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The Purpose of A (Food) System is What It Does

March 29, 2011

The Continued Scientist Gardener Conversation (Last rebuttal I promise, then we will move onto new topics : )

Hi Mat –

No worries, we are also pretty slow on response time these days. Here a few thoughts / questions based on your responses. After this I PROMISE to move on to a new topic of conversation. Thanks for helping me think through some of these topics and provide some new resources / ideas. I will be sure to share them with the other folks at the Center.

In general I think my primary lens is complex systems and sociology of science, and many of my responses have to do with the POSIWID “The purpose of a system is what it does

Now on to the rebuttal.

“The reason why my opinion of genetic engineering differs from that of many others is simply that I don’t believe there’s any fundamental, qualitative difference between the collection of techniques that we call “genetic engineering” and those that we call “breeding” (although I did up until halfway through my Ph.D.).*”

Not sure if I would lump mutagenesis and intra/inter-species cross-fertilization. Those seem like pretty significantly different processes in terms of the genotypical change that can take place, no? Wondering if you have any thoughts on Japanese Space Beer or Chinese Space Potatoes? Would like to get some of each and serve them at a Genomic Gastronomy dinner.

“All in all, it’s normal for people to be wary of new technologies. When trains first crossed the British countryside, community groups rose up and accused them of causing all sorts of maladies. More recently we’ve had concerns over organophosphates, high-tension wires, asbestos, nanotechnology, vaccines and cell phones.”

That’s a useful list, but I am wondering what a list of technologies that society has rejected because they proved too risky or harmful would read like. I am certainly glad science/technology critics stood up to the idea and implementation of Eugenics (as an example). (I am not sure if that is a rhetorically cheeky thing to do, but I figured I would give it a try.)

“It’s an important role of government research and regulation to look into the safety of new technologies whenever there’s either evidence or public concern over safety issues – but if hundreds of studies are racked up over many years without any evidence of fundamental dangers (as has occurred with genetic engineering), it’s probably time to start re-evaluating whether our aversion is logical or just emotional. While plenty of new technologies have poisoned people, their effects are usually well beyond obvious long before the 10 year mark.”

Fair enough, but the precautionary principle relating to nuclear power plants is looking a little different in light of Japan’s Tsunami. There have certainly been thoughtful critics of placing a nuclear power plant in Okuma, making arguments grounded in risk scenarios that were statistically improbable but conceptually possible. Obviously, if Nuclear goes off the table as part of the energy mix in many countries now, energy choices will be much more acute because our energy systems are path dependent, and many countries have invested heavily (infrastructure, ideologically, etc.) in Nuclear as part of the mix. At the expense of other paths we could have taken. If arguments against the siting and design of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant been taken seriously, would the entire world be in a very different solution space regarding energy?

Risk assessment is much more difficult when one is dealing with highly non-linear systems like nuclear energy and global agricultural production. These are hugely complex systems, and not surprisingly our tools are primarily focused on human agents, and we have tend to discount Black Swans.

“Concerns over the societal impacts of new technologies is a separate issue from physical safety and we should try not to conflate the two.”

I agree they should not be conflated, but they are also inextricable & intertwined. The fact that the majority of GE crops in the ground in the U.S. are fungible field crops for processing and feeding animals and are created by large multi-national corporations doesn’t help the social perception of the technology.

As a thought experiment – what would have happened if the first GE varietals to gain public consciousness were rare cultivars or wild rices and the technology was framed as a means of saving and preserving diversity in crops and tastes? There might be much less freaking out about physical safety if different crops had been introduced, to say nothing of the shady companies involved and the denial of history by the powerful stakeholders, and a country (the U.S.) with an increasingly low level of scientific understanding (and educational funding cuts all over the place! Good lord. Maybe more people will answer pollsters that they don’t want to eat food with genes in it!)

“I haven’t paid much attention to these issues (e.g. the whole Bt brinjal story) because I have the impression that technological progress eventually floats all boats (so long as citizens retain enough sense to shatter monopolies and enforce government oversight).”

