Our Food Product System
“It’s NOT the Genetics! It’s the nutrition.”


Farming-Food Product System

“Farmers change as public demand changes for various foods and as they discover nutritional farming is more profitable and safer for them, their families, and the consumer.”

Most readers of the Lakeview Area News (LAN) understand that our food is originally produced by farmers whether those farmers be in Mexico, Canada, South America, New Zealand, other foreign countries, California, or possibly closer to home, in Michigan. I grew up in Montcalm County on a dairy farm in the midst of numerous potato, bean, corn, and vegetable farms with a few orchards thrown in the mix. I was taught to be proud of my multiple generations of farmers heritage; As I am. I was trained by my father, who was trained by his father, to pay attention to details on the farm and to think for one’s self and apply a little common sense. My first degree was in Agricultural Education with an emphasis in soils, water, and engineering plus an Agricultural Economics degree from the University of Arizona.  My experience at U of A drove home the ridiculousness I was taught at a potato short course at MSU that one cannot grow high quality potatoes in an alkaline soil. In fact, farmers do just this in Arizona, California, and Idaho. Furthermore, more potatoes are grown in this country on alkaline (high pH) soils than acid (low pH) soils.

I mention this tidbit because my father realized early in his adult life the university agricultural system was beholden to the chemical industry profit directives and, consequently, as his high school Vo-Ag teacher put it in 1950: MSU will say a task must be done in a certain way, but this other way is how it actually works best. MSU is like every land grant institution in the United Sates — one university in every state — mandated by Federal legislation called the Morrill Act and signed by President Lincoln in 1862,  with the first being Kansas State University. Agriculture sciences and engineering were the initial focus and out of the land grant system sprouted the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). The CES initially was a farm-university model whereby unique innovations developed by farmers were looked at, refined, adopted or, possibly rejected, and then the adopted innovations were distributed to all farmers in the state. It was a practical and assistive partnership.

In the early 1950s, industry saw an opportunity to infiltrate the education system and use it to promote its products and, subsequently, its greater profits by reducing government funding of land grant universities and replacing it with industry funding all under the guise of saving the government/tax payer money. As such, university research moved away from the farmer-university cooperation to an industry-university cooperation and, more importantly, industry control of the data, the research direction, and the publishing itself of university research. If a research outcome was not/is not favorable to the industry funding the research, the data/outcome information is most often not published, or only published in part so as to shine a favorable light on the industry funding the research.

Phil Callahan, PhD learned this early in his career. Dr. Callahan was an entomologist for the USDA at Louisiana State University (LSU) and was tasked by his department head to research and publish a paper showing the safety and efficacy of DDT so it would have full approval for its use commercial agricultural. Dr. Callahan’s research revealed DDT was, in fact, not safe, quite toxic to birds and mammals and resulted, fairly rapidly, in resistant insect species and remained in the environment for a long time. Upon presenting his findings, his department head was not happy, altered the results, and released findings contrary to Dr. Callahan’s findings in the field and ensured DDT’s approval. Subsequently, Dr. Callahan was asked to leave LSU as he was no longer welcome. He moved to the University of Florida, getting a job at the entomology department and commenced research on insect communications. As at LSU, his department head was not overly-enamored about his “independence” in research quests and refused to allow any funding from the little public money available as no pesticide manufacturer was interested in his work.

Fortunately, Dr. Callahan’s science was solid and because of his WWII accomplishments, his research was noticed by the Department of Defense (DOD) and funded for the next several decades until his retirement. With that research the DOD developed the first aircraft cloaking devices and other sophisticated biological sensors. To this day, Dr. Callahan is scorned by the University of Florida entomology department, but well-regarded by the physics and optics departments where many of his scientific papers were published. Dr. Callahan’s “sin” against entomology? He proved that insect communication was about infrared, ultraviolet, and radio wave frequency modulation rather than the accepted scent molecular fit theory. 

