Friday, July 08, 2011
The first time I walked up to the watermelon stand at my local supermarket, I was lured by the 4th of July sale price. But just as I was starting to salivate and pick one up, a guy walked by with his girlfriend. When she motioned towards the watermelon I heard him tell her, "Those watermelons are genetically modified." My taste buds dried up immediately and I put the perfectly round, seedless melon down.
A day later, I returned to the market for something I'd forgotten and there was another pile of watermelons, prominently festooned with little American flag banners. I picked one up, put it in my cart and brought it home. It was that easy, no inner debate, nada.
On the 4th of July I cut it up and my husband made watermelon margaritas to go along with our holiday feast. I had all but forgotten about it until early this morning when I woke up thinking about what I'd done.
I rant and rave all the time about how much I hate the corporations who are destroying the world’s food supply. I understand that not all seedless watermelons are “genetically modified” but they are the result of selective breeding. The proliferation of so-called “seedless fruit” makes us dependent on whoever controls seeds. When consumers like me buy these GMOs and pass up the real deal, nature-perfected type of produce we are contributing to the problem. We are encouraging markets to sell and growers to grow GMOs and discouraging natural and organic farmers.
Of course, some people don't care. They're fine with GMOs, they don't claim to hate Monsanto like I do. They can enjoy modified food without a second thought but I don't envy them. I know better and I'm angry with myself. I have been hypocritical and it's the fruit of my conscience that has left a bad taste in my mouth.