Organic Consumers Letters to Rep Collin Peterson

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					  Organic Consumers Letters to Rep. Collin Peterson
                                                   11/13/2007 -The following are letters written by organic consumers in response
                                                   to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chair-
                                                   man of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm
                                                   sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers
                                                   needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the gov-
                                                   ernment, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are
                                                   willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or
                                                  ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality.
         www.organicconsumers.org
                                                   And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.”

  To send a message to Collin Peterson (Democrat, MN) congratulating him for getting the Organic Consumers
  Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_8104.cfm

THE FOLLOWING ARE LETTERS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO MR. PETERSON:
 Mr. Peterson, the fact that you think that sup- billions of dollars in health care and environ-        line is not the short term profit. Apparently
 porting the people who don’t receive any gov- mental clean-up due to the toxic damage caused           you’re way behind the curve, this didn’t begin
 ernment subsidies as being “dumb” shows just by industrial agriculture and the oil industry.           to happen overnight. Perhaps you were paying
 how ignorant you are. Organic and small farms Regrettably, the US Taxpayer’s income taxes              attention to something else.” Portland, OR
 get little to no assistance from the government pay for these. So those artificially reduced food
                                                                                                        “1 + 1 = 2, 2+ 2 = 4 do we need to send you back
 to offset any of their costs while mega farms prices at the grocery store are much greater
                                                                                                         to school?” Brooklyn, NY
 held by just a handful of corporations get the than the true cost of the organics I buy. You
 majority of subsidies. No, supporting organic flunk math!” Berkeley, CA                                “Organic consumers are willing to pay more
 and local farmers is not dumb, sir. You should                                                          for better quality products and to support sus-
                                                   “Mr. Peterson, Far be it from you to have any
 definitely win the Organic Consumers Asso-                                                              tainable, healthful agricultural practices. We
                                                    concept or basic understanding of what healthy
 ciation’s award for dumbest quote of the week.                                                          choose products without high levels of residual
                                                    agriculture really is. It’s not about profit - as
 Congratulations.” Hortense, GA                                                                          pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics,
                                                    you noted, organic and local consumers such as
                                                                                                         food that’s fresher and more nutritious because
“Dear Mr. Peterson: I congratulate you for myself are willing to spend a little extra money.
                                                                                                         it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles, and food
 winning the Organic Consumers Association That’s because we are intelligent enough to seek
                                                                                                         that is grown in sustainable ways and in ways
 award for dumbest quote of the week. Your to protect our health, the health of our fami-
                                                                                                         that are more fair to growers. We know that
 statement has shown me, and all other Ameri- lies, and the health of the environment. We are
                                                                                                         agricultural environments affect wildlife and
 cans that not only are you dumb about agricul- also willing to support those non-subsidized
                                                                                                         human health. We are not dumb: We know
 ture, but you have no appreciation for the fact farmers who won’t kowtow to ignorant spend-
                                                                                                         that all food is not created equal.” -Pittsburgh,
 the safe, locally produced food sustains vibrant ers like yourself who don’t pay attention to the
                                                                                                         PA
 communities AND helps preserve the security risks they take by eating conventional foods.
 of the American food system. Sir, buying food We take it upon ourselves to safeguard our well-         “Dear Mr. Peterson, By now, you are probably
 that has been flooded with herbicides and pes- being because you and this administration have           regretting your choice of words in describing
 ticides, then shipped across the country or half- not taken the time to do your job and do it for       people who choose to support local, organic
 way around the world is dumb. Buying local, us. As chairman of the HR agricultural com-                 agriculture. I am one of those people, and I
 organic food is the smartest thing any con- mittee, you of all people in this country should            will tell you why. 1) Buying local minimizes
 sumer can do. I suggest to you, as Chairman know the dangers of consuming the fruit, veg-               the amount of fossil fuels which are used to
 of the House Ag Committee, that you should etables and other “foods” raised by big agri-                get food to my table 2) Buying local supports
 have a better understanding of these issues culture, coated with toxins and injected with               the local economy 3) Buying organic pre-
 before calling anyone else dumb.”                  dubious DNA and hormones that stores like            vents many pollutants from entering ground-
                                                    Wal-Mart and other chains peddle on unsus-           water systems and helps maintain the integ-
 Arlington, VA” Thank you Representative Peter-
                                                    pecting customers. Stop feeding America poi-         rity of topsoil 4) Buying organic supports the
 son for reaffirming my disgust with the state of
                                                    son and lies, and pull your head out of sand.”       health of farmworkers 5) Buying organic sup-
 American politics. Once again the bottom line
                                                                                                         ports the health of my family There are more
 makes the decisions. American democracy, for “And this is why even the dumb Dems aren’t
                                                                                                         reasons, but these are also reasons that the fed-
 the corporations, by the corporations.” Pensa- worth voting for due to the fact your not smart
                                                                                                         eral government should support. Local econ-
 cola, FL                                           enough to vote for bills that provide healthier
                                                                                                         omies, clean water, fertile land, public health
                                                    food chains”
“What is “dumb” are the billions of dollars                                                              and the reduction of global warming are all
 given to the oil industry and the farming indus- “Somehow, I guess, some folks just don’t get the       supported by my dollars when I choose to buy
 try by the US government in subsidies and tax idea of sustainability. It may be a difficult con-        from local organic farmers. That does NOT
 credits. And then the US government must pay cept for some to grasp, it’s worth it. The bottom          mean that they don’t at times need federal
                                                                                                                                                     1
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
help. If federal subsidies were available to local     farming. Do some investigation yourself and “Wow, I am pretty embarrassed for you and
sustainable farming, America’s dependence on           stop just listening to big agri-business.”          pretty disappointed that someone in this high
foreign oil would be reduced and the health of                                                             of office in the agriculture committee can be
                                                      “Supporting safe foods is anything but dumb.”
many Americans would be improved, reduc-                                                                   so clueless. If you want your family to be con-
ing rising health care costs for preventable dis-     “Gee, why would people want a product without suming antibiotics, hormones and potentially
eases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and      added poisons? What dumb-asses, ‘eh? Next get mad cow, “hallelujah” to you too. It is a sad
many types of cancer. I am willing and able to         thing you know they won’t want toys with lead world when educated people in our government
pay more for organic food, but much of Amer-           in them.”                                           act so dumb. It is people like you that make
ica’s population is not. Thus their bodies must                                                            me scared for my daughter and what world
                                                      “Dear Mr. Peterson: I am shocked at big gov-
be fueled by polluted, low-nutrient foods that                                                             she is going to be living in when she grows up.
                                                       ernment and how you all just don’t seem to
are subsidized by the government. They then                                                                consumption, corruption and money are all
                                                       care about this country’s health and well being.
have increased health problems and their                                                                   you people are about and I feel sorry for you.”
                                                       Organic farms need all the support we can give
health costs are largely paid by the government.                                                          -Veradale, WA
                                                       them. It is stupid and idiotic remarks like the
Reducing these costs upfront by subsidizing
                                                       one you made that keep so many people in the “With all that we know about global warming
healthy food instead of unhealthy food would
                                                       dark and work against progress for moving and pollution today, calling consumers “dumb”
go a long way in helping America through its
                                                       away from all the chemicals and toxic additives to pay more for something that isn’t contribut-
health care crisis. Thank you for your time, one
                                                       in our food. Get real! -Canyon Lake, TX             ing as much to these problems is just ignorant.
of America’s ‘dumb’ (who happens to have an
                                                                                                           By insulting those of us who choose to make a
IQ of 138)” -Raleigh, NC                              “What is dumb is the government wasting my
                                                                                                           change for the good and actively admitting that
                                                       tax dollars subsiding Large Corporate owned
“I understand that this is just one sentence out                                                           you personally cannot take the time to find out
                                                       farms, and penalizing small farms.”
 of which you probably said many but taken by                                                              the benefits of local organic practices, you are
 itself, it is a very ignorant statement for a man    “Congrats on winning the “dumb quote of the condemning a future generation to live with
 of your intelligence.” -Plano, TX                     week” award. This is quite a prestigious award a world that is not as healthy because of you
                                                       and I’m sure you must be proud. Really though, and your policies. I am outraged that you aren’t
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am not dumb. I try my
                                                       if you can’t figure out why spending money just content to bring yourself down by ignor-
 best to keep toxic substances out of my food
                                                       supporting local communities, preventing the ing organic benefits, but you have to bring us
 supply. Your comments are very offensive.”
                                                       complete destruction of all small farm land (young people and environmentally-conscious
-West Orange, NJ
                                                       for future generations and helping to insure buyers) down with you.” -Morehead, KY
“Dear Honorable Representative Peterson, As a          national security by decentralizing the food sup-
                                                                                                          “Dear Rep. Peterson Regarding your assess-
 single mother of two growing children I can-          ply is a good idea then quite frankly I suspect
                                                                                                           ment of people who by organically produced
 not stress enough the importance of purchas-          you really shouldn’t be in office. While it may
                                                                                                           farm goods: 1) We are not dumb. We just don’t
 ing locally grown, organic food. Unfortunately,       be the big corporations that pay for your cam-
                                                                                                           believe in externalizing the costs of our food
 it is expensive but it is worth it - for taste and    paign it’s these small farmers you are supposed
                                                                                                           onto other people and future generations. This
 health reasons, as well as its positive impact on     to be supporting, those people that elected you.
                                                                                                           is a moral choice, and we are willing to put our
 the environment and on reducing the possi-            Remember them? Can you honestly not tell the
                                                                                                           money where our mouths are. 2) Organically
 bilities of climate change catastrophe. I invite      difference between a garden fresh tomato and
                                                                                                           grown food does not cost 2 to 3 times what
 you to learn more about the reasons consum-           one flown in from Chili? Is it not worth it to
                                                                                                          ‘cheap’ food costs. There is a small price pre-
 ers like me choose organically grown foods and        buy quality from people you know and trust?
                                                                                                           mium, undoubtedly less than you pay for your
 to encourage legislation that helps these foods       Is it not important to know your neighbor and
                                                                                                           fancy suits. 3) Small organic farms deserve sup-
 be more affordable, even healthier, and more          foster your sense of community? It won’t be a
                                                                                                           port from our government far more then the
 widely available. The future of our children and      step towards a fascist state if we do that, but it
                                                                                                           corporate factory farms who support your cam-
 the future of food and meeting people’s food          will be a step towards a better America. Which
                                                                                                           paigns. Since when was driving people off the
 needs depends on your action. Thank you for           would you prefer?” -Seattle, WA
                                                                                                           land in favor of machinery and petrochemical
 taking the time to consider educating yourself
                                                      “Your comment is what is DUMB. Maybe you debt a rural value? 4) Organic consumers are a
 on the benefits of organic food, and for cham-
                                                       should do some homework & learn WHY we’re growing movement and politically active. You
 pioning legislation that reflects the will of a
                                                       willing to pay higher prices for products that do are an endangered species.” -Brunswick, ME
 healthy population, hungering for fresh, deli-
                                                       not destroy our bodies or our planet!”
 cious, and healthy food.”                                                                                “DO you really think I’m dumb? So dumb I
                                                      “Congressman Peterson: Congratulations on won’t be endorsing you for anything. I am sad-
“Yes, you don’t get it. People don’t want hor-
                                                       winning the Organic Consumer Association’s dened that you even have a say in what hap-
 mones and pesticides in their food. But just
                                                      “Dumbest Quote of the Week Award” for insist- pens agriculturally. I will continue to support
 because you don’t care about this, doesn’t mean
                                                       ing that those who pay more for local or organic my local farmer and the sustainable organic
 it is not important to the health of our people
                                                       food are “dumb” for doing so. Obviously you industry with my hard earned US dollar. Please
 and farming future.” -Nevada City, CA
                                                       need to learn more about the benefits of eat- refrain from making any additional “dumb”
“Dear Mr. Collin, Congratulations for win-             ing local organic vegetables and local grass-feed comments.”
 ning Organic Consumers Award for the dumb-            meat and dairy, as well as the true costs (envi-
                                                                                                          “What is wrong with you, Collin Peterson? You
 est quote of the week. It is time you did some        ronmental costs, health costs and petroleum
                                                                                                           call yourself a Democrat and then figuratively
 homework and discovered the health and envi-          costs) of creating, trucking and eating conven-
                                                                                                           spit on the little guy. How about a little sup-
 ronmental benefits of organic farming. As Chair       tionally produced food.”
                                                                                                           port for the farmer willing to provide goods
 of the House Agricultural committee I am sur-
                                                      “Man you are way off base. Happy CANCER!” and food security for his own community?
 prised you seem so uneducated about organic
                                                                                                                                                      2
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 Also, you need to do your research. Local food And one of the reasons we pay more to the                   award. Your insensitivity to and ignorance of
 is rarely more expensive than the stuff trucked farmers and ranchers is because they have to               the organic farming sector of our country is
 into grocery stores from around the world, and compete with the big agri-businesses who ARE                mind blowing. To assure true homeland secu-
 it certainly costs a lot less in gasoline and OIL. subsidized by the government.” -Battle Ground,          rity, as well as the health of our children and our
 Apparently reducing our dependence on the WA                                                               planet, we must support local food and energy.
 messy Middle East is not one of your priorities.                                                           As the chair of a most important committee,
                                                    “Are YOU out of your mind? Maybe you don’t
 I’m very disappointed.” -Brighton, MA                                                                      that clearly caters to agri-biz, which denudes
                                                     mind swallowing all of the chemicals that are
                                                                                                            the nutrients from our food and is creating gen-
“If I were you I would be totally embarrassed pumped into the factory-farmed animals to
                                                                                                            erations of under-nourished, unhealthy people,
 about your comment. You should know what keep them alive in horrid conditions just long
                                                                                                            you should know better. It is in the best inter-
 you are talking about before you make stupid enough to get them to the consumer, but I don’t.
                                                                                                            est of our citizenry, our planet, our future and
 statements like that. Why don’t you take the I want my family to eat food and produce that
                                                                                                            the US as a leader, to support organic farming
 time to visit an organic farm (or donate a week is grown and cared for without all the chem-
                                                                                                            AND those consumers....it would be wise to
 or so to work on one) and maybe you would icals and genetically-engineered DNA. I also
                                                                                                            inform yourself more fully on the issue.”
 understand how much harder it is to farm want my food and produce to be local, so that
 organically. Anyone can spray poison on things I am not paying for the astronomical transpor-              “Mr. Peterson, So the population of the U.S. is
 we eat, or dump chemicals in the ground, but it tation fees and contributing to the problems of            “dumb” for buying food that is better for them
 takes very special people to produce food that pollution, etc. If you are ‘far’ from understand-            than what the government is willing to pro-
 won’t keep us spending millions in doctor bills, ing this, then you do not deserve to be repre-             duce? Well, I’d rather be considered “dumb”
 hospital bills, and have to live with the horrors senting your constituents.”                               than eat genetically modified food, pesticide
 of cancer, etc. I will gladly give my money to                                                              laden, cancer causing, and environmentally
                                                    “It is quite discouraging that it is only slightly
 those people who care more about the people                                                                 hazardous food!!!” -Pocahontas, AR
                                                     better to be represented by shills for big busi-
 who eat their food, our health, and the earth,
                                                     ness and the wealthy like you and my own               “Congressman Peterson, I used to be a farmer.
 than give it to the money hungry medical pro-
                                                     Rep. Oberstar than a Republican. It makes me            But when government policies moved from sup-
 fession and pharmaceutical companies. By the
                                                     ashamed to be a Minnesotan.” -Bruno, MN                 porting family farms to supporting large corpo-
 way, I am a retired nurse, and haven’t been to a
                                                                                                             rate entities, we could no longer afford to be
 doctor for any reason in the fifteen years that I “Your statement about organic and local food is
                                                                                                             farmers. It is past time for the US government
 have been living organically. My mother always shocking, alarming, disturbing, and, oh yeah,
                                                                                                             to recognize that industrial agriculture is not
 told me “if you can’t say something nice, don’t idiotic. I cannot believe you’re chairman of any
                                                                                                             good for people and is not good for the planet.
 say anything at all” . Good advice I think. You committee having to do anything at all with
                                                                                                             The US is far behind the curve of recognizing
 should apologize.” -Sequatchie, TN                  agriculture. Do you know how a seed grows?
                                                                                                             the dangers of industrial agriculture. I urge you
                                                     I’ll have to talk with my Minnesota friends
“If you think we are going to eat the foods that                                                             to study the subject and stop supporting indus-
                                                     about for whom they intend on voting. - Cleve-
 have been raised with chemicals we cannot                                                                   trial, corporate agriculture. We can no longer
                                                     land, OH”
 even pronounce or have been altered to suit big                                                             afford it.” -Rapid City, SD
 government’s standards you’re crazy. We hap- “Congratulations!!! You just received an award
                                                                                                            “Dear Mr. Peterson- I am astonished and amazed
 pen to want what God has given us naturally for the “DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE
                                                                                                             at your recent comment about locally grown
 to eat and not fake food adulterated with what WEEK” For whatever reason, people are will-
                                                                                                             and organically raised produce and meat prod-
 some bioengineer can come up with.”                 ing to pay two or three times as much for some-
                                                                                                             ucts. A person in your position in this country
                                                     thing that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from
“It is very obvious that when speaking about                                                                 should be educated on the health benefits and
                                                     me to understand what that’s about, but that’s
 organic or local, you don’t know what you are                                                               environmental impact that these foods have on
                                                     reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay
 talking about. That is why you given the award                                                              our nation as a while. The price and commit-
                                                     that much then hallelujah.” by the Organic
 for the dumbest comment that was made on                                                                    ment of people to helping our nation’s health
                                                     Consumers Association. I totally concur, worse
 organics/local food supplies. My mother used                                                                car cost, environmental impact on the Earth
                                                     yet, your quote tells us your intelligence level in
 to tell us kids, if you don’t know what you are                                                             and our fossil fuel resources are directly tied to
                                                     general when it comes to the health of the U.S.
 talking about keep quiet.”                                                                                  our consumption of foods grown in the Earth
                                                     citizens. So sad we have such a terrible leader in
                                                                                                             Friendly, People powered, non-toxic manner in
“I was interested to hear your quote that you this country. I would expect better from a dem-
                                                                                                             which organic and local farmers do. I suggest
 think those who buy local and organic foods ocrat! -Garden Grove, CA
                                                                                                             you take a small primer course on the internet,
 and pay more for them are dumb. The reason
                                                    “I am one of those dumb consumers of organic             start with the Environmental Working Group.
 that most people do this is because they are
                                                     products. I am also an ovarian cancer survi-            Remember the old adage, “One should think
 concerned with the environmental impact of
                                                     vor. Part of the reason I am still alive is today is    before they speak.” “We, organic consumers,
 conventional foods, from production through
                                                     because I have decided to limit the toxins, hor-        are not dumb, we are educated and healthy.”
 transportation. I wasn’t aware that being con-
                                                     mones, pesticides and so forth that enter my           -Chesapeake, VA
 cerned about our actions in regards to the envi-
                                                     body. Shame on you for being so flippant about
 ronment was illogical.” -Saint Louis, MO                                                                   “Dear Congressman Peterson, As Chair of the
                                                     the reasons people eat organics. Research is on
                                                                                                             House Agriculture Committee you might want
“And what sort of poison is in your food Chair- our side. As a representative of all consumers
                                                                                                             to spend some time to actually understand the
 man Peterson? I am shocked that someone in you have an obligation to represent us and not
                                                                                                             topic you are deriding. The current administra-
 your position is so ignorant about organic and just big business.” -Nesconset, NY
                                                                                                             tion has shown that lack of knowledge is dan-
 local foods and why these are the healthiest
                                                    “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-            gerous, especially for someone in a controlling
 choices for our families. I’m sure someone will
                                                     sumer Organizations dumb quote of the week              position of power. Please educate yourself on
 educate you if you are interested in learning.
                                                                                                                                                          3
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
the topic you have control of so as not to con-    make money and be safe at the same time. I            such diatribe. You are just showing yourself to
tinue to project the image of a fool.” -Camp-      think you need to resign from this committee if       be a misinformed and ignorant representative,
bell, CA                                           you do not care enough to learn about the rea-        either clueless or beholden to big agribusiness.
                                                   sons for organics, especially since it is flourish-   Shame on you!”
“Dear Mr. Peterson, All you need to do is read
                                                   ing without your help. -Overland Park, KS
 the research. Then you won’t have to say stupid                                                         “If we as a people continue buying foods that are
 things.” -Fairfield, IA                           “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay        laden with pesticides and processed to the point
                                                    two or three times as much for something that         that they’ve lost their nutritional value, and if
“Dear Chairman Peterson: Here’s what it is
                                                    says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to       we (as taxpayers) keep subsidizing this kind of
 about: As Chairman of Agriculture and its pro-
                                                    understand what that’s about, but that’s real-        thing ? - then that is truly dumb. And, with
 cesses, you surely understand the principle of
                                                    ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that        all due respect, electing congressmen who don’t
“garbage in, garbage out” as it relates to food,
                                                    much then hallelujah.” Dear Chairman Peter-           understand health, nutrition, sustainable farm-
 machinery, and even thought. We take care
                                                    son, People who buy organic are willing to pay        ing or economics also seems pretty “dumb” to
 with our cars to give them clean fuel/oil/air for
                                                    2 to 3 times as much than those that buy con-         me.”
 running. Our bodies deserve no less. Nature
                                                    ventional (pesticided) food because they won’t
 is not our enemy; she is a partner just waiting                                                         “Buying food locally and knowing where my
                                                    compromise their health for money. It’s as sim-
 for our cooperation. That’s why we support and                                                           food comes from is very important to me
                                                    ple as that. Far from being “dumb,” they are the
 pay extra for the quality of natural foods. They                                                         and many of the people across this country. It
                                                    enlightened and aware, who know that there is
 contain the energy needed for healthy growth.                                                            should concern more people that they don’t
                                                    a direct correlation between pesticides, antibi-
 As an organic consumer, I would be delighted                                                             know where their food comes from and the
                                                    otics, and other toxins used in standard food
 to see a statement from you that said, “Hey! I’ve                                                        amount of fossil fuels being used to ship food
                                                    production in America and the alarming epi-
 learned a lot. And I DO know what it is all                                                              across the world. I think that people wanting to
                                                    demic growth of all types of illnesses and dis-
 about now. And I’m supporting health the nat-                                                            take in interest in their health, local economy
                                                    ease from diabetes, to asthma, to allergies and
 ural way, rather than trying to ransom it back                                                           and local farmers are pretty smart!”
                                                    chemical sensitivities, and cancer. In our eyes,
 with drugs and medications.” Wishing you a
                                                    those of you who do NOT pay extra for purer          “Congratulations on winning the dumbest quote
 healthy longevity -Louisville, KY
                                                    food are the “dumb” ones. And the government          of the week. I am flabbergasted. Are you really
“As chair of the Agriculture committee, I find it needs to support the smaller organic farmers so         that ignorant? Seriously- you can’t fathom why
 embarrassing that you do not understand the that chemical-free food is available to all Amer-            someone would want to pay more for natural
 importance of organic and natural foods. Con- icans, not just those who can afford to pay for            food? Organic and local food is so much bet-
 ventional modern farming and food process- preventive health care through a nutritious,                  ter for our planet....the planet that God created.
 ing has destroyed human health and is one of health supportive diet. What’s really “dumb” is             I don’t understand people claim to be religious
 the biggest reasons that so many people have knowingly feeding pesticided food to your chil-             but could care less about protecting and nur-
 so many health problems. The numerous syn- dren and then paying high doctors bills when                  turing that which he made.”
 thetic chemicals that are added to our food sup- years later they develop cascading health prob-
                                                                                                         “I am an organic food consumer, a member and
 ply throughout the growth stage to the point lems. Congratulations for getting the Organic
                                                                                                          supporter of OCA, Organics Consumers Asso-
 of consumption has a huge impact on environ- Consumers Association award for the dumbest
                                                                                                          ciation. I am sending you this message at the
 mental and human health. For most Americans, quote of the week!!” -Long Beach, NY
                                                                                                          request of OCA. I am writing to congratulate
 every meal that they eat of every day of their
                                                   “You know, the reason that people re willing to        you on winning the dumbest quote of the week.
 lives contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals.
                                                    pay more for local and organic food is because        Congratulations!! I was wondering if you real-
 Over a lifetime, that really adds up and creates
                                                    they want to support local and organic agricul-       ize that speaking so without a base of knowl-
 big problems that I think you should be aware
                                                    ture in the hopes that these may become more          edge of the topic betrays the fact it’s not the
 of. As far as organic food costing more, that is
                                                    mainstream. Those who pay more for local and          people you are trying to denigrate who is dumb
 where the government needs to step in and help
                                                    organic products are strengthening their com-         but it is you the speaker? Please, take some time
 out. The government should be providing more
                                                    munities and sending a message to corporate           to do some research into what locally grown
 subsidies and incentives for farmers and ranch-
                                                    agribusiness that conveys that we would rather        foods and organically grown foods mean to
 ers that choose to perform responsible organic
                                                    pay more for our local/organic products than          personal health, the health of the people, the
 and natural practices. Your recent comments
                                                    support an industry that is poisoning the planet      health of the nation and the health of the envi-
 prove that you are not knowledgeable on this
                                                    with chemical fertilizers and harming the peo-        ronment. You’ll find that the efforts by farm-
 most important of matters, so please look into
                                                    ple with things like bovine growth hormones. I        ers to grow and sell locally, grow organically
 it more.” -Denver, CO
                                                    know that I feel better and more responsible as       and for consumers to purchase these products,
“Dear Congressman Peterson: If you don’t a consumer when I buy local and organic prod-                    have put a lot of thought and consideration into
 understand organic farming and the reason for ucts. Not only am I supporting my neighbors,               this. Economically they are willing to spend
 it, and you are the chairman of the agriculture but I am educating myself and my community               more on trying to change the market to a more
 committee, don’t you think it would make sense on how to live sustainably. Now who’s DUMB?               healthy and sustainable one. Dumb is the com-
 to educate yourself on the issue? I understand People like you, who eat the crap that the agri-          plete opposite of what people are trying to do in
 that big chemical business and farm suppliers business crams down your throat, or people like            the buying local and buying organic movement.
 oppose organics, but that is because it threat- me, who know where their food comes from,                Good luck on you education and once again,
 ens their bottom line. It is more important to how it was raised and what the hidden costs of            congratulations on winning the dumbest quote
 reduce cancer and other disease caused by pes- eating non-organic/non-locally produced foods             of the week.” -South Hadley, MA
 ticide than it is to support people who are only are?”
                                                                                                         “Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson
 in it for the money. Money counts, but you can
                                                   “You should do some research before you spew           here Peterson let me talk dumb to you!
                                                                                                                                                       4
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
Obviously yous the one that’s dumb for saying        processed, disease causing food. I don’t have consumers are seeking out truly healthy foods
such an idiotic statement like that. Me thinks       time to point you in the direction of all of the grown near where they live, not shipped at great
its time for you to retire!! But I doubt you will    medical evidence to support that claim, but a environmental expense from another continent.
just like your buddy Larry Craig! Now Peterson       simple Goggle search (or better yet, trip to your “ -Waunakee, WI
haws it feel to be talked dumb to???? Well that’s    local library) will substantiate my claim. I’m
                                                                                                         “If you don’t understand the value of organic,
exactly how I felt.” -Fremont, NE                    glad I’m not dumb enough to have helped elect
                                                                                                          local food and grass fed beef, then you have no
                                                     you. Cheers! -Ft. Collins, CO”
“You know what’s so ironic is that the majority                                                           business being on the agriculture committee,
 of people eating locally and eating organic are    “Dear Sir, The “dumb” people that perplex you much less being its chairman.”
 actually smarter than the usual consumer since      with their resolve to provide safe, pesticide-free,
                                                                                                         “Perhaps the reason you made your recent com-
 they take the time to read and research about       sustainable wholesome, nutrient rich foods to
                                                                                                          ments about organic farming is because you are
 the foods that they put into their bodies- that     their families, particularly their young children,
                                                                                                          in bed with the government subsidies to chem-
 would include me. Educate yourself- all those       pay higher prices for those wholesome foods
                                                                                                          ical/pesticide/herbicide using farms that con-
 toxins and pesticides are clouding your think-      because we must. We wish to preserve our
                                                                                                          taminate our water supply and spread cancer
 ing when you go and make narrow-minded and          health; we wish to be thoughtful stewards of the
                                                                                                          causing chemicals throughout our land. If you
 ignorant comments such as yours. I think you        earth with which we are blessed. We don’t want
                                                                                                          want to ingest chemicals and toxins in your
 need a good de-tox program.” -Bolton, CT            to eat foods full of high fructose corn syrup
                                                                                                          food, who am I to stop you. But, for you to
                                                     (causes obesity and diabetes) we don’t want to
“Well, you are to be congratulated for the dumb-                                                          spout of in this fashion only supports it is poli-
                                                     eat soybeans, we don’t want to eat nutritionally
 est statement I’ve heard in a long time and for                                                          tics as usual for you. Which is: You scratch my
                                                     dead foods grown on lands laden with petro-
 getting for getting the Organic Consumers                                                                back and I’ll scratch yours. Pathetic.” -Portland,
                                                     leum based poisonous chemicals that have been
 Association award for the dumbest quote of the                                                           OR
                                                     implicated in everything from Multiple Sclero-
 week. Buying organic is dumb? Well, lots of
                                                     sis, infertility, cancers of the blood and body, “Shouldn’t it be that we pay more if we want
 people know that food without all the added
                                                     miscarriages, low IQ and immune diseases. But, our food contaminated with pesticides?? People
 chemicals is healthy and purchase of food
                                                     this is what YOU support. Perhaps this is what pay more for organic food because the organic
 loaded with poison is what is dumb. That and
                                                     YOU feed your family. I challenge you to buy farmers don’t get subsidies from the govern-
 making statements like you made, well that is
                                                     certified organic milk and eggs and even bread, ment. We, the people, care about our health
 certainly very dumb.” -Chattanooga, TN
                                                     and taste it. Now taste your non-organic eggs and unfortunately in this country, we have to
“Your recent statement to the effect that paying     and your milk. Even if you honestly believe pay more to get healthy food, Geez, get a clue!”
 more for organic products is dumb shows who         that this is all a conspiracy created by tree-hug-
                                                                                                         “Congratulations on getting the Organic Con-
 has you in their pocket - - corporate agribusi-     ging hippies, sir I assure you, you will TASTE
                                                                                                          sumers Association award for the dumbest
 ness and factory farms. Go ahead and continue       the difference. Please stop flooding our gro-
                                                                                                          quote of the week. :)”
 eating the tumor- and cancer-ridden meats, hor-     cery stores with nutritionally inferior products.
 mone-filled dairy goods and pesticide-tainted       Support organic farming and sustainability, “Dear Representative Peterson, I take offense
 produce from your buddies, I’m sure it’ll keep      then prices will come down and even the poor to you referring to me as “dumb” for buying
 you nice and healthy for years to come!!”           among us will be able to afford nutritious, pes- organic foods. Being a graduate of the Univer-
                                                     ticide-free foods. Clean food should be a birth- sity of Iowa, having grown up on a farm and
“I am an organic consumer, I buy locally and I
                                                     right, not a luxury. -Sunrise, FL                    living in an agricultural state my intelligence
 am not dumb. Perhaps you should take time
                                                                                                          about food choices is being ridiculed by you. I
 from accepting donations from agribusiness to      “My momma told me it is best to keep your
                                                                                                          was diagnosed with cancer almost 2 years ago
 research organic agriculture. Sustainable agri-     mouth shut when you don’t know much about
                                                                                                          and did research on how I could support my
 culture is very important because it does not       a subject...this is one of those times for you.
                                                                                                          immune system to fight off the cancer in addi-
 add mineral salts and other pollutants to both      A little education regarding carcinogens and
                                                                                                          tion to conventional therapy. Organic food free
 the soil and above-ground and ground water.         such would be a good idea. I must say I was
                                                                                                          of chemicals, in other words, good clean food
 Organic produce has been tested and proved to       surprised to hear a Democrat being so, well,
                                                                                                          like I was raised on years ago helps to reduce
 have more nutrients that chemically fertilized      DUMB about something so very important to
                                                                                                          the chemical load your liver has to deal with.”
 produce. Perhaps it would be good to know           the health and well being of our children and a
                                                                                                         -Iowa City, IA
 something about agriculture since you are on        little thing called the planet. I expect that from
 the Agriculture Committee.”                         the greedy Republicans. In time I may forget “Mr. Peterson, When you, your children and
                                                     though. “                                            grandchildren are passing on of cancer and
“As an organic/local produce consumer, I take
                                                                                                          numerous other diseases because of the foul
 exception to your recent comments that people      “Dear Representative Peterson: I sincerely hope
                                                                                                          and mistaken ideals you’ve taught them about
 like me are “dumb”. But take heart: You have        that your remark about organic food consum-
                                                                                                          food safety, you’ll take back those words you’ve
 just received the Organic Consumers Associa-        ers being “dumb” was incorrect or a misquote.
                                                                                                          uttered about us “dumb” organic and local buy-
 tion award for the dumbest quote of the week.       As the chairman of the House Ag committee
                                                                                                          ing consumers. Our willingness to support and
 Congratulations!”                                   you should understand something about food,
                                                                                                          fund a healthier agricultural market in hopes
                                                     toxic chemicals and antibiotics and their effects
“Supporting local farms builds community, cuts                                                            of it’s expansion is a commitment to PREVEN-
                                                     on human health. It’s not your job to only rep-
 greenhouse gasses, and ensures food safety.                                                              TATIVE HEALTH MEASURES! Ever heard
                                                     resent industrial agriculture but to actually
 What’s dumb is getting into bed with the agro-                                                           of that??? Your unintelligent statement is a sad
                                                     understand the food concerns of American cit-
 businesses that have pushed my family and                                                                reflection of government’s unwillingness to put
                                                     izens and the effects of foods on our health.
 many of our friends out of farming and ranch-                                                            money where “The People” see an honest need.
                                                     Please educate yourself more about organic
 ing and helping to create a world of mutant,                                                             Shame, shame... (Democrats from MN ought
                                                     agriculture and the reasons that millions of
                                                                                                                                                       5
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
to know better. I’m disgustingly embarrassed           in funding for factory farms, money that goes organically fed kids!” -Everett, WA
to be your next door neighbor in WI.) -New             to subsidize large corporations such as Cargill
                                                                                                         “Nice quote; you sure are clueless. You should
Berlin, WI                                             and Monsanto. But some representatives, such
                                                                                                          really resign.” -Seattle, WA
                                                       as yourself, do not show the least understand-
“How rude to say organic consumers are dumb,
                                                       ing for improving our food system by growing “I was amazed and saddened that you demon-
 I guess your parents never taught you any bet-
                                                       organically and locally. Such support would go strated such ignorance and contempt for con-
 ter. Just because you don’t understand some-
                                                       to many small farmers who are trying to make sumers of organic and local foods through
 thing its automatically dumb? Maybe you
                                                       a living farming.” -Chicago, IL                    your recent comments to the Financial Times.
 should educate yourself on organics and maybe
                                                                                                          I would think that a representative from the
 you would start to understand. The cost is           “May I suggest you educate yourself as to the
                                                                                                          Midwest would be much more aware of the
 more but the health benefits are huge. I have         nutritional value that is in your traditionally
                                                                                                          importance of small, family farms and the peo-
 two grown children and neither one has ever           (mass/chemically) farmed produce and meat
                                                                                                          ple who support them. In an era where mega-
 been sick with anything more than a cold for          compared to organic foods. In many cases
                                                                                                          agriculture is devouring family farms and eat-
 one or two days. I bet anything if you have kids      organic has been tested to have 10, 100, or
                                                                                                          ing up federal subsidies, I would hope that you
 that you can make the same claim truthfully.          even 1000 times the nutrient content over reg-
                                                                                                          would be more supportive of local and organic
 Take sometime to learn what all the benefits are      ular produce. Not to mentioned the pesticides,
                                                                                                          suppliers and the people who keep them in
 about and maybe you’ll become as dumb as us           hormones, steroids and bovine diseases that are
                                                                                                          business.”
 organic consumers.” -Dover, AR                        in “regular” meat and produce - I’ll skip eating
                                                       those too thanks. Why buy local? Because once “Wow, maybe if you cared for your health or the
“Far be it from me to understand what that’s
                                                       we run out of oil and gas that’s all you’ll have! environment you might have an idea. Maybe
 about, but that’s reality. And if people are
                                                       By buying local I’m not supporting using more the tie is too tight and you are losing oxygen as
 dumb enough to pay that much then hallelu-
                                                       fuel to ship my food 3 countries away. By buy- well as too many toxins in your mass produced
 jah.” It’s good to know that the ignorance of
                                                       ing local I’m supporting my local economy and food. I suggest for some bed side reading you
 this administration trickles down to every level.
                                                       farmers. So will I pay more to save the envi- pick up FAST FOOD NATION, it was a real
 Congratulations!!”
                                                       ronment and not put harmful toxins into my eye opener for me. I happen to be an agriculture
“Dear Collin Peterson, I am concerned that you         body, and feed it more higher nutrient dense major and have mourned the state or condition
 admit that you don’t understand the organic           foods? Without a doubt! I might even suggest that local and small farmers have endured to
 growing movement or local foods programs. I           that those that can’t see the benefits FAR out- try to keep their land and feed their own family.
 would love to send you some information on            weigh the cost - well I guess they’re just dumb.” I don’t ask that you become an expert but I ask
 reading material that would let you be a little      -Edmonton, AB                                       for those that love you sake, eat more organic
 more informed about such a large issue, espe-                                                            and locally grown. The way food is raised and
                                                      “Rep. Peterson: Clearly your consumption of
 cially since you are in such a position of respon-                                                       processed is not good, healthy or kind to the
                                                       chemical-laden farm products for so many
 sibility and influence regarding agriculture and                                                         animals or the humans that raise them or eat
                                                       years has deteriorated your brain to the point
 American food. Hopefully, you will be at least                                                           them. As always,” VA Beach, VA
                                                       of malfunctioning. Your recent statement ques-
 tolerant and respectful of the food choices that
                                                       tioning why people would pay more for organic “Wow! Your quote on organics and locally
 many of the people in this country are mak-
                                                       foods is evidence. Perhaps it’s time for you to grown food was so uneducated that it literally
 ing.”
                                                       step down and go to work for Big Agribusi- “blew me away” . Would you like to know why
“I have been eating Organic for over two years         ness, since that seems to be who you represent.” organically grown food is better for people and
 now and have never been as healthy and happy         -Stillwater, MN                                     for the earth? I hope so since you are in a posi-
 as I am right now. I don’t believe I am dumb                                                             tion of power and you should understand agri-
                                                      “Mr. Peterson, I am astounded that you would
 and take offense to your comment, I think you                                                            culture in its various forms. But, congrats on
                                                       refer to my family as dumb, referring to you
 should make a public apology for your state-                                                             being awarded “Dumbest Quote of the Week” .
                                                       calling people to purchase food that is grown
 ment.”                                                                                                   Go Organic!” -Pittsburgh, PA
                                                       organically, locally etc... as dumb. Us dumb
“I take issue with your assessment of organic          people are a great deal of the population, we “Dear Collin Peterson; I do not appreciate being
 consumers being “dumb”. I am an organic con-          are educated, informed, family oriented and called “dumb” for my researched and consid-
 sumer who is willing to pay more for food that        we love our communities. (so much so that ered decisions about the quality of the food I
 does not contain added hormones or antibiot-          we spend a bit extra to support our local farm- choose to buy and feed my family, nor as a for-
 ics and vegetables that are not genetically engi-     ers...how stupid of us!) For my family person- mer small business owner in the natural foods
 neered while supporting my local agricultural         ally we would rather pay more for the highest industry, nor as a promoter of community sup-
 industry. I am an independent thinker who             quality food without pesticides, hormones and ported agriculture (as a member of an ecumen-
 will not swayed by Monsanto’s rhetoric, unlike        genetically modified ingredients and cut back ical movement.) I sincerely hope your health
 so many of the truly “dumb” consumers out             on other less useful things. I am the wife of an lasts and you do not end up feeing “dumb” for
 there. Go ahead and swill your bacteria laden         active duty Naval Officer who works very hard having consumed unhealthful quantities of
 fat free milk that you find so tasty, Mr. Peter-      to keep our country, community and children chemicals, hormones and heavy metals. May
 son. I, for one, will not be joining you.” -West      safe...who you to say are, DUMB, when all we you be blessed with health, greater reason and -
 Milton, OH                                            do is want the best for the people we love the better manners”
                                                       most. Congrats on insulting my community,
“Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-                                                            “I strongly object to you calling organic consum-
                                                       the farmers we support and my family in gen-
 sumers Association award for the dumbest                                                                 ers “dumb” . You should promote organic agri-
                                                       eral....you win the Organic Consumers Associa-
 quote of the week. I find it hard to believe that                                                        culture not bad mouth those who consume its
                                                       tion award for the dumbest quote of the week!!!
 congress continues to provide billions of dollars                                                        products. -Lansing, MI P.S. I am embarrassed
                                                      -Navy Wife Mother of two beautiful, healthy,
                                                                                                                                                      6
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
that you represent my former hometown of             Bush this time.” -San Ramon, CA                      seem inexpensive indeed. I suggest you view
Moorhead, MN.”                                                                                           “The True Cost of Food” at www.thetruecostof-
                                                     “Wondering why you are calling organic con-
                                                                                                          food.org -Aptos, CA”
“Do some research, and not the materials sup-         sumers dumb? Is it dumb to want to eat non-
 plied to you from the petro-chemical industry!       toxic, non-tainted, healthier food that also “If you don’t understand why people pay more
 Some of us are willing to pay extra to avoid poi-    provides benefits for family farmers and the for organic food, you might want to research
 sons, growth hormones and a multitude of nox-        environment? I think you should investigate the effects of all the chemicals that non-organic
 ious chemicals used by food producers. More          organic foods further before you belittle those farmers use on their crops. Farmers are cur-
 and more evidence is showing how bad these           who buy them. Try some organic vegetables or rently allowed to use many known cancer-
 chemicals are for humans to consume. People          fruits, and you will not only taste the difference causing chemicals on their crops. What’s more,
 far smarter than you will ever be are aware of       but notice a difference in how your body is feel- organic farms actually out-produce acre for acre
 the damage already done.” Boise, ID                  ing. Wishing you a peaceful, productive exis- non-organic farms. Organic farming should be
                                                      tence!” -Durham, NC                                 the rule not the exception.”
“Dear Collin Peterson, I have an MBA and my
 husband is an attorney. We do not consider our- “Dear Rep. Peterson, Thanks for leading the              “Your lack of support for organic and sustain-
 selves dumb. What I do think is dumb, is your charge for a locally-produced, healthier Amer-              able farming methods ensures that as you prog-
 statement: “For whatever reason, people are ican food system. With idiots like you in the                 ress through the electoral system, I will NEVER
 willing to pay two or three times as much for government it’s no wonder why we’re rap-                    send you a cent in contributions.”
 something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be idly becoming a net importer of food. Depen-
                                                                                                          “Representative Peterson, I am amazed at the
 it from me to understand what that’s about, but dence on foreign oil? Try dependence on for-
                                                                                                           ignorance displayed by your comment regard-
 that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough eign food.”
                                                                                                           ing organic consumers. You demonstrated not
 to pay that much then hallelujah.” Buying local
                                                    “Dear Representative Peterson, For the of the          only a complete lack of understanding of the
 and organic is much better for our health and
                                                     House Agriculture Committee to say that               benefits of organic foods, but also a complete
 for the environment. And, it doesn’t take a
                                                     spending more for organic and/or local food is        lack of understanding of the economics or
 rocket scientist to understand that!”
                                                     not dumb. It’s INANE! Who do you work for?            global impact of the organic foods sector. Briefly
“Why do you hate America?” -Richmond, VA             Your constituents or the pharma and insurance         put, organic foods have greater health benefits
                                                     companies? Basically, you’re saying that you’d        than non-organic foods. Studies have shown
“Mr. Peterson, I find it interesting that the head
                                                     rather see your neighbor, a local, organic farmer,    higher nutrient levels and better flavor than
 of the House Agriculture Committee could be
                                                     put out of business and then have your family         non-organic equivalents. On the other hand,
 so “dumb” . Consumers are paying more for
                                                     eat pesticide and fungicide soaked, genetically       synthetic compounds found in non-organic
 organic because 1. There is less of it and supply
                                                     processed food from monster agriculture cor-          foods cause additional strain on the body, par-
 is dictating price. 2. Because the poisons (pes-
                                                     porations? Dumb and dumber, Peterson! Your            ticularly the liver. Our bodies are not designed
 ticides), hormones, and other tampering with
                                                     constituents say, “Here’s to your HEALTH!”            to process much of what non-organic foods put
 the food supply places our health at risk. 3. In
                                                    -Medanales, NM                                         into it. While enzymes break down various car-
 an effort to stave off the ever increasing illness
                                                                                                           bohydrates, fats and proteins, the body has no
 affecting Americans with direct connections to “The reason people are willing to pay more for
                                                                                                           mechanism for processing most of the synthetic
 what we eat, we feel it is imperative to try to organic foods is because we prefer not to con-
                                                                                                           compounds introduced by non-organic foods.
 avoid processed crap, full of chemicals, paint, sume foods that are sprayed with chemical pes-
                                                                                                           Many of these compounds accumulate in the
 MSG, to name a few. We need people like you ticides. We also do not want the source of our
                                                                                                           body as a result, leading to symptoms as minor
 to get educated before you open your mouth, dairy products to be animals that eat feed that
                                                                                                           as allergies to as serious as cancer. In the case of
 and we need support for real change in the bet- is treated with pesticides. In addition, we do
                                                                                                           beef, there are additional concerns. Most beef is
 terment of our food supply! We need to be able not want our children nor ourselves exposed to
                                                                                                           pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. The
 to walk into a grocery store and obtain unadul- unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones.
                                                                                                           medical industry has observed that the level of
 terated food without the exorbitant cost. Our More importantly, our environment suffers
                                                                                                           antibiotics people eat through meat is leading
 reps should be helping us! Wake up!”                every time a chemical pesticide is used to treat
                                                                                                           to super-bacteria resistant to current antibiotics.
                                                     food crops. It pollutes our precious land and
“Just so you know, sir, we must be dumb to have                                                            The large amount of hormones taken in through
                                                     water.” -West Bloomfield, MI
 voted you into office. But it looks like these                                                            food sources also affects the body with non-
“dumb” people will be the ones to vote you out “How can you be so ignorant on these issues?                natural hormone levels. As these substances are
 of office.” -Winthrop, MA                           You should resign immediately.” -Grayslake, IL        eliminated from the body, they enter the eco-
                                                                                                           system, affecting marine life. The environment
“Are you really so out of touch with the Ameri- “Mr. Peterson, Check the nutrition figures of
                                                                                                           is another reason to support organic farming
 can people or are you dumb?”                      grass-fed beef compared to ‘regular’ beef, but
                                                                                                           and local buying. Pesticides from non-organic
                                                   do it from a source other than the big beef
“I am a Democrat, but after hearing your remark                                                            farming run off with wastewater, also affecting
                                                   industry lobby. You’ll see who is dumb. Halle-
 in regard “something that says organic” , I am                                                            marine life. Food shipped from one side of the
                                                   lujah to you.” -Pittsburgh, PA
 ashamed to be one. It is hard to believe that you                                                         country to the other requires fuel to transport
 are actually an educated individual. Maybe, just “Dear Representative Peterson, Your comments             it, adding to global warming. Organic farm-
 maybe, if you took the time to educate yourself reflect a narrow understanding of the U.S. food           ing techniques are gentler on the Earth, yield-
 about the subject matter that you are speaking system and its costs. If the price of most con-            ing healthier soil conditions that also help keep
 about, you would not end up sounding like an ventionally grown foods were to include the                  down global warming. The price of organic
 ass. So, congratulations, you have received the cost of so-called “externalities” such as soil and        foods is high because of attitudes and ignorance
 Consumers Association award for the dumbest water pollution, topsoil erosion, and public                  such as yours. Organic farming is a developing
 quote of the week. You even topped President health, then the price of organic foods would                industry. Like any developing industry,
                                                                                                                                                          7
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
prices will initially be high. Look at the prices        farms. I hope you will reconsider your stance        Paying for something you do not want is dumb,
of HD and Plasma televisions, or DVD players,            on this issue.”                                      but I do not have a choice in the matter. Better
for example. How high were those when they                                                                    yet, food subsidies as a whole could be reduced
                                                         “Frightening to think that people like yourself
first came out? Those prices have gone down                                                                   and ultimately eliminated, and then taxpayers
                                                          are in charge of setting health policy. Why do
significantly. The difference here is that organic                                                            could decide what food to purchase with their
                                                          you think people in the U.S. are so obese? Why
farming is in competition with non-organic                                                                    own money. The Organic Consumers Associ-
                                                          do you think most antibiotics don’t work any-
farming, and non-organic farming is receiving                                                                 ation has given you its award for the dumbest
                                                          more? Maybe you should dedicate some time to
government assistance all the time. It is fighting                                                            quote of the week. I do not think you are dumb.
                                                          these issues, then you might understand why
an uphill battle against an opponent that is get-                                                             I think you probably did not think your state-
                                                          people are willing to pay more so they do not
ting support. Why do I purchase organic food?                                                                 ment through before you made it, and you have
                                                          load their bodies up with substances that have
It’s healthier, and I can easily feel that health                                                             not thought through the benefits of organic
                                                          horrible effects on their health. A subject I sug-
difference. It’s better for the environment. It’s a                                                           farming. Some things, like our children and
                                                          gest that is worth studying for you.” -Santa
more “natural” way of doing things, and from a                                                                their future, are worth paying to protect.,”
                                                          Monica, CA
shamanic perspective, that feels to me the way
                                                                                                             “Mr. Peterson, No, we are not willing to pay
things should be. I choose to invest in the kind         “Unfortunately it is antiquated attitudes such
                                                                                                              two or three times as much for something that
of world I want to see, whether that investment           as yours that have led our planet to the dan-
                                                                                                              SAYS ‘organic’ or ‘local’, we are willing to pay
is through my time, energy, or money. I suspect           gerous situation we are in. I sincerely hope you
                                                                                                              two to three times as much for something that
you will receive a lot of response about your             attempt to educate yourself. Your position of
                                                                                                              IS ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Your incomprehensi-
comments. I suspect that, compared to com-                power demands it.” -Fountain, CO
                                                                                                              ble ignorance shows itself painfully clearly in
ments you may receive on other issues, a higher
                                                         “Nice job! Making the dumbest quote of the your statement. You and people that think like
proportion of these comments will be non-per-
                                                          week is hard work. Next time consider promot- you are the reason lawmakers again and again
sonal, but instead intelligent, heartfelt, and well
                                                          ing positive change for our country and maybe try to water down the FDA Organic Standard
thought out. I hope you take that to heart. At
                                                          you will make the best quote of the week.” (so really you can have conventional produce
the very least, I’d like to offer you a challenge to
                                                         -Eugene, OR                                          that SAYS it is organic but no longer is) NOT
spend one month eating all organic foods. See if
                                                                                                              UNDERSTANDING that organic means
you notice the taste difference. See if you notice       “Dear Representative Peterson, I am a consumer
                                                                                                              no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, engineered
the health difference. If you do, then realize not        who purchases organic and locally grown food
                                                                                                              organisms, all factors in declining health and
only a society that feels the same benefits, but          for myself and my family. I do pay more for
                                                                                                              scores of health problems, including cancers.
the environment as well.”                                 the assurances that my food providers do more
                                                                                                              Shame on you, being on such a powerful post
                                                          to protect my health and the environment than
“Why don’t you pull your head out!”                                                                           and being either too dumb to understand the
                                                          conventional factory farms. I do not do this,
                                                                                                              issue or to ignorant and elitist to want to under-
“Your ignorance about organic and local foods             because I am dumb. I am currently pursuing a
                                                                                                              stand the issue. -San Francisco, CA
 is embarrassing to your party. Educate your-             Master’s Degree in Accounting, and I scored in
 self, please! It’s the least you can do...literally.”    the top 4% of test takers on the GMAT. I sim- “Hmm perhaps you haven’t studied anything
-Lewisville, NC                                           ply understand the benefits of organic agricul- regarding agriculture, global warming, and the
                                                          ture. I would expect you to understand them ecology of the planet. Organic means some-
“With “friends” (i.e. Democrats) like you, who
                                                          as well, as you are the chairman of the House thing hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals that
 needs Republicans?”
                                                          Agriculture Committee. For example, the can kill you, and disrupt the ecological balance
“I am a married mother of two young sons. I               USDA found higher levels of the cancer-fight- of the planet. Local means that your friends
 live in Santa Cruz, CA with my family. I found           ing and possibly heart-attack preventing agent, and neighbors grew it, not some random person
 your recent assertion that organic consumers             lycopene, in organic ketchup than in conven- in another country who then put it on a giant
 are dumb to be incredibly offensive. The town            tional brands a few years ago. In 2002, a study truck or cargo ship that took tons of gasoline to
 I live in is a heavily agricultural area...it is sur-    found that children who ate organic fruits and arrive at its final destination. And don’t give me
 rounded by farms. Those of us who live in farm           vegetables had less pesticide in their urine than that crap about “no studies have shown yada
 areas understand the direct impact that pesti-           children who ate conventionally raised produce. yada” - I don’t need a lab to tell me what I can
 cides and herbicides have on our air, our water          Paying a little more for food that puts less POI- plainly see with my own eyes. Finally, organic
 and our health. Maybe you are insulated from             SON into my children’s system does not sound local food tastes better and makes me feel bet-
 those effects in your capitol hill office. maybe to      very dumb to me. I’m not even going to address ter. Conventional food is just gross. Though if
 you, food seems like a simple commodity, that            the obvious benefits to the environment that you’re used to eating crap I doubt you’d notice
 just arrives on your grocery shelves; and you            organic farming carries over conventional, but the difference.” -Arcata, CA
 don’t care how it gets there. I care. I care about       I do not mind paying for that, also. Further, I
                                                                                                             “Congratulations on getting the Organic Con-
 the air my children breath, the water they drink,        would not have to pay more, if the US Gov-
                                                                                                              sumers Association award for the dumbest
 and yes, I care if the food they eat has pesticide       ernment and your committee leveled the play-
                                                                                                              quote of the week. What people are seeking
 residues on it. The demand for organic food is           ing field for organic and conventional farmers.
                                                                                                              is pure food, not heavily adulterated stuff pro-
 only going to grow, you have that much right.            Huge agri-business has dined at the corporate
                                                                                                              duced by the large agribusinesses.”
 But the costs of making the transition are great.        welfare trough for too long, and conventionally
 We owe it to America’s small farmers to help             grown food would cost no less than organics, “How can you not support your local farmers
 them make the transition. It is an investment            if a proportional share of food subsidies went and in turn your own neighbors. You must be a
 that will pay off in a cleaner environment and           to organic farmers. In fact, I am paying more Wal-Mart lover too.”
 a more healthy and diverse agricultural econ-            for the conventional food that I choose not to
                                                                                                             “Dear Representative Peterson; Did it ever occur
 omy. Factory farms should not be our ONLY                purchase, I just do that through my tax dollars.
                                                                                                              to you that if Organic and sustainable
                                                                                                                                                           8
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 farming continues to grow and prosper with- id/21349573/“ -Santa Monica, CA                             farming is to use practices that build healthy
 out government intervention, that corporate                                                             soils. -Organic agricultural respects the bal-
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson I find your statement con-
 farming, non-organic farming, non-sustain-                                                              ance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wild-
                                                     cerning local and organic farming to be naive
 able farming, or chemical intensive farming,                                                            life is encouraged by including forage crops in
                                                     and uninformed. These systems of agriculture
 call it what you will, should be able to sur-                                                           rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands,
                                                     are all about sustaining agriculture and family
 vive without government aid and intervention?                                                           and other natural areas. -Organic farmers have
                                                     farms. I would hope you would want to encour-
 Eliminate subsidies for all types of agriculture                                                        led the way, largely at their own expense, with
                                                     age the consumers to support these systems
 so it’s a level playing field and let the consumer                                                      innovative on-farm research aimed at reduc-
                                                     rather than characterizing their choice to sup-
 choose. And, just say no to NAIS. -No Holly-                                                            ing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s
                                                     port these systems as “dumb” .”
 wood, CA                                                                                                impact on the environment. -The loss of a large
                                                    “I find it fascinating that you would be unable to   variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the
“Please read “The Food Revolution” by Tom
                                                     understand the many reasons why a consumer          most pressing environmental concerns. The
 Robbins in order to educate yourself in this
                                                     would wish to support their local producers over    good news is that many organic farmers and
 important issue.” St Peter, MN
                                                     remote producers. Also it is fascinating that you   gardeners have been collecting and preserv-
“As a former Minnesotan, I was dumbfounded do not understand why consumers health con-                   ing seeds, and growing unusual varieties for
 that you would say that buying organics is cerns would lead them to choose organic foods                decades. -USDA reported that in 1997, half
“dumb” . It has been proven scientifically that for their family. Anyway sir, congratulations            of U.S. farm production came from only 2%
 organic farming is healthier for our earth than on dumbest comment of the week. Best wishes             of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline
 the force fed chemically intensive method that and more pesticides, herbicides, GMOs in your            for small farms because it offers an alternative
 you seem to advocate. So carcinogenic chemi- food and energy waste in transportation to you.            market where sellers can command fair prices
 cally created farm products vs. natural, it seems And this from a Democrat. I had you pegged as         for crops. -Now every food category has an
 to me that I would prefer natural and would a neocon based on your statements.”                         organic alternative. And non-food agricultural
 hope that you would want that for you, your                                                             products are being grown organically ? even
                                                    “No wonder the democrats are floundering. Are
 family and our nation as well. Even Europe                                                              cotton, which most experts felt could not be
                                                     you really that stupid to call me dumb because
 won’t be buffaloed with GMO products, etc.                                                              grown this way. (Reasons to buy organic pro-
                                                     I don’t want to eat poisoned food that is raised
 and so neither should we. Please reconsider                                                             vided by the Organic Trade Association.) The
                                                     and or harvested in the most unhealthy and
 how you are spending our tax dollars the next                                                           point is sir, that I want to be healthy and have
                                                     immoral fashion? Food raised and harvested by
 time you are faced with who should get it. Cor-                                                         a healthy world for future generations to enjoy.
                                                     huge corporations that like you are only inter-
 porate greed or smaller sustained family farms.”                                                        A good start is consuming organic products.
                                                     ested in the bottom line? How much did big
-Berkeley, CA                                                                                            The government persists on subsidizing farm-
                                                     agribusiness pay you-contribute to your cam-
                                                                                                         ers that use unhealthy and unsustainable farm
“Mr. Peterson, Calling a segment of the popu- paign fund-to come out and actually call your
                                                                                                         practices (largely due to taking unethical bribes
 lation, part of YOUR constituency no doubt, constituents and fellow democrats dumb!! Man
                                                                                                         from large chemical companies). This is the rea-
 DUMB for focusing their buying and eating I hope you get elected the heck out of office.”
                                                                                                         son that organic products are 2-3 times more
 habits on organic, free-range and local foods
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson, This letter is in response       expensive than the regular, unsustainable prod-
 only shows how much you don’t know about
                                                     to your recent comment, “For whatever reason,       ucts. “Far be it from me” to understand why
 the subject. Please take your foot out of your
                                                     people are willing to pay two or three times        our senators and representatives refuse to listen
 mouth and educate yourself on these topics.
                                                     as much for something that says ‘organic’ or        to the needs of the people they represent. Please
 Sincerely, A voting Democrat,”
                                                    ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what        support organic farming practices, our future
“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, I can tell just by that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are        and our health depend on it!”
 your hair color that you are lacking copper in dumb enough to pay that much then hallelu-
                                                                                                         “If you took the time, I personally, as a Holistic
 your diet. That your skin is starting to hang due jah.” Whether that comment was out of sheer
                                                                                                          Health Counselor, could give you literally doz-
 to lack of not drinking enough water. There is ignorance or being funded by chemical compa-
                                                                                                          ens of sound, scientific reasons why organic and
 so much that you could learn from the Organic nies, here are a few reasons why I choose to buy
                                                                                                          local farm products are better for you. In a nut-
 Consumers. First of all taste, not to say any- organic: -Organic certification is the public’s
                                                                                                          shell, they are not toxic - which is what virtually
 thing about the health benefits” -Anchorage, assurance that products have been grown and
                                                                                                          all factory-farmed meat and produce are.”
 AK                                                  handled according to strict procedures with-
                                                     out persistent toxic chemical inputs. -It’s com-    “If you can’t figure out the benefits of eating
“With the help from you self-serving fed trough
                                                     mon sense well-balanced soils produce strong,        food grown without CHEMICALS then really,
 feeders, more interested in filling your own
                                                     healthy plants that become nourishing food           who is the dumb one? Please, since you obvi-
 wallet than representing those that mistakenly
                                                     for people and animals. -Many EPA-approved           ously have no clue about agriculture or what
 put you in office, we no longer can trust you
                                                     pesticides were registered long before exten-        should be going in human bodies, remove your-
 to manage healthy foodstuffs for us unwashed
                                                     sive research linked these chemicals to can-         self from the agriculture committee.”
 peasants and that’s why we’re willing to go the
                                                     cer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is
 proven healthy way instead of ignoring your                                                             “Sir, As indicated in the MSNBC.com Finan-
                                                     one way to prevent any more of these chemi-
 sellout! Your type should be tarred ‘n feath-                                                            cial Times Oct. 17, 2007 publication, your
                                                     cals from getting into the air, earth and water
 ered?” -Loma, MT                                                                                         ignorance as it relates to organic farming is
                                                     that sustain us. -The elimination of polluting
                                                                                                          quite alarming. Perhaps you don’t mind you
“Collin Peterson, May your god bless your chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in com-
                                                                                                          and your loved ones eating toxic waste at every
 SORRY ASS soul! you are going to hell, unless bination with soil building, protects and con-
                                                                                                          meal, but there are a number of folks out there
 you help turn earth into hell first. Wake serves water resources. -Soil is the foundation
                                                                                                          who do especially when there is an alternative.
 the fuck up! - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ of the food chain. The primary focus of organic
                                                                                                          The fact that organic foods cost more is
                                                                                                                                                        9
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 the shameful and “dumb” part. Why should yours ... how very insulting besides - JUST SEE                    maintain organic standards. Help us diminish
 consumers have to pay more for safe food? For WHAT THESE DUMB PEOPLE DO A lot                               water pollution and protect our oceans. Buy-
 instance, why should we be forced to eat straw- of them are DARING Uniting Making good                      ing organic is important. If someone told you
 berries sprayed with a known neurological dam- sense ... out of just where the world is head-               that pesticides are not a problem, you should
 aging (among other things) pesticide, when ing right NOW with people like you as lead-                      do your homework and ask yourself who told
 there is an organic alternative. Next time you ers, we definitely, should NOT choose at this                you it was safe. I hope you join us dumb folk
 watch your children or grand children enjoy- time to follow you or, any of your brilliant sug-              and take care of yourself and the environment
 ing fresh produce, I hope you consider what it gestions that are NOT founded in real truth                  by going organic yourself! Thank you for listen-
 is exactly that they are ingesting and consider comments like this insult us maybe, you will                ing.” -New York, NY
 perhaps looking into their future with a world learn something from this outbreak of yours,
                                                                                                             “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
 filled with horrifying toxins and consider tak- discover the truth, and, come to stand on the
                                                                                                              sumers Association award for the dumbest
 ing a stand against big business and your wallet. right side, instead of the wrong side of serious
                                                                                                              quote of the week”
 It would take guts, but you could do it.”           issues ... before it is truly too late for you who is
                                                     helping the farmers, who got sued by Monsanto           “Dear Mr. Peterson, There have been no long
“It is sad when law makers make a comment
                                                     after, they must of driven trucks with traps;            term studies of BGH’s effects on humans. Since
 as ignorant as this. The problem must be that
                                                     and; scattered their gmo seeds; so; they fell into       1994, every industrialized country in the world,
 there isn’t enough BIG money in it for the rep-
                                                     their fields you truly; do NOT know your ass             except for the US, has banned rBGH for use in
 resentatives of this country.” Appleton, WI
                                                     from a hole in the ground you should for some-           dairy cattle. This powerful drug produced by
“Mr. Peterson, I am supposedly one of the dumb one who heads up agriculture; be a lot smarter                 Monsanto and injected into dairy cows, forces
 ones who is paying a little more for organic and than you appear to me America / and, the rest               them to produce 15%-25% more milk. rBGH
 local foods. Yet, the ignorance you are express- of the world is getting a lot smarter; than you             seriously damages their health and reproductive
 ing in your interview of October 17, 2007, ever expected us to BE ... I hope you get pelted                  capacity. A cow’s life expectancy on this drug is
 towards the entire subject of growing locally with emails, just like mine”                                   drastically shortened. I do not wish to ingest
 and organically is simply incredible and outra-                                                              dairy or meat products from cows injected with
                                                    “ People are willing to pay more for organic pro-
 geous. I am deeply concerned that someone like                                                               this hormone!” -Albuquerque, NM
                                                     duce because they are SMART- they don’t want
 you, with a seemingly high intelligence, can
                                                     to dumbly accept poisons and hormones from              “Dear Collin Peterson: I am sorry to hear that
 voice something like that. It shows so clearly
                                                     agribusiness. We care enough about our bodies            you have such a low opinion of your many con-
 how uninformed and ignorant you are! There
                                                     and our children’s bodies to choose better food.         stituents who buy organic food. I have bought
 are plenty of good websites to get informed.
                                                     That makes us smarter.” -Denver, CO                      organic food for the past 20 years. One of the
 Why don’t you start with the Organic Con-
                                                                                                              many reasons is that I have very serious con-
 sumer Association. Best regards and may God “Dear Mr. Peterson, Just because you don’t
                                                                                                              cerns about feeding my children food that is
 bless you while serving the people of the United understand something doesn’t mean it has no
                                                                                                              sprayed with pesticides a.k.a. poisons. I’m sur-
 States.” -Chantilly, VA                             validity. Please educate yourself about organic
                                                                                                              prised that you don’t.” -Duluth, MN
                                                     and local farming and why your constituents
“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here.
                                                     and others are buying it as opposed to other            “People who have willingly ingested herbicides
 Mr. Collin Peterson... unfortunately, I had to
                                                     available options before you speak. As chair-            and pesticides all their lives owing to the fact
 remove the “dear” , as, you called me “dumb” I
                                                     man of the House of Representatives agricul-             that they were intellectually challenged in the
 will eat only organic products, because the other
                                                     tural committee it is your duty to know every-           first place and were therefore unable to com-
 products are laden with Monsanto’s GMO’s and,
                                                     thing you can possibly know about agriculture            prehend the damage these chemicals caused to
 poisons, and, the truth is, I can NOT trust the
                                                     including organic and local agriculture. Thank           their already addled brains are a tragedy. Those
 FDA nor, the patent office to look out for me if
                                                     you.” -Gallup, NM                                        people being elected to represent sane, conscien-
 you don’t know about that I suggest you visit
                                                                                                              tious citizens who have more than two healthy
 WWW.YOUTUBE.COM AND, WATCH “I pay more for organic food because I don’t want
                                                                                                              neurons to rub together - now that’s DUMB. I
 THE SERIES CALLED THE FUTURE OF to eat pesticides and chemical fertilizers, eat
                                                                                                              was taught to think before I opened my mouth.
 FOOD PART 1 - 4 and, tell me how, a com- genetically-modified foods, drink pus-contam-
                                                                                                              I’m sorry you were painfully obviously not
 pany got patents on seeds etc., these are the cre- inated milk, eat soy protein contaminated with
                                                                                                              given that particular advantage either. Even so,
 ation of god ??? surely to god; when these people hexane, cook with oils extracted using hexane,
                                                                                                              you do have a job to do, and you are being paid
 meet the pearly gates; they will descend straight eat animals that are fed antibiotics, growth hor-
                                                                                                              for it. Whether or not you have any personal
 to hell the truth is, the whole USA is corrupt mones, chicken feces, and blood; and eat meat
                                                                                                              sense of duty or honour, it would behoove all
 and, I hope people buy only from local sources, that is contaminated with feces because it was
                                                                                                              of us if you were to at least act like it. Please
 and, only organic and, the other stuff rots on slaughtered in a big factory slaughterhouse
                                                                                                              learn something before you open your mouth
 the shelves unless; it’s organic; and ; I know where feces gets sprayed on meat due to hasty
                                                                                                              and pretend to know anything about anything
 who made it; I no longer eat that !!! i’d rather disemboweling.” -Socorro, NM
                                                                                                              again.” -Greenfield, WI
 starve to death because, if I am what I eat i’d
                                                    “I am one of those dumb people who pays more
 rather eat wholesome things, that come from                                                                 “Senator Paterson; I am totally dumbfounded
                                                     for organic. And I pay more because govern-
 wholesome handlers, and, know I will go to                                                                   by the following statement you made recently
                                                     ment continues to subsidize farmers doing
 heaven, instead of eating the cheaper crap, that,                                                            about supporting organically/sustainable farm-
                                                     damage to the environment and to the health of
 will land me in hell I can TRUST my neigh-                                                                   ing - “It is growing, and it has nothing to do
                                                     people. I think it matters if you buy organic or
 bor... but, surely to GOD I know I can NOT                                                                   with the government, and that is good. For
                                                     not. I think it matters if you buy local. Instead
 trust other sources for food in these times                                                                  whatever reason, people are willing to pay two
                                                     of calling us dumb, help us change the system
 the sheep people, will no longer be fleeced by                                                               or three times as much for something that says
                                                     so that there is equity in the market. Help us
 the likes of people who make comments like                                                                  ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to
                                                                                                                                                          10
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 understand what that’s about, but that’s real- extremely important topic.” -Prospect, KY                    “Unbelievable that you cannot see the benefit of
 ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that                                                               eating wholesome food in it’s natural state (as
                                                        “Wow, I’m dumb enough. I’m dumb enough to
 much then hallelujah.” Congratulations! You                                                                  intended)without the use of hormones, antibi-
                                                         take lead poison toys away from my kid too! I’m
 win the Organic Consumers Association award                                                                  otics, growth additives and unsafe fertilizers, etc.
                                                         dumb enough to make sure my kid eats organic
 for the dumbest quote of the week. I don’t think                                                             Perhaps you are lacking the education regard-
                                                         dairy products and no American beef since I
 I can say much more than that for I would not                                                                ing the safety of organic and grass fed animals
                                                         know full well that Republicans in the U.S.
 know where to start. You have so much to learn.                                                              vs. mainstream food. I would encourage you to
                                                         could care less if my kid gets her period 4 years
-New York, NY                                                                                                 educate yourself; your life and the lives of your
                                                         early from hormone infused milk or gets mad
                                                                                                              children and grandchildren depend on it.”
“I live in MN and I hope your immediate con- cow disease. You’re an abominable disgrace to
 stituents vote you out next term. I will do all this country. I’m disgusted that someone as                 “Congratulations on the dumbest statement!
 in my power to make sure they hear about dumb as you would be voted into office. It does                     Perhaps a little education is in order for an
 your comment. I have never been so insulted. take intelligence to figure out the right thing                 elected official in your capacity. Start with
 I choose to buy organic because I don’t want to do most of the time. And maybe the lack of                   farming and then do a little work on your pal-
 to ingest all the chemicals used by the factory morality in the Republican Party is really an                ate and vocabulary. I thought we could leave
 farms. I resent being force-fed the chemicals offshoot of profound ignorance.”                               these kind of statements to our erudite presi-
 and genetically engineered crops used in the                                                                 dent.” -New Paltz, NY
                                                        “Mr. Peterson, It is time for you to inform your-
 name of making more money.”
