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Letters to Rep. Collin Peterson

11/13/2007 Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.”

Click here to send a response to Rep. Peterson about his quote.
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THE FOLLOWING ARE LETTERS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO MR. PETERSON:

"Mr. Peterson, the fact that you think that supporting the people who don’t receive any government subsidies as being “dumb” shows just how ignorant you are. Organic and small farms get little to no assistance from the government to offset any of their costs while mega farms held by just a handful of corporations get the majority of subsidies. No, supporting organic and local farmers is not dumb, sir. You should definitely win the Organic Consumers Association’s award for dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations.” Hortense, GA

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I congratulate you for winning the Organic Consumers Association award for dumbest quote of the week. Your statement has shown me, and all other Americans that not only are you dumb about agriculture, but you have no appreciation for the fact the safe, locally produced food sustains vibrant communities AND helps preserve the security of the American food system. Sir, buying food that has been flooded with herbicides and pesticides, then shipped across the country or halfway around the world is dumb. Buying local, organic food is the smartest thing any consumer can do. I suggest to you, as Chairman of the House Ag Committee, that you should have a better understanding of these issues before calling anyone else dumb.”

Arlington, VA” Thank you Representative Peterson for reaffirming my disgust with the state of American politics. Once again the bottom line makes the decisions. American democracy, for the corporations, by the corporations.” Pensacola, FL

“What is “dumb” are the billions of dollars given to the oil industry and the farming industry by the US government in subsidies and tax credits. And then the US government must pay billions of dollars in health care and environmental clean-up due to the toxic damage caused by industrial agriculture and the oil industry. Regrettably, the US Taxpayer’s income taxes pay for these. So those artificially reduced food prices at the grocery store are much greater than the true cost of the organics I buy. You flunk math!” Berkeley, CA

“Mr. Peterson, Far be it from you to have any concept or basic understanding of what healthy agriculture really is. It’s not about profit - as you noted, organic and local consumers such as myself are willing to spend a little extra money. That’s because we are intelligent enough to seek to protect our health, the health of our families, and the health of the environment. We are also willing to support those non-subsidized farmers who won’t kowtow to ignorant spenders like yourself who don’t pay attention to the risks they take by eating conventional foods. We take it upon ourselves to safeguard our well-being because you and this administration have not taken the time to do your job and do it for us. As chairman of the HR agricultural committee, you of all people in this country should know the dangers of consuming the fruit, vegetables and other “foods” raised by big agriculture, coated with toxins and injected with dubious DNA and hormones that stores like Wal-Mart and other chains peddle on unsuspecting customers. Stop feeding America poison and lies, and pull your head out of sand.”

“And this is why even the dumb Dems aren’t worth voting for due to the fact your not smart enough to vote for bills that provide healthier food chains”

“Somehow, I guess, some folks just don’t get the idea of sustainability. It may be a difficult concept for some to grasp, it’s worth it. The bottom line is not the short term profit. Apparently you’re way behind the curve, this didn’t begin to happen overnight. Perhaps you were paying attention to something else.” Portland, OR

“1 + 1 = 2, 2+ 2 = 4 do we need to send you back to school?” Brooklyn, NY

“Organic consumers are willing to pay more for better quality products and to support sustainable, healthful agricultural practices. We choose products without high levels of residual pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics, food that’s fresher and more nutritious because it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles, and food that is grown in sustainable ways and in ways that are more fair to growers. We know that agricultural environments affect wildlife and human health. We are not dumb: We know that all food is not created equal.” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, By now, you are probably regretting your choice of words in describing people who choose to support local, organic agriculture. I am one of those people, and I will tell you why. 1) Buying local minimizes the amount of fossil fuels which are used to get food to my table 2) Buying local supports the local economy 3) Buying organic prevents many pollutants from entering groundwater systems and helps maintain the integrity of topsoil 4) Buying organic supports the health of farmworkers 5) Buying organic supports the health of my family There are more reasons, but these are also reasons that the federal government should support. Local economies, clean water, fertile land, public health and the reduction of global warming are all supported by my dollars when I choose to buy from local organic farmers. That does NOT mean that they don’t at times need federal help. If federal subsidies were available to local sustainable farming, America’s dependence on foreign oil would be reduced and the health of many Americans would be improved, reducing rising health care costs for preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer. I am willing and able to pay more for organic food, but much of America’s population is not. Thus their bodies must be fueled by polluted, low-nutrient foods that are subsidized by the government. They then have increased health problems and their health costs are largely paid by the government. Reducing these costs upfront by subsidizing healthy food instead of unhealthy food would go a long way in helping America through its health care crisis. Thank you for your time, one of America’s ‘dumb’ (who happens to have an IQ of 138)” -Raleigh, NC

“I understand that this is just one sentence out of which you probably said many but taken by itself, it is a very ignorant statement for a man of your intelligence.” -Plano, TX

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am not dumb. I try my best to keep toxic substances out of my food supply. Your comments are very offensive.” -West Orange, NJ

“Dear Honorable Representative Peterson, As a single mother of two growing children I cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing locally grown, organic food. Unfortunately, it is expensive but it is worth it - for taste and health reasons, as well as its positive impact on the environment and on reducing the possibilities of climate change catastrophe. I invite you to learn more about the reasons consumers like me choose organically grown foods and to encourage legislation that helps these foods be more affordable, even healthier, and more widely available. The future of our children and the future of food and meeting people’s food needs depends on your action. Thank you for taking the time to consider educating yourself on the benefits of organic food, and for championing legislation that reflects the will of a healthy population, hungering for fresh, delicious, and healthy food.”

“Yes, you don’t get it. People don’t want hormones and pesticides in their food. But just because you don’t care about this, doesn’t mean it is not important to the health of our people and farming future.” -Nevada City, CA

“Dear Mr. Collin, Congratulations for winning Organic Consumers Award for the dumbest quote of the week. It is time you did some homework and discovered the health and environmental benefits of organic farming. As Chair of the House Agricultural committee I am surprised you seem so uneducated about organic farming. Do some investigation yourself and stop just listening to big agri-business.”

“Supporting safe foods is anything but dumb.”

“Gee, why would people want a product without added poisons? What dumb-asses, ‘eh? Next thing you know they won’t want toys with lead in them.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I am shocked at big government and how you all just don’t seem to care about this country’s health and well being. Organic farms need all the support we can give them. It is stupid and idiotic remarks like the one you made that keep so many people in the dark and work against progress for moving away from all the chemicals and toxic additives in our food. Get real! -Canyon Lake, TX

“What is dumb is the government wasting my tax dollars subsiding Large Corporate owned farms, and penalizing small farms.”

“Congrats on winning the “dumb quote of the week” award. This is quite a prestigious award and I’m sure you must be proud. Really though, if you can’t figure out why spending money supporting local communities, preventing the complete destruction of all small farm land for future generations and helping to insure national security by decentralizing the food supply is a good idea then quite frankly I suspect you really shouldn’t be in office. While it may be the big corporations that pay for your campaign it’s these small farmers you are supposed to be supporting, those people that elected you. Remember them? Can you honestly not tell the difference between a garden fresh tomato and one flown in from Chili? Is it not worth it to buy quality from people you know and trust? Is it not important to know your neighbor and foster your sense of community? It won’t be a step towards a fascist state if we do that, but it will be a step towards a better America. Which would you prefer?” -Seattle, WA

“Your comment is what is DUMB. Maybe you should do some homework & learn WHY we’re willing to pay higher prices for products that do not destroy our bodies or our planet!”

“Congressman Peterson: Congratulations on winning the Organic Consumer Association’s “Dumbest Quote of the Week Award” for insisting that those who pay more for local or organic food are “dumb” for doing so. Obviously you need to learn more about the benefits of eating local organic vegetables and local grass-feed meat and dairy, as well as the true costs (environmental costs, health costs and petroleum costs) of creating, trucking and eating conventionally produced food.”

“Man you are way off base. Happy CANCER!”

“Wow, I am pretty embarrassed for you and pretty disappointed that someone in this high of office in the agriculture committee can be so clueless. If you want your family to be consuming antibiotics, hormones and potentially get mad cow, “hallelujah” to you too. It is a sad world when educated people in our government act so dumb. It is people like you that make me scared for my daughter and what world she is going to be living in when she grows up. consumption, corruption and money are all you people are about and I feel sorry for you.” -Veradale, WA

“With all that we know about global warming and pollution today, calling consumers “dumb” to pay more for something that isn’t contributing as much to these problems is just ignorant. By insulting those of us who choose to make a change for the good and actively admitting that you personally cannot take the time to find out the benefits of local organic practices, you are condemning a future generation to live with a world that is not as healthy because of you and your policies. I am outraged that you aren’t just content to bring yourself down by ignoring organic benefits, but you have to bring us (young people and environmentally-conscious buyers) down with you.” -Morehead, KY

“Dear Rep. Peterson Regarding your assessment of people who by organically produced farm goods: 1) We are not dumb. We just don’t believe in externalizing the costs of our food onto other people and future generations. This is a moral choice, and we are willing to put our money where our mouths are. 2) Organically grown food does not cost 2 to 3 times what ‘cheap’ food costs. There is a small price premium, undoubtedly less than you pay for your fancy suits. 3) Small organic farms deserve support from our government far more then the corporate factory farms who support your campaigns. Since when was driving people off the land in favor of machinery and petrochemical debt a rural value? 4) Organic consumers are a growing movement and politically active. You are an endangered species.” -Brunswick, ME

“DO you really think I’m dumb? So dumb I won’t be endorsing you for anything. I am saddened that you even have a say in what happens agriculturally. I will continue to support my local farmer and the sustainable organic industry with my hard earned US dollar. Please refrain from making any additional “dumb” comments.”

“What is wrong with you, Collin Peterson? You call yourself a Democrat and then figuratively spit on the little guy. How about a little support for the farmer willing to provide goods and food security for his own community? Also, you need to do your research. Local food is rarely more expensive than the stuff trucked into grocery stores from around the world, and it certainly costs a lot less in gasoline and OIL. Apparently reducing our dependence on the messy Middle East is not one of your priorities. I’m very disappointed.” -Brighton, MA

“If I were you I would be totally embarrassed about your comment. You should know what you are talking about before you make stupid statements like that. Why don’t you take the time to visit an organic farm (or donate a week or so to work on one) and maybe you would understand how much harder it is to farm organically. Anyone can spray poison on things we eat, or dump chemicals in the ground, but it takes very special people to produce food that won’t keep us spending millions in doctor bills, hospital bills, and have to live with the horrors of cancer, etc. I will gladly give my money to those people who care more about the people who eat their food, our health, and the earth, than give it to the money hungry medical profession and pharmaceutical companies. By the way, I am a retired nurse, and haven’t been to a doctor for any reason in the fifteen years that I have been living organically. My mother always told me “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” . Good advice I think. You should apologize.” -Sequatchie, TN

“If you think we are going to eat the foods that have been raised with chemicals we cannot even pronounce or have been altered to suit big government’s standards you’re crazy. We happen to want what God has given us naturally to eat and not fake food adulterated with what some bioengineer can come up with.”

“It is very obvious that when speaking about organic or local, you don’t know what you are talking about. That is why you given the award for the dumbest comment that was made on organics/local food supplies. My mother used to tell us kids, if you don’t know what you are talking about keep quiet.”

“I was interested to hear your quote that you think those who buy local and organic foods and pay more for them are dumb. The reason that most people do this is because they are concerned with the environmental impact of conventional foods, from production through transportation. I wasn’t aware that being concerned about our actions in regards to the environment was illogical.” -Saint Louis, MO

“And what sort of poison is in your food Chairman Peterson? I am shocked that someone in your position is so ignorant about organic and local foods and why these are the healthiest choices for our families. I’m sure someone will educate you if you are interested in learning. And one of the reasons we pay more to the farmers and ranchers is because they have to compete with the big agri-businesses who ARE subsidized by the government.” -Battle Ground, WA

“Are YOU out of your mind? Maybe you don’t mind swallowing all of the chemicals that are pumped into the factory-farmed animals to keep them alive in horrid conditions just long enough to get them to the consumer, but I don’t. I want my family to eat food and produce that is grown and cared for without all the chemicals and genetically-engineered DNA. I also want my food and produce to be local, so that I am not paying for the astronomical transportation fees and contributing to the problems of pollution, etc. If you are ‘far’ from understanding this, then you do not deserve to be representing your constituents.”

“It is quite discouraging that it is only slightly better to be represented by shills for big business and the wealthy like you and my own Rep. Oberstar than a Republican. It makes me ashamed to be a Minnesotan.” -Bruno, MN

“Your statement about organic and local food is shocking, alarming, disturbing, and, oh yeah, idiotic. I cannot believe you’re chairman of any committee having to do anything at all with agriculture. Do you know how a seed grows? I’ll have to talk with my Minnesota friends about for whom they intend on voting. - Cleveland, OH”

“Congratulations!!! You just received an award for the “DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK” For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” by the Organic Consumers Association. I totally concur, worse yet, your quote tells us your intelligence level in general when it comes to the health of the U.S. citizens. So sad we have such a terrible leader in this country. I would expect better from a democrat! -Garden Grove, CA

“I am one of those dumb consumers of organic products. I am also an ovarian cancer survivor. Part of the reason I am still alive is today is because I have decided to limit the toxins, hormones, pesticides and so forth that enter my body. Shame on you for being so flippant about the reasons people eat organics. Research is on our side. As a representative of all consumers you have an obligation to represent us and not just big business.” -Nesconset, NY

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumer Organizations dumb quote of the week award. Your insensitivity to and ignorance of the organic farming sector of our country is mind blowing. To assure true homeland security, as well as the health of our children and our planet, we must support local food and energy. As the chair of a most important committee, that clearly caters to agri-biz, which denudes the nutrients from our food and is creating generations of under-nourished, unhealthy people, you should know better. It is in the best interest of our citizenry, our planet, our future and the US as a leader, to support organic farming AND those consumers....it would be wise to inform yourself more fully on the issue.”

“Mr. Peterson, So the population of the U.S. is “dumb” for buying food that is better for them than what the government is willing to produce? Well, I’d rather be considered “dumb” than eat genetically modified food, pesticide laden, cancer causing, and environmentally hazardous food!!!” -Pocahontas, AR

“Congressman Peterson, I used to be a farmer. But when government policies moved from supporting family farms to supporting large corporate entities, we could no longer afford to be farmers. It is past time for the US government to recognize that industrial agriculture is not good for people and is not good for the planet. The US is far behind the curve of recognizing the dangers of industrial agriculture. I urge you to study the subject and stop supporting industrial, corporate agriculture. We can no longer afford it.” -Rapid City, SD

“Dear Mr. Peterson- I am astonished and amazed at your recent comment about locally grown and organically raised produce and meat products. A person in your position in this country should be educated on the health benefits and environmental impact that these foods have on our nation as a while. The price and commitment of people to helping our nation’s health car cost, environmental impact on the Earth and our fossil fuel resources are directly tied to our consumption of foods grown in the Earth Friendly, People powered, non-toxic manner in which organic and local farmers do. I suggest you take a small primer course on the internet, start with the Environmental Working Group. Remember the old adage, “One should think before they speak.” “We, organic consumers, are not dumb, we are educated and healthy.” -Chesapeake, VA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, As Chair of the House Agriculture Committee you might want to spend some time to actually understand the topic you are deriding. The current administration has shown that lack of knowledge is dangerous, especially for someone in a controlling position of power. Please educate yourself on the topic you have control of so as not to continue to project the image of a fool.” -Campbell, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, All you need to do is read the research. Then you won’t have to say stupid things.” -Fairfield, IA

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Here’s what it is about: As Chairman of Agriculture and its processes, you surely understand the principle of “garbage in, garbage out” as it relates to food, machinery, and even thought. We take care with our cars to give them clean fuel/oil/air for running. Our bodies deserve no less. Nature is not our enemy; she is a partner just waiting for our cooperation. That’s why we support and pay extra for the quality of natural foods. They contain the energy needed for healthy growth. As an organic consumer, I would be delighted to see a statement from you that said, “Hey! I’ve learned a lot. And I DO know what it is all about now. And I’m supporting health the natural way, rather than trying to ransom it back with drugs and medications.” Wishing you a healthy longevity -Louisville, KY

“As chair of the Agriculture committee, I find it embarrassing that you do not understand the importance of organic and natural foods. Conventional modern farming and food processing has destroyed human health and is one of the biggest reasons that so many people have so many health problems. The numerous synthetic chemicals that are added to our food supply throughout the growth stage to the point of consumption has a huge impact on environmental and human health. For most Americans, every meal that they eat of every day of their lives contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals. Over a lifetime, that really adds up and creates big problems that I think you should be aware of. As far as organic food costing more, that is where the government needs to step in and help out. The government should be providing more subsidies and incentives for farmers and ranchers that choose to perform responsible organic and natural practices. Your recent comments prove that you are not knowledgeable on this most important of matters, so please look into it more.” -Denver, CO

“Dear Congressman Peterson: If you don’t understand organic farming and the reason for it, and you are the chairman of the agriculture committee, don’t you think it would make sense to educate yourself on the issue? I understand that big chemical business and farm suppliers oppose organics, but that is because it threatens their bottom line. It is more important to reduce cancer and other disease caused by pesticide than it is to support people who are only in it for the money. Money counts, but you can make money and be safe at the same time. I think you need to resign from this committee if you do not care enough to learn about the reasons for organics, especially since it is flourishing without your help. -Overland Park, KS

“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Dear Chairman Peterson, People who buy organic are willing to pay 2 to 3 times as much than those that buy conventional (pesticided) food because they won’t compromise their health for money. It’s as simple as that. Far from being “dumb,” they are the enlightened and aware, who know that there is a direct correlation between pesticides, antibiotics, and other toxins used in standard food production in America and the alarming epidemic growth of all types of illnesses and disease from diabetes, to asthma, to allergies and chemical sensitivities, and cancer. In our eyes, those of you who do NOT pay extra for purer food are the “dumb” ones. And the government needs to support the smaller organic farmers so that chemical-free food is available to all Americans, not just those who can afford to pay for preventive health care through a nutritious, health supportive diet. What’s really “dumb” is knowingly feeding pesticided food to your children and then paying high doctors bills when years later they develop cascading health problems. Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!!” -Long Beach, NY

“You know, the reason that people re willing to pay more for local and organic food is because they want to support local and organic agriculture in the hopes that these may become more mainstream. Those who pay more for local and organic products are strengthening their communities and sending a message to corporate agribusiness that conveys that we would rather pay more for our local/organic products than support an industry that is poisoning the planet with chemical fertilizers and harming the people with things like bovine growth hormones. I know that I feel better and more responsible as a consumer when I buy local and organic products. Not only am I supporting my neighbors, but I am educating myself and my community on how to live sustainably. Now who’s DUMB? People like you, who eat the crap that the agribusiness crams down your throat, or people like me, who know where their food comes from, how it was raised and what the hidden costs of eating non-organic/non-locally produced foods are?”

“You should do some research before you spew such diatribe. You are just showing yourself to be a misinformed and ignorant representative, either clueless or beholden to big agribusiness. Shame on you!”

“If we as a people continue buying foods that are laden with pesticides and processed to the point that they’ve lost their nutritional value, and if we (as taxpayers) keep subsidizing this kind of thing ? - then that is truly dumb. And, with all due respect, electing congressmen who don’t understand health, nutrition, sustainable farming or economics also seems pretty “dumb” to me.”

“Buying food locally and knowing where my food comes from is very important to me and many of the people across this country. It should concern more people that they don’t know where their food comes from and the amount of fossil fuels being used to ship food across the world. I think that people wanting to take in interest in their health, local economy and local farmers are pretty smart!”

“Congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week. I am flabbergasted. Are you really that ignorant? Seriously- you can’t fathom why someone would want to pay more for natural food? Organic and local food is so much better for our planet....the planet that God created. I don’t understand people claim to be religious but could care less about protecting and nurturing that which he made.”

“I am an organic food consumer, a member and supporter of OCA, Organics Consumers Association. I am sending you this message at the request of OCA. I am writing to congratulate you on winning the dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations!! I was wondering if you realize that speaking so without a base of knowledge of the topic betrays the fact it’s not the people you are trying to denigrate who is dumb but it is you the speaker? Please, take some time to do some research into what locally grown foods and organically grown foods mean to personal health, the health of the people, the health of the nation and the health of the environment. You’ll find that the efforts by farmers to grow and sell locally, grow organically and for consumers to purchase these products, have put a lot of thought and consideration into this. Economically they are willing to spend more on trying to change the market to a more healthy and sustainable one. Dumb is the complete opposite of what people are trying to do in the buying local and buying organic movement. Good luck on you education and once again, congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week.” -South Hadley, MA

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here Peterson let me talk dumb to you! Obviously yous the one that’s dumb for saying such an idiotic statement like that. Me thinks its time for you to retire!! But I doubt you will just like your buddy Larry Craig! Now Peterson haws it feel to be talked dumb to???? Well that’s exactly how I felt.” -Fremont, NE

“You know what’s so ironic is that the majority of people eating locally and eating organic are actually smarter than the usual consumer since they take the time to read and research about the foods that they put into their bodies- that would include me. Educate yourself- all those toxins and pesticides are clouding your thinking when you go and make narrow-minded and ignorant comments such as yours. I think you need a good de-tox program.” -Bolton, CT

“Well, you are to be congratulated for the dumbest statement I’ve heard in a long time and for getting for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Buying organic is dumb? Well, lots of people know that food without all the added chemicals is healthy and purchase of food loaded with poison is what is dumb. That and making statements like you made, well that is certainly very dumb.” -Chattanooga, TN

“Your recent statement to the effect that paying more for organic products is dumb shows who has you in their pocket - - corporate agribusiness and factory farms. Go ahead and continue eating the tumor- and cancer-ridden meats, hormone-filled dairy goods and pesticide-tainted produce from your buddies, I’m sure it’ll keep you nice and healthy for years to come!!”

“I am an organic consumer, I buy locally and I am not dumb. Perhaps you should take time from accepting donations from agribusiness to research organic agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is very important because it does not add mineral salts and other pollutants to both the soil and above-ground and ground water. Organic produce has been tested and proved to have more nutrients that chemically fertilized produce. Perhaps it would be good to know something about agriculture since you are on the Agriculture Committee.”

“As an organic/local produce consumer, I take exception to your recent comments that people like me are “dumb”. But take heart: You have just received the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Congratulations!”

“Supporting local farms builds community, cuts greenhouse gasses, and ensures food safety. What’s dumb is getting into bed with the agro-businesses that have pushed my family and many of our friends out of farming and ranching and helping to create a world of mutant, processed, disease causing food. I don’t have time to point you in the direction of all of the medical evidence to support that claim, but a simple Goggle search (or better yet, trip to your local library) will substantiate my claim. I’m glad I’m not dumb enough to have helped elect you. Cheers! -Ft. Collins, CO”

“Dear Sir, The “dumb” people that perplex you with their resolve to provide safe, pesticide-free, sustainable wholesome, nutrient rich foods to their families, particularly their young children, pay higher prices for those wholesome foods because we must. We wish to preserve our health; we wish to be thoughtful stewards of the earth with which we are blessed. We don’t want to eat foods full of high fructose corn syrup (causes obesity and diabetes) we don’t want to eat soybeans, we don’t want to eat nutritionally dead foods grown on lands laden with petroleum based poisonous chemicals that have been implicated in everything from Multiple Sclerosis, infertility, cancers of the blood and body, miscarriages, low IQ and immune diseases. But, this is what YOU support. Perhaps this is what YOU feed your family. I challenge you to buy certified organic milk and eggs and even bread, and taste it. Now taste your non-organic eggs and your milk. Even if you honestly believe that this is all a conspiracy created by tree-hugging hippies, sir I assure you, you will TASTE the difference. Please stop flooding our grocery stores with nutritionally inferior products. Support organic farming and sustainability, then prices will come down and even the poor among us will be able to afford nutritious, pesticide-free foods. Clean food should be a birthright, not a luxury. -Sunrise, FL

“My momma told me it is best to keep your mouth shut when you don’t know much about a subject...this is one of those times for you. A little education regarding carcinogens and such would be a good idea. I must say I was surprised to hear a Democrat being so, well, DUMB about something so very important to the health and well being of our children and a little thing called the planet. I expect that from the greedy Republicans. In time I may forget though. “

“Dear Representative Peterson: I sincerely hope that your remark about organic food consumers being “dumb” was incorrect or a misquote. As the chairman of the House Ag committee you should understand something about food, toxic chemicals and antibiotics and their effects on human health. It’s not your job to only represent industrial agriculture but to actually understand the food concerns of American citizens and the effects of foods on our health. Please educate yourself more about organic agriculture and the reasons that millions of consumers are seeking out truly healthy foods grown near where they live, not shipped at great environmental expense from another continent. “ -Waunakee, WI

“If you don’t understand the value of organic, local food and grass fed beef, then you have no business being on the agriculture committee, much less being its chairman.”

“Perhaps the reason you made your recent comments about organic farming is because you are in bed with the government subsidies to chemical/pesticide/herbicide using farms that contaminate our water supply and spread cancer causing chemicals throughout our land. If you want to ingest chemicals and toxins in your food, who am I to stop you. But, for you to spout of in this fashion only supports it is politics as usual for you. Which is: You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Pathetic.” -Portland, OR

“Shouldn’t it be that we pay more if we want our food contaminated with pesticides?? People pay more for organic food because the organic farmers don’t get subsidies from the government. We, the people, care about our health and unfortunately in this country, we have to pay more to get healthy food, Geez, get a clue!”

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. :)”

“Dear Representative Peterson, I take offense to you referring to me as “dumb” for buying organic foods. Being a graduate of the University of Iowa, having grown up on a farm and living in an agricultural state my intelligence about food choices is being ridiculed by you. I was diagnosed with cancer almost 2 years ago and did research on how I could support my immune system to fight off the cancer in addition to conventional therapy. Organic food free of chemicals, in other words, good clean food like I was raised on years ago helps to reduce the chemical load your liver has to deal with.” -Iowa City, IA

“Mr. Peterson, When you, your children and grandchildren are passing on of cancer and numerous other diseases because of the foul and mistaken ideals you’ve taught them about food safety, you’ll take back those words you’ve uttered about us “dumb” organic and local buying consumers. Our willingness to support and fund a healthier agricultural market in hopes of it’s expansion is a commitment to PREVENTATIVE HEALTH MEASURES! Ever heard of that??? Your unintelligent statement is a sad reflection of government’s unwillingness to put money where “The People” see an honest need. Shame, shame... (Democrats from MN ought to know better. I’m disgustingly embarrassed to be your next door neighbor in WI.) -New Berlin, WI

“How rude to say organic consumers are dumb, I guess your parents never taught you any better. Just because you don’t understand something its automatically dumb? Maybe you should educate yourself on organics and maybe you would start to understand. The cost is more but the health benefits are huge. I have two grown children and neither one has ever been sick with anything more than a cold for one or two days. I bet anything if you have kids that you can make the same claim truthfully. Take sometime to learn what all the benefits are about and maybe you’ll become as dumb as us organic consumers.” -Dover, AR

“Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” It’s good to know that the ignorance of this administration trickles down to every level. Congratulations!!”

“Dear Collin Peterson, I am concerned that you admit that you don’t understand the organic growing movement or local foods programs. I would love to send you some information on reading material that would let you be a little more informed about such a large issue, especially since you are in such a position of responsibility and influence regarding agriculture and American food. Hopefully, you will be at least tolerant and respectful of the food choices that many of the people in this country are making.”

“I have been eating Organic for over two years now and have never been as healthy and happy as I am right now. I don’t believe I am dumb and take offense to your comment, I think you should make a public apology for your statement.”

“I take issue with your assessment of organic consumers being “dumb”. I am an organic consumer who is willing to pay more for food that does not contain added hormones or antibiotics and vegetables that are not genetically engineered while supporting my local agricultural industry. I am an independent thinker who will not swayed by Monsanto’s rhetoric, unlike so many of the truly “dumb” consumers out there. Go ahead and swill your bacteria laden fat free milk that you find so tasty, Mr. Peterson. I, for one, will not be joining you.” -West Milton, OH

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I find it hard to believe that congress continues to provide billions of dollars in funding for factory farms, money that goes to subsidize large corporations such as Cargill and Monsanto. But some representatives, such as yourself, do not show the least understanding for improving our food system by growing organically and locally. Such support would go to many small farmers who are trying to make a living farming.” -Chicago, IL

“May I suggest you educate yourself as to the nutritional value that is in your traditionally (mass/chemically) farmed produce and meat compared to organic foods. In many cases organic has been tested to have 10, 100, or even 1000 times the nutrient content over regular produce. Not to mentioned the pesticides, hormones, steroids and bovine diseases that are in “regular” meat and produce - I’ll skip eating those too thanks. Why buy local? Because once we run out of oil and gas that’s all you’ll have! By buying local I’m not supporting using more fuel to ship my food 3 countries away. By buying local I’m supporting my local economy and farmers. So will I pay more to save the environment and not put harmful toxins into my body, and feed it more higher nutrient dense foods? Without a doubt! I might even suggest that those that can’t see the benefits FAR outweigh the cost - well I guess they’re just dumb.” -Edmonton, AB

“Rep. Peterson: Clearly your consumption of chemical-laden farm products for so many years has deteriorated your brain to the point of malfunctioning. Your recent statement questioning why people would pay more for organic foods is evidence. Perhaps it’s time for you to step down and go to work for Big Agribusiness, since that seems to be who you represent.” -Stillwater, MN

“Mr. Peterson, I am astounded that you would refer to my family as dumb, referring to you calling people to purchase food that is grown organically, locally etc... as dumb. Us dumb people are a great deal of the population, we are educated, informed, family oriented and we love our communities. (so much so that we spend a bit extra to support our local farmers...how stupid of us!) For my family personally we would rather pay more for the highest quality food without pesticides, hormones and genetically modified ingredients and cut back on other less useful things. I am the wife of an active duty Naval Officer who works very hard to keep our country, community and children safe...who you to say are, DUMB, when all we do is want the best for the people we love the most. Congrats on insulting my community, the farmers we support and my family in general....you win the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!!! -Navy Wife Mother of two beautiful, healthy, organically fed kids!” -Everett, WA

“Nice quote; you sure are clueless. You should really resign.” -Seattle, WA

“I was amazed and saddened that you demonstrated such ignorance and contempt for consumers of organic and local foods through your recent comments to the Financial Times. I would think that a representative from the Midwest would be much more aware of the importance of small, family farms and the people who support them. In an era where mega-agriculture is devouring family farms and eating up federal subsidies, I would hope that you would be more supportive of local and organic suppliers and the people who keep them in business.”

“Wow, maybe if you cared for your health or the environment you might have an idea. Maybe the tie is too tight and you are losing oxygen as well as too many toxins in your mass produced food. I suggest for some bed side reading you pick up FAST FOOD NATION, it was a real eye opener for me. I happen to be an agriculture major and have mourned the state or condition that local and small farmers have endured to try to keep their land and feed their own family. I don’t ask that you become an expert but I ask for those that love you sake, eat more organic and locally grown. The way food is raised and processed is not good, healthy or kind to the animals or the humans that raise them or eat them. As always,” VA Beach, VA

“Wow! Your quote on organics and locally grown food was so uneducated that it literally “blew me away” . Would you like to know why organically grown food is better for people and for the earth? I hope so since you are in a position of power and you should understand agriculture in its various forms. But, congrats on being awarded “Dumbest Quote of the Week” . Go Organic!” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Collin Peterson; I do not appreciate being called “dumb” for my researched and considered decisions about the quality of the food I choose to buy and feed my family, nor as a former small business owner in the natural foods industry, nor as a promoter of community supported agriculture (as a member of an ecumenical movement.) I sincerely hope your health lasts and you do not end up feeing “dumb” for having consumed unhealthful quantities of chemicals, hormones and heavy metals. May you be blessed with health, greater reason and - better manners”

“I strongly object to you calling organic consumers “dumb” . You should promote organic agriculture not bad mouth those who consume its products. -Lansing, MI P.S. I am embarrassed that you represent my former hometown of Moorhead, MN.”

“Do some research, and not the materials supplied to you from the petro-chemical industry! Some of us are willing to pay extra to avoid poisons, growth hormones and a multitude of noxious chemicals used by food producers. More and more evidence is showing how bad these chemicals are for humans to consume. People far smarter than you will ever be are aware of the damage already done.” Boise, ID

“Dear Collin Peterson, I have an MBA and my husband is an attorney. We do not consider ourselves dumb. What I do think is dumb, is your statement: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Buying local and organic is much better for our health and for the environment. And, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that!”

“Why do you hate America?” -Richmond, VA

“Mr. Peterson, I find it interesting that the head of the House Agriculture Committee could be so “dumb” . Consumers are paying more for organic because 1. There is less of it and supply is dictating price. 2. Because the poisons (pesticides), hormones, and other tampering with the food supply places our health at risk. 3. In an effort to stave off the ever increasing illness affecting Americans with direct connections to what we eat, we feel it is imperative to try to avoid processed crap, full of chemicals, paint, MSG, to name a few. We need people like you to get educated before you open your mouth, and we need support for real change in the betterment of our food supply! We need to be able to walk into a grocery store and obtain unadulterated food without the exorbitant cost. Our reps should be helping us! Wake up!”

“Just so you know, sir, we must be dumb to have voted you into office. But it looks like these “dumb” people will be the ones to vote you out of office.” -Winthrop, MA

“Are you really so out of touch with the American people or are you dumb?”

“I am a Democrat, but after hearing your remark in regard “something that says organic” , I am ashamed to be one. It is hard to believe that you are actually an educated individual. Maybe, just maybe, if you took the time to educate yourself about the subject matter that you are speaking about, you would not end up sounding like an ass. So, congratulations, you have received the Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You even topped President Bush this time.” -San Ramon, CA

“Wondering why you are calling organic consumers dumb? Is it dumb to want to eat non-toxic, non-tainted, healthier food that also provides benefits for family farmers and the environment? I think you should investigate organic foods further before you belittle those who buy them. Try some organic vegetables or fruits, and you will not only taste the difference but notice a difference in how your body is feeling. Wishing you a peaceful, productive existence!” -Durham, NC

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Thanks for leading the charge for a locally-produced, healthier American food system. With idiots like you in the government it’s no wonder why we’re rapidly becoming a net importer of food. Dependence on foreign oil? Try dependence on foreign food.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, For the of the House Agriculture Committee to say that spending more for organic and/or local food is not dumb. It’s INANE! Who do you work for? Your constituents or the pharma and insurance companies? Basically, you’re saying that you’d rather see your neighbor, a local, organic farmer, put out of business and then have your family eat pesticide and fungicide soaked, genetically processed food from monster agriculture corporations? Dumb and dumber, Peterson! Your constituents say, “Here’s to your HEALTH!” -Medanales, NM

“The reason people are willing to pay more for organic foods is because we prefer not to consume foods that are sprayed with chemical pesticides. We also do not want the source of our dairy products to be animals that eat feed that is treated with pesticides. In addition, we do not want our children nor ourselves exposed to unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones. More importantly, our environment suffers every time a chemical pesticide is used to treat food crops. It pollutes our precious land and water.” -West Bloomfield, MI

“How can you be so ignorant on these issues? You should resign immediately.” -Grayslake, IL

“Mr. Peterson, Check the nutrition figures of grass-fed beef compared to ‘regular’ beef, but do it from a source other than the big beef industry lobby. You’ll see who is dumb. Hallelujah to you.” -Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Representative Peterson, Your comments reflect a narrow understanding of the U.S. food system and its costs. If the price of most conventionally grown foods were to include the cost of so-called “externalities” such as soil and water pollution, topsoil erosion, and public health, then the price of organic foods would seem inexpensive indeed. I suggest you view “The True Cost of Food” at thetruecostoffood.org -Aptos, CA”

“If you don’t understand why people pay more for organic food, you might want to research the effects of all the chemicals that non-organic farmers use on their crops. Farmers are currently allowed to use many known cancer-causing chemicals on their crops. What’s more, organic farms actually out-produce acre for acre non-organic farms. Organic farming should be the rule not the exception.”

“Your lack of support for organic and sustainable farming methods ensures that as you progress through the electoral system, I will NEVER send you a cent in contributions.”

“Representative Peterson, I am amazed at the ignorance displayed by your comment regarding organic consumers. You demonstrated not only a complete lack of understanding of the benefits of organic foods, but also a complete lack of understanding of the economics or global impact of the organic foods sector. Briefly put, organic foods have greater health benefits than non-organic foods. Studies have shown higher nutrient levels and better flavor than non-organic equivalents. On the other hand, synthetic compounds found in non-organic foods cause additional strain on the body, particularly the liver. Our bodies are not designed to process much of what non-organic foods put into it. While enzymes break down various carbohydrates, fats and proteins, the body has no mechanism for processing most of the synthetic compounds introduced by non-organic foods. Many of these compounds accumulate in the body as a result, leading to symptoms as minor as allergies to as serious as cancer. In the case of beef, there are additional concerns. Most beef is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. The medical industry has observed that the level of antibiotics people eat through meat is leading to super-bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. The large amount of hormones taken in through food sources also affects the body with non-natural hormone levels. As these substances are eliminated from the body, they enter the ecosystem, affecting marine life. The environment is another reason to support organic farming and local buying. Pesticides from non-organic farming run off with wastewater, also affecting marine life. Food shipped from one side of the country to the other requires fuel to transport it, adding to global warming. Organic farming techniques are gentler on the Earth, yielding healthier soil conditions that also help keep down global warming. The price of organic foods is high because of attitudes and ignorance such as yours. Organic farming is a developing industry. Like any developing industry, prices will initially be high. Look at the prices of HD and Plasma televisions, or DVD players, for example. How high were those when they first came out? Those prices have gone down significantly. The difference here is that organic farming is in competition with non-organic farming, and non-organic farming is receiving government assistance all the time. It is fighting an uphill battle against an opponent that is getting support. Why do I purchase organic food? It’s healthier, and I can easily feel that health difference. It’s better for the environment. It’s a more “natural” way of doing things, and from a shamanic perspective, that feels to me the way things should be. I choose to invest in the kind of world I want to see, whether that investment is through my time, energy, or money. I suspect you will receive a lot of response about your comments. I suspect that, compared to comments you may receive on other issues, a higher proportion of these comments will be non-personal, but instead intelligent, heartfelt, and well thought out. I hope you take that to heart. At the very least, I’d like to offer you a challenge to spend one month eating all organic foods. See if you notice the taste difference. See if you notice the health difference. If you do, then realize not only a society that feels the same benefits, but the environment as well.”

“Why don’t you pull your head out!”

“Your ignorance about organic and local foods is embarrassing to your party. Educate yourself, please! It’s the least you can do...literally.” -Lewisville, NC

“With “friends” (i.e. Democrats) like you, who needs Republicans?”

“I am a married mother of two young sons. I live in Santa Cruz, CA with my family. I found your recent assertion that organic consumers are dumb to be incredibly offensive. The town I live in is a heavily agricultural area...it is surrounded by farms. Those of us who live in farm areas understand the direct impact that pesticides and herbicides have on our air, our water and our health. Maybe you are insulated from those effects in your capitol hill office. maybe to you, food seems like a simple commodity, that just arrives on your grocery shelves; and you don’t care how it gets there. I care. I care about the air my children breath, the water they drink, and yes, I care if the food they eat has pesticide residues on it. The demand for organic food is only going to grow, you have that much right. But the costs of making the transition are great. We owe it to America’s small farmers to help them make the transition. It is an investment that will pay off in a cleaner environment and a more healthy and diverse agricultural economy. Factory farms should not be our ONLY farms. I hope you will reconsider your stance on this issue.”

“Frightening to think that people like yourself are in charge of setting health policy. Why do you think people in the U.S. are so obese? Why do you think most antibiotics don’t work anymore? Maybe you should dedicate some time to these issues, then you might understand why people are willing to pay more so they do not load their bodies up with substances that have horrible effects on their health. A subject I suggest that is worth studying for you.” -Santa Monica, CA

“Unfortunately it is antiquated attitudes such as yours that have led our planet to the dangerous situation we are in. I sincerely hope you attempt to educate yourself. Your position of power demands it.” -Fountain, CO

“Nice job! Making the dumbest quote of the week is hard work. Next time consider promoting positive change for our country and maybe you will make the best quote of the week.” -Eugene, OR

“Dear Representative Peterson, I am a consumer who purchases organic and locally grown food for myself and my family. I do pay more for the assurances that my food providers do more to protect my health and the environment than conventional factory farms. I do not do this, because I am dumb. I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Accounting, and I scored in the top 4% of test takers on the GMAT. I simply understand the benefits of organic agriculture. I would expect you to understand them as well, as you are the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. For example, the USDA found higher levels of the cancer-fighting and possibly heart-attack preventing agent, lycopene, in organic ketchup than in conventional brands a few years ago. In 2002, a study found that children who ate organic fruits and vegetables had less pesticide in their urine than children who ate conventionally raised produce. Paying a little more for food that puts less POISON into my children’s system does not sound very dumb to me. I’m not even going to address the obvious benefits to the environment that organic farming carries over conventional, but I do not mind paying for that, also. Further, I would not have to pay more, if the US Government and your committee leveled the playing field for organic and conventional farmers. Huge agri-business has dined at the corporate welfare trough for too long, and conventionally grown food would cost no less than organics, if a proportional share of food subsidies went to organic farmers. In fact, I am paying more for the conventional food that I choose not to purchase, I just do that through my tax dollars. Paying for something you do not want is dumb, but I do not have a choice in the matter. Better yet, food subsidies as a whole could be reduced and ultimately eliminated, and then taxpayers could decide what food to purchase with their own money. The Organic Consumers Association has given you its award for the dumbest quote of the week. I do not think you are dumb. I think you probably did not think your statement through before you made it, and you have not thought through the benefits of organic farming. Some things, like our children and their future, are worth paying to protect.,”

“Mr. Peterson, No, we are not willing to pay two or three times as much for something that SAYS ‘organic’ or ‘local’, we are willing to pay two to three times as much for something that IS ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Your incomprehensible ignorance shows itself painfully clearly in your statement. You and people that think like you are the reason lawmakers again and again try to water down the FDA Organic Standard (so really you can have conventional produce that SAYS it is organic but no longer is) NOT UNDERSTANDING that organic means no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, engineered organisms, all factors in declining health and scores of health problems, including cancers. Shame on you, being on such a powerful post and being either too dumb to understand the issue or to ignorant and elitist to want to understand the issue. -San Francisco, CA

“Hmm perhaps you haven’t studied anything regarding agriculture, global warming, and the ecology of the planet. Organic means something hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals that can kill you, and disrupt the ecological balance of the planet. Local means that your friends and neighbors grew it, not some random person in another country who then put it on a giant truck or cargo ship that took tons of gasoline to arrive at its final destination. And don’t give me that crap about “no studies have shown yada yada” - I don’t need a lab to tell me what I can plainly see with my own eyes. Finally, organic local food tastes better and makes me feel better. Conventional food is just gross. Though if you’re used to eating crap I doubt you’d notice the difference.” -Arcata, CA

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. What people are seeking is pure food, not heavily adulterated stuff produced by the large agribusinesses.”

“How can you not support your local farmers and in turn your own neighbors. You must be a Wal-Mart lover too.”

“Dear Representative Peterson; Did it ever occur to you that if Organic and sustainable farming continues to grow and prosper without government intervention, that corporate farming, non-organic farming, non-sustainable farming, or chemical intensive farming, call it what you will, should be able to survive without government aid and intervention? Eliminate subsidies for all types of agriculture so it’s a level playing field and let the consumer choose. And, just say no to NAIS. -No Hollywood, CA

“Please read “The Food Revolution” by Tom Robbins in order to educate yourself in this important issue.” St Peter, MN

“As a former Minnesotan, I was dumbfounded that you would say that buying organics is “dumb” . It has been proven scientifically that organic farming is healthier for our earth than the force fed chemically intensive method that you seem to advocate. So carcinogenic chemically created farm products vs. natural, it seems to me that I would prefer natural and would hope that you would want that for you, your family and our nation as well. Even Europe won’t be buffaloed with GMO products, etc. and so neither should we. Please reconsider how you are spending our tax dollars the next time you are faced with who should get it. Corporate greed or smaller sustained family farms.” -Berkeley, CA

“Mr. Peterson, Calling a segment of the population, part of YOUR constituency no doubt, DUMB for focusing their buying and eating habits on organic, free-range and local foods only shows how much you don’t know about the subject. Please take your foot out of your mouth and educate yourself on these topics. Sincerely, A voting Democrat,”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, I can tell just by your hair color that you are lacking copper in your diet. That your skin is starting to hang due to lack of not drinking enough water. There is so much that you could learn from the Organic Consumers. First of all taste, not to say anything about the health benefits” -Anchorage, AK

“With the help from you self-serving fed trough feeders, more interested in filling your own wallet than representing those that mistakenly put you in office, we no longer can trust you to manage healthy foodstuffs for us unwashed peasants and that’s why we’re willing to go the proven healthy way instead of ignoring your sellout! Your type should be tarred ‘n feathered?” -Loma, MT

“Dear Mr. Peterson I find your statement concerning local and organic farming to be naive and uninformed. These systems of agriculture are all about sustaining agriculture and family farms. I would hope you would want to encourage the consumers to support these systems rather than characterizing their choice to support these systems as “dumb” .”

“I find it fascinating that you would be unable to understand the many reasons why a consumer would wish to support their local producers over remote producers. Also it is fascinating that you do not understand why consumers health concerns would lead them to choose organic foods for their family. Anyway sir, congratulations on dumbest comment of the week. Best wishes and more pesticides, herbicides, GMOs in your food and energy waste in transportation to you. And this from a Democrat. I had you pegged as a neocon based on your statements.”

“No wonder the democrats are floundering. Are you really that stupid to call me dumb because I don’t want to eat poisoned food that is raised and or harvested in the most unhealthy and immoral fashion? Food raised and harvested by huge corporations that like you are only interested in the bottom line? How much did big agribusiness pay you-contribute to your campaign fund-to come out and actually call your constituents and fellow democrats dumb!! Man I hope you get elected the heck out of office.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, This letter is in response to your recent comment, “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Whether that comment was out of sheer ignorance or being funded by chemical companies, here are a few reasons why I choose to buy organic: -Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs. -It’s common sense well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals. -Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us. -The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources. -Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils. -Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas. -Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment. -The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades. -USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops. -Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically ? even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way. (Reasons to buy organic provided by the Organic Trade Association.) The point is sir, that I want to be healthy and have a healthy world for future generations to enjoy. A good start is consuming organic products. The government persists on subsidizing farmers that use unhealthy and unsustainable farm practices (largely due to taking unethical bribes from large chemical companies). This is the reason that organic products are 2-3 times more expensive than the regular, unsustainable products. “Far be it from me” to understand why our senators and representatives refuse to listen to the needs of the people they represent. Please support organic farming practices, our future and our health depend on it!”

“If you took the time, I personally, as a Holistic Health Counselor, could give you literally dozens of sound, scientific reasons why organic and local farm products are better for you. In a nutshell, they are not toxic - which is what virtually all factory-farmed meat and produce are.”

“If you can’t figure out the benefits of eating food grown without CHEMICALS then really, who is the dumb one? Please, since you obviously have no clue about agriculture or what should be going in human bodies, remove yourself from the agriculture committee.”

“Sir, As indicated in the MSNBC.com Financial Times Oct. 17, 2007 publication, your ignorance as it relates to organic farming is quite alarming. Perhaps you don’t mind you and your loved ones eating toxic waste at every meal, but there are a number of folks out there who do especially when there is an alternative. The fact that organic foods cost more is the shameful and “dumb” part. Why should consumers have to pay more for safe food? For instance, why should we be forced to eat strawberries sprayed with a known neurological damaging (among other things) pesticide, when there is an organic alternative. Next time you watch your children or grand children enjoying fresh produce, I hope you consider what it is exactly that they are ingesting and consider perhaps looking into their future with a world filled with horrifying toxins and consider taking a stand against big business and your wallet. It would take guts, but you could do it.”

“It is sad when law makers make a comment as ignorant as this. The problem must be that there isn’t enough BIG money in it for the representatives of this country.” Appleton, WI

“Mr. Peterson, I am supposedly one of the dumb ones who is paying a little more for organic and local foods. Yet, the ignorance you are expressing in your interview of October 17, 2007, towards the entire subject of growing locally and organically is simply incredible and outrageous. I am deeply concerned that someone like you, with a seemingly high intelligence, can voice something like that. It shows so clearly how uninformed and ignorant you are! There are plenty of good websites to get informed. Why don’t you start with the Organic Consumer Association. Best regards and may God bless you while serving the people of the United States.” -Chantilly, VA

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here. Mr. Collin Peterson... unfortunately, I had to remove the “dear” , as, you called me “dumb” I will eat only organic products, because the other products are laden with Monsanto’s GMO’s and, poisons, and, the truth is, I can NOT trust the FDA nor, the patent office to look out for me if you don’t know about that I suggest you visit youtube.com and, watch the series called The Future Of Food Part 1 - 4 and, tell me how, a company got patents on seeds etc., these are the creation of god ??? surely to god; when these people meet the pearly gates; they will descend straight to hell the truth is, the whole USA is corrupt and, I hope people buy only from local sources, and, only organic and, the other stuff rots on the shelves unless; it’s organic; and ; I know who made it; I no longer eat that !!! i’d rather starve to death because, if I am what I eat i’d rather eat wholesome things, that come from wholesome handlers, and, know I will go to heaven, instead of eating the cheaper crap, that, will land me in hell I can TRUST my neighbor... but, surely to GOD I know I can NOT trust other sources for food in these times the sheep people, will no longer be fleeced by the likes of people who make comments like yours ... how very insulting besides - JUST SEE WHAT THESE DUMB PEOPLE DO A lot of them are DARING Uniting Making good sense ... out of just where the world is heading right NOW with people like you as leaders, we definitely, should NOT choose at this time to follow you or, any of your brilliant suggestions that are NOT founded in real truth comments like this insult us maybe, you will learn something from this outbreak of yours, discover the truth, and, come to stand on the right side, instead of the wrong side of serious issues ... before it is truly too late for you who is helping the farmers, who got sued by Monsanto after, they must of driven trucks with traps; and; scattered their gmo seeds; so; they fell into their fields you truly; do NOT know your ass from a hole in the ground you should for someone who heads up agriculture; be a lot smarter than you appear to me America / and, the rest of the world is getting a lot smarter; than you ever expected us to BE ... I hope you get pelted with emails, just like mine”

“ People are willing to pay more for organic produce because they are SMART- they don’t want to dumbly accept poisons and hormones from agribusiness. We care enough about our bodies and our children’s bodies to choose better food. That makes us smarter.” -Denver, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it has no validity. Please educate yourself about organic and local farming and why your constituents and others are buying it as opposed to other available options before you speak. As chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee it is your duty to know everything you can possibly know about agriculture including organic and local agriculture. Thank you.” -Gallup, NM

“I pay more for organic food because I don’t want to eat pesticides and chemical fertilizers, eat genetically-modified foods, drink pus-contaminated milk, eat soy protein contaminated with hexane, cook with oils extracted using hexane, eat animals that are fed antibiotics, growth hormones, chicken feces, and blood; and eat meat that is contaminated with feces because it was slaughtered in a big factory slaughterhouse where feces gets sprayed on meat due to hasty disemboweling.” -Socorro, NM

“I am one of those dumb people who pays more for organic. And I pay more because government continues to subsidize farmers doing damage to the environment and to the health of people. I think it matters if you buy organic or not. I think it matters if you buy local. Instead of calling us dumb, help us change the system so that there is equity in the market. Help us maintain organic standards. Help us diminish water pollution and protect our oceans. Buying organic is important. If someone told you that pesticides are not a problem, you should do your homework and ask yourself who told you it was safe. I hope you join us dumb folk and take care of yourself and the environment by going organic yourself! Thank you for listening.” -New York, NY

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, There have been no long term studies of BGH’s effects on humans. Since 1994, every industrialized country in the world, except for the US, has banned rBGH for use in dairy cattle. This powerful drug produced by Monsanto and injected into dairy cows, forces them to produce 15%-25% more milk. rBGH seriously damages their health and reproductive capacity. A cow’s life expectancy on this drug is drastically shortened. I do not wish to ingest dairy or meat products from cows injected with this hormone!” -Albuquerque, NM

“Dear Collin Peterson: I am sorry to hear that you have such a low opinion of your many constituents who buy organic food. I have bought organic food for the past 20 years. One of the many reasons is that I have very serious concerns about feeding my children food that is sprayed with pesticides a.k.a. poisons. I’m surprised that you don’t.” -Duluth, MN

“People who have willingly ingested herbicides and pesticides all their lives owing to the fact that they were intellectually challenged in the first place and were therefore unable to comprehend the damage these chemicals caused to their already addled brains are a tragedy. Those people being elected to represent sane, conscientious citizens who have more than two healthy neurons to rub together - now that’s DUMB. I was taught to think before I opened my mouth. I’m sorry you were painfully obviously not given that particular advantage either. Even so, you do have a job to do, and you are being paid for it. Whether or not you have any personal sense of duty or honour, it would behoove all of us if you were to at least act like it. Please learn something before you open your mouth and pretend to know anything about anything again.” -Greenfield, WI

“Senator Paterson; I am totally dumbfounded by the following statement you made recently about supporting organically/sustainable farming - “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good. For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Congratulations! You win the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I don’t think I can say much more than that for I would not know where to start. You have so much to learn. -New York, NY

“I live in MN and I hope your immediate constituents vote you out next term. I will do all in my power to make sure they hear about your comment. I have never been so insulted. I choose to buy organic because I don’t want to ingest all the chemicals used by the factory farms. I resent being force-fed the chemicals and genetically engineered crops used in the name of making more money.”

“collinpeterson.house.gov House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson Washington Office: 2211 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-2307 Sir, you must have some aids who will do a little research for you regarding the benefits of eating organic foods and shopping as close to home as possible. It’s not a good time to be embarrassing democrats with thoughtless and unfounded comments and remarks. By the way, most consumers know what is organic and what is not, regardless of what you may believe, and what the FDA may be telling you. Perhaps you could go so far as to check in with the NOSB every now and then to ensure they are doing the best advisory job possible. Maybe even pay attention to their advice and share it with your peers. Hard work I know...” -Tacoma, WA

“The following comment you made is dumb: Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” You need to be taking care of these farmers not the BIG business corporations. Shame on all of you!” -Spring Hill, TN

“As a lifelong Democrat, I am saddened and embarrassed that you have so little knowledge about the importance of organic food and the serious health risks of pesticides, artificial fertilizers and pharmaceutical drugs in our conventional food supply. I urge you to acquaint yourself with these issues before you issue another such uninformed and flippant remark on this extremely important topic.” -Prospect, KY

“Wow, I’m dumb enough. I’m dumb enough to take lead poison toys away from my kid too! I’m dumb enough to make sure my kid eats organic dairy products and no American beef since I know full well that Republicans in the U.S. could care less if my kid gets her period 4 years early from hormone infused milk or gets mad cow disease. You’re an abominable disgrace to this country. I’m disgusted that someone as dumb as you would be voted into office. It does take intelligence to figure out the right thing to do most of the time. And maybe the lack of morality in the Republican Party is really an offshoot of profound ignorance.”

“Mr. Peterson, It is time for you to inform yourself on the issues of our food supply. Organics are our only salvation at this point because our political leaders have done such a poor job of protecting us and looking after anything other than their own interests, especially where their dollars come from. Do yourself a favor and learn the facts. Then you will represent us in a way that can be a positive force for change. Thank you.” -Bothell, WA

“I’m shocked that the chair of the Agriculture Committee doesn’t understand the benefits of purchasing local and organic food, at the very least the benefits to reduce Global Warming. And why does big agri need more help from the government than the small farmer? It’s time for a change.”

“I’m one of those dumb people who grow and organic garden, as well as purchase meat at high prices that are antibiotic free and hormone free. I also purchase pesticide free organically grown vegetables and fruit when I can get it. Yes, it is obscene to have to pay a higher price for healthy food that is not genetically altered and pesticide free, but that is what our government has created in this country since they have no concern for people’s health only what will make them look politically good for supporting corporate agriculture and the Monsanto’s of the world. When your family comes down with cancer caused from pesticides and meat full of hormones, let me know if you are willing to change your eating habits.”

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson: I am stunned that you find people dumb for wanting healthy food that is not tainted with harmful pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics. Your statement indicates a complete ignorance of the health and environmental consequences associated with commercial farming. It is exactly because the American people can’t count on their government and legislators like you to protect them from harm that they are willing to spend more on organic food.”

“Unbelievable that you cannot see the benefit of eating wholesome food in it’s natural state (as intended)without the use of hormones, antibiotics, growth additives and unsafe fertilizers, etc. Perhaps you are lacking the education regarding the safety of organic and grass fed animals vs. mainstream food. I would encourage you to educate yourself; your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on it.”

“Congratulations on the dumbest statement! Perhaps a little education is in order for an elected official in your capacity. Start with farming and then do a little work on your palate and vocabulary. I thought we could leave these kind of statements to our erudite president.” -New Paltz, NY

“You certainly are no friend of agriculture, but definitely a friend of agri-business, based on your recent statement regarding local grown and organic products. You sound just like an appointee of the Bush administration.” -Cherry Valley, IL

“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” In response the above quotation (by you of course) I just wanted to let you know that I am NOT dumb. I am only 18 years old yet I realize how important it is to buy organic and local food that is not sprayed down with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. My father, after making the switch to organics, has no more asthma to speak of while I have no more allergies at all. Pesticides contain chemicals that can be very harmful to reproductive health, growing children and unborn fetuses. I support local and organic foods whenever possible. I have gone to the farms where most of my food (including meat, eggs and milk) are produced. These people are not trying to scam me. They genuinely believe that our modern food system needs to go back to simpler ideals. And most of the time it is cheaper to buy organic and local because there are no shipping costs and everything is in season. Maybe you don’t really know what organic agriculture is about. It is not a fad or gimmick, it’s how people have farmed for thousands of years. We cannot be sure these chemicals we spray on our food are safe if we have only been using them for one century! Huge farms need to use pesticides because of how poorly they treat their land and how inefficient their techniques are. We need to give more money to small farmers who sell to local grocery stores and farmers markets. Only then we will see a decline in obesity and other food related health issues. I am not dumb.”

“Hon. Peterson, Clearly you need to be a little better versed in how the food system works in the US. Its not just about Monsanto and ADM, who undoubtedly make large contributions to ‘dumb’ Representatives such as yourselves to help keep the status quo, its about sustainable agriculture and a lessening of our dependence on foreign oil to raise crops. Organic and locally grown do just that. Regards,” -Arvada, CO

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here Sir, Do you have a clue as to what organic actually means? Obviously not to make a comment as ill-informed as the one you made recently.” -Los Angeles, CA

“Being an active Democrat, and concerned about my health and the health of the country, I was extremely disappointed to hear that you consider organic consumerism a dumb idea. Purchasing and consuming organic and local food is an extremely wise practice. Organic food is superior in quality to foods that have been raised with pesticides and herbicides...and organic food tastes better, too. I encourage you to become informed about the benefits of organic food, the organic food movement and all the positives of buying local, whenever possible. By the way, I’m a former Minnesotan, retired and now living in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We are organic food consumers and support the sustainability movement here in northern Wisconsin.” -Bayfield, WI

“There are too many hidden costs in conventional produce and meats for me to fit in one message, that I know you won’t read. Food has gotten cheaper and cheaper, at great expense to our health, our environment, our farmers. Shame on you.” -Olympia, WA

“How dumb is it to not care about what goes into the food you eat? Seems like you support only one part of the constituency you represent. Bravo, sir, bravo.”

“Pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones...these are not things I want to ingest. Organic farming is something you need to do some research on so that you can make statements that reflect your intelligence rather than your ignorance.”

“Collin, Thank you for instructing me and other people that care about localizing the food chain and eating synthetic chemical free and GMO free foods on the virtues of intelligence. You can be sure that come election time I will be doing all I can to elect people in your place that are “dumb” like me- those who care about sustainable farming practices, who worry and not just pay lip service to the problem of pollution that results from industrial scale farming, who keep in mind the importance of animal welfare and its lack in factory scaled farming practices, who consider subsidizing large agro-businesses like Monsanto equivalent irrational and who support small farmers and their families in providing us with safe and nutritious food supplies. The irony is of course is that it is the “dumb” like me that are working to make this a better world for everyone including your own kids. The world is changing Mr. Peterson, and you do not serve the public interest with statements that clearly reveal your ignorance on the issue that you are supposed to be championing- the sustainability of a nutritious food production in a world of ever increasing energy prices and disease prone industrial mass farming processes. I strongly believe that a heartfelt apology is in order, not to me but to the real heroes who work every day to provide thousands of families with locally grown, nutritious and healthy food. I recommend at a minimum considering other perspectives and learning some tolerance. -Falls Church, VA

“That certainly shows your stupidity. Hope you are not in charge of your children’s diet.”

