Friday, August 11, 2006

What I Said, Only Better

I read the following statement on The Fanatic Cook (thanks to Yvonne for pointing out the blog). This is basically what I want to say when I get in an argument about why I think "organically-grown" food isn't always a realistic option in today's world.

I go to the farmers' market every week and I get most of my produce there. But I'm in a privileged position -- as are many people in this country -- and what works for us doesn't necessarily work for the world as a whole. Look at genetic engineering. The top four food crops of the world -- corn, rice, soybeans and wheat -- feed billions of people, and they take up millions and millions of acres. If you can tweak their genetic makeup so they're a few percent more efficient or require a few percent fewer acres, that translates to huge plots of land. In a lot of ways the industrialization of human life has not been good for the planet. But given where we are, if genetic engineering is properly and thoughtfully applied, it might actually help limit the further encroachment of human activities on the environment by making food production more efficient.
- Harold McGee, Food scientist, author, and contributor to Food & Wine's August, 2006 article What Does Eating Well Really Mean?

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