Archive for the ‘biotechnology’ Category

Edamame glee croppedAfter 16 years of marriage, two-thirds of which we spent in pursuit of parenthood in one way or another, my husband and I adopted a beautiful baby girl. During the time we were trying and waiting, we had innumerable conversations about how we were going to parent our someday child.

One thing we agreed on during those pre-baby parenting conversations was that we weren’t going to be crazy overprotective. What we didn’t anticipate, however, was the “mama bear” instinct that would kick in when we actually had our child. Nothing I’ve ever felt compares to the feeling of sweet, ferocious love that engulfs me when I hold my daughter close. I want to protect her. I want to do everything in my power to make sure she has a safe, bright, and healthy future.

I worry about her exposure to the diesel fumes, paint fumes, and household chemicals. I get nervous when she is anywhere near cords or ribbons longer than 5 inches. Now that she’s eating solids, I compulsively cut up or smoosh any food she could possibly choke on. I stress over whether her meals are nutritionally-balanced.

What DON’T I worry about in regards to her health?

GMOs. Not even for a second.

I know, I know—a lot of people DO worry about them. Heck, there’s a whole segment of the book, movie, media, and food industries focused on instilling fears over genetically modified organisms. I’m not biting, and here’s why.

I trust science. Good, peer-reviewed, thoughtful, thorough science. Not the debunked “research” which concluded rats developed tumors from eating GMOs. Not the Facebook memes that supposedly show that squirrels choose non-GMO corn over the modified kind. (Seriously?) I trust groups and agencies such as the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association, who confirm the safety of genetically modified foods. I trust my friend Tom who plays French horn two chairs away from me in band and who also happens to be a plant molecular biologist.

I trust agriculture. Modern, technologically-advanced, careful, sustainable agriculture. Not the foodies who would have us believe “big ag” is actively trying to kill us. Not the e-mail from a friend which warned, “these products are virtually poisonous and can negatively affect DNA.” Not even the TV celebrity doctor who claims there is a global conspiracy to hide the truth about GMOs. I trust the dozens of farmers I know personally who grow genetically modified crops.

So, tonight for supper we are having chicken (likely fed with GMO corn and soybeans), sweet corn (probably GMO), baby lima beans, and crescent rolls. For the baby, I’ll cut the chicken into really small pieces and make sure it and the sweet corn aren’t too hot before I give it to her. I’ll give her one or two cut-up lima beans; so far she hates them. I’ll tear part of a crescent roll into tiny pieces. We’ll probably try her on a bit of whole milk (from cows fed GMO grain) in a sippy cup. And I won’t question for a moment whether the food I’m giving her is safe.

After all, scientists and farmers care about their children, too.

This post appeared as the “Stray Kernels” column in the March 2014 issue of DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s Connections magazine.


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