Oranges and spinach
Sunday August 04th 2019, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Food

I knew about huanglongbing, ie, greening disease, first found in China about a hundred years ago and how it has been threatening to kill every citrus tree in the world–I have looked for signs of it in my lemons and mandarins. Supposedly, northern California is the last corner of the American citrus world that doesn’t have it.

What I did not know was how far anyone had gotten in fighting it nor by what means they were trying.

First, the horrifying article from May saying that the EPA had approved spraying 650,000 pounds of human antibiotics on commercial groves this year even though they don’t yet know if that will even work. You didn’t need your streptomycin to be effective on your infections or post-op, did you?

I wanted to know more.

I found a six-year-old article, also at the New York Times, that was far more hopeful.

A spinach gene. A grower who was as enraged at Monsanto’s business practices as the rest of us helped fund the research that discovered that a gene in spinach might make it so that orange juice still exists 20 years from now. 90% of the orange trees in Florida were already dead at the time.

His group even found a way to get that gene into living trees so that they could test it for safety sooner. The story needs an update whether their efforts got swept away in the anti-GMO fad and whether it worked as well as initial tests suggested. He understands that fad–but hoped he could make his case to the American public that he had chosen spinach and not pig genes for the same reasons they would have: to stick to a widely-used well-known plant source so as to cause the least potential disruption in the food chain. The gene had nothing to do with flavor or color.

Meantime, Trump’s administration is grossly contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Thanks, I’d rather say pass me the spinached.

1 Comment so far
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That’s just great…the world self-destructs while our elected officials are busy giving tax breaks to the 1%.

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 08.05.19 @ 5:20 am

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