Sunday, February 15, 2015

It Depends

I welcomed the red wing blackbirds back this week. I always think that “chortle” describes the sound they make, but I wondered if I had made that word up so I looked for it in a real old fashioned dictionary. Yup, it’s a word. It means “gleeful chuckling.” I took a photo of one of the newcomers sitting on a power line for this blog because one can appreciate only so many photos of cows eating hay. You can almost see the blackbird in the photo.

It was beautiful this morning. It has been in the 50’s and 60’s for days. Good grief. I want more winter. Our farm depends on in-flows to the river between the reservoir in the upper reaches and our valley home, so we need snowpack that feeds the soil profile throughout the spring. I look towards the mountains and see the snow receding before my eyes and I’m concerned. I can’t be like the town folk I see out rollerblading and celebrating the warm weather. It’s a burden sometimes to live off the land. 

I travel to my last week of Leadership Idaho Agriculture tomorrow. We spend time at the state capitol in Boise and meet our hard working legislators. I'm part of a panel doing a mock presentation in favor of labeling genetically modified organisms, GMO’s. I’ve been researching and the topic is huge.

So are you for or against them, GMO’s I mean? For me the answer is a resounding – it depends. It’s like home schooling, divorce, couples living together before marriage, and on and on - life actually. Tell me HOW you do it. Then I’ll tell you if I agree or not.

Of course the technology is here to stay. I think it holds vast potential to help this planet address what it faces in the future – drought, hunger, depleted soils, etc. Examples like the new Innate potato from Simplot, that through the addition of DNA from a wild potato makes it possible to turn off the tendency to bruise in transport or to go brown when cut, seem pretty benign to me.

But then we go to herbicide resistant crops which make up the bulk of genetically modified organisms and I become skeptical. Okay fine plant them, but good soil management practices and biodiversity should be our first priority, not year after year of spraying Round-up and now 2,4-D and Dicamba because our crops can now withstand it 

Then in my research I read about cloned holstein dairy cows in China and Argentina. Scientists have added human DNA and created cows that produce milk which is 80% the equivalent of human breast milk. That makes me squirm. Somewhere we need to stop, don’t we? Can anyone hear it but me? The screaming for common sense? You can’t replace mom with a GM cow? Ack!  

my gmo-free morning walk 

1 comment:

  1. I'm still studying the pros and cons of GMOs. I agree with some, disagree with others, and don't understand some. But I agree that soil health is so important. I'll keep studying. Thanks for your insights!