The man pictured here is well known to a great many of my friends, and I am reluctant to name him, as he doesn't seem to seek the limelight. I think he'd rather you look at the things he grows than at him, and I understand that.
But because of his 30-year dedication to teaching hundreds and hundreds of people how to farm sustainably up on the UCSC farm, I immediately thought of Orin Martin when I received the following series of communications from one Fred Freid in Missouri. I would like to be respectful of Mr. Freid, but my golly, I'm having to bite my tongue right now.
I am just going to post Fred's comments to a separate page, and beg Orin and anyone involved in sustainable farming—people who give their very lives to DO THE RIGHT THING—to address Fred's beliefs.
I feel so deeply that the farmers I know are the true heroes on this planet, because they do REAL work—backbreaking work, sweating work, dawn-to-dark (not dusk) work—and nobody I know is gettin' rich from it.
Some make a comfortable living, but they aren't like my former stepfather, who is a millionaire many times over, and whom I believe is still receiving a buttload of money from his subsidized farmland in Georgia. Where he is paid NOT to grow tobacco or peanuts or whatever the hell they pay people not to grow something. (Yankee carpetbagger! Just kidding—he is a nice enough man, and was always kind to me in the brief years he lived in our house. But let's face it: he's a rich, white, work-the-system Republican. I like him anyway, and don't have the issues that a lot of my other female relatives do with him.)
To synopsize a few of Fred's comments (and he does ramble):
"For a final word: I currently am at school at Missouri State University. Our professors in the subjects of Botany and Agriculture have both stated that there is no scientific basis for Organic foods to be healthier than Conventionally grown foods. I took a course on Botany, and will say now that nutrient density is not based on the amount of pesticide sprayed. The words straight from my professors mouth: "The Organic craze is nothing but un-researched, hippy-spread bull****." Believe organic is better for you all you want. And believe too that mom-and-pop farmers do not use pesticide. I live in such a place that I know many farmers, and many people studying agriculture. Ask any Professor of Botany, Biology, or Agriculture the truth about the organics craze."
"Oh, by the way, organic is wasteful. Quit trying to move us backwards to the past. Oraganic is a scam...why do people like you push this stuff?!!"
"My 'shallow' knowledge of organics:
My understanding is organic means natural fertilizer so that means manure? So bacteria? I understand the intent and I have tried a lot of organics with no preconceived notion. I like simple things so I am skeptical when someone says "they are fresh..they are better for you...they are more concentrated[in terms of nutrients ]." I need evidence from a doctor or a medical journal or some published report. Do you have something like this that is not just marketing. If you know something feel free to copy it to the email or paste it. I know you hate John Stossel but his report on organics made it sound like organics was more likely to contain bacteria. Heck, I know the field workers don't leave the field to use the bathroom and I know that bakers go to work with colds and butchers repack meat sometimes etc. I just have it in my mind in this case that there is more bacteria on organic food now after thinking about the manure thing. By the way, I know about the scandal with his report on organics but that was explained and sounded reasonable regarding his report."
(Readers will please note that I do not hate John Stossel or his mustache. I am barely aware of him, as I don't watch mainstream television news. Um, I had to edit that phrase four times. I do watch mainstream television, even Inside the NFL, but I do not let corporate media tell me how to think. Here in Santa Cruz, the single most popular bumpersticker is "Kill Your Television." Yep, it's right up there with "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" and "Tourists Go Home But Leave Your Daughters." Just kidding about that last one: I saw that in San Diego in 1979.)
I have published all of Mr. Freid's remarks here.
Please leave information that might enlighten him in the comments section on either this page or the page I've linked.
I don't know why I feel so depressed about it, but depressed I am. I think I'll get out of the house for a while.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
I pitied him his blindness,
Yet can I boast I see?
Perhaps there walks close by
A spirit who pities me.
Thanks for visiting.