Campaign Sense and Cents-ability

It’s election season again. Another year to struggle through election ads. Another year to get an article from us talking about propositions to label genetically modified organisms. This year, however, offers something different and interesting within the political arena.

Keeping in mind that this is just my views on the situation – I’ve heard as many things and done as much research into the matter as I can, so consider myself pretty well informed, – I’m reading between the lines here, but there’s lots of interesting subtext between those lines. I’m not involved in any of the political movements going on this year, not even as a voter. I can’t really speak for either side, but there have been enough patterns in the history of movements to label genetically modified organisms that I’ve been able to ferret out an interesting story within the story.

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Introducing: The Vegan Roadie!


One of the great things about entrepreneurship is that it’s easy to interact with people who have passion and a creative spark. We love to see people going out into the world and creating new ways for others to connect to their food. That’s why we are excited to announce our partnership with The Vegan Roadie!

Dustin Harder, the host of The Vegan Roadie, tackles the challenge of eating vegan while traveling across the country. This web video series and supporting blog offers insight into holding on to your eating preferences despite being in unfamiliar territory, thinking outside the pre-packaged food box while on the go. Episodes of The Vegan Roadie will include spotlights on local eateries across the country as well as “The 5 Ingredient Challenge“, which demonstrates recipes so easy you could make them in a hotel room!

Dustin and I met in high school through the after-school drama program. We were cast in Fiddler on the Roof – Dustin as Tevye, and myself as one of his youngest daughters. Shprintze. Or Bielke. Whichever one had fewer lines. During that experience, I felt that Dustin was a kindred spirit, and was glad to have been placed into the same hodgepodge of a theater family as him.

Dustin went on to major in musical theater, and now lives in New York, working in various roles in the Broadway circuit. When he decided to become a vegan, he attended the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef Training Program to be better equipped for his new eating style, particularly when faced with the constraints that occur when being in a theatrical production. We’re interested to learn what wisdom The Vegan Roadie will have to offer us about maintaining our eating preferences in such challenging circumstances.

Beginning in 2015, The Vegan Roadie will have a guest column on The Knife & Fork Project blog, keeping you up-to-date as new episodes become available, and sharing special blog posts only available on Sound Bites!

We love the concept, and were very impressed with what the pilot has to offer, which you can view below. If you like what you see as much as we do, please support The Vegan Roadie’s Kickstarter campaign. You have until September 7 to donate, but the sooner the better to help encourage others to jump on the bandwagon. Check out their pilot episode and trailer and keep your eyes peeled on Sound Bites for more updates from Dustin’s travels!

Vegan Roadie trailer:

Vegan Roadie pilot episode:

An Open Letter to Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Recently, I discovered in my Facebook feed an interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson in which a question was asked to Dr. Tyson about his opinion of genetically modified organisms. Here is a link to the original video:

Dr. Tyson brought up some good points, but predicated his argument on something that I’ve heard a lot with regards to recombinant DNA modification of organisms: that this manipulation is just like the manipulation that we have done with selective breeding over many thousands of years.

I disagree.

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Initiative 522 By The Numbers

It’s voting season again: that time of year when people you’ve never heard of send you flyers urging you to vote for them for vice-mayor of Munchkinland while simultaneously flooding the airwaves with slam ads against their fellow candidates. Or just bribing their way into office.

"What are you going to do about it?" - Boss Tweed.

© Knife & Fork Project

“What are you going to do about it?” – Boss Tweed.
Actual quote.


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Proposition 37: A Socratic Dialogue

Demeter: Great teacher, what is this California Proposition 37 I’m hearing about? I just moved to California from Olympus and am still catching up.

Socrates: Prop 37 is a measure to label genetically modified foods, my dear. I’ve been a ghost haunting the Castro in San Francisco for years, I can help you out. Are you familiar with genetically modified foods? With California’s proposition system?

Demeter: I’ve heard something about genetically modified organisms - that’s the process by which our alchemists create chimaeras in the laboratory by combining the traits of natural plants and animals. Don’t they call them GMOs? Are they bad for you? Haven’t we always been modifying the genes of organisms by selecting for desirable traits?

Socrates: Nobody knows if GMOs are bad for you. Studies have been done on the effects of genetically modified foods, but, as Hypereides says, one must be aware from where the drachma flows. Or was it Deep Throat in All the Presidents Men who said “Follow the money”? I get my ancient orators and contemporary movies mixed up.

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Droll Foods, Whole Paycheck?

We are now near the anniversary of an event that caused some outrage in the pure foods movement: on January 21, 2011, Whole Foods Market supported the entrance of Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa to the global marketplace.

If you missed our post on why genetically modified organisms are a big deal, go check it out now. Whole Foods’ support of GMO alfalfa is viewed as a massive betrayal to those who are extra conscious about what they eat. Whole Foods’ story is that they were backed into a corner by the USDA and forced to choose between nothing or “coexistence” – growing GMO and non-GMO side by side. They chose the lesser of the evils, and backed the approval of GMO alfalfa.

That’s just dandy, but at this point I would like to remind you that GMO crops do not coexist. If the patented gene in the crop makes it into your field, then you are suddenly guilty of patent infringement. There is no recourse for the farmer whose crop was contaminated, so the situation is fairly one sided. It’s like your teacher asking you to coexist with the bully who steals lunch money from you. What’s worse, it’s a particularly bad arrangement to make with alfalfa, much worse than with the other big GMO crops, corn and soy. You practically have to shove pollen into corn to get it to pollinate, and soy is a self-pollinator. Alfalfa, however, is insect pollinated, so there is not even a hint of possibility of containment.

Some bees just want to watch the world burn.

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