Monday, March 6, 2017
Book talk and Signing for MODIFIED At Good Tern Co-op
Shetterly grew up in Down East Maine in a small town on the coast with back-to-the-land parents and two siblings on 60 acres of land. In her words “that time was Edenic” and has influenced her positively throughout her life. She attended George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, spent a year in Paris, France and graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. After residing in New York City, Portland, Maine, and Los Angeles, she has returned home to Maine to raise her family, currently residing outside Portland with her husband and two boys.
Shetterly's work that resulted in Modified came from an extended illness that culminated in the diagnosis that she may have a sensitivity to Genetically Modified corn. This led her into a multi year discovery project taking her to the farming heartland of Nebraska, to research labs in California, extending into Europe and a beekeeping convention in Belgium, all in search of answers surrounding health issues relating to GMOs and their accompanying pesticides and herbicides. Her findings are put together in a seriously researched, well written, important personal journey into the heart of modern corporate agriculture.
When asked what she came away with in the aftermath of her experience, Shetterly told me “ My take away is that science is important to respect and that it's also complicated. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't want to listen to science; and then there are also those who trot out "The Science" in order to dupe people. Science is about asking questions; and sometimes those questions or answers will not behoove corporations. They will attack that science and say it's not "Real Science."
Take climate change for instance. Peabody Energy paid scientists to go out there and tell the American people that there's no such thing as climate change. That they had good science debunking the dangers of climate change.
This same thing has happened with GMOs. But then there's this odd wrinkle that happens with the GMO subject: that climate ignorance gets foisted back on the people or scientists or researchers who have questions about GMOs. They are told they are anti-science. This is so clever and so dangerous. And, actually, this is the worst kind of deception. So, my take away is that researching this book just made my heart break. The book started with the GMO question but it really became an environmental book.”
Along with Modified, Shetterly is the author of several books including Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home and the bestselling Fault Lines: Stories of Divorce. Her work has been featured in 'The New York Times Magazine', 'Elle' and 'Self' and on 'Oprah.com', and 'Medium.com', as well as on 'This American Life' and various other public radio shows.
For more information: Good Tern Coop, 207-594-8822 or Rockland Public Library, 207-594-0310.