On That Date, No. 13

“My friend arranged for me to visit Beltsville, Maryland, where the Department of Agriculture maintains the world’s largest experiment station devoted to plant and animal research. For a solid week I explored, . . . peer[ing] into laboratories where government geneticists are at work redesigning nature.

“. . . I encountered the beef cattle of tomorrow — heavy-set, rectangular as packing cases, walking factories of tender beefsteaks and succulent rib roasts.

“[I] took a stroll down by the poultry houses. That’s the place where they streamlined the turkey to fit into your kitchenette oven. And that’s where they’ve blueprinted and started to assemble the chickens of tomorrow.

Courtesy of NCSU Libraries’ Digital Collections: Rare and Unique Materials

Courtesy of NCSU Libraries’ Digital Collections: Rare and Unique Materials

“‘See that batch of pullets over there?’ [said my guide]. ‘They’re practically all white meat, tender and delicious.’ . . .

“What we are witnessing is nothing short of a genetic revolution — a revolution that’s going to transform agriculture and give millions of Americans a more abundant life. . . . In redesigning nature, our scientists are doing much to banish hunger and assure to future generations the  most basic of all the Four Freedoms — Freedom from Want.”

_____________

Frederick G. Brownell, “Super Cows and Chickens,” American Magazine 141 (June 1946): 109-111.

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