What Today’s Leading Science Fiction Writers are Saying About Genetically Engineered Foods
And now for something slightly different.
Topline Foods isn’t my whole life, you know. When I’m not helping to inform people about the pitfalls of modern eating or rallying the troops against the corruption in Big Agriculture and GMO laboratories, I’m actually a pretty harmless geek. I love nothing better than curling up with a good book, discussing my favorite stories, and keeping up with modern trends in literature.
Alas, even when I’m away from work, there’s no escaping the influence of genetically modified organisms and other unethical food industry practices. Especially when it comes to science fiction, where the best authors are always on the lookout for the trends that will change the future of mankind.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood is, quite apart from anything else, a fantastic novel. Half of the book is the story of two mens’ mediocre lives in a world where ruthless corporations and short sighted bio-engineered products rule the world. *Cough* Monsanto *cough*. Half the book is about survival in the post-apocalyptic landscape when that system inevitably collapses. Not necessarily in that order. Jimmy’s journey from the disappointing son of a corporate genographer to becoming the last of the human race is a fascinating look at what it means to be human; including the purpose and nature of art, love, romance, dreams and religion; of humanity itself.
Oryx and Crake includes a close, critical examination of the dramas, distractions, desensitization, and inevitable apathy that can plague modern life. Atwood warns of the deep set corruption and short-sighted manipulative practices that can thrive in such a society. She paints a picture of a world where chicken nuggets are grown like barnacles, where pharmaceutical companies design and release toxins and diseases to replace the ones they cure, and dangerous GMO hybrid creatures multiply at will and wreak havoc on the environment. It’s a scenario that reviewers have described as “impeccably researched and sickeningly possible”¹.
I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes out there. “Oh, those are just stories! Fiction writers can say whatever they want, they make up ridiculous scenarios just to sell more copies.” Well, consider this. In 1898, a man named Morgan Robertson wrote a book called Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. In it, the world’s largest luxury liner struck an iceburg while crossing the North Atlantic and sank; more than half of it’s passengers died because there weren’t enough lifeboats. Robertson went from publisher to publisher, but no one would accept the book because it was too “unbelievable”. How could such an indestructible ship fail so spectacularly?
Sixteen years later, the Titanic sank.
One of science fiction’s greatest strengths is actually that no one takes it seriously; at least not until much later. Corporations are ready to sue the people who try and label milk with added hormones, implying that they might be bad for you, and they’re happy to lead vicious smear campaigns against scientists who actually prove that they’re bad for you. But no one thinks to attack a piece of pure, entertaining, speculative fiction.In the same way that comedians are allowed to deal topics deemed inappropriate for everyday conversation, skilled writers can use science fiction and other “popular entertainment” genres to make important social commentary without fear of censorship or aggressive criticism.
Margaret Atwood is certainly one of the best when it comes to making intelligent, insightful speculations on where we might be headed, as a society and as a species. Her novel is already being studied in universities, next to classics like 1984 and Brave New World. I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of this bestselling book. It will make you laugh, it will mostly make you cry, it will make you think and help you to see the whole world in a completely new light.
But more than anything, I recommend that you help us prove her wrong about the responsibility and standards that we as Americans and human beings are willing to fight for. Vote with your hard-earned money against unhealthy and downright dangerous genetically modified foods. Click here to search our extensive collection of organic and non-GMO products, including organic beef, chicken, fruits and vegetables.