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Food and Wine they had aplenty... for now (great TED talk)


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#1 SJS

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 06:43 PM

This is rather brilliant IMO.  Well worth watching if you care about world hunger.

 


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#2 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:10 PM

I tend to run in relatively liberal circles, and every time people talk about the gluten-free cupcakes they brought to the party, or how they found a place that sells great non-GMO produce, I want to punch a wall.

That hippie-dippy, first-world-focused, ignorant, feel-good terror of anything "unnatural" nauseates the hell out of me.  I have worked lessons into chemistry classes that I've either taught or helped teach specifically to help reduce the impact of the Naturalistic Fallacy under which so many (especially liberal) types operate.
And who says conservatives are the only political persuasion who have issues accepting science.

(Seriously, this subject fills me with so much rage, especially lately because I recently got into an argument with a friend who ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to vaccinate her daughter.  Because ewww toxins  or something like that.  And she eats all-organic, non-GMO, gluten-free...  spare me!)


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labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#3 SJS

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 09:14 PM

I tend to run in relatively liberal circles, and every time people talk about the gluten-free cupcakes they brought to the party, or how they found a place that sells great non-GMO produce, I want to punch a wall.

That hippie-dippy, first-world-focused, ignorant, feel-good terror of anything "unnatural" nauseates the hell out of me.  I have worked lessons into chemistry classes that I've either taught or helped teach specifically to help reduce the impact of the Naturalistic Fallacy under which so many (especially liberal) types operate.
And who says conservatives are the only political persuasion who have issues accepting science.

(Seriously, this subject fills me with so much rage, especially lately because I recently got into an argument with a friend who ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to vaccinate her daughter.  Because ewww toxins  or something like that.  And she eats all-organic, non-GMO, gluten-free...  spare me!)

 

I saw an internet meme recently something along the lines of "Shutting the fuck up is also gluten-free: how about adding that to your diet?"  Gave me a LOL.

 

Thank you for dealing with this in your chemistry classes.  Throughout my career I have carefully avoided mixing politics and the classroom, but I am making exceptions about food misconceptions because it's directly in my research domain and because I think the problem of feeding the world without destroying the soil and our rivers is being fucked up by scientific illiteracy.  (While I've noticed this particular bit of scientific illiteracy to affect the hippy-dippy types more, there's a big strain of it among the people who don't think we should be messing with the food God made for us, so it's there on the right too.)

 

I was glad to find this video, because I'll be using it in my Psychology of Eating course in the Spring semester.

 

If you can stomach it (and if you are on FB), the FB group GMOLOL is great for making fun of the naturalistic fallacy types, but also for getting some great information on the topic.


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#4 fast eddie

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:10 AM

I really don't see this "naturalistic fallacy" you refer to as the main motivation behind anti-GMO sentiments.I'm all for safe ways of increasing yields and even modifying organisms when it can be proven safe, but aren't some of the genetic mods done to make crops more resistant to herbicides, resulting in more herbicide use??? I'd like to see far more effort go into reducing global consumption, reducing population to a sustainable level, so that these technologies aren't so necessary.


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#5 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:57 AM

I don't see it as politics.  I see it as educating the kids about what "chemical" really means (this was a very basic chemistry class), and the common misconceptions surrounding the word.
There's nothing political about information.  The interpretation of it is political, but the data itself is neutral.


labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#6 SJS

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:57 AM

I really don't see this "naturalistic fallacy" you refer to as the main motivation behind anti-GMO sentiments.I'm all for safe ways of increasing yields and even modifying organisms when it can be proven safe, but aren't some of the genetic mods done to make crops more resistant to herbicides, resulting in more herbicide use??? I'd like to see far more effort go into reducing global consumption, reducing population to a sustainable level, so that these technologies aren't so necessary.

A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops

Published: November 03, 2014

 

Background

Despite the rapid adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops by farmers in many countries, controversies about this technology continue. Uncertainty about GM crop impacts is one reason for widespread public suspicion.

Objective

We carry out a meta-analysis of the agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops to consolidate the evidence.

Data Sources

Original studies for inclusion were identified through keyword searches in ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, EconLit, and AgEcon Search.

Study Eligibility Criteria

Studies were included when they build on primary data from farm surveys or field trials anywhere in the world, and when they report impacts of GM soybean, maize, or cotton on crop yields, pesticide use, and/or farmer profits. In total, 147 original studies were included.

Synthesis Methods

Analysis of mean impacts and meta-regressions to examine factors that influence outcomes.

Results

On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

Limitations

Several of the original studies did not report sample sizes and measures of variance.

Conclusion

The meta-analysis reveals robust evidence of GM crop benefits for farmers in developed and developing countries. Such evidence may help to gradually increase public trust in this technology.


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#7 fast eddie

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 04:42 AM

Well, that tears it...GMO!GMO!GMO!...I still don't like the corporate profit driven angle to this...it could skew their ethics. I understand there are proprietary designed in components to this technology that aren't well received by farmers in the developing world, and this could exacerbate the growing corporatization of farming...I'll reserve judgement for now...


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#8 SJS

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:57 PM

Well, that tears it...GMO!GMO!GMO!...I still don't like the corporate profit driven angle to this...it could skew their ethics. I understand there are proprietary designed in components to this technology that aren't well received by farmers in the developing world, and this could exacerbate the growing corporatization of farming...I'll reserve judgement for now...

 

This is nothing unique to GMO.  Companies have been creating patentable hybrids for decades using irradiation and cross-breeding.  This includes hybrids that can be labeled "organic".  It is just head-in-the-sand stupid to direct your distrust of corporations toward a particular technological approach, GMO.  The two are not one and the same.  In fact, virtually every accusation leveled against GMO can be made with equal force (and sometimes with far more evidence) at conventionally-produced agricultural products, including the so-called organic ones.


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