‘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
25 thoughts on “Congratulations! It’s a bouncing baby GMO”
You know Alice I totally forgot this but now as I am reading it I remember helping you give shots to yourself in your office do you remembet?
OMG. Of course I remember. And I couldn’t have done it without you! I think you helped me on a business trip to, I’m thinking, Neenah, Wisconsin. I owe you, Janet. xoxo
By that definition, so much could be considered GMO. IVF, forced implanting of… *ahem* genetic material.
The food items with the problems have individual genes taken from more than one source, and the worst cases…they scare me. Plants that don’t look right at all. Cross contamination of plants modified so they don’t make seeds— that could lead to famine. (Not good.)
On the IVF end, there was a news story not long ago about some children with genes from multiple parents (not just two) who are now adults. And of course we’ll never know their identities.
…I’d prefer to eat non-GMO, thank you. Not fad-wise, but over real concerns.
You make some excellent points, as always (!) Thank you. And yes, there are indeed legit concerns any time anyone fiddles with Nature. As a regular reader (thank you a thousandfold!) you know that I’m going for the humor here (as is my goal with any topic), the world being pretty darned serious as it is. This week I’m staying away from Science, and sticking to cats.
No GMO cats, I take it? 😉
Hah! You must be a mind-reader. My post today is indeed about a cat. But 100% Natural (!)
I am well-versed on the GMO issue.
Please tell Scientist that many thoughtful and scientifically-literate people are incensed about GMOs, not because they feel they are not safe to eat, but rather because companies such as Monsanto strategically create genetically-modified crops in order to strengthen their marketing hold on farmers,and to lock farmers into a chemical-intensive crop regime.
GMOs may be quite safe in themselves, and yet dowsing millions of acres of Iowa crops with glycophosphate may be a very poor idea — yet the one follows inevitably upon the other, because the GMO was purposely created to that end by the glycophosphate manfacturer.
Vast agribusiness companies do not have the consumer’s interest at heart.
Thank you, Joel. For taking the time to read my story, and to comment. You make some interesting points. Food for thought!
Wonderful story Alice! Thanks so much.
Thank you so much, Sharon! A little risky (or maybe risqué?) but I just had to let this one out (!)
I am not well-versed on the GMO issue, but something tells me I’d enjoy listening to Wonder Woman debate the pros and cons with her millennial peers. Sincerely, One Half of Couple with Cat (singular at present, but being kidless there’s always room for another feline)
I hear you (!) I honestly wasn’t well-versed, either. But you are absolutely right on about the Power of Wonder Woman’s argumentative skills. And guess what? The Dude and I are now a Proud Childless Couple With Cat!
Another great story, Alice. Seems like the world would be a much better place with more GMO babies like The Child!
Why, thank you, Nancy! On behalf of The Child, I really appreciate that! Not that there’s anything less than great about non-GMO kids (yours comes to mind)
Like a Mike said, we’ve been genetically modifying food for thousands of years. The only difference now is that it’s taking place in the lab instead of the field. Great comparison, I don’t ask Crash and Bang for permission. As their legal guardian I have power of attorney or something.
Thanks, Stomperdad! This whole Food Thing is pretty amazing. BTW, Crash and Bang are Two Lucky Kids! Keep on writing about them; it’s always so much fun to read your stuff.
Excellent story Alice I really enjoyed it seeing that my daughter is a molecular biologist biochemist for Monsanto and she refuses to eat at chipotle.
Wow, Craig! I didn’t know that about your daughter. She sounds like a Smartie. In more ways than one (!)
We’ve been doing the GMO thing for thousand’s of years – could you just imagine summer without seedless watermelons or Bananas with big crunchy seeds?
Excellent (and delicious) comment, Mr. Z! And what about no nectarines?
Oh, lovely girl!
Thank you! I think so too. But then again, I’m The Mom.
Ok is she going to get yo for writing this? I am forbidden to write about my progeny.
Yes, it was risky. But, as you can see from the (very short, but still) texts we exchanged, she gave me advance permission. But fingers crossed. She hadn’t actually read the story at the time (!)