What came out of this theory, now foundationally-proven with associated device patents by Dr. Tom Dykstra, was that insects home in on their prey, food, and mates via an electromagnetic process, can discern food quality, and only attack sick plants. Blasphemy, balsamy. Oh my word, the pesticide industry and their funded mouth pieces at the land grant universities could not have this science get any traction, let alone any publicity. No pesticides would be sold if farmers understood that insects only attach sick plants and as that farmers learn how to balance the nutrition of the crops to raise the brix – reading done with a refractometer on the sap – to 14 or more, no insect attack will occur. Neither would there be any issues with fungal disease, viruses, bacterial diseases, or yield, for that matter. Effectively, this would put the current agricultural colleges and pesticide companies out of business.

One can read for oneself about these issues, including the following works, by Francis Chaboussou, a French biologist who wrote about trophobiosis in the 1980s; Dr.Phil Callahan’s many books, but most notably Tuning into Nature from 1972; Don Huber’s extensive work at Purdue and his many scientific articles and book Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease; Dykstra Labs for reading on insect succession – meaning what types of insects attack at different plant sap brix until the plant gets to 14 brix.

Plant nutrition is not something looked at by most farmers and agronomists as directly linked to plant disease and insect pressure; Rather, only in regard to the reference ranges from the soil and tissue test labs which guarantee more of the same. Because of this lack of appreciation for the direct link between nutrition and plant disease and insect infestation, farmers follow the standard fertilizer and trace recommendations laid out by their local coop, Extension agent or agronomist, all trained to believe one cannot farm without pesticides and that Nature is the enemy which the farmer must spray into submission.

This brings us around to the recent article in the LAN regarding strawberries and plant breeding. The chemical industry directly and, via their surrogates at the universities, continue the rhetoric that nature is flawed as if God was stupid in His design of nature. Consequently, knowing pesticides eventually cause resistance, we must look to man’s ingenuity in the development of genetic engineering to impart disease and insect resistance, nutritional abundance, and yield. First, insect and disease resistance, nutritional abundance, and yield are all solved by appropriate nutritional management on the farm. Troubles on the farm in this regard are not genetic defects needing genetic engineering by man to come to the rescue. Secondly, more than 90% of all genetically-engineered crops are purely and simply designed to tolerate the application of herbicide such as glyphosate, gluphosonate, dicamba, 2-4,D and so forth. Consequently, the use of herbicide has exploded and led to now 68+ resistant weed species around the world. 

These genetically-engineered crops carry significant levels of herbicide residue, which then transfer to  humans and the animals eating these crops. Glyphosate, the most common herbicide used world-wide, is an endocrine disruptor, strong chelating agent, and antibiotic. It has been implicated in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Glyphosate was found to cause genetic changes in men at a direct correlation to how long they have been exposed to the herbicide – possible mechanism for how glyphosate causes cancer. View the research findings here: Glyphosate Use and Mosaic Loss of Chromosome Y among Male Farmers in the Agricultural Health Study .

“…pesticide exposure during pregnancy may be involved in the etiology of acute leukemia in children < 2 years of age.”

  • Ferreira JD, Couto AC, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Koifman S; Brazilian Collaborative Study Group of Infant Acute Leukemia. In utero pesticide exposure and leukemia in Brazilian children < 2 years of age. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Feb;121(2):269-75. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103942. Epub 2012 Oct 22. PMID: 23092909; PMCID: PMC3569673.

Cancer in children continues to increase. It has nothing to do with “God’s Will” as some people hold the belief to blame God for “having some unknown plan for taking children to heaven”.  Man, not God, invented and manufactures the poisons and GMOs that are contributing to human diseases, especially in children. It is man who’s polluting the food and environment with poisons, not God. It’s man who fails to apply nutritional sciences to solve the problems of disease, insect pests, yield, shelf-life, and so forth. God did create and set the rules of biochemistry and biophysics. It’s man who violates them and like violating any law of nature or even our lives, there are consequences to those violations.

