The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The devil's in the details: pros and cons of GMOs

Corn and teosinteI've noticed that many environmentally conscious eaters have a knee-jerk reaction against using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.  In my opinion, our food system is severely broken and the current GMO system is broken too.  But I think it's a mistake to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Humans have been selecting plants and animals which suit our needs for thousands of years.  Take a look at the teosinte ear on the left compared to the modern ear of corn (or "maize" as the plant is known in the rest of the world) on the right.  By simple selective breeding --- choosing the plants which produced the biggest ears and sweetest kernels --- Native Americans were able to develop something resembling the latter from the former seven thousand years ago.  In my opinion, producing GMOs is merely an acceleration of this process.  Read more...

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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