There’s this thing I’ve been doing a lot lately (no doubt to the annoyance of my family) where in reference to, say, junk in the basement or garage–old bikes, backpacks, canned food (I know, gross, right?)–instead of getting rid of it I say, “Oh well, it’ll come in handy in case of a zombie apocalypse.” I’ll be honest here, I don’t really know what a zombie apocalypse is. But I’m pretty sure there’s not really gonna be one.
I was rereading some reviews of Seed Savers and I saw a sentiment (don’t get me wrong, it was a great review) that expressed the unlikelihood of a scenario such as the Seed Savers premise (personal gardening has become illegal) in light of today’s eco-friendly obsession. Yeah, true, true. Organic stores and organic sections in our big chain stores seem to be at an all-time high. The Obamas have planted a garden at the White House, chickens reign supreme in many back and front yards in big cities across the nation, and so on.
And yet, then there are also stories all over such as this one about a couple under threat of being sued for their vegetable garden. (And while, if you read the comments following the story, it seems these people are now in the clear, don’t doubt that this isn’t happening in many other places.) Or stories about Moe Parr, Percy Schmeiser and others, who have been under fire by MONSANTO on account of seeds. Or a local news story about the government accusing farmers of berry-picking crimes and extorting large amounts of money from them.
There’s the effect GMO control has on other countries, such as the rise in suicides among Indian farmers. There’s the denial by the United States government that genetically modified foods might pose a health risk and deciding that letting consumers know when they’re ingesting such organisms isn’t necessary. (A decision made over twenty years ago; time to reconsider, anyone?) There’s the irksome reality that Agribusiness and FDA officials are not only in bed together, sometimes they are the same person.
And whatever happened with the people rising up to right this wrong through proposition 37 (the initiative to require GMO labeling) in California? I’ll tell you what happened. Though supported by more than 60% of Californians in early polls, after large GMO supporting/using companies spent 46 million dollars in advertising, the people folded. Then again, there are the allegations about “irregularities” in the vote totals…
And what about the Jamie Oliver TED talk “Teach Every Child About Food,” where some elementary students fail to identify tomatoes, potatoes, and cauliflower? Still think the storyline in Seed Savers is unlikely? Actually, I hope it is. But I don’t know…
Instead of gearing up for the zombie apocalypse, maybe we should all try planting a seed come spring. Maybe even out in the front yard if you have one. Especially if it’s against the law.