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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Your comment to the effect that consumers of organic and locally grown food are dumb has to be one of the dumbest statements ever made. I'm constantly amazed at the blind ignorance running around the Federal Government these days. Maybe you should educate yourself on the vast amounts of science that support the use of organic and locally grown foods and stop listening solely to your huge corporate sponsors. A little education might be just the ticket to prevent such dumb statements from issuing from your lips in the future.

“Your comment regarding organic and locally grown food was stupid and ignorant. You should become more aware of today's realities than you seem to be. The 2008 election is just around the corner, and it looks as if the Dems are going to win. Please make yourself more cognizant on this subject.” Ancaster, ON

“You say you cannot understand why people would pay so much for something labeled organic or local. Would the converse be true? Would you “understand” those people who want to pay less and eat food that is liberally laced with added preservatives, hormones, unnecessary and unwanted chemicals, and poisons? That is an interesting position to take as House Ag Committee Chair. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.”

“You are what you eat. If you want to buy cheap food grown using fossil fuels, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, far be it from me to stop you. If you think using our dwindling reserves of petroleum to ship food clear across the country so folks in your state can have avocados in December is a good use of fuel, you have the right to your opinion. I beg to disagree. I am worth more than fast food and twinkies and pesticide-laden produce. And my values won't allow me to sink to eating cows that have been standing knee-deep in their own manure in a feedlot being given hormones and antibiotics. I am definitely worth way, way more than that. But if you're not, if you'd rather eat cheap food than nutritious food, if you'd rather not see that the people who grow the food that feeds you every day make a decent wage, then stick with the cheap stuff. My friends and I are what we eat, and our worth is reflected in the price we're willing to pay for wholesome food. In fact, many of us would rather pay more for decent food than own a car or a big-screen TV. We're not rich, and we're not elite. We just have our priorities in the right place.” Oakland, CA

“Do you consider it dumb to be limiting your exposure to cancer causing chemicals and avoiding products that are known to cause birth defects? I think not!! Maybe you need to do a bit more research and get educated before you go around claiming that people who choose to eat natural, God given food are dumb!” Oxnard, CA

Dear Collin Peterson, Please read the following article which will shed light upon your uninformed statement regarding organic food. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2753446.ece Thank you.” San Antonio, TX

“How can you condone “Junk Food” in such a subtle way. My brother died from an “Healthy” fast food diet.” Grand Rapids, MI

“I find your comment quite offensive! I bet I can guess that your campaigns are funded by conventional, big business, agriculture. Please educate yourself and realize just who it is that is truly dumb!!”

“Honorable Chairman Representative Peterson, “Hallelujah” is perhaps apropos. One might answer such dismissal as does Barbara Kingsolver in her Foreword to The Essential Agrarian Reader: ??I would have hesitated to suggest that one’s relationship to the land, to consumption and food, is a religious matter. But it’s true; the decision to attend to the health of one’s habitat and food chain is a spiritual choice. It’s also a political choice, a scientific one, a personal and a convivial one. It’s not a choice between living in the country or the town; it is about understanding that every one of us, at the level of our cells and respiration, lives in the country and is thus obliged to be mindful of the distance between ourselves and our sustenance.? I suppose we could look at the Farm Bill as a feed ration operation. You wouldn't pay more to feed your animals, either.” Seattle, WA

“You obviously don't understand the benefit. I understand people didn't do that in the past, but we know better now. Wake up.” Tustin, CA

“What is actually dumb is giving billions of taxpayer dollars to corporate agribusiness. Your statement that organic consumers are dumb is sad and very telling. One day we the people will eliminate the incestuous relationship between corporate lobbyists and elected officials. We will not forget you.” Rapid City, SD

“What kind of a democrat calls buying locally - “dumb” ?! The energy alone that is saved by not having to transport goods cross country is a huge item. I won't even get into health issues. You might try to educate yourself on these issues before making such ignorant statements.” Lopez Island, WA

“I was dumb enough to be invited to present my work on sustainability at a UN sponsored conference last year. Please visit my website and learn what all the dumb people say about “local” . sunmoney.org And then please explain why you continue to force small and local producers out of business by subsidizing the worst strategies. I am now proud to say that I'm a FORMER Minnesotan. By the way, do you have any plans for 2009?”