                                                         self on the issues of our food supply. Organics     “You certainly are no friend of agriculture, but
“collinpeterson.house.gov House Agriculture are our only salvation at this point because our                  definitely a friend of agri-business, based on
 Committee Chair Collin Peterson Washington political leaders have done such a poor job of                    your recent statement regarding local grown
 Office: 2211 Rayburn House Office Building protecting us and looking after anything other                    and organic products. You sound just like an
 Washington, D.C. 20515-2307 Sir, you must than their own interests, especially where their                   appointee of the Bush administration.” -Cherry
 have some aids who will do a little research for dollars come from. Do yourself a favor and                  Valley, IL
 you regarding the benefits of eating organic learn the facts. Then you will represent us in
                                                                                                             “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay
 foods and shopping as close to home as pos- a way that can be a positive force for change.
                                                                                                              two or three times as much for something that
 sible. It’s not a good time to be embarrassing Thank you.” -Bothell, WA
                                                                                                              says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to
 democrats with thoughtless and unfounded
                                                        “I’m shocked that the chair of the Agriculture        understand what that’s about, but that’s real-
 comments and remarks. By the way, most con-
                                                         Committee doesn’t understand the benefits of         ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that
 sumers know what is organic and what is not,
                                                         purchasing local and organic food, at the very       much then hallelujah.” In response the above
 regardless of what you may believe, and what
                                                         least the benefits to reduce Global Warming.         quotation (by you of course) I just wanted to let
 the FDA may be telling you. Perhaps you could
                                                         And why does big agri need more help from the        you know that I am NOT dumb. I am only 18
 go so far as to check in with the NOSB every
                                                         government than the small farmer? It’s time for      years old yet I realize how important it is to buy
 now and then to ensure they are doing the best
                                                         a change.”                                           organic and local food that is not sprayed down
 advisory job possible. Maybe even pay atten-
                                                                                                              with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. My
 tion to their advice and share it with your peers. “I’m one of those dumb people who grow and
                                                                                                              father, after making the switch to organics, has
 Hard work I know...” -Tacoma, WA                        organic garden, as well as purchase meat at
                                                                                                              no more asthma to speak of while I have no
                                                         high prices that are antibiotic free and hormone
“The following comment you made is dumb:                                                                      more allergies at all. Pesticides contain chem-
                                                         free. I also purchase pesticide free organically
 Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of                                                                    icals that can be very harmful to reproductive
                                                         grown vegetables and fruit when I can get it.
 Representatives agricultural committee, says                                                                 health, growing children and unborn fetuses. I
                                                         Yes, it is obscene to have to pay a higher price
 the farm sector that raises organic produce and                                                              support local and organic foods whenever pos-
                                                         for healthy food that is not genetically altered
 grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little                                                              sible. I have gone to the farms where most of my
                                                         and pesticide free, but that is what our gov-
 federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing                                                             food (including meat, eggs and milk) are pro-
                                                         ernment has created in this country since they
 to do with the government, and that is good,”                                                                duced. These people are not trying to scam me.
                                                         have no concern for people’s health only what
 he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people                                                                 They genuinely believe that our modern food
                                                         will make them look politically good for sup-
 are willing to pay two or three times as much                                                                system needs to go back to simpler ideals. And
                                                         porting corporate agriculture and the Mon-
 for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far                                                            most of the time it is cheaper to buy organic
                                                         santo’s of the world. When your family comes
 be it from me to understand what that’s about,                                                               and local because there are no shipping costs
                                                         down with cancer caused from pesticides and
 but that’s reality. And if people are dumb                                                                   and everything is in season. Maybe you don’t
                                                         meat full of hormones, let me know if you are
 enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” You                                                                really know what organic agriculture is about.
                                                         willing to change your eating habits.”
 need to be taking care of these farmers not the                                                              It is not a fad or gimmick, it’s how people have
 BIG business corporations. Shame on all of “Dear Representative Collin Peterson: I am                        farmed for thousands of years. We cannot be
 you!” -Spring Hill, TN                                  stunned that you find people dumb for want-          sure these chemicals we spray on our food are
                                                         ing healthy food that is not tainted with harm-      safe if we have only been using them for one
“As a lifelong Democrat, I am saddened and
                                                         ful pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics. Your    century! Huge farms need to use pesticides
 embarrassed that you have so little knowledge
                                                         statement indicates a complete ignorance of the      because of how poorly they treat their land and
 about the importance of organic food and the
                                                         health and environmental consequences asso-          how inefficient their techniques are. We need to
 serious health risks of pesticides, artificial fertil-
                                                         ciated with commercial farming. It is exactly        give more money to small farmers who sell to
 izers and pharmaceutical drugs in our conven-
                                                         because the American people can’t count on           local grocery stores and farmers markets. Only
 tional food supply. I urge you to acquaint your-
                                                         their government and legislators like you to         then we will see a decline in obesity and other
 self with these issues before you issue another
                                                         protect them from harm that they are willing         food related health issues. I am not dumb.”
 such uninformed and flippant remark on this
                                                         to spend more on organic food.”
                                                                                                                                                            11
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“Hon. Peterson, Clearly you need to be a little keep in mind the importance of animal wel-              food. Please use your power with discretion
 better versed in how the food system works in fare and its lack in factory scaled farming prac-        and don’t work to commit the House Agricul-
 the US. Its not just about Monsanto and ADM, tices, who consider subsidizing large agro-busi-          ture Committee to the same shortsighted posi-
 who undoubtedly make large contributions nesses like Monsanto equivalent irrational and                tion. There is much reading you could do that
 to ‘dumb’ Representatives such as yourselves who support small farmers and their families              might change your mind about the organic
 to help keep the status quo, its about sustain- in providing us with safe and nutritious food          movement, but it would probably be best for
 able agriculture and a lessening of our depen- supplies. The irony is of course is that it is the      you simply to talk to some of the organic farm-
 dence on foreign oil to raise crops. Organic and “dumb” like me that are working to make this          ers in your district. I found that the Minnesota
 locally grown do just that. Regards,” -Arvada, a better world for everyone including your own          Department of Agriculture keeps a list of regis-
 CO                                                  kids. The world is changing Mr. Peterson, and      tered organic farms, arranged by county: http://
                                                     you do not serve the public interest with state-   www.mda.state.mn.us/food/organic/directory.
“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here
                                                     ments that clearly reveal your ignorance on the    htm -Chicago, IL
 Sir, Do you have a clue as to what organic actu-
                                                     issue that you are supposed to be championing-
 ally means? Obviously not to make a comment                                                            “Sir - I think those who pay any amount for mass
                                                     the sustainability of a nutritious food produc-
 as ill-informed as the one you made recently.”                                                          produced, factory farmed products are dumb,
                                                     tion in a world of ever increasing energy prices
-Los Angeles, CA                                                                                         as is your attitude toward sustainable, natural
                                                     and disease prone industrial mass farming pro-
                                                                                                         farming practices. You ought to be ashamed of
“Being an active Democrat, and concerned cesses. I strongly believe that a heartfelt apology
                                                                                                         yourself, but thanks for confirming our opin-
 about my health and the health of the country, is in order, not to me but to the real heroes who
                                                                                                         ion that most people in government are dumb.”
 I was extremely disappointed to hear that you work every day to provide thousands of fami-
 consider organic consumerism a dumb idea. lies with locally grown, nutritious and healthy              “Collin Peterson, Shame on you. I suggest you
 Purchasing and consuming organic and local food. I recommend at a minimum considering                   do some serious research before you flap your
 food is an extremely wise practice. Organic other perspectives and learning some tolerance.             gums, so next time you don’t sound like a com-
 food is superior in quality to foods that have -Falls Church, VA                                        plete idiot.” -Cambridge NY
 been raised with pesticides and herbicides...
                                                    “That certainly shows your stupidity. Hope you      “Collin Peterson, You obviously do not know
 and organic food tastes better, too. I encour-
                                                     are not in charge of your children’s diet.”         what buying local means. Since you are the
 age you to become informed about the bene-
                                                                                                         chairman of the House of Representatives agri-
 fits of organic food, the organic food movement “I am shocked by your transparent backing of
                                                                                                         cultural committee I think its about time you
 and all the positives of buying local, whenever the damaging practice of factory farming, and
                                                                                                         educate yourself on these issues before you win
 possible. By the way, I’m a former Minnesotan, your complete ignorance of the importance of
                                                                                                         more dumbest quotes of the week” -Scottsdale,
 retired and now living in Bayfield, Wisconsin. saving if nothing else, the oil that it takes to
                                                                                                         AZ
 We are organic food consumers and support the ship the food around the country -Mendocino,
 sustainability movement here in northern Wis- California”                                              “Mr. Peterson, Obviously you have little regard
 consin.” -Bayfield, WI                                                                                  for the quality of food your family eats. With
                                                    “What’s dumb is subsidizing farmers whose only
                                                                                                         the poor nutritional quality of our foods it is
“There are too many hidden costs in conven- concern is profit- they’ll take care of themselves.
                                                                                                         little wonder that we are one of the unhealth-
 tional produce and meats for me to fit in one We should be helping farmers who use sustain-
                                                                                                         iest nations on earth. How can a chairman of
 message, that I know you won’t read. Food has able methods that don’t harm the environment
                                                                                                         an agricultural committee be so ill informed?
 gotten cheaper and cheaper, at great expense so that their prices could be more competitive.
                                                                                                         There is a reason why chronic diseases are show-
 to our health, our environment, our farmers. Your selfish need for bigger donations from big-
                                                                                                         ing up at younger and younger ages in Ameri-
 Shame on you.” -Olympia, WA                         ger businesses impairs your ability to see that
                                                                                                         cans. Do some homework, open you eyes and
                                                     encouraging smaller farms catering to a vari-
“How dumb is it to not care about what goes                                                              help protect Americans.” -Fairfield, IA
                                                     ety of tastes is better than subsidizing huge
 into the food you eat? Seems like you support
                                                     agribusiness companies cranking out products       “While you people in Congress slept the USDA,
 only one part of the constituency you represent.
                                                     designed for producability rather than whole-       FDA, EPA were allowed to become nothing
 Bravo, sir, bravo.”
                                                     someness.” -Woodland Hills, CA                      more than revolving doors for big business as
“Pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones...                                                        they passed whatever suited them without any
                                                    “Rep. Peterson, You are supposed to be repre-
 these are not things I want to ingest. Organic                                                          regard to safety. Our food system is fouled
                                                     senting the agricultural community, which
 farming is something you need to do some                                                                along with our air and water. Wake up and quit
                                                     includes organic farmers. I suggest you become
 research on so that you can make statements                                                             making uninformed comments, if you did your
                                                     more educated about both organic farming and
 that reflect your intelligence rather than your                                                         research you would be looking to our organic
                                                     buying locally. For instance, the nutritional
 ignorance.”                                                                                             farmers to save us as they are our only hope.
                                                     quality of organic food far exceeds the con-
                                                                                                         So much of what’s grown here is tainted and
“Collin, Thank you for instructing me and other ventional counterparts. Buying locally means a
                                                                                                         as more people find out they also switch to
 people that care about localizing the food chain fresher product, less petrochemicals used and
                                                                                                         organic.” -Leasburg, NC
 and eating synthetic chemical free and GMO people connecting with people. Please make
 free foods on the virtues of intelligence. You an effort to educate yourself and your staff. An        “What an unbelievably thoughtless remark. You
 can be sure that come election time I will be excellent resource would be Acres, USA mag-               probably would also consider reading a book
 doing all I can to elect people in your place that azine.”                                              a waste of time when you could just rent the
 are “dumb” like me- those who care about sus-                                                           DVD.”
                                                    “Dear Representative Peterson: I find it irre-
 tainable farming practices, who worry and not
                                                     sponsible of you to have decided, it seems, to     “Those “dumb” organic consumers may actually
 just pay lip service to the problem of pollution
                                                     be ignorant of the value of organic farming         save some money from less doctor bills. Today’s
 that results from industrial scale farming, who
                                                     and of consumers’ motives for buying organic        factory food has cost me a few thousand
                                                                                                                                                    12
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
dollars extra in doctor bills.” -Voss, TX               consumers pay more for their products. The between the increase in “sicknesses” in the
                                                        U.S. government is subsidizing big agri-busi- world to the lack of healthy minerals in the
“I personally don’t like being called dumb, but
                                                        ness to produce their sub-standard food. I con- soil? Your remarks reflect a definite lack of edu-
 considering the source, I feel no anger or hurt
                                                        sider the fact that these people are willing to cation regarding organic farming practices. It
 feelings. Just remember, you work for the peo-
                                                        pay more for good food as an indication of their concerns me that you are partially responsible
 ple, not your own agenda. Signed: Dumb
                                                        intelligence and their desire to eat only healthy for protecting the health of our nation and I
 according to CP.” -St Augustine, FL
                                                        food, so that their families grow up healthy, not would hope that you could find the motivation
“Mr. Peterson, I think it’s time to keep derog-         part of the health crisis in our nation. It’s too to use part of your tax-supported salary to edu-
 atory comments out of politics. How can you            bad that you do not see such an obvious fact for cate yourself about where real food comes from.
 call me dumb when I have researched how pes-           yourself and vote to support such quality food Thank You”
 ticides, hormones and artificial flavors and col-      products.”
                                                                                                            “To Collin Peterson here. Obviously, you see no
 ors affect our bodies and those of our children?
                                                       “Collin - as a former Minnesotan and a demo- correlation between rising cancer rates over the
 Am I dumb because I refuse to believe that
                                                        crat, I’m shocked at the ignorance and offen- last 50 years and the rising amounts of chemi-
 whatever is on the shelf at the grocery store is
                                                        siveness of your comment to the FT insulting cals, including antibiotics, in store bought food
 edible? Or maybe I am dumb because I refuse
                                                        the intelligence of those who care to support - coming more and more from huge, “factory”
 to believe that my government is looking out
                                                        farming families and our planet by insisting on farms. I guess it’s time for some of us “little peo-
 for my health. Maybe I am dumb because I’m
                                                        organic food. I hope you can educate yourself ple” to run for Congress. We sure couldn’t muck
 not like the rest of the sheep who flock to all the
                                                        on this important topic” Durham, NC                  it up much more than you and your money-
 fast food restaurants getting fatter and putting
                                                                                                             worshiping cohorts have.”
 more of a strain on our ridiculous health care        “Do you drive the smallest, cheapest car avail-
 system. You can think what you want (I would           able? I’d bet that your personal automobile was “Dear Congressman Peterson, Have some
 never vote for you) but I know that I am more          chosen, at least balancing such things as com- respect for the family farm that finds a way to
 informed and healthier - as are my children -          fort, safety, and perhaps even with some long- stay in business without becoming beholden to
 than most other Americans.” -Spokane, WA               term concerns such as fuel economy or emis- the banks of big agriculture. Do you know how
                                                        sions. In short, a decision based not just on cost, much it costs to run a small family business,
“Dear Congressman Peterson: You might want
                                                        but on quality. Organic consumers are doing bring the product to market and try to profit
 to do some research into why people are will-
                                                        the same thing, with an understanding that the enough each year to be able to afford health
 ing to purchase local &/or organic food which
                                                        most efficient industrial agriculture homoge- care costs, basic needs, and save for the future?
 might cost slightly more than corporate
                                                        nizes and lowers the quality of its final prod- Of course a farmer not receiving subsidies must
 food(not 2 or 3 times). More and more of us
                                                        uct. The cost may be disproportionate, but like charge a price that affords this. Big agriculture
 do not trust the corporate food system to pro-
                                                        with a quality car, with fewer repairs and less benefits from the majority of federal support
 vide us safe and nutritious food. We also see the
                                                        gas consumption over its lifetime, it’s worth the and provides our nation with the least nutri-
 global food system as unsustainable and in fact
                                                        premium.”                                            tional options. Ingest all of the pesticides you
 harmful. Please get in touch with a local food
                                                                                                             would like from afar. Our local farmer deserves
 system in your area and seek their advice. Or         “Dear Representative Peterson: Did you really
                                                                                                             my purchase at a fair price and until organic
 you can click on www.buylocalfood.com and              say that paying extra for locally or organically-
                                                                                                             farming is the majority, I expect the cost to
 begin your research there. Thank you.” -Green-         grown produce is dumb? And you the Chair of
                                                                                                             remain constant. The bigger price of cheaper
 field, MA                                              the House Agriculture Committee? Oh, Mr.
                                                                                                             food is the harm that it does...or haven’t you
                                                        Congressman, those words will come back to
“Yes, I’m dumb enough to pay a premium for                                                                   read the press regarding imported foods and
                                                        haunt you in years to come. Please educate
 excellent quality from small farmers who a) Pay                                                             their questionable ingredients?” Boise, ID
                                                        yourself SOONEST to avoid even more future
 their workers a living wage b) farm in a man-
                                                        embarrassment. Meanwhile, please make sure “When I was awarded a Ph.D. in physical chem-
 ner that encourages biodiversity and does not
                                                        that foodstuffs don’t just “say” local or organic istry in 1984, it wasn’t for being dumb. I pay
 generate greenhouse gases c) Produce foods
                                                        but that they really are. The lives of an increas- a huge grocery bill penalty to acquire organic
 that actually taste better d) produce foods that,
                                                        ing number of your constituents who may not foods for my family because I’ve done my
 based on recent studies, provide higher levels of
                                                        be as healthy and resistant as the rest of us, research and know this is a better option. I
 beneficial nutrients than industrially produced
                                                        could depend on the truth of those labels. Cer- choose to vote with my dollars for healthier
 foods e) do not demand transporting large
                                                        tainly the health of your whole constituency food and a healthier planet for myself and my
 quantities of grain long distances, thus reduc-
                                                        benefits from locally and/or organically grown family. Perhaps you should educate yourself
 ing green house gas emissions. I had hoped
                                                        food.” Pittsburgh, PA                                on the benefits, rather than just assuming that
 that a Democratic majority might actually pass
                                                                                                             those who make choices different from yours
 a good Farm bill. I guess I no longer need to         “Dear Mr. Peterson: Please read the book The
                                                                                                             are ignorant. You might find the shoe on the
 make contributions to the Democratic party,            Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This
                                                                                                             other foot.” Austin, TX
 and can start voting as an independent.” San           is simple, unbiased, investigative journalism,
 Francisco, CA                                          and I believe even you may be surprised at what “I read your quote referring to people being
                                                        you find out. Thank you”                             dumb to pay 2 to 3 times as much for organic or
“Your ignorance about something as important
                                                                                                             local foods. Get your head out of the sand. Our
 for the future of healthy people and healthy          “Aloha Collin Peterson I’ve been called a lot of
                                                                                                             corporate factory farms produce chemically
 economies is frightening. How does someone             things but never dumb. Organic farming is
                                                                                                             laden and genetically engineered food, that for-
 this dumb get elected...it boggles the mind.”          not just a “term” - it goes back to respect for
                                                                                                             tunately, many people are SMART enough to
 Gualala, CA                                            the soil which you may or may not know con-
                                                                                                             know better than to consume. We pay more for
                                                        tains the minerals that we later ingest through
“Mr. Peterson, It’s obvious why organic                                                                      organics because our legislature is so blinded
                                                        our foods. Do you suppose there’s a correlation
                                                                                                                                                        13
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
by corporate interests that subsidies to organic   the farm sector that raises organic produce and     representatives to the chairs of the Agricultural
farms & sustainable agriculture is a joke. It is   grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little     and related committees.” San Francisco, CA
more expensive because companies like Mon-         federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing
                                                                                                       “Dear Sir, Thanks for your recent comment call-
santo have our representatives in their pockets.   to do with the government, and that is good,”
                                                                                                        ing people who buy organic “dumb” . Maybe
Science has proven the benefits of organic foods   he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are
                                                                                                        some day, you will be as “dumb” as we are.........
and the detriment of chemically laden factory      willing to pay two or three times as much for
                                                                                                        of course, I don’t see that day coming unless
farm produced foods. You are the one demon-        something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be
                                                                                                        we line your pockets, which we won’t.” Sum-
strating how “dumb” you are. It’s about time       it from me to understand what that’s about, but
                                                                                                        mer Shade, KY
you took time to read and learn about what is      that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to
really going on with this planet, our food sup-    pay that much then hallelujah.” Send a message      “We have been growing all our vegetables organ-
ply, our water supply and start getting “smart”    to Collin Peterson (Democrat, MN) congrat-           ically since the early 70’s and firmly believe
about supporting the right campaigns!”             ulating him for getting the Organic Consum-          that organically grown foods are far superior.
                                                   ers Association award for the dumbest quote of       Chemicals have been proven to cause cancers
“Dear Representative Peterson, There are many
                                                   the week:” Yes this is the dumbest quote HAL-        and other genetic defects in addition to the
 of us here in this country (and I’m sure you
                                                   LELUJAH!! People are paying for much bet-            damage they do to our environment. I person-
 don’t know us because we are the poor children
                                                   ter food than non organic that’s why people          ally think we are the smart ones!”
 of the diminishing middle class) who would
                                                   pay!!! IT should the message that people are so
 buy ONLY organic food-if we could afford it!                                                          “Dear Mr. Peterson: So fitting that you should
                                                   tired of poisons and crappy veggies are no long
 You might want to sign up for an on-line biol-                                                         receive this award for the DUMB comment
                                                   acceptable!!! All food industries need to change
 ogy class and perhaps a physiology class as well                                                       you made. I guess you must be in some bodies
                                                   and get the chemicals, food additives, and pes-
 so that you may better understand the deli-                                                            back pocket to think that chemicals are good
                                                   ticides out! My daughter is allergic to food that
 cacy of the symbiosis between ecosystems on                                                            for you and your voters....so glad I do not live
                                                   has many additives including corn syrup!!! So
 this planet and the way in which toxic chemi-                                                          in Minnesota. Unfortunately for the people of
                                                   organic offers the only food my child can actu-
 cals in food are causing a huge cancer epidemic                                                        that state you do.” Ottawa, IL
                                                   ally eat!!!!!!!!!” Midway, GA
 in America. Then perhaps you will understand
                                                                                                       “Dear Mr. Peterson, If you knew WHY “dumb”
 not just how important the organic food indus- “Far be it from me to understand what that’s
                                                                                                        consumers such as myself pay more for local
 try is, but how ESSENTIAL to the survival of about?” Are you kidding? Buying local and
                                                                                                        and organic food, you would realize that we’re
 this planet and the health of human beings it is. organic allows people to buy food that is not
                                                                                                        actually the most informed of them all. People
 Thank you for your consideration.“                covered in poisonous pesticides and that has not
                                                                                                        who buy cheap food that is not only laden with
                                                   traveled for 1000’s of miles. This lowers pollu-
“I am very disappointed to hear that you would                                                          hormones and pesticides but is trucked many
                                                   tion levels and ensures riper, more healthy food.
 said “It is growing, and it has nothing to do                                                          miles to market TRULY are the DUMB ones!
                                                   Perhaps you should do some research of your
 with the government, and that is good,” . I am                                                         They are poisoning their own bodies and the
                                                   own before you stick your foot in your mouth.”
 registered as a democrat voter and I hope that                                                         environment at the same time. Tell me, what’s
 you would learn more about Organic farm- “Get a clue! People are willing to pay for long               smart about that?”
 ing to help our country. Learn from Al Gore term health and integrity of environment.
                                                                                                       “If you are dumb enough to pay more for a qual-
 and serve this country in a better way, please.” The point is caring about things beyond the
                                                                                                        ity car instead of a Pinto, then hallelujah! And
 Phoenix, AZ                                       all mighty dollar. It’s about life and honesty!
                                                                                                        speaking of paying more, what about the bil-
                                                   Hopefully we can all learn from that.”
“It was really asinine of you to say that people                                                        lions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for chem-
 are dumb because they pay extra for local or “Your recent public statement on “dumb”                   ical and energy intensive crops, factory farms,
 organic food. The truth is that most people are organic food purchasers is troubling. First of all,    and junk food purveyors that the Senate is pre-
 ignorant and don’t realize or don’t care that I am willing to pay more for “reliably certified”        pared to give away in the new Farm Bill? Shame
 buying conventionally produced food is what organic products, not for those merely marked              on you!” Venice, CA
 will cost this country and it’s people in the as organic through inadequate certification
                                                                                                       “Congratulations on receiving the Organic
 future, and to some extent in the present, in procedures. Unfortunately, Congress and the
                                                                                                        Consumers Association award for the dumbest
 the form of environmental and health damages. USDA have not seen fit to require a reliable
                                                                                                        quote of the week. Your constituents must feel
 Paying extra for organic or local food is more standard, forcing me to rely on state and local
                                                                                                        very proud.”
 than just a label or a fad. It’s about leading a certifiers with an established reputation and
 healthier life and giving the body what it needs. commitment to quality over profits. The pub-        Georgetown, KY” collinpeterson.house.gov
 It’s about support for people who practice sus- lic is ill-served by this de facto deception over     House Agriculture Committee Chair Col-
 tainability and care about more then their wal- food quality. Secondly, your comments indi-           lin Peterson Washington Office: 2211 Ray-
 lets.” Zionsville, PA                             cate that you are in that faction of Congress       burn House Office Building Washington, D.C.
                                                   that would prefer to help large agricultural        Phone: Fax: You show your own ignorance here.
“Yes, Mr. Peterson “far be it from you to under-
                                                   concerns exploit the organic movement, rather       The reason people are willing to pay more for
 stand” who could possible expect the Chair-
                                                   than honestly promoting its benefits of sustain-    local and organic is because fresher and organic
 man of the Agricultural Committee to under-
                                                   ability, minimal impact on the environment,         taste better and are more nutritious. If factory
 stand something about agriculture. Perhaps
                                                   greatly reduced and provable health benefits for    farms were not subsidized organic producers
 someone will put forward a bill which could be
                                                   farm workers, and healthier products for con-       would be able to compete, taxes would be lower,
 titled “No nit-wit Left Behind” which would
                                                   sumers. Based on your comments I would urge         Americans would be healthier. How can you
 include provisions for dumb shits like you.”
                                                   you to familiarize yourself with the benefits of    argue with that?”
“Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of organic agriculture. I will encourage Congres-
                                                                                                       “Dear Collin Peterson: What I don’t understand
 Representatives agricultural committee, says sional leadership to nominate more informed
                                                                                                                                                     14
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 is how your constituents could have elected food? Because they care about their health                   have a job waiting for you when the people get
 someone who is so loudly and unapologetically and the health of the environment and smart                it together, vote you out, and elect a more rep-
 ignorant. Since you ask, the reason I pay more enough to realize that they deserve to be able            resentative democracy. Peace”
 for food that is healthy, not picked by slaves, to offer themselves food grown without poi-
                                                                                                          “Mr. Peterson, Are you kidding me? Buying
 and not damaging to the earth is because sons, WHILE supporting their local commu-
                                                                                                           locally-produced, organic food is one of the best
 I have a three year old daughter. I hope that nity. DUH. While government and corpora-
                                                                                                           ways to ensure that I and my family are eat-
 she is able to grow up whole and that she has tions (also known as the new government) are
                                                                                                           ing truly healthy, nutritious food of a “depend-
 a world to grow up in. This is love. I hope for busy trying to gain power and money, people
                                                                                                           able quality.” Surely the e-coli spinach outbreak,
 this in spite of the fact that our government is are waking up to what is best for them and
                                                                                                           mad cow concerns, toxic pet food, and many
 staffed with so many hateful greed-mongering their local communities. Go figure.” Chapel
                                                                                                           other recent food safety nightmares demon-
 jerks who apparently want to dismantle our col- Hill, NC
                                                                                                           strate that conscientious consumers must know
 lective future for that proverbial 30 pieces of sil-
                                                      “Honorable Congressman Peterson, With Fed-           and trust source of their food now more than
 ver. As near as I can tell from your quotation
                                                       eral subsidies going to our nation’s non-organic    ever before-or risk their health with blind trust
 in the Financial Times, you think that the rea-
                                                       farmers that are energy intensive and use pol-      of corporate food producers. In addition, buy-
 son that the organic farm sector doesn’t need a
                                                       luting pesticides, I am amazed that a person of     ing locally is one of the best ways to cut down
 handout is that consumers are stupid? You want
                                                       power, such as yourself, does not see the value     on extra costs, pollution, and waste associated
 dumb? Look at conventional agriculture. Or in
                                                       proposition for organic farming and why people      with trucking and flying food products around
 the mirror.” Morris, NY
                                                       will pay more. Your comments about organic          the country and world. Local, organic consum-
“Actually Collin, the epidemic number of deaths consumers are foolish, disappointing and ill               ers should be cheered and organic farmers ought
 due to cancer each year are probably due in considered. I suggest that you take the time to               to be supported in every possible way, including
 large part to the pesticides, growth hormones, understand that many organic consumers do                  in government subsidies, for they are living in
 antibiotics etc. that are in the standard foods not feel that farming practices are sustainable.          a way that promotes sustainability, health, and
 which government groups seem unable to com- There is strong science behind this. I under-                 integrity rather than contamination, illness,
 prehend. Also, the fact that 100 years ago the stand that “the science” is not fully agreed upon.         and environmental degradation.” Austin, TX
 incident of cancer, heart disease etc. was very However, corporate scientists that represent
                                                                                                          “If we had decent food labeling in this country,
 small compared to these statistics today should, conventional farming practices cannot be con-
                                                                                                           and those in charge to protect the public would
 I would hope, make someone like yourself want sidered fully objective either. You should also
                                                                                                           not be executives of Monsanto writing the farm
 to determine if the food supply is the cause of understand that your comments about organic
                                                                                                           bill, we would not have to buy organic and pay
 these and other (i.e. auto-immune diseases) dis- consumers are insulting and are not appreci-
                                                                                                           more to stay clear from all the genetically engi-
 eases. All you have to do is look at what health ated. Even more they show your lack of sensi-
                                                                                                           neered food products that are forced down our
 problems you are currently experiencing. I tivity and lack of open-mindedness” -Clacka-
                                                                                                           throats. So yes, paying more is dumb, I would
 hope you would be interested understanding mas, OR
                                                                                                           even call it stupid - but not on the part of the
 this issue in greater detail than what your com-
                                                      “That was a truly ignorant statement. However,       consumer, but instead those responsible at the
 ments currently indicate” Calgary, AB
                                                       being a nutritional biochemist, I understand        FDA, USDA, and any other government agency
“I am proudly one of those “dumb” people will- how a malnourished brain dysfunctions. I am                 putting corporate gain before public health.”
 ing to pay more for peace of mind concerning sure you suffer from your ignorance in health
                                                                                                          “Dear Mr. Peterson, As chairman of the ag com-
 the health of my family and our world. Please and presence of mind. God be with you, you
                                                                                                           mittee, you should take the time to understand
 educate yourself on the benefits of organic pro- certainly aren’t doing yourself any good. -Santa
                                                                                                           the benefits of organic, local produce. In brief,
 duce.” Enfield, NH                                    Cruz, CA
                                                                                                           it is healthier to eat and better for the planet.
“Sir, This “dumb” organic consumer puts his           “I find it hard to believe that you don’t well       For more information, start with a book like
 money where his mouth is. My food choices             understand the difference between commer-          “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and go from there.
 support my local economy first instead of cor-        cially grow foods and those grown organically.      You could also attend an organic farming asso-
 porate companies who happily put profits              You should do some reading and become more          ciation conference and talk to some folks about
 before nutrition or flavor. I know for a fact that    aware of this issue. The benefits of organically    it. I think it’s important for everyone, but espe-
 my food money helps to support local families,        grown foods are extensive and include bet-          cially the chairman of the ag committee, to
 local business growth and the employees they          ter nutritional value and healthier ecosystems.”    understand these issues rather than dismissing
 pay to help produce my food. My kids know            -Boulder, CO                                         them as dumb. Thank you.” Concord, MA
 how a cow is raised and slaughtered and they
                                                      “Organic consumers are growing in number, “Sir, I personally think that you should resign for
 understand the value of water and soil in grow-
                                                       so to dismiss such a large segment of society making a stupid statement like that........What
 ing plants for food. Why am I “dumb” for con-
                                                       as dumb clearly calls into question your own planet are you living on? 1) Local produce that
 sciously nourishing my family and supporting
                                                       brain performance. Perhaps you’re lacking a has been picked a day or two before it gets to
 my local economy? P.S. Part of being a con-
                                                       nutritious diet that is free of contaminants? your table instead of last week or last month,
 scious consumer is that I vote.” Grand Junc-
                                                       You’re obviously uninformed as to the supe- or several months ago ALWAYS tastes better
 tion, CO
                                                       rior benefits of Organic foods to human health & has many more nutrients. 2) Conventional
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Congratulations on getting         and the environment. Although, you’re prob- produce purchased at the grocery store travels
 the Organic Consumers Association award for           ably just a shill for the corporate agribusiness an average of 1500 to 2000 miles before it gets
 the dumbest quote of the week. What were              multinationals who pay for your campaigns to your table.....HAVE YOU EVER HEARD
 you thinking? Do you know WHY people are              and make your decisions for you. Of course you OF GLOBAL WARMING? 3) I don’t know
 willing to pay more for locally-grown, organic        don’t have to worry though, they still might about you, but I never have liked the idea of
                                                                                                                                                        15
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 consuming pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fer- up-to-date when you decide to support organ-            are supporting with their dollars. Our leaders
 tilizers & now we have to worry about geneti- ics. Thanks for your time.” New York, NY                   in government are no exception. Albuquerque,
 cally modified foods. The American people are                                                            NM”
                                                   “I am not dumb. But I find the democratic pro-
 not as dumb as you think we are, and I think
                                                    cess to be irrelevant for change. I therefore vote    “Representative Peterson, The reason that us
 we have your number....who’s pocket are you
                                                    with my dollar and support sustainable agri-           consumers of organic and local goods are will-
 in?” -Peoria, AZ
                                                    culture. It’s about time farmers were paid what        ing to pay more for them is because the food is
“Organic consumers are growing in number, so they were worth.” Noti, OR                                    of a much higher quality. It is also much more
 to dismiss such a large segment of society as                                                             nutritious as has been shown in study after
                                                   “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay
 dumb clearly calls into question your own brain                                                           study. You should try it, I know you would like
                                                    two or three times as much for something that
 performance. Perhaps you’re lacking a nutri-                                                              it!”
                                                    says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to
 tious diet that is free of contaminants? You’re
                                                    understand what that’s about, but that’s real-        “YOU are the dumbest man I’ve heard open his
 obviously uninformed as to the superior bene-
                                                    ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that         mouth exposing your ignorance about people
 fits of Organic foods to human health and the
                                                    much then hallelujah.” Oh, give me a break.            being so DESPERATE to find clean, healthy,
 environment. Although, you’re probably just a
                                                    Are you flatly in the pocket of big-business agri-     non-poisoned, non-injected food that they are
 shill for the corporate agribusiness multination-
                                                    business or simply ignorant? Wake-up or move           forced to pay the price increases and outra-
 als who pay for your campaigns and make your
                                                    over. You’re in the way of our country’s health        geous costs to get it - that I KNOW I’ll be see-
 decisions for you. Of course you don’t have to
                                                    in more ways than one.” Columbia, SC                   ing you one day in a cancer clinic wondering
 worry though, they still might have a job wait-
                                                                                                           WHY and HOW you got it! What we need is to
 ing for you when the people get it together, vote “I pay more so that my children will hopefully
                                                                                                           spend our agricultural money on more organic
 you out, and elect a more representative democ- not get cancer from the fruits and vegetables
                                                                                                           farming needs, stop subsidizing people for not
 racy. Peace” Seattle, WA                           that are basically laden with pesticides as well
                                                                                                           growing anything or paying them to grow for
                                                    as the growth hormones and antibiotics that
“Collin I am shocked and dumbfounded by                                                                    other countries who owe us nothing more than
                                                    come from non-organic dairy. My family is
 your choice of words in describing people that                                                            decades of back cash. Health is an issue, who
                                                    worth the little bit of extra money spent to keep
 care for humanity by purchasing products that                                                             cares if terrorists are threatening us, we have to
                                                    us healthier.” Hatfield, PA
 are organic or locally grown. My decision to                                                              be ALIVE to CARE! Please stop being a per-
 purchase organic or locally grown food serv- “Dear Collin Peterson: Congratulations for get-              son BOUGHT by chemical and pharmaceuti-
 ers two purposes one for my health and a sec- ting the Organic Consumers Association award                cal companies.”
 ond for the sake of reducing pollution. It is the for the dumbest quote of the week: Health and
                                                                                                          “Dear Rep. Peterson, Congratulations on receiv-
 tone that paying for fertilized and pesticide safety of our food is of the upmost importance.
                                                                                                           ing the Organic Consumers Association Award
 laden food cost less is not accurate. The food How ever we do that should be supported. For
                                                                                                           for the Dumbest Quote of the Week! As a good
 general is grow on mega farms that then have the well being of our babies and older people.
                                                                                                           public servant, you really should educate your-
 to ship the products over long distances to get Please be more conscious when you speak. You
                                                                                                           self more about the benefits of organic and local
 on the consumers plate. A lot of pesticides and have a voice that a lot listen to. Thank you for
                                                                                                           food not only to human health but also to the
 fertilizer are utilized to grow the food in large your consideration.”
                                                                                                           environment. Do your homework, and you will
 quantities that also adds to the pollution of our
                                                   “Representative Peterson, I was dismayed to             start getting noticed for your intelligence and
 environment. Finally all the mass produced
                                                    read your comment that the organic produce             foresight, not your ignorance!” Berkeley, CA
 food is subsidized by the consumers tax dollar.
                                                    and grass-fed beef sector does not need govern-
 The all in cost of mass produced food cost is a                                                          “Dear Mr. Peterson, We are not sustainable as
                                                    mental assistance, and your comment that peo-
 much later burned on consumer than organic                                                                a world society. We have less then 40 years to
                                                    ple who buy these products are ?dumb?. In case
 and locally grown food. I hope you find time                                                              live unless we make major changes. The num-
                                                    you really are so uninformed, here are some
 in your busy schedule to educate yourself about                                                           ber of people knowing this is growing every day.
                                                    of our reasons for buying organic & local: To
 a topic before make a public statement that is                                                            That is why people are paying more for local
                                                    avoid carcinogenic pesticides in our food. To
 inaccurate and will alienate your voting com-                                                             and organic food and other products. The less
                                                    avoid the antibiotics that cattle are treated with,
 munity.”                                                                                                  chemicals we put on our land the better it is for
                                                    which are contributing to the ?super bugs? that
                                                                                                           everyone. The less we have to ship things means
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Re: Organic Food Needs are such a problem now. To support an industry
                                                                                                           that we save energy.” Carefree, AZ”
 Your Support Having grown up a fruit farmer that keeps toxic chemicals off the land and out
 in Wisconsin, and now living in New York City of the water. Higher nutrient content. To sup-             “Hopefully the quote I saw was out of context
 and looking for healthy foods, I was dismayed port our neighbors & small businesses. Buying               and you’re not as simpleminded as it implies.”
 by your comment dismissing organic food and locally saves energy. Local produce is fresher &              Tucson, AZ
 its buyers. My parents and many orchard own- tastes better. For the health of our nation, it is
                                                                                                          “Congratulations Representative Peterson! You
 ers in our county (Door) died young, perhaps imperative to support these industries. If more
                                                                                                           are not just a foolish person worthy of ridicule,
 due to the use of dangerous pesticides and fer- people ate local, organic produce, grass-fed
                                                                                                           but you once again show the true face of the
 tilizers. I remember my parents coming in beef and free-range eggs & poultry, health care
                                                                                                           Democrats, beholden to factory farms, with
 after working in the orchards, red and swollen costs would be reduced, energy consumption
                                                                                                           their poisonous food and pollution. You know
 from the residue of the harsh chemical sprays. from transporting food long distances would
                                                                                                           where your campaign contributions come from,
 The environment, increasingly more delicate, be reduced, pollution would be reduced and
                                                                                                           that’s for sure. And the rest of us citizens can
 demands rethinking of the use of chemicals. the environment would be better cared for. I
                                                                                                           take a hike, right? Salute!” Iowa City, IA
 This is scientifically shown. Supporting organ- implore you to please educate yourself on these
 ics supports the future of our country and the issues. Every person has a duty to know what              “Honorable sir: YOU get the prize for making a
 earth, and your reputation will be positive and they are putting in their bodies and what they            DUMB remark that those who purchase
                                                                                                                                                        16
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 organic or local are DUMB! People are willing that would make me feel better about you.”                   subsidizing big ag business and look at the
 to pay a little more for foods that are going to Manchester, CT                                            whole picture for the sake of future generations
 contribute to their well being, and to support                                                             and the earth itself. I’m sorry to say you give
                                                      “Dear Mr. Peterson, I think your comments
 the farmers and individuals who willing to be                                                              democrats a bad name.” Dillsburg, PA
                                                       about people who buy organic as being dumb
 innovative, hard working and entrepreneurial to
                                                       are very alarming. I’ll have you know that by        “Dear Mr. Peterson, I guess I’m one of those
 raise such products. Instead of pouring govern-
                                                       buying local I am helping to keep people in my        dumb people who’s willing to pay two to three
 ment (MY!) money into subsidies for huge con-
                                                       community employed and able to make a liv-            times more for something grown locally and
 glomerate farms to produce genetically modi-
                                                       ing and not receive handouts from the taxpay-         organically than something drenched in pes-
 fied and/or unhealthy agricultural products or
                                                       ers. As for spending two to three times more          ticides, trucked in or shipped from thousands
 to keep them off the market, my share of federal
                                                       for organic, why is that? Could it be because         of miles away. Those billions of gallons of fuel
 monies should be going to support these local/
                                                       the “government” has so many regulations and          were laying around, anyway. I also guess that
 organic farmers. For it is good, safe, wholesome
                                                       expensive certification rules to become certi-        the dollars I’m paying now (how foolish of me!)
 food that is going to keep our populace healthy,
                                                       fied organic. The only reason big corporations        are the same dollars you’ll be spending in the
 and keep them then from relying on national
                                                       get all the money is because everyone in Wash-        future on medical fees (doctor’s visits, med-
 health care programs because they are obese,
                                                       ington is bought and paid for. If that weren’t        ications, hospital stays, etc.) when you get
 have heart disease, and other maladies caused
                                                       the case more of my tax dollars would be going        any number of cancers, suffer from heart dis-
 by improper nutrition. You ARE what you eat.
                                                       to organic agriculture and the small farms that       ease, or attempt to stave off obesity and diabe-
 IMHO, you should eat some humble pie, apol-
                                                       want to be organic. If more Americans would           tes. It’s crazy how our bodies really don’t like
 ogize to hard working local and organic farm-
                                                       eat a healthy organic diet and start exercising       DDT, high fructose corn syrup, or any of the
 ers, and inform yourself of the value of organic
                                                       there would not be an obesity problem in this         other chemicals we inadvertently ingest with
 and local foods to our national economy, and
                                                       country. So in the future please keep your com-       our morning Pop-Tart and fruit cup from Wal-
 our nation’s health. Have an apple - an organic
                                                       ments to yourself. Maybe you should look into         Mart. Personally, I’d rather support local farm-
 one - and taste the difference! Waterford, CT
                                                       organics you might learn something.” Cookev-          ers and local agribusiness than the fat-cat execu-
“Dumb” is ignoring the health and nutritional ille, TN                                                       tives lurking at Monsanto, 3M, and Big Pharm.
 benefits of organic food. Studies show a 40%                                                                Silly me.” Highspire, PA
                                                      “Shame on you. I’m not dumb, I’m spending
 increase in nutrients and antioxidants in organic
                                                       my money to create a better world for my chil-       “Your statement about organic consumers is
 foods. Smart would be supporting organic and
                                                       dren.”                                                bound to anger Democratic voters all over the
 family farmers rather than the agribusinesses
                                                                                                             country. It demonstrates that you are unaware
 that are poisoning us and our environment.”          “Dear Mr. Peterson: What is ignorant, which
                                                                                                             of all the research that shows that organic food
                                                       is a more accurate word to use than dumb, is
“Way to go, Collin. You just proved my origi-                                                                is more nutritional than conventional foods.
                                                       having a person with such limited knowledge
 nal estimate of your IQ when I moved onto this                                                              You are also are obviously unaware that organic
                                                       of why organics is the way to go now and in
 farm 15 years ago....was right.” Albany, MN                                                                 farmers rather than damage the environment
                                                       the future. Since I do not want to write a book
                                                                                                             by overusing chemical fertilizers, pesticides and
“Obviously, you don’t get it Mr. Peterson. People here, how about some short/succinct reasons
                                                                                                             herbicides, are frequently improving the envi-
 pay more for local and organic food because it why one would want to purchase organic pro-
                                                                                                             ronment by their sound practices.” Santa Bar-
 is fresher (local), tastes better, is lower in chem- duce and meat for themselves and their loved
                                                                                                             bara, CA
 ical residues, and supports more local and fam- ones: -No Bovine Growth Hormones -No anti-
 ily farms over those huge polluting agribusiness biotics -Not grain fed, which is proven to con-           “Congressman Peterson, After reading your
 factory farms. The number of people who DO tribute to health issues due to the fact that cows               comments on organic produce and grass-fed
 get it are growing. People do vote with their are meant to eat grass, not grains -No chem-                  beef, I am appalled that you would make such
 forks.” Newfane, VT                                   icals used -Tastes better and has higher nutri-       a derogatory statement. Sustainable agriculture
                                                       ent content By the looks of your picture, you         needs funding and the reason why people pay
“Dear Representative Peterson I am deeply sad-
                                                       could use better nutrition. Also, a side affect of    such inflated prices for organic items is due to
 dened that the chairman of the agriculture
                                                       the improved nutrition, would be better blood         lack of federal funding. We need to see the big
 committee does not understand the health,
                                                       flow to the dead lump on top of your shoulders!”      picture and focus on a sustainable future, not
 economic and environmental benefits of
                                                       Minneapolis, MN                                       poisoning the American public as well as the
 organic and local food. I do understand that I
                                                                                                             land we use to grow crops. The are vast amounts
 am privileged to be able to afford organic food “It ABSOLUTELY amazes me when I hear of
                                                                                                             of evidence supporting sustainable agriculture,
 (which would not be so noticeably more expen- someone who is in the upper echelons (not too
                                                                                                             and it is time our elected officials start work-
 sive than conventional food if there were not so big a word for you, is it?) can be so naive about
                                                                                                             ing for the people, not being slaves to mega-cor-
 many federal subsidies) but herbicide and pesti- something so tremendously important. If you
                                                                                                             porations. Please be a leader in this fight, and
 cide and pesticide use, as well as heavy fertiliz- were better read, you might realize that pur-
                                                                                                             realize that some Americans actually think crit-
 ers, must indicate how unnatural conventional chasing from sustainable farms might help sal-
                                                                                                             ically about the choices they make when buy-
 farming is. Just check out the Gulf of Mexico, vage the food business from the actions of large
                                                                                                             ing food and lets look to a future where local
 where there is a dead zone where the Mississippi agribusiness. I would think you would want to
                                                                                                             produce and grass-fed beef are the center of our
 River hits it - nothing LIVES there. Now why be more aware and educated”
                                                                                                             food choices.”
 are farming practices that don’t use these harm-
                                                      “Perhaps as someone associated with agricul-
 ful fertilizers DUMB?” -Chicago, IL                                                                        “I eat organic because I am educated about food
                                                       ture and responsible for the entire perspective,
                                                                                                             safety issues and nutrition. You may be willing
“Thanks Collin for reminding me how dumb it would be better to educate yourself about the
                                                                                                             to eat meat raised under conditions banned in
 the people are who run this country. I hope benefits of something before you label others as
                                                                                                             Europe. You may be willing to eat fruits and
 your eating plenty of GMO food. Knowing “dumb” . I wish the government would cease
                                                                                                                                                          17
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
vegetables with less nutrients in them. You may       been proven repeatedly to provide better nutri- eggs, etc. We are certified organic farmers pro-
be willing to eat highly processed food with          tion, and they have less harmful impacts on ducing wine grapes for Benziger Family Win-
trans fats that clog your arteries. You may be        water supplies and other aspects of our envi- ery. California, as always, is leading the organic
willing to feed all those things to your family,      ronment. Locally grown foods require less food movement for our nation. Comments liked
but I am not. Who is the dumb one?” Corval-           energy for transport and are often fresher (and these from a high ranking government official
lis, OR                                               therefore more nutritious) than foods shipped regarding organic foods are very alarming and
                                                      (unripe, in the case of produce) from far away. I disturbing, none the less from the Chair of the
“Mr. Peterson, What a shame that someone with
                                                      pay more because it’s good for me and my fam- Agricultural Committee!” Kenwood, CA
 your admitted lack of ability to understand
                                                      ily in the short run and environmentally for
 organic agriculture and those who consume it                                                           “Rep. Peterson, As the agriculture committee
                                                      all of us in the long run. “Hallelujah” indeed!
 is allowed to chair the House Agriculture Com-                                                          chair I’m surprised at your ignorance re: the
                                                      You’re welcome!” Ann Arbor, MI
 mittee! Shame shame! Way to go Einstein!!”                                                              advantages of and superior quality of small
 Cleveland, TN                                       “WOW... thanks for being so insulting in your farmer produced beef, poultry and vegetables.
                                                      remarks regarding people who care enough Even the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“I’ll pay anything to feed my family hon-
                                                      about their health, the environment, and their has published that “Organic farming methods
 est, nutritious food. But usually it’s not more
                                                      community to purchase organic products. YOU produce higher yields, superior product while
 than maybe 50% more. And guess what? We
                                                      seem to be the uninformed one here!”               improving the soil and environment.” You
 are healthier - fewer medical problems - lower
                                                                                                         might also notice the inconvenience of pollu-
 medical bills. If you guys would support “I spend more on organic and local because I
                                                                                                         tion from huge agri-business farming meth-
 organic farmers, the prices would come down care about my health and don’t want to eat poi-
                                                                                                         ods, poisoned people & animals from cancer
 as the market expands. I’m not dumb, but the son!”
                                                                                                         causing pesticides, and increasing outbreaks of
 ag-industrial complex that you seem to support
                                                     “Collin Peterson, You are as dumb as dirt!!!” e-coli, to name a few. There is a ton of informa-
 endlessly certainly is. Cabin John, MD
                                                      Ewa Beach, HI                                      tion our representatives should be aware of in
“My goodness, Mr. Peterson, you really show                                                              agriculture because what the people want and
                                                     “Dear Collin Peterson, Your comment about
 yourself to be an idiot of the first degree. People                                                     deserve is good food, clearly labeled and not
                                                      organic consumers being dumb to buy local
 pay more for organic so that it won’t be tainted                                                        tax dollars spend on bloated corporate execu-
                                                      and organic would be funny if it were not such
 with chemicals. Now here’s a serious question                                                           tives with corresponding budgets who control
                                                      a pitiful statement. Caring about what we feed
 for you...how do such idiots get elected?”                                                              the information and agenda. Please do some
                                                      our families is a huge concern for the people
                                                                                                         research outside your usual contacts. Talk to
“I hope you will take some time to understand you claim to serve. If we did not take the care
                                                                                                         people from Minnesota, you know, farmers.
 the benefits to health AND the environment to needed to know what it is we eat, and educate
                                                                                                         Come on, you’re a Democrat for Pete’s sake.
 purchasing local, organic products. Some of us ourselves we would indeed be eating geneti-
                                                                                                         Thank you for your time.” Minneapolis, MN
 consumers (and a quickly growing percentage cally modified food crops that are unproven as
 of consumers), are willing to pay more to pro- to the harmful effects on our bodies, tainted “Mr. Peterson, Wow. People who chose to pay
 tect the environment, our health, and the health food from China, or food laced with pesti- more for organic and local food are dumb?
 of our children. And I don’t think we’re “dumb” cides banned in this country, yet sold to for- What an ignorant statement to make; inform
 for choosing to spend our money that way. As eign countries, where we now import a great yourself.”
 the chairman of the House Ag. Committee, I deal of our produce. Given our wasteful use
                                                                                                        “Congratulations on winning OCA’S Dumbest
 think it is important for you to understand the of oil to transport food across this nation. Isn’t
                                                                                                         Quote of the Week award regarding us dum-
 importance of these concepts. Maybe someday it fairly logical to buy local produce that does
                                                                                                         mies who buy organic. Well deserved! I knew
 there will even be subsidies for organic agricul- not have astronomical freight charges added
                                                                                                         when I first heard it that you had a winner.
 ture, as there are in many European countries!” to it? It is unfortunate that people like your-
                                                                                                         Please remember that food didn’t used to be
 Port Townsend, WA                                    self with such a limited view of the food you eat
                                                                                                         called organic or not, because it was all organic.
                                                      get elected into leadership positions that influ-
“so, we should just continue to subsidize agri-                                                          It was simply called “food” , and the modern
                                                      ence our agricultural future. I wonder what you
 culture which fosters unsustainable, danger-                                                            addition of chemical pesticides, herbicides, hor-
                                                      must feed your children. Please educate your-
 ous, imported produce coming from the good                                                              mones and antibiotics, and genetic modification
                                                      self on the food you feed your family. Then you
 old boy sources rather than support local, sus-                                                         has not improved it any. Have you ever seen a
                                                      may accurately make a judgment as to what is
 tainable produce and other foods that’s good                                                            factory farm? Have you ever seen a family run
                                                     ‘dumb’. Lenoir, NC
 for the public health and environment, and                                                              organic farm? See if you can tell the difference,
 contributing to and supportive of the LOCAL “Rep. Peterson, What can I say except that your and see if you can decide where you’d rather
 economy?? and, why would you call ANYONE comment regarding organic and local foods is eat... eh? I’m very sorry to see that you hold the
 concerned about their health and the health of a perfect example of the myopic vision the gov- congressional position that you do, as we’ll all
 OTHERS-dumb??? you sound like a Republi- ernment has regarding farmers, the environ- be the worse for it; and I’m very disappointed
 can!!” Chicago, IL                                   ment, energy policy and the precarious future to see this kind of attitude coming from a dem-
                                                      that will effect our children and grandchildren. ocrat. Shame, shame. I sincerely hope that you
“It more than disturbs me that a person with
                                                      What a shame.” Englewood, CO                       see truth soon.”
 your committee position has no understanding
 of the reasons for eating only organic products. “Collin Peterson, Your comments in the Finan- “Mr. Peterson, I hope you look into this mat-
 The reasons are well-known and valid. Your cial Times article of October 17th 2007 have ter more thoroughly, especially if you have chil-
 remark got you the OCA’s Dumbest Quote of completely shocked me! We own & operate a dren and/or grandchildren. Bay City, MI
 the Week award.” Weedsport, NY                       restaurant going on our 27th year serving only
                                                                                                        “Sir: My friends and family in Minnesota are as
                                                      organic vegetables, beef, poultry, fish, dairy,
  “Rep. Peterson, Organically grown foods have                                                           shocked as I am at your statement about
                                                                                                                                                      18
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
organic food consumption. All of us are edu-         have the audacity to call that DUMB! Do Committee should know the difference and the
cated people who eat organic foods, locally          your homework and stop buying into corpo- issues involved in Organic farming and not
grown when possible. All of us vote,” Jackson,       rate deceptions about the food industry. If you resort to calling your fellow citizens “dumb”
MI                                                   think you know it all you have no place in a just because you don’t understand those issues.
                                                     leadership position. May you find blessings Paying extra to get around toxic chemicals in
“Mr. Peterson, As an organic farmer of 10+ years
                                                     from this blunder.”                                    our foods and poisons that foul our land and
 who sells to the local market in Portland, OR
                                                                                                            water is not “dumb” but actually the opposite. I
 it sounds like you don’t know anything about       “Gee, Rep. Collin Peterson, thanks for letting
                                                                                                            would like to ask that you try to be an informed
 agriculture. It is embarrassing to have you, as     me know this late in life that I’m dumb. I guess
                                                                                                            chairman and advocate for all citizens not just a
 the committee chair for Ag, speak out and say       having two Master’s Degrees, raising some of
                                                                                                            self-selected segment of the population.”
 that buying organic and/or local is “dumb” .        my own food and being able to figure out that
 Maybe you should learn what organic agricul-        eating poison might not be good for me is just “Dear Representative Peterson: Just in case you
 ture is about and why we desperately need to be     not enough to be a smart person in your eyes. think people that spend more money for local
 converting more land to this more sustainable       Though I doubt most “smart” people really or organic food are dumb, I suggest that you
 practice. All of us “dumb” farmers would love       need a lot of education to know that saturat- take the time to educate and inform yourself
 to host you and show you all of the things you      ing the land, the waterways and the food we about the state of our ‘normal’ food. This food
 don’t know anything about.” Portland, OR            eat with toxic chemicals is probably not a good is fine if you are dumb enough to think that
                                                     idea. I would think that you are probably fairly irradiation, rBGH, GMO fake food, antibiot-
“Mr. Peterson I believe that not all food labeled
                                                     smart yourself. That should mean that you are ics, mad cow disease, etc. have nothing to do
 organic is actually pesticide-, hormone- and
                                                     able to be a critical thinker and figure out that with your health. I think you deserve an award
 antibiotic-free. But I think I have a better
                                                     the statistics fed to you by petrochemical com- for the dumbest quote of the week.”
 chance of avoiding these health-destroying
                                                     panies has something to do with their coffers
 contaminants when I spend a few dollars more.                                                             “As a Republican, I can’t tell you how vindicat-
                                                     being full. But I’m probably wrong because I’m
 My family is worth the extra effort. I wish you                                                            ing it is to show my Democratic colleagues that
                                                     dumb. Thanks for setting me right.”
 would wake up and get educated about what                                                                  their leadership is not immune to greed and
 corporate farming(that your farm bill supports)    “Maybe you should look into the facts before ignorance. Representative Peterson, you are
 is doing to our food!” North Wales, PA              you call local or organic produce buyers dumb. either owned heart and soul by the beef indus-
                                                     There are many issues and factors involved as try or you truly are as ignorant as you sound.
“Dear Collin, I don’t understand how in the
                                                     there are in everything and you should educate Either way, thank you. Next time I’m getting
 world you got that job. I have a question about
                                                     yourself if you are going to represent the people pummeled with a barrage of disdain for my
 where you were coming from when you said
                                                     of this country.” Carbondale, CO                       political affiliation, I need only mention your
 the following: “For whatever reason, people are
                                                                                                            name.” Westlake Village, CA
 willing to pay two or three times as much for      “Mr. Peterson, I suggest you read, “The Omni-
 something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be    vore’s Dilemma” or spend some time with Joel “I’m a Democrat and I try to be very conscious
 it from me to understand what that’s about, but     Paltin of Polyface Farms and educate yourself of those things that I eat. Ensuring that I eat
 that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to    about the foods you eat.” Kendall Park, NJ             healthy means eating more Organic foods. I
 pay that much then hallelujah.” Do you think I                                                             would tend to say that your comment was
                                                    “Well call me an idiot, but I think that it is you
 want to pay 2 or 3 times as much to ensure that                                                            based on the fact that the government doesn’t
                                                     who do understand that price is not the only
 my family is not ingesting harmful toxins, hor-                                                            have the necessary regulations governing the
                                                     thing that matters. I am willing to pay for qual-
 mones and/or genetically mutated food? Who                                                                 use of “Organic” , on food items which is,
                                                     ity, especially when it is what I feed my fam-
 in the world are you calling ‘dumb’? Pull your                                                            “dumb”. It would be too much like right, to
                                                     ily. To hand local farmers at our farmer’s mar-
 head out of your F!&%@#! A$$ and resign                                                                    ensure that something that is better for you, be
                                                     ket money for extremely fresh non-chemically
 before you do any more damage. I can’t believe                                                             less expensive than fast foods and other chem-
                                                     tainted produce maybe stupid, but silly me, I
 my tax money has anything to do with you.”                                                                 ically induced foods. It shouldn’t be that one
                                                     find that I can taste the difference. If it also sup-
                                                                                                            and that’s what’s dumb.”
“Dear Senator: Good job getting the “dumb-           ports local farmers, keeping the local economy
 est quote of the week award” for your silly         and landscape green, and avoids importing poi- “Forgive them for they know not what they say” .
 comment about people who choose local and           son from China, well I guess that is a price I’ll Organic fruits and vegetables have been proven
 organic.”                                           have to pay. Economic cents does not always to contain much higher levels of anti-oxidants
                                                     equal common sense. Corporate greed, and the than conventionally grown and no pesticide/
“Dear Collin Peterson, If you and your family
                                                     politicians they buy, never serves the public. - herbicide residue. Fight cancer and reduce birth
 like to eat factory farmed, pesticide, antibiotic,
                                                     Eugene, OR                                             defects, eat organic.” Spring Hill, FL
 arsenic and mad cow disease garbage, then you
 are an idiot. I believe in staying healthy by eat- “Congratulations on receiving the Organic            “Dear Collin Peterson: I have to tell you that
 ing decent food, the way it has been made for Consumer Association award for “the dumbest                I find offense in the comment that you made
 thousands of years. Modern industrial food is quote of the week!” Clearly Mr. Peterson’s expe-           regarding people who purchase organic food.
 the root cause for most modern day sickness.”       rience with food has been fairly limited.” Oak-      There is substantial evidence that non-organic
                                                     land, CA                                             produce and foods contain levels of pesticides.
“With all due respect, Sen. Peterson, you have
                                                                                                          According to you, I am dumb for trying to
 exposed your own ignorance with your frivo- “To Collin Peterson, Please use your position
                                                                                                          eliminate these pesticides from my family’s diet.
 lous remarks about consumers who prefer to as Chairman of the House of Representatives
                                                                                                          Well, I guess that is my choice. But if local and
 buy organic and local foods. I work hard and to learn more about what the US Organic pro-
                                                                                                          small organic farmers don’t need the support
 long to pay for the quality food I provide for gram and organic issues are all about. Surely
                                                                                                          of the government, then why do large farm-
 my child because I know the difference. You the chairman of the House of Reps Agricultural
                                                                                                          ers? I would like for you to ask people in
                                                                                                                                                       19
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 your constituency if they would prefer that all bodies. Try opening your mind a tad.” Palm                  and all the cancer induced ingredients that they
 their food be produced without pesticides, and Springs, CA                                                  are putting in our food. Colorants, preserva-
 I would imagine they would respond that they                                                                tives, chemicals and toxics like arsenic, lead and
                                                       “Dear Mr. Peterson, If you want to be good at
 would. I guess that would make them dumb,                                                                   other pesticides and fungicides are there, ITS
                                                        your job, it would be in your best interest - as
 too.”                                                                                                       A FACT, ITS IN THE LAB REPORTS, you
                                                        the House Agriculture Committee Chair - to
                                                                                                             just have to have interest and the will to request
“Representative Peterson: If you took but a few educate yourself on the benefits of consum-
                                                                                                             them and read them!, Thanks.”
 minutes to actually learn a bit about the effect ing foods that are not just “labeled” organic,
 of hormone and anti-biotic laden milk on our but that have been produced with the highest                   “Hello Mr. Peterson: Sounds like you may also
 children, my children, perhaps you would show of organic standards. People who eat organic                   believe in the FDA. By avoiding FDA, eating
 a bit more respect for people like me, a life-long, foods are the furthest thing from “dumb” (as             organic foods, taking supplements (not medi-
 active Democrat, son of two educators, both you stated). We are quite the opposite in fact.                  cines), and exercising, I cleared up “aggressive”
 union members, who suck it up on all too many More than the average shopper, we are self-edu-                prostate cancer without any of the medical side
 luxuries so we can pay the extra cost for what- cated and aware enough to know how our food                  effects including incontinence, impotence, and
 ever organic food we can manage to buy for my is produced and the wide ranging effects of that               most probably death. My mother, father, and
 kids. Perhaps if you got down off your high production. We know that factory farms pol-                      older sister all had cancer and went the conven-
 horse for little while, stepped back and took a lute our waterways more than all other indus-                tional medical route. They all died as a direct
 look at your lifestyle - the never ending fund- tries combined (just ask the EPA). As factory                result. The medical reaction to my cure is a
 raisers and constant stroking of high rollers you farm animals are needlessly fed antibiotics                mystery. My reaction is just plain natural food
 and your colleagues need to stay in office, per- and so are a major contributor toward creating              without the atrocious additives provided to
 haps you’d notice that your priorities and this antibiotic resistant super bugs, we buy organic              non-organic foods. Wake up, and you may live
 country’s priorities are more than a bit messed to avoid supporting these practices. Finally,                longer.” Denville, NJ
 up. Best regards”                                      organic farms treat their animals as they should
                                                                                                             “I can’t believe a person in your position can
                                                        be treated - with respect and compassion. Fur-
“Congressman, Your recent comments about                                                                      NOT have a clue what organic means, and
                                                        thermore, as organic produce is grown without
 locally grown and organic food are completely                                                                furthermore, means to those “dumb” people
                                                        pesticides and herbicides, it does not pollute the
 out of line with the realities of our climate crisis.                                                        who elected you. Time to find yourself another
                                                        ground it is grown in and consumers do not
 Do you really feel Americans should pay 3-4                                                                  job, Bub, it’s obvious you are way in over your
                                                        have to swallow these toxins. We also believe in
 times more for food that is safer for their fami-                                                            head.”
                                                        supporting small farmers in the United States.
 lies and for our environment, while you and the
                                                        Unlike many unaware shoppers, we do this             “Dear Collin Peterson: As the Chairman of the
 federal government continues to spend massive
                                                        not because we are trying to get by in life as        House of Representatives agricultural com-
 amounts of taxpayer money supporting indus-
                                                        cheaply as we can - no matter the environmen-         mittee, I’m embarrassed for you. To be in your
 trial farms along with pesticide and chemical
                                                        tal or social consequences. We do it because it       position and make such an ignorant statement
 companies? I hope you find in hindsight that
                                                        is ethical and good for our health, the health of     is unfathomable to me. Rather than making a
 your comments were in fact the only thing
                                                        our neighbors, and the environment. I suggest         statement such as, “For whatever reason people
“dumb” and retract your comments. Thank you
                                                        you lead by example and do the same.”                 are willing to pay two or three times as much
 for listening to a concerned citizen.”
                                                                                                              for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far
                                                       “I recommend you and your team evaluate the
“Mr. Peterson: In response to your ignorant                                                                   be it from me to understand what that’s all
                                                        research comparing the nutrient value of com-
 views on organic and local farm products, let                                                                about.” It seems to me that part of your job
                                                        mercial raised food and organic raised food.
 me say this: If people are dumb enough to spray                                                              description would be to educate yourself on the
                                                        As a physician of 26 years, people are not as
 pesticides on a vegetable in an effort to kill bugs                                                          subject matter, so that you might understand
                                                        healthy today and are not recovering as fast and
 and other living creatures and then eat that veg-                                                           “what it’s all about.” We are not a bunch of tree-
                                                        in my opinion it is due to the poor food they
 etable then (not hallelujah, but) God help them.                                                             hugging dummies. Maybe you’ll rethink who
                                                        are eating. Please think of the young children
 If people are dumb enough to give growth hor-                                                                you’re calling dumb if you understand some of
                                                        and their future. A consumer today would have
 mones to cattle and juice ‘em up with antibiot-                                                              the facts. Or maybe you could look in the mir-
                                                        to eat 50 helpings of spinach to get the same
 ics then eat that cattle, then God help them. If                                                             ror while you’re criticizing others. PS: And con-
                                                        amount of iron he or she would have received
 people want to inject their swine with Racto-                                                                gratulations on getting the Organic Consumers
                                                        from one bunch in 1900.”
 pamine a couple of months before slaughter in                                                                Association award for the dumbest quote of the
 an effort to get more lean meat, and read about “Dear Mr. Collin Peterson I could be wise to                 week. You really earned it!!”
 how it radically changes the personality of the read and search about a subject before speak-
                                                                                                             “Hello Sir, I just wanted to respond to a com-
 swine....and then eat that swine, I say God help ing about it. It is beyond my understanding
                                                                                                              ment that you made regarding local and organic
 them. To be so dumb as to not see a correlation way a Democrat Chair like you could say a that
                                                                                                              produce consumers. First, if the government is
 between the obesity epidemic, diabetes run- organic food is like regular food, UNBELIV-
                                                                                                              going to give subsidiaries to farmers, these are
 ning rampant, super strains of bacteria resistant ABLE!, no wander democrats are going dawn
                                                                                                              the exact farmer that should get them, because
 to antibiotics, the billions of dollars spent on and dawn and dawn. You just don’t listen, don’t
                                                                                                              they contribute far less to global warming than
 digestion aides, etc and the way we process our search, don’t look for the general good of the
                                                                                                             “conventional” farmers. And consumers of these
 food, inject our beef and pollute the plants/air country. Its clear to me that after becoming the
                                                                                                              products are not “dumb” for being willing to
 and water with pesticides, herbicides and chem- majority your head grow faster and bigger than
                                                                                                              spend more on them, but they are ethically
 ical fertilizers, I say, “OPEN your own DUMB ever and now your ears just don’t function. The
                                                                                                              concerned about the state of the world.”
 EYES!” As a fellow Democrat I am offended by system is poisoned and corrupted to the hilt and
 a man of your age with this degree of ignorance the country faces incredible challenges. Please             “I find it difficult to believe such a statement
 when it comes to the food that we put in our do some research about “real” healthy nutrition                 could even be made in 2007. Buying local
                                                                                                                                                          20
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 and organic supports not only my health and consumers who are willing to pay more for                   their effects. Today, every man, woman and
 the health of my family, it also supports local organic and local food as being “dumb” makes            child has synthetic chemicals in their bod-
 sustainable farming which allows me to feel one wonder about your competence to chair a                 ies. No child is born free of them. As part of
 confident that the food I am eating is grown committee on agriculture. I suggest that you               the investigation for TRADE SECRETS, Bill
 ethically and is healthy! I would appreciate a relinquish your committee chairmanship and               Moyers took part in a study sponsored by the
 retraction of your statement and an apology to turn it over to someone more knowledgeable of            Mount Sinai School of Medicine designed to
 all local farmers wishing to make a living from things agricultural.” Lawrence, KS                      measure the synthetic chemicals present in the
 farming and contributing to the health of their                                                         human body. Even though Moyers has never
                                                    “I understand you think paying more for food
 fellow community members ~ something I,                                                                 worked in a chemical plant ? or lived near one
                                                     labeled “organic” or “local” is dumb. I wonder,
 and many others in my local community, care                                                             ? he learned that his body contains a chemical
                                                     have you bought any Mattel toys labeled “made
 deeply about!” Gt. Barrington, MA                                                                       soup of 84 industrial chemicals.” Lubbock, TX
                                                     in China” lately? Pretty dumb to buy things just
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I agree with you because they are labeled “made in USA” huh?”                “Are you calling me dumb? Because I don’t want
 that paying 2-3 times as much for organic                                                                to contribute to putting unnecessary chemi-
                                                    “I just read your quote about being dumb
 foods is not very savvy consumer behavior. But                                                           cals into my body or the environment? Because
                                                     enough to buy organic food. I’m one of those
 we don’t always know what the choice is and,                                                             I choose to support my local economy? How
                                                     dumb people. I’m dumb enough to use solar
 for those of us somewhat in the know (I have                                                             ignorant of you, and offensive.”
                                                     panels to help keep my electric bills around $20.
 a masters degree in nutrition from Colum-
                                                     I’m dumb enough to use wood pellet stoves           Boulder, CO” Good quote. Just go ahead eat-
 bia University), the case is weaker and weaker
                                                     using American grown fuel to heat my house.         ing those chemicals and funding wars in far off
 for use of pesticides. This is not my particu-
                                                     I’m dumb enough to retire at the age of 49 by       places to pay for oil to transport crummy GMO
 lar expertise, but here are some of the things I
                                                     being frugal and saving my money, and I’m           food all over the world! You dingbat. How did
 have learned, and which you can (please) check.
