The Future of Food, Deborah Koons Garcia’s learned and persuasive essay about the perils of genetically modified (GM) foods, is a rarity—a muckraking exposé that attempts to raise the level of public debate through responsible research and sober rhetoric. Garcia is no less a passionate left-wing partisan than her counterparts, but in chronicling a slew of gross injustices perpetrated by Monsanto et al., she wisely eschews standard anti-corporate bombast for measured tones. While promising bounty for all, the same agricultural conglomerates that produced drought- and disease-resistant crops through DNA manipulation were litigating family farmers into bankruptcy and suppressing anti-GM university research. Most shocking of all is the revelation that, with FDA approval (and without public warning), GM ingredients have worked their way into many packaged foods—this, despite an untold number of potentially adverse health effects. Though Garcia’s aesthetic does tend toward the maudlin (she pits the stark majesty of community farmlands against nightmarish agribusiness biohazard suits), in exposing how the safety of our food supply is threatened by corporate consolidation, The Future of Food is a worthy veggie side dish to the carnivorous Fast Food Nation.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 6, 2005