Finding common ground on growing food

In the final minutes of a new TEDxCERN talk, Penn State biology professor Nina Fedoroff implores of her audience, “Will we have the wisdom to invest in the scientific and technological innovations that can give everyone a livelihood, a seat at the table, and enough to eat?” Count yourself as a decent human being if you find yourself noddingContinue reading “Finding common ground on growing food”

Why aren’t we talking about organic GMOs? And, why can’t we all get along?

What I want to ask is this: Why aren’t there more people, beyond scientists and academics, talking about organically grown GMOs? These last few weeks have had me thinking a lot about how the terms used to describe our food — “organic,” “conventional,” and genetically modified” — which only serve to confuse and distract from greaterContinue reading “Why aren’t we talking about organic GMOs? And, why can’t we all get along?”

Making lazy, stupid plants work harder

Plants with larger root systems take up minerals more easily. Plants these days. They’re coddled, entitled, fed with a silver spoon. Use of man-made fertilizer and traditional breeding, over the years, has selected for traits that led to today’s modern-variety plants that grow fat with yields. But the downside of easy access to nutrients isContinue reading “Making lazy, stupid plants work harder”

What environmental groups don’t understand about biotech

On May 27, the “Take the Flour Back” environmentalist group plans to take “mass action” in efforts to remove more than $1 million worth of research in biotechnology. Their purpose, according to their website, is one of “mass decontamination” of what they see is a threat to farmers, the food supply, health of consumers, and biodiversity. What this protestContinue reading “What environmental groups don’t understand about biotech”

Can We Prevent a Food Crisis while Preserving Biodiversity?

To feed a crowded planet and avoid further loss of species, Nina Fedoroff, professor of biology at Penn State University and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), argues for more focus on biotechnology and controlled environment agriculture. “Time is not on our side,” she said in a keynote address at a research reports andContinue reading “Can We Prevent a Food Crisis while Preserving Biodiversity?”