Food safety: summary of #agchat questions from July 14, 2009 #farm #ag

Tag terms:
Q1 via @agriblogger Is it reasonable to expect that government can guarantee #food safety? #farm #agchat
  • @JeffFowle: @agchat No.
  • @WriteNowBiz: I don't believe the gov't CAN guarantee food safety
  • @chicknafoxhole: Q1 No. Government can and should try, but no one can guarantee anything these days.
  • @JPlovesCOTTON: Q1. got to say I'm not too sure there are any guarantees from the government, much less about dynamic food safety
  • @PotatoPro: Q1 Food safety is a common effort. No way a government can guarantee food safety
  • @iTweetMeat: Q1 You cannot "test" your way to safety.
  • @akleinschmidt: @agchat Q1 No. But government can provide uniform minimum standards of food safety.
  • @margiealsbrook: Government can't guarantee #food safety but they can - and should - have laws & regs for food & #ag to make food safer
  • @lmworden: Q1 - There are no "guarantees" in life. Would like to think that gov't now is doing all they can to TRY to guarantee food safety...

Q2 Via @TruffleMedia What will Food Safety Modernization Act '09 do for consumers and producers, if passed? http://bit.ly/117Y44 (expand)

  • @iTweetMeat: Q2 :: Aside from more paperwork for everyone?
  • @WriteNowBiz: Q2 eliminate choioces for farmers & consumers
  • @margiealsbrook: re Q2 Gov would finally get recall authority for tainted or poison food - it's ridiculous that it does not exist already
  • @AgWiredLive: Q2: I'm afraid the "good intentions" will result in hard to enforce regs. that will drive up food costs and overburden producers.
  • @cowartandmore: Q2 I worry about getting one more agency involved. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
  • @JPlovesCOTTON: On Q2, I think that it is early to discern what the impact will be. Increase focus could be good. Overregulation is not productive
  • @iTweetMeat: Q2 :: There are some good elements, and some mirror for other industries what the meat and poultry folks have been dealing w 4 yrs
  • @lizardcow: @JPlovesCOTTON totally agree on Q2, can't know yet, too many variables.
  • @kmccomb1015: Q2 It doesn't matter about the size of the producer, but ensuring that our food supply is safe.

Q3 via @KateOnline What are some of the biggest misconceptions about the way food is produced/grown/raised & safety of that food?

  • @iTweetMeat: Q3 That local means "safer" (as per the discussion in Q2) -- misconception
  • @lizardcow: Q3 - farmers don't care, somehow "trying" to destroy environment, animal, etc.
  • @cowartandmore: Q3 That big farms are unsafe.
  • @JPlovesCOTTON: Q3 - Many people don't even consider where food is produced or how. Would be great to get more interest/education there
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q3 one big misconception -- no understanding of the risk involved. No guarantee that what you plant will be usable, sellable.
  • @lizardcow: Q3 - that farmers are either stupid or corporate giants in suits.
  • @JeffACSH: Q3 Food supply myths: That the food supply can be completely safe.
  • @akleinschmidt: Q3 Big misconception: organic, local = safe (or safer than other choices).
  • @JeffACSH: Q3 That organic is good for the environment.
  • @derekbalsley: Q3: That today's food supply is 'unsafe' in comparison to the past.
  • @JeffACSH: Q3 That technology is a foe, rather than a friend.
  • @kmccomb1015: Q3 I like to be able to support local farmers, but if their quality is not good, I'll shop elsewhere.
  • @cowartandmore: Q3 That all large farms are "corporate owned." I work for several "large" farms. All are family owned.
  • @iTweetMeat: Q3 - that consumers are not in some way responsible for food safety
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q3 That chemicals are BAD. Everything is made from chemicals.
  • @derekbalsley: Q3 Misconception that more government is the solution. That less freedom is better for consumers and for society.

Q4 What are key resources for the consumer to learn about food safety?

  • @JPlovesCOTTON: Q4 key resource for learning? Open minds on the part of consumer as well as those of us in agriculture #agcha
  • @WriteNowBiz: Q4 many places online to learn about food; best is discussion of farmers/consumers w/o flaming
  • @kmccomb1015: Q4 To be a well-informed consumer, start with USDA and FDA websites.
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q4 For young consumers, the Agriculture in the Classroom program, in NE at least, includes content about food safety.
  • @iTweetMeat: Q4 Reinstatement of high school home ec and learn about the resources out there
  • @AgriLawyer: Q4: I mentioned the concept of PSAs a few weeks ago for basic cleaning of foods and seperating during cookin
  • bubbamike: I would love to see 4A involved in urban schools. Pea Patches, small chicken & egg production for city kids
  • @kmccomb1015: Q4 Its really sad to see how people aren't self-sufficient when it comes to food...how many people do you know have gardens?
  • @WriteNowBiz: much opportunity to talk w/ producers and for producers to hear what is important 2 consumers
  • @lizardcow: Q4 Sadly, most people just google, get stuff sent to them by same relative who sends scary forwards, lots of misinformation!
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q4 appropros our discussion all evening, I think many people believe it's possible to live in a risk-free world.Nothing is risk-free
  • @derekbalsley: Q4 I'd like for more consumers to learn about farming, food, etc. directly from the source. Talk to farmers directly.
  • @reallybuffalo: #agchat Q4 the #ag industry must have clear labels regarding country of origin and the standard of production,free range #organic etc

