‘What happens when Mother Nature meets Mr. Science’
So, I was going to tell a babysitting story. A really good one that involved somebody getting peed on. But then I saw that The Child had posted this article on Facebook:
Well, being That Kind of Mom, I clicked on it, And saw that what was distressing Her Childness was news that companies like Chipotle are saying no-go to GMOs. Without any real scientific reason. Basically, it’s to make themselves more attractive to the Millennial Market. This makes The Child intellectually furious, since she is a Millennial herself. And a Scientist.
See, ‘GMO’ has become marketing shorthand for ‘Unnatural’. And anything that’s not ‘natural’ has become rather cultishly verboten among Millennials. Take something like a Jello Cake to a Gathering of Millennials—or any All-Natural-All-The-Time Demographic Gathering, for that matter—and watch them back away in horror. It’s like waving (natural) garlic at a vampire. And Jello Cake doesn’t even have any GMOs in it. Not that I know of, anyway.
(Between you and me, I always want to ask the All-Natural-All-The-Time Crowd how they’d feel about Natural Dentistry.)
But I digress.
Yes, I had heard the term ‘GMO’, and seen the lack of same trumpeted on labels (mostly on junk food; GMO-free jerky, anyone?) But I wasn’t sure what ‘GMO’ actually meant. (‘Ghastly Modified Oddities’?) So I looked it up. According to good ole Wikipedia, a “genetically modified organism” is—
“any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”
Hmmm. Something about this definition rang a bell. A rather personal bell. I excitedly texted The Child:
Yup. The Child is an IVF Baby. What some people call a “test tube baby”. If you are of a scientific mind (and for the sake of my readership stats I certainly hope so), you can read up on IVF (‘In-Vitro Fertilization’) here. But if you’d rather skip it (and I don’t blame you), here’s the Cliff’s Notes’, suitable-over-breakfast, relatively non-icky version.
Basically, IVF means what happens when Science gives Mother Nature a bit of an assist in the getting-pregnant department.
My Lutheranliar squeamishness prevents me from going into great detail. But suffice it to say that, in our case anyway, whatever needed to get together and mingle got to do so in the aforementioned ‘test tube’ (actually a petri dish, but whatever). And that (I’m skipping a whole lot of stuff here, thank god) nine months later, we got our baby. Affectionately known as The Child, pictured at the top of this post having her noggin’s durability tested by The Dude mere hours after birth.
Now, I know it’s not nice to diss Mother Nature. But if we’d relied on her, and her alone, we’d be Childless for sure. One of those Couples with Cats. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
But it would have been sad, since, among other things, The Child is so much fun to write about. (See ‘Mom Musings’ in the sidebar for many hilarious examples.)
But back to that GMO/IVF thing. Check this out, and see if I’m not right:
GMO: “genetically modified organism”—
“any living organism (The Child, check) that possesses a novel combination of genetic material (from, um, The Dude and Me, check) obtained through the use of modern biotechnology (that clever mixing-up in the ‘Test Tube’ and so on and so forth, double-check)”
See? Our IVF baby is pretty much a good ole GMO. As well as a Millennial and a Scientist. Which makes her, all in all, something else too. A Wonder.
New York City. May 2015