                                                     dumb enough to remember who you are and to          you ever get elected????”
 There is little doubt that pesticides and herbi-
                                                     work on your ouster when the next democratic
 cides are in our groundwater and have measur-                                                           “Rep. Peterson: If the organic food industry is
                                                     administration comes into power, which looks
 able, negative impacts on the biosphere of the                                                           growing on its own, doesn’t that suggest that
                                                     like it may be soon.”
 planet. We’re part of nature. Many of them are                                                           increasing numbers of Americans have decided
 known to negatively impact human health in “You call organic consumers dumb for wanting                  they do not want to eat chemicals and die of
 some quantity but become legal partly because to eat healthy food instead of the poison called           cancer and are willing to pay more to live lon-
 it is suspected that people will consume them food sold in stores today? Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”        ger and healthier lives?”
 in much lower quantities. Problem: There are
                                                    “Congratulations Representative Peterson!! Your      “Hello! Get educated.”
 very few studies measuring the effects of the
                                                     recent comment calling people like me dumb
 complex combination of pesticides, herbicides                                                           “There’s nothing “dumb” about paying more for
                                                     for purchasing organic and local food because
 and other poisons to which the typical Amer-                                                             natural, healthy organic foods. Buying locally
                                                     we prefer not to ingest carcinogens, because we
 ican is exposed. Some that I have seen show a                                                            grown/produced foods is also a more responsi-
                                                     want to support our local community and at the
 synergistic negative effect of certain combina-                                                          ble choice considering the resources required to
                                                     same time, conserve energy, shows a real lack
 tions meaning that this is likely a partial expla-                                                       ship food over long distances. Your view is cer-
                                                     of understanding and foresight. Taking care of
 nation of the significant rise in rates of cancer                                                        tainly dumb, but buying organic and local food
                                                     ourselves “and” the earth isn’t becoming “less”
 and other diseases over the last half century or                                                         is not.” Tucson, AZ
                                                     popular, or are you that out of touch with the
 so. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the
                                                     current ‘trends’? I suppose farms that are not      “Hey Rep. Peterson, Way to go...showing your
 necessity for pesticides and herbicides in mod-
                                                     organic will continue to need a greater degree       lack of insight, intelligence, and support for bet-
 ern farming is something of a myth. Small to
                                                     of federal support because they will become          ter nutrition for the general populace...by mak-
 medium sized organic farms have been shown
                                                     less and less viable. But then, maybe something      ing the statement, “...And if people are dumb
 to be more productive per acre that giant com-
                                                     like “pork-barrels” are involved. Anyway, you        enough to pay that much [for organic produce
 mercial farms and much less victimized by
                                                     deserve the award from the Organic Consum-           and beef] then hallelujah.” How much in cam-
 blights that periodically affect farmers. There
                                                     ers Award for the dumbest quote of the week.         paign contributions did YOU receive from large
 are many plant compounds beneficial to human
                                                     Frame it for posterity.”                             corporate farms and major NON-organic food
 health that develop in far lower quantities in
                                                                                                          distributors? Atta boy....NOT!” Ashland, OR
 plants grown “conventionally.” Salicylic acid is “Here is why people want organic food: TRADE
 one of many examples. Local produce is shown SECRETS: A MOYERS REPORT is an inves-                      “What’s dumb about wanting to safeguard my
 repeatedly to be higher in nearly every, or every tigation of the history of the chemical revolu-        family’s health? I want food grown with mini-
 single measure of nutrients or other beneficial tion and the companies that drove it ? and how           mal use of any chemicals. What’s dumb about
 plant compounds (flavonoids, carotenoids, sul- companies worked to withhold vital informa-               supporting local food producers? These are my
 phoraphanes, etc. This is certainly only a par- tion about the risks from workers, the govern-           neighbors & friends. What’s dumb about not
 tial explanation of why organic and local foods ment, and the public. He relies on an archive            adding to environmental pollution by not hav-
 are important, but for many consumers, know- of documents the public was never meant to                  ing my foods trucked across the country? Not
 ing fact sets like these, makes us willing to pay see ?- documents that reveal the industry’s early      to mention the quality of a fruit or vegetable by
 what it costs to get what we think are better know-ledge that some chemicals could pose                  the time it is in the end user’s household. “Fresh”
 foods. If the same quality were readily available dangers to human health that were not dis-             carries a limited shelf life. Have you seen the
 cheaper, we’d buy it cheaper. We’re not that closed at the time. But the documentary also                amount of fruits & vegetables grocery stores
“dumb.” Thanks for listening” Lords Valley, PA reports a much larger story ? a never- before-             throw out because the food goes bad before it
                                                     told account of a campaign to limit the regu-        gets to the store or can be sold? What are you
“Your comments on October 17 regarding
                                                     lation of toxic chemicals and any liability for      doing to make a smaller environmental
                                                                                                                                                        21
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 footprint on this earth? Oh, you probably don’t comfortable speaking those words. Have you               about the subject of organic food, as your com-
 think you add to our environmental problem. ever heard of rBGH, pesticides or genetically                ments about the “dumbness” of consumers will-
 Most every person does to some degree. I am engineered foods? If you had, you would under-               ing to buy organic food indicate. Organic farm-
 interested to know if you, your children & stand why one would choose to buy organic.                    ing does not use chemicals and is safer. Organic
 grandchildren eat ANY organic foods? If you There’s a reason why most of the world is ban-               food tastes better. Organic farming is sustain-
 did you would taste the difference. Your grand- ning genetically engineered foods and you have           able farming, and is a small business, not a
 children & great grandchildren deserve to the audacity to say that you don’t understand                  gigantic corporate farm where food is mass-
 inherit a better earth and you need to do your why one would make the organic choice! You                produced, animals are abused and confined,
 part.”                                              are living in a bubble and are unable to see or      and soil is depleted. Organic food tastes bet-
                                                     seek the truth. It’s unfortunate to the millions     ter! Modern farming uses more petroleum than
“If we as responsible consumers are “dumb”
                                                     of people that you are choosing to slowly poi-       any other single industry. THE major chal-
 for choosing organic because it is: a) actually
                                                     son. I’m really not sure how you sleep at night.”    lenge confronting us is energy-creating pollu-
 GOOD for our health as opposed to the pesti-
                                                     Rensselaer, NY                                       tion, leading to global warming, and war. There
 cide-covered produce grown in toxic dirt, and
                                                                                                          is much more to be said for organic farming,
 the tortured, completely unnatural, force-fed, “I wonder what your grandchildren will think
                                                                                                          but I strongly recommend you start learning
 confined, abused and inhumanely slaughtered of your lack of concern about chemicals in our
                                                                                                          about it for yourself.” St. Paul, MN
 animals you eat b) better for the environment food when they are faced with the health &
 as it doesn’t deplete, contaminate, and essen- other problems that will result?”                         “With your comment regarding organic food,
 tially destroy the earth in numerous direct and                                                           you appear to be uninformed and judgmental.
                                                    “ My family buys organic and local organic most
 indirect ways c) safer, healthier, and more cost-                                                         Uninformed people should not chair commit-
                                                     of the time; We are not “dumb” as stated in
 effective in the long run for the farmers than I                                                          tees.”
                                                     your ignorant statement. We buy organic to
 suppose the definition I have of that word is the
                                                     keep out of our bodies the cocktail of pesticides,   “Congressman Peterson, sorry to hear that you
 opposite, for being an organic consumer, I call
                                                     herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics          are a democrat and you are still that dumb that
 that “anyone who actually uses their brain” ver-
                                                     that infect our nation’s food supply. That cock-      you don’t understand why people are willing to
 sus a pawn to society. Congratulations on your
                                                     tail is thought by most objective scientists (not     pay more for local and organic food. For most
 award: OCA’s dumbest quote of the week!”
                                                     those that have been bought by chemical com-          people, this is an exercise of principle, we do
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I urge you to do some panies nor those who tout the corporate line) to                 not believe in society bearing the external costs
 research into why people are willing to pay be a major cause of many of the illnesses that                of oil consumption or the burning of rainfor-
 more for local, naturally grown produce. Put- are increasingly part of modern western, espe-              est in Brazil in order to raise beef to send up
 ting one’s health as a spending priority is not cially American, populations. If you are not eat-         to American consumers who want to save a
 something to be mocked. I cannot believe that ing organic as much as possible, then you are               buck by mortgaging our children’s future. This
 someone in your position could make such willingly ingesting the cocktail, and maybe you                  country used to be about self reliance, and we
 careless statements. Sincerely mystified” Fort are the dumb one.” Albuquerque, NM                         used to be proud of being able to meet our own
 Bragg, CA                                                                                                 needs, and maybe have a little to share with
                                                    “Sir: I am a Nutritionist - and a VERY healthy 56
                                                                                                           our neighbors. Now we are all about consum-
“Your dumb comment is so abrasive that I can’t year-old who is willing to do whatever it takes
                                                                                                           erism at the lowest possible supermarket price.
 even tell you what I think about it in a civil to purchase organic produce and grass-finished
                                                                                                           So a farm-bill-subsidized piece of beef that gets
 manner. If you were capable of thinking, you’d beef and truly free range chicken for myself and
                                                                                                           raised on a feed lot in California off of farm-
 know the reason organic food costs more is my family. If you would care to take the time
                                                                                                           bill-subsidized corn feed from Nebraska, and
 because it doesn’t get the subsidies that stan- to learn about the real differences between the
                                                                                                           gets shipped back across the country to Min-
 dard agriculture gets. And you’d know the rea- type of food that I purchase for myself and my
                                                                                                           nesota ends up being ‘cheaper’ than a piece of
 son we are willing to pay more for it, is because family - and that I strongly recommend for my
                                                                                                           beef that is grass fed right there in Minnesota.
 we value our health along with the health of clients - you would find that the differences
                                                                                                           That is dumb. And our country is paying taxes
 the planet. It’s people like you who can’t look are substantial and that they contribute to real
                                                                                                           to make it happen. And you are supposed to
 past the dollar bill in their hand that has led to good health - unlike the pesticide-laden and
                                                                                                           be representing us, and making sure that the
 the state of our current health and health care antibiotic and steroid drugged “food” that is
                                                                                                           government doesn’t do dumb things like sup-
 problems. Do you realize we are subsidizing sold in the average supermarket. Because you
                                                                                                           port that kind of stupidity with our tax money.
 our own poor health?”                               are uneducated in the matter is no excuse to
                                                                                                           I am ashamed to call myself a democrat with
                                                     denounce the growing numbers in the popu-
“I resent your attitude towards a difficult choice                                                        ‘dumb’ people like you speaking for our party,
                                                     lation who have made the choice to eat health-
 I make to put the health of my family above                                                               and I am ashamed to call myself an Ameri-
                                                     ier and promote better living conditions for our
 cheap, non-nutritional and potentially health-                                                            can with leadership like yours representing cor-
                                                     feed animals. Supporting local agriculture pro-
 damaging food. More Americans would switch                                                                porate interests that feed off of our tax dollars
                                                     motes true community. I am proud to help my
 to local and organic if they could afford it.                                                             rather than grass roots family farmers that are
                                                     neighbors, especially when they are trying to
 Government support for locally-grown and/or                                                               trying to promote self sufficiency. Please apol-
                                                     farm using techniques that preserve the envi-
 organic foods would be a tremendous help to                                                               ogize for your dumb remarks, we left that cen-
                                                     ronment and promote healthy livestock. I you
 families!”                                                                                                tury behind.” Sacramento, CA
                                                     want, I would be happy to take the time to edu-
“You recently were quoted as saying that organic cate you so that you are not part of the “dumb”          “Sir, As an organic consumer, I object to you
 consumers are dumb, but I must tell you that the community.”                                              calling me dumb (MSNBC.com, Financial
 correct statement should be that “Non-organic                                                             Times, Oct 17, 2007). Recent studies show
                                                    “I’m surprised that the chair of the House Com-
 consumers are uninformed.” It is abhorrent                                                                that conventionally grown produce is riddled
                                                     mittee on Agriculture seems to know so little
 that as the House Agriculture Chair, you feel                                                             with pesticides - chemicals that have
                                                                                                                                                       22
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
detrimental effects to growing children. Other         diseases, not overweight, take no medication or         money so they can eat something besides
studies have shown that today’s conventional           drugs.” Henderson, NV                                   Cheez Doodles, I find myself gratefully antic-
produce contains almost 50% fewer nutrients                                                                    ipating the end of this ridiculous, contentious
                                                       “I’m the only person in my family who doesn’t
than the same crops 50 years ago. Though not                                                                   era where the most obviously sane behavior is
                                                        have breast cancer, heart disease and diabe-
suffering as badly, even today’s organic pro-                                                                  ridiculed in the name of cash. I hope you regret
                                                        tes. Mom, aunt, sister: breast cancer, both sis-
duce is less nutritious than that from 50 years                                                                saying it.” Fairport, NY
                                                        ters: major heart disease, sister, both parents, all
ago. Organic and local produce has a strong
                                                        grand parents: diabetes. I eat a local plant-based, “I strongly object to you calling organic con-
impact on local economies and have demon-
                                                        low fat, organic whenever I can diet. Insur- sumers “dumb” . You should not bad mouth
strated positive effects on land management
                                                        ance companies fight over me, and doctors rave organic consumers.”
and conservation. And yes, these products cost
                                                        about my medical records and encourage me to
more - largely because of economy of scale. But                                                               “Dear Representative Peterson: It is unfortunate
                                                        keep doing whatever I’m doing. I didn’t get all
I’d rather spend the money on good food than                                                                   you felt compelled to shoot off your mouth
                                                        the bad family genes!” Anna Maria, FL
pump money into our decrepit health care sys-                                                                  and reveal not only your bias but your lack of
tem. I often wonder why large scale agricul-           “Congratulations on your receipt of the Organic understanding about agriculture. Please clean
ture is getting huge subsidies if they are grow-        Consumers Association award for the dumbest up your act. We have way too many in Con-
ing produce (and animals) that are less than            quote of the week! - grin - Of course we’re all gress these days who can’t seem to remember
what they were years ago. I often wonder why            dumb enough to want wholesome meat from to put their brain in gear before engaging their
large scale agriculture is getting huge subsidies       animals that have never been treated wit antibi- mouth. We the people are getting really fed up
to trash our environment and decimate local             otics or growth hormones, and vegetables that with this juvenile behavior. You need to start
economies. I often wonder what would happen             have not been sprayed with toxins to prevent leading with dignity instead of making dumb
if more people knew the truth about the grow-           insects. Oh yeah, we’re so dumb we refuse to remarks.” Stevenson, WA
ing conditions of the produce and the animals           consume irradiated products as well; they may
                                                                                                              “You have got to be kidding! Some very serious,
from large-scale agriculture. I hope you will           have the blessing of Big Ag, hand in hand with
                                                                                                               and I mean serious studying on organic foods,
retract your statement about organic consum-            the government - but they don’t have ours!”
                                                                                                               pricing and the LARGER picture of eating and
ers. We really are quite educated - we do get to        Union Furnace, OH
                                                                                                               feeding our bodies with food that has actual
meet our local farmers and ask questions about
                                                       “Dear Sir, in light of the fact that you are a typical nutrition. This translates to us being health-
the growing conditions. I’ve even taken my tod-
                                                        Bush appointee, your remark highlighting your ier which obviously leads to less sickness, ill-
dler son to see the farm where we get our chick-
                                                        ignorance of organic, local and naturally raised nesses etc. etc. Please, become aware. Isn’t this
ens and our lamb, and to the orchard where we
                                                        food is not surprising. It is however, frighten- what your job is? To be fully intelligent on the
get our apples and apple cider. If he can get the
                                                        ing and very, very disturbing to me. I am proud subject? This is not a ‘hippy’ movement but an
connection between the land and the food, why
                                                        of the fact that I am dumb enough to eat clean intellectual subject. Please! Think and open
can’t you?”
                                                        organically raised food, that I know the farmer your mind and forget lobbyists.” Stowe, VT
“Dear Chairman Peterson: You clearly have been          that raises the food I eat, that I take responsi-
                                                                                                              “You have got to be kidding! Some very seri-
 too close to the Republicans for too long - you        bility for my food choices and that I never ever,
                                                                                                               ous, and I mean serious studying on organic
 now sound like them. Concord, MA                       have to give the latest e coli, melamine or any
                                                                                                               foods, pricing and the LARGEER picture of
                                                        other of the contaminated food recalls, a sec-
“Please read my message, Mr. Freeman! This is                                                                  eating and feeding our bodies with food that
                                                        ond glance. I know that all of that has NOTH-
 the first letter I’ve ever written to a politician,                                                           has actual nutrition. This translates to us being
                                                        ING to do with the food I am dumb enough to
 and I’m extremely passionate about this topic...                                                              healthier which obviously leads to less sickness,
                                                        buy and eat. By the way.. if organic and family
 enough already: It is Simple. There should be a                                                               illnesses etc. etc. Please, become aware. Isn’t
                                                        farming got HALF of the government supports,
 new federal law: NO chemical fertilizers, pes-                                                                this what your job is? To be fully intelligent on
                                                        subsidies, and tax write-offs that agri-biz corpo-
 ticides, etc. used on United States soil. EVER.                                                               the subject? This is not a ‘hippy’ movement but
                                                        rations get.. organic food would cost a fraction
 The companies that manufacture, distribute                                                                    an intellectual subject. Please! Think and open
                                                        of conventional. How shameful that you know
 those harmful products will be forced to switch                                                               your mind and forget lobbyists.” Stowe, VT
                                                        so little about the subject of the committee you
 over to natural choices, as well as ‘local’ and
                                                        are chair of. Not respectfully yours because you “Dear Collin Peterson: Organic consumers are
 organic options. Its shocking that you are the
                                                        don’t HAVE my respect”                                 hardly stupid. We are aware of the rise in health
 head of the agricultural committee, when you
                                                                                                               problems, from allergies to diabetes and cancer.
 obviously have no sincere interest in the health      “May I suggest you meet some of us? We are
                                                                                                               We are aware that while not all of the pollution
 of Americans, the future of farming as Amer-           folks who hold down mid-level white-collar
                                                                                                               that enters our bodies, contributing to the ill-
 ican tradition, or the integrity of the foods          jobs, live in your suburbs, pay our taxes, raise
                                                                                                               nesses as mentioned, comes from food, much
 grown in America.” Northport, NY                       our kids and probably vote for you. We also
                                                                                                               of it does. Since Monsanto and Bayer have been
                                                        believe in food that tastes good and isn’t dan-
“Congratulations for the dumbest quote of the                                                                  given free reign over our bodies, insofar as they
                                                        gerous to eat. Surely you remember the stuff.
 month. You beat out President Bush. I urge                                                                    are allowed with full governmental approval to
                                                        You were born in the era of the small family
 you to learn about a subject (such as organic                                                                 dose us to their delight, organics are out way
                                                        farm, the greengrocer on the corner, the small
 foods) before calling others dumb for pur-                                                                    of fighting back. It’s not the organic consumers
                                                        butcher and bake shops that weren’t “boutique
 chasing organic foods. I certain am not dumb                                                                  who are the Dumbs! Americans are pretty silly,
                                                        shopping experiences.” You might like some
 for paying more for organic food. Apparently                                                                  uninformed and mostly disinterested. (‘Dumb’
                                                        of us, and a few of us may actually strike you
 you are showing you stupidity when you don’t                                                                  does come to mind, here.) But that cannot last.
                                                        as something other than dumb! When I read
 mind dumping toxins, pesticides and poisons                                                                   Other continents and nations have people that
                                                        comments like the one you made about organic
 into your body. Who is the dumb one? I am                                                                     are intentionally aware, informed, and will-
                                                        consumers being idiots for parting with their
 69 years old and in perfect health. No illnesses,                                                             ing to stand together against abuses from
                                                                                                                                                           23
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
their elected officials. That we can overcome      crops. You should be working to support the         world a cleaner and friendlier place. I think that
our silliness is evidenced by the rise in demand   growing organic sector and making it more           is stuff worth paying for. call me dumb if you
for organic food. You and your Monsantos and       affordable for all citizens. The lack of labeling   like. signed, the dumbo” Seattle, WA
your Bayers may hold the reigns now, but it        requirements alone is appalling, as well as pro-
                                                                                                       “Congratulations on being one of the “Most
cannot last. No matter how you might wish it,      ducers cutting corners and trying to pass off
                                                                                                        Uninformed People of the Week” ! How does it
even the country that gave the world Wal-Mart      their food as organic when it really isn’t-what
                                                                                                        feel to not have some of the most basic knowl-
can’t stay that dumb forever.” Galesburg, IL       are you doing to enforce and improve this situ-
                                                                                                        edge of agriculture and what it produces? Is
                                                   ation?? You’re probably beholden to large chem-
“My husband and I were dumb enough to join                                                              it a little embarrassing perhaps? Might I sug-
                                                   ical and biotech companies instead of to all US
 a local community supported agriculture farm                                                           gest you take some of that yummy non-organic
                                                   citizens, who you obviously have no respect
 this year and not only did we save money but                                                           food you’re eating to a laboratory and have it
                                                   for based on your ignorant comments. We are
 we got to know our farmers and show our chil-                                                          tested for just how many chemicals, growth
                                                   going to clean House-just you watch!! Ameri-
 dren where their food comes from. We have                                                              hormones and/or antibiotics it contains? Bon
                                                   cans are sick and tired of the special interests
 also been dumb enough to pick our own straw-                                                           Appetit! Grand Rapids, MI
                                                   and when they wake up to what’s going on with
 berries at a nearby farm and head to the hills to
                                                   their food, watch out!!”                            “Dear Mr. Collin, As House Agriculture Com-
 pick low bush blueberries and then freeze them.
                                                                                                        mittee Chair how could you be so ignorant of
 Continuing to be dumb we buy our meat, eggs, “YOU ARE THE DUMB ONE!” Salmon Arm,
                                                                                                        the benefits of organic foods? I buy organic
 orchard fruit and honey from local farmers. No BC
                                                                                                        food because it is without pesticides and chem-
 tainted food, just healthy organic fare that sup-
                                                   “Just because you don’t see how people can pay       icals and is superior in nutrition. Obviously you
 ports our neighbors and cuts down on our car-
                                                    higher prices for healthier food, I can’t under-    don’t care to do the research to understand why
 bon footprint while teaching our children how
                                                    stand how some people can eat at fast-food res-     people are buying organic and what the bene-
 easy it is. Hallelujah!”
                                                    taurants 5 times a week. And I bet you those        fits are, not only to people but to the environ-
“Have you ever eaten fresh, organic food?” Trin- fast food junkies are the majority in our coun-        ment. Yes, you certainly deserve the Organic
 idad, CA                                           try. I don’t judge but I sure do think that they    Consumers Association award for the Dumbest
                                                    are doing their bodies a disservice and teach-      quote of the week. If you don’t remember the
“Please educate yourself on the benefits of
                                                    ing their children unhealthy eating habits. As      quote I’ll refresh your memory: MSMBC.com
 organic farming and foods. Organic farming
                                                    for organically grown foods: I’m glad consum-       Financial Times Oct.17,2007” Colville, WA
 could save our world enabling enough food to
                                                    ers’ actions make a difference in this consumer-
 be grown. Also, food grown without chemicals                                                           “Mr. Peterson, you would be doing yourself
                                                    driven economy! Sincerely, Sandra Gentry”
 helps those who eat it be healthier. Chemicals                                                        and your family a favor if you would learn
 cause cancer and many other illness that have “The chairman of the House of Representatives           about organics. Nothing beats having good
 become so prevalent. Read a couple of books or agricultural committee says “far be it from me         health.” Encinitas, CA
 reports put on your desk!!”                        to understand what [organic] is about?” Unbe-
                                                                                                       “ Don’t be insulting. Do you really want to be so
                                                    lievable... You should turn your chair over to
“Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-                                                           obviously ignorant?”
                                                    someone who does understand.” Dallas, TX
 sumers Association award for the dumbest
                                                                                                       “Do not call organic consumers “dumb”.
 quote of the week. You obviously don’t know “There is so much you have to learn about
 the health and environmental benefits of eating health. Your remark shows just how ignorant           “I want the federal government to support
 organic and local. I feel sorry for you!”          or how “bought and paid for” you are. You bet-      organic and grass fed beef farmers. I choose to
                                                    ter become educated and start helping the peo-      eat this food, even at a higher cost because I
“I’ve heard it said that ignorance is bliss but I
                                                    ple in the US. Our health is deteriorating in       think that pesticides in foods are not healthy
 believe it’s the wise person that investigates
                                                    this country, you better start learning and the     for me and my family.”
 what exactly he is ingesting. Especially if one
                                                    sooner the better.”
 cares about the state of their health and well-                                                       “Please take the time to learn the value of organic
 being!” Sausalito, CA                             “Please please have one of your staff explain        and local farming practices. People are willing
                                                    to you what organic is and what the health          to pay more because it’s BETTER for them and
“Congratulations on receiving the Organic
                                                    research is about the nutritional value differ-     for the environment. I hated vegetables until
 Consumers Association award for the dumb-
                                                    ences, the effect of cumulative pesticide resi-     I ate organic vegetables....they actually have
 est quote of the week! I don’t understand how
                                                    due on the human body-the comparative cost          flavor and I’m not inundating my body with
 you qualify for chairing the House Agriculture
                                                    of importing foods over long distances...etc etc    chemicals. I hope you rethink what you said.”
 Committee, but I also don’t understand how
                                                    Are you really the chair person of this commit-
 our representatives in Washington like yourself                                                       “Dear Congressman: If you don’t know the dif-
                                                    tee????? would you put dirty gas in your car????
 can support the use of our Federal Tax Dollars                                                         ferences and the advantages of local grass-fed
                                                    and please please have someone explain to you
 for obvious corporate externalities.”                                                                  beef and of organically grown foods, then it is
                                                    the difference between organic or biodynamic
                                                                                                        you who are dumb and you shouldn’t be sit-
“Being cheap and dumb is not worth celebrat- farming methods and pesticide use effects the
                                                                                                        ting on the Agricultural Committee. Congrat-
 ing.”                                              soils this information is readily available well
                                                                                                        ulations on the dumbest remark of the week.
                                                    researched and accurate if not distorted by
“I’m seriously concerned that as the House                                                              Willis”
                                                    companies like Monsanto or those only inter-
 chair of the Agriculture Committee, you don’t
                                                    ested in immediate profits and ignorant of the     “Wow you’re ignorant!”
 appear to be very informed about organic
                                                    natural balances in nature.....” Rockford, IL
 issues. Many of us do not want to accept food                                                         “You say that organic agriculture is growing
 poisoned with chemicals and God knows what “I would like to pay more for better food to keep           without government help and that is good. Then
 kinds of genes spliced into genetically modified my family healthier and living longer and the         why doesn’t the government stop subsidizing
                                                                                                                                                     24
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
factory farms? They are also growing and that’s        days. Maybe you should educate yourself on uninformed statement regarding organic food.
not good - for either animals or the environ-          the vast amounts of science that support the use http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/
ment.” Centerville, MA                                 of organic and locally grown foods and stop lis- health/article2753446.ece Thank you.” San
                                                       tening solely to your huge corporate sponsors. A Antonio, TX
“House Agriculture Committee Chair Col-
                                                       little education might be just the ticket to pre-
 lin Peterson Sir: Your comment on the use                                                               “How can you condone “Junk Food” in such a
                                                       vent such dumb statements from issuing from
 of organic produce by the American People                                                                subtle way. My brother died from an “Healthy”
                                                       your lips in the future.
 shows either your ignorance of good health or                                                            fast food diet.” Grand Rapids, MI
 your corruption by corporate lobbyists...per-        “Your comment regarding organic and locally
                                                                                                         “I find your comment quite offensive! I bet I can
 haps both? If pesticides were not used on crops       grown food was stupid and ignorant. You
                                                                                                          guess that your campaigns are funded by con-
 we would see a reduction in disease; if rBGH          should become more aware of today’s realities
                                                                                                          ventional, big business, agriculture. Please edu-
 was not used on farm animals, we would see a          than you seem to be. The 2008 election is just
                                                                                                          cate yourself and realize just who it is that is
 reduction in the obesity of the people; if antibi-    around the corner, and it looks as if the Dems
                                                                                                          truly dumb!!”
 otics were not used on farm animals, you would        are going to win. Please make yourself more
 see a reduction in disease. YOU ARE WHAT              cognizant on this subject.” Ancaster, ON          “Honorable Chairman Representative Peterson,
 YOU EAT! Pesticides kill...growth hormones                                                              “Hallelujah” is perhaps apropos. One might
                                                      “You say you cannot understand why peo-
 promote growth...overuse of antibiotics causes                                                           answer such dismissal as does Barbara King-
                                                       ple would pay so much for something labeled
 antibiotic immunity! WAKE UP BEFORE                                                                      solver in her Foreword to The Essential Agrar-
                                                       organic or local. Would the converse be true?
 IT’S TOO LATE FOR HUMANITY.” Mena,                                                                       ian Reader: ??I would have hesitated to suggest
                                                       Would you “understand” those people who
 AR                                                                                                       that one’s relationship to the land, to consump-
                                                       want to pay less and eat food that is liber-
                                                                                                          tion and food, is a religious matter. But it’s true;
“Dear Mr. Peterson, After reading your com-            ally laced with added preservatives, hormones,
                                                                                                          the decision to attend to the health of one’s hab-
 ment about me being dumb for buying organic           unnecessary and unwanted chemicals, and poi-
                                                                                                          itat and food chain is a spiritual choice. It’s also
 food ... I ... I ... I’m not sure how to tell you     sons? That is an interesting position to take
                                                                                                          a political choice, a scientific one, a personal
 this. Well, let me start simply by saying that I      as House Ag Committee Chair. Enjoy your
                                                                                                          and a convivial one. It’s not a choice between
 was the president of the Honor Society (Alpha         Thanksgiving meal.”
                                                                                                          living in the country or the town; it is about
 Gamma Signa) at Pasadena City College and
                                                      “You are what you eat. If you want to buy cheap understanding that every one of us, at the level
 got a scholarship to study Physics at the Univer-
                                                       food grown using fossil fuels, pesticides, chem- of our cells and respiration, lives in the coun-
 sity of California at Berkeley. Here I did some
                                                       ical fertilizers, far be it from me to stop you. try and is thus obliged to be mindful of the dis-
 outstanding research that helped Dr Luis Alva-
                                                       If you think using our dwindling reserves of tance between ourselves and our sustenance.?
 rez get a noble prize for work with high energy
                                                       petroleum to ship food clear across the coun- I suppose we could look at the Farm Bill as a
 particles. So ... I’m not really dumb. Maybe you
                                                       try so folks in your state can have avocados in feed ration operation. You wouldn’t pay more
 meant something else ... but at this point if you
                                                       December is a good use of fuel, you have the to feed your animals, either.” Seattle, WA
 think that I’m dumb ... well, I’m not too sure
                                                       right to your opinion. I beg to disagree. I am
 about YOUR mental capacities ... so I’ll just let                                                       “You obviously don’t understand the benefit. I
                                                       worth more than fast food and twinkies and
 it go and say that if you ever run for anything                                                          understand people didn’t do that in the past,
                                                       pesticide-laden produce. And my values won’t
 we’re gonna have a ball with you!!!!” Ocean                                                              but we know better now. Wake up.” Tustin,
                                                       allow me to sink to eating cows that have been
 Park, WA                                                                                                 CA
                                                       standing knee-deep in their own manure in a
“You’re Right! Thanks to the USDA - ORGANIC            feedlot being given hormones and antibiotics. “What is actually dumb is giving billions of tax-
 means NOTHING anymore. The USDA                       I am definitely worth way, way more than that. payer dollars to corporate agribusiness. Your
 has allowed the “organic standards” to be so          But if you’re not, if you’d rather eat cheap food statement that organic consumers are dumb is
 watered it down that the standards are com-           than nutritious food, if you’d rather not see sad and very telling. One day we the people will
 plete crap these days - all so some big corpora-      that the people who grow the food that feeds eliminate the incestuous relationship between
 tion can make a pretty penny. Organic is really       you every day make a decent wage, then stick corporate lobbyists and elected officials. We
 not much different from conventional foods            with the cheap stuff. My friends and I are what will not forget you.” Rapid City, SD
 anymore. And you’ve taken away the right              we eat, and our worth is reflected in the price
                                                                                                         “What kind of a democrat calls buying locally
 for States to have higher standards of Organic        we’re willing to pay for wholesome food. In fact,
                                                                                                         - “dumb” ?! The energy alone that is saved by
 (CA). This government FORCES its people to            many of us would rather pay more for decent
                                                                                                          not having to transport goods cross country is
 eat GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS,                       food than own a car or a big-screen TV. We’re
                                                                                                          a huge item. I won’t even get into health issues.
 meat that is laden with hormones, antibiotics         not rich, and we’re not elite. We just have our
                                                                                                          You might try to educate yourself on these
 and disease. All you care about is the bottom         priorities in the right place.” Oakland, CA
                                                                                                          issues before making such ignorant statements.”
 dollar - and that affects Americans. You are
                                                      “Do you consider it dumb to be limiting your Lopez Island, WA
 doing a POOR JOB of keeping our best inter-
                                                       exposure to cancer causing chemicals and
 ests in mind. But at least I’ll support a local                                                         “I was dumb enough to be invited to present
                                                       avoiding products that are known to cause
 farmer before I support some Con-Agra asshole                                                            my work on sustainability at a UN sponsored
                                                       birth defects? I think not!! Maybe you need
 & the USDA idiots.”                                                                                      conference last year. Please visit my website
                                                       to do a bit more research and get educated
                                                                                                          and learn what all the dumb people say about
Your comment to the effect that consumers of           before you go around claiming that people
                                                                                                         “local” . sunmoney.org And then please explain
organic and locally grown food are dumb has            who choose to eat natural, God given food are
                                                                                                          why you continue to force small and local pro-
to be one of the dumbest statements ever made.         dumb!” Oxnard, CA
                                                                                                          ducers out of business by subsidizing the worst
I’m constantly amazed at the blind ignorance
                                                       Dear Collin Peterson, Please read the follow- strategies. I am now proud to say that I’m a
running around the Federal Government these
                                                       ing article which will shed light upon your FORMER Minnesotan. By the way, do
                                                                                                                                                         25
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
you have any plans for 2009?”                           that anything that makes money for a producer just want you to think about the value of food.
                                                        deserves a ‘hallelujah’ insults consumers, sim- It seems that CHEAP is something you con-
 “We the people pay more for organic foods
                                                        plifies a situation, absolves producers of their sider over QUALITY. Think about that before
because you the politicians are corrupt and
                                                        responsibilities and implies to me that you may saying something totally wrong, that makes me
allow big business to poison our foods with
                                                        be over-reaching your abilities by being chair wonder who is the dump consumer in the end!”
pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Don’t
                                                        of the House Agricultural Committee.” Lon- Wismar, AL
call us dumb. I have serious health issues with
                                                        don, ON
allergies to these chemicals. If you did your job,                                                        “Mr. Peterson, Subsidizing chemicalized factory
I would not have to worry so much about the            “Mr. Peterson.. I don’t want to insult you. I wish farms for the production of genetically modi-
poisons in our food.”                                   you hadn’t belittled me. I’m a Democrat (well, fied foods that cause severe allergies and other
                                                        actually, right now a Green, until the next pri- health problems is a contra-survival action. It
“If you can subsidize POOR food, then why not
                                                        mary) and, frankly, your derogatory, misin- puts Americans’ health at risk. It creates a
 help subsidize GOOD food: there are numer-
                                                        formed and slanted comment sounds like some- large carbon footprint. It fills our waterways
 ous studies showing superior nutrient content
                                                        thing that I hear coming from the mouth of with chemicals that turns males into females
 in local and organically grown foods. Further,
                                                        a Republican. We’re all entitled to our opin- and turns females sterile. It leads to a lessening
 helping establish a more local food chain will
                                                        ions, but before you call people dumb who of our ability to survive well and prosper. It is
 help offset the affects of decreasing energy sup-
                                                        care enough about their health to be mindful against the American way. Supporting quality
 plies and of increasing global greenhouse gases.
                                                        of what they put into their bodies, it would be food made locally is pro-survival. It helps peo-
 Nothing “stupid” here.” Everett, WA
                                                        a good idea for yourself to become better edu- ple survive better and flourish. It is the Ameri-
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I beg to differ with you over       cated on the subject. The Organic Consumers can way- at least how our founding fathers saw
 the idiocy of people who seek out and are will-        Association website would be a good place to it. Please help move agriculture along into a
 ing to pay more for local and organic foods. In        start. Mercola.com another good source.”           pro-survival position.”
 case you have not been informed the US food
                                                        “Dear Mr. Peterson, If you like to eat pesti-        “Dear Representative Peterson: Thanks for
 system is full of dangerous chemicals as well as
                                                       cide laden food, that’s fine with me. But it’s         labeling me “dumb” for buying organic and
 genetically modified foods that have never been
                                                       not nice to call people stupid who care about          local foods. Seems to me that you have a lit-
 tested in any scientific way (i.e. repeated con-
                                                       their health. I understand you politicians get         tle remedial reading to do this harvest sea-
 trolled tests on human beings and other warm
                                                       your funding from chemical companies and               son. You might try Barbara Kingsolver’s “Ani-
 blooded animals). Obviously you are “dumb”
                                                       other corporations, but you also get funding           mal, Vegetable, Miracle” for one. I hope that
 enough to trust the FDA, USDA when they say
                                                       from us simple taxpayers, and there’s no rea-          this quote was an aberration and that you actu-
 the US food system is the safest in the world
                                                       son to knock those of us who don’t buy into the        ally do understand the importance of local and
 (as recall #20 for the autumn is declared this
                                                       industrial-government mantra of “eat your poi-         organic agriculture to the future of our farm-
 morning) and you seem to be dumb enough
                                                       son, it’s good for you.” I don’t trust anything        ing communities and the planet as a whole.”
 to trust the food corporations. I am not dumb
                                                       you or any other government mouthpiece says            Somerville, MA
 enough to trust a government who is for the
                                                       anymore and many other people are feeling the
 corporation and not the people and as we all                                                                “Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, for winning
                                                       same way these days. So really, it’s irrelevant to
 know the corporation says Greed is Good and                                                                  the Organic Consumers Association award for
                                                       me what you say. Oh, I always vote Democrat,
 puts share holders well ahead of the health and                                                              the dumbest quote of the week. Maybe you
                                                       but I don’t think you’re really any better than
 safety of its’ consumers.” Eaton, OH                                                                         don’t care what you put into your body, but in
                                                       Republicans anymore. You’ve all been bought.,”
                                                                                                              a country with a serious obesity problem and
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Re: your comment “For              Denison, TX
                                                                                                              health care costs skyrocketing because people
 whatever reason, people are willing to pay two
                                                       “Rep. Peterson, I read our comments about peo-         are not taking care of their bodies, you should
 or three times as much for something that says
                                                        ple paying higher prices for food that is not con-    care. The state of our society’s health affects
‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to under-
                                                        taminated with chemicals that cause sickness.         everyone who ever needs medical care. Buying
 stand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if
                                                        How outrageous it is, that our food supply has        locally helps to reduce the impact on our envi-
 people are dumb enough to pay that much then
                                                        been poisoned for agri-biz’s profits! Respect-        ronment and supports your community. It’s not
 hallelujah.” As head of the House Agricultural
                                                        fully, Norman L. Biegner normanbiegner@hot-           rocket science, Mr. Peterson.”
 Committee you are supposed to understand
                                                        mail.com”
 the various reasons why organic production of                                                               “Dear Mr. Peterson: I find it disturbing that a
 food may cost more. You should also under-            “Collin Peterson we are not dumb! For gener-           man in your position can make such irrational
 stand the many circumstances where manufac-            ations farms have been organic all across this        statements. Choosing organics is not dumb! it
 turers and grocery stores are lax in standards         great country. I buy from local farmers because       is just the opposite. Removing pesticides, food
 by which they label products as lax or natural.        its good for me and the community. It wasn’t          additives, and frankenfoods from our diet has
 You should also understand how consumers are           until chemical companies came into being that         keep us healthy, active, doctor free, drug free
 trying to learn about healthy, organic products        we started poisoning our land, rivers and air         and mentally acute senior citizens. Perhaps you
 amidst much variation in terminology. There            and with that we are poisoning ourselves. It          should give it a try.” Shokan, NY
 are times when a person pays more than s/he            must stop.” Kent, OH
                                                                                                        “If you don’t know why so many people are buy-
 should for a product that is not local or organic
                                                       “No pesticides is the answer we pay more you      ing organic and local, then you need to edu-
 by standards agreed upon by major organics
                                                        moron.”                                          cate yourself. There are VERY good reasons
 organizations. But, consumers are not dumb.
                                                                                                         behind it and if you knew more, you might
 They are not acting in dumb ways. They - we           “Dear Mr. Peterson, I hope you get to read this!
                                                                                                         buy it too. I’m very curious how a person with
- are trying to learn and trying to make good           I’m from Germany and know the matter very
                                                                                                         your ignorance and a huge lack of knowledge
 health decisions for our families. For you to say      well. Seems like Monsanto is paying you well. I
                                                                                                         got to be Chair of the House Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                        26
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 Committee. This just blows my mind! ?The “Dear Representative Peterson, I’m just writing                   someone dealing with cancer issues and most
 greatest ignorance is to reject something you you because of your recent statement that it is              have brought up their concern over our chem-
 know nothing about? ?The recipe for perpetual dumb to pay more for organic or locally grown                ically saturated food. I for one will continue to
 ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions food. For one thing, organic food is health-                 pay more for food and pray that our elected rep-
 and content with your knowledge.?”                    ier. For another, it is often tastier and, lastly,   resentatives vote for the health and welfare of
                                                       buying locally helps reduce pollution in that        the people rather than big business.”
“I would like to know why you think it is dumb
                                                       you’re not shipping food all over the country
 to support local businesses rather than large                                                              “You think we are “dumb” because we don’t
                                                       on big polluting trucks. I’m sure that you will
 food processors.” Kingston, NY                                                                              want food that is processed, full of corn syrup,
                                                       get many emails about why buying organic is
                                                                                                             full of e-coli, full of who knows what? You
“Organic consumers are dumb? Really? Are you not dumb. In fact, for the health of consumers
                                                                                                             have the gall to call your constituents “dumb” .
 sure? Do you even read books? Newspapers? and the environment, it is actually very smart.”
                                                                                                             Good luck with that. New York, NY
 There are so many reasons why organic is better Morgantown, WV
 that I can begin to list them. And you think it’s                                                          “Organic and locally harvested food tastes bet-
                                                      “Mr. Peterson, From your comments it does not
 dumb? I don’t know what state elected you, but                                                              ter, has more nutrition, and doesn’t contami-
                                                       sound like you fairly represent the Farm Com-
 it’s not a place that I would want to live. And let                                                         nate our drinking water. The really dumb thing
                                                       munity or the US population. I hope you are
 me just guess who put you on the agricultural                                                               is to spend my taxpayers dollars subsidizing
                                                       not yet another typical professional bureaucrat.
 committee...Bush?”                                                                                          heavily polluting, conventional farming that
                                                       My family and I enjoy the benefits and differ-
                                                                                                             produces food seriously deficient in nutrients.
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I too used to be like you. ences of many natural and organic foods. If
                                                                                                             Either give me my taxes back to spend on real
 Before you make a statement out of ignorance, you are unable to tell the difference in natu-
                                                                                                             food or shift the subsidies from conventional to
 do the research. I imagine you are an edu- ral foods and “enhanced” foods then you are
                                                                                                             organic farmers!” Newton, MA
 cated man. Please be open because the future not very well qualified to be Agriculture Com-
 of America is in the hands of the government mittee Chair. We run a domestic hosiery man-                  “Dear Mr. Peterson, I am alarmed by your quote
 all too often. We need more informed peo- ufacturing operation in North Carolina that                      “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay
 ple in a position such as yours to help. To get employees 200 people. That may not make me                  two or three times as much for something that
 started just check out GMO foods. My daugh- “too” smart but I do not feel that I am “dumb”                  says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to
 ter did a report at her high school about this from buying local natural and organic foods.”                understand what that’s about, but that’s real-
 very subject. It was very eye opening. You of Burlington, NC                                                ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay
 all people should realize we should be informed                                                             that much then hallelujah.” As Chairman of
                                                      “Dear Sir, I do not PREFER to pay more for
 when we make decisions affecting our fami-                                                                  the Agricultural Committee it is your duty to
                                                       organic food, I am forced to. I simply would
 lies health. I have a great idea, get your wife to                                                          understand why consumers would pay more for
                                                       rather put my money toward my daily and life-
 research. They are pretty good at it. Men aren’t                                                            local and organic foods. Each time we make a
                                                       long health and sustenance, than a little NOW
 usually as interested. Even if you never see this                                                           purchase we support our local farmers and those
                                                       toward something that fills my belly but doesn’t
 note, hopefully someone will and I pray it will                                                             who chose to produce food without chemicals
                                                       nourish my body and a lot more LATER to the
 change their lives. Thank you for your time.                                                                and hormones. If that makes us “dumb” then I
                                                       DRUG companies to keep my body ‘alive’ but
 Odessa, FL                                                                                                  am very proud to be part of that group.”
                                                       not thriving. With all due respect, perhaps
“With all due respect you are an idiot. Organic YOU just don’t GET IT that we are killing our-              “Please do not characterize me and my family as
 foods cost more because they are healthy and selves for the sake of filling someone’s pockets               being “dumb” for selecting organic food. Such
 not laden with chemicals, preservatives herbi- with PROFIT. Or perhaps you do get and that                  uninformed comments do little service to pub-
 cides and pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. is your goal.”                                              lic discourse - and, frankly, makes you look the
 Furthermore organic producers are not feder-                                                                fool. Also please do nothing to further enhance
                                                      “Dear Sir, Food that is grown in rich soil that is
 ally subsidized like factory farms. As a legislator                                                         the lock that the farming lobby has on federal
                                                       not contaminated with chemical fertilizers and
 you should be informed.” Clifton Texas                                                                      money. If it must exist because you can’t afford
                                                       that is not genetically modified is very impor-
                                                                                                             to give up your political payoffs, then at least
“dumb enough to pay that much” ? You can’t be tant to the American public that wants to take
                                                                                                             give the same percentage to the organic side of
 serious. It’s just not profitable for the big corpo- care of their health. We are tired of being exper-
                                                                                                             the house. And, again, stop offending me with
 rations who live off of giving the public e-coli imented upon and want labels put on our food
                                                                                                             your thoughtless and ill-informed comments.
 and hormone and antibiotic poisoning. And telling us if something contains genetically
                                                                                                             Thanks.” Madison, VA
 for that the fat cats deserves subsidies so they modified ingredients. WE WANT FOOD
 can get fatter, at the expense of our health. Bet THAT IS ORGANICALLY GROWN AND                            “Dear Mr. Collin Peterson,3 The comments you
 you don’t eat what the average American has WANT OUR SOIL RICH IN NATURAL                                   made about organic product indicate to me that
 to eat, being in a better tax bracket and voting NUTRIENTS. That is not stupid!”                            your are completely unqualified for your posi-
 yourselves raises. Then there is always the poi-                                                            tion as Chairman of the agricultural commit-
                                                      “Dear Chairman Peterson, I’m writing to
 son you elected officials approve from CHINA!                                                               tee. Please do yourself and the American peo-
                                                       enlighten you concerning consumers who
 Dumb?? Yes someone is, but it’s not the organic                                                             ple you “supposedly” serve a favor and do some
                                                       would be so foolish as to pay more money
 consumers. A fed up American”                                                                               research before you open your ignorant mouth
                                                       for organically grown food. I am concerned
                                                                                                             again. Largo, FL
“Regarding your above quote. You seem to be about the health of my family and the increase
 the dumb one, you have obviously not read the amount of chemical residue found in the food                 “Good healthy locally grown food is the true
 numerous reports that indicate organically pro- produced in this country. More is not better                American way of the farmer, NOT the industri-
 duced food is nutritionally superior.” Galena, if it pollutes the environment and causes any                alized, commercialized, pesticide laden, stock
 IL                                                    number of health issues. Everyone I know has          trade profit conscious, industry it has become.
                                                                                                                                                        27
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
I for one will always patronize the local farmer,       the proceeds of which remain in the local scientific studies. Your latest comments leave
albeit organic or simply locally grown. You Sir,        economy, AND the added cost and pollution little room for doubt. Wishing you better men-
need to pay attention to the ever growing move-         of trucking is eliminated. Yes, sometimes the tal health”
ment in this country and indeed among most              price tag is lower at Wal-Mart, but so is the
                                                                                                          “Your lack of intelligence scares me. How some-
of the world that has declared war on leaving a         quality and the support of our local economies.
                                                                                                           one like you could possibly be in a position of
polluted world to our children and grand chil-          Did you ever stop to think that maybe some of
                                                                                                           such importance to the health and well being of
dren. You seem to have survived the voting pro-         us are willing to pay more because ultimately
                                                                                                           the American people is beyond me.”
cess long enough to hold a senior leadership            it’s the right thing to do for our country?” Den-
position, to that end, I urge you to look at the        mark, ME                                          “Sir, I am not dumb. I care about my health and
world from the “common people’s” perspective                                                               the health of the planet that we live on. Even if
                                                       “Support local and organic farmers!” Pontotoc,
and get your hand and head out of the corpo-                                                               you are comfortable consuming pesticides, her-
                                                        MS
rate profit machine that can pad your war-chest,                                                           bicides, and genetically modified organisms,
but do little for what is right and may not nec-       “Dear Collin, With all due respect, publicly they are making environmental problems for
essarily profitable. This from Massachusetts,           suggesting that you have no idea/understand- all.” Phoenix, AZ
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!” Townsend, MA                       ing of why consumers want to avoid pesti-
                                                                                                          “If you have not taken the time to understand
                                                        cides in their food and want to support local
“Yes, I do make a personal choice to pay more                                                              why folks may care whether their food is
                                                        farms instead of heavily-polluting global pro-
 for products that are healthier for me and for                                                           “organic” or “local” than it appears you are the
                                                        duce trade is an indication that you are genu-
 the planet! What a limited view when you look                                                             dumb one. Go join the Republicans.”
                                                        inely out of touch with what really matters to
 at the money at the register only!!”
                                                        people - and therefore your position as a “rep- “End the federal JACKASS SUBSIDY. Hit the
“Foods with pesticides, insecticides, etc. Are          resentative” of the people should be subject to road, jack; see you on K Street.” Philadelphia,
 scientifically proven to poison human bod-             question. As I’m sure you know, there are thou- PA
 ies. So, since you are the head of the house ag        sands of pesticides in use by non-organic grow-
                                                                                                          “You’re lucky enough to represent a savvy,
 committee, you should be ashamed of yourself           ers, the vast majority of which have never been
                                                                                                           knowledge group of people, and you should
 (and I’m sure you’re not) that you have no clue        tested by the FDA (or by any regulatory body).
                                                                                                           talk to them about buying local and organic
 what organic is all about and why people desire        Many pesticides have been scientifically dem-
                                                                                                           before you decide who’s dumb.”
 it. This is truly disrespectful, and thus you are      onstrated to have all sorts of harmful effects to
 not a true leader. And like the rest of congress,      humans and other creatures, especially to farm “Dear Congressman Peterson, I am a Phi Beta
 you do not deserve to lead our country, since          workers exposed daily to their application to Kappa graduate from the University of Vir-
 you are not leading anyhow, you live in the            crops but also to everyone who eats the crops ginia. I think that indicates that at some level
 past times. You are wasting our time and pre-          and uses water contaminated by pesticide run- I am not “dumb.” For the past 5 years I have
 cious resources, destroying our soil and other         off. Regarding the local movement, I don’t see put much effort into seeking out high qual-
 resources for future generations, you all are          how you could fail to understand that value of ity, local, organic, pasture-based farmers in
 arrogant and not being held accountable. You           supporting farmers in one’s extended commu- order to get high quality, great-tasting, nutri-
 should all step down from congress immedi-             nity, as well as the (perhaps even greater) value ent-dense, food without chemical or antibiotic
 ately.” Fairfield, IA                                  of reducing the many forms of pollution asso- residue. I don’t have the time to educate you
                                                        ciated with long-distance transport of food. on the wide-ranging benefits of eating organic,
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am saddened
                                                        Please educate yourself if you expect to keep local and pasture-based. But I will refer you to
 that a fellow Minnesotan with political power
                                                        your position as chairman of the House agri- the Oct/Nov 2007 issue of Mother Earth News
 would be so ignorant of the benefits of sustain-
                                                        cultural committee. Brooklyn, NY                   where they tested eggs from 14 pastured flocks
 able (i.e. local and organic) agriculture. You
                                                                                                           at an accredited laboratory in Oregon for their
 said, “people are willing to pay two or three         “Collin, Some may think that you are dumb for
                                                                                                           nutrient content. Happily for me, eggs that I
 times as much for something that says ‘organic’        not caring what you put in your body. Maybe
                                                                                                           buy locally were one of those tested! Compared
 or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what       you like pesticides and growth hormones and
                                                                                                           to the nutritional value of eggs from confined
 that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are    antibiotics and gm foods, but I don’t. To each
                                                                                                           chickens, the eggs I eat provide: 7.6 times more
 dumb enough to pay that much then hallelu-             his own.” Peshtigo, WI
                                                                                                           vit E 2/3 more Vit A 7.6 times more beta-caro-
 jah.” I hope you will educate yourself before
                                                       “Dear Congressman Peterson, Such an inter- tene 3.2 times more omega-3s And guess what?!
 speaking further to the public. Portland, ME
                                                        esting quote in the Financial Times. Perhaps The eggs I buy cost neither 3.2 nor 7.6 times
“Well I have to say it is amazing how we con-           you ought to check your facts before spouting more expensive! I think I’m a savvy consumer
 tinue to elect uneducated morons to our gov-           off. Organic produce and meat, and by this I getting a bargain for the amount of nutrition
 ernment without any thought as to how they             mean true organics-not big ag, sham “organics” I’m getting. And, no salmonella has ever been
 will use their power. Congratulations on mak-         -have more nutrition. If you would bother read- found in my farmer’s eggs as well. I am not a
 ing yourself look like a complete idiot.” Albany,      ing on the subject or even watching the news great cook, but I buy great food, and when I
 GA                                                     (the BBC reported that organics provide more have guests they always comment on how deli-
                                                        nutrition just this week) then you would under- cious the food is. That’s because great food isn’t
“I find myself shaking my head in utter despair
                                                        stand that higher vitamin content, essential found at grocery stores, but from small farmers
 that a representative of the agricultural com-
                                                        fatty acids and more enzymes create a product who care about how they farm.”
 mittee simply doesn’t get it. First of all, buy-
                                                        that provides increased health benefit. Perhaps
 ing locally often means paying LOWER prices                                                              “Dear Mr. Peterson; Your comments on Not
                                                        your years of starving your brain on conven-
 than in the supermarket. Additionally, farm-                                                              understanding why people would buy local or
                                                        tional, low-vitamin content food have left you
 ers’ markets, farm stands, and community sup-                                                             organic food and pay a premium are astound-
                                                        devoid of reason or incapable of understanding
 ported agricultural farms offer fresher produce,                                                          ingly short sighted and frankly confusing,
                                                                                                                                                       28
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 especially for someone who chairs the agricul-      “Dear Mr. Peterson, If supporting local and         “Mr. Peterson - It’s an embarrassment to know
 ture department. Obviously you have no idea          organic produce is dumb, then my husband            that a Minnesota Congressperson could be so
 or understanding of the movement we the peo-         and I (with an MD and two Ph.D.s between us)        uneducated as to make the comment about
 ple are involved in getting food from people we      must be real idiots. Or perhaps DUMB means          people who buy organic or local produce. All
 know and trust. How did you get appointed to         Doing Unbelievably Mindful Buying. That             I can assume is that you are a very close friend
 the chair with such a short sighted vision? this     must be the answer since buying locally sup-        of a multi-national corporate agribusiness and
“dumb” consumer pays more because I want my           ports local citizens and buying organic means       have not yet read any of the literature about the
 money to stay in the state in which the product      putting healthier food on the table for our fam-    threat of pesticides and herbicides to human
 is grown. I want the money to help an Ameri-         ily. Yes, we are willing to pay more in order to    health, or the costs involved (greenhouse gases
 can farmer stay in business , not to go to a bro-    keep our family and our nation healthier and to     and foreign oil) to shipping food around the
 ker or a conglomerate in Mexico, Chile, china        support others doing the right thing. I’m sorry,    world, when we can buy it locally. Or maybe
 or where ever. I want security in knowing my         I thought that was part of what being a Demo-       you don’t have any small farmers in your dis-
 food is not tainted. Sir I would challenge you       crat was all about. Guess I really am dumb since    trict who are trying to farm in a more sustain-
 to make it your business to know and under-          I didn’t realize you were a DINO. P.S. Con-         able manner. Shame on you.” Willow River,
 stand what the American people who elected           gratulations on getting the Organic Consum-         MN
 you really want, your job is to be in touch with     ers Association award for the dumbest quote of
                                                                                                         “I purchase only organic foods and most of that
 that and work towards making it easier and           the week.” Avondale Estates, GA
                                                                                                          from local sources and I am not dumb. I am
 better for our farmers!!!. Sir I am glad you are
                                                     “Mr. Peterson, your uninformed remarks               a cancer survivor and very concerned about
 not representing me in NC, I certainly would
                                                      maligning the value of safe, nutritious organic     what chemicals, additives, hormones I put in
 not cast my vote for someone who doesn’t even
                                                      food are an embarrassment to me and to edu-         my body. I am offended by your comment and
 understand my view point let alone represent it.”
                                                      cated persons who know the value and need for       I will continue to educate others about the ben-
 Durham, NC
                                                      a safe, non-toxic food source.”                     efit of locally grown organic foods.”
“My family of five lives on my husband’s social
                                                    Mr. Peterson, You should be embarrassed that         “Plain and simple, you should give up your
 security disability paycheck. My youngest son
                                                    you are so easily influenced by big agriculture’s     chairmanship. You have no idea what you are
 is autistic and whenever I try to work outside
                                                    political donations to your campaigns. Your           talking about when it comes to agriculture and
 the home my husband’s body cannot keep up
                                                    comments make you look ignorant. Please take          you certainly don’t have any idea what you are
 with a family’s schedule. I would love to be able
                                                    the time to educate yourself. Thank you,” Port-       talking about when it comes to consumer con-
 to buy organic local food. Our processed food
                                                    land, OR                                              cerns over food safety.” Clinton, WA
 system is diseasing and killing our nation. We
 know the truth and we feel a strong responsi- “Sir: Congratulations on your dumbest quote               “Here is some reality. I am willing to “pay” to
 bility to future generations to reduce the tox- of the week award from the Organic Consum-               protect my children and myself from the known
 ins increasingly building in our systems each ers Assn. Some of us actually CARE what we                 to be toxic chemicals allowed to be sprayed on
 generation. If you would like to continue being put in our mouths. Pesticides and other chemi-           produce and then fed to livestock. It would be
 elected, I suggest you notice Americans are cals just don’t taste very good. I may not be rich           better for our society’s medical cost burden if
 becoming very concerned with our current way (like the chemical companies you represent)                 everything was grown organically.” Crescent
 of life.”                                          but I am smart enough to know what’s good for         Springs, KY
                                                    me.” Salem, OR
“So, Senator Peterson, Those of us who are will-                                                         “Mr. Peterson, I take offense at your comment
 ing to drive an older car than you drive and “Mr. Collin Peterson, why aren’t you investigat-            that I am dumb to purchase local and organic
 have less cash in our pockets than you have ing why many of us are willing to pay more for               food. I would respectfully suggest that you do
 so that a few more acres of land are not being organic, local food? Your words make me won-              some research on local/organic food versus
 turned into chemical waste dumps are stupid. der about your ability to think beyond your                 mainstream agriculture”
 Thanks for demonstrating what a greed driven familiarity zone.” Santa Fe, NM
                                                                                                         “Sir, you are a total moron. How people as
 short sighted idiot you are. You’ve saved me
                                                   “Dear Sir: I would like to take a moment to            incredibly ignorant as you make it into the gov-
 a lot of time and trouble. From now on, you
                                                    explain to why I choose to pay more for organic       ernment is beyond belief.”
 can be my red flag. If you come out in favor of
                                                    and grass fed items. The factory farming method
 something or get behind a candidate, I’ll know                                                          “Collin Peterson: Would you pay more to feed
                                                    repulses me. Not only is the squalid living con-
 exactly where to position myself. For those of                                                           your children/grandchildren safe meals? Or do
                                                    ditions of these animals deplorable, but the ste-
 us who really try to walk the walk, it can be                                                            you bargain-hunt only to find your family is
                                                    roids, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides used
 hard to sort through the greed driven. You have                                                          eating e-coli infected peanut butter, hormone-
                                                    in factory farmer are not meant for human con-
 made my life one idiot easier.” Elgin, IL                                                                treated meat or pesticide-infused vegetables?
                                                    sumption. I do not want to consume poison.
                                                                                                          If you would actually support organic farmers’
“Sir: The most affective way for we Americans to Have you noticed that cancer, allergies, autism,
                                                                                                          businesses, these would thrive and we could all
 take back our democracy is support local/sus- and a host of other maladies are on the increase
                                                                                                          get the best products for the best prices.” Aus-
 tainable farms and businesses. Providing these since the USA started factory farming? Not to
                                                                                                          tin, TX
 foods for my children is one of the “smartest” mention what is happening to the family farm
 things I have done. The “dumb” thing to do is and the environment. My hope is one day our                “Congratulations on winning the OCA Award
 continuing to support high pollution produc- representatives in Congress will choose the                for the dumbest quote of the week. And I hope
 ing agribusiness. How about being a leader for health of the American people over the profits           that you and your family remain healthy after
 your community, rather than being a lobbyist of big agricultural. Organic consumers are not             consuming all the genetically altered, pesti-
 for big agribusiness!”                             dumb. Stow, MA”                                      cide embedded food that you prefer to eat on
                                                                                                         the cheap. If you would help fund this
                                                                                                                                                      29
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
preferable way of farming, it might not be so          works but is really cheap, the other which is standards by selling out to lobbyist and Wal-
expensive.”                                            two to three times as costly but is more likely to Mart, “organic” will become meaningless and
                                                       produce a cure, you’d choose the cheaper. The buying locally from farmers will become the
“As a publicly elected official, it is YOUR JOB to
                                                       only thing this tells me, however, is that you only nutritional and safe source of food in
 LEARN why people behave the way that they
                                                       are in the pocket of big agriculture. You do not our nation. Have you asked yourself why can-
 do in your state and in your country. THANK
                                                       care about people just about money. Therefore, cer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are so
 YOU for letting us know that you are either too
                                                       you are not stupid just without morals. Hous- rampant in our country? Could it possibly be
 obtuse or too lazy to do so.” Pueblo, CO
                                                       ton, TX                                              the chemicals on the produce and in the meat?
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I understand that you think                                                             Could it be all of the chemicals and processed
                                                      “People are willing to pay so much for food that
 people willing to pay more for food that has                                                               ingredients in the packaged food on the shelf?
                                                       IS organic because they know two main things:
 no chemicals, no pesticides, and is non-geneti-                                                            Why is it that flour that has been bleached, pro-
                                                       that the animals were treated humanly and that
 cally modified or irradiated, are dumb. I think                                                            cessed and had chemicals added is less expen-
                                                       the animals were fed all natural foods-CHEM-
 people who are willing to purchase and eat                                                                 sive than whole wheat flour that has no pro-
                                                       ICAL FREE! The better statement is that you
 chemical and pesticide laden, genetically mod-                                                             cessing or additives? Seems a little backwards
                                                       are “dumb” for not caring about those things!”
 ified and irradiated food stuff at any price, are                                                          doesn’t it? So please educate yourself and help
                                                       Washington, DC
 uneducated as to the myriad of human health                                                                clean up our food supply instead of selling out
 and environmental problems that these prod-          “Rep Collins - I’m a native from Roswell so I to the big company lobbyists. Houston, Texas”
 ucts cause. The reason our family started eat-        know it very sunny and bright down there in Houston, TX
 ing almost 100% organic is that we read about         your great state. This can make it hard to see
                                                                                                           “I don’t want to eat chemicals. Neither do I want
 the benefits of eating this way. Among other          in the glare sometimes. I assume this is why
                                                                                                            them spoiling the water we drink and the land
 things, now we rarely get sick, we feel better,       the voters in your state cannot see your pro-
                                                                                                            we use. This is not dumb! This is being a good
 look better, and are doing some part to help          big business, Republican stripes in the sun. It
                                                                                                            steward. And further, buying close to home
 the planet be less polluted. Know anyone who’s        would otherwise appear that it is the good cit-
                                                                                                            not only ensures freshness and saves transpor-
 died of cancer? Ever considered that maybe it         izens of the state of New Mexico that are men-
                                                                                                            tation costs, it provides jobs in the local econ-
 had something to do with eating chemicals and         tally challenged sufficient to elect the likes of
                                                                                                            omy instead of China. Again, this is not stupid!
 pesticides? It’s something to think about. Please     you. My parents are still alive and well down
                                                                                                            Please reconsider your comments. Thank you.”
 consider doing your homework before making            there (eating organic and local produce almost
 public statements that make you look, well,           their whole lives) but I will be sure to let them “Dear Congressman, I write in response to your
 kinda dumb. Best regards”                             know how stupid you think they are. I’ll also statement that says the farm sector that raises
                                                       make sure they let the local small truck and organic produce and grass-fed beef for local
“Shouldn’t you be aware of NUTRITION in
                                                       organic farmers know how lucky they are to consumers needs little federal help. “It is grow-
 your position? Where do pesticides, chemi-
                                                       have such idiots living near them. Davis, CA         ing, and it has nothing to do with the govern-
 cals and cancer-causing additives in agriculture
                                                                                                            ment, and that is good,” you told the Finan-
 benefit the population? Quantity is no substi-       “I really don’t appreciate it when I am insulted by
                                                                                                            cial Times. “For whatever reason, people are
 tute for quality.” Clinton, WA                        representatives that are paid (very well, I might
                                                                                                            willing to pay two or three times as much for
                                                       add) with my tax dollars. You’ve also managed
“I can’t believe you said what you did about                                                                something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be
                                                       to insult some large proportion of your constit-
 organic produce. Producing food organically                                                                it from me to understand what that’s about, but
                                                       uents and for that I congratulate you. If you
 is better for the land and for the environment.                                                            that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough
                                                       think organic and local food are not worth it,
 You just insulted many people who care for our                                                             to pay that much then hallelujah.” Perhaps
                                                       then don’t buy them-that’s the beauty of the
 land and our future. Thanks for nothing.”                                                                  sir, it is you who is dumb for not recognizing
                                                       free market. I’m sure I could have a thing or
                                                                                                            the great harm you are causing with the Farm
“Collin, If you’d like to see dumb first hand.....     two to say about how you spend your money,
                                                                                                            Bill’s misguided subsidies for corporate con-
 just look in the mirror or you way too busy           but it simply doesn’t concern me. I would
                                                                                                            trolled agriculture and factory farms. Taxpayer
 stuffing your pockets with money from special         appreciate the same courtesy from you.” Upper
                                                                                                            funded subsidies on commodity crops like corn
 interest groups? I can’t imagine that an educated     Arlington, OH
                                                                                                            and soybeans are expensive, harmful, and envi-
 man could actually believe those word. Take
                                                      “Dear Senator Peterson, You are as transparent ronmentally destructive. They have the effect
 some time an really learn what is in our food
                                                       as a jellyfish! You are so clearly in the pocket of of causing hunger and poverty in developing
 supply and if you don’t change your mind....
                                                       the big money interests who control the indus- nations, polluting our soil and water, and caus-
 well then I know for sure who the dumb on is.
                                                       trial food system, it is sickening! I hope you can ing an unfair system which rewards big corpo-
 Wichita, KS
                                                       sleep at night. Please visit www.earthkeeper- rations while punishing family farmers. You
“Wow, when I read your quote about buy-                farm.blogspot.com Maybe you’ll learn some- ought to be ashamed of yourself for insulting
 ing organic or local, I thought you would be          thing.” Roblin, MB                                   organic and local consumers while promoting
 another Republican unwilling to look outside                                                               such an atrocious policy which serves as a det-
                                                      “Mr. Peterson, Organic Consumers are not
 his narrow box. Was I surprised to see you are                                                             riment to this great nation. Rather than insult
                                                       dumb. Most are very well educated and well
 Democrat AND from Minnesota, a state I’ve                                                                  real farmers who produce real food for real peo-
                                                       read. Maybe you should become a little more
 always envied on their progressive attitudes.                                                              ple, your policies favor corporate controlled
                                                       well read and find out what is in the food you
 I’ve always wanted to live in Minnesota where                                                              interests who push commodity crops down the
                                                       eat and feed to your family. You will probably
 my husband is from instead of truly Neander-                                                               throats of factory farmed animals. As the chair-
                                                       then realize how “dumb” your comment was
 thal Texas where W. Bush hails from. So from                                                               man of the House Agricultural Committee,
                                                       and how uneducated you are on the organic
 your quote what you can also be translated as                                                              you ought to be more educated on these issues,
                                                       and local food movement. However, if the
 saying is, if one could buy two pills - one barely                                                         and seek to understand rather than insult an
                                                       government keeps watering down the organic
                                                                                                                                                        30
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 industry that is growing without government to see that you have not done your homework.                  them and good for the planet! I would also sug-
 assistance, even as government supported con- I strongly suggest that you now publicly apol-              gest that you be on this wave of growing con-
 ventional agriculture continues to destroy our ogize and retract that statement which is not              sumer awareness and public education rather
 planet and those who live on it. Lastly, con- only untrue it is a gross disservice to your con-           than protect an out-dated and unhealthy sys-
 gratulations on receiving the Organic Con- stituents and the rest of the country.                         tem of agri-business. Respectfully,” Ketchum,
 sumers Association award for dumbest quote of                                                             ID
                                                     “It’s sad that you care so little for the future
 the week. I sincerely hope that this award will
                                                      of our children, country and planet that you         “I grew up in small farming communities in
 help you to wake up to the realities of our fail-
                                                      fail to understand the benefit of organically         Minnesota. We moved a couple times as my
 ing farm system and seek a deeper and more
                                                      grown food or the way buying local foods can          father is a Pastor. When we couldn’t drink the
 holistic understanding of our agricultural poli-
                                                      help decrease our dependence on foreign oil. It       water from our own wells because of chemi-
 cies and their effects, rather than continue with
                                                      may not be the complete answer, but it helps,         cal contamination from mono-crops “inputs”
 taxpayer subsidized ‘business as usual’ as rep-
                                                      which is obviously more than you’re willing to        it made me wonder what we were eating along
 resented by the House version of the Farm Bill.
                                                      do. What a shame that the Democratic Lead-            with our food. You say it’s good that the grow-
 I would welcome any opportunity to further
                                                      ership wasted its opportunity to put someone          ing organic movement “has nothing to do with
 share my thoughts on these matters with you,
                                                      with even a modicum of vision for the future in       the government” ; how about that same attitude
 should you wish not to receive this award again
                                                      your position. Former Minnesota resident.”            for the huge agri-businesses that currently get
 in the future. Chicago, IL
                                                                                                            the lion’s share of government subsidies? Would
                                                     “Dear Rep. Peterson, I take issue with your char-
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Are you really that ignorant                                                            they be able to prosper? How about we find out?
