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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“Far be it from you to understand” - right! You're a moron of the first degree. Isn't it your business to understand agriculture. Shall we continue to subsidize factory farms until the % of obese Americans is even greater! Get real and educate yourself!” Blandford, MA

“Dear Sir, I'm truly disappointed in your comment especially from a Democrat. Your comment shows little forethought. If the “Organic and/or Local” farm sector got as many taxpayer subsidies as the corporate farm sector, then organic/local food probably wouldn't cost as much. Organic/Local food is just plain better for everyone involved (the environment, true small family farms, consumers, energy & soil conservation, health and the country as a whole). Please reconsider your position or thinking on this issue. It probably would be best to scrap the whole farm bill and its subsidies and start over again from square one. Thank you for your time.” Austin, TX

“Collin Peterson, Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! You must feel very good about consuming massive amounts of pesticides and hormones with all of the non-organic food you eat. I hope you also feel wonderful about all of the pollution that comes with choosing to eat food grown very far away from where you live. Yes, I hope you feel very great indeed, and that you keep living a strong, healthy life, so that you can keep growing, and learning and opening your mind from out of the box; Coming out to see the bigger picture of how we're all completely connected to all of these everyday choices we make, and to their consequences. Much love and peace to you.” Boise, ID

“Wow! Here's an idea you might find appealing: stop subsidizing agribusiness. Create a level playing field. Perhaps then Americans would benefit from greater food security, for locally grown food would compete with the wasteful and environmentally questionable factory foods. The fact that the latter costs more to raise should not oblige us to subsidize it! And don't tell me that agribusiness is the only way to feed the hungry world. It isn't.”

“You don't think small farmers need help but huge subsidized agribusiness does? Are you college-educated?” Fairfax, CA

“Dear Rep Peterson: Congratulations on receiving the award for Dumbest Quote of the Week from Organic Consumers. To add my remarks in response to your quote regarding farm products: 'Local' includes the employment of your constituents--you know, those 'dumb' people who voted for you. 'Organic' means those same people won't light up at night or grow extra limbs or tumors, or pass along drug resistant diseases; So they can stick around and vote for you again. Or not. As far as paying 2-3X as much, well sometimes you do get what you pay for...” Baltimore, MD

“What's really dumb is eating foods that contain additives & chemicals and that are genetically modified so as not to be recognized by the human body as food!! Shame on you for saying foods grown (truly) organically are dumb!!”

“Mr. Peterson, Unfortunately, I find it all too easy to believe that you would say something so utterly and profoundly “dumb” as to state that, in public even, that supporting local and organic agriculture is “dumb” . This displays your vast ignorance of and more probably your strategic denial of the reality of the state of agriculture today. Congratulations in offending people who are enlightened about the most critical reality facing us today: a sustainable food supply, and making yourself look like a total and complete idiot.” Pacific Grove, CA

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Are you still asleep at the wheel of life?” Rochester, NY

“I work for the USDA (Agricultural Research Service) as a microbiologist, and also am doing work with organic methods and how to improve them. Time and time again it has been shown the using pesticides has a multitude of negative affects on the food itself that it eats. If we (i.e., US citizens) want to continue to put pesticides directly into their bodies, then that is their choice. However, I choose not to, as many of these pesticides are mutagens and carcinogens.” Jupiter, FL

“Your disrespect, & obvious lack of knowledge about Organic Farming,--- was sorry to know.”

“So, you think it is “dumb” to pay extra for organic or local foods? Well, congratulations as that position garnered you the dumbest quote of the week from the Organics Consumers Association! Now, off to McDonalds to celebrate.”

“Organic and local farming is about environmental responsibility, sustainability, and efficiency, something we don't expect much of these days from our politicians. We have nearly wiped out our family farmers in this country and whether or not politicians recognize this as a loss, there will someday be dire consequences. Our grandchildren will not be thanking you for the work you do Senator.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!”

“I don't know where to begin to unravel the falsity and unconsciousness of your words to the Financial Time on Oct 17th. As a laborer on a small (5-acre) organic farm that sells directly to consumers through CSA subscriptions and farmers' markets and to local consumers by way of restaurants and grocery stores, I know first-hand that prices are not always 2-3 times the cost of conventionally-grown produce. For example, at farmers markets, a consumer pays $1 for a generous bunch of green onions, $1.25 for a bunch of radishes, $1.50 for head of lettuce, etc. These are fair prices for consumers. The farm owners are a far-cry from rich, but they are able to live comfortably enough. Also, how can you not see that part of the reason conventionally-grown produce cost less is because of federal subsidies and mass production of food? Small-scale organic growers do not receive such support. Your comment about “organic” and “local” being 2-3 times can be seen when comparing ANY small business to large corporate chains. Prices are always more in small business than big. As we know, they over-produce and are even compensated for waste. Do we NOT want to support local businesses? As well, do you not think that food that is local and organic has value? Small-scale organic growers care for the soil and keep the food LOCAL, meaning they're not shipping food everywhere which takes more energy and gets to the consumer less fresh. So, when you say, “for whatever reason, people are willing to pay...” maybe you should look at WHY people are willing to pay and, more importantly, what is the REAL COST of producing food anyway?” Battle Creek, MI

“Congratulations Representative Peterson! Few people get such a venue to prove their ignorance on the subject of organic and sustainable foods. You win the dumbest quote of the week award!”

