Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

2015/01/img_0910.jpg

This past Wednesday was opening day at the Hawaii State Legislature. There was a lot of festivities including an anti-GMO protest. Forget the fact that many of these folks burned quite a bit of GMO fuel, was dressed in GMO clothing, wore hazmat suits made by the “chem cartel” and likely ate some GMOs while there, they wanted it banned and companies evicted. The protesters were there to tell our legislature that this was the most important issue to be addressed in the upcoming session.

This is one event that you’ll never see a farmer at. You won’t hear any loud chants or see huge banners or costumes on farmers. You won’t see the internet bombarded with posters and memes inciting others. He won’t be sitting at a cocktail party with a speaker worth $40k. Why?

They know that a protest and social gatherings means lots of lost time and daylight being burned away from them working in their fields or squaring away the books. The 1.5% of our population doesn’t have time for these things. One day protesting doesn’t pay their bills or their workers. Neither does it get any product to those that are depending on it. It doesn’t matter if this is a big farm or small one, both have a plethora of things to do to keep it running and growing things.

So yes, the protesters are loud and an intimidating bunch of folks whole relish being in your face. Fact is, who is really doing the work to feed and grow things quietly in the background? Who is getting their hands in the dirt daily and sweating in the sun? Who comes home everyday covered in grime with achy backs and muscles? Who sits hours at a desk after a hard day’s work to pay his taxes and make sure workers get paid? Who spends their weekend servicing delivery trucks and tractors to make sure it’s in working order for the following week? Who stays outside from before the sun is out to the early evening hours to maximize the natural light to work under?

The answer is easy. It’s a farmer who does all of those tasks and even more to grow Hawaii. When it comes time to deciding on policy making, who deserves to have the louder voice, that hard worker who actually has his hands in the earth or the numerous loud folks who stand on the earth but don’t actually yield anything from it?

This is the year to really consider the best practice for policies in Hawaii. I sure hope our politicians and the public take the time to decide what is truly best for our future. May this be the year for the farmer!

Why Bad Lawmaking Reigns in Hawaii Politics

Today, Tuesday January 20, there apparently will be an informational briefing for our state lawmakers on the issue of pesticides and children. It’s a good thing that our policy makers will look at this issue, however, the sources that they will be hearing from already have a predetermined agenda.

Why do I say that? If you research the background of the presenters, it is clear what they are trying to do. It’s not about using good science or data, it’s about passing their agendas at taxpayers’ expense. Haven’t we already learned from mistakes made from the ideology based laws made on the neighbor islands?

One of the presenters speaking is the author of the study concluding that living by farms resulted in higher rates autism because of pesticides. It’s interesting because if that truly was the case, why isn’t there skyrocketing cases of it in the Midwest where majority of the farms are located? There are multiple issues in the study also including a small sample size and its inability to pinpoint the actual cause. This “study” is just to eerily similar to the “paper turned study” done by computer scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, trying to purport glyphosate as the cause of autism. It’s just bad science again trying to pass off as legitimate reasons for making laws.

The biggest red flag in this informational briefing is the last presenter who is from the Pesticide Action Network of North America, aka PANNA. They are just an activists’ group who take advantage of the federal loophole to rake in taxpayer dollars with lawsuits. They were behind Gary Hooser and his failed Ordinance 960 that is being reviewed in appellate court.

It’s really bothersome to me that activists are attempting to once again push their agendas. It’s not doing anything to decrease our reliance on mainland shipments or is it making food affordable. It’s not making it better for farmers to farm or grow more local foods. All these activists do is take away tools, technology, and create fear and doubt in those with little to no background in agriculture.

When lawmakers rely on bad science from activists, it takes something away from all of us and they don’t even realize it. There is so much potential for this technology to solve the very issue that the activists base their criticism on, but being blinded by ideology keeps the from allowing it to be realized.

I Refuse to Join the Mom Misinformation Club!

I’m a new mom again and it’s wonderful to carry a new baby again. I’m amazed at how many things have changed with baby care from child to child. From baby wearing to the kinds of bottles available, baby stuff changes often, including some of the literature out there. Several months ago when I got pregnant, my health care provided gave me this book by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists titled, “Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month.”

2015/01/img_0865.jpg

Having two girls earlier, I read it here and there to brush up on the latest info but honestly didn’t take much heed into it. It wasn’t until a month ago that I thought I’d better do some reading since baby was due any time. I thought it would be a good time to see what the latest information would be.

As I read the book, I did come across some good information that was different than what I knew 9 years ago with my first one. I noticed that Lamaze the wasn’t touted as much as the first books I read. Back then, I was led to believe that just breathing would alleviate my labor pain and there was not a need for medicine if you knew how to breathe right. My husband and I took the classes and felt that yes, I could tolerate it. Boy, was I wrong!

I also learned why catheters were used during labor too. During my first child’s labor I had a catheter put in but not with my second one. I had no issues with continence after my first daughter was born, but with my second one, I had major flooding. I learned that catheters helped empty my bladder and that decreased damage to it. Ah, that was good info to have!