                                                      acterization of those who support organic and
 when it comes to organic foods/produce and the                                                             Then we really would have a more level playing
                                                      local agriculture as “dumb.” It is little wonder
 effects and positive benefits that it produces for                                                         field for the small family farms to come back
                                                      that substantive farm bill reform is so elusive
 ones health and for the environment? It’s such                                                             from the bring of extinction. On that note, I
                                                      when the chair of the House agriculture com-
 a huge concern to me, along with many oth-                                                                 am completely opposed to NAIS. Again, why
                                                      mittee impugns the intelligence of people like
 ers, that people like you are running this coun-                                                           are agri-businesses essentially exempt? And, if
                                                      me. We actually pay premium prices to keep
 try. Please know the facts before you act on any                                                           it’s about PREVENTING food-borne illnesses,
                                                      small farms afloat in our communities, and
 issue. Period. Sincerely, and with great concern”                                                          let’s actually PREVENT them - no more ani-
                                                      to advance environmentally sound agriculture,
 Brooklyn, NY                                                                                               mals living in their own feces, no more process-
                                                      because we know that the federal government
                                                                                                            ing plants so contaminated with feces that the
“Hmmmmmm it seems that people like you is entrenched in a system that has dismantled
                                                                                                            carcasses need up to 40 chlorine baths... What
 should be calling anyone dumb?? People who the true safety net for family farmers while sup-
                                                                                                            are you getting out of this deal? It must be pretty
 live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. I porting policies that favor concentration in
                                                                                                            good for you to turn your back on your neigh-
 rather see my family eat foods that are TRUELY agriculture and the food sector. Far from being
                                                                                                            bors and their sustainable family farms. Let’s be
 grown organically, then the food the USDA “dumb,” I am using my food dollars to support
                                                                                                            clear: agri-businesses, with their absentee-land-
 deems safe. My children’s health and safety are an agriculture in my community that advances
                                                                                                            lords, are NOT farms. Minnesota has a proud
 very important to me. Is that dumb??” Canon the environmental benefits of open space, flood-
                                                                                                            agricultural past build on the backs of the hard-
 City, CO                                             water detention, aquifer recharge and wildlife
                                                                                                            working family farms. I would suggest read-
                                                      habitat, and the human benefits of tasty fresh
“If you don’t know the value of organic or locally                                                          ing “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” which nicely
                                                      nutrient-dense foods, while providing a decent
 obtained produce, I don’t know why you are on                                                              connects the dots of America’s food options.
                                                      living for farmers, including ones who sell at
 the house agriculture committee chair. Organic                                                             Thanks for your time.”
                                                      the farmers market where I am a volunteer
 and local produce provides a greater health and
                                                      board member. I want my two-year-old son to          “Congratulations on getting the Organic Con-
 economic benefit. I’m ashamed that you don’t
                                                      grow up around people who work the land and           sumers Association award for the dumbest
 this!” Park Ridge, IL
                                                      to have the opportunity to visit working farms.       quote of the week. So little you really know
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I find it hard to believe the Not because all small-scale farmers are perfect.          about healthy eating.”
 someone of your stature cannot see the bene- No, it’s because I find that being in the silence
                                                                                                           “Rep. Collin Peterson: Sir: Do you have chil-
 fits of organic and local farming. First of all the on the land every once in awhile helps you fig-
                                                                                                            dren? Perhaps you have grandchildren? Well,
 farther food has to travel to your family’s table, ure out what’s really dumb.” Tacoma, WA
                                                                                                            we “dumb” organic food producers and con-
 the more fuel has to be used creating more pol-
                                                     “Honorary Committee Chair Collin Peterson, I           sumers are THE significant counter force try-
 lution and adding to our dependence on foreign
                                                      suggest that you take a more thoughtful look at       ing to protect this planet against the destruc-
 oil. Second using mass quantities of pesticides
                                                      why many consumers are willing to pay higher          tive corporate forces who put present profits
 and inorganic fertilizers not only pollutes our
                                                      prices for organic and locally grown products.        above the future of mankind, trying to make it
 ground water and local eco-systems but also
                                                      The ground-swell of organic products in the           a livable, even healthy, place for your offspring.
 pollutes your own body as these chemicals are
                                                      marketplace meeting the growing number of             Congratulations on considering us “dumb!” (C.
 digested through your non-organic foods and
                                                      consumers who insist on these products, is not        S. Lewis once said that when we hear a per-
 your polluted ground water. Our future gener-
                                                     ‘dumb’ but rather a clear vote in favor of sustain-    son claim there is an invisible man in a nearby
 ations will be unable to thrive if we continue
                                                      able agriculture. Most people agree that they         chair, we learn more about the person than we
 down the polluted path.”
                                                      want a farming system to provide goods that           do about the chair.)” Cottonwood, CA
 It is unbelievable that the chairman of the do not pollute the soil, the water table, our chil-
                                                                                                           “Why is big agri-business getting all the breaks
 House of Representatives agricultural commit- dren, nor farm workers either here in the US or
                                                                                                            and all your support? Is Monsanto the lord
 tee would publicly say that buying food locally in any other country, and are willing to pay for
                                                                                                            and master of the farm lands? I hope not! And
 or organic is ‘dumb’. It is easy to see that you it if the have the means. People do actually care
                                                                                                            I hope for your good health and the health of
 have well paid for your words. It is also easy that what they put in their bodies is good for
                                                                                                                                                         31
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 your family that you are choosing to eat organi- rBGH studies she previously led at Monsanto.          than your corporate board room chums could
 cally grown and non-GMO foods. It is the little 1991: A right-wing extremist, Clarence Thomas,         ever dream about. Or are you too busy golfing
 man, the individual, who you are sworn to rep- was appointed to the Supreme Court, despite             with your pals”
 resent. Please do so through your actions and nationwide opposition. Prior to his appoint-
                                                                                                        “Dear Mr. Peterson, I am one of the “dumb”
 your support. Please support the small farmer.” ment, Thomas was a lawyer for Monsanto, a
                                                                                                         organic consumers you referred to in your
                                                    notorious chemical polluter and ag biotech
“Dear Mr. Peterson, You sure have a lot to                                                               statement the other day. What I think is dumb
                                                    promoter. Thomas would later cast the deci-
 learn about how much better organic food is                                                             is that our government subsidizes crops and
                                                    sive vote in 2000 on the Supreme Court, ratify-
 as opposed to chemically treated, genetically                                                           food policy that are making America fat and
                                                    ing the stolen election that put George Bush Jr.
 altered produce and the lack of intelligence that                                                       sick. By getting the chemicals out of our food,
                                                    into office. 1992: Michael Taylor was appointed
 the people who eat that kind of food (you) have.                                                        supporting small, local farmers, and subsidiz-
                                                    FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy, a
 Some people have no choice because of govern-                                                           ing fresh, organic produce rather than feed-lot
                                                    role created to expedite the approval process
 ment greed. I hope you never have any serious                                                           quality corn and other commodities, the Farm
                                                    of genetically engineered foods. Prior to his
 health problems as a result, but that is wishful                                                        Bill could alleviate, if not resolve, the national
                                                    appointment, Taylor was an attorney for Mon-
 thinking”                                                                                               health crisis. Please educate yourself about
                                                    santo. Taylor went on to become Monsanto’s
                                                                                                         organic produce and health-supporting nutri-
“I can’t believe you are the chair of the Agricul- Vice-President. 1993: Rufus Yerxa was nomi-
                                                                                                         tion practices, and discontinue the devastating
 ture Committee. God help us all. Apparently nated as U.S. deputy to the World Trade Orga-
                                                                                                         practice of bowing to big business to determine
 you know nothing about the issues of factory nization. Prior to his appointment as one of the
                                                                                                         national farm policy.” Worcester, MA
 farming. So how did such a glib, thoughtless most powerful bureaucrats in the world regard-
 person get to be chair of this committee? Gee, ing international trade policies, Rufus was             “Would you like that with or without poison,
 let me guess.”                                     Monsanto’s Chief Counsel. 1996: Michael Kan-         Sir? I think it’s not so much that you are dumb
                                                    tor was appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce.        about organic food and biodynamic principles,
“Dear Mr. Collins, You might want to do a lit-
                                                    At that time, Kantor was also on the Board           just ignorant. Have you looked at the startling
 tle more research before opening your mouth
                                                    of Directors of Monsanto. 2000: The White            rise in allergies and disease? It’s because of our
 next time. It is the same ignorance that you dis-
                                                    House appoints Carol Tucker Foreman as the           fuel Sir.. our food. It is poisoned with chemicals.
 play with your comments that has caused the
                                                    sole “consumer advocate” on an international         The chemicals poison and kill the microbes in
 food in America to become more chemicals
                                                    committee assessing genetically modified foods.      the soil. Without this, the food grows in dead
 than nourishment in the past 50 years.” Den-
                                                    Prior to her appointment, Foreman was a lob-         soil and is depleted in minerals and vitamins.
 ver, CO
                                                    byist for Monsanto. 2001: Anne Veneman was           I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) all my
“Conventional potatoes have over 900 pesticides, appointed head of the USDA, in charge of reg-           life until I started to get raw milk from a goat
 herbicides, chemicals etc on them. Why would ulating, among other things, genetically engi-             farmer (illegal) and make kefir from it. I get
 I choose to eat them? Why would I choose to neered crops. Veneman previously served on                  vegetables from trusted organic farmers or grow
 eat GMO’s after reading “Seeds of Deception” the Board of Directors of Calgene, a Monsanto              them myself, grass fed meat (usually from New
 ? The list is endless on conventional farm pro- biotech subsidiary. 2001: Donald Rumsfeld               Zealand, but now I’ve found a Northern Cali-
 duce and meat. However, I am sure someone was sworn in as Secretary or Defense. Rums-                   fornia bison (buffalo) rancher. Guess What? I’m
 can supply you with a list, hey, just go to any feld was previously the CEO of the Searle phar-         healthy for the first time in my life! We need liv-
 supermarket.”                                      maceutical corporation, acquired by Monsanto.        ing food. We need enzymes. Our guts begin to
                                                    2001: Linda Fisher was appointed Deputy              die with dead food, because the ecology of our
“I guess I’m pretty dumb. I didn’t realize, what
                                                    Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Pro-         gut is upset. I can see from your photo that you
 with a master’s degree, a working scientific pro-
                                                    tection Agency. Her regulatory chores included       have a few health issues. A healthy, chemical
 fessional, a wife, and mother of two young chil-
                                                   “enforcing” pesticide regulations, such as Mon-       and GMO free diet would do wonders for you.
 dren. I actually thought I was pretty smart for
                                                    santo’s herbicide, Roundup, commonly sprayed         What have you got to loose? Your health? You
 wanting to protect my family from chemical-
                                                    on GE crops. Fisher was previously Monsan-           just take drugs for that? Oh! There are always
 laced foods. Now I know I’m dumb for appar-
                                                    to’s Vice-President of Government Affairs. Pre-      side effects to drugs, whether they are in your
 ently waiting money. Thanks for setting me
                                                    viously Fisher served as a high-level staffer for    food or you take them a la carte. I was going to
 straight!” Redding, CA
                                                    another biotech cheerleader, President Bill          vote Democrat, but now I’m not so sure. Are
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I don’t believe you are really Clinton. 2002: George Poste was appointed             you sure you are not Republican? Your state-
 dumb - however, you are very ignorant regard- head the bioterrorism division of Homeland                ment is right up there with George W’s collec-
 ing farming and real food. As House Agricul- Security. Previously, Poste was a Monsanto ani-            tion of ignorant homilies.” Ventura, CA
 ture Committee Chair, I think you should mal specialist.”
                                                                                                        “Congrats on that dumb remark! I think seven
 become more informed about the benefits of
                                                   “Dear Mr. Peterson: I am not dumb, nor are            generations from now, your progeny will think
 organic farming/foods and supporting our
                                                    all the hundreds of thousands of people who          you were the dumb one for not doing anything
 local farmers.” Cary, NC
                                                    choose to know where their food comes from,          to protect this planet or the people on it. I’m
 A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONSANTO AND and what it contains. If it costs me more to                            sorry for you.”
 THE U.S. GOVERNMENT 1991: Marga- ensure I eat safe food, that is YOUR fault,
                                                                                                        “Congratulations for having won the Organic
 ret Miller was appointed Deputy Director because you sit in the pockets of all the corpo-
                                                                                                         Consumers’ Association “Dumb Quote of the
 of FDA by George Bush Sr. She oversaw the rate farm conglomerates who care only about
                                                                                                         Week” award! If you want to see REALLY
 approval of the genetically engineered growth their bottom line, not the product they produce.
                                                                                                         DUMB, though, look around you and see
 hormone rBGH. Prior to the appointment, she Why don’t you start doing your job, and assist
                                                                                                         the subsidies being given to unhealthy, fast
 was one of Monsanto’s top scientists develop- local small business people who contribute
                                                                                                         and junk food manufacturers and growers. If
 ing rBGH. At the FDA, she approved the same much more to America and Homeland Security
                                                                                                                                                       32
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 you didn’t believe that organic was real, why “How can you be in the field of Agricul-                  further poison the general environment, and
 does the USDA spend SO MUCH to sup- ture and be that Ignorant? Maybe its about                          give rise to resistant pests. When you couple the
 press, destroy and damage organic agriculture? time you start to CARE then you would get                practices above with subsequently also allowing
 DUMB is doing away with the family farm at it!!!!!!!#%@#$^%#^&#%^”                                      genetically modified forms of food grains into
 the behest of agribusiness concerns only inter-                                                         the environment, (specifically for the enrich-
                                                  “For your information, organic is healthier!
 ested in their own bottom line, never the qual-                                                         ment of the companies holding the patents on
                                                   Please do some homework, Senator. Thank
 ity or healthfulness of the food they provide.                                                          such plants, instead of (as is touted) “for bet-
                                                   you.”
 You fit RIGHT IN!” Carmel, CA                                                                           ter crop production or draught tolerance, etc.” ),
                                                  “Mr. Peterson- I would like to share with you my       then what the agriculture committees over the
“Congratulations, Collin Peterson (Democrat,
                                                   utter disappointment that one of our elected          past 60 years have created, is a recipe for disas-
 MN) for getting the Organic Consumers Asso-
                                                   officials acts so much higher than the rest of us     ter.... relating to either unbridled corporate con-
 ciation award for the dumbest quote of the
                                                   by referring to people willing to pay more for        trol over our food supplies, or merely a cata-
 week! Collin Peterson, chairman of the House
                                                   organic agriculture as “dumb” . I am willing          strophic (mono)crop failure... (take your pick).
 of Representatives agricultural committee, says
                                                   to pay more for organically and locally grown         These need to be reversed. How dare you say
 the farm sector that raises organic produce and
                                                   produce because I believe in using my money           ANYTHING derogatory about the Organic
 grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little
                                                   for positive change in our society. I am will-        industry (which supports bio-diversity and the
 federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing
                                                   ing to pay more for products that are made            Earths natural soil systems)... or, the people who
 to do with the government, and that is good,”
                                                   by hard working farm laborers who are not             feel very good about supporting that industry
 he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are
                                                   exposed to chemicals and dangerous pesticides         and want to see it grow, until IT becomes the
 willing to pay two or three times as much for
                                                   in their daily work. I am willing to pay more         NORM, as it was previously. (Please realize that
 something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be
                                                   for these products because it is an investment        at each step on the way, as we approach mak-
 it from me to understand what that’s about, but
                                                   in my local community instead of paying for           ing Organic farming THE NORM, again, the
 that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough
                                                   robo-produce that is shipped from hundreds of         prices per unit will decline as scales of economy
 to pay that much then hallelujah.” Canal Win-
                                                   miles away. Buying local and organic food is          begin to show up). But, even though profits will
 chester, OH
                                                   a conscious choice I make because I believe in        begin to become better and better, we should
“Wow...I knew our government was pretty unin- farming practices that make the earth more fer-            be attentive to many things besides monetary
 formed and sometimes ridiculously ignorant tile rather than less. If you feel that these rea-           equivalencies. As an example, the natural and
 and mostly not “for the people” but your quote, sons are “dumb” , perhaps you should re-evalu-          dynamic systems of the living Earth are, in fact,
“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay ate why it is you have chosen to serve the public        beyond value, because their good health and
 two or three times as much for something that in the first place.” Spencer, NY                          their continual interactions are the basic micro-
 says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to                                                         bial actions which make higher life on Earth
                                                  “Dear Mr. Peterson, disrespecting the opinions
 understand what that’s about, but that’s real-                                                          possible at all. (current farming practices repre-
                                                   of those who elect them seems to be endemic
 ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that                                                          sent the antithesis of this fact). You are in a posi-
                                                   among politicians these days. If instead you
 much then hallelujah.” , is staggering. Perhaps                                                         tion of power and responsibility. Please make
                                                   take the time to find out WHY we will pay
 a little research on the health benefits of non-                                                        a conscious decision to use these in a more
                                                   these higher prices, you will find that we com-
 chemical, non-gmo foods before making such a                                                            responsible way by working to promote growth
                                                   pelling reasons to do with health, local econo-
 statement is in order? DOH!” Ashland, OR                                                                in the Organic foods industry, instead of ridi-
                                                   mies, agribusiness and government. These rea-
                                                                                                         culing it’s supporters.” Silver City, NM
“Do you per chance stop to think the reason sons may not convince YOU to change your
 that people are paying more for organic pro- mind, but they define US as rational and intel-            “As an organic consumer I’m smarter than you. I
 duce is because they don’t want chemicals, pes- ligent, rather than subscribers to the herd men-         don’t eat pesticides. They make me sick.”
 ticides on their food the results of which quite tality you may be more comfortable with.”
                                                                                                         “So I hear that you said: “For whatever reason,
 clearly are detrimental to people’s health. Why MACOMB, IL
                                                                                                          people are willing to pay two or three times
 wouldn’t we as consumers want to encourage
                                                  “Dear “Representative” Peterson, While you              as much for something that says ‘organic’ or
 and put pressure on the government to back
                                                   may believe that you represent your constitu-         ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what
 and fund the growing of produce and food stuff
                                                   ent’s best interests when you make statements          that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are
 that is beneficial to US and global consumers in
                                                   such as the one indicating that you believe            dumb enough to pay that much then hallelu-
 the long run. Organic and natural make perfect
                                                   people who are willing to pay a little more for        jah.” What? Are you brain dead? I gladly pay
 sense to a logical being, the only dumbie, I’m
                                                   organic foods are stupid; the opposite is, in fact     more for food that is wholesome and nutritious
 afraid, is you.” Denver, CO
                                                   true,(even if all your constituents are farmers).      and cruelty free. I think you need to find out
“Who’s dumb? Of course we know that Col- What you were quoted as saying, was in fact,                     the facts before you go spouting off. Support
 lin Peterson is referring to the marketing peo- just what you needed to say to show your own             local farmers. Big corporations care nothing for
 ple who steal the word organic. I’m sure he ignorance about the importance of BUILD-                     the people, animals and the environment, read
 has done his homework and knows that true ING soil and the natural bacteria and multi-                   up and you will see that is true.”
 organic farming has a promise for the future tude of life forms (such a worms) within the soil.
                                                                                                         “Dear Mr. Peterson Would you be willing to
 and he will support it for his grandkids’ sake. (the underlying principles of Organic farming)
                                                                                                          pause a moment and learn why so many people
 Oh, unless he is bought and paid for by the lob- In the modern methods of agricultural prac-
                                                                                                          are willing to pay more for organic produce and
 byists of mega farms.”                            tices, we are, in fact, killing the natural fertil-
                                                                                                          grass fed beef?” Berkeley, CA
                                                   ity of our soils, and depleting them of miner-
“The only dumb thing about organic food is the
                                                   als. This is a direct result of using continually     “Dear Sir, What is wrong with you? What don’t
 way the USDA allows it to be perverted and
                                                   more and more pesticides and fertilizers which         you understand about wanting to eat food that
 exploited.” Lawrence, KS
                                                                                                                                                        33
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 is cleaner (free from growth hormones, food about health. In the interim, please discontinue             The fact that we pay more for organics should
 grown in a sustainable and sane manner,)and insulting a significant percentage of the peo-               drive you to understand our reasons instead of
 more humanely produced? Don’t tell me you ple you were hired to serve. Thank you.” Fort                  making statements that tarnish your reputation
 believe all the bunk “science” that claims no Worth, TX                                                  and make you sound, quite frankly, ignorant. I
 difference between conventionally grown and                                                              highly doubt a man in your position is ignorant.
                                                    “Respectfully sir, if someone really has to explain
 organically grown foods. If you do, well, you’re                                                         As a fellow democrat, I urge you to please take
                                                     why the American people are willing to pay a
 the one who’s “dumb” and perhaps you should                                                              the time to understand how important a holis-
                                                     higher price for a healthier and more sustain-
 remain so in the strictest sense of the word.”                                                           tic lifestyle is to us. I also urge you to admire,
                                                     able agricultural product, then you’re an idiot!”
                                                                                                          or at least respect, the people who don’t make
“If the farm sector that raises organic produce
                                                    “Dear Rep. Peterson: ...and people don’t under-       much money but still insist on spending more
 and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs
                                                     stand why our country is in the deep trouble         on food, products, and methods that are less
 little federal help, and the country has a mas-
                                                     that we currently find ourselves. Congratula-        synthetic, less artificial, and PROVEN to be
 sive obesity problem. A sensible person would
                                                     tions for getting the Organic Consumers Asso-        better for our health, the environment, and the
 advocate for subsidizing sensible food. Look at
                                                     ciation award for the dumbest quote of the           livestock. Proud mother of 1 extremely healthy
 the federal food pyramid and match it with fed-
                                                     week. Your quote was so dumb that perhaps            miracle child” Virginia Beach, VA
 eral subsidies. Add to that the massive ecologi-
                                                     you will win the award for dumbest quote of
 cal damage of the chemical intensive practices                                                           “Dear Representative Peterson, Maybe all those
                                                     the year.” Rochester, NY
 you are encouraging, and it looks like you are                                                            people have some reason for buying organic and
 attempting to implement the Darwin award on “Maybe the organic food movement is growing                   local produce. Like taking care of their health
 the entire country. Statements like “For what- despite attempts by big agriculture to suppress            and the health of the local economy. There’s
 ever reason, people are willing to pay two or it, because intelligent people are starting to              more to eating than just filling your stomach.
 three times as much for something that says realize big agriculture is more concerned with                Most states in the U. S. have farms and it may
‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to under- profits than peoples health. We are being fed            be worth your time to find out why people are
 stand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And untested GM foods and hormones and steroids              willing to spend their money to purchase local
 if people are dumb enough to pay that much against our knowledge or permission. This is                   and organic food and other products. Thank
 then hallelujah.” Indicate that you have no done for profit reasons, not health concerns,                 you for taking your time to read this. Raymond,
 business taking our money and redistributing it and is unacceptable. I will gladly pay more for           WA”
 to big corporate farms. YOU should be hung by food that I know is healthy, not experimental,
                                                                                                          “Dear Representative Peterson, Choosing to
 your feet to match your funding choices with and that supports my neighbors, rather than a
                                                                                                           buy products that promote health is the smart-
 the most $$ going to the little point at the top few elitists who don’t care about me. I guess
                                                                                                           est thing a person can do. As they say, if you
 of the food pyramid and almost no funding for you could play “dumb” and pretend you don’t
                                                                                                           don’t have your health, you don’t have any-
 the healthy stuff. By the way, congratulations know about the govt handouts to big agricul-
                                                                                                           thing. Organic and local foods (which usually
 for getting the Organic Consumers Association ture that are designed to control the food indus-
                                                                                                           have less chemicals on them) are an important
 award for the dumbest quote of the week.”           try and our ability to provide for ourselves, so
                                                                                                           part of being healthy.”
                                                     they can take every penny we have. But, maybe
“How lovely and professional you are. How dare
                                                     you are that dumb!” Faber, VA                        “What does it feel like to be as ignorant as you?
 you criticize products that are produced and
                                                                                                           Guess I’ll never know. I’m smart to buy local
 grown in a sustainable manner - and that are “Congratulations on receiving an award from
                                                                                                           and organic. Of course, the government has
 helping many farm families keep their farms? the OCA. It is well deserved.”
                                                                                                           taken just about all my money in some way
 I’ll be sure to forward your ‘stupid quote’ to all
                                                    “When there’s life there’s hope. I hope that your      or another so I don’t have the money to buy
 of my friends in Minnesota that happen to be
                                                     outrageous ignorance about the superiority and        organic very often. Organic is the only way you
 your constituents.” Hillsboro, WI
                                                     importance of organic and locally grown food,         can know your food is natural.”
“Collin Peterson, I gladly pay a little more for will soon end.”
                                                                                                          “Dear Representative Peterson, I want to con-
 organic and local food because I am concerned
                                                    “Gee Mr. Peterson, do you even TRY to under-           gratulate you on your monumental gaff. Refer-
 about the health of my family and the health
                                                     stand? And as for the small, local, organic           ring to a large, high paying, civic minded and
 of the environment. Conventional food is laden
                                                     farmers - THEY are the true farmers, NOT              rapidly growing market demographic as “dumb”
 with questionable chemicals, herbicides, pesti-
                                                     the corporate farms that get our tax dollars as       has surly put you in the running for biggest buf-
 cides, etc. that I do not want in my body. Con-
                                                    “assistance.” If you would get out there and talk      foon of the year.” Vicksburg, MI
 ventional farming and manufacturing/mass
                                                     TO the folks you’re talking ABOUT, perhaps
 producing food destroys the soil and contrib-                                                            “Dear Mr. Peterson, While I was humored by
                                                     you’d learn something.” Marion, IL
 utes to pollution of all kinds. Also, shipping/                                                           your recent comment on organic and local agri-
 flying/trucking food hundreds and thousands “Congressman Peterson, I am just writing to                   culture, your words seem to ignore the fact that
 of miles leaves a large carbon footprint, to invite you to read some of the information                   those consumers are willing to pay more because
 which I have no desire to contribute. Smart or listed on the Organic Consumers Associa-                   they trust certain local and organic produc-
 dumb, I make my choices based on what is best tion website. In a recent statement, you claim              ers. Unfortunately, most of the country would
 for my family and for the environment.” Law- to have no knowledge as to why people would                  like to do the same, but for the price. And low
 rence, KS                                           pay more for organic food. I find this hard to        prices for conventional food are a result of ag
                                                     understand due to the nature of your work. I          subsidies. Thus, if you believe everyone should
“You, sir, are a moron. First of all, my tax dol-
                                                     assure you that if you search for the informa-        be on the same level playing field, I would hope
 lars are wasted on your salary. Second of all,
                                                     tion with an open mind then there will be,            you would support the subsidy limitations
 talk to your doctor and your pharmacist. Per-
                                                     without a shadow of a doubt, no need to insult        of the Dorgan-Grassley amendment and the
 haps one or both can cure your misconceptions
                                                     or harm the organic industry and consumers.           funding of the organic sector at 3% of all
                                                                                                                                                       34
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 federal supports, equal to the 3% share that the        have to pay high prices to stay chemical free! It Paul, MN
 organic market represents. Thank you. Please            looks like the only way I can regulate what I put
                                                                                                           “OMG Collin, I am ashamed that your are a
 let me know if you support the above.” Van-             in my body is to grow my own food... That’s a
                                                                                                            Democrat. You owe it to your constituents as
 couver, WA                                              shame in this country!!!” Waco, TX
                                                                                                            well as yourself to familiarize yourself with
“Hey Peterson, did you used to catch the short          “It’s amazing to us “educated” people how old organic products & their benefits. Shame on
 bus to school because you are the dummy for             and ignorant ineffectual dumb-asses like your- you for such an ignorant statement!!!!”
 the statement you made about paying more for            self continue to be elected to run our govern-
                                                                                                           “If the organic movement is growing without
 organic food. Organic, free-range, naturally            ment. Hopefully your constituency aren’t as
                                                                                                            government support, but chemical and large
 raised food is better for the environment, it is        fucking stupid as you seem to be, and will do
                                                                                                            scale farms still have to be subsidized by the
 better for your health, it is better for small farm-    away with chem/pharm industry ass kissers
                                                                                                            government, then who are the dumb ones?
 ers and most important, it tastes better. Study         such as yourself, and begin to clean up the envi-
                                                                                                            Shouldn’t we be supporting those who are
 after study and personal experience shows it,           ronment and food we all need.”
                                                                                                            doing a good job? These organic farmers are
 you know it is true to, but you dance at the end
                                                        “Nice job on proving that you are uneducated not only raising good, healthy food, but they
 of the puppet strings of the agribusiness so you
                                                         about the importance of sustainable agricul- are preserving our environment as well. The
 can not tell the truth. On your death bed, in
                                                         ture, which includes LOCAL and ORGANIC farms who will receive subsidies from the farm
 your golden years and on your death bed, you
                                                         foods! Congratulations on dumbest quote of bill however are feeding us food with chemical
 will deeply regret how you sold yourself out.”
                                                         the week!” Goleta, CA                              cocktails while destroying the soil and water in
 San Carlos, CA
                                                                                                            their ecosystem. As an organic consumer, we
                                                        “I have to say I am very surprised to hear any-
“I find it incredible that you think I am stupid                                                            care about what goes into our bodies and the
                                                         one in this day & age respond like you did (“For
 for paying more for organic food. I don’t want                                                             health of our ecosystems, thus we are willing
                                                         whatever reason, people are willing to pay two
 to eat food with pesticides and harmful chemi-                                                             to pay more. We most certainly should not be
                                                         or three times as much for something that says
 cals on them. Simple.”                                                                                     called dumb for this reason. Just because you
                                                        ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to under-
                                                                                                            don’t understand something, does not mean it
 “Sustainability is not whimsy - organic growth          stand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And
                                                                                                            is dumb. Rather, you have made yourself look
and development is good for the planet, and              if people are dumb enough to pay that much
                                                                                                            dumb with the award for the dumbest quote!”
the creatures, people and plants that inhabit it.        then hallelujah.” ). I will assume that you are
                                                                                                            Little Rock, AR
You should try it - you might be less cynical            not aware of the health costs agri-business has
if you actually contribute to the wisdom and             levied on our society as a whole. People have “Come come now, I expected only a Republi-
long-term habitability of our home. Thanks for           finally become knowledgeable enough to seek can to make such an ignorant comment. Will
your attention.”                                         out good quality (vitamin, mineral, phytonutri- you join the Republicans please, you’re making
                                                         ent rich) food instead of putting up with genet- Dems look even worse. I buy organic and local
“The only DUMB thing is what leaders like you
                                                         ically modified, devalued, disease or antibiotic for my grandkids and yours” Stillwater, MN
 are doing to our world with conventional farm-
                                                         ridden food sources. If that seems dumb then I
 ing and agriculture. Try taking an environmen-                                                            “How can someone in your position be so out of
                                                         will assume that you just do not have the infor-
 tal ed. class at your local community college                                                              touch with reality? Our current factory farm-
                                                         mation you need to make a truly wise decision
 AND YOU MIGHT BE LUCKY ENOUGH                                                                              ing is not sustainable and causes substantial
                                                         about what goes into your body. I hope you do
 PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND                                                                             pollution. If you care about our nation, support
                                                         get more information so you can understand
 BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!”                                                                                    something that can last. If all you care about
                                                         why people choose to spend their money on
                                                                                                            is corporate profits and bribes, then please step
  “Your quote is exactly why are country is going        quality products that in the long run cost far
                                                                                                            down from your position.”
 down the tubes. Is it really hard to under-             less than getting sick or diseased and then deal-
 stand that natural organic food the way GOD             ing with the issues. Thank you for your time,” “People who DON’T care about the quality,
 intended for humans to eat; free of pesticides,         San Carlos, CA                                     safety, and nutritional value of their food are
 chemicals and whatever else big business com-                                                              the dumb ones!! It’s actually incredibly smart
                                                        “What a disappointment to hear your negative
 panies put in them to make more profit, is a bet-                                                          to pay attention to what you put into your body,
                                                         comments regarding the intelligence of peo-
 ter choice? It’s a shame that the USA, for being                                                           and to be concerned about things like pes-
                                                         ple who are willing to pay extra $ for organic
 as big of a country as we are, cannot take more                                                            ticides and poisons, etc... So who’s dumb the
                                                         and/or local food! I’m surprised that you seem
 idea’s from Europe and the rest of the world,                                                              dumb one here? The one who eats the chemi-
                                                         completely ignorant about the increasing body
 for using non Genetically Modified or chem-                                                                cally-bathed (and otherwise “tampered” with)
                                                         of scientific, empirical data that documents
 ically enhanced food. Maybe it’s your genera-                                                              produce and pollutes their bodies, or the one
                                                         the extra nutritional value and greatly reduced
 tion, Maybe you don’t care, as long as you make                                                            who eats clean and limits their exposure to car-
                                                         presence of poisons and toxins (i.e. pesticides,
 money, maybe you cannot see the connection                                                                 cinogenics and other questionable substances?
                                                         etc.) that are so common in conventional foods.
 between chemicals in our food, and all of our                                                              I’d think about what I said before I said it, if
                                                         Not all of us want to feed chemically laced
 health care problems i.e. diseases, cancers, and                                                           I were you. You’ve outed yourself as a dummy.
                                                         foods to ourselves or our kids. It boils down
 strange new illnesses. As a US citizen I have                                                              Now you’re going to have to work double-hard
                                                         to “You get what you pay for.” So if some of us
 and deserve the right to choose what I put in                                                              to change that image. Good luck, and god
                                                         make an educated decision to pay a little more
“feed” my own body!! or is that the governments                                                             bless.”
                                                         for unpolluted food that is also much less toxic
 decision now also. Stop making decisions based
                                                         to the environment and supports organic and “Collin Peterson, You should be ashamed. Please
 on profits, and start making decisions based
                                                         local farmers, I’d say that’s pretty damn smart. educate yourself on the subject of Organic Agri-
 on what is good for the health of our bodies
                                                         To remain ignorant about something as critical culture and why it is the only smart choice, or
 and our country. I choose to eat organic nat-
                                                         about organic production is truly dumb!” Saint get out of government.”
 ural food for my own health, unfortunately I
                                                                                                                                                        35
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“Way to go BONEHEAD. Why is it stupid to “How ignorant you are! I am deeply offended. I                    Committee insults not only his constituents’
 want your food grown locally and as naturally won’t bother saying more. Use your head before              intellect, but those of every citizen of this coun-
 as possible? It’s dumb to NOT want harmful you speak!”                                                    try regarding what they choose to nourish
 chemicals all over and in our food? Sir, being                                                            themselves with. The reality is you are ignorant
                                                      “Dear Mr. Peterson: I was very disappointed
 from MN I would love to be able to garden                                                                 of what community supported agriculture and
                                                       to see that your comments about the costs of
 again (I am currently living in Las Vegas) and                                                            organic really means to the health of both the
                                                       organic food are so entirely uninformed. What
 obviously you’re a bit naive to the fact that                                                             citizens and the country as a whole (economy
                                                       you haven’t revealed to the American pub-
 not everyone has such healthy growing poten-                                                              and environment). I implore you to start read-
                                                       lic is that all citizens are paying much higher
 tial in their own yards. Many of us have to                                                               ing some information or step down from your
                                                       costs for non-organic foods, although they are
 buy from mega-stores, because they have run                                                               post and let someone who is isn’t so “dumb”
                                                       not aware of just how much their food actu-
 all the smaller local merchants out of business.                                                          chair the committee. You might start with edu-
                                                       ally costs. That is because conventional farmers
 Then we are forced to choose ONLY chemi-                                                                  cating yourself with the policies of both George
                                                       are so highly and wastefully subsidized by the
 cally slathered products? EDUCATED PEO-                                                                   Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of
                                                       U.S. government. The latest mismanagement
 PLE LIKE NATURAL THINGS!! It’s only                                                                       whom believed this country should be built on
                                                       of agricultural subsidies were reported just this
 common sense that people want to be healthy.                                                              a foundation of agriculture. I think there is no
                                                       week by NPR in how, e.g., people who are not
 Wake up!!!! It’s the ghetto families who gobble                                                           wonder that the Congressional approval rat-
                                                       even farmers are receiving huge stipends for
 up all that processed crap. Those of us with any                                                          ing as a whole is 11%. Talk about the dumbing
                                                       owning land that once was, but no longer is,
 brain cells WANT NATURALLY GROWN,                                                                         down of America, between Congress and Bush,
                                                       farmed. This is only one example of misuse of
 ORGANIC PRODUCTS!” Las Vegas, NV                                                                          its a wonder we still function as a country.”
                                                       funds. But the plain fact is that organic farm-
“You must be getting your information from the ers are not receiving subsidies as other farmers            “Dear Mr. Peterson, I was shocked at your state-
 agribusinesses you represent. Those of us strug- are. Why don’t you include that in your pub-              ment that people are dumb who would pay more
 gling to live free of toxins and find wholesome, lic statements, please? I trust that you will dig a       for organically grown food. Have you asked
 natural food know that organic and local foods bit deeper into the issue before any further pro-           yourself why the majority of Americans suffer
 are worth a much higher price. You have dis- nouncements you may make. Thank you.” Chi-                    from some chronic disease or another? Could it
 played an appalling lack of knowledge.” Sher- cago, IL                                                     be the polluted food that is on the market? Veg-
 rills Ford, NC                                                                                             etables that look good but are full of poisons?
                                                      “Who’s dumb? My apologies to your mother for
                                                                                                            Fruits sprayed with pesticides and chemical fer-
“hm.. dumb you say? I don’t think I like you raising such an ignorant child.” Fridley, MN
                                                                                                            tilizers that look big and juicy but are poison-
 very much.”
                                                      “Mr. Peterson what is scary for your constitu-        ous to eat? There must be some reason there is
“All I can say is you must be blind, deaf and ents and the public at large is that an individ-              so much illness in the nation that has the cost-
 dumb. Even the CDC says most produce have ual in your position is so uninformed on the                     liest health-care system. We pay huge doctor
 high levels of chemicals due to pesticides. Many subject matter over which you make legislative            bills but is anyone cured of their diseases? We
 doctors believe the rise in illnesses in children is decisions that you simply dismiss your igno-          accept disease and sickness as natural. It is due
 due to pesticides and the unnecessary additives rance by labeling others “dumb” . First of all,            to stupidity. But it is election time coming isn’t
 put in farm animal feed. It must be nice to be part of the reason organic and local produce is             it? And the lobbyists for chemical fertilizers
 so blind to what goes on in the world or maybe more expensive is because it receives very lit-             and pesticides are heavy on to the congress peo-
 you don’t care because you make monies from tle assistance. Secondly, organic and local pro-               ple, aren’t they? The big farm bill in Congress
 these sources. Either way Americans are getting duce is not a growing market because of the                comes up just before the election every four
 sick and tired of politicians in the back pocket ignorance of consumers, but because it pro-               years, doesn’t it, so that the farm states, hun-
 of big corporations. How’s it smell back there?” vides something which is needed and wanted,               gry for those big subsidies, can be convinced to
 Cleveland, OH                                         nutritious, clean food. I wish you luck in deal-     vote for whoever in congress votes in the subsi-
                                                       ing with your burden of distorted self-impor-        dies. It is criminal what is going in the govern-
“Mr. Peterson: If the USAG had the standards
                                                       tance and ignorance.”                                ment, approving poisons to be poured on the
 that the organic industry does we would not
                                                                                                            food, but doing very little, small, for organic
 need to pay higher prices for the best food “Dear Mr. Peterson, I believe it is you who are
                                                                                                            farming. Farmers think they are getting protec-
 around!! Our food would taste like the food it “dumb” for not even knowing why many con-
                                                                                                            tion from the government but they are being
 is and the chemicals would NOT be destroying sumers are staying from mass-, feedlot and
                                                                                                            cheated when the government doesn’t help
 our earth’s soil and would be giving us the best large agribusiness produced foods. Evidently
                                                                                                            them to go organic. Your statement that it is
 tasting food our earth could give us...too bad the committee you serve as chair of is equally
                                                                                                            dumb to pay more for organic is very ignorant
 YOU can’t tell the difference. Maybe we should ignorant of the many unhealthy results of foods
                                                                                                            and you shouldn’t be in the government as far
 charge more for the food grown w/the chemi- being produced with pesticides or growth hor-
                                                                                                            as I am concerned.” Fairfield, IA
 cals since they must be considered part of the mones or genetically altered food. When some-
 equation...???” Phoenix, AZ                           one you know asks “why me?” when they are           “If you consider people “dumb” for paying for
                                                       diagnosed with one of many cancers or other          food that is not contaminated with pesticides
“I expect that it is your responsibility to under-
                                                       health problems caused by these bad agricul-         and herbicides and such, you certainly don’t
 stand what lies behind the farm sector that
                                                       tural practices, I hope you are able to look them    deserve to be chairman of any agricultural
 raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for
                                                       in the eye when you say, “because we allowed         committees. You don’t seem to have any idea
 local consumers. Have you educated yourself
                                                      - indeed promoted - farming practices that are        of the need to protect the health of the people
 at all about the Meat Industry as it operates
                                                       unhealthy to humans.” Oakland, CA                    you represent.”
 today? I apologize for my abruptness and impa-
 tience. But, come on! You aught to know bet- “ It is a really sad day when the one person who is          “Are you kidding? You think people are ‘dumb’
 ter.” Durham, NC                                      the committee chair for the House Agriculture        for not wanting to ingest methyl bromide
                                                                                                                                                         36
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
in their strawberries, for not wanting to con-          to RETHINKING the ways agriculture is con- thought it best to keep it that way.” Aurora, IL
tribute to needless petroleum use for transport-        ducted and financed in this country. I am truly
                                                                                                           “Collin Peterson, you are an embarrassment to
ing produce and meat, for wanting to support            dismayed to learn that your leadership seems to
                                                                                                            the Democratic Party. Do some research the
their local economy? You make me ashamed to             be guided by profit motives rather than social
                                                                                                            next time you think you know what you’re talk-
be Minnesotan and very worried for the future.”         responsibility. Please reverse your position here
                                                                                                            ing about. And if you keep eating non-organic
Roseville, MN                                           and let your cronies know that organic and
                                                                                                            crap disguised as food, you deserve the ill health
                                                        local produce is, without doubt, the way of the
“Mr. Peterson, I am dismayed that as Chairman                                                               you are creating for yourself.”
                                                        future for those of us who still care about the
 of the Agricultural Committee you proclaim
                                                        planet.” San Francisco, CA                         “Even Consumer Reports has recognized the
 ignorance of the value of organic or local pro-
                                                                                                            value of organic farming both for avoiding the
 duce. The value of local produce is a no-brainer.     “Dear Representative Collin Peterson. Please
                                                                                                            consumption of pesticides and for substantial
 We don’t want to send our dollars outside our          educate yourself about the value of organic and
                                                                                                            benefits to the environment and improved soil
 community or funnel them into corn/soy mon-            locally produced food. Otherwise I will be cer-
                                                                                                            conservation. Perhaps the benefits of large cam-
 oculture and foreign oil. Call us dumb if you          tain that you are in the pocket of agribusiness.
                                                                                                            paign contributions from agri-business are more
 want. But as Chairman of the Agricultural              Madison, WI
                                                                                                            important to you than the carcinogenic effects
 Committee, please learn some relevant facts
                                                       “Dear Sir, I can not believe that you, leader in of the food you eat. I prefer to spend my money
 about Agriculture.” Redwood City, CA
                                                        our country would make such a poorly consid- on organic food rather than doctor bills.”
“Buying organic and locally grown produce is            ered remark about organic food. You are igno-
                                                                                                           “Dear Representative Peterson I’m so sorry you
 not “dumb” . How dare you? This is an Ameri-           rant of the issues surrounding out food and
                                                                                                            have chosen to call a growing number of Amer-
 can industry that helps the country grow in the        should be an expert on those issues. I certainly
                                                                                                            icans dumb. The price of organic and local food,
 right direction. You need to exercise a little dis-    do not have confidence in your ability to lead
                                                                                                            just like the price of conventionally grown
 cretion when speaking publicly.”                       the committee and suggest you step down and
                                                                                                            food is a direct result of supply and demand.
                                                        allow someone who does have a grasp of the
“Eating organic food is about making sure I am                                                              While the demand for organic and local foods
                                                        issues surrounding our food take over. At the
 putting only nutritious ingredients without tox-                                                           is growing, it still does not meet the demand
                                                        very least, read or have your staffer read to you,
 ins into my body. That seems smart to me.”                                                                 for conventional foods, and the price tag will
                                                        the book “The China Syndrome” , that will
                                                                                                            never match. That is because the quality of the
“I am honored to be among those that you con-           give you a clear understand what you and those
                                                                                                            food will never compromised as our conven-
 sider dumb. All of them from the first time            like you are doing to the American public by
                                                                                                            tional food system has become. Quality often
“dumb” leaped from your tongue into the abyss           allowing the continued use of chemicals of all
                                                                                                            comes with a heftier price tag. Those of us who
 you call “life.” Framingham, MA                        type in out food production systems.”
                                                                                                            choose to support local small family farms are
“Organic & Local food actually have more               “Dear Representative Peterson: Organic con- doing so because we recognize the importance
 health benefits and less health hazards than           sumers are far from “dumb” . What is so dumb of knowing our food source first-hand. I don’t
 non organic food. You should keep up with the          about wanting to consume food that is free of imagine you take frequent trips to the feed lots,
 studies or not speak of something publicly that        pesticides and preservatives? Forgive me for but if you did, I bet your appetite for conven-
 makes you sound unaware, rude, and empa-               eating healthy! Between my husband and I we tionally raised beef and pork would diminish,
 thetic to the environment.” Pittsfield, MA             have five college degrees. I think one could say while those of us who buy local foods can graze
                                                        that we are highly educated individuals. We do alongside the cattle, pigs, lambs or chickens and
“Like Nero playing his fiddle while Rome
                                                        a lot of research before we consume anything. see exactly how well they are being raised and
 burned, you don’t have the sense or the vision
                                                        We choose not to consume products that con- the conditions in which they exist. Our appe-
 to know what is healthy and what isn’t. Large,
                                                        tain preservatives due to the increase in cancer tite for sustainable agriculture only increases on
 industrial-scale farming practices are taking
                                                        rates since the use of them became the norm. these trips as we recognize the value of local
 this country (and many others) down the road
                                                        Do you know that most tomatoes are picked and organic small family farms goes far beyond
 to ill health and a complete disconnect from
                                                        while they are still green? Then once they our plate.”
 our healthy rural roots.” Talent, OR
                                                        are closer to there final destination they are
                                                                                                           “How is it DUMB to care about what goes into
“What a shame that someone in your position             injected with chemicals that make them turn
                                                                                                            my family’s body? I strive to put only hormone-
 could display such ignorance, not only of eco-         red. Ground beef is injected with food coloring
                                                                                                            and antibiotic-free food into my kids’ mouths.
 nomics but of the basic concept of sustainabil-        so it looks red because people associate the red
                                                                                                            In addition, I strive to make sure they don’t eat
 ity! As someone in a leadership position, I hope       color with freshness. I suggest that you do your
                                                                                                            foods that are sprayed with chemicals in the
 you will be able to back-pedal your way out of         research before you go grocery shopping. There
                                                                                                            growing process. I want them to ingest only
 this faux pas. Some of us out here understand          are plenty of resources available! Akron, OH
                                                                                                            foods that are whole and grown in the most
 that voting is done these days with dollars; that
                                                       “Dear Collin, You do understand that one eats natural possible ways. I care about not only
 the organic and local food supplies are more
                                                        to sustain the body, right? You do understand their health now, but their health in the future,
 expensive than industrially produced and glob-
                                                        that the quality of the food one ingests has a and the health of their future children. That
 ally shipped foods must be REVERSED, not
                                                        direct correlation with one’s health, right? (you you do not care is reprehensible!! Why not put
 merely accepted as good for growers. The hid-
                                                        remember, “junk in, junk out” ) Now, here health into bodies NOW, so that in the future
 den costs of spraying crops and soil, the vast
                                                        is perhaps where it gets tricky (but not for us healthcare costs are not part of the equation?
 amounts of resources squandered to produce
                                                       “dummies” ): organic farming uses less chemi- Short-sighted Republican thinking is strongly
 beef, and the ridiculousness of underwriting
                                                        cals (bad for the body) and healthier soil (good at play here once again. WAKE UP!!!!!” Elk
 the transportation system at a time when we
                                                        for the body). This is of course the simple ver- Grove, CA
 should all be reconsidering ways to reduce our
                                                        sion, but, as you are still playing catch-up, I
 dependence on and use of foreign oil, all point                                                           “Total ignorance is the first work that
                                                                                                                                                         37
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 comes to mind regarding this issue. I thought          creation; us and our environment. I am not the       organic food. What is even more amazing is
 politicians were suppose to actually understand        one who is incredibly stupid, you are. With          that you made such a statement in public. Try
 the issues before commenting. Where did you            emphatic sincerity,” Perth, ON                       doing some reading and come into the 21st cen-
 grow up? Unbelievable!” Newtown Square, PA                                                                  tury where most people care more about what
                                                        “You cannot possibly possess any valid informa-
                                                                                                             they put in their bodies than they do about the
“It amazes me sometimes the caliber of person            tion about organics to qualify yourself to call
                                                                                                             profit line of your mega corporate “food” pro-
 that is able to attain office in this great country     those who purchase and endorse them “dumb.”
                                                                                                             ducers.” Palo Alto, CO
 of ours. To not make sure your family is get-           As a mother and a nutritionist with a bachelor
 ting good quality farmed goods that are organ-          degree in science, I believe I have a much greater “Mr. Collin Peterson, What a sad day it is sir,
 ically and sustainably raised is bordering on the       knowledge than yourself about the effects of when our Agriculture Committee Chair, does
 criminal. In my humble opinion, in the future,          GMO foods and carcinogenic pesticides.              not know the benefits of organic and local. I am
 it would behoove you sir, to put a little effort                                                            appalled to say the least. We are willing to spend
                                                         You may not want to protect your family from
 into understanding something before making a                                                                more for local and organics to not only provide
                                                         cancer and other diseases, but don’t ridicule
 brash public statement.”                                                                                    better nutrition for our families without all the
                                                         those of us who do. You only make yourself
                                                                                                             additives but, we support our communities and
“It is quite sad that you have no understanding          look like a buffoon.” Phoenix, AZ
                                                                                                             keep them strong. The agricultural practices of
 of people who respect their bodies and health
                                                        “How can you not know the nutritional dif- U.S. are insane, foods are imported, exported,
 and thus are willing to pay for healthier food. It
                                                         ference, the water use difference, the fuel use processed, refined, bleached, and artificial col-
 is particularly sad that you are chairman of the
                                                         difference and the nitrous run-off difference ored and flavored until they no longer resem-
 agricultural committee and see no relationship
                                                         between commercially grown ag and organic ble what is natural. Yet, we wonder why there is
 between the federal government and providing
                                                         ag and still be the one in charge? Obviously so much disease and obesity in our nation. You
 this healthier food.” Ferndale, WA
                                                         you are a spokesperson for big farm, big ag, and sir, have the health of the future on your head.
“Since your a Democrat, I can only hope you              big chemical corporations. It is time to get edu- May those of us that are “dumb enough to pay
 were quoted out of context. Do some research            cated or move over for someone who is.”             that much” live healthy without your corpo-
 on the chemicals in our foods and see what you                                                              rate sponsors injecting us with their franken-
                                                        “I’m actually very educated and it is for this very
 think.” Alexandria, VA                                                                                      foods. Congratulations for getting the Organic
                                                         reason I choose to buy organic foods for my
                                                                                                             Consumers Association’s award for the dumb-
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Thank you for supplying              family. It seems to me what is “dumb” is con-
                                                                                                             est quote of the week!”
 me with a great quote to share with my Small-           tinuing to allow farmers to use pesticides that
 Scale Ag class this week! I have explained how          have been shown to cause harm and disease in “Dearest Mr. Peterson: I would like to congrat-
 we have grown this movement to support farm-            our bodies. Why would we not choose organic ulate you on making about the most OBTUSE
 ers who truly care about the land AND their             over conventionally grown produce? Seems to statement I’ve heard lately ooze from a Con-
 local communities with very little help from the        me we’d be dumb if we did. I’m amazed you gressman’s mouth. You, dear sir, are a waste
 AG committee and the USDA and your state-               would make such comments. It shows how of Minnesotan’s tax dollars (unless, of course,
 ment proves just how out of touch some of you           uneducated you are.”                                they prefer such inefficiencies). How DARE
 really are! I’ll be sharing this with farmers in the                                                        YOU proclaim that organic is ‘dumb’. Who are
                                                        “Sir, you don’t deserve the office you hold at the
 Upper Midwest when I visit in two weeks and                                                                 you to say that, and where does your research
                                                         sufferance of your constituents.”
 will especially highlight it when I speak to the                                                            come from, sir? I could say “GOD IS DUMB”
 Plant Breeding faculty and students at the Uni-        “Dear Mr. Collins, May I suggest that you “edu- , just to state to you how ignorant and clumsy
 versity of Wisconsin on Nov. 19th. My topic             cate” yourself about organic foods. Not only is your statement was. If you want beef from cows
 will be breeding for organics something that is         organic food less toxic (not sprayed with pes- that eat cardboard and distillery waste, you go
 becoming particularly popular even with some            ticides and grown in pesticide-laden soil) but do that. If you’d prefer pesticide laden fruits
 of the faculty at the University of Minnesota.          it actually tastes SO much better and is more and e.coli poisoned spinach, that’s your choice
 Please take a moment to consider entering the           nutritious! Purchase a bag of organic celery or too. But you keep your MOUTH SHUT when
 21st century! Prescott, AZ                              carrots and non-organic and do a taste test of it comes to my decisions, else it’s open season
                                                         your own. Then tell us if YOU don’t notice a when it comes to yours. YOU GOT THAT,
“Instead of making such stupid statements, why
                                                         significant flavor difference and understand SIR?!” Arvada, CO
 don’t you try to read up on why organic food is
                                                         why people buy organic! With your responsi-
 better for you, such as why it has more nutri-                                                             “Dear Rep. Peterson As a constituent of your
                                                         bilities as House Agriculture Committee Chair,
 ents.”                                                                                                      district in MN I was very offended to read
                                                         the American people urge you to PLEASE do
                                                                                                             of your latest views of consumers who pur-
“I am embarrassed to say that I’m from Min-              your homework! It is a real shame that many
                                                                                                             chase organic food and other products. I am
 nesota. What are you thinking, when you said            people can’t afford to pay the added costs of
                                                                                                             not “dumb,” having a PhD in nursing and cur-
 such a comment? I believe you should go out             organic foods for their families.”
                                                                                                             rently work as a cancer nurse researcher. I know
 the small farmers and talk with them, ask why
                                                        “If you ever tasted both local and organic you the science and am very informed about the ill
 people pay more for a superior product of nutri-
                                                         would know why we want it and buy it! Then effects of hormones, pesticides, and other toxic
 tion and taste. Ask them about how they are
                                                         there is the question of feeding our families pes- chemicals that often are part of large scale agri-
 taking care of the soil so it is not dead? Tell me
                                                         ticide poisons...hummmm...” Tucson, AZ              cultural farms and businesses. The recent rash
 why you are the chairman on the agricultural
                                                                                                             of food recalls confirms my views. I hope that
 committee, to who’s benefit? Have you been in          “Collin, It is hard for me to imagine that a per-
                                                                                                             you will apologize to consumers who purchase
 Washington to long?” Geneva, IL                         son of reasonable intelligence would think such
                                                                                                             organic products and the farmers, including
                                                         a ridiculous thing as your statement about
“Mr. Peterson, I can figure out why people will                                                              many in MN, who work diligently to grow
                                                         people being willing to pay a higher price for
 pay more for food that does not poison God’s                                                                organic food. Your comments were not
                                                                                                                                                          38
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
reflective of MN and were more in line with         something lost as soon as a confined animal          make them. I prefer to eat food that is not
the Washington DC elite and agribusiness lob-       feeding operation moves in. I’m stupid enough        sprayed, commercially fertilized, irradiated, or
byists. Please apologize!”                          to want to support my neighbors who are grow-        shipped thousands of miles, and I am willing to
                                                    ing the food I eat in a sustainable way, which       pay more money for it. I place a high value on
“By now I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty of mes-
                                                    protects the environment, and keeps my local         my health. Small farmers and farms and local
 sages about how inappropriate your statement
                                                    economy healthy. I’m foolish enough to think         food related enterprises perform a valuable ser-
“...And if people are dumb enough to pay that
                                                    that keeping my dollars in my local economy          vice and should be assisted in every way possi-
 much then hallelujah.” I add my chagrin. Please
                                                    and supporting a business practice I believe is      ble. I object to subsidies to large multi-nation-
 consider that those of us who buy organic pro-
                                                    important, and the American way. But I guess         als and factory farms. I do not believe factory
 duce do so because of the proven advantages to
                                                    that’s why I’m not in Congress. I’m obviously        farms are the salvation of the global food short-
 not only our health but the environment. Cur-
                                                    not as smart as you.” Martell, NE                    age. Local food production needs to be sup-
 rently we pay atypically high prices not because
                                                                                                         ported and encouraged. Local farms that serve
 it costs two or three times more to produce “And what are you eating for dinner tonight,
                                                                                                         their communities promote healthy local envi-
 organically but because the subsidies received Collin Peterson? processed pesticide laden food
                                                                                                         ronments and healthy local economies. Factory
 by conventional agriculture keep their prices grown far far away??”
                                                                                                         farming should not operate at the expense of
 artificially low. It would be nice if organic pro-
                                                    “Dear Congressman Peterson: Thank you for            local agriculture.”
 ducers received an equitable amount of subsi-
                                                     your comments about people being dumb
 dies and if there was a helping hand extended                                                           “Many of us support local, organic food produc-
                                                     enough to pay extra for organic and local
 by the government for beginner farmer pro-                                                               ers because they are small, family farms, directly
                                                     foods. I must be REALLY stupid for shopping
 grams. This country needs LOTS more small                                                                linked to local communities. We choose to sup-
                                                     at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores
 organic, local farms.” Reno, NV                                                                          port them, rather than huge faceless conglom-
                                                     because my health means more to me than a
                                                                                                          erates who have no direct relationship to our
“Dear Collin Peterson, You obviously do not few extra dollars. I guess my 152 IQ still puts
                                                                                                          community. Your comment revealed you are
 know about the health and environmental ben- me in the “dumb” range in your book. What’s
                                                                                                          unconscious of the former, and doing business
 efits of organic and local farming. I suggest you dumb is that Americans have to pay extra for
                                                                                                          with the later. Please reconsider.”
 do some more research on this subject before food grown locally and without pesticides, hor-
 making such an ignorant statement. At least mones, genetic modification, and hormones.                  “All I can say is I am shocked at the statement
 you made the Organic Consumer Association I can’t afford to buy a home, I can’t afford to                you recently made regarding organic and
 award for the dumbest quote of the week.            pay my bills, or heating this winter, but when it    locally produced meat, vegetables and fruit. I’m
                                                     comes to taking care of my health, I am forced       embarrassed that you are representing my state.
“Why, yes, Mr. Peterson. I am willing to spend
                                                     to pay extra for that, because my government         Where have you been hiding? Obviously with
 more money on organic produce in order to
                                                     won’t encourage organic and local farming by         the big agricultural interests that are fighting
 keep my body and that of my family free from
                                                     providing extra assistance. That’s what is dumb.     the idea of the truth being told about chemi-
 unwanted chemicals and pesticides no matter
                                                     Government subsidies for pesticide-ridden pro-       cal drenched farming. Please, do some research
 how safe the governmental agencies say they
                                                     duce and antibiotic-laden meats and poultries        into this fast growing segment of agricul-
 are. However, contrary to your assertions, the
                                                     that make us sick and ultimately drive up the        ture. We need educated and enlightened lead-
 local produce I purchase is actually cheaper
                                                     price of health care - that is REALLY dumb.          ers in congress to move this country forward.”
 and I have a wonderful relationship with the
                                                     A little prevention in the way of assistance for     Duluth, MN
 family. Supporting local farmers should not be
                                                     organic and local farmers would do a lot of
 ridiculed. It forms the basis of the community                                                          “Maybe you need to learn a little more about
                                                     good. And you should know that. Sometimes
 I live in today. We take that seriously here in                                                          organics before you accept a position as chair-
                                                     you Democrats make me ashamed to be one of
 Nebraska.” Lincoln, NE                                                                                   man of the House of Representatives agricul-
                                                     you.” Chappaqua, NY
                                                                                                          tural committee. Your ignorance shows that
“Do you have any understanding of how unedu-
                                                    “Dear Chairman, I am not dumb. My son and             the current government does not value its peo-
 cated you sound by your statements concerning
                                                     daughter regained their health through organic       ple. Congratulations; you have shed even more
 the pricing of organic goods? It just proves you
                                                     foods. It is obvious that you do not understand      blinding light on our governments distorted
 have not done your homework and when you
                                                     the dangers of GMO and other untested sci-           values.”
 don’t do your homework, it’s best not to raise
                                                     entific experiments in our foods. I suggest you
 your hand. We pay for the quality, the hard                                                             “Dear Chairman Peterson: Why “far be it for you
                                                     educate yourself, before one of your own loved
 work put into organic farming, for the small                                                             to understand” what motivates people to pay
                                                     ones fall victim to the poisons our government
 farmer, for no pesticides, for no GMO’s and                                                              more for organic food when you are the chair-
                                                     encourages agriculture to use. Sincerely,”
 local purchasing keeps local economies strong.                                                           man of the agricultural committee? Instead of
 I could go on and on but I don’t have the time “Congratulations on having the OCA Dumb-                  saying we are “dumb” you could make a good
 to try to educate someone who obviously does est Quote of the Week for the week ending 03                faith effort to understand the fastest growing
 not care to be educated. My sympathies go to November 2007. Also, I’m glad you a smart                   sector of the agricultural sector. Hey, it can’t
 the people of MN and to the House Ag Com- enough not to care about your own health or                    hurt! Moorestown, NJ
 mittee.”                                            that of the land and people that feed us. More
                                                                                                         “Please explain to me your complete lack of
                                                     pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and bacte-
“Hello there! Or maybe I should say - Duh,                                                                logic. Regular food producers do need federal
                                                     rial contamination for the good Congressman!
 hello. See, I’m one of the folks “dumb enough”                                                           help but organic producers do not? You are not
                                                     Nice job!”
 to pay for organic food and grass fed beef. I’m                                                          an ignorant man. Please give more thought to
 SO dumb that I care about how my food is “As a person who has lived most of her life in                  the problems with pesticide laden farm land
 grown. I’m one of those nuts who values things rural communities, I am astounded by your                 and recognize the benefits of organic farming.
 like fresh-smelling air and drinkable water, comments and hope that in fact you did not                  Publicly.”
                                                                                                                                                       39
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“When you are puzzled, don’t remain igno-             from me to understand what that’s about, but         Perhaps you would be best reading reports from
 rant of what is occurring beyond your sphere         that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough        the American Toxicology Association about
 of knowledge. Seeking knowledge can be very          to pay that much then hallelujah.” It’s an unfor-    what chemical herbicides and pesticides do
 rewarding while embracing ignorance never is.”       tunate thing that you’re unable to understand        to our body. I’d rather live more healthfully
                                                      why people such as myself would choose to buy        and longer paying more for my food than suf-
“Congratulations, you just made an ass out of
                                                      organic, and that you could be so crass as to        fer through Alzheimeier’s or other degenera-
 yourself.”
                                                      label it dumb. And if you don’t prefer to buy        tive diseases due to toxicity. You are welcome
“Dear Rep. Peterson, I just wanted to let you         high-quality, local produce, then that’s fine.       to make choices on your life but please don’t
 know that you can include me in the list of          But your choices as a lawmaker effect thou-          impose your unawareness on me or others.”
“dumb” consumers who will pay more (if neces-         sands of people. While the organic and local
                                                                                                           “Collin, I am extremely disturbed over your
 sary ) for local and/or organic food. It is better   market is growing thanks to consumers, it
                                                                                                            recent comments regarding people being
 tasting, supports the community, and is health-      could use help from the government, especially
                                                                                                           “dumb enough” to buy Organic foods. To say
 ier for me and my friends and family. In the big     for farmers who are considering switching to
                                                                                                            that there is NO difference between Organic
 picture, it really isn’t more expensive when you     organic growing. But as long as you and your
                                                                                                            foods and non-Organic foods that have been
 take into account the cost of treating disease       colleagues are refusing to give credit and sup-
                                                                                                            sprayed and injected with all sorts of pesticides,
 ( both people, animal and environment ) “An          port to this important movement in agriculture,
                                                                                                            hormones, and antibiotics, IS JUST PLAIN
 ounce of prevention...” Roseville, MN                the prices will stay high, and people who would
                                                                                                            DUMB in itself! And coming from the sup-
                                                      consider buying organic produce will continue
“Dear Sir, You are a rude and condescending                                                                 posed Chair of the House Agriculture Commit-
                                                      to consider it out of their economic range. It
 moron if that is your viewpoint of people and                                                              tee??? Your lack of knowledge on Organic farm-
                                                      is truly unfortunate that the new Farm Bill is
 their choice to eat healthy food that does not                                                             ing is pathetic and if you aren’t that dumb, then
                                                      continuing to give massive support to factory
 degrade the environment. Especially the Local                                                              you are being paid off which is even worse... I
                                                      farms and growers of supplies that will ulti-
 label. That is key to funding local economy,                                                               hope you will retract your previous statement.”
                                                      mately be used in the manufacturing of junk
 keeping local areas flush with healthy food,                                                               Mobile, AL
                                                      food. In a time when obesity and other diseases
 and reducing carbon output from unnecessar-
                                                      are massive problems in this country, the gov-       “Dumb is burning fossil fuel to ship processed,
 ily trucking food around the country. Rescind
                                                      ernment has refused to make changes at the            unhealthy food across country. Shame on you
 your commons or face the wrath of the people!
                                                      most important and basic level. If the govern-       - all research shows that food not sprayed with
 Wake up Sir!” Portland, OR
                                                      ment does not encourage agriculture to make           harmful pesticides is healthier. Eat crap if
“I’m impressed that you think my family and           a healthier switch, then people will continue         you like - I will gladly pay extra for organic.”
 their support of local and organic farmers is        to lack access to high-quality, nutritious foods.     Nevada City, CA
“dumb” . I’m impressed that you hold the chair        Thanks to you and your colleagues, these prob-
                                                                                                           “You may feel like you are required to stay the
 that you do on the House’s agricultural com-         lems will only continue to grow, and I think
                                                                                                            party line by saying things like: “For whatever
 mittee and lack so much knowledge about nutri-       you should be ashamed. So although the OCA
                                                                                                            reason, people are willing to pay two or three
 tion, economics and health. Our family buys          has encouraged us to congratulate you on win-
                                                                                                            times as much for something that says ‘organic’
 local and organic foods and spend next to noth-      ning the dumbest quote of the week award, I
                                                                                                            or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what
 ing on health care. We do not burden the gov-        want to encourage you to further consider this
                                                                                                            that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are
 ernment with needs of handouts and subsides          matter, and educate yourself, so that maybe
                                                                                                            dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.”
 that only result in a viscous cycle. Honestly, I     you will not continue to write it off as “dumb.”
                                                                                                            But it can’t possibly be true that when you are
 consider myself VERY informed and quite edu-         Thank you for your time.” Boston, MA
                                                                                                            alone with your thoughts, away from the cam-
 cated on my choices. Congratulations on win-
                                                   “congressman- are you serious when you refer             eras and your colleagues, that you really don’t
 ning the dumbest quote of the week award from
                                                    to people who buy local or organic products as          understand the difference between organic
 the Organic Consumers Association!”
                                                    dumb? you being the chairman of the agricul-            food and non-organic food. You may not agree
“I hope you take a good look soon at what is tural committee?! disgusting.” Bethlehem, PA                   that it is worth paying more for yourself, but to
 happening to our food supply. Going organic                                                                say that people are dumb because they prefer
                                                   “Dear Collin, I do believe that if you subsidized
 and local is our only hope for reasonably pure                                                             non-industrial food is just plain ignorant.” San
                                                    a government study that you would find that
 and healthful food. Food like health care needs                                                            Francisco, CA
                                                    consumers who buy locally grown and organic
 to be taken out of the corporate profit realm.
                                                    products are well educated, highly intelligent         “If taxpayer money was used to help organic
 This is a big lesson to learn and you are capable
                                                    and loving people who want to nourish their             farmers instead of factory farm agribusinesses, I
 of it. That “D” behind your name means you
                                                    God given bodies with the healthiest food pos-          wouldn’t have to use my small salary to pay 2 or
 are educable and we’ll keep working on you.
                                                    sible, and also to sustain our beautiful planet         3 times as much for non-toxic food for my chil-
 We are not going away anytime soon since we
                                                    with careful and responsible stewardship. Please        dren. If you’re dumb enough to feed your fam-
 are fighting for survival of the human race on
                                                    in the future, refer to us in a way that is respect-    ily toxic food, then hallelujah for the fact that
 this issue.” West Linn, OR
                                                    ful and kind as befits your position of power.          your bloodline will be at an evolutionary disad-
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I recently received an email Insults only reflect poorly on you.”                       vantage. Congratulations on being in the pock-
 from the Organic Consumers Association that                                                                ets of agribusinesses that abuse living things.”
                                                   “To Mr. Peterson: I find in no way that igno-
 included a recent quote of yours, which they                                                               Holland Patent, NY
                                                    rance is bliss. Your statement that you don’t
 had crowned the dumbest quote of the week.
                                                    understand why consumers would pay more                “Mr. Peterson, Thanks so much for your incred-
 You said, “For whatever reason, people are will-
                                                    for organic or local produce than commercial            ibly stupid and short-sighted comments as to
 ing to pay two or three times as much for some-
                                                    food definitely shows your unawareness of the           how organic consumers “are dumb enough to
 thing that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it
                                                    health and sustainability of organic, local foods.      pay that much” for organic and locally
                                                                                                                                                         40
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 produced food. Comments of this sort go a global warming? Do you care about the mess                    his job. He doesn’t need to agree with them, but
 long way towards helping prevent the re-elec- we are leaving our children and grandchildren?            it is the greatest insult and a show of utter irre-
 tion of politicians who are apparently beholden                                                         sponsibility to suggest that he needn’t bother to
                                                     Consumers have been forced to pay big bucks
 to big agri-businesses.”                                                                                understand his constituents.”
                                                     for organic because the small farmer has to com-
“Mr. Peterson, You may think it’s dumb to pay pete with the large agri-business producer who             “Gee, some of us think it’s dumb to put poison
 more for organic, locally grown foods. But I do is a friend of the government. Don’t be mis-             on our food before we eat it, to use fossil fuels
 so whenever possible. The reason is that I am led. Organic and grass-fed beef farmers need               to ship food all over the world instead of eat-
 aware that our industrial, petroleum-intensive, just as much help as the larger corporate farm-          ing fresh locally grown when possible, or to pay
 factory approach to farming and food distribu- ers. People want organic food so they can main-           huge medical bills for the health effects of eat-
 tion is not sustainable. Moreover, it’s very dam- tain their health longer and live a higher qual-       ing the cheapest food we can get, and despoil-
 aging to our environment, our health, and the ity of life. Please educate yourself, and before           ing our environment by encouraging unsus-
 well-being of our nation and our planet. There you make such rash statements that are embar-             tainable and damaging farm practices instead
 are no ballots at the voting booth that allow me rassing and belittling to yourself, eat an organic      of supporting local small intelligently managed
 to advocate for a shift toward fundamental san- meal or two, taste and experience the difference.        farms. Penny wise and pound foolish I believe
 ity. So I vote in the one way that truly seems Be open minded and understand what people                 is the apt phrase. When all the soil is degraded,
 to matter in America, with my wallet. Halle- are wanting today. We’re tired of getting sick              the rivers poisoned, the trees cut, the ocean
 lujah. Call me dumb if you wish; I know bet- due to bad soil, bad air and poor water. We                 empty, people will finally see that you can’t eat
 ter.” Chico, CA”                                    want government to wake up and listen to our         money.” San Leandro, CA
                                                     research and findings. I trust you will do some
 As a Minnesota voter and a friend of small farm-                                                        “You need to educate yourself on, how and what
                                                     thinking about these issues and not be found
 ers and sustainable agriculture, I resent your                                                           you eat affects your health.”
