Brian’s Column: Occupational Hazards

… plus did we just hear the death knell for biotech and Big Agra/Pharma?

MickeyOkay, sad to say, I wasn’t always this brilliant and worked out, completely correct on every issue that I deign to wield my pen at. 🙂 No sir. In fact, as recent as late 2008 I wrote a column—in the interests of full disclosure it remains at this location in my old format—that advocated voting for Obama above John McCain (even over the LP candidate that year, Bob Barr).

LP[I’ll never live that one down, but you can see the problem that McCain was simply a continuation of the warmonger Bush machine; a lot of other libertarians held their noses for peace and helped to launch the presidency of the Great Dictator born in Kenya. Also, I’m on record in some forum or book in 2004-ish as favoring John Kerry over LP choice, Michael Badnarik, to give a more emphatic NO to George Bush II. I know, in particular, I created hard feelings over the Badnarik slight. And I’m not happy in retrospect with the flippant-bordering-on-disrespectful style I used to disparage a vote for Michael. Sorry. (He was and is a wonderful stalwart for liberty, who has written an excellent book, Good to be a King, and teaches classes on the Constitution to audiences, nationwide.) ]

Not to say that nothing in the writings was solid or well-formulated. Simply, in the broad consideration of the issue or choice, I made a mistake. I was wrong, at least in emphasis or omission of alternatives. I rather cringe now that those words are up in cyberspace for the handful of human eyes that wander down that obscure corner of the Web. I certainly do not want to bring many of the old-format columns into my bright, new WordPress display.

I find the same is true for my very first Coffee Coaster column… and the final column I will be considering for transfer from old to new. [Yes, there’s laziness at work here, as it’s a lot less time-consuming to copy and paste from the past than to generate original art.] The column is entitled “Good Morning, Mickey D!” and I’ll give you the original URL, but only pull snatches from it for the current column.

Chipotle goes non-GMO

Important news this week is that the Chipotle Mexican Grill has decided to exclude GMO foods from its menu. As Mike Adams of Natural News puts it in this article: flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients. From Steve Ells, head of Chipotle:

“This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food… Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.” — Steve Ells

ChipotlesHow is this relevant to Mickey Ds? Well, McDonalds and virtually all the other fast food and restaurant chains cling to the quick-dirty-cheap practices of Big Agra and Big Pharma, founded on vast amounts of GMO corn, soy, and other crops, and dripping with insecticide and herbicide residues. Here’s what I wrote eight years ago (before I knew what GMO and organic were):

“A $1.85 breakfast is cheap in my book, by any standard. How good are the Mickey D breakfast comestibles? Well, they taste okay.  Let’s do a quick look on the nutrition tables: nothing too excessive in the fat department.  The ingredients—wow!, that’s a veritable potpourri, isn’t it?—surely won’t be killing me within the next several days, at least not in the small quantities eaten. A friend points out that hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) are good to be avoided, but in small quantities are probably not deadly.”

“Probably not deadly in the next several days,” was the best I could come up back then, and truly that would be my assessment now. I can’t think of the most recent time I had anything more than a cup of coffee from McDonald’s. And the year is still young. Chipotle has probably started a run on clean, healthful food. Other companies are sure to follow. And where will that leave Monsanto and all the biotech masters of the universe?! Where will that leave the covert atmospheric toxic aerosol spraying programs of the Air Force that likewise destroy good crops?

When people en masse start ‘buying healthy’ who’s going to stick with old poison? The quintessential libertarian marketplace solution: insist on the best. It’s almost too easy: the meteoric fall of the biotech Death Star because one mother asks another, “Did you hear that Gerber is coming out with a line of GMO-free baby formula?”

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