“There’s a war here,” the New York Times columnist proclaimed at a food conference last year. His battle is America’s next social justice crusade much like civil rights and suffrage. But this time, the oppressors are McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and Monsanto. From soda to sugar to meat, Bittman has declared war on nearly every ingredient in the American food system.
From grocery stores to Mexican restaurants to coffee shops, do-gooder retailers are serving up a side of liberal politics with every purchase. Earlier this year, Starbucks had to ditch its “Race Together” promotion after backlash from customers who wanted to leave black and white to coffee and cream. Now Chipotle is the latest overpriced chain forced to backpedal: on its claim to “remove the few GMOs in our food so that our customers who choose to avoid them can enjoy eating at Chipotle.”
“Buy locally” is among the most foolish edicts in the long list of commandments from today’s environmental movement. Local sourcing is proposed by our universities as the solution for saving the rain forests, reducing pollution and halting global warming. We’d expect such advice from an out-of-touch grandparent, but not from our intellectual leaders.
As far as organic stakeholders are concerned, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be banned. Even new GMO crops that would provide benefits to organic farmers and the world’s poor are out.
But apparently television and restaurant fame don’t hold enough gravitas for this wannabe political star. Over the last few years, Chef Colicchio has emerged as the face of the food movement, culinary elitists who insist that every bite of food is a political statement (think climate-change folks going after your shopping cart instead of your SUV).
Political analysts are rapidly reaching a consensus that the recent election was a repudiation of President Obama’s failed policies, and although environmental issues were not the primary focus of the elections, the attention they received indicates a strong rejection of the Obama administration’s environmental policies.
The organic food movement grows every year. Many people are attracted to its acclaimed health benefits and superior produce compared to more ordinary foods. Organically grown food is particularly favored over genetically modified foods (GMOs). Indeed, it is hard to find an upscale restaurant or grocery store that does not loudly proclaim its non-GMO status.
Wouldn’t making it in America be easy if you could just pass laws to put your competition out of business? That’s precisely what’s being attempted by anti-GMO organic activists across America today.
Organic activists need GMOs the same way the Soviets needed decadent America during the Cold War. Without something plausible, never mind credible, to stand opposed to, they would collapse under the unverifiable weight of their own propaganda.
The fact is this: humans have been genetically modifying plants and animals for millennia. Just because it was done more incrementally, and out in the field instead of in a laboratory, does not make it any less of a modification. The scientific method as applied to crop-rearing offers the same boons it has to all natural sciences, namely made it more rigorous and more conducive to human progress.
“[T]he GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe. … You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food.” So said Mark Lynas, the British environmentalist, who helped launch the anti-GMO movement in the 1990s.
On July 14, Greenpeace activists in Australia illegally entered an experimental farm operated by the country’s national science agency and destroyed a crop of genetically modified (“GM”) wheat. The GM[…]