                                                     sleeping in the future. Thank you.”
 statement that consumption of organic prod-
                                                                                                         “Dear Mr. Peterson, I hope you don’t get too
 ucts is “dumb.” Let the subsidies go to organic “Representative Peterson: Congratulations for
                                                                                                          sick from eating pesticides. Better yet, I hope
 farmers who are helping to preserve the Earth, getting the “Dumbest Quote of the Week”
                                                                                                          you enjoy your dull food. Buying organic foods
 not to Cargill, which is exploiting it.” St. Paul, award from the Organic Consumers Associa-
                                                                                                          means that you eat safe, tasty food. That’s why
 MN                                                  tion. Actually, your comment shows nothing
                                                                                                          I do it. I don’t need to eat bad foods. That’s
                                                     more than how willing the US government is
 I urge you to educate yourself on organic prod-                                                          dumb.” Pgh, PA
                                                     to continually subsidize farms that are grow-
 ucts before making more ignorant statements.
                                                     ing nothing more than chemical laced, nutri-        “I hope you live close to a small farm or have
 Long Beach, CA
                                                     tionally deficient and genetically modified food     local people who produce organic because in
“Foods aren’t just “marked” ‘organic’ and ‘local’ with which independent farmers cannot make              the day to come you are going to need them.
 for no reason. It is because people don’t want much money at it. On the other hand, organic              Soon you will understand why it is so impor-
 to eat any more pesticides, poison.....cancer..... food producers have shown that they can               tant to support real organic and small local
 One reason to buy ‘local’ is you don’t use as make money growing high quality, nutritional               farming.”
 much fossil fuel to get the goods to the con- foods, while protecting soil quality. Go ahead
                                                                                                         “What’s REALLY dumb is that the U.S. doesn’t
 sumers.” Fort Bragg, CA                             and eat chemically treated, nutritionally poor
                                                                                                          observe W.H.O standards for Mad Cow test-
                                                     food. That way, I know that you will die young
“Dear Representative Peterson, Frankly I was                                                              ing whilst feeding calves blood from the slaugh-
                                                     and no longer be able to make dumb quotes.”
 amazed at your ignorance on several scores                                                               terhouse, which actually CUASES the disease.
                                                     Oakdale, MN
 this past week. You said, the farmers that raise                                                         What’s even dumber is that your average Joe
 organic and grass-fed beef for local consumption “Words escape me. What do you not under-                doesn’t understand that 13% of all Alzheimer’s
 need little help from the government. In truth, stand? Of course I do not want to pay more               cases in the U.S. are actually Mad Cow Dis-
 they need as much help as the help given to the for local organic food, but I do and will. Why?          ease from our cannibalizing livestock. Dumber
 feed-lot farmer and then some. Organic farm- Because it tastes better, it’s better for me, it sup-       yet, our prevailing American’s don’t know that
 ing is labor-intensive-more mulching is needed, ports my local economy not some mega corpo-              Diabetes has gone up 300% since the introduc-
 as well as more hand weeding. Extensive mar- ration and it is a kinder and gentler way to live.          tion of High Fructose Corn Syrup to our foods,
 keting is often needed to bring consumers to I DO NOT SUPPORT something with an                          which of course is banned in organics. Sure,
 the local sources, and direct sales are influenced organic label that is abusing organic standards       you may call us dumb, but it’s our kids who are
 by weather and gas costs for the farmer. Please and is produced by a megalopoly. i.e. Safe-              getting the good grades in school because we
 educate yourself. There are also many hidden way, Horizon or any other nationally distrib-               know that the combination of aspartame and
 costs associated with grass-fed beef of a similar uted organic abusing chemical company. That            MSG inhibits brain development, and we’re
 nature. It is difficult to find organic grain sup- does put a fake high price on their products to       well above sending our kids to school with a
 pliers for the winter months and marketing to increase earnings for a few corporate bigwigs.”            bag of Doritos and diet coke. You give demo-
 the local consumer takes savvy and sometimes,                                                            crats a bad name.”
                                                    “For the Chair of the Agriculture Committee
 guidance, as to the potential consumer groups.
                                                     to say “people are willing to pay two or three      “You seem to be unaware of what non-organic
 Secondly, organic and local are two entirely dif-
                                                     times as much for something that says ‘organic’      costs in cooperate welfare, increased health risk
 ferent things. Local buying, whether organic or
                                                     or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what     and the fact that generally organic foods just
 not, is valuable because it saves on carbon in
                                                     that’s about...” indicates a serious problem. The    taste better!”
 the form of oil and coal-have you noticed that
                                                     Representative doesn’t feel it is important to
 gas continues to go up? Have you read the stats                                                         “Mr. Peterson, you are way behind the science.
                                                     understand the reasoning of the people he is
 on how much Carbon Dioxide is pumped into                                                                Recent studies at U. of Texas, Tufts University,
                                                     supposed to represent? He is clearly not doing
 the air from burning coal? Do you care about                                                             U. of CA at Davis, Washington State U.,
                                                                                                                                                       41
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 and University of Strathclyde, U.K show that elated cancers are growing at alarming rates. As             pesticide use, and that buying local decreases
 organically grown foods have much higher a person in a position to make a difference, you                 the “food miles” that your food travels, i.e. the
 nutrient value and much higher antioxidant are wasting my tax money with your salary and                  amount of gasoline wasted to bring it to your
 (anti-cancer) value. Further more, a UN report your support of measures that are simply grow-             local stores via trucking. I demand that you
 concluded that the superior management prac- ing a sick nation. You seem to have the same                 not only resign your post as head of the House
 tices of organic agriculture reduce E. coli and mantra as President Bush - “stay the course” .            agricultural committee, but consider resigning
 mycotoxin infections in food. If you did some You know how well that has been working for                 from your post as a Congressperson. America
 homework you would just say no to the big boys him. Perhaps when your family is personally                needs its public spokespeople to be intelligent
 of agri-business and embrace the truth.”             impacted by the sick food supply of this coun-       and progressive in order to continue to grow.
                                                      try, you will wake up. Iowa City, IA                 Your brand of simple-minded ignorance is not
“Senator Peterson, How ignorant and ridicu-
                                                                                                           needed, and is in fact causing great harm to this
 lous your comment was! Please educate yourself “Paying more for sustainably, locally and organ-
                                                                                                           country. There is a vast wealth of information
 a little bit on why the chemical, factory farm ically grown food is anything but “dumb” as
                                                                                                           available to you, Mr. Peterson, and I ask that
 industry is so destructive to our health and why you assert. We who vote this way with our
                                                                                                           you use it and realize the necessity of under-
 we would choose organic. Also take a look at dollars care about the fate of our planet, the
                                                                                                           standing opposing viewpoints.” Rohnert Park,
 how big business steam rollers over all concerns world our children will inherit and the poisons
                                                                                                           CA
 for nutrition, health and well being in order to unleashed into our bodies and the earth from
 keep profits high.”                                  agribusiness factory farming. Only fools would       “I am one of those “dumb” organic consumers
                                                      poison the very air and water that is needed for      you speak of as are my children. I vote. I pay
“The only dumb thing is in fact that you are
                                                      our survival and indeed that is what we have          more for my food because the dangerous food
 the chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
                                                      been doing. It’s time for that to change.”            full of chemicals and hormones your friends
 You are a minion of the New World Order and
                                                                                                            throw upon the masses at low prices due to sub-
 your poisonous venom, which you carelessly “Local food production reduces the need for fos-
                                                                                                            sidies means that healthy food is unsubsidized,
 spread throughout this nation and abroad, will sil fuels. Organic produce does the same by rely-
                                                                                                            thus more expensive. I pay more now, but I cer-
 come back to haunt you someday. Stop pollut- ing on natural fertilizers instead of those made
                                                                                                            tainly won’t pay more later through colon can-
 ing our food supply NOW!”                            with petrochemicals. As even our president has
                                                                                                            cer and other health problems. My children are
                                                      said, reducing the need for fossil fuels is a good
“Congratulations on winning the Organic Con-                                                                healthier eating organic foods. They have colds
                                                      idea. Grow up and face the facts.”
 sumer Association’s award for Dumbest quote                                                                less often and get well sooner than their peers.
 of the week. Your statements show your com- “Your ignorance rivals your lack of taste...or                 I am proud to say we are organic eaters. Your
 plete lack of understanding of what your job maybe it’s just your lack of experience with                  comments were short sighted and ignorant, but
 is really about. It really concerns me that the fresh food grown without a lot of chemicals.               I’m sure agribusiness (i.e., Tyson, ConAgra)will
 person holding the Agricultural Chair has no There really is a difference.” Walla Walla, WA                pat you on the back for another job well done.”
 understanding of the fundamentals of agri-
                                                     “Mr. Peterson, Yes, it is wonderful that the          “The depth of your own ignorance on the sub-
 culture today. Organic farming is better for
                                                      organic movement is growing and success-              ject of wholesome, healthy food was the real
 the consumer, better for the farmer, and bet-
                                                      ful without the government. We who choose             message you expressed.” Seattle, WA
 ter for the planet than conventional farming.
                                                      to purchase local and/or organic food are not
 The food is more nutritious, the soil is healthier,                                                       “A little more research, (3rd party research), on
                                                      dumb, however. When you and your family
 and the farms produce more abundantly than                                                                 your part would show you why organic and
                                                      succumb to health problems and early deaths,
 conventional farms, at the same time saving                                                                local foods are much healthier of an option than
                                                      you’ll realize just how smart we are. You can’t
 money on pesticides, herbicides, and fertiliz-                                                             the farming sector of big business. I have been
                                                      eat money Mr. Peterson!!!!” Omaha, NE
 ers. Not to mention the benefit of not dumping                                                             purchasing organic and local for years now and
 all those chemicals into the environment. Our “Collin, You are showing your ignorance with                 while I have paid more I can not once remem-
 government should be looking to subsidize the comments implying that people who buy                        ber paying,” two or three times as much for
 organic farmer while scaling back, or eliminat- Organic are dumb. Suggest you clean up your                something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’.” And
 ing completely, subsidies for the conventional act and educate yourself on the dangers of pes-             your comment, “if people are dumb enough to
 and factory farms. Step into the 21st century ticides and chemicals in foods. In addition,                 pay that much then hallelujah,” is insulting. My
 Mr. Peterson, and do the job we taxpayers pay organic is not three times the cost. Where have              understanding is that you are the chairman of
 you to do. I hope this award encourages you you been all these years? Best you get out of                  the House of Representatives agricultural com-
 to educate yourself before you speak.” Citrus your ivory tower and get educated. I was raised              mittee. Holding a position for the people of the
 Heights, CA                                          in Moorhead, MN, and lived most of my early           U.S. I would expect a more educated person to
                                                      life in Minnesota, and your comments are an           be at the helm.”
“Please step down from anything related to agri-
                                                      embarrassment.”
 culture, the economy, or governing the US peo-                                                            “I read your stated opinion on organics, and first
 ple, as you are clearly SO far out of touch that “Mr. Peterson, Your outrageously ignorant com-            off, thank you for starting my day with a laugh.
 you are irrelevant. “ Ayer, MA                       ment about consumers who choose to buy local,         Second, it is those who DON’T chose organic
                                                      organic food products are completely inappro-         food are that “dumb,” as the chemically laden
“I am shocked and disappointed to hear that you
                                                      priate for a member of Congress. If you had           foods, especially meats and diary, will build up
 would have arrogance to make the public state-
                                                      done any research on organic or local food            in their systems and have scientifically proven
 ment at the end of this letter. It is a sad commen-
                                                      compared to food from faraway conventional            links to cancer. Third, people may be “dumb”
 tary on the state of our nation’s understanding
                                                      farms, you would know that organic food has           for thinking the foods labeled organic are actu-
 of what “nourishing food” is. It is irresponsible
                                                      higher nutritional content, has less negative         ally, in fact, organic, because the USDAs restric-
 to make such statements in times where obe-
                                                      affect on the environment due to the lack of          tions and qualifications are many times vague
 sity is at an all time high and environmentally-
                                                                                                                                                         42
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 or not strict enough. Maybe someone as smart “Perhaps if you followed the lass your Creator             difference.” Asheville, NC
 as you and in your high position in Congress has suggested, you would see the value in eating
                                                                                                         “Why don’t you understand what big agribusi-
 could help the rest of us out. Instead of patron- food as She intended. It would also help your
                                                                                                          ness is doing to ruin our food supply. They
 izing us I mean. Thank you and good luck”           brain function better so you wouldn’t say such
                                                                                                          spray things on it that makes many of us sick.
                                                     ignorant things.” SeaTac, WA
“Congratulations Collin for getting the Organic                                                           Or is that what you want it to do?”
 Consumers Association award for the dumbest “You’re the one that’s dumb.” Hancock, MI
                                                                                                         “I am amazed, stupefied, in a quandary! Just
 quote of the week! Isn’t it obvious to you that if
                                                    “Mr. Consumer Collin Peterson, Thanks for the         how did you earn your position of responsibil-
 consumers are willing to pay two to three times
                                                     insult...I wont forget it. We grow organic &         ity in our government? Where have you been
 the price for organic, that it means PEOPLE
                                                     raise our livestock organic. The proof that it’s     for the last 50 years?” San Francisco, CA
 PREFER ORGANIC OVER FOOD THAT
                                                     worth it is in the results. Healthy animals and
 CONTAINS CHEMICALS! Da! Wake up!                                                                        “I am amazed how incredibly dumb your com-
                                                     people. Speaking of healthy animals, you don’t
 Not only am I and my family interested in put-                                                           ment was. Not only did you manage to put very
                                                     look to good. Maybe you should try my live-
 ting healthy food in our bodies but we care                                                              little thought into it, you also seem to know
                                                     stock’s diet.”
 deeply about the impact chemicals have on the                                                            absolutely nothing about the reasons why I
 environment. You need to pass a US farm bill “Congratulations, Mr. Peterson! Your body                   choose to buy organic. It has nothing to do
 that supports helping farmers switch their land must be able to take all the pesticides, hor-            with price but taking personal responsibility for
 production to organic farming FAST! This has mones, bio-engineered and altered foods. How-               my health and that of my family, of making my
 everything to do with the government and ever, mine cannot. A build up of these things in                own contribution to ecologically sound deci-
 your moral responsibility! Wake up and do my system has made me allergic to many “nor-                   sion. Organic farmers and ranchers should get
 the “right” thing for ALL PEOPLE! Sincerely,” mal” foods. Therefore, I buy organic wherever              as much consideration. Considering the state
 Richfield, MN                                       possible, just hoping that they truly are pesti-     of our health care system, our country’s waist
                                                     cide free and hormone free. I believe our great      lines growing every year, an increase in obesity/
“In regards about Collin’s comment about pay-
                                                     America has suffered long and hard with more         diabetes/allergies, etc., this should be of great
 ing extra for organic and local produce being
                                                     and more allergies, asthma, and diabetes tak-        concern to you. But I guess that would require
“dumb” , I urge you to take a look at your own
                                                     ing their toll on our people. You do a great dis-    a bit more thought!”
 health and the health crisis of the children and
                                                     service by blowing off the advantages of organ-
 grandchildren in this country. Then examine                                                             “Congratulations on winning the Organic
                                                     ically and locally grown, and therefore full of
 that comment again. It is pure ignorance to                                                              Consumers Association award for the dumb-
                                                     more nutrients, foods. Thank you for consider-
 hear those comments from people in Washing-                                                              est quote of the week PAYING MORE FOR
                                                     ing my thoughts and my body’s health.”
 ton. Will it take you or your family’s own health                                                        ORGANIC OR LOCAL FOOD IS “dumb”
 crisis to wake up? I spent ten years of my young     “I am appalled and take great offense to your       Organic farming practices produce the health-
 life sick due to “American agriculture” and am asinine quote mocking consumers who pay                   iest food with the least impact on the environ-
 now a wellness doctor. I am sickened by your more for organic or local produce. In fact, we              ment. Local and organic help to solve a host
 DUMB remarks!” Sun City West, AZ                    are actually paying less in the long run in terms    of environmental problems including reduc-
                                                     of health costs as we are not bombarding our         ing our carbon output by limiting the distance
“You need to educate yourself on organic farm-
                                                     systems with poisonous pesticides, residues of       the food we eat travels. I urge you to read more
 ing. Your statement is the one that is dumb!”
                                                     which are found on and within conventional           about organic and local food production - you
“Dear Representative Collin Peterson, It sur- crops. In fact, organic crops pose less of a bur-           obviously didn’t realize what you were saying.”
 prises me greatly that you should make such den on the environment as well by enriching
                                                                                                         “It is irresponsible that given your position you
 an uninformed remark to the Financial Times soils instead of poisoning and depleting them.
                                                                                                          would not educate your self about the organic
 regarding the fact that people will pay more for Buying local produce supports local economies
                                                                                                          market and make such offensive remarks. You
 organic or local produce. These things do cost and small farmers (much to the chagrin of huge
                                                                                                          have given me another reason to lose faith in
 more; however the people who buy them are agribusinesses), and reduces our carbon foot-
                                                                                                          our government. Congratulations.”
 not dumb, as you say, but well-informed about print and the waste of precious and dwindling
 the greater value of organic and local crops- fossil fuels. Indeed, you should be thankful for          “If you understood what you are feeding your
 greater nutrition from organic farming prac- those of us who are willing to pay more to sup-             family when you buy a can of corn for $0.19,
 tices, and less nutrition loss from not having port healthy alternatives to our currently unsus-         you will only begin to understand the negative
 to be shipped thousands of miles, not to men- tainable way of growing and selling crops.”                impacts you are making on the environment,
 tion the saving in fossil fuels used to ship them.                                                       economy, and your own family’s health. Next
                                                    “Just a quick note to let you know, Sir, that I
 Oh yes, and let’s not forget the fact that small                                                         time think before you speak.”
                                                     have been consuming organic produce since
 (local) farms and organic producers never see
                                                     1987 and, contrary to your ill informed state-      “Born in Minneapolis and with many relatives
 any subsidies, such as large agri-corporate, pes-
                                                     ment, I am not dumb!! I am willing to bet that       living there, I cannot believe how ignorant
 ticide-intensive farmers receive. I would have
                                                     you regret making that very politically-incor-       YOU are.... or is someone paying you to “think”
 expected such a remark from a Republican, sit-
                                                     rect statement.” Tucson, AZ                          this way?”
 ting in his/her high tower far removed from the
 average person, and thinking only about him/ “Your statement informs me that you are the                “Congratulations, Rep. Peterson, you just don’t
 herself. But from a Democrat? Very surprising. wrong person for this position. I know young              get it, do you? If you want to fill your old and
 Please aim to be better informed about what children that know the difference between                    haggard body up with chemicals that your pre-
 kind of priorities your constituents and other commercially raised and organically raised pro-           cious government says are okay to ingest, have
 Americans put on the quality of foods we buy duce and meat. I request you step down and                  at it. But don’t call us dumb because we’d rather
 for ourselves and our families.”                    pass the torch to someone that understands the       not poison our bodies. Personally, I think you
                                                                                                                                                      43
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
are the dumb one for eating non-organic prod-        food because that is what the human body was        of people and programs?? Do you believe the
ucts!”                                               designed to eat. How dare you say we are igno-      smartest consumers are those that buy the
                                                     rant, you truly are the ignorant one!!” Sinking     cheapest, most processed high fat/calorie, nutri-
“Wow! Your quote is scary and ignorant. I rec-
                                                     Spring, PA                                          tionally empty foods??? I urge you to do some
 ommend you do a little more research about why
                                                                                                         research of your own by independent research
 the organic movement and local food move- “Congratulations on being an idiot in public! I
                                                                                                         organizations (those not owned by Monsanto
 ment is so important. Organic, healthy, local don’t think I’m “dumb” for wanting healthier
                                                                                                         or Aurora or Del Monte) and see for yourself
 food should be affordable for every American. food for myself and my family.”
                                                                                                         that organic is better for everyone. There are
 Yes, this movement is growing despite any help
                                                      “Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, Those of us who are     so many reasons why, if you begin to learn for
 from the government. That fact alone should
                                                       willing to pay more for organic food have no      yourself instead of parroting what the “paid off”
 tell you something or at least peak your curios-
                                                       choice because of ignorant people like you. All   research tells you, you would undoubtedly do a
 ity enough to really look into this issue. I’m not
                                                       the chemicals that are being dumped into our      better job of representing what is best for con-
“dumb” for paying higher prices for organic and/
                                                       fields and water ways come with a price and that  sumers. Good luck to you. Sincerely, A very
 or locally grown food. It’s the right thing to do.
                                                       is our health. They once said cigarettes wouldn’t smart consumer.”
 Look into it. You may just find out you want to
                                                       hurt you and now you believe that crops grown
 support the right thing to do as well.”                                                                 “Do you know what’s really dumb? Blindly and
                                                       with dangerous chemicals can’t hurt us as well?
                                                                                                          blithely eating foods laced with carcinogenic
“Dumb? Really? Maybe you need a little more I support small farmers who can barely make
                                                                                                          pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, eating
 information on the subject. Some people a living because of all the large farm corpora-
                                                                                                          meat pumped full of hormones and antibiotics,
 make choices that are healthier for their fam- tions that are killing the land and also we give
                                                                                                          and not supporting local farmers and business.
 ilies, and are willing (even if barely able) to pay something back to the environment and to my
                                                                                                          That’s dumb. Would you rather fly on a “cheap”
 extra for those choices. Like eating vegetables children.”
                                                                                                          30 year old Russian plane in Nigeria, or a more
 at the peak of their freshness, when they are
                                                      “I believe if you make the effort to educate your- “expensive” new, fully inspected, and safe Amer-
 still full of vitamins, not like foods transported
                                                       self about it, you will find those of us who ican made plane. The true costs of things are
 far that are picked before ripened and never get
                                                       are willing to pay more for foods grown in a not only the immediate price you pay, but the
 the chance to develop the vitamins that “vine
                                                       way that respects the health and safety of the costs you end up paying later.”
 ripened” foods can. Choosing foods that have
                                                       land, the workers in the fields and the con-
 not been transported long distances, thus add-                                                          “Wow! I can’t believe you said that! It seems
                                                       sumers at their dinner tables are no dummies.
 ing to our air pollution (especially those of us                                                         like you’d need to be better educated or at least
                                                       I am appalled that it is a fellow Democrat in
 with asthmatic children) is more than simply a                                                           open to learning new things to get the position
                                                       such a responsible position as yours who made
 selfless act. Eating foods without carcinogenic                                                          which you hold. What a shame that your mind
                                                       such a foolish statement. I hope the voters in
 pesticides, especially our children, whose bod-                                                          is closed and your mouth is open. Recommen-
                                                       your state are smart enough not to return to
 ies and cells are still developing, is very impor-                                                       dation: Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by
                                                       Congress someone who has so little respect for
 tant to some of us. Giving our children milk                                                             the Kingsolver family. It will explain some
                                                       them.” Charlottesville, VA
 without Bovine Growth Hormones, which                                                                    important information you should know.”
 have been shown to cause unhealthy, prema- “You’re the chairman of the House of Repre-
                                                                                                         “Dear Sir, With all due respect your comments
 ture puberty in children and increases girls’ sentatives agriculture committee and you don’t
                                                                                                          concerning Organic Food products shows a
 risk for breast cancer down the road is mak- know why eating local and/or organic is worth
                                                                                                          need for more education about this market. The
 ing an EDUCATED choice, the very opposite spending a little more!? You sound like a Repub-
                                                                                                          benefits to consumers, farmers and the envi-
 of DUMB. Please think before opening your lican. Maybe you should do a little research so
                                                                                                          ronment are tangible and important. If you
 mouth, lest your foot fly in.”                        you know what you’re talking about.” Seattle,
                                                                                                          are open to it I would like to arrange a meet-
                                                       WA
“What’s dumb is to continue to ingest chemi-                                                              ing with some Organic Farmers from Minne-
 cal residuals on our foods and ignore the health “Sir, I find that people who buy “foods” that sota to further help you understand the value in
 issues of cancer and immune compromised dis- are not safe or real (genetically modified), even Organic production. Bozeman, MT
 eases that didn’t exist decades ago. Organic eat- though they are cheaper, are wasting their
                                                                                                         “Your statement calling those of us willing to
 ers will have better health and, as a bonus, save money.”
                                                                                                          pay extra for local and organic food and for
 thousands of dollars, if that’s what you mainly
                                                      “The reason why I am willing to pay more for grass-fed meats shows your disrespect for many
 care about.”
                                                       organic is because my daughter had lymphoma Americans and your lack of knowledge. I buy
“Collin Peterson, congratulations on being so at 27 years old. I have an 11 year old grand- local/organic/grass-fed because it is my patri-
 out of touch with today’s consumers. If there daughter. I choose food that has been produced/ otic duty to do what I can to take care of this
 is any justice, an idiot like you will die of colon grown, without the use of pesticides, hormones, precious nation, because scientific studies show
 cancer from all the pesticides you’ve been con- antibiotics, heavy metals and other toxic sub- these forms of food production to be health-
 suming over the years!” Bath, ME                      stances. What will it take to link Cancer to tox- ier for both the environment and for my fam-
                                                       ins in our air, soil and water. I think that peo- ily, because “local” means it does not further
“Dear Collin Peterson, I believe strongly in
                                                       ple who voted for you are the dumb ones, sir.” our dependence on fossil fuels and is fresh and
 eating healthy food that is free of pesticides,
                                                       Palm Harbor, FL                                    employs my neighbors... With statements like
 growth hormones, preservatives and anything
                                                                                                          that one, it scares me than you are chair of the
 else that is not natural. I am instilling these val- “Amazing. You actually believe that the sector
                                                                                                          Agriculture committee.” Clovis, CA
 ues into my family and anyone else that I can of consumers who have done the research to
 tell. As the chair of the Agriculture Commit- understand the labeling, nutrition of less pro- “Mr. Peterson, With all due respect, until you
 tee you should be encouraging organic farm- cessed foods and local foods eaten ripe when should refrain from such statements until you
 ing. I will continue to pay the prices for organic harvested, are DUMB??? And you are in charge investigate fully what the situation is. The
                                                                                                                                                      44
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 pesticides and chemicals that pervade the usual it under pressure of large agribusiness which              consumers are “dumb” for being willing to pay
 food chain is at the cause of obesity and mal- has no interest in the health and vitality of the           a premium price for quality food. As has been
 nutrition. Health care costs and the diseases American public. It is a pity you are so under               said many times before, “you get what you pay
 related to obesity are all connected. Organic informed.” Nashville, TN                                     for.” Please take the time to educate yourself on
 has EVERYTHING to do with needing gov-                                                                     these matters so as not to embarrass yourself or
                                                     “Mr. Peterson, Apparently you have no clue of
 ernmental protection to preserve the purity and                                                            your constituents again. Every American citi-
                                                      what the natural, local and organic farms are
 health of our food supply. Please reconsider                                                               zen deserves better.”
                                                      doing in their use of natural methods. Not only
 your comments. All due respect” Altadena, CA
                                                      are they helping the earth, causing less pollu-       “So we’re DUMB to support local farmers, fresh
“I’ll tell you what it’s about...go get a “regular” tion and pesticides (which cause a number of             food, sustainable practices, regionally manu-
 tomato from your local supermarket, then go health problems) they are also providing people                 factured jobs and products and a decent living??
 to Whole Foods or a farmer’s market and get with better food that is fresher and better for                 What was your vote on CAFTA, NAFTA, and
 another one from a local farmer. Slice them the body. Supporting locally grown food even                    every other corporate welfare giveaway???? And
 both and eat them. Taste the difference? We supports the economy, instead of outsourcing!                   you think WE are dumb?” Lawrence, KS
 won’t even go into the health benefits of eating As someone in your position you would think
                                                                                                            “Do you really have this job? Wow, I hope they
 organic, or the economic benefits to your com- you would have researched and understood the
                                                                                                             find someone more educated for the position
 munity of supporting farmers in your own area, benefits of local and organic farming.”
                                                                                                             soon. Or perhaps they just don’t want to pay
 or the environmental benefits of not shipping
                                                     “Dear sir, Congratulations on this very impor-          for an educated person because it is cheaper to
 so much of our food supply over long distances
                                                      tant award. I hope you will frame it and display       have you. People who consume processed food
 (using lots of fossil fuel to do so, which costs
                                                      it with the same pride with which you made the         and genetically modified food products seem to
 more and more these days), because, based on
                                                      statement that earned you the award. What is           suffer from mental challenges as well as health
 the quote above, I get the impression that might
                                                      dumb, is a government willing to pay billions          issues. There is perhaps hope for you yet if you
 be a bit complex for you to grasp at this point.
                                                      of dollars to subsidize unsustainable, danger-         try and catch up with folks who understand
 Good luck bringing yourself into the twenty
                                                      ous, and destructive agricultural practices. The       why organic is better and why you might not
 first century though...” Lafayette, CA
                                                      kind of practices that result in the type of abuse     want to eat meat full of antibiotics and food
“I was very dismayed at your comment that peo- that you apparently support... I sure hope you                full of nonfood ingredients. Anyway you won a
 ple are dumb to pay more for organic or local love your children and grandchildren enough                   prize-congrats.” Seattle, WA
 food. Commodity payment supported grain to feed them the type of food that will keep
                                                                                                            “Dear Chairman Petersen, The only dumb one
 production supported by commodity payments them healthy rather than sick - as you seem to
                                                                                                             is you and your lack of knowledge of how poli-
 result in higher land prices and more land con- think that the rest of the country should just
                                                                                                             cies in Washington are having horrendous neg-
 centration resulting in less access to younger eat the crap that your committee merrily subsi-
                                                                                                             ative impact on the health and well being of all
 farmers. In comparison, organic/local foods dizes. I hope you love your own kids more than
                                                                                                             Americans. Instead of encouraging subsidies for
 have lower production costs, higher returns, that.” Elon, NC
                                                                                                             death and destruction, you should be fighting
 and a greater multiplier effect for local commu-
                                                     “I don’t want to pay 2 to 3 times more for my           for healthier food and environmentally sustain-
 nities. You would be well served to learn more
                                                      family’s food, but is it DUMB for me to want           able farming practices.”
 about the vibrant and growing local foods
                                                      to feed them healthy, hormone free meat? Milk
 movement in Minnesota. I’m sure there are                                                                  “Dear Collin, Way to go Numbskull! You
                                                      from healthy, hormone free cows? Meat that
 many in your district who would be willing to                                                               stepped up to show what true ignorance is all
                                                      doesn’t come from animals that have eaten their
 enlighten you so you wouldn’t make such igno-                                                               about. After seeing through your stupidity, I’m
                                                      own, possibly diseased, brothers and sisters? Is
 rant comments.” Grand Forks, ND                                                                             sure more people will be buying organic, which
                                                      it DUMB for me to want to feed my kids fruit
                                                                                                             will eventually drive prices down. You see, that
“Really, congressman, do you think it is dumber and vegetables without poison on them? And
                                                                                                             is how free trade works; more demand usually
 to eat pesticides and chemical fertilizers in why is it DUMB to keep my money in my own
                                                                                                             equals falling prices. Your comment is so far off
 your food or to pay a little more for pesti- community, my own state. Isn’t that what local
                                                                                                             base to even recognize that. Do us all a favor,
 cide-free, chemical-free, more nutritious food? economies are all about? I don’t want to spend
                                                                                                             please. Quit ravishing on meat and eat more
 Most thinking people would opt to spend a more, but what choice do I have right now?”
                                                                                                             organic produce. You will be able to think bet-
 little more to ensure good nutrition and less Kirkland, WA
                                                                                                             ter and those brain-fart comments will no lon-
 toxic food for their families; that is, if they can
                                                     “Dear Representative Collin Peterson, Please            ger leak out.”
 afford it. After all, if we can’t use our money to
                                                      take the time to be informed about the reasons
 improve our lives, of what use is it? And, if con-                                                         “your a dumbass” New York City, NY
                                                      people are willing to pay more for clean, chem-
 gress is spending our money to subsidize the
                                                      ical free food. It is better to avoid food that has   “With all due respect, your comments regard-
 toxic practices of agribusiness, it’s no wonder
                                                      been contaminated by pesticides and herbicides         ing organic and locally-grown food are ABSO-
 we have to pay more for organically grown food,
                                                      than to pay the money to the doctors to try to         LUTELY UNBELIEVABLE. I am embarrassed
 and no wonder that some of us can’t afford to.”
                                                      alleviate the pain and suffering resulting from        for you. Your remarks show either an incredi-
 Ocean Pines, MD
                                                      foods contaminated with poisons. I implore             ble amount of ignorance or sub-optimally-per-
“Dear Sir, I willingly spend more money on you to educate yourself and support the farm-                     forming white matter. Please do your best to
 organic and local produce because I respect ers and producers of truly organic food for the                 rectify this embarrassing situation.”
 myself and prefer to be healthy. This is why health of our nation.” Mount Vernon, WA
                                                                                                            “Dear Chairman Peterson: Congratulations on
 it is of paramount importance that you do
                                                     “Mr. Peterson - As an organic farmer, con-              getting the Organic Consumers Association
 everything in your power to ensure the label
                                                      sumer, mother of two, and trained physician,           award for the “Dumbest quote of the week.”
“organic” means what it says and do not dilute
                                                      I am shocked by your statement that organic            The statement you made, truly shows your
                                                                                                                                                         45
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
ignorance. It truly amazes me that the chair-           so many of the long-term conflicts which we’re       over a few extra dollars.”
man of the House of Representatives agricul-            in with farming, esp. for the small and mid-size
                                                                                                            “Congratulations for showing true form and
tural committee would say such a stupid thing.          producers that this country is supposed to be
                                                                                                             being given the “dumbest quote of the week”
Do you not know anything about “food” and               a lot more about than it is. The transition to a
                                                                                                             award- I’m sure it could not happen to a more
the importance of clean, chemical free, no addi-        sustainable society will be a win-win. Think we
                                                                                                             deserving intellect. You really need to check
tives, healthy for you products? The knowledge          can’t do it? We did WWII in less time than the
                                                                                                             your facts and get your head out of sand. Peo-
of what our government is allowing big busi-            Iraq War. Thank you for using your head a lit-
                                                                                                             ple ARE paying attention.” Winfield, IL
ness to put in our food, and to then pass it off as     tle better on these issues next time. Sincerely,”
healthy and safe to consume, is spreading fast.         Berkeley, CA                                        “In America people make their opinions known
We want and expect healthy food, and are will-                                                               with their money. Whole Foods (silly company
                                                        “Obviously you don’t have a clue why people in
ing to sacrifice to get it. If you don’t “UNDER-                                                             that it is) has shown that people are dying to let
                                                         the U.S. are getting cancer in enormous num-
STAND” what that is about, then it is time for                                                               food makers know they are unhappy with mod-
                                                         bers, or why are children are suddenly allergy
you to do some research and find out. What                                                                   ern un-healthy, immoral, un-sustainable farm-
                                                         prone and one in 600 are autistic. Think it
are you feeding your family? If you are feed-                                                                ing practices. Even if there isn’t always a logical
                                                         might be the poisons we allow in our foods. I
ing them food that comes off the shelf in your                                                               reason to buy “organic” it shows that Ameri-
                                                         think you are ignorant. Happy hormone filled
grocery store, then you are putting their health                                                             cans are unsatisfied with American food.” Seat-
                                                         milk to you-and if you allow your daughters to
at risk. If you don’t understand that, then you                                                              tle, WA
                                                         drink it you are both cruel and ignorant.” Bel-
might need to step down from your position,
                                                         fast, ME                                             “I am paying more for local organic products
and let someone who does understand take over
                                                                                                               and I don’t think this is “dumb” (which by the
the job.”                                               “Dear Collin Peterson, What is “dumb” about
                                                                                                               way actually means unable to talk). This means
                                                         paying a little bit more for healthy food with
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Don’t you realize that the                                                                 that I and my family enjoy fresh nutritious food
                                                         no insecticides, fungicides or herbicides added?
 reason we have to pay so much for organic and                                                                 without worrying about pesticides, and have a
                                                         Buying local supports my neighbors and keeps
 local food is because we don’t get help from                                                                  trusting relationship with the people who pro-
                                                         my money in the local economy. Of course, I
 the government? If we receive a little help and                                                               duce much of our food. You should worry a bit
                                                         can’t always afford it and I would be happier
 support from our government like every other                                                                  more about where your food is coming from.
                                                         paying less. However, calling buying healthy
 country does, we could produce our crops more                                                                 As an example, farmed salmon, which is all
                                                         food dumb is, well, dumb.”
 effectively and demand would be greater. Then                                                                 salmon in the US that is not marked “wild
 the prices would be less expensive and even            “Mr. Peterson, Thank you for your calling edu- caught” , is nearly without the omega 3’s that
 cheap people like you might buy them. By your           cated, conscious, aware people “dumb” . Keep people want in their salmon. It is also much
 comments it sounds to me like you could use a           eating your genetically engineered corn and higher in pesticides and poisons as it must be
 little more nutrition and less chemicals in your        veggies with fish cells, and see if I care!” Eugene, “fed” and often the food of choice is dog food.
 food. Maybe you would start thinking a little           OR                                                    Remember all those pets that died from eating
 clearer.”                                                                                                     Chinese imported things in dog food? Maybe
                                                        “Dear Sir, Apparently you have never studied the
                                                                                                               you should think this over again. Aloha”
“Dear Collin, obviously you are completely               agriculture industry and the harmful effects of
 oblivious to the benefits of eating organic, sus-       chemicals in our food.”                              “Hi, Please represent us by being educated on
 tainable, locally grown food. Maybe if you took                                                               the nutritional content differences in foods pro-
                                                        “Mr. Peterson, In regard to your position on
 the time to educate yourself on the matter a lit-                                                             duced in current commercial farms and organ-
                                                         organic produce: You have absolutely no busi-
 tle you would understand the situation a little                                                               ically grown produce. Do you think there are
                                                         ness being anywhere near a government held
 better. Anyhow, congratulations on getting the                                                                coincidences between the “unexplained” rise
                                                         position or office. You have absolutely no con-
 Organic Consumers Association award for the                                                                   in health problems and the changes in soil and
                                                         ception of what is going on, let alone what con-
 dumbest quote of the week.” Berkeley, CA                                                                      food produced? There is. Please educate your-
                                                         cerns the majority of intelligent and informed
                                                                                                               self so that you can serve our county to your
“Dear Representative Peterson, I am proud to             citizenry. Retire now, resign, do whatever it is
                                                                                                               highest capacity. Thanks”
 have been born in Minnesota, so I was very sad          you do, but get out of being any kind of repre-
 this week to learn that you said I am “dumb             sentative or of holding any government position “Rep. Peterson: Congratulations on winning the
 enough to pay” extra for organic food. I was           - I for one, and millions of others - don’t want dumbest quote of the week from OCA. I find
 exposed to pesticides sprayed outside my home           you representing us or making any decisions for it hard to believe that you’re really a Democrat
 while I was inside recovering from mononu-              us whatsoever. You have the most uninformed after a comment like that.”
 cleosis, and I have had many health problems            position of any politician that I have ever heard
                                                                                                              “With more and more food from the huge agri-
 ever since. I have many chemical sensitivities          of. Samuel Shultz” Thousand Oaks, CA
                                                                                                               businesses are found to be tainted-this week
 including food that has been sprayed with her-
                                                        “Congratulations, you won the dumbest quote it’s frozen pizza-buying local and organic food
 bicides. For me, it is important for my health
                                                         award from Organic Consumers Associa- makes more sense every day. Your statement
 to pay more for organic food. I think time will
                                                         tion. Maybe you should try educating yourself that organic consumers are dumb is an insult.
 tell that there are many more people like me in
                                                         on why organics are so popular and certainly If you want to see dumb, look in the lines of fast
 our country. The government needs to help all
                                                         isn’t because of government support. Corpo- food restaurants!” Hattiesburg, MS
 farmers to learn to grown organic food. All of
                                                         rate America must not think it is so dumb since
 our health will benefit. It’s not dumb, it makes                                                             “This has to qualify as the most blatantly absurd
                                                         they are jumping on the organic band wagon.
 good sense. Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania”                                                                           statement made by a government official, which
                                                         thanks for laugh.”
                                                                                                               is quite a feat.”
“Localized organic agriculture is a huge oppor-
                                                        “Those who prefer to ingest known toxins are
 tunity for agriculture at all levels. It can address                                                         “So we’re dumb for liking food that tastes better?
                                                         most likely “dumber” than those willing to fork
                                                                                                                                                           46
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 Dumb for eating food that has more minerals, at that. Please take the time to educate yourself over forty years resulting in our being able to
 vitamins, antioxidants, less pesticides/herbi- for your own benefit and that of your family as do volunteer professional work twenty or more
 cides? You sir, must be senile or a smoker who well as for the health and wellbeing of the peo- hours a week, physical work (wood cutting and
 has lost his sense of taste. Time and again, I ple of this country.”                                           produce garden, small bakery business) and
 have done taste comparisons between organic                                                                    outdoor hiking and snow sports plus travel and
                                                           “I am a “dumb” person who doesn’t like chem-
 and “conventional” foods. The organic ones                                                                     we do this seven days a week without pause
                                                            icals in my food. Maybe those chemicals have
 taste better. Not to mention that university                                                                   and in good health. We hope you will reevalu-
                                                            gotten to your brain!” Scottsdale, AZ
 studies bear out the fact of more nutrients on                                                                 ate your remarks and seek out people who grow
 the organic side of the aisle. You can take your “To even think that individuals like yourself and consume natural, organic foods and hear
“roundup ready” foodstuffs, your RBGH milk are in positions of power makes me sick. Peo- their views without prejudice and see what con-
 and shove it. Poway, California”                           ple who believe in themselves, the well being of clusions you might reach. We wish you the best
                                                            our planet and others, and who have hope for of health and clear thinking. Sincerely, We live
“I consider it ignorance, if you do not care what
                                                            the future purchase better goods. They spend in Hayfork (rural community in the mountains
 you eat.” Wausau, WI
                                                            money to keep the government from putting of Trinity County, CA)”
“A little web searching goes a long way....five shit into their bodies. Enjoy your pesticide
                                                                                                               “ Mr. Collin Peterson, I think that you should
 minutes is all it takes to talk in a well-informed enhanced lunch with a side of high fructose
                                                                                                                read more about organic agriculture to help
 and hopefully, polite way.”                                corn syrup.” Waterbury Center, VT
                                                                                                                better all your constituency, and I hope you are
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I’m TOTALLY AMAZED “Dear Mr. Peterson, I’ve grown up on organic not drinking milk with rBGH hormone.” Red-
 that anyone with your limited understanding food and know the benefits of organics they are wood city, CA
 of foods, (see your quoted remarks) is actu- much higher in nutrients, minerals the soil they
                                                                                                               “I can not believe you are the chairman of the
 ally on the Agriculture Committee, much less are grown in has not been deplete due to chem-
                                                                                                                agriculture committee. You are totally clueless
 the Chair of that Committee!!! WE NEED ical fertilizes the deplete rather then enrich and
                                                                                                                of the cost involved local organic production.
 TO SUPPORT THOSE FARMERS WHO nourish the soil as do the organic methods. The
                                                                                                                You should apologize publicly for your lack of
 GROW 100% ORGANIC PRODUCE AND spraying of chemical pesticides on the plants
                                                                                                                knowledge.” Fairfield, IA
 BEEF - OR, ANYTHING ELSE. Another does seep into the end product the fruit. Same
 example, I guess, of the DUMB way govern- as putting lotion that has chemicals in it on the “Dear Mr. Peterson, As a resident of the Bad-
 ment works.                                                skin it seeps in and goes into the body all these ger state, I have generally found people from
                                                            things lead to poor health. Give me organic is a Minnesota to be kind and intelligent people.
 i.e. the least qualified is elected to lead.......... I’d
                                                            pet slogan of mine. Sounds like someone needs Unfortunately, you’re ruining that impression.
 be happy to send you several learning sites that
                                                            to study up on the benefits of organics instead By insulting everyone who buys organic food,
 you could peruse, in order to allow you to learn
                                                            of labeling it dumb.”                               you have made your state look bad - and made
 about foods. I’m sure you’ve been eating all the
                                                                                                                Jesse Ventura look good, in comparison! In a
‘wonderful’ GM foods that Monsanto has a “The People that are “having” to pay for organic
                                                                                                                land where all the women are strong, the men
 hand in - or... did you even know about them? foods, are definitely not dumb. Do you real-
                                                                                                                are good-looking, and the children are above
 Too bad that the FDA was paid off/bribed by ize why people purchase organic? O.K. I will
                                                                                                                average, you are obviously none of those things!
 them so that they wouldn’t even have to label it help you out. It’s because, they don’t want to eat
                                                                                                                Shame on you! I’d recommend that you get
 as genetically engineered. HOPEFULLY, you chemicals and all the other junk that is in our
                                                                                                                yourself to Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibil-
 know how they are made and that the trials on food. This is why our culture is getting so many
                                                                                                                ity parish and have Fr. Emil hear your confes-
 mice, etc. showed that they got skinny and died diseases. Hello ..... Oh, and by the way, Con-
                                                                                                                sion right away. If you are of the Lutheran per-
 while fed GM food. It is NOT the Miracle that grats on getting the award for dumbest quote of
                                                                                                                suasion, I’m sure that Pastor Inquivist would
 will help ‘feed’ the population of this planet!!! the week !!! :)” Skamokawa, WA
                                                                                                                ask you, What Would Jesus Do? I don’t think
 It will KILL them though!!! Maybe you’d bet-
                                                           “Dear Representative Peterson, I believe you are Jesus would be out there calling his constituents
 ter read up on this, as you don’t seem to know
                                                            unaware of the value of organic foods to the dumb and hurting their feelings. On the other
 about 100% ORGANIC VALUES and the
                                                            health of people who consume them or work in hand, if you are an atheist, I’d just encourage
 HEALTHY PRODUCTS they are. BTW,
                                                            the fields and factories to produce them. Cer- you to stay the course - you’re doing good work.
 THEY SUPPORT HUMAN HEALTH not
                                                            tified Organic foods are labeled and are free P.S. I do have to thank you in advance for what
 kill humans as Monsanto’s products will. Mon-
                                                            of artificial additives, poisonous fertilizers and I’m sure will be some good laughs when Garri-
 santo hasn’t even been required to prove that
                                                            other chemicals that may be injurious to one’s son Keillor, Jim Hightower, and Stephen Col-
 GM foods/seeds ARE safe for humans!
                                                            health, especially the most vulnerable (infants, bert get wind of those quotes, however!”
“The foods your parents, grandparents, and small and developing children, the sick and the
                                                                                                               “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
 great-grandparents consumed were predomi- elderly). The people that I know that stick to a
                                                                                                                sumers Association award for the dumbest
 nantly considered what we’d now call “organic” organic, natural diet (not processed foods) are
                                                                                                                quote of the week. If you can’t understand the
.Thanks for issuing the your incredibly stupid healthier and more energetic than those who do
                                                                                                                need for organic and non-local food over non-
 comment that people willing to pay for healthy not choose these foods. We personally find our
                                                                                                                organic and non-local food, you either aren’t
 food items are dumb. Good job.” Woodland body’s respond negatively to a poor diet, lose
                                                                                                                doing, or aren’t qualified for, your job. Move
 Hills, CA                                                  our normal vitality and are likely to become ill
                                                                                                                on.” Marion, IA
                                                            if we cannot find healthy foods. That is why we
“Dear Representative Peterson, You obviously
                                                            take our organic whole grains, dried fruits, and “It’s hard to believe that you could be so stupid
 have no idea what you are talking about and
                                                            nuts with us when we travel to offset the less and ignorant to make such a comment. Please
 that is unbelievable as you are the chairman of
                                                            nutritious foods available. We are both in our educate yourself about the need for pesticide
 the agricultural committee.....and a Democrat
                                                            late seventies, have pursued this type of diet for free, antibiotic free, and locally grown
                                                                                                                                                           47
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
agriculture...OR, better yet, get off the com-          which they speak. There is significant evidence “Dear Congressman Peterson: It is truly fright-
mittee. You sound like a (gasp!) REPUBLI-               available that says that organically produced ening to see that someone such as yourself who
CAN.” Stowe, VT                                         food (both produce and meat animals) is supe- clearly has NO understanding of the issues
                                                        rior nutritionally to monoculture crops grown related to sustainable and health promoting
“I went to college on full scholarship, I have two
                                                        in depleted or artificially enhanced soils and agriculture , food and a healthy farming life
 Master’s degrees, and I have made it my busi-
                                                        meat from factory-farm animals. We are will- style would be in the important position you
 ness to know about healthy food and sustainable
                                                        ing to pay more for organic and locally grown are in on the agriculture committee. Perhaps
 farming. I resent being called dumb because I
                                                        food because we believe that farmers, not cor- you should resign this position until you are
 will pay a higher price for quality food!!!! I will
                                                        porations, should be paid for their work, and better informed on the earth-threatening issues
 debate you any day of the week on food and
                                                        their efforts should be a part of the economic which are involved in conventional American
 nutrition-then we’ll see who is dumb.”
                                                        health of a local community. Please save your farming practices. The Earth and all of us are
“Mr. Peterson: I’m surprised at your candid             self further embarrassment by reading about threatened. Please wake up and help! Thank
 insult to American consumers who are try-              these issues before you make any more idiotic you“ Millerton, NY
 ing to avoid GMO’s in their food; with all due         statements in public.”
                                                                                                          “Mr. Peterson, After reading your asinine com-
 respect, you speak as if you are a paid shill for
                                                       “Dear Representative Collin Peterson: Organic ments denigrating the mentality of consumers
 the Food Conglomerates. If you don’t know
                                                        does not cost 2-3 times more!!! In fact, when who shop for locally grown and organic foods,
 about GMO’s or rBGH in our milk (and I’m
                                                        you eat organic and get more minerals, you are one just has to wonder how you could have
 sure you do, being in your position) you should
                                                        full faster and eat less. Ask anyone who does risen to such heights of power in the agricul-
 look into why we are trying to avoid such addi-
                                                        soil analysis and uses compost their garden. ture department. No wonder our country is in
 tives like the plague. You should support the
                                                        Gee, you need to take a course in traditional such trouble, with mental midgets like yourself
 wishes of the majority of Americans who want
                                                        farming methods. Yes, factory farms grow a lot making important policy decisions. Perhaps
 their food stuffs labeled. Despite what you say
                                                        out of just 3 nutrients, and the produce photo- you should do the world a favor, and go make
 and do, I daresay you probably avoid such foods
                                                        graphs well. However, organic has been proven agriculture decisions for Iraq. At least there you
 yourself. Have you ever wondered why many
                                                        to have more antioxidants, lower pesticides and couldn’t screw too much up.” Boise, ID
 countries ban imports of our poultry, dairy and
                                                        more minerals. Did you watch the 60 Minutes
 crops? More to the point: Have you heard can-                                                             I thought only Republicans were as stupid as
                                                        expose a few years ago about applies, berries,
 cer rates have quadrupled since this technology                                                           your statement indicates you are. You like Bush
                                                        grapes and other crops that are heavily sprayed?
 was introduced in our food supply? (Center for                                                            saying that listening to the people is a waste of
                                                        The parents were in shock since the thought
 Disease Control, Atlanta, GA) The fact that the                                                           time. Your statement means that you are a waste
                                                        they were feeding their kids .” East Olympia,
 AMA, the American Cancer Society, the Sur-                                                                of democracy, a brain and a body. It shows that
                                                        WA
 geon General and the FDA have nothing to say                                                              you have no knowledge of the proven benefits
 about it is very, very telling.”                      “How is it that someone who is so completely of organic foods. It shows that you are closed
                                                        ignorant about agriculture can serve as “chair- to finding out. It shows that you are not repre-
“Obviously, Mr. Peterson, you don’t read the
                                                        man of the agricultural committee” ? You don’t senting the people, which means that you are
 science behind organic farming and you don’t
                                                        know what “local” and “organic” are “all about” representing big business, and the lies they and
 care what kind of chemicals you ingest. Good
                                                        ? How can you serve on that committee, and the Repugnant republicans tell. Do the people
 for you. You’re a much more brave and trusting
                                                        be so oblivious, and stupid? You call consum- that elected you a favor and resign. Idiots like
 person than I!”
                                                        ers “dumb” because we don’t want to consume you should never represent anyone except your-
“Hello, Your comment about people being dumb            or encourage the use of pesticides and other self. Make sure you pay your health insurance.
 enough to spend more for organic or local foods        deadly chemicals? You say that we are “dumb” Oh, wait a minute, the government makes that
 just shows how ignorant you are. So sorry that         because we are willing to support the income easy for you, doesn’t it. Another example of a
 you are in charge of anything. You are doing           of family-run farms, who actually have a con- Republican state of mind, what there is of it
 your constituents a disservice.”                       science about their methods of food production, anyway. Seems like politics is not really about
                                                        by paying a few extra dollars, therefore discour- representing the public for their good and the
“Dear Mr. Peterson, How can you say that those
                                                        aging the highly toxic and careless big-agribusi- best good is their health. Disease is man-made
 of us who choose to eat food that we know will
                                                        ness? Congratulations on winning the award and there is lots of research that has proven that
 not give us cancer and also support the farm-
                                                        for “dumbest quote of the week” from the it’s the pesticides and fertilizers and GMO stuff
 ers that grow food close to our homes and will
                                                        Organic Consumers Association. YOU are the that has done great harm. Are you planning on
 actually help maintain a healthy local economy
                                                        dumb one. Go ahead and get cancer from all getting a pat on the back from your Republi-
“dumb” ? I would really appreciate an expla-
                                                        of the big-agro food you’re eating, since you’re cans friends or are you really that stupid and
 nation of your stand on this. Why does cheap
                                                        too dumb to know the difference. “Hallelujah” heartless and ignorant and arrogant. Maybe
 mean “smart” ? LaPointe, WI”
                                                        to the potential loss of another ignorant pup- you’d just like to keep disease around so you
“you’re stupid for not knowing why people pay 3         pet of big agro.”                                  have something to argue about...” Fairfield, IA
 times more money for organic food.”
                                                  “Congratulations for receiving the Organic Con- “The payoff is great in health, economy, environ-
Your quote about people paying more for            sumers Assn. award for the “Stupidest Quote of ment. In fact it costs less.”
organic food being dumb was actually a pro-        the Week” ! Are you that unaware/uninformed
                                                                                                   “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
foundly dumb comment. Milton, MA                   about the difference between organic & con-
                                                                                                    sumers Association award for the dumb-
                                                   ventional food and the negative impacts of con-
“As a voter, the very least I expect of my gov-                                                     est quote of the week: “the farm sector that
                                                   ventional agriculture upon our bodies and the
 ernment representatives is that they make the                                                      raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for
                                                   environment?”
 effort to inform themselves on this issues about                                                   local consumers needs little federal help. It is
                                                                                                                                                       48
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 growing, and it has nothing to do with the “Dear Mr. Peterson, Really, the fact that peo-               It’s a pay me now (for better, non-toxic, cleaner,
 government, and that is good,” he told the FT. ple have to spend 2-3 times as much money to             more nutritionally sound food and water as
“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay obtain farm products not contaminated with               found from organic and local and sustainable
 two or three times as much for something that harmful chemicals has nothing to do with the              sources) or pay me later (for cancer, for degener-
 says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to government? It has everything to do with the            ative diseases induced by lifetime exposures to
 understand what that’s about, but that’s real- fact that you continue to subsidize factory farms,       toxins, for immune compromised bodies that
 ity. And if people are dumb enough to pay that gasoline, the chemical industry, and finally the         destroy the quality of life). My father died of
 much then hallelujah.” We want healthy food health care industry that gets to fix the prob-             liver cancer at 63, my mother suffers from dis-
 grown in a nonpolluting chemical-free sustain- lems created by those subsidies. Please don’t call       eases caused severe immune system compro-
 able manner - if it costs more, not everyone can us names if in fact your policies deserve those        mise. I appreciate that you don’t mind that you
 afford it. I’d much rather see government sub- names. Sincerely,” Poway, CA                             and your family and friends are human guinea
 sidies go to these farmers than the huge corpo-                                                         pigs, living scientific petri dishes for what-
                                                   “Mr. Peterson, First of all let me thank you for
 rate polluting ones.”                                                                                   ever “miracle” pesticide or additive or geneti-
                                                    exposing the sheer ignorance of so many in this
                                                                                                         cally altered product will boost the profits of
“With oversight of agriculture in the hands of area. One would have thought that the chair
                                                                                                         people who have no vested interest in the qual-
 people with attitudes like yours is it any won- of the agricultural committee would be aware
                                                                                                         ity of your future life. But please reconsider
 der that people in this country have to protect of the benefits of organic food for the human
                                                                                                         how “dumb” it is to desire to spare our families
 themselves in any and all ways possible? What body/health, the local economy, and the envi-
                                                                                                         the pain and suffering that comes from experi-
 is dumb is to allow poisons into one’s body so ronment. Apparently politicians do not need to
                                                                                                         ments gone wrong.”
 that the people who use those poisons can make be aware of the issues in those areas where they
 greater profits. When you start to legislate in a are actively involved in decision making. Peo-        “Mr. Peterson: God forbid that it ever happen,
 way that protects people perhaps the price of ple are willing to pay more for organic and local          but should you or any of your loved ones get
 organics will go down.” Tucson, AZ                 foods specifically because they are beneficial.       cancer, I hope that you have the intelligence
                                                    Consuming organic foods limits the amounts            and integrity to look beyond the influence of
“Everyone should be able to purchase food that
                                                    of untested genetically modified and chemically       pac money that you accept, and discern that it
 is not full of dangerous chemicals, hormones,
                                                    created food additives taken into the body, for       was processed food, non-organic produce, and
 GMO’s and pesticides. It is the “dumb” and
                                                    which most have little or no scientific research      factory farmed meat products that you have
 the poor that are forced to eat frankenfoods
                                                    to show they are safe for human consumption.          been consuming which caused the disease.
 and thereby endanger their health!”
                                                    We have no indication of the long term effects        But I must thank you for a personally bene-
“Mr. Peterson, you display your ignorance with of these ingredients on human health nor their             ficial result of your remarks, which is that by
 a statement that indicates people are dumb to environmental impact. A further reason for the             discouraging people from eating healthy, you
 pay more for organic or local products.”           support of organic local markets is the reduc-        might have slightly slowed the demand for the
                                                    tion in food travel time which directly related to    kind of food I eat, therefore keeping the price
“Wow. I didn’t know it was dumb of me to buy
                                                    decreased fuel consumption and environmen-            slightly lower as well. Berkeley, CA
 organic and local foods for the better nutri-
                                                    tal pollution. It is good to know that you find
 tional content.. and to support agriculture                                                             “Representative Peterson, your statement cer-
                                                    the American public “dumb” when it is in fact
 that does not poison me with pesticides. Much                                                            tainly deserves the Organic Consumers Associ-
                                                    you who are expressing close minded ignorance
 smarter to spend the money on pharmaceuti-                                                               ation award for the dumbest quote of the week.
                                                    in the matter. The only reason it may be dumb
 cals, I suppose. I get ill from pesticide expo-                                                          A man in your position should know enough
                                                    for the American public to trust organic and
 sures and find that eating good organic and                                                              about the current practices in agriculture to
                                                    local labeling of foods is that this also implied
 local food provides me with nutrients I need to                                                          understand why people choose organic pro-
                                                    trust in the USDA and governmental agricul-
 have a life. I think you’ve been listening to the                                                        duce. You should be promoting the safe prac-
                                                    tural agencies like yours that fail to properly
 wrong lobbyists.”                                                                                        tices which constitute organic standards: no
                                                    regulate these labels, repeatedly making con-
                                                                                                          pesticides, no Genetic Engineering and no anti-
“Congratulations for getting the Organic Con- cessions to large agribusinesses that co-opt the
                                                                                                          biotics.” Kenmore, NY
 sumers Association award for the dumbest “organic” movement for profit and greed while
 quote of the week.”                                making no more than token attempts to oper-          “Mr. Peterson, As a graduate of Minnesota’s own
                                                    ate in an environmentally friendly and sustain-       Carleton College, my analytical skills are suf-
“Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
                                                    able manner. Again sir I must thank you. You          ficiently strong to detect your apparent accep-
 sumers Association award for the dumbest
                                                    have provided further clarification of just how       tance, hook, line & sinker, of the post-WWII
 quote of the week. If you want to eat pesticides
                                                    necessary education is for this issue and how        “Chemicals for Better Living” mentality. Your
 and hormones and puss and pay the gasoline
                                                    sorely our government is lacking it. You may          attempt to insult and/or disparage Americans
 for trucks to haul your waxy food across the
                                                    wish to question those who provide your infor-        who are substantially more sensible than you
 country, then good - I’ll outlive you, ya’ bas-
                                                    mation. They are definitely leading down a road       reveal yourself to be is both sad and tragi-com-
 tard.”
                                                    that the “dumb” public is not traveling. Unfor-       ical. Fortunately, most organic consumers are
“Rep. Peterson, Remember in science class when tunately those “dumb” individuals are also vot-            actually too intelligent to see this as anything
 we did “experiments” ? This is what folks do ers.” Madison, WI                                           other than evidence of your own gullibility,
 when they test the outer cells of fruits and veg-                                                        which could in fact be described as a form of
                                                   “Dear Chairman Peterson: The medical com-
 etables for residual poisons. Yes, these chem-                                                           dumbness. Best wishes,” Oracle, AZ
                                                    munity is already acknowledging that up to
 icals kill bugs, molds, bacteria. Over time,
                                                    80% of our health is directly attributable to        “Sir, I am a United States Air Force Academy
 these ingested chemicals injure OUR biology.”
                                                    environmental factors, primary among those            graduate and 13-year Air Force veteran, and I
 Vashon, WA
                                                    being what we ingest through food and water.          strive to consume only local and organic foods.
                                                                                                                                                      49
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
This choice is not foolish; it is sensible given my    Perhaps “dumb” is a government that supports very practices the heart of the Farmer Labor
values and preferences. I am not dumb, as you          agribusinesses that depend on petroleum, when movement? Organic farming methods not only
asserted. My motivation is two-fold: to maxi-          our country desperately needs to rid itself of produce healthier products in many crops, (
mize my health and to behave ethically, both           foreign oil dependence for both economic and see “Consumer Reports Magazine” , as well as
ultimately for the sake of my happiness. I do          national security reasons (not to mention the “Nutrition Action” , put out by the Center for
not know whether consuming organic food                environmental motivations that seem lost on Science in the Public Interest, and myriad other
for the sake of health is worth the additional         you as well). As a leader in this nation, please publications maybe less in the mainstream),
cost and inconvenience in comparison to inor-          educate yourself so that you can more effec- but also protects the workers from pesticide
ganic or processed foods. However, my prefer-          tively due your duty. You can start with reading related illnesses. Both benefits reduce the strain
ence for safety overwhelms other concerns and         “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” - written not by on our health care system. Ground water is also
I find sufficient risk in consuming inorganic          some “dumb” organic marginal character but affected by factory farming of livestock and
or processed foods to justify avoiding them. I         by an accomplished journalist who does a good pesticide run-off. If agribusiness was made to
perceive this risk in the following observations:      job of showing where our food comes from and pay the actual cost of their production methods
I am a culmination of an evolution that took           the ramifications thereof. Then you would not in health care costs for workers and cleaning
place entirely within an environment of natural        have to ignorantly say it was beyond you why the fouled water supply from run-off of fertil-
chemicals and processes; the commercial inter-         educated consumers choose organic and local izer, pesticide, and concentrated animal waste
ests that produce modern foods often do not            foods for themselves and their families.” McAl- at levels that the aquifers can’t cleanse by natu-
coincide with my interests; the agents outside         len, TX                                            ral means, the price for the products would be
of myself (including the government) do not                                                               astronomical. The price for organic would pale
                                                      “Dear Rep. Peterson, I think it would behoove a
provide sufficient protection against errors or                                                           by comparison. Please reconsider your ideas on
                                                       chair of the Agriculture committee to research
malice; it is extremely difficult to demonstrate                                                          this issue. You are in an influential position.
                                                       organic agriculture before denigrating a move-
comprehensive and long-term food safety; and                                                              Disparaging organic agriculture can hurt it’s
                                                       ment which is much more healthy and has so
specific dangers of modern foods have been sub-                                                           possibilities for adequate funding in the pend-
                                                       many more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
stantiated, such as the use of partially-hydro-                                                           ing farm bill. Thank you for your time” Impe-
                                                       and so forth than the factory farming which
genated oils. These observations yield insuffi-                                                           rial Beach, CA
                                                       the farm bill is willing to spend so much money
cient confidence of the safety of inorganic or
                                                       on but gives the consumer basically little com- “What would be dumb would be allowing the
processed foods to outweigh their benefits, in
                                                       paratively! PS: Congratulations for winning the unsafe and short sighted use of genetic engi-
accordance with my preferences. For me, the
                                                       organic consumers association dumb quote of neering and chemical products banned in the
value of convenience or novel taste pales in
                                                       the month!” Robbinsdale, MN                        European Union and elsewhere to continue
comparison to that of my good health, and
                                                                                                          to be pushed on us here in the United States.
not only have organic and unprocessed foods           “I would think someone in your position would
                                                                                                          Fake “organic” standards are dumb, what we
been time-tested on a geologic scale, we have          appreciate the practices of organic or biody-
                                                                                                          want from our legislative branch is laws pro-
evolved to suit them (in extent) while human           namic farming. Appreciate the benefits to the
                                                                                                          tecting our right to know what is in the food we
effort has not yet approached such a standard of       health of our environment and to the sustain-
                                                                                                          buy, so that we may buy real organic when we
safety. I also choose local and organic foods for      ability of our planet, not to mention to human
                                                                                                          choose. Of greatest concern: laws allowing bio-
ethics sake. Our environment, and, in conse-           life. How short sighted to call organic dumb.
                                                                                                          engineered products to be sold without labeling
quence, our health, is under a terrific and grow-      The cost to tax payers’ health (toxins are now
                                                                                                          them as such. Most of these are already banned
ing burden. Our modern food production sys-            a known cause of cancer and other diseases)
                                                                                                          in the EU. It makes us look weak not to even
tems and methods pose a major portion of this          & the health of the environment (please factor
                                                                                                          require labeling.” San Francisco, CA
burden. To support these systems and methods           in the clean up of toxic waste, the pollution of
is to contribute to the harm others (does the sig-     our water from factory farms, most fish are too “Mr. Peterson...what can I say? You are clueless!”
nificance of harm vary with time or space?). I         toxic to eat!!). Who’s dumb? It’s pretty disturb-
                                                                                                         “Wow, the only statement you’re making is
wish to minimize my harmful impacts so that            ing to me that you obviously can’t see the forest
                                                                                                          about your own ignorance. Is it dumb to make
I may gain consistency and virtue. I, therefore,       for the trees, and who’s payroll are you on???”
                                                                                                          purchasing decisions that reduce your chances
will not support these systems and methods,
                                                      “Ha ha ha ha ha. I don’t know if you’re a pointy of getting cancer and other diseases caused
including using their products. Given this, is
                                                       headed moron or a dinosaur. I don’t care. by pesticides and fertilizers used by chemical
my decision ?dumb?? Is it not sensible? Grass
                                                       Organic is as much a political movement as a farmers? Or to invest in preserving our envi-
Valley, CA
                                                       cuisine choice, a way of showing solidarity with ronment? I am truly amazed that with a com-
“Research is supporting the move to local and          farm workers and with farmers, a way of cut- ment like that YOU were deemed intelligent
 organic. Sustainability is important. With all        ting down the toxic chemicals that land in our enough to elect in Minnesota, and I’m extra
 of the focus on tainted products in our food          waters and our soil, and cutting farmers’ and embarrassed that this comment comes from a
 chain, knowing where our food comes from is           farm families exposure to these chemicals. If Democrat. I wonder which pesticide company
 so important. Your statement showed a level of        you don’t get it, don’t worry. You won’t be in or agribusiness bought and paid for your opin-
 ignorance and dismissal that is intolerable from      office long enough to have to understand it.” ions, votes and ethics. You should be ashamed
 a person in your position.”                           Saint Paul, MN                                     of yourself.”
“Consider the possibility that your definition of “Dear Representative Peterson, I am amazed “You have truly reached the level of flatliner!
“dumb” is tragically backwards. Perhaps dumb that a member of the Democratic “Farmer” Congratulations on shining your congressional
 is being willing to eat meat from animals that Labor Party can label sustainable agricultural stupidity light so brightly!”
 live their lives standing in their own feces and practices, such as organic and supporting local
                                                                                                  “Perhaps it would serve you well to look into
 being pumped with hormones and medications. growers and producers as “dumb” . Aren’t these
                                                                                                   the health and environmental benefits of
                                                                                                                                                     50
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 eating organically and locally. No one says that “Dear Mr. Peterson As Chairman of the House             such soil/fertilization additives) have on our
 you have to eat food grown this way yourself, Ag Committee, it’s difficult to believe that               economy and society. The effects of toxic chem-
 but small farms and environmentally-sustain- you’re not understanding the need for quality               icals in our food are very well documented, and
 able farms DO need and deserve government food and the help organic farmers have to pro-                 I hereby challenge your statements. Your con-
 help.” Douglaston, NY                               duce non-toxic food for our nation. Please look      stituency elected you, and you must perform
                                                     into the realities of our food supply - isn’t this   accordingly. We will not be led astray. I urge
“I am a Democrat, and you are an ignoramus.
