Doc on the Cyber Porch—A Sustainable Non-GMO National Crisis

Doc Callahan sat with us on our Cyber Porch this morning, and we asked the self-described “happy curmudgeon” to give us a few takes on this week’s news.
When I was growing up on the farm, a flop-earred rabbit told us that Trix are for kids. I still didn’t eat them because the milk turned a pale blue when they got soggy, and I had trouble enough with regular milk back then. Now they tell us that Cheerios are for non-GMO folks. I heard they didn’t contain much biotech material anyway, so maybe it’s a fine line, but I’m not bothered either way. Cheerios are OK for the grandkids on long rides because they don’t stick to the car seat or the back of my head now that the older ones are developing throwing skills. I’ll stick with fruit, eggs, and grits for breakfast—I’m too groggy in the morning to read labels.

Speaking of labels, MacDonald’s has joined the crowd using the “sustainable” buzzword. It’s a good thing to be sustained. Most of us want to be around for a while, and we want our environment to be helpful in that endeavor. I tried to look up what the word means to various groups—this website has something called “11 Steps to Sustainable Agriculture in the Anthropocene Age.” As a guy who’s been accused of living in the Neanderthal Age, I’ll try to be Anthropocene sensitive. Until I can figure it all out, I guess I’ll just try to treat the environment the way I’d want to be treated. I’m not yet sure where Happy Meals fit into that philosophy, but I’m open to suggestions.

My favorite story of the week was the Velveeta crisis. A shortage for the Super Bowl? Yeah, sure, and chickens have lips. I love the quote off Tumblr, apparently from a company person or a devoted supporter: “While the current Cheesepocalypse is a difficult time for our great nation, we are incredibly humbled and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support for the Liquid Gold of Velveeta.” Or was this something thrown in by The Onion? Either way, good luck to the company and the consumers who desperately need something resembling cheese. 

During high school, I worked briefly at the Zearing Cheese Factory. We stirred whey with shovels, carried heavy blocks of cheese, and tried to stay out of the way of the grumpy owner who watched behind a two-way mirror. “You can be replaced,” he often said. “Sounds good to me,” I often thought. One day when the boss was gone, some of the guys threw Albert—tennis shoes and all—into the vat. No problem. The small-town cheese company actually won awards for the stuff. Too bad it closed a few years later. It could have helped out in this national cheese shortage crisis.

by dan gogerty (pic from


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