11/13/2007 -the following are letters written by organic consumers in response to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chairman




Название11/13/2007 -the following are letters written by organic consumers in response to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chairman
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11/13/2007 -The following are letters written by organic consumers in response to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. "It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. "For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.”

To send a message to Collin Peterson (Democrat, MN) congratulating him for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_8104.cfm

The following are letters that have already been submitted to Mr. Peterson:

Mr. Peterson, the fact that you think that supporting the people who don't receive any government subsidies as being “dumb” shows just how ignorant you are. Organic and small farms get little to no assistance from the government to offset any of their costs while mega farms held by just a handful of corporations get the majority of subsidies. No, supporting organic and local farmers is not dumb, sir. You should definitely win the Organic Consumers Association's award for dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations.” Hortense, GA

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I congratulate you for winning the Organic Consumers Association award for dumbest quote of the week. Your statement has shown me, and all other Americans that not only are you dumb about agriculture, but you have no appreciation for the fact the safe, locally produced food sustains vibrant communities AND helps preserve the security of the American food system. Sir, buying food that has been flooded with herbicides and pesticides, then shipped across the country or halfway around the world is dumb. Buying local, organic food is the smartest thing any consumer can do. I suggest to you, as Chairman of the House Ag Committee, that you should have a better understanding of these issues before calling anyone else dumb.”

Arlington, VA” Thank you Representative Peterson for reaffirming my disgust with the state of American politics. Once again the bottom line makes the decisions. American democracy, for the corporations, by the corporations.” Pensacola, FL

“What is “dumb” are the billions of dollars given to the oil industry and the farming industry by the US government in subsidies and tax credits. And then the US government must pay billions of dollars in health care and environmental clean-up due to the toxic damage caused by industrial agriculture and the oil industry. Regrettably, the US Taxpayer's income taxes pay for these. So those artificially reduced food prices at the grocery store are much greater than the true cost of the organics I buy. You flunk math!” Berkeley, CA

“Mr. Peterson, Far be it from you to have any concept or basic understanding of what healthy agriculture really is. It's not about profit - as you noted, organic and local consumers such as myself are willing to spend a little extra money. That's because we are intelligent enough to seek to protect our health, the health of our families, and the health of the environment. We are also willing to support those non-subsidized farmers who won't kowtow to ignorant spenders like yourself who don't pay attention to the risks they take by eating conventional foods. We take it upon ourselves to safeguard our well-being because you and this administration have not taken the time to do your job and do it for us. As chairman of the HR agricultural committee, you of all people in this country should know the dangers of consuming the fruit, vegetables and other “foods” raised by big agriculture, coated with toxins and injected with dubious DNA and hormones that stores like Wal-Mart and other chains peddle on unsuspecting customers. Stop feeding America poison and lies, and pull your head out of sand.”

"And this is why even the dumb Dems aren't worth voting for due to the fact your not smart enough to vote for bills that provide healthier food chains”

“Somehow, I guess, some folks just don't get the idea of sustainability. It may be a difficult concept for some to grasp, it's worth it. The bottom line is not the short term profit. Apparently you're way behind the curve, this didn't begin to happen overnight. Perhaps you were paying attention to something else.” Portland, OR

“1 + 1 = 2, 2+ 2 = 4 do we need to send you back to school?” Brooklyn, NY

“Organic consumers are willing to pay more for better quality products and to support sustainable, healthful agricultural practices. We choose products without high levels of residual pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics, food that's fresher and more nutritious because it hasn't traveled thousands of miles, and food that is grown in sustainable ways and in ways that are more fair to growers. We know that agricultural environments affect wildlife and human health. We are not dumb: We know that all food is not created equal.” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, By now, you are probably regretting your choice of words in describing people who choose to support local, organic agriculture. I am one of those people, and I will tell you why. 1) Buying local minimizes the amount of fossil fuels which are used to get food to my table 2) Buying local supports the local economy 3) Buying organic prevents many pollutants from entering groundwater systems and helps maintain the integrity of topsoil 4) Buying organic supports the health of farmworkers 5) Buying organic supports the health of my family There are more reasons, but these are also reasons that the federal government should support. Local economies, clean water, fertile land, public health and the reduction of global warming are all supported by my dollars when I choose to buy from local organic farmers. That does NOT mean that they don't at times need federal help. If federal subsidies were available to local sustainable farming, America's dependence on foreign oil would be reduced and the health of many Americans would be improved, reducing rising health care costs for preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer. I am willing and able to pay more for organic food, but much of America's population is not. Thus their bodies must be fueled by polluted, low-nutrient foods that are subsidized by the government. They then have increased health problems and their health costs are largely paid by the government. Reducing these costs upfront by subsidizing healthy food instead of unhealthy food would go a long way in helping America through its health care crisis. Thank you for your time, one of America's 'dumb' (who happens to have an IQ of 138)” -Raleigh, NC

“I understand that this is just one sentence out of which you probably said many but taken by itself, it is a very ignorant statement for a man of your intelligence.” -Plano, TX

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am not dumb. I try my best to keep toxic substances out of my food supply. Your comments are very offensive.” -West Orange, NJ

“Dear Honorable Representative Peterson, As a single mother of two growing children I cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing locally grown, organic food. Unfortunately, it is expensive but it is worth it - for taste and health reasons, as well as its positive impact on the environment and on reducing the possibilities of climate change catastrophe. I invite you to learn more about the reasons consumers like me choose organically grown foods and to encourage legislation that helps these foods be more affordable, even healthier, and more widely available. The future of our children and the future of food and meeting people's food needs depends on your action. Thank you for taking the time to consider educating yourself on the benefits of organic food, and for championing legislation that reflects the will of a healthy population, hungering for fresh, delicious, and healthy food.”

