Can a tomato be "organic" if it's genetically engineered? The USDA wants to know! In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a defining moment for a growing industry. Also, diet and diabetes, shamans and botanists, and other strange intersections of plants and human culture.
Ned Groth, Director of Technical Policy and Public Science for Consumers Union, talks with Judith Strasser about the recent Consumer Reports study of organic food. He says lots of food producers want a piece of the organic market and are challenging the definition of "organic food" with techniques ranging from genetic engineering to sewage sludge fertilizing.SEGMENT 2:
Gary Nabhan is Director of Science at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and author of "Cultures of Habitat: On Nature, Culture and Story." He tells Jim Fleming that the Sand Papago Indians of the desert southwest traditionally travelled hundreds of miles to gather their food and that their diet helped them control their blood sugar levels and the incidence of diabetes.SEGMENT 3:
Wade Davis is an ethnobotanist and the author of "One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest." He talks with Steve Paulson about his teacher and mentor, Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who pioneered academic research into the cultural traditions involving natural psychedelics. Also, Oscar Castro is a chemist at the University of Costa Rica. He tells Judith Strasser that he works with native peoples in the rain forest to identify the chemnically active compounds in local plants.
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