I kept reading more and then became shocked to find this information on nutrition in this book. In a book that touts evidence based science, the nutritional section was nothing more than activism bad science by the Environmental Working Group. Here’s what I found in this book that really irked me.

2015/01/img_0866-1.jpg

Why do I not believe that “information” presented? It’s because it’s just not true about our food! I dug deeper on this topic before and already know that it’s false. You can read more on the EWG at this post here by another mom blogger. Regarding the issue on hormones and antibiotics in milk, you can read here for the rBST issue and here for the antibiotic issue. I’m about seeking what is true and what isn’t. I’m not about to be freaked out about food so I investigate those claims that tend to only be claims.

It’s not surprising to me how moms are just bombarded with misinformation. I for one don’t just believe something that’s presented to me but I do know many that easily believe what they’ve read. So many moms don’t even question the information or if they do, they are only led to even more misinformation that confirms their beliefs. As a marketer, I can see why moms are the perfect group for presenting misinformation to as they do much of the food purchases and want only the best for their families.

I just find it a bit disgusting that people take advantage of moms who don’t know how to vet information to make good decisions. I buy what I can afford and never use fear to shop ever. Emotion based shopping would kill my wallet and make me neurotic to have to read labels. With three little ones, I have plenty of worries already and grocery shopping should not have add to my concerns.

I shop with information on my side, not fear and misinformation. My kids are doing great and I can spend the time enjoying their company rather than fretting in a grocery store aisle. Isn’t that what being a mom is all about?

2015/01/img_0804.jpg

Why Do I Love Science?

Yes, if you follow some of my photos lately, I’m getting pretty plump.  Right smack in the middle down to my butt.  Lots of folks are noticing it and starting to wonder.  “Are you dakine?” is what they’ve been asking me.  Since I can’t hide my weight gain much longer, I’m going to have to confess, that yep, I was dakine. For those who aren’t from Hawaii, dakine is the equivalent of the term “whatchamacallit” and is the pronunciation rhymes with “da pine.” It pretty much covers every single possible word you could fit in there when you just can’t find the right word.  My quick and dirty translation can be found via looking at this photo as to what “dakine” means here.

IMG_1189

Thanks to the science of genetics, I was able to avoid a fairly risky surgical procedure to see if my baby has birth defects.  This is something that was not available several years ago and I would have had to undergone a chorionic villi testing procedure to check for defects.  I no longer had to undergo an invasive procedure and easily have a nice vial of blood that detected my baby’s genetics and amplified it for testing.  No pain either except for a poke in the arm. What’s even more wonderful is that the tests I’ve taken has shown the lowest risk for birth defects in my baby.  Whew, what a relief!  Despite being considered a high risk pregnancy because of my age, I was still found to have no defects based on these test results.  That’s even after walking around the GMO papaya fields and handling these supposedly “toxic” fruits, I’m okay as well as my baby.  (Quite unbelievable to many of the activists who have previous wished that I had birth defects because I support biotechnology.  That’s how lovely the environmental anti-GMO zealots are here in Hawaii with their messages of love towards those who speak out against them.)

So yes, I’ll come clean as to why I am in awe of the science of genetics and why I support it across the board.  It really does make people’s lives better and helps us improve how we live our lives.  I have no fear of this technology because I’ve been witness to what it has done for my dad’s farm and others also.  I have studied it and gone through the myths that so many people just believe to know what is true and what isn’t.

I have a hard time understanding why so many have become so fearful of it.  The evidence is there and I support it. I’ve even had my genetics tested to find out my ancestry and it has opened a whole new world to me.  I did the 23andme.com genetics test and found out that I’m much more of a chop suey mix of ethnicities than I was told.  I even found distant relatives in Brazil that I never knew I had but was able to confirm.  I found my relatives in Hiroshima too via the test.  It was mind boggling to find out all of these links and learn more about my family history.  It’s just amazing information that I can share with my kids about their heritage and our family history that I would have never found out otherwise.

Did I say that I love science? The evidence has also pointed to what’s best practice for raising my kids.  I’ve breastfed my two kids exclusively as directed by the pediatrician.  My oldest was nursed for 27 months and my youngest to 40 months!  Yes, I was that mom who lugged my Medela pump to work religiously to give my kids the best nutrition possible.  I vaccinated my kids to give them the best possible chance at life with nary a second thought.  The evidence points to breastfeeding and vaccinations as being good and I applied it in how I raised my kids. It’s no secret that I appreciate all science and the evidence that it provides us for better living.

I’lll be honest too in that I am not one of those moms who feel the need to feed my kids organic, GMO free food either.  I myself won’t consume organic food for the possibility of contamination and the potential for serious illnesses as a result.  It’s also just too stinking expensive to buy here in Hawaii, where a gallon of milk runs $5.69 and organic milk runs $3 more!  I stick to conventional foods and biotech foods.  A kale, quinoa, broccoli, lentil salad or some other exotic concoction of some thing “healthier” just doesn’t appeal to me.  Organic peanut butter just doesn’t cut it for me and gives me bad indigestion too.  I prefer a nice Teddy’s Bigger burger here and there or some a Blazing Steak’s plate any day over some odd combination of health food.  I even chew on some of my dad’s GMO papaya strips that I make from the excess off grade fruits to help with my indigestion from a baby belly.

