Originally Posted by Cary Grant
There are companies who see GMO as an effective way to better feed the masses but there are many who see it as better for their corporate bottom line and that's the wrong approach.
why should agriculture be different than other businesses? serious question.
with evidence mounting that GMO pollen is effing up bees in some circumstances, there's enough smoke already to make me wary.
there have been a lot of claims about this, but i haven't seen any evidence that has stood up to inspection. there are a lot of issues behind colony collapse disorder ... drought, pests, chemicals, overwork, supplemental feed, neonicotinoid pesticides ... probably all of them.
Originally Posted by Huntsman
1) I don't think that presumption is possible. I've never tasted seedless and seed-containing identical varieties of the same fruit, by definition, they would be different varieties, no?
No, not necessarily. In citrus, for example, most seedless fruit comes from varieties that are self-sterile, but which can be cross-pollinated quite easily by other citrus varieties, meaning there must be sufficient space between the plantings to prevent pollen from drifting. It's quite easy to find seedless and seeded examples of the same variety. Seedlessness is a varietal issue with some fruits, such as watermelons, where the fruits have been bred to have three sets of chromosomes, which prevents seed development.
Originally Posted by Huntsman
I just spent a week in Japan. I ate all manner of fruits and vegetables while there, and every specimen of every fruit or vegetable that I have had the equivalent in the U.S. blew its U.S. counterpart completely out of the water. This was, by me, completely unexpected. I never imagined
that a strawberry could have so many dimensions, I never imagined that an apple could have such perfume, or that an orange could be so rich.
and the acid is quite powerful, too, huh?
Clearly, the U.S. farming industry is prioritizing yield, longevity, resistance to drought and pests, availability, and other market values above quality. That is the legacy of breeding, GMO will probably only be worse because the system does not have what I care about at heart and can more easily get what it wants. I'm sure your retort will be that GMO can create cultivars with those properties as well as the flavors I desire. But that won't be what will happen; the primary essence of, say strawberry, will be isolated and amped up to eleven to make a hyper strawberry to appeal to the masses. The symphony that is the real flavor of strawberry will not be preserved -- this happens time and time again in the food industry. Vanillin is the classic example. It is so easy to flood the tastebuds with strong flavors that nuance is lost, and that's what I love. So I call bullshit on you. I could tell the strawberry below from any strawberry you can buy at a major grocery in the U.S. I could tell it by its perfume before I had even put it in my mouth.
this is one of the essential arguments against GMO, but I don't find it valid because it's criticizing the way the technique is used rather than the technique itself. And, as goes with your strawberry example, Mendelian genetics hasn't done such a hot job either. The reality is, strawberries are supposed to be a very fragile 6-week fruit. You can look at the fact that we have berries all-year-round that can be shipped from California to New York as a good thing or a bad thing.
Originally Posted by Piobaire
This is starting to remind me of an old business motto that goes, "Cheap, fast, high quality. Pick which two you want." It seems much of GMO is trading off some positive attributes at the cost of others.
this is it exactly. we're very lucky that we live in a time when we have a choice: we can buy fruit that has great flavor (by picky shopping at farmers markets, etc.), and we can also buy fruit at a low enough cost that almost everyone can afford it. But it's really hard to have both in the same piece of fruit.