Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13581

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Comment Number: AGW-13581

Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12:31 AM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: US Food

I am a Marriage and Family Therapist, a yoga teacher and a health advocate who has put together CSA's, children's organic gardens and a health awareness groups and health classes. Ever since I can remember, I've had an interest in food and its impact on health. Having had asthma and allergies from birth, I was quickly and painfully aware of those foods that were good for me and cleared my thinking and those foods that harmed me, made me tired and made me gasp for air. Consequently, through research, I learned to choose fresh, organic, unprocessed and whole foods, much like those my grandmother served me when I was a child. 

So I choose healthy foods as a matter of course, but that is becoming far more difficult than I ever imagined. Trusting my body always to tell me what is right, I choose raw dairy, but the government in my state of ND won't permit its sale! I choose chemical-free, grass-fed beef, chicken, lamb and buffalo, but those producers are far from me and the local producers say they get more  money from grain-fed animals. I choose food without bio-engineering, but there are no labels to help me know the truth in the product! I choose to eat vegetables that are grown locally and organically, but I learn that organics are expensive, and farmers around here prefer to grow corn and wheat that are subsidized. But I don't want pasturized-till-the-enzymes-are-dead diary products. I don't want grain-fed animal products with less Omega 3. I don't want bio-engineered soy beans and corn, because the prolonged results of the gene-altered foods have not been tested. And I don't want chemicalized and sprayed-12 times-before-it-hits-my-table-vegetables; they are tasteless, lifeless and limp. I don't want these foods, because over the long run, they exhaust me, tamper with my imune system and make me sick. 

But what can I do? These foods are all around me, often being supported by government mandates. Big companies seem to have grand protections in this country, even though it is said that America is anti-monopoly. I think it is abominable that any individual or company even consider having a patent on a seed. What audacity, what power! Whatever kind of thinking permits this in the first place? The thinking seems to be along the lines of Big Ag forever! The small farmer gets less and less; seed and fuel costs more and organic rules and regs are hard to get through. If producers do get a good vegetable crop, the state then forbids them to sell locally in small mom and pop stores. Why? How can they survive?

Please do something to work out the inquities between the larger, usually corporate-owned farms and the smaller family owned farm before it is too late and the small farms disappear forever. Help free up raw dairy and organics. Support their advertising and outreach. Boost the sustainable organic and bio-dynamic CSA's and farmers' markets.  Tell the American public what IS good for them nutritionally and let them make a conscious choice. Get corn products and MSG and dyes out of our food. Help us to live quality lives again. 

Thank you for your time, 
Cheryl Planert
Dakota Lights Center for Human Development

One generous thought is more powerful
 than a thousand thoughts of failure.
Yogi Bhajan

Updated April 7, 2016

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