“Yes, you don’t get it. People don’t want hormones and pesticides in their food. But just because you don’t care about this, doesn’t mean it is not important to the health of our people and farming future.” -Nevada City, CA

“Dear Mr. Collin, Congratulations for winning Organic Consumers Award for the dumbest quote of the week. It is time you did some homework and discovered the health and environmental benefits of organic farming. As Chair of the House Agricultural committee I am surprised you seem so uneducated about organic farming. Do some investigation yourself and stop just listening to big agri-business.”

“Supporting safe foods is anything but dumb.”

“Gee, why would people want a product without added poisons? What dumb-asses, 'eh? Next thing you know they won't want toys with lead in them.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I am shocked at big government and how you all just don't seem to care about this country's health and well being. Organic farms need all the support we can give them. It is stupid and idiotic remarks like the one you made that keep so many people in the dark and work against progress for moving away from all the chemicals and toxic additives in our food. Get real! -Canyon Lake, TX

“What is dumb is the government wasting my tax dollars subsiding Large Corporate owned farms, and penalizing small farms.”

“Congrats on winning the “dumb quote of the week” award. This is quite a prestigious award and I'm sure you must be proud. Really though, if you can't figure out why spending money supporting local communities, preventing the complete destruction of all small farm land for future generations and helping to insure national security by decentralizing the food supply is a good idea then quite frankly I suspect you really shouldn't be in office. While it may be the big corporations that pay for your campaign it's these small farmers you are supposed to be supporting, those people that elected you. Remember them? Can you honestly not tell the difference between a garden fresh tomato and one flown in from Chili? Is it not worth it to buy quality from people you know and trust? Is it not important to know your neighbor and foster your sense of community? It won't be a step towards a fascist state if we do that, but it will be a step towards a better America. Which would you prefer?” -Seattle, WA

“Your comment is what is DUMB. Maybe you should do some homework & learn WHY we're willing to pay higher prices for products that do not destroy our bodies or our planet!”

“Congressman Peterson: Congratulations on winning the Organic Consumer Association's “Dumbest Quote of the Week Award” for insisting that those who pay more for local or organic food are “dumb” for doing so. Obviously you need to learn more about the benefits of eating local organic vegetables and local grass-feed meat and dairy, as well as the true costs (environmental costs, health costs and petroleum costs) of creating, trucking and eating conventionally produced food.”

“Man you are way off base. Happy CANCER!”

“Wow, I am pretty embarrassed for you and pretty disappointed that someone in this high of office in the agriculture committee can be so clueless. If you want your family to be consuming antibiotics, hormones and potentially get mad cow, "hallelujah" to you too. It is a sad world when educated people in our government act so dumb. It is people like you that make me scared for my daughter and what world she is going to be living in when she grows up. consumption, corruption and money are all you people are about and I feel sorry for you.” -Veradale, WA

“With all that we know about global warming and pollution today, calling consumers "dumb" to pay more for something that isn't contributing as much to these problems is just ignorant. By insulting those of us who choose to make a change for the good and actively admitting that you personally cannot take the time to find out the benefits of local organic practices, you are condemning a future generation to live with a world that is not as healthy because of you and your policies. I am outraged that you aren't just content to bring yourself down by ignoring organic benefits, but you have to bring us (young people and environmentally-conscious buyers) down with you.” -Morehead, KY

“Dear Rep. Peterson Regarding your assessment of people who by organically produced farm goods: 1) We are not dumb. We just don't believe in externalizing the costs of our food onto other people and future generations. This is a moral choice, and we are willing to put our money where our mouths are. 2) Organically grown food does not cost 2 to 3 times what 'cheap' food costs. There is a small price premium, undoubtedly less than you pay for your fancy suits. 3) Small organic farms deserve support from our government far more then the corporate factory farms who support your campaigns. Since when was driving people off the land in favor of machinery and petrochemical debt a rural value? 4) Organic consumers are a growing movement and politically active. You are an endangered species.” -Brunswick, ME

“DO you really think I'm dumb? So dumb I won't be endorsing you for anything. I am saddened that you even have a say in what happens agriculturally. I will continue to support my local farmer and the sustainable organic industry with my hard earned US dollar. Please refrain from making any additional "dumb” comments.”

“What is wrong with you, Collin Peterson? You call yourself a Democrat and then figuratively spit on the little guy. How about a little support for the farmer willing to provide goods and food security for his own community? Also, you need to do your research. Local food is rarely more expensive than the stuff trucked into grocery stores from around the world, and it certainly costs a lot less in gasoline and OIL. Apparently reducing our dependence on the messy Middle East is not one of your priorities. I'm very disappointed.” -Brighton, MA

“If I were you I would be totally embarrassed about your comment. You should know what you are talking about before you make stupid statements like that. Why don't you take the time to visit an organic farm (or donate a week or so to work on one) and maybe you would understand how much harder it is to farm organically. Anyone can spray poison on things we eat, or dump chemicals in the ground, but it takes very special people to produce food that won't keep us spending millions in doctor bills, hospital bills, and have to live with the horrors of cancer, etc. I will gladly give my money to those people who care more about the people who eat their food, our health, and the earth, than give it to the money hungry medical profession and pharmaceutical companies. By the way, I am a retired nurse, and haven't been to a doctor for any reason in the fifteen years that I have been living organically. My mother always told me “if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all” . Good advice I think. You should apologize.” -Sequatchie, TN

“If you think we are going to eat the foods that have been raised with chemicals we cannot even pronounce or have been altered to suit big government's standards you're crazy. We happen to want what God has given us naturally to eat and not fake food adulterated with what some bioengineer can come up with.”

“It is very obvious that when speaking about organic or local, you don't know what you are talking about. That is why you given the award for the dumbest comment that was made on organics/local food supplies. My mother used to tell us kids, if you don't know what you are talking about keep quiet.”

