Category Archives: Genway

Apple Scrap

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.

That’s it?
That’s it!

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?

Love Storm, Revisited

This morning at 9am, my good friend Mike Pengra will re-air the final broadcast of MPR’s Morning Show on Radio Heartland, recorded 6 years ago today.

Such a kind gesture from a true gentleman!

Since it’s only good manners to bring a gift of some sort to a party, I’ll offer this – a post from the old “Trail Balloon” blog that immediately followed the event itself:

Our final Morning Show broadcast was an immense hug and a truly beautiful thing thanks to the waves of faithful listeners who flowed to and through the Fitzgerald Theater and St. Paul’s Central Presbyterian Church. The size of the crowd went well beyond our expectations (I wagered 1500) and their warmth was off the charts.

As a lifelong radio guy, I am naturally timid at the thought of facing a live audience, but this group was as comfort-inducing as any collection of 2000 souls can be. What’s the opposite of an unruly mob? A ruly mob, I guess. That’s what we had.

All the heartfelt words of praise for our Morning Show were oh so welcome, but after awhile I did begin to feel a bit guilty. Let’s face it, everybody works hard and the stress of day-to-day living takes a toll. Who wouldn’t get a boost from having a gaggle of admiring people asking for your autograph? I confess I enjoyed it tremendously, but I recognize that most people deserve a kind word and a pat on the back for the good things they do every day, and do they get it? You know the answer. Sorry Jim Ed and I hogged the love storm, but what could we do? It blew down the doors.

The Morning Show is done. It was a long-running and sometimes confounding radio gymnastics routine with plenty of twists and flourishes and it looked like we would come crashing down a couple of times, but our spotters were there for us and gravity gave us some lucky breaks, and the dismount was incredible.

When have you finished well?

Where Credit is Due

Today’s post comes from Dr.Larry Kyle, founder and produce manager at Genway, the supermarket for genetically engineered foods.

In every life there comes a moment when you are struck by an uncomfortable truth about the work you’ve been doing.


For some, this moment came just yesterday when I realized I will never receive credit for accomplishing my mission – to develop genetically modified foods through unsupervised experimentation and then to release those foods into a trusting world!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

This came to me in a rush when I read an article that claimed a new mushroom species had been discovered in London grocery store.

Researchers testing dried porcini mushrooms found that three out of the fifteen pieces in the bag matched no known DNA profile!

This proved shocking to everyone because in most grocery stores people assume that someone, somewhere,knows what they are buying.

And if the grocery store operator had been aware that he was selling a previously unheard of and utterly unique product, he would have doubled the price. Obviously.

At Genway, the strange situation described above is our everyday reality. When walking up and down the aisles to peruse products like Genway’s Cobrabanana, our Fresh Living Toast, our Screaming Pumpkins, our Brussels Sprites, or our Snapping Peas, customers EXPECT to find fruits, vegetables and even animals that are well off the map of known science!

When I saw the mushroom story I instantly recognized these interlopers as stray samples of Genway’s Mock Mushrooms – fungal edibles interlaced with DNA from some of nature’s great mimicry artists – chameleons, mocking birds, the mimic octopus, the false cobra, and the Four-Eyed Butterfly Fish.

Our Mock Mushrooms grow from the ground up in a pre-dried state, and can be added to any mushroom dish when you come up just a little short of enough fungi to complete the recipe. Inherently aware of their surroundings, Genway’s Mock Mushrooms will instantly impersonate many varieties, including shiitake, frondosa, morel, chanterelle and the impossibly old and wrinkly-looking Calvin!

That last one isn’t a kind of mushroom – it’s your Uncle from Eden Prairie!

In the case of the London fungal surprise, someone must have purchased our Mock Mushrooms and then accidentally released them, perhaps during a picnic in the woods. They infiltrated a stand of existing fungi and eventually found their way into another grocery store on the other side of the globe.

I’m so proud! My glorious pretties have been released into an unsuspecting world!

But I will never get the credit I am due, unless formal charges are filed and international agricultural authorities have the power to extradite!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Yours in science and subversion,
Dr. Larry Kyle

Do you get sufficient credit for the work you do?

