Guest Blogger: Reverend Nathan Walker, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Directors from Monsanto came to the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia for dinner to discuss the ethics of biotechnology. When asked, “will you vow to do no harm,” Monsanto replied, “We already do no harm.” In the spirit of “Food Revolution” listen to Reverend Nate Walker’s summary of Monsanto’s response to the proposal to develop a modern Hippocratic Oath that could lead the entire field of biotechnology to “do no harm, to do good, and to be just.”
When I was a kid, my parents never used the word “organic” unless I would complain about having to shovel manure out of the horse stalls and off into the garden or woods from our bright green John Deer tractor trailer bed.
“It’s all organic kid; it won’t hurt ya, it’s nature’s fertilizer” my dad would say. And, being me, I would roll my eyes and as I shoveled, I would dream of living in a high rise apartment where the term “organic fertilizer,” or the daily need to weed the vegetable garden would never enter into my daily life. I preferred ballet class, trips to the public library and shopping at the mall to stalls, weeding and picking string beans. We didn’t label it anything at the time, but “organic” and “back to nature” was just how we lived. Like most kids, I kind of took the benefits of my upbringing for granted.
I grew up on an organic family farm after all, with horses as pets and wild raspberries growing up around our swing set. Picturesque, pastoral and home grown. It wasn’t until I had to start fending for myself in “the real world” of post-collegiate life that I realized I had a pretty nice set-up at home.
I now realize how amazing it is to walk out your back door and have all the ingredients for a healthy dinner ripening at your finger tips. Literally, we would have wild organic asparagus for dinner sometimes when it would sprout up – all on its own – just next to the raspberry bush.
Today, I am a city dweller, and I have a whole new appreciation for the life my parents provided to me and my siblings. We were spared from pesticides, preservatives, from hormones and tasteless vegetables. Tomatoes are supposed to be juicy red on the inside you know.
Like many, I find myself trying to grow my own container gardens in the city, while always searching for locally grown organic produce, from local produce stands in my neighborhood.
Just last week, we enjoyed a family dinner where my youngest sister Rebecca and my dad had a flavor, taste-off as to who grew the best sweet, yellow corn. Dad won. He’s been at it for 40 years and has quite perfected the science and the art of growing his own food, with love, at home.
I hope someday to do the same. But for now, I cherish my visits to the family homestead, and shop locally and organically whenever I can.
MiND Marketing Manager (and vegetable enthusiast!)
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