day to day rants
The wonders of modern science have brought some amazing gifts to planet earth. Like uh, the internet, jet travel, and improved surgical procedures, to name a couple. One wonders, though, whether dabbling in something as basic to the needs of the human creature as food, is the best possible use of our most gifted ones time.
After all, whether you peg the age of the earth as millions or billions of years, or take the creationist view that it is only thousands of years old, you'd have to admit that food has served mankind rather well, aside from the occasional poisonings and shortages that is. Surely we can agree that something as vital as food should be tampered with in only the most controlled environment, where there is no remotely possible chance of new organisms escaping into the food chain?
Instead, certain major corporations who are certain they know what they are doing are modifying apparently every food in sight at a furious pace, patenting the results and feeding them to us as quickly as possible. It is obvious with just a moment of thought that an organism "created" as early as 1976 has experienced no testing whatsoever on what effect it will have on the consumers relatives one hundred years from ingestion. Or fifty. Let alone what might be the result of the new plant species migrating its chemistry into other plant forms.
Obviously, scientific research is expensive and just as obviously, investors are anxious to see a rapid return on their investment. No one wants to wait a hundred years to harvest the interest on his savings and so the pressure to perform financially might outweigh reasonable cautions.
I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. And although I didnt pay too much attention at the time I am familiar with the chemical known as Roundup. It kills every plant it contacts. If you want to eliminate all vegetation along a row of fence or kill every living thing on a certain plot of ground, use Roundup. Very effective. Now the genetists needed to find a way to kill all the weeds in a field and leave the desirable crop standing so, in a truly amazing success, created a way to make the crop "roundup ready". In other words, the farmer can now spray his entire crop with Roundup and only kill every plant except the crop hes growing. This sounds wonderful until you realize that the roundup residue is all over the cereal crop as well. In other words, we get to eat that crap.
I visited my mother in the hospital in Saskatchewan last spring. And I wont divulge her medical condition out of consideration for her privacy but one observation I made was that the parking lot in front of the new hospital in Swift Current had a very large area designated for chemo and dialysis patients. Not just a few spaces, and i didnt count, but it shocked me at the time to realize that cancer is so prevalent these days. A fact we all already realize.
Without beating GMO to death at this time, not that i would miss it, I would like to suggest that we all push hard for labelng. And that while shopping for groceries we make an effort to buy organic produce only. (And by the way, a hundred years ago EVERYTHING in the store was organic! Now they get to charge extra for it. ) I'm getting so i think i can pick out the gmo stuff fairly well. It normally looks lumpy and deformed and tastes like a block of wood. Buy one single fruit or veg and try it before you load your cart. Non-gmo produce usually tastes rich and full and when cut in half, is symmetrical, each half looking similar.
In the latest twist, gmo producers are trying to blame nature for the distortions science has given us, selling us "naturally" misshapen produce. Im not buying. And I've also been wondering what happens to the crops which are so grotesque as to be unpresentable to the market? Are they going into products like ketchup and salsa...perhaps?
It really boils down to your worldview on origins, i suppose. If you believe the universe was formed by an intelligent designer, then we are only messing with success. If we and our kids are the result of random mutations and blind chance, then perhaps, our superior intelligence can help evolution along a bit quicker.
In either case, if we arent careful, what we risk is nothing less than the complete destruction of all our food sources in all their forms. Of course, we'll still have money.