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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“Mr. Peterson, I hope you look into this matter more thoroughly, especially if you have children and/or grandchildren. Bay City, MI

“Sir: My friends and family in Minnesota are as shocked as I am at your statement about organic food consumption. All of us are educated people who eat organic foods, locally grown when possible. All of us vote,” Jackson, MI

“Mr. Peterson, As an organic farmer of 10+ years who sells to the local market in Portland, OR it sounds like you don't know anything about agriculture. It is embarrassing to have you, as the committee chair for Ag, speak out and say that buying organic and/or local is “dumb” . Maybe you should learn what organic agriculture is about and why we desperately need to be converting more land to this more sustainable practice. All of us “dumb” farmers would love to host you and show you all of the things you don't know anything about.” Portland, OR

“Mr. Peterson I believe that not all food labeled organic is actually pesticide-, hormone- and antibiotic-free. But I think I have a better chance of avoiding these health-destroying contaminants when I spend a few dollars more. My family is worth the extra effort. I wish you would wake up and get educated about what corporate farming(that your farm bill supports) is doing to our food!” North Wales, PA

“Dear Collin, I don't understand how in the world you got that job. I have a question about where you were coming from when you said the following: “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.” Do you think I want to pay 2 or 3 times as much to ensure that my family is not ingesting harmful toxins, hormones and/or genetically mutated food? Who in the world are you calling 'dumb'? Pull your head out of your F!&%@#! A$$ and resign before you do any more damage. I can't believe my tax money has anything to do with you.”

“Dear Senator: Good job getting the “dumbest quote of the week award” for your silly comment about people who choose local and organic.”

“Dear Collin Peterson, If you and your family like to eat factory farmed, pesticide, antibiotic, arsenic and mad cow disease garbage, then you are an idiot. I believe in staying healthy by eating decent food, the way it has been made for thousands of years. Modern industrial food is the root cause for most modern day sickness.”

“With all due respect, Sen. Peterson, you have exposed your own ignorance with your frivolous remarks about consumers who prefer to buy organic and local foods. I work hard and long to pay for the quality food I provide for my child because I know the difference. You have the audacity to call that DUMB! Do your homework and stop buying into corporate deceptions about the food industry. If you think you know it all you have no place in a leadership position. May you find blessings from this blunder.”

“Gee, Rep. Collin Peterson, thanks for letting me know this late in life that I'm dumb. I guess having two Master's Degrees, raising some of my own food and being able to figure out that eating poison might not be good for me is just not enough to be a smart person in your eyes. Though I doubt most “smart” people really need a lot of education to know that saturating the land, the waterways and the food we eat with toxic chemicals is probably not a good idea. I would think that you are probably fairly smart yourself. That should mean that you are able to be a critical thinker and figure out that the statistics fed to you by petrochemical companies has something to do with their coffers being full. But I'm probably wrong because I'm dumb. Thanks for setting me right.”

“Maybe you should look into the facts before you call local or organic produce buyers dumb. There are many issues and factors involved as there are in everything and you should educate yourself if you are going to represent the people of this country.” Carbondale, CO

“Mr. Peterson, I suggest you read, “The Omnivore's Dilemma” or spend some time with Joel Paltin of Polyface Farms and educate yourself about the foods you eat.” Kendall Park, NJ

“Well call me an idiot, but I think that it is you who do understand that price is not the only thing that matters. I am willing to pay for quality, especially when it is what I feed my family. To hand local farmers at our farmer's market money for extremely fresh non-chemically tainted produce maybe stupid, but silly me, I find that I can taste the difference. If it also supports local farmers, keeping the local economy and landscape green, and avoids importing poison from China, well I guess that is a price I’ll have to pay. Economic cents does not always equal common sense. Corporate greed, and the politicians they buy, never serves the public. - Eugene, OR

“Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumer Association award for “the dumbest quote of the week!” Clearly Mr. Peterson's experience with food has been fairly limited.” Oakland, CA