“I am shocked by your transparent backing of the damaging practice of factory farming, and your complete ignorance of the importance of saving if nothing else, the oil that it takes to ship the food around the country -Mendocino, California”

“What’s dumb is subsidizing farmers whose only concern is profit- they’ll take care of themselves. We should be helping farmers who use sustainable methods that don’t harm the environment so that their prices could be more competitive. Your selfish need for bigger donations from bigger businesses impairs your ability to see that encouraging smaller farms catering to a variety of tastes is better than subsidizing huge agribusiness companies cranking out products designed for producability rather than wholesomeness.” -Woodland Hills, CA

“Rep. Peterson, You are supposed to be representing the agricultural community, which includes organic farmers. I suggest you become more educated about both organic farming and buying locally. For instance, the nutritional quality of organic food far exceeds the conventional counterparts. Buying locally means a fresher product, less petrochemicals used and people connecting with people. Please make an effort to educate yourself and your staff. An excellent resource would be Acres, USA magazine.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: I find it irresponsible of you to have decided, it seems, to be ignorant of the value of organic farming and of consumers’ motives for buying organic food. Please use your power with discretion and don’t work to commit the House Agriculture Committee to the same shortsighted position. There is much reading you could do that might change your mind about the organic movement, but it would probably be best for you simply to talk to some of the organic farmers in your district. I found that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture keeps a list of registered organic farms, arranged by county:
www.mda.state.mn.us/
food/organic/
directory.htm -Chicago, IL

“Sir - I think those who pay any amount for mass produced, factory farmed products are dumb, as is your attitude toward sustainable, natural farming practices. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, but thanks for confirming our opinion that most people in government are dumb.”

“Collin Peterson, Shame on you. I suggest you do some serious research before you flap your gums, so next time you don’t sound like a complete idiot.” -Cambridge NY

“Collin Peterson, You obviously do not know what buying local means. Since you are the chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee I think its about time you educate yourself on these issues before you win more dumbest quotes of the week” -Scottsdale, AZ

“Mr. Peterson, Obviously you have little regard for the quality of food your family eats. With the poor nutritional quality of our foods it is little wonder that we are one of the unhealthiest nations on earth. How can a chairman of an agricultural committee be so ill informed? There is a reason why chronic diseases are showing up at younger and younger ages in Americans. Do some homework, open you eyes and help protect Americans.” -Fairfield, IA

“While you people in Congress slept the USDA, FDA, EPA were allowed to become nothing more than revolving doors for big business as they passed whatever suited them without any regard to safety. Our food system is fouled along with our air and water. Wake up and quit making uninformed comments, if you did your research you would be looking to our organic farmers to save us as they are our only hope. So much of what’s grown here is tainted and as more people find out they also switch to organic.” -Leasburg, NC

“What an unbelievably thoughtless remark. You probably would also consider reading a book a waste of time when you could just rent the DVD.”

“Those “dumb” organic consumers may actually save some money from less doctor bills. Today’s factory food has cost me a few thousand dollars extra in doctor bills.” -Voss, TX

“I personally don’t like being called dumb, but considering the source, I feel no anger or hurt feelings. Just remember, you work for the people, not your own agenda. Signed: Dumb according to CP.” -St Augustine, FL

“Mr. Peterson, I think it’s time to keep derogatory comments out of politics. How can you call me dumb when I have researched how pesticides, hormones and artificial flavors and colors affect our bodies and those of our children? Am I dumb because I refuse to believe that whatever is on the shelf at the grocery store is edible? Or maybe I am dumb because I refuse to believe that my government is looking out for my health. Maybe I am dumb because I’m not like the rest of the sheep who flock to all the fast food restaurants getting fatter and putting more of a strain on our ridiculous health care system. You can think what you want (I would never vote for you) but I know that I am more informed and healthier - as are my children - than most other Americans.” -Spokane, WA

“Dear Congressman Peterson: You might want to do some research into why people are willing to purchase local &/or organic food which might cost slightly more than corporate food(not 2 or 3 times). More and more of us do not trust the corporate food system to provide us safe and nutritious food. We also see the global food system as unsustainable and in fact harmful. Please get in touch with a local food system in your area and seek their advice. Or you can click on buylocalfood.com and begin your research there. Thank you.” -Greenfield, MA

“Yes, I’m dumb enough to pay a premium for excellent quality from small farmers who a) Pay their workers a living wage b) farm in a manner that encourages biodiversity and does not generate greenhouse gases c) Produce foods that actually taste better d) produce foods that, based on recent studies, provide higher levels of beneficial nutrients than industrially produced foods e) do not demand transporting large quantities of grain long distances, thus reducing green house gas emissions. I had hoped that a Democratic majority might actually pass a good Farm bill. I guess I no longer need to make contributions to the Democratic party, and can start voting as an independent.” San Francisco, CA

“Your ignorance about something as important for the future of healthy people and healthy economies is frightening. How does someone this dumb get elected...it boggles the mind.” Gualala, CA

“Mr. Peterson, It’s obvious why organic consumers pay more for their products. The U.S. government is subsidizing big agri-business to produce their sub-standard food. I consider the fact that these people are willing to pay more for good food as an indication of their intelligence and their desire to eat only healthy food, so that their families grow up healthy, not part of the health crisis in our nation. It’s too bad that you do not see such an obvious fact for yourself and vote to support such quality food products.”

“Collin - as a former Minnesotan and a democrat, I’m shocked at the ignorance and offensiveness of your comment to the FT insulting the intelligence of those who care to support farming families and our planet by insisting on organic food. I hope you can educate yourself on this important topic” Durham, NC

“Do you drive the smallest, cheapest car available? I’d bet that your personal automobile was chosen, at least balancing such things as comfort, safety, and perhaps even with some long-term concerns such as fuel economy or emissions. In short, a decision based not just on cost, but on quality. Organic consumers are doing the same thing, with an understanding that the most efficient industrial agriculture homogenizes and lowers the quality of its final product. The cost may be disproportionate, but like with a quality car, with fewer repairs and less gas consumption over its lifetime, it’s worth the premium.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Did you really say that paying extra for locally or organically-grown produce is dumb? And you the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee? Oh, Mr. Congressman, those words will come back to haunt you in years to come. Please educate yourself SOONEST to avoid even more future embarrassment. Meanwhile, please make sure that foodstuffs don’t just “say” local or organic but that they really are. The lives of an increasing number of your constituents who may not be as healthy and resistant as the rest of us, could depend on the truth of those labels. Certainly the health of your whole constituency benefits from locally and/or organically grown food.” Pittsburgh, PA

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Please read the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This is simple, unbiased, investigative journalism, and I believe even you may be surprised at what you find out. Thank you”

“Aloha Collin Peterson I’ve been called a lot of things but never dumb. Organic farming is not just a “term” - it goes back to respect for the soil which you may or may not know contains the minerals that we later ingest through our foods. Do you suppose there’s a correlation between the increase in “sicknesses” in the world to the lack of healthy minerals in the soil? Your remarks reflect a definite lack of education regarding organic farming practices. It concerns me that you are partially responsible for protecting the health of our nation and I would hope that you could find the motivation to use part of your tax-supported salary to educate yourself about where real food comes from. Thank You”

“To Collin Peterson here. Obviously, you see no correlation between rising cancer rates over the last 50 years and the rising amounts of chemicals, including antibiotics, in store bought food - coming more and more from huge, “factory” farms. I guess it’s time for some of us “little people” to run for Congress. We sure couldn’t muck it up much more than you and your money-worshiping cohorts have.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Have some respect for the family farm that finds a way to stay in business without becoming beholden to the banks of big agriculture. Do you know how much it costs to run a small family business, bring the product to market and try to profit enough each year to be able to afford health care costs, basic needs, and save for the future? Of course a farmer not receiving subsidies must charge a price that affords this. Big agriculture benefits from the majority of federal support and provides our nation with the least nutritional options. Ingest all of the pesticides you would like from afar. Our local farmer deserves my purchase at a fair price and until organic farming is the majority, I expect the cost to remain constant. The bigger price of cheaper food is the harm that it does...or haven’t you read the press regarding imported foods and their questionable ingredients?” Boise, ID

“When I was awarded a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1984, it wasn’t for being dumb. I pay a huge grocery bill penalty to acquire organic foods for my family because I’ve done my research and know this is a better option. I choose to vote with my dollars for healthier food and a healthier planet for myself and my family. Perhaps you should educate yourself on the benefits, rather than just assuming that those who make choices different from yours are ignorant. You might find the shoe on the other foot.” Austin, TX

“I read your quote referring to people being dumb to pay 2 to 3 times as much for organic or local foods. Get your head out of the sand. Our corporate factory farms produce chemically laden and genetically engineered food, that fortunately, many people are SMART enough to know better than to consume. We pay more for organics because our legislature is so blinded by corporate interests that subsidies to organic farms & sustainable agriculture is a joke. It is more expensive because companies like Monsanto have our representatives in their pockets. Science has proven the benefits of organic foods and the detriment of chemically laden factory farm produced foods. You are the one demonstrating how “dumb” you are. It’s about time you took time to read and learn about what is really going on with this planet, our food supply, our water supply and start getting “smart” about supporting the right campaigns!”

“Dear Representative Peterson, There are many of us here in this country (and I’m sure you don’t know us because we are the poor children of the diminishing middle class) who would buy ONLY organic food-if we could afford it! You might want to sign up for an on-line biology class and perhaps a physiology class as well so that you may better understand the delicacy of the symbiosis between ecosystems on this planet and the way in which toxic chemicals in food are causing a huge cancer epidemic in America. Then perhaps you will understand not just how important the organic food industry is, but how ESSENTIAL to the survival of this planet and the health of human beings it is. Thank you for your consideration.“

“I am very disappointed to hear that you would said “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” . I am registered as a democrat voter and I hope that you would learn more about Organic farming to help our country. Learn from Al Gore and serve this country in a better way, please.” Phoenix, AZ

“It was really asinine of you to say that people are dumb because they pay extra for local or organic food. The truth is that most people are ignorant and don’t realize or don’t care that buying conventionally produced food is what will cost this country and it’s people in the future, and to some extent in the present, in the form of environmental and health damages. Paying extra for organic or local food is more than just a label or a fad. It’s about leading a healthier life and giving the body what it needs. It’s about support for people who practice sustainability and care about more then their wallets.” Zionsville, PA

“Yes, Mr. Peterson “far be it from you to understand” who could possible expect the Chairman of the Agricultural Committee to understand something about agriculture. Perhaps someone will put forward a bill which could be titled “No nit-wit Left Behind” which would include provisions for dumb shits like you.”

“Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Send a message to Collin Peterson (Democrat, MN) congratulating him for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week:” Yes this is the dumbest quote HALLELUJAH!! People are paying for much better food than non organic that’s why people pay!!! IT should the message that people are so tired of poisons and crappy veggies are no long acceptable!!! All food industries need to change and get the chemicals, food additives, and pesticides out! My daughter is allergic to food that has many additives including corn syrup!!! So organic offers the only food my child can actually eat!!!!!!!!!” Midway, GA

“Far be it from me to understand what that’s about?” Are you kidding? Buying local and organic allows people to buy food that is not covered in poisonous pesticides and that has not traveled for 1000’s of miles. This lowers pollution levels and ensures riper, more healthy food. Perhaps you should do some research of your own before you stick your foot in your mouth.”

“Get a clue! People are willing to pay for long term health and integrity of environment. The point is caring about things beyond the all mighty dollar. It’s about life and honesty! Hopefully we can all learn from that.”

“Your recent public statement on “dumb” organic food purchasers is troubling. First of all, I am willing to pay more for “reliably certified” organic products, not for those merely marked as organic through inadequate certification procedures. Unfortunately, Congress and the USDA have not seen fit to require a reliable standard, forcing me to rely on state and local certifiers with an established reputation and commitment to quality over profits. The public is ill-served by this de facto deception over food quality. Secondly, your comments indicate that you are in that faction of Congress that would prefer to help large agricultural concerns exploit the organic movement, rather than honestly promoting its benefits of sustainability, minimal impact on the environment, greatly reduced and provable health benefits for farm workers, and healthier products for consumers. Based on your comments I would urge you to familiarize yourself with the benefits of organic agriculture. I will encourage Congressional leadership to nominate more informed representatives to the chairs of the Agricultural and related committees.” San Francisco, CA

“Dear Sir, Thanks for your recent comment calling people who buy organic “dumb” . Maybe some day, you will be as “dumb” as we are.........of course, I don’t see that day coming unless we line your pockets, which we won’t.” Summer Shade, KY

“We have been growing all our vegetables organically since the early 70’s and firmly believe that organically grown foods are far superior. Chemicals have been proven to cause cancers and other genetic defects in addition to the damage they do to our environment. I personally think we are the smart ones!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: So fitting that you should receive this award for the DUMB comment you made. I guess you must be in some bodies back pocket to think that chemicals are good for you and your voters....so glad I do not live in Minnesota. Unfortunately for the people of that state you do.” Ottawa, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If you knew WHY “dumb” consumers such as myself pay more for local and organic food, you would realize that we’re actually the most informed of them all. People who buy cheap food that is not only laden with hormones and pesticides but is trucked many miles to market TRULY are the DUMB ones! They are poisoning their own bodies and the environment at the same time. Tell me, what’s smart about that?”

“If you are dumb enough to pay more for a quality car instead of a Pinto, then hallelujah! And speaking of paying more, what about the billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for chemical and energy intensive crops, factory farms, and junk food purveyors that the Senate is prepared to give away in the new Farm Bill? Shame on you!” Venice, CA

“Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Your constituents must feel very proud.”

Georgetown, KY” collinpeterson.house.gov House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson Washington Office: 2211 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. Phone: Fax: You show your own ignorance here. The reason people are willing to pay more for local and organic is because fresher and organic taste better and are more nutritious. If factory farms were not subsidized organic producers would be able to compete, taxes would be lower, Americans would be healthier. How can you argue with that?”

“Dear Collin Peterson: What I don’t understand is how your constituents could have elected someone who is so loudly and unapologetically ignorant. Since you ask, the reason I pay more for food that is healthy, not picked by slaves, and not damaging to the earth is because I have a three year old daughter. I hope that she is able to grow up whole and that she has a world to grow up in. This is love. I hope for this in spite of the fact that our government is staffed with so many hateful greed-mongering jerks who apparently want to dismantle our collective future for that proverbial 30 pieces of silver. As near as I can tell from your quotation in the Financial Times, you think that the reason that the organic farm sector doesn’t need a handout is that consumers are stupid? You want dumb? Look at conventional agriculture. Or in the mirror.” Morris, NY

“Actually Collin, the epidemic number of deaths due to cancer each year are probably due in large part to the pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics etc. that are in the standard foods which government groups seem unable to comprehend. Also, the fact that 100 years ago the incident of cancer, heart disease etc. was very small compared to these statistics today should, I would hope, make someone like yourself want to determine if the food supply is the cause of these and other (i.e. auto-immune diseases) diseases. All you have to do is look at what health problems you are currently experiencing. I hope you would be interested understanding this issue in greater detail than what your comments currently indicate” Calgary, AB

“I am proudly one of those “dumb” people willing to pay more for peace of mind concerning the health of my family and our world. Please educate yourself on the benefits of organic produce.” Enfield, NH

“Sir, This “dumb” organic consumer puts his money where his mouth is. My food choices support my local economy first instead of corporate companies who happily put profits before nutrition or flavor. I know for a fact that my food money helps to support local families, local business growth and the employees they pay to help produce my food. My kids know how a cow is raised and slaughtered and they understand the value of water and soil in growing plants for food. Why am I “dumb” for consciously nourishing my family and supporting my local economy? P.S. Part of being a conscious consumer is that I vote.” Grand Junction, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. What were you thinking? Do you know WHY people are willing to pay more for locally-grown, organic food? Because they care about their health and the health of the environment and smart enough to realize that they deserve to be able to offer themselves food grown without poisons, WHILE supporting their local community. DUH. While government and corporations (also known as the new government) are busy trying to gain power and money, people are waking up to what is best for them and their local communities. Go figure.” Chapel Hill, NC

“Honorable Congressman Peterson, With Federal subsidies going to our nation’s non-organic farmers that are energy intensive and use polluting pesticides, I am amazed that a person of power, such as yourself, does not see the value proposition for organic farming and why people will pay more. Your comments about organic consumers are foolish, disappointing and ill considered. I suggest that you take the time to understand that many organic consumers do not feel that farming practices are sustainable. There is strong science behind this. I understand that “the science” is not fully agreed upon. However, corporate scientists that represent conventional farming practices cannot be considered fully objective either. You should also understand that your comments about organic consumers are insulting and are not appreciated. Even more they show your lack of sensitivity and lack of open-mindedness” -Clackamas, OR

“That was a truly ignorant statement. However, being a nutritional biochemist, I understand how a malnourished brain dysfunctions. I am sure you suffer from your ignorance in health and presence of mind. God be with you, you certainly aren’t doing yourself any good. -Santa Cruz, CA

“I find it hard to believe that you don’t well understand the difference between commercially grow foods and those grown organically. You should do some reading and become more aware of this issue. The benefits of organically grown foods are extensive and include better nutritional value and healthier ecosystems.” -Boulder, CO

“Organic consumers are growing in number, so to dismiss such a large segment of society as dumb clearly calls into question your own brain performance. Perhaps you’re lacking a nutritious diet that is free of contaminants? You’re obviously uninformed as to the superior benefits of Organic foods to human health and the environment. Although, you’re probably just a shill for the corporate agribusiness multinationals who pay for your campaigns and make your decisions for you. Of course you don’t have to worry though, they still might have a job waiting for you when the people get it together, vote you out, and elect a more representative democracy. Peace”

“Mr. Peterson, Are you kidding me? Buying locally-produced, organic food is one of the best ways to ensure that I and my family are eating truly healthy, nutritious food of a “dependable quality.” Surely the e-coli spinach outbreak, mad cow concerns, toxic pet food, and many other recent food safety nightmares demonstrate that conscientious consumers must know and trust source of their food now more than ever before-or risk their health with blind trust of corporate food producers. In addition, buying locally is one of the best ways to cut down on extra costs, pollution, and waste associated with trucking and flying food products around the country and world. Local, organic consumers should be cheered and organic farmers ought to be supported in every possible way, including in government subsidies, for they are living in a way that promotes sustainability, health, and integrity rather than contamination, illness, and environmental degradation.” Austin, TX

“If we had decent food labeling in this country, and those in charge to protect the public would not be executives of Monsanto writing the farm bill, we would not have to buy organic and pay more to stay clear from all the genetically engineered food products that are forced down our throats. So yes, paying more is dumb, I would even call it stupid - but not on the part of the consumer, but instead those responsible at the FDA, USDA, and any other government agency putting corporate gain before public health.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As chairman of the ag committee, you should take the time to understand the benefits of organic, local produce. In brief, it is healthier to eat and better for the planet. For more information, start with a book like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and go from there. You could also attend an organic farming association conference and talk to some folks about it. I think it’s important for everyone, but especially the chairman of the ag committee, to understand these issues rather than dismissing them as dumb. Thank you.” Concord, MA

“Sir, I personally think that you should resign for making a stupid statement like that........What planet are you living on? 1) Local produce that has been picked a day or two before it gets to your table instead of last week or last month, or several months ago ALWAYS tastes better & has many more nutrients. 2) Conventional produce purchased at the grocery store travels an average of 1500 to 2000 miles before it gets to your table.....HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF GLOBAL WARMING? 3) I don’t know about you, but I never have liked the idea of consuming pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers & now we have to worry about genetically modified foods. The American people are not as dumb as you think we are, and I think we have your number....who’s pocket are you in?” -Peoria, AZ

“Organic consumers are growing in number, so to dismiss such a large segment of society as dumb clearly calls into question your own brain performance. Perhaps you’re lacking a nutritious diet that is free of contaminants? You’re obviously uninformed as to the superior benefits of Organic foods to human health and the environment. Although, you’re probably just a shill for the corporate agribusiness multinationals who pay for your campaigns and make your decisions for you. Of course you don’t have to worry though, they still might have a job waiting for you when the people get it together, vote you out, and elect a more representative democracy. Peace” Seattle, WA

“Collin I am shocked and dumbfounded by your choice of words in describing people that care for humanity by purchasing products that are organic or locally grown. My decision to purchase organic or locally grown food servers two purposes one for my health and a second for the sake of reducing pollution. It is the tone that paying for fertilized and pesticide laden food cost less is not accurate. The food general is grow on mega farms that then have to ship the products over long distances to get on the consumers plate. A lot of pesticides and fertilizer are utilized to grow the food in large quantities that also adds to the pollution of our environment. Finally all the mass produced food is subsidized by the consumers tax dollar. The all in cost of mass produced food cost is a much later burned on consumer than organic and locally grown food. I hope you find time in your busy schedule to educate yourself about a topic before make a public statement that is inaccurate and will alienate your voting community.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Re: Organic Food Needs Your Support Having grown up a fruit farmer in Wisconsin, and now living in New York City and looking for healthy foods, I was dismayed by your comment dismissing organic food and its buyers. My parents and many orchard owners in our county (Door) died young, perhaps due to the use of dangerous pesticides and fertilizers. I remember my parents coming in after working in the orchards, red and swollen from the residue of the harsh chemical sprays. The environment, increasingly more delicate, demands rethinking of the use of chemicals. This is scientifically shown. Supporting organics supports the future of our country and the earth, and your reputation will be positive and up-to-date when you decide to support organics. Thanks for your time.” New York, NY

“I am not dumb. But I find the democratic process to be irrelevant for change. I therefore vote with my dollar and support sustainable agriculture. It’s about time farmers were paid what they were worth.” Noti, OR

“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Oh, give me a break. Are you flatly in the pocket of big-business agribusiness or simply ignorant? Wake-up or move over. You’re in the way of our country’s health in more ways than one.” Columbia, SC

“I pay more so that my children will hopefully not get cancer from the fruits and vegetables that are basically laden with pesticides as well as the growth hormones and antibiotics that come from non-organic dairy. My family is worth the little bit of extra money spent to keep us healthier.” Hatfield, PA

“Dear Collin Peterson: Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: Health and safety of our food is of the upmost importance. How ever we do that should be supported. For the well being of our babies and older people. Please be more conscious when you speak. You have a voice that a lot listen to. Thank you for your consideration.”

“Representative Peterson, I was dismayed to read your comment that the organic produce and grass-fed beef sector does not need governmental assistance, and your comment that people who buy these products are ?dumb?. In case you really are so uninformed, here are some of our reasons for buying organic & local: To avoid carcinogenic pesticides in our food. To avoid the antibiotics that cattle are treated with, which are contributing to the ?super bugs? that are such a problem now. To support an industry that keeps toxic chemicals off the land and out of the water. Higher nutrient content. To support our neighbors & small businesses. Buying locally saves energy. Local produce is fresher & tastes better. For the health of our nation, it is imperative to support these industries. If more people ate local, organic produce, grass-fed beef and free-range eggs & poultry, health care costs would be reduced, energy consumption from transporting food long distances would be reduced, pollution would be reduced and the environment would be better cared for. I implore you to please educate yourself on these issues. Every person has a duty to know what they are putting in their bodies and what they are supporting with their dollars. Our leaders in government are no exception. Albuquerque, NM”

“Representative Peterson, The reason that us consumers of organic and local goods are willing to pay more for them is because the food is of a much higher quality. It is also much more nutritious as has been shown in study after study. You should try it, I know you would like it!”

“YOU are the dumbest man I’ve heard open his mouth exposing your ignorance about people being so DESPERATE to find clean, healthy, non-poisoned, non-injected food that they are forced to pay the price increases and outrageous costs to get it - that I KNOW I’ll be seeing you one day in a cancer clinic wondering WHY and HOW you got it! What we need is to spend our agricultural money on more organic farming needs, stop subsidizing people for not growing anything or paying them to grow for other countries who owe us nothing more than decades of back cash. Health is an issue, who cares if terrorists are threatening us, we have to be ALIVE to CARE! Please stop being a person BOUGHT by chemical and pharmaceutical companies.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumers Association Award for the Dumbest Quote of the Week! As a good public servant, you really should educate yourself more about the benefits of organic and local food not only to human health but also to the environment. Do your homework, and you will start getting noticed for your intelligence and foresight, not your ignorance!” Berkeley, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, We are not sustainable as a world society. We have less then 40 years to live unless we make major changes. The number of people knowing this is growing every day. That is why people are paying more for local and organic food and other products. The less chemicals we put on our land the better it is for everyone. The less we have to ship things means that we save energy.” Carefree, AZ”

“Hopefully the quote I saw was out of context and you’re not as simpleminded as it implies.” Tucson, AZ

“Congratulations Representative Peterson! You are not just a foolish person worthy of ridicule, but you once again show the true face of the Democrats, beholden to factory farms, with their poisonous food and pollution. You know where your campaign contributions come from, that’s for sure. And the rest of us citizens can take a hike, right? Salute!” Iowa City, IA

“Honorable sir: YOU get the prize for making a DUMB remark that those who purchase organic or local are DUMB! People are willing to pay a little more for foods that are going to contribute to their well being, and to support the farmers and individuals who willing to be innovative, hard working and entrepreneurial to raise such products. Instead of pouring government (MY!) money into subsidies for huge conglomerate farms to produce genetically modified and/or unhealthy agricultural products or to keep them off the market, my share of federal monies should be going to support these local/organic farmers. For it is good, safe, wholesome food that is going to keep our populace healthy, and keep them then from relying on national health care programs because they are obese, have heart disease, and other maladies caused by improper nutrition. You ARE what you eat. IMHO, you should eat some humble pie, apologize to hard working local and organic farmers, and inform yourself of the value of organic and local foods to our national economy, and our nation’s health. Have an apple - an organic one - and taste the difference! Waterford, CT

“Dumb” is ignoring the health and nutritional benefits of organic food. Studies show a 40% increase in nutrients and antioxidants in organic foods. Smart would be supporting organic and family farmers rather than the agribusinesses that are poisoning us and our environment.”

“Way to go, Collin. You just proved my original estimate of your IQ when I moved onto this farm 15 years ago....was right.” Albany, MN

“Obviously, you don’t get it Mr. Peterson. People pay more for local and organic food because it is fresher (local), tastes better, is lower in chemical residues, and supports more local and family farms over those huge polluting agribusiness factory farms. The number of people who DO get it are growing. People do vote with their forks.” Newfane, VT

“Dear Representative Peterson I am deeply saddened that the chairman of the agriculture committee does not understand the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic and local food. I do understand that I am privileged to be able to afford organic food (which would not be so noticeably more expensive than conventional food if there were not so many federal subsidies) but herbicide and pesticide and pesticide use, as well as heavy fertilizers, must indicate how unnatural conventional farming is. Just check out the Gulf of Mexico, where there is a dead zone where the Mississippi River hits it - nothing LIVES there. Now why are farming practices that don’t use these harmful fertilizers DUMB?” -Chicago, IL

“Thanks Collin for reminding me how dumb the people are who run this country. I hope your eating plenty of GMO food. Knowing that would make me feel better about you.” Manchester, CT

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I think your comments about people who buy organic as being dumb are very alarming. I’ll have you know that by buying local I am helping to keep people in my community employed and able to make a living and not receive handouts from the taxpayers. As for spending two to three times more for organic, why is that? Could it be because the “government” has so many regulations and expensive certification rules to become certified organic. The only reason big corporations get all the money is because everyone in Washington is bought and paid for. If that weren’t the case more of my tax dollars would be going to organic agriculture and the small farms that want to be organic. If more Americans would eat a healthy organic diet and start exercising there would not be an obesity problem in this country. So in the future please keep your comments to yourself. Maybe you should look into organics you might learn something.” Cookeville, TN

“Shame on you. I’m not dumb, I’m spending my money to create a better world for my children.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: What is ignorant, which is a more accurate word to use than dumb, is having a person with such limited knowledge of why organics is the way to go now and in the future. Since I do not want to write a book here, how about some short/succinct reasons why one would want to purchase organic produce and meat for themselves and their loved ones: -No Bovine Growth Hormones -No antibiotics -Not grain fed, which is proven to contribute to health issues due to the fact that cows are meant to eat grass, not grains -No chemicals used -Tastes better and has higher nutrient content By the looks of your picture, you could use better nutrition. Also, a side affect of the improved nutrition, would be better blood flow to the dead lump on top of your shoulders!” Minneapolis, MN

“It ABSOLUTELY amazes me when I hear of someone who is in the upper echelons (not too big a word for you, is it?) can be so naive about something so tremendously important. If you were better read, you might realize that purchasing from sustainable farms might help salvage the food business from the actions of large agribusiness. I would think you would want to be more aware and educated”

“Perhaps as someone associated with agriculture and responsible for the entire perspective, it would be better to educate yourself about the benefits of something before you label others as “dumb” . I wish the government would cease subsidizing big ag business and look at the whole picture for the sake of future generations and the earth itself. I’m sorry to say you give democrats a bad name.” Dillsburg, PA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I guess I’m one of those dumb people who’s willing to pay two to three times more for something grown locally and organically than something drenched in pesticides, trucked in or shipped from thousands of miles away. Those billions of gallons of fuel were laying around, anyway. I also guess that the dollars I’m paying now (how foolish of me!) are the same dollars you’ll be spending in the future on medical fees (doctor’s visits, medications, hospital stays, etc.) when you get any number of cancers, suffer from heart disease, or attempt to stave off obesity and diabetes. It’s crazy how our bodies really don’t like DDT, high fructose corn syrup, or any of the other chemicals we inadvertently ingest with our morning Pop-Tart and fruit cup from Wal-Mart. Personally, I’d rather support local farmers and local agribusiness than the fat-cat executives lurking at Monsanto, 3M, and Big Pharm. Silly me.” Highspire, PA

“Your statement about organic consumers is bound to anger Democratic voters all over the country. It demonstrates that you are unaware of all the research that shows that organic food is more nutritional than conventional foods. You are also are obviously unaware that organic farmers rather than damage the environment by overusing chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, are frequently improving the environment by their sound practices.” Santa Barbara, CA

“Congressman Peterson, After reading your comments on organic produce and grass-fed beef, I am appalled that you would make such a derogatory statement. Sustainable agriculture needs funding and the reason why people pay such inflated prices for organic items is due to lack of federal funding. We need to see the big picture and focus on a sustainable future, not poisoning the American public as well as the land we use to grow crops. The are vast amounts of evidence supporting sustainable agriculture, and it is time our elected officials start working for the people, not being slaves to mega-corporations. Please be a leader in this fight, and realize that some Americans actually think critically about the choices they make when buying food and lets look to a future where local produce and grass-fed beef are the center of our food choices.”

“I eat organic because I am educated about food safety issues and nutrition. You may be willing to eat meat raised under conditions banned in Europe. You may be willing to eat fruits and vegetables with less nutrients in them. You may be willing to eat highly processed food with trans fats that clog your arteries. You may be willing to feed all those things to your family, but I am not. Who is the dumb one?” Corvallis, OR

“Mr. Peterson, What a shame that someone with your admitted lack of ability to understand organic agriculture and those who consume it is allowed to chair the House Agriculture Committee! Shame shame! Way to go Einstein!!” Cleveland, TN

“I’ll pay anything to feed my family honest, nutritious food. But usually it’s not more than maybe 50% more. And guess what? We are healthier - fewer medical problems - lower medical bills. If you guys would support organic farmers, the prices would come down as the market expands. I’m not dumb, but the ag-industrial complex that you seem to support endlessly certainly is. Cabin John, MD

“My goodness, Mr. Peterson, you really show yourself to be an idiot of the first degree. People pay more for organic so that it won’t be tainted with chemicals. Now here’s a serious question for you...how do such idiots get elected?”

“I hope you will take some time to understand the benefits to health AND the environment to purchasing local, organic products. Some of us consumers (and a quickly growing percentage of consumers), are willing to pay more to protect the environment, our health, and the health of our children. And I don’t think we’re “dumb” for choosing to spend our money that way. As the chairman of the House Ag. Committee, I think it is important for you to understand the importance of these concepts. Maybe someday there will even be subsidies for organic agriculture, as there are in many European countries!” Port Townsend, WA

“so, we should just continue to subsidize agriculture which fosters unsustainable, dangerous, imported produce coming from the good old boy sources rather than support local, sustainable produce and other foods that’s good for the public health and environment, and contributing to and supportive of the LOCAL economy?? and, why would you call ANYONE concerned about their health and the health of OTHERS-dumb??? you sound like a Republican!!” Chicago, IL

“It more than disturbs me that a person with your committee position has no understanding of the reasons for eating only organic products. The reasons are well-known and valid. Your remark got you the OCA’s Dumbest Quote of the Week award.” Weedsport, NY

“Rep. Peterson, Organically grown foods have been proven repeatedly to provide better nutrition, and they have less harmful impacts on water supplies and other aspects of our environment. Locally grown foods require less energy for transport and are often fresher (and therefore more nutritious) than foods shipped (unripe, in the case of produce) from far away. I pay more because it’s good for me and my family in the short run and environmentally for all of us in the long run. “Hallelujah” indeed! You’re welcome!” Ann Arbor, MI

“WOW... thanks for being so insulting in your remarks regarding people who care enough about their health, the environment, and their community to purchase organic products. YOU seem to be the uninformed one here!”

“I spend more on organic and local because I care about my health and don’t want to eat poison!”

“Dear Collin Peterson, Your comment about organic consumers being dumb to buy local and organic would be funny if it were not such a pitiful statement. Caring about what we feed our families is a huge concern for the people you claim to serve. If we did not take the care needed to know what it is we eat, and educate ourselves we would indeed be eating genetically modified food crops that are unproven as to the harmful effects on our bodies, tainted food from China, or food laced with pesticides banned in this country, yet sold to foreign countries, where we now import a great deal of our produce. Given our wasteful use of oil to transport food across this nation. Isn’t it fairly logical to buy local produce that does not have astronomical freight charges added to it? It is unfortunate that people like yourself with such a limited view of the food you eat get elected into leadership positions that influence our agricultural future. I wonder what you must feed your children. Please educate yourself on the food you feed your family. Then you may accurately make a judgment as to what is ‘dumb’. Lenoir, NC

“Rep. Peterson, What can I say except that your comment regarding organic and local foods is a perfect example of the myopic vision the government has regarding farmers, the environment, energy policy and the precarious future that will effect our children and grandchildren. What a shame.” Englewood, CO

“Collin Peterson, Your comments in the Financial Times article of October 17th 2007 have completely shocked me! We own & operate a restaurant going on our 27th year serving only organic vegetables, beef, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, etc. We are certified organic farmers producing wine grapes for Benziger Family Winery. California, as always, is leading the organic food movement for our nation. Comments liked these from a high ranking government official regarding organic foods are very alarming and disturbing, none the less from the Chair of the Agricultural Committee!” Kenwood, CA

“Rep. Peterson, As the agriculture committee chair I’m surprised at your ignorance re: the advantages of and superior quality of small farmer produced beef, poultry and vegetables. Even the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has published that “Organic farming methods produce higher yields, superior product while improving the soil and environment.” You might also notice the inconvenience of pollution from huge agri-business farming methods, poisoned people & animals from cancer causing pesticides, and increasing outbreaks of e-coli, to name a few. There is a ton of information our representatives should be aware of in agriculture because what the people want and deserve is good food, clearly labeled and not tax dollars spend on bloated corporate executives with corresponding budgets who control the information and agenda. Please do some research outside your usual contacts. Talk to people from Minnesota, you know, farmers. Come on, you’re a Democrat for Pete’s sake. Thank you for your time.” Minneapolis, MN

“Mr. Peterson, Wow. People who chose to pay more for organic and local food are dumb? What an ignorant statement to make; inform yourself.”

“Congratulations on winning OCA’S Dumbest Quote of the Week award regarding us dummies who buy organic. Well deserved! I knew when I first heard it that you had a winner. Please remember that food didn’t used to be called organic or not, because it was all organic. It was simply called “food” , and the modern addition of chemical pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics, and genetic modification has not improved it any. Have you ever seen a factory farm? Have you ever seen a family run organic farm? See if you can tell the difference, and see if you can decide where you’d rather eat... eh? I’m very sorry to see that you hold the congressional position that you do, as we’ll all be the worse for it; and I’m very disappointed to see this kind of attitude coming from a democrat. Shame, shame. I sincerely hope that you see truth soon.”

“Mr. Peterson, I hope you look into this matter more thoroughly, especially if you have children and/or grandchildren. Bay City, MI

“Sir: My friends and family in Minnesota are as shocked as I am at your statement about organic food consumption. All of us are educated people who eat organic foods, locally grown when possible. All of us vote,” Jackson, MI

“Mr. Peterson, As an organic farmer of 10+ years who sells to the local market in Portland, OR it sounds like you don’t know anything about agriculture. It is embarrassing to have you, as the committee chair for Ag, speak out and say that buying organic and/or local is “dumb” . Maybe you should learn what organic agriculture is about and why we desperately need to be converting more land to this more sustainable practice. All of us “dumb” farmers would love to host you and show you all of the things you don’t know anything about.” Portland, OR

“Mr. Peterson I believe that not all food labeled organic is actually pesticide-, hormone- and antibiotic-free. But I think I have a better chance of avoiding these health-destroying contaminants when I spend a few dollars more. My family is worth the extra effort. I wish you would wake up and get educated about what corporate farming(that your farm bill supports) is doing to our food!” North Wales, PA

“Dear Collin, I don’t understand how in the world you got that job. I have a question about where you were coming from when you said the following: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Do you think I want to pay 2 or 3 times as much to ensure that my family is not ingesting harmful toxins, hormones and/or genetically mutated food? Who in the world are you calling ‘dumb’? Pull your head out of your F!&%@#! A$$ and resign before you do any more damage. I can’t believe my tax money has anything to do with you.”

“Dear Senator: Good job getting the “dumbest quote of the week award” for your silly comment about people who choose local and organic.”

“Dear Collin Peterson, If you and your family like to eat factory farmed, pesticide, antibiotic, arsenic and mad cow disease garbage, then you are an idiot. I believe in staying healthy by eating decent food, the way it has been made for thousands of years. Modern industrial food is the root cause for most modern day sickness.”

“With all due respect, Sen. Peterson, you have exposed your own ignorance with your frivolous remarks about consumers who prefer to buy organic and local foods. I work hard and long to pay for the quality food I provide for my child because I know the difference. You have the audacity to call that DUMB! Do your homework and stop buying into corporate deceptions about the food industry. If you think you know it all you have no place in a leadership position. May you find blessings from this blunder.”

“Gee, Rep. Collin Peterson, thanks for letting me know this late in life that I’m dumb. I guess having two Master’s Degrees, raising some of my own food and being able to figure out that eating poison might not be good for me is just not enough to be a smart person in your eyes. Though I doubt most “smart” people really need a lot of education to know that saturating the land, the waterways and the food we eat with toxic chemicals is probably not a good idea. I would think that you are probably fairly smart yourself. That should mean that you are able to be a critical thinker and figure out that the statistics fed to you by petrochemical companies has something to do with their coffers being full. But I’m probably wrong because I’m dumb. Thanks for setting me right.”

“Maybe you should look into the facts before you call local or organic produce buyers dumb. There are many issues and factors involved as there are in everything and you should educate yourself if you are going to represent the people of this country.” Carbondale, CO

“Mr. Peterson, I suggest you read, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” or spend some time with Joel Paltin of Polyface Farms and educate yourself about the foods you eat.” Kendall Park, NJ

“Well call me an idiot, but I think that it is you who do understand that price is not the only thing that matters. I am willing to pay for quality, especially when it is what I feed my family. To hand local farmers at our farmer’s market money for extremely fresh non-chemically tainted produce maybe stupid, but silly me, I find that I can taste the difference. If it also supports local farmers, keeping the local economy and landscape green, and avoids importing poison from China, well I guess that is a price I’ll have to pay. Economic cents does not always equal common sense. Corporate greed, and the politicians they buy, never serves the public. - Eugene, OR

“Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumer Association award for “the dumbest quote of the week!” Clearly Mr. Peterson’s experience with food has been fairly limited.” Oakland, CA

“To Collin Peterson, Please use your position as Chairman of the House of Representatives to learn more about what the US Organic program and organic issues are all about. Surely the chairman of the House of Reps Agricultural Committee should know the difference and the issues involved in Organic farming and not resort to calling your fellow citizens “dumb” just because you don’t understand those issues. Paying extra to get around toxic chemicals in our foods and poisons that foul our land and water is not “dumb” but actually the opposite. I would like to ask that you try to be an informed chairman and advocate for all citizens not just a self-selected segment of the population.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Just in case you think people that spend more money for local or organic food are dumb, I suggest that you take the time to educate and inform yourself about the state of our ‘normal’ food. This food is fine if you are dumb enough to think that irradiation, rBGH, GMO fake food, antibiotics, mad cow disease, etc. have nothing to do with your health. I think you deserve an award for the dumbest quote of the week.”

“As a Republican, I can’t tell you how vindicating it is to show my Democratic colleagues that their leadership is not immune to greed and ignorance. Representative Peterson, you are either owned heart and soul by the beef industry or you truly are as ignorant as you sound. Either way, thank you. Next time I’m getting pummeled with a barrage of disdain for my political affiliation, I need only mention your name.” Westlake Village, CA

“I’m a Democrat and I try to be very conscious of those things that I eat. Ensuring that I eat healthy means eating more Organic foods. I would tend to say that your comment was based on the fact that the government doesn’t have the necessary regulations governing the use of “Organic” , on food items which is, “dumb”. It would be too much like right, to ensure that something that is better for you, be less expensive than fast foods and other chemically induced foods. It shouldn’t be that one and that’s what’s dumb.”

“Forgive them for they know not what they say” . Organic fruits and vegetables have been proven to contain much higher levels of anti-oxidants than conventionally grown and no pesticide/herbicide residue. Fight cancer and reduce birth defects, eat organic.” Spring Hill, FL

“Dear Collin Peterson: I have to tell you that I find offense in the comment that you made regarding people who purchase organic food. There is substantial evidence that non-organic produce and foods contain levels of pesticides. According to you, I am dumb for trying to eliminate these pesticides from my family’s diet. Well, I guess that is my choice. But if local and small organic farmers don’t need the support of the government, then why do large farmers? I would like for you to ask people in your constituency if they would prefer that all their food be produced without pesticides, and I would imagine they would respond that they would. I guess that would make them dumb, too.”

“Representative Peterson: If you took but a few minutes to actually learn a bit about the effect of hormone and anti-biotic laden milk on our children, my children, perhaps you would show a bit more respect for people like me, a life-long, active Democrat, son of two educators, both union members, who suck it up on all too many luxuries so we can pay the extra cost for whatever organic food we can manage to buy for my kids. Perhaps if you got down off your high horse for little while, stepped back and took a look at your lifestyle - the never ending fundraisers and constant stroking of high rollers you and your colleagues need to stay in office, perhaps you’d notice that your priorities and this country’s priorities are more than a bit messed up. Best regards”

“Congressman, Your recent comments about locally grown and organic food are completely out of line with the realities of our climate crisis. Do you really feel Americans should pay 3-4 times more for food that is safer for their families and for our environment, while you and the federal government continues to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money supporting industrial farms along with pesticide and chemical companies? I hope you find in hindsight that your comments were in fact the only thing “dumb” and retract your comments. Thank you for listening to a concerned citizen.”

“Mr. Peterson: In response to your ignorant views on organic and local farm products, let me say this: If people are dumb enough to spray pesticides on a vegetable in an effort to kill bugs and other living creatures and then eat that vegetable then (not hallelujah, but) God help them. If people are dumb enough to give growth hormones to cattle and juice ‘em up with antibiotics then eat that cattle, then God help them. If people want to inject their swine with Ractopamine a couple of months before slaughter in an effort to get more lean meat, and read about how it radically changes the personality of the swine....and then eat that swine, I say God help them. To be so dumb as to not see a correlation between the obesity epidemic, diabetes running rampant, super strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, the billions of dollars spent on digestion aides, etc and the way we process our food, inject our beef and pollute the plants/air and water with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, I say, “OPEN your own DUMB EYES!” As a fellow Democrat I am offended by a man of your age with this degree of ignorance when it comes to the food that we put in our bodies. Try opening your mind a tad.” Palm Springs, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If you want to be good at your job, it would be in your best interest - as the House Agriculture Committee Chair - to educate yourself on the benefits of consuming foods that are not just “labeled” organic, but that have been produced with the highest of organic standards. People who eat organic foods are the furthest thing from “dumb” (as you stated). We are quite the opposite in fact. More than the average shopper, we are self-educated and aware enough to know how our food is produced and the wide ranging effects of that production. We know that factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industries combined (just ask the EPA). As factory farm animals are needlessly fed antibiotics and so are a major contributor toward creating antibiotic resistant super bugs, we buy organic to avoid supporting these practices. Finally, organic farms treat their animals as they should be treated - with respect and compassion. Furthermore, as organic produce is grown without pesticides and herbicides, it does not pollute the ground it is grown in and consumers do not have to swallow these toxins. We also believe in supporting small farmers in the United States. Unlike many unaware shoppers, we do this not because we are trying to get by in life as cheaply as we can - no matter the environmental or social consequences. We do it because it is ethical and good for our health, the health of our neighbors, and the environment. I suggest you lead by example and do the same.”

“I recommend you and your team evaluate the research comparing the nutrient value of commercial raised food and organic raised food. As a physician of 26 years, people are not as healthy today and are not recovering as fast and in my opinion it is due to the poor food they are eating. Please think of the young children and their future. A consumer today would have to eat 50 helpings of spinach to get the same amount of iron he or she would have received from one bunch in 1900.”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson I could be wise to read and search about a subject before speaking about it. It is beyond my understanding way a Democrat Chair like you could say a that organic food is like regular food, UNBELIVABLE!, no wander democrats are going dawn and dawn and dawn. You just don’t listen, don’t search, don’t look for the general good of the country. Its clear to me that after becoming the majority your head grow faster and bigger than ever and now your ears just don’t function. The system is poisoned and corrupted to the hilt and the country faces incredible challenges. Please do some research about “real” healthy nutrition and all the cancer induced ingredients that they are putting in our food. Colorants, preservatives, chemicals and toxics like arsenic, lead and other pesticides and fungicides are there, ITS A FACT, ITS IN THE LAB REPORTS, you just have to have interest and the will to request them and read them!, Thanks.”

“Hello Mr. Peterson: Sounds like you may also believe in the FDA. By avoiding FDA, eating organic foods, taking supplements (not medicines), and exercising, I cleared up “aggressive” prostate cancer without any of the medical side effects including incontinence, impotence, and most probably death. My mother, father, and older sister all had cancer and went the conventional medical route. They all died as a direct result. The medical reaction to my cure is a mystery. My reaction is just plain natural food without the atrocious additives provided to non-organic foods. Wake up, and you may live longer.” Denville, NJ

“I can’t believe a person in your position can NOT have a clue what organic means, and furthermore, means to those “dumb” people who elected you. Time to find yourself another job, Bub, it’s obvious you are way in over your head.”

“Dear Collin Peterson: As the Chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, I’m embarrassed for you. To be in your position and make such an ignorant statement is unfathomable to me. Rather than making a statement such as, “For whatever reason people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s all about.” It seems to me that part of your job description would be to educate yourself on the subject matter, so that you might understand “what it’s all about.” We are not a bunch of tree-hugging dummies. Maybe you’ll rethink who you’re calling dumb if you understand some of the facts. Or maybe you could look in the mirror while you’re criticizing others. PS: And congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You really earned it!!”

“Hello Sir, I just wanted to respond to a comment that you made regarding local and organic produce consumers. First, if the government is going to give subsidiaries to farmers, these are the exact farmer that should get them, because they contribute far less to global warming than “conventional” farmers. And consumers of these products are not “dumb” for being willing to spend more on them, but they are ethically concerned about the state of the world.”

“I find it difficult to believe such a statement could even be made in 2007. Buying local and organic supports not only my health and the health of my family, it also supports local sustainable farming which allows me to feel confident that the food I am eating is grown ethically and is healthy! I would appreciate a retraction of your statement and an apology to all local farmers wishing to make a living from farming and contributing to the health of their fellow community members ~ something I, and many others in my local community, care deeply about!” Gt. Barrington, MA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I agree with you that paying 2-3 times as much for organic foods is not very savvy consumer behavior. But we don’t always know what the choice is and, for those of us somewhat in the know (I have a masters degree in nutrition from Columbia University), the case is weaker and weaker for use of pesticides. This is not my particular expertise, but here are some of the things I have learned, and which you can (please) check. There is little doubt that pesticides and herbicides are in our groundwater and have measurable, negative impacts on the biosphere of the planet. We’re part of nature. Many of them are known to negatively impact human health in some quantity but become legal partly because it is suspected that people will consume them in much lower quantities. Problem: There are very few studies measuring the effects of the complex combination of pesticides, herbicides and other poisons to which the typical American is exposed. Some that I have seen show a synergistic negative effect of certain combinations meaning that this is likely a partial explanation of the significant rise in rates of cancer and other diseases over the last half century or so. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the necessity for pesticides and herbicides in modern farming is something of a myth. Small to medium sized organic farms have been shown to be more productive per acre that giant commercial farms and much less victimized by blights that periodically affect farmers. There are many plant compounds beneficial to human health that develop in far lower quantities in plants grown “conventionally.” Salicylic acid is one of many examples. Local produce is shown repeatedly to be higher in nearly every, or every single measure of nutrients or other beneficial plant compounds (flavonoids, carotenoids, sulphoraphanes, etc. This is certainly only a partial explanation of why organic and local foods are important, but for many consumers, knowing fact sets like these, makes us willing to pay what it costs to get what we think are better foods. If the same quality were readily available cheaper, we’d buy it cheaper. We’re not that “dumb.” Thanks for listening” Lords Valley, PA

“Your comments on October 17 regarding consumers who are willing to pay more for organic and local food as being “dumb” makes one wonder about your competence to chair a committee on agriculture. I suggest that you relinquish your committee chairmanship and turn it over to someone more knowledgeable of things agricultural.” Lawrence, KS

“I understand you think paying more for food labeled “organic” or “local” is dumb. I wonder, have you bought any Mattel toys labeled “made in China” lately? Pretty dumb to buy things just because they are labeled “made in USA” huh?”

“I just read your quote about being dumb enough to buy organic food. I’m one of those dumb people. I’m dumb enough to use solar panels to help keep my electric bills around $20. I’m dumb enough to use wood pellet stoves using American grown fuel to heat my house. I’m dumb enough to retire at the age of 49 by being frugal and saving my money, and I’m dumb enough to remember who you are and to work on your ouster when the next democratic administration comes into power, which looks like it may be soon.”

“You call organic consumers dumb for wanting to eat healthy food instead of the poison called food sold in stores today? Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Congratulations Representative Peterson!! Your recent comment calling people like me dumb for purchasing organic and local food because we prefer not to ingest carcinogens, because we want to support our local community and at the same time, conserve energy, shows a real lack of understanding and foresight. Taking care of ourselves “and” the earth isn’t becoming “less” popular, or are you that out of touch with the current ‘trends’? I suppose farms that are not organic will continue to need a greater degree of federal support because they will become less and less viable. But then, maybe something like “pork-barrels” are involved. Anyway, you deserve the award from the Organic Consumers Award for the dumbest quote of the week. Frame it for posterity.”

“Here is why people want organic food: TRADE SECRETS: A MOYERS REPORT is an investigation of the history of the chemical revolution and the companies that drove it ? and how companies worked to withhold vital information about the risks from workers, the government, and the public. He relies on an archive of documents the public was never meant to see ?- documents that reveal the industry’s early know-ledge that some chemicals could pose dangers to human health that were not disclosed at the time. But the documentary also reports a much larger story ? a never- before-told account of a campaign to limit the regulation of toxic chemicals and any liability for their effects. Today, every man, woman and child has synthetic chemicals in their bodies. No child is born free of them. As part of the investigation for TRADE SECRETS, Bill Moyers took part in a study sponsored by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine designed to measure the synthetic chemicals present in the human body. Even though Moyers has never worked in a chemical plant ? or lived near one ? he learned that his body contains a chemical soup of 84 industrial chemicals.” Lubbock, TX

“Are you calling me dumb? Because I don’t want to contribute to putting unnecessary chemicals into my body or the environment? Because I choose to support my local economy? How ignorant of you, and offensive.”

Boulder, CO” Good quote. Just go ahead eating those chemicals and funding wars in far off places to pay for oil to transport crummy GMO food all over the world! You dingbat. How did you ever get elected????”

“Rep. Peterson: If the organic food industry is growing on its own, doesn’t that suggest that increasing numbers of Americans have decided they do not want to eat chemicals and die of cancer and are willing to pay more to live longer and healthier lives?”

“Hello! Get educated.”

“There’s nothing “dumb” about paying more for natural, healthy organic foods. Buying locally grown/produced foods is also a more responsible choice considering the resources required to ship food over long distances. Your view is certainly dumb, but buying organic and local food is not.” Tucson, AZ

“Hey Rep. Peterson, Way to go...showing your lack of insight, intelligence, and support for better nutrition for the general populace...by making the statement, “...And if people are dumb enough to pay that much [for organic produce and beef] then hallelujah.” How much in campaign contributions did YOU receive from large corporate farms and major NON-organic food distributors? Atta boy....NOT!” Ashland, OR

“What’s dumb about wanting to safeguard my family’s health? I want food grown with minimal use of any chemicals. What’s dumb about supporting local food producers? These are my neighbors & friends. What’s dumb about not adding to environmental pollution by not having my foods trucked across the country? Not to mention the quality of a fruit or vegetable by the time it is in the end user’s household. “Fresh” carries a limited shelf life. Have you seen the amount of fruits & vegetables grocery stores throw out because the food goes bad before it gets to the store or can be sold? What are you doing to make a smaller environmental footprint on this earth? Oh, you probably don’t think you add to our environmental problem. Most every person does to some degree. I am interested to know if you, your children & grandchildren eat ANY organic foods? If you did you would taste the difference. Your grandchildren & great grandchildren deserve to inherit a better earth and you need to do your part.”

“If we as responsible consumers are “dumb” for choosing organic because it is: a) actually GOOD for our health as opposed to the pesticide-covered produce grown in toxic dirt, and the tortured, completely unnatural, force-fed, confined, abused and inhumanely slaughtered animals you eat b) better for the environment as it doesn’t deplete, contaminate, and essentially destroy the earth in numerous direct and indirect ways c) safer, healthier, and more cost-effective in the long run for the farmers than I suppose the definition I have of that word is the opposite, for being an organic consumer, I call that “anyone who actually uses their brain” versus a pawn to society. Congratulations on your award: OCA’s dumbest quote of the week!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I urge you to do some research into why people are willing to pay more for local, naturally grown produce. Putting one’s health as a spending priority is not something to be mocked. I cannot believe that someone in your position could make such careless statements. Sincerely mystified” Fort Bragg, CA

“Your dumb comment is so abrasive that I can’t even tell you what I think about it in a civil manner. If you were capable of thinking, you’d know the reason organic food costs more is because it doesn’t get the subsidies that standard agriculture gets. And you’d know the reason we are willing to pay more for it, is because we value our health along with the health of the planet. It’s people like you who can’t look past the dollar bill in their hand that has led to the state of our current health and health care problems. Do you realize we are subsidizing our own poor health?”

“You recently were quoted as saying that organic consumers are dumb, but I must tell you that the correct statement should be that “Non-organic consumers are uninformed.” It is abhorrent that as the House Agriculture Chair, you feel comfortable speaking those words. Have you ever heard of rBGH, pesticides or genetically engineered foods? If you had, you would understand why one would choose to buy organic. There’s a reason why most of the world is banning genetically engineered foods and you have the audacity to say that you don’t understand why one would make the organic choice! You are living in a bubble and are unable to see or seek the truth. It’s unfortunate to the millions of people that you are choosing to slowly poison. I’m really not sure how you sleep at night.” Rensselaer, NY

“I wonder what your grandchildren will think of your lack of concern about chemicals in our food when they are faced with the health & other problems that will result?”

“ My family buys organic and local organic most of the time; We are not “dumb” as stated in your ignorant statement. We buy organic to keep out of our bodies the cocktail of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics that infect our nation’s food supply. That cocktail is thought by most objective scientists (not those that have been bought by chemical companies nor those who tout the corporate line) to be a major cause of many of the illnesses that are increasingly part of modern western, especially American, populations. If you are not eating organic as much as possible, then you are willingly ingesting the cocktail, and maybe you are the dumb one.” Albuquerque, NM

“Sir: I am a Nutritionist - and a VERY healthy 56 year-old who is willing to do whatever it takes to purchase organic produce and grass-finished beef and truly free range chicken for myself and my family. If you would care to take the time to learn about the real differences between the type of food that I purchase for myself and my family - and that I strongly recommend for my clients - you would find that the differences are substantial and that they contribute to real good health - unlike the pesticide-laden and antibiotic and steroid drugged “food” that is sold in the average supermarket. Because you are uneducated in the matter is no excuse to denounce the growing numbers in the population who have made the choice to eat healthier and promote better living conditions for our feed animals. Supporting local agriculture promotes true community. I am proud to help my neighbors, especially when they are trying to farm using techniques that preserve the environment and promote healthy livestock. I you want, I would be happy to take the time to educate you so that you are not part of the “dumb” community.”

“I’m surprised that the chair of the House Committee on Agriculture seems to know so little about the subject of organic food, as your comments about the “dumbness” of consumers willing to buy organic food indicate. Organic farming does not use chemicals and is safer. Organic food tastes better. Organic farming is sustainable farming, and is a small business, not a gigantic corporate farm where food is mass-produced, animals are abused and confined, and soil is depleted. Organic food tastes better! Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry. THE major challenge confronting us is energy-creating pollution, leading to global warming, and war. There is much more to be said for organic farming, but I strongly recommend you start learning about it for yourself.” St. Paul, MN

“Sir, You are obviously uneducated re agriculture, did not grow up with fine produce, and should feed your family industrial food.” Boulder Creek, DE

“Apparently Democrats and Republicans are equally ignorant of anything outside their petty power struggle. Congrats on your karmic retribution in advance!”

“I’m the only person in my family who doesn’t have breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Mom, aunt, sister: breast cancer, both sisters: major heart disease, sister, both parents, all grand parents: diabetes. I eat a local plant-based, low fat, organic whenever I can diet. Insurance companies fight over me, and doctors rave about my medical records and encourage me to keep doing whatever I’m doing. I didn’t get all the bad family genes!”

