Quite a few people gathered in Bucharest today to protest against genetically modified crops and to raise awareness about the need for organic food. Other protests are due to follow next week in Romania’s main cities or so we are told by the media.
A 38-year old woman said that she was protesting because she wanted to raise her two children just as she was brought up by her parents and grandparents: naturally, with peasant food from the village orchards. When you say peasant food over here, you generally mean organic food that has not seen or touched anything else than cow dung or chip.
While protests are fine indicating that our dormant civil society does take action, I am not sure the protester I was mentioning has ever lived in a village or knows what she was brought up with. Cows are not the only kids on the block or in the fields! Organic food is largely the case in Romanian villages. But not completely. As a child, I remember that nitrogen fertilizer for corn was brought in large sacks in every household, no exceptions here.
Children would even participate in handmade corn crop fertilization (I know I did) because it was fun to play with those white or rosy beads of nitrogen and spread them around yourself. Letting go of the loathed spade, you would roam around the fields with handfuls of white or rosy nitrogen beads and throw them in the air like at a wedding ceremony.
Yes, indeed it was fun! But that does not make a crop organic nor does it mean that it spells danger in small quantities. The woman protesting today most surely grew up with fertilized corn and has no idea of what a Romanian village looks like, yet she is proudly convinced of having eaten organic food. Protesting for the sake of protests just does not do the trick today!