So there is no secret that I am about as fond of modern technology (with a few exceptions), as I am the prospect of a TSA pat down. Unfortunately, it is all around us, and like nature it is evolving. As I am staring at the screen here, I get a nasty gram saying that the browser no longer supports the new and improved Blogger and if I want to be able to navigate the dashboard screen (I can't see any of the "buttons" that used to be at the bar at the top of the page) then I have to upgrade to Google Chrome. What the heck is Google Chrome?
What were we using before, Google Plastic?
What if I liked Google Plastic?
This got me to thinking about the number of things that we do just because "they" tell us we must, and how often we just "do it" without asking, "why?". Do these changes offer us some life altering truths? Will Google Chrome cure cancer? Was the last Google going to cause blindness?
This blind following is true in the food system as well. Someone once said that if you want to be really healthy, you should do all of your grocery shopping without ever leaving the perimeter of the super market. Everything you need (and can enjoy) - your fruits, bread, dairy, veg, meats, etc. are found on the periphery. It is the dreaded aisles in the interior of the store where we hide things like high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, processed food, Hallmark cards, and every other form of evil that will send us to an early grave. It's in the bowels of the store that we find food that has been so refined, or processed that you see words like "enriched" - which is a code word for, "We had to take all of the nutrients out of the food to make it, so we 'enriched' it with new nutrients to make it (sort of) healthy". And seldom do we the consumer bat an eyelash.
Am I guilty of buying this stuff, you betcha! Does it bug the heck out of me, you betcha.
We buy these things because they taste good, or they are the newest thing, or because some surgeon general guy says this is the wonder food that will save us from death (Maybe a second opinion isn't such a bad thing).
But I digress. . . I really wanted to talk about pigs. . . and corn.
Stu, Amy and I bought a pregnant gilt (young female pig) as an experiment to see if Saint Joe's could take sustainability one step further by producing our own bacon while also pasturing truly environmentally friendly rototillers. So our friend Becky Bacon has been living in our back yard eating a healthy omnivorous diet of kitchen scraps and rooting around a retired garden. She hangs out with her friend Kevin Bacon (but not the same Kevin Bacon that was in a movie with that guy that was on a committee with the lady that bumped into the cousin of your friends, neighbor at the mall), because as it turns out pigs are herd animals. Very social little critters.
But why am I telling you all this?!? Oh yeah - So the cafe is more or less closed now that graduation has passed and most all of the students have left for the summer. So we find ourselves having to supplement Becky with other feed stocks, including stuff we buy in bags from the local livestock feed store.
Last night as I was tossing some cracked corn out to ol' Beck it occurred to me that statistically speaking, the corn that I was giving Becky was genetically modified, as is most corn that we feed our livestock now-a-days. In spite of my deep hatred of Franken-Corn, the very food stuff that I wouldn't even feed to lab rats, let alone my own children, I was tossing wily-nily to my friend Becky.
Why was I feeding my friend (a funny sentiment considering we plan to eat her offspring. . .but that's just dark) this crap corn? Because somewhere a food industry sent out a 'nasty gram' saying, "Our system no longer supports' old corn, and you will have to upgrade to new GM corn. . . whether you like it or not."
Was the old corn going to cause blindness?
Will the new corn cure cancer?
Someone once cited production problems and the need to feed an ever growing population with the reason that we have switched over to this 'super' new type of corn. We can't grow enough to feed everyone they said.
What about all the stuff that super markets are throwing away because it wouldn't sell? I don't think it's production so much as distribution and wealth.
Think about that next time you are at the super market. What's in your food? What's not in your food? Can you commit to shopping just around the perimeter of the store for one month?!?!?
Gotta run now. . . and see if I can't find a computer that supports the new and improved Blogger.