One fairly good article I have seen on the BT Brinjal story is here (.pdf from Economics & Political Weekly: India). Obviously, if we expect citizens and non-experts to have some basic scientific literacy, we as GE domain experts can expect to learn a little about policy / history / cultural preferences. I highly recommend understanding this story because it lays out the diversity of preferences / biases / constraints of the innumerable stakeholders involved in a country of over 1 Billion. Having lived in India on and off for 5 years I can say that citizens have enough sense to “shatter monopolies and enforce government oversight.” It seems to me the fact that Indian citizens collectively reversed the GEACs decision and got a 2-year stay on the introduction of a product that the majority of citizens had legitimate and irrational concerns about seems to indicate a functioning democracy, even if it is at the temporary expense of a foriegn multi-national.

Obviously, one need only look at the U.S. financial sector to know that it is American citizens who may not have the “sense” you speak of. Don’t forget the worst “expert” offenders at the banks were the Quants, often trained as Physicist and in Complex Systems modeling, who relied on hard data to do risk assessment. I wouldn’t blame anyone for NOT having the impression that “technological progress eventually floats” all boats at this moment in history. We’ll see how things shake out. I remain rationally optimistic.

“But I will say that there’s absolutely nothing top-down about the introduction of transgenic crops. Farmers choose who they buy seed from every year and if they don’t like it one year, they wont buy it the next (and the company will stop making it or go out of business).**”

This is a extremely over-simplified narrative about how farming and seed procurement happens, especially in contexts like South Asia. I agree there is nothing top-down about the introduction of any new crop – it is more like an insanely dense network of mediators who are all constrained and have preferences and biases for different, non-rational and co-evolving reasons. I would be happy to track down some ethnographies of Farmers and Seed buying habits if you would be interested in getting at the more nuanced and complex picture on the ground, which is neither top-down nor based ONLY on the preferences of the farmers.

” If you want to make sure farmers have access to elite, non-transgenic seed despite the market, it’s as simple as re-funding public sector breeding operations.***”

Agreed. I would love to support this effort. Is there any particularly good advocacy group in the U.S. or India that you can point me too?

“Though I have to say, I really hate the idea of telling people they need to give up traditional foods for philosophical reasons – particularly when our lifestyle already violates that philosophy so much more than theirs does.”

This is a really good point. One of the things we are trying to understand is what varietals of Brinjal (aubergene) were made BT for the Indian / Phillipino market. In India each region has it’s own Brinjal cultivar tied to food traditions such as recipes, stories, etc. I am wondering how Mahyco was planning on marketing their product or suite of products to a food culture that is so diverse.

I also think you make a good point in relation to corn production (GE or not) in the U.S. I don’t usually think of Coca-Cola and Doritos as traditional foods, and yet in a little over 100 years foods like these have replaced the majority of traditional food being served in North America. Obviously, that is a larger issue of food system design, industrial agriculture, American urbanization and then suburbanization, etc. but I don’t want to be naive about the effect of agronomic decisions on gastronomic decisions. Changing foldaways on each end may not be directly causal, but they are certainly correlated. (i.e. More fungible corn grown – more corn syrup / fuel / other processed products created). The purpose of a system is what it does – and what the system of GE crops in the U.S. has done (save Papaya and a few other small time plants) is perpetuate an unhealthy and ecologically unsound food system. I agree that we should “fix” ours first before telling others what to do. Where would you see GE technology best employed to make the American food system more resilient and retain our food traditions?

“Regardless, the underlying truth that well-meaning groups should understand food systems before they try to “fix” them was, I believe, made pretty obvious through the hiccups of the first Green Revolution. I know that applied plant geneticists and breeders are very aware of this now, and I’m sure that organic agronomists and international agricultural development specialists are too.”

I appreciate your optimism, and I look forward to beers at some point to hash out the above point, but with so little history / humanities courses required in engineering and hard science programs (especially in the post-secondary institutions I have visited in India) I am very skeptical of ASSUMING that geneticists and agronomists are aware of the history of the Green Revolution outside of the lens of their discipline.

As you say: “I’m personally not particularly interested in straining over the social implications of every new technology that comes over the horizon – though I think it’s good that there are people (including publicly-funded researchers) who are.”

I guess I am one of those people, so it is good we are conversing.