                                                     part of your job?” Toledo, OH                        you to become more aware of the voters of Min-
 You obviously know nothing about human bio-
                                                                                                          nesota, and of the people of the USA in voting
 chemistry, how it works and what interferes with “It is disturbing that we could pass another farm
                                                                                                          for USDA Organic produce and away from fac-
 it. Since you don’t, please stop making ignorant bill that supports conventional agriculture and
                                                                                                          tory farms and petroleum based agriculture. In
 statements. And in the meantime, enjoy your the chemical industry. Not only are the chem-
                                                                                                          Respect”
 pesticide-laden food and drink which you stu- icals and methods hurting our health, but also
 pidly believe is just fine and perfectly natural the environment.” Atlanta, GA                           “It is rather frightening to think that the chair
 for your body.” Los Angeles, CA                                                                           of the House Agriculture Committee knows
                                                    “Congrats on being voted as saying the dumb-
                                                                                                           so little about the differences between farming
“Mr. Peterson, It seems to me that the only est quote! It isn’t stupid to want to stop destroy-
                                                                                                           methods that he’d denigrate consumers who
‘dumb’ people are those who trust corporate ing the planet and eat fewer chemicals!” Tampa,
                                                                                                           work hard to inform themselves and to help
 agricultural interests to actually CARE what FL
                                                                                                           preserve the planet with sustainable farming
 they’re feeding us. I’ll just stick with the local
                                                    “Mr. Peterson, People in public positions should       methods. Instead of helping those with fore-
 stuff, thank you. As they say, pay now or pay
                                                     educate themselves on what they publicly speak        sight, you continue to favor those with dollars
 later. Your local ‘dumb’ consumer, Rutland,
                                                     of, as to not show their ignorance in public and      who lobby you on their own behalf and not in
 VT
                                                     unwittingly show how they are not doing their         the interests of constituents or the larger inter-
“Heard you think it’s “dumb” for consumers to homework for the job that they were elected.                 ests of the country as a whole. Please inform
 buy organic produce rather than mass-produced Your statement that won you the honor of                    yourself!”
 commodity food. Just wanted to let you know dumbest quote of the week, shows you in the
                                                                                                          “Dear Representative, Please, become more edu-
 that there’s a global phenomenon happening. same light as the Reagan Administration con-
                                                                                                           cated so that you deserve the title “Representa-
 It’s called climate change. You should look into cerning AIDS...they hadn’t done their home-
                                                                                                           tive.” Those of us who have studied health and
 it. After all, we’re counting on our representa- work. Ignorance is ugly. Clean yourself up for
                                                                                                           food in the interest of being healthy and vita,
 tives like you to FIX IT. Or was your plan to let the sake of the public and especially your con-
                                                                                                           and then raising children with the same bene-
 Republicans like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brown- stituents.” Laurel, MD
                                                                                                           fits, have learned that toxins, pesticides, antibi-
 back, and Rupert Murdoch steal this issue from
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson, Wow are you uninformed!            otics, and unnaturally occurring chemicals can
 the Democrats too?” Columbus, OH
                                                     Don’t you read about pesticides! Don’t you            cause serious damage to the physical body. Just
“I have two doctoral degrees in biochemistry wonder why everyone is dying from weird dis-                  because most people are ignorant of such dan-
 and medicine. I know the health risks in con- eases and cancer? We are being exposed to so                gers to a healthy life does not mean WE are
 suming the antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and many contaminants! Why not try to eliminate               dumb....”
 other toxins in non-organic foods. I am will- as many dangerous chemicals as we can by not
                                                                                                           “Mr. Peterson, If this quote attributed to you is
 ing to pay extra for food that does not contain eating them. We have no choice about breath-
                                                                                                          actually true, you need to do some homework
 these toxins. Much of the rise in the incidence ing them but we do have a choice about what
                                                                                                          and study the subject. There are many, many
 of various cancers (including perhaps my own we eat. I can’t believe that you don’t bother to
                                                                                                          reliable sources that advocate eating organic
 cancer)is attributable to toxins in our environ- educate yourself about what the FDA is doing
                                                                                                          and locally grown crops. This subject has been
 ment, and it is worth a little extra on the food to our people by allowing so many chemicals
                                                                                                          in the public eye for several years now. We
 bill to minimize our exposure to these risks. to be applied to our food. When you or some-
                                                                                                          are what we eat. The masses have been ingest-
 Remember that 100 years ago, all of our food one close to you gets cancer or some other awful
                                                                                                          ing pesticides, herbicides, and nutritionally
 was effectively organic. Please educate the con- disease, maybe you won’t think we’re so dumb.”
                                                                                                          depleted food for decades. It’s time to pay atten-
 gressman about these issues so that he does not Orangevale, CA
                                                                                                          tion to this issue.” Mullica Hill, NJ
 continue to make a fool of himself by making
                                                    “Dear Sir, My congratulations to you for being
 public comments such as these. Thank you.”                                                               “Consumers of sustainably produced agricul-
                                                     this weeks recipient for the Organic Consum-
 Randleman, NC                                                                                             tural products are far from being dumb. In fact,
                                                     ers Association award for the dumbest quote of
                                                                                                           these consumers are educated, enlightened,
“The average food product that every Ameri- the week! Riddle me this! How much would
                                                                                                           and committed to changing the face of agricul-
 can eats has traveled 1500 miles before reach- you be paying for your hormone laden antibi-
                                                                                                           ture. The willingness to pay a premium price
 ing his plate. Think about the contribution to otic tainted piece of beef if you had to pay the
                                                                                                           for products is based on the value of the prod-
 greenhouse gases - just to transport food. If true cost of the meat without the subsidies that
                                                                                                           uct, not based on the government subsidized
 there were more people willing to spend a little come out of our (the taxpayers) pockets and
                                                                                                           price of poisoned industrial agriculture’s prod-
 more to support the eating local movement, the then who is the stupid one?” Walden, VT
                                                                                                           ucts. Think before you speak in the future, or
 effort would make a huge contribution to low-
                                                    “Dear Hon. Collin Peterson, After reading your         else you are the one who ends up looking and
 ering greenhouse gases. Every little bit we do
                                                     comments to the Financial Times on Oct. 17,           sounding DUMB. Get educated or keep your
 helps. Ridiculing people who are trying to be
                                                     I’m in disbelief that people in representative        mouth shut.”
 responsible citizens of the world does nothing
                                                     positions in government are not aware of the
 to help the efforts to reverse global warming.                                                           “Mr. Peterson, I choose to pay more for organic
                                                     overwhelming effects that pesticides, herbi-
 Please join the bandwagon and use your role to                                                            and locally grown goods but I wouldn’t con-
                                                     cides, and addiction to oil (via production of
 make a difference! Thank you.” Ithaca, NY                                                                 sider myself dumb. The money I pay goes
                                                                                                                                                         51
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 towards my local community and farms using physical and emotional suffering caused by dis-               the dangers to your health our current farm-
 methods that are kinder on the environment ease and malnutrition. You may want to rethink                ing and food production practices entail, you’d
 and their workers and creates a healthier more your definition of dumb.”                                 realize how serious the threat is. By eating bet-
 nutritious product. My own health and well                                                               ter foods, you increase your life expectancy,
                                                    “YOU are dumb!”
 being are priceless to me - I don’t bargain shop                                                         reduce pollution/ contamination problems of
 when it comes to the quality of living.” Bris- “Mr. Peterson, I can’t believe how unbelievably           factory farms, reduce health care costs, make
 tol, CT                                             uninformed you are on the issue of organic and       real impact on energy conservation...it’s very
                                                     local agriculture. I won’t use the derogatory        much inter-related. A domino-effect as it were.
“It is fortunate and obvious, Mr. Peterson, that
                                                     term “dumb” to describe your mistake; per-           Rather than minimizing people’s efforts to
 you do not have food allergies or allergic reac-
                                                     haps the next election will show you how dumb        ensure quality food and production, you should
 tions to pesticides because “conventional” pro-
                                                     organic consumers are.”                              really study all the aspects. “I don’t know what
 duce and some stable foods make millions of
                                                                                                          that’s about...” very simply states your need for
 Americans, myself included, very sick. How- “Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are part of
                                                                                                          information. I’m hoping this comment would
 ever ignorant the comment, it speaks volumes the biggest growing market on the Earth. We
                                                                                                          indicate is a real desire for knowledge” Fair-
 about the corporate influence upon congress want a healthy, pesticide free food supply. We
                                                                                                          field, IA
 regarding agriculture.”                             want local food growing in our communities
                                                     and from our farmer citizens, not Monsanto.          “Mr. Peterson, Wow! I can’t believe you said
“Dear Mr. Peterson: As one of your constituents,
                                                     We will not eat GM food, cloned animals, or           that! I eat organic and locally grown because I
 it disheartens me to hear you talk this way. If
                                                     chemical soaked produce from agri-business. It        don’t want to ear Govt. subsidized High Fruc-
 you would encourage your farm constituents to
                                                     makes you sound uneducated and naive that             tose Corn Syrup, and Govt. subsidized beef
 go organic, they would be healthier, their fields
                                                     you think we are dumb. Is the entire European         from CAFO’s where cows are fed corn (huh?)
 would be healthier and what they would pro-
                                                     Union dumb as well? FYI, the EU grows almost          and antibiotics and growth hormones, as an
 duce would get better prices and they wouldn’t
                                                     entirely organic crops. They banned GM crops          example. I won’t eat farmed fish for the same
 have to use my tax dollars to live a good life.”
                                                     too. Organic consumers really do vote in elec-        reasons - and why they are feeding fish corn is
 Farwell, MN
                                                     tions, earn more than average incomes, and we         absolutely beyond me. I eat organic because I
“Congratulations, you genius, on putting your vote with our dollars for food that is safe and              don’t want to contribute to putting petrochem-
 foot in your mouth. Haven’t you learned a nutritious. What do you eat? Have you never                     icals into our soil thereby further reducing the
 thing at all in politics about thinking before heard of toxic pesticides? DDT? Sterile banana             beautiful top soil this country was blessed with.
 making public statements? Maybe it’s the food workers? I think you should spend more time                 I eat organic because it doesn’t make sense to
 you’re eating, or something. Here’s an idea; try at the library and less time with agri-business          me that Oil - which is a diminishing commod-
 organic. Best wishes in good humor” Lowell, lobbyists, or you’ll be looking for a new job.                ity is used to fertilize. And speaking of oil, I
 MA                                                  The future is now. WAKE UP!” Charlottesville,         try to eat local because I don’t want gallons
                                                     VA                                                    and gallons of that precious and diminishing
“Wake up, Mr. Peterson! Support for organic,
                                                                                                           commodity to be spent getting my food to my
 local and sustainable agriculture is of prime “Mr. Peterson, I find it sad that the chairman of
                                                                                                           table from New Zealand or Chili or where ever,
 importance in decreasing the size of humani- the House of Representative Agriculture Com-
                                                                                                           when I can get it from 30-50, at the most, miles
 ty’s footprint on earth. You should by now be mittee cannot understand the reasons many
                                                                                                           from my home. I eat organic most importantly
 aware of that fact. If you don’t understand that, people value organic farming. Standard fac-
                                                                                                           because it tastes great - a tomato that actually
 then get out of the way and let someone who tory farming production methods are damag-
                                                                                                           tastes like a tomato instead of tasting like card-
 does assume your position.”                         ing to the long-term health of the soil and the
                                                                                                           board. I eat organic because I believe that my
                                                     environment in many ways, and therefore are
“Congratulations Congressman, you win the                                                                  body needs the nutrients that food provides,
                                                     self-destructive from the human perspective.
 prize for being totally clueless. You are obvi-                                                           and I don’t believe I can get those nutrients in
                                                     And as far as cost, these methods, combined
 ously unaware that huge factory farm food that                                                            enough supply from food grown in the indus-
                                                     with unfairly distributed federal subsidies, pro-
 is pesticided, chemical fertilized and picked                                                             trial food chain. If you call that dumb, well, so
                                                     duce merely “false” cheap food prices. I have
 GREEN is also nutrition free. Organic farm-                                                               be it... but you might want to READ a little bit,
                                                     no problem paying a fair, realistic price for my
 ing is the only way to get back to eating our                                                             some great material out there on the value, on
                                                     food.”
 nutrition that we MUST have for good health.                                                              so many levels, of Organic Farming. Ask one
 Why do you think we are all so sick these days. “Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, on being the              of your staff to pull some facts together for you
 If we ate right, which is 90% impossible today, recipient of this week’s Organic Consumer’s               before your next public dismissal of Organic
 we would build the body structures to stay Association “Dumb Quote of the Week” . It                      Farming and the people who choose to support
 healthy and not need to pay billions for Medi- really was quite dumb. I am incredibly disap-              those farmers. To your healthy and flavorful
 care.” Alton, IL                                    pointed that the chairman of the House agri-          future, Mr. Peterson...” San Jose, CA
                                                     culture committee is so ignorant when it comes
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Knowing where my food                                                                 “I’m not quite sure what you think is dumb
                                                     to the benefits of local and organic agriculture.”
 comes from is the smartest thing I can do. The                                                            about paying more for food that is not bioen-
 real price of cheap food is the strong possibility “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-          gineered and sprayed with pesticides. I would
 that my food is contaminated by cancer caus- sumers Association award for the dumbest                     love to hear your logic.”
 ing chemicals (pesticides and hormones), con- quote of the week. Your lack of understanding
                                                                                                          “Mr. Peterson is the dull-witted one here.
 tains unhealthy levels of antibiotics, and is of agriculture is very clear. Please save everyone
                                                                                                           Doesn’t he know that organic methods in the
 contaminated by animal feces that promotes time and energy and step down from your posi-
                                                                                                           long run are cheaper because they conserve
 deadly bacteria. By buying local and organic, I tion of chair of this committee.” Concord, MA
                                                                                                           more, pollute less, and yield higher nutrient-
 avoid massive health costs, not to mention the
                                                    “If you’d take the time to educate yourself about      dense produce? How ignorant of him to
                                                                                                                                                        52
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 make such a blanket statement. How did he get locally-grown foods before you make “dumb”                 and assisting them as you would “traditional”
 such a position of responsibility being so stu- statements about it.”                                    farmers.” Cedar Park, TX
 pid on the topic? He must have bought it from
                                                    “You can bet your bottom dollar I’m willing to       “The reason we pay more for organic and local
 those damning farmers bent on making a buck
                                                     pay more for pure food which doesn’t harm            food is obvious, from a health perspective and
 at the cost of the earth and its people. How dis-
                                                     people who produce it, people who consume it,        from an environmental perspective. The gov-
 gusting!” Sherman Oaks, CA”
                                                     and the earth which provides it. As an added         ernment should not be supporting agri-industry
“Hey Mr. Peterson, here’s what’s dumb: buying bonus it cuts of our would be corporate mas-                that uses chemical-intensive methods, pollutes
 food of unknown origin with unknown addi- ters at the knees. Dumb and dumber, indeed!”                   the environment, and is responsible for e-coli
 tives from some far-away agribusiness corpora- Fritz Creek, AK                                           outbreaks, unhealthy fast foods, etc. Your sub-
 tion with no mission but to maximize share-                                                              sidies to these industries are putting out of busi-
                                                    “There are several reasons to buy food locally
 holder value, rather than buying fresh food of                                                           ness small farmers (the ones that really need
                                                     and/or organically. Local food decreases the
 known safety and quality from one’s neigh-                                                               help), and are a major reason why Americans
                                                     energy expenditure and investment, sup-
 bors who have a personal stake and who will                                                              are having increased rates of diabetes, heart dis-
                                                     ports the local economy, and ensures that U.S.
 spend the money right in one’s own commu-                                                                ease, and obesity. So your “subsidies” are taking
                                                     approved agricultural practices are utilized in
 nity. What’s dumb is to elect a congressman                                                              its toll on the American healthcare system, and
                                                     the growing process. Growing organic food is
 who cares more about his corporate sponsors                                                              on the heath of the American people. Organic
                                                     a more ecologically sound practice, and may be
 than the economic health and food security of                                                            is good food, and local food reduces CO2 emis-
                                                     a healthier food choice. It is disturbing to be
 his own Minnesota constituents.” Farmington,                                                             sions. It scares me that 1) you are a democrat,
                                                     determined “dumb” , particularly with Bache-
 MN                                                                                                       and 2) that you have so much power in the
                                                     lor’s degrees in both pharmacy and botany, and
                                                                                                          house agriculture committee.” New York, NY
“Hi: I read your ridiculous quote. First of all a Master’s degree that was actually funded by a
 organics are not two to three times as much as grant from the USDA!” Allegan, MI                        “Dear Rep. Peterson, Please allow me to congrat-
 conventionally produced produce. Second, I’ll                                                            ulate you on receiving Organic Bytes “Dumb
                                                    “I am shocked that the head of the agriculture
 pay less for health care in the long run for eat-                                                        Quote of the Week” award. When I read your
                                                     committee is unaware of the importance of
 ing healthier. I suggest that you go to a farmers                                                        comments about those of us who prefer to
                                                     local foods. Local foods support local commu-
 market and experience the fun in buying local                                                            safeguard our health by supporting local and
                                                     nities, local farmers, and save pollution and the
 organic produce. Our local farmers market is                                                             organic producers, I shuddered to think that
                                                     waste of energy from the transportation of food
 the social event of the week, everyone is there.”                                                        someone with as much power as you is as igno-
                                                     across far distances. I am deeply offended by
 Santa Cruz, CA                                                                                           rant as you appear to be. I suspect that your
                                                     Colin Peterson’s statement that people who pay
                                                                                                          opinions are the product of some Big Agribiz
“Thank you so much for holding such a high more for local or organic food are dumb. As I
                                                                                                          subsidies in your pockets.” Banner Elk, NC
 opinion of the growing numbers of consum- democrat, I expected more from my own party
 ers who are trying to eat healthier, and support representatives! I expect Mr. Peterson to apolo-        “Mr. Peterson is the dummy. It’s been scien-
 small farmers instead of industrial agriculture gize to America for his uneducated and insult-          tifically proven that certified organic produce
 which is poisoning the planet!! It’s no wonder I ing remark!”                                           and grass-fed animals have these benefits: - It’s
 have left the Democrats...” Napa, CA                                                                    sustainable - It lowers the green-house effect vs.
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson, We are willing to pay more
                                                                                                         stall-grown animals - Organic produce helps
“hi there! I am so happy to be known as one money for local and organic food because it
                                                                                                         the body rid itself of toxins which are in pes-
 of the dumb ones! do you understand anything is better for our children and our planet (our
                                                                                                         ticide-laden & sterilized soils. - Sterilized soils
 about farming? and what do you do within ONLY home). Maybe you need to do some
                                                                                                         are dangerous to health is the micro-organ-
 the senate? oh yes, something about farming? research into where the food you eat comes
                                                                                                         isms are gone & they’re vital for soil, plant, and
 hmmm... makes me wonder why we have peo- from and what is in it. Maybe you need to
                                                                                                         human/animal health - Eat less organic & get
 ple like you in the senate. if you think that peo- think about the CO2 spewed into the air each
                                                                                                         more nutrition - Grass-fed animals are full or
 ple are dumb for actually caring about what time a truck has to drive across the country to
                                                                                                         more nutrients including CLA {anti-cancer},
 they are putting in their bodies and what they deliver our oranges in mid-December because
                                                                                                         more omega 3’s, beta carotene, and the satu-
 are feeding their children then you sir have a we are so spoiled in this country. Don’t call us
                                                                                                         rated fats are vital for health since many cells
 serious problem. why don’t you go ahead and dumb. We are informed and we care!”
                                                                                                         in human bodies are composed of them. - Who
 buy an organic tomato and a regular chemically
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson, You should be aware that         paid you to say that?” Mount Dora, FL
 produced tomato and tell the world what you
                                                     the small farmer, the organic farmer, and farm-
 think about the taste. if you cannot try some-                                                          “Mr. Peterson - The reality is that people like
                                                     ers who sell locally, get a miniscule if any sub-
 thing first, you should definitely know that you                                                         me pay more for food that we believe is grown
                                                     sidy from the US government, whereas agribusi-
 cannot compare the two or you would be root-                                                             organically or locally because we are appar-
                                                     ness and large corporations are the recipients of
 ing for more organic agriculture and local farm-                                                         ently more concerned about our health and the
                                                     large subsidies. Is it any wonder organic and/or
 ing. have a wonderful life sir.”                                                                         health of the planet than people like you who
                                                     local foods cost more?”
                                                                                                          ridicule us for our decisions.”
“As a cancer survivor, whose cancer was prob-
                                                    “You might think that I am “dumb” , but I am
 ably caused by all the injected hormones and                                                            “Wow! Congratulations on your narrow-minded
                                                     doing what I think is best by keeping pesticides
 chemicals sprayed on food, I don’t feel I am                                                             and ignorant opinion. That must have taken a
                                                     out of my 2 year old daughter!!” Cobb, CA
“dumb” to try to reduce my future risk. Hope                                                              lot of your time to come up with such a quote!
 you can enjoy cancer someday too, chances are “Protecting our food supply is not DUMB! It’s              Perhaps you should pick up a book sometime
 you will, keep eating!” Warren, MI                  a shame “organic” food has to be so pricey. I        and read up on organic food. You may learn
                                                     don’t, as a rule, believe in subsidies but do        something.”
“Perhaps you should research into organic and
                                                     believe in encouraging more organic farmers
                                                                                                                                                        53
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“Sure, paying two or three times as much for         and rely heavily on pesticides and other chemi- Minnesota - you should know better, given the
 organic food instead of industrial food is          cal means to grow good looking produce of lit- number of organic farmers and co-op grocer-
 dumb! Why would anyone do something so              tle nutritional value. I prefer to pay a bit more ies throughout our state. Your protectionist and
 stupid! Paying more than you need is always         to have food that is not tainted with unneces- apologist stance towards industrial-ag and the
 dumb. That’s why you drive a used Yugo, right?”     sary and debilitating chemicals, antibiotics and business-as-usual farm bill will help put many
 Canby, OR                                           pesticides. As for meat from animals that never local and organic farmers out of business. And
                                                     see the light of day and are overgrown through that directly threatens my ability to feed my
“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am appalled that as the
                                                     hormone use such that they cannot even sup- family wholesome products produced outside
 Chairman of the House of Representatives
                                                     port their body weight, and live packed tightly the industrial food chain that has caused so
 Agricultural Committee you do not understand
                                                     together in small cruel cages or pens - well, many food contamination outbreaks in the past
 the reasons that consumers are willing to pay a
                                                     that’s just plain abuse and I don’t want any part few years. It also directly threatens my ability
 premium for local and organic food. Do you
                                                     of that.”                                         to feed my family whole foods free of overly
 not understand the basic economic principal
                                                                                                       processed industrial-ag ingredients that cause
 that something with more desirable attributes,     “ Dear Congressman Peterson, I have recently
                                                                                                       obesity and health problems. Congressman,
 in this case no pesticides, no GMO’s, no indus-     found out that my 5 year old is on the verge
                                                                                                       grow up. Get some real education on food and
 trial mono-culture crop lands, less fossil fuel     of puberty. It appears she is more sensitive to
                                                                                                       agriculture issues, and start acting in the best
 use, etc etc, would fetch a higher price at mar-    chemicals, such as the bovine growth hormone
                                                                                                       interests of the people and not the best inter-
 ket? If not, please have your staff brief you on    injected into cattle. The cattle produce not only
                                                                                                       ests of your own personal wallet. I am shocked
 this most fundamental tenet.” Portland, OR          beef, but all the milk, yogurt, and cheese she
                                                                                                       that you call yourself a Democrat. If this is how
                                                     has eaten. In the 4 months since switching to
“Do you pay more for sport and luxury cars? Do                                                         you’re going to behave, we don’t actually want
                                                     natural/organic products her excessive growth
 you pay more for quality clothing? Do you pay                                                         you in this party.” Minneapolis, MN
                                                     has slowed and her blood tests indicate her hor-
 more for private schools and ivy league colleges?
                                                     mone levels are normal, for now. I do this for “Mr. Peterson, I used to be proud of the sup-
 Do you pay more for quality sports equipment?
                                                     her and we have seen a difference in her and port that our elected officials used to give to the
 To not recognize the quality difference between
                                                     ourselves. Please do not call me dumb, I have small local farms of the Midwest of which I was
 conventional industrial agricultural methods
                                                     a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and have done born and raised. Your most recent quotation
 and organic agricultural methods is a mark of
                                                     the research on organic foods, there is a differ- regarding local and organic farms makes me
 ignorance. Have you even tried organic ver-
                                                     ence and many chemicals shoved on citizens are embarrassed to call myself a Midwestern farm-
 sus conventional produce, eggs or milk. Unless
                                                     related to many health concerns. Thank you for ers son. Thanks for all you support!!!” Charle-
 your taste palette is completely trashed you will
                                                     reading. The Woodlands, TX                        stown, NH
 taste the difference. You’re right, supporting
 local agriculture, small family farms, reducing “It just so happens, Mr. Peterson, that I am one        “ Talk about a dumb remark - where did you
 transport time and cost, buying American. All of those “dumb” people who spend more to buy               get your education about the environment
 apparently dumb ideas! Just once, it would be organic. I do it because I don’t want garbage              and the effect of poisoning both our land and
 nice not to be chagrined by America’s elected in my food, which is what your big corpora-                water? You are an embarrassment as a Demo-
 officials.” Forest Grove, OR                       tions do. I also do it for the animals who suf-       crat. Shame on you.”
                                                    fer 24 hours a day to supply uncaring people
“In regards to your comment about organic or                                                             “You must be just another person with a severe
                                                    with their “meat” . I thought sure you would
 locally grown foods, you either live in a cave or                                                        case of “foot-in-mouth disease” . What were
                                                    be a republican, but guess what? A democrat, I
 are completely ignorant about cause and effect.                                                          you thinking, or maybe just not really think-
                                                    guess there isn’t much difference after all.” Lon-
 You demonstrate by your own words no concern                                                             ing at all or was your comment something to
                                                    don, ON
 whatsoever for your own health or the health                                                             do with an oxy-moron situation without much
 of others, including your descendents. Perhaps “Dear Collin Peterson: You need to educate                oxy. Get a grip!”
 you know or have some insights the rest of us yourself on organic farming and organic foods
                                                                                                         “Stop using toxic chemicals and carcinogens in
 poor consumers without the largess of lobby- before you make such foolish statements.” Pea-
                                                                                                          food and in growing foods. Organic is worth
 ists don’t know. Might I suggest you take the body, MA
                                                                                                          it...” Arvada, CO
 time to speak on these matters with your fellow
                                                   “Congressman Peterson, I’m shocked and
 Republican Michael Huckabee. He has been                                                                “It is sad when such an important position is
                                                    appalled at your ignorant comments about
 able to connect the relationship of nutrition                                                            given to someone who lacks knowledge, curios-
                                                    organic & local foods, as reported by the
 and health care costs in ways that you have yet                                                          ity, and a care for the earth.” Salt Spring Island,
                                                    MSNBC.com Financial Times 10/17/07: “For
 to acknowledge. Off the record your brain and                                                            BC
                                                    whatever reason, people are willing to pay two
 heart cells might well benefit from some addi-
                                                    or three times as much for something that says       “For someone from MN and on some govern-
 tional Omega 3 intake. Mental logic resides in
                                                   ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to under-      ment committee on agric, to say something so
 brain matter and learning is facilitated by well
                                                    stand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And      stupid and ignorant about organic/local food
 fed heads, fed not with plastics or toxins but
                                                    if people are dumb enough to pay that much            makes you either retarded or in the pocket of
 with God given molecules.” Branson, MO”
                                                    then hallelujah.” Your comments clearly betray        Con-Agra(front pants pocket). Typical gov
“Congratulations on your remarks about organic your lack of education (beyond “education”                 beauro-rat. More reason to abolish gov inter-
 food. You have won the Organic Consumers from industrial agriculture lobbyists) on the                   vention from our economy.”
 Association dumbest quote of the week award. health & economic benefits of local and organic
                                                                                                         “Good day sir, While I will agree that some of
 Perhaps you are happy feeding your family foods and the incredible health risks of prod-
                                                                                                          the pricing for organic foods, especially by the
 food items loaded with antibiotics and growth ucts from the industrial-agriculture complex.
                                                                                                          larger corporations are higher than they should
 hormones from farms that abuse their livestock I’m ashamed that you are a Congressman from
                                                                                                          be, I will also say that your comments cab
                                                                                                                                                       54
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
be easily misconstrued, and make you appear         “I am writing to tell you that I am one of the        one year. We are no longer suffering migraines,
as anti-organic. The government continues to        “dumb” people who spends more for good food,          symptoms of MS and Type Two Diabetes. I
water down the standards so AGRIBUSINESS             being organic. I do this for two reasons. One is     suggest you watch the DVD “FUTURE of
can use the label. But many of the pioneers of       because I don’t wish to ingest the garbage from      FOOD” that your staff can google and acquire
organic produce-the small producers have been        the government’s favorite corporations. Two          for you. Recently we organic consumer activ-
strangled by the high cost of certification, red     is because I don’t wish to be a part of animal       ists successfully caused the U.S. Patent Office
tape etc. USDA should be promoting ways for          torture. I also do not eat meat. I was sure you      to nullify four of Monsanto’s patents. Once you
the truly organic small family oriented to ben-      were a Republican, but no, you are a Democrat.       watch the “Future of Food” you will see why
efit from the fruits of their labor! I trust you     Guess you’re not so different, after all. Too bad.   we were successful. Please educate yourself of
will take great pains to modify your statement.”     I had some hope for a while.”                        the growing threat to our food supply. I hope
Dunnville, KY                                                                                             you grow to understand that more terror and
                                                    “Dear Mr. Peterson, Your short-sightedness is
                                                                                                          damage to our health is caused by Monsanto
“Saying that people buying organic and local for     monumental. If you can’t see why people want
                                                                                                          and other mega industrial ag businesses than
 more $$ is dumb just proves how uninformed          organic foods, check with the continuous media
                                                                                                          any number of foreign terrorists.”
 you are, Collin. And you are the chair of the ag    coverage of food recalls. Once upon a time,
 committee, huh? A perfect example of what is        poisonous things were labeled as such-now it “Actually sir I believe that you are the dumbass
 wrong with the U.S.” Creswell, OR                   appears we have to swing the other direction. here for making such a statement about paying
                                                     As my mother used to say-You can pay for you too much for local or organic food. I’m willing
“Dear Collin Peterson: You should be proud of
                                                     health in the food you eat or you can pay for at to pay the extra money to know that my food
 yourself, your comments to the financial times
                                                     the doctor. I prefer to eat good food. Thanks”    is reasonably safe to eat. You cannot make the
 are working. My 90 year old father agrees with
                                                                                                       same claim about factory farm foods. Of course,
 you and thinks organics are a “bunch of fool- “Mr. Peterson, with all due respect, how you can
                                                                                                       I know the gov’t is very busy at work eroding
 ishness,” even though he constantly complains hold a position on the agricultural committee
                                                                                                       the regulations that make the organic industry
 about the produce he eats with comments like and NOT understand why consumers are pay-
                                                                                                       what it is, or was. You will not be happy until
“you could dent a car with one of these toma- ing more for organic and local organic foods is
                                                                                                       agribiz reigns supreme and I have no choices in
 toes,” the stuff doesn’t have any taste” or “when absolutely mind-blowing! I suggest you educate
                                                                                                       the foods I eat. God you people make me sick.”
 I was a kid food tasted like something.” But if I yourself, sir, and join us in this century. By the
 bring him some fresh organic produce his com- way, from the looks of your photo, you appear “You Collin Peterson, are pretty darn arro-
 ments are “were did you get this, it tastes like to be 10-15 years older than you really are, and gant! Educate yourself about WHY people
 the stuff we used to have on the farm when I I can tell that you take pharmaceutical medi- concerned about their health demand organic
 was a kid!”                                         cations as well as eat an unhealthy and pesti- foods and why this aspect of agriculture needs
                                                     cide-laden diet. You appear to be a prime can- government support (instead of just spout-
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Thanks for the great quote.....
                                                     didate for heart disease, stroke, etc. You, sir, ing what you did).... If you think hard enough,
 it makes us realize we have a lot of educating to
                                                     have TOXIC written all over you!” Colorado you will have to admit, that you wouldn’t even
 do. We accept lead in our paint is bad for us.
                                                     Springs, CO                                       be alive, spouting this “dumb rhetoric” , if it
 We accept smoking is a serious health problem.
                                                                                                       were not for your grandparent’s (and theirs and
 It is becoming ever more apparent that organic “On the bottle of every pesticide, as an exam-
                                                                                                       so on, back in time-i.e. prior to the so-called
 and local food is the best preventive health plan ple, the things listed that it will do to insects
                                                                                                       almighty industrial revolution and the poisons
 and most sustainable approach to acquiring are the same things that this product will do to
                                                                                                       it created) who grew organic foods, on organic,
 food for our communities. Get with the plan or your body. So, it’s time for you to consider that
                                                                                                       enriched soil, and raised, organically fed and
 we will elect another representative supportive you could actually be healthier yourself if you
                                                                                                       pastured beef cattle, that went into YOUR
 of this critical issue. Coralville, IA              ate organic food. Please consider standing up
                                                                                                       very own DNA, so you could stand here today
                                                     for your future generations and mine.” Boze-
“Thank you Sir, for your complement as to my                                                           and choose to denigrate your very foundation!
                                                     man, MT
 mental ability to choose to pay a little more                                                         WHO is dumb, Mr. Chairman?!”
 for organic food for the health of my family. If “Ignoramus should be added to your title! It is
                                                                                                      “Collin Petersen, when you taste organic food ,
 more people were to make such wise choices, politicians like you that are the problem with
                                                                                                       it tastes so fresh. We do not want food with pes-
 we would have a far healthier nation and our our government. You would be well served
                                                                                                       ticides on them and yes they are more expen-
 children would be the long-term beneficiaries. to do a little homework and find out about
                                                                                                       sive but your statement was VERY RUDE for
 Thank you for showing us where you are in con- organic and locally produced foods before you
                                                                                                       calling organic consumers dumb. You owe us
 sciousness.”                                        say something else so ignorant and stupid :-(“
                                                                                                       an apology.”
                                                     Honolulu, HI
“Sir: It is hard for me to imagine that you can
                                                                                                      “Let me give you an example why... The other
 not understand why people would want the “As a person who suffers from severe food aller-
                                                                                                       day I bought a factory farmed chicken. It tasted
 food they eat to be grown close to them (eas- gies, I find your comment regarding organic
                                                                                                       OK (which they usually don’t) so I thought I
 ier on the environment) and with out pesti- foods totally uneducated. All the food alter-
                                                                                                       would make some homemade broth out of it.
 cides and chemicals (easier on humans AND ations and additives in non organic foods are
                                                                                                       It turned out horrible. The beautiful flavorful
 the earth), and would be willing to pay more causing huge increases in food allergies, some
                                                                                                       broth filled with healthy gelatin that comes
 to poison the earth and our bodies less. I may of which are life threatening. Having had to
                                                                                                       with local or organic chicken, was instead, flat
 be dumb but I’m smart enough to know you visit the emergency room on numerous occa-
                                                                                                       and water thin. Truly disgusting. I threw it out.
 are chairman of the wrong committee. Perhaps sions due to food additives not properly labeled
                                                                                                       I would much rather pay double to triple the
 there is an opening at Dow Chemical for some- on prepared foods, I have become an activist
                                                                                                       price for a chicken that I could eat with com-
 one as “smart” as you. bon appetit!”                against our lax FDA and USDA regulations. My
                                                                                                       plete taste satisfaction and then use the bones
                                                     family has been on a total organic diet now for
                                                                                                                                                    55
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
to make delicious healthy broth. You CAN’T          simply bizarre. Saxapahaw, NC                        only shows you have no business in the posi-
do that with battery chicken. Keaau, HI                                                                  tion you are in. You do not represent the future
                                                   “I’m sorry to say, considering you are a MN rep-
                                                                                                         of growing concern for the quality of food we
“Mr. Peterson: Your ignorance of the values of      resentative, that your comments re organic food
                                                                                                         eat and how or where it is produced. You have a
 organically grown food is alarming! And to         are most uninformed. First, most organic food
                                                                                                         very short sighted attitude and it sounds much
 think that you are a Democrat, my party. Read      doesn’t cost that much more than similar non-
                                                                                                         aligned with big agriculture business.”
 up on it, Sir, and increase your knowledge,        organic products (2 or 3 times more is a gross
 which seems to have been stunted by being in       exaggeration). Second, organic food has been         “Dear Rep. Peterson, your ignorance and arro-
 Washington too long.” Jackson, TN                  substantiated to have more nutrients. Third,          gance are hugely disappointing in a Democrat.
                                                    those on organic diets have been found to have        If you are so out of touch with how disgusted
“I can’t believe a person of your position could
                                                    less pesticide residues in their blood. Fourth,       Americans are with business as usual, including
 make a comment about organic foods or foods
                                                    fifth, and sixth: buying local keeps investment       agribusiness as usual, you will find yourself sit-
 that benefit a person’s health. We, who embrace
                                                    within the state, is less destructive to soil and     ting on the sidelines. I have faith in your con-
 organic foods as a way to heal ourselves or help
                                                    supports pasture maintenance and reduced silt-        stituents, even if you don’t.” Klickitat, WA
 ourselves to eat better, are not dumb as you
                                                    ation. Finally, organic foods put less pesticide
 seem to think. We choose to help ourselves                                                              “How dumb can you be and still represent us?
                                                    and wildlife harming nutrients into ground
 since the government doesn’t seem willing to                                                             Shame on you and I am a Democrat! Eating
                                                    and surface water and into workers. You are
 help the public to stay well and off medicines                                                           fewer chemicals will lead to better health and
                                                    very disappointing.”
 or in hospitals or care homes. Next time, con-                                                           fewer medical problems. Do you have a college
 sider what you say or better yet, you might try “Considering your position, you are not very             education or not? If not, you need to go back
 organic foods and see how much better they intelligent are you? Personally, I can’t afford               to school and learn a few things or two.” Hot
 taste and how much better you feel.”                the high cost of organic food, but I’m glad it is    Springs, AR
                                                     available for those who can. With all the recalls
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am offended                                                                “Agribusiness does need subsidies!”
                                                     lately, perhaps they are the truly smart consum-
 by your remark indicating that those who
                                                     ers.”                                               “Dear Rep. Peterson: You really don’t get it, do
 spend money on organic and local products are
                                                                                                          you? Organic and local are ‘dumb’? Are we liv-
“dumb.” If you choose to eat chemical-laden, “Dear Sir, Organic food is an excellent invest-
                                                                                                          ing on the same planet? I thought you were
 factory-farmed products with little nutritional ment in the health of the individual as well as
                                                                                                          from MN, not from Mars. Our chicken is
 value, that’s your business. My family and I eat the environment. You are very shortsighted if
                                                                                                          contaminated with Salmonella as it swims in
 organic, locally-grown food, because I believe you think you’re saving money by buying con-
                                                                                                          a bath of feces during processing. Pigs raised
 it is healthier for us and the nation. It would be ventional foods. Factor in health care and envi-
                                                                                                          in CAFOs are forced to drink their own urine.
 good for you to learn the other side of the argu- ronmental damage directly resulting from con-
                                                                                                          Feedlot beef is given a diet of corn - a food alien
 ment for making statements such as this one.”       ventional farming methods and you have run
                                                                                                          to them - and plugged with antibiotics and hor-
                                                     up a huge tab.
“Congratulations! You now rank right up there                                                             mones to speed growth. Shrimp from Asia are
 with our Fearless Leader, if not in numbers of Then you can consider the ethical issues, and             fed on chicken droppings loaded with antibi-
 stupid statements at least in ignorance of the it’s really no contest. So who’s really dumb?”            otics. Undercooked hot dogs transmit Listerio-
 facts!”                                                                                                  sis. Monsanto would like to see all dairy cattle
                                                    “Sir, As one who has for many years been inter-
                                                                                                          inoculated weekly with Recombinant Bovine
“Congratulations, Mr. Chairman, for receiv- ested in the role food plays in our health and
                                                                                                          Growth Hormone. Drinking water is laced
 ing OCA’s Award for the dumbest quote of the the quality of our lives, I was amazed to read
                                                                                                          with tetracycline for all confinement animals.
 week. For whatever reason, Democrats are will- your uninformed words regarding organically
                                                                                                          Farmed salmon is fed artificial colorants to
 ing to keep saying dumb things, and well, far and locally grown foods. Put simply, organi-
                                                                                                          make its flesh pink. Ground beef is frequently
 be it from ME to understand what that’s about. cally grown foods are not only healthier to con-
                                                                                                          recalled for E. coli content, and the same can be
 You obviously have no grasp nor do you under- sume, having higher nutritional content and
                                                                                                          said for spinach, ice cream, pepperoni and the
 stand the basics of good health. Quite unfortu- lower toxic pollution, but the means by which
                                                                                                          list goes on. No other first world country takes
 nate, especially in this day and age of wanting they are grown are more sustainable and envi-
                                                                                                          it for granted that its food supply is so contam-
 to enforce a Socialistic Health Care bill; instead ronmentally friendly. As for supporting locally
                                                                                                          inated and adulterated. By all means, continue
 of spending all those millions to insurance com- grown food, it makes so much sense from an
                                                                                                          to feed your family chemicals and antibiotics...
 panies, you should be fighting to spend them economic perspective to support local busi-
                                                                                                          while you exclaim at the proliferation of cancer,
 cleaning up our food supply, water supply, and nesses. If you don’t understand why that is, you
                                                                                                          as well as MRSA, extreme TB and other drug-
 the air we breath. We might not need so much shouldn’t be holding public office. Please do all
                                                                                                          resistant strains of bacteria that the wanton use
“health insurance” if you did.” Halifax, MA          Americans a favor and educate yourself on the
                                                                                                          of antibiotics has fostered. I prefer to make
                                                     field in which you hold so much sway, and then
“ Dear Congressman Peterson: Would you                                                                    healthier choices for my family. I would not
                                                     redeem yourself by making more informed
 please be so kind as to confirm that you were                                                            have to pay so much more for these commod-
                                                     public statements on the subject. Thank you.”
 either misquoted, or quoted out of context? It is                                                        ities if Congressmen like you understood the
                                                     Alexandria, VA
 beyond my comprehension that, coming from                                                                costs entailed in switching a farm from conven-
 a state with such a strong agricultural base, “You are what you eat. People who eat factory              tional to organic methods, and directed your
 you just don’t “get it” . Your first statement, farmed food are unhealthy and fat. They spend            subsidies where they might actually be instru-
 about doing something without government’s more money on drugs and hospital bills than                   mental in improving the health of all thinking
 help would make sense - if federal assistance smart eaters who choose organic food.”                     Americans.” Palmyra, ME
 wasn’t paying to support the competition. Your
                                                    “For you to have made such a negative statement      “Even if you are not for organic, local purchas-
 final comment, about the dumb consumers, is
                                                     about ORGANICS and BUYING LOCALLY                    ing helps smaller farmers and the local
                                                                                                                                                        56
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 economy, and saves petroleum and transporta- MN                                                              Why not go take a flying leap into one of those
 tion. Organic is not that bad - keeps some of                                                                lakes and see if there are any other Dems bot-
                                                      “Dear Senator, We don’t pay two or three times
 your Monsanto & friends’ pesticides and poi-                                                                 tom-feeding on people like Nader and Michael
                                                       more for local or organic food, we can’t afford
 sons out of the soil and out of our bodies. Hey,                                                             Bloomberg who still remember what Thomas
                                                       to. We are willing to pay a little more for
 that’s a real health benefit!” Concrete, WA                                                                  Jefferson meant by democracy. Just be careful,
                                                       organic, and usually pay less for locally grown
                                                                                                              there are state laws in place that don’t allow
“Dear Sir, I just wanted to extend my congrat- produce and meat. If you truly don’t get it, have
                                                                                                              sewage pollution to contaminate the waters of
 ulations to you for uttering what has got to be a staff member do some research and bring you
                                                                                                              the state.” Windsor, CA
 the most misinformed and idiotic statement up to speed on the many health and economic
 I have heard come from a politician’s mouth benefits of locally grown, organic food.” Ana-                    Collin Peterson, are you concerned with your
 this week. I am referring, of course, to your cortes, WA                                                     own health, the health of your family & chil-
 claim that those willing to pay a higher price                                                               dren & other family members? If so, you
                                                      “People who live in glass houses should not
 for organic and local produce are “dumb.” I’m                                                                ought to be VERY concerned with encourag-
                                                       throw stones! Some of us “dumb” folks have
 glad that you feel that way about your constit-                                                              ing organic farming with every opportunity
                                                       to eat organically because we have been poi-
 uents and other American consumers who have                                                                  afforded you.”
                                                       soned by chemicals and can no longer tolerate
 gone through the trouble of educating them-
                                                       eating pesticide laden “food” without getting          “I am an organic local farmer, and I can tell
 selves on the issues involved with agriculture,
                                                       very sick. I am one of those who has no choice.         you that the people buying our produce taste
 and care enough to make sacrifices to support
                                                       People who think they are eating well by pur-           the difference and willingly pay to keep small
 agriculture which is socially and environmen-
                                                       chasing traditionally grown need to do some             family farms in business and in their neighbor-
 tally responsible. And in regards to the phe-
                                                       research. Organic food has been proven to have          hood - our food is safer, more nutritious, and
 nomenon of consumers being willing to pay
                                                       more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients             less travel-worn than the stuff the USDA sub-
 more, you even say, “Far be it for me under-
                                                       than the crap you are eating. You have been             sidizes. It’s worth every penny. Shame on you.”
 stand what that’s about.” Understanding what
                                                       brainwashed dumb!”                                      Hotchkiss, CO
“that is about” is precisely your job, as chairman
 of the agricultural committee. It’s nice to know “Mr. Peterson, If the above statement has quoted            “Dumb?!! How do you like the taste of your
 where you stand on important issues such as you properly, then let me share an experience                     foot? Perhaps you should educate yourself on
 public health and the environment.                    you could witness in my area of North Carolina.         the benefits of grass-fed beef. Have you ever
                                                       You see I live among some of the most heav-             even heard of omega-3 fatty acids? Probably
“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, There is over 62 nat-
                                                       ily sprayed crops you could imagine. I live sur-        not, given your asinine statement. For your
 ural minerals and substances in organic soil.
                                                       rounded by apple orchards. These young trees            information, grass-fed beef is much healthier
 Regular farming only replaces 3 of these; NPK,
                                                       are sprayed 7 or more times a year, for years           than corn-fed beef. Although you are supposed
 Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Because
                                                       before they produce one apple. Normally nature          to know something about agriculture, you
 these three are associated with the growth of
                                                       provides a wonderful orchestra of sounds from           obviously don’t know that COWS ARE SUP-
 plants, we have assumed that the others are not
                                                       crickets, birds and other wildlife. But when the        POSED TO EAT GRASS. This makes their
 necessary for the healthy growth of humans
                                                       clouds of chemicals spray from the back of the          meat higher in the omega-3’s which reduces the
 to consume. I have to tell you that I have only
                                                       farmers tractors, all go silent. Yet just five miles    risk of heart disease. Oh, and also brain disease,
 been eating organic foods for 10 years and the
                                                       from my house a brave farmer is growing the             which may explain why you don’t know any of
 first year, I wondered if there was any difference
                                                       most delicious apples with out these dangerous          this. If you’d like to learn more please visit the
 and why I was wasting my money on this fool-
                                                       chemicals. It is sad to hear the repeated stories of    www.westonaprice.org. Here’s to your health!”
 ishness. I then went to have some regular meat
                                                       various health issues the farmers are experienc-        Conyers, GA
 and vegetables and there was very little taste.
                                                       ing as they age. I will gladly pay 3 times more
 Very inconclusive, I agree. But here is the scoop.                                                           “Representative Peterson, There are people dying
                                                       for my produce as you said, instead of hearing
 If eating organic costs more and tastes better,                                                               of cancer all around me. I held a cancer-ridden
                                                       a doctor pronounce my death certificate of can-
 and I am getting less pesticides and chemicals                                                                child in my arms before she died-with one eye,
                                                       cer. Some one with your position would hope-
 in my body that may or may not be good for me,                                                                multiple surgery scars, and excruciating pain.
                                                       fully do a little more research before he spoke
 why take chances. I might only live 3 days lon-                                                               Conventional food is killing us and YOU are
                                                       publicly.” Hendersonville, NC
 ger than most people, but what will the qual-                                                                 willing to subsidize them. Shame on you. We
 ity and health of their lives be like compared “I certainly hope you aren’t as ignorant as this               should give organic food all the help they can
 to mine. I am banking on less disease to affect quote makes you appear. If you are, then per-                 get and make it available and affordable to
 my quality of life and thus reduced healthcare haps you need to educate yourself on the true                  people who are poor. I visited a neighborhood
 costs. Of course there is little to substantiate all economy of the food you eat. I recommend to              today where it is easier to find a gun, a pack of
 of this, but once you are educated more about begin your education you read Barbara King-                     cigarettes, or a bottle of alcohol than a tomato
 the how and why’s of organic, you will possibly solver’s newest book, Vegetable, Animal, Mira-                or a carrot or lettuce. I buy local because I care
 not say such ignorant things anymore. Have an cle. I will continue to put my money where my                   about my neighbors who are growers. Buying
 open mind and read a little.....”                     mouth is, and buy local.”                               local builds local community. I’m glad you’re
                                                                                                               not my neighbor because you just don’t get this!
“Sir: I am shocked that a representative from “Your comment about the rest of the nation
                                                                                                               I am wondering why YOU are chairman of the
 Minnesota would make as environmentally being dumb for eating organic seems to go
                                                                                                               agricultural committee. It does not seem like
 ignorant a statement as your quote regarding against the Democratic mantra during the
                                                                                                               a good fit. Perhaps you should try a different
 organic agriculture. If agriculture should be Clinton administration that it’s the economy
                                                                                                               committee that doesn’t affect so many good
 subsidized at all there is much more economic stupid. So who’s really the idiot here? Oh, how
                                                                                                               people trying to raise healthy children. Eating
 justification to support organic and localized I long for the days of Paul Wellstone. Unfortu-
                                                                                                               local and organic,” Santa Rosa, CA
 farming than large agribusiness.” Mankato, nately, the land of lakes is missing its native son.
                                                                                                                                                            57
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“Congratulations Colin Peterson on getting the about the overload of agricultural chemi-              you really knew what factory farmed food was,
 award for the DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE cals they consume each day are the ones who                       how it’s processed and the nutritional value dif-
 WEEK from the Organic Consumers Associ- should “have their heads examined.” As a 30                  ferences of it and organics/local foods, you too,
 ation. Our polluted, genetically engineered, year organic gardener, it makes me sad to pay           would be dumb! That was a blatantly idiotic
 foul tasting, vitamin and mineral lacking food more for healthy food. But, I think my fam-           comment from a representative! Watch your
 is OOOOOOOOOOOOO so good for us. ily is worth it. I’m fortunate enough to have                       dumb mouth!”
 Ever wonder why America is fat and getting the financial means to have a choice between
                                                                                                      “Dear Mr. Peterson, I suppose you won’t be
 fatter everyday? Try the food supply. I wish I local farmers and agri-biz. Being an Alaskan,
                                                                                                       crowing quite so loudly when there’s no more
 made the money you representatives make. It I choose to support the local business people
                                                                                                       oil to transport your chemically polluted, hor-
 would make my life of paying 2 and 3 times whenever I can. Also, I’d rather eat food grown
                                                                                                       mone-injected, genetically altered produce in
 for organic food easier. Thanks for calling me in the USA than in a country that has little
                                                                                                       giant tractor-trailers (or even DOUBLE trac-
 dumb, you sir are a jackass!” Las Vegas, NV       or no regulation of water safety and chemical
                                                                                                       tor-trailers) from one end of the country to the
                                                   use. Congratulations on getting the Organic
“It is sad to read your quote about buying                                                             other. When that day comes, believe me, you’ll
                                                   Consumers Association award for the dumbest
 organic and local produce being “dumb” . Per-                                                         be grateful for the people who fought to have
                                                   quote of the week!” Anchorage, AK
 haps a more open-minded approach would be:                                                            real food grown by real people, without chem-
“hmm, wonder what this is about? The public “Buy local. Save Fuel Buy organic. Save chemi-             ical additives, close to where you live, so that
 seems to be on to something here. I think I’ll cals.” Fox Island, WA                                  you and your loved ones will have something
 research this before I say something that makes                                                       nourishing to eat when you sit down at the din-
                                                  “You have got to be the most stupid person on
 me look stupid.”                                                                                      ner table.” Dorchester, MA
                                                   the face of the earth. Organic food is the best
“I haven’t time in my busy life working to grant there is. At least we all know we’ll live disease    “Congratulations on earning Organic Consum-
 you my words. Excusez-moi de vous d-ranger...” free when we eat organic food. I for one, will         ers Association’s “dumbest quote of the week” .
                                                   buy it when I can find it. And you know what?       Organic consumers are not “dumb” - we sim-
“Your contempt for American’s who are forced to
                                                   You could benefit from it too. Then maybe you       ply are left with no choice in paying extra if we
 pay extra for organic meat was typical of a paid
                                                   wouldn’t be making stupid remarks.”                 want wholesome, nutritious foods that don’t rot
 hack for greedy corporations who feel threat-
                                                                                                       our brains or give us cancer. And by the way, it’s
 ened. You not only have exposed your loyalties, “Supporting local farmers and for that mat-
                                                                                                       still cheaper than health insurance and medi-
 but also show your callousness and ignorance. ter, producers of any goods made locally...be
                                                                                                       cal care, thanks to legislators like you who favor
 Especially with the recent recall by Cargill it in your neighborhood, city , state, or coun-
                                                                                                       big business and factory farms. Tell the FDA
 Inc. Recalling more than 1 million pounds of try even...is actually the smartest most obvious
                                                                                                       to do it’s job in protecting consumers, instead
 ground beef that may be contaminated with E. thing to do to support our economy. So, just
                                                                                                       of excusing big business’ poisoning of the food
 coli bacteria - the second time in less than a remember Mr.Peterson...STUPID IS AS STU-
                                                                                                       supply. We’re counting on you - or we’re voting
 month it has voluntarily recalled beef. One mil- PID DOES.....where do you shop?....China?????”
                                                                                                       for someone else.”
 lion pounds - 10 states... Hallelujah... you’ve
                                                  “You know, I’ve read a lot about the additives in
 sold your soul ? you have no dignity.”                                                               “Congratulations! Your comment illuminates
                                                   processed foods, the diets fed to corporate cat-
                                                                                                       just how “dumb” and uninformed you are!
“I want to eat healthy, organic, food without tle, hogs and chickens, and the effects of same
                                                                                                       Organic foods provide more nutrients than
 pesticide and hormones that have given many on the health and mental acuity of humans.
                                                                                                       non-organically grown foods, not to mention
 women cancer. You democrats have done noth- But, not until your exceedingly ignorant state-
                                                                                                       that they are minus the toxic chemicals used
 ing about health care or help for the people. ment did I realize just how extensive is the brain
                                                                                                       as pesticides and herbicides, and hormones
 Your just like republicans, the most war hun- damage caused by non-organic, processed, pre-
                                                                                                       and antibiotics routinely given to meat ani-
 gry nation on the planet following a born again served and transported foods. Oh well, eat up!
                                                                                                       mals whether they need them or not. Just take
 christian who does nothing that Jesus would do. Continue your diet of slop. I think it’s too late
                                                                                                       a look at the incidence of cancer, higher level
 Keep it up until we can disappear as a species.” for you.” Aptos, CA
                                                                                                       of aggression among teens, and other illnesses
“The poisoning of our food system by agribusi- “You Sir have a lot to learn before you can make        that can be traced to these chemicals and hor-
 ness is something as a health professional that judgments like that. Did you ever consider that       mones. My only solace is in knowing that you
 I take very seriously. Unless you are owned by there are manifold health and ecological impli-        (and people like you) probably consume most
 those interests you might do well to as well.”   cations to supporting local, organic, and sus-       of your food from non-organic sources, which
                                                  tainable food ways? There is plenty of research      will in time, lead you to chronic and poten-
“organic food and local food is better for you
                                                  validating such and I suggest you investigate        tially fatal diseases, effectively wiping you off
 and the planet. Have you ever heard of global
                                                  it further. Organic consumers make up a very         the planet. Survival of the fittest at it’s best! So
 warming? greenhouse gases? transportation
                                                  intelligent and socially conscious demographic       keep eating that stuff...”
 costs are costs to the planet you leave for your
                                                  and WE will be the vectors for meaningful
 children. Factory farming is not good for the                                                    “Sir, if you knew anything about nutrition and
                                                  social change whether the political contingency
 animals and is not good for you. When you                                                         health, you would retract the statement you
                                                  is behind us or not.” Portland, OR
 eat all those antibiotics in the animals, do you                                                  made.”
 think they’ll work for you when you need them “Well You are dumb enough to eat unorganic
                                                                                                  “I am shocked at your ignorance and disrespect-
 to? Please get a clue. Thank you for your atten- food and your health will pay for it too. Just
                                                                                                   ful language toward Americans who are more
 tion.” Hood River, OR                            keep your grubby hands off organics.” Silver
                                                                                                   health conscious and more environmentally
                                                  Spring, MD
“Dear Representative Peterson: I would like to                                                     responsible than yourself. Local and organic
 propose that organic food consumers are not “ Dear sir, I am one of those “dumb” people you produce is better for the local economy, bet-
 the dumbies. Rather, folks who are complacent refer to and I guess you are smart because if ter for the environment, and healthier for
                                                                                                                                                     58
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
consumers. Are you sure you are a Democrat?”            and vibrant seniors, thanks to organic and Please step down for the better of all humanity
                                                        locally-grown foods. My husband has just won and the planet, you are a disgrace to America,
“Organic food is the best and smartest way to
                                                        seven gold medals in the local and state Senior land of the FREE.(?)” Muscatine, IA
 keep ourselves and the world healthy. Anything
                                                        Games finals. You might look in the mirror and
 else is an abomination.”                                                                                   “Mr. Peterson, Wow! You’re comment regard-
                                                        see a person who may not attain our age and
                                                                                                             ing organic and local produce was pretty amaz-
“Dear Representative Peterson, My family buys           then determine who is dumb.”
                                                                                                             ing! Commercially grown produce is full of
 locally-raised, organic and/or grass-fed meats
                                                       “Dear Chairman Peterson: Contrary to your pesticides that deplete our soil of all its natu-
 whenever we can for many reasons. One main
                                                        statement, organic consumers are among the ral nutrients, cause cancer, and wreak havoc on
 reason is that we feel that climate change is a
                                                        brightest, politically proactive, most forward our estrogen levels. Maybe we can’t all afford to
 serious problem and we need to reduce the car-
                                                        thinking people in the nation. We vote with pay more for organic produce, but we make the
 bon footprint of our lifestyle. The food we buy
                                                        our dollars to support industries that imple- sacrifice to try and live a healthier existence in
 represents a big percentage of our impact on the
                                                        ment environmentally friendly and fair labor this toxic environment created by people whose
 planet. If you take climate change seriously you
                                                        practices. The use of organic alternatives to only concern is capital gain!! Remember when
 should learn a bit more about the amount of
                                                        toxic chemicals for fertilization, insect control there was no name for organic produce because
 energy that it takes to feed this nation, before
                                                        and food production provides greater health, everything was grown in Gods good earth the
 you state that we are “dumb” for making our
                                                        balance and nutrition and assures that future way it had intended to be? I don’t! Organic
 choices.” Berkeley, CA
                                                        generations will benefit from an enriched earth farming is the ONLY way to grow. Companies
“FYI: In this area Organic beef is about the same       with its natural biodiversity intact, and which like Monsanto are killing our children! Wake
 price as the crap contaminated with the growth         has not been denuded of its natural properties up!!” Monroe Twp, NJ
 hormones, steroids and antibiotics that are poi-       through overuse and chemical inundation. It is
                                                                                                            “I would like to tell you why people are willing
 soning our country. Thanks for the laugh!! You         abundantly clear that waiting for the govern-
                                                                                                             to pay two or three times as much for some-
 sound like one of those idiots from the other          ment to exhibit some common sense, politi-
                                                                                                             thing that says ‘organic’ or ‘local.’ We do it for
 party!!” Myrtle Beach, SC                              cal, economic or otherwise, is a waste of time.
                                                                                                             our health. The pesticides, preservatives, and
                                                        Current government support contrives to drive
“Your comment recently regarding spending on                                                                 genetically modified organisms in conventional
                                                        the consumer to unnatural (unhealthy) alterna-
 local and organic beef was truly unbelievable. I                                                            food are contributing to a health crisis in Amer-
                                                        tives by lying about content, misrepresenting or
 am simply a consumer and don’t wish to feed                                                                 ica. We do it for the earth. The pesticides and
                                                        omitting information about potentially harm-
 my family factory farmed been injected with                                                                 fertilizers used on conventional foods are pol-
                                                        ful ingredients (such as GMO), and funding
 hormones, fed beef fat, and a diet of corn that                                                             luting our earth and water supply. The geneti-
                                                        organizations whose primary goal focuses on
 makes them sick (given they are intended to eat                                                             cally modified organisms are spreading genetic
                                                        immediate and rapid profit regardless of neg-
 grass only). Maybe you should do a little more                                                             “pollution” around the country, mutating our
                                                        ative health and environmental impact, unfair
 research on the differences between beef before                                                             precious plants. Most of all, we do it because
                                                        labor practices, and the consequences to be born
 you make comments that make you seem ill                                                                    we know you and our other Representatives in
                                                        by the next seven generations. The FDA, orig-
 informed and not very intelligent.”                                                                         Washington are not representing our best inter-
                                                        inally designed to ‘protect’ the consumer, is a
                                                                                                             ests. Our government is not looking out for our
“Organic Consumers are Smart, Not Dumb.                 joke. I suggest, sir, that you expand your knowl-
                                                                                                             health by adequately regulating the foods we
 There IS a difference - many, in fact - between        edge of the reasons behind grassroots support
                                                                                                             consume. We are taking matters into our own
 conventionally grown food and organically              of sustainable farming and energy. Otherwise,
                                                                                                             hands to control what we put into our bodies,
 grown food. We understand Government tests             the ‘dumb’ supporters of earth friendly prac-
                                                                                                             and our loved ones’ bodies.”
 have now shown that more food can be grown             tices may decide you are obsolete.”
 on the same amount of land if it’s grown organ-                                                            “Wow! Talk about dumb! If you care anything
                                                       “Dear Collin Peterson, some people on this
 ically. Also that organically grown food is more                                                            at all about your children and grandchildren, I
                                                        planet care about the foods that we put in are
 nutritious. That’s no news to us. We grow organ-                                                            urge you to get educated about what is sustain-
                                                        bodies and obviously you don’t or else you
 ically and have done so for almost 50 years. The                                                            able, and what cannot be sustained.”
                                                        would know why we pay more for organics. We
 proof is in the eating. We suggest you try eating
                                                        suggest you spend a little energy looking into “I run an organization for people with cancer
 some organic produce yourself. Also we suggest
                                                        how non-organic foods are polluting are planet (depressed immune systems) and am chemi-
 that hereafter you think - or do some research -
                                                        and are bodies in more ways than you can count cally sensitive. To me, and to our hundreds of
 before you speak.” Oakdale, CA
                                                        on your own hands. Get with the program and thousands of constituents who want healthier
“How can you not know the difference between            stop being so ignorant.”                             food, organic and local make sense. Our overly
 conventional and organic food? Your state is                                                                processed food supply has lost its taste, much
                                                       “Dear Mr. Peterson; You might care to educate
 full of farmers. I think it’s incredibly pathetic                                                           of its nutrients and it shows in the health of our
                                                        yourself more carefully before passing judg-
 that you got elected. It’s a very sad reflection on                                                         citizens.”
                                                        ment. Your expression does not inspire confi-
 the people in your district.” Park Ridge, IL
                                                        dence in your ability to serve as chairman. Best “I am extremely disappointed in your attitude
 “You should remove yourself from the agricul-          wishes,”                                             towards organic food. I think you should do
tural committee now for your stunning level                                                                  some research into residual pesticides on food
                                                       “I’m am certain, Mr. Petersen, of the intelli-
of ignorance and while you’re at it resign from                                                              products, and the environmental impacts of
                                                        gence of consumers that buy organic prod-
congress as we have more than enough dumb                                                                    large-scale non-organic farming. An under-
                                                        ucts...as I am also certain of the stupidity of the
ass members.”                                                                                                educated representative does our party little
                                                        people that are, so called, running this coun-
                                                                                                             good. Organic consumers are not dumb. We
“Dear Mr. Peterson: My husband, age 90, and I,          try. You are an ignorant representative of what
                                                                                                             are highly educated people. You were offensive
 age 82, are not dumb. Instead, we are healthy          is the worst in our society...our social leaders.
                                                                                                             and rude. Please apologize and educate
                                                                                                                                                          59
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
yourself.”                                         in their neighborhoods offering 49 cent ham-         been treated with hormones and antibiotics
                                                   burgers due to the large subsidies given to the      to fend off diseases created from eating a non-
“Mr. Petersen, After reading your statement
                                                   factory-farm meat and dairy industries. Please       natural corn based diet. Food that has been
 about organic food consumers being “dumb”
                                                   enlighten yourself as to what your constituents,     trucked across the country using unrenewable
 I can only say that I think your eyes cannot
                                                   and the rest of the country, want.”                  fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide. But
 see nor your ears hear anything I might say to
                                                                                                        why would you care about that - you probably
 explain why that statement is not only offend- “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
                                                                                                        don’t believe that global warming exists. Keep
 ing but ridiculous. Perhaps you are ready and sumers Association award for the dumbest
                                                                                                        living in your bubble, and I will keep on being
 able to count the number of people who will quote of the week. Due to subsidizing mostly
                                                                                                       “dumb” . Dumb in Maine”
 write objecting to your un-informed statement.” large agribusiness, organic, sustainable and
 Hot Springs Village, AR                           local independently owned farms rely on sell-         “The organic and local types are simply
                                                   ing their products at higher prices. Hence,         THINKING about the food they eat and this
“Dear Rep. Peterson. Whoosh! How out of
                                                   those who are most concerned about the health       is reflected in their buying interest. Your state-
 touch are you, man? The only political peo-
                                                   of their fellow man and the environment have        ment indicates a need for you to think a little
 ple who don’t see the value of food grown the
                                                   no choice to pay higher prices. The system is       more as well. The people you’re talking about
 healthy way don’t have taste buds and/or are
                                                   backwards. Lobbyists for big agribusiness are       VOTE and, given an opportunity, will replace
 in the back pockets of the agriculture indus-
                                                   creating an environment where smaller farms         those congressmen who OK continued direct
 try that feed Americans chemical soup with a
                                                   and organic farmers are having a more difficult     payments to fat cat large farmers.” Houston,
 smile. Those of us who can afford to eat healthy
                                                   time swimming upstream. Lets return to a cele-      TX”
 food will continue to support Organic foods
                                                   bration of America’s true hero, the small farmer.
 and will fight to keep that label clean. You get                                                      “Please step in front of a mirror when you call
                                                   I encourage you to retract your statement and
 a real dunce award for your “hallelujah” com-                                                          someone ‘dumb’.” Sullivan, ME
                                                   recognize the importance of small farmers.”
 ments calling those of us who believe in car-
                                                                                                       “Clearly you can see the hypocrisy in your com-
 ing for our own bodies and our planet as dumb. “Dear Mr. Peterson, As a parent and mother of
                                                                                                        ment. Organic Consumers are those of us that
 Duh!”                                             four children I find your statement concerning
                                                                                                        do our research and understand the implica-
                                                   local food and price appalling, offensive and
“You have never had a hyper child or been chem-                                                         tions of government and Monsanto interven-
                                                   startlingly full of lack of insight. As a neigh-
 ical sensitive, have you. If you had, you would                                                        tion into farming!” Austin, TX
                                                   bor to MN, land of 10,000 lakes, we are chok-
 know why so many of us require unchemical
                                                   ing in the industrialized farm landscape with       “Dear Collin Peterson: Why do people pay
 laden products. Shame on you for calling us
                                                   degraded water and air quality. Des Moines           more for local food? One, because they want
 dumb! You need to do your homework and see
                                                   waterworks treatment plant boasts the largest        to support their community. Two, because they
 what some of the side-effects of chemicals are.”
                                                   nitrate removal system in the world. Children’s      understand that it doesn’t make sense to spend
“Dear congressman Peterson, Thank you for asthma is increasing every year. While many                   money and waste energy to send a carrot across
 once again proving that our politicians are not government officials hide behind the notion we         the country if you can grow one locally. And
 much more than the puppets of the corpora- need more studies to change production meth-                three, perhaps they enjoy living and raising
 tions and big business interests that contribute ods our children’s health, recreation and qual-       their children in a community with farms, for
 to their campaigns. I think your winning the ity of life decline. Life is not stopping to wait for     aesthetic or other reasons. I personally would
 award for dumbest quote of the week (congrats, study results. The federal government should be         much rather live near farms than near shopping
 btw) from the Organic Consumers Association supporting and celebrating the individuals and             plazas. Why do people pay more for organic
 is a reflection of your philosophy, and who pads businesses that strive to maintain quality and        food? Because they’ve read up on the sub-
 your pockets.” Seagrove, NC                       integrity to the production of foods. Environ-       ject, they’ve read about endocrine disruptors,
                                                   mental degradation has a price tag for all peo-      they’ve read about links between pesticides and
“Dear Collin Peterson, As a life long Democrat I
                                                   ple. This is a non partisan issue. I continually     behavioral problems in children, brain devel-
 find your understanding of Organic foods and
                                                   scratch my head at the finger pointing when          opment, and other issues. They aren’t willing
 farming to be grossly lacking! Please stop ALL
                                                   we all suffer from poor quality food, water and      to take a chance with their children’s health,
 price supports to ALL farmers! And, stop ALL
                                                   air. We are to congratulate you for the dumbest      or their own. You really need to be more edu-
 price supports for ethanol! The feeds for my
                                                   quote of the week. Instead I pine for your fam-      cated on this subject. If people are paying more
 animals have gone up 70% in one year! A con-
                                                   ily and constituents. The crass nature and short-    for something, there are reasons. Wake up. It’s
 cerned citizen!” Delhi, CO
                                                   sightedness of your comment are shallow and          called voting with your dollar. Ipwich MA”
“Dear Mr. Peterson, While politicians may be your grandchildren’s children that will have
                                                                                                        “Mr. Peterson, I strongly urge you to take a
 lagging behind, consumers are beginning to that ghostly comment in their closets. Good
                                                                                                       step back from the podium and think about
 have a conscience. We are willing to pay more luck.” Des Moines, IA
                                                                                                       the comment you made about organic and local
 for organic and locally produced food because
                                                  “If you consider me dumb because I don’t want        food. Even Consumer Reports has agreed that
 we know it’s better for our bodies and for our
                                                   to buy contaminated, heavily subsidized, unsus-     some products are worth the extra money. In
 environment. We no longer can feel good about
                                                   tainably produced food so be it. Think about        light of all the recalls today, most recently the
 buying pesticide-laden food that has been
                                                   where your food comes from next time you’re         recall of child’s cold medications, I do believe
 trucked hundreds of miles from our homes
                                                   enjoying a hamburger that was potentially con-      the FDA and USDA are not quite as trustwor-
 when there are alternatives. I think it’s dis-
                                                   taminated with e-coli bacteria. Hamburger           thy as we are led to believe. Therefore, the logi-
 graceful that these foods should be more expen-
                                                   created from cows that are forced to eat corn       cal conclusion is that consuming products that
 sive because it means that people struggling to
                                                   because it is so heavily subsidized by the gov-     have less pesticides and being able to meet the
 make ends meet cannot afford them. Instead
                                                   ernment that factory farmers feed it to animals     person you buy the food from should be safer. I
 they have fast food restaurants on every corner
                                                   that are not designed to eat it. Cows that have     think it is quite frightening that someone
                                                                                                                                                    60
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 in your position could make such a closed “Dear Rep. Peterson: I read your recent quote                  headaches have gone away, my seasonal aller-
 minded, blanket, need I say STUPID com- regarding the “dumb-ness” of people paying                       gies that have bothered me most of my adult
 ment. You should be ashamed of yourself.”           more for organic produce and other organic           life have disappeared, I no longer get colds and
                                                     products. I have to say that this was an extremely   sinus infections. My family is also reaping the
“Sir: Do you really believe it’s dumb to buy
                                                     uninformed comment, and a very surpris-              benefits of good quality food. I’m glad I don’t
 local? Better to use up a lot of petroleum trans-
                                                     ing one from someone entrusted with educat-          live in your district, unfortunately you serve in
 porting vegetables from California to Maine?