“This is actually the 2nd time in the past week I've been called dumb, although this time indirectly. The first time was while driving my car because I wouldn't tailgate someone to let the guy behind me pass comfortable on my right. He started honking at me and called me a dumbass. There was little I could do, since he rode away. Now indirectly, I am being called dumb again by what you're quoted saying. If you are being pulled out of context, then I apologize. Otherwise, I would like to give you the reasons why I purchase organic or local foods, since you so graciously stated that you don’t understand why people like me choose to do so. 1. Most important, with organic foods there is not all the poisonous runoff from fertilizers and pesticides that flow into waterways, used for drinking water by humans and other animals, and for the aquatic life that is most affected. 2. Local food, as long as its time after being picked from the farm to my stomach is short, in most cases contains more nutrients than food shipped from across the country or half way around the world. It also uses less energy to ship it because of extremely shorter distances. (In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices have tripled in the past 3-4 years) 3. There is going to be some residue from harmful pesticides left on our foods. It takes time to remove this and there is no way of me knowing how much I have actually removed. 4. The antibiotics and hormones given to cows and other farm animals have the tendency of being eaten by us. Thus it lowers our resistance for when we actually do need antibiotics for that occasional virus. 5. Organic animals aren’t locked up in factory farms, where they can barely move for most, if not all of there lives. 6. And organic animals aren’t feed there own kind in the feed they are given, such as cows that are feed up ground by products of other cows. (Probably leading to the spread and increase of diseases such as mad cow.) If all this makes me dumb, then I hope I am the dumbest person in the world. Because maybe being dumb in today’s age is the new smart. Thank you for reading my comments. I hope I did not cause any inconvenience.” Orlando, FL

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week by saying “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.” They say ignorance is bliss, but I fell the House Agriculture Committee Chair should 'not be far from understanding' the value of not having carcinogenic chemicals sprayed on our produce and saving our environment by buying locally grown produce that does not have to be shipped/trucked in by petroleum guzzling-smog spewing vehicles. Maybe in the future will have your aids research these 'ideas' and enlighten you. Oh, by the way, thanks for calling us DUMB.” Alliance, OH

"Its disappointing that the head of the agriculture committee feels that “Organic Food buyers are dumb” .” Riverside, RI

“How sad you do not understand the connection between food and nutrition. That you do not understand the quality of nutrition one eats equates to their good health. I could go on but based on your comments about organic and local foods I do not think you have the intelligence to comprehend. Educate yourself so you can do your job better, not make such ludicrous comments and maybe even improve your own health and the well being of your family.”

“What kind of an asshole are you? Head of the agricultural committee and you don't even know the difference between organic and processed and genetically modified foods? Please resign your post and let someone who knows about agriculture do the job.” Taos, NM

“Mr. Collin Peterson, Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association 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.” I have been purchasing organic foods and other natural and organic products for 15 years now. I feel I spend less than the average person out there. Biggest reason is because I will not put inferior food in my or my families bodies. We do not spend time in and out of doctors offices, dentist offices, hospitals, etc. We are extremely healthy and we are NOT a burden on society because of lost time due to illnesses, etc. Did you not think when you made that statement? I see a big ugly shoe in your mouth. I always viewed my fellow Minnesotans as being very highly educated but you are an exception. You sound more like the ones I live around here in Arizona. Please educate yourself before spouting off about subjects you obviously know nothing about.”

"Dear Congressman Peterson, Myself growing up in Wisconsin, I understand how many Midwesterners remain “behind” in understanding the ever changing world around us. But as a LEADER on the United States Legislature's Agricultural Committee, I am truly saddened that you remain oblivious to the importance of Organic and Local food production. I pardon my farming uncles for not being aware of the significance of organic and local, but for you...I am ashamed of the backwardness of a democratic leader from Minnesota.” Los Angeles, CA

“Jackass, do some research before you open your fat face.”

