Thursday, 24 July 2008

Good thing being vegan keeps blood pressure down

The pro-GM crop scientist on the Today programme really annoyed me. Now, I have a fairly open mind about the wider GM issue. Much of my suspicion comes from the sort of companies that are involved, rather than the science itself. I have a hard time seeing why Monsanto would want to solve a global food crisis, for example. I don't buy GM food, but that's more along the lines of a boycott and an avoidance of actively supporting it rather than some idea that my body is particularly pure. I eat soy (albeit organic), drink coffee, use deodorant with aluminium in and am not particularly fussed about ingesting the odd artificial something-or-other (except sweeteners, they make me ill), so GM can join the queue on that score. I am, however, prepared to listen to the arguments on this issue.

So why did this particular scientist piss me off? Well, it was his brief exposition of one particular health benefit of GM food - the potential for adding essential fatty acids to plant matter which can currently only be found in fish oil. And, he says, this would help to conserve fish stocks. Now, I know that it is difficult to find a vegetarian source of these acids, but I also know that they can be found in flax. That may be known as linseed where you live or buy food. You can get the seeds themselves, or a powder. (some of my friends swear by the powder as a cooking ingredient - I'm not keen but will occasionally go on a health kick and buy some). These can be bought in health food shops, including Horrid and Bastard if you don't have anything else to hand, and also in Teh Evil Teh Sco. And, guess what? Eating these instead of fish will also help to stop said fish going extinct. See, that didn't take much gene-fiddling, did it?


TP said...

I would tend towards the non-supporting of GM side of the argument. Previous experieince indicates where humans go fiddling things tend to get pretty fucked up - and I don't expect much different from their fiddling with our foodstuffs.

It seems they are trying to find solutions to problems we have created (food shortages, bad diets etc) but we should stop causing these problems in the first place, we have the capacity to do that - if we did that then no one need fuck around with the genetics of tomatos.

Nella said...

My instinct would be to agree with that. I guess i wanted to make the point that I would at least listen to what the guy had to say, rather than throwing the radio out of the window or something (Colin Blakemore provokes that reaction), and don't automatically hate him in the way I would someone defending vivisection or the death penalty. Hence, the crappy comment about fish was actually noted rather than sinking in the morass of other crap.
Blah, shouldn't be on the internet when half asleep...