The Rude Food Police

Jenny got an interesting phone call today.  A gentleman calls up without introducing himself (of course we have caller I.D.) asking if we buy any seed from Monsanto (of course not, does this guy know anything about us?).  He continues to challenge Jenny saying that anyone can easily lie.  Jenny invites him to come out during the next Market Day to see the farm and to ask any questions that he has during our free farm tour.  He continues to threaten Jenny saying that he intends to buy some produce and to have it tested for GMOs, which if it tests positive he would be happy to put us out of business.  Well thanks a lot!  Everyone who knows us appreciates the fact that we operate with great transparency, besides our website, blog, facebook, workshops, volunteers, monthly farm tours, radio, newspaper and book interviews not to mention the the time we spend building relationships with our members and volunteer time working to develop sustainable agriculture across the state, its good to know that someone is out their working so diligently to ruin small family farms.

Hey, we encourage folks to ask questions and to get to know their farmer and to visit the farm, but this is the wrong attitude to have.  It's not enough to worry about the government regulations out to get small farmers, but now we have aggressive and rude public inspectors  looking to snuff us out.  So why is our family working so hard to provide righteous food to our community?  Good question.

Rather than have an aggressive attitude that the farmer is the bad guy out to deceive people, maybe you should take the time to get to know your farmer before you make that threatening phone call and accusations.  However, to make it easier for you, here is a link to a lab that tests for GMOs... http://www.genetic-id.com/
Of course you need to realize that GMO crops on the market include corn, soy, cotton, canola, papaya, zucchini, squash, alfalfa, rice, sugar beet and tobacco.  Out of these, we only grow zucchini and squash, but of course the varieties we grow are NOT GMO.  Just hope to save you some money testing our vegetables as the test runs about $500 each and our zucchini and squash will not be available for another month.

I'm glad that our members are generally exceptionally good people looking for REAL food and that we have the right to refuse to do business with such individuals as this over aggressive food policeman.  Maybe he was bored and just trying to be funny, but it is not appreciated.  One word of advise, as a local food inspector you should invest in a brixometer rather than waste money sending vegetables to a lab for GMO testing, but feel free to do both if you see local farmers as untrustworthy individuals and you got the money to waste, just please don't threaten our family farm in the future, we would prefer to do business with people who trust us and believe in the work we are doing.  Life is too short to have to deal with such rude people.


Christin Seger said...

Boooooo! Booooooooooooo! What is the matter with people? You're the guy giving everyone the transparency that will save us from the industrial food system. Farm on! Brother.

Christian Seger said...

Typo'd my name there....

Jay Carper said...

"We're from the government. We're here to help you, and you'd better like it...or else..."

Claire Wolf for president!

Hans H. said...

.... I'm sorry you and Jenn had to deal with that.

What kind of person makes such an obnoxious baseless accusation without doing their homework first?

I'm not sure giving attention to this type of thing is a good idea ....

mandi said...

well...that's just crazy talk. i really can't believe that.

Hans H. said...

.... If you will, I have a bit more to say.

This incident reminded me of a quote by philosopher Ken Wilber who said "you know who the pioneers are, they are the ones with the arrows in their backs".

I met Brad in 2004 before he and Jenn purchased their property in Brenham. He impressed me as an extraordinary man of the earth, and human being, an impression that has only grown and deepened the more I have gotten to know Brad and Jenn.

What stands out for me is not only Brad and Jenn's vision, leadership and commitment but their integrity. It radiates from everything they do and are about. I believe this has much to do with the success of their farm and the strength of their community.

Brother, if you are following, I appreciate your passion and commitment to impeccable standards but I hope this incident has taught you a few things. For one, the importance of being thoughtful before impugning someone's integrity - particularly someone who takes their integrity as seriously as I believe Brad and Jenn do. Second, Brad and Jenn are the heart of a very strong growing community who share their commitment and sense of integrity.

It's tough being out in front, sticking your neck out. It's
a vulnerable positon to be especially if you are as publically visible and open to exchange as Brad and Jenn are.

As a community that is taking the lead we share, as best we can, the burdens and responsibilities that come with it. You impugn Brad and Jenn, you impugn a very large community of folks who share their vision, passion and dedication to exceptional standards. We are very peaceable folk but if the wagons need to circle, so be it. But please, there are truly much better ways to address a concern.

If you have something legitmate to discuss, let's address it in an open, intelligent and constructive manner. Brad has created plenty of opportunity for that discussion to occur.

If we have made a mistake or are wrong, I do believe this community of folks is up to an honest discussion and correction if called for.

The common denominator is that we are human, we love the earth, we love good food, farming, we care about the common good and we want to move things in a positive and healthy direction. I believe there is more than enough collective intellectual power, honesty and common ground in this community to have a truly enlightening conversation on anything related to the topic at hand - high quality locally grown food. As Brad puts it "righteous food".

Relax your stance, put the arrows away, good discussion is far more interesting ....
Hans Hansen

Christine Naspinski said...

Brad, I am so sorry that Jenny had to deal with such an awful phone call. There are some very angry people out there; it is a shame this man chose to take out his on two generous, honest farmers like you and Jenny.

You know you have my support and that of hundreds of people around the state of Texas. Keep doing what you are doing and, if you need us, we will be there for you!

Penny said...

I wonder if the caller was an agent for Monsanto rather than a concerned potential customer. I've read that farmers have been threatened with lawsuits when testing has found their crops to be contaminated by neighboring farmer's GMO pollen.