GMOs – The other side of the story
When I began my journey as a Field Mom, I truly set out with a mission. I wanted to know that what I was eating, and what I was serving my family was indeed….SAFE. I, like you, I am sure, have heard about the evils of all things GMO and all things Monsanto. I stood firm in my belief that mixing science with nature was the root of all the issues with the modern food chain.
However, I was determined to get the other side of the story, though I didn’t think it would EVER change my mind, I wanted to hear it from the source, from the person responsible for growing “my” food. And what better way to do that than by sitting down face to face with a farmer who is honest in his use of modified seed, who is honest in his discussions. A farmer whose very livelihood depends upon the food I was terrified to eat.
When I first met Paul and Donna Jeschke and their nephew Tyson, they were everything I expected farmers to be. Kind, warm, open and honest. But most of all, they were hard working. We learned a little bit about them personally and the story that I love most is that of Donna and Paul’s engagement….no ring for her, she got a TRACTOR. But in truth, nothing says love to a farmer better than that. To me it speaks volumes. It says “I will stand by you in your work” ” I will work side by side with you for our future” “I will support you through drought and hardship and also in times of plenty” That tractor is a beautiful reflection of a farmers life. It’s all about the fields and the family.
As a group, we were lucky enough to hear from some people that truly know their stuff….
We had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Brown from Growmark, who is a Master of soil management, his job is to aide farmers in the growing of better crops. Dr. Brown was the first to tell us that genetically modified seeds (GMO) are created using a naturally occurring soil element Bacillus thuringiensis, otherwise known as BT. BT allows the seed to be insect resistant using a a non synthetic insecticide of sorts.
Who knew ?? I certainly didn’t. So my question is this….Which is more detrimental to our health as consumers, a naturally occurring microbe embedded as an insect repellant or a topically applied synthetic chemical applied on top of the food ?? Of course, there is always organic, which is how I ALWAYS shopped. But that too has it’s downside. One example being the 2011 organic bean sprout E.coli outbreak,which killed 31 people and sickened thousands. The devil is in the details, isn’t it ?
So how do you choose ?? how do you know ?? Learning both sides of the story is a wonderful starting point. Over lunch, we had the chance to ask questions of a local farmer named Brent Salzberger, who grows using both GMO and Non-GMO seed, it was eye opening to hear how much work goes into non-GMO crops. Non-GMO is definitely time heavy and labor intensive. Far more so than GMO crops, and a farmers livelihood is tied directly to time vs. output. Because output = money.
Now, I know you are saying to yourself….”How does THAT affect me ?” and I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t. But perhaps, this will. All of the farmers we spoke to, all the representatives from the seed companies and crop protection companies made certain we understood one VERY important fact, with one VERY important statement. WE EAT THIS FOOD TOO, we feed it to our families, to our children, to our grandchildren, we too, want this food to be safe. Farmers truly are stewards of the land, they tend it, they respect it, they rely on it….and, they love what they do.
I do still agree with the labeling of GMO products, as I think it allows the consumer to decide for themselves. But I ask,that before you make that decision, I hope you will educate yourself, and consider both sides of the story.