Over the past several days there has been an uproar in the organic food world regarding the USDA’s approval of the use of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa. This has been an on-going debate over the past several years both in court and in the blogo-sphere. Organic food activists claim that the unregulated use of GM alfalfa will hinder farmers’ ability to produce organic dairy and meats because of seed contamination among other issues. Monsanto claims that GM alfalfa will increase yields and assist farmers in developing nations who have little or no access to insecticides and herbicides. I have concerns about the unknown effects of GM alfalfa on our herds and human health.
A good thing for all of us at brgr, and everyone who eats our burgers, is that we don’t have to worry about the unknown side effects of GM crops because our cows do not, and will never, eat GM alfalfa. The farmers who work hard every day to get us 100% grass fed beef for our burgers are aware of the issues surrounding GM alfalfa and honestly, they’re far less concerned with this than the throngs of tweeters and bloggers foretelling the end of organic food as we know it. For one thing, they’ve told me that alfalfa doesn’t really need pesticides or herbicides, thus diminishing the comparative advantage of GM alfalfa. Secondly, Monsanto seeds are far more expensive than normal seeds. So why would a farmer pay more for a plant that doesn’t actually require protection from weeds and bugs? Not really sure. But our cows won’t be eating the stuff and right now that’s what matters to me.