Something is Wrong When We Attack Farmers

Ok, I’ll openly admit that I got misty eyed when I watched the Shark Tank video of farmer Johnny George’s Tree T-Pee sales pitch to investors. He tells them that he only makes $1 on each of his t-pees and gets pressured as to why he won’t sell it for more. He comes out with his honest answer that he sells it to farmers to help them. You can see that he’d have a hard time feeling good about making more expensive for farmers because he knows how hard farming is to begin with.

As I thought about it more, there is a lot of irony in this story. Here we have a farmer who resists trying to up his product’s pricing because of his target market is his fellow farmer. He’s also working hard on conservation efforts too. However, farmers and the efforts of agribusinesses are constantly being criticized and attacked for their efforts with being good environmental stewards and helping others. He clearly has a conscience and can empathize with his fellow farmers and their work.

Then on the flip side, we have the likes of Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola, the Food Babe’s Vani Hari, Vandana Shiva, and Natural News’ Mike Adams, selling pseudoscience products for tons of money touting bogus claims and essentially ripping people off. I feel as if these scammers have no honest bone in their body and apparently lack a conscience to even stop and think that they are doing something questionable. These people should be called out by millions of people who wasted their money on these bogus products but they aren’t. Instead, millions follow these people and believe everything they say. These quacks have the gall to send their followers to attack farmers with misinformation perpetuated on their sites and There’s something very wrong with this picture here.

Have we as a society decided that it’s okay to reward dishonesty just to make a quick buck and take advantage of people’s ignorance? Is it okay to make up ” information” and scam folks who have gained your trust? Is it okay to propagate misinformation against farmers so that fearful folks attack their work?

It’s been ingrained in me to do what is right. The very people who decry the evil money made by farmers and agribusinesses have the dirtiest money made in reality. They took advantage of someone’s lack of awareness about basic science and agriculture, used misinformation to create fear, and took people’s money through all of this deceit to gain it for themselves. That’s the most despicable type of folks out there and yet we are rewarding them.

Honesty and doing what is right has gone out the door when we as a society attack those who give us sustenance. Its time to seek truth and justice for the many unseen hardworking folks. It’s time to bring back honor and respect to the farmers.

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Tales of a Lazy Anti-GMO Activist: “Science is Propaganda!”

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The latest disturbing trend that I’ve been observing with the activists, whether it be an anti-vaccination or anti-GMO one, is stating that science is propaganda. This clearly tells me that either they don’t understand the scientific process or some of the basics or don’t quite understand what propaganda really is. Honestly, it’s just them being plain old lazy to actually put some brain power to actually think about what’s being said. There, I said the painful truth about it.

Most activists seem to not even understand what propaganda really is. As one can see from the definition, it’s politically motivated. The fact that the activists are attempting to influence laws without evidence to support such regulations creates a slippery slope as to the necessity of the laws to begin with. These folks are very effective and getting others to repeat the mantras of people are being sprayed, kids are being sprayed, birth defects, and the aina is being poisoned. It doesn’t matter if all the multiple tests and studies done show otherwise. It’s a fear based statements that the least informed tends to latch on to easily.

When these emotionally hot statements are repeated over and over, it becomes fact to people, irregardless of what the data points too. Propaganda needs no fact to back up what’s being said and it’s effective when it’s fear based as we have seen. Whether the message is vaccinations will cause autism or GMOs means pesticides, it scares people and puts them on the emotional high horse crusade to protect themselves against this perceived evil.

If one should ask for evidence, it’s against the unspoken code that you do not question or doubt what’s being said. The evidence that is provided only repeats the same statements and few people if any know how to skeptically question the sources and just believe. A crusade against something so bad cannot tolerate dissenters or doubters for that matter. It will utterly destroy the energy and emotion that drives this battle and endangers the stature of leaders who benefit from the numbers of people engaged in their movement.

A perfect example of this is Kauai County Councilmember’s statements on pesticide usage there. He repeated over and over that there was 18 tons being used. As a result, people repeated it but never questioned it. The reality was much different but the repeated statements became truth despite the facts that it was half as much. Facts don’t matter and nor does being honest with their followers also. He could have easily corrected them but refused to do so because he’d likely create doubt in many people’s minds. Kauai County Councilmember, Gary Hooser, created so much fear that his followers turned very ugly on the social media and in the communities. That likely got the level headed voters to put him lowest on the totem polem this past election.

When activists claim that, “There’s propaganda on both side,” they’ve just shown that they aren’t able to critically assess what’s being stated. Instead of researching out the facts and critically vetting sources, it’s way easier to shut down logic and critical thinking all together. Why bother doing the hard work to actually open your mind and learn when it’s easier to dismiss science as propaganda? It’s easiest to live in fear and on emotions than it is to step back and actually think. It’s also more fun to have more people on your side too.

Creating doubt in your followers is dangerous in an ideological movement. Questioning of the information is a threat to its very existence and can topple the leaders that perpetuate it. It simply can’t be tolerated. The next best thing is to now tell followers to just dismiss evidence all as propaganda. Forget intellectual honesty and considering that you just might be wrong about what you thought. Don’t bother doing any real research and use the statement, “Science is propaganda.”

Yeah, you said it and you can continue repeating those same erroneous statements because you’ve acknowledged that you refuse to attempt to think critically or logically about the issue. That is a good reason why those who think like that should not be involved in policy making. No logic and no critical thought invested in the process means harmful unintended consequences that affect everyone. Haven’t we already learned that with all the bad bills passed across our islands?

Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

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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.”

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.