Non-GMO: What Do We Really Have to Fear?

Oct 8th

I’m going to shock some of you, but the truth is, I am not afraid to ingest food from genetically modified organisms (GMO).  I don’t trust the fear-instilling reports that GMO’s cause new and exotic diseases such as Morgellion’s.  I don’t find it credible or helpful to refer to GMO as poison.  I have to chuckle at reports that GMO soy will turn my testicles dark blue.

Incredible reports and claims like this are, well, “in-credible” in most cases.  Which is a problem for the non-GMO movement for one simple reason: outrageous claims only serve to cloud the public’s ability to hear and process the reasonable data about the dangers of GMO.

Yes, there are dangers.  I do believe in what we are propagating with our non-GMO sweet corn.  I do not like what genetic engineering is doing to our ag industry.  I dislike GMO foods, even though I’m not worried that GMO is going to cause a zombie apacolypse.

So, why am I cautious about GMO’s, after all, and why do I want you–the food consumer–to start buying non-GMO?  Here are a few [rational] reasons.

  • Genetic modifications change farming… not for the better. 
    Farmers supply us with food.  But with the genetic modifications being made to food, it’s made farming nearly automatic and dummy-proof.  Plant a seed, then come back and see how big it got a few months later.  That’s it.  But that’s not what we need as food consumers.  We need farmers who understand and care about the product they’re producing.  People who know not only how to get the greatest yield, but also how to create flavor and nutrient-rich foods.  Husk wants to buy food from local farmers who create food for people with care and skill.
  • GMO crops impact our soils.
    Adam Moody, a co-founder at Husk, has a rather morbid, yet true statement.  “People can be replaced. Our soils can’t.”  His point is simply this: if a generation of people die of disease from GMO, we can correct that.  But, if our soils become tainted, we are in for centuries of famine.  So, how do GMO’s impact soils?  Two ways: one, they change the way the plant consumes nutrients and deposits nutrients in the soil.  And, two, they permit farmers to use chemical pesticides more liberally, impacting our water tables.  In short, don’t mess with a non-renewable resource like the fertility of the land.
  • Farming with GMO’s has changed our food choices.
    The field of GM development has focused mainly on corn, soy, rice, and a handful of other foods.  This has meant an unbalanced increase in production, and therefore consumption, of just a few select varieties of this earth’s bounty.  Today, instead of eating a wide array of plants, the average American intakes an incredibly skewed percentage of corn and soy.  Why? Because those crops have become the easy ones to grow, so any inputs to foods that could have previously come from other crops are now being engineered from these two easy-to-acquire crops.  But too much of one thing can be bad, not only for our bodies, but also for our food supply.  A food supply that is inescapably dependent on corn–and corn that can only be produced in volumes permitted by genetic modifications–is highly susceptible to failure.  That failure could have devastating consequences.

So, for those of you who have deeper-running fears that I about the impact of eating GMO foods, I believe we can find peace knowing that we share the same mission, even if for different reasons.  I believe the consumer pressure to avoid GMO foods will be a good and healthy thing for our nation in many ways.  Husk is proud to be a part of that fight.  Whatever your persuasions about GMO foods, I trust you’ll join us, too.

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