Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Equal But Opposite

I suppose it was only a matter of time, I mean, I knew us organic gardening geeks were also computer literate passionate bloggers, little did I know that apparently we are all also apparently ignorant, uninformed fear mongers as well, at least according to one or two sites floating around the net written by supporters of Genetically Modified Feed and Seed. In the interest of fairness you might have noticed that I added a link to one of these blogs in our links section and that on their blog you can find links to other blogs, blogs which I have replied to once or twice here and there and will probably still occasionally reply to.

Now, I know both organic gardeners and GMO activists are guilty of spewing rhetoric, however I also know to research anything and everything that I believe and or stand against, I also know not to open my mouth and spout out half truths, rhetoric, or whole lies. I Am, as I have said before (coded language much, very few will get this). What bothers me the most about these new GMO positive blogs is their absolute refusal to believe that Organic gardening and conventional plant breeding can feed the people of the world and nourish the malnourished of the world without the help of their "miracle seeds", oh and don't try to argue with them, because paraphrasing the owner of said and linked blog above, your either uneducated or ignorant, take your choice because GMO's have produced no negative consequences or reactions, not even allergic reactions (Starlink corn anyone?). But I'm not going to use this blog to completely slam them, what I am going to do is send a message to them; do not misinterpret what we are saying about GMO's, feel free to read my blog here about GMO blue tomatoes if you want to understand my stance on GMO's and many others, but realize, just because you can doesn't mean you should and for every one person you try to indoctrinate with your rhetoric, there will be someone out there just as educated as you are who will be more than willing to be the voice of reason.


Patrick said...


This is really the power of blogs at work, and what makes it different from a discussion forum or even tradition media.

My blog has a theme and a clear but unofficial editorial policy. I make a post, and people are free to comment on that post. No one is free to just come along and say whatever they want whenever they want, the expectation is they will keep to the subject of the post at hand. My blog is simply not a place for fair and open discussion, it's my blog and people come and read it because they find it interesting. They are free to look elsewhere on the Internet any time they get tired of me and what I write, and certainly from time to time people do look for greener pastures.

It's not that I ever delete anyone's comments. I am as much of a believer in freedom of speech as anyone else, and I have never deleted a comment that was made by a real person and not solely commercial in it's nature.

At the same time, if someone comes along and disrupts the conversation or changes the direction of the topic, I am not shy. I tell them right away, they must take their conversation some place else if they want to continue.

I have done this twice so far in the 3 years my blog has been around. Once was someone who wanted to turn an anti-GMO post in to a discussion on the benefits of GMOs.

Another was a reaction to a post I made pointing out that worldwide meat production accounted for more greenhouse gases (15%) than all of the world's transportation infrastructure (13%). This is according to a recent UN report. In this case a militant meat eater showed up, professing the benefits of such a diet and suggesting she was doing her part for the environment by eating seafood once a week.

I told both these people they were welcome to leave a link in a comment on my blog if they wanted to continue the conversation elsewhere like their own blog, so others could find the discussion and continue it with them.

Neither person took me up on my offer of the link, quite simply because these topics don't garner interest on the Internet. No one is really interested in a discussion of the benefits of GM, neither are they interested in a discussion on the benefits of an all meat diet.

If there are really people out there interested in discussions like this, more power to them, I don't need to go out looking for them or be bothered by what they say because I have my own group of blogs I like to read.

The Internet is a really big place, and like minded people can easily find one another with search engines like Google or through word of mouth. We can easily maintain our own circle of friends, and guess what? On a worldwide basis, people like you and I are in the vast majority compared to the pro-GM people and on many other issues.

This is really the power of a blog over nearly all other mass communication medium.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Alan: Sorry to highjack this post but I am unable to get onto your forum. Please give me an email. Thanks!

Bishops Homegrown said...

I agree completely Patrick, everyone has got to take care of their own views and steer their blogs in the direction they want them to go, I just wish that these GMO guys along with other groups out there would actually open their eyes to gust how much rhetoric is involved in their reasoning, I am fairly certain some of these folks are just propagandist working on behalf of the chemical and pharmacutical companies pushing their seed and patent laws on us without giving us a choice.

Anastasia said...

Hello, I just wanted to say that there is at least one person out there in the blogosphere who attempts to find the truth about all sorts of farming and food issues, organic, genetically engineered, and otherwise, while not being paid in any way whatsoever or connected in any way whatsoever to any seed company.

There is too much rhetoric laid out by both proponents and opponents of organic and GM, and I for one refuse to take part in it. On finding the truth, though, it can be very difficult when some anti-GM activists keep citing the same old lines that have long ago been disproven or keep lumping all products of genetic engineering together. We all need to be careful and avoid blanket statements.

To me, it's like politics - democrats and republicans both have great ideas and terrible ideas. They have both done great things and terrible things for our country. However, all democrats nor all republicans are bad. We should carefully consider what both have to offer and move forward from there to make sound plans for the future.

Organic methods and some types of genetically engineered crops are actually quite compatible in a lot of ways. A recent book, Tomorrow's table by an organic farmer and a genetic engineer, shows how this power combo could be the best way to solve a lot of our current problems with food production and the environment. It's probably the best book I've read on the subject, and I highly encourage you to check it out.

I welcome you and any of your readers to stop by my blog Genetic Maize and engage in a discussion. It might take me a little while to get back to you (sorry, Alan, I am still attempting to find time to get back to your comment on my purple tomatoes post) because I am a graduate student with a lot of commitments, but I will get back to you and hope we can both learn from the exchange.

People have tried to turn some of my truth-seeking posts into anti-GM rants, but nonetheless I do my best to respectfully address the commentor's concerns because after all, that is the purpose of my blog - to learn and to teach, even when the topics stray out of my comfort zone.