The Evolution of Coffee

Sometimes, the latest news has a way of confirming emerging trends and verifying possibilities we imagined long ago. So it is with this week’s news that scientists have plotted the coffee genome and brought us another step closer to a supermarket beverage aisle that features a vast array of genetically tailored coffees.

This section of our show is brought to you by Genway, the supermarket for genetically engineered food.

This weekend, be sure to check out Genway’s special price on it’s finest coffee, Sumatran Rush.

Dr. Kyle and the gene grocers of Genway have found a way to boost the jolt that you normally get from coffee by re-thinking caffeine and it’s reason for being there in the first place.

Caffeine is useful for overcoming sleep deprivation by giving you that “awake” look that’s so useful when you’re trying to make an impression.

But for a lot of people, just appearing awake isn’t enough. They want to be awake, be alert, and be in a heightened state of readiness for whatever may come their way, whether it’s an important meeting, a difficult procedure, a big game, a fun evening or a tough day with the kids …

… that’s why the beans that make Genway’s Sumatran Rush are enhanced with ADRENALINE!


You thought caffine was addictive? Get a load of this!

Thanks to special methods used by Genway technicians for frightening laboratory rats, we are able to harvest key secretions and splice those genetic instructions directly into coffee plants. The result? Sumatran Rush is a drink that will immediately put your whole body on RED ALERT!

The beans actually glisten with a distilled ADRENALINE that will have your eyes open wide, your nose twitching, and every hair on your body standing at attention, as if you were about to be stuck with a needle by a creature much larger than yourself for a purpose you didn’t fully understand.

Adrenaline! It’s a completely natural way to focus all your senses for full participation in class, standing up for yourself in that crucial morning meeting, getting into the mood for an evening of dancing, or should you simply need to lift up a car or jump over a house.

Adrenaline is miraculous! There was a time when you had to make every drop yourself, but now it’s in the coffee!

And be sure to ask about our flavored versions, such as vanilla, almond, mocha and FEAR. If you haven’t tasted them all, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Pick up some Sumatran Rush … At Genway, the supermarket for genetically altered foods.

What do you like in your coffee?

Science Fare

Today’s post comes from Dr. Larry Kyle, founder and produce manager at Genway, the supermarket for genetically engineered foods.


Vindication is mine!

Anyone who knows my work at Genway understands that I have been a misunderstood and lonely pioneer. Scientifically I have blazed unthinkable pathways in the genetic manipulation of plants and animals. And ethically I have set a new standard for non-regulated, devil-may-care experimentation. Have I done things that were questionable? Yes. Ill advised? Of course!

There was a time when people called me mad. MAD, I say! And THEY said it too! They said LOTS of things.

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

When I developed fresh-as-life toast that lived in a terrarium they said I should be investigated.
When I invented the Genway Screaming Halloween Pumpkin, they said I should be prosecuted.
When I used terrier DNA to create barking tulips, they said I should be stopped!

But they couldn’t lay a hand on me because I had no University affiliation and took no money from the government. I financed my work with proceeds from product sales at Genway, and through urgent contributions from neighbors and acquaintances who wanted only one thing from me – that I stay far away from their homes and their families.

Yes, some other researchers called it “vanity science”, and even extortion. But I knew if I waited long enough the rest of the scientific community would eventually come around. And now they have, because I see there is a major article in the New York Times that claims Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science!

“For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”

Yes! Now the most groundbreaking science will be done by those who are best at separating rich people from their fortunes! Whim based research will shape a tomorrow that you won’t recognize and no one can predict. How quickly the Brave New World I dreamt of has become a reality!

The Extra Long Cobra Banana - Delicious Hot or Coiled
The Extra Long Cobra Banana – Delicious Hot or Coiled

Why let government chart a course when the future really belongs to guys who have the twisted curiosity to wonder what might happen if you combined a banana with a King Cobra, and the fat bankroll to find out?

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

And in case you didn’t read it with the right amount of spirit, yes – that’s a maniacal laugh!

Yours in Unsupervised Experimentation,
Dr. Kyle

What sort of research would YOU pay for?

Don’t Look For The Label

Today’s post comes from Dr. Larry Kyle of Genway, the supermarket that specializes in genetically engineered foods.

