Topic six: The botany of Desire by Michael Pollan


Summary: The evolution of potato has gone through a revolutionary change from an organic process where farmers use seeds, large quantities of fertilizers, pesticides, machinery and fuel to produce potatoes to the modern method of genetically engineer potato. The organic way is refer as “inputs” and is said to saddle the farmer with debt, jeopardizes his health, erodes his soil and ruins its fertility, pollutes the ground water and compromises the safety of the food we eat. The article states that this argument has always been from environmentalist or organic farmers. But, more recently this same argument has come from government officials and the agribusiness companies that sold farmers on all those expensive “inputs” in the first place. So, what would rescue the American food chain states the article- a new kind of plant of which genetically engineering will be at the fore- front. The article went on to say that genetically engineer food will replace expensive and toxic chemicals and the produce will be able to protect themselves from insects and disease without the help of pesticides. For example the bacterium Bacillius thuringiensis found in soil will give the potato plant cells information they need to manufacture a toxin lethal to the Colorado potato beetle. It is interesting to note that the article makes it very clear that this new technological way of engineering food is the property of one man.

Communication Problem: Should man tamper with the way in which food is grown? And is it right for the genetically engineer way of producing food be monopolized by one person?

Image Ideas: Potato shoot with warm light close up with a needle or potato peeler to show tampering.

Result: I am very happy with the outcome of the shoot and believe that what I had in mind was capture. Five station was set up, with various levels of lighting and filters that allow light to bounce of the potato from different angles. We were able different props and shoot at close up range.

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