Food Feedback: Our readers write: On GMOs, wine and, wildy, about greens



Virginia Phillips’ May 15 article “The fight over GMOs heating up” [Food & Flavor] should have been clearly identified as “Commentary” in the print version, as it was online, because it does not present evidence-based reporting on GMOs, but rather gives the strong impression that GMOs are incredibly dangerous. While she selectively draws negative information from the Wikipedia article on GMOs, she fails to cite this important quote in the same article from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: “The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”

As an example of excellent reporting in this area, I would draw your attention to the Jan. 4, 2014, New York Times article “A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops” by Amy Harmon, which chronicles Greggor Ilagan’s lonely efforts to gather accurate information about the safety of GMOs. Oh, but we can’t trust that article because it was reported in the liberal media; we can’t trust scientists because they are all biased and corrupt; we can’t trust government because they’ve been infiltrated by industry; and we can’t trust industry because they are only motivated by profit. So who can we trust? Anti-GMO crusaders with no scientific qualifications who make their living by denouncing GMOs — they are not biased in any way whatsoever.

On wine mark-ups

DANIEL E. WEEKS, Squirrel Hill

In response to Jennifer C. Mico’s opinion regarding wine mark-ups [Food Feedback, Food & Flavor, May 22], I would like to applaud her work ethic and her manner of running “OUR BUSINESS.” Perhaps if there was more care in selecting wine choices and willingness to have more customer-friendly pricing, she wouldn’t have to “sit on the inventory” for so long. I am also glad that she doesn’t question how others run “THEIR BUSINESS.” However, in the future, I’m taking “MY BUSINESS” to any one of a huge number of BYOB restaurants where I can drink my wine with the knowledge that I haven’t paid a 400- to 500-percent mark-up on what I choose to drink.

BOBBI SULLIVAN Oakmont

On spring greens

The love of greens [“Foraging for spring greens -- in New York City,” Miriam’s Garden by Miriam Rubin, Food & Flavor, May 15] is a good thing, unless you are talking about the love of money. We used to do lots of foraging amongst the bountiful wild plants in the Waynesburg area and one of our favorite things was cooked greens. Before they got old we picked dandelion, violet, lamb's quarter and plantain leaves for good eating. I washed them and usually pulled the leaves off the stems. I brought a cup or so of water to boil and dropped the leaves in, enjoying the tiny wiff of perfume when the violet leaves hit. I covered the pan. They cook very quickly; just test them with a fork. There are several ways you can serve them: plain, with butter, or with small pieces of ham or bacon. But be careful with the two pork products because they can overwhelm the delicate flavor of the greens.

CAROL RANDOLPH, Waynesburg

On Sunday supper

I read with interest your article on “Sunday supper,” Rebecca Sodergren [Food & Flavor, May 8). When the last of our three boys moved out, we were fortunate that all three of them lived within a few miles of our home. My husband and I decided we would extend an open invitation to them to come to Sunday dinner whenever they could make it. They rarely missed the chance to have a home-cooked meal, so the whole family reconnected every Sunday.

Over the years, Sunday dinner has expanded to include three daughters-in-law and six grandchildren (three boys, three girls). In September, we will add another grandson to the guest list. Not to be outdone, our dog Pepper has invited all of their dogs to join her, so we end up with fourteen people and five dogs nearly every Sunday. (The people get dinner, but the dogs just get to play.)

The photo shows the five "dog cousins" that sometimes make us wonder if we have the dogs from the Bumpusses (from ”A Christmas Story“).

Thanks for your article — we enjoyed it immensely!

DONNA HOLLIDAY, Bethel Park

More on Mexico

I was pleasantly surprised to read your article regarding food in San Miguel de Allende [”How a trip to Mexico changed her heart ... and taste buds“ by Elizabeth Boltson Gordon, Food & Flavor, May 1].

My husband and I went there for the first time this January and thoroughly enjoyed it. We have been to other places all over Mexico, but SMA definitely has it own flavors. We found the food to be equally good with some unusual flavors like the avocado butter at Hank’s. I also loved the tomatillo sauce on my eggs at El Pegaso, our favorite breakfast spot near the Jardin. I discovered a red spice there called tajini that you could buy in bulk at Bonanza. Have you heard of it? It’s not the tahini we think of — sesame paste, but rather some kind of mild red pepper mixed with lime. The locals put it on there corn on the cob which is delicious on corn. I brought some home and put it on a pork tenderloin which was excellent.

We were brave and had a delicious pork sandwich at the Tiangus Mercado. And we had several breaded chicken sandwiches with melted cheese, avocado and tomato for $2 at Rameriez Ignacious. 

Did you go to the Saturday Organic Market at the Institute de Allende on Zacateros? Again, wonderful empanadas — mango and many other fillings, scones and especially their orange donuts. Fabulous.

LINDA GRABOWSKI, Mars


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