Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Poor, Beleaguered Multinational Frankenfoods Outfit

Over at NRO today, Daniel Foster has a predictable conservative defense of GMOs and Monsanto:
Monsanto is just too perfect an issue for a certain class of urbane lefty already inclined to food snobbery and to activism. It harmonizes with his inherent mistrust of corporations, confirms him in the superiority of his lifestyle choices, and accords with the deep strain of Rousseauian anti-modernism that runs through him. Never mind that a world without GMOs would be a hungrier world, a world in which the poor would have to pay something closer to the prices he happily bears for the peace of mind that comes from the politically correct consumption of roughage. As for the rest, well, let them eat cake. Locally sourced, sustainably produced, certified organic cake.
As an aside, I always find it hilarious when people accuse us greenie locavore food fad snobs of believing in the "superiority" of our "lifestyle choices." Isn't that, like, a mainstay of the human condition? Doesn't everyone believe in the superiority of his own personal lifestyle choices?

But I digress. Note, dear readers, the omnipresent accusation that the anti-GMO crowd is "anti-modernism." This is the conservative/free market/pro-industrial agriculture equivalent of progressives calling global warming skeptics "anti-science." It's just a nonsense term that doesn't convey anything substantive.

As it stands, I do distrust Monsanto, and I am repulsed by and suspicious of the concept of GMOs. Apparently that means I'm in favor of mass starvation and global famine. But it's just a stimulus-response kind of thing. Oleomargarine, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup---all of these things were accepted and celebrated "science" not very long ago, and those of us who were skeptical were derided as being anti-science luddites who wanted to live in the stone age. Advancements in scientific foodism were slated to make us all healthier and safer, and it was crazy and suicidal to ask questions about these things.

Of course, as the twentieth century wore on, people's hearts started exploding and they started getting grossly obese and the kids started getting adult onset diabetes before puberty. So it turns out there were some reasonable questions to ask about the ultra-modern forward-thinking neo-foodies' philosophies. Forgive me if I adhere to the same methodology regarding GMOs. Novel foods have a terrible track record. 

1 comment:

  1. This is what I don't understand about the right wing resistance towards localvorism: It should be right up their alley! I mean, sure, there are a lot of vapid liberal automatons who buy leeks from the farmers market twice a month and patter on about how they're "going green." And yes, they suck. But good God, does Daniel Foster know who's producing this food?? Paul and Brenda and Joel Salatin are not beating the drum of leftism, clearly! I've never met a legitimate, career farmer who espoused the kind of liberal views someone like Foster presumably despises. Moreover, isn't the local food movement the kind of legitimate, de-centralized, populist worldview that appeals to conservatives?

    Honestly, probably not. These people don't want your vision of America any more than Rachel Maddow does. They want to control your life and take your money as much as the leftists do, only it's the sanctity of marriage and national defense spending that they bleat on about.