“I was interested to hear your quote that you think those who buy local and organic foods and pay more for them are dumb. The reason that most people do this is because they are concerned with the environmental impact of conventional foods, from production through transportation. I wasn't aware that being concerned about our actions in regards to the environment was illogical.” -Saint Louis, MO

“And what sort of poison is in your food Chairman Peterson? I am shocked that someone in your position is so ignorant about organic and local foods and why these are the healthiest choices for our families. I'm sure someone will educate you if you are interested in learning. And one of the reasons we pay more to the farmers and ranchers is because they have to compete with the big agri-businesses who ARE subsidized by the government.” -Battle Ground, WA

“Are YOU out of your mind? Maybe you don't mind swallowing all of the chemicals that are pumped into the factory-farmed animals to keep them alive in horrid conditions just long enough to get them to the consumer, but I don't. I want my family to eat food and produce that is grown and cared for without all the chemicals and genetically-engineered DNA. I also want my food and produce to be local, so that I am not paying for the astronomical transportation fees and contributing to the problems of pollution, etc. If you are 'far' from understanding this, then you do not deserve to be representing your constituents.”

“It is quite discouraging that it is only slightly better to be represented by shills for big business and the wealthy like you and my own Rep. Oberstar than a Republican. It makes me ashamed to be a Minnesotan.” -Bruno, MN

“Your statement about organic and local food is shocking, alarming, disturbing, and, oh yeah, idiotic. I cannot believe you're chairman of any committee having to do anything at all with agriculture. Do you know how a seed grows? I'll have to talk with my Minnesota friends about for whom they intend on voting. - Cleveland, OH”

“Congratulations!!! You just received an award for the "DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK” For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah." by the Organic Consumers Association. I totally concur, worse yet, your quote tells us your intelligence level in general when it comes to the health of the U.S. citizens. So sad we have such a terrible leader in this country. I would expect better from a democrat! -Garden Grove, CA

“I am one of those dumb consumers of organic products. I am also an ovarian cancer survivor. Part of the reason I am still alive is today is because I have decided to limit the toxins, hormones, pesticides and so forth that enter my body. Shame on you for being so flippant about the reasons people eat organics. Research is on our side. As a representative of all consumers you have an obligation to represent us and not just big business.” -Nesconset, NY

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumer Organizations dumb quote of the week award. Your insensitivity to and ignorance of the organic farming sector of our country is mind blowing. To assure true homeland security, as well as the health of our children and our planet, we must support local food and energy. As the chair of a most important committee, that clearly caters to agri-biz, which denudes the nutrients from our food and is creating generations of under-nourished, unhealthy people, you should know better. It is in the best interest of our citizenry, our planet, our future and the US as a leader, to support organic farming AND those consumers....it would be wise to inform yourself more fully on the issue.”

“Mr. Peterson, So the population of the U.S. is "dumb" for buying food that is better for them than what the government is willing to produce? Well, I'd rather be considered "dumb" than eat genetically modified food, pesticide laden, cancer causing, and environmentally hazardous food!!!” -Pocahontas, AR

“Congressman Peterson, I used to be a farmer. But when government policies moved from supporting family farms to supporting large corporate entities, we could no longer afford to be farmers. It is past time for the US government to recognize that industrial agriculture is not good for people and is not good for the planet. The US is far behind the curve of recognizing the dangers of industrial agriculture. I urge you to study the subject and stop supporting industrial, corporate agriculture. We can no longer afford it.” -Rapid City, SD

"Dear Mr. Peterson- I am astonished and amazed at your recent comment about locally grown and organically raised produce and meat products. A person in your position in this country should be educated on the health benefits and environmental impact that these foods have on our nation as a while. The price and commitment of people to helping our nation's health car cost, environmental impact on the Earth and our fossil fuel resources are directly tied to our consumption of foods grown in the Earth Friendly, People powered, non-toxic manner in which organic and local farmers do. I suggest you take a small primer course on the internet, start with the Environmental Working Group. Remember the old adage, "One should think before they speak." “We, organic consumers, are not dumb, we are educated and healthy.” -Chesapeake, VA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, As Chair of the House Agriculture Committee you might want to spend some time to actually understand the topic you are deriding. The current administration has shown that lack of knowledge is dangerous, especially for someone in a controlling position of power. Please educate yourself on the topic you have control of so as not to continue to project the image of a fool.” -Campbell, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, All you need to do is read the research. Then you won't have to say stupid things.” -Fairfield, IA

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Here's what it is about: As Chairman of Agriculture and its processes, you surely understand the principle of "garbage in, garbage out" as it relates to food, machinery, and even thought. We take care with our cars to give them clean fuel/oil/air for running. Our bodies deserve no less. Nature is not our enemy; she is a partner just waiting for our cooperation. That's why we support and pay extra for the quality of natural foods. They contain the energy needed for healthy growth. As an organic consumer, I would be delighted to see a statement from you that said, “Hey! I've learned a lot. And I DO know what it is all about now. And I'm supporting health the natural way, rather than trying to ransom it back with drugs and medications." Wishing you a healthy longevity -Louisville, KY

“As chair of the Agriculture committee, I find it embarrassing that you do not understand the importance of organic and natural foods. Conventional modern farming and food processing has destroyed human health and is one of the biggest reasons that so many people have so many health problems. The numerous synthetic chemicals that are added to our food supply throughout the growth stage to the point of consumption has a huge impact on environmental and human health. For most Americans, every meal that they eat of every day of their lives contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals. Over a lifetime, that really adds up and creates big problems that I think you should be aware of. As far as organic food costing more, that is where the government needs to step in and help out. The government should be providing more subsidies and incentives for farmers and ranchers that choose to perform responsible organic and natural practices. Your recent comments prove that you are not knowledgeable on this most important of matters, so please look into it more.” -Denver, CO