“To Collin Peterson, Please use your position as Chairman of the House of Representatives to learn more about what the US Organic program and organic issues are all about. Surely the chairman of the House of Reps Agricultural Committee should know the difference and the issues involved in Organic farming and not resort to calling your fellow citizens “dumb” just because you don't understand those issues. Paying extra to get around toxic chemicals in our foods and poisons that foul our land and water is not “dumb” but actually the opposite. I would like to ask that you try to be an informed chairman and advocate for all citizens not just a self-selected segment of the population.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Just in case you think people that spend more money for local or organic food are dumb, I suggest that you take the time to educate and inform yourself about the state of our 'normal' food. This food is fine if you are dumb enough to think that irradiation, rBGH, GMO fake food, antibiotics, mad cow disease, etc. have nothing to do with your health. I think you deserve an award for the dumbest quote of the week.”

“As a Republican, I can't tell you how vindicating it is to show my Democratic colleagues that their leadership is not immune to greed and ignorance. Representative Peterson, you are either owned heart and soul by the beef industry or you truly are as ignorant as you sound. Either way, thank you. Next time I'm getting pummeled with a barrage of disdain for my political affiliation, I need only mention your name.” Westlake Village, CA

“I'm a Democrat and I try to be very conscious of those things that I eat. Ensuring that I eat healthy means eating more Organic foods. I would tend to say that your comment was based on the fact that the government doesn't have the necessary regulations governing the use of “Organic” , on food items which is, “dumb”. It would be too much like right, to ensure that something that is better for you, be less expensive than fast foods and other chemically induced foods. It shouldn't be that one and that's what’s dumb.”

“Forgive them for they know not what they say” . Organic fruits and vegetables have been proven to contain much higher levels of anti-oxidants than conventionally grown and no pesticide/herbicide residue. Fight cancer and reduce birth defects, eat organic.” Spring Hill, FL

“Dear Collin Peterson: I have to tell you that I find offense in the comment that you made regarding people who purchase organic food. There is substantial evidence that non-organic produce and foods contain levels of pesticides. According to you, I am dumb for trying to eliminate these pesticides from my family's diet. Well, I guess that is my choice. But if local and small organic farmers don't need the support of the government, then why do large farmers? I would like for you to ask people in your constituency if they would prefer that all their food be produced without pesticides, and I would imagine they would respond that they would. I guess that would make them dumb, too.”

“Representative Peterson: If you took but a few minutes to actually learn a bit about the effect of hormone and anti-biotic laden milk on our children, my children, perhaps you would show a bit more respect for people like me, a life-long, active Democrat, son of two educators, both union members, who suck it up on all too many luxuries so we can pay the extra cost for whatever organic food we can manage to buy for my kids. Perhaps if you got down off your high horse for little while, stepped back and took a look at your lifestyle - the never ending fundraisers and constant stroking of high rollers you and your colleagues need to stay in office, perhaps you'd notice that your priorities and this country's priorities are more than a bit messed up. Best regards”

“Congressman, Your recent comments about locally grown and organic food are completely out of line with the realities of our climate crisis. Do you really feel Americans should pay 3-4 times more for food that is safer for their families and for our environment, while you and the federal government continues to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money supporting industrial farms along with pesticide and chemical companies? I hope you find in hindsight that your comments were in fact the only thing “dumb” and retract your comments. Thank you for listening to a concerned citizen.”

