Friday, March 19, 2010

On one deficient vegetable:

I heard a conversation on Talk of the Nation on NPR the other day (March 12, 2010) about whether or not genetically modified crops are living up to their billing as a solution for starvation in impoverished countries. The upshot was that mostly they aren’t, but apparently one of the “successful” GMOs is the high-vitamin cassava or yucca. The expert guest had the temerity to say that cassava, in its natural state, is “deficient.” I ask you, how can a vegetable be deficient? The very definition of a healthy diet is a varied one. We get a full complement of nutrients from eating a delicious plate that appeals to the eye and palate with lots of different colors and flavors. Who would want to eat yucca exclusively anyway? Don’t get me wrong, I love yucca, but just yucca?

What? You say some people in this world are so poor, yucca is all they can eat? I say what’s deficient is an economic system that doesn’t allow all people to afford to eat the variety of foods human bodies want and need.

Maybe that economic system is what we should be re-engineering.

Link to the show: