Peru is the first country in the Americas to ban genetically modified foods, putting its food policy closer to that of Europe, than the United States or many of its South American neighbors.
There isn’t much local Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino won’t eat. His highly accliamed Amaz restaurant is devoted to finding and using Amazonian food native to the country, like a 600-pound freshwater fish or a little-known fruit nicknamed “cannonball” that tastes like a cross between a guava, coconut, and melon.
But a year ago Mr. Schiaffino stopped eating supermarket tomatoes.
Even though Peru is the birthplace of the crop, it’s difficult to find anything other than hard, pale Roma tomatoes in supermarkets, and Schiaffino says that worried him.
“They’re a big monoculture, which is why people usually end up using [genetically modified organisms] GMOs. Because when you have monocultures, the crops end up getting diseases, and you have to look for these extreme ways to fix them,” he says.
Peru was the cradle of the Inca Empire, and today it’s home to many crops indigenous to the Americas. It has 400 varieties of potato alone, and a geography that allows farmers to grow almost anything.
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"“Our ancient cultures knew how to do this,” says Schiaffino, the chef. “They grew crops together, in terraces, with the seasons, with the rain, and natural irrigation. I think they had more knowledge about crops and cultivation and farming than we have now.”
I am soooo glad to read this. Peruvians obviously have more sense than most
"The most dangerous worldview, is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world." Alexander Von Humbolt