If you are looking for a no-holds barred, thought-provoking,
sparks-a-flying debate about modern agricultural policies and practices,
you'll want to make this a priority on your reading list.
Thanks again to the anonymous donor and to Craig Cramer, and to all of
you for your interest in this debate.
A one-page sample follows below. The complete debate is 24 typewritten
Farm Director, WSVA Radio
P.O. Box 752
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
portion of debate (all transcribed word-for-word)
(on the topic of organic vs. conventional foods relating to cancer
Avery: There are varying shades of gray, black, and white, but really, I
mean that . . . for example your cancer scare. It's out the window, and
yet you guys are sticking with it.
Salatin: You're trying to suggest . . .
Avery: Where is the cancer threat?
Salatin: I can show you report after report after report, and I know
people who have died from pesticide exposure and from herbicide
exposure. We have a lot of customers . . .
Avery: Joel, you don't know of any such thing.
Salatin: Of course I do. I talk with these people.
Avery: You believe it, but . . .
Salatin: Look, you can sit there in front of a computer all day, and you
can look at your statisticians and you databases, but I know people. If
you don't live in that world, that's not the real world. That's a
fantasy world of government flying around, jetting around the country
telling people what's going to happen in fifty years by looking at
databases and reading scientific journals. We have customers that come
to us from medical doctors with environmental sensitivities caused by
residues, hormones, call it what you will, pesticides, herbicides . . .
Avery: Or allergies.
Salatin: Or allergies, but most of them are not. They are sensitivities
to the problems, and whether it's food dye number 29 or whatever, that's
in food. These are our friends. There are not part of any computer
Avery: I had a letter from a lady in Indianapolis who said that organic
food had saved her life twice, because she'd had cancer twice. (laughs)
I thought the organic food was supposed to prevent her from getting
cancer, and that recovering from cancer should reflect some credit on
her doctors. She really believed that eating organic food had cured her
from cancer twice, having gotten cancer twice. I mean, this is not a
Salatin: It is irrational, it is absolutely irrational, to think that
there is nothing about a chicken or a pig or a cow that is unique, and
that is any different than a computer or a robotic machine. That is not
Avery: Who is saying that?
Salatin: Well, you are.
Avery: Oh, heavens no. Biology is . . .
Salatin: You don't care about humane . . .
Avery: Biology is infinitely more complex than a robot or a computer.
Salatin: Ahhh. Yes. So biology and industry are different. And yet the
whole predication of genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and
everything else you are espousing, it's all predicated on a philosophy
that animals and plants are simply machines.
Avery: No. No. No. No. No.
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