Planters have been rolling hard and fast across much of the Midwest. Not everywhere, as my friends in southern Illinois will testify. But the days have been long and the nights short here at the Spangler ranch this week, as we finished corn and are pressing on into beans. The upside to three feet of frost in the ground this winter: my husband reports fields have never worked so well! At least there's that.
And with that, here are five(ish) links to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture.
Why It's So Easy To Believe Our Food Is Toxic: This is a great bit of common sense and science regarding food choices and the people who peddle fear, published by PLOS.org, (The Public Library of Science). It ends with my new favorite quote: "When you hear somebody trying to scare you about food, ask what they’re selling. If you distrust Big Ag and Big Pharma, you won’t find any better treatment from Big Juice."
Water: One of the great things about a company like Farm Progress is that we have editors located all over the country. Their reports tell many stories but this week, it's the tale of water extremes. Minnesotan Paula Mohr blogs at The Farmer about water so plentiful, it's taken for granted. Further west, Kansas Farmer editor P.J. Griekspoor documents rising temps and drought conditions in west Kansas. Field editor Tyler Harris offers a first-hand look at drought-damaged wheat across Kansas and Oklahoma, and marketing editor Bob Burgdorfer reports on the drought's northern expansion.
Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is: Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew onto the street to ask people who proclaimed to be gluten-free, "What is gluten?" Prepare to be neither surprised nor encouraged. But Jimmy has a great line regarding gluten's current reputation: "Here in L.A., gluten is comparable to satanism." Or in other words, no idea what it is…better avoid it.
Unmanned Aerial System Training Class: Chad Colby is holding another of his UAD classes and if you're interested, get on it! The class is next weekend, Saturday, May 17, in Bloomington.
Dreams For My Daughter: Well. If you have a son or daughter graduating this year, I don't know whether to recommend you read this right away or stay well away from it. It's a tear jerker, but it's a tear jerker because it's packed with truth, written by my colleague, Mike Wilson. The crazy thing is that I remember when his daughter was born; I was a college intern at Growmark, working with Mike's wife, Molly, and she was very pregnant. It's a small world. If you make the leap to reading this and want to continue in that vein, this piece from Rob Lowe is an excellent follow-up. Really.