The Future of Food

12 Sep 2009, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in farm, food

My pal Art Insana has created a wonderful new site called, which takes a compelling look at the trends that will shape our world in the days and decades ahead, with contributions on topics ranging from fashion to science. I’m intrigued to see the discussions that will surely arise.

When Art asked me to write a piece on food for the site’s debut, I could not help but think about the local (or locavore) movement, and what that might mean for us, globally, as a species. There are more questions than answers that arise when examining such a topic, so I decided to begin with those in hand.

Coincidentally, I’d been spending the past few weeks deep in thought about local vs. mass-production food, as I received a screener’s copy of Food, Inc. and finally had a chance to watch it. After a bit of searching, I also found The Future of Food on Hulu. I used to be of the opinion that genetically-modified foods were fine, given that just about all plant matter we eat has been hybridized at some point in history. However, the idea of flounder DNA in tomatoes crosses a line for me — as does the law of unintended consequences. As does the idea of us not having knowledge readily available concerning what is being put into our bodies.

Given that I’m also a rabid capitalist, this all presented a bit of a quandary. Years ago, I came out swinging in favor of Monsanto — the monolith of seed manufacturing. Now that I’ve learned more abut their business practices, however, I’m very disturbed by what I see as an unethical value system and extremely dirty legal tactics.

Rather than standing on a soapbox and preaching some kind of foodie gospel, however, I am much more eager to encourage people to read, then read between the lines, look at both sides, and draw their own conclusions. Ask questions. Find out where your food comes from. The only way for us to truly affect change is to be well-informed with the truth — not a Michael Moore-esque scare version, but a well-balanced view.

I encourage you to read my article, The Great Food Debate: Romance vs. Reality, and share your own thoughts. This topic is one that touches every single human being on the planet, so it’s worth a bit of brain time.

How much do you really think about what’s going into your mouth?