Deep Thoughts on GM Food

February 10, 2009

More or less a summary of my Monday evening:

Person in favor: Seriously?  People are starving, we’ve got a food crisis, and you want to sit around talking about repealing the Farm Bill and straightening out American agriculture?  President’s from Illinois; it ain’t gonna happen in our lifetimes.

Person against: Holy shit! What if we get mutant man-eating super-weeds?  Then we’ll have to napalm all our farmland!

Michael Phelps*: Super-weed?  Did you say super-weed?  I want some!

Me: The whole GM debate’s irrelevant because we’re heading toward a point where we’ll have so inter-dependence-ized the global food infrastructure that if a mass crop dieoff occurs, it’s like the domino sequence from hell and we all die!

*Not really Michael Phelps.

But while the old way of doing things where you lived near your food source may have made it riskier for individual populations, it was certainly more secure for humanity as a whole, especially when food supplies are remote enough that we need working (cheap) transportation infrastructure to get it from A to B efficiently.  So count your blessings and be glad you’re in the first world.

And understand just what this (almost-was-the-case) worst-case scenario would have meant for your stomach — and that of everyone you know — very quickly.

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