“Dear Congressman Peterson: If you don't understand organic farming and the reason for it, and you are the chairman of the agriculture committee, don't you think it would make sense to educate yourself on the issue? I understand that big chemical business and farm suppliers oppose organics, but that is because it threatens their bottom line. It is more important to reduce cancer and other disease caused by pesticide than it is to support people who are only in it for the money. Money counts, but you can make money and be safe at the same time. I think you need to resign from this committee if you do not care enough to learn about the reasons for organics, especially since it is flourishing without your help. -Overland Park, KS

“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah." Dear Chairman Peterson, People who buy organic are willing to pay 2 to 3 times as much than those that buy conventional (pesticided) food because they won't compromise their health for money. It's as simple as that. Far from being “dumb," they are the enlightened and aware, who know that there is a direct correlation between pesticides, antibiotics, and other toxins used in standard food production in America and the alarming epidemic growth of all types of illnesses and disease from diabetes, to asthma, to allergies and chemical sensitivities, and cancer. In our eyes, those of you who do NOT pay extra for purer food are the “dumb" ones. And the government needs to support the smaller organic farmers so that chemical-free food is available to all Americans, not just those who can afford to pay for preventive health care through a nutritious, health supportive diet. What's really "dumb" is knowingly feeding pesticided food to your children and then paying high doctors bills when years later they develop cascading health problems. Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!!” -Long Beach, NY

“You know, the reason that people re willing to pay more for local and organic food is because they want to support local and organic agriculture in the hopes that these may become more mainstream. Those who pay more for local and organic products are strengthening their communities and sending a message to corporate agribusiness that conveys that we would rather pay more for our local/organic products than support an industry that is poisoning the planet with chemical fertilizers and harming the people with things like bovine growth hormones. I know that I feel better and more responsible as a consumer when I buy local and organic products. Not only am I supporting my neighbors, but I am educating myself and my community on how to live sustainably. Now who's DUMB? People like you, who eat the crap that the agribusiness crams down your throat, or people like me, who know where their food comes from, how it was raised and what the hidden costs of eating non-organic/non-locally produced foods are?”

“You should do some research before you spew such diatribe. You are just showing yourself to be a misinformed and ignorant representative, either clueless or beholden to big agribusiness. Shame on you!”

“If we as a people continue buying foods that are laden with pesticides and processed to the point that they've lost their nutritional value, and if we (as taxpayers) keep subsidizing this kind of thing ? - then that is truly dumb. And, with all due respect, electing congressmen who don't understand health, nutrition, sustainable farming or economics also seems pretty “dumb” to me.”

“Buying food locally and knowing where my food comes from is very important to me and many of the people across this country. It should concern more people that they don't know where their food comes from and the amount of fossil fuels being used to ship food across the world. I think that people wanting to take in interest in their health, local economy and local farmers are pretty smart!”

“Congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week. I am flabbergasted. Are you really that ignorant? Seriously- you can't fathom why someone would want to pay more for natural food? Organic and local food is so much better for our planet....the planet that God created. I don't understand people claim to be religious but could care less about protecting and nurturing that which he made.”

“I am an organic food consumer, a member and supporter of OCA, Organics Consumers Association. I am sending you this message at the request of OCA. I am writing to congratulate you on winning the dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations!! I was wondering if you realize that speaking so without a base of knowledge of the topic betrays the fact it's not the people you are trying to denigrate who is dumb but it is you the speaker? Please, take some time to do some research into what locally grown foods and organically grown foods mean to personal health, the health of the people, the health of the nation and the health of the environment. You'll find that the efforts by farmers to grow and sell locally, grow organically and for consumers to purchase these products, have put a lot of thought and consideration into this. Economically they are willing to spend more on trying to change the market to a more healthy and sustainable one. Dumb is the complete opposite of what people are trying to do in the buying local and buying organic movement. Good luck on you education and once again, congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week.” -South Hadley, MA

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here Peterson let me talk dumb to you! Obviously yous the one that’s dumb for saying such an idiotic statement like that. Me thinks its time for you to retire!! But I doubt you will just like your buddy Larry Craig! Now Peterson haws it feel to be talked dumb to???? Well that’s exactly how I felt.” -Fremont, NE

“You know what's so ironic is that the majority of people eating locally and eating organic are actually smarter than the usual consumer since they take the time to read and research about the foods that they put into their bodies- that would include me. Educate yourself- all those toxins and pesticides are clouding your thinking when you go and make narrow-minded and ignorant comments such as yours. I think you need a good de-tox program.” -Bolton, CT

“Well, you are to be congratulated for the dumbest statement I've heard in a long time and for getting for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Buying organic is dumb? Well, lots of people know that food without all the added chemicals is healthy and purchase of food loaded with poison is what is dumb. That and making statements like you made, well that is certainly very dumb.” -Chattanooga, TN

“Your recent statement to the effect that paying more for organic products is dumb shows who has you in their pocket - - corporate agribusiness and factory farms. Go ahead and continue eating the tumor- and cancer-ridden meats, hormone-filled dairy goods and pesticide-tainted produce from your buddies, I'm sure it'll keep you nice and healthy for years to come!!”

“I am an organic consumer, I buy locally and I am not dumb. Perhaps you should take time from accepting donations from agribusiness to research organic agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is very important because it does not add mineral salts and other pollutants to both the soil and above-ground and ground water. Organic produce has been tested and proved to have more nutrients that chemically fertilized produce. Perhaps it would be good to know something about agriculture since you are on the Agriculture Committee.”

“As an organic/local produce consumer, I take exception to your recent comments that people like me are "dumb". But take heart: You have just received the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations!”

