[Homeroast] GMO Coffee

Ryan M. Ward silvercro_magnon at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 18 15:19:02 CDT 2010

"realistically there's not enough farmland in the US to provide organic food and protein for everyone"

I am not sure I believe this. Also, technology is developed according to supply and demand just like everything else in a capitalist market. Pesticides have been the conventional way to protect crops for years so they have been developed into their current efficiency. Organic methods have not been in demand, so they have not. If we were to most to a more organic direction, perhaps the technology could be developed to make organic farming just as efficient as conventional.

Even if we keep pesticides, the issue with pesticides is in environmental contamination and residue on foods. Instead of jumping to GMO, why not try to work on making pesticides safer? Find new ways to process crops to remove more of the chemicals? 

Another option not considered is expanding our use of hydroponic farming- this technology is expanding rapidly. 

Now, regarding the not enough farm land comment. I am not saying that I believe there is enough, per se, but I am not willing to accept yet that there is not(without some justification). Another consideration is that if our culture were to move in the direction of growing some of our food at home, this could free up a lot(I am not sure how feasible this option is but I will mention it). Cutting back on meat would help as well. Our culture is WAY to dependent on meat- which is a very energy inefficient food. I am not saying we all need to be vegetarians, but cutting back a bit- eating a few less steaks each week could free up some grazing land for produce. Honestly, do we really need to eat a burger every day? If we do not have enough land, part of the reason could plausibly be because we are inefficient eaters(I speculate this, but based on some calculations I have read agricultural requirements).

In summary, "So which do you want - food crops which have been bathed in 
chemical baths or food crops that have been genetically altered to protect themselves."

I feel this dichotomy is false- other options exist, some feasible, some not, some not feasible yet but have the potential to be. Instead of jumping strait to an option which although seems plausible now- carries a lot of liabilities, lets think about what we can do to improve the options we have which carry less long term liability, and require less assumptions.

Note: I have not even mentioned the ethical dilemmas associated with genetically modifying another species' gene pool for our own purposes because most people do not respond to such arguments- but I encourage you to think about it. 
Ryan M. Ward

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> Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 12:24:06 -0700
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> From: fparth at mac.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] GMO Coffee
> >  I hope that Tom and Maria can convince coffee farmers worldwide that GMO is
> >  a dreadful path to follow. It is scary how crop after crop eventually
> >  succumbs to pressure from the powerful seed providers. ...We need to protect our food supply, not
> >  only for ourselves, but for future generations.
> >
> I understand your opinion, but the counter-argument is that the traditional way of "protecting" our food supply from 
> pests and diseases is by massive doses of chemicals. Millions of tons of chemicals every year. So whichdo you want - 
> food crops which have been bathed in chemical baths or food crops that have been genetically altered 
> toprotectthemselves. The types and amounts of nutrients in both is the same according to the research published in the 
> science journals.
> The industry pushing organic products has their own very valid arguments, but realistically there's not enough 
> farmlandin the US to provide organic food and protein for everyone. I grow my own vegetables (Burpees loves me), but 
> it's because I love the better flavor of fresh grown veggies, not because I have any arguments with how the commercial 
> productsare grown.
> Just my 2 cents.
> Frank
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