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Jennifer Schmidt

Maryland Farmer and Registered Dietician

Expert Bio

Jennifer lives on a family farm with her husband and two children. Schmidt Farms is a very diverse farm, including grains, vegetables, hay and wine grapes in Sudlersville, Maryland. The diversity doesn’t end at their farm.

Not only does Jennifer work on the farm and manage the family’s 20-acre vineyard in addition to vineyards that belong to other producers throughout the region, but she is also a registered dietitian by trade who speaks on behalf of the International Food Information Council.

Schmidt also dedicates a good portion of her time to starting conversations about food and farming with urban consumers based on her experiences through her blog, The Foodie Farmer.  When Jennifer is able to find some spare time outside of 4-H projects with her kids, church activities and her many other responsibilities, she can be found relaxing with a good book or working on her latest scrapbooking project.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Showing 10 out of 20 results

Question

Q: After eliminating GMOs from my diet, I intuitively can tell when I accidently eat gmos. I get a specific "sluggish feeling." Humans used mercury to harvest gold because we did not know better. Life is complex. We live in relationship to life. When we

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jan 14, 2014

A: As you say, life is complex, as is the question you pose! Intuitive eating begins with the concept that people are mindful of their food choices, how much they eat, when they eat and when to stop eating. It is the psychology of food and food consumption and comes wrapped in a number of personal beliefs and an individual's philosophy. As a farmer, a mom, a consumer of food and a registered dietitian who also eats intuitively, I’ve never experienced any “sluggish feeling” related to consumption of genetically engineered foods. We grow both GM and non-GM crops. Our family eats what we grow, [...]

Answered By Community Manager - Feb 27, 2014

A: Based on your question, it seems that you are skeptical about the intentions and awareness of those of us who have dedicated our lives to researching and developing GM crops. I’d like to address your question based on my personal experience.   I grew up in southeastern Arkansas, in a small farming town named Dumas, where my grandfather, uncles and cousins were and still are farmers. I worked in the cotton fields every summer, scouting for insect pests so farmers knew when to apply insecticides. If the pest population was bad enough, farmers would spray insecticides two or more times [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: What is the difference in the cost of production gmo vs. non gmo?

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Dec 18, 2014

A: Will Rogers is credited with the quote: "The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn't still be a farmer."  Optimistically, each winter we review our harvest data comparing our crop yield by variety to our cost of production for that crop that season, in consideration of the type of growing season we had, in order to decide what seeds to purchase for the coming season.   Since 1998, we have been growing both GM and non-GM corn and soybeans. (We don’t actually use the term “GM” or “GMO” since all domesticated crops have been genetically modified, [...]

Answered By Community Manager - Apr 28, 2014

A: While the cost of food is impacted by various factors (the price of oil affects transportation costs; temperature changes can cause drought; etc.), GMOs play an important role in keeping those prices as low as possible. It’s estimated that corn-based products would be priced 6 percent higher and soybean-based products would be 10 percent higher if GM crops were not grown, according to a 2010 study by Graham Brookes et al.   Graham Brookes, an agricultural economist with PG Economics Ltd., recently answered the question “Are GMOs increasing the price of food?&rdquo [...]

Business Practices GMOs & Farmers

Question

Q: Once corn has been reduced to the various components used in food processing sugars, starch, oil, alcohol, etc. is there any way of telling if these things came from GMO or nonGMO corn?

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - May 02, 2014

A: There are two ways to know whether a product in a grocery store is not GMO. First is that it is labeled "certified organic"; the second is that it is labeled "non-GMO project certified." As I blogged about in "The Cost of GMO Labeling" our food supply chain is a system of commingling of grain from farms throughout a region. Farmers grow several different varieties of, say, corn in a year, and unless they have a specialty contract with a specific buyer for that variety, all the corn gets delivered to the buyer's grain elevator—along with every other farmer in the region selling that same [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: how much would it cost to label GMOs?

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jun 12, 2014

A: That's an easy question to ask and a very difficult one to answer. There are some circles that would lead you to believe that it’s a simple matter of putting the acronym "GMO" on a label. For people who haven't followed a corn or soybean seed from the field to the fork, it would seem to be an easy thing to just "put" on a label. For those of us in farming, we know that it’s not so simple and would have a catastrophic impact on our family farms if it passed. There is nothing simple about the food supply chain, from a commodity grain grown in my field to a food ingredient used in a baked good, [...]