“Supporting local farms builds community, cuts greenhouse gasses, and ensures food safety. What's dumb is getting into bed with the agro-businesses that have pushed my family and many of our friends out of farming and ranching and helping to create a world of mutant, processed, disease causing food. I don't have time to point you in the direction of all of the medical evidence to support that claim, but a simple Goggle search (or better yet, trip to your local library) will substantiate my claim. I'm glad I'm not dumb enough to have helped elect you. Cheers! -Ft. Collins, CO”

“Dear Sir, The “dumb” people that perplex you with their resolve to provide safe, pesticide-free, sustainable wholesome, nutrient rich foods to their families, particularly their young children, pay higher prices for those wholesome foods because we must. We wish to preserve our health; we wish to be thoughtful stewards of the earth with which we are blessed. We don’t want to eat foods full of high fructose corn syrup (causes obesity and diabetes) we don’t want to eat soybeans, we don’t want to eat nutritionally dead foods grown on lands laden with petroleum based poisonous chemicals that have been implicated in everything from Multiple Sclerosis, infertility, cancers of the blood and body, miscarriages, low IQ and immune diseases. But, this is what YOU support. Perhaps this is what YOU feed your family. I challenge you to buy certified organic milk and eggs and even bread, and taste it. Now taste your non-organic eggs and your milk. Even if you honestly believe that this is all a conspiracy created by tree-hugging hippies, sir I assure you, you will TASTE the difference. Please stop flooding our grocery stores with nutritionally inferior products. Support organic farming and sustainability, then prices will come down and even the poor among us will be able to afford nutritious, pesticide-free foods. Clean food should be a birthright, not a luxury. -Sunrise, FL

“My momma told me it is best to keep your mouth shut when you don't know much about a subject...this is one of those times for you. A little education regarding carcinogens and such would be a good idea. I must say I was surprised to hear a Democrat being so, well, DUMB about something so very important to the health and well being of our children and a little thing called the planet. I expect that from the greedy Republicans. In time I may forget though. “

“Dear Representative Peterson: I sincerely hope that your remark about organic food consumers being “dumb” was incorrect or a misquote. As the chairman of the House Ag committee you should understand something about food, toxic chemicals and antibiotics and their effects on human health. It's not your job to only represent industrial agriculture but to actually understand the food concerns of American citizens and the effects of foods on our health. Please educate yourself more about organic agriculture and the reasons that millions of consumers are seeking out truly healthy foods grown near where they live, not shipped at great environmental expense from another continent. “ -Waunakee, WI

“If you don't understand the value of organic, local food and grass fed beef, then you have no business being on the agriculture committee, much less being its chairman.”

“Perhaps the reason you made your recent comments about organic farming is because you are in bed with the government subsidies to chemical/pesticide/herbicide using farms that contaminate our water supply and spread cancer causing chemicals throughout our land. If you want to ingest chemicals and toxins in your food, who am I to stop you. But, for you to spout of in this fashion only supports it is politics as usual for you. Which is: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Pathetic.” -Portland, OR

“Shouldn't it be that we pay more if we want our food contaminated with pesticides?? People pay more for organic food because the organic farmers don't get subsidies from the government. We, the people, care about our health and unfortunately in this country, we have to pay more to get healthy food, Geez, get a clue!”

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. :)”

“Dear Representative Peterson, I take offense to you referring to me as “dumb” for buying organic foods. Being a graduate of the University of Iowa, having grown up on a farm and living in an agricultural state my intelligence about food choices is being ridiculed by you. I was diagnosed with cancer almost 2 years ago and did research on how I could support my immune system to fight off the cancer in addition to conventional therapy. Organic food free of chemicals, in other words, good clean food like I was raised on years ago helps to reduce the chemical load your liver has to deal with.” -Iowa City, IA

“Mr. Peterson, When you, your children and grandchildren are passing on of cancer and numerous other diseases because of the foul and mistaken ideals you've taught them about food safety, you'll take back those words you've uttered about us “dumb” organic and local buying consumers. Our willingness to support and fund a healthier agricultural market in hopes of it's expansion is a commitment to PREVENTATIVE HEALTH MEASURES! Ever heard of that??? Your unintelligent statement is a sad reflection of government's unwillingness to put money where "The People" see an honest need. Shame, shame... (Democrats from MN ought to know better. I'm disgustingly embarrassed to be your next door neighbor in WI.) -New Berlin, WI

“How rude to say organic consumers are dumb, I guess your parents never taught you any better. Just because you don't understand something its automatically dumb? Maybe you should educate yourself on organics and maybe you would start to understand. The cost is more but the health benefits are huge. I have two grown children and neither one has ever been sick with anything more than a cold for one or two days. I bet anything if you have kids that you can make the same claim truthfully. Take sometime to learn what all the benefits are about and maybe you'll become as dumb as us organic consumers.” -Dover, AR

“Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” It's good to know that the ignorance of this administration trickles down to every level. Congratulations!!”

“Dear Collin Peterson, I am concerned that you admit that you don't understand the organic growing movement or local foods programs. I would love to send you some information on reading material that would let you be a little more informed about such a large issue, especially since you are in such a position of responsibility and influence regarding agriculture and American food. Hopefully, you will be at least tolerant and respectful of the food choices that many of the people in this country are making.”

“I have been eating Organic for over two years now and have never been as healthy and happy as I am right now. I don’t believe I am dumb and take offense to your comment, I think you should make a public apology for your statement.”

