Someday ‘frankenfood’ under wraps?

Israel's naked chicken

Israel’s naked chicken

Photograph by: Havakuk Levison, Reuters, Edmonton Journal October 3, 2010 7:36 AM

As most people know, the process by which a succulent chicken breast journeys from egg to fork is not one about which you’d want to watch a documentary just before dinner.

Whether we like to admit it or not, “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a motto to live by for urban dwellers long before the change-averse U.S. military picked it up in Bill Clinton’s time. And not withstanding the fury of animal-rights activists, this approach has worked pretty darned well for producers and meat lovers.

Imagine, then, the frustration that must be felt by developers of various genetically modified foods. Far from the traditional averting of eyes, every move is watched like a hawk by the media and nervous consumers. Terms like “frankenfood” are thrown around, and photos like this featherless, low-fat Israeli rooster are gleefully reproduced.

No, we don’t mean to make light of food safety, or to suggest anything less than the greatest care should be taken. But one suspects that in another 50 years or so, there will be a lot of new entries on the menu of Don’t Look Too Closely.

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