What is your position about these new genetically engineered foods? Christine J, Albuquerque
The only available information about genetically engineered food (GEF) is from the companies that are selling it. Just as Coca Cola Company will not advertise anything bad about their soda pop, these food companies are not going to admit to problems with their GEFs. In order to protect their citizens, many countries are refusing to allow GEFs to be sold until such time that independent research proves there is no risk. I tend to agree with this prudent course of action. It would be wonderful if GEF is safe and nutritious, but until research is completed by someone that will not profit from the sales, I will avoid all genetically engineered food.
My family moved out here a few months ago from Wisconsin and my kids are excited about the possibility of finding lizards around our property. Are any of them poisonous? Joshua K, Edgewood
Welcome to New Mexico! Although our slogan is “Land of Enchantment,” some of us old-timers prefer “Land of Entrapment” since NM tends to entrap your heart! As for the lizards, to my knowledge, none of our lizards are poisonous. However, I would take precautions to discourage the little ones from grabbing at everything that may look to be darting or slithering. We do have some poisonous snakes, so carelessly turning over rocks and logs or grabbing what may appear a tail as it darts out of sight should be discouraged.
I found a huge patch of sage along a side road in the mountains. It looks like white sage, but it appears slightly pink and smells a little different from the sage in California. Is it white sage and can I pick it? Phyllis D, Los Lunas
Although it is most likely white sage (Salvia apiana) being affected by the red soil that is common in New Mexico, it would be difficult to exactly pinpoint without seeing an actual sample or personally seeing the plant. There are approximately 700-900 species of Salvia, which is a perennial in the mint family. In our state there have been approximately 250 species of Salvia catalogued growing in the numerous elevations and environments. We have desert, wetlands (by the river), mountains, and plains – all of which give us enormous diversity in plants. I would recommend ensuring that the plant is not on private land, then taking a sample and having an expert botanist specifically identify the plant. Some are best for ceremony, some best for cooking, and some are best for medicine. You certainly have me curious!
I love getting your emails – so keep them coming! Till next week – good health and healing to you and loved ones.