                                                     ing himself about how best to protect the qual-      a position that affects me and my family.” West
 THAT’S what’s pretty dumb in my book. And
                                                     ity and safety of agriculture in this country. I     Grove, PA
 doesn’t the Agriculture Committee believe in
                                                     would strongly recommend that you find out
 supporting farm products and farmers in their                                                            “Supporting local farmers certainly doesn’t
                                                     WHY people feel it’s important to buy organic,
 own states? What kind of farm support do you                                                              make me or anyone else dumb. how do we
                                                     especially during this time of countless recalls
 call that?” Belfast, ME                                                                                   ensure good quality, availability and keep farms
                                                     and e-coli outbreaks. You just might discover
                                                                                                           local to keep development from becoming ram-
“Your comment about organic consumers was that the old saying, “You get what you pay for”
                                                                                                           pant in states like mine. I think you would be
 really DUMB. Organic products are free of applies when it comes to organic. And whether
                                                                                                           smarter to spend some time educating yourself
 pesticides, have more vitamins and do not pol- or not Congress sees fit to help the organic
                                                                                                           to the true issues of agriculture in this country
 lute the environment as factory farms do.”          industry, wouldn’t it behoove you to investigate
                                                                                                           and part of that is not blatant support of fac-
                                                     this sector that has a steady growth rate and
“Dear Chair Peterson, Were organic agricul-                                                                tory farms but keeping individuals in business
                                                     commitment to quality?” Redding, CA
 ture to displace conventional farming, it would                                                           for the safety and health of your constituents
 cause a reduction of 70% in greenhouse gases, “I think YOU are the leading candidate for the              and the other citizens of this country sincerely”
 according to the Rodal Report. Conventional clear and present danger of stupidity with your               Bordentown, NJ
 agriculture has had the effect of producing bee flip remark about organic foods. Apparently
                                                                                                          “Dear Dumb Congressman, I am very pleased
 colony collapse - a large portion of our food you love the hormones and antibiotics in your
                                                                                                           that someone in Washington has finally out-
 supply depends on the health of bees. Further- meat and in and on your produce. Clearly, they
                                                                                                           lined where they stand on the issue of organic
 more, the theory that the current epidemic not have gone to your head.” Gulf Breeze, FL
                                                                                                           consumers and agriculture. By labeling myself
 only in autism, but in a number of other men-
                                                    “As a consumer of organic food, I am quite dis-        and others as dumb to pay more money for fresh,
 tal disorders in children is due to newly avail-
                                                     tressed by the federal governments lack of fund-      nontoxic food, indeed you may be doing a lit-
 able funding, and “shift in diagnoses” has been
                                                     ing and disregard for such practices. Instead,        tle self reflecting on your own behalf. PS The
 proven to be false - these mental problems are
                                                     large scale factory farms are implanted across        Europeans are way ahead of us on this topic.
 due to organic injuries or developmental abnor-
                                                     our once pristine landscape poisoning our             That’s why they won’t allow the importation of
 malities induced by something in the environ-
                                                     groundwater, our fields and our people...and          some American food products. Another reason
 ment. Could it be the neurotoxic pesticides?
                                                     those like you continue to help destroy our           why it would be helpful for you to understand
 Hmm. Dumb persons and the persons who
                                                     land. I choose organics because I don’t want          this issue..” Humble, TX
 want to control global warming, protect the
                                                     cancerous pesticides and herbicides decimating
 food supply and avoid brain damage in their                                                              “Ignorance is bliss right? If you don’t know what’s
                                                     our natural world and eventually reformulating
 children are two different kinds of persons.”                                                             in it, it must be ok to eat? is it DUMB to search
                                                     in our bodies as CANCER. Thanks for noth-
                                                                                                           out foods that have not been poisoned by pesti-
“It is not “dumb” (perhaps you meant to say ing. (By the way, I vote Democrat.)”
                                                                                                           cides or genetically modified? If so, then you go
“foolish” ) to vote with their dollars for agri-
                                                    “Rep Collin Peterson I am a native Iowan - 28          right ahead and keep getting the results you’ve
 cultural methods which are beneficial for both
                                                     years. I have lived in Oregon for an additional       always been getting. Your children and grand-
 the environment as well as their own health, let
                                                     26 - I am a rural person. Farming is not what         children will pay the price of your generations
 alone the improved flavor and thus pleasure of
                                                     it was when we were children. I can remember          stupidity. Now THAT’S DUMB!!!”
 eating organic produce. It is possible that you
                                                     farmers spreading manure on their fields. Now
 simply have not yet had the opportunity to                                                               “I do not agree that buying local and organic
                                                     they spread cancer causing chemicals. Some
 learn the distinction between conventional and                                                            food is dumb. Organic farmers respect the land
                                                     of us don’t want to ingest food raised like this,
 organic. Please do so before making such harsh                                                            and their neighbors. The organic farmer to the
                                                     nor animals that stand in a containment build-
 and uninformed statements.”                                                                               north of my home does not emit the same putrid
                                                     ing or feedlot in their own waste all day and
                                                                                                           odor that the farmer to the south does. There is
“Honorable Representative Peterson, Even need antibiotics just to survive. That’s why we
                                                                                                           question with a connection to the spread of e
 though it may seem “dumb” for consumers eat organic. It is very simple. We want to eat
                                                                                                           coli also.” Randolph Center, VT
 to pay 2 to 3 times the going price for organic food from nature, not corporations. Food is for
 or “local” labels for beef and other produce, nutrition, not corporate profits, regardless of            “Mr. Peterson, I am one of those “dumb” peo-
 there must be a reason for it. I don’t always buy nutritional quality or safety. Think about trans-       ple and I take offense to your words and to your
 organic products, but occasionally I do. This is fats introduced in the 70s to prolong shelf life.        ignorance. Not only do I buy sustainable and
 because I like the fact that pesticides, hormones, Now we know they clog our arteries. As a rep-          local foods from my local farmers market, I also
 and non-sustainable practices were not utilized resentative of a farm/rural state and chair of            teach at a elementary school in our Life Lab
 when producing these products, and that they the House Agriculture Committee, I urge you                  Science garden and since reading your quote
 were produced locally. Sometimes I will pay to educate regarding organic farming and our                  I am even more thankful that I have this job.
 the extra money, depending on what it is. So, food supply..”                                              I’m teaching our young kids to ignore unin-
 please support these products whenever possi-                                                             formed, ignorant people such as yourself and to
                                                    “I am a cancer survivor and organic food is
 ble. Thank you very much for your important                                                               appreciate where their food comes from. They
                                                     keeping me healthy. In the two years that I
 work in the House of Representatives.” Maple-                                                             are learning the difference between local farm-
                                                     have been eating organic food, my constant
 wood, MN                                                                                                  ing and big agribusiness (factory farming).
                                                                                                                                                        61
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 These will be the next generation that will fight the chemicals and additives removed from our           that a food issue - it is all about health, sus-
 corporations, and people such as yourself. They food. A wave is crossing the country and it is           tainable farming practices, the environment,
 will vote with their money and it will be for the clear we need a change from the status quo, a          and restoration of the family farm. When big
 small farmer who farms in a sustainable way and new guard that will fight to protect the right of        corporations become involved in farming their
 is part of their community. Until there is a bal- individual Americans.” North Haven, CT                 only motivation is the bottom line profit, with
 ance between the big federally subsided mono-                                                            little or no concern for the environment. With
                                                   “Thanks for being a jerk.” Staten Island, NY
 cropping, chemical-using farms and small sus-                                                            the environment so in danger from chemicals,
 tainable farmers and until people like yourself “Mr. Collin Peterson, I am sorry that you are            over farming and the resulting pollution, these
 no longer hold this office I am more than will- unaware of the health risks of eating food that          practices need to be discouraged. Your denigra-
 ing to pay the higher price for sustainable pro- is contaminated with pesticides, herbicides,            tion of those people who show a consciousness
 duce and meat. I am also proud to teach about antibiotics, hormones and other things that                and concern for the food they consume and
 it to the next seven generations to come.”         are hazardous to human cells. The health risks        the environment has to raise a serious doubt as
                                                    include such a vast array from food intolerances,     to your fitness for the position you hold. You
“I can’t believe you really believe the statement
                                                    to migraines, to Multiple Sclerosis to infertil-      need to change your thinking to reflect today’s
 you made about eating organic and/or local.
                                                    ity to cancer and many diseases in between. I         needs and attitudes, or let someone else who is
 That is just too stupid!”
                                                    understand that you would not want to believe         more in tune with the times take over the posi-
“Dear Congressman Peterson: It’s a shame you that it is possible that it is legal to poison our           tion. You have to ask yourself who is really the
 choose to insult people who actively promote food supply and that we are forced to pay                  “dumb” person here”
 a different, more healthy and sustainable way EXTRA for food that is not poisoned. I agree
                                                                                                         “I think it is a sad thing that our country’s
 of producing food. I suppose you believe that - it should be illegal to poison food and then
                                                                                                          Agriculture Committee chair does not have a
 anybody who cares enough to take the time to we would not need labels such as Organic that
                                                                                                          greater knowledge of the benefits of supporting
 make informed choices is a simpleton. Why go cost more, our food would be grown and pro-
                                                                                                          local and organic farmers. It strengthens com-
 through the trouble and expense when agribusi- cessed in a healthy way by all growers, farmers
                                                                                                          munities, decreases use of fossil fuels, enriches
 ness will take care of all your thinking for you? and ranchers. I am sorry that you put your foot
                                                                                                          the health of our soil, brings neighbors together,
 Your efforts to derail any substantive reform in your mouth and called people “dumb” when
                                                                                                          brings people closer to their food source, sup-
 in this year’s farm bill are a disgrace. We may you actually had no idea what you were talking
                                                                                                          ports sustainable systems, etc. And what do
 be fools, but at least we have integrity and an about. That is very foolish. We are all human
                                                                                                          we get from large government subsidized mon-
 active desire to make the future better. You, on however and have all misspoke a time or two.
                                                                                                          oculture “farms” (there should be a new name
 the other hand, have what you want: the undy- I hope that you will apologize to those people
                                                                                                          for such examples of conventional agriculture,
 ing gratitude and campaign contributions of who are more educated about Organic than
                                                                                                          as they in no way resemble the farms consum-
 the farm lobby. Congratulations!” Santa Mon- yourself, and also forgive yourself for speaking
                                                                                                          ers think they are) ? We get cheap food - but
 ica, CA                                            from ignorance and therefore coming across
                                                                                                          really what is the true price of that? We pay for
                                                    offensively. Also, being that you are a Chair-
“I read of your remarks about organic farmers                                                             it through depleted soil health and compro-
                                                    person for the House Agriculture Committee,
 not needing help. In order to compete with                                                               mised personal health because of pesticides and
                                                    I highly recommend researching the horrific
 heavily subsidized agribusiness, organic farm-                                                           pollution from agricultural runoff, as well as an
                                                    effects of poisoning our food - on the people
 ers need all the help they can get. Your charac-                                                         enormous waste of fossil fuels used in the pro-
                                                    and animals that consume it, the people who
 terizing people who pay more for organic foods                                                           cess of growing produce and livestock in such
                                                    grow it and even the environment it is grown in.
 as dumb is extremely insulting to those of us                                                            a way that depends upon petroleum for pesti-
                                                    The studies and evidence are overwhelming. It
 who care about what we put in our bodies.”                                                               cides, fuel, feed, and transportation over 100s
                                                    is hard to face the ugly truth and you will find
                                                                                                          or 1000s of miles. So some may argue it really
“Mr. Peterson, Your recent comments regarding things that you do not want to find, but then
                                                                                                          is much more expensive than keeping your
 organic food are most unfortunate. As chair- you will have the evidence you need to change
                                                                                                          food locals local and purchasing wholesome,
 man of the agricultural committee, it is clear the state of things and create a healthier cleaner
                                                                                                          fresh foods for our families. It certainly isn’t
 you do not understand the current crisis that world for so many people. Thank you for your
                                                                                                          a government concern that those who cannot
 confronts our country. The toxic accumula- time.” Bellingham, WA
                                                                                                          afford such foods will be left out - if that were
 tion of chemicals, fertilizers, and pollutants in
                                                   “If a person is “dumb” because they choose to          the case the government would be subsidiz-
 our soil, water, and air is affecting every Amer-
                                                    support local farms/businesses, as well as reduce     ing those people’s food spending and not huge
 ican. Each of us knows someone with can-
                                                    the negative impact of “conventional” farming         agriculture. What is dumb about eating fresh?
 cer. The “Western Diet” has been a well doc-
                                                    on the environment and human health, then I           We spend less on food in this country than any
 umented cause of hypertension, diabetes, and
                                                    am proud to be “dumb” . If organic farming            other industrialized nation and we have the
 cardiac disease. The way we produce food needs
                                                    had the same government subsidies that “con-          health problems and obesity to show for it!”
 to change. Each and every one of these chem-
                                                    ventional” farming does, there wouldn’t be such
 icals ends up in our air and water supply and                                                           “Dear Mr. Peterson, How did you get to be a
                                                    a difference in the pricing. I think it’s exciting
 back into our homes. We are all frustrated with                                                          congressman, let alone chairman of agricul-
                                                    that so many people are getting “dumber” and
 the current political climate. We want indi-                                                             ture? I don’t know what companies have paid
                                                    joining the local/organic movement.” Maple
 viduals who are protecting our rights to clean                                                           you extra to say the things you say, but I pay
                                                    Valley, WA
 water and food, not the status quo of protect-                                                           extra for Organic food so that the farmers are
 ing “big business” . We need individuals who “Colin Peterson, You need to get in touch with              healthier, not having to use pesticides, and so
 are educated about the current crisis and health reality on this issue. People are quite correctly       are the all the local people, flora and fauna.
 issues at hand. You are right about one thing, and appropriately willing to pay more for                 Buying locally also reduces the amount of car-
 that we should not have to pay extra to have organic and local product. This is much more                bon dioxide in the air, and I’ll explain to you
                                                                                                                                                       62
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 since you might have a hard time understand- by companies that could care less about the pub-             CA
 ing, the more CO2 and other fumes from auto- lic’s health and are only interested in their own
                                                                                                           “Dear Rep. Peterson, it is very narrow minded
 mobiles there are, the more unhealthy we are, profits. I urge you to support organic farmers!”
                                                                                                            of you to make such an ignorant statement ,that
 from Asthma to Cancer. Just thought I’d share
                                                     “Not only is truly organically grown food              buying organic is dumb. Guess who the dummy
 a little insight with you even though you called
                                                      healthier for human beings, it tastes a hell of       is. I will continue buying local or organic espe-
 me and millions of other good people dumb.
                                                      a lot better than what Monsanto does for food.        cially for my 4 year old grandson. I was in the
 Oakland, CA
                                                      You should try it and then you would see to it        apple business for years and understand the
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Contrary to your opin- that the family farms who grow organic food                      effects of using herbicides and pesticides. More
 ion, organic consumers understand that when deserve more help than they are getting”                       tax dollar should be spent to promote organic
 they buy organic or local produce they are pay-                                                            farming. Even our lame duck President prefers
                                                     “Agriculture is not some bottom level, get it
 ing the complete price - all costs included. And                                                           organic food .Probably the smartest thing he
                                                      done any old way business. It produces the food
 they are getting healthy, non-chemical, non-                                                               does. Maybe your next term the voters will vote
                                                      we eat. Far be it from me to understand why
 antibiotic food. The low-cost prices we pay                                                                you out. Have an Organic.”
                                                      anyone would be willing to eat food produced
 for non-organic foods is misleading, because
                                                      without regard for the way it is grown. But if       “We pay expensive prices because there are no
 it doesn’t include all the cost. Our antibiotic,
                                                      people are dumb enough to eat that stuff then         healthy, inexpensive alternatives. The US gov’t
 hormone laden foods are producing super-bugs
                                                      hallelujah.” Northborough, MA                         continues to prop up corporate factory farming
 like MRSA, and causing children’s puberty to
                                                                                                            regardless of consumer preferences.”
 start years younger. Do your research before “Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, for so effec-
 your spout your opinion and show your igno- tively demonstrating your utter and complete                  “Please take some time to educate yourself on
 rance. We live in the 21st century - get with the ignorance with respect to organic foods and              organic food, as well as learning about pesti-
 times! Sincerely,” Brenham, TX                       free-range/grass-fed poultry and beef. Firstly,       cides and the harm they can do both to the
                                                      the difference in price between standard and          environment and people. Thank you.”
“When consumers are educated as to the bene-
                                                      organic food is usually less than 10%; some-
 fits of eating organic food, I believe organic will                                                       “I don’t appreciate being called dumb by some-
                                                      times, organic food actually costs LESS than
 become a more common choice, and we can                                                                    one who doesn’t have even the slightest con-
                                                      the standard equivalent. Secondly, regardless of
 rely on organic being the norm and pesticide                                                               cept of environmental stewardship.” Whitmore
                                                      the difference in price, organic food (not just
 laden food becoming the alternative. I treasure                                                            Lake, MI
                                                      food labeled organic, but food that was actu-
 the few months in the summer, where I get to
                                                      ally produced using organic standards) does not      “Dear Mr. Peterson, Well I have to admit how
 grow my tomatoes, peppers, carrots and herbs
                                                      contain the harmful toxic ingredients that stan-      ironic it is about what your said “Far be it from
 in my pesticide-free garden.” Savage, MN
                                                      dard food does, nor is organic food produced          me to understand what that’s about,” which I
“Far better to keep your mouth shut and be with toxic pesticides, harmful antibiotics or any                take it you don’t even know what dumb means
 thought a fool, than to open it and remove all genetically modified/engineered organisms. In               for you to call people who pay more for better
 doubt.” Southwest Harbor, ME                         case you aren’t aware, all of those things - toxic    nutrition dumb? I’m willing to bet you don’t
                                                      ingredients, toxic pesticides, harmful antibiot-      even understand how the body works at the
  “Dear Mr. Peterson: Congratulations on receiv-
                                                      ics and genetically modified organisms - are all      chemical level and how our body absorbs and
 ing Organic Consumers Association award for
                                                      detrimental to human health. Indeed, based            deals with whatever we put in it or that the gov-
 the dumbest quote of the week. It seems that
                                                      on your statement about people being “dumb            ernment puts chemicals in the air to weaken
 you need to re-educate yourself on the health
                                                      enough to pay” for organic food, and consider-        our immune systems. Yea, you don’t know
 benefits of organic and local produce. This just
                                                      ing the fact that organic food does NOT cost          about that right although why would I want to
 might decrease the high cost of health care
                                                      2-3 times as much as non-organic food, com-           call you dumb? INGNORANT YES. At least
 by allowing people to have healthy food with
                                                      bined with the fact that standard, non-organic        you won an award for your very smart quote by
 nutritional value and not the empty, chem-
                                                      food contains toxic ingredients and is produced       trying to put others down when you are the one
 ical infested foods that our government not
                                                      with toxic pesticides, harmful antibiotics and        who is ignorant. Oh that award is the Organic
 only condones, but subsidizes so the rich can
                                                      often contain or incorporate genetically modi-        Consumers Association award for the dumbest
 get richer. Again, congratulations - it should
                                                      fied organisms, I and any other reasonable per-       quote of the week. Since you are so un-dumb
 get the award for the dumbest statement of the
                                                      son could rightly conclude that you are dumb          I’m sure it is obvious to you why you won that
 month.”
                                                      for not knowing these facts, as well as for mak-      award and if not you probably won’t ever get it.
“Dear House Agriculture Committee Chair ing such ridiculous statements in light of these                    I just can’t believe my ears and it always amazes
 Collin Peterson, Just after reading about Car- facts. Perhaps you should take the time to prop-            me at what comes out of a person’s mouth, like
 gill’s recall of ground beef, I read your quote erly educate yourself regarding organic food,              your self, has such arrogance. The degrading
 about organic and grass-fed. I am happy and as well as grass-fed beef and free-range poul-                 part on the other hand I actually get it since
 healthy to be a “dumb” consumer of organic try before making statements that are patently                  I realize the likes of you are very selfish and all
 and local foods.” Fredonia, NY                       false and so demonstrative of your undeni-            about the money with no real respect for others
                                                      able ignorance. Considering that you are the          and need to put other down to feel better about
“Dear Collin Peterson: Congratulations on
                                                      chair of the House Agricultural Committee,            your self and don’t deal your own issues. That is
 receiving the dumbest quote award from the
                                                      I would’ve expected you to know this stuff            like the bully on the school yard or this admin-
 Organic Consumers Association! People who
                                                      already. The fact that you do not already know        istration. It will always boggle my mind. Have
 have the intelligence to care about their health,
                                                      this, despite being the chair of the House Agri-      a good day sir.” La Puente, CA
 eat organic and support the farmers that pro-
                                                      cultural Committee, is cause for great concern,
 duce these foods. It’s unfortunate that the gov-                                                          “Dear Congressman Peterson, Thanks for con-
                                                      and completely undermines my confidence in
 ernment, and leaders such as yourself, are ruled                                                           sidering us consumers of organic foods to be
                                                      your leadership capabilities.” West Hollywood,
                                                                                                                                                          63
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
dumb-or that it’s beneath your level of under-         “It’s saddens me that someone in your posi- for their poor health. I believe I deserve an apol-
standing. You did study agriculture as well as          tion is so uneducated in the difference of grass ogy for your offensive statement. I’d appreciate
public relations and nutrition before you made          feed healthy beef and the alternative. The term a response in regards to this matter. Thank you.”
that statement, yes? Or did you just open your         ‘dumb’ does not apply to those who buy the Jersey City, NJ
mouth and say the first thing that came to an           beef it applies to those that don’t.”
                                                                                                          “The issue here is food quality, not quantity.
empty mind? I hope your farmer constituents
                                                       “How one can be so colossally ignorant of organ- There is also the matter of sustainability: techno
vote you out of office. You don’t deserve the
                                                        ics is beyond me. So uneducated. Do you like pesticide farming isn’t and organic farming is.
role of leadership. And we grow organic foods
                                                        being perceived as such?” Port Orchard, WA         Plus it’s more democratic to support the mil-
for our health here at our Alabama farm.” Boaz,
                                                                                                           lions of small independent farmers than a few
AL                                                     “Dear Mr. Peterson: I guess you would think
                                                                                                           corporate farmers, which is what recent farm
                                                        that it is “dumb” for people to pay more for
“Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-                                                              bills have done. If you would consider some-
                                                        organic food. However, there have been numer-
 sumers Association award for the dumbest                                                                  thing that would benefit a greater number of
                                                        ous studies which say that organic is better for
 quote of the week. I appreciate being referred                                                            people, please think about distributing funds
                                                        us and the earth. If we continue to grow food
 to as dumb, “if people are dumb enough to pay                                                             to a greater number of small farms and curtail-
                                                        with endless amounts of pesticides, this earth
 that much then hallelujah” Hampstead, MD                                                                  ing any and all funding for unsafe, unlabelled
                                                        will become unlivable.”
                                                                                                           GMO crops. Thank you.”
“DUMB?!!!F U. You APPEAR to be the stupid
                                                       “In response to your comment: I do not con-
 idiot, but I suspect differently. I believe you are                                                      “Mr. Collin Peterson, You insult a growing
                                                        sider myself “dumb” for spending more money
 an Illuminati/Nazi traitor to humanity, doing                                                             number of Americans (possibly one in five now)
                                                        on food that will not poison me through con-
 your part to implement the agenda of the slav-                                                            who believe that organic, local food is better
                                                        sumption like conventional, non-organic food.
 ery/destruction of humanity, as decreed by the                                                            for people, better for local economies, and eas-
                                                        I eat food that is organically grown less than
 CFR/TLC/Bilderberg Luciferian scum. Prove                                                                 ier on greenhouse gases (with diminished need
                                                        100 miles from my home, delivered in a bio-
 me wrong...”                                                                                              for transportation). Our numbers will continue
                                                        diesel fueled truck. If more Americans could
                                                                                                           to keep growing, and the major food markets
“Hey Mr. Smartie Pants, Grassfed beef and               educate themselves instead of continuing to
                                                                                                           know it. I say Hallelujah if the smartest peo-
 organic and local food beats the heck out of eat-      believe the words of ‘officials’ who only have
                                                                                                           ple in the country are taking charge of their
 ing food produced in China or boxed hamburg-           the almighty dollar in their best interest, per-
                                                                                                           health by discarding old, processed, degraded,
 ers. Grassfed beef contains conjugated linoleic        haps we could stop polluting our planet, our
                                                                                                           bioengineered, nutrient-deficient food that over
 acid, which is really good for eating up body          minds, bodies and spirits.”
                                                                                                           time can cause a host of diseases well known
 fat in our obese society, not to mention that
                                                       “Buying organic and local is smart, not dumb. It in developed countries, and they are only now
 buying local food not only supports farmers in
                                                        makes sense to buy produce that has not been spreading to developing countries as they are
 my state, but eliminates the carbon footprint
                                                        sprayed with poisons and that is raised locally. seduced into a “modern” diet. People with good
 of travel needed to get to market. What were
                                                        Transport of produce adds to our pollution and diets based on fresh food grown without poi-
 you thinking making such careless comment?
                                                        uses oil and gas for transportation. Cleaner air sons, pesticides and inadequately-tested fran-
 From one of your dumb people from Minne-
                                                        should be a priority for government. And, the kenfoods, do not generally get the diseases
 sota!” Minneapolis, MN
                                                        organic farmers should be subsidized as long as that are dogging the health of American citi-
“Hey Collin, When your sick in the hospital and         our taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize zens which causes health care costs to soar. We
 can’t figure out why, remember organic food            corporate farming and chemical companies. I are healthy people taking charge of our own
 didn’t help you stay healthy. I haven’t been to        can’t believe that government can’t use logic health and the insurance companies are start-
 the doctor in more than 10 years. How about            when it comes to feeding Americans. I wonder ing to reward us, as we need less medical care.
 you?”                                                  who is really dumb.”                               Nutritionists find that retarded intelligence is
                                                                                                           linked to long-term nutrition deficiencies. That
“Dear Sir, It is unfortunate that, in your posi-       “More people are buying organic, local and grass
                                                                                                           is a fact. Follow the dollars from food, health,
 tion as the chair of the agriculture committee,        fed beef because they care about the health of
                                                                                                           and medical costs, and THEN tell me who is
 that you do not realize the health and ecologi-        their families and the environment, not because
                                                                                                           dumb. To your health” Seattle, WA
 cal benefits that come from organic agriculture        they are dumb. And anything that reduces our
 practices. At a time where the country’s physical      dependence on foreign oil, like buying local        “It is frightening that someone in such a posi-
 and environmental health is failing, I hope that       should be viewed as intelligent if not downright tion of leadership as yourself could be so incred-
 you will take the time to educate yourself on          patriotic!” “Sequim, WA                            ibly uneducated and small minded as to make
 this issue-for the sake of your own health, the                                                           such a comment about the value of an uncon-
                                                       “I’m writing in regards to your statement about
 health of the country’s children, and the health                                                          taminated food source. Perhaps this will embar-
                                                        organic beef. I’m insulted that you feel my deci-
 of our planet. As a political leader, the country                                                         rass you enough to research this vitally impor-
                                                        sion to not want my children eating food that’s
 looks to you to make sound decisions regarding                                                            tant avenue, and take actions to stop funding
                                                        pumped full of chemicals is ‘dumb’. I would
 the future of our country, and organic farm-                                                              the chemical and genetically modified farm-
                                                        love to not have to pay more for grass fed cows.
 ing will help to ensure a safe and healthy future.                                                        ing that is killing the American people, those
                                                        Perhaps if the government helped organic
 Thank you for your time.” Washington, DC                                                                  to whom we subject our gross “surplus” , wild-
                                                        farmers I wouldn’t have to go bankrupt try-
                                                                                                           life on land and sea, and the very planet itself.
“Perhaps you’re not aware that conventional             ing to keep my children healthy. I could just
                                                                                                           Please wake up and be responsible.”
 farming is poisoning the planet, and poison-           send them to McDonalds everyday and watch
 ing your children and grandchildren. Organic           them become obese. Then I could watch them “Mr. Peterson: Have we met? No. So I must say,
 farming has different priorities. Lots of love,        become a drain on our health insurance system how dare you! For you to make such a rude
 Joey.” Miami, FL                                       as they need constant treatment and operations comment about my willingness and desire to
                                                                                                                                                       64
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 financially support local businesses and make “We have poisoned ourselves with antibiotics in of what’s going on in an area in which you
 healthy choices about the food I eat is evidence animals and pesticides on fruits and vegetables. are supposed to have some knowledge so you
 of your lack of knowledge and expertise in The cancer you or your family will get, is from can REPRESENT ME, an American citizen!
 the areas of commerce and the benefits of real the crap you have eaten. We are killing the What gets me is that you are also A DEMO-
 organic farming. I am insulted that you deem human race with poisons. Thank you for being CRAT!!! I would expect this kind of stupidity
 my support and choices as dumb. Mr. Peterson, another dumb politician.” Durham, NC                   from a republican but am dismayed that even
 since you are the obvious expert in this situa-                                                      the democrats of Minnesota are electing public
                                                     “You have displayed a degree of ignorance that
 tion, and I am sure there is an opportunity here                                                     representatives who are so clueless as to make a
                                                    creates a new low, even for congressmen. We
 for me to learn, would you share with me your                                                        statement of this magnitude. Find out why we
                                                    pay for a more pure and less chemical laden
 reasoning for not supporting small businesses                                                        choose to eat organically and locally and then
                                                    product.” Martinsburg, WV
 in my state. And, please, tell me why you think                                                      make a statement and policy based on informa-
 I should not eat organic food. Would you also       “Mr. Peterson, You really should take a few tion not ignorance.”
 share with me the names of food products that moments to educate yourself on what organic
                                                                                                     “The Senate Agriculture Committee approved
 you personally purchase and a brief explana- means. It means no chemicals such as pesti-
                                                                                                      its draft of the $300 billion 2007-2012 Farm
 tion of why you choose to support those suppli- cides and it means no genetically modified
                                                                                                      Bill last week. The 1300-page bill, now headed
 ers? I am also curious to know what the House organisms and it means farming in a sustain-
                                                                                                      to the main Senate floor, includes, as usual, bil-
 Agriculture Committee is working on. Would able way. It is you that is ignorant if you are not
                                                                                                      lions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for chem-
 you please send me information about the most aware that this is healthier for the human body
                                                                                                      ical and energy-intensive crops, factory farms,
 pressing issues that are facing your committee and for the health of the planet and all forms
                                                                                                      and junk food purveyors, while “nickel and
 and any other materials you think would be of of life. It is time to get with the times old man!”
                                                                                                      dime-ing” organic agriculture, conservation,
 help to me in my desire to learn about how deci- San Rafael, CA
                                                                                                      nutrition, and alternative energy programs.
 sions are made that affect the U.S. food supply?
                                                   “Well Mr. Peterson, As a single person who is This is the reason we’re willing to pay more for
 I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science
                                                    scraping by week to week and is willing to pay organic foods. Because we HAVE to in order to
 degree from the College of Business at Cardi-
                                                    extra for organic and local food, I’ll give you ensure decent, clean, and wholesome foods for
 nal Stritch University (Magna Cum Laude). As
                                                    my reasons why. Organic food has less in it ourselves and our families.”
 an adult student, I am capable of comprehend-
                                                    that exacerbates my Multiple Chemical Sen-
 ing university level material so please do not be                                                   “Sir, You are obviously uneducated re agricul-
                                                    sitivity. My digestive system does not react to
 conservative with the level or quantity of infor-                                                    ture, did not grow up with fine produce, and
                                                    genetically modified produce. My endocrine
 mation you provide. I have never received cor-                                                       should feed your family industrial food.” Boul-
                                                    system is not negatively impacted by hormon-
 respondence from someone practicing politics                                                         der Creek, DE
                                                    ally treated milk and dairy products. I by local
 before so truly and sincerely, I look forward to
                                                    goods as much as possible as opposed to get- “Apparently Democrats and Republicans are
 your response to my questions. I will hold my
                                                    ting “cheap” goods at a local Wal-Mart or other equally ignorant of anything outside their petty
 congratulations to you for getting the Organic
                                                    big-box store. I consider it an investment in my power struggle. Congrats on your karmic retri-
 Consumers Association award for the “dumb-
                                                    local community. I also pay extra for fair-trade bution in advance!”
 est quote of the week” until I hear your reply.
                                                    items. I would rather my hard-earned money
 Thank you.” Oak Creek, WI                                                                           “The rusting cold warriors have a hard time
                                                    go to another hard worker getting more of a
                                                                                                      understanding the word “sustainable” unless
“Dear Mr. Peterson, You just don’t get it. That fair share of it than to some sweatshop owner or
                                                                                                      its attached to a government subsidy, but it is
 point is obvious from your comment that someone killing the less privileged with chemi-
                                                                                                      the dominant trend emerging from the bloody
 organic consumers are dumb to spend more cal pollution. I hope that enlightens you to how
                                                                                                      train wreck of post-WW2 empire building.
 money to buy food that is raised without pes- dumb your statement and views are! I also hope
                                                                                                      Fundamentalist capitalism has the same prob-
 ticides/humanely raised or that comes from that this new enlightenment might lead you to
                                                                                                      lems as any other fundamentalist ideology, it is,
 local farmers. I would like to know what is stu- make a positive difference in your representa-
                                                                                                      by definition, out of touch with reality. Please,
 pid about paying more money for food that is tive position.” Springvale, ME
                                                                                                      wake up!”
 more nutritious (there is plenty of research to
                                                   “Please review the health facts of pesticide use.
 show that, but I am sure you wanted dare read                                                       “You just don’t get it. Your just another idiot
                                                    Thank you!” Issaquah, WA
 it). I would like to know why wanting to sup-                                                        who lied their way into office.” Dale City, VA
 port our local economy by buying from farm- “Historically, consumers have paid less for more
                                                                                                     “Mr. Peterson, People like me, who are dumb
 ers in our area is stupid (I am sure the money pesticides in their food and subsequently in
                                                                                                      enough to pay more for local and organic food
 you get from big agribusiness makes you a fan their bodies. This added stress to the body leads
                                                                                                      are willing to pay the actual cost of the food we
 of doing away with small family owned farms). to break down of various cells and it is part of
                                                                                                      want to eat. Because people like you have cor-
 Please tell me why wanting to buy locally in the reason we have such high health care costs
                                                                                                      rupted our food supply for the sole purpose of
 attempts to minimize the negative effects on and loss of productivity in this country. We
                                                                                                      making profit for big agra. The food you help
 the environment is a bad thing. As the chair- need to give more thought to where these pesti-
                                                                                                      supplying (in our name, God, can you look
 man of the House agriculture committee, you cides and fertilizers are ending up - in our water,
                                                                                                      at yourself in the mirror?) is making us sick,
 should understand these important issues and in other animals such as fish. Are the long-term
                                                                                                      destroys the environment and farming. Did
 not just be a shill for the huge corporations taxpayer costs really worth it? Beat wishes to
                                                                                                      you teach your children that they won’t be able
 which are destroying our family farms, hurting you and your family,” Virginia Beach, VA
                                                                                                      to eat the money you got bribed with after you
 our food supply, and forcing consumers to find
                                                   “WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!! You are an elected official die of cancer?”
 better options in organic/local foods. Do a lit-
                                                    whose job is to be informed. This statement
 tle research and wake up.” San Jose, CA                                                             “Dear Rep. Peterson, You do a discredit to your-
                                                    let’s me know that you are not keeping abreast
                                                                                                      self and the people you supposedly serve
                                                                                                                                                   65
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 when you make stupid statements like the one Maybe if you take your head out of the asses of             closed confined shed. It is not dumb to oppose
 reported. Organic practices are more expensive the major agri-businesses, you might get a clue.          agricultural practices that allow the antibiotic
 as well as much less injurious to OUR ENVI- These major companies do not care that they                  and hormone laced feces to be injected into
 RONMENT! Since that environment sustains are poisoning our food, land and water, as well                 agricultural land where the toxic waste leaks
 Your life and those of your loved ones as well it as, driving small farmers out of business. They        into the surface water by drain tiles in the field
 is only logical that WE ALL should do the least also support the countries problem of illegal            or percolates into the ground water we drink.
 damage to that environment. As a public ser- immigrants. Wake up dude! I don’t want GMO                  What is dumb is government subsidies to large
 vant, it is Your responsibility to be up to speed, chemical laden foods going in my body.”               corporations in the name of supporting family
 not sticking your head in the sand!”                                                                     farms. What is dumb is a farm bill that caters
                                                    “Dear Rep. Peterson, Your ignorance is astound-
                                                                                                          to corporate lobbyists by including the require-
“When you called consumers trying to help ing. As an educated individual, it is clear to me
                                                                                                          ment for all animals to have a chip implanted
 sustain their local economy ‘dumb’ for buy- that representatives such as yourself have sold
                                                                                                          (NAIS). As the chairman of the House of Rep-
 ing organic, locally grown produce you sim- our country down the drain. Our food and
                                                                                                          resentatives agricultural committee, I would
 ply revealed your own ignorance. If the value of environment is full of chemicals and un-nat-
                                                                                                          expect you to be more informed about agricul-
 supporting sustainable farming practices has to ural additives. It might be alright for you to
                                                                                                          tural practices that are harming consumers.”
 be explained to you, you have no business being expose your family to cancer causing products,
 in office. One can only hope those same ‘dumb’ but personally I won’t. You should be ashamed             “Thanks for calling Organic Consumers dumb
 consumers will be smart enough not to reelect of yourself for your ignorant ranting. I am                 for trying to keep ourselves healthy and not put
 you.” La Conner, WA                                 embarrassed that you represent our country.”          toxins in our body. Glad I do not live in your
                                                     Teaneck, NJ                                           state.” Sachse, TX
“I have been a lifelong Democrat but I’m reach-
 ing the end of my patience with this “do noth- “It is important to understand the benefits of            “The foolishness of your remarks are shock-
 ing constructive” party. I guess it’s time for me organic - quality produce, free of toxic chemi-         ing. When the USDA has enough inspectors
 to eschew both major parties and vote green or cals, nutrients not compromised, friendly to the           to eliminate all the antibiotics in animal feed,
 progressive. How anyone can believe that syn- environment - a sustainable approach to farm-               Mad Cow Disease and e.coli bacteria, we won’t
 thetic chemicals are good for the body and ing. Do you consider such benefits devoid of                   need to worry. Meantime, Organic tastes better,
 organic products are not is beyond me. You value?”                                                        and is a lot SAFER!!”
 might as well take the next step and publicly
                                                    “Mr. Peterson, Thank you for providing further        “Dear Rep. Peterson: You referred to people
 state that global warming is not influenced by
                                                     reason for citizens of the United States of Amer-     who are willing to pay more for organic food as
 mankind.”
                                                     ica to lose faith in the ability of congress to do   “dumb.” I’m one of those dumb people. First, I
“I’d like to congratulate you for getting the the right thing. Your quote that paying more                 raise an organic garden without chemical fertil-
 Organic Consumers Association award for the for quality demonstrates a lack of understand-                izers that pollute the Mississippi River and cre-
 dumbest quote of the week. You and a number ing of the issue. People will pay more for local              ate the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and I
 of other members of the House and Senate have and organic produce because it is healthier and             appreciate commercial growers that don’t con-
 little if any respect for the people you are sup- less detrimental to the environment. The non-           tribute to this problem. Second, people charged
 posed to represent. I will do everything in my organic mass producing farms that you subsi-               with a crime may be presumed innocent until
 power to replace you and your ilk with truly dize produce poor quality food that in a large               proven guilty, but that’s much too risky a pol-
 qualified people.” Phoenixville, PA                 part contribute to the health crisis facing our       icy to use with chemicals that get used in mas-
                                                     nation. A diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables      sive amounts or with biological technologies
“Mr. Peterson As a Minnesotan I am shamed by
                                                     would go a long ways towards solving the health       that blur the line between species - even king-
 your recent comment that buying ‘local’ and/
                                                     crisis. And, removing subsidies from the foods        doms - in the name of commercial viability. If
 or ‘organic’ is ‘dumb’. I’m sure the Minnesota
                                                     used to produce nutritionally poor food(corn          it’s dumb to have those concerns and to be will-
 farmers, that you purportedly represent, would
                                                     syrup, white sugar, etc.) would contribute to         ing to voice those concerns with my money
 be dismayed to hear that buying their products
                                                     people seeking out other more healthy foods,          and my time, then count me as dumb. By the
 is dumb.” Mpls, MN
                                                     as they would then be comparably priced to            way, I’m patriotic, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-
“Please know that organic consumers are not the poor foods. Please reconsider these factors                security, pro-second amendment, pro-law and
 dumb. Our govt has allowed Monsanto to before making any more comments on the issue                       order, and otherwise conservative by a whole
 pollute our food for years. Why? How in the because comments like the one you made only                   host of measurements. So don’t chalk up my
 world did they get so much power? Are they make you look foolish.” Newport News, VA                       concern about chemicals and gene-splicing to
 supplying money to campaign funds? The large                                                              just another Left Coast lunacy. By the way, I
                                                    “You must have your head in the sand to be
 majority of Americans do not want genetically                                                             take the fact that COOL hasn’t happened as
                                                     dumb enough to not know the advantages of
 altered food, foods with high fructose syrup,                                                             evidence of the corrupting cash flow that dic-
                                                     buying locally and buying organic. And you
 chemicals, etc. When will you stop them? How                                                              tates such an anti-consumer stance. Blessings”
                                                     must have your head REEEEELY deep in the
 disappointing to hear someone in your position                                                            Oxford, MS
                                                     sand to make quotes bashing the consumers
 calling a large number of Americans “dumb” .”
                                                     that are paying your salary... oh wait that’s the    “Dear Rep. Peterson, I am one of those citi-
 Irving, TX
                                                     big corporate farm paying your salary... my mis-      zens dumb enough to pay more for organic or
“Dear Mr. Peterson, Congratulations for receiv- take. We know it’s too late to ask you to watch            locally grown food. I feel happy that I am pay-
 ing OCA’s dumbest quote of the week award. your actions, but at least act like a grown-up                 ing for food that has been sustainably grown,
 However, it really frightens me that you are that and watch your mouth.”                                  hasn’t traveled thousands of miles using expen-
 far out of touch as to why people are willing to                                                          sive fuels, and using petroleum-based fertiliz-
                                                    “It is not dumb to want to eat hormone free meat
 pay more for organic and/or locally grown food.                                                           ers and pesticides that poison the environment
                                                     that has not been routinely fed antibiotics in a
                                                                                                                                                       66
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 and decrease the quality of the food. If you “Your comments about organic produce and                  by making such an obviously uneducated
 are happy supporting corporate farms and locally produced food shows either your igno-                 remark! I expected that you, as a member of
 NOT the small farmer, so be it. Don’t assume rance or your support of large agribusiness at            the agricultural committee, would have at least
 you know everything until you’ve done more the expense of sustainable agriculture. You are             made an elementary- level attempt at educating
 research.”                                         truly a dinosaur in your thinking. The Amer-        yourself about organic products before insert-
                                                    ican people deserve an Ag Chair that is more        ing your foot so far into your mouth.” Gran-
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I have read your
                                                    visionary and forward thinking. It is clearly not   ite Bay, CA
 comments about people who choose to consume
                                                    you.” Redondo Beach, CA
 local and organic food. I don’t think these peo-                                                       “Mr. Peterson, I have small children and I prefer
 ple are the “dumb” ones. If you do not under- “Mr. Peterson, “dumb” would be more appro-                to give them food and milk grown organically
 stand the benefits of organic and local food priately applied to your comment about peo-                where possible. Organic food is grown without
 consumption, you are not well-informed about ple being willing to pay more for food free of             spraying pesticides on it while it is growing. (or
 health issues, environmental issues and princi- dangerous additives and which has not had to            food the cows, hence organic milk) You may
 ples of sustainability. I have serious misgivings be transported long distances, thus saving on         say that it is dumb to pay more for this type
 about your ability to offer wise and effective our very scarce fuel resources than to those of          of food, but think about it, do you really want
 leadership to the House Ag Committee, and us who are the wise consumers buying organic                  to eat or feed your grandchildren chemicals?? I
 to act on behalf of the health and concerns of locally. However, I must say that your com-              don’t believe all of the chemicals ‘wash off’. Do
 the American people you are paid to represent.” ment IS most appropriate for an appointee of            a little research...I think you will be a happy
 Columbus, OH                                       this administration. And, God forbid, that the       that you did. :) Draper, UT
                                                    small organic farmer should get any help with
“Rep Collin Peterson, In attempting to assim-                                                           “If the USDA were doing its job and inspecting
                                                    his/her costs of growing food.” Flagstaff, AZ
 ilate the quote from MSNBC.com Financial                                                                our food (all of it, not 1% or less as it currently
 Times 10/17/07 and ascribed to you, several “Organic farming prevents farm workers from                 does), I wouldn’t feel compelled to pay 2-3
 thoughts occurred to me: No one is willing to getting cancer, makes the soil better for the long        times as much for the safe and healthy food.”
 pay more for something LABELED “organic” . run, and keeps poison out of our water. And it
                                                                                                        “Mr. Peterson, There are quite a few of us out
 But many, myself included, are willing to pay tastes way better. Local food is great because it
                                                                                                         there who care about the consequences to our
 more for food that IS organic. Is that still dumb helps my local economy and cuts down on the
                                                                                                         health that comes from eating man-manipu-
 in your view? Of course now that there is a nation spending an insane amount of money
                                                                                                         lated foods that in some ingenious way promote
 huge market, there will be companies that will on fuel to ship food all across creation. I buy
                                                                                                         sickness and produce profits for Big Corpora-
 take advantage and label pesticide, herbicide, organic and local food as much as possible and
                                                                                                         tions, Big Pharma being just one of them. Quite
 steroid-laced and/or antibiotic-laden food with never pay more than twice the amount for it.
                                                                                                         frankly, I am rather insulted that you don’t
 the “Organic” label. These companies should For me, it’s totally worth it.”
                                                                                                         seem to understand (when, in fact, I think you
 be prosecuted. Can I count on you to support
                                                   “Congressman Peterson: Just for future info,          do) the connection between eating dead, chem-
 prosecuting companies who engage in fraudu-
                                                    consumers are willing to pay the price for excel-    ical laden “foods” and the ever-growing inci-
 lent labeling? I sincerely look forward to your
                                                    lent sources of food, be it local, organic, etc.,    dence of chronic diseases. Healthier choices are
 response as soon as possible within your sched-
                                                    for a very good reason....preserving our natural     being offered in many places now, for example,
 ule. Thank you,” Kihei, HI
                                                    health and saving resources! Let alone support-      your local grocery store. Its not a fad, its com-
“Congratulations on getting the Organic Con- ing local farmers and the local economy. Why                mon sense and its catching on, big time. Also,
 sumers Association award for the dumbest should seasonal produce be shipped here from                   its not that we want to pay that much more
 quote of the week. It’s quite interesting that Mexico when my local farmer grows it down                for healthier foods but that we understand it
 your comment reflects your ignorance on what the road? What a needless waste of gasoline                will be much more costly to pay for being in
“organic” means. I’m disappointed that the agri- etc. There is such an overwhelming demand               ill health in our later years. “An ounce of pre-
 culture committee chair is clearly one-sided for these products farmers can’t keep up. There            vention is worth a pound of cure” . It would be
 when it comes to what consumers want. Being would be very little need for fed aid to farmers            most helpful if you politicians who are suppose
 an intelligent person like myself, I choose NOT if politicians like yourself were more educated         to be elected by the people, for the people, and
 to eat foods grown with the use of pesticides in the need for acceptable healthy food for our           of the people, would do just that and stop being
 and chemicals that clearly “kills” the soil, the nation instead of the chemical-laden, geneti-          so self-centered.” Elm Grove, WI
 water, birds and other living creatures.           cally-altered junk-food grown today. Maybe
                                                                                                        “Sir, The fact that you do not understand
                                                    you can kill two birds with one stone. By sup-
 Please take a course in organic farming and                                                             organic consumers does not give you the right
                                                    porting organic farmers, you can resolve our
 then you will be enlightened as to why so many                                                          to criticize them. How much money and bene-
                                                    nation’s degenerative health crisis at the same
 consumers are willing to pay more for food                                                              fits have you received from rewarding non-sus-
                                                    time.” Williamsbay, WI
 grown organically. I would prefer that all food                                                         tainable interests? Tell me you haven’t and per-
 would be grown organically! Thank you,” Den- “Buying organic food is far from “dumb.” What              haps I can revise my opinion of your actions
 ver, CO                                            is “dumb” is that people are forced to pay two       and comments.”
                                                    to three times as much for chemical-free, sus-
“Wow, Chairman Peterson, you truly sound                                                                “The people who purchase organic and local
                                                    tainable food because the government and the
 like the DUMBEST representative of the Agri-                                                            food are incredibly intelligent. It is unfortunate
                                                    organizations that represent it (FDA) put the
 culture Committee I’ve ever heard. Shame on                                                             that you don’t know enough to realize that. If
                                                    concerns of business and economics ahead of
 you and your lack of knowledge of the benefits                                                          you took the time to learn more about organic
                                                    health issues.” Austin, TX
 of eating local and organic. Perhaps you need                                                           and local farming you would understand it’s
 more education before putting your hoof in “It is beyond me how you would be so willing to              importance.”
 your mouth again...” Makawao, HI                   alienate a vast percentage of your constituents
                                                                                                                                                       67
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am one of those          organic land management and the related ben-          into something preposterous,, oh sorry you lot
“dumb” consumers who invests in my family’s            efits to society, or b) you are simply a lackey for   already have!!!” Santa Barbara, CA
 health by buying organic foods. Let me list the      “big” intensive agriculture. It frightens me that
                                                                                                             “You’re the dumb one, and you’re closed minded.
 reasons I “waste” my money on these products:         such a limited person even holds public office,
                                                                                                              If you can’t understand why consumers are will-
 1. Research has shown that foods grown organ-         let a lone being a Chairperson. Your comment
                                                                                                              ing to pay for better food and a better environ-
 ically contain significantly more vitamins, min-      was a disgrace and frankly deserves an apology.”
                                                                                                              ment, it’s because you have chosen ignorance
 erals, and other micronutrients. 2.Beef raised        Danby, VT
                                                                                                              over facts.”
 organically does not contain artificial hormones
                                                      “Dear sir: I want to congratulate you for getting
 which can contribute to weight gain nor antibi-                                                           “Dear Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are eth-
                                                       the Organic Consumers Association award for
 otics, which can cause sensitivities and allergies                                                         ical consumers. Can you understand ethics? Or
                                                       the dumbest quote of the week. It shows you do
 from exposure. Antibiotics’ wholesale use in                                                               are you too dumb?”
                                                       not have the smarts to do your job.”
 animals also contributes to the development of
                                                                                                           ““Far be it from me to understand what that’s
“super bugs” which are resistant to drugs. Fur-       “Representative Peterson, Your recent comments
                                                                                                            about” ??? and you are chairman of the HR agri-
 ther, organic methods are more humane for the         to the Financial Times are shocking in their
                                                                                                            culture committee ??? - tell me what is THAT’S
 animals and allow them to enjoy some quality          ignorance. I would strongly suggest to you sir,
                                                                                                            about? You make he ashamed to be an Ameri-
 of life before their slaughter. 3. Eggs produced      that as chairman of the House of Representa-
                                                                                                            can! I can only hope that you will be defeated
 organically contain higher levels of vitamin A        tives agricultural committee, one should trou-
                                                                                                            and gone from the House the next time you
 and omega-3 fatty acids. 4. Organic farming           ble himself to understand the reasons thought-
                                                                                                            stand for re-election! - No doubt you will then
 practices conserve soil, reducing topsoil loss and    ful and intelligent people are willing to pay
                                                                                                            revolve into some agribusiness lobbying job
 contributing to better crops in times of drought.     more for healthy food.Is there any more wiser an
                                                                                                            where you will continue to do more damage to
 They also prevent toxic chemicals from enter-         investment than in one’s own health? I should
                                                                                                            America, but, thank God, not as much as you’re
 ing our fresh water sources. These commonly           also suggest that you took the time to join the
                                                                                                            doing now!” New York, NY
 used herbicides and pesticides have been shown        Organic Consumers Association, and subscribe
 to cause developmental delays, learning disabil-      to Organic Bytes, the twice monthly newsletter. “Dear Mr. Peterson, Do you think about what
 ities, miscarriages, cancers, immunosuppres-          There one might learn about these issues that you are going to say before it comes out of your
 sion, hormonal disruption, and neuron dam-            you are seemingly having trouble to compre- mouth?”
 age in humans. They are also responsible for          hend. Lastly sir, in all seriousness, to whom is
                                                                                                           “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
 deaths and birth defects in fish, amphibians,         more deserving the title “dumb” ? Consumers
                                                                                                            sumers Association award for the dumbest
 and reptiles exposed to them. I personally want       making intelligent choices, or the chairman of
                                                                                                            quote of the week. As a registered nurse who
 to keep these animals around, as they help con-       a committee who freely admits “For whatever
                                                                                                            is also an oncology certified nurse (OCN), I
 trol insect pests such as mosquitoes. 5. Locally      reason” and “far be it from me to understand”
                                                                                                            know that cancer is caused by the chemicals
 grown food reduces the use of oil for transpor-       ???” Richmond, CA
                                                                                                            and hormones put into our food. I GLADLY
 tation and is fiscally and environmentally more
                                                      “I understand that you made a comment about pay more for organic produce (I don’t eat meat,
 responsible. 6. These farmers must depend on
                                                       organic produce, grass-fed beef and local foods even organic) because I know that my risk of
 the higher prices because our government will
                                                       that most people who care about what they eat disease is decreased by eating food that is true
 not do its part to support their superior meth-
                                                       find ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that you to nature, not from an industrialized farm with
 ods of agriculture. 7. Last but not least, organi-
                                                       actually said something negative about organic chemicals. Congrats on your narrow thinking.”
 cally grown food has SUPERIOR TASTE! Now,
                                                       produce and worse that you called me dumb. Little Rock, AR
 perhaps, you can explain to me why Congress is
                                                       Please tell me that your quote was taken out
“dumb” enough to pour billions of dollars into                                                             “Dear Rep Peterson; It is amazing that you sit on
                                                       of context? Otherwise, the rest of us are miss-
 the pockets of large agribusinesses whose prac-                                                            the Agriculture Committee and know nothing
                                                       ing something here- we’re supposed to enjoy
 tices poison our water, torture animals, cause                                                             about why people buy organic and local food.
                                                       pesticides and added growth hormones and
 untold damage to our health and environment,                                                               You could do a much better job and improve
                                                       we should give these things to our young chil-
 and are gradually depleting and destroying the                                                             the lives of Americans if you took the time to
                                                       dren and feel good about it-is that right? Are
 topsoil of our great “breadbasket.”                                                                        educate yourself and talk to Organic Consum-
                                                       you calling the people who are educated about
                                                                                                            ers to find out why. We are willing to pay extra
“Dear Congressman Peterson, I don’t under-             the foods they consume dumb? Shame on you!”
                                                                                                            to help keep the momentum for SUSTAIN-
 stand why eating pesticide-, herbicide-, and          Honolulu, HI
                                                                                                            ABLE Agriculture alive. We can’t continue to
 GMO-free produce is “dumb.” The current
                                                      “Your point, that it’s just plain stupid to pay sustain the growing population with huge fac-
 industrial process of using millions of pounds
                                                       more than you need to for anything, is well tory farms using huge amounts of resources
 of chemicals is unsustainable in the long term
                                                       taken. I guess it’s like why pay all that money and polluting the environment with pesticides.
 and is perpetuated for the short-term profits of
                                                       to doctors and pharmacists when you can get States are already scrambling for water rights
 a few companies. Have you tasted organic pro-
                                                       medical care and home remedies from Gypsies and losing wildlife species. You need to look
 duce before? So, congratulations for getting the
                                                       for half the cost or less. Hallelujah Brother!”      long term and at the big picture. What will you
 Organic Consumers Association award for the
                                                                                                            do for your kids and grandkids and all of the
 dumbest quote of the week.” Portland, OR             “Peterson, you really do suffer from the same
                                                                                                            future generations of Americans? Please stand
                                                       ignorant hubris that bush and the rest of the
“Dear Sir: Having had the opportunity to read                                                               up and do what is right for America!! Other-
                                                       cabal ruining our country are exhibiting. You
 your comments about the market prices for                                                                  wise, you are the one that is dumb.” Minneap-
                                                       political miscreants are not representing my
 organic and local foods, one can only con-                                                                 olis, MN
                                                       country in any way shape or form. It is only
 clude that you are either 1) extremely ignorant
                                                       a matter of time before you g.m. modified “Dear Representative Peterson, Regarding con-
 and near-sighted in regards to fundamentals of
                                                       food munchers begin to transform genetically sumers of organic products being dumb,
                                                                                                                                                         68
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
I would suggest that you do some additional             Supporting local farmers is the better choice as “Dear Sir, I don’t know what world you’re liv-
research.”                                              it cuts down on vehicle emissions, helps your ing in, but in my world “paying extra” for qual-
                                                        local economy, and in the end you as a con- ity products and sustainable, non-toxic farming
“Mr. Peterson, I am torn between the desire to
                                                        sumer are eating fresher produce than some- is worth it. You’ll ultimately be paying more in
 applaud your honesty and my chagrin at your
                                                        thing that’s been sitting on a truck and in a the form of disease, depriving your children of
 recent retraction. You can’t candy coat manure
                                                        refrigerator for days! Get your facts straight a thriving natural world, and universal justice.
 and change what you said. It is always refresh-
                                                        please!” St. Charles, IL                             What goes around DOES come around. Take
 ing to hear a bureaucrat make an honest state-
                                                                                                             care of your world, and yourself, for everyone’s
 ment. As an organic farmer for over 20 years I        “Dear Mr. Peterson, Are Americans becoming
                                                                                                             sake.” Charlottesville, VA
 know just how much, rather how little support          healthier? We are the fattest country. Could we
 the USDA and congress has given to organic             focused on nutrition and not on “dumb” deci- “. . . and people thought “Forest Gump” was
 agriculture. You are so reliant upon the corpo-        sions/laws that favor the private sector and not dumb! In England, children do not have ADD
 rate-big-chemical-ag pipeline for support that         the people of US. Read, eat healthy and enjoy or ADHD ~ why? easy! No food preservatives
 you can’t see the forest for the trees. I would not    health, if not for yourself at least for the future and no high fructose corn syrup. I buy organic
 expect you to be a visionary nor even interested       generations like your grandsons. That is your because I am allergic to sugar substitutes, high
 in anything so tedious as small family farm-           responsibility.”                                     fructose corn syrup, and a lot of preservatives. I
 ers. You inhabit the halls of congress. I begin                                                             plant a garden and am planning to raise chick-
                                                       “Regarding your comment about people being
 to think that that puts you as far away from the                                                            ens fed only organic grains. NO WONDER we
                                                        dumb enough to pay more for local or organic
 American people as it is possible to get on the                                                             lead the world in obese people. Please sir, work
                                                        food-I don’t even know what to say, the obvi-
 planet. So, when you make an honest statement,                                                              to clean up our food and call me if you need
                                                        ous would be that that is a dumb statement. It’s
 at least have the balls to stand by it and don’t                                                            any good quotes!” Leslie, MI
                                                        pretty simple, I’m willing to do what it takes
 insult our intelligence by trying to make nice.
                                                        to help insure the health and well being of the “Dear Representative Peterson As a consumer
 At least we now know another impediment we
                                                        planet, myself, and my community. I think that pays more for organic food, I want to share
 have to surmount to be able to provide whole-
                                                        buying local is most important, and the taste with you that their value lies in my peace of
 some, nutritious, and delicious food to the peo-
                                                        of food that hasn’t been transported across the mind. I’m confident that the food I’m purchas-
 ple we grow for. Too bad you can’t be recalled
                                                        country is far superior to anything you can buy ing from locally producing organic farms is
 like the tainted chunk of meat you are.” Mon-
                                                        grown by conventional means these days. Have something me and my children can consume
 tague, NJ
                                                        you eaten tomatoes in the grocery store lately? without fear. The food is grown with high stan-
“Maybe you enjoy filling you and your fam-              It’s like eating sand. Expand your eating hori- dards so I don’t need to worry about washing
 ily with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and      zons, it’ll be good!” Austin, TX                     off carcinogenic sprays and pesticides, or gmo
 chemicals, and then also wonder why there is                                                                foods that may cause intestinal problems and
                                                       “Dear Chairman Peterson: Buying organic and
 so much disease happening to younger and                                                                    effect my children’s allergies because I don’t
                                                        locally grown produce is good for the environ-
 younger people. I suggest you read more about                                                               know what it has been modified by. These local
                                                        ment and the economy. You should be promot-
 what this country’s food supply is doing to the                                                             organic foods won’t be recalled. And if my chil-
                                                        ing and supporting it not criticizing it.”
 average American.” Novi, MI                                                                                 dren are the future and I want them to have a
                                                       “A ridiculously ignorant comment.” Washing- future, then it’s my responsibility to give them
“If you don’t start doing something now about
                                                        ton, DC                                              the best, even if it means spending more. A sick
 organic farming and eliminate pesticides, then
                                                                                                             child is not worth a bigger bank account! Please,
 you’ve seen the last of the bees. You’ve been         “Mr. Peterson, Before uninformed, inconsider-
                                                                                                             consider the children and support small organic
 warned.”                                               ate and greedy people like yourself started tam-
                                                                                                             farms. Thank you.”
                                                        pering with animals and crops everything that
“It’s ignorant to not support true organics and
                                                        was raised or grown was organic. It took eons “Apparently you are the one who is “dumb”, or
 local products. Apparently you don’t mind the
                                                        for humans to evolve to need to eat what peo- perhaps ignorant is a better word to describe
 pesticides, artificial fertilizers and other chemi-
                                                        ple like you have perverted in a mere 100 years. you. We pay more for organic and local food
 cals that eat away the health of every cell in your
                                                        It is not difficult to surmise whose pockets your because we care, and apparently you don’t.
 body over time... and maybe you aren’t blessed
                                                        hands are in.” Harwich, MA                           We care about the people who grow and har-
 with young children or grandchildren. If you
                                                                                                             vest the food and animals, about the water and
 were, you’d not want to risk another brain or         “Collin, Your ignorance, if it hasn’t already,
                                                                                                             soil, about the use of the earth’s resources, and
 nerve-altering chemical entering their mouths.”        will result in sickness from eating govern-
                                                                                                             about the welfare of the animals on the farms.
                                                        ment funded and FDA approved chemically
“I think that anyone presently working in Wash-                                                              Perhaps you should learn about the value of
                                                        processed and pesticide laden foods. Humans
 ington is dumb, particularly anyone that thinks                                                             organic farming before making such ignorant
                                                        are organic beings, they become sick trying to
 genetically engineered food and fertilizers are                                                             statements, especially since you are the chair-
                                                        assimilate inorganic ingredients into their sys-
 healthy, and I hope we get all the dummies out                                                              man of the Agriculture Committee. I’m embar-
                                                        tems. WAKE UP, MAN!”
 in November 08. In the meantime, you might                                                                  rassed that a Democrat would make such an
 try an experiment and see how long it takes for       “Such ignorance as yours indicated in the recent ignorant statement; I would expect it from a
 a mouse fed only genetically engineered food to        statement you made is inexcusable. For heav- Republican.” Carrizozo, NM
 die. Don’t experiment on us.”                          en’s sake do some research on organic farm-
                                                                                                            “Rep. Peterson should ask himself why it is
                                                        ing and it’s health benefits as well as benefits
“Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are not                                                                     that the organic food market is growing so
                                                        to our earth. Remember, don’t comment on
 dumb! We are buying organic and/or local food                                                               fast - maybe His Cleverness has missed some-
                                                        something you obviously know nothing about.
 because we know the benefits that decision                                                                  thing here? As a scientist, I know the difference
                                                        And you’re on the agricultural committee???????”
 has on both our bodies and our environment.                                                                 between evidence and hype, and I eat organic.”
                                                        Carver, MA
                                                                                                                                                          69
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
Chapel Hill, NC                                       with the majority of the American people. By         take the time to meet and visit with some real
                                                      the way- most registered Democrats are the           organic farmers (not bogus organic companies
“Congrats on getting the dumbest quote of the
                                                      people “dumb enough” to seek locally grown           like Horizon, who are only in it for the 200 per-
 week!! Organic food is only more expensive
                                                      and organic produce. Maybe you don’t mind            cent markup and who don’t really live by the
 because of massive subsidies given to industrial
                                                      your food coming from a far off land with no         organic philosophy) and find out what it’s all
 oil-based food production in the US which is
                                                      regulations, but most of us “dumb people” pre-       about? Why don’t you apologize to the mil-
 highly UNsustainable and WILL fail. All we
                                                      fer to know where our food comes from and            lions of organic consumers like me, who were
 eat is in the US is genetically modified CORN,
                                                      how it is grown, and YES- our health is worth        offended by your tone-deaf comment, and who
 wheat, and soybeans. For every 1 calorie of food
                                                      the extra price. Kudos to you for your award,        buy organic produce because we don’t want to
 energy at least 15 calories of fossil fuels went
                                                      Mr. Peterson. Maybe it is time for you to step       feed our kids toxic pesticides and artificial hor-
 into producing it! Now THAT’S DUMB!!!!”
                                                      back and re-evaluate your position on organic        mones and who buy local because we want to
 Fennville, MI
                                                      and local produce.” Belton, TX                       support small farms, minimize our carbon foot-
“You comment about organic food consumers                                                                  print, and leave this earth a better place than
                                                     “I am one of the “dumb” people who buy organic
 being “dumb” is extremely insensitive and rude.                                                           we found it. You clearly represent the corporate
                                                      food. I am only 64 years old, but several of my
 This means that you have very little understand-                                                          agribusiness interests. I guess it’s too much to
                                                      nonagenarian friends in North Carolina have
 ing of what is happening in your own area. You                                                            expect that you might understand why organic
                                                      been doing it for over 30 years. I can assure you
 should apologize.”                                                                                        (true organic, not faux USDA organic) is impor-
                                                      that any higher cost for organic food is mar-
                                                                                                           tant to some people. Shame on you. Shame on
“I am incredulous that someone in your position ginal (never two to three times), and by shop-
                                                                                                           you.” Jackson Heights, NY”
 is so clearly and obviously ignorant about the ping local organic farmer’s markets and flea
 connection between how and where our food markets, frequently it is less expensive. Finally,              “Dear Mr. Peterson: Congratulations to you for
 is grown and the health and well-being of the I challenge you to fund a toxin accumulation                 getting the Organic Consumers Association
 people who eat it. OR you are so motivated by and tissue impacts study program compar-                     award for the dumbest quote of the week. Con-
 the almighty $ that you really don’t care about ing the livers and other organs of persons who             trary to your opinion, we are intelligent con-
 the welfare of the people you are supposed to have existed on organic diets for at least three             sumers who value our health. We don’t want to
 be representing. You need to get your head decades against those who have not, such as                     eat food laced with genetically mutated growth
 out of the sand and join the 21st century. The yourself.”                                                  hormones and other insidious chemicals. You
 huge agri-business corporations actually WILL                                                              are a disgrace to the Democratic party. Remem-
                                                     “Excuse me, your ignorance is showing. I’m one
 NOT RULE THE WORLD, in spite of peo-                                                                       ber: Tis better to be silent and thought a fool
                                                      of those “dumb” consumers who will pay more
 ple like you who have been duped and paid off                                                              then speak and remove all doubt. You have cer-
                                                      for locally grown and organic food. I’m a 51
 by them.”                                                                                                  tainly removed all doubt.” Trenton, NJ
                                                      year old woman who has been “dumb” like this
“How can you sit on the agriculture committee for about 30 years. Food that is grown with-                 “I can’t believe your comments came out of the
 when you apparently don’t know the first thing out pesticides is healthier - for me, for the farm-         mouth of a Democrat! Wise up!”
 about real farming????” Punta Gorda, FL              ers, for the birds and the bees. If I buy food
                                                                                                           “The only thing dumb regarding organic prac-
                                                      that is grown locally, I am supporting farmers
“Obviously you are so uninformed. It might be                                                               tices are the statements coming out of the Bush
                                                      in my area so that when it becomes completely
 a good idea to educate yourself before opening                                                             administration. Fortunately, at this point in
                                                      impractical to ship food across the country or
 your mouth with an opinion.”                                                                               time the bush administration is ignored.”
                                                      around the world (and I believe it will), there
“Dear Mr. Peterson: Excuse me?!? I guess I am will be farmers in my area. I consider every pur-            “So does it make more sense for people to want
 one of the “dumb” consumers willing to pay chase of organic or locally grown food a vote                   to spend their hard earned money on cheap
 for organic, locally grown food. I believe, for with my dollar for the kind of agriculture that            food products made with artificial ingredients?
 a variety of substantiated reasons, that it is makes the most sense for our health and for the             Way to go Mr. Peterson!” Newport News, VA
 better for me, for my community and for this health of our planet. It’s unfortunate that some-
                                                                                                           “Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, While I may not
 planet. It is a sad day that people in the position one so short-sighted is chairing the House Agri-
                                                                                                            mean anything to someone in your position,
 of power such as yourself, would not be able cultural Committee. It’s really not that compli-
                                                                                                            being that I live outside of your voting con-
 to understand the importance of local com- cated. I think if you spent a little time studying
                                                                                                            sortium - it is this “old school” mentality that
 munities being self-sufficient, of our air, soil this issue, you might be able to positively impact
                                                                                                            comments like yours makes me proud to be a
 and water, not to mention our bodies, being national farm policy.”
                                                                                                            product of a newer and improved generation. I
 free from unnecessary and toxic chemicals. It
                                                     “Wow, I’m disappointed that my family is from          look forward to the day that true progress takes
 would be wonderful if this farm bill would sup-
                                                      the great state of Minnesota. I’ll have to tell my    it’s seat in politics and the rest of the country
 port those small farmers, the heart and soul of
                                                      grandmother not to vote for you anymore. It’s         can begin to move forward with better nutri-
 our community and country, who provide us
                                                      any wonder I’m a member of the Green Party            tional information, products, and values. Please,
 with sustenance be supported at least in the
                                                      with Democrats saying things like you did.            do us all a favor and retire - or better yet, read
 same way that agribusiness is supported. It’s a
                                                      Very sad.”                                            the ingredients of the packaged and over-pro-
 travesty to think that this is not the case. What
                                                                                                            cessed foods you eat, and then read the ingredi-
 are you people in Washington thinking? Cin- Not wanting to increase my chances for can-
                                                                                                            ents in organic foods. Perhaps you’ll learn more
 cinnati OH                                           cer or mad cow disease is dumb? Where’s the
                                                                                                            than the bottom line of your grocery bill. Our
                                                      beef?
“Congratulations for receiving the Organic                                                                  country was founded on the belief that people
 Consumers Association’s Dumbest Quote of “Mr. Peterson, I buy organic, and I’m not                         have choices, options, and alternatives - it’s a
 the Week Award! You have proved, once again, dumb. I’m actually more educated about this                   shame you never learned to use that right prop-
 how far out of touch the Democratic party is topic than you apparently are. Why don’t you                  erly and better your nutritional education.
                                                                                                                                                         70
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 It’s never too late to learn, I suggest you give it “Dear Mr. Peterson, I find it difficult to believe   individual’s health, to the health care system,
 a try.” Chicago, IL                                  that a man of your stature isn’t up to date on      to the environment and to the economy in gen-
                                                      the benefits of the organic movement. When          eral.” Pinellas Park, FL
“You need to educate yourself before saying
                                                      a child comes into this world with 200 toxic
 something as stupid as you did!” Sarasota, FL                                                            “It is quite evident that you definitely use the
                                                      residues in his/her system, many of them from
                                                                                                           same “learning resources” as the President to
“It is unbelievable that the House Agriculture pesticides, then I would encourage all poten-
                                                                                                           get your information.”
