Two days ago, in the New York Times Business Day section, writer Danny Hakim wrote something about genetically modified crops that people might actually read and believe.

Mr. Hakim reports that despite focus on gmo crops in Canada and the U.S. crop yields have been disappointing, rivalling yields in Europe where gmo’s are prohibited.

Not only that, but herbicide use has increased in the United States, which has fallen behind France in “reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides.”  So you see, the Europeans, particularly the French are RIGHT. But of course they are!

There are many other potential issues with gmo’s, not the least being possible effects  on human health  and how gmo’s have affected seed saving throughout the world.

I want to share this with you all because gmo’s affect everything we eat, and everything we enjoy about being in the kitchen and at the table together.  The more we focus on yield, and methods untested over the long term, the more we risk losing what we love so much –  food that tastes of what it is.

It may seem a far cry from gmo’s to the farmer with the hardworking hands at the market, but the distance isn’t that great.  Part of making sure that small farms can thrive is to be aware of what the issues are, and this article is a big piece of the puzzle. I just wanted to share it with you.

Bon Appétit, and here’s a recipe to carry you on through autumn!

squash

KURI SQUASH WITH CONFIT OF SHALLOTS
POTIMARRON AUX ECHALOTTES CONFITES

If you can’t find kuri squash, use another of your favorites – butternut, hubbard, even pumpkin.  Kuri squash doesn’t need to be peeled.  This dish makes a fine first course, or a side-dish.  You can turn this into a main dish by sprinkling it with fried bacon, or putting a poached egg on top.

For the squash:
2 pounds (1 kg) kuri squash, seeded and diced (if using other squash, peel it)
Fine sea salt

For the Confit of Shallots:
1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, peeled and sliced paper-thin

For garnish:
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

  1.  Place the squash in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with water by 2-inches (5cm), add the bay leaf and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat so the water is simmering, cover partially and cook until the squash is tender through, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from the heat, drain the squash, keeping the cooking liquid.  Discard the bay leaf.
  2.  Puree the squash either with a wand blender or in a food processor, adding just enough of the cooking water to make the puree moist, but not liquid. Season to taste with salt.
  3.  While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil and the shallots in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the y are golden and crisp, which will take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and immediately transfer the shallots to a small, heat-proof bowl.
  4. Coarsley chop the parsley leaves.
  5. To serve, divide the squash among four shallow soup bowls. Top with equal amounts of shallot, and drizzle each serving with shallot-cooking oil.  Sprinkle generously with pine nuts and parsley, and serve immediately.

4 servings

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