Digging Deeper


Would you eat genetically-modified meat?

With apologies to the vegetarians, yes, I find this attractive. (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

Well, First Lady Michelle Obama finally said something even the guys at BEEF magazine can’t criticize.

On this week’s CBS “Sunday Morning” show, Obama said her family is not vegetarian and that they, in fact, “love red meat.”

“We generally have steak on Friday, and that's the President's favorite dinner, so Friday nights are steak nights," Mrs. Obama said.

In fact, Barack Obama, called “Commander in Beef” by some, seems to favor the big bovine for many meals, from quick runs for burgers or well-planned state dinners.

So while Esquire magazine questioned the Obama Fooderama blog for calling its leader the “most beefcentric president in history,” we’re left with the knowledge that the health-conscious first family can call beef what’s for dinner at least one night a week.

When people learn that I write about food production, I’m often asked if I eat meat. I joke that because I’m from Nebraska, it’s my birth right to eat beef (and have big hair).

But honestly, I eat it because I love it. One of my favorite meals is a big ribeye, cooked on the grill, a salad and a glass of red wine.  (OK, maybe more than one glass.)

But here’s my problem: some of the beef I buy at the grocery store just doesn’t taste good anymore. So most often, I buy from a local farmer or Costco.

Why bring this up? We’re getting ready to do a talk show on genetically-modified meat.  And I wonder: would it still taste good? Would it be weird to eat meat whose DNA has been designed?

With all the talk on labeling and potential health risks of GMO food – and a lack of any real science just yet – we were wondering how you feel about this.

As our Abbie Swanson has reported, there are no genetically-engineered animals on the market for human consumption. But there is more than two decades of work on studying genetics in animals, including three research centers at the University of Missouri. From Abbie’s story:

Opponents of this work argue there are too many risks and too many unknowns associated with GE animals. They’ve got questions about animal welfare, food safety, human health impacts, whether these animals could escape, spread diseases and the list goes on.

Do you still eat red meat? If so, do you stick to grass fed? Organic? Do you worry that the animals will be genetically engineered – much like some fish  Or do you aim for the best prices at the store?

What questions do you have for our experts? Our Jeremy Bernfeld will be hosting the talk show on our partner station, KCUR, and we’d love to hear from you. Email me at peggy.lowe@harvestpublicmedia, comment below, or respond to our query about GMO labeling.