[Homeroast] GMO Coffee

Ryan M. Ward silvercro_magnon at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 21 12:32:42 CDT 2010

Well said as always Lynne. 

Ryan M. Ward

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> From: lynnebiz at gmail.com
> Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 10:31:22 -0400
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] GMO Coffee
> [note: messages snipped - always a good idea, IMO]
> I, too, am very glad to read Ray-O's poetic words! and I totally agree.
> Ray wrote:
> > I've been reading *The World According to Monsanto* © 2008  by
> > Marie-Monique
> > Robin.
> >
> > In my opinion, all should be conversant with the effects of the Chemical
> > Vampires on the good things of the earth.
> >
> Joseph wrote:
> Rich,
> > With all do respect, while you watch very carefully what "they" are doing.
> > I
> > will opt the a morphed version of your third option / or choice. Instead of
> > doing it myself I am going out of my way to support and hopefully bring
> > back
> > the small farmers and food co-ops.
> >
> As far as this discussion on this list. The politics of Coffee and food are
> > very close indeed. I know Tom has all these concerns and issues on his mind
> > when he sources some of the wonderful small lots for us.
> I agree that a personal solution is to take part in food co-ops - also CSA's
> and local
> farmer's markets for our food source. As far as my coffee source goes -
> since I can't
> grow my own coffee here in New England, Tom is my next best choice. That was
> what
> was the deciding factor when I first ordered from Sweet Maria's - the fact
> that he has a
> close connection with the farms. I was amazed that I could actually read
> about each
> source, the farm, the people involved with the production - even photos.
> That was a big
> step away from the corporate coffee production that has become the norm
> today.
> My concern, as with so many others - is the result of (or when?) genetically
> modified beans
> pollinating with normal beans (for Bryan & others who are late in this
> discussion, when we are
> speaking of GMO, or genetically modified seeds, we are speaking about seeds
> that have been
> artificially tampered with by scientists (a for instance: when the genes of
> shrimp - a common
> allergen, btw - opens up a whole 'nuther area of concern - could be added to
> corn seeds, or
> something like that).
> Ed wrote:
> > My concern was GMO getting into our cherished coffee varietals. In the
> > low lands I imagine a possible mess.  Farming works best when it can
> > be fit naturally into an environment without disruption. I think some
> > of the farmers Tom visits have some good simple stewardship going on
> > and it shows in the cup. Soil hates plows. It's a micro massacre.
> > Exposing soil is not a natural occurrence.
> >
> Well, if anyone should know about this, it's you, Ed, since that's what you
> do! I know this from my
> little gardens of the past (I have a small one this yr, but honestly haven't
> done much with it beyond the
> watering part, letting my son do the rest), and from reading, of course. I
> found that it was so much better
> to work with nature, not against it, and was constantly (and joyfully)
> amazed at the result. Even to the
> point when I had put my house up for sale, deciding not to garden that year
> - but the tomatoes reseeded
> themselves (seeming to have a mind of their own). The veggies I got out of
> that garden for those few years
> I had it were amazing - in fact, I felt as though it gave an incorrect
> impression to my kids that *I* had a
> natural talent for gardening, when in fact, I just learned how to work with
> nature.
> Ryan wrote:
> > As much as I would like to agree with this, I am not really willing to
> > grant small farmers quite that much credit. I would love to believe this is
> > true but I have known too many small businesses and local farmers that
> > definitely do not have this mindset and are looking out for number one.
> >
> Totally true - human nature being what it is, it all depends on those humans
> involved. And I also agree
> that there *can* be big businesses that are ethically sound. The first that
> comes to mind is Ben & Jerry's,
> (many may disagree with what was their liberal viewpoint, but they had an
> ethical stand they stood by,
> and perhaps have continued it after the sale of their company. I'm sure
> there are others I don't know about.
> However, when it comes to big farming business, that, by it's very nature,
> seems to be very difficult to achieve.
> They would have to start out with the intention right from the beginning,
> for instance, to use natural methods to
> farm. I wonder how it would be possible. Forgive me if I'm making an
> assumption, but 'natural agri-business'
> seems to me to be an oxymoron! Yes, they can give back to the community, but
> at what cost? Does that
> justify what their basic greed might do?
> I think this quote from one of the links that you provided sums it up:
> > Tewolde Egziabler, the general manager of the Environmental Protection
> > Authority in Ethiopia, one of the world's main coffee producers, told The
> > Independent: "There is no shortage of coffee. There's no need for GM coffee.
> > It will come about because it gives big companies royalties and complete
> > control of the production process." And the big agro-chemical businesses and
> > large-scale farmers are most likely to benefit. Western coffee companies,
> > such as Nestlé, and retailers will gain from cheaper beans, while the
> > consumers are unlikely to benefit.
> >
> And I say amen to that!
> Lynne
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