BT Brinjal is particularly interesting as a case because, if approved, it would possibly cause one of the most massive shifts in Agricultural Biodiversity and indigenous foodaways on the planet. These massive shifts have happened before (the Columbian Exchange, etc.) but usually not in the matter of a decade. (Don’t forget, Europeans resisted eating nightshades at first, thinking they were poisonous. They took a while to catch on.)

India is the second biggest Eggplant producer after China and based on Monsanto/Mahyco’s previous market share increase when a product is released, we can guess that that their goal would be to be the dominate supplier of Brinjal seeds on the sub-continent.

But I agree that we have overly romantic notions about farming, whether industrial or subsistence. There is a reason both of us are gardeners and not farmers, but mad respect for the farmers that feed us.

“It is not guaranteed that farmers will reduce pesticide use if the seed is sold nationally without oversight (lack of user-training)” So? Since there’s no serious negative consequence of the Bt transgene, I fail to see a problem – though if your country lacks proper training for the use of pesticides, the possibility of unnecessary sprays should be the LEAST of your concerns – the reusing of pesticide containers for drinking water quickly comes to mind…”

However, one of the major selling point of the BT product line is that has been touted as a way to reduce pesticide use. If that is not an accurate claim the company / state agency / NGO etc. has an opportunity to improve the situation through user training etc. Otherwise, the claim that using a BT varietal reduces pesticide use is empty.

“Anyway, B. thuringiensis can go extinct for all I care if it allows millions of peasants grow good crops without spraying dangerous chemicals around their children. “

This is where social science empiricism has to be taken as serious as natural science empiricism. Are farmers spraying less chemicals around their children? How do we test and verify this hypothesis?

“The introduction of any breakthrough new crop will reduce ag biodiversity, whether it’s transgenic or not. I say, let the farmers grow whatever seed puts the most food in their bellies and lobby governments and non-profits to invest heavily in genebanks. We don’t need to saddle subsistence farmers with the responsibility of conserving biodiversity at their expense.”

Agreed. That is when I laugh when I am told that farming is “natural”. There is nothing natural about bizzaro selectively bred organisms that do humans bidding at the expense of the preference of most other non-humans. However, it is pretty clear that our current economic system hasn’t found a way to monetize externalities, support ecosystem services or build in resilience instead of efficiency. Whether subsistence farmers lead the way, or American farmers do, it is pretty clear that mono-cultural industrial farming that is then highly processed into embodied-energy-intensive packaged food that is shipped around the world is probably not going to be what ANYONE is doing on a planet of 9 Billion people and diminishing energy inputs. I think Cambia and some other more progressive organizations understand the potential of open source genetics: that one could use a variety of techniques and technologies (including GE) to create highly geographic specific cultivars that take into account existing foodaways and nutrient and flavor combinations. Thus far, we have not seen industry lead the way in that kind of Genetic Engineering. They have primarily opted for fungiblity and efficiency.

“I agree this sounds scary, but it’s the natural order that most plants are resistant to most pests and pathogens (Likewise, think about how many pathogenic and parasitic microbes, animals, fungi and plants are unable to feed on you!). Besides, it only affects individuals that eat the transgenic crop – it’s not like it permeates the whole environment and poisons all butterflies that get too close (like conventional synthetic and organic pesticides do). Ironically, I think it’s pretty safe to say that transgenic insect + pathogen resistance traits produce the FEWEST non-target effects, while organic sprays (e.g. general biocides like copper) produce the MOST. Some synthetic pesticides hurt lots of things besides the target pest, while others are incredibly specific.”

Good point. I am glad you have thought about it that way. Going forward, it will be important to have a better schema and methodology for measuring and talking about the way different agricultural technologies effect a range of actors in the agricultural ecosystem.

“I’m not sure I agree that potentially hurting a small community is much different than hurting a large community. Though either way, that ship has sailed: Me and about 300 million of my countrymen have been eating GM food on probably a daily basis for the better part of a decade. If it’s safe for me, I’m happy to let Indians decide that it’s safe for them too.”

Again agreed, but in a slightly different way. I have eaten GE food for probably two decades as an American, and it has come primarily in the form of soda, processed snack food, and fast food. Is it surprising to you that the first Taco Bell opened in India last year and PIZZA HUTS are popping up like mushrooms? I assume that these are the outputs for BT corn NOT feeding subsistence farmers. So while I agree we can not make choices for other people, we shouldn’t be naive about the complexity and the output of the American food system.

