I chose the name of this blog over a year ago because I see so many connections between the Midwest and the Hawaiian Islands. They are obviously very different places, but I think that’s what makes the intersections that much more striking and interesting. The importance of family and the health of the land are probably the most obvious. Especially on Maui, the pace is slow and it has the small town feel that I came to love when we lived in Iowa.
Since much of our family still farms in the Midwest, we often talk about their views on biotechnology. It was great to run across another farmer speaking out and saying much the same thing as our family.
Mary Mertz lives in Kansas and farms there with her family. She recently wrote a note to Moms Across America letting them know she was upset about how they portray conventional farmers. Here’s what she had to say:
Just sent this to Moms Across America. Their upcoming marches against Monsanto are intense and weigh heavily upon me!
Hello from Kansas. I have read your posts and they truly have pierced my heart. I am a mother of two grown children raised on a farm that has chosen to use biotech seeds for almost twenty years now. We did this because of the benefits to the land and to all of us. We use less chemicals and till/plow the ground less frequently. I don’t know where you are getting your information, but it is not from those of us that have grown grain for four generations and know how much GMOs have helped to improve soil conditions and safety /nutrition issues. GMOs do not cause detrimental health problems. Twenty years and a trillion meals served and not one substantiated incident of illness…not even a tummy ache, has been associated with genetically engineered crops. I know you want to blame something for the health problems you might be encountering. But blaming a process of crop production that has nothing to do with the end product of the fruit or vegetable produced is misguided. If GMOs were a health risk – then everyone I know in my farming community would be sick in some way. We live next to…work in…walk through GMO crops every year. We are not sick. I actually was healthy enough to donate a kidney to my urban niece when none of our urban friends or relatives could. I live on a farm in Kansas. I love being part of agriculture. You can either believe what I say or continue to trust those that do not farm but have an agenda. Just wanted you to know that so many farm moms across America are saddened by your lack of trust in what we do.
I think her message is one that resounds across the heartland with farmers. If you have any questions for Mary, feel free to post them below. She’s eager to talk about modern day agriculture!