No G(m)o

For 18 years, Tasmania has banned the commercial release of GMOs into the environment. This moratorium is now up for review, and could be lifted depending on the submissions from the Tasmanian community and, we assume, the whims of the powers that be.

This is a reminder of the importance of engaging with the politics that surround us and influence our lives, businesses and wellbeing. Yet it’s incredibly difficult to find the time in the day to weigh in formally on such critical issues.

We’ve always been strong opponents of GMOs, for a variety of reasons. The first of these is ecological. We simply do not know, as humans, the potential impact of artificially modified genes making their way into the natural ecosystem (be it wild or agricultural) and so many horrific mistakes have been made in human history when the precautionary principle has not been followed in the application of new science or ideas. One of the worst examples of this has recently been confirmed (although suspected for decades), in the carcinogenic nature of glyphosate (the main chemical in Round-Up, made by Monsanto).

Another reason to be concerned by GMOs are that corporate interests then “own” gene sequences and have, in other countries, sued neighbouring properties for infringement on intellectual property rights when GM pollen blows in the wind to fertilise a nearby crop’s flowers. The extreme economic and political power already held by these enormous corporations is then compounded by legislated rights and the victim of this ecological accident is left footing the bill for IP “theft”.

The argument most often mounted by proponents of GMOs is that it “feeds the world”, when actually, the FAO confirms that small-scale farms provide 70% of the world’s food. It also states that the 4 main GMO crops are among the major commodities traded on the world market – which certainly isn’t the way that we buy “food”. To top it off, one of the main modifications made in GMOs (especially soy) is to introduce resistance to glyphosate. How convenient that farmers can then buy their GMO seed and the accompanying herbicides to suppress weeds from the same company! Co-incidence? We think not.

Baked Quince

Usually associated with pastes and preserves, quince also makes a lovely dessert when baked. Serve with icecream or yoghurt with some independent crumble (see last week’s recipe online) …serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 3 quinces, peeled, halved and cored
  • 6 knobs butter
  • about 3 tbs brown sugar
  • cinnamon (optional)
Method 

Step 1: Grease a baking tray and/or line with baking paper. and heat oven to 180C.

Step 2: Place a knob of butter and 1 tsp of brown sugar in the hollow of each quince where the core was scooped out.

Step 3: Bake for 60 mins or until softened, and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve (if using).