“I take issue with your assessment of organic consumers being "dumb". I am an organic consumer who is willing to pay more for food that does not contain added hormones or antibiotics and vegetables that are not genetically engineered while supporting my local agricultural industry. I am an independent thinker who will not swayed by Monsanto's rhetoric, unlike so many of the truly “dumb” consumers out there. Go ahead and swill your bacteria laden fat free milk that you find so tasty, Mr. Peterson. I, for one, will not be joining you.” -West Milton, OH

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I find it hard to believe that congress continues to provide billions of dollars in funding for factory farms, money that goes to subsidize large corporations such as Cargill and Monsanto. But some representatives, such as yourself, do not show the least understanding for improving our food system by growing organically and locally. Such support would go to many small farmers who are trying to make a living farming.” -Chicago, IL

“May I suggest you educate yourself as to the nutritional value that is in your traditionally (mass/chemically) farmed produce and meat compared to organic foods. In many cases organic has been tested to have 10, 100, or even 1000 times the nutrient content over regular produce. Not to mentioned the pesticides, hormones, steroids and bovine diseases that are in "regular" meat and produce - I'll skip eating those too thanks. Why buy local? Because once we run out of oil and gas that's all you'll have! By buying local I'm not supporting using more fuel to ship my food 3 countries away. By buying local I'm supporting my local economy and farmers. So will I pay more to save the environment and not put harmful toxins into my body, and feed it more higher nutrient dense foods? Without a doubt! I might even suggest that those that can't see the benefits FAR outweigh the cost - well I guess they're just dumb.” -Edmonton, AB

“Rep. Peterson: Clearly your consumption of chemical-laden farm products for so many years has deteriorated your brain to the point of malfunctioning. Your recent statement questioning why people would pay more for organic foods is evidence. Perhaps it's time for you to step down and go to work for Big Agribusiness, since that seems to be who you represent.” -Stillwater, MN

“Mr. Peterson, I am astounded that you would refer to my family as dumb, referring to you calling people to purchase food that is grown organically, locally etc... as dumb. Us dumb people are a great deal of the population, we are educated, informed, family oriented and we love our communities. (so much so that we spend a bit extra to support our local farmers...how stupid of us!) For my family personally we would rather pay more for the highest quality food without pesticides, hormones and genetically modified ingredients and cut back on other less useful things. I am the wife of an active duty Naval Officer who works very hard to keep our country, community and children safe...who you to say are, DUMB, when all we do is want the best for the people we love the most. Congrats on insulting my community, the farmers we support and my family in general....you win the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!!! -Navy Wife Mother of two beautiful, healthy, organically fed kids!” -Everett, WA

“Nice quote; you sure are clueless. You should really resign.” -Seattle, WA

“I was amazed and saddened that you demonstrated such ignorance and contempt for consumers of organic and local foods through your recent comments to the Financial Times. I would think that a representative from the Midwest would be much more aware of the importance of small, family farms and the people who support them. In an era where mega-agriculture is devouring family farms and eating up federal subsidies, I would hope that you would be more supportive of local and organic suppliers and the people who keep them in business.”

“Wow, maybe if you cared for your health or the environment you might have an idea. Maybe the tie is too tight and you are losing oxygen as well as too many toxins in your mass produced food. I suggest for some bed side reading you pick up FAST FOOD NATION, it was a real eye opener for me. I happen to be an agriculture major and have mourned the state or condition that local and small farmers have endured to try to keep their land and feed their own family. I don't ask that you become an expert but I ask for those that love you sake, eat more organic and locally grown. The way food is raised and processed is not good, healthy or kind to the animals or the humans that raise them or eat them. As always,” VA Beach, VA

“Wow! Your quote on organics and locally grown food was so uneducated that it literally “blew me away” . Would you like to know why organically grown food is better for people and for the earth? I hope so since you are in a position of power and you should understand agriculture in its various forms. But, congrats on being awarded “Dumbest Quote of the Week” . Go Organic!” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Collin Peterson; I do not appreciate being called “dumb” for my researched and considered decisions about the quality of the food I choose to buy and feed my family, nor as a former small business owner in the natural foods industry, nor as a promoter of community supported agriculture (as a member of an ecumenical movement.) I sincerely hope your health lasts and you do not end up feeing “dumb” for having consumed unhealthful quantities of chemicals, hormones and heavy metals. May you be blessed with health, greater reason and - better manners”

“I strongly object to you calling organic consumers “dumb” . You should promote organic agriculture not bad mouth those who consume its products. -Lansing, MI P.S. I am embarrassed that you represent my former hometown of Moorhead, MN.”

“Do some research, and not the materials supplied to you from the petro-chemical industry! Some of us are willing to pay extra to avoid poisons, growth hormones and a multitude of noxious chemicals used by food producers. More and more evidence is showing how bad these chemicals are for humans to consume. People far smarter than you will ever be are aware of the damage already done.” Boise, ID

“Dear Collin Peterson, I have an MBA and my husband is an attorney. We do not consider ourselves dumb. What I do think is dumb, is your statement: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Buying local and organic is much better for our health and for the environment. And, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that!”

“Why do you hate America?” -Richmond, VA

“Mr. Peterson, I find it interesting that the head of the House Agriculture Committee could be so “dumb” . Consumers are paying more for organic because 1. There is less of it and supply is dictating price. 2. Because the poisons (pesticides), hormones, and other tampering with the food supply places our health at risk. 3. In an effort to stave off the ever increasing illness affecting Americans with direct connections to what we eat, we feel it is imperative to try to avoid processed crap, full of chemicals, paint, MSG, to name a few. We need people like you to get educated before you open your mouth, and we need support for real change in the betterment of our food supply! We need to be able to walk into a grocery store and obtain unadulterated food without the exorbitant cost. Our reps should be helping us! Wake up!”

“Just so you know, sir, we must be dumb to have voted you into office. But it looks like these “dumb” people will be the ones to vote you out of office.” -Winthrop, MA

“Are you really so out of touch with the American people or are you dumb?”

