Today’s post comes from Dr. Larry Kyle, founder and produce manager at Genway – the supermarket for genetically engineered foods.
When I started Genway more than 20 years ago, my goal was to use genetic engineering to open the door to new food worlds where we all could live happier, or at least more interesting, lives.
In the process, I’ve fought for my vision against the stubborn rule-following of investors, Congressional committees, scientific oversight panels, torch mobs, mothers, tree huggers and Luddite scolds.
Usually, I’ve won.
That’s how the world gained Screaming Pumpkins, Cobrananas, Living Toast and Lightning Bug Tomatoes! My creations are all special. They bring something to the food that was not there before – something taboo, something that feels a little bit crazy! That’s the true benefit of my primary scientific strategy – something I call the “Why Not Method.” It has led us to a bold new frontier where our food has the potential not only to grow, but to develop its own talents, add to its skills and abilities, and indulge its ambitions.
It’s a very American approach.
That’s why I’m so discouraged to see news like this – the United States has OK’d a Canadian grown, genetically modified apple that does not turn brown when you cut it open.
All that science, just to get a timid food that does NOT do something! I’m crushed!
It reminds me of a challenge I was once given by a church pastor from the Florida Everglades who wrote to say his congregation was praying for me because I am “messing with creation” to suit my own whims. He reasoned that I am selfish because nothing made by God can be improved.
That’s when I brought up Adam. As a fundamentally flawed apple-biter, Adam’s tendencies introduce a huge problem into the God-built system that has never been fixed.
He admitted that if I could use genetic engineering to “hack” the Garden of Eden story and alter the outcome, that would be a change that God would have to rubber stamp. He took it back to his congregation and suddenly they were full of bright ideas!
“Make apples ugly”, said one.
“Take away the crunch,” offered another.
“Shrink them to the size of raisins,” said a third.
Interestingly, nobody wanted to change Adam. All their attention was focused on the apple. OK, I guess, but these these ideas seemed rather passive to me because they only take things away. Where’s the action? The sizzle? The thrill of something new?
Instead, I went into the lab with some DNA taken from the Indian Gray Mongoose, and I gave them a nice Granny Smith that bites snakes! Not because it wants to, just because it can!
It also tastes a little gamy.
They still pray for me down there, but every year they also ask me to send a bushel of Genway Adams Apples to throw into the swamp that surrounds their church!
Like I’ve always said, genetically engineered foods can make the world better. Or at least different!
Yours in Unsupervised Experimentation,
Dr. Larry Kyle
What’s your favorite kind of apple?