The purpose of a system is what it does.

A Few Notes on Eggplant

March 13, 2011

We have been writing articles and doing research on the BT Brinjaal debate for over a year now and have been learning more about the history of Eggplant. We never knew why it is called Eggplant in the United States but Aubergine in many other english speaking countries until we read this:

“The African eggplant was the first of two related species that Europeans came across. It was named because the size, shape, and color of the vegetable resembled a hen’s egg. The purple Asian species retained the original, but inappropriate, African name when it became more popular in global foodways. The African eggplant is the guinea squash reported in plantation societies. It is esteemed for its bitter taste and edible green leaves.”

In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World
by Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff

One question we keep returning to is:

Why did Monsanto/Mahyco attempt to gain approval for Eggplant as opposed to any of the other transgenic frutis/vegetables that would have garnered less popular resistance?

Here are a few findings that seem to offer on explanation:

Top Eggplant Producers 2009 (millions of tonnes)
1. People’s Republic of China – 19.02
2. India – 10.37
3. Egypt – 1.25
4. Turkey – 0.81
5. Indonesia – 0.44
6. Iraq – 0.39
7. Japan – 0.34
8. Italy – 0.24
9. Philippines – 0.20
10. Spain – 0.17

It appears that Monsanto believed if they could gain approval in India, a massive market by any standard, they would dominate Eggplant production outside of China. China has its own home-grown transgenic varietals and would not likely strictly enforce Monsanto’s IP even if farmers were growing the plant. (Legally or illegally).

We have examined foodways and agricultural biodiversity a lot in this blog, and it appears that one of the rallying points for the popular resistance to the approval of this product in India is the sheer diversity of the plant, and the personal cultural and geographic connection many eaters feel to their varietals. We still have not found good documentation of which cultivars had been genetically modified or were planned to be sold.

An image from India’s Environmental Minister listening tour I attended in Bangalore:

And a fact that we finally learned about Eggplant:

Papaya Ringspot Update

February 25, 2011

A few months ago I wrote a short blog post “Transgenic Papaya & Taking Into Account” wondering if the application of genetic engineering makes sense when facing a very specific agriculture challenge like Papaya ringspot. However, “Papaya Protected From Virus by Wild Relative” on the Agricultural Biodiversity Blog makes me reconsider my comments.

Luigi writes:

Papaya ringspot virus is the major limiting factor to production of pawpaws in many countries. There is a GM “solution”, but there’s now news that after 50 years of trying researchers have transferred resistance by conventional breeding from a wild relative, Vasconcellea quercifolia. I ran this by a colleague who’s an expert on papaya taxonomy, genetics and breeding and he had this to say:

I am very happy that they seem to have succeeded in their long and difficult work. And this is excellent news for all developing world papaya growers. GM was not the right solution because each virus strain implied a costly transformation (including patent rights), and the virus is highly variable.

Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry

February 14, 2011

Possible useful resource:

Teaching Transgenic Food

January 22, 2011

This past semester I taught Art & Science at the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Intermedia department. I created a small in-class assignment to introduce the idea of creatively engaging the history of Genetically Engineered food. Students were asked to examine the USDA’s database of Field Test of GM Crops / Petition for Deregulation and write recipes using the plants they found in the database. I originally became aware of this University-hosted database through the the Center for Post Natural History’s Permitted Habitats project. The European Union’s equivalent database is available here.

I ask students to use the lens of cuisine to investigate transgenic food (a.k.a., GMOs, AgBiotech, Genetically Engineered food) because it allows them to ask very important “stupid” questions that rarely come into the debate around transgenic food such as:

Most of the students in my class were well versed in the popular arguments for and against transgenic foods before coming into the class, and we read Chapter 5, 6, 7 & 8 from Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Discipline. I also shared some of the research I have done with the Center for Genomic Gastronomy in the form of a recent 5-minute talk and the first episode of the Glowing Sushi Cooking Show.

Looking at primary source documents that are rarely referred to in the public discourse gave students a prompt for asking new and strange questions about the artifacts, individuals and institutions of emerging agricultural biotechnologies. One of the things we learned as a class is that much of the paper trail surrounding emerging agricultural technologies such as genetically engineered crops, is not written to be legible to the layperson. Even if one spends the time to wade through the scientific and business jargon, the supposed purpose and cultural narrative of a plant is very hard to determine.

