Do you ever just get outraged when someone makes a statement that has total disregard for anyone besides themselves? I was browsing the May issue of Fruit Grower’s News and there was a headline that read “Too much regulation could abolish farmers’ markets.” Of course I had to continue on…
The fellow quoted is an apple grower located outside of St. Louis. Here is what frosted my flakes: “What a bucket of worms these regulations are going to be for farmers. It would just be so much easier to mount a public campaign to teach people to wash any produce that they did not grow themselves, period. I think over-regulation will eventually kill most farmers’ markets in town and on the farms.”
Yes, the regulations might make your work life a little more complicated – you know all of that ‘following proper protocol’ when growing food for other people to eat. Sir, you have a fiduciary duty to each and every one of your customers to follow the best practices when it comes to providing raw agricultural products to the public. This grower undoubtedly sprays his apples and we know that following the label directions (more regulations) is critical when applying pesticides. Apples were named #1 in the Dirty Dozen list for pesticide residue. That irony is cause for concern.
Now about teaching people to wash produce that they did not grow themselves:. First of all, my backyard grown produce can be just as dirty as anyone else’s, so you should wash all produce before you prepare it for consumption. Secondly, Sir, the regulations are intended to make you aware of Good Agricultural Practices. Washing alone will not protect us from all of the possible issues that you could prevent by following the best practices [regulations]. You have a duty to do what is right when growing the produce, period.
My mother taught me to wash produce before eating it. I bet yours did too. We don’t need to mount a public campaign to teach people to wash produce. What we need is for all members of the industry to do the right thing day in and day out to protect the public and to protect the image of the products that we make our living off of. Period.