Thursday, October 11, 2012

The "Food Movement" and Genetically Modified Foods

I try not to get too political here on the site, but wanted to share an article here written by Michael Pollan. The man understands food, and is part of the reason Long Shadow Farm is here today. Larry was very moved by his book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" (and since he lent it to someone and lost track of it, I have not read it yet). But it started the wheels in motion for him.  See a list of Michael Pollan's Books here.

His latest article in the New York Time's regards California's Proposition 37, which is attempting to make food companies label foods that are genetically modified. I'm not a food scientist, but between my husband and I, we have a degree in science, a degree in engineering and one business degree. We understand science. We understand the risk of unleashing something that you can't control into the environment. We understand that when you put something out into the world - it can evolve and you might have the best intentions, but you don't know what it's going to do.

There are all sorts of examples of how we have impacted our environment by making something that is convenient for people. Entire populations of fish have become all female, because of hormones in our waterways from birth control pills. "Round up" ready crops have caused weeds to evolve into being resistant to Round Up, causing harm to crops, and creating the need for even more chemicals to control crops.

There are other folks out there, smart enough to know that healthy soil breeds healthy crops, and dousing everything with chemicals or messing with their DNA strands isn't required. Elliot Coleman and Joel Salatin (2 other reasons why Long Shadow Farm is here today) understand how to raise crops and animals without having to mess with their genetics, or use costly and risky chemicals to grow healthy food at good yields.

Anyhow, I may understand science, but I don't write about it as eloquently as others. California is a big state, and they sometimes can pave the way for political movements that other states might follow. I agree with them on this one. Consumers should know their risks and be able to make a choice. Label GMOs so that folks who disagree with it can choose to buy another product (which is why Big Ag is putting so much money into trying to shut this proposition down, it risks their profits!). Let's see what Michael Pollan has to say about it, as he is a better expert than I am, and a good writer:

Why California's Proposition 37 Should Matter to Anyone Who Cares About Food