Digest: Gene Revolution’s fine print, snacking research, mad deer disease

Des Moines Register: An op-ed lauds the Gates Foundation's support of African agriculture as a coming Gene Revolution — saying biotech will be critical to restoring that "blighted land." Why? It's "uniquely suited to address a fundamental problem that many poor farmers face: the enormous stumbling block of illiteracy. If farmers can't read the instructions on their bags of seed, fertilizer and herbicide, the potential for unintended mistakes increases. There are still directions to follow, but they're less complicated." No word on whether African farmers need to be able to decipher Monsanto contracts and liability waivers.

New York Times*: Today's No. 1 emailed article is about a guy who does interesting research into how we decide how much to eat and when to stop. Although people estimate they make 15 food decisions a day on average, his research shows the number is well over 200 — and 250+ for Ethicureans. [We made that last part up.]

Seattle P-I: Wyoming researchers in Wyoming have found chronic wasting disease in the heart muscle tissue of infected white-tailed deer and elk — so hunters might want to reconsider eating their prey's hearts. However, if you read carefully, the researchers deliberately infected captive deer, not found it in the wild.

Seattle P-I: The vegetarian D. Parvaz pops off about food safety, food smugness, and food anxiety.

Chicago Tribune*: Forget corn-based ethanol. The real story in alternative fuel is that researchers are close to tapping cellulosic biomass — a vast, renewable store of non-food plant matter.

Guardian & Mail (UK): Animal-rights activist and "alfalfa male" Peter Singer discusses ethical eating vs. eating for pleasure.

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One Responseto “Digest: Gene Revolution’s fine print, snacking research, mad deer disease”

  1. Jack says:

    "Although people estimate they make 15 food decisions a day on average, his research shows the number is well over 200 — and 250+ for Ethicureans."

    Heh - some days it feels like I make that many decisions on wine!

    As for, "saying biotech will be critical to restoring that “blighted land.”" - what are the chances that biotech will cause more blighted land than it, er, restores? Com'on! Biotech has no reason to restore blighted land; that won't make them as much money as creating bio-engineered crops that can grow in blighted land.