On GMO

Peasant Man and Woman Planting Potatoes by Vincent van Gogh
Peasant Man and Woman Planting Potatoes by Vincent van Gogh

 

Felt like yelling at the TV tonight.

Watched a documentary on the GMO debate.

Both sides passionate and entrenched.

One side not trusting corporate science and worried about health risks.

The other side wanting peer-reviewed science to inform decisions.

Neither side seeing or discussing the real risks.

When oil depletion collapses the economy we’ll need seeds that are not dependent on a high technology global supply chain.

And we’ll need seeds adapted to a rapidly changing local climate.

And food will be mostly organic, regardless of preference, because there won’t be pesticides, or herbicides, or Haber-Bosch factory fertilizer available.

And we’ll be grateful for calories regardless of what they are, or how they’re grown.

And we’ll marvel at the energy we wasted on irrelevant issues as we go to bed early with sore muscles from working all day in the fields.

 

8 thoughts on “On GMO”

  1. Try telling people that one of the craziest things (from a very long list!) our civilisation does is mix our wee and poo into drinkable water and flush it out to sea. There will come a day when those three things will be kept properly separated, and highly valued.
    If you haven’t read it, I recommend ‘Farmers of Forty Centuries’, written by an American soil scientist who visited China long before the current ruination inflicted on her agricultural soils. He marvelled at the soil fertility that sustained a huge Chinese population for at least four thousand years. Much of it due, of course, to the use of night soil in the fields. Nowadays we are aware of the disease risk of using untreated sewage on crops, but with appropriate composting the practice is safe, and will inevitably be used once there is no energy for the Haber-Bosch process.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out. I remember reading about the market gardens that supplied London with fresh vegetables in the 1800’s. Barges would bring the vegetables down the river from the valleys where they were grown. The same barges would then return upstream to the farms loaded with compost material discarded by the London households.

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  2. Nobody thinks about what the world will look like without oil. Nobody thinks about growing their own food (“why bother when there’s a supermarket down the road?”) Nobody thinks or understands that food plants come from planted seeds and that seeds are important resources. Nobody thinks period. (well very few, anyway). I love the blank look on people’s faces when I tell them that my seed collection is the most important thing I own.

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  3. Loved your line about being grateful about the calories regardless of what they are or how they’re grown. I can grow (and do) grow lots of winter squash. Many varieties. Not my favorite food but edible. Someday my family will thank me for it. Not so sure about the Jerusalem artichokes. I grow some of those too. To me they taste “off”, but they are easy to grow so if I someday need food they will be in the ground waiting for me. Liked Ozquoll’s comment above. Just now reading “The Humanure Handbook”. Great resource for putting back into the soil the nutrients we take out.

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