Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Argh!

Okay, so this is more about righteous indignation, or something like that.

I love Ravelry. Its no secret. But sometimes the forums drive me nuts. I'm not going to name any names, but there was a post on corn fiber yarn and a person from another country used it to try and snub the US for providing GM foods. I played it off, but after thinking about it, well, it's frying my eggs.

Now, do I like the idea of genetically modified anything? No. I don't want my kid to be allergic to shellfish someday and not be able to eat tomatoes becaus they have fish genes in them to tolerate cold better. Nor do I think we need a corn that has double the amount of sugar in it. Americans are fat enough without having to worry about the carbs we eat doubling due to genetic modification (myself included).

But, I don't like the idea that people from other countries just try to jab that remark in whenever someone talks about an alternative fiber yarn - like corn, soy, hemp, milk, rice, whatever.

There are lots of other countries providing GM foods to the world. Brazil is a huge producer of GM soy and GM corn. India is a huge producer of GM cotton. China produces GM corn and is working on GM rice. Its not just the US at fault here. GM's even shown up in Mexico as blow-over from the US and as corn prices rise there.

Recently I read that Monsanto and other companies were promising that they could "double" the yield of corn and soy crops and more countries were falling prey to the GM promise. Let's think about this. Did they "double" yields in the last twelve years? Did the products live up to their promise? Further, did these companies cause some of the price rate jackings because they patented corns and soybeans and made them more expensive to acquire?

The last article I read about the topic explained that the GM contingent was moving into China to give them GM corn so they could boost their yields. Have anyone ever stopped to think that maybe that it was a good idea they weren't using GM product? That we are supporting a world population that is nearing unbearable?

More important are the people who insist that using wool is sustainable and GM free. How can that possibly be? Are they monitoring the diets of the sheep they get their wool from? Are they only buying from farms that have food logs to make sure no GM foods get into the sheep diet?

Further, does wearing a fiber made from a GM food give you side effects? Does the turning of corn from non-resistance to resistance of BT mean you're going to turn green? Does anyone know the safety of this?

Ugh. This whole topic just fries my eggs. There's just not enough known about it to be spouting off on Internet forums. Personally, I'll take what I can get, recycle my yarns from the thrift store, drink my soy milk in the morning, stay away from corn (it upsets my stomach anyway) and try to live in the world the best I can.

I'm more concerned with what the product is made from. If its removing food from the system, I'm not interested. Something made with unusable byproducts is much more sustainable in my mind - using product that would normally get thrown away. Now that's ingenuity! And not using as many chemicals to do it - another ingenious idea! Or not using as much energy to make, releasing as much greenhouse gas, etc.

And bringing it back to what I was originally writing about, this isn't just about the US anymore. This is about the whole world. No one should be tossing in remarks when their country could just as easily be part of the problem.
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