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Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Foods Paperback – October 30, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Nina Federoff is very highly respected in the scientific community; she has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest levels of scientific accomplishment. This is a book brimming with accurate information, a history of scientific developments and analysis of the relevance of current arguments and opinions regarding how food is developed and produced. The evidence discussed is referenced for verification or for pursuit of further interest.
I completely disagree with reviewers who complain that the book presents a biased argument in favor of genetic modification.
If the evidence on GMO's does not support much popular opinion, it is high time the record be set straight, and the campaign of misinformation (e.g., by Greenpeace) be challenged. For instance, the facts presented indicate that organically grown food is no more nutritious or flavorful than conventionally grown crops, and the naturally occurring pesticides produced by the plants themselves are 1500 times greater than artificial pesticide residues. Contrast that with the prices charged for organic produce.Read more ›
(1) If a person chooses to be anti GM, in order to be consistent then there are many more foods to avoid than you might think. The definition of GM is subject to wide interpretation. Truly being opposed to any messing around with a plant's DNA would mean that you should not consume Canola, Tritricale, the majority of domestic Soy and Corn, and a LOT (!!) of other foods including many foods featured in your local health food store.
(2) As noted above the definition of GM is nebulous. Where is the line between the generally accepted cross-breeding of plants (think Luther Burbank) and the "scary" genetic modification done in a lab under a more controlled setting?
(3) The media has generated a lot of anti GM buzz and fear. Actually looking at the facts is, as usual, a lot more complicated. It takes some heavy reading, through a book such as this one, to be able to interpret the science for oneself. Most people are more content to read a quick article in a magazine and then end up with a much less informed (and probably anti GM) opinion.
(4) There are undeniable benefits of GM. Less chemical pesticide needs to be applied to some GM crops. GM can introduce additional nutrients to foods. GM has saved some plant species from going extinct.Read more ›
A warning I would offer to other readers is that, as a layperson with little formal science background, I found the going tough in spots. The section on how polymerase chain reaction works was particularly hard going, although the authors are probably to be praised for trying to make the process clear. Some concepts are extremely complicated, even in the hands of good authors.
The one disappointing aspect of this book is its one-sided approach. It is not polemical; on the contrary, the prose is always calm and reasoned, and the authors don't flinch when the story they are telling necessitates providing evidence that could be taken for anti-biotech arguments. However, they make little to no effort to summarize other points of view. (One gets the feeling that they believe, if you really understand the science, there IS no other valid point of view - this would explain why they have trouble articulating opposing viewpoints.)
This book doesn't represent itself as "balanced" -- it makes it clear that it is a treatise in favor of GMF. That's fine. But I guess I would have preferred to read a book that let me hear a little bit about what the other side was saying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Do not buy this book it is not an enjoyable read and has no flow.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Overall a really great book. However, it is a bit out of date given that a lot has happened in the GMO industry since 2004. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Caroline
Great coverage of the history of genetic modification. Especially loved the bits about the origins of tissue culture. Reads like a narrative, but full of information.Published 17 months ago by Duck.Traveler
Mendel in the Kitchen – a Scientist View of Genetically Modifies Food was written by Dr. Nina Fedoroff and co-authored by Nancy Marie Brown. Dr. Read morePublished 23 months ago by rskatteboe
perfect review of GMO's and GE regarding the food of the World.Published on September 24, 2014 by karol j. mcclellan
Causing great discussion in our book group. Also forcing us to get more info on alternate views as her book seems to be skewed toward the corporate (Monsanto) side.Published on September 22, 2014 by Michael A. Strem
Great review of mans advances in science that parallel DNA capabilities to modify crops. I would rate it higher but it's a decade old and would like to see a revised edition.Published on August 15, 2014 by Robert Lichvar
This is a must read for anyone concerned about GMO foods. It is a history of how man has modified foods starting with the caveman up to the present. Read morePublished on August 10, 2014 by Linda Gamble