2100 A.D. And so earth entered a new phase of productivity through cellular engineering-genetic modification (GM). At the farm, the crop could be sprayed with herbicides and fungicides without damage, since its DNA had been “improved upon” through molecular biology. Food stopped rotting before reaching its destination. Neither did it arrive bruised or in any otherwise damaged. Nutrition could be adjusted to meet the requirements for farm animals in the case of feeds, or of the local population for human consumption.
This was the Golden Age of Harvesting, resulting in high expectations from the Scientific Community in all related fields. Although concern by some over the new technology slowed initial progress, after the first returns demands poured in. Quickly profits shot up and so did consumer satisfaction. Progress continued the next few decades and courses in the new procedures proliferated in universities and community colleges alike. In fact, nearly half a century passed before it was realized a Pandora’s Box had been opened and the public was doomed to suffer from what came to be called the Second Potato Blight.
Who could have anticipated the appearance of a new super-virus? The few heirloom plants grown in small patches on remote farms were the only ones not devastated. Some unknown weakness had been incorporated during genetic modification of standard variety plants. The viruses quickly brought world starvation reminiscent of Ireland’s trauma of the 19th century. Stores in freezers were soon depleted, and then violence erupted as hopelessness hit city populations like a tsunami. Those growing heirloom specimens out in the open were subjugated and their crops seized. It was only those who succeeded in hiding their fruitage who managed to survive the era some called Farm-ageddon.
Reclaiming the Planet
Earth’s population plummeted. A mere handful of people remained. Of these, a small number of persons had the insight to save seeds. These made up a new class of Adams and Eves who would restore the planet’s larder, enabling the population to be restored. That occurred a few hundred years ago. Today, the population of earth is a respectable 2.5 million individuals. One would like to think they’ve learned from history. Yet, as a civilization, humans appear to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Talk is of developing some new hybrids to feed mankind. The reality is greed for profits. Will people never learn? Stay tuned for the sequel, entitled Farm-ageddon II.