27 January 2010

Deja Vu

Monday afternoon I was at home working on some things when I received a text message from one of guys that host the morning show where I do my ag programming. It said "heads up, Oprah is doing a food show on Wednesday". Hrrmm.. Really? Oprah talking about food? Somehow that doesn't surprise.

Every time Oprah opens her mouth about agriculture she forgets my golden rule... "Never talk bad about agriculture with your mouth full". If I remember correctly - in 1996 Oprah had some not so nice things to say about the beef industry and we saw beef prices dip to all-time lows. I turned her off then. Her track record with the ag industry hasn't exactly been positive. When Proposition 2 reared its ugly head in California - Oprah let both sides talk about the issue but gave Wayne Pacelle pretty much a platform to spew his anti-animal ag venom to the world. Now this? Michael Pollan - Mr. Anti-Production Agriculture himself. I saw Food, Inc. I laughed out loud in that movie. I read his book. I rolled my eyes so much I thought they were going to become lodged in the back of my eye sockets. (Sidebar: I was doing some Christmas shopping at a local book store and I saw Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma Children's version. Way to go dude... Glad to see you are reaching out to the youth of America).

Hey Oprah.. How about you come visit a real farm? Talk to real producers. Tell their story. You obviously don't get it... Food production is about a choice. That choice is providing people with the safest, most abundant food supply in the world. Personally I'd much rather my food come from a farmer who understands the big picture. That big picture? Feeding, fueling and clothing a world that has a population which is growing by leaps and bounds.

I'll be honest.. I support all forms of agriculture. I love the choice that consumers have. They can buy local, organic, local organic, free range, hormone free, corn fed, grass fed... whatever they want really. It's a choice. It isn't healthier - it isn't safer. Just a choice. But preaching that grass-fed beef is healthier or free range chicken is healthier is a false claim. It isn't healthier... It's just an option. Be thankful you have that option.

Where is the coverage from the mass media about the campaign from the World Soy Foundation and other agriculture organizations to send relief to Haiti in the form of soy-protein enriched food? How about the monetary donations from companies like Monsanto, CHS, Inc , etc. Those are great stories. Yet you hear nothing about those stories.

I am curious why the mainstream media continues to beat down the ag industry. When will they learn not to bite the proverbial hand that feeds you?