Being “Green” & Other Foreign Words

Cattle grazing on grass

My uncle calls people who are new to the cattle business, “green.”  When it comes to all things agriculture and food, I am über green.  These things are new to me.  I know where my food comes from, but I don’t understand all of the technical terms that foodies, ranchers and farmers might use and know.  I get frustrated when I hear crazy terms like “sustainable” and “green” and “organic” being thrown at me.  I can choose to do whatever I please with these terms and according to me, these are my options:

  • Option A:  I could research all of those crazy terms to help me determine what the best food choice would be.
  • Option B:  I could see what the most popular thing to do is according to Hollywood.

Time for a confession: I’m a person who likes trends.  I read magazines like “People” and “US Weekly” which spot celebrities shopping at organic grocery stores because they’re “just like ‘US'”, which makes me think that I need to shop at organic grocery stores so I can be like them.  If Gwneth Paltrow is eating organic, then I probably should be doing the same, right?  As a result, I’ve gone on a few “Whole Foods” binges, but if we’re being honest, I’m too poor to buy my entire grocery list from there.   So, time to go back to Option A.

I’m a prime example that we’re a culture influenced by society.  Right now, society says that new technology like the iOS5 is AWESOME (because it is), but new technology for agriculture is bad.  People want to go “back to the start” in agriculture and food practices.  What I’ve come to learn is that you can’t freeze one thing in time while the rest of the world moves forward and advances.  So why should we, as consumers, expect that farmers can keep up with this new iAge world if their technology remains on a small dairy farm with 35 cows in the 1900’s?  Sure, it’s a happy picture that’s painted for us, but it’s unrealistic.

And then there’s this false notion that all of these “factory farms” raising our food are just businesses with no morals.  According to the EPA’s website, 98% of farms are family-owned.  Ninety-eight.  You can bet your bottom-dollar that those farms have been passed down from generation to generation.  Not only do parents pass farms on to their children, but they pass on their beliefs as well.  Their beliefs that animals are to be respected and treated the best because someday those animals will provide food for them and their families; their beliefs that the land is what they have grown up on, what their children and grandchildren will grow up on, and what their animals will live off of – the land is as important as the air they breathe; and their beliefs about the importance of growing and raising the healthiest quality of food because that’s not only what they’re feeding you, but what they are going to feed to their families when they sit around the table every day.

Whether the food product that you’re eating is “green,” “organic,” “corn-fed,” “grass-fed,” “sustainable,” or you-name-it, I can guarantee you that in the midst of all of this technology, the heart of the American farmer is still in the same place and they’re working their butts off everyday to put healthy, quality food on their table and yours that’s good for the land that we all live on, the air that we breathe and the water we drink.


Side Notes

*If you’re like me and need definitions for some of those crazy words, the words in bold have definitions on the “Cow Concordance” page.  (Link is located on the top right of this page)

*Still not sure about the benefits of technology when it comes to your beef?  Check out this article written by Dr. Jude Capper:  I read it this morning and I loved having facts based off of research!  (I’m an oldest child – we ask a lot of questions and need concrete answers!)

*If I used any other terms that you don’t understand, feel free to comment, tweet me, message me on Facebook…whatever floats your boat!



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