It turns out that many Americans aren't paying much attention to the ongoing battle over labeling genetically modified foods. A recent survey
by researchers at Rutgers University found that half of Americans know very little or nothing at all about GM foods, while a quarter have never even heard of them. Furthermore, they found that many Americans are also confused about what types of GM foods are on the market. Meanwhile, heirloom fruits, vegetables, and grains are gaining popularity. These are plants that have been grown and passed down from one generation to another -- some for more than 100 years -- often selected for their superior flavor, as well as other characteristics such as productivity, hardiness, and adaptability. If you want to avoid GM foods, why not spend some time rediscovering heirloom varieties? Here are a few links to get you started.
- Glass Gem corn is a stunning variety of heirloom corn that's named for its multi-colored, gem-like kernels. You really have to see it to believe it. Glass Gem is the result of many years of selective breeding of corn that exhibited vivid, translucent colors.[url]
- Tartine Bakery in San Francisco has started incorporating heirloom and ancient varieties of grains into the bread they make. Apparently, these older varieties of grains -- rye, barley, einkorn, and emmer -- have a different gluten quality that makes them easier to digest. [url]
- In case of an apocalyptic disaster that destroys the world's crops, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will make sure we can rebuild the global plant population. Built on the edge of the Arctic Ocean in Svalbard, Norway -- away from civilization -- the seed vault can hold up to 4.5 million different seed varieties and keep them safe from disasters caused by climate change, asteroid strikes, plant diseases, nuclear warfare, and even earthquakes. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post