“Mr. Peterson: In response to your ignorant views on organic and local farm products, let me say this: If people are dumb enough to spray pesticides on a vegetable in an effort to kill bugs and other living creatures and then eat that vegetable then (not hallelujah, but) God help them. If people are dumb enough to give growth hormones to cattle and juice 'em up with antibiotics then eat that cattle, then God help them. If people want to inject their swine with Ractopamine a couple of months before slaughter in an effort to get more lean meat, and read about how it radically changes the personality of the swine....and then eat that swine, I say God help them. To be so dumb as to not see a correlation between the obesity epidemic, diabetes running rampant, super strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, the billions of dollars spent on digestion aides, etc and the way we process our food, inject our beef and pollute the plants/air and water with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, I say, “OPEN your own DUMB EYES!” As a fellow Democrat I am offended by a man of your age with this degree of ignorance when it comes to the food that we put in our bodies. Try opening your mind a tad.” Palm Springs, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If you want to be good at your job, it would be in your best interest - as the House Agriculture Committee Chair - to educate yourself on the benefits of consuming foods that are not just “labeled” organic, but that have been produced with the highest of organic standards. People who eat organic foods are the furthest thing from “dumb” (as you stated). We are quite the opposite in fact. More than the average shopper, we are self-educated and aware enough to know how our food is produced and the wide ranging effects of that production. We know that factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industries combined (just ask the EPA). As factory farm animals are needlessly fed antibiotics and so are a major contributor toward creating antibiotic resistant super bugs, we buy organic to avoid supporting these practices. Finally, organic farms treat their animals as they should be treated - with respect and compassion. Furthermore, as organic produce is grown without pesticides and herbicides, it does not pollute the ground it is grown in and consumers do not have to swallow these toxins. We also believe in supporting small farmers in the United States. Unlike many unaware shoppers, we do this not because we are trying to get by in life as cheaply as we can - no matter the environmental or social consequences. We do it because it is ethical and good for our health, the health of our neighbors, and the environment. I suggest you lead by example and do the same.”

“I recommend you and your team evaluate the research comparing the nutrient value of commercial raised food and organic raised food. As a physician of 26 years, people are not as healthy today and are not recovering as fast and in my opinion it is due to the poor food they are eating. Please think of the young children and their future. A consumer today would have to eat 50 helpings of spinach to get the same amount of iron he or she would have received from one bunch in 1900.”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson I could be wise to read and search about a subject before speaking about it. It is beyond my understanding way a Democrat Chair like you could say a that organic food is like regular food, UNBELIVABLE!, no wander democrats are going dawn and dawn and dawn. You just don’t listen, don’t search, don’t look for the general good of the country. Its clear to me that after becoming the majority your head grow faster and bigger than ever and now your ears just don’t function. The system is poisoned and corrupted to the hilt and the country faces incredible challenges. Please do some research about “real” healthy nutrition and all the cancer induced ingredients that they are putting in our food. Colorants, preservatives, chemicals and toxics like arsenic, lead and other pesticides and fungicides are there, ITS A FACT, ITS IN THE LAB REPORTS, you just have to have interest and the will to request them and read them!, Thanks.”

“Hello Mr. Peterson: Sounds like you may also believe in the FDA. By avoiding FDA, eating organic foods, taking supplements (not medicines), and exercising, I cleared up “aggressive” prostate cancer without any of the medical side effects including incontinence, impotence, and most probably death. My mother, father, and older sister all had cancer and went the conventional medical route. They all died as a direct result. The medical reaction to my cure is a mystery. My reaction is just plain natural food without the atrocious additives provided to non-organic foods. Wake up, and you may live longer.” Denville, NJ

“I can't believe a person in your position can NOT have a clue what organic means, and furthermore, means to those “dumb” people who elected you. Time to find yourself another job, Bub, it's obvious you are way in over your head.”

“Dear Collin Peterson: As the Chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, I'm embarrassed for you. To be in your position and make such an ignorant statement is unfathomable to me. Rather than making a statement such as, “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 all about.” It seems to me that part of your job description would be to educate yourself on the subject matter, so that you might understand “what it's all about.” We are not a bunch of tree-hugging dummies. Maybe you'll rethink who you're calling dumb if you understand some of the facts. Or maybe you could look in the mirror while you're criticizing others. PS: And congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You really earned it!!”

“Hello Sir, I just wanted to respond to a comment that you made regarding local and organic produce consumers. First, if the government is going to give subsidiaries to farmers, these are the exact farmer that should get them, because they contribute far less to global warming than “conventional” farmers. And consumers of these products are not “dumb” for being willing to spend more on them, but they are ethically concerned about the state of the world.”

“I find it difficult to believe such a statement could even be made in 2007. Buying local and organic supports not only my health and the health of my family, it also supports local sustainable farming which allows me to feel confident that the food I am eating is grown ethically and is healthy! I would appreciate a retraction of your statement and an apology to all local farmers wishing to make a living from farming and contributing to the health of their fellow community members ~ something I, and many others in my local community, care deeply about!” Gt. Barrington, MA
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