The records list the Institution who created the organism, the plant name, the genes inserted (called transgenes if they have been isolated form another organism) , and the phenotypic (the physical expression of genetic characteristics) change in the plant species.

Sometimes the phenotypic change is explained in jargon or simply unclear, in other cases, even if the phenotypical change is clear (see: sweet-cucumber), it is unclear what the benefit that change is to the land, animal, farmer, processor or consumer.

Students were also interested/frustrated in the seeming ubiquity of the acronym C.B.I. or “Confidential Business Information” in much of our research. It is our understanding as a class (though we hope we are wrong!) that once a company receives approval from the USDA for field testing a genetically modified plant, they are not required to make public the results of that field test. So on top of all the other lacks of transparency or clarity, citizens don’t know whether the genetically modified plant was efficacious.  This lead us to a discussion about what it means to practice science (as opposed to engineering, biohacking, business or other practices), and whether the verifiability and repeatability of data are requirements for a process to be labeled “Science”.

Many of the students from the Art & Science class continue to be skeptical of the overall benefits of transgenic agricultural technologies compared to other food system solutions, especially ones that take a holistic and non-reductionist approach to food and health. Dealing with the primary source documents gave a much more nuanced view of the history and politics of transgenic food in the U.S. and the E.U.

I would be excited to talk to other educators / citizen groups who have ideas for accessing, analyzing and translating this rich collection of data that rarely sees the light of day. Recipe-writing exercises around this database provided a way of teaching research methods and database access for any students interested in the curiously invisible cultural history of agricultural biotechnology.

And now on to the Recipes:


(SUPER SWEET) PINEAPPLE CRISP by Elizabeth Armstrong

 

Have you ever wondered why pineapple wasn’t any sweeter? Well now you don’t have to. Thanks to Hawaii University we now have genetically engineered pineapples that will have your dentist smiling! This simple recipe will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth. Make it on Valentines Day to share with your sweetie. Pair with a fine cognac.

INGREDIENTS:

One GE Hawaiian Pineapple [97-220-04n] (Diced)

One Cup Corn Syrup

One Cup (package) Maple and Brown Sugar Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Two Cups Salted butter

Half Cup Raw Sugar

Half Cup Brown Sugar


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Fold in pineapple and corn syrup, set aside. Combine oatmeal, butter and raw sugar. Place pineapple mixture in the bottom of a non-stick 9×9 baking dish. Layer the oatmeal mix on top of the pineapple. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top to caramelize. Bake for 25mins. Serve warm with a sweet cream ice cream.


CORRESPONDENCE

Email to Professor David A. Christopher: Professor of Biotechnology, University of Hawaii

Hello Mr. Christopher,

I am an art student attending the Pacific Northwest College of Art, in Portland Oregon. I am currently enrolled in an Art an Science class in which we are looking into genetically engineered food.

While looking at the Information Systems for Biotechnology web page I came across a pineapple in which in 1997 the University of Hawaii genetically engineered, amongst other things, to be sweeter. The bp number is 97-220-04n. I was curious what the benefit of making this fruit, which seems sweet in itself, sweeter would be. We guessed in class that it could be about ripening times or perhaps about attracting other organisms to aid in some way.

If you have the time I would love to understand more about this.

Thank you for your consideration,
Elizabeth Armstrong



OVERLY AROMATIC ORANGE MARMALADE by ArtStudentPNCA

 

Orange Marmalade that you smell before you taste. Create a delicious and aromatic Sweet orange with the help transgenic oranges that have endogenous content of limonene which are altered by the over expression of the limonene synthase gene from citrus in sense or antisense. As a consequence of this genetic modification, fruit aroma has been modified and maximized for your enjoyment in the transgenic sweet orange. This will modify their possible new interaction with herbivore insects such as Ceratitis Capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly), and attraction of predators of herbivores, so you better make extra to feed all those birds!

