Bring Frank N. Foode to Life!

FrankKickstarter400Update: Our Kickstarter campaign has Launched!

Young scientists need your help to fund one-of-a-kind plush toy to further science communication about GMOs. Their Kickstarter campaign launches on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at noon Central Time.
(A PDF of the press release is available below the post)

Biology Fortified, Inc. (BFI) is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to fostering science-based discussion about issues in biology, plant genetics, and agriculture. BFI’s mascot is Frank N. Foode™, your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism (GMO). This cute corn plush has gotten his photo taken with people, plants, and in exotic places, all to help make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable. Over the years, many people have said that they want a Frank of their own! Now BFI has a chance to make this happen.

Karl Haro von Mogel handcrafted the first Frank N. Foode™ plush in 2009. The goal of the “Bring Frank N. Foode™ to Life” Kickstarter campaign is to fund the design and creation of 500 Frank N. Foode™ plushes so everyone can have a Frank plush of their own. BFI is working with Gann Memorials to rework Karl’s original design to make it durable, safe for kids, and cuter than ever. “One day, I had an idea to make a plush corn with glasses to help people understand the science,” said Karl Haro von Mogel. “It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm that people have toward him, and how much people want this to happen. We’re actually doing it!”

Rewards for donating to this campaign include the Frank N. Foode™ plush, autographed books, dinners with bloggers, and much more. Anastasia Bodnar, Board Member of BFI, says “these rewards were selected with three goals in mind – rewarding backers of the campaign, and furthering our mission to promote science and critical thinking while having fun at the same time.”

Biology Fortified, Inc. started as a science blog that launched on Halloween in 2008. BFI incorporated in 2012 and gained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2013. The Biofortified Blog and Forum create a civil and respectful environment where people can ask questions, give opinions, and even start up their own discussions. The blog includes interviews with and posts from scientists and other experts, recently passing 1 million views and 10,000 comments.

kickstarterimagefornewsarticleKickstarter is a website that allows organizations and individuals who want to create new works of art and products raise money from donors through a process called crowdfunding. Backers can pledge any amount of money to a project, and receive unique rewards for contributing to the project. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so no one is charged and a project does not get funded unless there are enough backers to reach the fundraising goal. In 2013, more than 3 million people pledged $480 million on Kickstarter to successfully fund more than $19,000 projects.

The Frank N. Foode Kickstarter campaign must raise $10,000 in just 30 days. If the goal is not achieved, they go home empty handed. If more than $10,000 is raised, stretch goals include an exclusive t-shirt, and a plush Hawaiian Papaya, Indian Eggplant, or Florida Orange. The campaign ends on March 7, 2014.

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Media Contact:

Karl Haro von Mogel
karl@biofortified.org
608-284-8842

Please let us know if you write about our Kickstarter so we can link back to you!

Kickstarter Profile Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/biofortified
Biology Fortified, Inc. Homepage: http://www.biofortified.org/
Frank N. Foode™ Photo album: http://biofortified.org/community/photos/
Frank N. Foode™ on Twitter (with daily updates on campaign): https://twitter.com/franknfoode/

Press Release (PDF)
Help us promote our Kickstarter with these images:

Facebook Profile Picture

Facebook Cover Photo

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He currently works as a public research geneticist in Madison, WI. His favorite produce might just be squash.

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52 comments on “Bring Frank N. Foode to Life!
  1. Brandt Kurowski says:

    Kickstarter? This Kickstarter?!? I know they only get 5%, but I’d rather my 5% went to someone less reactionary.

  2. Kristina Mogel says:

    When does this start?

  3. Mlema says:

    I know it’s cute and fun – but what does a plush corn have to do with promoting science and critical thinking? Seems like it’s geared towards indoctrinating children with corporate feel-good rhetoric. Something similar to these awful activity books:

    http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/my.aspb.org/resource/resmgr/Education/Ag_Ed_Activities_Book.pdf

    Perhaps the plush toy is a reactionary move to counter all those photos of hazmat suits and hypodermics injecting corn kernels? To me that makes y’all just as bad. Can’t we just teach the kids science and critical thinking and let them figure out what opinions to have based on that alone? This toy is a blatant PR ploy for the biotech industry. I can’t imagine anyone giving money to have this toy made when there are so many more worthy projects. And hungry people in every community. Oh, I forgot – GE will feed them.

    • That’s a whole lot of negativity there. Considering that Frank N. Foode has existed for almost five years now, I would hardly call this a reactionary move. Indeed, there has been demand for people to get their own for some time. Ever since I joked about it for an April Fools joke in 2011, the demand has been there. Frank also gives people a way to get involved, and a character to follow to learn more. Finally, I tested out a draft cooking video with Frank in front of a mixed audience, and he was very well received. PR ploy? Then you don’t know me, or us, well enough. For instance, the cooking videos will make people think – and not just in one single ‘corporate’ direction as you suggest. Feel free not to get one, but maybe you might still be interested in the mutant mini maize seeds that will be offered…

    • MaryM says:

      I’m curious if you have this conversation with people who drive cars with fish-beets on them.