“Our children are our only true responsibility but our children have begun to be born with more than a hundred agriculturally used poisons of various types in their bodies. Our infant mortality rate and pediatric disease is higher than our level of medicine should ever bear. That you appear too ignorant of these truths of your own demographic makes you the clear winner in this event. I would like my taxes to support our food security, American economy and public health. I do NOT want my money subsidizing foreign and multi-national corporations to kick out our American family farmers and hire cheap illegals both of whom send their incomes overseas, taking it out of our American economy. It is truly stupid to pay people to take my money away from America. It is only common sense to invest in America's health and security. Organic small farms employ more Americans. Things like NAIS and chemical, GMO and petroleum costly agriculture bleed our country dry.” Missouri City, TX

“Caring about where your food comes from, and whether or not the animal products you consume come from properly-raised and healthy animals is NOT “dumb.” Family farmers must charge higher prices than factory farms BECAUSE they rarely receive subsidies (not in spite of it) and do not go the way of mass-production with willful ignorance of quality and care. To care about where your food comes from, to support businesses within your own community and connect with the people growing your food, to receive more nutrients from your food(It is a proven fact that the majority of organically grown foods have more nutrients), and know that the animals grown to create the animal products you enjoy were raised with proper care is very, very SMART, Mr. Peterson - regardless of what prices one pays for them. Using food as medicine is an ancient concept, full of wisdom, and I prefer to purchase the best medicine I can afford. Congratulations on receiving the “dumbest quote of the week” award from some of the most conscious consumers in the nation.”

“Collin Peterson here. Re Organic--A terrible remark about such a worth while industry” Richmond, VA

“I'll tell you who is dumb and it's not organic consumers! It's “know it all” legislators who don't have a clue to the difference between organic, real, healthy food and the mass produced, pesticide laden, nutrient deficient produce that is mostly available. Anyone who knows anything about food would take organic over the other any time. The problem is massive “agribusiness” controls so much of the supply plus smaller producers don't get the money breaks that big agribusiness does.”

“I can't believe you would say something so stupid. There is a REASON people are willing to pay more for LOCAL and ORGANIC. Have you looked at the health stats in this country. We are on of the unhealthiest country on the planet. I would venture to say, you are probably overweight, and on several medications, and our health is less than optimum. You all approve more chemicals and pesticides and greener picking, which increases toxins and decreases vitamins and minerals in the food chain and you are surprised when the cancer rates continue to skyrocket. Sir, YOU are the dumb one. I suggest you pull your head out of the political machine and research how food and nutrition effects your health and become educated about such things. I guarantee when you know the facts instead of the Monsanto/big money corp backed lies, you will start looking differently about what you put in your mouth...and what comes out of it.” Springfield, MO

“We are willing to pay more for these protects because we have read the scientific evidence that these protects keep us healthy unlike the other products. What are you reading?”

“I switched to organic food because I no longer trust the government regarding public health vs. corporate interests. The added cost means I eat less and that's better for me too!”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! As a national leader and chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, I'd say it's your job to “understand what that's about” . Do your homework Collin! Don't project your own ignorance on to others.” Hancock, MI

“If the government were supporting true organic practices, the choice of eating authentic food versus chemically treated and/or genetically altered food is not really so “dumb” , is it Mr. Peterson?”

“Dear Colin Peterson, That is the dumbest quote that I have seen in a long time...Congratulations! Local and Organic consumers are NOT dumb. We are just trying to make the world a little greener and ourselves healthier!!” Johnson City, TN

“Buying locally grown organic food is one of the healthiest things that a person can do in my opinion. Only a daft bureaucrat with no common sense could possibly have found fault with that.”

“A shamefully shortsighted and obviously lobby-influenced comment. So much for good government that represents the interests of consumers. I don't consider myself dumb and resent the implication. I do consider myself interested in avoiding pesticides.” Santa Cruz, CA

“Dear Rep. Peterson, OK, I admit it. I'm an organic consumer. I'm also a PhD, a scientist. a professor, and a mother, and I have read and believe the strong scientific evidence that organic agriculture is better for my kids and for the planet we're going to leave to them. I don't think paying more for organic food is dumb at all. If you call me dumb, I guess I'd respond to the insult as I've taught my kids to do: “It takes one to know one.” Dover, NH

“You do realize what organic means don't you? It means that the product is not raised using pesticides, insecticides, herbicides etc. If you want to use products that have been sprayed with poisons that's your choice, but in my opinion that is DUMB!!!!! Farm raised beef and chickens are generally raised without antibiotics and are pasture fed. They are not cooped up in one little area. Happy animals make healthy animals!” Searcy, AR

“I don't consider myself “dumb” for wanting safe, nutritious organically raised and local produce. You should be the poster child for what's wrong with the government's attitude on farming in general and the farm bill in particular. I have worked in my community to organize and sustain a local farmers market which has been highly successful. It is a constant struggle for our farmers to keep participating due to the high cost of everything these days and they could certainly use some help in sustaining the family farm (versus factory farm) tradition.” Coppell, TX
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