One topic GCB intends to study: wild plants. Unfortunately, there are
very few specialists, and the few persons who know them well cook their
food. Nevertheless, the conclusions of Burger's limited experience
is that wild plants have a clear taste change, and provide much more
satisfaction than cultivated vegetables. Maybe instincto would be easier
if vegetables hadn't been artificially selected.
[Remark: is it the reason why we tend to overeat fruit and/or RAF, have
to "force" oneself to eat more veggies?]
I asked him a few questions:
JL: I understand that selected fruits, which are too high in sugar, and
that selected animals, which are high in fat, may cause a problem of
overeating, but I don't see any danger in selecting plants.
GCB: A single vegetable can synthetize thousands of different proteins.
If the plant mutates, new proteins that the body is not able to
metabolize correctly may appear, and cause auto-immune diseases.
JL: But natural mutations do occur; avocados and tomatoes, which grow
in America, have mutated a lot since they were in contact with our
GCB: Yes, but it is a matter of degree. With modern biotechnology, humans
perform every year an amazing number of selections. Moreover, the plants
are selected for certain qualities that have nothing to do with
adaptation to natural conditions; so, the fact that such mutations are
not possible in Nature could be one of the reasons why we are not
genetically adapted to selected plants.
JL: In every aliment, there are good and bad parts (such as anti-nutritional
substances, natural toxins...). Do you think that trying to eliminate
the drawbacks of certain vegetables could be an intelligent artifact?
GCB: Maybe... If we could modify adequately one unique gene. But
genetical engineering is generally not able to measure the long-term
consequences of its deeds. We are playing "apprenti-sorciers" [well...
guess what it means... I have got no French/English dictionary].