I’m very disappointed in Connecticut.

It’s a nice, wealthy eastern state that’s full of educated people, so why don’t they show more creativity when it comes to addressing concerns about Genetically Modified foods? The state legislature just passed a bill that, when certain conditions are met, will require GM foods to carry a label identifying them as such.

A label?

Labels are boring. The only reason to insist on labels is because you have Absolutely No Idea what gene manipulation can do! If I were passing laws to control Laboratory Based Manipulation Of Our Diet, I would make useful rules. I would require all food finaglers to Do Something Inventive that would make it Obvious we are Dealing with A Product That Did Not Originate in the Natural World!

They're Delicious Hot or Coiled
Delicious Hot or Coiled

Like the Genway COBRAnana!

Our COBRAnana is a tightly wound nutrient-rich package coiled and waiting to strike you numb with its tasty goodness. Yes, it senses your presence and although it does nothing to outwardly indicate that it knows you are near, when you least expect it you will find yourself with a face full of high-potassium fruitiness!

And yes, it carries a label, but slapping a tiny sticker on the produce is for cowards. You don’t need something like that to let people know they are about to eat A Banana That Springs From The Mind of Man!

I’m surprised that I have to say it here in the Land of Innovation, but this is what the Connecticut law should require. Not labels or the participation of neighboring states.


Dr. Kyle has a point – if you can’t use genetic manipulation to make your produce look instantly recognizable to even the most casual shopper, then what good is it?

What is distinctive about your style?

Make Mine Pine

Today’s post comes from Dr. Larry Kyle, the company founder and produce manager at Genway – a supermarket for genetically engineered foods.

I’m delighted that scientists who have more time on their hands than I do were finally able to sequence the entire super-lengthy genome for the Norway Spruce.

I tried to do it a time or two, but the Norway Spruce DNA string was so long I lost interest before I got to the end, rather like reading Moby Dick.

There was a lot of repetition in the genome too. I guess that’s what used to pass for great writing.

It’s odd, because Norway Spruce might be my closest personality match in the world of trees. They can be so prickly! They’re also sappy and messy, just like I am. And of course we both smell great and people want to snuggle up near us and hang things off of us every December. That’s why I’ve always wanted to do something coniferous at Genway! And now that I can get at all the genetic inner workings and mess around, my mind is reeling!

Of course everyone else will use this wealth of new information to try to make a perfectly shaped and completely durable Christmas Tree. Ho hum! I’m much more interested in the subtle manipulations.

For example, by incorporating simple Idaho tuber DNA into a cocktail with the genetic code for creating pine needles, I can clearly envision a house in the woods surrounded by trees that shed the raw materials for making ultra-thin potato sticks. So what if dropping spud-needles get caught in the gutters? Spray the roof with oil and set it on fire! Those first responders deserve to arrive at a blaze one time that i also a tasty, crunchy treat – just remind them to bring the salt cannon!

And what about doing something with those Norway Spruce seed pods? Imagine how a nine year old’s head would explode if you told him Ice Cream Cones really DO grow on trees! Now THERE’S a Christmas gift!

There are non-grocery applications too! Those pine-shaped hang-from-the-mirror car deodorizers have never smelled like an evergreen to me. But now that we know the proper DNA sequence, we can fundamentally spruce up everything! The dashboard. The mirror itself. Even YOU could have a naturally coniferous personal scent! What would it be worth to you to be as perpetually fresh as mountain air?

And what about sports applications? I’m sure there are a number of NFL receivers who would like a genetic upgrade to have their football-dropping palms naturally ooze an ultra sticky sap.

Yes, I’m delighted that the secrets of this complicated tree, the Norway Spruce, have finally been unlocked. Look for a sudden surge of Evergreen products at Genway including Evergreen Grapes and Evergreen Gravy.

Yes, green gravy! Why? Because we can!

Yours in Unsupervised Experimentation,
Dr. Larry Kyle.

I think Dr. Kyle’s enthusiasm is premature. I’m not sure that knowing anything about the Norway Spruce gene sequence will help us much in the long run. But if it makes him happy, what’s the harm?

Tell us a story involving you and a conifer.