Post 1.18 - Frankenfood

I hope to be back to my recipes for next week's post, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about home gardening, especially in regards to some recent items in the news, namely, the continuing controversy over Monsanto and related companies with respect to genetically-engineered foods.

In a nutshell, industrial food interests have continually and successfully lobbied the USFDA and governments in other countries to avoid having to identify which foods have been genetically-engineered, denying consumers any choice in the matter. Foods are modified primarily to make them resistant to pests, but it doesn't end there. Some seeds are modified with a so-called "terminator" gene, which results in the adult plant not producing viable seeds to be replanted, forcing the farmer to repurchase new seeds for a new harvest. However, there is now evidence that some genetic modifications result in damage to benign species. The collapse of honeybee populations has been investigated for some time, and these modifications are now believed to have played a role.

Honeybees pollinate. No bees, no pollination. No pollination, no natural food.

One solution to rising costs of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a solution to avoiding genetically-modified food is to simply plant your own.

Think you have no room? Well, my friend Michael Nolan has the answer. He's written about urban gardening, and he practices what he preaches. (He's also really my friend, believe it or not). His website, The Garden Rockstar, includes information about his book, and links to his blog, My Earth Garden, where you can find recipes and other tips for healthy living.

And irrespective of where you live, I urge you to contact you local representatives or MPs and demand that your government require genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be so identified so you can make an informed decision about the produce you purchase.

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