“Congratulations on your receipt of the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! - grin - Of course we’re all dumb enough to want wholesome meat from animals that have never been treated wit antibiotics or growth hormones, and vegetables that have not been sprayed with toxins to prevent insects. Oh yeah, we’re so dumb we refuse to consume irradiated products as well; they may have the blessing of Big Ag, hand in hand with the government - but they don’t have ours!” Union Furnace, OH

“Dear Sir, in light of the fact that you are a typical Bush appointee, your remark highlighting your ignorance of organic, local and naturally raised food is not surprising. It is however, frightening and very, very disturbing to me. I am proud of the fact that I am dumb enough to eat clean organically raised food, that I know the farmer that raises the food I eat, that I take responsibility for my food choices and that I never ever, have to give the latest e coli, melamine or any other of the contaminated food recalls, a second glance. I know that all of that has NOTHING to do with the food I am dumb enough to buy and eat. By the way.. if organic and family farming got HALF of the government supports, subsidies, and tax write-offs that agri-biz corporations get.. organic food would cost a fraction of conventional. How shameful that you know so little about the subject of the committee you are chair of. Not respectfully yours because you don’t HAVE my respect”

“May I suggest you meet some of us? We are folks who hold down mid-level white-collar jobs, live in your suburbs, pay our taxes, raise our kids and probably vote for you. We also believe in food that tastes good and isn’t dangerous to eat. Surely you remember the stuff. You were born in the era of the small family farm, the greengrocer on the corner, the small butcher and bake shops that weren’t “boutique shopping experiences.” You might like some of us, and a few of us may actually strike you as something other than dumb! When I read comments like the one you made about organic consumers being idiots for parting with their money so they can eat something besides Cheez Doodles, I find myself gratefully anticipating the end of this ridiculous, contentious era where the most obviously sane behavior is ridiculed in the name of cash. I hope you regret saying it.” Fairport, NY

“I strongly object to you calling organic consumers “dumb” . You should not bad mouth organic consumers.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: It is unfortunate you felt compelled to shoot off your mouth and reveal not only your bias but your lack of understanding about agriculture. Please clean up your act. We have way too many in Congress these days who can’t seem to remember to put their brain in gear before engaging their mouth. We the people are getting really fed up with this juvenile behavior. You need to start leading with dignity instead of making dumb remarks.” Stevenson, WA

“You have got to be kidding! Some very serious, and I mean serious studying on organic foods, pricing and the LARGER picture of eating and feeding our bodies with food that has actual nutrition. This translates to us being healthier which obviously leads to less sickness, illnesses etc. etc. Please, become aware. Isn’t this what your job is? To be fully intelligent on the subject? This is not a ‘hippy’ movement but an intellectual subject. Please! Think and open your mind and forget lobbyists.” Stowe, VT

“You have got to be kidding! Some very serious, and I mean serious studying on organic foods, pricing and the LARGEER picture of eating and feeding our bodies with food that has actual nutrition. This translates to us being healthier which obviously leads to less sickness, illnesses etc. etc. Please, become aware. Isn’t this what your job is? To be fully intelligent on the subject? This is not a ‘hippy’ movement but an intellectual subject. Please! Think and open your mind and forget lobbyists.” Stowe, VT

“Dear Collin Peterson: Organic consumers are hardly stupid. We are aware of the rise in health problems, from allergies to diabetes and cancer. We are aware that while not all of the pollution that enters our bodies, contributing to the illnesses as mentioned, comes from food, much of it does. Since Monsanto and Bayer have been given free reign over our bodies, insofar as they are allowed with full governmental approval to dose us to their delight, organics are out way of fighting back. It’s not the organic consumers who are the Dumbs! Americans are pretty silly, uninformed and mostly disinterested. (‘Dumb’ does come to mind, here.) But that cannot last. Other continents and nations have people that are intentionally aware, informed, and willing to stand together against abuses from their elected officials. That we can overcome our silliness is evidenced by the rise in demand for organic food. You and your Monsantos and your Bayers may hold the reigns now, but it cannot last. No matter how you might wish it, even the country that gave the world Wal-Mart can’t stay that dumb forever.” Galesburg, IL

“My husband and I were dumb enough to join a local community supported agriculture farm this year and not only did we save money but we got to know our farmers and show our children where their food comes from. We have also been dumb enough to pick our own strawberries at a nearby farm and head to the hills to pick low bush blueberries and then freeze them. Continuing to be dumb we buy our meat, eggs, orchard fruit and honey from local farmers. No tainted food, just healthy organic fare that supports our neighbors and cuts down on our carbon footprint while teaching our children how easy it is. Hallelujah!”

“Have you ever eaten fresh, organic food?” Trinidad, CA

“Please educate yourself on the benefits of organic farming and foods. Organic farming could save our world enabling enough food to be grown. Also, food grown without chemicals helps those who eat it be healthier. Chemicals cause cancer and many other illness that have become so prevalent. Read a couple of books or reports put on your desk!!”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You obviously don’t know the health and environmental benefits of eating organic and local. I feel sorry for you!”

“I’ve heard it said that ignorance is bliss but I believe it’s the wise person that investigates what exactly he is ingesting. Especially if one cares about the state of their health and well-being!” Sausalito, CA

“Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! I don’t understand how you qualify for chairing the House Agriculture Committee, but I also don’t understand how our representatives in Washington like yourself can support the use of our Federal Tax Dollars for obvious corporate externalities.”

“Being cheap and dumb is not worth celebrating.”

“I’m seriously concerned that as the House chair of the Agriculture Committee, you don’t appear to be very informed about organic issues. Many of us do not want to accept food poisoned with chemicals and God knows what kinds of genes spliced into genetically modified crops. You should be working to support the growing organic sector and making it more affordable for all citizens. The lack of labeling requirements alone is appalling, as well as producers cutting corners and trying to pass off their food as organic when it really isn’t-what are you doing to enforce and improve this situation?? You’re probably beholden to large chemical and biotech companies instead of to all US citizens, who you obviously have no respect for based on your ignorant comments. We are going to clean House-just you watch!! Americans are sick and tired of the special interests and when they wake up to what’s going on with their food, watch out!!”

“YOU ARE THE DUMB ONE!” Salmon Arm, BC

“Just because you don’t see how people can pay higher prices for healthier food, I can’t understand how some people can eat at fast-food restaurants 5 times a week. And I bet you those fast food junkies are the majority in our country. I don’t judge but I sure do think that they are doing their bodies a disservice and teaching their children unhealthy eating habits. As for organically grown foods: I’m glad consumers’ actions make a difference in this consumer-driven economy! Sincerely, Sandra Gentry”

“The chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee says “far be it from me to understand what [organic] is about?” Unbelievable... You should turn your chair over to someone who does understand.” Dallas, TX

“There is so much you have to learn about health. Your remark shows just how ignorant or how “bought and paid for” you are. You better become educated and start helping the people in the US. Our health is deteriorating in this country, you better start learning and the sooner the better.”

“Please please have one of your staff explain to you what organic is and what the health research is about the nutritional value differences, the effect of cumulative pesticide residue on the human body-the comparative cost of importing foods over long distances...etc etc Are you really the chair person of this committee????? would you put dirty gas in your car???? and please please have someone explain to you the difference between organic or biodynamic farming methods and pesticide use effects the soils this information is readily available well researched and accurate if not distorted by companies like Monsanto or those only interested in immediate profits and ignorant of the natural balances in nature.....” Rockford, IL

“I would like to pay more for better food to keep my family healthier and living longer and the world a cleaner and friendlier place. I think that is stuff worth paying for. call me dumb if you like. signed, the dumbo” Seattle, WA

“Congratulations on being one of the “Most Uninformed People of the Week” ! How does it feel to not have some of the most basic knowledge of agriculture and what it produces? Is it a little embarrassing perhaps? Might I suggest you take some of that yummy non-organic food you’re eating to a laboratory and have it tested for just how many chemicals, growth hormones and/or antibiotics it contains? Bon Appetit! Grand Rapids, MI

“Dear Mr. Collin, As House Agriculture Committee Chair how could you be so ignorant of the benefits of organic foods? I buy organic food because it is without pesticides and chemicals and is superior in nutrition. Obviously you don’t care to do the research to understand why people are buying organic and what the benefits are, not only to people but to the environment. Yes, you certainly deserve the Organic Consumers Association award for the Dumbest quote of the week. If you don’t remember the quote I’ll refresh your memory: MSMBC.com Financial Times Oct.17,2007” Colville, WA

“Mr. Peterson, you would be doing yourself and your family a favor if you would learn about organics. Nothing beats having good health.” Encinitas, CA

“ Don’t be insulting. Do you really want to be so obviously ignorant?”

“Do not call organic consumers “dumb”.

“I want the federal government to support organic and grass fed beef farmers. I choose to eat this food, even at a higher cost because I think that pesticides in foods are not healthy for me and my family.”

“Please take the time to learn the value of organic and local farming practices. People are willing to pay more because it’s BETTER for them and for the environment. I hated vegetables until I ate organic vegetables....they actually have flavor and I’m not inundating my body with chemicals. I hope you rethink what you said.”

“Dear Congressman: If you don’t know the differences and the advantages of local grass-fed beef and of organically grown foods, then it is you who are dumb and you shouldn’t be sitting on the Agricultural Committee. Congratulations on the dumbest remark of the week. Willis”

“Wow you’re ignorant!”

“You say that organic agriculture is growing without government help and that is good. Then why doesn’t the government stop subsidizing factory farms? They are also growing and that’s not good - for either animals or the environment.” Centerville, MA

“House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson Sir: Your comment on the use of organic produce by the American People shows either your ignorance of good health or your corruption by corporate lobbyists...perhaps both? If pesticides were not used on crops we would see a reduction in disease; if rBGH was not used on farm animals, we would see a reduction in the obesity of the people; if antibiotics were not used on farm animals, you would see a reduction in disease. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Pesticides kill...growth hormones promote growth...overuse of antibiotics causes antibiotic immunity! WAKE UP BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE FOR HUMANITY.” Mena, AR

“Dear Mr. Peterson, After reading your comment about me being dumb for buying organic food ... I ... I ... I’m not sure how to tell you this. Well, let me start simply by saying that I was the president of the Honor Society (Alpha Gamma Signa) at Pasadena City College and got a scholarship to study Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Here I did some outstanding research that helped Dr Luis Alvarez get a noble prize for work with high energy particles. So ... I’m not really dumb. Maybe you meant something else ... but at this point if you think that I’m dumb ... well, I’m not too sure about YOUR mental capacities ... so I’ll just let it go and say that if you ever run for anything we’re gonna have a ball with you!!!!” Ocean Park, WA

“You’re Right! Thanks to the USDA - ORGANIC means NOTHING anymore. The USDA has allowed the “organic standards” to be so watered it down that the standards are complete crap these days - all so some big corporation can make a pretty penny. Organic is really not much different from conventional foods anymore. And you’ve taken away the right for States to have higher standards of Organic (CA). This government FORCES its people to eat GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS, meat that is laden with hormones, antibiotics and disease. All you care about is the bottom dollar - and that affects Americans. You are doing a POOR JOB of keeping our best interests in mind. But at least I’ll support a local farmer before I support some Con-Agra asshole & the USDA idiots.”

Your comment to the effect that consumers of organic and locally grown food are dumb has to be one of the dumbest statements ever made. I’m constantly amazed at the blind ignorance running around the Federal Government these days. Maybe you should educate yourself on the vast amounts of science that support the use of organic and locally grown foods and stop listening solely to your huge corporate sponsors. A little education might be just the ticket to prevent such dumb statements from issuing from your lips in the future.

“Your comment regarding organic and locally grown food was stupid and ignorant. You should become more aware of today’s realities than you seem to be. The 2008 election is just around the corner, and it looks as if the Dems are going to win. Please make yourself more cognizant on this subject.” Ancaster, ON

“You say you cannot understand why people would pay so much for something labeled organic or local. Would the converse be true? Would you “understand” those people who want to pay less and eat food that is liberally laced with added preservatives, hormones, unnecessary and unwanted chemicals, and poisons? That is an interesting position to take as House Ag Committee Chair. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.”

“You are what you eat. If you want to buy cheap food grown using fossil fuels, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, far be it from me to stop you. If you think using our dwindling reserves of petroleum to ship food clear across the country so folks in your state can have avocados in December is a good use of fuel, you have the right to your opinion. I beg to disagree. I am worth more than fast food and twinkies and pesticide-laden produce. And my values won’t allow me to sink to eating cows that have been standing knee-deep in their own manure in a feedlot being given hormones and antibiotics. I am definitely worth way, way more than that. But if you’re not, if you’d rather eat cheap food than nutritious food, if you’d rather not see that the people who grow the food that feeds you every day make a decent wage, then stick with the cheap stuff. My friends and I are what we eat, and our worth is reflected in the price we’re willing to pay for wholesome food. In fact, many of us would rather pay more for decent food than own a car or a big-screen TV. We’re not rich, and we’re not elite. We just have our priorities in the right place.” Oakland, CA

“Do you consider it dumb to be limiting your exposure to cancer causing chemicals and avoiding products that are known to cause birth defects? I think not!! Maybe you need to do a bit more research and get educated before you go around claiming that people who choose to eat natural, God given food are dumb!” Oxnard, CA

Dear Collin Peterson, Please read the following article which will shed light upon your uninformed statement regarding organic food.
www.timesonline.co.uk/
tol/news/uk/health/
article2753446.ece Thank you.” San Antonio, TX

“How can you condone “Junk Food” in such a subtle way. My brother died from an “Healthy” fast food diet.” Grand Rapids, MI

“I find your comment quite offensive! I bet I can guess that your campaigns are funded by conventional, big business, agriculture. Please educate yourself and realize just who it is that is truly dumb!!”

“Honorable Chairman Representative Peterson, “Hallelujah” is perhaps apropos. One might answer such dismissal as does Barbara Kingsolver in her Foreword to The Essential Agrarian Reader: ??I would have hesitated to suggest that one’s relationship to the land, to consumption and food, is a religious matter. But it’s true; the decision to attend to the health of one’s habitat and food chain is a spiritual choice. It’s also a political choice, a scientific one, a personal and a convivial one. It’s not a choice between living in the country or the town; it is about understanding that every one of us, at the level of our cells and respiration, lives in the country and is thus obliged to be mindful of the distance between ourselves and our sustenance.? I suppose we could look at the Farm Bill as a feed ration operation. You wouldn’t pay more to feed your animals, either.” Seattle, WA

“You obviously don’t understand the benefit. I understand people didn’t do that in the past, but we know better now. Wake up.” Tustin, CA

“What is actually dumb is giving billions of taxpayer dollars to corporate agribusiness. Your statement that organic consumers are dumb is sad and very telling. One day we the people will eliminate the incestuous relationship between corporate lobbyists and elected officials. We will not forget you.” Rapid City, SD

“What kind of a democrat calls buying locally - “dumb” ?! The energy alone that is saved by not having to transport goods cross country is a huge item. I won’t even get into health issues. You might try to educate yourself on these issues before making such ignorant statements.” Lopez Island, WA

“I was dumb enough to be invited to present my work on sustainability at a UN sponsored conference last year. Please visit my website and learn what all the dumb people say about “local” . sunmoney.org And then please explain why you continue to force small and local producers out of business by subsidizing the worst strategies. I am now proud to say that I’m a FORMER Minnesotan. By the way, do you have any plans for 2009?”

“We the people pay more for organic foods because you the politicians are corrupt and allow big business to poison our foods with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Don’t call us dumb. I have serious health issues with allergies to these chemicals. If you did your job, I would not have to worry so much about the poisons in our food.”

“If you can subsidize POOR food, then why not help subsidize GOOD food: there are numerous studies showing superior nutrient content in local and organically grown foods. Further, helping establish a more local food chain will help offset the affects of decreasing energy supplies and of increasing global greenhouse gases. Nothing “stupid” here.” Everett, WA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I beg to differ with you over the idiocy of people who seek out and are willing to pay more for local and organic foods. In case you have not been informed the US food system is full of dangerous chemicals as well as genetically modified foods that have never been tested in any scientific way (i.e. repeated controlled tests on human beings and other warm blooded animals). Obviously you are “dumb” enough to trust the FDA, USDA when they say the US food system is the safest in the world (as recall #20 for the autumn is declared this morning) and you seem to be dumb enough to trust the food corporations. I am not dumb enough to trust a government who is for the corporation and not the people and as we all know the corporation says Greed is Good and puts share holders well ahead of the health and safety of its’ consumers.” Eaton, OH

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Re: your comment “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” As head of the House Agricultural Committee you are supposed to understand the various reasons why organic production of food may cost more. You should also understand the many circumstances where manufacturers and grocery stores are lax in standards by which they label products as lax or natural. You should also understand how consumers are trying to learn about healthy, organic products amidst much variation in terminology. There are times when a person pays more than s/he should for a product that is not local or organic by standards agreed upon by major organics organizations. But, consumers are not dumb. They are not acting in dumb ways. They - we - are trying to learn and trying to make good health decisions for our families. For you to say that anything that makes money for a producer deserves a ‘hallelujah’ insults consumers, simplifies a situation, absolves producers of their responsibilities and implies to me that you may be over-reaching your abilities by being chair of the House Agricultural Committee.” London, ON

“Mr. Peterson.. I don’t want to insult you. I wish you hadn’t belittled me. I’m a Democrat (well, actually, right now a Green, until the next primary) and, frankly, your derogatory, misinformed and slanted comment sounds like something that I hear coming from the mouth of a Republican. We’re all entitled to our opinions, but before you call people dumb who care enough about their health to be mindful of what they put into their bodies, it would be a good idea for yourself to become better educated on the subject. The Organic Consumers Association website would be a good place to start. Mercola.com another good source.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If you like to eat pesticide laden food, that’s fine with me. But it’s not nice to call people stupid who care about their health. I understand you politicians get your funding from chemical companies and other corporations, but you also get funding from us simple taxpayers, and there’s no reason to knock those of us who don’t buy into the industrial-government mantra of “eat your poison, it’s good for you.” I don’t trust anything you or any other government mouthpiece says anymore and many other people are feeling the same way these days. So really, it’s irrelevant to me what you say. Oh, I always vote Democrat, but I don’t think you’re really any better than Republicans anymore. You’ve all been bought.,” Denison, TX

“Rep. Peterson, I read our comments about people paying higher prices for food that is not contaminated with chemicals that cause sickness. How outrageous it is, that our food supply has been poisoned for agri-biz’s profits! Respectfully, Norman L. Biegner normanbiegner@hotmail.com”

“Collin Peterson we are not dumb! For generations farms have been organic all across this great country. I buy from local farmers because its good for me and the community. It wasn’t until chemical companies came into being that we started poisoning our land, rivers and air and with that we are poisoning ourselves. It must stop.” Kent, OH

“No pesticides is the answer we pay more you moron.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I hope you get to read this! I’m from Germany and know the matter very well. Seems like Monsanto is paying you well. I just want you to think about the value of food. It seems that CHEAP is something you consider over QUALITY. Think about that before saying something totally wrong, that makes me wonder who is the dump consumer in the end!” Wismar, AL

“Mr. Peterson, Subsidizing chemicalized factory farms for the production of genetically modified foods that cause severe allergies and other health problems is a contra-survival action. It puts Americans’ health at risk. It creates a large carbon footprint. It fills our waterways with chemicals that turns males into females and turns females sterile. It leads to a lessening of our ability to survive well and prosper. It is against the American way. Supporting quality food made locally is pro-survival. It helps people survive better and flourish. It is the American way- at least how our founding fathers saw it. Please help move agriculture along into a pro-survival position.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Thanks for labeling me “dumb” for buying organic and local foods. Seems to me that you have a little remedial reading to do this harvest season. You might try Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” for one. I hope that this quote was an aberration and that you actually do understand the importance of local and organic agriculture to the future of our farming communities and the planet as a whole.” Somerville, MA

“Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, for winning the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Maybe you don’t care what you put into your body, but in a country with a serious obesity problem and health care costs skyrocketing because people are not taking care of their bodies, you should care. The state of our society’s health affects everyone who ever needs medical care. Buying locally helps to reduce the impact on our environment and supports your community. It’s not rocket science, Mr. Peterson.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I find it disturbing that a man in your position can make such irrational statements. Choosing organics is not dumb! it is just the opposite. Removing pesticides, food additives, and frankenfoods from our diet has keep us healthy, active, doctor free, drug free and mentally acute senior citizens. Perhaps you should give it a try.” Shokan, NY

“If you don’t know why so many people are buying organic and local, then you need to educate yourself. There are VERY good reasons behind it and if you knew more, you might buy it too. I’m very curious how a person with your ignorance and a huge lack of knowledge got to be Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. This just blows my mind! ?The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about? ?The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.?”

“I would like to know why you think it is dumb to support local businesses rather than large food processors.” Kingston, NY

“Organic consumers are dumb? Really? Are you sure? Do you even read books? Newspapers? There are so many reasons why organic is better that I can begin to list them. And you think it’s dumb? I don’t know what state elected you, but it’s not a place that I would want to live. And let me just guess who put you on the agricultural committee...Bush?”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I too used to be like you. Before you make a statement out of ignorance, do the research. I imagine you are an educated man. Please be open because the future of America is in the hands of the government all too often. We need more informed people in a position such as yours to help. To get started just check out GMO foods. My daughter did a report at her high school about this very subject. It was very eye opening. You of all people should realize we should be informed when we make decisions affecting our families health. I have a great idea, get your wife to research. They are pretty good at it. Men aren’t usually as interested. Even if you never see this note, hopefully someone will and I pray it will change their lives. Thank you for your time. Odessa, FL

“With all due respect you are an idiot. Organic foods cost more because they are healthy and not laden with chemicals, preservatives herbicides and pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Furthermore organic producers are not federally subsidized like factory farms. As a legislator you should be informed.” Clifton Texas

“dumb enough to pay that much” ? You can’t be serious. It’s just not profitable for the big corporations who live off of giving the public e-coli and hormone and antibiotic poisoning. And for that the fat cats deserves subsidies so they can get fatter, at the expense of our health. Bet you don’t eat what the average American has to eat, being in a better tax bracket and voting yourselves raises. Then there is always the poison you elected officials approve from CHINA! Dumb?? Yes someone is, but it’s not the organic consumers. A fed up American”

“Regarding your above quote. You seem to be the dumb one, you have obviously not read the numerous reports that indicate organically produced food is nutritionally superior.” Galena, IL

“Dear Representative Peterson, I’m just writing you because of your recent statement that it is dumb to pay more for organic or locally grown food. For one thing, organic food is healthier. For another, it is often tastier and, lastly, buying locally helps reduce pollution in that you’re not shipping food all over the country on big polluting trucks. I’m sure that you will get many emails about why buying organic is not dumb. In fact, for the health of consumers and the environment, it is actually very smart.” Morgantown, WV

“Mr. Peterson, From your comments it does not sound like you fairly represent the Farm Community or the US population. I hope you are not yet another typical professional bureaucrat. My family and I enjoy the benefits and differences of many natural and organic foods. If you are unable to tell the difference in natural foods and “enhanced” foods then you are not very well qualified to be Agriculture Committee Chair. We run a domestic hosiery manufacturing operation in North Carolina that employees 200 people. That may not make me “too” smart but I do not feel that I am “dumb” from buying local natural and organic foods.” Burlington, NC

“Dear Sir, I do not PREFER to pay more for organic food, I am forced to. I simply would rather put my money toward my daily and life-long health and sustenance, than a little NOW toward something that fills my belly but doesn’t nourish my body and a lot more LATER to the DRUG companies to keep my body ‘alive’ but not thriving. With all due respect, perhaps YOU just don’t GET IT that we are killing ourselves for the sake of filling someone’s pockets with PROFIT. Or perhaps you do get and that is your goal.”

“Dear Sir, Food that is grown in rich soil that is not contaminated with chemical fertilizers and that is not genetically modified is very important to the American public that wants to take care of their health. We are tired of being experimented upon and want labels put on our food telling us if something contains genetically modified ingredients. WE WANT FOOD THAT IS ORGANICALLY GROWN AND WANT OUR SOIL RICH IN NATURAL NUTRIENTS. That is not stupid!”

“Dear Chairman Peterson, I’m writing to enlighten you concerning consumers who would be so foolish as to pay more money for organically grown food. I am concerned about the health of my family and the increase amount of chemical residue found in the food produced in this country. More is not better if it pollutes the environment and causes any number of health issues. Everyone I know has someone dealing with cancer issues and most have brought up their concern over our chemically saturated food. I for one will continue to pay more for food and pray that our elected representatives vote for the health and welfare of the people rather than big business.”

“You think we are “dumb” because we don’t want food that is processed, full of corn syrup, full of e-coli, full of who knows what? You have the gall to call your constituents “dumb” . Good luck with that. New York, NY

“Organic and locally harvested food tastes better, has more nutrition, and doesn’t contaminate our drinking water. The really dumb thing is to spend my taxpayers dollars subsidizing heavily polluting, conventional farming that produces food seriously deficient in nutrients. Either give me my taxes back to spend on real food or shift the subsidies from conventional to organic farmers!” Newton, MA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am alarmed by your quote “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” As Chairman of the Agricultural Committee it is your duty to understand why consumers would pay more for local and organic foods. Each time we make a purchase we support our local farmers and those who chose to produce food without chemicals and hormones. If that makes us “dumb” then I am very proud to be part of that group.”

“Please do not characterize me and my family as being “dumb” for selecting organic food. Such uninformed comments do little service to public discourse - and, frankly, makes you look the fool. Also please do nothing to further enhance the lock that the farming lobby has on federal money. If it must exist because you can’t afford to give up your political payoffs, then at least give the same percentage to the organic side of the house. And, again, stop offending me with your thoughtless and ill-informed comments. Thanks.” Madison, VA

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson,3 The comments you made about organic product indicate to me that your are completely unqualified for your position as Chairman of the agricultural committee. Please do yourself and the American people you “supposedly” serve a favor and do some research before you open your ignorant mouth again. Largo, FL

“Good healthy locally grown food is the true American way of the farmer, NOT the industrialized, commercialized, pesticide laden, stock trade profit conscious, industry it has become. I for one will always patronize the local farmer, albeit organic or simply locally grown. You Sir, need to pay attention to the ever growing movement in this country and indeed among most of the world that has declared war on leaving a polluted world to our children and grand children. You seem to have survived the voting process long enough to hold a senior leadership position, to that end, I urge you to look at the world from the “common people’s” perspective and get your hand and head out of the corporate profit machine that can pad your war-chest, but do little for what is right and may not necessarily profitable. This from Massachusetts, WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!” Townsend, MA

“Yes, I do make a personal choice to pay more for products that are healthier for me and for the planet! What a limited view when you look at the money at the register only!!”

“Foods with pesticides, insecticides, etc. Are scientifically proven to poison human bodies. So, since you are the head of the house ag committee, you should be ashamed of yourself (and I’m sure you’re not) that you have no clue what organic is all about and why people desire it. This is truly disrespectful, and thus you are not a true leader. And like the rest of congress, you do not deserve to lead our country, since you are not leading anyhow, you live in the past times. You are wasting our time and precious resources, destroying our soil and other resources for future generations, you all are arrogant and not being held accountable. You should all step down from congress immediately.” Fairfield, IA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am saddened that a fellow Minnesotan with political power would be so ignorant of the benefits of sustainable (i.e. local and organic) agriculture. You said, “people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” I hope you will educate yourself before speaking further to the public. Portland, ME

“Well I have to say it is amazing how we continue to elect uneducated morons to our government without any thought as to how they will use their power. Congratulations on making yourself look like a complete idiot.” Albany, GA

“I find myself shaking my head in utter despair that a representative of the agricultural committee simply doesn’t get it. First of all, buying locally often means paying LOWER prices than in the supermarket. Additionally, farmers’ markets, farm stands, and community supported agricultural farms offer fresher produce, the proceeds of which remain in the local economy, AND the added cost and pollution of trucking is eliminated. Yes, sometimes the price tag is lower at Wal-Mart, but so is the quality and the support of our local economies. Did you ever stop to think that maybe some of us are willing to pay more because ultimately it’s the right thing to do for our country?” Denmark, ME

“Support local and organic farmers!” Pontotoc, MS

“Dear Collin, With all due respect, publicly suggesting that you have no idea/understanding of why consumers want to avoid pesticides in their food and want to support local farms instead of heavily-polluting global produce trade is an indication that you are genuinely out of touch with what really matters to people - and therefore your position as a “representative” of the people should be subject to question. As I’m sure you know, there are thousands of pesticides in use by non-organic growers, the vast majority of which have never been tested by the FDA (or by any regulatory body). Many pesticides have been scientifically demonstrated to have all sorts of harmful effects to humans and other creatures, especially to farm workers exposed daily to their application to crops but also to everyone who eats the crops and uses water contaminated by pesticide runoff. Regarding the local movement, I don’t see how you could fail to understand that value of supporting farmers in one’s extended community, as well as the (perhaps even greater) value of reducing the many forms of pollution associated with long-distance transport of food. Please educate yourself if you expect to keep your position as chairman of the House agricultural committee. Brooklyn, NY

“Collin, Some may think that you are dumb for not caring what you put in your body. Maybe you like pesticides and growth hormones and antibiotics and gm foods, but I don’t. To each his own.” Peshtigo, WI

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Such an interesting quote in the Financial Times. Perhaps you ought to check your facts before spouting off. Organic produce and meat, and by this I mean true organics-not big ag, sham “organics” -have more nutrition. If you would bother reading on the subject or even watching the news (the BBC reported that organics provide more nutrition just this week) then you would understand that higher vitamin content, essential fatty acids and more enzymes create a product that provides increased health benefit. Perhaps your years of starving your brain on conventional, low-vitamin content food have left you devoid of reason or incapable of understanding scientific studies. Your latest comments leave little room for doubt. Wishing you better mental health”

“Your lack of intelligence scares me. How someone like you could possibly be in a position of such importance to the health and well being of the American people is beyond me.”

“Sir, I am not dumb. I care about my health and the health of the planet that we live on. Even if you are comfortable consuming pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms, they are making environmental problems for all.” Phoenix, AZ

“If you have not taken the time to understand why folks may care whether their food is “organic” or “local” than it appears you are the dumb one. Go join the Republicans.”

“End the federal JACKASS SUBSIDY. Hit the road, jack; see you on K Street.” Philadelphia, PA

“You’re lucky enough to represent a savvy, knowledge group of people, and you should talk to them about buying local and organic before you decide who’s dumb.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Virginia. I think that indicates that at some level I am not “dumb.” For the past 5 years I have put much effort into seeking out high quality, local, organic, pasture-based farmers in order to get high quality, great-tasting, nutrient-dense, food without chemical or antibiotic residue. I don’t have the time to educate you on the wide-ranging benefits of eating organic, local and pasture-based. But I will refer you to the Oct/Nov 2007 issue of Mother Earth News where they tested eggs from 14 pastured flocks at an accredited laboratory in Oregon for their nutrient content. Happily for me, eggs that I buy locally were one of those tested! Compared to the nutritional value of eggs from confined chickens, the eggs I eat provide: 7.6 times more vit E 2/3 more Vit A 7.6 times more beta-carotene 3.2 times more omega-3s And guess what?! The eggs I buy cost neither 3.2 nor 7.6 times more expensive! I think I’m a savvy consumer getting a bargain for the amount of nutrition I’m getting. And, no salmonella has ever been found in my farmer’s eggs as well. I am not a great cook, but I buy great food, and when I have guests they always comment on how delicious the food is. That’s because great food isn’t found at grocery stores, but from small farmers who care about how they farm.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson; Your comments on Not understanding why people would buy local or organic food and pay a premium are astoundingly short sighted and frankly confusing, especially for someone who chairs the agriculture department. Obviously you have no idea or understanding of the movement we the people are involved in getting food from people we know and trust. How did you get appointed to the chair with such a short sighted vision? this “dumb” consumer pays more because I want my money to stay in the state in which the product is grown. I want the money to help an American farmer stay in business , not to go to a broker or a conglomerate in Mexico, Chile, china or where ever. I want security in knowing my food is not tainted. Sir I would challenge you to make it your business to know and understand what the American people who elected you really want, your job is to be in touch with that and work towards making it easier and better for our farmers!!!. Sir I am glad you are not representing me in NC, I certainly would not cast my vote for someone who doesn’t even understand my view point let alone represent it.” Durham, NC

“My family of five lives on my husband’s social security disability paycheck. My youngest son is autistic and whenever I try to work outside the home my husband’s body cannot keep up with a family’s schedule. I would love to be able to buy organic local food. Our processed food system is diseasing and killing our nation. We know the truth and we feel a strong responsibility to future generations to reduce the toxins increasingly building in our systems each generation. If you would like to continue being elected, I suggest you notice Americans are becoming very concerned with our current way of life.”

“So, Senator Peterson, Those of us who are willing to drive an older car than you drive and have less cash in our pockets than you have so that a few more acres of land are not being turned into chemical waste dumps are stupid. Thanks for demonstrating what a greed driven short sighted idiot you are. You’ve saved me a lot of time and trouble. From now on, you can be my red flag. If you come out in favor of something or get behind a candidate, I’ll know exactly where to position myself. For those of us who really try to walk the walk, it can be hard to sort through the greed driven. You have made my life one idiot easier.” Elgin, IL

“Sir: The most affective way for we Americans to take back our democracy is support local/sustainable farms and businesses. Providing these foods for my children is one of the “smartest” things I have done. The “dumb” thing to do is continuing to support high pollution producing agribusiness. How about being a leader for your community, rather than being a lobbyist for big agribusiness!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, If supporting local and organic produce is dumb, then my husband and I (with an MD and two Ph.D.s between us) must be real idiots. Or perhaps DUMB means Doing Unbelievably Mindful Buying. That must be the answer since buying locally supports local citizens and buying organic means putting healthier food on the table for our family. Yes, we are willing to pay more in order to keep our family and our nation healthier and to support others doing the right thing. I’m sorry, I thought that was part of what being a Democrat was all about. Guess I really am dumb since I didn’t realize you were a DINO. P.S. Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.” Avondale Estates, GA

“Mr. Peterson, your uninformed remarks maligning the value of safe, nutritious organic food are an embarrassment to me and to educated persons who know the value and need for a safe, non-toxic food source.”

Mr. Peterson, You should be embarrassed that you are so easily influenced by big agriculture’s political donations to your campaigns. Your comments make you look ignorant. Please take the time to educate yourself. Thank you,” Portland, OR

“Sir: Congratulations on your dumbest quote of the week award from the Organic Consumers Assn. Some of us actually CARE what we put in our mouths. Pesticides and other chemicals just don’t taste very good. I may not be rich (like the chemical companies you represent) but I am smart enough to know what’s good for me.” Salem, OR

“Mr. Collin Peterson, why aren’t you investigating why many of us are willing to pay more for organic, local food? Your words make me wonder about your ability to think beyond your familiarity zone.” Santa Fe, NM

“Dear Sir: I would like to take a moment to explain to why I choose to pay more for organic and grass fed items. The factory farming method repulses me. Not only is the squalid living conditions of these animals deplorable, but the steroids, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides used in factory farmer are not meant for human consumption. I do not want to consume poison. Have you noticed that cancer, allergies, autism, and a host of other maladies are on the increase since the USA started factory farming? Not to mention what is happening to the family farm and the environment. My hope is one day our representatives in Congress will choose the health of the American people over the profits of big agricultural. Organic consumers are not dumb. Stow, MA”

“Mr. Peterson - It’s an embarrassment to know that a Minnesota Congressperson could be so uneducated as to make the comment about people who buy organic or local produce. All I can assume is that you are a very close friend of a multi-national corporate agribusiness and have not yet read any of the literature about the threat of pesticides and herbicides to human health, or the costs involved (greenhouse gases and foreign oil) to shipping food around the world, when we can buy it locally. Or maybe you don’t have any small farmers in your district who are trying to farm in a more sustainable manner. Shame on you.” Willow River, MN

“I purchase only organic foods and most of that from local sources and I am not dumb. I am a cancer survivor and very concerned about what chemicals, additives, hormones I put in my body. I am offended by your comment and I will continue to educate others about the benefit of locally grown organic foods.”

“Plain and simple, you should give up your chairmanship. You have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to agriculture and you certainly don’t have any idea what you are talking about when it comes to consumer concerns over food safety.” Clinton, WA

“Here is some reality. I am willing to “pay” to protect my children and myself from the known to be toxic chemicals allowed to be sprayed on produce and then fed to livestock. It would be better for our society’s medical cost burden if everything was grown organically.” Crescent Springs, KY

“Mr. Peterson, I take offense at your comment that I am dumb to purchase local and organic food. I would respectfully suggest that you do some research on local/organic food versus mainstream agriculture”

“Sir, you are a total moron. How people as incredibly ignorant as you make it into the government is beyond belief.”

“Collin Peterson: Would you pay more to feed your children/grandchildren safe meals? Or do you bargain-hunt only to find your family is eating e-coli infected peanut butter, hormone-treated meat or pesticide-infused vegetables? If you would actually support organic farmers’ businesses, these would thrive and we could all get the best products for the best prices.” Austin, TX

“Congratulations on winning the OCA Award for the dumbest quote of the week. And I hope that you and your family remain healthy after consuming all the genetically altered, pesticide embedded food that you prefer to eat on the cheap. If you would help fund this preferable way of farming, it might not be so expensive.”

“As a publicly elected official, it is YOUR JOB to LEARN why people behave the way that they do in your state and in your country. THANK YOU for letting us know that you are either too obtuse or too lazy to do so.” Pueblo, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I understand that you think people willing to pay more for food that has no chemicals, no pesticides, and is non-genetically modified or irradiated, are dumb. I think people who are willing to purchase and eat chemical and pesticide laden, genetically modified and irradiated food stuff at any price, are uneducated as to the myriad of human health and environmental problems that these products cause. The reason our family started eating almost 100% organic is that we read about the benefits of eating this way. Among other things, now we rarely get sick, we feel better, look better, and are doing some part to help the planet be less polluted. Know anyone who’s died of cancer? Ever considered that maybe it had something to do with eating chemicals and pesticides? It’s something to think about. Please consider doing your homework before making public statements that make you look, well, kinda dumb. Best regards”

“Shouldn’t you be aware of NUTRITION in your position? Where do pesticides, chemicals and cancer-causing additives in agriculture benefit the population? Quantity is no substitute for quality.” Clinton, WA

“I can’t believe you said what you did about organic produce. Producing food organically is better for the land and for the environment. You just insulted many people who care for our land and our future. Thanks for nothing.”

“Collin, If you’d like to see dumb first hand.....just look in the mirror or you way too busy stuffing your pockets with money from special interest groups? I can’t imagine that an educated man could actually believe those word. Take some time an really learn what is in our food supply and if you don’t change your mind....well then I know for sure who the dumb on is. Wichita, KS

“Wow, when I read your quote about buying organic or local, I thought you would be another Republican unwilling to look outside his narrow box. Was I surprised to see you are Democrat AND from Minnesota, a state I’ve always envied on their progressive attitudes. I’ve always wanted to live in Minnesota where my husband is from instead of truly Neanderthal Texas where W. Bush hails from. So from your quote what you can also be translated as saying is, if one could buy two pills - one barely works but is really cheap, the other which is two to three times as costly but is more likely to produce a cure, you’d choose the cheaper. The only thing this tells me, however, is that you are in the pocket of big agriculture. You do not care about people just about money. Therefore, you are not stupid just without morals. Houston, TX

“People are willing to pay so much for food that IS organic because they know two main things: that the animals were treated humanly and that the animals were fed all natural foods-CHEMICAL FREE! The better statement is that you are “dumb” for not caring about those things!” Washington, DC

“Rep Collins - I’m a native from Roswell so I know it very sunny and bright down there in your great state. This can make it hard to see in the glare sometimes. I assume this is why the voters in your state cannot see your pro-big business, Republican stripes in the sun. It would otherwise appear that it is the good citizens of the state of New Mexico that are mentally challenged sufficient to elect the likes of you. My parents are still alive and well down there (eating organic and local produce almost their whole lives) but I will be sure to let them know how stupid you think they are. I’ll also make sure they let the local small truck and organic farmers know how lucky they are to have such idiots living near them. Davis, CA

“I really don’t appreciate it when I am insulted by representatives that are paid (very well, I might add) with my tax dollars. You’ve also managed to insult some large proportion of your constituents and for that I congratulate you. If you think organic and local food are not worth it, then don’t buy them-that’s the beauty of the free market. I’m sure I could have a thing or two to say about how you spend your money, but it simply doesn’t concern me. I would appreciate the same courtesy from you.” Upper Arlington, OH

“Dear Senator Peterson, You are as transparent as a jellyfish! You are so clearly in the pocket of the big money interests who control the industrial food system, it is sickening! I hope you can sleep at night. Please visitearthkeeperfarm.
blogspot.com Maybe you’ll learn something.” Roblin, MB

“Mr. Peterson, Organic Consumers are not dumb. Most are very well educated and well read. Maybe you should become a little more well read and find out what is in the food you eat and feed to your family. You will probably then realize how “dumb” your comment was and how uneducated you are on the organic and local food movement. However, if the government keeps watering down the organic standards by selling out to lobbyist and Wal-Mart, “organic” will become meaningless and buying locally from farmers will become the only nutritional and safe source of food in our nation. Have you asked yourself why cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are so rampant in our country? Could it possibly be the chemicals on the produce and in the meat? Could it be all of the chemicals and processed ingredients in the packaged food on the shelf? Why is it that flour that has been bleached, processed and had chemicals added is less expensive than whole wheat flour that has no processing or additives? Seems a little backwards doesn’t it? So please educate yourself and help clean up our food supply instead of selling out to the big company lobbyists. Houston, Texas” Houston, TX

“I don’t want to eat chemicals. Neither do I want them spoiling the water we drink and the land we use. This is not dumb! This is being a good steward. And further, buying close to home not only ensures freshness and saves transportation costs, it provides jobs in the local economy instead of China. Again, this is not stupid! Please reconsider your comments. Thank you.”

“Dear Congressman, I write in response to your statement that says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” you told the Financial Times. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Perhaps sir, it is you who is dumb for not recognizing the great harm you are causing with the Farm Bill’s misguided subsidies for corporate controlled agriculture and factory farms. Taxpayer funded subsidies on commodity crops like corn and soybeans are expensive, harmful, and environmentally destructive. They have the effect of causing hunger and poverty in developing nations, polluting our soil and water, and causing an unfair system which rewards big corporations while punishing family farmers. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for insulting organic and local consumers while promoting such an atrocious policy which serves as a detriment to this great nation. Rather than insult real farmers who produce real food for real people, your policies favor corporate controlled interests who push commodity crops down the throats of factory farmed animals. As the chairman of the House Agricultural Committee, you ought to be more educated on these issues, and seek to understand rather than insult an industry that is growing without government assistance, even as government supported conventional agriculture continues to destroy our planet and those who live on it. Lastly, congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumers Association award for dumbest quote of the week. I sincerely hope that this award will help you to wake up to the realities of our failing farm system and seek a deeper and more holistic understanding of our agricultural policies and their effects, rather than continue with taxpayer subsidized ‘business as usual’ as represented by the House version of the Farm Bill. I would welcome any opportunity to further share my thoughts on these matters with you, should you wish not to receive this award again in the future. Chicago, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Are you really that ignorant when it comes to organic foods/produce and the effects and positive benefits that it produces for ones health and for the environment? It’s such a huge concern to me, along with many others, that people like you are running this country. Please know the facts before you act on any issue. Period. Sincerely, and with great concern” Brooklyn, NY

“Hmmmmmm it seems that people like you should be calling anyone dumb?? People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. I rather see my family eat foods that are TRUELY grown organically, then the food the USDA deems safe. My children’s health and safety are very important to me. Is that dumb??” Canon City, CO

“If you don’t know the value of organic or locally obtained produce, I don’t know why you are on the house agriculture committee chair. Organic and local produce provides a greater health and economic benefit. I’m ashamed that you don’t this!” Park Ridge, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I find it hard to believe the someone of your stature cannot see the benefits of organic and local farming. First of all the farther food has to travel to your family’s table, the more fuel has to be used creating more pollution and adding to our dependence on foreign oil. Second using mass quantities of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers not only pollutes our ground water and local eco-systems but also pollutes your own body as these chemicals are digested through your non-organic foods and your polluted ground water. Our future generations will be unable to thrive if we continue down the polluted path.”

It is unbelievable that the chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee would publicly say that buying food locally or organic is ‘dumb’. It is easy to see that you have well paid for your words. It is also easy to see that you have not done your homework. I strongly suggest that you now publicly apologize and retract that statement which is not only untrue it is a gross disservice to your constituents and the rest of the country.

“It’s sad that you care so little for the future of our children, country and planet that you fail to understand the benefit of organically grown food or the way buying local foods can help decrease our dependence on foreign oil. It may not be the complete answer, but it helps, which is obviously more than you’re willing to do. What a shame that the Democratic Leadership wasted its opportunity to put someone with even a modicum of vision for the future in your position. Former Minnesota resident.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, I take issue with your characterization of those who support organic and local agriculture as “dumb.” It is little wonder that substantive farm bill reform is so elusive when the chair of the House agriculture committee impugns the intelligence of people like me. We actually pay premium prices to keep small farms afloat in our communities, and to advance environmentally sound agriculture, because we know that the federal government is entrenched in a system that has dismantled the true safety net for family farmers while supporting policies that favor concentration in agriculture and the food sector. Far from being “dumb,” I am using my food dollars to support an agriculture in my community that advances the environmental benefits of open space, floodwater detention, aquifer recharge and wildlife habitat, and the human benefits of tasty fresh nutrient-dense foods, while providing a decent living for farmers, including ones who sell at the farmers market where I am a volunteer board member. I want my two-year-old son to grow up around people who work the land and to have the opportunity to visit working farms. Not because all small-scale farmers are perfect. No, it’s because I find that being in the silence on the land every once in awhile helps you figure out what’s really dumb.” Tacoma, WA

“Honorary Committee Chair Collin Peterson, I suggest that you take a more thoughtful look at why many consumers are willing to pay higher prices for organic and locally grown products. The ground-swell of organic products in the marketplace meeting the growing number of consumers who insist on these products, is not ‘dumb’ but rather a clear vote in favor of sustainable agriculture. Most people agree that they want a farming system to provide goods that do not pollute the soil, the water table, our children, nor farm workers either here in the US or in any other country, and are willing to pay for it if the have the means. People do actually care that what they put in their bodies is good for them and good for the planet! I would also suggest that you be on this wave of growing consumer awareness and public education rather than protect an out-dated and unhealthy system of agri-business. Respectfully,” Ketchum, ID

“I grew up in small farming communities in Minnesota. We moved a couple times as my father is a Pastor. When we couldn’t drink the water from our own wells because of chemical contamination from mono-crops “inputs” it made me wonder what we were eating along with our food. You say it’s good that the growing organic movement “has nothing to do with the government” ; how about that same attitude for the huge agri-businesses that currently get the lion’s share of government subsidies? Would they be able to prosper? How about we find out? Then we really would have a more level playing field for the small family farms to come back from the bring of extinction. On that note, I am completely opposed to NAIS. Again, why are agri-businesses essentially exempt? And, if it’s about PREVENTING food-borne illnesses, let’s actually PREVENT them - no more animals living in their own feces, no more processing plants so contaminated with feces that the carcasses need up to 40 chlorine baths... What are you getting out of this deal? It must be pretty good for you to turn your back on your neighbors and their sustainable family farms. Let’s be clear: agri-businesses, with their absentee-landlords, are NOT farms. Minnesota has a proud agricultural past build on the backs of the hard-working family farms. I would suggest reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” which nicely connects the dots of America’s food options. Thanks for your time.”

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. So little you really know about healthy eating.”

“Rep. Collin Peterson: Sir: Do you have children? Perhaps you have grandchildren? Well, we “dumb” organic food producers and consumers are THE significant counter force trying to protect this planet against the destructive corporate forces who put present profits above the future of mankind, trying to make it a livable, even healthy, place for your offspring. Congratulations on considering us “dumb!” (C. S. Lewis once said that when we hear a person claim there is an invisible man in a nearby chair, we learn more about the person than we do about the chair.)” Cottonwood, CA

“Why is big agri-business getting all the breaks and all your support? Is Monsanto the lord and master of the farm lands? I hope not! And I hope for your good health and the health of your family that you are choosing to eat organically grown and non-GMO foods. It is the little man, the individual, who you are sworn to represent. Please do so through your actions and your support. Please support the small farmer.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, You sure have a lot to learn about how much better organic food is as opposed to chemically treated, genetically altered produce and the lack of intelligence that the people who eat that kind of food (you) have. Some people have no choice because of government greed. I hope you never have any serious health problems as a result, but that is wishful thinking”

“I can’t believe you are the chair of the Agriculture Committee. God help us all. Apparently you know nothing about the issues of factory farming. So how did such a glib, thoughtless person get to be chair of this committee? Gee, let me guess.”

“Dear Mr. Collins, You might want to do a little more research before opening your mouth next time. It is the same ignorance that you display with your comments that has caused the food in America to become more chemicals than nourishment in the past 50 years.” Denver, CO

“Conventional potatoes have over 900 pesticides, herbicides, chemicals etc on them. Why would I choose to eat them? Why would I choose to eat GMO’s after reading “Seeds of Deception” ? The list is endless on conventional farm produce and meat. However, I am sure someone can supply you with a list, hey, just go to any supermarket.”

“I guess I’m pretty dumb. I didn’t realize, what with a master’s degree, a working scientific professional, a wife, and mother of two young children. I actually thought I was pretty smart for wanting to protect my family from chemical-laced foods. Now I know I’m dumb for apparently waiting money. Thanks for setting me straight!” Redding, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I don’t believe you are really dumb - however, you are very ignorant regarding farming and real food. As House Agriculture Committee Chair, I think you should become more informed about the benefits of organic farming/foods and supporting our local farmers.” Cary, NC

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONSANTO AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT 1991: Margaret Miller was appointed Deputy Director of FDA by George Bush Sr. She oversaw the approval of the genetically engineered growth hormone rBGH. Prior to the appointment, she was one of Monsanto’s top scientists developing rBGH. At the FDA, she approved the same rBGH studies she previously led at Monsanto. 1991: A right-wing extremist, Clarence Thomas, was appointed to the Supreme Court, despite nationwide opposition. Prior to his appointment, Thomas was a lawyer for Monsanto, a notorious chemical polluter and ag biotech promoter. Thomas would later cast the decisive vote in 2000 on the Supreme Court, ratifying the stolen election that put George Bush Jr. into office. 1992: Michael Taylor was appointed FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy, a role created to expedite the approval process of genetically engineered foods. Prior to his appointment, Taylor was an attorney for Monsanto. Taylor went on to become Monsanto’s Vice-President. 1993: Rufus Yerxa was nominated as U.S. deputy to the World Trade Organization. Prior to his appointment as one of the most powerful bureaucrats in the world regarding international trade policies, Rufus was Monsanto’s Chief Counsel. 1996: Michael Kantor was appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce. At that time, Kantor was also on the Board of Directors of Monsanto. 2000: The White House appoints Carol Tucker Foreman as the sole “consumer advocate” on an international committee assessing genetically modified foods. Prior to her appointment, Foreman was a lobbyist for Monsanto. 2001: Anne Veneman was appointed head of the USDA, in charge of regulating, among other things, genetically engineered crops. Veneman previously served on the Board of Directors of Calgene, a Monsanto biotech subsidiary. 2001: Donald Rumsfeld was sworn in as Secretary or Defense. Rumsfeld was previously the CEO of the Searle pharmaceutical corporation, acquired by Monsanto. 2001: Linda Fisher was appointed Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her regulatory chores included “enforcing” pesticide regulations, such as Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, commonly sprayed on GE crops. Fisher was previously Monsanto’s Vice-President of Government Affairs. Previously Fisher served as a high-level staffer for another biotech cheerleader, President Bill Clinton. 2002: George Poste was appointed head the bioterrorism division of Homeland Security. Previously, Poste was a Monsanto animal specialist.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I am not dumb, nor are all the hundreds of thousands of people who choose to know where their food comes from, and what it contains. If it costs me more to ensure I eat safe food, that is YOUR fault, because you sit in the pockets of all the corporate farm conglomerates who care only about their bottom line, not the product they produce. Why don’t you start doing your job, and assist local small business people who contribute much more to America and Homeland Security than your corporate board room chums could ever dream about. Or are you too busy golfing with your pals”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am one of the “dumb” organic consumers you referred to in your statement the other day. What I think is dumb is that our government subsidizes crops and food policy that are making America fat and sick. By getting the chemicals out of our food, supporting small, local farmers, and subsidizing fresh, organic produce rather than feed-lot quality corn and other commodities, the Farm Bill could alleviate, if not resolve, the national health crisis. Please educate yourself about organic produce and health-supporting nutrition practices, and discontinue the devastating practice of bowing to big business to determine national farm policy.” Worcester, MA

“Would you like that with or without poison, Sir? I think it’s not so much that you are dumb about organic food and biodynamic principles, just ignorant. Have you looked at the startling rise in allergies and disease? It’s because of our fuel Sir.. our food. It is poisoned with chemicals. The chemicals poison and kill the microbes in the soil. Without this, the food grows in dead soil and is depleted in minerals and vitamins. I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) all my life until I started to get raw milk from a goat farmer (illegal) and make kefir from it. I get vegetables from trusted organic farmers or grow them myself, grass fed meat (usually from New Zealand, but now I’ve found a Northern California bison (buffalo) rancher. Guess What? I’m healthy for the first time in my life! We need living food. We need enzymes. Our guts begin to die with dead food, because the ecology of our gut is upset. I can see from your photo that you have a few health issues. A healthy, chemical and GMO free diet would do wonders for you. What have you got to loose? Your health? You just take drugs for that? Oh! There are always side effects to drugs, whether they are in your food or you take them a la carte. I was going to vote Democrat, but now I’m not so sure. Are you sure you are not Republican? Your statement is right up there with George W’s collection of ignorant homilies.” Ventura, CA

“Congrats on that dumb remark! I think seven generations from now, your progeny will think you were the dumb one for not doing anything to protect this planet or the people on it. I’m sorry for you.”

“Congratulations for having won the Organic Consumers’ Association “Dumb Quote of the Week” award! If you want to see REALLY DUMB, though, look around you and see the subsidies being given to unhealthy, fast and junk food manufacturers and growers. If you didn’t believe that organic was real, why does the USDA spend SO MUCH to suppress, destroy and damage organic agriculture? DUMB is doing away with the family farm at the behest of agribusiness concerns only interested in their own bottom line, never the quality or healthfulness of the food they provide. You fit RIGHT IN!” Carmel, CA

“Congratulations, Collin Peterson (Democrat, MN) for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Canal Winchester, OH

“Wow...I knew our government was pretty uninformed and sometimes ridiculously ignorant and mostly not “for the people” but your quote, “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” , is staggering. Perhaps a little research on the health benefits of non-chemical, non-gmo foods before making such a statement is in order? DOH!” Ashland, OR

“Do you per chance stop to think the reason that people are paying more for organic produce is because they don’t want chemicals, pesticides on their food the results of which quite clearly are detrimental to people’s health. Why wouldn’t we as consumers want to encourage and put pressure on the government to back and fund the growing of produce and food stuff that is beneficial to US and global consumers in the long run. Organic and natural make perfect sense to a logical being, the only dumbie, I’m afraid, is you.” Denver, CO

“Who’s dumb? Of course we know that Collin Peterson is referring to the marketing people who steal the word organic. I’m sure he has done his homework and knows that true organic farming has a promise for the future and he will support it for his grandkids’ sake. Oh, unless he is bought and paid for by the lobbyists of mega farms.”

“The only dumb thing about organic food is the way the USDA allows it to be perverted and exploited.” Lawrence, KS

“How can you be in the field of Agriculture and be that Ignorant? Maybe its about time you start to CARE then you would get it!!!!!!!#%@#$^%#^&#%^”

“For your information, organic is healthier! Please do some homework, Senator. Thank you.”

“Mr. Peterson- I would like to share with you my utter disappointment that one of our elected officials acts so much higher than the rest of us by referring to people willing to pay more for organic agriculture as “dumb” . I am willing to pay more for organically and locally grown produce because I believe in using my money for positive change in our society. I am willing to pay more for products that are made by hard working farm laborers who are not exposed to chemicals and dangerous pesticides in their daily work. I am willing to pay more for these products because it is an investment in my local community instead of paying for robo-produce that is shipped from hundreds of miles away. Buying local and organic food is a conscious choice I make because I believe in farming practices that make the earth more fertile rather than less. If you feel that these reasons are “dumb” , perhaps you should re-evaluate why it is you have chosen to serve the public in the first place.” Spencer, NY

“Dear Mr. Peterson, disrespecting the opinions of those who elect them seems to be endemic among politicians these days. If instead you take the time to find out WHY we will pay these higher prices, you will find that we compelling reasons to do with health, local economies, agribusiness and government. These reasons may not convince YOU to change your mind, but they define US as rational and intelligent, rather than subscribers to the herd mentality you may be more comfortable with.” MACOMB, IL

“Dear “Representative” Peterson, While you may believe that you represent your constituent’s best interests when you make statements such as the one indicating that you believe people who are willing to pay a little more for organic foods are stupid; the opposite is, in fact true,(even if all your constituents are farmers). What you were quoted as saying, was in fact, just what you needed to say to show your own ignorance about the importance of BUILDING soil and the natural bacteria and multitude of life forms (such a worms) within the soil.(the underlying principles of Organic farming) In the modern methods of agricultural practices, we are, in fact, killing the natural fertility of our soils, and depleting them of minerals. This is a direct result of using continually more and more pesticides and fertilizers which further poison the general environment, and give rise to resistant pests. When you couple the practices above with subsequently also allowing genetically modified forms of food grains into the environment, (specifically for the enrichment of the companies holding the patents on such plants, instead of (as is touted) “for better crop production or draught tolerance, etc.” ), then what the agriculture committees over the past 60 years have created, is a recipe for disaster.... relating to either unbridled corporate control over our food supplies, or merely a catastrophic (mono)crop failure... (take your pick). These need to be reversed. How dare you say ANYTHING derogatory about the Organic industry (which supports bio-diversity and the Earths natural soil systems)... or, the people who feel very good about supporting that industry and want to see it grow, until IT becomes the NORM, as it was previously. (Please realize that at each step on the way, as we approach making Organic farming THE NORM, again, the prices per unit will decline as scales of economy begin to show up). But, even though profits will begin to become better and better, we should be attentive to many things besides monetary equivalencies. As an example, the natural and dynamic systems of the living Earth are, in fact, beyond value, because their good health and their continual interactions are the basic microbial actions which make higher life on Earth possible at all. (current farming practices represent the antithesis of this fact). You are in a position of power and responsibility. Please make a conscious decision to use these in a more responsible way by working to promote growth in the Organic foods industry, instead of ridiculing it’s supporters.” Silver City, NM

“As an organic consumer I’m smarter than you. I don’t eat pesticides. They make me sick.”

“So I hear that you said: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” What? Are you brain dead? I gladly pay more for food that is wholesome and nutritious and cruelty free. I think you need to find out the facts before you go spouting off. Support local farmers. Big corporations care nothing for the people, animals and the environment, read up and you will see that is true.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson Would you be willing to pause a moment and learn why so many people are willing to pay more for organic produce and grass fed beef?” Berkeley, CA

“Dear Sir, What is wrong with you? What don’t you understand about wanting to eat food that is cleaner (free from growth hormones, food grown in a sustainable and sane manner,)and more humanely produced? Don’t tell me you believe all the bunk “science” that claims no difference between conventionally grown and organically grown foods. If you do, well, you’re the one who’s “dumb” and perhaps you should remain so in the strictest sense of the word.”

“If the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help, and the country has a massive obesity problem. A sensible person would advocate for subsidizing sensible food. Look at the federal food pyramid and match it with federal subsidies. Add to that the massive ecological damage of the chemical intensive practices you are encouraging, and it looks like you are attempting to implement the Darwin award on the entire country. Statements like “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Indicate that you have no business taking our money and redistributing it to big corporate farms. YOU should be hung by your feet to match your funding choices with the most $$ going to the little point at the top of the food pyramid and almost no funding for the healthy stuff. By the way, congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.”

“How lovely and professional you are. How dare you criticize products that are produced and grown in a sustainable manner - and that are helping many farm families keep their farms? I’ll be sure to forward your ‘stupid quote’ to all of my friends in Minnesota that happen to be your constituents.” Hillsboro, WI

“Collin Peterson, I gladly pay a little more for organic and local food because I am concerned about the health of my family and the health of the environment. Conventional food is laden with questionable chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, etc. that I do not want in my body. Conventional farming and manufacturing/mass producing food destroys the soil and contributes to pollution of all kinds. Also, shipping/flying/trucking food hundreds and thousands of miles leaves a large carbon footprint, to which I have no desire to contribute. Smart or dumb, I make my choices based on what is best for my family and for the environment.” Lawrence, KS

“You, sir, are a moron. First of all, my tax dollars are wasted on your salary. Second of all, talk to your doctor and your pharmacist. Perhaps one or both can cure your misconceptions about health. In the interim, please discontinue insulting a significant percentage of the people you were hired to serve. Thank you.” Fort Worth, TX

“Respectfully sir, if someone really has to explain why the American people are willing to pay a higher price for a healthier and more sustainable agricultural product, then you’re an idiot!”

“Dear Rep. Peterson: ...and people don’t understand why our country is in the deep trouble that we currently find ourselves. Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Your quote was so dumb that perhaps you will win the award for dumbest quote of the year.” Rochester, NY

“Maybe the organic food movement is growing despite attempts by big agriculture to suppress it, because intelligent people are starting to realize big agriculture is more concerned with profits than peoples health. We are being fed untested GM foods and hormones and steroids against our knowledge or permission. This is done for profit reasons, not health concerns, and is unacceptable. I will gladly pay more for food that I know is healthy, not experimental, and that supports my neighbors, rather than a few elitists who don’t care about me. I guess you could play “dumb” and pretend you don’t know about the govt handouts to big agriculture that are designed to control the food industry and our ability to provide for ourselves, so they can take every penny we have. But, maybe you are that dumb!” Faber, VA

“Congratulations on receiving an award from the OCA. It is well deserved.”

“When there’s life there’s hope. I hope that your outrageous ignorance about the superiority and importance of organic and locally grown food, will soon end.”