Answered By Alison Van Eenennaam - Jun 12, 2014

A: “The potential economic impact of state and other initiatives that would mandate labeling for the presence of GE ingredients in foods has also been of much interest. Opponents of mandatory GE labeling schemes have argued that they would be paid by all consumers, including those who do not wish to avoid GE. Proponents have argued that the implied costs would be minimal. Indeed, a handful of studies has sketched out the potential costs of the mandatory labeling initiatives in California and Washington. The results have varied from more than $1 billion per year to a few thousands of dollars (Als [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jun 12, 2014

A: That's an easy question to ask and a very difficult one to answer. There are some circles that would lead you to believe that it’s a simple matter of putting the acronym "GMO" on a label. For people who haven't followed a corn or soybean seed from the field to the fork, it would seem to be an easy thing to just "put" on a label. For those of us in farming, we know that it’s not so simple and would have a catastrophic impact on our family farms if it passed. There is nothing simple about the food supply chain, from a commodity grain grown in my field to a food ingredient used in a baked good, [...]

Answered By Alison Van Eenennaam - Jun 12, 2014

A: “The potential economic impact of state and other initiatives that would mandate labeling for the presence of GE ingredients in foods has also been of much interest. Opponents of mandatory GE labeling schemes have argued that they would be paid by all consumers, including those who do not wish to avoid GE. Proponents have argued that the implied costs would be minimal. Indeed, a handful of studies has sketched out the potential costs of the mandatory labeling initiatives in California and Washington. The results have varied from more than $1 billion per year to a few thousands of dollars (Als [...]

Labeling

Question

Q: how much would it cost to label GMOs?

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jun 12, 2014

A: That's an easy question to ask and a very difficult one to answer. There are some circles that would lead you to believe that it’s a simple matter of putting the acronym "GMO" on a label. For people who haven't followed a corn or soybean seed from the field to the fork, it would seem to be an easy thing to just "put" on a label. For those of us in farming, we know that it’s not so simple and would have a catastrophic impact on our family farms if it passed. There is nothing simple about the food supply chain, from a commodity grain grown in my field to a food ingredient used in a baked good, [...]

Answered By Alison Van Eenennaam - Jun 12, 2014

A: “The potential economic impact of state and other initiatives that would mandate labeling for the presence of GE ingredients in foods has also been of much interest. Opponents of mandatory GE labeling schemes have argued that they would be paid by all consumers, including those who do not wish to avoid GE. Proponents have argued that the implied costs would be minimal. Indeed, a handful of studies has sketched out the potential costs of the mandatory labeling initiatives in California and Washington. The results have varied from more than $1 billion per year to a few thousands of dollars (Als [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jun 12, 2014

A: That's an easy question to ask and a very difficult one to answer. There are some circles that would lead you to believe that it’s a simple matter of putting the acronym "GMO" on a label. For people who haven't followed a corn or soybean seed from the field to the fork, it would seem to be an easy thing to just "put" on a label. For those of us in farming, we know that it’s not so simple and would have a catastrophic impact on our family farms if it passed. There is nothing simple about the food supply chain, from a commodity grain grown in my field to a food ingredient used in a baked good, [...]

Answered By Alison Van Eenennaam - Jun 12, 2014

A: “The potential economic impact of state and other initiatives that would mandate labeling for the presence of GE ingredients in foods has also been of much interest. Opponents of mandatory GE labeling schemes have argued that they would be paid by all consumers, including those who do not wish to avoid GE. Proponents have argued that the implied costs would be minimal. Indeed, a handful of studies has sketched out the potential costs of the mandatory labeling initiatives in California and Washington. The results have varied from more than $1 billion per year to a few thousands of dollars (Als [...]

Labeling

Question

Q: Do you believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies, and if not then to what would you attribute the trend? For example, could cornsoy allergies be caused by the sheer quantity of cornsoy and their derivatives in our food, both G

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Aug 13, 2014

A: In short, no, I do not believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Center, 90 percent of the food allergies in the United States stem from eight foods: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. Of those eight foods, only one of them — soy — has varieties that have been genetically engineered. None of the others has. Non-GM soy, of which I am a grower, is also allergenic, so the fact is, people with soy allergies need to avoid non-GM, as well as organic soy as much as they need to avoid GM soy [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Aug 13, 2014

A: In short, no, I do not believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Center, 90 percent of the food allergies in the United States stem from eight foods: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. Of those eight foods, only one of them — soy — has varieties that have been genetically engineered. None of the others has. Non-GM soy, of which I am a grower, is also allergenic, so the fact is, people with soy allergies need to avoid non-GM, as well as organic soy as much as they need to avoid GM soy [...]

