American Agri-Women (AAW) wants to bridge the great "food divide" in the debate over food production, in particular a documentary entitled “Food, Inc.” In fact, AAW addresses many of the inaccurate statements made in the film in a 45-page report entitled “Agriculture Responses to Food, Inc.” See it at americanagriwomen.org/files/
The film says its aim is to change the way America eats and the way American food is produced, but AAW says it doesn’t portray agriculture accurately and wants to clear up misconceptions from the movie and continue the dialogue about America's food.
"Movies like Food, Inc. demonstrate how important it is that farmers share with consumers how food is produced. And as producers, we are interested in providing that information,” says Chris Wilson, AAW president and a Manhattan, KS, farmer. “Women in agriculture have a really unique perspective because we are both producers and consumers. We help grow the food, and we also prepare it for our families to eat.”
AAW says the film suggests the food supply is dominated by corporate farms, but USDA says 98% of farms in the U.S. are family owned and operated. In addition, Wilson says that without modern agriculture, it would be nearly impossible to produce enough food to support the growing population in the U.S. and other countries.
"As farmers, our goal is to provide the safest, best quality products we can for consumers. There is no one right way to achieve that goal. There is a place for a variety of production methods. Some use more technology than others. Without the technologies that modern ag uses to produce food, we would have a lot less of it, and it would be tremendously more expensive,” she says.
For instance, she points out that without crop protection technology, 40% of food production would be lost to weeds, insects and disease. “Without fertilizers, we would have 33% less food, because fertilizers provide the nutrients to help plants grow and produce food," she adds.
“Just as advances in medical technology save lives, advances in agriculture technology provide us with more abundant foods. These advances in technology also increase the sustainability of our food production system and natural resources," Wilson says.
Read more about the AAW at www.americanagriwomen.org/.
-- American Agri-Women