• Fresh Crops or Chemically Enhanced?

    by  • May 6, 2013 • News • 1 Comment

     

    Ploch’s Farm of Clifton, New Jersey

    Next to a bucket filled with corn, Ryan Langan sat down on a bench while being able to explain what exactly makes Ploch’s Farm so special. He began talking about what chemicals, what machines, and what new technology that this farm uses to gain success throughout the city of Clifton, and surrounding cities for so many years.

    Genetically Modified Crops PHOTO/pvguide.org

    “We are actually very traditional here at Ploch’s Farm,” Langan said. “Our group of farmers and workers have been using the same mechanical devices for years now. We believe in nothing but fresh crops. We love serving the community with fresh fruit, and vegetables. We do use chemicals, we spray them over all of our crops but this is to prevent pesticides.”

    Ploch’s farm is all about the customers. Chemicals are not their number one priority. They even sell Italian ice, candles, and much more in their gift shop, something that is beneficial for all customers.

    Their farmers market consists of two different sessions or seasons in which they sell different crops, a summer season, and a fall season. Arugula, basil, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, onions, peaches, peppers, plums, tomato, watermelon, and zucchini are all crops sold and grown during their summer session which begins in July. Apples, pears, cabbage, potatoes, squash, and pumpkin are a few of the items sold and grown for their fall session which begins in September. Other products sold at Ploch’s Farm consist of flowers, syrups, dressings, and more.

    Click on the link below to view Ploch’s full menu of fruits and vegetables along with their seasons:

    http://www.plochsfarm.com/farmmarket.html#produce

    “I have heard of the many accusations of farms using genetically modified crops, but the difference between our farms and the farms you happen to hear of is that here at Ploch’s farm, we personally like to eat what we grow. Why would we want to eat a fruit filled with chemicals?” Langan said.

    Chemically Enhanced?

    Apples, oranges, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, rice, yeast, etc., are all very healthy and nutritious foods grown on farms. These fruits and vegetables are good for the body in various different ways, but farmers in today’s world are using all different kinds of machines and chemicals to enhance their product and to speed up the growing process. So are fresh crops still fresh, or chemically enhanced/genetically modified?

    With technology rapidly increasing, crops are also rapidly increasing in numbers, size, flavor, and more; but is this good for the consumers? Farmers will make more money if their crops are growing at a rapid pace, but by no means are they helping others. These companies, farmers, and even the government are looking for nothing more than money. Machines that harvest these crops are not the issue, but the chemicals in these machines that are being spread all over farms are where the issues lie. Pesticides may be one of the only positives coming out of chemically or genetically enhanced crops. While putting all these chemicals on crops may be harmful, they prevent pesticides which are even more harmful if found in our crops.

    Below are local farms in the Clifton/Passaic area.


    View Farms in a larger map

    How do you know what is real?

    At a website called Open Knowledge, listed are incredible facts, figures, and statistics on the world of genetically modified (GM) crop and food industry. Their first fact talks about tomatoes in the early nineties that were genetically modified so that once they were picked, it took longer to decompose. “The first commercial GM food was the FlavrSavr tomato developed in the early 1990s in California. It was genetically altered so that it took longer to decompose after being picked.” (knowledge.allianz.com) Soybeans and corn were also two of the top genetically modified crops in 2008. “The top three GM crops in 2008 were soybeans (53 percent of total GM area), maize (30 percent), and cotton (15 percent). Others include rapeseed (canola), alfalfa, and papaya.” (knowledge.allianz.com) But it is not all about the health aspect, as with everything, money is a major factor in farming and especially is the GM industry. “GM crops have been grown commercially since 1996. Since then the GM market has grown 74-fold and spread to 25 countries. The global value of the GM crop market was 7.5 billion dollars in 2008.” (knowledge.allianz.com)

    With all the talks of genetically enhanced or modified crops, how do you know what is real? Of course farmers will deny any accusations made towards their farms, or what chemicals they are using, but how would we know, and would the customers continue to buy.

    Mike Barbone, 19, a resident of Clifton New Jersey and a close neighbor to Ploch’s Farm says that the farms crops have stayed consistent from what he knows within the past couple years since he became an avid eater of healthy foods.

    “I am a health freak so fruits, vegetables, and protein are essential to my diet. There are valid points when it comes to the GM foods industry but I can’t stop what I have always believed in, and that is these fruits and vegetables keep me healthy,” Barbone said. “I am young, but I do my research and have been shopping at the local Ploch’s Farm for a couple years now. I flat out trust their crops, and until something goes wrong, I’ll continue to trust these crops.”

    Andrew Wong, 22, resident of North Brunswick New Jersey and graduating senior at Ramapo College explained to me why he will continue to buy fresh food and does not plan on stopping.

    “I live very close to a farm in my town and for years now my parents and I have gone directly to the farm for a large portion of our food. It’s just good for you,” Wong said. “Getting fruits and vegetables straight from the farm is better than any other food source out there. I have heard about genetically modified crops but you need to take a step back and look at other food and realize how harmful they could be compared to these fruits or vegetables. People are out there saying the apples and oranges we eat are ‘fake’ or are not what we think we are eating, but this makes me laugh because I look at them and they have a McDonald’s cheeseburger in their hands and they want to tell me about chemicals in my food?”

    It makes the average person stop and think, do I give my child a nice healthy apple with his lunch, or do you give him a Hot Pocket? Nothing seems healthy anymore, and at this point it almost feels as if the “healthy” meal will soon become the deadly one.

    Sources

    http://knowledge.allianz.com/environment/food_water/?500/gm-crops-facts-and-figures

    Take the poll:

    After reviewing the statistics about Genetically Modified Crops, do you still think that your crops are safe?

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    One Response to Fresh Crops or Chemically Enhanced?

    1. ccallons@ramapo.edu
      May 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      I liked your insight into the world of this fresh crop world vs chemically altered food. I think that it is interesting to see what it’s like for a farm itself to speak about its crops instead of someone else talking for them. What i wouldve really liked to have seen is a graph or chart that showed what chemicals are in processed/fast food and what they do to the body as opposed to pestisides and foods on a farm and their health effects and such. but oveall good job.

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