Saturday, May 20, 2017

PSA: A planetary perspective on potential bear attacks

Just in case you were wondering...



Friday, May 19, 2017

Wally wins the internet with a story about some spice and GMOs

Was just cruising along Facebook while snuffling through the tapering end of this sinus infection and I saw this post on my wall from the page of SciBabe (Yvette d'Entremont):


Ya, it really is just an apple. We could hope that it had been genetically modified to improve crop yields or to make it more nutritious, though most current genetic modifications are so that more pesticides can be applied, sadly. Still, it is just an apple. We have absolutely no evidence yet to suggest that genetic modifications to our food cause any differences to how our bodies digest them. Even if the full benefit of genetically modified foods hasn't been realized (perhaps in part due to the anti-GMO hysteria), that still doesn't mean we should fear what so few of us understands; rather, we should work together to increase public understanding of the science involved.

On another note, I personally agree with food labelling, but not just for GM crops. I think our citizens are more likely to make informed decisions about food when they actually have information. Country-of-origin, pesticides used, estimated fossil fuel consumption for delivery to the super market, and other descriptors could go along with the ingredients and nutritional information (even if that nutritional info here in the US is biased by the wants of lobbyists). Or, maybe rather than labelling, a QR code or barcode could link to a website or in-store system that displays all of the information an informed shopped may wish to peruse. Still, the real issue with GM crops, as I see it, isn't in labelling our foods with pertinent information, but rather is in the lack of scientific literacy among the public, which leads to misunderstanding of what genetically modified foods even are.

Still, that's not why I wrote this post. No, my friends, I wrote this post to share with you the insight of Wally. If you're someone who freaks out over a little dirt in your food or doesn't have an understanding of the fact that we humans are still a part of a larger biosphere, then you may not want to read what Wally has to say about spices. But, I have a feeling you're not that person, and you're going to find this to be a good point:


So ya, if you're concerned about the genetic compliment within the DNA of the foods you're eating, then you might want to consider a little further the other things that are in our food. From bat shit and dirt to pesticides and preservatives, at various levels of processing, you're bound to be getting some stuff in your food that you probably don't really want. Most of it's probably not going to hurt you, but we can definitely cut back on the pesticides and preservatives by using GM crops instead (again, if done right). 

In your thinking about GM crops, consider the story of Wally. Maybe you agree with Wally. Maybe Wally wins the internet. Or, maybe like these commenters you feel like Wally just ruined spices for you: