As a chef and food writer who used to live and work in the US 1980-1994, I'm truly saddened that American Farmers have so whole heartedly gone down the root Genetically Modified Foods.
I wish America's high profile chefs would do much more inform consumers. 85-91% of grain crops (corn, wheat,soya,etc) are GM and Europe several years ago placed a ban on importing American grain because of it. Not to mention the unintended creation of super weeds which have proved so hardy against conventional weed killer that desperate farmers are now using a cocktail of many different chemicals to try and tame them.
Then there is the issue of collapsing bee colonies due to the over use of pesticides, in American it is hard to measure because the bee population is moved around to pollinate different crops at various times of the year. Bee extinction would wipe out soft fruits, nuts like almonds the list is long, and what was left would become incredibly expensive.
For a long time consumers have been told by companies like Monsanto, that GM would solve world hunger, need less water. But the truth is the crops are genetically altered to make them more resistant to damage from pesticides, so since the introduction of GM crops in 1996 the use of weed killers has increased by 239 million kilos, which in turn is poisoning the water table.
Then there's the issue of cloned meat, for two and half years it has been on sale in American supermarkets but the FDA allowed the meat to be sold unlabelled!! So hands up all those reading this have probably eaten cloned meat!....mmm. And the same happened with the company in Boston who produced Genetically Altered Farm Salmon, so chances are you have probably eaten GM salmon too.
Should ordinary, hard working chefs like me and you care about this? Yes in my opinion we should, we don't grow the stuff but we cook it, eat it, recommend it and therefore in a large enough
group we can influence the future.
Big business chemical companies like Monsanto have turned American Farm land into a science lab and the American people into Guinea Pigs when no one yet knows the long term outcome. All the scientists in Europe have taken a much more cautious approach, they are researching these things but not allowing them to be sold because of the negatives I have in part described.
I love America but wish people with influence (like TV chefs and food writers) would stop this experiment and learn to love the land with natural methods, that are healthier for the earth and its people.