(our answer to another person concerned about GMO’s in the food supply)
Good thoughts. I think BIG-ness is a characteristic of many of our problem systems today. Leaving aside the three-thousand words with which I might be tempted to defend (or obfuscate) this statement, I draw your attention to studies in Austria and Russia, among other places, indicating that genetically modified grains were associated with infertility in lab rodents, and not just a little infertility, either, but extremes of non-reproductivity. Maybe one would overlook this in feeding a pig for slaughter — if one assumed that the fertility issues would not apply to the consumers of the pork — but in animals intended for breeding (dairy cows, etc) it is a serious issue.
As for scientific studies, the day is long past when I could look at the “results” of a study and consider it information on which I could base an opinion, let alone a decision in favor of one or another courses of action. Our society generates studies the way a road-kill coon generates maggots in July. For every definitive study to demonstrate X, there is at least one to demonstrate, definitively, negative-X. Moreover, studies are expensive things, even when the methods are bogus (after all, the researchers’ salaries must be paid, mustn’t they?), and they aren’t usually funded by unbiased philanthropists. I may be cynical, but I make the assumption that behind every study is an investor with something to gain by the outcome. The citrus growers want us to believe that a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine, and Kelloggs wants us to think eggs for breakfast will give us heart disease. To heck with studies, say I. Your premise that people ate local foods for the first few thousand years of man’s tenure on the planet, and imported and/or processed foods (I exclude natural processes like fermentation and dessication) only recently, and that (I infer) people who believe in a provident God may be justified in assuming that what He makes most available (not what Kroger makes most available) is probably good to eat, I agree with.
In the area of GMO’s and infertility, ask around and then get back to me: can you find anyone whose chickens are laying well? if so, ask them 1) how old the hens are, and 2) what they are feeding them. In a couple of years of asking around, I have not found one person whose flock has laid well in the second year, and almost no one who is satisfied with even the first lay. Mine have been increasingly unsatisfactory for three or four years, despite many efforts to improve all areas of their care: new, light and airy hen house, covered in winter for warmth, lights in the winter, sprouted barley in the winter, more food, new breeds, etc. They lay poorly or not at all. Last September when I butchered forty laying hens one and two years old, there were NO eggs in any of them, and partially formed eggs in only two or three. If you’ve ever butchered layers, you know that fifty percent of them should have had eggs in them. What is this but a fertility issue?
My advice would be to avoid GMO’s. I’m ordering chicks this spring from a hatchery that feeds no GMO’s, and growing my own feed this summer, supplementing with sunflower seeds, sorghum, and other things Monsanto has not extended its long arm to grab.
God bless —