For years, polls have shown that about 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms. That’s about as close to a consensus as you’re going to get in this country. But amazingly, in this supposed bastion of freedom and democracy, we’re denied the fundamental right to know what’s in our food. It’s a right that more than 50 other nations, including China and Russia, offer their citizens.
In our musty Detroit cellar my mother tended a 5-gallon crock. She was making tsukemono—a fermented cabbage pickle that’s like kimchi but without the heat. Tsukemono was my introduction to homemade pickles that employed a process learned over generations.