October 24, 2011-Food Day
I an American Farmer, urge you to start a real dialogue about the America’s Food System with me. For you see, today-October 24, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has declared it Food Day. For me, Food Day is 365. Disappointingly, instead of having an honest conversation with farmers, the CSPI has chosen to organize a campaign that spreads untruth about the way I raise my crops and animals to feed you.
Every day, I thank God for giving me the skills and natural resources to produce safe, abundant, healthy food for my country and the world. As a parent and consumer, I only support agriculture practices that are safe for my family and yours.
I raise corn, soybeans, and beef animals on my farm. I recognize the need to seek improvements, embrace new technology, and invest in continuing education to improve my part -the beginning- of food production to yield healthy choices to people everywhere.
Unfortunately, the CSPI purposely leaves one valuable nutrient-rich food from its list of healthy food choices –Beef, Pork, Lamb (Only seafood, low-fat dairy, and poultry). It is implied by the CSPI that animal proteins [excluding low-fat dairy and poultry] are unhealthy.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines-My Plate, My Health– recommends a balanced diet from all food groups-Fruits & Vegetables, Grains, Dairy, and Protein- combined with physical activity for a healthy lifestyle. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage people to “get more nutrition from their calories” by choosing nutrient-rich food among all food groups. The Meat and Bean group provides protein but not all proteins are created equally. Unlike most plant sources of protein, animal proteins such as lean meats supply’s most readily accessible and easily absorbed source of iron and zinc-essential nutrients for muscle growth and good health. Meat can help you to get the most nutrition-Protein, Iron, Zinc- all wrapped up in tasteful serving. Lean meat like Beef can help you get the most nutrition for fewer calories. Calorie for calorie, lean beef is one of the most flavorful and efficient ways to meet the daily value for 10 essential nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins and beef also provides 20 grams of protein per serving.
The fact remains most Americans including myself need to make better food selections, strive for portion control, and just simply get off the couch more.
My family is proudly among the 98 percent of U.S. Farms that are operated by a family or individual. As a ninth generation farmer, protecting the environment and my animals are a priority. The decisions my family makes on the farm is based on peer-reviewed science that is verified and respects the consumer values.
I urge you not to partake in questionable campaigns like the CSPI’s Food Day but engage in conversation with Real Farmers. It could be as simple as visiting a local farm or participate online- join the honest Food Dialogues everyday.
Thank you for attention on this matter and look forward to discussing the one thing that connects us all -our food
Cheryl Day, American Farmer
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