INGREDIENTS

12 Highly aromatic medium Sweet Oranges, approximately 3 pounds, 1 pound smell
Sweet Orange B/ES/08/02 (More Information)

4 Cups of non-smelling water

1 medium scented lemon and one regular scented lemon

5 Cups granulated sugar, smell strength to your liken

PREPARATION

Wash the highly aromatic oranges once or twice and dry them with a clean unscented kitchen towel so as not to contaminate. Cut the oranges into equal aromatic halves and using a juice- maker squeeze out the juice. You get approximately 2 cups of orange juice and 1 cup aroma from 12 oranges.

Keep aside the seeds and the orange membranes to make pectin. Using a spoon, remove the pulp from each juiced orange. Using a sharp knife julienne the orange peel. You would get approximately 4 cups of peel and 2 cups aroma.

Squeeze out the juice from the regular scented lemon and add it to the orange juice. Cut the medium aromatic lemon lengthwise and remove the seeds and the inner membrane. Now cut the regular scented lemon into small triangular pieces In a muslin jelly bag, put the seeds of oranges and lemons along with their membrane and tie it tightly so to loose as little aroma as possible.

In a thick-bottomed vessel/pan, pour the combination of lemon and orange juice. Add water and the pieces of Medium scented lemon and highly aromatic sweet oranges. Now slowly drop the muslin jelly bag into the pan and allow it to boil for ½ hour. Remove the muslin bag and allow it to cool.

You would have approximately 4 to 5 cups of juice and 3 to 4 cups aroma by now. To this add 4 cups of sugar and mix well and reduce the flame. By now the muslin bag would have cooled down. Squeeze out the juice from it but not the aroma. This is known as pectin. Add this to the orange mixture.

Bring the flame of the orange mixture and aroma to medium and slowly increase to boiling consistency. Let it boil for 30 to 45 minutes. Now you should have the consistency of a jelly.

Fill a clean glass with water and drop a spoon of marmalade into it. if it does not dissolve in the water, it means the marmalade is ready. You could use a candy thermometer also.

Cool it well before canning. Serve in a well sterilized area so as to get affect of aroma, tastes very good on scones and toast.


EVERYTHING & NOTHING CORN AND AVACADO ARANCINI by Bob Fish

 

Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 8 minutes
Serves 8


INGREDIENTS

2 c. Ventria Bioscience Rice (10-183-101r)

1 ½ c. Hot Water

1 ½ c. Hot chicken Broth

1 c. Dry white wine

1 tbsp Monsanto Canola Oil (06-039-10n)

1 tbsp Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Vegetable oil (10-273-103n)

1 tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 c. Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Corn Kernels (cooked) (10-052-101n)

2 University of Florida Avocados peeled and cubed to 1/4 in. (03-008-02n)

1 lb. Fresh Mozzarella

1 c. Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Corn meal (10-052-101n)

2 c. Monsanto Canola Oil (06-039-10n)

2 c. Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Vegetable oil (10-273-103n)

Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil mixture and butter over medium in a large skillet. When butter is completely melted, add rice and cook until a light golden brown. Adjust heat to low and add all of the wine and equal parts water and broth, enough to fully cover rice stir occasionally. As the rice absorbs the liquids continue to add equal parts broth and water slowly until all liquids are used. Continue to cook and stir until all liquid is absorbed. When finished add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, stir, then remove rice from pan on to a flat surface and cool for about 1 hour. When cool the rice should be fairly sticky. Mix in corn and avocado being sure not to mash the avocado too much. Separate mozzarella into 1 oz. balls. Shape rice into balls about 2 inches in diameter.

Stuff balls with mozzarella being sure to not leave any cheese uncovered. Roll balls in corn meal until covered. Heat the 4 cups oil mixture in a 1 1/2-quart pot or in a fryer. When oil is hot approximately 350 degrees gently drop balls into pot. Fry for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Top with salsa roja and serve.

CHEF’S NOTE
There are many different kinds of GE rice on the market right now and there is no delineation of what type or strain of rice it is (short gain, long grain, etc.) so for this recipe there are different ways to go about it. If you are able to find a GE Arborio rice (which is an itallian short-grain rice) I would suggest using that but the Ventria Bioscience rice should be a workable substitute. You must be sure to cook it until it is the consistency of oatmeal. This recipe while having a very small variety of ingredients has a very wide variety of nutritional valueThis recipe is best when served with Salsa Roja.


