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On Your Table Blog

February 3, 2021

Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

This post first appeared on OYT on February 10, 2020

By Heather Lang

Trustworthy describes something you can believe in - it's completely reliable. In today's world I feel like it's harder than ever to know who to trust. Additional things I tend to look for in someone or something trustworthy would be resiliency, tenacity, authentic and honesty which means complete transparency. How do you decide who to trust?

Sometimes, I struggle with this. I want to be able to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I've been burned so many times, I tend to put up a rock solid, extremely high wall that people then have to work at breaking down if they choose to be in my life.

As a mother to three children ranging in pre-teen to younger elementary age, I want to teach them to be strong, independent thinkers, kind-hearted individuals who want to lift others up, encourage the best from people and to always tell the truth. I also want them to know that it's not okay to let others take advantage of them.

Recently we were staying at a hotel with family. I walked by the pool area and noticed the door was covered in duct tape. Someone clearly broke the door, not all the way through since it was a double-pane door but still spider webbed the entire door. I turned to my family jokingly stating, “I hope it wasn't anyone in our crew.” We had probably 50 of our family members there with many of those being kids.

Borken door at a motel

A few hours went by when I found out it was one of my children that broke the door. I was devastated, but I needed to talk to him to see if he was going to tell me himself. After all we have a saying at our household, “You don't get in nearly as much trouble if you just tell me the truth right away,” so I needed to give him the chance to tell me and much to my excitement (and surprise) he did confess and explained what happened. Although he did confess, we still had something else he needed to do. We walked up to the hotel front desk. We waited our turn in line and then my young elementary child had to tell the staff what he did, how it happened and how extremely sorry he was plus explaining to the staff that HE would pay for it.

He was being honest.

I only wish some companies would do the same. When I walk through the grocery store aisles it seems overwhelming, confusing and dare I even say frightening sometimes to see all those labels screaming at me. I just want to know that I am feeding my family good wholesome food that is safe and fits into my tight budget. How do we know which labels to trust?

In 2010, the Non-GMO Verified Project with the orange butterfly symbol was created to distinguish between GMO and Non-GMO products. Even though I don't shy away from GMO products because I know that they are not bad for me and will not harm my family, not everyone knows that. I can understand how others may not be aware of the truth or might be persuaded to think differently due to all the fear marketing you see everywhere.

That little orange butterfly is on practically everything including salt! Here’s the problem. There are no organisms or genes to modify in salt, which means it isn't even remotely possible to ever have GMO salt. Or when I'm enjoying breakfast and suddenly notice the butterfly on my orange juice carton. Again, oranges, or any citrus fruits for that matter, are not genetically modified, so there's no reason for the label to be on there in the first place.

What that says to me is that the Butterfly Project is making a killing by lying to consumers. I don't know about you, but I am not okay with being lied to!

Just as my young child had to go tell the hotel staff what he did in order to continue to uphold a title of trustworthy and honest, so should these companies.

There is only a very short list of actual GMO foods and those are: soybeans, corn, papaya, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets and summer squash. That's it. Those are ALL the GMO foods. And yet companies continue to sell fear by implying GMOs are in everything and are harmful.

I challenge companies to share facts not fear. Farmers and ranchers dedicate their lives to being transparent, open and honest. We want people to come to us when they have questions. We are professionals and we want to share facts, not fear. We are all for options and realize that we need all forms for agriculture to feed everyone.

I support people who have proven to be trustworthy. People such as Tim McIntyre, spokesperson for Dominos, who took a hard stand against animal activist groups simply stating, “Farmers know best.” Or companies like Culver's who have based their entire company around thanking farmers. Since 2013 Culver’s have teamed up to support agricultural education programs, and painted barns blue throughout the Midwest with words of gratitude.

Rather than vilify the people who grow your food, talk to us, ask us questions. We eat what we grow. And we’re proud of what we do.