“We the people pay more for organic foods because you the politicians are corrupt and allow big business to poison our foods with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Don't call us dumb. I have serious health issues with allergies to these chemicals. If you did your job, I would not have to worry so much about the poisons in our food.”

“If you can subsidize POOR food, then why not help subsidize GOOD food: there are numerous studies showing superior nutrient content in local and organically grown foods. Further, helping establish a more local food chain will help offset the affects of decreasing energy supplies and of increasing global greenhouse gases. Nothing “stupid” here.” Everett, WA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I beg to differ with you over the idiocy of people who seek out and are willing to pay more for local and organic foods. In case you have not been informed the US food system is full of dangerous chemicals as well as genetically modified foods that have never been tested in any scientific way (i.e. repeated controlled tests on human beings and other warm blooded animals). Obviously you are “dumb” enough to trust the FDA, USDA when they say the US food system is the safest in the world (as recall #20 for the autumn is declared this morning) and you seem to be dumb enough to trust the food corporations. I am not dumb enough to trust a government who is for the corporation and not the people and as we all know the corporation says Greed is Good and puts share holders well ahead of the health and safety of its' consumers.” Eaton, OH

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Re: your comment “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.” As head of the House Agricultural Committee you are supposed to understand the various reasons why organic production of food may cost more. You should also understand the many circumstances where manufacturers and grocery stores are lax in standards by which they label products as lax or natural. You should also understand how consumers are trying to learn about healthy, organic products amidst much variation in terminology. There are times when a person pays more than s/he should for a product that is not local or organic by standards agreed upon by major organics organizations. But, consumers are not dumb. They are not acting in dumb ways. They - we - are trying to learn and trying to make good health decisions for our families. For you to say that anything that makes money for a producer deserves a 'hallelujah' insults consumers, simplifies a situation, absolves producers of their responsibilities and implies to me that you may be over-reaching your abilities by being chair of the House Agricultural Committee.” London, ON

“Mr. Peterson.. I don't want to insult you. I wish you hadn't belittled me. I'm a Democrat (well, actually, right now a Green, until the next primary) and, frankly, your derogatory, misinformed and slanted comment sounds like something that I hear coming from the mouth of a Republican. We're all entitled to our opinions, but before you call people dumb who care enough about their health to be mindful of what they put into their bodies, it would be a good idea for yourself to become better educated on the subject. The Organic Consumers Association website would be a good place to start. Mercola.com another good source.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If you like to eat pesticide laden food, that's fine with me. But it's not nice to call people stupid who care about their health. I understand you politicians get your funding from chemical companies and other corporations, but you also get funding from us simple taxpayers, and there's no reason to knock those of us who don't buy into the industrial-government mantra of “eat your poison, it's good for you.” I don't trust anything you or any other government mouthpiece says anymore and many other people are feeling the same way these days. So really, it's irrelevant to me what you say. Oh, I always vote Democrat, but I don't think you're really any better than Republicans anymore. You've all been bought.,” Denison, TX

“Rep. Peterson, I read our comments about people paying higher prices for food that is not contaminated with chemicals that cause sickness. How outrageous it is, that our food supply has been poisoned for agri-biz's profits! Respectfully, Norman L. Biegner normanbiegner@hotmail.com”

“Collin Peterson we are not dumb! For generations farms have been organic all across this great country. I buy from local farmers because its good for me and the community. It wasn't until chemical companies came into being that we started poisoning our land, rivers and air and with that we are poisoning ourselves. It must stop.” Kent, OH

“No pesticides is the answer we pay more you moron.”