QUICK ENERGY POTATO BARS (with no Amylase Potatoes) by Becca Heitz

 

Amylase is a difficult to digest carbohydrate, these potatoes deliver easy to digest carbohydrates for a quick energy boost.



INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray

1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1/4 cup potato flour made with no amylase potatoes (B/NL/04/04)

1/2 cup dried apricots

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup pitted dried dates

1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13- inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined.

Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until just done, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.



COLORFUL CANDIED GERANIUMS (with Color Altered Pelargoniums)
by Becca Heitz

 

Edible geraniums (pelargoniums) have been engineered to be especially colorful, try them in salads, or candy them and use them to decorate deserts.



INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup egg whites, beaten

2 cups geraniums (05-123-01n) [Notice the CBI in the report]

DIRECTIONS

Clean and dry your flowers or petals. Use a brush to paint a thin layer of egg white onto each side of the flower petals or blossoms. Gently place them into a shallow bowl of superfine sugar and sprinkle sugar over them to coat. Remove from the bowl, and place them on a piece of waxed paper. Sprinkle some more of the sugar over them. Al- low them to dry until stiff, about 8 hours. Store at room temperature in an airtight container until using.


KENTUCKY FRIED TOFU (with Increased Fatty Acids [University of Kentucky]) by Becca Heitz

 

This is the vegetarian version of a Southern favorite. The tofu has added fatty acids making it more similar nutritionally to meat.

INGREDIENTS

Canola oil
3 pounds extra firm tofu (08-116-107n)

Salt

All-purpose flour, for dredging

DIRECTIONS

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season tofu with salt and cover in flour (use a large plastic resealable bag). Place tofu in oil and brown on all sides evenly, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is fully cooked through. Remove to a paper towel and refrigerate until cold. This is best made 1 day in advance.


This post is part of Food for Thinkers, a week-long series organized by Nicola Twilley for GOOD’s newly-launched Food hub. On Twitter, follow #foodforthinkers.


 

Nov.: DIY Citizenship, Canada

November 13, 2010

Gave a lecture titled “How To Eat A GMO:Making Recipes, Contestational Cooking & We Have Always Been BioHackers”. Presented on the panel Making Science at DIY Citizenship: Critical Making at University of Toronto with two other great panelists (Carl Disalvo & Jonathan Cluck). Video of the whole panel here.



Here is a list of links, references & mentioned from the talk:


Glowing Sushi Youtube Channel.


Srishti Students video about Brinjal 4-way.


Art & Science class wiki. Upper division Fall 2010 at PNCA (Portland, OR).


The EU’s Protected Designation of Origin Database. DOOR – Database of Origin and Registration. The Protected Geographical Status in the EU (and elsewhere), take into account a wide range of human and non-human actors involved in human-agricultural-systems is an interesting place to do more research and creative work.

The EU’s database of field test applications for GMOs.

The US of field test applications for GMOs. (Information Systems for Biotechnology.)


The Centre for Experimental Media Art in Bangalore, India. (CEMA)


The Srishi School of Art, Design & Technology.


The CEMA-lead iGEM team. (Synthetic Biology)


Jaaga: Creative Common Ground. [Alternative Space] (Bangalore, India)

Super K Sonic Boooum

October 24, 2010

The first episode of the Glowing Sushi cooking show is appearing at the Manchester (UK) Science festival as part of the Super K Sonic Booooum presentation (OCt 23 – 27 2010).

The SuperK installation by Nelly Ben Hayoun (photo credit Nick Ballon)

The SuperK installation by Nelly Ben Hayoun (photo credit Nick Ballon)

The Center at Grenswerk

September 24, 2010

The Center is presenting some of it’s recent research at the Art festival Grenswerk in Enschede, the Netherlands as part of the exhibition called ‘ Over Leven’, curated by Joris Laarman Lab.

CURRENT & UPCOMING

October 24 - November 21, 2019
ClimATE, Aalto University, Espoo, FI.
March 1, 2018
Climate Fiction PT
October 21 - 29, 2017
Dutch Design Week: Embassy of Food
October 19 - 21, 2017
Experiencing Food (Lisbon)
Nov. 5 - Apr. 2, 2016
2116: Forecast of the Next Century
Nov. 5th, 2016
KiKK Festival Workshop