The GMO Dilemma | A Chef’s Perspective

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Are Genetically Modified Organisms safe to eat?

Let me tell you why I don’t care about the answer to this question.

Welcome to the U.S. where we proudly celebrate monoculturism (as I like to call it).

Monoculture is the cultivation of a single crop in a given area. Growing up in Nebraska I was exposed to monoculture at it’s best. GO CORNHUSKERS!

Since graduating from culinary school, I have spoken with numerous farmers, doctors, chefs and homemakers…all with different opinions surrounding the GMO movement.

One constant has appeared in my conversations: the fear of not knowing.

So instead of asking if you believe GMO’s are safe to eat, let me ask you this question: Do you believe GMO’s are an environmentally and morally sound investment in your overall health?

As a chef I’m always looking to achieve balance. The environment is very much the same; housing a team of plants, animals, insects and much more. This team, when given a chance, can create incredibly balanced systems. Biodiversity like this is absolutely essential for a healthy ecosystem and vital to long-term use of farmland.

Biodiversity = Strength | Monoculture = Weakness

Imagine going to dinner at a posh restaurant with expectations as high as the prices. You come to find the kitchen is run by one chef. Without a supportive team behind him, poorly prepared food is the outcome. Over time, this chef has transformed into a version of himself he no longer recognizes. The hollandaise sauce comes pre-prepared in plastic bags and the “seasonal” vegetables are confused about exactly which season it is.

Disappointed with your meal you swing by the local diner on your way home. Behind the counter are four cooks all working together to create the best french toast of your life. Why did we pay a steep price to experience the ego of a chef instead of supporting the magical interactions of this team?

Right there is the reason why I personally don’t support GMO’s. With that being said I also don’t have a solution that will save the world. All I can offer you is a passionate and thought out point of view from this 19-year-old chef.

What I know is a farm filled with different plants and animals ultimately functions as one. It creates a system of LOVE, which I believe the world needs more of.

So what does a bio diverse farm look like?

Productive: A healthy farm produces food in abundance without the need for pesticides/fungicides
Responsible: Maintains healthy and fertile soil, plus looks out for the surrounding landscape
Viable: A thriving business with good living conditions

You also tend to find bees, who produce every third bite of food you take, in healthy farm environments. Recently entire colonies have died and many scientists are linking this Colony Collapse Disorder to factors such as: pests, parasites, disease, lack of genetic diversity and pesticides/fungicides.  Bees are essential and show us that we need to be aware of all the damage a monoculture GMO society could have on the future.

In the end, I ultimately care about you doing what’s best for yourself. A quality life filled with love is attainable, but without a supportive team behind you doing what’s best gets really hard and complicated.

This isn’t an issue where picking sides is helpful…It’s an issue that can be solved by simply checking in with yourself and your beliefs. Do you believe that GMO’s are an environmentally and morally sound investment in your overall health?

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Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

PS: If you’re supporting GMO’s so that we can feed the world…let me introduce you to my friend hemp. Without any type of modification, this plant tolerates strong weather conditions and can therefore be cultivated in different areas of the world. Hemp seeds contain more protein than meat, fish, poultry, nuts and other seeds, plus the plant itself can be used in thousands of different helpful ways.

Here’s a few GMO resources:

http://www.truthnhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/GMO.png

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDHumw0ossc#t=335

http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/focus/2003/gmo1.htm

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/index.html

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