“Gee Mr. Peterson, do you even TRY to understand? And as for the small, local, organic farmers - THEY are the true farmers, NOT the corporate farms that get our tax dollars as “assistance.” If you would get out there and talk TO the folks you’re talking ABOUT, perhaps you’d learn something.” Marion, IL

“Congressman Peterson, I am just writing to invite you to read some of the information listed on the Organic Consumers Association website. In a recent statement, you claim to have no knowledge as to why people would pay more for organic food. I find this hard to understand due to the nature of your work. I assure you that if you search for the information with an open mind then there will be, without a shadow of a doubt, no need to insult or harm the organic industry and consumers. The fact that we pay more for organics should drive you to understand our reasons instead of making statements that tarnish your reputation and make you sound, quite frankly, ignorant. I highly doubt a man in your position is ignorant. As a fellow democrat, I urge you to please take the time to understand how important a holistic lifestyle is to us. I also urge you to admire, or at least respect, the people who don’t make much money but still insist on spending more on food, products, and methods that are less synthetic, less artificial, and PROVEN to be better for our health, the environment, and the livestock. Proud mother of 1 extremely healthy miracle child” Virginia Beach, VA

“Dear Representative Peterson, Maybe all those people have some reason for buying organic and local produce. Like taking care of their health and the health of the local economy. There’s more to eating than just filling your stomach. Most states in the U. S. have farms and it may be worth your time to find out why people are willing to spend their money to purchase local and organic food and other products. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Raymond, WA”

“Dear Representative Peterson, Choosing to buy products that promote health is the smartest thing a person can do. As they say, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Organic and local foods (which usually have less chemicals on them) are an important part of being healthy.”

“What does it feel like to be as ignorant as you? Guess I’ll never know. I’m smart to buy local and organic. Of course, the government has taken just about all my money in some way or another so I don’t have the money to buy organic very often. Organic is the only way you can know your food is natural.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, I want to congratulate you on your monumental gaff. Referring to a large, high paying, civic minded and rapidly growing market demographic as “dumb” has surly put you in the running for biggest buffoon of the year.” Vicksburg, MI

“Dear Mr. Peterson, While I was humored by your recent comment on organic and local agriculture, your words seem to ignore the fact that those consumers are willing to pay more because they trust certain local and organic producers. Unfortunately, most of the country would like to do the same, but for the price. And low prices for conventional food are a result of ag subsidies. Thus, if you believe everyone should be on the same level playing field, I would hope you would support the subsidy limitations of the Dorgan-Grassley amendment and the funding of the organic sector at 3% of all federal supports, equal to the 3% share that the organic market represents. Thank you. Please let me know if you support the above.” Vancouver, WA

“Hey Peterson, did you used to catch the short bus to school because you are the dummy for the statement you made about paying more for organic food. Organic, free-range, naturally raised food is better for the environment, it is better for your health, it is better for small farmers and most important, it tastes better. Study after study and personal experience shows it, you know it is true to, but you dance at the end of the puppet strings of the agribusiness so you can not tell the truth. On your death bed, in your golden years and on your death bed, you will deeply regret how you sold yourself out.” San Carlos, CA

“I find it incredible that you think I am stupid for paying more for organic food. I don’t want to eat food with pesticides and harmful chemicals on them. Simple.”

“Sustainability is not whimsy - organic growth and development is good for the planet, and the creatures, people and plants that inhabit it. You should try it - you might be less cynical if you actually contribute to the wisdom and long-term habitability of our home. Thanks for your attention.”

“The only DUMB thing is what leaders like you are doing to our world with conventional farming and agriculture. Try taking an environmental ed. class at your local community college AND YOU MIGHT BE LUCKY ENOUGH PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!”

“Your quote is exactly why are country is going down the tubes. Is it really hard to understand that natural organic food the way GOD intended for humans to eat; free of pesticides, chemicals and whatever else big business companies put in them to make more profit, is a better choice? It’s a shame that the USA, for being as big of a country as we are, cannot take more idea’s from Europe and the rest of the world, for using non Genetically Modified or chemically enhanced food. Maybe it’s your generation, Maybe you don’t care, as long as you make money, maybe you cannot see the connection between chemicals in our food, and all of our health care problems i.e. diseases, cancers, and strange new illnesses. As a US citizen I have and deserve the right to choose what I put in “feed” my own body!! or is that the governments decision now also. Stop making decisions based on profits, and start making decisions based on what is good for the health of our bodies and our country. I choose to eat organic natural food for my own health, unfortunately I have to pay high prices to stay chemical free! It looks like the only way I can regulate what I put in my body is to grow my own food... That’s a shame in this country!!!” Waco, TX

“It’s amazing to us “educated” people how old and ignorant ineffectual dumb-asses like yourself continue to be elected to run our government. Hopefully your constituency aren’t as fucking stupid as you seem to be, and will do away with chem/pharm industry ass kissers such as yourself, and begin to clean up the environment and food we all need.”

“Nice job on proving that you are uneducated about the importance of sustainable agriculture, which includes LOCAL and ORGANIC foods! Congratulations on dumbest quote of the week!” Goleta, CA

“I have to say I am very surprised to hear anyone in this day & age respond like you did (“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” ). I will assume that you are not aware of the health costs agri-business has levied on our society as a whole. People have finally become knowledgeable enough to seek out good quality (vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient rich) food instead of putting up with genetically modified, devalued, disease or antibiotic ridden food sources. If that seems dumb then I will assume that you just do not have the information you need to make a truly wise decision about what goes into your body. I hope you do get more information so you can understand why people choose to spend their money on quality products that in the long run cost far less than getting sick or diseased and then dealing with the issues. Thank you for your time,” San Carlos, CA

“What a disappointment to hear your negative comments regarding the intelligence of people who are willing to pay extra $ for organic and/or local food! I’m surprised that you seem completely ignorant about the increasing body of scientific, empirical data that documents the extra nutritional value and greatly reduced presence of poisons and toxins (i.e. pesticides, etc.) that are so common in conventional foods. Not all of us want to feed chemically laced foods to ourselves or our kids. It boils down to “You get what you pay for.” So if some of us make an educated decision to pay a little more for unpolluted food that is also much less toxic to the environment and supports organic and local farmers, I’d say that’s pretty damn smart. To remain ignorant about something as critical about organic production is truly dumb!” Saint Paul, MN

“OMG Collin, I am ashamed that your are a Democrat. You owe it to your constituents as well as yourself to familiarize yourself with organic products & their benefits. Shame on you for such an ignorant statement!!!!”

“If the organic movement is growing without government support, but chemical and large scale farms still have to be subsidized by the government, then who are the dumb ones? Shouldn’t we be supporting those who are doing a good job? These organic farmers are not only raising good, healthy food, but they are preserving our environment as well. The farms who will receive subsidies from the farm bill however are feeding us food with chemical cocktails while destroying the soil and water in their ecosystem. As an organic consumer, we care about what goes into our bodies and the health of our ecosystems, thus we are willing to pay more. We most certainly should not be called dumb for this reason. Just because you don’t understand something, does not mean it is dumb. Rather, you have made yourself look dumb with the award for the dumbest quote!” Little Rock, AR

“Come come now, I expected only a Republican to make such an ignorant comment. Will you join the Republicans please, you’re making Dems look even worse. I buy organic and local for my grandkids and yours” Stillwater, MN

“How can someone in your position be so out of touch with reality? Our current factory farming is not sustainable and causes substantial pollution. If you care about our nation, support something that can last. If all you care about is corporate profits and bribes, then please step down from your position.”

“People who DON’T care about the quality, safety, and nutritional value of their food are the dumb ones!! It’s actually incredibly smart to pay attention to what you put into your body, and to be concerned about things like pesticides and poisons, etc... So who’s dumb the dumb one here? The one who eats the chemically-bathed (and otherwise “tampered” with) produce and pollutes their bodies, or the one who eats clean and limits their exposure to carcinogenics and other questionable substances? I’d think about what I said before I said it, if I were you. You’ve outed yourself as a dummy. Now you’re going to have to work double-hard to change that image. Good luck, and god bless.”

“Collin Peterson, You should be ashamed. Please educate yourself on the subject of Organic Agriculture and why it is the only smart choice, or get out of government.”

“Way to go BONEHEAD. Why is it stupid to want your food grown locally and as naturally as possible? It’s dumb to NOT want harmful chemicals all over and in our food? Sir, being from MN I would love to be able to garden again (I am currently living in Las Vegas) and obviously you’re a bit naive to the fact that not everyone has such healthy growing potential in their own yards. Many of us have to buy from mega-stores, because they have run all the smaller local merchants out of business. Then we are forced to choose ONLY chemically slathered products? EDUCATED PEOPLE LIKE NATURAL THINGS!! It’s only common sense that people want to be healthy. Wake up!!!! It’s the ghetto families who gobble up all that processed crap. Those of us with any brain cells WANT NATURALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCTS!” Las Vegas, NV

“You must be getting your information from the agribusinesses you represent. Those of us struggling to live free of toxins and find wholesome, natural food know that organic and local foods are worth a much higher price. You have displayed an appalling lack of knowledge.” Sherrills Ford, NC

“hm.. dumb you say? I don’t think I like you very much.”

“All I can say is you must be blind, deaf and dumb. Even the CDC says most produce have high levels of chemicals due to pesticides. Many doctors believe the rise in illnesses in children is due to pesticides and the unnecessary additives put in farm animal feed. It must be nice to be so blind to what goes on in the world or maybe you don’t care because you make monies from these sources. Either way Americans are getting sick and tired of politicians in the back pocket of big corporations. How’s it smell back there?” Cleveland, OH

“Mr. Peterson: If the USAG had the standards that the organic industry does we would not need to pay higher prices for the best food around!! Our food would taste like the food it is and the chemicals would NOT be destroying our earth’s soil and would be giving us the best tasting food our earth could give us...too bad YOU can’t tell the difference. Maybe we should charge more for the food grown w/the chemicals since they must be considered part of the equation...???” Phoenix, AZ

“I expect that it is your responsibility to understand what lies behind the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers. Have you educated yourself at all about the Meat Industry as it operates today? I apologize for my abruptness and impatience. But, come on! You aught to know better.” Durham, NC

“How ignorant you are! I am deeply offended. I won’t bother saying more. Use your head before you speak!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I was very disappointed to see that your comments about the costs of organic food are so entirely uninformed. What you haven’t revealed to the American public is that all citizens are paying much higher costs for non-organic foods, although they are not aware of just how much their food actually costs. That is because conventional farmers are so highly and wastefully subsidized by the U.S. government. The latest mismanagement of agricultural subsidies were reported just this week by NPR in how, e.g., people who are not even farmers are receiving huge stipends for owning land that once was, but no longer is, farmed. This is only one example of misuse of funds. But the plain fact is that organic farmers are not receiving subsidies as other farmers are. Why don’t you include that in your public statements, please? I trust that you will dig a bit deeper into the issue before any further pronouncements you may make. Thank you.” Chicago, IL

“Who’s dumb? My apologies to your mother for raising such an ignorant child.” Fridley, MN

“Mr. Peterson what is scary for your constituents and the public at large is that an individual in your position is so uninformed on the subject matter over which you make legislative decisions that you simply dismiss your ignorance by labeling others “dumb” . First of all, part of the reason organic and local produce is more expensive is because it receives very little assistance. Secondly, organic and local produce is not a growing market because of the ignorance of consumers, but because it provides something which is needed and wanted, nutritious, clean food. I wish you luck in dealing with your burden of distorted self-importance and ignorance.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I believe it is you who are “dumb” for not even knowing why many consumers are staying from mass-, feedlot and large agribusiness produced foods. Evidently the committee you serve as chair of is equally ignorant of the many unhealthy results of foods being produced with pesticides or growth hormones or genetically altered food. When someone you know asks “why me?” when they are diagnosed with one of many cancers or other health problems caused by these bad agricultural practices, I hope you are able to look them in the eye when you say, “because we allowed - indeed promoted - farming practices that are unhealthy to humans.” Oakland, CA

“ It is a really sad day when the one person who is the committee chair for the House Agriculture Committee insults not only his constituents’ intellect, but those of every citizen of this country regarding what they choose to nourish themselves with. The reality is you are ignorant of what community supported agriculture and organic really means to the health of both the citizens and the country as a whole (economy and environment). I implore you to start reading some information or step down from your post and let someone who is isn’t so “dumb” chair the committee. You might start with educating yourself with the policies of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom believed this country should be built on a foundation of agriculture. I think there is no wonder that the Congressional approval rating as a whole is 11%. Talk about the dumbing down of America, between Congress and Bush, its a wonder we still function as a country.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I was shocked at your statement that people are dumb who would pay more for organically grown food. Have you asked yourself why the majority of Americans suffer from some chronic disease or another? Could it be the polluted food that is on the market? Vegetables that look good but are full of poisons? Fruits sprayed with pesticides and chemical fertilizers that look big and juicy but are poisonous to eat? There must be some reason there is so much illness in the nation that has the costliest health-care system. We pay huge doctor bills but is anyone cured of their diseases? We accept disease and sickness as natural. It is due to stupidity. But it is election time coming isn’t it? And the lobbyists for chemical fertilizers and pesticides are heavy on to the congress people, aren’t they? The big farm bill in Congress comes up just before the election every four years, doesn’t it, so that the farm states, hungry for those big subsidies, can be convinced to vote for whoever in congress votes in the subsidies. It is criminal what is going in the government, approving poisons to be poured on the food, but doing very little, small, for organic farming. Farmers think they are getting protection from the government but they are being cheated when the government doesn’t help them to go organic. Your statement that it is dumb to pay more for organic is very ignorant and you shouldn’t be in the government as far as I am concerned.” Fairfield, IA

“If you consider people “dumb” for paying for food that is not contaminated with pesticides and herbicides and such, you certainly don’t deserve to be chairman of any agricultural committees. You don’t seem to have any idea of the need to protect the health of the people you represent.”

“Are you kidding? You think people are ‘dumb’ for not wanting to ingest methyl bromide in their strawberries, for not wanting to contribute to needless petroleum use for transporting produce and meat, for wanting to support their local economy? You make me ashamed to be Minnesotan and very worried for the future.” Roseville, MN

“Mr. Peterson, I am dismayed that as Chairman of the Agricultural Committee you proclaim ignorance of the value of organic or local produce. The value of local produce is a no-brainer. We don’t want to send our dollars outside our community or funnel them into corn/soy monoculture and foreign oil. Call us dumb if you want. But as Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, please learn some relevant facts about Agriculture.” Redwood City, CA

“Buying organic and locally grown produce is not “dumb” . How dare you? This is an American industry that helps the country grow in the right direction. You need to exercise a little discretion when speaking publicly.”

“Eating organic food is about making sure I am putting only nutritious ingredients without toxins into my body. That seems smart to me.”

“I am honored to be among those that you consider dumb. All of them from the first time “dumb” leaped from your tongue into the abyss you call “life.” Framingham, MA

“Organic & Local food actually have more health benefits and less health hazards than non organic food. You should keep up with the studies or not speak of something publicly that makes you sound unaware, rude, and empathetic to the environment.” Pittsfield, MA

“Like Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned, you don’t have the sense or the vision to know what is healthy and what isn’t. Large, industrial-scale farming practices are taking this country (and many others) down the road to ill health and a complete disconnect from our healthy rural roots.” Talent, OR

“What a shame that someone in your position could display such ignorance, not only of economics but of the basic concept of sustainability! As someone in a leadership position, I hope you will be able to back-pedal your way out of this faux pas. Some of us out here understand that voting is done these days with dollars; that the organic and local food supplies are more expensive than industrially produced and globally shipped foods must be REVERSED, not merely accepted as good for growers. The hidden costs of spraying crops and soil, the vast amounts of resources squandered to produce beef, and the ridiculousness of underwriting the transportation system at a time when we should all be reconsidering ways to reduce our dependence on and use of foreign oil, all point to RETHINKING the ways agriculture is conducted and financed in this country. I am truly dismayed to learn that your leadership seems to be guided by profit motives rather than social responsibility. Please reverse your position here and let your cronies know that organic and local produce is, without doubt, the way of the future for those of us who still care about the planet.” San Francisco, CA

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson. Please educate yourself about the value of organic and locally produced food. Otherwise I will be certain that you are in the pocket of agribusiness. Madison, WI

“Dear Sir, I can not believe that you, leader in our country would make such a poorly considered remark about organic food. You are ignorant of the issues surrounding out food and should be an expert on those issues. I certainly do not have confidence in your ability to lead the committee and suggest you step down and allow someone who does have a grasp of the issues surrounding our food take over. At the very least, read or have your staffer read to you, the book “The China Syndrome” , that will give you a clear understand what you and those like you are doing to the American public by allowing the continued use of chemicals of all type in out food production systems.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: Organic consumers are far from “dumb” . What is so dumb about wanting to consume food that is free of pesticides and preservatives? Forgive me for eating healthy! Between my husband and I we have five college degrees. I think one could say that we are highly educated individuals. We do a lot of research before we consume anything. We choose not to consume products that contain preservatives due to the increase in cancer rates since the use of them became the norm. Do you know that most tomatoes are picked while they are still green? Then once they are closer to there final destination they are injected with chemicals that make them turn red. Ground beef is injected with food coloring so it looks red because people associate the red color with freshness. I suggest that you do your research before you go grocery shopping. There are plenty of resources available! Akron, OH

“Dear Collin, You do understand that one eats to sustain the body, right? You do understand that the quality of the food one ingests has a direct correlation with one’s health, right? (you remember, “junk in, junk out” ) Now, here is perhaps where it gets tricky (but not for us “dummies” ): organic farming uses less chemicals (bad for the body) and healthier soil (good for the body). This is of course the simple version, but, as you are still playing catch-up, I thought it best to keep it that way.” Aurora, IL

“Collin Peterson, you are an embarrassment to the Democratic Party. Do some research the next time you think you know what you’re talking about. And if you keep eating non-organic crap disguised as food, you deserve the ill health you are creating for yourself.”

“Even Consumer Reports has recognized the value of organic farming both for avoiding the consumption of pesticides and for substantial benefits to the environment and improved soil conservation. Perhaps the benefits of large campaign contributions from agri-business are more important to you than the carcinogenic effects of the food you eat. I prefer to spend my money on organic food rather than doctor bills.”

“Dear Representative Peterson I’m so sorry you have chosen to call a growing number of Americans dumb. The price of organic and local food, just like the price of conventionally grown food is a direct result of supply and demand. While the demand for organic and local foods is growing, it still does not meet the demand for conventional foods, and the price tag will never match. That is because the quality of the food will never compromised as our conventional food system has become. Quality often comes with a heftier price tag. Those of us who choose to support local small family farms are doing so because we recognize the importance of knowing our food source first-hand. I don’t imagine you take frequent trips to the feed lots, but if you did, I bet your appetite for conventionally raised beef and pork would diminish, while those of us who buy local foods can graze alongside the cattle, pigs, lambs or chickens and see exactly how well they are being raised and the conditions in which they exist. Our appetite for sustainable agriculture only increases on these trips as we recognize the value of local and organic small family farms goes far beyond our plate.”

“How is it DUMB to care about what goes into my family’s body? I strive to put only hormone- and antibiotic-free food into my kids’ mouths. In addition, I strive to make sure they don’t eat foods that are sprayed with chemicals in the growing process. I want them to ingest only foods that are whole and grown in the most natural possible ways. I care about not only their health now, but their health in the future, and the health of their future children. That you do not care is reprehensible!! Why not put health into bodies NOW, so that in the future healthcare costs are not part of the equation? Short-sighted Republican thinking is strongly at play here once again. WAKE UP!!!!!” Elk Grove, CA

“Total ignorance is the first work that comes to mind regarding this issue. I thought politicians were suppose to actually understand the issues before commenting. Where did you grow up? Unbelievable!” Newtown Square, PA

“It amazes me sometimes the caliber of person that is able to attain office in this great country of ours. To not make sure your family is getting good quality farmed goods that are organically and sustainably raised is bordering on the criminal. In my humble opinion, in the future, it would behoove you sir, to put a little effort into understanding something before making a brash public statement.”

“It is quite sad that you have no understanding of people who respect their bodies and health and thus are willing to pay for healthier food. It is particularly sad that you are chairman of the agricultural committee and see no relationship between the federal government and providing this healthier food.” Ferndale, WA

“Since your a Democrat, I can only hope you were quoted out of context. Do some research on the chemicals in our foods and see what you think.” Alexandria, VA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Thank you for supplying me with a great quote to share with my Small-Scale Ag class this week! I have explained how we have grown this movement to support farmers who truly care about the land AND their local communities with very little help from the AG committee and the USDA and your statement proves just how out of touch some of you really are! I’ll be sharing this with farmers in the Upper Midwest when I visit in two weeks and will especially highlight it when I speak to the Plant Breeding faculty and students at the University of Wisconsin on Nov. 19th. My topic will be breeding for organics something that is becoming particularly popular even with some of the faculty at the University of Minnesota. Please take a moment to consider entering the 21st century! Prescott, AZ

“Instead of making such stupid statements, why don’t you try to read up on why organic food is better for you, such as why it has more nutrients.”

“I am embarrassed to say that I’m from Minnesota. What are you thinking, when you said such a comment? I believe you should go out the small farmers and talk with them, ask why people pay more for a superior product of nutrition and taste. Ask them about how they are taking care of the soil so it is not dead? Tell me why you are the chairman on the agricultural committee, to who’s benefit? Have you been in Washington to long?” Geneva, IL

“Mr. Peterson, I can figure out why people will pay more for food that does not poison God’s creation; us and our environment. I am not the one who is incredibly stupid, you are. With emphatic sincerity,” Perth, ON

“You cannot possibly possess any valid information about organics to qualify yourself to call those who purchase and endorse them “dumb.” As a mother and a nutritionist with a bachelor degree in science, I believe I have a much greater knowledge than yourself about the effects of GMO foods and carcinogenic pesticides.

You may not want to protect your family from cancer and other diseases, but don’t ridicule those of us who do. You only make yourself look like a buffoon.” Phoenix, AZ

“How can you not know the nutritional difference, the water use difference, the fuel use difference and the nitrous run-off difference between commercially grown ag and organic ag and still be the one in charge? Obviously you are a spokesperson for big farm, big ag, and big chemical corporations. It is time to get educated or move over for someone who is.”

“I’m actually very educated and it is for this very reason I choose to buy organic foods for my family. It seems to me what is “dumb” is continuing to allow farmers to use pesticides that have been shown to cause harm and disease in our bodies. Why would we not choose organic over conventionally grown produce? Seems to me we’d be dumb if we did. I’m amazed you would make such comments. It shows how uneducated you are.”

“Sir, you don’t deserve the office you hold at the sufferance of your constituents.”

“Dear Mr. Collins, May I suggest that you “educate” yourself about organic foods. Not only is organic food less toxic (not sprayed with pesticides and grown in pesticide-laden soil) but it actually tastes SO much better and is more nutritious! Purchase a bag of organic celery or carrots and non-organic and do a taste test of your own. Then tell us if YOU don’t notice a significant flavor difference and understand why people buy organic! With your responsibilities as House Agriculture Committee Chair, the American people urge you to PLEASE do your homework! It is a real shame that many people can’t afford to pay the added costs of organic foods for their families.”

“If you ever tasted both local and organic you would know why we want it and buy it! Then there is the question of feeding our families pesticide poisons...hummmm...” Tucson, AZ

“Collin, It is hard for me to imagine that a person of reasonable intelligence would think such a ridiculous thing as your statement about people being willing to pay a higher price for organic food. What is even more amazing is that you made such a statement in public. Try doing some reading and come into the 21st century where most people care more about what they put in their bodies than they do about the profit line of your mega corporate “food” producers.” Palo Alto, CO

“Mr. Collin Peterson, What a sad day it is sir, when our Agriculture Committee Chair, does not know the benefits of organic and local. I am appalled to say the least. We are willing to spend more for local and organics to not only provide better nutrition for our families without all the additives but, we support our communities and keep them strong. The agricultural practices of U.S. are insane, foods are imported, exported, processed, refined, bleached, and artificial colored and flavored until they no longer resemble what is natural. Yet, we wonder why there is so much disease and obesity in our nation. You sir, have the health of the future on your head. May those of us that are “dumb enough to pay that much” live healthy without your corporate sponsors injecting us with their frankenfoods. Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association’s award for the dumbest quote of the week!”

“Dearest Mr. Peterson: I would like to congratulate you on making about the most OBTUSE statement I’ve heard lately ooze from a Congressman’s mouth. You, dear sir, are a waste of Minnesotan’s tax dollars (unless, of course, they prefer such inefficiencies). How DARE YOU proclaim that organic is ‘dumb’. Who are you to say that, and where does your research come from, sir? I could say “GOD IS DUMB” , just to state to you how ignorant and clumsy your statement was. If you want beef from cows that eat cardboard and distillery waste, you go do that. If you’d prefer pesticide laden fruits and e.coli poisoned spinach, that’s your choice too. But you keep your MOUTH SHUT when it comes to my decisions, else it’s open season when it comes to yours. YOU GOT THAT, SIR?!” Arvada, CO

“Dear Rep. Peterson As a constituent of your district in MN I was very offended to read of your latest views of consumers who purchase organic food and other products. I am not “dumb,” having a PhD in nursing and currently work as a cancer nurse researcher. I know the science and am very informed about the ill effects of hormones, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals that often are part of large scale agricultural farms and businesses. The recent rash of food recalls confirms my views. I hope that you will apologize to consumers who purchase organic products and the farmers, including many in MN, who work diligently to grow organic food. Your comments were not reflective of MN and were more in line with the Washington DC elite and agribusiness lobbyists. Please apologize!”

“By now I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty of messages about how inappropriate your statement “...And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” I add my chagrin. Please consider that those of us who buy organic produce do so because of the proven advantages to not only our health but the environment. Currently we pay atypically high prices not because it costs two or three times more to produce organically but because the subsidies received by conventional agriculture keep their prices artificially low. It would be nice if organic producers received an equitable amount of subsidies and if there was a helping hand extended by the government for beginner farmer programs. This country needs LOTS more small organic, local farms.” Reno, NV

“Dear Collin Peterson, You obviously do not know about the health and environmental benefits of organic and local farming. I suggest you do some more research on this subject before making such an ignorant statement. At least you made the Organic Consumer Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.

“Why, yes, Mr. Peterson. I am willing to spend more money on organic produce in order to keep my body and that of my family free from unwanted chemicals and pesticides no matter how safe the governmental agencies say they are. However, contrary to your assertions, the local produce I purchase is actually cheaper and I have a wonderful relationship with the family. Supporting local farmers should not be ridiculed. It forms the basis of the community I live in today. We take that seriously here in Nebraska.” Lincoln, NE

“Do you have any understanding of how uneducated you sound by your statements concerning the pricing of organic goods? It just proves you have not done your homework and when you don’t do your homework, it’s best not to raise your hand. We pay for the quality, the hard work put into organic farming, for the small farmer, for no pesticides, for no GMO’s and local purchasing keeps local economies strong. I could go on and on but I don’t have the time to try to educate someone who obviously does not care to be educated. My sympathies go to the people of MN and to the House Ag Committee.”

“Hello there! Or maybe I should say - Duh, hello. See, I’m one of the folks “dumb enough” to pay for organic food and grass fed beef. I’m SO dumb that I care about how my food is grown. I’m one of those nuts who values things like fresh-smelling air and drinkable water, something lost as soon as a confined animal feeding operation moves in. I’m stupid enough to want to support my neighbors who are growing the food I eat in a sustainable way, which protects the environment, and keeps my local economy healthy. I’m foolish enough to think that keeping my dollars in my local economy and supporting a business practice I believe is important, and the American way. But I guess that’s why I’m not in Congress. I’m obviously not as smart as you.” Martell, NE

“And what are you eating for dinner tonight, Collin Peterson? processed pesticide laden food grown far far away??”

“Dear Congressman Peterson: Thank you for your comments about people being dumb enough to pay extra for organic and local foods. I must be REALLY stupid for shopping at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores because my health means more to me than a few extra dollars. I guess my 152 IQ still puts me in the “dumb” range in your book. What’s dumb is that Americans have to pay extra for food grown locally and without pesticides, hormones, genetic modification, and hormones. I can’t afford to buy a home, I can’t afford to pay my bills, or heating this winter, but when it comes to taking care of my health, I am forced to pay extra for that, because my government won’t encourage organic and local farming by providing extra assistance. That’s what is dumb. Government subsidies for pesticide-ridden produce and antibiotic-laden meats and poultries that make us sick and ultimately drive up the price of health care - that is REALLY dumb. A little prevention in the way of assistance for organic and local farmers would do a lot of good. And you should know that. Sometimes you Democrats make me ashamed to be one of you.” Chappaqua, NY

“Dear Chairman, I am not dumb. My son and daughter regained their health through organic foods. It is obvious that you do not understand the dangers of GMO and other untested scientific experiments in our foods. I suggest you educate yourself, before one of your own loved ones fall victim to the poisons our government encourages agriculture to use. Sincerely,”

“Congratulations on having the OCA Dumbest Quote of the Week for the week ending 03 November 2007. Also, I’m glad you a smart enough not to care about your own health or that of the land and people that feed us. More pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and bacterial contamination for the good Congressman! Nice job!”

“As a person who has lived most of her life in rural communities, I am astounded by your comments and hope that in fact you did not make them. I prefer to eat food that is not sprayed, commercially fertilized, irradiated, or shipped thousands of miles, and I am willing to pay more money for it. I place a high value on my health. Small farmers and farms and local food related enterprises perform a valuable service and should be assisted in every way possible. I object to subsidies to large multi-nationals and factory farms. I do not believe factory farms are the salvation of the global food shortage. Local food production needs to be supported and encouraged. Local farms that serve their communities promote healthy local environments and healthy local economies. Factory farming should not operate at the expense of local agriculture.”

“Many of us support local, organic food producers because they are small, family farms, directly linked to local communities. We choose to support them, rather than huge faceless conglomerates who have no direct relationship to our community. Your comment revealed you are unconscious of the former, and doing business with the later. Please reconsider.”

“All I can say is I am shocked at the statement you recently made regarding organic and locally produced meat, vegetables and fruit. I’m embarrassed that you are representing my state. Where have you been hiding? Obviously with the big agricultural interests that are fighting the idea of the truth being told about chemical drenched farming. Please, do some research into this fast growing segment of agriculture. We need educated and enlightened leaders in congress to move this country forward.” Duluth, MN

“Maybe you need to learn a little more about organics before you accept a position as chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee. Your ignorance shows that the current government does not value its people. Congratulations; you have shed even more blinding light on our governments distorted values.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Why “far be it for you to understand” what motivates people to pay more for organic food when you are the chairman of the agricultural committee? Instead of saying we are “dumb” you could make a good faith effort to understand the fastest growing sector of the agricultural sector. Hey, it can’t hurt! Moorestown, NJ

“Please explain to me your complete lack of logic. Regular food producers do need federal help but organic producers do not? You are not an ignorant man. Please give more thought to the problems with pesticide laden farm land and recognize the benefits of organic farming. Publicly.”

“When you are puzzled, don’t remain ignorant of what is occurring beyond your sphere of knowledge. Seeking knowledge can be very rewarding while embracing ignorance never is.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, I just wanted to let you know that you can include me in the list of “dumb” consumers who will pay more (if necessary ) for local and/or organic food. It is better tasting, supports the community, and is healthier for me and my friends and family. In the big picture, it really isn’t more expensive when you take into account the cost of treating disease ( both people, animal and environment ) “An ounce of prevention...” Roseville, MN

“Dear Sir, You are a rude and condescending moron if that is your viewpoint of people and their choice to eat healthy food that does not degrade the environment. Especially the Local label. That is key to funding local economy, keeping local areas flush with healthy food, and reducing carbon output from unnecessarily trucking food around the country. Rescind your commons or face the wrath of the people! Wake up Sir!” Portland, OR

“I’m impressed that you think my family and their support of local and organic farmers is “dumb” . I’m impressed that you hold the chair that you do on the House’s agricultural committee and lack so much knowledge about nutrition, economics and health. Our family buys local and organic foods and spend next to nothing on health care. We do not burden the government with needs of handouts and subsides that only result in a viscous cycle. Honestly, I consider myself VERY informed and quite educated on my choices. Congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week award from the Organic Consumers Association!”

“I hope you take a good look soon at what is happening to our food supply. Going organic and local is our only hope for reasonably pure and healthful food. Food like health care needs to be taken out of the corporate profit realm. This is a big lesson to learn and you are capable of it. That “D” behind your name means you are educable and we’ll keep working on you. We are not going away anytime soon since we are fighting for survival of the human race on this issue.” West Linn, OR

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I recently received an email from the Organic Consumers Association that included a recent quote of yours, which they had crowned the dumbest quote of the week. You said, “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” It’s an unfortunate thing that you’re unable to understand why people such as myself would choose to buy organic, and that you could be so crass as to label it dumb. And if you don’t prefer to buy high-quality, local produce, then that’s fine. But your choices as a lawmaker effect thousands of people. While the organic and local market is growing thanks to consumers, it could use help from the government, especially for farmers who are considering switching to organic growing. But as long as you and your colleagues are refusing to give credit and support to this important movement in agriculture, the prices will stay high, and people who would consider buying organic produce will continue to consider it out of their economic range. It is truly unfortunate that the new Farm Bill is continuing to give massive support to factory farms and growers of supplies that will ultimately be used in the manufacturing of junk food. In a time when obesity and other diseases are massive problems in this country, the government has refused to make changes at the most important and basic level. If the government does not encourage agriculture to make a healthier switch, then people will continue to lack access to high-quality, nutritious foods. Thanks to you and your colleagues, these problems will only continue to grow, and I think you should be ashamed. So although the OCA has encouraged us to congratulate you on winning the dumbest quote of the week award, I want to encourage you to further consider this matter, and educate yourself, so that maybe you will not continue to write it off as “dumb.” Thank you for your time.” Boston, MA

“congressman- are you serious when you refer to people who buy local or organic products as dumb? you being the chairman of the agricultural committee?! disgusting.” Bethlehem, PA

“Dear Collin, I do believe that if you subsidized a government study that you would find that consumers who buy locally grown and organic products are well educated, highly intelligent and loving people who want to nourish their God given bodies with the healthiest food possible, and also to sustain our beautiful planet with careful and responsible stewardship. Please in the future, refer to us in a way that is respectful and kind as befits your position of power. Insults only reflect poorly on you.”

“To Mr. Peterson: I find in no way that ignorance is bliss. Your statement that you don’t understand why consumers would pay more for organic or local produce than commercial food definitely shows your unawareness of the health and sustainability of organic, local foods. Perhaps you would be best reading reports from the American Toxicology Association about what chemical herbicides and pesticides do to our body. I’d rather live more healthfully and longer paying more for my food than suffer through Alzheimeier’s or other degenerative diseases due to toxicity. You are welcome to make choices on your life but please don’t impose your unawareness on me or others.”

“Collin, I am extremely disturbed over your recent comments regarding people being “dumb enough” to buy Organic foods. To say that there is NO difference between Organic foods and non-Organic foods that have been sprayed and injected with all sorts of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, IS JUST PLAIN DUMB in itself! And coming from the supposed Chair of the House Agriculture Committee??? Your lack of knowledge on Organic farming is pathetic and if you aren’t that dumb, then you are being paid off which is even worse... I hope you will retract your previous statement.” Mobile, AL

“Dumb is burning fossil fuel to ship processed, unhealthy food across country. Shame on you - all research shows that food not sprayed with harmful pesticides is healthier. Eat crap if you like - I will gladly pay extra for organic.” Nevada City, CA

“You may feel like you are required to stay the party line by saying things like: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” But it can’t possibly be true that when you are alone with your thoughts, away from the cameras and your colleagues, that you really don’t understand the difference between organic food and non-organic food. You may not agree that it is worth paying more for yourself, but to say that people are dumb because they prefer non-industrial food is just plain ignorant.” San Francisco, CA

“If taxpayer money was used to help organic farmers instead of factory farm agribusinesses, I wouldn’t have to use my small salary to pay 2 or 3 times as much for non-toxic food for my children. If you’re dumb enough to feed your family toxic food, then hallelujah for the fact that your bloodline will be at an evolutionary disadvantage. Congratulations on being in the pockets of agribusinesses that abuse living things.” Holland Patent, NY

“Mr. Peterson, Thanks so much for your incredibly stupid and short-sighted comments as to how organic consumers “are dumb enough to pay that much” for organic and locally produced food. Comments of this sort go a long way towards helping prevent the re-election of politicians who are apparently beholden to big agri-businesses.”

“Mr. Peterson, You may think it’s dumb to pay more for organic, locally grown foods. But I do so whenever possible. The reason is that I am aware that our industrial, petroleum-intensive, factory approach to farming and food distribution is not sustainable. Moreover, it’s very damaging to our environment, our health, and the well-being of our nation and our planet. There are no ballots at the voting booth that allow me to advocate for a shift toward fundamental sanity. So I vote in the one way that truly seems to matter in America, with my wallet. Hallelujah. Call me dumb if you wish; I know better.” Chico, CA”

As a Minnesota voter and a friend of small farmers and sustainable agriculture, I resent your statement that consumption of organic products is “dumb.” Let the subsidies go to organic farmers who are helping to preserve the Earth, not to Cargill, which is exploiting it.” St. Paul, MN

I urge you to educate yourself on organic products before making more ignorant statements. Long Beach, CA

“Foods aren’t just “marked” ‘organic’ and ‘local’ for no reason. It is because people don’t want to eat any more pesticides, poison.....cancer..... One reason to buy ‘local’ is you don’t use as much fossil fuel to get the goods to the consumers.” Fort Bragg, CA

“Dear Representative Peterson, Frankly I was amazed at your ignorance on several scores this past week. You said, the farmers that raise organic and grass-fed beef for local consumption need little help from the government. In truth, they need as much help as the help given to the feed-lot farmer and then some. Organic farming is labor-intensive-more mulching is needed, as well as more hand weeding. Extensive marketing is often needed to bring consumers to the local sources, and direct sales are influenced by weather and gas costs for the farmer. Please educate yourself. There are also many hidden costs associated with grass-fed beef of a similar nature. It is difficult to find organic grain suppliers for the winter months and marketing to the local consumer takes savvy and sometimes, guidance, as to the potential consumer groups. Secondly, organic and local are two entirely different things. Local buying, whether organic or not, is valuable because it saves on carbon in the form of oil and coal-have you noticed that gas continues to go up? Have you read the stats on how much Carbon Dioxide is pumped into the air from burning coal? Do you care about global warming? Do you care about the mess we are leaving our children and grandchildren?

Consumers have been forced to pay big bucks for organic because the small farmer has to compete with the large agri-business producer who is a friend of the government. Don’t be misled. Organic and grass-fed beef farmers need just as much help as the larger corporate farmers. People want organic food so they can maintain their health longer and live a higher quality of life. Please educate yourself, and before you make such rash statements that are embarrassing and belittling to yourself, eat an organic meal or two, taste and experience the difference. Be open minded and understand what people are wanting today. We’re tired of getting sick due to bad soil, bad air and poor water. We want government to wake up and listen to our research and findings. I trust you will do some thinking about these issues and not be found sleeping in the future. Thank you.”

“Representative Peterson: Congratulations for getting the “Dumbest Quote of the Week” award from the Organic Consumers Association. Actually, your comment shows nothing more than how willing the US government is to continually subsidize farms that are growing nothing more than chemical laced, nutritionally deficient and genetically modified food with which independent farmers cannot make much money at it. On the other hand, organic food producers have shown that they can make money growing high quality, nutritional foods, while protecting soil quality. Go ahead and eat chemically treated, nutritionally poor food. That way, I know that you will die young and no longer be able to make dumb quotes.” Oakdale, MN

“Words escape me. What do you not understand? Of course I do not want to pay more for local organic food, but I do and will. Why? Because it tastes better, it’s better for me, it supports my local economy not some mega corporation and it is a kinder and gentler way to live. I DO NOT SUPPORT something with an organic label that is abusing organic standards and is produced by a megalopoly. i.e. Safeway, Horizon or any other nationally distributed organic abusing chemical company. That does put a fake high price on their products to increase earnings for a few corporate bigwigs.”

“For the Chair of the Agriculture Committee to say “people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about...” indicates a serious problem. The Representative doesn’t feel it is important to understand the reasoning of the people he is supposed to represent? He is clearly not doing his job. He doesn’t need to agree with them, but it is the greatest insult and a show of utter irresponsibility to suggest that he needn’t bother to understand his constituents.”

“Gee, some of us think it’s dumb to put poison on our food before we eat it, to use fossil fuels to ship food all over the world instead of eating fresh locally grown when possible, or to pay huge medical bills for the health effects of eating the cheapest food we can get, and despoiling our environment by encouraging unsustainable and damaging farm practices instead of supporting local small intelligently managed farms. Penny wise and pound foolish I believe is the apt phrase. When all the soil is degraded, the rivers poisoned, the trees cut, the ocean empty, people will finally see that you can’t eat money.” San Leandro, CA

“You need to educate yourself on, how and what you eat affects your health.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I hope you don’t get too sick from eating pesticides. Better yet, I hope you enjoy your dull food. Buying organic foods means that you eat safe, tasty food. That’s why I do it. I don’t need to eat bad foods. That’s dumb.” Pgh, PA

“I hope you live close to a small farm or have local people who produce organic because in the day to come you are going to need them. Soon you will understand why it is so important to support real organic and small local farming.”

“What’s REALLY dumb is that the U.S. doesn’t observe W.H.O standards for Mad Cow testing whilst feeding calves blood from the slaughterhouse, which actually CUASES the disease. What’s even dumber is that your average Joe doesn’t understand that 13% of all Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. are actually Mad Cow Disease from our cannibalizing livestock. Dumber yet, our prevailing American’s don’t know that Diabetes has gone up 300% since the introduction of High Fructose Corn Syrup to our foods, which of course is banned in organics. Sure, you may call us dumb, but it’s our kids who are getting the good grades in school because we know that the combination of aspartame and MSG inhibits brain development, and we’re well above sending our kids to school with a bag of Doritos and diet coke. You give democrats a bad name.”

“You seem to be unaware of what non-organic costs in cooperate welfare, increased health risk and the fact that generally organic foods just taste better!”

“Mr. Peterson, you are way behind the science. Recent studies at U. of Texas, Tufts University, U. of CA at Davis, Washington State U., and University of Strathclyde, U.K show that organically grown foods have much higher nutrient value and much higher antioxidant (anti-cancer) value. Further more, a UN report concluded that the superior management practices of organic agriculture reduce E. coli and mycotoxin infections in food. If you did some homework you would just say no to the big boys of agri-business and embrace the truth.”

“Senator Peterson, How ignorant and ridiculous your comment was! Please educate yourself a little bit on why the chemical, factory farm industry is so destructive to our health and why we would choose organic. Also take a look at how big business steam rollers over all concerns for nutrition, health and well being in order to keep profits high.”

“The only dumb thing is in fact that you are the chair of the House Agriculture Committee. You are a minion of the New World Order and your poisonous venom, which you carelessly spread throughout this nation and abroad, will come back to haunt you someday. Stop polluting our food supply NOW!”

“Congratulations on winning the Organic Consumer Association’s award for Dumbest quote of the week. Your statements show your complete lack of understanding of what your job is really about. It really concerns me that the person holding the Agricultural Chair has no understanding of the fundamentals of agriculture today. Organic farming is better for the consumer, better for the farmer, and better for the planet than conventional farming. The food is more nutritious, the soil is healthier, and the farms produce more abundantly than conventional farms, at the same time saving money on pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Not to mention the benefit of not dumping all those chemicals into the environment. Our government should be looking to subsidize the organic farmer while scaling back, or eliminating completely, subsidies for the conventional and factory farms. Step into the 21st century Mr. Peterson, and do the job we taxpayers pay you to do. I hope this award encourages you to educate yourself before you speak.” Citrus Heights, CA

“Please step down from anything related to agriculture, the economy, or governing the US people, as you are clearly SO far out of touch that you are irrelevant. “ Ayer, MA

“I am shocked and disappointed to hear that you would have arrogance to make the public statement at the end of this letter. It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation’s understanding of what “nourishing food” is. It is irresponsible to make such statements in times where obesity is at an all time high and environmentally-elated cancers are growing at alarming rates. As a person in a position to make a difference, you are wasting my tax money with your salary and your support of measures that are simply growing a sick nation. You seem to have the same mantra as President Bush - “stay the course” . You know how well that has been working for him. Perhaps when your family is personally impacted by the sick food supply of this country, you will wake up. Iowa City, IA

“Paying more for sustainably, locally and organically grown food is anything but “dumb” as you assert. We who vote this way with our dollars care about the fate of our planet, the world our children will inherit and the poisons unleashed into our bodies and the earth from agribusiness factory farming. Only fools would poison the very air and water that is needed for our survival and indeed that is what we have been doing. It’s time for that to change.”

“Local food production reduces the need for fossil fuels. Organic produce does the same by relying on natural fertilizers instead of those made with petrochemicals. As even our president has said, reducing the need for fossil fuels is a good idea. Grow up and face the facts.”

“Your ignorance rivals your lack of taste...or maybe it’s just your lack of experience with fresh food grown without a lot of chemicals. There really is a difference.” Walla Walla, WA

“Mr. Peterson, Yes, it is wonderful that the organic movement is growing and successful without the government. We who choose to purchase local and/or organic food are not dumb, however. When you and your family succumb to health problems and early deaths, you’ll realize just how smart we are. You can’t eat money Mr. Peterson!!!!” Omaha, NE

“Collin, You are showing your ignorance with comments implying that people who buy Organic are dumb. Suggest you clean up your act and educate yourself on the dangers of pesticides and chemicals in foods. In addition, organic is not three times the cost. Where have you been all these years? Best you get out of your ivory tower and get educated. I was raised in Moorhead, MN, and lived most of my early life in Minnesota, and your comments are an embarrassment.”

“Mr. Peterson, Your outrageously ignorant comment about consumers who choose to buy local, organic food products are completely inappropriate for a member of Congress. If you had done any research on organic or local food compared to food from faraway conventional farms, you would know that organic food has higher nutritional content, has less negative affect on the environment due to the lack of pesticide use, and that buying local decreases the “food miles” that your food travels, i.e. the amount of gasoline wasted to bring it to your local stores via trucking. I demand that you not only resign your post as head of the House agricultural committee, but consider resigning from your post as a Congressperson. America needs its public spokespeople to be intelligent and progressive in order to continue to grow. Your brand of simple-minded ignorance is not needed, and is in fact causing great harm to this country. There is a vast wealth of information available to you, Mr. Peterson, and I ask that you use it and realize the necessity of understanding opposing viewpoints.” Rohnert Park, CA

“I am one of those “dumb” organic consumers you speak of as are my children. I vote. I pay more for my food because the dangerous food full of chemicals and hormones your friends throw upon the masses at low prices due to subsidies means that healthy food is unsubsidized, thus more expensive. I pay more now, but I certainly won’t pay more later through colon cancer and other health problems. My children are healthier eating organic foods. They have colds less often and get well sooner than their peers. I am proud to say we are organic eaters. Your comments were short sighted and ignorant, but I’m sure agribusiness (i.e., Tyson, ConAgra)will pat you on the back for another job well done.”

“The depth of your own ignorance on the subject of wholesome, healthy food was the real message you expressed.” Seattle, WA

“A little more research, (3rd party research), on your part would show you why organic and local foods are much healthier of an option than the farming sector of big business. I have been purchasing organic and local for years now and while I have paid more I can not once remember paying,” two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’.” And your comment, “if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah,” is insulting. My understanding is that you are the chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee. Holding a position for the people of the U.S. I would expect a more educated person to be at the helm.”

“I read your stated opinion on organics, and first off, thank you for starting my day with a laugh. Second, it is those who DON’T chose organic food are that “dumb,” as the chemically laden foods, especially meats and diary, will build up in their systems and have scientifically proven links to cancer. Third, people may be “dumb” for thinking the foods labeled organic are actually, in fact, organic, because the USDAs restrictions and qualifications are many times vague or not strict enough. Maybe someone as smart as you and in your high position in Congress could help the rest of us out. Instead of patronizing us I mean. Thank you and good luck”

“Congratulations Collin for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! Isn’t it obvious to you that if consumers are willing to pay two to three times the price for organic, that it means PEOPLE PREFER ORGANIC OVER FOOD THAT CONTAINS CHEMICALS! Da! Wake up! Not only am I and my family interested in putting healthy food in our bodies but we care deeply about the impact chemicals have on the environment. You need to pass a US farm bill that supports helping farmers switch their land production to organic farming FAST! This has everything to do with the government and your moral responsibility! Wake up and do the “right” thing for ALL PEOPLE! Sincerely,” Richfield, MN

“In regards about Collin’s comment about paying extra for organic and local produce being “dumb” , I urge you to take a look at your own health and the health crisis of the children and grandchildren in this country. Then examine that comment again. It is pure ignorance to hear those comments from people in Washington. Will it take you or your family’s own health crisis to wake up? I spent ten years of my young life sick due to “American agriculture” and am now a wellness doctor. I am sickened by your DUMB remarks!” Sun City West, AZ

“You need to educate yourself on organic farming. Your statement is the one that is dumb!”

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson, It surprises me greatly that you should make such an uninformed remark to the Financial Times regarding the fact that people will pay more for organic or local produce. These things do cost more; however the people who buy them are not dumb, as you say, but well-informed about the greater value of organic and local crops-greater nutrition from organic farming practices, and less nutrition loss from not having to be shipped thousands of miles, not to mention the saving in fossil fuels used to ship them. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the fact that small (local) farms and organic producers never see any subsidies, such as large agri-corporate, pesticide-intensive farmers receive. I would have expected such a remark from a Republican, sitting in his/her high tower far removed from the average person, and thinking only about him/herself. But from a Democrat? Very surprising. Please aim to be better informed about what kind of priorities your constituents and other Americans put on the quality of foods we buy for ourselves and our families.”

“Perhaps if you followed the lass your Creator has suggested, you would see the value in eating food as She intended. It would also help your brain function better so you wouldn’t say such ignorant things.” SeaTac, WA

“You’re the one that’s dumb.” Hancock, MI

“Mr. Consumer Collin Peterson, Thanks for the insult...I wont forget it. We grow organic & raise our livestock organic. The proof that it’s worth it is in the results. Healthy animals and people. Speaking of healthy animals, you don’t look to good. Maybe you should try my livestock’s diet.”

“Congratulations, Mr. Peterson! Your body must be able to take all the pesticides, hormones, bio-engineered and altered foods. However, mine cannot. A build up of these things in my system has made me allergic to many “normal” foods. Therefore, I buy organic wherever possible, just hoping that they truly are pesticide free and hormone free. I believe our great America has suffered long and hard with more and more allergies, asthma, and diabetes taking their toll on our people. You do a great disservice by blowing off the advantages of organically and locally grown, and therefore full of more nutrients, foods. Thank you for considering my thoughts and my body’s health.”

“I am appalled and take great offense to your asinine quote mocking consumers who pay more for organic or local produce. In fact, we are actually paying less in the long run in terms of health costs as we are not bombarding our systems with poisonous pesticides, residues of which are found on and within conventional crops. In fact, organic crops pose less of a burden on the environment as well by enriching soils instead of poisoning and depleting them. Buying local produce supports local economies and small farmers (much to the chagrin of huge agribusinesses), and reduces our carbon footprint and the waste of precious and dwindling fossil fuels. Indeed, you should be thankful for those of us who are willing to pay more to support healthy alternatives to our currently unsustainable way of growing and selling crops.”

“Just a quick note to let you know, Sir, that I have been consuming organic produce since 1987 and, contrary to your ill informed statement, I am not dumb!! I am willing to bet that you regret making that very politically-incorrect statement.” Tucson, AZ

“Your statement informs me that you are the wrong person for this position. I know young children that know the difference between commercially raised and organically raised produce and meat. I request you step down and pass the torch to someone that understands the difference." Asheville, NC

“Why don’t you understand what big agribusiness is doing to ruin our food supply. They spray things on it that makes many of us sick. Or is that what you want it to do?”

“I am amazed, stupefied, in a quandary! Just how did you earn your position of responsibility in our government? Where have you been for the last 50 years?” San Francisco, CA

“I am amazed how incredibly dumb your comment was. Not only did you manage to put very little thought into it, you also seem to know absolutely nothing about the reasons why I choose to buy organic. It has nothing to do with price but taking personal responsibility for my health and that of my family, of making my own contribution to ecologically sound decision. Organic farmers and ranchers should get as much consideration. Considering the state of our health care system, our country’s waist lines growing every year, an increase in obesity/diabetes/allergies, etc., this should be of great concern to you. But I guess that would require a bit more thought!”

“Congratulations on winning the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week PAYING MORE FOR ORGANIC OR LOCAL FOOD IS “dumb” Organic farming practices produce the healthiest food with the least impact on the environment. Local and organic help to solve a host of environmental problems including reducing our carbon output by limiting the distance the food we eat travels. I urge you to read more about organic and local food production - you obviously didn’t realize what you were saying.”

“It is irresponsible that given your position you would not educate your self about the organic market and make such offensive remarks. You have given me another reason to lose faith in our government. Congratulations.”

“If you understood what you are feeding your family when you buy a can of corn for $0.19, you will only begin to understand the negative impacts you are making on the environment, economy, and your own family’s health. Next time think before you speak.”

“Born in Minneapolis and with many relatives living there, I cannot believe how ignorant YOU are.... or is someone paying you to “think” this way?”

“Congratulations, Rep. Peterson, you just don’t get it, do you? If you want to fill your old and haggard body up with chemicals that your precious government says are okay to ingest, have at it. But don’t call us dumb because we’d rather not poison our bodies. Personally, I think you are the dumb one for eating non-organic products!”

“Wow! Your quote is scary and ignorant. I recommend you do a little more research about why the organic movement and local food movement is so important. Organic, healthy, local food should be affordable for every American. Yes, this movement is growing despite any help from the government. That fact alone should tell you something or at least peak your curiosity enough to really look into this issue. I’m not “dumb” for paying higher prices for organic and/or locally grown food. It’s the right thing to do. Look into it. You may just find out you want to support the right thing to do as well.”

“Dumb? Really? Maybe you need a little more information on the subject. Some people make choices that are healthier for their families, and are willing (even if barely able) to pay extra for those choices. Like eating vegetables at the peak of their freshness, when they are still full of vitamins, not like foods transported far that are picked before ripened and never get the chance to develop the vitamins that “vine ripened” foods can. Choosing foods that have not been transported long distances, thus adding to our air pollution (especially those of us with asthmatic children) is more than simply a selfless act. Eating foods without carcinogenic pesticides, especially our children, whose bodies and cells are still developing, is very important to some of us. Giving our children milk without Bovine Growth Hormones, which have been shown to cause unhealthy, premature puberty in children and increases girls’ risk for breast cancer down the road is making an EDUCATED choice, the very opposite of DUMB. Please think before opening your mouth, lest your foot fly in.”

“What’s dumb is to continue to ingest chemical residuals on our foods and ignore the health issues of cancer and immune compromised diseases that didn’t exist decades ago. Organic eaters will have better health and, as a bonus, save thousands of dollars, if that’s what you mainly care about.”

“Collin Peterson, congratulations on being so out of touch with today’s consumers. If there is any justice, an idiot like you will die of colon cancer from all the pesticides you’ve been consuming over the years!” Bath, ME

“Dear Collin Peterson, I believe strongly in eating healthy food that is free of pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives and anything else that is not natural. I am instilling these values into my family and anyone else that I can tell. As the chair of the Agriculture Committee you should be encouraging organic farming. I will continue to pay the prices for organic food because that is what the human body was designed to eat. How dare you say we are ignorant, you truly are the ignorant one!!” Sinking Spring, PA

“Congratulations on being an idiot in public! I don’t think I’m “dumb” for wanting healthier food for myself and my family.”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, Those of us who are willing to pay more for organic food have no choice because of ignorant people like you. All the chemicals that are being dumped into our fields and water ways come with a price and that is our health. They once said cigarettes wouldn’t hurt you and now you believe that crops grown with dangerous chemicals can’t hurt us as well? I support small farmers who can barely make a living because of all the large farm corporations that are killing the land and also we give something back to the environment and to my children.”

“I believe if you make the effort to educate yourself about it, you will find those of us who are willing to pay more for foods grown in a way that respects the health and safety of the land, the workers in the fields and the consumers at their dinner tables are no dummies. I am appalled that it is a fellow Democrat in such a responsible position as yours who made such a foolish statement. I hope the voters in your state are smart enough not to return to Congress someone who has so little respect for them.” Charlottesville, VA

“Congressman Peterson, sorry to hear that you are a democrat and you are still that dumb that you don’t understand why people are willing to pay more for local and organic food. For most people, this is an exercise of principle, we do not believe in society bearing the external costs of oil consumption or the burning of rainforest in Brazil in order to raise beef to send up to American consumers who want to save a buck by mortgaging our children’s future. This country used to be about self reliance, and we used to be proud of being able to meet our own needs, and maybe have a little to share with our neighbors. Now we are all about consumerism at the lowest possible supermarket price. So a farm-bill-subsidized piece of beef that gets raised on a feed lot in California off of farm-bill-subsidized corn feed from Nebraska, and gets shipped back across the country to Minnesota ends up being ‘cheaper’ than a piece of beef that is grass fed right there in Minnesota. That is dumb. And our country is paying taxes to make it happen. And you are supposed to be representing us, and making sure that the government doesn’t do dumb things like support that kind of stupidity with our tax money. I am ashamed to call myself a democrat with ‘dumb’ people like you speaking for our party, and I am ashamed to call myself an American with leadership like yours representing corporate interests that feed off of our tax dollars rather than grass roots family farmers that are trying to promote self sufficiency. Please apologize for your dumb remarks, we left that century behind.” Sacramento, CA

“Please read my message, Mr. Freeman! This is the first letter I’ve ever written to a politician, and I’m extremely passionate about this topic...enough already: It is Simple. There should be a new federal law: NO chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. used on United States soil. EVER. The companies that manufacture, distribute those harmful products will be forced to switch over to natural choices, as well as ‘local’ and organic options. Its shocking that you are the head of the agricultural committee, when you obviously have no sincere interest in the health of Americans, the future of farming as American tradition, or the integrity of the foods grown in America.” Northport, NY

“You’re the chairman of the House of Representatives agriculture committee and you don’t know why eating local and/or organic is worth spending a little more!? You sound like a Republican. Maybe you should do a little research so you know what you’re talking about.” Seattle, WA

“Sir, I find that people who buy “foods” that are not safe or real (genetically modified), even though they are cheaper, are wasting their money.”

“The reason why I am willing to pay more for organic is because my daughter had lymphoma at 27 years old. I have an 11 year old granddaughter. I choose food that has been produced/grown, without the use of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals and other toxic substances. What will it take to link Cancer to toxins in our air, soil and water. I think that people who voted for you are the dumb ones, sir.” Palm Harbor, FL

“Amazing. You actually believe that the sector of consumers who have done the research to understand the labeling, nutrition of less processed foods and local foods eaten ripe when harvested, are DUMB??? And you are in charge of people and programs?? Do you believe the smartest consumers are those that buy the cheapest, most processed high fat/calorie, nutritionally empty foods??? I urge you to do some research of your own by independent research organizations (those not owned by Monsanto or Aurora or Del Monte) and see for yourself that organic is better for everyone. There are so many reasons why, if you begin to learn for yourself instead of parroting what the “paid off” research tells you, you would undoubtedly do a better job of representing what is best for consumers. Good luck to you. Sincerely, A very smart consumer.”

“Do you know what’s really dumb? Blindly and blithely eating foods laced with carcinogenic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, eating meat pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and not supporting local farmers and business. That’s dumb. Would you rather fly on a “cheap” 30 year old Russian plane in Nigeria, or a more “expensive” new, fully inspected, and safe American made plane. The true costs of things are not only the immediate price you pay, but the costs you end up paying later.”

“Wow! I can’t believe you said that! It seems like you’d need to be better educated or at least open to learning new things to get the position which you hold. What a shame that your mind is closed and your mouth is open. Recommendation: Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by the Kingsolver family. It will explain some important information you should know.”