I choose to understand the science and facts and use that to guide eating and shopping habits. My support of this science even makes me want to share it with others and hopefully, I will get that chance.  I’ve made a decision to donate my baby’s cord blood to the Hawaii Cord Blood Bank so that others may be able to benefit from something that is normally tossed out.  I believe in the “pay it forward” mantra that if we do that, others will do the same for us someday.  If it can help someone, why not? The same genetics being studied in medicine is also being applied in so many other sectors that most people aren’t aware of at all.

IMG_1198

Biotechnology is a tool that is revolutionizing our lives and so many people are just totally in the dark about it.  Medicine is being changed by the research going on and so is agriculture but instead of embracing it, a segment of our population chooses to be willfully fearful of it.  I know that in my own life, it has changed it for the better.

Share the Holiday Yummies of Hawaiian Papayas

IMG_0565.JPG

For most people, eating fresh papayas in the morning is a ritual. That’s why so many local folks know the delivery schedule to many of my dad’s long time stores like Times Supermarkets, Tamashiro Fish Market, and Farm Fresh.

Many folks don’t realize that papayas are also great for baking when really ripe. It adds a lot of moistness and sweetness to baked goods.

I took this recipe for pineapple macadamia nut pound cake and jazzed it up a bit. I added 1/2 a ripe papaya pulp into the butter mixture and topped it with toasted coconut before baking. The results were scrumptious!

Lucky thing that biotech helped to keep farmers growing those fresh papayas week after week and year after year. There is no fruit like it!

Later on, I’ll whip up some coconut sorbet and see how this combination turns out for a dessert. Ono!!!

IMG_0301.JPG

About Monsanto Mr. Burt Furuta…

So many commenters come across my blog attempting to post a comment here. Honestly, many of them are not worth posting. I get long rants full of bogus links and all kinds of off the wall screeds. It’s the same old commentaries over and over and it gets old. Nor do these contribute to any discussion. Today I have Burt Furuta wanting to comment. Sorry, Burt, it isn’t worth my time or yours.

When you think that Monsanto equates to biotech and you send me links from GMO Report and Ennser, there is clearly no discussion. (That cooment is so long, I can’t even fit it here and it only perpetuates more misinformation.). You obviously have not done your research on cross checking your information and then your accusation of calling me a Monsanto shill seals the deal sir. You obviously aren’t willing to even read the content you’re trying to post to either.

Some people think they got it, but sadly show they still haven’t figured it out.

So sorry, mention Monsanto and your comment goes into the trash bin.

IMG_0483.PNG

The Unsustainable Truth Behind the Hawaii GMO Free Movement

IMG_0571-0.PNG

Thanksgiving week was yet another bomb for the anti-GMO movement with the invalidation of the Big Island GMO ban. So far, two of the anti-GMO laws have been struck down in the courts. It’s pretty likely that the Maui law will also be invalidated. The sad thing is that so many activists still don’t quite understand why this is happening.

The truth is that most of them don’t even understand the scope of the issue. As you read the online commentary, the most frequent statement these people make is that clearly the judge is bought or paid off. It’s an easy cop out to make that comment but it tells a lot about where these folks’ thought processes lie.

To think that a judge is willing to risk his career and reputation for one issue is so absurd it’s not even funny. Making such baseless accusations is insulting to a person who chose a career to defend and respect the law is beyond logical and rational thinking. The activists really show that they don’t understand the judicial system that they are attempting influence. It’s no wonder they can’t quite figure out why they can’t pass an enforceable law to begin with.

If these people don’t think the judge is paid off, then they resort to companies buying politicians off. It’s interesting because when these bad laws were passed, I never heard anything being said that the Margaret Willes or Gary Hoosers were being paid off by the organic industry and the environmentalists. Those indeed were the backers behind those heavy handed social media campaigns with their messages of “I’m being poisoned” paranoia. No one pointed that out.

The greater truth is that the whole issue with agricultural technology is far beyond the general public’s understanding, yet they still feel that they are “experts” on the subject. When you look at the array of those speaking out against biotechnology, it’s rarely a true career farmer. The tactics that they use are always emotion based and targeted to create doubt in some of seemingly intelligent people.

Once you’ve established doubt firmly in people’s minds, it’s easy pickings on what you can do. It’s clear that these tactics work because so many folks repeat the same old rants beginning with, “Well, Monsanto…”

Activists can continue their ideology based crusade against this perceived evil and continue the de-education of people or actually try to figure out why they can’t pass a legitimate law. Telling the truth to their followers will likely make them lose some and that is not what they need. Keeping people from the truth is easier and protects people from straying from the ideology based flock.

With the upcoming legislative session coming up, I hope that our leaders get a clue to stop pandering to misinformation based activism. We’ve got tons of issues to deal with from homelessness to cost of living issues. Isn’t it about time that some start facing REAL problems for once???

The activists keep organizing marches that have led to angry people but no real action. How sustainable is a protest after protest that yields no food and bad policy? It’s obviously unsustainable with no results to show for it. And that’s the painful truth we have to contend with.