STILL TEACHING NON-FARMERS ABOUT FOOD AND FARMING

Lindsay Mitchell

Mar, 15, 2018  |  Today's News

Lest you think we’ve slowed down in our efforts to help non-farmers understand food and farming, we haven’t.  We are still just as motivated to spread factual information about food and farming to the folks that want to know. 

 

IL Corn and the rest of Illinois agriculture understand that consumers and voters want to trust you, but we just have to give them the information and the reason to.

 

In that vein, we’d like to point out a recent blog post by an Illinois farmer, highlighting for consumers the similarities and differences between organic and conventionally grown foods. 

 

Organic versus conventional – it’s a highly debated topic. As a farmer who has employed both methods, perhaps I can offer a valuable point of view to help you make the best choice for you and your family. 

What’s the same? 

  • Pesticides – There are pesticides approved for use in both types of farming. Farmers use these to protect their crops from bugs and disease.
  • Soil health – Farmers use a variety of tools and practices to maintain soil and water health on farms of every shape and size.
  • Sustainability – All farmers think about sustainability. The tools farmers can use vary slightly between conventional and organic, but the desired result is the same.
  • Farmers care – We all care about growing safe food for our families and preserving our land for years to come.
  • Safety – Whether or not you’re reaching for an “organic” label at the store, the food you’re eating is safe. Furthermore, research shows very little difference between the nutritional value of organic and conventionally grown foods.

What’s different? 

  • Pesticides – While there are approved pesticides for use in both types of farming, pesticides used on organic farms must be naturally derived whereas conventional farms can use synthetic pesticides.
  • GMOs – Genetically modified crops are not allowed in organic farming. GMOs can be grown in our conventional fields and help us avoid using pesticides among other benefits.
  • Cost – But you already knew that. Generally speaking, certified organic food costs more.
  • So, yes, there are some differences between conventional and organic farming, but there isn’t necessarily a “right” and a “wrong” way to farm. It all comes down to what is best for each individual farmer and their land. In my case, I’m comfortable growing both and I feed both to my family. I’m making what I believe are the best choices and I encourage you to do the same..