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View Diary: GMOs: What we can all agree on (230 comments)

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  •  Let's lecture the world.... (5+ / 0-)

    on how to eat.  These diaries regularly say there is no problem with production, just distribution.  But they mean distribution of staples like rice.  In times of famine, it is food like rice that can be stored and distributed.  We have fewer nutritional deficiencies here both because we have better food distribution and because we supplement our food with vitamins like colic acid and vitamin D.  People in times of drought or flood or war lose whole crops, and rely on distributed food to make up the shortfall.  The monoculture we should worry about include tropical plantation farming for coffee and chocolate, where local folks no longer grow their diverse subsistence crops.

    In Africa, the emergency crop for Times of war is cassava.  They leave it in the ground, preventing spoilage.  It is not nutritionally dense and requires time consuming processing.  At Ohio State for over a decade they have been working to genetically engineer better cassava.  Or we could breed improved cassava.  Or breadfruit.  But these staples that can be stored are an important part of the distribution problem cavalierly waived off in these GMO diaries.  Half the tropical plant breeding challenges are making it have better characteristics for nutrition.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 03:16:34 AM PDT

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    •  We cannot (0+ / 0-)

      solve these problems with science.  If there is a war people die, some directly and other indirectly.

        Science can be a good tool.  Sticking a vitamin that may or may not work in another corp is not good science, IMHO.   It is also demeaning to say they can only eat one crop because they have problems.  They rarely have them problems they were given to them.

      Keeps coming down to getting the food, and the right food, to the people when they need it.  A simple logistics problem that needs to be fixed.  The logistics are simple really, but greed. politics, i.e., humans get in the way.

      Put some packets of the favorite spices and herbs into the huge bags of rice in emergencies.  Maybe those aided can make some food that taste good like Moms, not starve and eat correctly.

      That is what I dislike about this argument.  GMO's can do all this.  There are lots of ways to do most things and simple is often the best and cheapest.

      There are other ways to deal with drought.  Current farming tech can make many droughts more problematic. Soil health is the key and dumping roundup on soil may not be the best idea unless one owns a glyphosate production facility.

      Who wants to waste time on 20 or 30 year ecological studies of a product.  Need that profit today.

    •  Maybe some enterprising (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Margd, Involuntary Exile

      railroad baron should introduce that lovely legume known as Kudzu to hold his track berms together against the elements. In not that much time the invasive nature of the vine would take over tens of millions of acres without any help from farmers whatsoever, because that's what it does.

      Kudzu leaves are high nutritional greens for humans and livestock. Cattle, goats and sheep love it, will eat all parts of the plant down to the soil line if they are not first ensnared by those same vines which are known to grow up to three feet a day and swallow everything in their path. Upon die-back in autumn kudzu produces a rich and nutrient-filled fine tilth to plow into crop fields. So long as it is sifted first for seeds. The flowers, seeds and pods are also quite tasty.

      Then there are the roots, usually at least a foot underground where seasonal wildfires can't harm them (they love fire). These are fleshy tubers often weighing several pounds, which can be processed into a starchy flour that makes fine noodles or thickener added to stews. Finally, there's those narrow flexible vines, which make very nice baskets and hats if you're crafty.

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      You might also add the banana. The yellow fruit we know and love (most of us), reproduces clonally. Ugandans, for many years, have gotten up to 30% of their calories from this eminently suited tropical fruit. So the banana does not engage in sexual reproduction. If you genetically modify it, the usual concerns about "runaway genes" don't apply. However, this enormously useful and nutritious fruit is under grave threat by a fungus (Panama Disease). There are fears for the extinction of the banana as the fusarium fungus spreads into newer varieties. So this is one plant in which genetic engineering may be required in order to save a tremendously important plant, particularly in the Third World.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 02:04:36 PM PDT

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