A study published in Environmental Research, Vol, 246, 1 April 2024, 118114,Gestational glyphosate exposure and early childhood neurodevelopment in a Puerto Rico birth cohort showed that glyphosate exposure negative affected neurodevelopment in children. A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics Vol. 153, Issue 1, January 2024 titled Use of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)-Containing Food Products in Children recommends avoiding genetically modified foods due to the pesticide residues especially glyphosate and their negative effects on children’s health and development.

A study done at Rice University found that CRISPR -induced double-strand breaks in the DNA caused numerous large unintended on-target genetic damage. Detection and quantification of unintended large on-target gene modifications due to CRISPR/Cas9 editing, December 2023.

Every farmer using GMO seed, every university segregate of the biotech industry, every GMO seed salesperson, and chemical dealer repeats the mantra, “they are all safe and approved” by Uncle Sam. Forget the science, forget the public health trends, forget the clinical observations and research by physicians, forget common sense because as long as there is big money to be had, it’s all safe. NOT!

Those red, bulky, beautiful strawberries that taste like cardboard, but look good in a package are often a  GMOs. The spin mongers do make the case for CRISPR not being a GMO because if people knew the truth, they wouldn’t buy the stuff. CRISPR is genetic engineering, not natural selection, not natural cross- breeding and, no, we haven’t done GMOs and CRISPR for centuries as the pundits claim.

The underlying reason, again, for the strawberries or any other fruit, vegetable, or nut tasting poorly, attacked by fungus, insects, viruses, or bacteria has little to do with the genetics. It the nutrition. It’s the low sap brix. As the science proves, insects and diseases don’t attack healthy plants. Of course, little to none of the food grown in commercial agriculture today has high brix, nutritional optimization, or even optimal yield. Farmers use genetics, GMOs and pesticides in lieu of addressing the nutrition necessary to solve the pest problems. Farmers change as public demand changes for various foods and as they discover nutritional farming is more profitable and safer for them, their families, and the consumer. 

Get a refractometer scaled 0-32 and begin checking all the fruit and vegetables purchased at various stores. Keep a log of these tests and note the taste, color, texture, shape, and shelf-life of these foods, their brand name and from where they came. Over time you will be better able to select fruits and vegetables by visual, smell, and touch evaluation as well as identifying those grower brands most consistent in higher brix. Most greens will be 1-3, potatoes 2-5, tomatoes 2-5, strawberries 2-8 and all these should be 14 or higher. Apples, peaches, cherries will usually run 10-16 when ripe and should be 18-24. 

There are several local grower markets and farmer’s markets in Montcalm County where consumers can purchase fruits and vegetables directly from the farm in season.  Question these farmers about their practices: Do they use refractometers to gauge their successes with foliar nutrition in the field? Do they spray pesticides/fungicides on their fruit and vegetables? (They will tell you how they only spray what is needed and all the pesticides they use are EPA-approved) Are they really interested in improving the quality of their produce to the point where they don’t need to use pesticides? Many farmers, sadly, are not interested in stopping the use of pesticides because it’s easier to just follow the MSU/CES recommended protocols than figure out the nutrition necessary to go the better direction. You won’t get any help from MSU/CES on the nutritional front as they don’t “believe” nutrition is the solution.

Hold the organic farmers to the same standards with the refractometer. Sadly, few organic farmers understand the nutrition science needed to get brix reading up any more than their chemical farming neighbors. 

There is a company in Iowa named Boone County Organics that grows organic aronia berries. Typically, aronia berries are pungent and run 10-14 brix. This company produces aronia berries at 18+ and freeze dries them and sells the powder for smoothies, desserts, and so forth. They will only accept berries at 18 brix or higher. For more information on how to do such nutritional farming, contact Central Iowa Agronomics – Bob Streit or AgAdvisory in Algona, Iowa – Michael McNeill. These men consult on hundreds of thousands of acres of various crops across the US and abroad. For example, Dr. McNeill consults on more than 100,000 acres of organic corn and soybeans in N. Iowa that consistently out yield conventional corn and soybeans in the area. It’s not the genetics! It’s the nutrition.

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