5 Commonly-Held Myths that Could Threaten the Future of Agriculture


1.     MYTH: Farmers don’t care about their impact on the environment.


The Truth is that anyone who commits to an industry for generations cares deeply about sustainability. Famers and ranchers work every day with limited resources such as land, water and energy. If they don’t care for these resources, then they will simply be out of a job. For the good of their business, family and environments farmers must remain committed to the newest technology and latest advances.


2.     MYTH: The Farming industry is made up of large, corporate farms.


The Truth is that 97{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a} of America’s 2.1 Million farms are family-owned and run. Many farms have been in the family for generations.

 And they aren’t all big farms either, 88{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a} of US farms are small family farms.[1]


3.     MYTH: Animal growth hormones accelerate child development.


The Truth is that all foods contain naturally produced hormones. If you compare natural hormones to estradiol the common hormone implanted in cattle, one pound of beef implanted with estradiol contains 15,000 times less than the amount of estrogen produced daily by the average man and 9 million times less that the amount of estrogen produced by a pregnant woman, according to the Center for Veterinary Medicine[2]. We have to remember that an issue like child development is influenced by multiple factors including perhaps most of all poor eating habits.



4.     MYTH: If you don’t buy organic fruits and vegetables, then you are buying fruits and vegetables coated in harmful pesticides.


The Truth is that farmers must manage pests and diseases to produce quality fruits and vegetables, and they use practices such as Integrated Pest Management and a combination of ecological and chemical methods to control pests. However, the Environmental Protection Agency requires that all pesticides used meet food quality standards and they must pass over 120 health tests before being used.[3]


Interestingly, a poll of organic eaters showed that 95{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a} choose organic foods because they don’t have pesticides. However, organic products still use pesticides and fungicides it is just that the 20+ chemicals that they use are approved as organic by US Organic Standards[4].



5.     MYTH: Good, healthy food costs too much, while rich farmers pocket all our money.


The truth is that the USA has some of the most affordable food and abundant food in the world. America’s food costs about 6.7{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a} of our incomes compared to Japan which costs 14{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a}, China 21.3{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a} and India 51{18648621dc58566f60964eb5074c58f5f97501fe95033d5d25ee4862e704a74a}[5].


In regards to rich farmers, this misconception originates from a farmer’s total net worth. Interestingly, farmers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents[6].


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x