Health & Safety

Question

Q: Do you believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies, and if not then to what would you attribute the trend? For example, could cornsoy allergies be caused by the sheer quantity of cornsoy and their derivatives in our food, both G

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Aug 13, 2014

A: In short, no, I do not believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Center, 90 percent of the food allergies in the United States stem from eight foods: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. Of those eight foods, only one of them — soy — has varieties that have been genetically engineered. None of the others has. Non-GM soy, of which I am a grower, is also allergenic, so the fact is, people with soy allergies need to avoid non-GM, as well as organic soy as much as they need to avoid GM soy [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Aug 13, 2014

A: In short, no, I do not believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Center, 90 percent of the food allergies in the United States stem from eight foods: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. Of those eight foods, only one of them — soy — has varieties that have been genetically engineered. None of the others has. Non-GM soy, of which I am a grower, is also allergenic, so the fact is, people with soy allergies need to avoid non-GM, as well as organic soy as much as they need to avoid GM soy [...]

Health & Safety

Question

Q: I know there is no straight answer, but can you give me a breakdown of the costs of LABELING genetically engineeredbioengineered foods? Not only for consumers, but for the farmers and those behind the scenes?

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jan 16, 2015

A: The true cost of GMO labeling, I believe, has yet to be determined. Of the literature that I have read, none have fully considered the capitalization of infrastructure in which farmers would need to invest in order to keep genetically engineered seed segregated from non-genetically engineered seed. That’s not to say it’s not possible, we and many other farmers already do that and get paid a premium to do so. The issue is because a large percentage of genetically engineered grain produced in the U.S. goes to animal feed, and the various traits can be co-mingled in the same grain ta [...]

GMOs in Groceries Labeling Other

Question

Q: How do I reconcile our Nations nutritional standards, the rise in obesity, the proliferation of industrialized agriculture and the loss of small farms, suburban sprawl, and the declining middle class. GMOs just seem to be part and parcel of a long list o

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jul 01, 2015

A: This is a challenging question because it starts from the premise that technology is the cause of all the ills of the world. There are many “things” that if analyzed statistically, could correlate similarly to these issues other than the GMOs you cite. Use of cell phones, HD TVs, E-readers, laptop computers, even organic food has increased in parallel to many of your concerns.   I’m not sure that I agree that the technology has been a “gaff”. Pharmaceutical “GMO” precedes agricultural “GMO” by several decades. We rely on biotechnolo [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jul 01, 2015

A: This is a challenging question because it starts from the premise that technology is the cause of all the ills of the world. There are many “things” that if analyzed statistically, could correlate similarly to these issues other than the GMOs you cite. Use of cell phones, HD TVs, E-readers, laptop computers, even organic food has increased in parallel to many of your concerns.   I’m not sure that I agree that the technology has been a “gaff”. Pharmaceutical “GMO” precedes agricultural “GMO” by several decades. We rely on biotechnolo [...]


Question

Q: How do I reconcile our Nations nutritional standards, the rise in obesity, the proliferation of industrialized agriculture and the loss of small farms, suburban sprawl, and the declining middle class. GMOs just seem to be part and parcel of a long list o

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jul 01, 2015

A: This is a challenging question because it starts from the premise that technology is the cause of all the ills of the world. There are many “things” that if analyzed statistically, could correlate similarly to these issues other than the GMOs you cite. Use of cell phones, HD TVs, E-readers, laptop computers, even organic food has increased in parallel to many of your concerns.   I’m not sure that I agree that the technology has been a “gaff”. Pharmaceutical “GMO” precedes agricultural “GMO” by several decades. We rely on biotechnolo [...]

Answered By Jennifer Schmidt - Jul 01, 2015

A: This is a challenging question because it starts from the premise that technology is the cause of all the ills of the world. There are many “things” that if analyzed statistically, could correlate similarly to these issues other than the GMOs you cite. Use of cell phones, HD TVs, E-readers, laptop computers, even organic food has increased in parallel to many of your concerns.   I’m not sure that I agree that the technology has been a “gaff”. Pharmaceutical “GMO” precedes agricultural “GMO” by several decades. We rely on biotechnolo [...]