“Dear Sir, With all due respect your comments concerning Organic Food products shows a need for more education about this market. The benefits to consumers, farmers and the environment are tangible and important. If you are open to it I would like to arrange a meeting with some Organic Farmers from Minnesota to further help you understand the value in Organic production. Bozeman, MT

“Your statement calling those of us willing to pay extra for local and organic food and for grass-fed meats shows your disrespect for many Americans and your lack of knowledge. I buy local/organic/grass-fed because it is my patriotic duty to do what I can to take care of this precious nation, because scientific studies show these forms of food production to be healthier for both the environment and for my family, because “local” means it does not further our dependence on fossil fuels and is fresh and employs my neighbors... With statements like that one, it scares me than you are chair of the Agriculture committee.” Clovis, CA

“Mr. Peterson, With all due respect, until you should refrain from such statements until you investigate fully what the situation is. The pesticides and chemicals that pervade the usual food chain is at the cause of obesity and malnutrition. Health care costs and the diseases related to obesity are all connected. Organic has EVERYTHING to do with needing governmental protection to preserve the purity and health of our food supply. Please reconsider your comments. All due respect” Altadena, CA

“I’ll tell you what it’s about...go get a “regular” tomato from your local supermarket, then go to Whole Foods or a farmer’s market and get another one from a local farmer. Slice them both and eat them. Taste the difference? We won’t even go into the health benefits of eating organic, or the economic benefits to your community of supporting farmers in your own area, or the environmental benefits of not shipping so much of our food supply over long distances (using lots of fossil fuel to do so, which costs more and more these days), because, based on the quote above, I get the impression that might be a bit complex for you to grasp at this point. Good luck bringing yourself into the twenty first century though...” Lafayette, CA

“I was very dismayed at your comment that people are dumb to pay more for organic or local food. Commodity payment supported grain production supported by commodity payments result in higher land prices and more land concentration resulting in less access to younger farmers. In comparison, organic/local foods have lower production costs, higher returns, and a greater multiplier effect for local communities. You would be well served to learn more about the vibrant and growing local foods movement in Minnesota. I’m sure there are many in your district who would be willing to enlighten you so you wouldn’t make such ignorant comments.” Grand Forks, ND

“Really, congressman, do you think it is dumber to eat pesticides and chemical fertilizers in your food or to pay a little more for pesticide-free, chemical-free, more nutritious food? Most thinking people would opt to spend a little more to ensure good nutrition and less toxic food for their families; that is, if they can afford it. After all, if we can’t use our money to improve our lives, of what use is it? And, if congress is spending our money to subsidize the toxic practices of agribusiness, it’s no wonder we have to pay more for organically grown food, and no wonder that some of us can’t afford to.” Ocean Pines, MD

“Dear Sir, I willingly spend more money on organic and local produce because I respect myself and prefer to be healthy. This is why it is of paramount importance that you do everything in your power to ensure the label “organic” means what it says and do not dilute it under pressure of large agribusiness which has no interest in the health and vitality of the American public. It is a pity you are so under informed.” Nashville, TN

“Mr. Peterson, Apparently you have no clue of what the natural, local and organic farms are doing in their use of natural methods. Not only are they helping the earth, causing less pollution and pesticides (which cause a number of health problems) they are also providing people with better food that is fresher and better for the body. Supporting locally grown food even supports the economy, instead of outsourcing! As someone in your position you would think you would have researched and understood the benefits of local and organic farming.”

“Dear sir, Congratulations on this very important award. I hope you will frame it and display it with the same pride with which you made the statement that earned you the award. What is dumb, is a government willing to pay billions of dollars to subsidize unsustainable, dangerous, and destructive agricultural practices. The kind of practices that result in the type of abuse that you apparently support... I sure hope you love your children and grandchildren enough to feed them the type of food that will keep them healthy rather than sick - as you seem to think that the rest of the country should just eat the crap that your committee merrily subsidizes. I hope you love your own kids more than that.” Elon, NC

“I don’t want to pay 2 to 3 times more for my family’s food, but is it DUMB for me to want to feed them healthy, hormone free meat? Milk from healthy, hormone free cows? Meat that doesn’t come from animals that have eaten their own, possibly diseased, brothers and sisters? Is it DUMB for me to want to feed my kids fruit and vegetables without poison on them? And why is it DUMB to keep my money in my own community, my own state. Isn’t that what local economies are all about? I don’t want to spend more, but what choice do I have right now?” Kirkland, WA

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson, Please take the time to be informed about the reasons people are willing to pay more for clean, chemical free food. It is better to avoid food that has been contaminated by pesticides and herbicides than to pay the money to the doctors to try to alleviate the pain and suffering resulting from foods contaminated with poisons. I implore you to educate yourself and support the farmers and producers of truly organic food for the health of our nation.” Mount Vernon, WA

“Mr. Peterson - As an organic farmer, consumer, mother of two, and trained physician, I am shocked by your statement that organic consumers are “dumb” for being willing to pay a premium price for quality food. As has been said many times before, “you get what you pay for.” Please take the time to educate yourself on these matters so as not to embarrass yourself or your constituents again. Every American citizen deserves better.”

“So we’re DUMB to support local farmers, fresh food, sustainable practices, regionally manufactured jobs and products and a decent living?? What was your vote on CAFTA, NAFTA, and every other corporate welfare giveaway???? And you think WE are dumb?” Lawrence, KS

“Do you really have this job? Wow, I hope they find someone more educated for the position soon. Or perhaps they just don’t want to pay for an educated person because it is cheaper to have you. People who consume processed food and genetically modified food products seem to suffer from mental challenges as well as health issues. There is perhaps hope for you yet if you try and catch up with folks who understand why organic is better and why you might not want to eat meat full of antibiotics and food full of nonfood ingredients. Anyway you won a prize-congrats.” Seattle, WA

“Dear Chairman Petersen, The only dumb one is you and your lack of knowledge of how policies in Washington are having horrendous negative impact on the health and well being of all Americans. Instead of encouraging subsidies for death and destruction, you should be fighting for healthier food and environmentally sustainable farming practices.”

“Dear Collin, Way to go Numbskull! You stepped up to show what true ignorance is all about. After seeing through your stupidity, I’m sure more people will be buying organic, which will eventually drive prices down. You see, that is how free trade works; more demand usually equals falling prices. Your comment is so far off base to even recognize that. Do us all a favor, please. Quit ravishing on meat and eat more organic produce. You will be able to think better and those brain-fart comments will no longer leak out.”

“your a dumbass” New York City, NY

“With all due respect, your comments regarding organic and locally-grown food are ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE. I am embarrassed for you. Your remarks show either an incredible amount of ignorance or sub-optimally-performing white matter. Please do your best to rectify this embarrassing situation.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the “Dumbest quote of the week.” The statement you made, truly shows your ignorance. It truly amazes me that the chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee would say such a stupid thing. Do you not know anything about “food” and the importance of clean, chemical free, no additives, healthy for you products? The knowledge of what our government is allowing big business to put in our food, and to then pass it off as healthy and safe to consume, is spreading fast. We want and expect healthy food, and are willing to sacrifice to get it. If you don’t “UNDERSTAND” what that is about, then it is time for you to do some research and find out. What are you feeding your family? If you are feeding them food that comes off the shelf in your grocery store, then you are putting their health at risk. If you don’t understand that, then you might need to step down from your position, and let someone who does understand take over the job.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Don’t you realize that the reason we have to pay so much for organic and local food is because we don’t get help from the government? If we receive a little help and support from our government like every other country does, we could produce our crops more effectively and demand would be greater. Then the prices would be less expensive and even cheap people like you might buy them. By your comments it sounds to me like you could use a little more nutrition and less chemicals in your food. Maybe you would start thinking a little clearer.”

“Dear Collin, obviously you are completely oblivious to the benefits of eating organic, sustainable, locally grown food. Maybe if you took the time to educate yourself on the matter a little you would understand the situation a little better. Anyhow, congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.” Berkeley, CA

“Dear Representative Peterson, I am proud to have been born in Minnesota, so I was very sad this week to learn that you said I am “dumb enough to pay” extra for organic food. I was exposed to pesticides sprayed outside my home while I was inside recovering from mononucleosis, and I have had many health problems ever since. I have many chemical sensitivities including food that has been sprayed with herbicides. For me, it is important for my health to pay more for organic food. I think time will tell that there are many more people like me in our country. The government needs to help all farmers to learn to grown organic food. All of our health will benefit. It’s not dumb, it makes good sense. Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania”

“Localized organic agriculture is a huge opportunity for agriculture at all levels. It can address so many of the long-term conflicts which we’re in with farming, esp. for the small and mid-size producers that this country is supposed to be a lot more about than it is. The transition to a sustainable society will be a win-win. Think we can’t do it? We did WWII in less time than the Iraq War. Thank you for using your head a little better on these issues next time. Sincerely,” Berkeley, CA

“Obviously you don’t have a clue why people in the U.S. are getting cancer in enormous numbers, or why are children are suddenly allergy prone and one in 600 are autistic. Think it might be the poisons we allow in our foods. I think you are ignorant. Happy hormone filled milk to you-and if you allow your daughters to drink it you are both cruel and ignorant.” Belfast, ME

“Dear Collin Peterson, What is “dumb” about paying a little bit more for healthy food with no insecticides, fungicides or herbicides added? Buying local supports my neighbors and keeps my money in the local economy. Of course, I can’t always afford it and I would be happier paying less. However, calling buying healthy food dumb is, well, dumb.”

“Mr. Peterson, Thank you for your calling educated, conscious, aware people “dumb” . Keep eating your genetically engineered corn and veggies with fish cells, and see if I care!” Eugene, OR

“Dear Sir, Apparently you have never studied the agriculture industry and the harmful effects of chemicals in our food.”

“Mr. Peterson, In regard to your position on organic produce: You have absolutely no business being anywhere near a government held position or office. You have absolutely no conception of what is going on, let alone what concerns the majority of intelligent and informed citizenry. Retire now, resign, do whatever it is you do, but get out of being any kind of representative or of holding any government position - I for one, and millions of others - don’t want you representing us or making any decisions for us whatsoever. You have the most uninformed position of any politician that I have ever heard of. Samuel Shultz” Thousand Oaks, CA

“Congratulations, you won the dumbest quote award from Organic Consumers Association. Maybe you should try educating yourself on why organics are so popular and certainly isn’t because of government support. Corporate America must not think it is so dumb since they are jumping on the organic band wagon. thanks for laugh.”

“Those who prefer to ingest known toxins are most likely “dumber” than those willing to fork over a few extra dollars.”

“Congratulations for showing true form and being given the “dumbest quote of the week” award- I’m sure it could not happen to a more deserving intellect. You really need to check your facts and get your head out of sand. People ARE paying attention.” Winfield, IL

“In America people make their opinions known with their money. Whole Foods (silly company that it is) has shown that people are dying to let food makers know they are unhappy with modern un-healthy, immoral, un-sustainable farming practices. Even if there isn’t always a logical reason to buy “organic” it shows that Americans are unsatisfied with American food.” Seattle, WA

“I am paying more for local organic products and I don’t think this is “dumb” (which by the way actually means unable to talk). This means that I and my family enjoy fresh nutritious food without worrying about pesticides, and have a trusting relationship with the people who produce much of our food. You should worry a bit more about where your food is coming from. As an example, farmed salmon, which is all salmon in the US that is not marked “wild caught” , is nearly without the omega 3’s that people want in their salmon. It is also much higher in pesticides and poisons as it must be “fed” and often the food of choice is dog food. Remember all those pets that died from eating Chinese imported things in dog food? Maybe you should think this over again. Aloha”

“Hi, Please represent us by being educated on the nutritional content differences in foods produced in current commercial farms and organically grown produce. Do you think there are coincidences between the “unexplained” rise in health problems and the changes in soil and food produced? There is. Please educate yourself so that you can serve our county to your highest capacity. Thanks”

“Rep. Peterson: Congratulations on winning the dumbest quote of the week from OCA. I find it hard to believe that you’re really a Democrat after a comment like that.”

“With more and more food from the huge agribusinesses are found to be tainted-this week it’s frozen pizza-buying local and organic food makes more sense every day. Your statement that organic consumers are dumb is an insult. If you want to see dumb, look in the lines of fast food restaurants!” Hattiesburg, MS

“This has to qualify as the most blatantly absurd statement made by a government official, which is quite a feat.”

“So we’re dumb for liking food that tastes better? Dumb for eating food that has more minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, less pesticides/herbicides? You sir, must be senile or a smoker who has lost his sense of taste. Time and again, I have done taste comparisons between organic and “conventional” foods. The organic ones taste better. Not to mention that university studies bear out the fact of more nutrients on the organic side of the aisle. You can take your “roundup ready” foodstuffs, your RBGH milk and shove it. Poway, California”

“I consider it ignorance, if you do not care what you eat.” Wausau, WI

“A little web searching goes a long way....five minutes is all it takes to talk in a well-informed and hopefully, polite way.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I’m TOTALLY AMAZED that anyone with your limited understanding of foods, (see your quoted remarks) is actually on the Agriculture Committee, much less the Chair of that Committee!!! WE NEED TO SUPPORT THOSE FARMERS WHO GROW 100% ORGANIC PRODUCE AND BEEF - OR, ANYTHING ELSE. Another example, I guess, of the DUMB way government works.

i.e. the least qualified is elected to lead.......... I’d be happy to send you several learning sites that you could peruse, in order to allow you to learn about foods. I’m sure you’ve been eating all the ‘wonderful’ GM foods that Monsanto has a hand in - or... did you even know about them? Too bad that the FDA was paid off/bribed by them so that they wouldn’t even have to label it as genetically engineered. HOPEFULLY, you know how they are made and that the trials on mice, etc. showed that they got skinny and died while fed GM food. It is NOT the Miracle that will help ‘feed’ the population of this planet!!! It will KILL them though!!! Maybe you’d better read up on this, as you don’t seem to know about 100% ORGANIC VALUES and the HEALTHY PRODUCTS they are. BTW, THEY SUPPORT HUMAN HEALTH not kill humans as Monsanto’s products will. Monsanto hasn’t even been required to prove that GM foods/seeds ARE safe for humans!

“The foods your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents consumed were predominantly considered what we’d now call “organic” .Thanks for issuing the your incredibly stupid comment that people willing to pay for healthy food items are dumb. Good job.” Woodland Hills, CA

“Dear Representative Peterson, You obviously have no idea what you are talking about and that is unbelievable as you are the chairman of the agricultural committee.....and a Democrat at that. Please take the time to educate yourself for your own benefit and that of your family as well as for the health and wellbeing of the people of this country.”

“I am a “dumb” person who doesn’t like chemicals in my food. Maybe those chemicals have gotten to your brain!” Scottsdale, AZ

“To even think that individuals like yourself are in positions of power makes me sick. People who believe in themselves, the well being of our planet and others, and who have hope for the future purchase better goods. They spend money to keep the government from putting shit into their bodies. Enjoy your pesticide enhanced lunch with a side of high fructose corn syrup.” Waterbury Center, VT

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I’ve grown up on organic food and know the benefits of organics they are much higher in nutrients, minerals the soil they are grown in has not been deplete due to chemical fertilizes the deplete rather then enrich and nourish the soil as do the organic methods. The spraying of chemical pesticides on the plants does seep into the end product the fruit. Same as putting lotion that has chemicals in it on the skin it seeps in and goes into the body all these things lead to poor health. Give me organic is a pet slogan of mine. Sounds like someone needs to study up on the benefits of organics instead of labeling it dumb.”

“The People that are “having” to pay for organic foods, are definitely not dumb. Do you realize why people purchase organic? O.K. I will help you out. It’s because, they don’t want to eat chemicals and all the other junk that is in our food. This is why our culture is getting so many diseases. Hello ..... Oh, and by the way, Congrats on getting the award for dumbest quote of the week !!! :)” Skamokawa, WA

“Dear Representative Peterson, I believe you are unaware of the value of organic foods to the health of people who consume them or work in the fields and factories to produce them. Certified Organic foods are labeled and are free of artificial additives, poisonous fertilizers and other chemicals that may be injurious to one’s health, especially the most vulnerable (infants, small and developing children, the sick and the elderly). The people that I know that stick to a organic, natural diet (not processed foods) are healthier and more energetic than those who do not choose these foods. We personally find our body’s respond negatively to a poor diet, lose our normal vitality and are likely to become ill if we cannot find healthy foods. That is why we take our organic whole grains, dried fruits, and nuts with us when we travel to offset the less nutritious foods available. We are both in our late seventies, have pursued this type of diet for over forty years resulting in our being able to do volunteer professional work twenty or more hours a week, physical work (wood cutting and produce garden, small bakery business) and outdoor hiking and snow sports plus travel and we do this seven days a week without pause and in good health. We hope you will reevaluate your remarks and seek out people who grow and consume natural, organic foods and hear their views without prejudice and see what conclusions you might reach. We wish you the best of health and clear thinking. Sincerely, We live in Hayfork (rural community in the mountains of Trinity County, CA)”

“ Mr. Collin Peterson, I think that you should read more about organic agriculture to help better all your constituency, and I hope you are not drinking milk with rBGH hormone.” Redwood city, CA

“I can not believe you are the chairman of the agriculture committee. You are totally clueless of the cost involved local organic production. You should apologize publicly for your lack of knowledge.” Fairfield, IA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As a resident of the Badger state, I have generally found people from Minnesota to be kind and intelligent people. Unfortunately, you’re ruining that impression. By insulting everyone who buys organic food, you have made your state look bad - and made Jesse Ventura look good, in comparison! In a land where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average, you are obviously none of those things! Shame on you! I’d recommend that you get yourself to Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility parish and have Fr. Emil hear your confession right away. If you are of the Lutheran persuasion, I’m sure that Pastor Inquivist would ask you, What Would Jesus Do? I don’t think Jesus would be out there calling his constituents dumb and hurting their feelings. On the other hand, if you are an atheist, I’d just encourage you to stay the course - you’re doing good work. P.S. I do have to thank you in advance for what I’m sure will be some good laughs when Garrison Keillor, Jim Hightower, and Stephen Colbert get wind of those quotes, however!”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. If you can’t understand the need for organic and non-local food over non-organic and non-local food, you either aren’t doing, or aren’t qualified for, your job. Move on.” Marion, IA

“It’s hard to believe that you could be so stupid and ignorant to make such a comment. Please educate yourself about the need for pesticide free, antibiotic free, and locally grown agriculture...OR, better yet, get off the committee. You sound like a (gasp!) REPUBLICAN.” Stowe, VT

“I went to college on full scholarship, I have two Master’s degrees, and I have made it my business to know about healthy food and sustainable farming. I resent being called dumb because I will pay a higher price for quality food!!!! I will debate you any day of the week on food and nutrition-then we’ll see who is dumb.”

“Mr. Peterson: I’m surprised at your candid insult to American consumers who are trying to avoid GMO’s in their food; with all due respect, you speak as if you are a paid shill for the Food Conglomerates. If you don’t know about GMO’s or rBGH in our milk (and I’m sure you do, being in your position) you should look into why we are trying to avoid such additives like the plague. You should support the wishes of the majority of Americans who want their food stuffs labeled. Despite what you say and do, I daresay you probably avoid such foods yourself. Have you ever wondered why many countries ban imports of our poultry, dairy and crops? More to the point: Have you heard cancer rates have quadrupled since this technology was introduced in our food supply? (Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA) The fact that the AMA, the American Cancer Society, the Surgeon General and the FDA have nothing to say about it is very, very telling.”

“Obviously, Mr. Peterson, you don’t read the science behind organic farming and you don’t care what kind of chemicals you ingest. Good for you. You’re a much more brave and trusting person than I!”

“Hello, Your comment about people being dumb enough to spend more for organic or local foods just shows how ignorant you are. So sorry that you are in charge of anything. You are doing your constituents a disservice.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, How can you say that those of us who choose to eat food that we know will not give us cancer and also support the farmers that grow food close to our homes and will actually help maintain a healthy local economy “dumb” ? I would really appreciate an explanation of your stand on this. Why does cheap mean “smart” ? LaPointe, WI”

“you’re stupid for not knowing why people pay 3 times more money for organic food.”

Your quote about people paying more for organic food being dumb was actually a profoundly dumb comment. Milton, MA

“As a voter, the very least I expect of my government representatives is that they make the effort to inform themselves on this issues about which they speak. There is significant evidence available that says that organically produced food (both produce and meat animals) is superior nutritionally to monoculture crops grown in depleted or artificially enhanced soils and meat from factory-farm animals. We are willing to pay more for organic and locally grown food because we believe that farmers, not corporations, should be paid for their work, and their efforts should be a part of the economic health of a local community. Please save your self further embarrassment by reading about these issues before you make any more idiotic statements in public.”

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson: Organic does not cost 2-3 times more!!! In fact, when you eat organic and get more minerals, you are full faster and eat less. Ask anyone who does soil analysis and uses compost their garden. Gee, you need to take a course in traditional farming methods. Yes, factory farms grow a lot out of just 3 nutrients, and the produce photographs well. However, organic has been proven to have more antioxidants, lower pesticides and more minerals. Did you watch the 60 Minutes expose a few years ago about applies, berries, grapes and other crops that are heavily sprayed? The parents were in shock since the thought they were feeding their kids .” East Olympia, WA

“How is it that someone who is so completely ignorant about agriculture can serve as “chairman of the agricultural committee” ? You don’t know what “local” and “organic” are “all about” ? How can you serve on that committee, and be so oblivious, and stupid? You call consumers “dumb” because we don’t want to consume or encourage the use of pesticides and other deadly chemicals? You say that we are “dumb” because we are willing to support the income of family-run farms, who actually have a conscience about their methods of food production, by paying a few extra dollars, therefore discouraging the highly toxic and careless big-agribusiness? Congratulations on winning the award for “dumbest quote of the week” from the Organic Consumers Association. YOU are the dumb one. Go ahead and get cancer from all of the big-agro food you’re eating, since you’re too dumb to know the difference. “Hallelujah” to the potential loss of another ignorant puppet of big agro.”

“Congratulations for receiving the Organic Consumers Assn. award for the “Stupidest Quote of the Week” ! Are you that unaware/uninformed about the difference between organic & conventional food and the negative impacts of conventional agriculture upon our bodies and the environment?”

“Dear Congressman Peterson: It is truly frightening to see that someone such as yourself who clearly has NO understanding of the issues related to sustainable and health promoting agriculture , food and a healthy farming life style would be in the important position you are in on the agriculture committee. Perhaps you should resign this position until you are better informed on the earth-threatening issues which are involved in conventional American farming practices. The Earth and all of us are threatened. Please wake up and help! Thank you“ Millerton, NY

“Mr. Peterson, After reading your asinine comments denigrating the mentality of consumers who shop for locally grown and organic foods, one just has to wonder how you could have risen to such heights of power in the agriculture department. No wonder our country is in such trouble, with mental midgets like yourself making important policy decisions. Perhaps you should do the world a favor, and go make agriculture decisions for Iraq. At least there you couldn’t screw too much up.” Boise, ID

I thought only Republicans were as stupid as your statement indicates you are. You like Bush saying that listening to the people is a waste of time. Your statement means that you are a waste of democracy, a brain and a body. It shows that you have no knowledge of the proven benefits of organic foods. It shows that you are closed to finding out. It shows that you are not representing the people, which means that you are representing big business, and the lies they and the Repugnant republicans tell. Do the people that elected you a favor and resign. Idiots like you should never represent anyone except yourself. Make sure you pay your health insurance. Oh, wait a minute, the government makes that easy for you, doesn’t it. Another example of a Republican state of mind, what there is of it anyway. Seems like politics is not really about representing the public for their good and the best good is their health. Disease is man-made and there is lots of research that has proven that it’s the pesticides and fertilizers and GMO stuff that has done great harm. Are you planning on getting a pat on the back from your Republicans friends or are you really that stupid and heartless and ignorant and arrogant. Maybe you’d just like to keep disease around so you have something to argue about...” Fairfield, IA

“The payoff is great in health, economy, environment. In fact it costs less.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: “the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” We want healthy food grown in a nonpolluting chemical-free sustainable manner - if it costs more, not everyone can afford it. I’d much rather see government subsidies go to these farmers than the huge corporate polluting ones.”

“With oversight of agriculture in the hands of people with attitudes like yours is it any wonder that people in this country have to protect themselves in any and all ways possible? What is dumb is to allow poisons into one’s body so that the people who use those poisons can make greater profits. When you start to legislate in a way that protects people perhaps the price of organics will go down.” Tucson, AZ

“Everyone should be able to purchase food that is not full of dangerous chemicals, hormones, GMO’s and pesticides. It is the “dumb” and the poor that are forced to eat frankenfoods and thereby endanger their health!”

“Mr. Peterson, you display your ignorance with a statement that indicates people are dumb to pay more for organic or local products.”

“Wow. I didn’t know it was dumb of me to buy organic and local foods for the better nutritional content.. and to support agriculture that does not poison me with pesticides. Much smarter to spend the money on pharmaceuticals, I suppose. I get ill from pesticide exposures and find that eating good organic and local food provides me with nutrients I need to have a life. I think you’ve been listening to the wrong lobbyists.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. If you want to eat pesticides and hormones and puss and pay the gasoline for trucks to haul your waxy food across the country, then good - I’ll outlive you, ya’ bastard.”

“Rep. Peterson, Remember in science class when we did “experiments” ? This is what folks do when they test the outer cells of fruits and vegetables for residual poisons. Yes, these chemicals kill bugs, molds, bacteria. Over time, these ingested chemicals injure OUR biology.” Vashon, WA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Really, the fact that people have to spend 2-3 times as much money to obtain farm products not contaminated with harmful chemicals has nothing to do with the government? It has everything to do with the fact that you continue to subsidize factory farms, gasoline, the chemical industry, and finally the health care industry that gets to fix the problems created by those subsidies. Please don’t call us names if in fact your policies deserve those names. Sincerely,” Poway, CA

“Mr. Peterson, First of all let me thank you for exposing the sheer ignorance of so many in this area. One would have thought that the chair of the agricultural committee would be aware of the benefits of organic food for the human body/health, the local economy, and the environment. Apparently politicians do not need to be aware of the issues in those areas where they are actively involved in decision making. People are willing to pay more for organic and local foods specifically because they are beneficial. Consuming organic foods limits the amounts of untested genetically modified and chemically created food additives taken into the body, for which most have little or no scientific research to show they are safe for human consumption. We have no indication of the long term effects of these ingredients on human health nor their environmental impact. A further reason for the support of organic local markets is the reduction in food travel time which directly related to decreased fuel consumption and environmental pollution. It is good to know that you find the American public “dumb” when it is in fact you who are expressing close minded ignorance in the matter. The only reason it may be dumb for the American public to trust organic and local labeling of foods is that this also implied trust in the USDA and governmental agricultural agencies like yours that fail to properly regulate these labels, repeatedly making concessions to large agribusinesses that co-opt the “organic” movement for profit and greed while making no more than token attempts to operate in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Again sir I must thank you. You have provided further clarification of just how necessary education is for this issue and how sorely our government is lacking it. You may wish to question those who provide your information. They are definitely leading down a road that the “dumb” public is not traveling. Unfortunately those “dumb” individuals are also voters.” Madison, WI

“Dear Chairman Peterson: The medical community is already acknowledging that up to 80% of our health is directly attributable to environmental factors, primary among those being what we ingest through food and water. It’s a pay me now (for better, non-toxic, cleaner, more nutritionally sound food and water as found from organic and local and sustainable sources) or pay me later (for cancer, for degenerative diseases induced by lifetime exposures to toxins, for immune compromised bodies that destroy the quality of life). My father died of liver cancer at 63, my mother suffers from diseases caused severe immune system compromise. I appreciate that you don’t mind that you and your family and friends are human guinea pigs, living scientific petri dishes for whatever “miracle” pesticide or additive or genetically altered product will boost the profits of people who have no vested interest in the quality of your future life. But please reconsider how “dumb” it is to desire to spare our families the pain and suffering that comes from experiments gone wrong.”

“Mr. Peterson: God forbid that it ever happen, but should you or any of your loved ones get cancer, I hope that you have the intelligence and integrity to look beyond the influence of pac money that you accept, and discern that it was processed food, non-organic produce, and factory farmed meat products that you have been consuming which caused the disease. But I must thank you for a personally beneficial result of your remarks, which is that by discouraging people from eating healthy, you might have slightly slowed the demand for the kind of food I eat, therefore keeping the price slightly lower as well. Berkeley, CA

“Representative Peterson, your statement certainly deserves the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. A man in your position should know enough about the current practices in agriculture to understand why people choose organic produce. You should be promoting the safe practices which constitute organic standards: no pesticides, no Genetic Engineering and no antibiotics.” Kenmore, NY

“Mr. Peterson, As a graduate of Minnesota’s own Carleton College, my analytical skills are sufficiently strong to detect your apparent acceptance, hook, line & sinker, of the post-WWII “Chemicals for Better Living” mentality. Your attempt to insult and/or disparage Americans who are substantially more sensible than you reveal yourself to be is both sad and tragi-comical. Fortunately, most organic consumers are actually too intelligent to see this as anything other than evidence of your own gullibility, which could in fact be described as a form of dumbness. Best wishes,” Oracle, AZ

“Sir, I am a United States Air Force Academy graduate and 13-year Air Force veteran, and I strive to consume only local and organic foods. This choice is not foolish; it is sensible given my values and preferences. I am not dumb, as you asserted. My motivation is two-fold: to maximize my health and to behave ethically, both ultimately for the sake of my happiness. I do not know whether consuming organic food for the sake of health is worth the additional cost and inconvenience in comparison to inorganic or processed foods. However, my preference for safety overwhelms other concerns and I find sufficient risk in consuming inorganic or processed foods to justify avoiding them. I perceive this risk in the following observations: I am a culmination of an evolution that took place entirely within an environment of natural chemicals and processes; the commercial interests that produce modern foods often do not coincide with my interests; the agents outside of myself (including the government) do not provide sufficient protection against errors or malice; it is extremely difficult to demonstrate comprehensive and long-term food safety; and specific dangers of modern foods have been substantiated, such as the use of partially-hydrogenated oils. These observations yield insufficient confidence of the safety of inorganic or processed foods to outweigh their benefits, in accordance with my preferences. For me, the value of convenience or novel taste pales in comparison to that of my good health, and not only have organic and unprocessed foods been time-tested on a geologic scale, we have evolved to suit them (in extent) while human effort has not yet approached such a standard of safety. I also choose local and organic foods for ethics sake. Our environment, and, in consequence, our health, is under a terrific and growing burden. Our modern food production systems and methods pose a major portion of this burden. To support these systems and methods is to contribute to the harm others (does the significance of harm vary with time or space?). I wish to minimize my harmful impacts so that I may gain consistency and virtue. I, therefore, will not support these systems and methods, including using their products. Given this, is my decision ?dumb?? Is it not sensible? Grass Valley, CA

“Research is supporting the move to local and organic. Sustainability is important. With all of the focus on tainted products in our food chain, knowing where our food comes from is so important. Your statement showed a level of ignorance and dismissal that is intolerable from a person in your position.”

“Consider the possibility that your definition of “dumb” is tragically backwards. Perhaps dumb is being willing to eat meat from animals that live their lives standing in their own feces and being pumped with hormones and medications. Perhaps “dumb” is a government that supports agribusinesses that depend on petroleum, when our country desperately needs to rid itself of foreign oil dependence for both economic and national security reasons (not to mention the environmental motivations that seem lost on you as well). As a leader in this nation, please educate yourself so that you can more effectively due your duty. You can start with reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” - written not by some “dumb” organic marginal character but by an accomplished journalist who does a good job of showing where our food comes from and the ramifications thereof. Then you would not have to ignorantly say it was beyond you why educated consumers choose organic and local foods for themselves and their families.” McAllen, TX

“Dear Rep. Peterson, I think it would behoove a chair of the Agriculture committee to research organic agriculture before denigrating a movement which is much more healthy and has so many more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and so forth than the factory farming which the farm bill is willing to spend so much money on but gives the consumer basically little comparatively! PS: Congratulations for winning the organic consumers association dumb quote of the month!” Robbinsdale, MN

“I would think someone in your position would appreciate the practices of organic or biodynamic farming. Appreciate the benefits to the health of our environment and to the sustainability of our planet, not to mention to human life. How short sighted to call organic dumb. The cost to tax payers’ health (toxins are now a known cause of cancer and other diseases) & the health of the environment (please factor in the clean up of toxic waste, the pollution of our water from factory farms, most fish are too toxic to eat!!). Who’s dumb? It’s pretty disturbing to me that you obviously can’t see the forest for the trees, and who’s payroll are you on???”

“Ha ha ha ha ha. I don’t know if you’re a pointy headed moron or a dinosaur. I don’t care. Organic is as much a political movement as a cuisine choice, a way of showing solidarity with farm workers and with farmers, a way of cutting down the toxic chemicals that land in our waters and our soil, and cutting farmers’ and farm families exposure to these chemicals. If you don’t get it, don’t worry. You won’t be in office long enough to have to understand it.” Saint Paul, MN

“Dear Representative Peterson, I am amazed that a member of the Democratic “Farmer” Labor Party can label sustainable agricultural practices, such as organic and supporting local growers and producers as “dumb” . Aren’t these very practices the heart of the Farmer Labor movement? Organic farming methods not only produce healthier products in many crops, ( see “Consumer Reports Magazine” , as well as “Nutrition Action” , put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and myriad other publications maybe less in the mainstream), but also protects the workers from pesticide related illnesses. Both benefits reduce the strain on our health care system. Ground water is also affected by factory farming of livestock and pesticide run-off. If agribusiness was made to pay the actual cost of their production methods in health care costs for workers and cleaning the fouled water supply from run-off of fertilizer, pesticide, and concentrated animal waste at levels that the aquifers can’t cleanse by natural means, the price for the products would be astronomical. The price for organic would pale by comparison. Please reconsider your ideas on this issue. You are in an influential position. Disparaging organic agriculture can hurt it’s possibilities for adequate funding in the pending farm bill. Thank you for your time” Imperial Beach, CA

“What would be dumb would be allowing the unsafe and short sighted use of genetic engineering and chemical products banned in the European Union and elsewhere to continue to be pushed on us here in the United States. Fake “organic” standards are dumb, what we want from our legislative branch is laws protecting our right to know what is in the food we buy, so that we may buy real organic when we choose. Of greatest concern: laws allowing bio-engineered products to be sold without labeling them as such. Most of these are already banned in the EU. It makes us look weak not to even require labeling.” San Francisco, CA

“Mr. Peterson...what can I say? You are clueless!”

“Wow, the only statement you’re making is about your own ignorance. Is it dumb to make purchasing decisions that reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases caused by pesticides and fertilizers used by chemical farmers? Or to invest in preserving our environment? I am truly amazed that with a comment like that YOU were deemed intelligent enough to elect in Minnesota, and I’m extra embarrassed that this comment comes from a Democrat. I wonder which pesticide company or agribusiness bought and paid for your opinions, votes and ethics. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“You have truly reached the level of flatliner! Congratulations on shining your congressional stupidity light so brightly!”

“Perhaps it would serve you well to look into the health and environmental benefits of eating organically and locally. No one says that you have to eat food grown this way yourself, but small farms and environmentally-sustainable farms DO need and deserve government help.” Douglaston, NY

“I am a Democrat, and you are an ignoramus. You obviously know nothing about human biochemistry, how it works and what interferes with it. Since you don’t, please stop making ignorant statements. And in the meantime, enjoy your pesticide-laden food and drink which you stupidly believe is just fine and perfectly natural for your body.” Los Angeles, CA

“Mr. Peterson, It seems to me that the only ‘dumb’ people are those who trust corporate agricultural interests to actually CARE what they’re feeding us. I’ll just stick with the local stuff, thank you. As they say, pay now or pay later. Your local ‘dumb’ consumer, Rutland, VT

“Heard you think it’s “dumb” for consumers to buy organic produce rather than mass-produced commodity food. Just wanted to let you know that there’s a global phenomenon happening. It’s called climate change. You should look into it. After all, we’re counting on our representatives like you to FIX IT. Or was your plan to let Republicans like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, and Rupert Murdoch steal this issue from the Democrats too?” Columbus, OH

“I have two doctoral degrees in biochemistry and medicine. I know the health risks in consuming the antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and other toxins in non-organic foods. I am willing to pay extra for food that does not contain these toxins. Much of the rise in the incidence of various cancers (including perhaps my own cancer)is attributable to toxins in our environment, and it is worth a little extra on the food bill to minimize our exposure to these risks. Remember that 100 years ago, all of our food was effectively organic. Please educate the congressman about these issues so that he does not continue to make a fool of himself by making public comments such as these. Thank you.” Randleman, NC

“The average food product that every American eats has traveled 1500 miles before reaching his plate. Think about the contribution to greenhouse gases - just to transport food. If there were more people willing to spend a little more to support the eating local movement, the effort would make a huge contribution to lowering greenhouse gases. Every little bit we do helps. Ridiculing people who are trying to be responsible citizens of the world does nothing to help the efforts to reverse global warming. Please join the bandwagon and use your role to make a difference! Thank you.” Ithaca, NY

“Dear Mr. Peterson As Chairman of the House Ag Committee, it’s difficult to believe that you’re not understanding the need for quality food and the help organic farmers have to produce non-toxic food for our nation. Please look into the realities of our food supply - isn’t this part of your job?” Toledo, OH

“It is disturbing that we could pass another farm bill that supports conventional agriculture and the chemical industry. Not only are the chemicals and methods hurting our health, but also the environment.” Atlanta, GA

“Congrats on being voted as saying the dumbest quote! It isn’t stupid to want to stop destroying the planet and eat fewer chemicals!” Tampa, FL

“Mr. Peterson, People in public positions should educate themselves on what they publicly speak of, as to not show their ignorance in public and unwittingly show how they are not doing their homework for the job that they were elected. Your statement that won you the honor of dumbest quote of the week, shows you in the same light as the Reagan Administration concerning AIDS...they hadn’t done their homework. Ignorance is ugly. Clean yourself up for the sake of the public and especially your constituents.” Laurel, MD

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Wow are you uninformed! Don’t you read about pesticides! Don’t you wonder why everyone is dying from weird diseases and cancer? We are being exposed to so many contaminants! Why not try to eliminate as many dangerous chemicals as we can by not eating them. We have no choice about breathing them but we do have a choice about what we eat. I can’t believe that you don’t bother to educate yourself about what the FDA is doing to our people by allowing so many chemicals to be applied to our food. When you or someone close to you gets cancer or some other awful disease, maybe you won’t think we’re so dumb.” Orangevale, CA

“Dear Sir, My congratulations to you for being this weeks recipient for the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! Riddle me this! How much would you be paying for your hormone laden antibiotic tainted piece of beef if you had to pay the true cost of the meat without the subsidies that come out of our (the taxpayers) pockets and then who is the stupid one?” Walden, VT

“Dear Hon. Collin Peterson, After reading your comments to the Financial Times on Oct. 17, I’m in disbelief that people in representative positions in government are not aware of the overwhelming effects that pesticides, herbicides, and addiction to oil (via production of such soil/fertilization additives) have on our economy and society. The effects of toxic chemicals in our food are very well documented, and I hereby challenge your statements. Your constituency elected you, and you must perform accordingly. We will not be led astray. I urge you to become more aware of the voters of Minnesota, and of the people of the USA in voting for USDA Organic produce and away from factory farms and petroleum based agriculture. In Respect”

“It is rather frightening to think that the chair of the House Agriculture Committee knows so little about the differences between farming methods that he’d denigrate consumers who work hard to inform themselves and to help preserve the planet with sustainable farming methods. Instead of helping those with foresight, you continue to favor those with dollars who lobby you on their own behalf and not in the interests of constituents or the larger interests of the country as a whole. Please inform yourself!”

“Dear Representative, Please, become more educated so that you deserve the title “Representative.” Those of us who have studied health and food in the interest of being healthy and vita, and then raising children with the same benefits, have learned that toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, and unnaturally occurring chemicals can cause serious damage to the physical body. Just because most people are ignorant of such dangers to a healthy life does not mean WE are dumb....”

“Mr. Peterson, If this quote attributed to you is actually true, you need to do some homework and study the subject. There are many, many reliable sources that advocate eating organic and locally grown crops. This subject has been in the public eye for several years now. We are what we eat. The masses have been ingesting pesticides, herbicides, and nutritionally depleted food for decades. It’s time to pay attention to this issue.” Mullica Hill, NJ

“Consumers of sustainably produced agricultural products are far from being dumb. In fact, these consumers are educated, enlightened, and committed to changing the face of agriculture. The willingness to pay a premium price for products is based on the value of the product, not based on the government subsidized price of poisoned industrial agriculture’s products. Think before you speak in the future, or else you are the one who ends up looking and sounding DUMB. Get educated or keep your mouth shut.”

“Mr. Peterson, I choose to pay more for organic and locally grown goods but I wouldn’t consider myself dumb. The money I pay goes towards my local community and farms using methods that are kinder on the environment and their workers and creates a healthier more nutritious product. My own health and well being are priceless to me - I don’t bargain shop when it comes to the quality of living.” Bristol, CT

“It is fortunate and obvious, Mr. Peterson, that you do not have food allergies or allergic reactions to pesticides because “conventional” produce and some stable foods make millions of Americans, myself included, very sick. However ignorant the comment, it speaks volumes about the corporate influence upon congress regarding agriculture.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: As one of your constituents, it disheartens me to hear you talk this way. If you would encourage your farm constituents to go organic, they would be healthier, their fields would be healthier and what they would produce would get better prices and they wouldn’t have to use my tax dollars to live a good life.” Farwell, MN

“Congratulations, you genius, on putting your foot in your mouth. Haven’t you learned a thing at all in politics about thinking before making public statements? Maybe it’s the food you’re eating, or something. Here’s an idea; try organic. Best wishes in good humor” Lowell, MA

“Wake up, Mr. Peterson! Support for organic, local and sustainable agriculture is of prime importance in decreasing the size of humanity’s footprint on earth. You should by now be aware of that fact. If you don’t understand that, then get out of the way and let someone who does assume your position.”

“Congratulations Congressman, you win the prize for being totally clueless. You are obviously unaware that huge factory farm food that is pesticided, chemical fertilized and picked GREEN is also nutrition free. Organic farming is the only way to get back to eating our nutrition that we MUST have for good health. Why do you think we are all so sick these days. If we ate right, which is 90% impossible today, we would build the body structures to stay healthy and not need to pay billions for Medicare.” Alton, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Knowing where my food comes from is the smartest thing I can do. The real price of cheap food is the strong possibility that my food is contaminated by cancer causing chemicals (pesticides and hormones), contains unhealthy levels of antibiotics, and is contaminated by animal feces that promotes deadly bacteria. By buying local and organic, I avoid massive health costs, not to mention the physical and emotional suffering caused by disease and malnutrition. You may want to rethink your definition of dumb.”

“YOU are dumb!”

“Mr. Peterson, I can’t believe how unbelievably uninformed you are on the issue of organic and local agriculture. I won’t use the derogatory term “dumb” to describe your mistake; perhaps the next election will show you how dumb organic consumers are.”

“Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are part of the biggest growing market on the Earth. We want a healthy, pesticide free food supply. We want local food growing in our communities and from our farmer citizens, not Monsanto. We will not eat GM food, cloned animals, or chemical soaked produce from agri-business. It makes you sound uneducated and naive that you think we are dumb. Is the entire European Union dumb as well? FYI, the EU grows almost entirely organic crops. They banned GM crops too. Organic consumers really do vote in elections, earn more than average incomes, and we vote with our dollars for food that is safe and nutritious. What do you eat? Have you never heard of toxic pesticides? DDT? Sterile banana workers? I think you should spend more time at the library and less time with agri-business lobbyists, or you’ll be looking for a new job. The future is now. WAKE UP!” Charlottesville, VA

“Mr. Peterson, I find it sad that the chairman of the House of Representative Agriculture Committee cannot understand the reasons many people value organic farming. Standard factory farming production methods are damaging to the long-term health of the soil and the environment in many ways, and therefore are self-destructive from the human perspective. And as far as cost, these methods, combined with unfairly distributed federal subsidies, produce merely “false” cheap food prices. I have no problem paying a fair, realistic price for my food.”

“Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, on being the recipient of this week’s Organic Consumer’s Association “Dumb Quote of the Week” . It really was quite dumb. I am incredibly disappointed that the chairman of the House agriculture committee is so ignorant when it comes to the benefits of local and organic agriculture.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Your lack of understanding of agriculture is very clear. Please save everyone time and energy and step down from your position of chair of this committee.” Concord, MA

“If you’d take the time to educate yourself about the dangers to your health our current farming and food production practices entail, you’d realize how serious the threat is. By eating better foods, you increase your life expectancy, reduce pollution/ contamination problems of factory farms, reduce health care costs, make real impact on energy conservation...it’s very much inter-related. A domino-effect as it were. Rather than minimizing people’s efforts to ensure quality food and production, you should really study all the aspects. “I don’t know what that’s about...” very simply states your need for information. I’m hoping this comment would indicate is a real desire for knowledge” Fairfield, IA

“Mr. Peterson, Wow! I can’t believe you said that! I eat organic and locally grown because I don’t want to ear Govt. subsidized High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Govt. subsidized beef from CAFO’s where cows are fed corn (huh?) and antibiotics and growth hormones, as an example. I won’t eat farmed fish for the same reasons - and why they are feeding fish corn is absolutely beyond me. I eat organic because I don’t want to contribute to putting petrochemicals into our soil thereby further reducing the beautiful top soil this country was blessed with. I eat organic because it doesn’t make sense to me that Oil - which is a diminishing commodity is used to fertilize. And speaking of oil, I try to eat local because I don’t want gallons and gallons of that precious and diminishing commodity to be spent getting my food to my table from New Zealand or Chili or where ever, when I can get it from 30-50, at the most, miles from my home. I eat organic most importantly because it tastes great - a tomato that actually tastes like a tomato instead of tasting like cardboard. I eat organic because I believe that my body needs the nutrients that food provides, and I don’t believe I can get those nutrients in enough supply from food grown in the industrial food chain. If you call that dumb, well, so be it... but you might want to READ a little bit, some great material out there on the value, on so many levels, of Organic Farming. Ask one of your staff to pull some facts together for you before your next public dismissal of Organic Farming and the people who choose to support those farmers. To your healthy and flavorful future, Mr. Peterson...” San Jose, CA

“I’m not quite sure what you think is dumb about paying more for food that is not bioengineered and sprayed with pesticides. I would love to hear your logic.”

“Mr. Peterson is the dull-witted one here. Doesn’t he know that organic methods in the long run are cheaper because they conserve more, pollute less, and yield higher nutrient-dense produce? How ignorant of him to make such a blanket statement. How did he get such a position of responsibility being so stupid on the topic? He must have bought it from those damning farmers bent on making a buck at the cost of the earth and its people. How disgusting!” Sherman Oaks, CA”

“Hey Mr. Peterson, here’s what’s dumb: buying food of unknown origin with unknown additives from some far-away agribusiness corporation with no mission but to maximize shareholder value, rather than buying fresh food of known safety and quality from one’s neighbors who have a personal stake and who will spend the money right in one’s own community. What’s dumb is to elect a congressman who cares more about his corporate sponsors than the economic health and food security of his own Minnesota constituents.” Farmington, MN

“Hi: I read your ridiculous quote. First of all organics are not two to three times as much as conventionally produced produce. Second, I’ll pay less for health care in the long run for eating healthier. I suggest that you go to a farmers market and experience the fun in buying local organic produce. Our local farmers market is the social event of the week, everyone is there.” Santa Cruz, CA

“Thank you so much for holding such a high opinion of the growing numbers of consumers who are trying to eat healthier, and support small farmers instead of industrial agriculture which is poisoning the planet!! It’s no wonder I have left the Democrats...” Napa, CA

“hi there! I am so happy to be known as one of the dumb ones! do you understand anything about farming? and what do you do within the senate? oh yes, something about farming? hmmm... makes me wonder why we have people like you in the senate. if you think that people are dumb for actually caring about what they are putting in their bodies and what they are feeding their children then you sir have a serious problem. why don’t you go ahead and buy an organic tomato and a regular chemically produced tomato and tell the world what you think about the taste. if you cannot try something first, you should definitely know that you cannot compare the two or you would be rooting for more organic agriculture and local farming. have a wonderful life sir.”

“As a cancer survivor, whose cancer was probably caused by all the injected hormones and chemicals sprayed on food, I don’t feel I am “dumb” to try to reduce my future risk. Hope you can enjoy cancer someday too, chances are you will, keep eating!” Warren, MI

“Perhaps you should research into organic and locally-grown foods before you make “dumb” statements about it.”

“You can bet your bottom dollar I’m willing to pay more for pure food which doesn’t harm people who produce it, people who consume it, and the earth which provides it. As an added bonus it cuts of our would be corporate masters at the knees. Dumb and dumber, indeed!” Fritz Creek, AK

“There are several reasons to buy food locally and/or organically. Local food decreases the energy expenditure and investment, supports the local economy, and ensures that U.S. approved agricultural practices are utilized in the growing process. Growing organic food is a more ecologically sound practice, and may be a healthier food choice. It is disturbing to be determined “dumb” , particularly with Bachelor’s degrees in both pharmacy and botany, and a Master’s degree that was actually funded by a grant from the USDA!” Allegan, MI

“I am shocked that the head of the agriculture committee is unaware of the importance of local foods. Local foods support local communities, local farmers, and save pollution and the waste of energy from the transportation of food across far distances. I am deeply offended by Colin Peterson’s statement that people who pay more for local or organic food are dumb. As I democrat, I expected more from my own party representatives! I expect Mr. Peterson to apologize to America for his uneducated and insulting remark!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, We are willing to pay more money for local and organic food because it is better for our children and our planet (our ONLY home). Maybe you need to do some research into where the food you eat comes from and what is in it. Maybe you need to think about the CO2 spewed into the air each time a truck has to drive across the country to deliver our oranges in mid-December because we are so spoiled in this country. Don’t call us dumb. We are informed and we care!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, You should be aware that the small farmer, the organic farmer, and farmers who sell locally, get a miniscule if any subsidy from the US government, whereas agribusiness and large corporations are the recipients of large subsidies. Is it any wonder organic and/or local foods cost more?”

“You might think that I am “dumb” , but I am doing what I think is best by keeping pesticides out of my 2 year old daughter!!” Cobb, CA

“Protecting our food supply is not DUMB! It’s a shame “organic” food has to be so pricey. I don’t, as a rule, believe in subsidies but do believe in encouraging more organic farmers and assisting them as you would “traditional” farmers.” Cedar Park, TX

“The reason we pay more for organic and local food is obvious, from a health perspective and from an environmental perspective. The government should not be supporting agri-industry that uses chemical-intensive methods, pollutes the environment, and is responsible for e-coli outbreaks, unhealthy fast foods, etc. Your subsidies to these industries are putting out of business small farmers (the ones that really need help), and are a major reason why Americans are having increased rates of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So your “subsidies” are taking its toll on the American healthcare system, and on the heath of the American people. Organic is good food, and local food reduces CO2 emissions. It scares me that 1) you are a democrat, and 2) that you have so much power in the house agriculture committee.” New York, NY

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Please allow me to congratulate you on receiving Organic Bytes “Dumb Quote of the Week” award. When I read your comments about those of us who prefer to safeguard our health by supporting local and organic producers, I shuddered to think that someone with as much power as you is as ignorant as you appear to be. I suspect that your opinions are the product of some Big Agribiz subsidies in your pockets.” Banner Elk, NC

“Mr. Peterson is the dummy. It’s been scientifically proven that certified organic produce and grass-fed animals have these benefits: - It’s sustainable - It lowers the green-house effect vs. stall-grown animals - Organic produce helps the body rid itself of toxins which are in pesticide-laden & sterilized soils. - Sterilized soils are dangerous to health is the micro-organisms are gone & they’re vital for soil, plant, and human/animal health - Eat less organic & get more nutrition - Grass-fed animals are full or more nutrients including CLA {anti-cancer}, more omega 3’s, beta carotene, and the saturated fats are vital for health since many cells in human bodies are composed of them. - Who paid you to say that?” Mount Dora, FL

“Mr. Peterson - The reality is that people like me pay more for food that we believe is grown organically or locally because we are apparently more concerned about our health and the health of the planet than people like you who ridicule us for our decisions.”

“Wow! Congratulations on your narrow-minded and ignorant opinion. That must have taken a lot of your time to come up with such a quote! Perhaps you should pick up a book sometime and read up on organic food. You may learn something.”

“Sure, paying two or three times as much for organic food instead of industrial food is dumb! Why would anyone do something so stupid! Paying more than you need is always dumb. That’s why you drive a used Yugo, right?” Canby, OR

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am appalled that as the Chairman of the House of Representatives Agricultural Committee you do not understand the reasons that consumers are willing to pay a premium for local and organic food. Do you not understand the basic economic principal that something with more desirable attributes, in this case no pesticides, no GMO’s, no industrial mono-culture crop lands, less fossil fuel use, etc etc, would fetch a higher price at market? If not, please have your staff brief you on this most fundamental tenet.” Portland, OR

“Do you pay more for sport and luxury cars? Do you pay more for quality clothing? Do you pay more for private schools and ivy league colleges? Do you pay more for quality sports equipment? To not recognize the quality difference between conventional industrial agricultural methods and organic agricultural methods is a mark of ignorance. Have you even tried organic versus conventional produce, eggs or milk. Unless your taste palette is completely trashed you will taste the difference. You’re right, supporting local agriculture, small family farms, reducing transport time and cost, buying American. All apparently dumb ideas! Just once, it would be nice not to be chagrined by America’s elected officials.” Forest Grove, OR

“In regards to your comment about organic or locally grown foods, you either live in a cave or are completely ignorant about cause and effect. You demonstrate by your own words no concern whatsoever for your own health or the health of others, including your descendents. Perhaps you know or have some insights the rest of us poor consumers without the largess of lobbyists don’t know. Might I suggest you take the time to speak on these matters with your fellow Republican Michael Huckabee. He has been able to connect the relationship of nutrition and health care costs in ways that you have yet to acknowledge. Off the record your brain and heart cells might well benefit from some additional Omega 3 intake. Mental logic resides in brain matter and learning is facilitated by well fed heads, fed not with plastics or toxins but with God given molecules.” Branson, MO”

“Congratulations on your remarks about organic food. You have won the Organic Consumers Association dumbest quote of the week award. Perhaps you are happy feeding your family food items loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones from farms that abuse their livestock and rely heavily on pesticides and other chemical means to grow good looking produce of little nutritional value. I prefer to pay a bit more to have food that is not tainted with unnecessary and debilitating chemicals, antibiotics and pesticides. As for meat from animals that never see the light of day and are overgrown through hormone use such that they cannot even support their body weight, and live packed tightly together in small cruel cages or pens - well, that’s just plain abuse and I don’t want any part of that.”

“ Dear Congressman Peterson, I have recently found out that my 5 year old is on the verge of puberty. It appears she is more sensitive to chemicals, such as the bovine growth hormone injected into cattle. The cattle produce not only beef, but all the milk, yogurt, and cheese she has eaten. In the 4 months since switching to natural/organic products her excessive growth has slowed and her blood tests indicate her hormone levels are normal, for now. I do this for her and we have seen a difference in her and ourselves. Please do not call me dumb, I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and have done the research on organic foods, there is a difference and many chemicals shoved on citizens are related to many health concerns. Thank you for reading. The Woodlands, TX

“It just so happens, Mr. Peterson, that I am one of those “dumb” people who spend more to buy organic. I do it because I don’t want garbage in my food, which is what your big corporations do. I also do it for the animals who suffer 24 hours a day to supply uncaring people with their “meat” . I thought sure you would be a republican, but guess what? A democrat, I guess there isn’t much difference after all.” London, ON

“Dear Collin Peterson: You need to educate yourself on organic farming and organic foods before you make such foolish statements.” Peabody, MA

“Congressman Peterson, I’m shocked and appalled at your ignorant comments about organic & local foods, as reported by the MSNBC.com Financial Times 10/17/07: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Your comments clearly betray your lack of education (beyond “education” from industrial agriculture lobbyists) on the health & economic benefits of local and organic foods and the incredible health risks of products from the industrial-agriculture complex. I’m ashamed that you are a Congressman from Minnesota - you should know better, given the number of organic farmers and co-op groceries throughout our state. Your protectionist and apologist stance towards industrial-ag and the business-as-usual farm bill will help put many local and organic farmers out of business. And that directly threatens my ability to feed my family wholesome products produced outside the industrial food chain that has caused so many food contamination outbreaks in the past few years. It also directly threatens my ability to feed my family whole foods free of overly processed industrial-ag ingredients that cause obesity and health problems. Congressman, grow up. Get some real education on food and agriculture issues, and start acting in the best interests of the people and not the best interests of your own personal wallet. I am shocked that you call yourself a Democrat. If this is how you’re going to behave, we don’t actually want you in this party.” Minneapolis, MN

“Mr. Peterson, I used to be proud of the support that our elected officials used to give to the small local farms of the Midwest of which I was born and raised. Your most recent quotation regarding local and organic farms makes me embarrassed to call myself a Midwestern farmers son. Thanks for all you support!!!” Charlestown, NH

“ Talk about a dumb remark - where did you get your education about the environment and the effect of poisoning both our land and water? You are an embarrassment as a Democrat. Shame on you.”

“You must be just another person with a severe case of “foot-in-mouth disease” . What were you thinking, or maybe just not really thinking at all or was your comment something to do with an oxy-moron situation without much oxy. Get a grip!”

“Stop using toxic chemicals and carcinogens in food and in growing foods. Organic is worth it...” Arvada, CO

“It is sad when such an important position is given to someone who lacks knowledge, curiosity, and a care for the earth.” Salt Spring Island, BC

“For someone from MN and on some government committee on agric, to say something so stupid and ignorant about organic/local food makes you either retarded or in the pocket of Con-Agra(front pants pocket). Typical gov beauro-rat. More reason to abolish gov intervention from our economy.”

“Good day sir, While I will agree that some of the pricing for organic foods, especially by the larger corporations are higher than they should be, I will also say that your comments cab be easily misconstrued, and make you appear as anti-organic. The government continues to water down the standards so AGRIBUSINESS can use the label. But many of the pioneers of organic produce-the small producers have been strangled by the high cost of certification, red tape etc. USDA should be promoting ways for the truly organic small family oriented to benefit from the fruits of their labor! I trust you will take great pains to modify your statement.” Dunnville, KY

“Saying that people buying organic and local for more $$ is dumb just proves how uninformed you are, Collin. And you are the chair of the ag committee, huh? A perfect example of what is wrong with the U.S.” Creswell, OR

“Dear Collin Peterson: You should be proud of yourself, your comments to the financial times are working. My 90 year old father agrees with you and thinks organics are a “bunch of foolishness,” even though he constantly complains about the produce he eats with comments like “you could dent a car with one of these tomatoes,” the stuff doesn’t have any taste” or “when I was a kid food tasted like something.” But if I bring him some fresh organic produce his comments are “were did you get this, it tastes like the stuff we used to have on the farm when I was a kid!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Thanks for the great quote.....it makes us realize we have a lot of educating to do. We accept lead in our paint is bad for us. We accept smoking is a serious health problem. It is becoming ever more apparent that organic and local food is the best preventive health plan and most sustainable approach to acquiring food for our communities. Get with the plan or we will elect another representative supportive of this critical issue. Coralville, IA

“Thank you Sir, for your complement as to my mental ability to choose to pay a little more for organic food for the health of my family. If more people were to make such wise choices, we would have a far healthier nation and our children would be the long-term beneficiaries. Thank you for showing us where you are in consciousness.”

“Sir: It is hard for me to imagine that you can not understand why people would want the food they eat to be grown close to them (easier on the environment) and with out pesticides and chemicals (easier on humans AND the earth), and would be willing to pay more to poison the earth and our bodies less. I may be dumb but I’m smart enough to know you are chairman of the wrong committee. Perhaps there is an opening at Dow Chemical for someone as “smart” as you. bon appetit!”

