Having four breasts, and being able to give you some of my milk would be fun! It would be my choice for my body…ugh, not THAT cliche again…
(Tangent mode on…felt like I wanted to write about this…)
Doing so to feed the populous is a scary concept, precisely because we
don’t know the far-reaching effects of genetic engineering. In my
opinion, the reductionist philosophy of science is scary at times. “All
life activity is controlled by DNA” will probably prove to be false;
it’s just the bit of activity we care about most right now, because it
helps us solve the problems currently facing us. We’ll find some
smaller structure, perhaps quantum-related, or perhaps the mitochondrial
DNA or mRNA itself might deal a blow to the centralization theory of
I think the real concern is that splicing things around in food might
help us all eventually, but putting those GM foods into general
circulation without at least a few human generations’ worth of case
studies is pretty dangerous. The reasons for doing the GM right now are
to further corporate control, to continue centralization and ensure
profit margins. (The “killer gene” that Monsanto created, and the patent
control over genes — give me a break! — has a lot to do with my
This all is geared toward assisting the continued centralized food
production model. I’m opposed to this concept fundamentally, so
naturally I don’t really want to see it become encoded in DNA as well.
(Go to the grocery store and buy a pint of regular US hothouse-grown
strawberries, and a pint of locally grown organic ones. Tell me which
ones you think taste better.) Yes, adapt nature to help us better, but
in as minimally invasive of a way as possible, potentially *returning*
energy to nature rather than just consuming it.
Just think, though, we might raise an entire generation of people so
adjusted to GM food that they could never digest non-GM food…and there
we go, we’ve just limited our own ability to adapt. Worse, what if the
company’s knowledge about the GM foods disintegrate for whatever reason?
Humans could become so dependent on the technology that we couldn’t ever
revert to traditional farming, or hunting and gathering techniques.
That’s pretty darn scary.
So we make decisions for future generations, just as the ones before us
did for where we’re at. It’s interesting to watch this play out, and to
see where people end up. I heard a very, very enlightening discussion
about all of this on National Public Radio a few years back (1998?). I
should try and find the tape; they’re all available for online access.
The Monsanto representative really believed he was doing the world a
favour. And his work did reflect nothing but the best intentions. When
challenged on his underlying assumptions, though, he had a big blind
spot, an inability to concede that he didn’t know everything about what
he was dealing with – typified by Renaissance-era phrases like “Plant
biology is relatively simple, we know everything there is to know about
them.” How could he be sure? Rather, he wants to be sure *enough*,
which begs the question — what makes Monsanto the authority to
determine what’s safe enough for the public?
Fortunately, we still have the final say, with our dollars at the
grocery store. It’s just unnerving to see this thrust upon the billions
of people who don’t research their food as much as I do (did you know
that it’s not even required to label GM foods in most countries? Guess
who’s behind the lobbying factions preventing this from occurring…)
But perhaps we’ll learn to GM ourselves to produce better milk for our
babies, and for the rest of the world. Distribution of power, and
individual enablement of control, rather than the continuing trend
toward centralization, would make that work best.
But I’d still love to have four breasts and feed my lovers in the middle of sex. ;)
As well as any children I might have. I always feed the hungry if I can.
This suddenly made me wonder if guys would likewise want multiple penises. I can’t say I have an answer personally.. o_O;
Women have multiple vaginas to stick them in. ;]
I would also like to note that “The Kinky Wohalis” would make a pretty good name for a rock and roll band.
i am in love with this entry. food politics are so interesting and important. i think it’s what i want to do with my life actually (and i swear that it has nothing to do with the fact that a certain prof is the head of the ’emphasis on food issues’ department).
it’s so wonderful to see people thinking/talking about this without it being an academic exercise. thank you for posting this, it made me very excited/happy.
Don’t know why I had your Blog bookmarked. I’m not sure I did.
Anyway. Let us rant because I’m good at it.
You point out that human’s could be so dependant on technology that we could never revert back to traditional farming.
We can’t. In 1922 a gentleman named Alfred Haber created a process named after him, that allowed to produce artifical nitrates. Because of him 4 to 5 extra billion people can be fed.
Do you think that enough food could be produced without the tractors and combines that plant and harvest it? Do you think it could be transported without the diesel locomotives, ships, and trucks?
Upon final say with our dollars. You live in one of the countries that don’t require labelling of genetically manipulated food stuff. Because of the way most packaged foods get produced, the manufacturers don’t know if they used GM ingredients. Was the wheat in the flour used to make that cookie GM this week? Was it blended with non-GM wheat?
Upon DNA being the central control system. It ain’t. There are bacteria that don’t even have DNA. There is RNA in the nucleuous that replicates itself, and there are organelles (mitochondris and ribosomes) that have their own DNA. Further, even if a protein is created using a DNA template, that doesn’t mean it has one and only one use. Some proteins are enzymes, and structural material. Some proteins require coenzymes to work. Some genes can only be expressed if they are triggered in the right organ.
On knowing about life. The human race hasn’t classified every species of life on this planet. Anyone with the gaul to believe they everything about even a plant is delusional.
Finally, Genetically Manipulated foods scare me. Nuclear radiation has half lives. Life has doubling times.
No, and that’s precisely the point. There are too many humans on this planet for it to sustain us in a way that doesn’t strip the planet of all of its natural resources faster than it can regenerate them. We will either end up destroying the planet’s ability to regenerate, and end up like Mars, or we’ll wake up and live more in accordance with the finite global resources available to us. Humanity will make the choice.
Incidentally, this is one of the major reasons why I will never have my own biological children. And why I constantly take steps to avoid encouraging the producers of products that strip the earth in this way.
I avoid eating flour, sugar, mass-produced vegetables and other GM-likely foods already for health reasons. (I haven’t bought a cookie in a very, very long time.) I cook just about everything I eat from scratch ingredients, and for those few things I have to buy pre-made I select local producers and try my best to ensure that they are both non-GM and organically grown (no pesticides, etc.) This is because I know my body doesn’t react well to pesticides, and that I like the taste of organic foods better.
So yes, I’m sure that the kamut and spelt cookie that I just baked and ate has no GM ingredients in it. (As an added bonus, for the moment grains like kamut and spelt are in low enough demand that the big companies wouldn’t even consider GM-modifying them. But I’m sure my suppliers are non-GM suppliers.)
Warning: lesbian orgy
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