But…You’re Eating Corn!

by Jessica Oliver, English major

I was visiting my Mom’s house for our weekly catch­up dinner. Originally, these dinners were a way for me to avoid countless hours on the phone with her throughout the week, but eventually turned into an event that I looked forward to. Both of us being pretty big foodies, we made it a tradition to find a new interesting recipe to experiment with each time we met.

This week’s recipe of choice was three bean tacos with tofu and corn salsa; yum! As we finish cooking our meal and sit down to eat I begin telling my mom that I’m in a class in which we talk about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), when suddenly, mid-­sentence, I am interrupted with a deep sigh and disturbing look from her side of the table! I jump to the assumption that something is wrong with the food and immediately spit out the large first bite that I had taken (unfortunately failing to get all of it on my plate!).

I ask what’s wrong and she explains that GMOs are bad. I let out a rather large chuckle (relieved that nothing is wrong with the food), and ask her what GMO stands for. Not to my surprise, she couldn’t quite come up with the meaning. I asked how she knew that she didn’t like them if she didn’t actually know what they are. She explained that she had read an article that said they were bad, and so she thinks they are bad. I wish that I was exaggerating on the simplicity.

This caused an interesting revelation for me. I had formerly thought that everyone who didn’t like GMOs knew something that I didn’t, because I had never seen a problem with them. My mother made it clear for me that the “non­GMO” project may actually just be one of the most successful brainwashing attempts that American’s have experienced.

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This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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