 Committee Chair could be so narrow minded tial mothers, children and adults that want to
 and ignorant. Have you never taken a step back lead healthier lives to spend a little bit more           “We are not dumb, we care about where the food
 to examine the true cost of food? It is hardly money on food. Organic foods and local farm-               comes from that we are putting into our bod-
 black and white and strictly about the bottom ing also reduces pollution that contributes to              ies, and we care about the impact that growing
 line. Consider for a moment the energy costs, global warming. Please read up on the many                  that food has had on the environment before
 the damage to the soil, the ground water and air other reasons why this country needs to shift            it got to us. If only you and the other people
 pollution, insustainability of large scale com- their focus from toxic food chain items and               in our congress were as “dumb” as we are, we
 mercial farming, and on top of all of that, the chemicals to natural, local produce. Perhaps              might have some significant changes made in
 government subsidies. “Cheap” food definitely you enjoy taking all those medications and hav-             the way this country (at least the government)
 has its costs. Add it all up and the costs become ing to grow old visiting a doctors office several       is (not) handling climate change! You should all
 closer to “dumb” organic, local farming. As times a month. That’s your prerogative but our                be ashamed that the most significant changes
 representative of the citizens of the United children deserve better.”                                    being made are by local governments and indi-
 States take a moment to look at the bigger pic-                                                           viduals. We need leadership from the federal
                                                     “I’m willing to pay more for my health, but it’s
 ture. If you can’t muster the creative energy to                                                          government on this issue!”
                                                      not fair. Scientific studies are showing that
 truly entertain another perspective, please do
                                                      nutrients are higher in organic fruits and veg-     “Dude! You should do a little homework. Do
 us all a favor and consider retirement because
                                                      etables. Not to mention they taste better! Free-     you have any idea how toxic the average cow
 your lack of insight is of no service to the con-
                                                      range animals make for tastier meat too. Maybe       or pig or chicken is that is raised on a typical
 sumers of this country. I don’t mean to insult
                                                      if you tried it, you would understand. Maybe         American farm? Antibiotics, growth hormones,
 you, I only mean to challenge you to remove
                                                      you should be a little more open-minded.” Chi-       stimulants, feed full of pesticides. Think about
 yourself from your position and interests and
                                                      cago, IL                                             that the next time you take a bite. Your igno-
 truly and candidly look at the food industry.
                                                                                                           rance is stupefying!”
 Have a nice day.”                                   “Dear Mr. Peterson, As a New York State
                                                      Licensed health care practitioner, an author        “Dr. Mr. Peterson, I am appalled that you would
“Dear Rep. Peterson: I think it is time you tried
                                                      about healthy eating and an organic/ local           make such an ignorant statement regarding
 to educate yourself so you can understand what
                                                      foods consumer, I write to let you know that         Americans buying organic food. I grew up on
 is important about buying organic and locally
                                                      consumers such as myself are not dumb. Many          a farm in Nebraska and now I live on my own
 grown food. If it does cost more than other
                                                      local and organic products do not cost 2-3           farm in Oregon. I left Nebraska because the
 food (never two or three times), that is proba-
                                                      times more then conventional foods. I submit         chemicals used in the farm industry made me
 bly because it is not subsidized like other food.”
                                                      to paying a few cents more for my families food      sick and I have watched it have an affect on so
“I really resent you calling Organic and local for reasons of quality and health. I’d prefer to            many people around me, unexplainable birth
 consumers dumb. I don’t buy organic and spend a bit more today, then suffer health prob-                  defects and mysterious cancer in the very young,
 local products just because they say ‘organic’ lems and spend thousands of dollars in doctor              middle-aged and elderly folks. It is ‘dumb’ that
 or ‘local’. I buy organic products because they bills later, because our health has suffered due to       I have to pay a premium just to insure that
 don’t use harmful fertilizers and pesticides eating chemical ridden foods, processed foods.               there are no chemical residues in my food and
 which harm the environment and the animals I urge you to please do some more research by                  the food my young children eat. Less is more??
 including insects in them and because they do reading about the positive impact these prod-               No matter how dumb it seems to wealthy indi-
 not genetically modify anything. I buy local ucts have on our health and society at large, as             viduals who don’t have to worry where there
 because it supports local farmers and the prod- well as engaging in a dialog with consumers               next meal comes from, many Americans sup-
 ucts they make are much higher quality then about these topics. Be Well” New York, NY                     port the organic industry in order to indirectly
 the non local products. I would rather have a                                                             minimize the use of chemicals on our land
                                                     “I thought people from Minnesota were more
 tomato that is fresh off the vine as opposed to                                                           and to insure our health for the future. Think
                                                      informed than those from the South. You are
 a green tomato that has been artificially rip-                                                            of the future of our children and grandchil-
                                                      one stupid idiot. Uninformed and most likely
 ened off season that is significantly inferior in                                                         dren, do you think they will be able to remove
                                                      a dirty politician on the rolls of farm corpora-
 taste. Consumers who buy non-organic or non-                                                              these chemicals from the earth? Will they be
                                                      tions. What a crooked moron you are! You give
 local foods are the “ignorant” ones not organic                                                           harmed while working with these chemicals? I
                                                      MN a bad name. We Texans hope you choke
 or local consumers. Actually non organic con-                                                             would think that a man in your position would
                                                      on your dirty money. Dallas, TX
 sumers are more “uninformed” than anything                                                                be more thoughtful and educated on this cru-
 else. If people knew what they were eating - “You’re absolutely correct, Mr. Peterson, I am               cial issue. I advise you to talk with real farm-
 they would not buy it.”                              dumb: Dumb enough to believe we can avoid            ers who supply food locally to Americans (not
                                                      poisoning our land and water, our children and       food for making ethanol or soy oil) in order
“Dear Mr. Peterson, By being critical of those of
                                                      our country. Minnesota and the world would           to find out what truly are the problems in the
 us who prefer our foods without heavy doses of
                                                      be much better off if everyone had dumb atti-        farming industry. I am talking about growers
 pesticides and hormones, you only demonstrate
                                                      tudes like that.”                                    of apples, spinach, oranges, cabbage, tomatoes,
 your own ignorance of the subject. God help us
                                                                                                           onions, potatoes; all of the things I either grow
 when we have folks like you involved with our “Dear Mr. Peterson: Time to educate yourself
                                                                                                           or purchase at a premium price in the organic
 food!” Wrightwood, CA                                on the benefits of eating organic foods to an
                                                                                                                                                       71
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 section of the supermarket. In order to afford “dumb” shows a sincere lack of education on                buy local produce at substantial cost to them-
 these items I consume less clothing, paper tow- your part. Perhaps you could better serve the             selves speaks to your lack of understanding of
 els, and other throw-away items. I can do these people of our nation by researching the benefits          both environmental and ethical issues concern-
 things and adjust my lifestyle because I am of local and organic food to the environment,                 ing food. As the chair of the agricultural com-
 SMART. Seaside, OR                                   to local economies, and to people’s health. My       mittee, I would expect that you become a little
                                                      8th grade students understand the principles         more informed about these issues.”
“It is beyond me how ignorant you can be about
                                                      of sustainable agriculture better than a United
 organic foods! Are you living under a rock?”                                                              “Dear Rep. Peterson, Check your facts about the
                                                      States government official. Perhaps NCLB is
 Prospect, CT                                                                                               difference between organic and non-organic
                                                      working after all...” Edgewater, MD
                                                                                                            foods. Pesticides are responsible for increases in
“Dear Collin, I guess that is dumb to pay more
                                                     “Maybe you wouldn’t think it so dumb if you            cancer rates - to say the least. Remember DDT
 not to eat pesticide-laden food, such as straw-
                                                      took the time to learn what it means to the peo-     - once believed to be safe. How long before we
 berries and broccoli. It sure is dumb to try to
                                                      ple of America. I am glad you are not in my           learn that the pesticides we now use are just
 support small local farmers instead of giant
                                                      area because you would not get my vote.” Cov-         as deadly? Educate yourself before you speak.”
 agro businesses. How stupid of me!!” Chicago,
                                                      ina, CA                                               Naples, FL
 IL“
                                                     “Dear Peterson, Far be it from me to understand       “Far be it from me to imagine how someone sup-
“Organic is better. Chemicals in our food lead
                                                      why anyone would vote for a guy who heads an          posedly intelligent could read all the data and
 to illness down the road. Can you prove me
                                                      Agricultural committee yet is clueless about the      come up with a conclusion that organic food is
 wrong??”
                                                      benefits of organic and local food. These foods,      not worth the price. Also, far be it from me to
“I hope you don’t plan on having a long polit- by the way, aren’t just “labeled’ organic and/or             figure out why someone who is, again, suppos-
 ical career if you’re going to insult those of us local, they actually are organic/local. But hey,         edly intelligent, and also a public representative
 who make the conscious choice to eat healthy, if people are dumb enough to vote for that guy,              could say something so derogatory about peo-
 chemical-free foods. I think those of you who then I, too, say “Hallelujah” .”                             ple in the US. Congratulations on your award!
 don’t choose to eat this way are dumb for put-                                                             May you retire soon!” Ava, MO
                                                     “Mr. Peterson, I don’t like having to pay two or
 ting your health and the health of your fami-
                                                      three times as much for food that I know does        “Mr. Peterson, Just when I think I can’t hear
 lies at risk. I will laugh at people like you when,
                                                      not contain anything harmful, but I will. What        anything more absurd from a politician, I read
 down the line, we start seeing genetic muta-
                                                      I believe IS dumb, is that there are people who       this quote from you. Consumers are desperate
 tions and horrible childhood diseases result-
                                                      do not care what they eat even if it means that       to consume foods that are not genetically mod-
 ing from the contamination of our food supply.”
                                                      they might get sick in some way from it, even if      ified and sprayed with toxins. We are FORCED
 Winter Park, FL
                                                      it takes years for it to develop. We are not meant    to pay high prices for foods that are healthier
“paying more for local or organic food is dumb?” to eat all of the artificial junk that is put into         for us and our families. We pinch pennies here
 What planet do you live on? How can you have food. That is not dumb, its smart.”                           and there, to break out of the confines of ‘aver-
 such disregard for our health and the health of                                                            age American’ life, to seek healthier alternatives
                                                     “Congratulations for getting the Organic Con-
 our planet?” Grand Rapids, MN                                                                              in every way. Why are we being punished for
                                                      sumers Association award for the dumbest
                                                                                                            thinking for ourselves? We are the ones cost-
“Dear Colin Peterson, Why is it dumb to buy quote of the week. Your ignorance about the
                                                                                                            ing the nation LESS in healthcare, because we
 local and organic food? Why is it dumb to sup- healthy and environmentally responsible food
                                                                                                            are staying healthy by eating right, exercising
 port farmers in our own community or close production is just breath-taking! Keep it up
                                                                                                            and utilizing alternative means of healthcare.
 by and to support farmers who are not poison- Collin.” Atlantic Highlands, NJ
                                                                                                            You people on capital hill are the ones who are
 ing the land and our water supply with chemi-
                                                     “You obviously have not suffered the pain some        ‘dumb’, you consistently pass laws in favor of
 cals? I really don’t understand why you would
                                                      of us experience from eating food containing          big pharma and continue to allow foods on the
 say such a thing. Could you enlighten me on
                                                      synthetic chemical ingredients, preservatives,        market that are killing the American public -
 the meaning behind this remark? Why am I
                                                      pesticide residues, and even the toxics com-          yet you call us ‘dumb’. People are dying and
 dumb because I care about reducing our coun-
                                                      ing from various plastic wraps and containers.”       costing all of us billions of dollars, because they
 try’s dependence on fossil fuels?” Portland, OR
                                                      Charleston, ME                                        trust politicians with their health. I’m appalled.
“If you still are curious about why people are                                                              Do us a favor, make it easier to get organic
                                                      Well congrats... your DUMB/STUPID state-
 willing to spend more money for better qual-                                                               foods, do not punish the organic farmer - it’s
                                                      ment about Organic food choices shows your
 ity food, please purchase and read “The Omni-                                                              just not right.” Saint Johns, FL
                                                      lack of caring or understanding that PESTI-
 vore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. The book
                                                      CIDES are POISION for humans & the envi-             “Dear Collin Peterson, The old and proven tra-
 addresses the ‘dilemma’, or the answer to the
                                                      ronment. How can you say that ORGANIC is              dition of inquiry, when one encounters peo-
 question of “what do you want to eat for din-
                                                      a dumb choice? Would you prefer to give PES-          ple or situations outside one’s familiar frames
 ner?” . Following food from the laws that gov-
                                                      TICIDES or contaminated GMO food etc to               of reference, is the acknowledged route of wise
 ern and subsidize its growth, through the fields
                                                      your family or Organic? Your typical of the           men. That you have become responsible for gen-
 to the processing plants, the book examines the
                                                      blindsighted corporate minded dumb politi-            uinely penetrating the truths of a situation you
 hidden costs of food - costs to society, to indi-
                                                      cians that make decisions in favor of big busi-       evidently know little about, without the wis-
 viduals and to the land. This book may help
                                                      ness and their greedy poisoning business in           dom of knowing how to relieve yourself of pre-
 you realize the implications of your decisions
                                                      exchange for $$$$ from their lobbying cronies.”       programmed political benefits for the sake of
 which you may not yet be aware of. Thank you”
                                                      Santa Rosa, CA                                        the excitement of honest discoveries of what’s
“Your comments regarding people’s willing-                                                                  really what for the benefits of humankind, is
                                                     “Dear Mr. Peterson, Your comments on the
 ness to pay more for organic or local food being                                                           the symptom of a power structure gone amok.”
                                                      nature of organic consumers and those who
                                                                                                                                                          72
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
Bklyn, NY                                             you are on the agricultural committee, despite awareness to this subject. Thanks you for tak-
                                                      being so woefully lacking in any apparent ing the time to read this”
“dear sir, I don’t appreciate you calling me dumb
                                                      understanding of the real world of health and
 because of my consumer choices. I am sure you                                                          “For you to say that people buying local and
                                                      food safety is what’s truly “dumb” . People who
 do things I consider dumb but I believe in                                                              organic are dumb is dumb. Buying local and
                                                      choose not to fill their bodies with garbage, and
 diversity, and choice is a diverse thing. you are                                                       organic helps to support the local economy and
                                                      don’t want to support voodoo agriculture, are
 an elected official and should support not insult                                                       farmers. My father is an organic apple orchard
                                                      creating new markets beyond what you seem
 the people you represent. please be more accept-                                                        owner. His fresh, local, organic apples are bet-
                                                      to offer. Perhaps more education on your part
 ing and supportive of people who don’t behave                                                           ter than the apples that are shipped in from
                                                      would allow you to catch up with those you feel
 the way you feel they should. thank you.”                                                               other countries. Not to mention the pollution
                                                      are “stupid?” Portland, OR
                                                                                                         that is made from shipping things all over the
“Congressman Peterson, Regarding your recent
                                                     “When interest in a topic is growing all around place. You’re dumb!”
 public statement admitting your inability to
                                                      you, perhaps it’s something you should learn
 understand why consumers would be ‘dumb                                                                “Dear Mr. Peterson, Your comment regarding
                                                      more about. I suppose you still think that peo-
 enough’ to purchase locally-grown and/or                                                                consumers of organic and local food, and how
                                                      ple who believe in Global Warming are dumb,
 organically-grown produce, as least you admit-                                                         “dumb” we are to pay extra for these foods, was
                                                      too (if not, I’ll put money on the fact that you
 ted you don’t understand. But along with your                                                           indicative of complete ignorance of the prob-
                                                      once did). Your ignorance is showing, Sir. By
 ignorance of the reason, did you have to qual-                                                          lems inherent in conventional agriculture. I
                                                      making such comments, it is definitely you
 ify it by insulting the intelligence of the con-                                                        find it extremely discouraging that an individ-
                                                      who looks dumb.” Wilmette, IL
 sumers? I’m glad I’m not a farmer from Minne-                                                           ual like yourself, who should be knowledge-
 sota and have a representative who can’t fathom     “I find it extremely disappointing that the able about issues in agriculture, can so blatantly
 the benefit to me (as a farmer) provided by con-     Chair of the House Agriculture Committee disregard the topic of organic and local food,
 sumers who are ‘dumb enough’ to purchase my          is too “dumb” to understand why individuals which is so vital to the sustenance of our nat-
 locally-grown produce. That aside, if I were you,    wouldn’t want to eat foods laden with pesti- ural resources. Clearly, the fact that people are
 I’d be quite grateful there is a current writer’s    cides or would prefer fresh/local produce.”        becoming more and more willing to buy local
 strike, because The Daily Show, which revels in                                                         and organic despite the increased cost demon-
                                                     “Dear Representative Peterson, Have you read
 idiotic statements such as yours would devour it                                                        strates that this is an issue extremely important
                                                      any books recently about eating organic or
 and no doubt devote an entire segment; indeed                                                           to many Americans. So instead of brushing
                                                      local foods and the health benefits it can have?
 labeled: The Dumbest Quote of The Week.                                                                 aside any mention of “organic” and “local,” and
                                                      You would be amazed to discover what happens
 Congratulations. I often wonder when people                                                             pandering to large-scale agribusiness, I sug-
                                                      when you begin to eat the way nature intended
 in public office make such blatantly moronic                                                            gest you begin to listen to the rapidly growing
                                                     - and even when you “let food be your medi-
 and insulting statements, exactly how long it                                                           and important part of your constituency that is
                                                      cine.” Did you attend the American Grassfed
 takes their staff to spin enough positive pr to                                                         calling for widespread access to sustainable and
                                                      conference over this past weekend in Austin,
 remove that foot from their boss’ mouth? Sad.                                                           healthy food. Thank you.”
                                                      Texas? Have you met Whole Foods CEO, John
 Very sad.” Jackson, NJ
                                                      Mackey? Do you care how the animals you eat “Congrats! You have won the OCA “Dumbest
“Dear Representative Peterson, it is my under-        are treated and raised before and during slaugh- Quote of the Week” . For someone that has
 standing that the cost of organic and local          ter? Please consider educating yourself further been chosen to represent their district, your
 foods more accurately reflect the true cost of       on these issues - you have an incredible amount choice to diminish the people who make the
 food, without the government farm subsidies.         of responsibility to do so, for the sake of the choice to consume organic foods seems the
 Please know that that many people are edu-           health of the entire American public. PLEASE. dumb part.”
 cated about what they eat and the relationship       I beg of you! Thank you for your time.” Aus-
                                                                                                        “Ever heard the old saying” YOU GET WHAT
 between food and health. Government food             tin, TX
                                                                                                         YOU PAY FOR” ? Or “THERE IS NO SUCH
 and farm policies over the last several decades
                                                     “Collin, wake up! The dumb one is YOU! Edu- THING AS A FREE LUNCH” ? (I would add,
 have done nothing to support the health of the
                                                      cate yourself, won’t you? You have a responsible if there is, it won’t be fit to eat!) If the local
 population. If government policies ever seem to
                                                      position to maintain, and you need to be impar- farmer, and those trying to do what’s RIGHT
 truly support the health and well-being of the
                                                      tial and knowledgeable as regards all aspects of would get a break, OR if big business would
 population “then hallelujah” . Carnation, WA
                                                      agriculture. If you don’t agree, then you should STOP getting all the breaks, there wouldn’t be
“Hi Collin, I take part in a CSA (community           resign and let someone who does care about our such a difference in the prices, but as usual, “no
 supported agriculture) program here. It is great.    agricultural future take your place.”              good deed goes unpunished!” so those trying to
 I get local, agriculture at a low cost. It seems                                                        do the GOOD for the public get shafted, while
                                                     “How can you be a member of Congress and be
 you are quite ignorant and out of touch with                                                            big businesses get helped and subsidized.” Fred-
                                                      so ill informed? Organic food is to save our bod-
 peoples sensibilities. We don’t want GMO                                                                ericktown, OH
                                                      ies from all the chemicals and eating local is to
 (genetically modified organisms) in our food.
                                                      save the earth. Get with it and get informed.” “Being concerned about the quality of food that
 We don’t want to eat food imported from the
                                                                                                         we eat as well as concern for the treatment of
 other side of the world. You are an elected rep-    “Dear Congressman Peterson: Locally produced
                                                                                                         animals and the care of the land is at the heart
 resentative. Get some sense! You come off like       and organically grown meat and vegetable are
                                                                                                         of the “movement” that you call “organic foods”
 an ignorant hick. For shame!!! I would never         totally different than mega-factory and chem-
                                                                                                        . It is also about quality and nutrients in the
 vote for you! JACKASS!” Montreal, QC                 ically jolted food. You might take the time
                                                                                                         foods that we eat wanting them to be free of
                                                      to visit a Tyson factory to really see how the
“Representative Peterson: RE: your recent com-                                                           chemicals and pesticides. Thank you and please
                                                      majority of our mass produced food is manu-
 ments that consumers choosing organic are                                                               consider having someone educate you on this
                                                      factured. It may open your eyes to a different
“dumb” for being willing to pay for it - that                                                            subject. Remember how great fruit tastes
                                                                                                                                                     73
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
when it is ripen on a tree? I would like my grand      70% of the natural ecosystems on the Earth are who have such a lobbying influence with Con-
daughter to have that as one of her memories           in a state of collapse. Does that mean anything? gressmen who need funding for the next elec-
when she is you age!” Humble, TX                       Not if your only goal is resource consumption, tions. Please educate yourself and change your
                                                       personal satisfaction, power, and money. I am own diet, otherwise like many others you will
“You sir, are an idiot.”
                                                       in my late 20’s. I an my children will be here probably die of cancer or heart disease yourself.”
“Dear Rep. Peterson: You statement regard- after you are gone. We will have to reap from Aloha, OR
 ing organic standards and products was igno- what you sow. Are you thinking more of us and
                                                                                                        “Sorry, Collin. I’m a loyal Democrat, but dumb
 rant and offensive. It frightens me to know that your own descendants or yourself? In our every
                                                                                                         is allowing Monsanto and other chemical com-
 someone with so little knowledge is the House deliberation, we must consider the impact of
                                                                                                         panies to convince our Congresspeople, Sen-
 Chair on the Agricultural Committee.” Sunny our decisions on the next seven generations~
                                                                                                         ators, and Farmers that dumping millions of
 Isles Beach, FL                                       From The Great Law Of The Iroquois Confed-
                                                                                                         tons of unproven chemicals on our food sup-
                                                       eracy I guess it was to be expected by a peo-
“Hello to Collin Peterson, There are several rea-                                                        ply is in any way justified. It is beyond dumb. It
                                                       ple whose mindset stripped the native popula-
 sons why I purchase local and organic foods.                                                            should be a criminal offense.”
                                                       tions out of the western hemisphere through
 Local foods are fresher as they do not have to
                                                       guns, germs, and steel. We are raping the earth. “So you think that people that are willing to pay
 travel 1500 miles or more before I put them
                                                       It cannot go on forever. Have you ever heard of a little more for food that does not contain pes-
 into my pantry which means they are fresher,
                                                       a carrying capacity?” Portland, OR                ticides and other unhealthy things “dumb” . I
 fresher means higher nutritional value, higher
                                                                                                         guess that means you think we should feed our
 nutritional value means stronger immune sys- “CONGRESS AGRICULTURE CHAIR
                                                                                                         children and ourselves poison just because it’s
 tem, stronger immune system means bet- COLLIN PETERSON: PAYING MORE FOR
                                                                                                         cheaper. You, sir, are the one that is “dumb” !”
 ter quality of health and wellness. Purchasing ORGANIC OR LOCAL FOOD IS “dumb”
                                                                                                         San Miguel, CA
 food locally also strengthens the local econ- You have to be kidding...are you paying atten-
 omy instead of filling the coffers of big Agribiz tion at all? What world do you live in? A world “It is Democrats like yourself that allow Repub-
 and corporations. Big Agribiz and corporations of pesticides and corporate ag?”                         licans to win. Who’s the dummy?”
 already get tens of millions of dollars in wel-
                                                      “Dear Rep. Peterson, It’s astonishing to me that, “How is it possible in today’s world for a mem-
 fare from the government while small farmers
                                                       as a Democrat and Minnesotan, you would ber of the US Congress - a Democratic mem-
 get nothing but more regulation from the gov. I
                                                       lack the foresight and leadership to protect and ber! - to be as ignorant of the reasons people like
 think it is dumb for the government to penalize
                                                       support the growth of organic farming. Please myself buy organic, local food to protect our
 small farmers and run them out of business so
                                                       reconsider the efficacy of your current stance” children from the ravages of chemical agribusi-
 the corporations can increase profits.”
                                                       Bethel Park, PA                                   ness produce that are now epidemic, diabetes,
“Dear Chairman Peterson, Your statement about                                                            obesity, ADD, cancers, etc. The science is avail-
                                                      “Shame on you sir. We should all be willing to
 organic and local grown food show an igno-                                                              able to anyone, there was even an NPR show on
                                                       pay a little more for food that we know is pro-
 rance of information about the studies done                                                             this last week. Show us that you are not unfit
                                                       duced safely. Food that won’t hurt our environ-
 on the superior food value of organic and local                                                         for your position.” East Falmouth, MA
                                                       ment, the growers, the laborers, or the consum-
 fresh produce. If you would like to become
                                                       ers. How much would you pay to keep your “I am not dumb because I choose food for my
 more educated on these and other health top-
                                                       children safe and healthy? To prevent cancer? family that is not filled with unnecessary antibi-
 ics go to Dr Mercola’s site at Mercola.com The
                                                       To have clean water and great fishing? These are otics or gene-altering pesticides. I am not dumb
 information there may help you lead a healthier
                                                       just some of the benefits I am willing to pay a to choose beef from cattle raised on large, open
 and longer life. All the best.”
                                                       little extra for. I’m not paying for a word on ranges rather than in confined pens where their
“Congratulations on winning the “dumbest a package. The government is supposed to be feed rests on the ground black with the animals’
 quote of the week” award from the Organic making sure of that, in fact. So please, do your manure. I HAVE to pay more for healthy food
 Consumers Association. Your way of think- job well, think before you speak, and remem- because the government supports the mecha-
 ing leads to cities of endless asphalt, monopo- ber that all that clean water, fertile soil, and nized farming industry. Smaller, organic farms
 lies, low quality food, a class system with a few great fishing that you might enjoy was paid for compete only by having an intelligent customer
 elites and a large servant population, increased by people like me. People who care about the base that is smaller than those for mechanized
 crime, loss of cultural heritage, and a world quality of our food, and our world. Not car- farms. Buying local also means that my fami-
 where biodiversity is low, and ruined commu- ing where your food comes from... That’s what ly’s carbon footprint and its reliance on foreign
 nities. Have you ever considered the relative I think is dumb.”                                         oil/fossil fuels is less than ‘smarter’ consumers
 prosperity of Europe’s people? When we exam-                                                            who buy cheaper food. I say it’s the voters from
                                                      “I can’t believe that a person with such respon-
 ine their lifestyles and production methods, we                                                         your district who are the stupid ones, electing
                                                       sibility on the “House Agriculture Commit-
 find ourselves to be behind. I work in sustain-                                                         someone with such a limited world view and
                                                       tee” doesn’t know what the hundreds of chemi-
 able city planning, and I can attest that when                                                          lack of basic knowledge about agriculture in
                                                       cals are doing to our food and eventually to our
 local communities are thriving, people are hap-                                                         our country. You’re fortunate not to be a rep-
                                                       bodies. Representative Peterson, just go online
 pier, and the country benefits. People some-                                                            resentative from my voting district, because
                                                       and “google” words like “pesticides + estro-
 times think humans have become so advanced                                                              you’d have lost my vote.” Alexandria, VA
                                                       genic + danger” to find out the horrors of the
 as to be above “nature” . However, every single
                                                       chemicals we are spraying on our foods, our “Mr. Peterson: I find it hard to believe that
 resource you exploit is still a part of this planet.
                                                       forests, our property and our bodies. Please you know anything about why people choose
 We aren’t that smart: We have already used up
                                                       wakeup and stop this identification proce- organic and/or locally grown food. Take a little
 60% of the usable resources available. There is
                                                       dure of all farm animals for every small farm time to learn about this complex and vital issue,
 a ball of plastic twice the size of Texas in the
                                                       owner while exempting the big agro-businesses affecting our national health and economy. If
 ocean between California and Hawaii. About
                                                                                                                                                      74
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 you do, I feel sure that while you may still possi- “Collin Peterson, Thanks for that brilliant quote    “We pay more because we want SAFE & nutri-
 bly not choose organic/local food for your own about organic meat. It costs more because the              tious food. We cannot trust large “corporate”
 family, you will definitely no longer be able to farmer takes care to produce a product that is           farms to provide us with this so we unfortu-
 call those of us who do, ‘dumb’.” Priest River, healthier for the consumer and for the land.              nately have to pay more for the locally raised
 ID                                                   Next time you’re eating your meat from Wal-          organic food so we have the guarantee that our
                                                      Mart think carefully about the supped up pro-        food is not genetically modified and covered
“Congratulations on receiving the Organic
                                                      tein diet fed to the inactive cow to fatten it up    with harmful chemicals! Someone in your posi-
 Consumer’s Association dumbest quote of the
                                                      (losing taste and adding empty calories)to get a     tion should surely know the dangers of chemi-
 week.”
                                                      higher price at the butcher; the antibiotics and     cal pesticides and fertilizers, no? Or that crops
“Mr. Peterson, As the Ag Chair of the US Con- hormones needed to assure that the cow devel-                grown organically have more antioxidants and
 gress, I would hope you would be a little more ops quickly and without disease while crammed              higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron
 clued in as to why people might choose an into feedlots that’d be breeding grounds for dis-               and zinc? Please don’t disrespect those of us
 alternative to beef acquired from antibiotic, ease without the drugs. That’s just the tip of the          who are only trying to be healthy by calling
 and hormone, and animal by-product fed cat- iceberg, but I would expect that you, as a legis-             us “stupid” for spending extra money to do so.
 tle. Or, in finding that you do not understand lator with influence on the farm bill, should be           Do you think we like having to spend so much
 this phenomenon, which, as you acknowledge well versed in these and the many atrocities that              extra money? Well we don’t. It’s just a shame
 is becoming more common, I would hope that corporate federally subsidized farming has on                  that we cannot trust the majority of farms and
 you might do some research in this subject the food we eat and the land we depend on for                  companies supplying our country with food to
 yourself and find out why the people, many of our food. Think before you talk next time, and              do the right thing in regards to our planet and
 whom are farmers themselves and see the firs- realize that yes some organic farmers are mak-              our health.” Oceanside, CA
 hand effects of conventional farming, would ing it happen despite a lack of federal help. But
                                                                                                          “You are in a position of too much responsibil-
 choose to go this route. As a farmer’s daugh- maybe millions more could eat healthy meat if
                                                                                                           ity to be so woefully unaware of the benefits
 ter from the Heartland (and protein biochemist the feds actually did care.” Finland, MN
                                                                                                           of local and organic food. Organic and local
 with an advanced degree in Cell & Molecular
                                                     “People who buy organic are considerate of the        are better for the soil, the environment, and the
 Biology), let me help you out... Because conven-
                                                      world and our bodies. We choose not to poison        consumers health to name a few of the reasons
 tionally farmed animals are kept in tightly con-
                                                      ourselves with pesticides and we choose to treat     to support them. There are reasons the move-
 fined areas and fed animal by-products, cheaply
                                                      animals and plant respectively. The govern-          ment is growing and it’s not that we are stupid.”
 grown feed, and at worst, manure instead of
                                                      ment should be helping independent organic
 natural grass and good quality organic feed, the                                                         “I just read your quote about organic and local
                                                      farmers rather then large, mass produced agri-
 incidence of sickness and disease is common.                                                              products. I am shocked that anyone, especially
                                                      culture that supports the chemical companies!”
 Conventionally raised feed is genetically mod-                                                            someone who is educated and chairman of
                                                      Fair Oaks, CA
 ified and heavily treated with pesticides, and                                                            the agricultural committee, could be so unin-
 the animals store the residues in their fatty tis- “Dear Mr. Collin Peterson: I can’t believe you         formed on this important issue. Supporting
 sue. Likewise, the animals store the residues of are a Democrat. Nor can I believe this quote,            organic and local products can improve our
 animal by-products they are fed as well. More attributed to you in the Financial Times: “For              health, help the environment, improve sustain-
 critically, feeding animals to animals puts the whatever reason, people are willing to pay two            ability, help animal welfare, and has numer-
 animal and consumer at risk of contracting or three times as much for something that says                 ous other advantages. I am a doctor and have
 spongiform encephalopathies (Mad Cow dis- ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to under-               formed my opinions on this from an evidenced-
 ease). On the other hand, organic practices in stand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And           based, logical perspective based on the infor-
 which cows are grass-fed results in a higher con- if people are dumb enough to pay that much              mation available. Someone in the position you
 tent of Conjugated Linoleic Acids, a fatty acid then hallelujah.” First, buying locally eases the         are in the House should be ashamed not to be
 in dairy and meats are reported to reduce the burden on our environment because goods                     more educated on this issue. Are you getting
“bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol aren’t shipped as far. Second, eating organic              paid off by the farming industry? This is what I
 and prevent cancers. Congrats for making it! helps one avoid the carcinogens that are com-                must assume because I do not really believe you
 You are this week’s Organic Consumer Associ- mon in foods treated with pesticides. How are                could be so naive on this issue. Please educate
 ations contributor of the dumbest quote of the those issues difficult to understand? There are            yourself and vote for what is right for our coun-
 week. Please straighten up and serve the grow- people in this country who want to live in a               try and the world, not based on who pays you
 ing constituency that you are representing.”         clean, healthy world, and we’re doing what lit-      the largest “bribe” . Thank you.”
                                                      tle we can to do that.” Plainfield, IL
“Try getting some education differentiating                                                               “As a medical writer who talks to doctors who
 what local and organic are and how they bene- “How remarkable that someone could put his                  treat the fallout of our increasing chemicalized
 fit you, your family and the environment.”           foot quite that deeply into his own mouth. Your      environment, your dismissal of organic pro-
                                                      position on organics/local farming betrays your      duce amazes me. In case you haven’t noticed,
“With one statement you epitomize why the
                                                      dangerous ignorance, and does not do you nor         the health of the country is pretty dismal.”
 general public is disgusted with lifetime “pub-
                                                      your constituents proud.”                            Canoga Park, CA
 lic servants” who status quo corporate thought
 rather than educated innovators in society. Out “I suppose it has not occurred to you that organic       “We pay more money for food that is better for
 with the OLD!” Palermo, CA                           farming is also more expensive, which is why         our bodies and our souls and the world. Get
                                                      it costs more. Many of us don’t trust the gov-       some knowledge about organic food before you
“Dumb is eating the chemicals and genetic mod-
                                                      ernment to protect us from harmful chemicals         make comments that expose your ignorance to
 ifications in nutritionally inferior and possibly
                                                      used in farming. That is why we buy organic          the world.” Annapolis, MD
 irradiated factory foods that hurt workers and
                                                      products.” Boulder, CO
 our environment. Stop subsidizing ill health.”                                                           “I’m blown away that as the Agricultural
                                                                                                                                                       75
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 Chair you just don’t get what the big picture Association. My hope is that you will take some           that is a simple fact. Please don’t turn a blind
 is for Global agriculture. Congrats for winning time to investigate why people will pay 2-3 times       eye. With Respect”
 the “Dumbest Quote” award. I hope you will more for organic or local food. It is certainly
                                                                                                         “Sir: I need to take issue with your totally stu-
 educate yourself and find out why people really not due to a lack of intelligence, but the oppo-
                                                                                                          pid comment on those of us who see real health
 are willing to pay more for locally grown, pes- site. There is greater nutrition and no chemi-
                                                                                                          benefits to eating organic meat and produce. I
 ticide free and organic food! Let’s see, could it cal fertilizer or pesticide residues from organic
                                                                                                          ought to be surprised by your ill-informed views,
 be we are trying to save oil by NOT shipping food. Local food has to do with supporting and
                                                                                                          but sadly, I’m not. I ought to expect more from
 our food around the world? Or could it be we securing your local economy. Please educate
                                                                                                          a Democrat, but, sadly, I can’t.” High Bridge,
 like knowing we can go to our farm and see yourself.” Rochester Hills, MI
                                                                                                          WI
 how our food is raised without pesticides rather
                                                   “Mr. Peterson, I think you may have embar-
 than trust government officials such as yourself                                                        “Yes, I’m dumb enough. With folks like you in
                                                    rassed yourself a little here with the comment
 to tell us what we are buying? Or could it be we                                                         charge of my food’s purity and safety I should
                                                    on “dumb” people paying more for organic/
 simply enjoy the interaction with a community                                                            grow it in my bathtub if I could.” Nevada City,
                                                    local foods. Just a byline here (in case you don’t
 of people that former generations use to experi-                                                         CA
                                                    already know somehow??), but paying more
 ence in their everyday life (farmers)? Maybe it’s
                                                    for organic food is necessary in at least some       “Chairman Peterson, I’m amazed at your unin-
 that we get to go to a peaceful tranquil spot and
                                                    small part because it is not largely funded by        formed comments that organic farmers don’t
 have a break from our hectic lives. Or it could
                                                    the government. From what I know, if the food         need federal help, and your derogatory com-
 be that we like the rich flavor and fresh qual-
                                                    you like to eat was not subsidized with my tax        ment that organic consumers are dumb. Con-
 ity of locally grown and organic foods. There
                                                    dollars (yes, I’m paying for your food) you           sumers are buying organic and locally grown
 are many more reasons than even these. GET A
                                                    would be “dumb” enough to pay higher prices           produce because they mistrust conventional
 CLUE!” Gaithersburg, MD
                                                    too. Also, you may not be aware of this, but          agriculture and food products that have proven
“Mr. Peterson, With all due respect to your PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO PAY                                 over and over again to be unhealthy. They also
 elected position, you are clearly uneducated HIGHER PRICES FOR HIGHER QUALITY                            see the writing on the wall with peak oil and
 with respect to nutrition and food production. PRODUCTS. Especially those directly affect-               the need to support our local farmers. Organic
 Organically farmed foods and grass-fed beef ing their health. Please try not to be shocked by            farmers are responding to this increased
 are just two examples of long standing practices this revelation. And please, please tell me that        demand. Not only does it protect the health
 that our ancestors have used to stay healthy that as the house chairperson for agriculture you           of those who consume it, but the health of the
 our current industrial producers are stubbornly have some idea about what I’m talking about.             farmers and the farmworkers who work in the
 ignoring in the name of profits. All of the esca- Thanks for your time.” Denver, CO                      fields, and the environment and all the wildlife
 lation of disease in modern cultures is directly                                                         that depends on that environment. You’ve got
                                                   “Hmmmm, I hope your staffers have a second
 attributable to degrading food quality and                                                               some reading to do!” Corvallis, OR
                                                    to read an email from little ol’ me, just a dumb
 exponentially higher levels of toxic chemicals
                                                    MN resident who likes to support local organic       “Dear Sir, Please resign your Agriculture Com-
 in our environment. The only way to reverse
                                                    farmers, enjoys all our lakes and wants to see        mittee Chair immediately. You are severely defi-
 this alarming trend is to support REAL food
                                                    them around for my children and pays more for         cient in the knowledge needed to continue this
 production methods and empower individuals
                                                    organic food because it is more nutritious. Do        post.” Aspen, CO
 to take control of their own health. It is obvi-
                                                    some research before you call me dumb. Your
 ous that the power of the agri-business, chemi-                                                         “What a shame you’re so ignorant of the impor-
                                                    words and ideas are short sighted and irrespon-
 cal companies, pharmaceutical companies and                                                              tance of organic produce and are serving on the
                                                    sible. I am sure you want a clean and safe world
 the health care system are perpetuating the way                                                          House of Representative Agriculture Commit-
                                                    for your family too!” Minneapolis, MN
 that the system is, but you must accept that this                                                        tee. You need to get some education on agricul-
 is not a sustainable model for individuals or for “What is dumb, Mr. Peterson, is subsidizing            tural methods other than factory farming and
 the country (or Earth for that matter). The huge monoculture farms. Do yourself a favor                  corporate farming. Sure hope you get replaced
 entire economy is poised to implode under the and pick up and read a copy of Michael Pollen’s            in the next election for your seat in congress.”
 burden of health care costs as the “baby-boom- The Omnivore’s Dilemma. You might then
                                                                                                         “I am so ashamed that you are a Democrat. You
 ers” get to the age where diseases will begin to begin to understand why more and more of us
                                                                                                          sound old-fashioned, illiterate, unaware of any-
 take their toll. The tides must turn and the only are wanting to support our local farmers by pay-
                                                                                                          thing about health and nutrition. And you also
 way to do that is to change the entire paradigm; ing the price of what food should actually cost
                                                                                                          are unaware that the consumers of organic
 mainly acknowledging publicly that nutrition rather than the “cheap” food whose cost is the
                                                                                                          food are 100% from the well educated, envi-
 is the most important part of being in control health of many of our citizens. Isn’t your lovely
                                                                                                          ronmentally and nutritionally aware segment of
 of your own health and no Doctors or drugs state of Minnesota at the top of the charts for
                                                                                                          the population, whether or not they can afford
 have the ability to make you healthy. You have obesity rates among its citizens?” Eureka, CA
                                                                                                          organic foods. I do eat it when I can but would
 been elected by people that trust you to do right
                                                   “I urge you as chairman of the House of Repre-         eat more if prices were lower. Thanks for doing a
 by them and this is an opportunity for you to
                                                    sentatives Agricultural Committee to take some        poor job of representing me and my family and
 actually do something that you can be proud
                                                    time to educate yourself about the vast bene-         for putting forth a truly ignorant and uncaring
 of.”
                                                    fits of organic farming versus industrial farm-       picture of a Democrat.” Hodgenville, KY
“I will vote against you and your party because ing. As a consumer, I choose organic and nat-
                                                                                                         “Dear Congressman Peterson: I just learned of
 of your comments regarding organic food.” urally raised local products whenever I can to
                                                                                                          your October 17 comment on organic con-
 Springfield, OR                                    benefit the health of my family. Today, indus-
                                                                                                          sumers’ relative intelligence (“And if people are
                                                    trial farming as it is conducted in the U.S. is
“Congratulations on winning the Dumbest                                                                   dumb enough to pay that much then hallelu-
                                                    harming our health and our environment, and
 Quote of the Week by the Organic Consumers                                                               jah” ). I work and shop at a natural foods
                                                                                                                                                      76
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
co-op in Minneapolis, and I also volunteer for        thoughtless comment about organic consum-            an elected official, however, it is disrespectful
the Local Fair Trade Network, a nonprofit dedi-       ers. Thank you.” Minneapolis, MN                     and insulting to cast aspersions on those who
cated to strengthening local economies and sup-                                                            choose organic as part of our health care. Edu-
                                                      “Mr. Peterson, How can you have so little
porting a sustainable food system. I’ve learned a                                                          cate yourself beyond the huge agri-business
                                                       respect for those of us who are trying to create
lot through working, studying, and volunteer-                                                              lobby, and ask yourself what you would like to
                                                       a healthier food system? How could YOU be so
ing: Locally owned businesses generate greater                                                             have your own loved ones (especially children)
                                                       DUMB as to fail to value food that is fresher
prosperity in their communities than national                                                              consume. I wish you the best in that.”
                                                       and grown in a way to maximize nutrients and
chains. Organic growing methods ensure long-
                                                       taste. Shame on you. Our nation deserves bet- “Your comments about the price we consumers
term soil health and less pollution of our water.
                                                       ter leadership for agriculture.” Statesboro, GA      are willing to pay for organic or locally produced
Buying local saves gas and means fresher food.
                                                                                                            meats are outrageous! Because these growers
Organic agriculture is subject to strict controls     “It is “dumb” that people must pay extra for a
                                                                                                            cannot get government subsidies (gee, they’re
regarding water quality, feed, and fertilizer,         stamp ensuring that hormones & pesticides are
                                                                                                            not a huge corporate farm, so let’s not support
making its fresh produce and meat products             not in their produce. Unfortunately, we must in
                                                                                                            them) the price we pay for clean, healthy foods
safer than conventional. The family farm-              this country pay extra for that privilege. How-
                                                                                                            is reflected in the actual costs to provide them.
ers who grow organic and feed the Twin Cit-            ever for my family, it is essential that we receive
                                                                                                            We’d be happy to pay a lot less for QUALITY
ies community don’t make a lot of money. One           very little of chemicals known to cause cancer
                                                                                                            not QUANTITY foods. If the Farm Bill now
farmer we buy from estimated that he could             in our foods. We are getting enough of those
                                                                                                            before our representatives included a fair and
pay his workers and himself $10/hour, if he            chemicals from the air we breathe.”
                                                                                                            equitable distribution of funding, those of us
raised his prices 10% and the sales remained
                                                      “I would like to congratulate you Mr. Peterson who would like to eat the same quality of foods
steady. (He and they typically earn about $8/
                                                       for being so ignorant about “organic” foods and like our grandparents ate, we’d be able to at a
hour and don’t have health insurance.) Consid-
                                                       the people that eat them while on a committee better price. I’d be interested to know if you
ering all this, I think it’s pretty smart to use my
                                                       that should be educated about them. It’s hav- feel the same way about everything else in your
money to support local, sustainable growers. In
                                                       ing representatives like you that helps make this life: your car, your home, your clothing, your
fact, it’s actually a bargain. If you took away all
                                                       country as messed up as it is. Thank you.”           entertainment. Just how little do you pay for
the subsidies and tax benefits to conventional
                                                                                                            these things - or do you like quality items and
agriculture, and folks had to pay the real cost       “Dear Collin Peterson, People choose to buy
                                                                                                            are will to pay more for them? You should be
of a corn-syrup-sweetened Coca-Cola, or corn-          local and organic foods because they can
                                                                                                            ashamed of yourself. As the chair of this com-
fed ground beef, people would be rioting in the        choose where their food comes from and how it
                                                                                                            mittee, you should embrace farming practices
streets. What’s really “dumb” is that we have a        is grown or raised, not because they are dumb.
                                                                                                            that don’t destroy the ground they’re grown on.
dangerous childhood obesity problem, yet we            Unfortunately, it is often cheaper to buy cer-
                                                                                                            Perhaps you just haven’t done your homework,
won’t spend money on healthy school meal pro-          tain foods that have traveled thousands of miles.
                                                                                                            and, therefore, have no idea what you’re talk-
grams. A school in North Minneapolis reported          Why is this? You are dumb not to care where
                                                                                                            ing about.”
to the Local Fair Trade Network that they are          your food comes from and how it is raised. May
allocated less than $1 per student for breakfast,      the invisible pesticide residue on your vegeta- “Your comment about buying “local or organic”
and closer to $1.50 per student for lunch. As          bles not cause you or your family much harm - food shows how much you are out of touch
more people are becoming aware, the cheap-             seems like, perhaps. it already has.”                with health and science. Farmers are touted as
est calories are also the most unhealthy. Corn                                                             “stewards” of the land and as their chair - you
                                                      “You earned yourself a “Dumb Quote of the
syrup, soy protein isolate, “vegetable” (i.e., corn                                                         have much to learn. Check out the website of
                                                       Week” award. You should be proud. You should
or soy) oil are all subsidized agricultural prod-                                                           the Organic Consumers Association please.”
                                                       be fired. Democrats were once considered intel-
ucts, and are all unhealthy, and large, compo-                                                              Galena, IL
                                                       ligent and progressive as a group, but no longer.
nents of poor children’s diets. What I think is
                                                       This point of view you’ve voiced is an excellent “Dear Senator Peterson, This is to advise that
not just “dumb,” but downright criminal, is the
                                                       example of why”                                      you have won! You’ve won dumbest quote of
way we sell out our future to support big corpo-
                                                                                                            the week from the Organic Consumers Asso-
rate agriculture interests. I checked your web-       “Representative Peterson: I am terribly offended
                                                                                                            ciation for your shockingly ignorant comments
site for any apology or retraction of your Octo-       by your assertion that people who are willing
                                                                                                            regarding organically grown food and grass fed
ber 17 statement and found none. I don’t live          to buy healthy, local food are “dumb.” Clearly,
                                                                                                            beef. I hope your family remains safe from the
in your district, but I’m a lifelong, proud Min-       you don’t understand the global costs of truck-
                                                                                                            rBGH given to dairy cows and the chemical
nesotan, and I eat. Therefore, you, as chair of        ing food thousands of miles or the health costs
                                                                                                            fertilizers and insecticides sprayed on conven-
the Ag Committee and Democratic U.S. Rep-              of eating extensively processed and altered
                                                                                                            tionally grown crops.” Jersey City, NJ
resentative from Minnesota, do have responsi-          foods. You have staff; I would suggest that you
bility to represent my interests and those of oth-     assign one of them a project to look into and “Please don’t talk with authority about subjects
ers who choose to invest in their neighbors and        brief you on these costs. You owe your constit- you’re not familiar with. Organic farming pro-
in their health. In fact, you should be thinking       uents the courtesy of being as well-informed as tects humans and the environment against
of everyone who eats when you work on legis-           possible, and it is glaringly apparent that you the damaging effects of pesticides and GMOs.
lation that affects what and how we eat, which         are not yet as well-informed as you could be.” Local farming promotes community participa-
the farm bill does powerfully affect. Please ask       Lawrence, KS                                         tion and education, drastically reduces the used
yourself the question, Whom does this benefit?                                                              of fossil fuels, and increases biodiversity, which
                                                      “Mr. Peterson, If you want to pollute your body
A Fortune 500 CEO, or the children who get                                                                  almost all scientists now agree is a critical step
                                                       with harmful chemicals, added hormones,
free or reduced lunch at school? You’re a Dem-                                                              towards a sustainable future.”
                                                       unproven genetically modified organisms, and
ocrat - who is more important to you? And
                                                       the other unwanted substances used in produc- “Dear Representative Peterson, I would like
please apologize, publicly, for your rude and
                                                       ing non-organic foods, that is your right. As to respond to your comment about the
                                                                                                                                                        77
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
 apparent stupidity of consumers who pay a table with an organic carrot, grown by your- we stand with our elected officials.” Madison,
 premium for foods and products labeled as self, or bought at a (god forbid) farmers market, WI
‘organic’ or ‘local.’ I am sorry to see that you and compare that with the store bought “regu-
                                                                                                        “Rep. Peterson, People are not “dumb enough”
 appear to be misinformed on this issue. Con- lar” carrot .... let me know it you taste a differ-
                                                                                                         to pay that much money, but rather people care
 sumers who prefer organic or locally-produced ence.” Los Angeles, CA
                                                                                                         about what they put into their bodies. Pesti-
 food, even at a premium price, demonstrate
                                                   “As someone who pays more for organic and cides kill living things, I do not want them in
 that they care about their health and the health
                                                    local produce, I am offended by your com- my body. Organic farming practices have been
 of their community, their local economy, and
                                                    ments. I think you know that eating food that shown to be better for the environment, pro-
 the environment. The hidden costs of conven-
                                                    is organic is healthier because chemicals, some mote a sustainable environment, and still yield
 tionally and industrially-produced food come
                                                    of which are highly toxic, are not ingested and plenty of food. Organic and sustainable farm-
 in the forms of pesticide and fertilizer resi-
                                                    are not in our environment. Food grown locally ing is better for the environment and the peo-
 dues, pollution and energy consumption from
                                                    often tastes better because it is fresher. There is ple of this country. The foods subsidized by the
 food transportation, and the consolidation of
                                                    also less energy used to transport the food. The government (meat and dairy lots, corn, wheat)
 wealth in the hands of corporations, not fam-
                                                    reason it costs more because of policies enacted are scientifically SHOWN to be detrimental to
 ilies. By your logic, the organic and local food
                                                    by corrupt politicians, which give subsidies to the health of people when eaten in large quanti-
 production systems need no government sup-
                                                    huge farming operations, often at the expense ties (like in this country). Perhaps if the govern-
 port because stupid consumers pay a premium.
                                                    of smaller family run farms. Subsidizing agri- ment subsidized fruits and vegetables the obe-
 In other words, because these products are suc-
                                                    business to provide cheap, unhealthy foods lad- sity epidemic would take a step back.” St Louis,
 cessful and growing in popularity, they do not
                                                    ened with pesticides and chemicals is uncon- MO
 need government support. If you were to extend
                                                    scionable. We should know what is in our food,
 your logic logically, large agribusiness corpora-                                                      “It would be wise to do your homework as to
                                                    and the government should make it easier for
 tions - Cargill, others - should not need gov-                                                          why people prefer to buy organic labeled food
                                                    foods to be grown organically. If organic and
 ernment subsidies because they, too, make suc-                                                          products prior to making a comment on it.
                                                    local produce and grass-fed beef needs little
 cessful and profitable products. In fact, I would                                                       Having an uneducated opinion on a subject is
                                                    federal help, then stop subsidizing all the foods
 LOVE to see subsidies stopped for these large                                                           of no value to anyone when you wish to speak
                                                    grown that we don’t need, like much of the soy-
 corporations who don’t need them. I challenge                                                           on it. All it does is show your ignorance on the
                                                    bean crops, and corn for high fructose corn
 you, Representative Peterson, to an experiment.                                                         subject.”
                                                    syrup. Of course, you wouldn’t do that because
 Why don’t you buy some packaged iceberg let-
                                                    you need their political contributions to be re- I think we know who the dummy is here. How
 tuce, out-of-season tomatoes, and industrial car-
                                                    elected. It is ridiculous for you to call people ignorant can you be Congressman? Seattle,
 rots at your nearest large grocery chain, make a
                                                    dumb because they care about the environment WA
 salad, and then eat it? Repeat, only buying pro-
                                                    and their health, as well as the health of their
 duce only found at your local farmers’ market.                                                         “Dear Mr. Peterson, I am appalled by your atti-
                                                    children.”
 While making your purchases, why don’t you                                                              tude toward organic farming and consum-
 ask representatives from each establishment “As a Minnesotan I would hope it weren’t true er’s willingness to pay more for it. To say that
 about where the items came from, when they that you actually said what you said about local our food choices are “dumb” and beyond your
 were harvested, and how far they traveled to get and organic foods. Please tell me you’re more understanding is actually a sad statement about
 to you? Eat your farmers’ market salad, and I’m aware of your environment and reality than your own lack of understanding. I and many
 sure you will notice - and appreciate - the dif- this!!!” Robbinsdale, MN                               others do not want to eat genetically modified
 ference.”                                                                                               foods, foods sprayed and treated with chemi-
                                                   “I don’t want cheap meat pumped up with hor-
                                                                                                         cals known to cause cancer and other mala-
“As organic farmers and consumers, we enjoy mones and antibiotics. With a side of pesticides
                                                                                                         dies, cloned food etc. It is easy to make these
 excellent health and vitality as senior citizens. and a double dose of herbicides. It takes more
                                                                                                         statements and decisions that stifle the organic
 Please do not call us dumb for spending our time and care to grow organic. It is worth the
                                                                                                         movement from an ivory tower. If you choose
 money on pure food. Since you do not mind price for my health. because you know for darn
                                                                                                         to not to inform yourself about the benefits of
 eating endocrine disruptors in your food, you sure people that work for the government don’t
                                                                                                         organic farming, ignore scientific experts and
 can reap the whirlwind. That is your choice. care about my health. They want me to get
                                                                                                         the will of the people, I invite you to move to
 Organic, grass-fed is our choice. Do not the cit- sicker so they can pump me full of more drugs
                                                                                                         a farm that produces GMO crops, strawberries
 izens of this free country deserve more respect? that are already killing me. People who don’t
                                                                                                         that are sprayed with the new EPA approved
 Your apology is accepted. Organic Consumers buy organic are DUMB”
                                                                                                         pesticide that knowingly causes cancer, miscar-
 Association awarded you the “dumbest quote of
                                                   “Whoa, Nelly. You are the Democrat who puts to riages and thyroid tumors, cloned cattle that
 the week” award.” Jarrettsville, MD
                                                    shame all of the foolishness of the Republicans. is fed it’s own feces and injected with growth
“Dear Sir, First, congratulations for receiving And yes, dear. You do get the dumbest quote of hormone. And please remember to have a nice
 the Organic Consumers Association award the week award from lots of us who attempt to green salad which was grown with pesticides
 for the dumbest quote of the week. Being the eat local organic and seasonal as much as possi- and water from the area these cattle have uri-
“Congress Agriculture Chair” it seems like you ble. Sustainable living may just save our planet nated to make sure you get your daily dose of
 would realize that “local” produce or meats, from fools like you, at least until you smarten e-coli. That is why I and others choose to buy
 etc. are actually a good thing. They support up and join us. One Smart Cookie, glad to have and eat organic and local foods. I am sad to
 the areas economy, they cut down on food joined the Green Party. Patti” Lakeland, FL                    have to write this to a member of Congress but
 being trucked, flown, shipped great distances                                                           your remarks on this subject are truly disturb-
                                                   “Thanks for your recent comment about organic
... which greatly helps our environment. and as                                                          ing and represent and sad past that is not work-
                                                    consumers in which you insulted me, my fam-
 for organic, some day, sit down at your dinner                                                          ing. I ask that you open your mind to consider
                                                    ily, and our values. Always good to know where
                                                                                                                                                    78
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
the organic movement which you acknowledge            of honor should do.” Alhandra, OT                     better and is better for you is dumb. Hello? I
is rapidly growing. This is the future.”                                                                    think that’s what we all do.” Niceville, FL
                                                    “How ignorant can you be? Buying local or
“Insulting people for their choices in food and organic is essential to the health of humans                “Dear Mr. Peterson, As a consumer I find it
 lifestyle is just as harmful as judging some- & the economy. “Local” supports small farm-                   offensive that you think it’s dumb that people
 one based on race, sex, religion or financial sta- ers, diversity, freshness & lowers transportation        are concerned about their health and that they
 tus. Please have more respect for those who do costs. Organic means that we are not exposed                 are willing to spend the little bit of extra money
 not share your views and keep your derogatory to growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically                  they have to go for the local or organic foods. As
 comments to a more private audience.” Hilo, engineered grains and the unacceptable lev-                     a consumer who is struggling financially due to
 HI                                                  els of PUS found in standard milk by the govt           the high cost of living, even on a double income
                                                     mandated testing. Not using insecticides, her-          household, I will always take the extra steps to
“Mr. Peterson, I understand that you recog-
                                                     bicides, & fungicides also protects the health          protect my family from unnecessary chemicals
 nize that many are willing to pay more for
                                                     of all but is very labor intensive[creating more        and will not purchase products from compa-
 organic food. I am one of them. It not only it
                                                     jobs] which is why it costs more. The FDA &             nies that treat animals inhumanely and poison
 more nutritious, and tastes better, it is critical
                                                     EPA fail to protect us & big industry & phar-           our foods. I dream of the day that when I see
 to me to eat food that does not contain pesti-
                                                     maceutical companies continue to poison us.             an organic label, I can actually trust that it is
 cides, and which is not genetically modified. In
                                                     Get smart before you and your family get sick           truly organic. Until then, I have to continue to
 addition, it is time that as citizens of the world
                                                     too!” Aiken, SC                                         research almost every day to find trust- worthy
 we make choices that will support the environ-
                                                                                                             companies and search high and low just to find
 ment, and not continue to pollute and deplete “Chair Peterson- The reason that people are will-
                                                                                                             decent local foods that are safe. Try supporting
 the land and the water. I hope that you will ing to pay more for local and organic food is
                                                                                                             the consumers that actually care! A concerned
 look deeper into the reasons why so many are that we value where our food comes from and
                                                                                                             consumer that actually loves her family. Hal-
 buying organic produce.”                            how it is raised. Especially in lieu of all the cor-
                                                                                                             lelujah!”
                                                     porate food recalls buying food that is grown
“As per your quote that organic consumers are
                                                     more naturally instead of with pesticides and          “Representative Peterson, as a chairman of the
 dumb, I hope you were misquoted. If you are
                                                     hormones is not only safer but supports local           House agricultural committee, you probably
 against buying safe, chemical-free and healthy
                                                     farmers. I’m amazed by your lack of knowledge           should educate yourself on why dumb people
 foods, I am sure that you will be happy and
                                                     on this subject given your position.” Somerset,         like myself feel its important to pay more to buy
 willing to allow and buy all those “safe” and
                                                     WI                                                      food from local producers and for organic food.
 cheap agricultural products from China that
                                                                                                             If you don’t understand our actions, who’s really
 are just begging to be let into our country’s bor- “What is more important to the health of the
                                                                                                             the dumb one?”
 ders. People do not want to spend more money American people than eating good wholesome
 on their food, but are willing to do it if they food free of pesticides, residues, genetically             “Dear Mr. Peterson, It is shocking to me that
 can be sure they are eating healthy, chemical modified organisms, and chemical fertilizers?                 a person in your position does not understand
 free and non-genetically modified ingredients.” Haven’t you read the scientific studies showing             the multitude of reasons a consumer would
 Auckland, New Zealand                               that food produced with sustainable practices           choose organic food items over those laced
                                                     has three times the nutritional qualities than          with chemicals and contaminants. And to refer
“There must be something wrong with your
                                                     that produced under monoculture industrial              to that consumer as “dumb” ? Shame on you.”
 mind if you think that avoiding cancer caus-
                                                     farming, and that the land is richer and more           Shelburne, VT
 ing chemicals and hormones in meat is dumb.
                                                     diverse? If the artificial subsidies for industrial
 As for these products costing too much, maybe                                                              “Organic and local food purchases are not only
                                                     food were removed, there would be more price
 they wouldn’t cost so much if the farms that                                                                healthy for each of us, but for the planet. don’t
                                                     parity between industrial foodstuffs and food
 produce these meats received the same fat sub-                                                              let big business buy you-that would be dumb.”
                                                     produced sustainably. In addition, sustainable
 sidies that so-called “normal” farms did.”                                                                  San Francisco, CA
                                                     farming has no need for cheap migrant labor
“Dear Chairman, I am sorry to say that you are and the concomitant lure of illegal immigra-                 “Dear Congressman Peterson, Congratulations
 the dumb not the people who pay for healthy, tion. Please say your “mea culpa” now and                      for getting the Organic Consumers Associa-
 environmentally friendly food that is also good move beyond this embarrassing blot on your                  tion award for the dumbest quote of the week.
 for farmers wealth. These are people who have Congressional service.” Bloomington, IN                       I can’t think of anyone more deserving than
 a sense of what is right and wrong in the world                                                             a leader in U.S. Agriculture that would make
                                                    “Congressman Peterson, I am “dumb enough”
 and are willing to support the right thing when                                                             such an ignorant statement about organic con-
                                                     to pay more for organic and locally produced
 the government does not have the morality to                                                                sumers and producers.” Carlisle, MA
                                                     agricultural products. My family’s health and
 do it. I am poor but I buy organic and local
                                                     the health of the land that sustains us are worth      “You are to be congratulated for receiving the
 whenever I can, because agriculture should all
                                                     the extra money. I will pay more for products           Organic Consumers Association’s “Dumb-
 be like this and if the government doesn’t see
                                                     that are not filled with poisons and I will sup-        est Quote of the Week” award. We are loath
 it and does not support it, then it is my obliga-
                                                     port farmers who care for their land rather than        to discover, though, that someone who actu-
 tion as an intelligent human being who cares
                                                     destroying it with pesticides, chemical fertiliz-       ally might believe such a statement as garnered
 for humanity to do my part and support it with
                                                     ers and harmful waste. Perhaps I am not the             this award serves in the U.S. House of Repre-
 the little money I have. Maybe I don’t go so
                                                     dumb one.”                                              sentatives and in particular is the Chairman of
 much to the movies and I don’t have a playsta-
                                                                                                             the House Agriculture Committee.” Lancaster,
 tion or an expensive car, but I am happy that I “Here is a reason to spend extra for organic food,
                                                                                                             NH
 am putting the money where it should go, for no toxic chemicals!!”
 a better world! That isn’t dumb, It’s what every                                                           “It seems you are woefully uneducated on this
                                                    “I can’t believe you think something that tastes
 human being should with a minimum of sense                                                                  topic. I suggest you remedy that situation
                                                                                                                                                          79
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
before you speak on the subject again.” Dallas,       of context. If they were not, then it is my hope role. It sounds like you are ready for retirement.
TX                                                    that you go back to school. At the very least Good luck.”
                                                      you should have one of your staff do a little bit
“Dear Collin, How sad that a person in your                                                               “Collin, Your statement about us organic con-
                                                      of true research and fill you in, because you
 position of power is so clueless about the issues                                                         sumers being “dumb enough to pay that much”
                                                      obviously don’t know or don’t care what infor-
 of how we treat our bodies, animals and the                                                               for organically produced products, particularly
                                                      mation you have been fed regarding this issue,
 earth! May you be enlightened or retired.”                                                                those that are locally produced, speaks volumes
                                                      and you don’t care what you are truly ingesting
                                                                                                           about your ignorance regarding the inherent
“In contrast to your recent remarks about             yourself! Respectfully,” Flint, MI
                                                                                                           values in these products and the market forces
 consumers who buy organic products being
                                                     “How the CHAIRMAN for agriculture com- creating those “dumb” high prices. In the first
“dumb,” the consumers who believe the non-
                                                      mittee in the House knows so little about place, most organic farms are comparatively
 sense that chemical fertilizers, pesticides and
                                                      organic farming methods or why it costs more small-scale compared to the highly subsidized
 genetic engineering are safe are the ones who
                                                      shows how little regard you have for the envi- agribusiness mono-crop farms so the organic
 are ignorant. Apparently, you fall in the latter
                                                      ronment or positive, sustainable change. Edu- prices reflect a lack of subsidy and economy of
 category. I hope you take the time to educate
                                                      cate yourself for your grandchildren’s sake!”        scale. Please note however that in the case of
 yourself on the dangers of chemical farming to
                                                                                                           sustainable agriculture, these operations are by
 your health.” Wichita, KS                           “You are a disappointment! Please correct that
                                                                                                           definition small-scale and typically market to
                                                      situation by informing yourself by other means
“Sir, With all due respect.....did you REALLY                                                              local consumers. In contrast, large-scale mono-
                                                      than the agribusiness lobbies. It is seriously cor-
 say that about people buying organic food??? If                                                           crop production depletes topsoil, markets to
                                                      rupt to take agribusiness information to the
 we are dumb enough to buy organic food, we                                                                consumers thousands of miles away and con-
                                                      exclusion of all others, especially the organic
 must be dumb to care about our health, the                                                                taminates the environment through pesticide
                                                      farmers? information. Our food supplies is
 health of our children, and the health of our                                                             use and air pollution from farm machinery
                                                      already in jeopardy for the very reason of your
 eco-systems which will determine the health of                                                            and long-haul transportation to market. Now
                                                      ignorance or willful neglect. ‘You are what you
 generations of future Americans. Pretty dumb                                                              tell me, which model deserves the subsidy, if
                                                      eat’ is the cause of the American population’s
 I guess huh??! NOT!! Please wake up and smell                                                             any? The one that promotes a healthy, sustain-
                                                      poor health, to wit, the drug industry is doing
 the coffee sir. We don’t have much time.”                                                                 able future (organic production) or the one that
                                                      well in its attempts to ‘cure’ the resulting myr-
                                                                                                           lines the pockets of greedy special interests in
“Your quote about people who pay more to              iad illnesses. (It’s all connected.) If we had good
                                                                                                           the corporate agribusiness and chemical indus-
 buy organic food being dumb reflects its own         organic foods and a useful diet, then most of
                                                                                                           tries?”
“dumbness.” Organic food is more sustainable          the illnesses would disappear. That prospect
 and more healthy than factory farmed food.           might be bad for your lobby interests, but it “Thanks for calling me dumb. Do you really not
 Who wouldn’t be willing to pay more for that?        would be good for us - the diseased Americans. understand why people are willing to pay more
 As a mother with two kids, I only wish there         Thank you for listening.”                            for locally produced products? If not I am sure
 were more organic and local options available,                                                            that you would be willing to forego any pork
                                                     “I am disappointed in your lack of understand-
 and more tax incentives for farmers to farm                                                               that you usually line up for your district. After
                                                      ing of the organic and local food movements. I
 responsibly and healthily.” Washington, DC                                                                all, what is the importance of a local economy?
                                                      would hope that, as chair of the house of rep-
                                                                                                           Let’s buy more from China. The best part is
“Organic consumers are not dumb. We care              resentatives agricultural committee, you would
                                                                                                           that when we do so we are also supporting the
 about our farmers and our country. I can only        take it upon yourself to learn more about these
                                                                                                           shipping and oil industries. What’s a little pol-
 suppose from your comments that you do not           important beacons of hope in our country’s
                                                                                                           lution going to hurt? As for organic products,
 care about either.”                                  food future. I would suggest you read Michael
                                                                                                           why pay more for something without carcino-
                                                      Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” for
“It’s embarrassing that the one person who                                                                 genic pesticides involved in the production if it
                                                      an introduction to why these are important
 should know what he’s talking about, the Chair                                                            isn’t local? Nobody you know will get the can-
                                                      developments. Next, read Barbara Kingsolver’s
 of the Agricultural Committee for the House of                                                            cer from raising it, and as long as you are pay-
                                                      book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” and any of
 Representatives, sounds like he doesn’t know a                                                            ing for your health insurance you might as well
                                                      Mas Masumoto’s books. Hopefully, these read-
 thing about the subject!”                                                                                 use it, right? How bad can cancer be?”
                                                      ings will teach you something useful.” Santa
“You have no idea what you are saying when            Cruz, CA                                            “Mr. Peterson, First off, I will give you the ben-
 you make that remark. I happen to be very                                                                 efit of the doubt concerning your comments
                                                     “Funny how dumb people can be by naming
 food intolerant, and if I eat a non-organic fruit                                                         about ORGANICS and using the word “dumb”
                                                      something that they know nothing about as
 or vegetable, I get terribly ill. My body knows                                                           towards U.S. citizens, many of whom would be
                                                      dumb. If you have no idea why people are will-
 what’s good for it and what’s not, such as a poi-                                                         and are your own constituents. I buy organic
                                                      ing to buy organic food why don’t you take a
 son...meaning foods that have been sprayed,                                                               grain in Minnesota, from Larry Peterson of
                                                      second to educate yourself. It turns out to be a
 and what have you, with any sort of pesticides.                                                           Cokato, for example, and I know Larry takes
                                                      very relevant and important issue. You’d think
 If I were you, I’d be more aware of what hap-                                                             organic seriously and enjoys the value added
                                                      a politician would know that, but then again,
 pens to a person who has this problem with                                                                income for his organic wheat, corn, soy and
                                                      that would be a dumb thing to think in our
 foods, and not be throwing out such insults to                                                            barley. Organic farming and value added Min-
                                                      day and age.”
 the public. Organic is the only way I can sur-                                                            nesota incomes should be supported by you and
 vive. You owe an apology to many people who         “Dear Congressman Peterson, Congratulations not “dumbed” down. Have your staff do bet-
 are unfortunate enough to have this terrible ill-    for getting the Organic Consumers Associa- ter research please. The Minn D of A puts out
 ness when eating poisons.”                           tion award for the dumbest quote of the week. a wonderful Directory of Minnesota Organic
                                                      When you have no interest in empowering Farms. I rely upon Minnesota farmers a lot.
“I hope your comments were actually taken out
                                                      your constituency it’s time to move into a new You should take a look at the Directory
                                                                                                                                                      80
Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive · Finland MN 55603 · 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 · www.organicconsumers.org
and bring yourself up to speed on organics           by elected leaders, it is betrayal. Dumb is giv-    organic food, grown on small-scale farming
(before competition for your own office does         ing away millions upon millions of tax dollars      operations. NOW!” High Springs, FL
so). Omaha, NE                                       to the largest, wealthiest, unsustainable agri-
                                                                                                         “I don’t understand why you are calling organic
                                                     businesses, while the agricultural system of
“Shame on you for making such a blatantly                                                                 shoppers dumb. We pay more because we
                                                     the country continues to weaken, family farms
 uninformed statement! You might want to look                                                             believe in the products that are organ