Merely to provoke you

December 28, 2013|By John McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

H.L. Mencken published his occasional essays under the heading "Prejudices," his avowed and oft-repeated intention to "stir up the animals."

In my own little way, I have tried to honor his example at this blog, realizing, of course, that every time I succumb to the liberal afflatus, or castigate believers for their ham-handed attempts to smuggle Genesis into biology class, that I risk alienating readers and watching my follower count at Twitter plummet. Inshallah. 

Before the year runs out, let's indulge in a couple of fresh provocations:

ITEM: I occasionally hear a rumbling beyond the walls of some clamor about genetically modified foodstuffs, and I wonder: Isn't pretty much all our food genetically modified? Eikhorn and emmer wheat and early maize don't look a lot like the current products of centuries of selective breeding. And surely Luther Burbank was conducting a form of genetic modification with all that grafting and cross-pollinating. 

I understand the utility of protests against genetically modified food to express suspicion of corporations and governments and any scientific findings not to our tastes, but isn't all this a little overboarrd?

I wouldn't object to comments from people using their indoor voices, but please do not send me literature.

ITEM: Also food-related but local. There appears to be potential for brouhaha over the presence of trans fats in Berger cookies, for which the makers complain that no adequate substitute can be found. (Perhaps someone could clue them in to butter.) 

I must explain. The Berger cookie, a Baltimore product, is a sort of dry, mediocre shortbreadish cookie smeared thickly with a fudge that tastes like canned chocolate icing. It has a fanatical following hereabouts. (I don't use them myself.)

I'm wondering what the consequences would be if the only way to produce a proper Berger cookie without trans fats involved a genetically modified product. 

Meanwhile, if you want a really good cookie, you could try making my grandmother's sour cream cookies.


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