The posting contains two video files and one audio file and was released as a three-disc set in conjunction with EARTH DAY (
In recent years, “you are what you eat” has become a popular adage, a truism, perhaps a bit of a cliché. There is little doubt that the quality and variety of the food we eat has a profound impact on our health and well being.
But in recent years, a new threat has emerged that challenges our ability to make the most basic choices about our food. The new technology of genetic engineering (GE), coupled with an unprecedented concentration of corporate control over the processing and distribution of food—and especially the sources of our seeds—has cast doubt on the safety and integrity of even some of the most common foods we eat every day.
Thus far, genetic engineering on a large scale has been largely limited to four basic crops: soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. Hawaiian papayas, some varieties of summer squash, and milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered hormone, Monsanto’s notorious recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), are also affected to varying degrees. But when we consider the pervasiveness of various soy and corn extracts in processed foods—even “natural” processed foods—the broad extent of the problem is revealed. The more scientists learn about the consequences of genetic engineering (also known as genetic modification, hence the popular abbreviation GMOs, for “genetically modified organisms”), the more alarmed we become about how this technology is affecting our health and the environment.
Amidst the growing public debate about the effects of GMOs, the Iowa-based Yes! Books has introduced an important new multimedia collection, attractively packaged as The GMO Trilogy. The trilogy features two timely and well-produced videos, a comprehensive audio CD, and lots of clickable extras.
The best-known voice of
From there, the scene shifts to Hyderabad, in central India, where local cotton growers have organized to resist the introduction of genetically engineered cotton—in this case engineered with a pesticide that aims to kill the cotton bollworm, many growers’ most persistent and damaging pest. Following a hyper-aggressive marketing campaign, featuring give-aways and flashy, Bollywood-style TV ads, numerous farmers in
Indian physicist, author and activist Vandana Shiva, one the world’s most articulate and respected opponents of genetic engineering, is seen speaking with groups of farmers and sharing her profound insights about the consequences of this technology. She also presents a compelling alternative, drawn from the phenomenal diversity of traditional Indian agriculture. Dr. Shiva offers us a tour of one of the most inspiring places in the world for people who care about food: the Navdanya seed farm in the Himalayan foothills. There we view some of the hundreds of varieties of traditional rices, beans, and peas that have been preserved through Navdanya’s efforts. We are reminded that healthy diets depend on healthy, loving relations to the land, both for our farmers and ourselves. For Dr. Shiva, traditional farmers are the “heart and soul of
1. UNNATURAL SELECTION
2. HIDDEN DANGERS IN KIDS’ MEALS: Genetically Engineered Food
YOU’RE EATING WHAT? (AUDIO)