"Dear Mr. Peterson, I hope you get to read this! I'm from Germany and know the matter very well. Seems like Monsanto is paying you well. I just want you to think about the value of food. It seems that CHEAP is something you consider over QUALITY. Think about that before saying something totally wrong, that makes me wonder who is the dump consumer in the end!” Wismar, AL

“Mr. Peterson, Subsidizing chemicalized factory farms for the production of genetically modified foods that cause severe allergies and other health problems is a contra-survival action. It puts Americans' health at risk. It creates a large carbon footprint. It fills our waterways with chemicals that turns males into females and turns females sterile. It leads to a lessening of our ability to survive well and prosper. It is against the American way. Supporting quality food made locally is pro-survival. It helps people survive better and flourish. It is the American way- at least how our founding fathers saw it. Please help move agriculture along into a pro-survival position.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Thanks for labeling me “dumb” for buying organic and local foods. Seems to me that you have a little remedial reading to do this harvest season. You might try Barbara Kingsolver's “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” for one. I hope that this quote was an aberration and that you actually do understand the importance of local and organic agriculture to the future of our farming communities and the planet as a whole.” Somerville, MA

“Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, for winning the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Maybe you don't care what you put into your body, but in a country with a serious obesity problem and health care costs skyrocketing because people are not taking care of their bodies, you should care. The state of our society's health affects everyone who ever needs medical care. Buying locally helps to reduce the impact on our environment and supports your community. It's not rocket science, Mr. Peterson.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I find it disturbing that a man in your position can make such irrational statements. Choosing organics is not dumb! it is just the opposite. Removing pesticides, food additives, and frankenfoods from our diet has keep us healthy, active, doctor free, drug free and mentally acute senior citizens. Perhaps you should give it a try.” Shokan, NY

“If you don't know why so many people are buying organic and local, then you need to educate yourself. There are VERY good reasons behind it and if you knew more, you might buy it too. I'm very curious how a person with your ignorance and a huge lack of knowledge got to be Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. This just blows my mind! ?The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about? ?The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.?”

“I would like to know why you think it is dumb to support local businesses rather than large food processors.” Kingston, NY

“Organic consumers are dumb? Really? Are you sure? Do you even read books? Newspapers? There are so many reasons why organic is better that I can begin to list them. And you think it's dumb? I don't know what state elected you, but it's not a place that I would want to live. And let me just guess who put you on the agricultural committee...Bush?”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I too used to be like you. Before you make a statement out of ignorance, do the research. I imagine you are an educated man. Please be open because the future of America is in the hands of the government all too often. We need more informed people in a position such as yours to help. To get started just check out GMO foods. My daughter did a report at her high school about this very subject. It was very eye opening. You of all people should realize we should be informed when we make decisions affecting our families health. I have a great idea, get your wife to research. They are pretty good at it. Men aren't usually as interested. Even if you never see this note, hopefully someone will and I pray it will change their lives. Thank you for your time. Odessa, FL

“With all due respect you are an idiot. Organic foods cost more because they are healthy and not laden with chemicals, preservatives herbicides and pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Furthermore organic producers are not federally subsidized like factory farms. As a legislator you should be informed.” Clifton Texas

“dumb enough to pay that much” ? You can't be serious. It's just not profitable for the big corporations who live off of giving the public e-coli and hormone and antibiotic poisoning. And for that the fat cats deserves subsidies so they can get fatter, at the expense of our health. Bet you don't eat what the average American has to eat, being in a better tax bracket and voting yourselves raises. Then there is always the poison you elected officials approve from CHINA! Dumb?? Yes someone is, but it's not the organic consumers. A fed up American”

“Regarding your above quote. You seem to be the dumb one, you have obviously not read the numerous reports that indicate organically produced food is nutritionally superior.” Galena, IL

“Dear Representative Peterson, I'm just writing you because of your recent statement that it is dumb to pay more for organic or locally grown food. For one thing, organic food is healthier. For another, it is often tastier and, lastly, buying locally helps reduce pollution in that you're not shipping food all over the country on big polluting trucks. I'm sure that you will get many emails about why buying organic is not dumb. In fact, for the health of consumers and the environment, it is actually very smart.” Morgantown, WV
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