“I am writing to tell you that I am one of the “dumb” people who spends more for good food, being organic. I do this for two reasons. One is because I don’t wish to ingest the garbage from the government’s favorite corporations. Two is because I don’t wish to be a part of animal torture. I also do not eat meat. I was sure you were a Republican, but no, you are a Democrat. Guess you’re not so different, after all. Too bad. I had some hope for a while.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Your short-sightedness is monumental. If you can’t see why people want organic foods, check with the continuous media coverage of food recalls. Once upon a time, poisonous things were labeled as such-now it appears we have to swing the other direction. As my mother used to say-You can pay for you health in the food you eat or you can pay for at the doctor. I prefer to eat good food. Thanks”

“Mr. Peterson, with all due respect, how you can hold a position on the agricultural committee and NOT understand why consumers are paying more for organic and local organic foods is absolutely mind-blowing! I suggest you educate yourself, sir, and join us in this century. By the way, from the looks of your photo, you appear to be 10-15 years older than you really are, and I can tell that you take pharmaceutical medications as well as eat an unhealthy and pesticide-laden diet. You appear to be a prime candidate for heart disease, stroke, etc. You, sir, have TOXIC written all over you!” Colorado Springs, CO

“On the bottle of every pesticide, as an example, the things listed that it will do to insects are the same things that this product will do to your body. So, it’s time for you to consider that you could actually be healthier yourself if you ate organic food. Please consider standing up for your future generations and mine.” Bozeman, MT

“Ignoramus should be added to your title! It is politicians like you that are the problem with our government. You would be well served to do a little homework and find out about organic and locally produced foods before you say something else so ignorant and stupid :-(“ Honolulu, HI

“As a person who suffers from severe food allergies, I find your comment regarding organic foods totally uneducated. All the food alterations and additives in non organic foods are causing huge increases in food allergies, some of which are life threatening. Having had to visit the emergency room on numerous occasions due to food additives not properly labeled on prepared foods, I have become an activist against our lax FDA and USDA regulations. My family has been on a total organic diet now for one year. We are no longer suffering migraines, symptoms of MS and Type Two Diabetes. I suggest you watch the DVD “FUTURE of FOOD” that your staff can google and acquire for you. Recently we organic consumer activists successfully caused the U.S. Patent Office to nullify four of Monsanto’s patents. Once you watch the “Future of Food” you will see why we were successful. Please educate yourself of the growing threat to our food supply. I hope you grow to understand that more terror and damage to our health is caused by Monsanto and other mega industrial ag businesses than any number of foreign terrorists.”

“Actually sir I believe that you are the dumbass here for making such a statement about paying too much for local or organic food. I’m willing to pay the extra money to know that my food is reasonably safe to eat. You cannot make the same claim about factory farm foods. Of course, I know the gov’t is very busy at work eroding the regulations that make the organic industry what it is, or was. You will not be happy until agribiz reigns supreme and I have no choices in the foods I eat. God you people make me sick.”

“You Collin Peterson, are pretty darn arrogant! Educate yourself about WHY people concerned about their health demand organic foods and why this aspect of agriculture needs government support (instead of just spouting what you did).... If you think hard enough, you will have to admit, that you wouldn’t even be alive, spouting this “dumb rhetoric” , if it were not for your grandparent’s (and theirs and so on, back in time-i.e. prior to the so-called almighty industrial revolution and the poisons it created) who grew organic foods, on organic, enriched soil, and raised, organically fed and pastured beef cattle, that went into YOUR very own DNA, so you could stand here today and choose to denigrate your very foundation! WHO is dumb, Mr. Chairman?!”

“Collin Petersen, when you taste organic food , it tastes so fresh. We do not want food with pesticides on them and yes they are more expensive but your statement was VERY RUDE for calling organic consumers dumb. You owe us an apology.”

“Let me give you an example why... The other day I bought a factory farmed chicken. It tasted OK (which they usually don’t) so I thought I would make some homemade broth out of it. It turned out horrible. The beautiful flavorful broth filled with healthy gelatin that comes with local or organic chicken, was instead, flat and water thin. Truly disgusting. I threw it out. I would much rather pay double to triple the price for a chicken that I could eat with complete taste satisfaction and then use the bones to make delicious healthy broth. You CAN’T do that with battery chicken. Keaau, HI

“Mr. Peterson: Your ignorance of the values of organically grown food is alarming! And to think that you are a Democrat, my party. Read up on it, Sir, and increase your knowledge, which seems to have been stunted by being in Washington too long.” Jackson, TN

“I can’t believe a person of your position could make a comment about organic foods or foods that benefit a person’s health. We, who embrace organic foods as a way to heal ourselves or help ourselves to eat better, are not dumb as you seem to think. We choose to help ourselves since the government doesn’t seem willing to help the public to stay well and off medicines or in hospitals or care homes. Next time, consider what you say or better yet, you might try organic foods and see how much better they taste and how much better you feel.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am offended by your remark indicating that those who spend money on organic and local products are “dumb.” If you choose to eat chemical-laden, factory-farmed products with little nutritional value, that’s your business. My family and I eat organic, locally-grown food, because I believe it is healthier for us and the nation. It would be good for you to learn the other side of the argument for making statements such as this one.”

“Congratulations! You now rank right up there with our Fearless Leader, if not in numbers of stupid statements at least in ignorance of the facts!”

“Congratulations, Mr. Chairman, for receiving OCA’s Award for the dumbest quote of the week. For whatever reason, Democrats are willing to keep saying dumb things, and well, far be it from ME to understand what that’s about. You obviously have no grasp nor do you understand the basics of good health. Quite unfortunate, especially in this day and age of wanting to enforce a Socialistic Health Care bill; instead of spending all those millions to insurance companies, you should be fighting to spend them cleaning up our food supply, water supply, and the air we breath. We might not need so much “health insurance” if you did.” Halifax, MA

“ Dear Congressman Peterson: Would you please be so kind as to confirm that you were either misquoted, or quoted out of context? It is beyond my comprehension that, coming from a state with such a strong agricultural base, you just don’t “get it” . Your first statement, about doing something without government’s help would make sense - if federal assistance wasn’t paying to support the competition. Your final comment, about the dumb consumers, is simply bizarre. Saxapahaw, NC

“I’m sorry to say, considering you are a MN representative, that your comments re organic food are most uninformed. First, most organic food doesn’t cost that much more than similar non-organic products (2 or 3 times more is a gross exaggeration). Second, organic food has been substantiated to have more nutrients. Third, those on organic diets have been found to have less pesticide residues in their blood. Fourth, fifth, and sixth: buying local keeps investment within the state, is less destructive to soil and supports pasture maintenance and reduced siltation. Finally, organic foods put less pesticide and wildlife harming nutrients into ground and surface water and into workers. You are very disappointing.”

“Considering your position, you are not very intelligent are you? Personally, I can’t afford the high cost of organic food, but I’m glad it is available for those who can. With all the recalls lately, perhaps they are the truly smart consumers.”

“Dear Sir, Organic food is an excellent investment in the health of the individual as well as the environment. You are very shortsighted if you think you’re saving money by buying conventional foods. Factor in health care and environmental damage directly resulting from conventional farming methods and you have run up a huge tab.

Then you can consider the ethical issues, and it’s really no contest. So who’s really dumb?”

“Sir, As one who has for many years been interested in the role food plays in our health and the quality of our lives, I was amazed to read your uninformed words regarding organically and locally grown foods. Put simply, organically grown foods are not only healthier to consume, having higher nutritional content and lower toxic pollution, but the means by which they are grown are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. As for supporting locally grown food, it makes so much sense from an economic perspective to support local businesses. If you don’t understand why that is, you shouldn’t be holding public office. Please do all Americans a favor and educate yourself on the field in which you hold so much sway, and then redeem yourself by making more informed public statements on the subject. Thank you.” Alexandria, VA

“You are what you eat. People who eat factory farmed food are unhealthy and fat. They spend more money on drugs and hospital bills than smart eaters who choose organic food.”

“For you to have made such a negative statement about ORGANICS and BUYING LOCALLY only shows you have no business in the position you are in. You do not represent the future of growing concern for the quality of food we eat and how or where it is produced. You have a very short sighted attitude and it sounds much aligned with big agriculture business.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, your ignorance and arrogance are hugely disappointing in a Democrat. If you are so out of touch with how disgusted Americans are with business as usual, including agribusiness as usual, you will find yourself sitting on the sidelines. I have faith in your constituents, even if you don’t.” Klickitat, WA

“How dumb can you be and still represent us? Shame on you and I am a Democrat! Eating fewer chemicals will lead to better health and fewer medical problems. Do you have a college education or not? If not, you need to go back to school and learn a few things or two.” Hot Springs, AR

“Agribusiness does need subsidies!”

“Dear Rep. Peterson: You really don’t get it, do you? Organic and local are ‘dumb’? Are we living on the same planet? I thought you were from MN, not from Mars. Our chicken is contaminated with Salmonella as it swims in a bath of feces during processing. Pigs raised in CAFOs are forced to drink their own urine. Feedlot beef is given a diet of corn - a food alien to them - and plugged with antibiotics and hormones to speed growth. Shrimp from Asia are fed on chicken droppings loaded with antibiotics. Undercooked hot dogs transmit Listeriosis. Monsanto would like to see all dairy cattle inoculated weekly with Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. Drinking water is laced with tetracycline for all confinement animals. Farmed salmon is fed artificial colorants to make its flesh pink. Ground beef is frequently recalled for E. coli content, and the same can be said for spinach, ice cream, pepperoni and the list goes on. No other first world country takes it for granted that its food supply is so contaminated and adulterated. By all means, continue to feed your family chemicals and antibiotics... while you exclaim at the proliferation of cancer, as well as MRSA, extreme TB and other drug-resistant strains of bacteria that the wanton use of antibiotics has fostered. I prefer to make healthier choices for my family. I would not have to pay so much more for these commodities if Congressmen like you understood the costs entailed in switching a farm from conventional to organic methods, and directed your subsidies where they might actually be instrumental in improving the health of all thinking Americans.” Palmyra, ME

“Even if you are not for organic, local purchasing helps smaller farmers and the local economy, and saves petroleum and transportation. Organic is not that bad - keeps some of your Monsanto & friends’ pesticides and poisons out of the soil and out of our bodies. Hey, that’s a real health benefit!” Concrete, WA

“Dear Sir, I just wanted to extend my congratulations to you for uttering what has got to be the most misinformed and idiotic statement I have heard come from a politician’s mouth this week. I am referring, of course, to your claim that those willing to pay a higher price for organic and local produce are “dumb.” I’m glad that you feel that way about your constituents and other American consumers who have gone through the trouble of educating themselves on the issues involved with agriculture, and care enough to make sacrifices to support agriculture which is socially and environmentally responsible. And in regards to the phenomenon of consumers being willing to pay more, you even say, “Far be it for me understand what that’s about.” Understanding what “that is about” is precisely your job, as chairman of the agricultural committee. It’s nice to know where you stand on important issues such as public health and the environment.

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, There is over 62 natural minerals and substances in organic soil. Regular farming only replaces 3 of these; NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Because these three are associated with the growth of plants, we have assumed that the others are not necessary for the healthy growth of humans to consume. I have to tell you that I have only been eating organic foods for 10 years and the first year, I wondered if there was any difference and why I was wasting my money on this foolishness. I then went to have some regular meat and vegetables and there was very little taste. Very inconclusive, I agree. But here is the scoop. If eating organic costs more and tastes better, and I am getting less pesticides and chemicals in my body that may or may not be good for me, why take chances. I might only live 3 days longer than most people, but what will the quality and health of their lives be like compared to mine. I am banking on less disease to affect my quality of life and thus reduced healthcare costs. Of course there is little to substantiate all of this, but once you are educated more about the how and why’s of organic, you will possibly not say such ignorant things anymore. Have an open mind and read a little.....”

“Sir: I am shocked that a representative from Minnesota would make as environmentally ignorant a statement as your quote regarding organic agriculture. If agriculture should be subsidized at all there is much more economic justification to support organic and localized farming than large agribusiness.” Mankato, MN

“Dear Senator, We don’t pay two or three times more for local or organic food, we can’t afford to. We are willing to pay a little more for organic, and usually pay less for locally grown produce and meat. If you truly don’t get it, have a staff member do some research and bring you up to speed on the many health and economic benefits of locally grown, organic food.” Anacortes, WA

“People who live in glass houses should not throw stones! Some of us “dumb” folks have to eat organically because we have been poisoned by chemicals and can no longer tolerate eating pesticide laden “food” without getting very sick. I am one of those who has no choice. People who think they are eating well by purchasing traditionally grown need to do some research. Organic food has been proven to have more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients than the crap you are eating. You have been brainwashed dumb!”

“Mr. Peterson, If the above statement has quoted you properly, then let me share an experience you could witness in my area of North Carolina. You see I live among some of the most heavily sprayed crops you could imagine. I live surrounded by apple orchards. These young trees are sprayed 7 or more times a year, for years before they produce one apple. Normally nature provides a wonderful orchestra of sounds from crickets, birds and other wildlife. But when the clouds of chemicals spray from the back of the farmers tractors, all go silent. Yet just five miles from my house a brave farmer is growing the most delicious apples with out these dangerous chemicals. It is sad to hear the repeated stories of various health issues the farmers are experiencing as they age. I will gladly pay 3 times more for my produce as you said, instead of hearing a doctor pronounce my death certificate of cancer. Some one with your position would hopefully do a little more research before he spoke publicly.” Hendersonville, NC

“I certainly hope you aren’t as ignorant as this quote makes you appear. If you are, then perhaps you need to educate yourself on the true economy of the food you eat. I recommend to begin your education you read Barbara Kingsolver’s newest book, Vegetable, Animal, Miracle. I will continue to put my money where my mouth is, and buy local.”

“Your comment about the rest of the nation being dumb for eating organic seems to go against the Democratic mantra during the Clinton administration that it’s the economy stupid. So who’s really the idiot here? Oh, how I long for the days of Paul Wellstone. Unfortunately, the land of lakes is missing its native son. Why not go take a flying leap into one of those lakes and see if there are any other Dems bottom-feeding on people like Nader and Michael Bloomberg who still remember what Thomas Jefferson meant by democracy. Just be careful, there are state laws in place that don’t allow sewage pollution to contaminate the waters of the state.” Windsor, CA

Collin Peterson, are you concerned with your own health, the health of your family & children & other family members? If so, you ought to be VERY concerned with encouraging organic farming with every opportunity afforded you.”

“I am an organic local farmer, and I can tell you that the people buying our produce taste the difference and willingly pay to keep small family farms in business and in their neighborhood - our food is safer, more nutritious, and less travel-worn than the stuff the USDA subsidizes. It’s worth every penny. Shame on you.” Hotchkiss, CO

“Dumb?!! How do you like the taste of your foot? Perhaps you should educate yourself on the benefits of grass-fed beef. Have you ever even heard of omega-3 fatty acids? Probably not, given your asinine statement. For your information, grass-fed beef is much healthier than corn-fed beef. Although you are supposed to know something about agriculture, you obviously don’t know that COWS ARE SUPPOSED TO EAT GRASS. This makes their meat higher in the omega-3’s which reduces the risk of heart disease. Oh, and also brain disease, which may explain why you don’t know any of this. If you’d like to learn more please visit the westonaprice.org. Here’s to your health!” Conyers, GA

“Representative Peterson, There are people dying of cancer all around me. I held a cancer-ridden child in my arms before she died-with one eye, multiple surgery scars, and excruciating pain. Conventional food is killing us and YOU are willing to subsidize them. Shame on you. We should give organic food all the help they can get and make it available and affordable to people who are poor. I visited a neighborhood today where it is easier to find a gun, a pack of cigarettes, or a bottle of alcohol than a tomato or a carrot or lettuce. I buy local because I care about my neighbors who are growers. Buying local builds local community. I’m glad you’re not my neighbor because you just don’t get this! I am wondering why YOU are chairman of the agricultural committee. It does not seem like a good fit. Perhaps you should try a different committee that doesn’t affect so many good people trying to raise healthy children. Eating local and organic,” Santa Rosa, CA

“Congratulations Colin Peterson on getting the award for the DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK from the Organic Consumers Association. Our polluted, genetically engineered, foul tasting, vitamin and mineral lacking food is OOOOOOOOOOOOO so good for us. Ever wonder why America is fat and getting fatter everyday? Try the food supply. I wish I made the money you representatives make. It would make my life of paying 2 and 3 times for organic food easier. Thanks for calling me dumb, you sir are a jackass!” Las Vegas, NV

“It is sad to read your quote about buying organic and local produce being “dumb” . Perhaps a more open-minded approach would be: “hmm, wonder what this is about? The public seems to be on to something here. I think I’ll research this before I say something that makes me look stupid.”

“I haven’t time in my busy life working to grant you my words. Excusez-moi de vous d-ranger...”

“Your contempt for American’s who are forced to pay extra for organic meat was typical of a paid hack for greedy corporations who feel threatened. You not only have exposed your loyalties, but also show your callousness and ignorance. Especially with the recent recall by Cargill Inc. Recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria - the second time in less than a month it has voluntarily recalled beef. One million pounds - 10 states... Hallelujah... you’ve sold your soul ? you have no dignity.”

“I want to eat healthy, organic, food without pesticide and hormones that have given many women cancer. You democrats have done nothing about health care or help for the people. Your just like republicans, the most war hungry nation on the planet following a born again christian who does nothing that Jesus would do. Keep it up until we can disappear as a species.”

“The poisoning of our food system by agribusiness is something as a health professional that I take very seriously. Unless you are owned by those interests you might do well to as well.”

“organic food and local food is better for you and the planet. Have you ever heard of global warming? greenhouse gases? transportation costs are costs to the planet you leave for your children. Factory farming is not good for the animals and is not good for you. When you eat all those antibiotics in the animals, do you think they’ll work for you when you need them to? Please get a clue. Thank you for your attention.” Hood River, OR

“Dear Representative Peterson: I would like to propose that organic food consumers are not the dumbies. Rather, folks who are complacent about the overload of agricultural chemicals they consume each day are the ones who should “have their heads examined.” As a 30 year organic gardener, it makes me sad to pay more for healthy food. But, I think my family is worth it. I’m fortunate enough to have the financial means to have a choice between local farmers and agri-biz. Being an Alaskan, I choose to support the local business people whenever I can. Also, I’d rather eat food grown in the USA than in a country that has little or no regulation of water safety and chemical use. Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!” Anchorage, AK

“Buy local. Save Fuel Buy organic. Save chemicals.” Fox Island, WA

“You have got to be the most stupid person on the face of the earth. Organic food is the best there is. At least we all know we’ll live disease free when we eat organic food. I for one, will buy it when I can find it. And you know what? You could benefit from it too. Then maybe you wouldn’t be making stupid remarks.”

“Supporting local farmers and for that matter, producers of any goods made locally...be it in your neighborhood, city , state, or country even...is actually the smartest most obvious thing to do to support our economy. So, just remember Mr.Peterson...STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.....where do you shop?....China?????”

“You know, I’ve read a lot about the additives in processed foods, the diets fed to corporate cattle, hogs and chickens, and the effects of same on the health and mental acuity of humans. But, not until your exceedingly ignorant statement did I realize just how extensive is the brain damage caused by non-organic, processed, preserved and transported foods. Oh well, eat up! Continue your diet of slop. I think it’s too late for you.” Aptos, CA

“You Sir have a lot to learn before you can make judgments like that. Did you ever consider that there are manifold health and ecological implications to supporting local, organic, and sustainable food ways? There is plenty of research validating such and I suggest you investigate it further. Organic consumers make up a very intelligent and socially conscious demographic and WE will be the vectors for meaningful social change whether the political contingency is behind us or not.” Portland, OR

“Well You are dumb enough to eat unorganic food and your health will pay for it too. Just keep your grubby hands off organics.” Silver Spring, MD

“ Dear sir, I am one of those “dumb” people you refer to and I guess you are smart because if you really knew what factory farmed food was, how it’s processed and the nutritional value differences of it and organics/local foods, you too, would be dumb! That was a blatantly idiotic comment from a representative! Watch your dumb mouth!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I suppose you won’t be crowing quite so loudly when there’s no more oil to transport your chemically polluted, hormone-injected, genetically altered produce in giant tractor-trailers (or even DOUBLE tractor-trailers) from one end of the country to the other. When that day comes, believe me, you’ll be grateful for the people who fought to have real food grown by real people, without chemical additives, close to where you live, so that you and your loved ones will have something nourishing to eat when you sit down at the dinner table.” Dorchester, MA

“Congratulations on earning Organic Consumers Association’s “dumbest quote of the week” . Organic consumers are not “dumb” - we simply are left with no choice in paying extra if we want wholesome, nutritious foods that don’t rot our brains or give us cancer. And by the way, it’s still cheaper than health insurance and medical care, thanks to legislators like you who favor big business and factory farms. Tell the FDA to do it’s job in protecting consumers, instead of excusing big business’ poisoning of the food supply. We’re counting on you - or we’re voting for someone else.”

“Congratulations! Your comment illuminates just how “dumb” and uninformed you are! Organic foods provide more nutrients than non-organically grown foods, not to mention that they are minus the toxic chemicals used as pesticides and herbicides, and hormones and antibiotics routinely given to meat animals whether they need them or not. Just take a look at the incidence of cancer, higher level of aggression among teens, and other illnesses that can be traced to these chemicals and hormones. My only solace is in knowing that you (and people like you) probably consume most of your food from non-organic sources, which will in time, lead you to chronic and potentially fatal diseases, effectively wiping you off the planet. Survival of the fittest at it’s best! So keep eating that stuff...”

“Sir, if you knew anything about nutrition and health, you would retract the statement you made.”

“I am shocked at your ignorance and disrespectful language toward Americans who are more health conscious and more environmentally responsible than yourself. Local and organic produce is better for the local economy, better for the environment, and healthier for consumers. Are you sure you are a Democrat?”

“Organic food is the best and smartest way to keep ourselves and the world healthy. Anything else is an abomination.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, My family buys locally-raised, organic and/or grass-fed meats whenever we can for many reasons. One main reason is that we feel that climate change is a serious problem and we need to reduce the carbon footprint of our lifestyle. The food we buy represents a big percentage of our impact on the planet. If you take climate change seriously you should learn a bit more about the amount of energy that it takes to feed this nation, before you state that we are “dumb” for making our choices.” Berkeley, CA

“FYI: In this area Organic beef is about the same price as the crap contaminated with the growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics that are poisoning our country. Thanks for the laugh!! You sound like one of those idiots from the other party!!” Myrtle Beach, SC

“Your comment recently regarding spending on local and organic beef was truly unbelievable. I am simply a consumer and don’t wish to feed my family factory farmed been injected with hormones, fed beef fat, and a diet of corn that makes them sick (given they are intended to eat grass only). Maybe you should do a little more research on the differences between beef before you make comments that make you seem ill informed and not very intelligent.”

“Organic Consumers are Smart, Not Dumb. There IS a difference - many, in fact - between conventionally grown food and organically grown food. We understand Government tests have now shown that more food can be grown on the same amount of land if it’s grown organically. Also that organically grown food is more nutritious. That’s no news to us. We grow organically and have done so for almost 50 years. The proof is in the eating. We suggest you try eating some organic produce yourself. Also we suggest that hereafter you think - or do some research - before you speak.” Oakdale, CA

“How can you not know the difference between conventional and organic food? Your state is full of farmers. I think it’s incredibly pathetic that you got elected. It’s a very sad reflection on the people in your district.” Park Ridge, IL

“You should remove yourself from the agricultural committee now for your stunning level of ignorance and while you’re at it resign from congress as we have more than enough dumb ass members.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: My husband, age 90, and I, age 82, are not dumb. Instead, we are healthy and vibrant seniors, thanks to organic and locally-grown foods. My husband has just won seven gold medals in the local and state Senior Games finals. You might look in the mirror and see a person who may not attain our age and then determine who is dumb.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Contrary to your statement, organic consumers are among the brightest, politically proactive, most forward thinking people in the nation. We vote with our dollars to support industries that implement environmentally friendly and fair labor practices. The use of organic alternatives to toxic chemicals for fertilization, insect control and food production provides greater health, balance and nutrition and assures that future generations will benefit from an enriched earth with its natural biodiversity intact, and which has not been denuded of its natural properties through overuse and chemical inundation. It is abundantly clear that waiting for the government to exhibit some common sense, political, economic or otherwise, is a waste of time. Current government support contrives to drive the consumer to unnatural (unhealthy) alternatives by lying about content, misrepresenting or omitting information about potentially harmful ingredients (such as GMO), and funding organizations whose primary goal focuses on immediate and rapid profit regardless of negative health and environmental impact, unfair labor practices, and the consequences to be born by the next seven generations. The FDA, originally designed to ‘protect’ the consumer, is a joke. I suggest, sir, that you expand your knowledge of the reasons behind grassroots support of sustainable farming and energy. Otherwise, the ‘dumb’ supporters of earth friendly practices may decide you are obsolete.”

“Dear Collin Peterson, some people on this planet care about the foods that we put in are bodies and obviously you don’t or else you would know why we pay more for organics. We suggest you spend a little energy looking into how non-organic foods are polluting are planet and are bodies in more ways than you can count on your own hands. Get with the program and stop being so ignorant.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson; You might care to educate yourself more carefully before passing judgment. Your expression does not inspire confidence in your ability to serve as chairman. Best wishes,”

“I’m am certain, Mr. Petersen, of the intelligence of consumers that buy organic products...as I am also certain of the stupidity of the people that are, so called, running this country. You are an ignorant representative of what is the worst in our society...our social leaders. Please step down for the better of all humanity and the planet, you are a disgrace to America, land of the FREE.(?)” Muscatine, IA

“Mr. Peterson, Wow! You’re comment regarding organic and local produce was pretty amazing! Commercially grown produce is full of pesticides that deplete our soil of all its natural nutrients, cause cancer, and wreak havoc on our estrogen levels. Maybe we can’t all afford to pay more for organic produce, but we make the sacrifice to try and live a healthier existence in this toxic environment created by people whose only concern is capital gain!! Remember when there was no name for organic produce because everything was grown in Gods good earth the way it had intended to be? I don’t! Organic farming is the ONLY way to grow. Companies like Monsanto are killing our children! Wake up!!” Monroe Twp, NJ

“I would like to tell you why people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local.’ We do it for our health. The pesticides, preservatives, and genetically modified organisms in conventional food are contributing to a health crisis in America. We do it for the earth. The pesticides and fertilizers used on conventional foods are polluting our earth and water supply. The genetically modified organisms are spreading genetic “pollution” around the country, mutating our precious plants. Most of all, we do it because we know you and our other Representatives in Washington are not representing our best interests. Our government is not looking out for our health by adequately regulating the foods we consume. We are taking matters into our own hands to control what we put into our bodies, and our loved ones’ bodies.”

“Wow! Talk about dumb! If you care anything at all about your children and grandchildren, I urge you to get educated about what is sustainable, and what cannot be sustained.”

“I run an organization for people with cancer (depressed immune systems) and am chemically sensitive. To me, and to our hundreds of thousands of constituents who want healthier food, organic and local make sense. Our overly processed food supply has lost its taste, much of its nutrients and it shows in the health of our citizens.”

“I am extremely disappointed in your attitude towards organic food. I think you should do some research into residual pesticides on food products, and the environmental impacts of large-scale non-organic farming. An under-educated representative does our party little good. Organic consumers are not dumb. We are highly educated people. You were offensive and rude. Please apologize and educate yourself.”

“Mr. Petersen, After reading your statement about organic food consumers being “dumb” I can only say that I think your eyes cannot see nor your ears hear anything I might say to explain why that statement is not only offending but ridiculous. Perhaps you are ready and able to count the number of people who will write objecting to your un-informed statement.” Hot Springs Village, AR

“Dear Rep. Peterson. Whoosh! How out of touch are you, man? The only political people who don’t see the value of food grown the healthy way don’t have taste buds and/or are in the back pockets of the agriculture industry that feed Americans chemical soup with a smile. Those of us who can afford to eat healthy food will continue to support Organic foods and will fight to keep that label clean. You get a real dunce award for your “hallelujah” comments calling those of us who believe in caring for our own bodies and our planet as dumb. Duh!”

“You have never had a hyper child or been chemical sensitive, have you. If you had, you would know why so many of us require unchemical laden products. Shame on you for calling us dumb! You need to do your homework and see what some of the side-effects of chemicals are.”

“Dear congressman Peterson, Thank you for once again proving that our politicians are not much more than the puppets of the corporations and big business interests that contribute to their campaigns. I think your winning the award for dumbest quote of the week (congrats, btw) from the Organic Consumers Association is a reflection of your philosophy, and who pads your pockets.” Seagrove, NC

“Dear Collin Peterson, As a life long Democrat I find your understanding of Organic foods and farming to be grossly lacking! Please stop ALL price supports to ALL farmers! And, stop ALL price supports for ethanol! The feeds for my animals have gone up 70% in one year! A concerned citizen!” Delhi, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson, While politicians may be lagging behind, consumers are beginning to have a conscience. We are willing to pay more for organic and locally produced food because we know it’s better for our bodies and for our environment. We no longer can feel good about buying pesticide-laden food that has been trucked hundreds of miles from our homes when there are alternatives. I think it’s disgraceful that these foods should be more expensive because it means that people struggling to make ends meet cannot afford them. Instead they have fast food restaurants on every corner in their neighborhoods offering 49 cent hamburgers due to the large subsidies given to the factory-farm meat and dairy industries. Please enlighten yourself as to what your constituents, and the rest of the country, want.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Due to subsidizing mostly large agribusiness, organic, sustainable and local independently owned farms rely on selling their products at higher prices. Hence, those who are most concerned about the health of their fellow man and the environment have no choice to pay higher prices. The system is backwards. Lobbyists for big agribusiness are creating an environment where smaller farms and organic farmers are having a more difficult time swimming upstream. Lets return to a celebration of America’s true hero, the small farmer. I encourage you to retract your statement and recognize the importance of small farmers.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As a parent and mother of four children I find your statement concerning local food and price appalling, offensive and startlingly full of lack of insight. As a neighbor to MN, land of 10,000 lakes, we are choking in the industrialized farm landscape with degraded water and air quality. Des Moines waterworks treatment plant boasts the largest nitrate removal system in the world. Children’s asthma is increasing every year. While many government officials hide behind the notion we need more studies to change production methods our children’s health, recreation and quality of life decline. Life is not stopping to wait for study results. The federal government should be supporting and celebrating the individuals and businesses that strive to maintain quality and integrity to the production of foods. Environmental degradation has a price tag for all people. This is a non partisan issue. I continually scratch my head at the finger pointing when we all suffer from poor quality food, water and air. We are to congratulate you for the dumbest quote of the week. Instead I pine for your family and constituents. The crass nature and shortsightedness of your comment are shallow and your grandchildren’s children that will have that ghostly comment in their closets. Good luck.” Des Moines, IA

“If you consider me dumb because I don’t want to buy contaminated, heavily subsidized, unsustainably produced food so be it. Think about where your food comes from next time you’re enjoying a hamburger that was potentially contaminated with e-coli bacteria. Hamburger created from cows that are forced to eat corn because it is so heavily subsidized by the government that factory farmers feed it to animals that are not designed to eat it. Cows that have been treated with hormones and antibiotics to fend off diseases created from eating a non-natural corn based diet. Food that has been trucked across the country using unrenewable fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide. But why would you care about that - you probably don’t believe that global warming exists. Keep living in your bubble, and I will keep on being “dumb” . Dumb in Maine”

“The organic and local types are simply THINKING about the food they eat and this is reflected in their buying interest. Your statement indicates a need for you to think a little more as well. The people you’re talking about VOTE and, given an opportunity, will replace those congressmen who OK continued direct payments to fat cat large farmers.” Houston, TX”

“Please step in front of a mirror when you call someone ‘dumb’.” Sullivan, ME

“Clearly you can see the hypocrisy in your comment. Organic Consumers are those of us that do our research and understand the implications of government and Monsanto intervention into farming!” Austin, TX

“Dear Collin Peterson: Why do people pay more for local food? One, because they want to support their community. Two, because they understand that it doesn’t make sense to spend money and waste energy to send a carrot across the country if you can grow one locally. And three, perhaps they enjoy living and raising their children in a community with farms, for aesthetic or other reasons. I personally would much rather live near farms than near shopping plazas. Why do people pay more for organic food? Because they’ve read up on the subject, they’ve read about endocrine disruptors, they’ve read about links between pesticides and behavioral problems in children, brain development, and other issues. They aren’t willing to take a chance with their children’s health, or their own. You really need to be more educated on this subject. If people are paying more for something, there are reasons. Wake up. It’s called voting with your dollar. Ipwich MA”

“Mr. Peterson, I strongly urge you to take a step back from the podium and think about the comment you made about organic and local food. Even Consumer Reports has agreed that some products are worth the extra money. In light of all the recalls today, most recently the recall of child’s cold medications, I do believe the FDA and USDA are not quite as trustworthy as we are led to believe. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that consuming products that have less pesticides and being able to meet the person you buy the food from should be safer. I think it is quite frightening that someone in your position could make such a closed minded, blanket, need I say STUPID comment. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Sir: Do you really believe it’s dumb to buy local? Better to use up a lot of petroleum transporting vegetables from California to Maine? THAT’S what’s pretty dumb in my book. And doesn’t the Agriculture Committee believe in supporting farm products and farmers in their own states? What kind of farm support do you call that?” Belfast, ME

“Your comment about organic consumers was really DUMB. Organic products are free of pesticides, have more vitamins and do not pollute the environment as factory farms do.”

“Dear Chair Peterson, Were organic agriculture to displace conventional farming, it would cause a reduction of 70% in greenhouse gases, according to the Rodal Report. Conventional agriculture has had the effect of producing bee colony collapse - a large portion of our food supply depends on the health of bees. Furthermore, the theory that the current epidemic not only in autism, but in a number of other mental disorders in children is due to newly available funding, and “shift in diagnoses” has been proven to be false - these mental problems are due to organic injuries or developmental abnormalities induced by something in the environment. Could it be the neurotoxic pesticides? Hmm. Dumb persons and the persons who want to control global warming, protect the food supply and avoid brain damage in their children are two different kinds of persons.”

“It is not “dumb” (perhaps you meant to say “foolish” ) to vote with their dollars for agricultural methods which are beneficial for both the environment as well as their own health, let alone the improved flavor and thus pleasure of eating organic produce. It is possible that you simply have not yet had the opportunity to learn the distinction between conventional and organic. Please do so before making such harsh and uninformed statements.”

“Honorable Representative Peterson, Even though it may seem “dumb” for consumers to pay 2 to 3 times the going price for organic or “local” labels for beef and other produce, there must be a reason for it. I don’t always buy organic products, but occasionally I do. This is because I like the fact that pesticides, hormones, and non-sustainable practices were not utilized when producing these products, and that they were produced locally. Sometimes I will pay the extra money, depending on what it is. So, please support these products whenever possible. Thank you very much for your important work in the House of Representatives.” Maplewood, MN

“Dear Rep. Peterson: I read your recent quote regarding the “dumb-ness” of people paying more for organic produce and other organic products. I have to say that this was an extremely uninformed comment, and a very surprising one from someone entrusted with educating himself about how best to protect the quality and safety of agriculture in this country. I would strongly recommend that you find out WHY people feel it’s important to buy organic, especially during this time of countless recalls and e-coli outbreaks. You just might discover that the old saying, “You get what you pay for” applies when it comes to organic. And whether or not Congress sees fit to help the organic industry, wouldn’t it behoove you to investigate this sector that has a steady growth rate and commitment to quality?” Redding, CA

“I think YOU are the leading candidate for the clear and present danger of stupidity with your flip remark about organic foods. Apparently you love the hormones and antibiotics in your meat and in and on your produce. Clearly, they have gone to your head.” Gulf Breeze, FL

“As a consumer of organic food, I am quite distressed by the federal governments lack of funding and disregard for such practices. Instead, large scale factory farms are implanted across our once pristine landscape poisoning our groundwater, our fields and our people...and those like you continue to help destroy our land. I choose organics because I don’t want cancerous pesticides and herbicides decimating our natural world and eventually reformulating in our bodies as CANCER. Thanks for nothing. (By the way, I vote Democrat.)”

“Rep Collin Peterson I am a native Iowan - 28 years. I have lived in Oregon for an additional 26 - I am a rural person. Farming is not what it was when we were children. I can remember farmers spreading manure on their fields. Now they spread cancer causing chemicals. Some of us don’t want to ingest food raised like this, nor animals that stand in a containment building or feedlot in their own waste all day and need antibiotics just to survive. That’s why we eat organic. It is very simple. We want to eat food from nature, not corporations. Food is for nutrition, not corporate profits, regardless of nutritional quality or safety. Think about transfats introduced in the 70s to prolong shelf life. Now we know they clog our arteries. As a representative of a farm/rural state and chair of the House Agriculture Committee, I urge you to educate regarding organic farming and our food supply..”

“I am a cancer survivor and organic food is keeping me healthy. In the two years that I have been eating organic food, my constant headaches have gone away, my seasonal allergies that have bothered me most of my adult life have disappeared, I no longer get colds and sinus infections. My family is also reaping the benefits of good quality food. I’m glad I don’t live in your district, unfortunately you serve in a position that affects me and my family.” West Grove, PA

“Supporting local farmers certainly doesn’t make me or anyone else dumb. how do we ensure good quality, availability and keep farms local to keep development from becoming rampant in states like mine. I think you would be smarter to spend some time educating yourself to the true issues of agriculture in this country and part of that is not blatant support of factory farms but keeping individuals in business for the safety and health of your constituents and the other citizens of this country sincerely” Bordentown, NJ

“Dear Dumb Congressman, I am very pleased that someone in Washington has finally outlined where they stand on the issue of organic consumers and agriculture. By labeling myself and others as dumb to pay more money for fresh, nontoxic food, indeed you may be doing a little self reflecting on your own behalf. PS The Europeans are way ahead of us on this topic. That’s why they won’t allow the importation of some American food products. Another reason why it would be helpful for you to understand this issue..” Humble, TX

“Ignorance is bliss right? If you don’t know what’s in it, it must be ok to eat? is it DUMB to search out foods that have not been poisoned by pesticides or genetically modified? If so, then you go right ahead and keep getting the results you’ve always been getting. Your children and grandchildren will pay the price of your generations stupidity. Now THAT’S DUMB!!!”

“I do not agree that buying local and organic food is dumb. Organic farmers respect the land and their neighbors. The organic farmer to the north of my home does not emit the same putrid odor that the farmer to the south does. There is question with a connection to the spread of e coli also.” Randolph Center, VT

“Mr. Peterson, I am one of those “dumb” people and I take offense to your words and to your ignorance. Not only do I buy sustainable and local foods from my local farmers market, I also teach at a elementary school in our Life Lab Science garden and since reading your quote I am even more thankful that I have this job. I’m teaching our young kids to ignore uninformed, ignorant people such as yourself and to appreciate where their food comes from. They are learning the difference between local farming and big agribusiness (factory farming). These will be the next generation that will fight corporations, and people such as yourself. They will vote with their money and it will be for the small farmer who farms in a sustainable way and is part of their community. Until there is a balance between the big federally subsided mono-cropping, chemical-using farms and small sustainable farmers and until people like yourself no longer hold this office I am more than willing to pay the higher price for sustainable produce and meat. I am also proud to teach about it to the next seven generations to come.”

“I can’t believe you really believe the statement you made about eating organic and/or local. That is just too stupid!”

“Dear Congressman Peterson: It’s a shame you choose to insult people who actively promote a different, more healthy and sustainable way of producing food. I suppose you believe that anybody who cares enough to take the time to make informed choices is a simpleton. Why go through the trouble and expense when agribusiness will take care of all your thinking for you? Your efforts to derail any substantive reform in this year’s farm bill are a disgrace. We may be fools, but at least we have integrity and an active desire to make the future better. You, on the other hand, have what you want: the undying gratitude and campaign contributions of the farm lobby. Congratulations!” Santa Monica, CA

“I read of your remarks about organic farmers not needing help. In order to compete with heavily subsidized agribusiness, organic farmers need all the help they can get. Your characterizing people who pay more for organic foods as dumb is extremely insulting to those of us who care about what we put in our bodies.”

“Mr. Peterson, Your recent comments regarding organic food are most unfortunate. As chairman of the agricultural committee, it is clear you do not understand the current crisis that confronts our country. The toxic accumulation of chemicals, fertilizers, and pollutants in our soil, water, and air is affecting every American. Each of us knows someone with cancer. The “Western Diet” has been a well documented cause of hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac disease. The way we produce food needs to change. Each and every one of these chemicals ends up in our air and water supply and back into our homes. We are all frustrated with the current political climate. We want individuals who are protecting our rights to clean water and food, not the status quo of protecting “big business” . We need individuals who are educated about the current crisis and health issues at hand. You are right about one thing, that we should not have to pay extra to have the chemicals and additives removed from our food. A wave is crossing the country and it is clear we need a change from the status quo, a new guard that will fight to protect the right of individual Americans.” North Haven, CT

“Thanks for being a jerk.” Staten Island, NY

“Mr. Collin Peterson, I am sorry that you are unaware of the health risks of eating food that is contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones and other things that are hazardous to human cells. The health risks include such a vast array from food intolerances, to migraines, to Multiple Sclerosis to infertility to cancer and many diseases in between. I understand that you would not want to believe that it is possible that it is legal to poison our food supply and that we are forced to pay EXTRA for food that is not poisoned. I agree - it should be illegal to poison food and then we would not need labels such as Organic that cost more, our food would be grown and processed in a healthy way by all growers, farmers and ranchers. I am sorry that you put your foot in your mouth and called people “dumb” when you actually had no idea what you were talking about. That is very foolish. We are all human however and have all misspoke a time or two. I hope that you will apologize to those people who are more educated about Organic than yourself, and also forgive yourself for speaking from ignorance and therefore coming across offensively. Also, being that you are a Chairperson for the House Agriculture Committee, I highly recommend researching the horrific effects of poisoning our food - on the people and animals that consume it, the people who grow it and even the environment it is grown in. The studies and evidence are overwhelming. It is hard to face the ugly truth and you will find things that you do not want to find, but then you will have the evidence you need to change the state of things and create a healthier cleaner world for so many people. Thank you for your time.” Bellingham, WA

“If a person is “dumb” because they choose to support local farms/businesses, as well as reduce the negative impact of “conventional” farming on the environment and human health, then I am proud to be “dumb” . If organic farming had the same government subsidies that “conventional” farming does, there wouldn’t be such a difference in the pricing. I think it’s exciting that so many people are getting “dumber” and joining the local/organic movement.” Maple Valley, WA

“Colin Peterson, You need to get in touch with reality on this issue. People are quite correctly and appropriately willing to pay more for organic and local product. This is much more that a food issue - it is all about health, sustainable farming practices, the environment, and restoration of the family farm. When big corporations become involved in farming their only motivation is the bottom line profit, with little or no concern for the environment. With the environment so in danger from chemicals, over farming and the resulting pollution, these practices need to be discouraged. Your denigration of those people who show a consciousness and concern for the food they consume and the environment has to raise a serious doubt as to your fitness for the position you hold. You need to change your thinking to reflect today’s needs and attitudes, or let someone else who is more in tune with the times take over the position. You have to ask yourself who is really the “dumb” person here”

“I think it is a sad thing that our country’s Agriculture Committee chair does not have a greater knowledge of the benefits of supporting local and organic farmers. It strengthens communities, decreases use of fossil fuels, enriches the health of our soil, brings neighbors together, brings people closer to their food source, supports sustainable systems, etc. And what do we get from large government subsidized monoculture “farms” (there should be a new name for such examples of conventional agriculture, as they in no way resemble the farms consumers think they are) ? We get cheap food - but really what is the true price of that? We pay for it through depleted soil health and compromised personal health because of pesticides and pollution from agricultural runoff, as well as an enormous waste of fossil fuels used in the process of growing produce and livestock in such a way that depends upon petroleum for pesticides, fuel, feed, and transportation over 100s or 1000s of miles. So some may argue it really is much more expensive than keeping your food locals local and purchasing wholesome, fresh foods for our families. It certainly isn’t a government concern that those who cannot afford such foods will be left out - if that were the case the government would be subsidizing those people’s food spending and not huge agriculture. What is dumb about eating fresh? We spend less on food in this country than any other industrialized nation and we have the health problems and obesity to show for it!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, How did you get to be a congressman, let alone chairman of agriculture? I don’t know what companies have paid you extra to say the things you say, but I pay extra for Organic food so that the farmers are healthier, not having to use pesticides, and so are the all the local people, flora and fauna. Buying locally also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, and I’ll explain to you since you might have a hard time understanding, the more CO2 and other fumes from automobiles there are, the more unhealthy we are, from Asthma to Cancer. Just thought I’d share a little insight with you even though you called me and millions of other good people dumb. Oakland, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Contrary to your opinion, organic consumers understand that when they buy organic or local produce they are paying the complete price - all costs included. And they are getting healthy, non-chemical, non-antibiotic food. The low-cost prices we pay for non-organic foods is misleading, because it doesn’t include all the cost. Our antibiotic, hormone laden foods are producing super-bugs like MRSA, and causing children’s puberty to start years younger. Do your research before your spout your opinion and show your ignorance. We live in the 21st century - get with the times! Sincerely,” Brenham, TX

“When consumers are educated as to the benefits of eating organic food, I believe organic will become a more common choice, and we can rely on organic being the norm and pesticide laden food becoming the alternative. I treasure the few months in the summer, where I get to grow my tomatoes, peppers, carrots and herbs in my pesticide-free garden.” Savage, MN

“Far better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” Southwest Harbor, ME

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Congratulations on receiving Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. It seems that you need to re-educate yourself on the health benefits of organic and local produce. This just might decrease the high cost of health care by allowing people to have healthy food with nutritional value and not the empty, chemical infested foods that our government not only condones, but subsidizes so the rich can get richer. Again, congratulations - it should get the award for the dumbest statement of the month.”

“Dear House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson, Just after reading about Cargill’s recall of ground beef, I read your quote about organic and grass-fed. I am happy and healthy to be a “dumb” consumer of organic and local foods.” Fredonia, NY

“Dear Collin Peterson: Congratulations on receiving the dumbest quote award from the Organic Consumers Association! People who have the intelligence to care about their health, eat organic and support the farmers that produce these foods. It’s unfortunate that the government, and leaders such as yourself, are ruled by companies that could care less about the public’s health and are only interested in their own profits. I urge you to support organic farmers!”

“Not only is truly organically grown food healthier for human beings, it tastes a hell of a lot better than what Monsanto does for food. You should try it and then you would see to it that the family farms who grow organic food deserve more help than they are getting”

“Agriculture is not some bottom level, get it done any old way business. It produces the food we eat. Far be it from me to understand why anyone would be willing to eat food produced without regard for the way it is grown. But if people are dumb enough to eat that stuff then hallelujah.” Northborough, MA

“Congratulations, Mr. Peterson, for so effectively demonstrating your utter and complete ignorance with respect to organic foods and free-range/grass-fed poultry and beef. Firstly, the difference in price between standard and organic food is usually less than 10%; sometimes, organic food actually costs LESS than the standard equivalent. Secondly, regardless of the difference in price, organic food (not just food labeled organic, but food that was actually produced using organic standards) does not contain the harmful toxic ingredients that standard food does, nor is organic food produced with toxic pesticides, harmful antibiotics or any genetically modified/engineered organisms. In case you aren’t aware, all of those things - toxic ingredients, toxic pesticides, harmful antibiotics and genetically modified organisms - are all detrimental to human health. Indeed, based on your statement about people being “dumb enough to pay” for organic food, and considering the fact that organic food does NOT cost 2-3 times as much as non-organic food, combined with the fact that standard, non-organic food contains toxic ingredients and is produced with toxic pesticides, harmful antibiotics and often contain or incorporate genetically modified organisms, I and any other reasonable person could rightly conclude that you are dumb for not knowing these facts, as well as for making such ridiculous statements in light of these facts. Perhaps you should take the time to properly educate yourself regarding organic food, as well as grass-fed beef and free-range poultry before making statements that are patently false and so demonstrative of your undeniable ignorance. Considering that you are the chair of the House Agricultural Committee, I would’ve expected you to know this stuff already. The fact that you do not already know this, despite being the chair of the House Agricultural Committee, is cause for great concern, and completely undermines my confidence in your leadership capabilities.” West Hollywood, CA

“Dear Rep. Peterson, it is very narrow minded of you to make such an ignorant statement ,that buying organic is dumb. Guess who the dummy is. I will continue buying local or organic especially for my 4 year old grandson. I was in the apple business for years and understand the effects of using herbicides and pesticides. More tax dollar should be spent to promote organic farming. Even our lame duck President prefers organic food .Probably the smartest thing he does. Maybe your next term the voters will vote you out. Have an Organic.”

“We pay expensive prices because there are no healthy, inexpensive alternatives. The US gov’t continues to prop up corporate factory farming regardless of consumer preferences.”

“Please take some time to educate yourself on organic food, as well as learning about pesticides and the harm they can do both to the environment and people. Thank you.”

“I don’t appreciate being called dumb by someone who doesn’t have even the slightest concept of environmental stewardship.” Whitmore Lake, MI

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Well I have to admit how ironic it is about what your said “Far be it from me to understand what that’s about,” which I take it you don’t even know what dumb means for you to call people who pay more for better nutrition dumb? I’m willing to bet you don’t even understand how the body works at the chemical level and how our body absorbs and deals with whatever we put in it or that the government puts chemicals in the air to weaken our immune systems. Yea, you don’t know about that right although why would I want to call you dumb? INGNORANT YES. At least you won an award for your very smart quote by trying to put others down when you are the one who is ignorant. Oh that award is the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Since you are so un-dumb I’m sure it is obvious to you why you won that award and if not you probably won’t ever get it. I just can’t believe my ears and it always amazes me at what comes out of a person’s mouth, like your self, has such arrogance. The degrading part on the other hand I actually get it since I realize the likes of you are very selfish and all about the money with no real respect for others and need to put other down to feel better about your self and don’t deal your own issues. That is like the bully on the school yard or this administration. It will always boggle my mind. Have a good day sir.” La Puente, CA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Thanks for considering us consumers of organic foods to be dumb-or that it’s beneath your level of understanding. You did study agriculture as well as public relations and nutrition before you made that statement, yes? Or did you just open your mouth and say the first thing that came to an empty mind? I hope your farmer constituents vote you out of office. You don’t deserve the role of leadership. And we grow organic foods for our health here at our Alabama farm.” Boaz, AL

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I appreciate being referred to as dumb, “if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah” Hampstead, MD

“DUMB?!!!F U. You APPEAR to be the stupid idiot, but I suspect differently. I believe you are an Illuminati/Nazi traitor to humanity, doing your part to implement the agenda of the slavery/destruction of humanity, as decreed by the CFR/TLC/Bilderberg Luciferian scum. Prove me wrong...”

“Hey Mr. Smartie Pants, Grassfed beef and organic and local food beats the heck out of eating food produced in China or boxed hamburgers. Grassfed beef contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is really good for eating up body fat in our obese society, not to mention that buying local food not only supports farmers in my state, but eliminates the carbon footprint of travel needed to get to market. What were you thinking making such careless comment? From one of your dumb people from Minnesota!” Minneapolis, MN

“Hey Collin, When your sick in the hospital and can’t figure out why, remember organic food didn’t help you stay healthy. I haven’t been to the doctor in more than 10 years. How about you?”

“Dear Sir, It is unfortunate that, in your position as the chair of the agriculture committee, that you do not realize the health and ecological benefits that come from organic agriculture practices. At a time where the country’s physical and environmental health is failing, I hope that you will take the time to educate yourself on this issue-for the sake of your own health, the health of the country’s children, and the health of our planet. As a political leader, the country looks to you to make sound decisions regarding the future of our country, and organic farming will help to ensure a safe and healthy future. Thank you for your time.” Washington, DC

“Perhaps you’re not aware that conventional farming is poisoning the planet, and poisoning your children and grandchildren. Organic farming has different priorities. Lots of love, Joey.” Miami, FL

“It’s saddens me that someone in your position is so uneducated in the difference of grass feed healthy beef and the alternative. The term ‘dumb’ does not apply to those who buy the beef it applies to those that don’t.”

“How one can be so colossally ignorant of organics is beyond me. So uneducated. Do you like being perceived as such?” Port Orchard, WA

“Dear Mr. Peterson: I guess you would think that it is “dumb” for people to pay more for organic food. However, there have been numerous studies which say that organic is better for us and the earth. If we continue to grow food with endless amounts of pesticides, this earth will become unlivable.”

“In response to your comment: I do not consider myself “dumb” for spending more money on food that will not poison me through consumption like conventional, non-organic food. I eat food that is organically grown less than 100 miles from my home, delivered in a bio-diesel fueled truck. If more Americans could educate themselves instead of continuing to believe the words of ‘officials’ who only have the almighty dollar in their best interest, perhaps we could stop polluting our planet, our minds, bodies and spirits.”

“Buying organic and local is smart, not dumb. It makes sense to buy produce that has not been sprayed with poisons and that is raised locally. Transport of produce adds to our pollution and uses oil and gas for transportation. Cleaner air should be a priority for government. And, the organic farmers should be subsidized as long as our taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize corporate farming and chemical companies. I can’t believe that government can’t use logic when it comes to feeding Americans. I wonder who is really dumb.”

“More people are buying organic, local and grass fed beef because they care about the health of their families and the environment, not because they are dumb. And anything that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, like buying local should be viewed as intelligent if not downright patriotic!” “Sequim, WA

“I’m writing in regards to your statement about organic beef. I’m insulted that you feel my decision to not want my children eating food that’s pumped full of chemicals is ‘dumb’. I would love to not have to pay more for grass fed cows. Perhaps if the government helped organic farmers I wouldn’t have to go bankrupt trying to keep my children healthy. I could just send them to McDonalds everyday and watch them become obese. Then I could watch them become a drain on our health insurance system as they need constant treatment and operations for their poor health. I believe I deserve an apology for your offensive statement. I’d appreciate a response in regards to this matter. Thank you.” Jersey City, NJ

“The issue here is food quality, not quantity. There is also the matter of sustainability: techno pesticide farming isn’t and organic farming is. Plus it’s more democratic to support the millions of small independent farmers than a few corporate farmers, which is what recent farm bills have done. If you would consider something that would benefit a greater number of people, please think about distributing funds to a greater number of small farms and curtailing any and all funding for unsafe, unlabelled GMO crops. Thank you.”

“Mr. Collin Peterson, You insult a growing number of Americans (possibly one in five now) who believe that organic, local food is better for people, better for local economies, and easier on greenhouse gases (with diminished need for transportation). Our numbers will continue to keep growing, and the major food markets know it. I say Hallelujah if the smartest people in the country are taking charge of their health by discarding old, processed, degraded, bioengineered, nutrient-deficient food that over time can cause a host of diseases well known in developed countries, and they are only now spreading to developing countries as they are seduced into a “modern” diet. People with good diets based on fresh food grown without poisons, pesticides and inadequately-tested frankenfoods, do not generally get the diseases that are dogging the health of American citizens which causes health care costs to soar. We are healthy people taking charge of our own health and the insurance companies are starting to reward us, as we need less medical care. Nutritionists find that retarded intelligence is linked to long-term nutrition deficiencies. That is a fact. Follow the dollars from food, health, and medical costs, and THEN tell me who is dumb. To your health” Seattle, WA

“It is frightening that someone in such a position of leadership as yourself could be so incredibly uneducated and small minded as to make such a comment about the value of an uncontaminated food source. Perhaps this will embarrass you enough to research this vitally important avenue, and take actions to stop funding the chemical and genetically modified farming that is killing the American people, those to whom we subject our gross “surplus” , wildlife on land and sea, and the very planet itself. Please wake up and be responsible.”

“Mr. Peterson: Have we met? No. So I must say, how dare you! For you to make such a rude comment about my willingness and desire to financially support local businesses and make healthy choices about the food I eat is evidence of your lack of knowledge and expertise in the areas of commerce and the benefits of real organic farming. I am insulted that you deem my support and choices as dumb. Mr. Peterson, since you are the obvious expert in this situation, and I am sure there is an opportunity here for me to learn, would you share with me your reasoning for not supporting small businesses in my state. And, please, tell me why you think I should not eat organic food. Would you also share with me the names of food products that you personally purchase and a brief explanation of why you choose to support those suppliers? I am also curious to know what the House Agriculture Committee is working on. Would you please send me information about the most pressing issues that are facing your committee and any other materials you think would be of help to me in my desire to learn about how decisions are made that affect the U.S. food supply? I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Business at Cardinal Stritch University (Magna Cum Laude). As an adult student, I am capable of comprehending university level material so please do not be conservative with the level or quantity of information you provide. I have never received correspondence from someone practicing politics before so truly and sincerely, I look forward to your response to my questions. I will hold my congratulations to you for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the “dumbest quote of the week” until I hear your reply. Thank you.” Oak Creek, WI

“Dear Mr. Peterson, You just don’t get it. That point is obvious from your comment that organic consumers are dumb to spend more money to buy food that is raised without pesticides/humanely raised or that comes from local farmers. I would like to know what is stupid about paying more money for food that is more nutritious (there is plenty of research to show that, but I am sure you wanted dare read it). I would like to know why wanting to support our local economy by buying from farmers in our area is stupid (I am sure the money you get from big agribusiness makes you a fan of doing away with small family owned farms). Please tell me why wanting to buy locally in attempts to minimize the negative effects on the environment is a bad thing. As the chairman of the House agriculture committee, you should understand these important issues and not just be a shill for the huge corporations which are destroying our family farms, hurting our food supply, and forcing consumers to find better options in organic/local foods. Do a little research and wake up.” San Jose, CA

“We have poisoned ourselves with antibiotics in animals and pesticides on fruits and vegetables. The cancer you or your family will get, is from the crap you have eaten. We are killing the human race with poisons. Thank you for being another dumb politician.” Durham, NC

“You have displayed a degree of ignorance that creates a new low, even for congressmen. We pay for a more pure and less chemical laden product.” Martinsburg, WV

“Mr. Peterson, You really should take a few moments to educate yourself on what organic means. It means no chemicals such as pesticides and it means no genetically modified organisms and it means farming in a sustainable way. It is you that is ignorant if you are not aware that this is healthier for the human body and for the health of the planet and all forms of life. It is time to get with the times old man!” San Rafael, CA

“Well Mr. Peterson, As a single person who is scraping by week to week and is willing to pay extra for organic and local food, I’ll give you my reasons why. Organic food has less in it that exacerbates my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. My digestive system does not react to genetically modified produce. My endocrine system is not negatively impacted by hormonally treated milk and dairy products. I by local goods as much as possible as opposed to getting “cheap” goods at a local Wal-Mart or other big-box store. I consider it an investment in my local community. I also pay extra for fair-trade items. I would rather my hard-earned money go to another hard worker getting more of a fair share of it than to some sweatshop owner or someone killing the less privileged with chemical pollution. I hope that enlightens you to how dumb your statement and views are! I also hope that this new enlightenment might lead you to make a positive difference in your representative position.” Springvale, ME

“Please review the health facts of pesticide use. Thank you!” Issaquah, WA

“Historically, consumers have paid less for more pesticides in their food and subsequently in their bodies. This added stress to the body leads to break down of various cells and it is part of the reason we have such high health care costs and loss of productivity in this country. We need to give more thought to where these pesticides and fertilizers are ending up - in our water, in other animals such as fish. Are the long-term taxpayer costs really worth it? Beat wishes to you and your family,” Virginia Beach, VA

“You just don’t get it. You're just another idiot who lied their way into office.” Dale City, VA

“WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!! You are an elected official whose job is to be informed. This statement let’s me know that you are not keeping abreast of what’s going on in an area in which you are supposed to have some knowledge so you can REPRESENT ME, an American citizen! What gets me is that you are also A DEMOCRAT!!! I would expect this kind of stupidity from a republican but am dismayed that even the democrats of Minnesota are electing public representatives who are so clueless as to make a statement of this magnitude. Find out why we choose to eat organically and locally and then make a statement and policy based on information not ignorance.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson: You clearly have been too close to the Republicans for too long - you now sound like them. Concord, MA

“Congratulations for the dumbest quote of the month. You beat out President Bush. I urge you to learn about a subject (such as organic foods) before calling others dumb for purchasing organic foods. I certain am not dumb for paying more for organic food. Apparently you are showing you stupidity when you don’t mind dumping toxins, pesticides and poisons into your body. Who is the dumb one? I am 69 years old and in perfect health. No illnesses, diseases, not overweight, take no medication or drugs.” Henderson, NV

“With your comment regarding organic food, you appear to be uninformed and judgmental. Uninformed people should not chair committees.”

“I resent your attitude towards a difficult choice I make to put the health of my family above cheap, non-nutritional and potentially health-damaging food. More Americans would switch to local and organic if they could afford it. Government support for locally-grown and/or organic foods would be a tremendous help to families!”

“Collin Peterson, You are as dumb as dirt!!!” Ewa Beach, HI

“When you called consumers trying to help sustain their local economy ‘dumb’ for buying organic, locally grown produce you simply revealed your own ignorance. If the value of supporting sustainable farming practices has to be explained to you, you have no business being in office. One can only hope those same ‘dumb’ consumers will be smart enough not to reelect you.” La Conner, WA

“I have been a lifelong Democrat but I’m reaching the end of my patience with this “do nothing constructive” party. I guess it’s time for me to eschew both major parties and vote green or progressive. How anyone can believe that synthetic chemicals are good for the body and organic products are not is beyond me. You might as well take the next step and publicly state that global warming is not influenced by mankind.”

