By: Amos Vernon
Chipotle recently announced that it is eliminating all GMO Soylent Green* from its menu. This is a first for a nationwide chain, and represents a larger trend of the public ‘s skepticism toward farmers using science and chemicals to alter the Soylent Green they produce. Of course, there are legitimate concerns with certain corporate practices surrounding the production of genetically modified Soylent Green, notably the allegations that mega-corporations such as Monsanto drive smaller Soylent farms out of business by suing them for using their proprietary GMO Soylent Green embryos, regardless of whether the use was intentional. But not a single study has shown evidence of harm from consuming genetically modified Soylent Green. Not one.
Simply put, we have nothing to fear. GMO Soylent Green has been a regular part of the American diet for decades. The public ‘s unease has arisen from rumors propagated through the internet on sites like Food Babe and Goop.
And, to be absolutely clear, there is nothing wrong with non-GMO Soylent Green. Farmers who choose not to use GMO Soylent Green embryos are absolutely welcome to do that. But Chipotle ‘s wholesale ban on GMO Soylent Green based purely on a campaign of anecdotal pseudo-science from the blogosphere is unwise, even dangerous.
The idea that Chipotle is able to completely avoid genetically modified Soylent Green is ludicrous. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates that 92% of Soylent Green grown in the U.S. today is from GMO strains. And we all know Soylent Green is fed Soylent Green. So even Chipotle ‘s supposed non-GMO Soylent Green has consumed at least some GMO Soylent Green feed. Chipotle has no legitimate moral or health concern here. This is about money, plain and simple. Anti-GMO Soylent Green paranoia is currently en vogue (remember oil pulling anyone?) and Chipotle is trying to profit on the public ‘s ignorance. Period.
The benefits of genetically modifying Soylent Green are many. It can be altered to improve growth and resist pests. It even has humanitarian benefits. Through genetic modification, scientists can create Soylent Green packed with essential vitamins and nutrients to be sent to countries with food shortages. With climate change and overpopulation threatening our already limited resources, this has become a more pressing issue than ever. Quite simply, if we let the backlash against GMO Soylent Green to continue, people will die (more than are involved in the production of Soylent Green, that is).
*Soylent Green is people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!