolutely no difference between canola oil made from genetically modified canola and canola oil made from conventional canola?
    In the 1960’s, Canadian scientists used traditional breeding methods to develop a variation of rapeseed without some of the more undesirable characteristics. The result was canola. A canola crop, which can be quickly identified by its pretty yellow flowers, produces pods containing seeds. These seeds are about 44% oil and are used to create canola oil. It is primarily grown in the United States, Canada, and Australia, although there is a worldwide demand for ...

  • Chat with Leah McGrath, RD, LDN

    Agriculture has to deal with a lot of myths, misinformation, and misleading marketing. But imagine being a registered dietitian – hands down it would be so much worse! I chatted with Leah McGrath, a Registered Dietitian and founder of Buildup Dietitians, about her work, food, and social media.
    You’re considered a Registered Dietitian, but I’ve also heard of Nutritionists. What’s the difference? 
    You will often see “A dietitian can call themselves a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a dietitian”  Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) – though we can also just say Registered Dietitian (RD) is a credentialed title.  We have to have  ...

  • 107 Nobel Laureates Slam Greenpeace Over GMOs

    A group of Nobel Laureates are getting tough on Greenpeace for the organization’s anti-GMO agenda. 107 Nobel Laureates, which are people that have previously been awarded the Nobel Prize, have called on Greenpeace to change its position on genetically modified crops.
    Greenpeace has been a leader of the anti-GMO movement across the world, especially in areas that would benefit significantly from this technology.  Using lies and deceitful tactics to spread an anti-GMO message, the radical organization has championed their vision for environmental causes, even to the detriment of people in the developing world.
    Click here to read the rest of the post
    My ...

  • Genetic Modification Is Not An Ingredient

    Let’s get something straight that a lot of people seem to get confused about, especially with all of the debates surrounding labeling of GMOs.
    GMOs are not an ingredient. It is not something we add to a food product. It is not something injected into the plant. In fact, some products derived from genetically modified plants, such as sugar, contain no DNA and and it is impossible to distinguish between a GMO and non-GMO version – even in the lab!
    Click here to read the rest of the post!
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter (and sister!) of ...

  • John Deere’s Response to that Sales Tag

    My social media channels were turned upside down Tuesday night when a photo surfaced of a John Deere clothing tag. The tag, which was attached to a John Deere infant outfit, was purchased by Caleigh Elizabeth Wright and her husband during a trip to Germany in December of 2015. The couple took part in a tour of the country’s agriculture sector, which included a stop to the John Deere plant where forage harvesters and combines are made. While in the gift shop, Caleigh decided to purchase the onesie in preparation for the arrival of the couple’s first child. It wasn’t ...

  • Dannon’s Dizzying Dance on Environmental Sustainability

    Big changes are coming to some of your favorite yogurt products, specifically those produced by Dannon.
    The company recently announced a “pledge” to consumers, promising to implement into its yogurt production sustainable agriculture, naturality, and transparency. (Side note: No, naturality is not a word and literally means nothing…) Complete with the hashtag #YogurtThatCares, Dannon has released an entire plan explaining the changes it will make in sourcing ingredients, including changing its relationship with diary farmers and dictating specific practices.
    Click here to get the rest of the post!
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter (and sister!) of conventional ...

  • Breakfast of Champions: Coffee, Creamer, and Glyphosate

    You may have spit out your morning coffee recently if you happened across headlines proclaiming that a bunch of breakfast foods contain glyphosate residues.
    According to a press release and corresponding blog posts, a new study published by the Alliance for Natural Health tested several popular breakfast food items and they were positive for residues of the popular herbicide. Most concerning is that the residues are even showing up in organic products. (Interestingly enough, the only products that had higher residue levels than allowed by the EPA were actually organic products.) As the Alliance’s press release regarding the study concluded ...

  • Oops! They Did It Again: EPA Funds Anti-Agriculture Billboards

    Stories like this just absolutely make my blood boil.
    The Environmental Protection Agency apparently thinks it is perfectly acceptable to freely hand out over half a million taxpayer dollars to special interest groups so those groups can spend the money on campaigns attacking farmers.
     Click here to view the rest of the post.
    My name is Amanda. I’m the proud daughter (and sister!) of conventional farmers in Southwest Michigan. I’m also a practicing attorney. For 26 years, my family ran and supplied a roadside market selling our own fresh fruits and vegetables. We now farm corn and soybeans.
    Unfortunately, ...

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