They call to us with their chemicals
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So that gets us to this question of co-adaptation
So that gets us to this question of co-adaptation and how deep are the links between the biology of plants and the biology of people? And I would posit
that the links are exceedingly deep. Because as we have modified the biology and behavior of the plants that we consume, they have modified us.
They call to us with their chemicals, or they push us away with their chemicals. They distinguish between friend and foe, insider and outsider. How many
of you have been to Jamaica and had that ackee fruit? The ackee fruit, if you don't consume it at the right time, it will kill you.
It will put you in a coma. What a great way to distinguish between native and non-natives. [LAUGHTER] Apparently we have a difficult time doing that. Wasn't there a passage in, there's probably some biblical scholars here. Wasn't there a passage somewhere in
the Bible where the Israelites were fighting people and they had captured some folks and they couldn't determine if they were Israelites or if they were the enemy,
whoever the enemy was at that time? And so they had them say a word and if they could say the word-- yeah, you know that story? Yeah, so that means
that we don't have such remarkable cues as to who's in and who's out, especially under adverse conditions like war.
But plants and response to plants kind of gives us that insight. It's amazing. So our behavior, our biology, our metabolism is very much skewed by
the foods that we eat. And because we continue to manipulate these foods like corn and rice and wheat, including now the intentional genetic modification of those plants, we can expect that we're going to see some differences.
We're going to see some changes, especially when all of those modifications in the plant abut against human biodiversity. In fact, it's kind
of an unknown process. How will people respond to genetically modify corn? Now we've always been modifying corn. Corn today is more like a candy bar than it is a grain. It's just so full of sugars and so little protein compared to the ancestral corn.
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