“I am a Democrat, but after hearing your remark in regard “something that says organic” , I am ashamed to be one. It is hard to believe that you are actually an educated individual. Maybe, just maybe, if you took the time to educate yourself about the subject matter that you are speaking about, you would not end up sounding like an ass. So, congratulations, you have received the Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You even topped President Bush this time.” -San Ramon, CA

“Wondering why you are calling organic consumers dumb? Is it dumb to want to eat non-toxic, non-tainted, healthier food that also provides benefits for family farmers and the environment? I think you should investigate organic foods further before you belittle those who buy them. Try some organic vegetables or fruits, and you will not only taste the difference but notice a difference in how your body is feeling. Wishing you a peaceful, productive existence!” -Durham, NC

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Thanks for leading the charge for a locally-produced, healthier American food system. With idiots like you in the government it's no wonder why we're rapidly becoming a net importer of food. Dependence on foreign oil? Try dependence on foreign food.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, For the of the House Agriculture Committee to say that spending more for organic and/or local food is not dumb. It's INANE! Who do you work for? Your constituents or the pharma and insurance companies? Basically, you're saying that you'd rather see your neighbor, a local, organic farmer, put out of business and then have your family eat pesticide and fungicide soaked, genetically processed food from monster agriculture corporations? Dumb and dumber, Peterson! Your constituents say, “Here's to your HEALTH!” -Medanales, NM

“The reason people are willing to pay more for organic foods is because we prefer not to consume foods that are sprayed with chemical pesticides. We also do not want the source of our dairy products to be animals that eat feed that is treated with pesticides. In addition, we do not want our children nor ourselves exposed to unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones. More importantly, our environment suffers every time a chemical pesticide is used to treat food crops. It pollutes our precious land and water.” -West Bloomfield, MI

“How can you be so ignorant on these issues? You should resign immediately.” -Grayslake, IL

“Mr. Peterson, Check the nutrition figures of grass-fed beef compared to 'regular' beef, but do it from a source other than the big beef industry lobby. You'll see who is dumb. Hallelujah to you.” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Representative Peterson, Your comments reflect a narrow understanding of the U.S. food system and its costs. If the price of most conventionally grown foods were to include the cost of so-called “externalities” such as soil and water pollution, topsoil erosion, and public health, then the price of organic foods would seem inexpensive indeed. I suggest you view “The True Cost of Food” at www.thetruecostoffood.org -Aptos, CA”

“If you don't understand why people pay more for organic food, you might want to research the effects of all the chemicals that non-organic farmers use on their crops. Farmers are currently allowed to use many known cancer-causing chemicals on their crops. What's more, organic farms actually out-produce acre for acre non-organic farms. Organic farming should be the rule not the exception.”

“Your lack of support for organic and sustainable farming methods ensures that as you progress through the electoral system, I will NEVER send you a cent in contributions.”

“Representative Peterson, I am amazed at the ignorance displayed by your comment regarding organic consumers. You demonstrated not only a complete lack of understanding of the benefits of organic foods, but also a complete lack of understanding of the economics or global impact of the organic foods sector. Briefly put, organic foods have greater health benefits than non-organic foods. Studies have shown higher nutrient levels and better flavor than non-organic equivalents. On the other hand, synthetic compounds found in non-organic foods cause additional strain on the body, particularly the liver. Our bodies are not designed to process much of what non-organic foods put into it. While enzymes break down various carbohydrates, fats and proteins, the body has no mechanism for processing most of the synthetic compounds introduced by non-organic foods. Many of these compounds accumulate in the body as a result, leading to symptoms as minor as allergies to as serious as cancer. In the case of beef, there are additional concerns. Most beef is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. The medical industry has observed that the level of antibiotics people eat through meat is leading to super-bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. The large amount of hormones taken in through food sources also affects the body with non-natural hormone levels. As these substances are eliminated from the body, they enter the ecosystem, affecting marine life. The environment is another reason to support organic farming and local buying. Pesticides from non-organic farming run off with wastewater, also affecting marine life. Food shipped from one side of the country to the other requires fuel to transport it, adding to global warming. Organic farming techniques are gentler on the Earth, yielding healthier soil conditions that also help keep down global warming. The price of organic foods is high because of attitudes and ignorance such as yours. Organic farming is a developing industry. Like any developing industry, prices will initially be high. Look at the prices of HD and Plasma televisions, or DVD players, for example. How high were those when they first came out? Those prices have gone down significantly. The difference here is that organic farming is in competition with non-organic farming, and non-organic farming is receiving government assistance all the time. It is fighting an uphill battle against an opponent that is getting support. Why do I purchase organic food? It's healthier, and I can easily feel that health difference. It's better for the environment. It's a more “natural” way of doing things, and from a shamanic perspective, that feels to me the way things should be. I choose to invest in the kind of world I want to see, whether that investment is through my time, energy, or money. I suspect you will receive a lot of response about your comments. I suspect that, compared to comments you may receive on other issues, a higher proportion of these comments will be non-personal, but instead intelligent, heartfelt, and well thought out. I hope you take that to heart. At the very least, I'd like to offer you a challenge to spend one month eating all organic foods. See if you notice the taste difference. See if you notice the health difference. If you do, then realize not only a society that feels the same benefits, but the environment as well.”

“Why don't you pull your head out!”

“Your ignorance about organic and local foods is embarrassing to your party. Educate yourself, please! It's the least you can do...literally.” -Lewisville, NC

“With “friends” (i.e. Democrats) like you, who needs Republicans?”

“I am a married mother of two young sons. I live in Santa Cruz, CA with my family. I found your recent assertion that organic consumers are dumb to be incredibly offensive. The town I live in is a heavily agricultural area...it is surrounded by farms. Those of us who live in farm areas understand the direct impact that pesticides and herbicides have on our air, our water and our health. Maybe you are insulated from those effects in your capitol hill office. maybe to you, food seems like a simple commodity, that just arrives on your grocery shelves; and you don't care how it gets there. I care. I care about the air my children breath, the water they drink, and yes, I care if the food they eat has pesticide residues on it. The demand for organic food is only going to grow, you have that much right. But the costs of making the transition are great. We owe it to America's small farmers to help them make the transition. It is an investment that will pay off in a cleaner environment and a more healthy and diverse agricultural economy. Factory farms should not be our ONLY farms. I hope you will reconsider your stance on this issue.”

