Friday, September 27, 2013

New Foods

none of these foods existed when I was a kid

Two of my neighbors dropped off gifts of fresh food this week. As I looked at them and the other fresh foods in my kitchen, I was struck by the fact that all the fruits and vegetables on my counter were new foods. None had been available when I was a kid.

Many of the foods that I now enjoy did not appear in markets when I began cooking in the 1960s. My favorite eating apple, Honeycrisp, hit the markets in the 1990s. My Delicata squash won awards in 2002.  The lovely little Fairy Tale eggplant won kudos in 2005. You get the idea. 

This insight made me begin mulling over my prejudice about genetically modified foods. I started thinking that creating new foods is nothing new; only the methods have changed. I do not know which eggplant parents created the little hybrid that I enjoy, yet I eat it freely and don't worry. However, I have an entirely different feeling about genetically modified foods, maybe because I've heard them referred to as "frankenfoods."

Apparently, many other people share my inarticulate concern; I just read that the so-called Monsanto Protection Act was removed from a government spending bill, largely because of public outcry.
Only time will tell whether the outcry is warranted or not. Will GM foods open a Pandora's box of problems, or will they save the planet? I plan to keep following this issue. 

1 comment:

  1. I share your questions. There is a lot of scary but fairly unsubstantiated fact mongering being thrown around. Europeans (whoever they are) are fairly certain that they hate the GM stuff. No real idea why. I worry more about the effects on traditional/non GM foods and the proprietary aspects of GM foods, like trying to patent the rice that has been grown in India for millenia. And like conventional ag methods, the degradation of the environment. Keep us informed if you learn something.