Q5 via @KateOnline Do you feel consumers perceive certain products as safer? Organic/Local/Conventional?

  • @FarmerHaley: @agchat Q5 IMO most of them dont, the ones that do shop at specialty stores already
  • @lizardcow: Q5 - organic, obvs, one that really burns me is kosher - its a religious practice, not anything with safety or humanity
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q 5 Some people think minimally processed food is safest, others that processed foods have had any "bugs" processed out of them.
  • @PotatoPro: Q5 The food industry certainly figured out that food with less (complex sounding) ingredients is perceived as safer
  • @WriteNowBiz: @agchat Q5 perception is HUGE - perception is what makes people spend $$$$ on marketing
  • @lmworden: Q5 Depending on where you live and who you talk to, it def seems as if local (first) and organic are perceived as "better"
  • @AgriLawyer: Q5: of course they do, but will not always affect buying habits if the price is so much more
  • @iTweetMeat: Q5 Absolutely (ref Q2 and Q3). Yet, without any evidence they believe it
  • @akleinschmidt: Q5 covered this qxn a bit already, and was reinforced by #foodinc: local, organic is safe. Of course, this is not neces. true
  • @TruffleMedia: #agchat Q5 @ReformedLiving: "Potatoes are a filthy crop. " Of course they are filthy, they are grown in dirt! Same with radishes, onions.
  • @NEFarmBureau: @TruffleMedia Soil. It's soil. Not dirt!

Q6 via @KateOnline What #ag and #farm practices do you see or use that improve #food safety?

  • @lmworden: Q6 On a dairy farm - sanitizing teats before attaching milker, clean milk units, milk goes thru stainer, chilled down to 35 degrees
  • @derekbalsley: Q6: Wow, that's going to be a long list! Everything farmers do is aimed at producing high quality and safe product!
  • @akleinschmidt: Q6 I see growing use of ORP for checking sanitizing water in small scale veggie/fruit production.
  • @akleinschmidt: Q6 third party audits for those who direct-sell to grocery chains.
  • @RayLinDairy: Q6 $ us it's strict adherence 2 product labels & segregating milk from sick animals out of the bulk tank.
  • @cowartandmore: Q6 Record keeping is essential. Traceability is and becoming very important to consumers
  • @lizardcow: Q6 - fencing cattle away from streams is 1st thing that comes to mind
  • @iTweetMeat: Q6 The many MANY interventions requested by USDA for meat and poultry processors are mostly working - even in "small" plants

Q7 - the grand finale: What is the one executable idea you can take away from this evening's fiery #food convo?

  • @AgriLawyer: Q7: Developing an ability to speed read if you haven't yet
  • @shadysidefarm: Q7 What is the one executable idea you can take away from this evening's fiery #food convo? #agchat Keep blogging and hosting farm tours
  • @akleinschmidt: Q7 I have written a few food safety factsheets for OSU. I'll share on my twitter when published.
  • @TruffleMedia: #agchat Q7 write script for Reality TV show "Big Farmer" 14 contestants spend 52 weeks producing food and getting it to consumers. :)
  • @cowartandmore: Q7 In addition to talking to people about the veterinary care I provide, talk about how I help with on-farm food safety.
  • @AgJobNetwork: q7. My executable: Continue sharing articles and info in facebook newsfeed. Seems to help keep conversation alive. Educate.
  • @lizardcow: Q7 - keep on keeping on, someone is always going to dislike your methods, you just have to be able to sleep at night
  • @iTweetMeat: Q7 Engage a study to investigate the safety differences (or lack of) among "local" and "big ag" food
  • @JPlovesCOTTON: Good. @AgJobNetwork: q7. My executable: Cont sharing articles and info in facebook newsfeed. Seems to help keep convo alive.
  • @NEFarmBureau: Q 7 Recognize that consumers do care about the details of food safety that we know and take for granted that everyone does
  • Q7 RT @RayLinDairy: Q& Do more to make my voice as a farmer heard-to battle misconceptions