A freezing north wester wind is blowing and Iím contemplating Spring and the portent of new life. The lovely seedlings I planted over the weekend - including beans, peas, lettuce and basil are looking woeful and burnt and I can only hope they recover and grow into the leafy greens they are meant to be. This has got me thinking about GM crops and the green light that has been given to grow them in South Africa.
Worldwide there is serious debate as to the long term effects of these crops on the eco-system we depend upon, not too mention how this food affects the human body. But it seems that the voice of reason is split in two. On one side we are told they are necessary to feed the billions of people on this planet and on the other side - we canít possibly live with the long term effects of them because in reality we have no idea how they will affect us or the fragile ecosystem under fire from climate change and species depletion.
Time magazine has just run a lead article on the pros and cons of eating organic food and eventhough they donít come right out and say it, eating organic food is the better option, for people and for the animals who give their lives to feed us.
Monsanto is the big machine behind GM crops and their defence against criticism is generally wagered by litigation lawyers who are employed to fight any voice of dissent. If you think about the food chain as we now know it, from factory farming of cows and the battery hens that are bred in gross and cruel conditions it seems only a part of Ďprogressí that now the vegetables too are being manipulated.
If the powers that be are intent on forcing these rules what can we do about it? Start by growing your own vegetables, cutting down on meat and finding eggs that are not produced by battery hens who are being fed GM grain.
As consumers we have to insist on proper food labelling so that, given a choice, we can avoid what we donít want or believe in. When the north wester wind stops I will head out into the garden and salvage what I can and keep trying because this is what I can do and the more of us who try, the better chance we have at choice.