July 02, 2003

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine? It's in the backyard and is fed by water and plant food. But, if you've been following the news at all in the last five years, you know that a fair portion of America's foodstuffs, especially produce and soybeans, has been produced with the aid of genetic engineering.

Being such the nutrition fiend, I picked up Eating in the Dark from the local library, and I've been plodding through the book bit by bit over the last few weeks. (Life hasn't left me much time for reading...except blogs, of course).

It's enlightening. St. Louis is, of course, home to Monsanto, one of the companies heavily attacked in this book. Personally, I wish I had read Food, Inc. first, as it is purported to be more fact-oriented and less of a platform for the author's opinion.

I've found a glaring error in Eating in the Dark, and it has clouded the believability of the book. On page 89, it mentions the dioxin mess in Times Beach, Missouri. Anyone who lived in this area at the time and had access to the news remembers it quite vividly. It was a story of the 80s, and the author states the year was 1974. Oops! Electric shock to the fact checkers.

Next on the agenda is Pandora's Picnic Basket, also an item found at Bridgeton Trails Library. The author is a genetic engineer, so this should prove interesting. Eating in the Dark is authored by a journalist.

As you likely already know, the Europeans are not too keen on receiving and consuming genetically engineered food. Well, today, there was a step in what I believe is a positive direction. Labelling.

This food is here to stay. I'd like to see it labelled in the United States for the same reason that I want all of my food labelled - conscious choice. There's a common view that many people will avoid genetically engineered foods if given the choice. Often called Frankenfoods, genetically engineered items have a deep stigma attached, to the point that in 1998 (and many times since and probably before) fields growing genetically modified corn were systematically destroyed by "activists."

Is this stigma appropriate? I'm not sure yet and may never be. I am sure I'll write more on this.


Posted by hln at July 2, 2003 09:11 PM | Nutrition