“I’d like to congratulate you for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. You and a number of other members of the House and Senate have little if any respect for the people you are supposed to represent. I will do everything in my power to replace you and your ilk with truly qualified people.” Phoenixville, PA

“Mr. Peterson As a Minnesotan I am shamed by your recent comment that buying ‘local’ and/or ‘organic’ is ‘dumb’. I’m sure the Minnesota farmers, that you purportedly represent, would be dismayed to hear that buying their products is dumb.” Mpls, MN

“Please know that organic consumers are not dumb. Our govt has allowed Monsanto to pollute our food for years. Why? How in the world did they get so much power? Are they supplying money to campaign funds? The large majority of Americans do not want genetically altered food, foods with high fructose syrup, chemicals, etc. When will you stop them? How disappointing to hear someone in your position calling a large number of Americans “dumb” .” Irving, TX

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Congratulations for receiving OCA’s dumbest quote of the week award. However, it really frightens me that you are that far out of touch as to why people are willing to pay more for organic and/or locally grown food. Maybe if you take your head out of the asses of the major agri-businesses, you might get a clue. These major companies do not care that they are poisoning our food, land and water, as well as, driving small farmers out of business. They also support the countries problem of illegal immigrants. Wake up dude! I don’t want GMO chemical laden foods going in my body.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Your ignorance is astounding. As an educated individual, it is clear to me that representatives such as yourself have sold our country down the drain. Our food and environment is full of chemicals and un-natural additives. It might be alright for you to expose your family to cancer causing products, but personally I won’t. You should be ashamed of yourself for your ignorant ranting. I am embarrassed that you represent our country.” Teaneck, NJ

“It is important to understand the benefits of organic - quality produce, free of toxic chemicals, nutrients not compromised, friendly to the environment - a sustainable approach to farming. Do you consider such benefits devoid of value?”

“Mr. Peterson, Thank you for providing further reason for citizens of the United States of America to lose faith in the ability of congress to do the right thing. Your quote that paying more for quality demonstrates a lack of understanding of the issue. People will pay more for local and organic produce because it is healthier and less detrimental to the environment. The non-organic mass producing farms that you subsidize produce poor quality food that in a large part contribute to the health crisis facing our nation. A diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables would go a long ways towards solving the health crisis. And, removing subsidies from the foods used to produce nutritionally poor food(corn syrup, white sugar, etc.) would contribute to people seeking out other more healthy foods, as they would then be comparably priced to the poor foods. Please reconsider these factors before making any more comments on the issue because comments like the one you made only make you look foolish.” Newport News, VA

“You must have your head in the sand to be dumb enough to not know the advantages of buying locally and buying organic. And you must have your head REEEEELY deep in the sand to make quotes bashing the consumers that are paying your salary... oh wait that’s the big corporate farm paying your salary... my mistake. We know it’s too late to ask you to watch your actions, but at least act like a grown-up and watch your mouth.”

“It is not dumb to want to eat hormone free meat that has not been routinely fed antibiotics in a closed confined shed. It is not dumb to oppose agricultural practices that allow the antibiotic and hormone laced feces to be injected into agricultural land where the toxic waste leaks into the surface water by drain tiles in the field or percolates into the ground water we drink. What is dumb is government subsidies to large corporations in the name of supporting family farms. What is dumb is a farm bill that caters to corporate lobbyists by including the requirement for all animals to have a chip implanted (NAIS). As the chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, I would expect you to be more informed about agricultural practices that are harming consumers.”

“Thanks for calling Organic Consumers dumb for trying to keep ourselves healthy and not put toxins in our body. Glad I do not live in your state.” Sachse, TX

“The foolishness of your remarks are shocking. When the USDA has enough inspectors to eliminate all the antibiotics in animal feed, Mad Cow Disease and e.coli bacteria, we won’t need to worry. Meantime, Organic tastes better, and is a lot SAFER!!”

“Dear Rep. Peterson: You referred to people who are willing to pay more for organic food as “dumb.” I’m one of those dumb people. First, I raise an organic garden without chemical fertilizers that pollute the Mississippi River and create the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and I appreciate commercial growers that don’t contribute to this problem. Second, people charged with a crime may be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but that’s much too risky a policy to use with chemicals that get used in massive amounts or with biological technologies that blur the line between species - even kingdoms - in the name of commercial viability. If it’s dumb to have those concerns and to be willing to voice those concerns with my money and my time, then count me as dumb. By the way, I’m patriotic, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-security, pro-second amendment, pro-law and order, and otherwise conservative by a whole host of measurements. So don’t chalk up my concern about chemicals and gene-splicing to just another Left Coast lunacy. By the way, I take the fact that COOL hasn’t happened as evidence of the corrupting cash flow that dictates such an anti-consumer stance. Blessings” Oxford, MS

“Dear Rep. Peterson, I am one of those citizens dumb enough to pay more for organic or locally grown food. I feel happy that I am paying for food that has been sustainably grown, hasn’t traveled thousands of miles using expensive fuels, and using petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides that poison the environment and decrease the quality of the food. If you are happy supporting corporate farms and NOT the small farmer, so be it. Don’t assume you know everything until you’ve done more research.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I have read your comments about people who choose to consume local and organic food. I don’t think these people are the “dumb” ones. If you do not understand the benefits of organic and local food consumption, you are not well-informed about health issues, environmental issues and principles of sustainability. I have serious misgivings about your ability to offer wise and effective leadership to the House Ag Committee, and to act on behalf of the health and concerns of the American people you are paid to represent.” Columbus, OH

“Rep Collin Peterson, In attempting to assimilate the quote from MSNBC.com Financial Times 10/17/07 and ascribed to you, several thoughts occurred to me: No one is willing to pay more for something LABELED “organic” . But many, myself included, are willing to pay more for food that IS organic. Is that still dumb in your view? Of course now that there is a huge market, there will be companies that will take advantage and label pesticide, herbicide, steroid-laced and/or antibiotic-laden food with the “Organic” label. These companies should be prosecuted. Can I count on you to support prosecuting companies who engage in fraudulent labeling? I sincerely look forward to your response as soon as possible within your schedule. Thank you,” Kihei, HI

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. It’s quite interesting that your comment reflects your ignorance on what “organic” means. I’m disappointed that the agriculture committee chair is clearly one-sided when it comes to what consumers want. Being an intelligent person like myself, I choose NOT to eat foods grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals that clearly “kills” the soil, the water, birds and other living creatures.

Please take a course in organic farming and then you will be enlightened as to why so many consumers are willing to pay more for food grown organically. I would prefer that all food would be grown organically! Thank you,” Denver, CO

“Wow, Chairman Peterson, you truly sound like the DUMBEST representative of the Agriculture Committee I’ve ever heard. Shame on you and your lack of knowledge of the benefits of eating local and organic. Perhaps you need more education before putting your hoof in your mouth again...” Makawao, HI

“Your comments about organic produce and locally produced food shows either your ignorance or your support of large agribusiness at the expense of sustainable agriculture. You are truly a dinosaur in your thinking. The American people deserve an Ag Chair that is more visionary and forward thinking. It is clearly not you.” Redondo Beach, CA

“Mr. Peterson, “dumb” would be more appropriately applied to your comment about people being willing to pay more for food free of dangerous additives and which has not had to be transported long distances, thus saving on our very scarce fuel resources than to those of us who are the wise consumers buying organic locally. However, I must say that your comment IS most appropriate for an appointee of this administration. And, God forbid, that the small organic farmer should get any help with his/her costs of growing food.” Flagstaff, AZ

“Organic farming prevents farm workers from getting cancer, makes the soil better for the long run, and keeps poison out of our water. And it tastes way better. Local food is great because it helps my local economy and cuts down on the nation spending an insane amount of money on fuel to ship food all across creation. I buy organic and local food as much as possible and never pay more than twice the amount for it. For me, it’s totally worth it.”

“Congressman Peterson: Just for future info, consumers are willing to pay the price for excellent sources of food, be it local, organic, etc., for a very good reason....preserving our natural health and saving resources! Let alone supporting local farmers and the local economy. Why should seasonal produce be shipped here from Mexico when my local farmer grows it down the road? What a needless waste of gasoline etc. There is such an overwhelming demand for these products farmers can’t keep up. There would be very little need for fed aid to farmers if politicians like yourself were more educated in the need for acceptable healthy food for our nation instead of the chemical-laden, genetically-altered junk-food grown today. Maybe you can kill two birds with one stone. By supporting organic farmers, you can resolve our nation’s degenerative health crisis at the same time.” Williamsbay, WI

“Buying organic food is far from “dumb.” What is “dumb” is that people are forced to pay two to three times as much for chemical-free, sustainable food because the government and the organizations that represent it (FDA) put the concerns of business and economics ahead of health issues.” Austin, TX

“It is beyond me how you would be so willing to alienate a vast percentage of your constituents by making such an obviously uneducated remark! I expected that you, as a member of the agricultural committee, would have at least made an elementary- level attempt at educating yourself about organic products before inserting your foot so far into your mouth.” Granite Bay, CA

“Mr. Peterson, I have small children and I prefer to give them food and milk grown organically where possible. Organic food is grown without spraying pesticides on it while it is growing. (or food the cows, hence organic milk) You may say that it is dumb to pay more for this type of food, but think about it, do you really want to eat or feed your grandchildren chemicals?? I don’t believe all of the chemicals ‘wash off’. Do a little research...I think you will be a happy that you did. :) Draper, UT

“If the USDA were doing its job and inspecting our food (all of it, not 1% or less as it currently does), I wouldn’t feel compelled to pay 2-3 times as much for the safe and healthy food.”

“Mr. Peterson, There are quite a few of us out there who care about the consequences to our health that comes from eating man-manipulated foods that in some ingenious way promote sickness and produce profits for Big Corporations, Big Pharma being just one of them. Quite frankly, I am rather insulted that you don’t seem to understand (when, in fact, I think you do) the connection between eating dead, chemical laden “foods” and the ever-growing incidence of chronic diseases. Healthier choices are being offered in many places now, for example, your local grocery store. Its not a fad, its common sense and its catching on, big time. Also, its not that we want to pay that much more for healthier foods but that we understand it will be much more costly to pay for being in ill health in our later years. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” . It would be most helpful if you politicians who are suppose to be elected by the people, for the people, and of the people, would do just that and stop being so self-centered.” Elm Grove, WI

“Sir, The fact that you do not understand organic consumers does not give you the right to criticize them. How much money and benefits have you received from rewarding non-sustainable interests? Tell me you haven’t and perhaps I can revise my opinion of your actions and comments.”

“The people who purchase organic and local food are incredibly intelligent. It is unfortunate that you don’t know enough to realize that. If you took the time to learn more about organic and local farming you would understand it’s importance.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I am one of those “dumb” consumers who invests in my family’s health by buying organic foods. Let me list the reasons I “waste” my money on these products: 1. Research has shown that foods grown organically contain significantly more vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. 2.Beef raised organically does not contain artificial hormones which can contribute to weight gain nor antibiotics, which can cause sensitivities and allergies from exposure. Antibiotics’ wholesale use in animals also contributes to the development of “super bugs” which are resistant to drugs. Further, organic methods are more humane for the animals and allow them to enjoy some quality of life before their slaughter. 3. Eggs produced organically contain higher levels of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. 4. Organic farming practices conserve soil, reducing topsoil loss and contributing to better crops in times of drought. They also prevent toxic chemicals from entering our fresh water sources. These commonly used herbicides and pesticides have been shown to cause developmental delays, learning disabilities, miscarriages, cancers, immunosuppression, hormonal disruption, and neuron damage in humans. They are also responsible for deaths and birth defects in fish, amphibians, and reptiles exposed to them. I personally want to keep these animals around, as they help control insect pests such as mosquitoes. 5. Locally grown food reduces the use of oil for transportation and is fiscally and environmentally more responsible. 6. These farmers must depend on the higher prices because our government will not do its part to support their superior methods of agriculture. 7. Last but not least, organically grown food has SUPERIOR TASTE! Now, perhaps, you can explain to me why Congress is “dumb” enough to pour billions of dollars into the pockets of large agribusinesses whose practices poison our water, torture animals, cause untold damage to our health and environment, and are gradually depleting and destroying the topsoil of our great “breadbasket.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, I don’t understand why eating pesticide-, herbicide-, and GMO-free produce is “dumb.” The current industrial process of using millions of pounds of chemicals is unsustainable in the long term and is perpetuated for the short-term profits of a few companies. Have you tasted organic produce before? So, congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week.” Portland, OR

“Dear Sir: Having had the opportunity to read your comments about the market prices for organic and local foods, one can only conclude that you are either 1) extremely ignorant and near-sighted in regards to fundamentals of organic land management and the related benefits to society, or b) you are simply a lackey for “big” intensive agriculture. It frightens me that such a limited person even holds public office, let a lone being a Chairperson. Your comment was a disgrace and frankly deserves an apology.” Danby, VT

“Dear sir: I want to congratulate you for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. It shows you do not have the smarts to do your job.”

“Representative Peterson, Your recent comments to the Financial Times are shocking in their ignorance. I would strongly suggest to you sir, that as chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, one should trouble himself to understand the reasons thoughtful and intelligent people are willing to pay more for healthy food.Is there any more wiser an investment than in one’s own health? I should also suggest that you took the time to join the Organic Consumers Association, and subscribe to Organic Bytes, the twice monthly newsletter. There one might learn about these issues that you are seemingly having trouble to comprehend. Lastly sir, in all seriousness, to whom is more deserving the title “dumb” ? Consumers making intelligent choices, or the chairman of a committee who freely admits “For whatever reason” and “far be it from me to understand” ???” Richmond, CA

“I understand that you made a comment about organic produce, grass-fed beef and local foods that most people who care about what they eat find ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that you actually said something negative about organic produce and worse that you called me dumb. Please tell me that your quote was taken out of context? Otherwise, the rest of us are missing something here- we’re supposed to enjoy pesticides and added growth hormones and we should give these things to our young children and feel good about it-is that right? Are you calling the people who are educated about the foods they consume dumb? Shame on you!” Honolulu, HI

“Your point, that it’s just plain stupid to pay more than you need to for anything, is well taken. I guess it’s like why pay all that money to doctors and pharmacists when you can get medical care and home remedies from Gypsies for half the cost or less. Hallelujah Brother!”

“Peterson, you really do suffer from the same ignorant hubris that bush and the rest of the cabal ruining our country are exhibiting. You political miscreants are not representing my country in any way shape or form. It is only a matter of time before you g.m. modified food munchers begin to transform genetically into something preposterous,, oh sorry you lot already have!!!” Santa Barbara, CA

“You’re the dumb one, and you’re closed minded. If you can’t understand why consumers are willing to pay for better food and a better environment, it’s because you have chosen ignorance over facts.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are ethical consumers. Can you understand ethics? Or are you too dumb?”

““Far be it from me to understand what that’s about” ??? and you are chairman of the HR agriculture committee ??? - tell me what is THAT’S about? You make he ashamed to be an American! I can only hope that you will be defeated and gone from the House the next time you stand for re-election! - No doubt you will then revolve into some agribusiness lobbying job where you will continue to do more damage to America, but, thank God, not as much as you’re doing now!” New York, NY

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Do you think about what you are going to say before it comes out of your mouth?”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. As a registered nurse who is also an oncology certified nurse (OCN), I know that cancer is caused by the chemicals and hormones put into our food. I GLADLY pay more for organic produce (I don’t eat meat, even organic) because I know that my risk of disease is decreased by eating food that is true to nature, not from an industrialized farm with chemicals. Congrats on your narrow thinking.” Little Rock, AR

“Dear Rep Peterson; It is amazing that you sit on the Agriculture Committee and know nothing about why people buy organic and local food. You could do a much better job and improve the lives of Americans if you took the time to educate yourself and talk to Organic Consumers to find out why. We are willing to pay extra to help keep the momentum for SUSTAINABLE Agriculture alive. We can’t continue to sustain the growing population with huge factory farms using huge amounts of resources and polluting the environment with pesticides. States are already scrambling for water rights and losing wildlife species. You need to look long term and at the big picture. What will you do for your kids and grandkids and all of the future generations of Americans? Please stand up and do what is right for America!! Otherwise, you are the one that is dumb.” Minneapolis, MN

“Dear Representative Peterson, Regarding consumers of organic products being dumb, I would suggest that you do some additional research.”

“Mr. Peterson, I am torn between the desire to applaud your honesty and my chagrin at your recent retraction. You can’t candy coat manure and change what you said. It is always refreshing to hear a bureaucrat make an honest statement. As an organic farmer for over 20 years I know just how much, rather how little support the USDA and congress has given to organic agriculture. You are so reliant upon the corporate-big-chemical-ag pipeline for support that you can’t see the forest for the trees. I would not expect you to be a visionary nor even interested in anything so tedious as small family farmers. You inhabit the halls of congress. I begin to think that that puts you as far away from the American people as it is possible to get on the planet. So, when you make an honest statement, at least have the balls to stand by it and don’t insult our intelligence by trying to make nice. At least we now know another impediment we have to surmount to be able to provide wholesome, nutritious, and delicious food to the people we grow for. Too bad you can’t be recalled like the tainted chunk of meat you are.” Montague, NJ

“Maybe you enjoy filling you and your family with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and chemicals, and then also wonder why there is so much disease happening to younger and younger people. I suggest you read more about what this country’s food supply is doing to the average American.” Novi, MI

“If you don’t start doing something now about organic farming and eliminate pesticides, then you’ve seen the last of the bees. You’ve been warned.”

“It’s ignorant to not support true organics and local products. Apparently you don’t mind the pesticides, artificial fertilizers and other chemicals that eat away the health of every cell in your body over time... and maybe you aren’t blessed with young children or grandchildren. If you were, you’d not want to risk another brain or nerve-altering chemical entering their mouths.”

“I think that anyone presently working in Washington is dumb, particularly anyone that thinks genetically engineered food and fertilizers are healthy, and I hope we get all the dummies out in November 08. In the meantime, you might try an experiment and see how long it takes for a mouse fed only genetically engineered food to die. Don’t experiment on us.”

“Mr. Peterson, Organic consumers are not dumb! We are buying organic and/or local food because we know the benefits that decision has on both our bodies and our environment. Supporting local farmers is the better choice as it cuts down on vehicle emissions, helps your local economy, and in the end you as a consumer are eating fresher produce than something that’s been sitting on a truck and in a refrigerator for days! Get your facts straight please!” St. Charles, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Are Americans becoming healthier? We are the fattest country. Could we focused on nutrition and not on “dumb” decisions/laws that favor the private sector and not the people of US. Read, eat healthy and enjoy health, if not for yourself at least for the future generations like your grandsons. That is your responsibility.”

“Regarding your comment about people being dumb enough to pay more for local or organic food-I don’t even know what to say, the obvious would be that that is a dumb statement. It’s pretty simple, I’m willing to do what it takes to help insure the health and well being of the planet, myself, and my community. I think buying local is most important, and the taste of food that hasn’t been transported across the country is far superior to anything you can buy grown by conventional means these days. Have you eaten tomatoes in the grocery store lately? It’s like eating sand. Expand your eating horizons, it’ll be good!” Austin, TX

“Dear Chairman Peterson: Buying organic and locally grown produce is good for the environment and the economy. You should be promoting and supporting it not criticizing it.”

“A ridiculously ignorant comment.” Washington, DC

“Mr. Peterson, Before uninformed, inconsiderate and greedy people like yourself started tampering with animals and crops everything that was raised or grown was organic. It took eons for humans to evolve to need to eat what people like you have perverted in a mere 100 years. It is not difficult to surmise whose pockets your hands are in.” Harwich, MA

“Collin, Your ignorance, if it hasn’t already, will result in sickness from eating government funded and FDA approved chemically processed and pesticide laden foods. Humans are organic beings, they become sick trying to assimilate inorganic ingredients into their systems. WAKE UP, MAN!”

“Such ignorance as yours indicated in the recent statement you made is inexcusable. For heaven’s sake do some research on organic farming and it’s health benefits as well as benefits to our earth. Remember, don’t comment on something you obviously know nothing about. And you’re on the agricultural committee???????” Carver, MA

“Dear Sir, I don’t know what world you’re living in, but in my world “paying extra” for quality products and sustainable, non-toxic farming is worth it. You’ll ultimately be paying more in the form of disease, depriving your children of a thriving natural world, and universal justice. What goes around DOES come around. Take care of your world, and yourself, for everyone’s sake.” Charlottesville, VA

“. . . and people thought “Forest Gump” was dumb! In England, children do not have ADD or ADHD ~ why? easy! No food preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. I buy organic because I am allergic to sugar substitutes, high fructose corn syrup, and a lot of preservatives. I plant a garden and am planning to raise chickens fed only organic grains. NO WONDER we lead the world in obese people. Please sir, work to clean up our food and call me if you need any good quotes!” Leslie, MI

“Dear Representative Peterson As a consumer that pays more for organic food, I want to share with you that their value lies in my peace of mind. I’m confident that the food I’m purchasing from locally producing organic farms is something me and my children can consume without fear. The food is grown with high standards so I don’t need to worry about washing off carcinogenic sprays and pesticides, or gmo foods that may cause intestinal problems and effect my children’s allergies because I don’t know what it has been modified by. These local organic foods won’t be recalled. And if my children are the future and I want them to have a future, then it’s my responsibility to give them the best, even if it means spending more. A sick child is not worth a bigger bank account! Please, consider the children and support small organic farms. Thank you.”

“Apparently you are the one who is “dumb”, or perhaps ignorant is a better word to describe you. We pay more for organic and local food because we care, and apparently you don’t. We care about the people who grow and harvest the food and animals, about the water and soil, about the use of the earth’s resources, and about the welfare of the animals on the farms. Perhaps you should learn about the value of organic farming before making such ignorant statements, especially since you are the chairman of the Agriculture Committee. I’m embarrassed that a Democrat would make such an ignorant statement; I would expect it from a Republican.” Carrizozo, NM

“Rep. Peterson should ask himself why it is that the organic food market is growing so fast - maybe His Cleverness has missed something here? As a scientist, I know the difference between evidence and hype, and I eat organic.” Chapel Hill, NC

“Congrats on getting the dumbest quote of the week!! Organic food is only more expensive because of massive subsidies given to industrial oil-based food production in the US which is highly UNsustainable and WILL fail. All we eat is in the US is genetically modified CORN, wheat, and soybeans. For every 1 calorie of food energy at least 15 calories of fossil fuels went into producing it! Now THAT’S DUMB!!!!” Fennville, MI

“You comment about organic food consumers being “dumb” is extremely insensitive and rude. This means that you have very little understanding of what is happening in your own area. You should apologize.”

“I am incredulous that someone in your position is so clearly and obviously ignorant about the connection between how and where our food is grown and the health and well-being of the people who eat it. OR you are so motivated by the almighty $ that you really don’t care about the welfare of the people you are supposed to be representing. You need to get your head out of the sand and join the 21st century. The huge agri-business corporations actually WILL NOT RULE THE WORLD, in spite of people like you who have been duped and paid off by them.”

“How can you sit on the agriculture committee when you apparently don’t know the first thing about real farming????” Punta Gorda, FL

“Obviously you are so uninformed. It might be a good idea to educate yourself before opening your mouth with an opinion.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Excuse me?!? I guess I am one of the “dumb” consumers willing to pay for organic, locally grown food. I believe, for a variety of substantiated reasons, that it is better for me, for my community and for this planet. It is a sad day that people in the position of power such as yourself, would not be able to understand the importance of local communities being self-sufficient, of our air, soil and water, not to mention our bodies, being free from unnecessary and toxic chemicals. It would be wonderful if this farm bill would support those small farmers, the heart and soul of our community and country, who provide us with sustenance be supported at least in the same way that agribusiness is supported. It’s a travesty to think that this is not the case. What are you people in Washington thinking? Cincinnati OH

“Congratulations for receiving the Organic Consumers Association’s Dumbest Quote of the Week Award! You have proved, once again, how far out of touch the Democratic party is with the majority of the American people. By the way- most registered Democrats are the people “dumb enough” to seek locally grown and organic produce. Maybe you don’t mind your food coming from a far off land with no regulations, but most of us “dumb people” prefer to know where our food comes from and how it is grown, and YES- our health is worth the extra price. Kudos to you for your award, Mr. Peterson. Maybe it is time for you to step back and re-evaluate your position on organic and local produce.” Belton, TX

“I am one of the “dumb” people who buy organic food. I am only 64 years old, but several of my nonagenarian friends in North Carolina have been doing it for over 30 years. I can assure you that any higher cost for organic food is marginal (never two to three times), and by shopping local organic farmer’s markets and flea markets, frequently it is less expensive. Finally, I challenge you to fund a toxin accumulation and tissue impacts study program comparing the livers and other organs of persons who have existed on organic diets for at least three decades against those who have not, such as yourself.”

“Excuse me, your ignorance is showing. I’m one of those “dumb” consumers who will pay more for locally grown and organic food. I’m a 51 year old woman who has been “dumb” like this for about 30 years. Food that is grown without pesticides is healthier - for me, for the farmers, for the birds and the bees. If I buy food that is grown locally, I am supporting farmers in my area so that when it becomes completely impractical to ship food across the country or around the world (and I believe it will), there will be farmers in my area. I consider every purchase of organic or locally grown food a vote with my dollar for the kind of agriculture that makes the most sense for our health and for the health of our planet. It’s unfortunate that someone so short-sighted is chairing the House Agricultural Committee. It’s really not that complicated. I think if you spent a little time studying this issue, you might be able to positively impact national farm policy.”

“Wow, I’m disappointed that my family is from the great state of Minnesota. I’ll have to tell my grandmother not to vote for you anymore. It’s any wonder I’m a member of the Green Party with Democrats saying things like you did. Very sad.”

Not wanting to increase my chances for cancer or mad cow disease is dumb? Where’s the beef?

“Mr. Peterson, I buy organic, and I’m not dumb. I’m actually more educated about this topic than you apparently are. Why don’t you take the time to meet and visit with some real organic farmers (not bogus organic companies like Horizon, who are only in it for the 200 percent markup and who don’t really live by the organic philosophy) and find out what it’s all about? Why don’t you apologize to the millions of organic consumers like me, who were offended by your tone-deaf comment, and who buy organic produce because we don’t want to feed our kids toxic pesticides and artificial hormones and who buy local because we want to support small farms, minimize our carbon footprint, and leave this earth a better place than we found it. You clearly represent the corporate agribusiness interests. I guess it’s too much to expect that you might understand why organic (true organic, not faux USDA organic) is important to some people. Shame on you. Shame on you.” Jackson Heights, NY”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Congratulations to you for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Contrary to your opinion, we are intelligent consumers who value our health. We don’t want to eat food laced with genetically mutated growth hormones and other insidious chemicals. You are a disgrace to the Democratic party. Remember: Tis better to be silent and thought a fool then speak and remove all doubt. You have certainly removed all doubt.” Trenton, NJ

“I can’t believe your comments came out of the mouth of a Democrat! Wise up!”

“The only thing dumb regarding organic practices are the statements coming out of the Bush administration. Fortunately, at this point in time the bush administration is ignored.”

“So does it make more sense for people to want to spend their hard earned money on cheap food products made with artificial ingredients? Way to go Mr. Peterson!” Newport News, VA

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson, While I may not mean anything to someone in your position, being that I live outside of your voting consortium - it is this “old school” mentality that comments like yours makes me proud to be a product of a newer and improved generation. I look forward to the day that true progress takes it’s seat in politics and the rest of the country can begin to move forward with better nutritional information, products, and values. Please, do us all a favor and retire - or better yet, read the ingredients of the packaged and over-processed foods you eat, and then read the ingredients in organic foods. Perhaps you’ll learn more than the bottom line of your grocery bill. Our country was founded on the belief that people have choices, options, and alternatives - it’s a shame you never learned to use that right properly and better your nutritional education. It’s never too late to learn, I suggest you give it a try.” Chicago, IL

“You need to educate yourself before saying something as stupid as you did!” Sarasota, FL

“It is unbelievable that the House Agriculture Committee Chair could be so narrow minded and ignorant. Have you never taken a step back to examine the true cost of food? It is hardly black and white and strictly about the bottom line. Consider for a moment the energy costs, the damage to the soil, the ground water and air pollution, insustainability of large scale commercial farming, and on top of all of that, the government subsidies. “Cheap” food definitely has its costs. Add it all up and the costs become closer to “dumb” organic, local farming. As representative of the citizens of the United States take a moment to look at the bigger picture. If you can’t muster the creative energy to truly entertain another perspective, please do us all a favor and consider retirement because your lack of insight is of no service to the consumers of this country. I don’t mean to insult you, I only mean to challenge you to remove yourself from your position and interests and truly and candidly look at the food industry. Have a nice day.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson: I think it is time you tried to educate yourself so you can understand what is important about buying organic and locally grown food. If it does cost more than other food (never two or three times), that is probably because it is not subsidized like other food.”

“I really resent you calling Organic and local consumers dumb. I don’t buy organic and local products just because they say ‘organic’ or ‘local’. I buy organic products because they don’t use harmful fertilizers and pesticides which harm the environment and the animals including insects in them and because they do not genetically modify anything. I buy local because it supports local farmers and the products they make are much higher quality then the non local products. I would rather have a tomato that is fresh off the vine as opposed to a green tomato that has been artificially ripened off season that is significantly inferior in taste. Consumers who buy non-organic or non-local foods are the “ignorant” ones not organic or local consumers. Actually non organic consumers are more “uninformed” than anything else. If people knew what they were eating - they would not buy it.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, By being critical of those of us who prefer our foods without heavy doses of pesticides and hormones, you only demonstrate your own ignorance of the subject. God help us when we have folks like you involved with our food!” Wrightwood, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I find it difficult to believe that a man of your stature isn’t up to date on the benefits of the organic movement. When a child comes into this world with 200 toxic residues in his/her system, many of them from pesticides, then I would encourage all potential mothers, children and adults that want to lead healthier lives to spend a little bit more money on food. Organic foods and local farming also reduces pollution that contributes to global warming. Please read up on the many other reasons why this country needs to shift their focus from toxic food chain items and chemicals to natural, local produce. Perhaps you enjoy taking all those medications and having to grow old visiting a doctors office several times a month. That’s your prerogative but our children deserve better.”

“I’m willing to pay more for my health, but it’s not fair. Scientific studies are showing that nutrients are higher in organic fruits and vegetables. Not to mention they taste better! Free-range animals make for tastier meat too. Maybe if you tried it, you would understand. Maybe you should be a little more open-minded.” Chicago, IL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As a New York State Licensed health care practitioner, an author about healthy eating and an organic/ local foods consumer, I write to let you know that consumers such as myself are not dumb. Many local and organic products do not cost 2-3 times more then conventional foods. I submit to paying a few cents more for my families food for reasons of quality and health. I’d prefer to spend a bit more today, then suffer health problems and spend thousands of dollars in doctor bills later, because our health has suffered due to eating chemical ridden foods, processed foods. I urge you to please do some more research by reading about the positive impact these products have on our health and society at large, as well as engaging in a dialog with consumers about these topics. Be Well” New York, NY

“I thought people from Minnesota were more informed than those from the South. You are one stupid idiot. Uninformed and most likely a dirty politician on the rolls of farm corporations. What a crooked moron you are! You give MN a bad name. We Texans hope you choke on your dirty money. Dallas, TX

“You’re absolutely correct, Mr. Peterson, I am dumb: Dumb enough to believe we can avoid poisoning our land and water, our children and our country. Minnesota and the world would be much better off if everyone had dumb attitudes like that.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Time to educate yourself on the benefits of eating organic foods to an individual’s health, to the health care system, to the environment and to the economy in general.” Pinellas Park, FL

“It is quite evident that you definitely use the same “learning resources” as the President to get your information.”

“We are not dumb, we care about where the food comes from that we are putting into our bodies, and we care about the impact that growing that food has had on the environment before it got to us. If only you and the other people in our congress were as “dumb” as we are, we might have some significant changes made in the way this country (at least the government) is (not) handling climate change! You should all be ashamed that the most significant changes being made are by local governments and individuals. We need leadership from the federal government on this issue!”

“Dude! You should do a little homework. Do you have any idea how toxic the average cow or pig or chicken is that is raised on a typical American farm? Antibiotics, growth hormones, stimulants, feed full of pesticides. Think about that the next time you take a bite. Your ignorance is stupefying!”

“Dr. Mr. Peterson, I am appalled that you would make such an ignorant statement regarding Americans buying organic food. I grew up on a farm in Nebraska and now I live on my own farm in Oregon. I left Nebraska because the chemicals used in the farm industry made me sick and I have watched it have an affect on so many people around me, unexplainable birth defects and mysterious cancer in the very young, middle-aged and elderly folks. It is ‘dumb’ that I have to pay a premium just to insure that there are no chemical residues in my food and the food my young children eat. Less is more?? No matter how dumb it seems to wealthy individuals who don’t have to worry where there next meal comes from, many Americans support the organic industry in order to indirectly minimize the use of chemicals on our land and to insure our health for the future. Think of the future of our children and grandchildren, do you think they will be able to remove these chemicals from the earth? Will they be harmed while working with these chemicals? I would think that a man in your position would be more thoughtful and educated on this crucial issue. I advise you to talk with real farmers who supply food locally to Americans (not food for making ethanol or soy oil) in order to find out what truly are the problems in the farming industry. I am talking about growers of apples, spinach, oranges, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, potatoes; all of the things I either grow or purchase at a premium price in the organic section of the supermarket. In order to afford these items I consume less clothing, paper towels, and other throw-away items. I can do these things and adjust my lifestyle because I am SMART. Seaside, OR

“It is beyond me how ignorant you can be about organic foods! Are you living under a rock?” Prospect, CT

“Dear Collin, I guess that is dumb to pay more not to eat pesticide-laden food, such as strawberries and broccoli. It sure is dumb to try to support small local farmers instead of giant agro businesses. How stupid of me!!” Chicago, IL“

“Organic is better. Chemicals in our food lead to illness down the road. Can you prove me wrong??”

“I hope you don’t plan on having a long political career if you’re going to insult those of us who make the conscious choice to eat healthy, chemical-free foods. I think those of you who don’t choose to eat this way are dumb for putting your health and the health of your families at risk. I will laugh at people like you when, down the line, we start seeing genetic mutations and horrible childhood diseases resulting from the contamination of our food supply.” Winter Park, FL

“paying more for local or organic food is dumb?” What planet do you live on? How can you have such disregard for our health and the health of our planet?” Grand Rapids, MN

“Dear Colin Peterson, Why is it dumb to buy local and organic food? Why is it dumb to support farmers in our own community or close by and to support farmers who are not poisoning the land and our water supply with chemicals? I really don’t understand why you would say such a thing. Could you enlighten me on the meaning behind this remark? Why am I dumb because I care about reducing our country’s dependence on fossil fuels?” Portland, OR

“If you still are curious about why people are willing to spend more money for better quality food, please purchase and read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. The book addresses the ‘dilemma’, or the answer to the question of “what do you want to eat for dinner?” . Following food from the laws that govern and subsidize its growth, through the fields to the processing plants, the book examines the hidden costs of food - costs to society, to individuals and to the land. This book may help you realize the implications of your decisions which you may not yet be aware of. Thank you”

“Your comments regarding people’s willingness to pay more for organic or local food being “dumb” shows a sincere lack of education on your part. Perhaps you could better serve the people of our nation by researching the benefits of local and organic food to the environment, to local economies, and to people’s health. My 8th grade students understand the principles of sustainable agriculture better than a United States government official. Perhaps NCLB is working after all...” Edgewater, MD

“Maybe you wouldn’t think it so dumb if you took the time to learn what it means to the people of America. I am glad you are not in my area because you would not get my vote.” Covina, CA

“Dear Peterson, Far be it from me to understand why anyone would vote for a guy who heads an Agricultural committee yet is clueless about the benefits of organic and local food. These foods, by the way, aren’t just “labeled’ organic and/or local, they actually are organic/local. But hey, if people are dumb enough to vote for that guy, then I, too, say “Hallelujah” .”

“Mr. Peterson, I don’t like having to pay two or three times as much for food that I know does not contain anything harmful, but I will. What I believe IS dumb, is that there are people who do not care what they eat even if it means that they might get sick in some way from it, even if it takes years for it to develop. We are not meant to eat all of the artificial junk that is put into food. That is not dumb, its smart.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Your ignorance about the healthy and environmentally responsible food production is just breath-taking! Keep it up Collin.” Atlantic Highlands, NJ

“You obviously have not suffered the pain some of us experience from eating food containing synthetic chemical ingredients, preservatives, pesticide residues, and even the toxics coming from various plastic wraps and containers.” Charleston, ME

Well congrats... your DUMB/STUPID statement about Organic food choices shows your lack of caring or understanding that PESTICIDES are POISION for humans & the environment. How can you say that ORGANIC is a dumb choice? Would you prefer to give PESTICIDES or contaminated GMO food etc to your family or Organic? Your typical of the blindsighted corporate minded dumb politicians that make decisions in favor of big business and their greedy poisoning business in exchange for $$$$ from their lobbying cronies.” Santa Rosa, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Your comments on the nature of organic consumers and those who buy local produce at substantial cost to themselves speaks to your lack of understanding of both environmental and ethical issues concerning food. As the chair of the agricultural committee, I would expect that you become a little more informed about these issues.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, Check your facts about the difference between organic and non-organic foods. Pesticides are responsible for increases in cancer rates - to say the least. Remember DDT - once believed to be safe. How long before we learn that the pesticides we now use are just as deadly? Educate yourself before you speak.” Naples, FL

“Far be it from me to imagine how someone supposedly intelligent could read all the data and come up with a conclusion that organic food is not worth the price. Also, far be it from me to figure out why someone who is, again, supposedly intelligent, and also a public representative could say something so derogatory about people in the US. Congratulations on your award! May you retire soon!” Ava, MO

“Mr. Peterson, Just when I think I can’t hear anything more absurd from a politician, I read this quote from you. Consumers are desperate to consume foods that are not genetically modified and sprayed with toxins. We are FORCED to pay high prices for foods that are healthier for us and our families. We pinch pennies here and there, to break out of the confines of ‘average American’ life, to seek healthier alternatives in every way. Why are we being punished for thinking for ourselves? We are the ones costing the nation LESS in healthcare, because we are staying healthy by eating right, exercising and utilizing alternative means of healthcare. You people on capital hill are the ones who are ‘dumb’, you consistently pass laws in favor of big pharma and continue to allow foods on the market that are killing the American public - yet you call us ‘dumb’. People are dying and costing all of us billions of dollars, because they trust politicians with their health. I’m appalled. Do us a favor, make it easier to get organic foods, do not punish the organic farmer - it’s just not right.” Saint Johns, FL

“Dear Collin Peterson, The old and proven tradition of inquiry, when one encounters people or situations outside one’s familiar frames of reference, is the acknowledged route of wise men. That you have become responsible for genuinely penetrating the truths of a situation you evidently know little about, without the wisdom of knowing how to relieve yourself of preprogrammed political benefits for the sake of the excitement of honest discoveries of what’s really what for the benefits of humankind, is the symptom of a power structure gone amok.” Bklyn, NY

“dear sir, I don’t appreciate you calling me dumb because of my consumer choices. I am sure you do things I consider dumb but I believe in diversity, and choice is a diverse thing. you are an elected official and should support not insult the people you represent. please be more accepting and supportive of people who don’t behave the way you feel they should. thank you.”

“Congressman Peterson, Regarding your recent public statement admitting your inability to understand why consumers would be ‘dumb enough’ to purchase locally-grown and/or organically-grown produce, as least you admitted you don’t understand. But along with your ignorance of the reason, did you have to qualify it by insulting the intelligence of the consumers? I’m glad I’m not a farmer from Minnesota and have a representative who can’t fathom the benefit to me (as a farmer) provided by consumers who are ‘dumb enough’ to purchase my locally-grown produce. That aside, if I were you, I’d be quite grateful there is a current writer’s strike, because The Daily Show, which revels in idiotic statements such as yours would devour it and no doubt devote an entire segment; indeed labeled: The Dumbest Quote of The Week. Congratulations. I often wonder when people in public office make such blatantly moronic and insulting statements, exactly how long it takes their staff to spin enough positive pr to remove that foot from their boss’ mouth? Sad. Very sad.” Jackson, NJ

“Dear Representative Peterson, it is my understanding that the cost of organic and local foods more accurately reflect the true cost of food, without the government farm subsidies. Please know that that many people are educated about what they eat and the relationship between food and health. Government food and farm policies over the last several decades have done nothing to support the health of the population. If government policies ever seem to truly support the health and well-being of the population “then hallelujah” . Carnation, WA

“Hi Collin, I take part in a CSA (community supported agriculture) program here. It is great. I get local, agriculture at a low cost. It seems you are quite ignorant and out of touch with peoples sensibilities. We don’t want GMO (genetically modified organisms) in our food. We don’t want to eat food imported from the other side of the world. You are an elected representative. Get some sense! You come off like an ignorant hick. For shame!!! I would never vote for you! JACKASS!” Montreal, QC

“Representative Peterson: RE: your recent comments that consumers choosing organic are “dumb” for being willing to pay for it - that you are on the agricultural committee, despite being so woefully lacking in any apparent understanding of the real world of health and food safety is what’s truly “dumb” . People who choose not to fill their bodies with garbage, and don’t want to support voodoo agriculture, are creating new markets beyond what you seem to offer. Perhaps more education on your part would allow you to catch up with those you feel are “stupid?” Portland, OR

“When interest in a topic is growing all around you, perhaps it’s something you should learn more about. I suppose you still think that people who believe in Global Warming are dumb, too (if not, I’ll put money on the fact that you once did). Your ignorance is showing, Sir. By making such comments, it is definitely you who looks dumb.” Wilmette, IL

“I find it extremely disappointing that the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee is too “dumb” to understand why individuals wouldn’t want to eat foods laden with pesticides or would prefer fresh/local produce.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, Have you read any books recently about eating organic or local foods and the health benefits it can have? You would be amazed to discover what happens when you begin to eat the way nature intended - and even when you “let food be your medicine.” Did you attend the American Grassfed conference over this past weekend in Austin, Texas? Have you met Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey? Do you care how the animals you eat are treated and raised before and during slaughter? Please consider educating yourself further on these issues - you have an incredible amount of responsibility to do so, for the sake of the health of the entire American public. PLEASE. I beg of you! Thank you for your time.” Austin, TX

“Collin, wake up! The dumb one is YOU! Educate yourself, won’t you? You have a responsible position to maintain, and you need to be impartial and knowledgeable as regards all aspects of agriculture. If you don’t agree, then you should resign and let someone who does care about our agricultural future take your place.”

“How can you be a member of Congress and be so ill informed? Organic food is to save our bodies from all the chemicals and eating local is to save the earth. Get with it and get informed.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson: Locally produced and organically grown meat and vegetable are totally different than mega-factory and chemically jolted food. You might take the time to visit a Tyson factory to really see how the majority of our mass produced food is manufactured. It may open your eyes to a different awareness to this subject. Thanks you for taking the time to read this”

“For you to say that people buying local and organic are dumb is dumb. Buying local and organic helps to support the local economy and farmers. My father is an organic apple orchard owner. His fresh, local, organic apples are better than the apples that are shipped in from other countries. Not to mention the pollution that is made from shipping things all over the place. You’re dumb!”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Your comment regarding consumers of organic and local food, and how “dumb” we are to pay extra for these foods, was indicative of complete ignorance of the problems inherent in conventional agriculture. I find it extremely discouraging that an individual like yourself, who should be knowledgeable about issues in agriculture, can so blatantly disregard the topic of organic and local food, which is so vital to the sustenance of our natural resources. Clearly, the fact that people are becoming more and more willing to buy local and organic despite the increased cost demonstrates that this is an issue extremely important to many Americans. So instead of brushing aside any mention of “organic” and “local,” and pandering to large-scale agribusiness, I suggest you begin to listen to the rapidly growing and important part of your constituency that is calling for widespread access to sustainable and healthy food. Thank you.”

“Congrats! You have won the OCA “Dumbest Quote of the Week” . For someone that has been chosen to represent their district, your choice to diminish the people who make the choice to consume organic foods seems the dumb part.”

“Ever heard the old saying” YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” ? Or “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH” ? (I would add, if there is, it won’t be fit to eat!) If the local farmer, and those trying to do what’s RIGHT would get a break, OR if big business would STOP getting all the breaks, there wouldn’t be such a difference in the prices, but as usual, “no good deed goes unpunished!” so those trying to do the GOOD for the public get shafted, while big businesses get helped and subsidized.” Fredericktown, OH

“Being concerned about the quality of food that we eat as well as concern for the treatment of animals and the care of the land is at the heart of the “movement” that you call “organic foods” . It is also about quality and nutrients in the foods that we eat wanting them to be free of chemicals and pesticides. Thank you and please consider having someone educate you on this subject. Remember how great fruit tastes when it is ripen on a tree? I would like my grand daughter to have that as one of her memories when she is you age!” Humble, TX

“You sir, are an idiot.”

“Dear Rep. Peterson: You statement regarding organic standards and products was ignorant and offensive. It frightens me to know that someone with so little knowledge is the House Chair on the Agricultural Committee.” Sunny Isles Beach, FL

“Hello to Collin Peterson, There are several reasons why I purchase local and organic foods. Local foods are fresher as they do not have to travel 1500 miles or more before I put them into my pantry which means they are fresher, fresher means higher nutritional value, higher nutritional value means stronger immune system, stronger immune system means better quality of health and wellness. Purchasing food locally also strengthens the local economy instead of filling the coffers of big Agribiz and corporations. Big Agribiz and corporations already get tens of millions of dollars in welfare from the government while small farmers get nothing but more regulation from the gov. I think it is dumb for the government to penalize small farmers and run them out of business so the corporations can increase profits.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson, Your statement about organic and local grown food show an ignorance of information about the studies done on the superior food value of organic and local fresh produce. If you would like to become more educated on these and other health topics go to Dr Mercola’s site at Mercola.com The information there may help you lead a healthier and longer life. All the best.”

“Congratulations on winning the “dumbest quote of the week” award from the Organic Consumers Association. Your way of thinking leads to cities of endless asphalt, monopolies, low quality food, a class system with a few elites and a large servant population, increased crime, loss of cultural heritage, and a world where biodiversity is low, and ruined communities. Have you ever considered the relative prosperity of Europe’s people? When we examine their lifestyles and production methods, we find ourselves to be behind. I work in sustainable city planning, and I can attest that when local communities are thriving, people are happier, and the country benefits. People sometimes think humans have become so advanced as to be above “nature” . However, every single resource you exploit is still a part of this planet. We aren’t that smart: We have already used up 60% of the usable resources available. There is a ball of plastic twice the size of Texas in the ocean between California and Hawaii. About 70% of the natural ecosystems on the Earth are in a state of collapse. Does that mean anything? Not if your only goal is resource consumption, personal satisfaction, power, and money. I am in my late 20’s. I an my children will be here after you are gone. We will have to reap from what you sow. Are you thinking more of us and your own descendants or yourself? In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations~ From The Great Law Of The Iroquois Confederacy I guess it was to be expected by a people whose mindset stripped the native populations out of the western hemisphere through guns, germs, and steel. We are raping the earth. It cannot go on forever. Have you ever heard of a carrying capacity?” Portland, OR

“CONGRESS AGRICULTURE CHAIR COLLIN PETERSON: PAYING MORE FOR ORGANIC OR LOCAL FOOD IS “dumb” You have to be kidding...are you paying attention at all? What world do you live in? A world of pesticides and corporate ag?”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, It’s astonishing to me that, as a Democrat and Minnesotan, you would lack the foresight and leadership to protect and support the growth of organic farming. Please reconsider the efficacy of your current stance” Bethel Park, PA

“Shame on you sir. We should all be willing to pay a little more for food that we know is produced safely. Food that won’t hurt our environment, the growers, the laborers, or the consumers. How much would you pay to keep your children safe and healthy? To prevent cancer? To have clean water and great fishing? These are just some of the benefits I am willing to pay a little extra for. I’m not paying for a word on a package. The government is supposed to be making sure of that, in fact. So please, do your job well, think before you speak, and remember that all that clean water, fertile soil, and great fishing that you might enjoy was paid for by people like me. People who care about the quality of our food, and our world. Not caring where your food comes from... That’s what I think is dumb.”

“I can’t believe that a person with such responsibility on the “House Agriculture Committee” doesn’t know what the hundreds of chemicals are doing to our food and eventually to our bodies. Representative Peterson, just go online and “google” words like “pesticides + estrogenic + danger” to find out the horrors of the chemicals we are spraying on our foods, our forests, our property and our bodies. Please wakeup and stop this identification procedure of all farm animals for every small farm owner while exempting the big agro-businesses who have such a lobbying influence with Congressmen who need funding for the next elections. Please educate yourself and change your own diet, otherwise like many others you will probably die of cancer or heart disease yourself.” Aloha, OR

“Sorry, Collin. I’m a loyal Democrat, but dumb is allowing Monsanto and other chemical companies to convince our Congresspeople, Senators, and Farmers that dumping millions of tons of unproven chemicals on our food supply is in any way justified. It is beyond dumb. It should be a criminal offense.”

“So you think that people that are willing to pay a little more for food that does not contain pesticides and other unhealthy things “dumb” . I guess that means you think we should feed our children and ourselves poison just because it’s cheaper. You, sir, are the one that is “dumb” !” San Miguel, CA

“It is Democrats like yourself that allow Republicans to win. Who’s the dummy?”

“How is it possible in today’s world for a member of the US Congress - a Democratic member! - to be as ignorant of the reasons people like myself buy organic, local food to protect our children from the ravages of chemical agribusiness produce that are now epidemic, diabetes, obesity, ADD, cancers, etc. The science is available to anyone, there was even an NPR show on this last week. Show us that you are not unfit for your position.” East Falmouth, MA

“I am not dumb because I choose food for my family that is not filled with unnecessary antibiotics or gene-altering pesticides. I am not dumb to choose beef from cattle raised on large, open ranges rather than in confined pens where their feed rests on the ground black with the animals’ manure. I HAVE to pay more for healthy food because the government supports the mechanized farming industry. Smaller, organic farms compete only by having an intelligent customer base that is smaller than those for mechanized farms. Buying local also means that my family’s carbon footprint and its reliance on foreign oil/fossil fuels is less than ‘smarter’ consumers who buy cheaper food. I say it’s the voters from your district who are the stupid ones, electing someone with such a limited world view and lack of basic knowledge about agriculture in our country. You’re fortunate not to be a representative from my voting district, because you’d have lost my vote.” Alexandria, VA

“Mr. Peterson: I find it hard to believe that you know anything about why people choose organic and/or locally grown food. Take a little time to learn about this complex and vital issue, affecting our national health and economy. If you do, I feel sure that while you may still possibly not choose organic/local food for your own family, you will definitely no longer be able to call those of us who do, ‘dumb’.” Priest River, ID

“Congratulations on receiving the Organic Consumer’s Association dumbest quote of the week.”

“Mr. Peterson, As the Ag Chair of the US Congress, I would hope you would be a little more clued in as to why people might choose an alternative to beef acquired from antibiotic, and hormone, and animal by-product fed cattle. Or, in finding that you do not understand this phenomenon, which, as you acknowledge is becoming more common, I would hope that you might do some research in this subject yourself and find out why the people, many of whom are farmers themselves and see the firs-hand effects of conventional farming, would choose to go this route. As a farmer’s daughter from the Heartland (and protein biochemist with an advanced degree in Cell & Molecular Biology), let me help you out... Because conventionally farmed animals are kept in tightly confined areas and fed animal by-products, cheaply grown feed, and at worst, manure instead of natural grass and good quality organic feed, the incidence of sickness and disease is common. Conventionally raised feed is genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides, and the animals store the residues in their fatty tissue. Likewise, the animals store the residues of animal by-products they are fed as well. More critically, feeding animals to animals puts the animal and consumer at risk of contracting spongiform encephalopathies (Mad Cow disease). On the other hand, organic practices in which cows are grass-fed results in a higher content of Conjugated Linoleic Acids, a fatty acid in dairy and meats are reported to reduce the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and prevent cancers. Congrats for making it! You are this week’s Organic Consumer Associations contributor of the dumbest quote of the week. Please straighten up and serve the growing constituency that you are representing.”

“Try getting some education differentiating what local and organic are and how they benefit you, your family and the environment.”

“With one statement you epitomize why the general public is disgusted with lifetime “public servants” who status quo corporate thought rather than educated innovators in society. Out with the OLD!” Palermo, CA

“Dumb is eating the chemicals and genetic modifications in nutritionally inferior and possibly irradiated factory foods that hurt workers and our environment. Stop subsidizing ill health.”

“Collin Peterson, Thanks for that brilliant quote about organic meat. It costs more because the farmer takes care to produce a product that is healthier for the consumer and for the land. Next time you’re eating your meat from Wal-Mart think carefully about the supped up protein diet fed to the inactive cow to fatten it up (losing taste and adding empty calories)to get a higher price at the butcher; the antibiotics and hormones needed to assure that the cow develops quickly and without disease while crammed into feedlots that’d be breeding grounds for disease without the drugs. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but I would expect that you, as a legislator with influence on the farm bill, should be well versed in these and the many atrocities that corporate federally subsidized farming has on the food we eat and the land we depend on for our food. Think before you talk next time, and realize that yes some organic farmers are making it happen despite a lack of federal help. But maybe millions more could eat healthy meat if the feds actually did care.” Finland, MN

“People who buy organic are considerate of the world and our bodies. We choose not to poison ourselves with pesticides and we choose to treat animals and plant respectively. The government should be helping independent organic farmers rather then large, mass produced agriculture that supports the chemical companies!” Fair Oaks, CA

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson: I can’t believe you are a Democrat. Nor can I believe this quote, attributed to you in the Financial Times: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” First, buying locally eases the burden on our environment because goods aren’t shipped as far. Second, eating organic helps one avoid the carcinogens that are common in foods treated with pesticides. How are those issues difficult to understand? There are people in this country who want to live in a clean, healthy world, and we’re doing what little we can to do that.” Plainfield, IL

“How remarkable that someone could put his foot quite that deeply into his own mouth. Your position on organics/local farming betrays your dangerous ignorance, and does not do you nor your constituents proud.”

“I suppose it has not occurred to you that organic farming is also more expensive, which is why it costs more. Many of us don’t trust the government to protect us from harmful chemicals used in farming. That is why we buy organic products.” Boulder, CO

“We pay more because we want SAFE & nutritious food. We cannot trust large “corporate” farms to provide us with this so we unfortunately have to pay more for the locally raised organic food so we have the guarantee that our food is not genetically modified and covered with harmful chemicals! Someone in your position should surely know the dangers of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, no? Or that crops grown organically have more antioxidants and higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc? Please don’t disrespect those of us who are only trying to be healthy by calling us “stupid” for spending extra money to do so. Do you think we like having to spend so much extra money? Well we don’t. It’s just a shame that we cannot trust the majority of farms and companies supplying our country with food to do the right thing in regards to our planet and our health.” Oceanside, CA

“You are in a position of too much responsibility to be so woefully unaware of the benefits of local and organic food. Organic and local are better for the soil, the environment, and the consumers health to name a few of the reasons to support them. There are reasons the movement is growing and it’s not that we are stupid.”

“I just read your quote about organic and local products. I am shocked that anyone, especially someone who is educated and chairman of the agricultural committee, could be so uninformed on this important issue. Supporting organic and local products can improve our health, help the environment, improve sustainability, help animal welfare, and has numerous other advantages. I am a doctor and have formed my opinions on this from an evidenced-based, logical perspective based on the information available. Someone in the position you are in the House should be ashamed not to be more educated on this issue. Are you getting paid off by the farming industry? This is what I must assume because I do not really believe you could be so naive on this issue. Please educate yourself and vote for what is right for our country and the world, not based on who pays you the largest “bribe” . Thank you.”

“As a medical writer who talks to doctors who treat the fallout of our increasing chemicalized environment, your dismissal of organic produce amazes me. In case you haven’t noticed, the health of the country is pretty dismal.” Canoga Park, CA

“We pay more money for food that is better for our bodies and our souls and the world. Get some knowledge about organic food before you make comments that expose your ignorance to the world.” Annapolis, MD

“I’m blown away that as the Agricultural Chair you just don’t get what the big picture is for Global agriculture. Congrats for winning the “Dumbest Quote” award. I hope you will educate yourself and find out why people really are willing to pay more for locally grown, pesticide free and organic food! Let’s see, could it be we are trying to save oil by NOT shipping our food around the world? Or could it be we like knowing we can go to our farm and see how our food is raised without pesticides rather than trust government officials such as yourself to tell us what we are buying? Or could it be we simply enjoy the interaction with a community of people that former generations use to experience in their everyday life (farmers)? Maybe it’s that we get to go to a peaceful tranquil spot and have a break from our hectic lives. Or it could be that we like the rich flavor and fresh quality of locally grown and organic foods. There are many more reasons than even these. GET A CLUE!” Gaithersburg, MD

“Mr. Peterson, With all due respect to your elected position, you are clearly uneducated with respect to nutrition and food production. Organically farmed foods and grass-fed beef are just two examples of long standing practices that our ancestors have used to stay healthy that our current industrial producers are stubbornly ignoring in the name of profits. All of the escalation of disease in modern cultures is directly attributable to degrading food quality and exponentially higher levels of toxic chemicals in our environment. The only way to reverse this alarming trend is to support REAL food production methods and empower individuals to take control of their own health. It is obvious that the power of the agri-business, chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies and the health care system are perpetuating the way that the system is, but you must accept that this is not a sustainable model for individuals or for the country (or Earth for that matter). The entire economy is poised to implode under the burden of health care costs as the “baby-boomers” get to the age where diseases will begin to take their toll. The tides must turn and the only way to do that is to change the entire paradigm; mainly acknowledging publicly that nutrition is the most important part of being in control of your own health and no Doctors or drugs have the ability to make you healthy. You have been elected by people that trust you to do right by them and this is an opportunity for you to actually do something that you can be proud of.”

“I will vote against you and your party because of your comments regarding organic food.” Springfield, OR

“Congratulations on winning the Dumbest Quote of the Week by the Organic Consumers Association. My hope is that you will take some time to investigate why people will pay 2-3 times more for organic or local food. It is certainly not due to a lack of intelligence, but the opposite. There is greater nutrition and no chemical fertilizer or pesticide residues from organic food. Local food has to do with supporting and securing your local economy. Please educate yourself.” Rochester Hills, MI

“Mr. Peterson, I think you may have embarrassed yourself a little here with the comment on “dumb” people paying more for organic/local foods. Just a byline here (in case you don’t already know somehow??), but paying more for organic food is necessary in at least some small part because it is not largely funded by the government. From what I know, if the food you like to eat was not subsidized with my tax dollars (yes, I’m paying for your food) you would be “dumb” enough to pay higher prices too. Also, you may not be aware of this, but PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO PAY HIGHER PRICES FOR HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCTS. Especially those directly affecting their health. Please try not to be shocked by this revelation. And please, please tell me that as the house chairperson for agriculture you have some idea about what I’m talking about. Thanks for your time.” Denver, CO

“Hmmmm, I hope your staffers have a second to read an email from little ol’ me, just a dumb MN resident who likes to support local organic farmers, enjoys all our lakes and wants to see them around for my children and pays more for organic food because it is more nutritious. Do some research before you call me dumb. Your words and ideas are short sighted and irresponsible. I am sure you want a clean and safe world for your family too!” Minneapolis, MN

“What is dumb, Mr. Peterson, is subsidizing huge monoculture farms. Do yourself a favor and pick up and read a copy of Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. You might then begin to understand why more and more of us are wanting to support our local farmers by paying the price of what food should actually cost rather than the “cheap” food whose cost is the health of many of our citizens. Isn’t your lovely state of Minnesota at the top of the charts for obesity rates among its citizens?” Eureka, CA

“I urge you as chairman of the House of Representatives Agricultural Committee to take some time to educate yourself about the vast benefits of organic farming versus industrial farming. As a consumer, I choose organic and naturally raised local products whenever I can to benefit the health of my family. Today, industrial farming as it is conducted in the U.S. is harming our health and our environment, and that is a simple fact. Please don’t turn a blind eye. With Respect”

“Sir: I need to take issue with your totally stupid comment on those of us who see real health benefits to eating organic meat and produce. I ought to be surprised by your ill-informed views, but sadly, I’m not. I ought to expect more from a Democrat, but, sadly, I can’t.” High Bridge, WI

“Yes, I’m dumb enough. With folks like you in charge of my food’s purity and safety I should grow it in my bathtub if I could.” Nevada City, CA

“Chairman Peterson, I’m amazed at your uninformed comments that organic farmers don’t need federal help, and your derogatory comment that organic consumers are dumb. Consumers are buying organic and locally grown produce because they mistrust conventional agriculture and food products that have proven over and over again to be unhealthy. They also see the writing on the wall with peak oil and the need to support our local farmers. Organic farmers are responding to this increased demand. Not only does it protect the health of those who consume it, but the health of the farmers and the farmworkers who work in the fields, and the environment and all the wildlife that depends on that environment. You’ve got some reading to do!” Corvallis, OR

“Dear Sir, Please resign your Agriculture Committee Chair immediately. You are severely deficient in the knowledge needed to continue this post.” Aspen, CO

“What a shame you’re so ignorant of the importance of organic produce and are serving on the House of Representative Agriculture Committee. You need to get some education on agricultural methods other than factory farming and corporate farming. Sure hope you get replaced in the next election for your seat in congress.”