“Frightening to think that people like yourself are in charge of setting health policy. Why do you think people in the U.S. are so obese? Why do you think most antibiotics don't work anymore? Maybe you should dedicate some time to these issues, then you might understand why people are willing to pay more so they do not load their bodies up with substances that have horrible effects on their health. A subject I suggest that is worth studying for you.” -Santa Monica, CA

“Unfortunately it is antiquated attitudes such as yours that have led our planet to the dangerous situation we are in. I sincerely hope you attempt to educate yourself. Your position of power demands it.” -Fountain, CO

“Nice job! Making the dumbest quote of the week is hard work. Next time consider promoting positive change for our country and maybe you will make the best quote of the week.” -Eugene, OR

“Dear Representative Peterson, I am a consumer who purchases organic and locally grown food for myself and my family. I do pay more for the assurances that my food providers do more to protect my health and the environment than conventional factory farms. I do not do this, because I am dumb. I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Accounting, and I scored in the top 4% of test takers on the GMAT. I simply understand the benefits of organic agriculture. I would expect you to understand them as well, as you are the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. For example, the USDA found higher levels of the cancer-fighting and possibly heart-attack preventing agent, lycopene, in organic ketchup than in conventional brands a few years ago. In 2002, a study found that children who ate organic fruits and vegetables had less pesticide in their urine than children who ate conventionally raised produce. Paying a little more for food that puts less POISON into my children's system does not sound very dumb to me. I'm not even going to address the obvious benefits to the environment that organic farming carries over conventional, but I do not mind paying for that, also. Further, I would not have to pay more, if the US Government and your committee leveled the playing field for organic and conventional farmers. Huge agri-business has dined at the corporate welfare trough for too long, and conventionally grown food would cost no less than organics, if a proportional share of food subsidies went to organic farmers. In fact, I am paying more for the conventional food that I choose not to purchase, I just do that through my tax dollars. Paying for something you do not want is dumb, but I do not have a choice in the matter. Better yet, food subsidies as a whole could be reduced and ultimately eliminated, and then taxpayers could decide what food to purchase with their own money. The Organic Consumers Association has given you its award for the dumbest quote of the week. I do not think you are dumb. I think you probably did not think your statement through before you made it, and you have not thought through the benefits of organic farming. Some things, like our children and their future, are worth paying to protect.,”

“Mr. Peterson, No, we are not willing to pay two or three times as much for something that SAYS 'organic' or 'local', we are willing to pay two to three times as much for something that IS 'organic' or 'local'. Your incomprehensible ignorance shows itself painfully clearly in your statement. You and people that think like you are the reason lawmakers again and again try to water down the FDA Organic Standard (so really you can have conventional produce that SAYS it is organic but no longer is) NOT UNDERSTANDING that organic means no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, engineered organisms, all factors in declining health and scores of health problems, including cancers. Shame on you, being on such a powerful post and being either too dumb to understand the issue or to ignorant and elitist to want to understand the issue. -San Francisco, CA

“Hmm perhaps you haven't studied anything regarding agriculture, global warming, and the ecology of the planet. Organic means something hasn't been sprayed with chemicals that can kill you, and disrupt the ecological balance of the planet. Local means that your friends and neighbors grew it, not some random person in another country who then put it on a giant truck or cargo ship that took tons of gasoline to arrive at its final destination. And don't give me that crap about “no studies have shown yada yada” - I don't need a lab to tell me what I can plainly see with my own eyes. Finally, organic local food tastes better and makes me feel better. Conventional food is just gross. Though if you're used to eating crap I doubt you'd notice the difference.” -Arcata, CA

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. What people are seeking is pure food, not heavily adulterated stuff produced by the large agribusinesses.”

“How can you not support your local farmers and in turn your own neighbors. You must be a Wal-Mart lover too.”

“Dear Representative Peterson; Did it ever occur to you that if Organic and sustainable farming continues to grow and prosper without government intervention, that corporate farming, non-organic farming, non-sustainable farming, or chemical intensive farming, call it what you will, should be able to survive without government aid and intervention? Eliminate subsidies for all types of agriculture so it's a level playing field and let the consumer choose. And, just say no to NAIS. -No Hollywood, CA

“Please read “The Food Revolution” by Tom Robbins in order to educate yourself in this important issue.” St Peter, MN

“As a former Minnesotan, I was dumbfounded that you would say that buying organics is “dumb” . It has been proven scientifically that organic farming is healthier for our earth than the force fed chemically intensive method that you seem to advocate. So carcinogenic chemically created farm products vs. natural, it seems to me that I would prefer natural and would hope that you would want that for you, your family and our nation as well. Even Europe won't be buffaloed with GMO products, etc. and so neither should we. Please reconsider how you are spending our tax dollars the next time you are faced with who should get it. Corporate greed or smaller sustained family farms.” -Berkeley, CA

“Mr. Peterson, Calling a segment of the population, part of YOUR constituency no doubt, DUMB for focusing their buying and eating habits on organic, free-range and local foods only shows how much you don't know about the subject. Please take your foot out of your mouth and educate yourself on these topics. Sincerely, A voting Democrat,”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, I can tell just by your hair color that you are lacking copper in your diet. That your skin is starting to hang due to lack of not drinking enough water. There is so much that you could learn from the Organic Consumers. First of all taste, not to say anything about the health benefits” -Anchorage, AK

“With the help from you self-serving fed trough feeders, more interested in filling your own wallet than representing those that mistakenly put you in office, we no longer can trust you to manage healthy foodstuffs for us unwashed peasants and that's why we're willing to go the proven healthy way instead of ignoring your sellout! Your type should be tarred 'n feathered?” -Loma, MT

“Collin Peterson, May your god bless your SORRY ASS soul! you are going to hell, unless you help turn earth into hell first. Wake the fuck up! -
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