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July 30, 2015
The food movement wants to put a halt to modern agriculture. They want us to forsake technology and modern practices, and somehow they have made it sound not only morally right but intellectually justified as well. That got me thinking that maybe I could write a few books; champion my own movement.
My GMO is going to be the computer chip. Like GMOs, the evidence is that they’re harmless, but do we really know all the terrible effects of those insidious things? It’s clear that social media (fueled by microchips) has killed conversation, and it undoubtedly has done more to fuel the obesity epidemic than soda and candy bars, what with all the hours spent on the couch playing electronic games or just watching TV. What’s more, microchip-powered gizmos have eliminated who knows how many jobs by reduced manual labor by a considerable amount. While it might be a better-made car, don’t we all prefer one made with human hands rather than a robot?
Food activists love to hate Monsanto. Yet, while the food activists rail against big ag corporations, the technology front gives me Microsoft, IBM and Intel, just to name a few. Since they protect intellectual property and strive to make a profit, I should be able to take the same anti-big company rhetoric and just transfer it over to technology. Global warming or the population explosion have always been the Armageddon scenario that activists have used to make the case that action needs to be taken, and taken immediately. I could use Big Brother and artificial intelligence to my advantage. After all, nearly everyone has seen at least one of the Terminator movies. Technology unleashed always has the potential for calamity.
Everyone cares about food. It fuels our bodies and many of us eat three times a day or more. Smart phones and email may not be as crucial to sustaining life, but I know some teenagers who would rather go without food than their Snapchat. Sure, there will always be those who like their computers or prefer to use a calculator, but weren’t we all a little better off when we had typewriters and had to add up all those columns by hand? There was something simpler and purer about life back then.
I’m still struggling with the elitist part; the poor will be disadvantaged by eliminating technology. But the food movement hasn’t been particularly concerned about that either. They accept that their vision of nutritional utopia is a luxury that only the wealthy can participate in and, if implemented, the disadvantaged will go hungry. I think I’ve discovered, though, that they realize that the economics of food production will keep the world from turning away from modern agriculture altogether.
So it is with my cause, too. I’ll just have to accept that some people will prefer efficiency and the convenience of using microchips, but I’m sure I can make the case with almost religious zeal that the microchip has made the world not only unhealthy, but also somehow diminished.
I also was worried that I would have a hard time getting the word out about my new movement without using the microchip-laced world of communication. A good friend eliminated that worry, pointing out that Al Gore can fly all over the world in his private jet to deliver speeches on the harm of carbon-based fuels and conspicuous consumption. Perhaps I can even convince Intel to market some chips with less computing power to fill in the gap of those who feel guilty about using the technology but still want the benefits.
In today’s world, less is more.
The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.
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