“I am so ashamed that you are a Democrat. You sound old-fashioned, illiterate, unaware of anything about health and nutrition. And you also are unaware that the consumers of organic food are 100% from the well educated, environmentally and nutritionally aware segment of the population, whether or not they can afford organic foods. I do eat it when I can but would eat more if prices were lower. Thanks for doing a poor job of representing me and my family and for putting forth a truly ignorant and uncaring picture of a Democrat.” Hodgenville, KY

“Dear Congressman Peterson: I just learned of your October 17 comment on organic consumers’ relative intelligence (“And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah” ). I work and shop at a natural foods co-op in Minneapolis, and I also volunteer for the Local Fair Trade Network, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening local economies and supporting a sustainable food system. I’ve learned a lot through working, studying, and volunteering: Locally owned businesses generate greater prosperity in their communities than national chains. Organic growing methods ensure long-term soil health and less pollution of our water. Buying local saves gas and means fresher food. Organic agriculture is subject to strict controls regarding water quality, feed, and fertilizer, making its fresh produce and meat products safer than conventional. The family farmers who grow organic and feed the Twin Cities community don’t make a lot of money. One farmer we buy from estimated that he could pay his workers and himself $10/hour, if he raised his prices 10% and the sales remained steady. (He and they typically earn about $8/hour and don’t have health insurance.) Considering all this, I think it’s pretty smart to use my money to support local, sustainable growers. In fact, it’s actually a bargain. If you took away all the subsidies and tax benefits to conventional agriculture, and folks had to pay the real cost of a corn-syrup-sweetened Coca-Cola, or corn-fed ground beef, people would be rioting in the streets. What’s really “dumb” is that we have a dangerous childhood obesity problem, yet we won’t spend money on healthy school meal programs. A school in North Minneapolis reported to the Local Fair Trade Network that they are allocated less than $1 per student for breakfast, and closer to $1.50 per student for lunch. As more people are becoming aware, the cheapest calories are also the most unhealthy. Corn syrup, soy protein isolate, “vegetable” (i.e., corn or soy) oil are all subsidized agricultural products, and are all unhealthy, and large, components of poor children’s diets. What I think is not just “dumb,” but downright criminal, is the way we sell out our future to support big corporate agriculture interests. I checked your website for any apology or retraction of your October 17 statement and found none. I don’t live in your district, but I’m a lifelong, proud Minnesotan, and I eat. Therefore, you, as chair of the Ag Committee and Democratic U.S. Representative from Minnesota, do have responsibility to represent my interests and those of others who choose to invest in their neighbors and in their health. In fact, you should be thinking of everyone who eats when you work on legislation that affects what and how we eat, which the farm bill does powerfully affect. Please ask yourself the question, Whom does this benefit? A Fortune 500 CEO, or the children who get free or reduced lunch at school? You’re a Democrat - who is more important to you? And please apologize, publicly, for your rude and thoughtless comment about organic consumers. Thank you.” Minneapolis, MN

“Mr. Peterson, How can you have so little respect for those of us who are trying to create a healthier food system? How could YOU be so DUMB as to fail to value food that is fresher and grown in a way to maximize nutrients and taste. Shame on you. Our nation deserves better leadership for agriculture.” Statesboro, GA

“It is “dumb” that people must pay extra for a stamp ensuring that hormones & pesticides are not in their produce. Unfortunately, we must in this country pay extra for that privilege. However for my family, it is essential that we receive very little of chemicals known to cause cancer in our foods. We are getting enough of those chemicals from the air we breathe.”

“I would like to congratulate you Mr. Peterson for being so ignorant about “organic” foods and the people that eat them while on a committee that should be educated about them. It’s having representatives like you that helps make this country as messed up as it is. Thank you.”

“Dear Collin Peterson, People choose to buy local and organic foods because they can choose where their food comes from and how it is grown or raised, not because they are dumb. Unfortunately, it is often cheaper to buy certain foods that have traveled thousands of miles. Why is this? You are dumb not to care where your food comes from and how it is raised. May the invisible pesticide residue on your vegetables not cause you or your family much harm - seems like, perhaps. it already has.”

“You earned yourself a “Dumb Quote of the Week” award. You should be proud. You should be fired. Democrats were once considered intelligent and progressive as a group, but no longer. This point of view you’ve voiced is an excellent example of why”

“Representative Peterson: I am terribly offended by your assertion that people who are willing to buy healthy, local food are “dumb.” Clearly, you don’t understand the global costs of trucking food thousands of miles or the health costs of eating extensively processed and altered foods. You have staff; I would suggest that you assign one of them a project to look into and brief you on these costs. You owe your constituents the courtesy of being as well-informed as possible, and it is glaringly apparent that you are not yet as well-informed as you could be.” Lawrence, KS

“Mr. Peterson, If you want to pollute your body with harmful chemicals, added hormones, unproven genetically modified organisms, and the other unwanted substances used in producing non-organic foods, that is your right. As an elected official, however, it is disrespectful and insulting to cast aspersions on those who choose organic as part of our health care. Educate yourself beyond the huge agri-business lobby, and ask yourself what you would like to have your own loved ones (especially children) consume. I wish you the best in that.”

“Your comments about the price we consumers are willing to pay for organic or locally produced meats are outrageous! Because these growers cannot get government subsidies (gee, they’re not a huge corporate farm, so let’s not support them) the price we pay for clean, healthy foods is reflected in the actual costs to provide them. We’d be happy to pay a lot less for QUALITY not QUANTITY foods. If the Farm Bill now before our representatives included a fair and equitable distribution of funding, those of us who would like to eat the same quality of foods like our grandparents ate, we’d be able to at a better price. I’d be interested to know if you feel the same way about everything else in your life: your car, your home, your clothing, your entertainment. Just how little do you pay for these things - or do you like quality items and are will to pay more for them? You should be ashamed of yourself. As the chair of this committee, you should embrace farming practices that don’t destroy the ground they’re grown on. Perhaps you just haven’t done your homework, and, therefore, have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Your comment about buying “local or organic” food shows how much you are out of touch with health and science. Farmers are touted as “stewards” of the land and as their chair - you have much to learn. Check out the website of the Organic Consumers Association please.” Galena, IL

“Dear Senator Peterson, This is to advise that you have won! You’ve won dumbest quote of the week from the Organic Consumers Association for your shockingly ignorant comments regarding organically grown food and grass fed beef. I hope your family remains safe from the rBGH given to dairy cows and the chemical fertilizers and insecticides sprayed on conventionally grown crops.” Jersey City, NJ

“Please don’t talk with authority about subjects you’re not familiar with. Organic farming protects humans and the environment against the damaging effects of pesticides and GMOs. Local farming promotes community participation and education, drastically reduces the used of fossil fuels, and increases biodiversity, which almost all scientists now agree is a critical step towards a sustainable future.”

“Dear Representative Peterson, I would like to respond to your comment about the apparent stupidity of consumers who pay a premium for foods and products labeled as ‘organic’ or ‘local.’ I am sorry to see that you appear to be misinformed on this issue. Consumers who prefer organic or locally-produced food, even at a premium price, demonstrate that they care about their health and the health of their community, their local economy, and the environment. The hidden costs of conventionally and industrially-produced food come in the forms of pesticide and fertilizer residues, pollution and energy consumption from food transportation, and the consolidation of wealth in the hands of corporations, not families. By your logic, the organic and local food production systems need no government support because stupid consumers pay a premium. In other words, because these products are successful and growing in popularity, they do not need government support. If you were to extend your logic logically, large agribusiness corporations - Cargill, others - should not need government subsidies because they, too, make successful and profitable products. In fact, I would LOVE to see subsidies stopped for these large corporations who don’t need them. I challenge you, Representative Peterson, to an experiment. Why don’t you buy some packaged iceberg lettuce, out-of-season tomatoes, and industrial carrots at your nearest large grocery chain, make a salad, and then eat it? Repeat, only buying produce only found at your local farmers’ market. While making your purchases, why don’t you ask representatives from each establishment about where the items came from, when they were harvested, and how far they traveled to get to you? Eat your farmers’ market salad, and I’m sure you will notice - and appreciate - the difference.”

“As organic farmers and consumers, we enjoy excellent health and vitality as senior citizens. Please do not call us dumb for spending our money on pure food. Since you do not mind eating endocrine disruptors in your food, you can reap the whirlwind. That is your choice. Organic, grass-fed is our choice. Do not the citizens of this free country deserve more respect? Your apology is accepted. Organic Consumers Association awarded you the “dumbest quote of the week” award.” Jarrettsville, MD

“Dear Sir, First, congratulations for receiving the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Being the “Congress Agriculture Chair” it seems like you would realize that “local” produce or meats, etc. are actually a good thing. They support the areas economy, they cut down on food being trucked, flown, shipped great distances ... which greatly helps our environment. and as for organic, some day, sit down at your dinner table with an organic carrot, grown by yourself, or bought at a (god forbid) farmers market, and compare that with the store bought “regular” carrot .... let me know it you taste a difference.” Los Angeles, CA

“As someone who pays more for organic and local produce, I am offended by your comments. I think you know that eating food that is organic is healthier because chemicals, some of which are highly toxic, are not ingested and are not in our environment. Food grown locally often tastes better because it is fresher. There is also less energy used to transport the food. The reason it costs more because of policies enacted by corrupt politicians, which give subsidies to huge farming operations, often at the expense of smaller family run farms. Subsidizing agribusiness to provide cheap, unhealthy foods ladened with pesticides and chemicals is unconscionable. We should know what is in our food, and the government should make it easier for foods to be grown organically. If organic and local produce and grass-fed beef needs little federal help, then stop subsidizing all the foods grown that we don’t need, like much of the soybean crops, and corn for high fructose corn syrup. Of course, you wouldn’t do that because you need their political contributions to be re-elected. It is ridiculous for you to call people dumb because they care about the environment and their health, as well as the health of their children.”

“As a Minnesotan I would hope it weren’t true that you actually said what you said about local and organic foods. Please tell me you’re more aware of your environment and reality than this!!!” Robbinsdale, MN

“I don’t want cheap meat pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. With a side of pesticides and a double dose of herbicides. It takes more time and care to grow organic. It is worth the price for my health. because you know for darn sure people that work for the government don’t care about my health. They want me to get sicker so they can pump me full of more drugs that are already killing me. People who don’t buy organic are DUMB”

“Whoa, Nelly. You are the Democrat who puts to shame all of the foolishness of the Republicans. And yes, dear. You do get the dumbest quote of the week award from lots of us who attempt to eat local organic and seasonal as much as possible. Sustainable living may just save our planet from fools like you, at least until you smarten up and join us. One Smart Cookie, glad to have joined the Green Party. Patti” Lakeland, FL

“Thanks for your recent comment about organic consumers in which you insulted me, my family, and our values. Always good to know where we stand with our elected officials.” Madison, WI

“Rep. Peterson, People are not “dumb enough” to pay that much money, but rather people care about what they put into their bodies. Pesticides kill living things, I do not want them in my body. Organic farming practices have been shown to be better for the environment, promote a sustainable environment, and still yield plenty of food. Organic and sustainable farming is better for the environment and the people of this country. The foods subsidized by the government (meat and dairy lots, corn, wheat) are scientifically SHOWN to be detrimental to the health of people when eaten in large quantities (like in this country). Perhaps if the government subsidized fruits and vegetables the obesity epidemic would take a step back.” St Louis, MO

“It would be wise to do your homework as to why people prefer to buy organic labeled food products prior to making a comment on it. Having an uneducated opinion on a subject is of no value to anyone when you wish to speak on it. All it does is show your ignorance on the subject.”

I think we know who the dummy is here. How ignorant can you be Congressman? Seattle, WA

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I am appalled by your attitude toward organic farming and consumer’s willingness to pay more for it. To say that our food choices are “dumb” and beyond your understanding is actually a sad statement about your own lack of understanding. I and many others do not want to eat genetically modified foods, foods sprayed and treated with chemicals known to cause cancer and other maladies, cloned food etc. It is easy to make these statements and decisions that stifle the organic movement from an ivory tower. If you choose to not to inform yourself about the benefits of organic farming, ignore scientific experts and the will of the people, I invite you to move to a farm that produces GMO crops, strawberries that are sprayed with the new EPA approved pesticide that knowingly causes cancer, miscarriages and thyroid tumors, cloned cattle that is fed it’s own feces and injected with growth hormone. And please remember to have a nice green salad which was grown with pesticides and water from the area these cattle have urinated to make sure you get your daily dose of e-coli. That is why I and others choose to buy and eat organic and local foods. I am sad to have to write this to a member of Congress but your remarks on this subject are truly disturbing and represent and sad past that is not working. I ask that you open your mind to consider the organic movement which you acknowledge is rapidly growing. This is the future.”

“Insulting people for their choices in food and lifestyle is just as harmful as judging someone based on race, sex, religion or financial status. Please have more respect for those who do not share your views and keep your derogatory comments to a more private audience.” Hilo, HI

“Mr. Peterson, I understand that you recognize that many are willing to pay more for organic food. I am one of them. It not only it more nutritious, and tastes better, it is critical to me to eat food that does not contain pesticides, and which is not genetically modified. In addition, it is time that as citizens of the world we make choices that will support the environment, and not continue to pollute and deplete the land and the water. I hope that you will look deeper into the reasons why so many are buying organic produce.”

“As per your quote that organic consumers are dumb, I hope you were misquoted. If you are against buying safe, chemical-free and healthy foods, I am sure that you will be happy and willing to allow and buy all those “safe” and cheap agricultural products from China that are just begging to be let into our country’s borders. People do not want to spend more money on their food, but are willing to do it if they can be sure they are eating healthy, chemical free and non-genetically modified ingredients.” Auckland, New Zealand

“There must be something wrong with your mind if you think that avoiding cancer causing chemicals and hormones in meat is dumb. As for these products costing too much, maybe they wouldn’t cost so much if the farms that produce these meats received the same fat subsidies that so-called “normal” farms did.”

“Dear Chairman, I am sorry to say that you are the dumb not the people who pay for healthy, environmentally friendly food that is also good for farmers wealth. These are people who have a sense of what is right and wrong in the world and are willing to support the right thing when the government does not have the morality to do it. I am poor but I buy organic and local whenever I can, because agriculture should all be like this and if the government doesn’t see it and does not support it, then it is my obligation as an intelligent human being who cares for humanity to do my part and support it with the little money I have. Maybe I don’t go so much to the movies and I don’t have a playstation or an expensive car, but I am happy that I am putting the money where it should go, for a better world! That isn’t dumb, It’s what every human being should with a minimum of sense of honor should do.” Alhandra, OT

“How ignorant can you be? Buying local or organic is essential to the health of humans & the economy. “Local” supports small farmers, diversity, freshness & lowers transportation costs. Organic means that we are not exposed to growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically engineered grains and the unacceptable levels of PUS found in standard milk by the govt mandated testing. Not using insecticides, herbicides, & fungicides also protects the health of all but is very labor intensive[creating more jobs] which is why it costs more. The FDA & EPA fail to protect us & big industry & pharmaceutical companies continue to poison us. Get smart before you and your family get sick too!” Aiken, SC

“Chair Peterson- The reason that people are willing to pay more for local and organic food is that we value where our food comes from and how it is raised. Especially in lieu of all the corporate food recalls buying food that is grown more naturally instead of with pesticides and hormones is not only safer but supports local farmers. I’m amazed by your lack of knowledge on this subject given your position.” Somerset, WI

“What is more important to the health of the American people than eating good wholesome food free of pesticides, residues, genetically modified organisms, and chemical fertilizers? Haven’t you read the scientific studies showing that food produced with sustainable practices has three times the nutritional qualities than that produced under monoculture industrial farming, and that the land is richer and more diverse? If the artificial subsidies for industrial food were removed, there would be more price parity between industrial foodstuffs and food produced sustainably. In addition, sustainable farming has no need for cheap migrant labor and the concomitant lure of illegal immigration. Please say your “mea culpa” now and move beyond this embarrassing blot on your Congressional service.” Bloomington, IN

“Congressman Peterson, I am “dumb enough” to pay more for organic and locally produced agricultural products. My family’s health and the health of the land that sustains us are worth the extra money. I will pay more for products that are not filled with poisons and I will support farmers who care for their land rather than destroying it with pesticides, chemical fertilizers and harmful waste. Perhaps I am not the dumb one.”

“Here is a reason to spend extra for organic food, no toxic chemicals!!”

“I can’t believe you think something that tastes better and is better for you is dumb. Hello? I think that’s what we all do.” Niceville, FL

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As a consumer I find it offensive that you think it’s dumb that people are concerned about their health and that they are willing to spend the little bit of extra money they have to go for the local or organic foods. As a consumer who is struggling financially due to the high cost of living, even on a double income household, I will always take the extra steps to protect my family from unnecessary chemicals and will not purchase products from companies that treat animals inhumanely and poison our foods. I dream of the day that when I see an organic label, I can actually trust that it is truly organic. Until then, I have to continue to research almost every day to find trust- worthy companies and search high and low just to find decent local foods that are safe. Try supporting the consumers that actually care! A concerned consumer that actually loves her family. Hallelujah!”

“Representative Peterson, as a chairman of the House agricultural committee, you probably should educate yourself on why dumb people like myself feel its important to pay more to buy food from local producers and for organic food. If you don’t understand our actions, who’s really the dumb one?”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, It is shocking to me that a person in your position does not understand the multitude of reasons a consumer would choose organic food items over those laced with chemicals and contaminants. And to refer to that consumer as “dumb” ? Shame on you.” Shelburne, VT

“Organic and local food purchases are not only healthy for each of us, but for the planet. don’t let big business buy you-that would be dumb.” San Francisco, CA

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than a leader in U.S. Agriculture that would make such an ignorant statement about organic consumers and producers.” Carlisle, MA

“You are to be congratulated for receiving the Organic Consumers Association’s “Dumbest Quote of the Week” award. We are loath to discover, though, that someone who actually might believe such a statement as garnered this award serves in the U.S. House of Representatives and in particular is the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.” Lancaster, NH

“It seems you are woefully uneducated on this topic. I suggest you remedy that situation before you speak on the subject again.” Dallas, TX

“Dear Collin, How sad that a person in your position of power is so clueless about the issues of how we treat our bodies, animals and the earth! May you be enlightened or retired.”

“In contrast to your recent remarks about consumers who buy organic products being “dumb,” the consumers who believe the nonsense that chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetic engineering are safe are the ones who are ignorant. Apparently, you fall in the latter category. I hope you take the time to educate yourself on the dangers of chemical farming to your health.” Wichita, KS

“Sir, With all due respect.....did you REALLY say that about people buying organic food??? If we are dumb enough to buy organic food, we must be dumb to care about our health, the health of our children, and the health of our eco-systems which will determine the health of generations of future Americans. Pretty dumb I guess huh??! NOT!! Please wake up and smell the coffee sir. We don’t have much time.”

“Your quote about people who pay more to buy organic food being dumb reflects its own “dumbness.” Organic food is more sustainable and more healthy than factory farmed food. Who wouldn’t be willing to pay more for that? As a mother with two kids, I only wish there were more organic and local options available, and more tax incentives for farmers to farm responsibly and healthily.” Washington, DC

“Organic consumers are not dumb. We care about our farmers and our country. I can only suppose from your comments that you do not care about either.”

“It’s embarrassing that the one person who should know what he’s talking about, the Chair of the Agricultural Committee for the House of Representatives, sounds like he doesn’t know a thing about the subject!”

“You have no idea what you are saying when you make that remark. I happen to be very food intolerant, and if I eat a non-organic fruit or vegetable, I get terribly ill. My body knows what’s good for it and what’s not, such as a poison...meaning foods that have been sprayed, and what have you, with any sort of pesticides. If I were you, I’d be more aware of what happens to a person who has this problem with foods, and not be throwing out such insults to the public. Organic is the only way I can survive. You owe an apology to many people who are unfortunate enough to have this terrible illness when eating poisons.”

“I hope your comments were actually taken out of context. If they were not, then it is my hope that you go back to school. At the very least you should have one of your staff do a little bit of true research and fill you in, because you obviously don’t know or don’t care what information you have been fed regarding this issue, and you don’t care what you are truly ingesting yourself! Respectfully,” Flint, MI

“How the CHAIRMAN for agriculture committee in the House knows so little about organic farming methods or why it costs more shows how little regard you have for the environment or positive, sustainable change. Educate yourself for your grandchildren’s sake!”

“You are a disappointment! Please correct that situation by informing yourself by other means than the agribusiness lobbies. It is seriously corrupt to take agribusiness information to the exclusion of all others, especially the organic farmers? information. Our food supplies is already in jeopardy for the very reason of your ignorance or willful neglect. ‘You are what you eat’ is the cause of the American population’s poor health, to wit, the drug industry is doing well in its attempts to ‘cure’ the resulting myriad illnesses. (It’s all connected.) If we had good organic foods and a useful diet, then most of the illnesses would disappear. That prospect might be bad for your lobby interests, but it would be good for us - the diseased Americans. Thank you for listening.”

“I am disappointed in your lack of understanding of the organic and local food movements. I would hope that, as chair of the house of representatives agricultural committee, you would take it upon yourself to learn more about these important beacons of hope in our country’s food future. I would suggest you read Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” for an introduction to why these are important developments. Next, read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” and any of Mas Masumoto’s books. Hopefully, these readings will teach you something useful.” Santa Cruz, CA

“Funny how dumb people can be by naming something that they know nothing about as dumb. If you have no idea why people are willing to buy organic food why don’t you take a second to educate yourself. It turns out to be a very relevant and important issue. You’d think a politician would know that, but then again, that would be a dumb thing to think in our day and age.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. When you have no interest in empowering your constituency it’s time to move into a new role. It sounds like you are ready for retirement. Good luck.”

“Collin, Your statement about us organic consumers being “dumb enough to pay that much” for organically produced products, particularly those that are locally produced, speaks volumes about your ignorance regarding the inherent values in these products and the market forces creating those “dumb” high prices. In the first place, most organic farms are comparatively small-scale compared to the highly subsidized agribusiness mono-crop farms so the organic prices reflect a lack of subsidy and economy of scale. Please note however that in the case of sustainable agriculture, these operations are by definition small-scale and typically market to local consumers. In contrast, large-scale mono-crop production depletes topsoil, markets to consumers thousands of miles away and contaminates the environment through pesticide use and air pollution from farm machinery and long-haul transportation to market. Now tell me, which model deserves the subsidy, if any? The one that promotes a healthy, sustainable future (organic production) or the one that lines the pockets of greedy special interests in the corporate agribusiness and chemical industries?”

“Thanks for calling me dumb. Do you really not understand why people are willing to pay more for locally produced products? If not I am sure that you would be willing to forego any pork that you usually line up for your district. After all, what is the importance of a local economy? Let’s buy more from China. The best part is that when we do so we are also supporting the shipping and oil industries. What’s a little pollution going to hurt? As for organic products, why pay more for something without carcinogenic pesticides involved in the production if it isn’t local? Nobody you know will get the cancer from raising it, and as long as you are paying for your health insurance you might as well use it, right? How bad can cancer be?”

“Mr. Peterson, First off, I will give you the benefit of the doubt concerning your comments about ORGANICS and using the word “dumb” towards U.S. citizens, many of whom would be and are your own constituents. I buy organic grain in Minnesota, from Larry Peterson of Cokato, for example, and I know Larry takes organic seriously and enjoys the value added income for his organic wheat, corn, soy and barley. Organic farming and value added Minnesota incomes should be supported by you and not “dumbed” down. Have your staff do better research please. The Minn D of A puts out a wonderful Directory of Minnesota Organic Farms. I rely upon Minnesota farmers a lot. You should take a look at the Directory and bring yourself up to speed on organics (before competition for your own office does so). Omaha, NE

“Shame on you for making such a blatantly uninformed statement! You might want to look at the new 4 year comprehensive study by the EU that states that organic products contain more nutrition then conventionally produced similar products. Unless you think that the EU is dumb too.” La Farge, WI

“Mr. Peterson, Believe me, I do not like paying two to three times more for organic foods and wish they were cheaper. They will never BE cheaper, for me or for anyone else, if more of us do not support organic agriculture by accepting the inconvenience of a higher dollar amount on some of the foods we buy. I am not “dumb” , I am conscientious and committed to better agriculture and safer food. I do not appreciate being called “dumb” for selecting organic foods when I can afford to pay for them and when they are available to me. I am willing to pay two, three, sometimes four times as much for organic foods because I am paying for SAFE, ethically produced foods. I am paying a higher dollar amount for the higher quality control and ethical standards that organic producers place upon themselves. I am paying for SAFE meat, milk, and vegetables from producers who voluntarily hold themselves to these higher standards of quality and ethical and humane production methods, in spite of the business of doing farming their way being made increasingly difficult and pressures on them to revert to conventional industrial farming methods. And what is “dumb” about that? We have contaminated water from agricultural runoff, various types of food contamination, mad cow disease, resistant pests, and genetic contamination from escaped GMO crops. All of these have arisen from major industrial farming - and people like me are “dumb” for not wanting this in our food or at least wanting less of it? You are supportive of paying huge industrial farmers to give us more of the same. Financially wasteful of our tax dollars, dangerous, and “DUMB” .”

“Dear Representatives Peterson, My family tries to purchase as much organic foods as are available, and affordable, in our area. You recently said of organic consumers “if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah”. Sir, respectfully, I take umbrage. My Mother, my sisters, their families, myself, and all the other organic consumers I know are not ‘dumb’, they are concerned. Would you like to know what dumb is sir? Dumb is supporting an agricultural system that depletes the land. Dumb is supporting farming that is unsustainable - in fact, that goes beyond dumb and into destructive. When destructive behavior is championed by elected leaders, it is betrayal. Dumb is giving away millions upon millions of tax dollars to the largest, wealthiest, unsustainable agri-businesses, while the agricultural system of the country continues to weaken, family farms continue to disappear, and increased imports of food become the norm. Dumb is continuing to elect leaders who are only interested in givebacks to their campaign contributors, and not the well being of the nation. I hope that you educate yourself as to what organic and sustainable farming is all about. Do you care about national security? If so, then you should be a proponent of sustainable agriculture, not a hindrance. Thank you for your time. Sincerely,” Parlin, NJ

“What planet are you from? Planet dumb? Wake up, old dinosaur. Times are changin’. We need to localize our food production, and support our sustainable and organic and local farmers. That is why we are willing to pay more for this food. You need to understand what the people want: we know what’s right and we’re votin’ with our dollars!”

Why organic food? Maybe because you get more nutrition from fresh food that is grown or fed real nutrients?! You wouldn’t know that because you don’t have the brain power to eat nourishing food so how can your mind be functioning correctly?

“Mr. Peterson, congratulations for demonstrating what a horse’s ass actually sounds like. The fact that you are involved in ANY agriculture issues can only be attributed to your close proximity to the rear end of the animal. Regarding cost issues, if you would cease writing bloated, market altering welfare checks to your friends in the industrial ag sector, we’d see just how “expensive” organic products would compare next to unsubsidized, over-processed, chemically poisoned, nutrient deficient, manure-laden products from Big Ag. My guess is the food industry as we know it would completely fall apart and organic food would be considered “cheap” in comparison. In the meantime, pull your head out of your corporate buddies’ hindquarters and get educated. We in the organic sector will still be alive and well and flourishing long after you and your corporate whores are gone. Via con Dios, moron. “ New Milford, PA

“Dear Representative Peterson: Organic consumers are not dumb. We are wise enough to know that industrial food systems pollute the land, water and clean food they purport to raise. Consumers want really healthy food, without hormones, antibiotics, GMO’s or whatever else our industrial-sized operations add to make more money. Please LISTEN! We WANT local, organic food, grown on small-scale farming operations. NOW!” High Springs, FL

“I don’t understand why you are calling organic shoppers dumb. We pay more because we believe in the products that are organic. We buy them because the products in your average supermarket are incredibly bad for you and are full of additives that have been proven harmful for human consumption; yet they are allowed to remain in the foods that are sold, so we have made a choice to buy organic.”

“Thank you for your input. I’ll be sure to do the same for you in the future.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, It is really too bad our elected officials aren’t more informed about the human body and what makes it work efficiently to stay healthy. Who ever came up with the hair-brain idea that the human body can survive on a diet of chemicals, synthetic additives, genetically engineers foods, sugar overload, etc? If I’m not VERY careful about what I eat, I would be VERY SICKLY and a burden to society. Give up us true organic foods and watch us flourish. You may think we are dumb to pay more for it, or you may just be dumb about what this is going to cost America when all us baby boomers become sick from what is put in the grocery stores now.” Prescott, AR

“Rep. Peterson, Perhaps you’ll consider the benefits of organic farming more in the future when you or your loved ones develop cancer as a result of the pesticides and chemicals you’re ingesting from chemically-produced, non-organic foods. Good Luck with the Chemo” San Francisco, CA

“Dear Mr. Chairman: I find it hard to fathom how you could have gotten to be the Chair of the Agricultural Committee without knowing the difference that organic food makes. The only logical explanation is that you are so far in bed with big agri business that you are blinded about the disease, animal abuse and water pollution produced from the farming methods of these large industrial farm businesses. You are the one that is “dumb” if you have not educated yourself to the problems produced by these large factory farming procedures. Please consider educating yourself on this important matter to the health of our citizens.” Santa Fe, NM

“If consumers are willing to pay more for organic and local products, it is a financial manifestation of their concern for the environment, agricultural sustainability, and the quality of our food supply, not a lack of intelligence.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, I have been eating fresh and organic foods for many decades and am far healthier than people eating conventional foods. I suggest you research the benefits of fresh and organic foods before making statements about consumers being dumb.” Vineyard Haven, MA

“Dear Representative Peterson, I would like to congratulate you on your recent “Dumbest Quote of the Week” Award! Now I’m not some crazy kook vegan or vegetarian; I’m not one to deny my biology at all. However, I am a well-informed Ecology graduate student, and my decision to buy organic and local produce is the result of reasoned decisions and research. Go to sciencedaily.com, and you can read about how organic foods have much higher levels of flavones and other things that are very good for you - not to mention being free of poisonous pesticides whose effects at trace levels haven’t been studied, merely the LD50(That’s the lethal dose needed to kill 50% of treated organisms). Buying local produce is just another way of being patriotic, really. We all know that mid-east oil profits are funding terrorism, as well as increasing our dependence on foreign oil, so the less I use fossil fuels to transport my food, the more patriotic I am. Wouldn’t you agree?” Terre Haute, IN

“Organic food is natural food. There are no antibiotics or chemicals forced into the animals or ground. It’s food that’s healthy and has nutrients in it, unlike the subsidized stuff that comes from commercial farms. The subsidized stuff is totally unhealthy for people, animals and the earth. It’s full of drugs, genetically modified seeds which have no nutrition, and the poor animals must suffer cancers, etc due to what is put into their bodies. I pay more for food that is healthy and wholesome because I care about me, the animals and Mother Earth.”

“I read your quote on organic food and I thought it was pretty dumb of you to say that. Of course, I would pay money for healthy, chemical-free food. We have to pay more because people like you are trying to make it seem like chemical crops are okay. Enjoy your chemically sprayed food and I’ll enjoy my locally grown food.”

“Sir- From your statement regarding organic foods and the dumb people who buy and utilize them...I am amazed that you sit in the seat that you do. The representatives elected by the people and especially reps that are the supposed specialists in agriculture should support farming techniques that are non toxic to the earth and our water. If you knew anything about organic farming, you would know that the foods are much more nutritious when grown in real fertile soil leaving out the carcinogenic chemicals that poison our environment and our children. You should step down immediately and allow someone who cares about the future health of the planet and the generations to come to take your position do the job that you are responsible for. Perhaps the chemical laced food that you find so perfect to eat has affected the health of your brain and also your ability to think clearly. I would recommend a complete physical immediately for you, as there must certainly be something seriously wrong with you...probably created by the neurological poisons that you ingest daily. I am sorry for you and will work actively to expose your poor representation of the intelligent people who love the earth and their children.” Black Forest, CO

“I find it very unfortunate that someone in your political position would consider the use of organic products to be “dumb” . I would rather spend a few more dollars to put cleaner food into my body than to receive medical treatments to treat a disease.”

“Traditional farming, with its use of pesticides, is having long term consequences for topsoil retention, soil fertility and viability. It doesn’t take a degree in soil science to know that promoting organic farming is promoting the future of food for our entire country.” Oakland, CA

“Congratulations of receiving the Organic Consumers Assoc award for the dumbest quote of the week (saying that people who pay more for organic or local produce are ‘dumb’). I didn’t expect this from a democrat - I’ll make sure that all of my friends in Minnesota know where you stand on this...”

“Congrats on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week :)” Salinas, CA

“Sir, it might be better for the Democratic Party and the nation if you would give up your seat to someone with a brain.” Gainesville, FL

“You really must be the most ignorant person on the face of the earth.” South Acworth, NH

“Dear Congressman Peterson, First of all, I have found that organic, local produce is quite frequently less expensive than its non-organic counterparts. I love it when that happens!! Yet I will almost always choose organic when it is available, regardless of the price, because I care about our planet and also about the farmworkers who are exposed to toxic chemicals. Studies have also shown that organic growing practices, which enhance soil in truly holistic ways, result in superior nutritional quality, not to mention better-tasting food! Years ago, when organics were consistently more expensive than non-organics, I used to think I could not afford them. Then one day while in the grocery store - faced with a concrete decision between the organic carrots and the reality of pesticide residues and fertilizers made from petro-chemicals - I realized that as a citizen of our precious planet earth, I could no longer afford NOT to buy organic. It was as simple as that. Nowadays the cost differential is not that big, so it still boggles my mind that more people are not struck with that same sense of connection to our shared future. Please reconsider your stance on organics. While they are not a panacea (I am well aware of the transportation issues, which I factor into my purchasing decisions), farmers who are growing this way deserve our support. Namaste.” Boulder, CO

“Congratulations, you just made an ass out of yourself.”

“Dear Chairman Peterson, It is chilling to learn that the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is so ignorant! Please take the time to educate yourself on the verified benefits of eating organic and buying locally.” Grand Junction, CO

“Collin Peterson it is so sad that you have no idea why people would pay more money for quality food they put on their dinner tables for their families. And really, does local food mean nothing to you?”

“Mr. Peterson, I may be dumb, but at least I’m not ignorant. I take great offense to the statement you recently made. Perhaps you should research your facts before making such flippant remarks.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, As a representative in an agricultural state, your ignorance on the issue of organic and locally grown foods is astounding. Your mother and father, and perhaps even you grew up eating organic food, and it was grown locally for the most part. Please educate yourself on the issue-the practicality, health, economic, and moral aspects of supporting local small growers. If all of the farm subsidies go for large agri-business, round-up ready grains, etc. we are likely to find ourselves in an enormous crisis in the near future when the climate conditions change and our crops are too narrowly engineered for those changes- or when oil hits $150 a barrel and it costs double to ship foods to your community. Think of the economic and social instability that could cause. This isn’t alarmist, it’s practical. If your state also supports farmers who grow a variety of food crops, all will be in a better position to weather difficulties. Thank you for your time and consideration.” Chicago, IL

“Mr. Peterson, Do you not agree it is “dumb” for our tax money to be spent for farmers adding pesticides, hormones, all kinds of chemicals we feed ourselves and our children daily that has been proven to give us cancer and all kinds of other diseases? You need to rethink what is “dumb” .” Archdale, NC

“Way to show your ignorance on agriculture. If you don’t know why consumers pay more for local or organic, then simply do some research. I can tell just by looking at a picture of your face you could do with some health food. Get your priorities straight. Health before profits every time. Help us shift the world from quantity to quality! Quit growing ‘crops for corporations’ and start growing ‘food for people’.” Saint Paul, MN

“Dear Mr. Peterson, After 40 years in medicine and pharmacy, all I can say about your comment is “good luck” with your health and the health of your family. If you really are that uninformed as to the toxicity of the 18,000 additives and insecticides and God-only-knows-what these corporate megafarms are adding to our food for the sole purpose of increasing their profit margin, then you deserve what you get. I am just sorry for your constituents” Long Beach, CA

“I hope you were misquoted when you said eating local and organic foods . help the small farmer. help the organic farmer whose farming practices are healthier and help build the soil for future generations. get real man , you seem to be a little out of step.”

“It appalls me to think that the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is so uninformed. How could such a backward thinking and uninformed individual come to lead a committee? That this man has any control over the spending of my tax dollars is nothing but scary!”

“Your comments on organic products and people choosing organic products reveals how ignorant and full of prejudice you are. It is because of people like you that we live in a toxic world. You should be looking for the health and the welfare of our country and not for the interest of the wealthy and unscrupulous food industry.”

“I am appalled by your statements about people being “dumb” enough to pay more for organic and locally grown food. I am very active in the democratic party and am angered and embarrassed by this display. I strongly believe that organic and locally grown foods are extremely important to the sustainability of the environment, not to mention our health. There are very few times I have been more furious with the statements of a fellow democrat.” Decorah, IA

“Amazing that the Chairperson of the Agricultural committee does not seem to understand the importance of locally and safely grown agricultural products. Perhaps there is a reason why people are willing to pay a premium for such products. Seems to me that we might be in need of some new leadership at that position.” Grass Valley, CA

“Unfortunately, it does not surprise me that the same people who are suppose to be responsible for the well being and prosperity of specific sectors of our economy and government are completely disconnected from the realities of globalization and the centralization of decision-making that it has produced. Organic and traditional farming is essential to our communities long-term self-sufficiency. The ignorance of Collin Peterson’s comments reflect the irrational expectations that this corporatized utopia fastens to our destiny. However, just like everything else in history, it will be displaced as food is not efficiently made in a lab or even on corporate farms, but in the place it is needed most... in our own backyard.” Clovis, CA

“ignorant people like this guy really make it hard for those of us who are awake!!!” Avila Beach, CA

“Congratulations!! You have received the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” What I have to say to you is: “For whatever reason, people are willing to eat food with contaminants and pesticide residue rather than food that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to eat those poisons then hallelujah.” Long Beach, CO

“Dear Representative Peterson, I recently read a quote from you in which you said that paying more for organic and local food is “dumb.” I was shocked to hear that from the chairman of the House agricultural committee. Far from being “dumb,” buying local and organic food is the most intelligent way to shop. Buying from nearby farms supports the local economy and small business as opposed to huge corporations. It saves gasoline because the food is not transported far from the field to your table-and in turn that cuts down on pollution. Buying organic food also eliminates the worry that one might be ingesting potentially harmful pesticides; organic farming is also much better for the environment. Small farmers must charge more because they are working in a smaller market. Yes: I am willing to pay someone more if I know that by doing so I am making a statement by doing so-a statement that buying local and organic is the only sustainable and intelligent thing to do.”

“Congressman Peterson, I guess it was a long ago political figure who observed that most of the time the people get what they deserve. Perhaps those of us who have sat by and watched the food we eat become an industrial product deserve what we get. Still, I have also always thought that those who seek to know what is going on around them or probably the individuals who are the least dumb. Most people who buy organic and natural are those who have acquired some level of knowledge about the food they eat. Thus, I think the label dumb is perhaps applied to the wrong set of individuals”

“I am a board certified cardiologist working in Scottsdale, Arizona. I did 10 years of training after college. Your comment was very ignorant. I think you should spend some time and read some books. Great titles include Fast Food Nation, Reclaiming Our Health, and the Omnivore’s Dilemma. I have dozens more if you are interested.”

“Dear Mr. Peterson: Organic farming is old-fashioned farming in the best sense of the word. It husbands the soil and protects the environment that all of us share. I hope you do some research, including some soul-searching and retract your insult to millions of organic consumers.” Pacific Grove, CA

“I like to think that elected leaders are the cream of the crop. Obviously, I am mistaken. You, sir, are the dumb one if you think chemical farming is safe and effective. You are what you eat. Supporting local farmers who practice sustainable agriculture is smart. Making an adequate wage is smart. Putting wholesome, clean food in my body is smart. I long for the day when the general public have to pay more for chemically or GMO grown food. Be smart and think (even educate yourself on the topic, would be that much better but too much to ask)before you speak. You will do yourself, and the people you represent, a favor.” Aspen, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson We pay extra for quality food because we consider it an investment in good health, and a lot cheaper than a visit to the cardiac or cancer ward. There are significant differences between industrial food and grass-fed beef and dairy, for example, despite what your “experts” at the USDA tell you. Please take the time to investigate the other side of this story. A good place to start would be at westonaprice.org” Gainesville, FL

“Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Senator Peterson, Did you really say such a stupid thing? I would like to pay less for the higher quality and nutritional value of Organic food, but big AG has friends in government who look out for the factory farms.

Friends who maintain the status quo. Friends like you, Mr. Senator? My kids understand the difference between raising a chicken in a box and raising one in the barnyard. My kids know that you should feed a cow grass, not slaughterhouse “protein” . My fourth grade daughter has a better solution to world hunger than our 1905’s legacy Food Aid Program. Perhaps the problem is one of self interest. You want to get re-elected so you can maintain your status and lifestyle. You have to please your Minnesota constituents (well, at least the ones who give you money). Are any of them part of the problem? Are their self interests in opposition with what is best for the country? Do you, as chair of the House Ag Committee, protect their interests unfairly and at the expense of what many believe is a better way? Give Organic Farmers the same share of subsidies that you give to the AG industrialists. Give them a share that reflects their 3% (and growing) share of the market. Then we’ll see! I’m fortunate that I can afford to pay more for organic food, but I imagine a country where safe, healthy and natural food is available to everyone - not just the privileged. Can you imagine that? Why Not?!!” Westerville, OH

“How long are we going to have people in office who don’t care about the citizens of this country. I’m sick and tired of our government only representing the interests of the corporate world. I vote for my officials, not the corporations. Organic, local food is not “dumb” - making that statement only illustrates how deep in the pockets of agri-business you really are. Shame on you for not representing the people.”

“ As a resident of New Orleans, I know that consuming organic goods helps reduce the incredible amount of fertilizers / pesticides / herbicides that have created the “Dead Zone” at the mouth of the Mississippi River. If you think it is costly to pay more for organics, consider the multi-billion dollar price-tag associated with Hurricane Katrina that could have been mitigated by the buffering effect of healthy wetlands. Your comment betrays a basic misunderstanding of capitalism, responsible citizens take more things into consideration of the value of a product than just price.”

New Orleans, LA” Intelligence is obviously not your strong point, probably due to all the chemicals that you eat through your subsidized, and therefore cheap food.”

“Dear Mr. Collin Peterson; I believe you have missed the point entirely. The reason people are willing to spend two to three times as much for produce and meat marked organic or locally produced is because of the horrendous state of our current industrial food market. Our own government is poisoning us and happy to do so as long as the bottom line is met. The reality is that Americans are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time because of the dangerous, toxic handling of our food supply. Nutrition is an extraordinary part of overall health and well being, not to mention productivity. It is particularly important in brain development and function. If you and others like you want a Nation of below average sub producers who have little or no drive to achieve, succeed, and serve, than continue on the path you have chosen. Otherwise, wake up and start cultivating the people of this country in a way that shows that you care about your people, and what the future will hold for them. We are this countries most valuable resource. Treat us as such.

“Far be it from you to understand” - right! You’re a moron of the first degree. Isn’t it your business to understand agriculture. Shall we continue to subsidize factory farms until the % of obese Americans is even greater! Get real and educate yourself!” Blandford, MA

“Dear Sir, I’m truly disappointed in your comment especially from a Democrat. Your comment shows little forethought. If the “Organic and/or Local” farm sector got as many taxpayer subsidies as the corporate farm sector, then organic/local food probably wouldn’t cost as much. Organic/Local food is just plain better for everyone involved (the environment, true small family farms, consumers, energy & soil conservation, health and the country as a whole). Please reconsider your position or thinking on this issue. It probably would be best to scrap the whole farm bill and its subsidies and start over again from square one. Thank you for your time.” Austin, TX

“Collin Peterson, Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! You must feel very good about consuming massive amounts of pesticides and hormones with all of the non-organic food you eat. I hope you also feel wonderful about all of the pollution that comes with choosing to eat food grown very far away from where you live. Yes, I hope you feel very great indeed, and that you keep living a strong, healthy life, so that you can keep growing, and learning and opening your mind from out of the box; Coming out to see the bigger picture of how we’re all completely connected to all of these everyday choices we make, and to their consequences. Much love and peace to you.” Boise, ID

“Wow! Here’s an idea you might find appealing: stop subsidizing agribusiness. Create a level playing field. Perhaps then Americans would benefit from greater food security, for locally grown food would compete with the wasteful and environmentally questionable factory foods. The fact that the latter costs more to raise should not oblige us to subsidize it! And don’t tell me that agribusiness is the only way to feed the hungry world. It isn’t.”

“You don’t think small farmers need help but huge subsidized agribusiness does? Are you college-educated?” Fairfax, CA

“Dear Rep Peterson: Congratulations on receiving the award for Dumbest Quote of the Week from Organic Consumers. To add my remarks in response to your quote regarding farm products: ‘Local’ includes the employment of your constituents-you know, those ‘dumb’ people who voted for you. ‘Organic’ means those same people won’t light up at night or grow extra limbs or tumors, or pass along drug resistant diseases; So they can stick around and vote for you again. Or not. As far as paying 2-3X as much, well sometimes you do get what you pay for...” Baltimore, MD

“What’s really dumb is eating foods that contain additives & chemicals and that are genetically modified so as not to be recognized by the human body as food!! Shame on you for saying foods grown (truly) organically are dumb!!”

“Mr. Peterson, Unfortunately, I find it all too easy to believe that you would say something so utterly and profoundly “dumb” as to state that, in public even, that supporting local and organic agriculture is “dumb” . This displays your vast ignorance of and more probably your strategic denial of the reality of the state of agriculture today. Congratulations in offending people who are enlightened about the most critical reality facing us today: a sustainable food supply, and making yourself look like a total and complete idiot.” Pacific Grove, CA

“Congratulations on getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. Are you still asleep at the wheel of life?” Rochester, NY

“I work for the USDA (Agricultural Research Service) as a microbiologist, and also am doing work with organic methods and how to improve them. Time and time again it has been shown the using pesticides has a multitude of negative affects on the food itself that it eats. If we (i.e., US citizens) want to continue to put pesticides directly into their bodies, then that is their choice. However, I choose not to, as many of these pesticides are mutagens and carcinogens.” Jupiter, FL

“Your disrespect, & obvious lack of knowledge about Organic Farming,- was sorry to know.”

“So, you think it is “dumb” to pay extra for organic or local foods? Well, congratulations as that position garnered you the dumbest quote of the week from the Organics Consumers Association! Now, off to McDonalds to celebrate.”

“Organic and local farming is about environmental responsibility, sustainability, and efficiency, something we don’t expect much of these days from our politicians. We have nearly wiped out our family farmers in this country and whether or not politicians recognize this as a loss, there will someday be dire consequences. Our grandchildren will not be thanking you for the work you do Senator.”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week!”

“I don’t know where to begin to unravel the falsity and unconsciousness of your words to the Financial Time on Oct 17th. As a laborer on a small (5-acre) organic farm that sells directly to consumers through CSA subscriptions and farmers’ markets and to local consumers by way of restaurants and grocery stores, I know first-hand that prices are not always 2-3 times the cost of conventionally-grown produce. For example, at farmers markets, a consumer pays $1 for a generous bunch of green onions, $1.25 for a bunch of radishes, $1.50 for head of lettuce, etc. These are fair prices for consumers. The farm owners are a far-cry from rich, but they are able to live comfortably enough. Also, how can you not see that part of the reason conventionally-grown produce cost less is because of federal subsidies and mass production of food? Small-scale organic growers do not receive such support. Your comment about “organic” and “local” being 2-3 times can be seen when comparing ANY small business to large corporate chains. Prices are always more in small business than big. As we know, they over-produce and are even compensated for waste. Do we NOT want to support local businesses? As well, do you not think that food that is local and organic has value? Small-scale organic growers care for the soil and keep the food LOCAL, meaning they’re not shipping food everywhere which takes more energy and gets to the consumer less fresh. So, when you say, “for whatever reason, people are willing to pay...” maybe you should look at WHY people are willing to pay and, more importantly, what is the REAL COST of producing food anyway?” Battle Creek, MI

“Congratulations Representative Peterson! Few people get such a venue to prove their ignorance on the subject of organic and sustainable foods. You win the dumbest quote of the week award!”

“This is actually the 2nd time in the past week I’ve been called dumb, although this time indirectly. The first time was while driving my car because I wouldn’t tailgate someone to let the guy behind me pass comfortable on my right. He started honking at me and called me a dumbass. There was little I could do, since he rode away. Now indirectly, I am being called dumb again by what you’re quoted saying. If you are being pulled out of context, then I apologize. Otherwise, I would like to give you the reasons why I purchase organic or local foods, since you so graciously stated that you don’t understand why people like me choose to do so. 1. Most important, with organic foods there is not all the poisonous runoff from fertilizers and pesticides that flow into waterways, used for drinking water by humans and other animals, and for the aquatic life that is most affected. 2. Local food, as long as its time after being picked from the farm to my stomach is short, in most cases contains more nutrients than food shipped from across the country or half way around the world. It also uses less energy to ship it because of extremely shorter distances. (In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices have tripled in the past 3-4 years) 3. There is going to be some residue from harmful pesticides left on our foods. It takes time to remove this and there is no way of me knowing how much I have actually removed. 4. The antibiotics and hormones given to cows and other farm animals have the tendency of being eaten by us. Thus it lowers our resistance for when we actually do need antibiotics for that occasional virus. 5. Organic animals aren’t locked up in factory farms, where they can barely move for most, if not all of there lives. 6. And organic animals aren’t feed there own kind in the feed they are given, such as cows that are feed up ground by products of other cows. (Probably leading to the spread and increase of diseases such as mad cow.) If all this makes me dumb, then I hope I am the dumbest person in the world. Because maybe being dumb in today’s age is the new smart. Thank you for reading my comments. I hope I did not cause any inconvenience.” Orlando, FL

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week by saying “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” They say ignorance is bliss, but I fell the House Agriculture Committee Chair should ‘not be far from understanding’ the value of not having carcinogenic chemicals sprayed on our produce and saving our environment by buying locally grown produce that does not have to be shipped/trucked in by petroleum guzzling-smog spewing vehicles. Maybe in the future will have your aids research these ‘ideas’ and enlighten you. Oh, by the way, thanks for calling us DUMB.” Alliance, OH

“Its disappointing that the head of the agriculture committee feels that “Organic Food buyers are dumb” .” Riverside, RI

“How sad you do not understand the connection between food and nutrition. That you do not understand the quality of nutrition one eats equates to their good health. I could go on but based on your comments about organic and local foods I do not think you have the intelligence to comprehend. Educate yourself so you can do your job better, not make such ludicrous comments and maybe even improve your own health and the well being of your family.”

“What kind of an asshole are you? Head of the agricultural committee and you don’t even know the difference between organic and processed and genetically modified foods? Please resign your post and let someone who knows about agriculture do the job.” Taos, NM

“Mr. Collin Peterson, Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week: “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” I have been purchasing organic foods and other natural and organic products for 15 years now. I feel I spend less than the average person out there. Biggest reason is because I will not put inferior food in my or my families bodies. We do not spend time in and out of doctors offices, dentist offices, hospitals, etc. We are extremely healthy and we are NOT a burden on society because of lost time due to illnesses, etc. Did you not think when you made that statement? I see a big ugly shoe in your mouth. I always viewed my fellow Minnesotans as being very highly educated but you are an exception. You sound more like the ones I live around here in Arizona. Please educate yourself before spouting off about subjects you obviously know nothing about.”

“Dear Congressman Peterson, Myself growing up in Wisconsin, I understand how many Midwesterners remain “behind” in understanding the ever changing world around us. But as a LEADER on the United States Legislature’s Agricultural Committee, I am truly saddened that you remain oblivious to the importance of Organic and Local food production. I pardon my farming uncles for not being aware of the significance of organic and local, but for you...I am ashamed of the backwardness of a democratic leader from Minnesota.” Los Angeles, CA

“Jackass, do some research before you open your fat face.”

“Our children are our only true responsibility but our children have begun to be born with more than a hundred agriculturally used poisons of various types in their bodies. Our infant mortality rate and pediatric disease is higher than our level of medicine should ever bear. That you appear too ignorant of these truths of your own demographic makes you the clear winner in this event. I would like my taxes to support our food security, American economy and public health. I do NOT want my money subsidizing foreign and multi-national corporations to kick out our American family farmers and hire cheap illegals both of whom send their incomes overseas, taking it out of our American economy. It is truly stupid to pay people to take my money away from America. It is only common sense to invest in America’s health and security. Organic small farms employ more Americans. Things like NAIS and chemical, GMO and petroleum costly agriculture bleed our country dry.” Missouri City, TX

“Caring about where your food comes from, and whether or not the animal products you consume come from properly-raised and healthy animals is NOT “dumb.” Family farmers must charge higher prices than factory farms BECAUSE they rarely receive subsidies (not in spite of it) and do not go the way of mass-production with willful ignorance of quality and care. To care about where your food comes from, to support businesses within your own community and connect with the people growing your food, to receive more nutrients from your food(It is a proven fact that the majority of organically grown foods have more nutrients), and know that the animals grown to create the animal products you enjoy were raised with proper care is very, very SMART, Mr. Peterson - regardless of what prices one pays for them. Using food as medicine is an ancient concept, full of wisdom, and I prefer to purchase the best medicine I can afford. Congratulations on receiving the “dumbest quote of the week” award from some of the most conscious consumers in the nation.”

“A terrible remark about such a worth while industry” Richmond, VA

“I’ll tell you who is dumb and it’s not organic consumers! It’s “know it all” legislators who don’t have a clue to the difference between organic, real, healthy food and the mass produced, pesticide laden, nutrient deficient produce that is mostly available. Anyone who knows anything about food would take organic over the other any time. The problem is massive “agribusiness” controls so much of the supply plus smaller producers don’t get the money breaks that big agribusiness does.”

“I can’t believe you would say something so stupid. There is a REASON people are willing to pay more for LOCAL and ORGANIC. Have you looked at the health stats in this country. We are on of the unhealthiest country on the planet. I would venture to say, you are probably overweight, and on several medications, and our health is less than optimum. You all approve more chemicals and pesticides and greener picking, which increases toxins and decreases vitamins and minerals in the food chain and you are surprised when the cancer rates continue to skyrocket. Sir, YOU are the dumb one. I suggest you pull your head out of the political machine and research how food and nutrition effects your health and become educated about such things. I guarantee when you know the facts instead of the Monsanto/big money corp backed lies, you will start looking differently about what you put in your mouth...and what comes out of it.” Springfield, MO

“We are willing to pay more for these protects because we have read the scientific evidence that these protects keep us healthy unlike the other products. What are you reading?”

“I switched to organic food because I no longer trust the government regarding public health vs. corporate interests. The added cost means I eat less and that’s better for me too!”

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week! As a national leader and chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, I’d say it’s your job to “understand what that’s about” . Do your homework Collin! Don’t project your own ignorance on to others.” Hancock, MI

“If the government were supporting true organic practices, the choice of eating authentic food versus chemically treated and/or genetically altered food is not really so “dumb” , is it Mr. Peterson?”

“Dear Colin Peterson, That is the dumbest quote that I have seen in a long time...Congratulations! Local and Organic consumers are NOT dumb. We are just trying to make the world a little greener and ourselves healthier!!” Johnson City, TN

“Buying locally grown organic food is one of the healthiest things that a person can do in my opinion. Only a daft bureaucrat with no common sense could possibly have found fault with that.”

“A shamefully shortsighted and obviously lobby-influenced comment. So much for good government that represents the interests of consumers. I don’t consider myself dumb and resent the implication. I do consider myself interested in avoiding pesticides.” Santa Cruz, CA

“Dear Rep. Peterson, OK, I admit it. I’m an organic consumer. I’m also a PhD, a scientist. a professor, and a mother, and I have read and believe the strong scientific evidence that organic agriculture is better for my kids and for the planet we’re going to leave to them. I don’t think paying more for organic food is dumb at all. If you call me dumb, I guess I’d respond to the insult as I’ve taught my kids to do: “It takes one to know one.” Dover, NH

“You do realize what organic means don’t you? It means that the product is not raised using pesticides, insecticides, herbicides etc. If you want to use products that have been sprayed with poisons that’s your choice, but in my opinion that is DUMB!!!!! Farm raised beef and chickens are generally raised without antibiotics and are pasture fed. They are not cooped up in one little area. Happy animals make healthy animals!” Searcy, AR

“I don’t consider myself “dumb” for wanting safe, nutritious organically raised and local produce. You should be the poster child for what’s wrong with the government’s attitude on farming in general and the farm bill in particular. I have worked in my community to organize and sustain a local farmers market which has been highly successful. It is a constant struggle for our farmers to keep participating due to the high cost of everything these days and they could certainly use some help in sustaining the family farm (versus factory farm) tradition.” Coppell, TX

“The Senate Agriculture Committee approved its draft of the $300 billion 2007-2012 Farm Bill last week. The 1300-page bill, now headed to the main Senate floor, includes, as usual, billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for chemical and energy-intensive crops, factory farms, and junk food purveyors, while “nickel and dime-ing” organic agriculture, conservation, nutrition, and alternative energy programs. This is the reason we’re willing to pay more for organic foods. Because we HAVE to in order to ensure decent, clean, and wholesome foods for ourselves and our families.”

“The rusting cold warriors have a hard time understanding the word “sustainable” unless its attached to a government subsidy, but it is the dominant trend emerging from the bloody train wreck of post-WW2 empire building. Fundamentalist capitalism has the same problems as any other fundamentalist ideology, it is, by definition, out of touch with reality. Please, wake up!”

“Mr. Peterson, People like me, who are dumb enough to pay more for local and organic food are willing to pay the actual cost of the food we want to eat. Because people like you have corrupted our food supply for the sole purpose of making profit for big agra. The food you help supplying (in our name, God, can you look at yourself in the mirror?) is making us sick, destroys the environment and farming. Did you teach your children that they won’t be able to eat the money you got bribed with after you die of cancer?”

“Dear Rep. Peterson, You do a discredit to yourself and the people you supposedly serve when you make stupid statements like the one reported. Organic practices are more expensive as well as much less injurious to OUR ENVIRONMENT! Since that environment sustains Your life and those of your loved ones as well it is only logical that WE ALL should do the least damage to that environment. As a public servant, it is Your responsibility to be up to speed, not sticking your head in the sand!”

“Sir, As an organic consumer, I object to you calling me dumb (MSNBC.com, Financial Times, Oct 17, 2007). Recent studies show that conventionally grown produce is riddled with pesticides - chemicals that have detrimental effects to growing children. Other studies have shown that today’s conventional produce contains almost 50% fewer nutrients than the same crops 50 years ago. Though not suffering as badly, even today’s organic produce is less nutritious than that from 50 years ago. Organic and local produce has a strong impact on local economies and have demonstrated positive effects on land management and conservation. And yes, these products cost more - largely because of economy of scale. But I’d rather spend the money on good food than pump money into our decrepit health care system. I often wonder why large scale agriculture is getting huge subsidies if they are growing produce (and animals) that are less than what they were years ago. I often wonder why large scale agriculture is getting huge subsidies to trash our environment and decimate local economies. I often wonder what would happen if more people knew the truth about the growing conditions of the produce and the animals from large-scale agriculture. I hope you will retract your statement about organic consumers. We really are quite educated - we do get to meet our local farmers and ask questions about the growing conditions. I’ve even taken my toddler son to see the farm where we get our chickens and our lamb, and to the orchard where we get our apples and apple cider. If he can get the connection between the land and the food, why can’t you?”

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