    • What a strange point of view. Did you not have any toys as a child (or adult!) that helped you think about science or think that science is fun? If not, I am sad for you. This first run of Frank won’t come with much in the way of educational materials, but the long term goal is to include a booklet with experiments that people of all ages could do with plant breeding (and of course those materials will also be available on the web for free so anyone can try them). I don’t see how encouraging people to try plant breeding on their own has anything to do with PR for biotech industry, other than making plant genetics a little less scary, but by that logic every biology class in the world is also propaganda.

      Yes, we could all give up all of our things so that we could feed a few hungry people, and that would be somewhat meaningful. However, this toy does have some educational purpose, and who knows, we might just inspire the next Norm Borlaug. Even if they don’t change the whole world, we might inspire people to seek out knowledge about their food, which IMHO is always a good thing.

      • Mlema says:

        Hmm. Still don’t see what an anthropomorphized transgenic corn has to do with inspiring people to seek out knowledge about their food. Seems more directly like a way to make transgenics “cuddly”. I wouldn’t want my kid to have such a toy. It’s the same as the McDonald’s “kids meals” toys. “Mom, can i PLEASE have the Frank N. Food corn? PLEEEEEZZZ!?!” (because, you know, I sleep with him in my arms at night) Nothing but a way to try to put a family-friendly spin on a particular product in the mardetplace. Now, as far as adults go – it’s pretty evident there’s a certain fetishism here regarding GMOs. Ah well, to each his own. Please stay out of the schools with this simplistic “science is good for you” stuff. Science should be taught as science, not as advertising a particular agenda.

        Perhaps you could put your brain power into developing board games that really do educate us about how, for example, the politics of the farm bill affects farming and the economy in the US? Players could be farmers attempting to implement best practices (we could learn what they really are, and see how special interests both help and hurt that process) I absolutely know you have the ability. It would be awesome.

        • Mlema says:

          I’d like to be sure people understand that the fetishism of which I’m accusing biofortified is a sort of “commodity fetishism”. I’m not insinuating that anyone here is a pervert. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

        • Hmm. Still don’t see what an anthropomorphized transgenic corn has to do with inspiring people to seek out knowledge about their food.
          Please see our photo album. That’s what we do with Frank.
          I wouldn’t want my kid to have such a toy.
          Kids eventually turn 18 and can pursue their own destinies.

          Nothing but a way to try to put a family-friendly spin on a particular product in the mardetplace.
          I knew I forgot something! I should have plastered “Frank sez buy MON 810 corn for your backyard garden!” Now I’ve got no product to push. Drat.

          Please stay out of the schools with this simplistic “science is good for you” stuff.
          Request considered and declined. It might be hard to get a “Science is bad for you” lesson in schools since they are supposed to teach about science.

          Perhaps you could put your brain power into developing board games that really do educate us about how, for example, the politics of the farm bill affects farming and the economy in the US?
          I can see it now: The Farm Bill Game with Frank N. Foode. We’ll do it after the elementary school “how GMOs work” posters. That way they can go home and tell their parents that they want to buy the game.

          It would be awesome.
          Indeed. :)

          • Mlema says:

            Science is science. Good and bad are moral judgements. Are you ready to have Frank N. Foode be objectified? Broken into his chemical components for human consumption and sustenance? Or will it be too difficult to see his empty baby seat in the back seat of your car? Corporate rhetoric has no place in our children’s science classrooms, and this site’s agenda is only slightly disguised as science, as opposed to industry pr. Commodity fetish: you’ve made transgenic products into something valued in themselves, separate from human economy and need. You’ve given them their own life and personality. It really IS Frankenfood – not because of its genetics, but because the industry has breathed life into it as something it values apart from what it really is, which is: a technological product to earn profits, that happens to be a plant which can be eaten. I’d say a transgenic plush toy is to GMOs what a Jesus cartoon is to Christianity. It’s fine if you want to devote yourselves to something you believe is going to “save the world”, but stop trying to infect others with your religious fervor over something that is objectively a human creation, and should never be placed above the common good.

            • Science is science. Good and bad are moral judgements.
              I have for a very very long time been a proponent of the fact that science is “good for you” – the process of doing science is beneficial, and science is the best way to understand how the universe works.
              Are you ready to have Frank N. Foode be objectified? Broken into his chemical components for human consumption and sustenance?
              Some people are already dehusking him with their eyes.
              Corporate rhetoric has no place in our children’s science classrooms, and this site’s agenda is only slightly disguised as science, as opposed to industry pr.
              And we would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you darned kids! Seriously, though, we’re not doing PR. I’ll be telling an enlightening story about that later this month.
              It really IS Frankenfood – not because of its genetics, but because the industry has breathed life into it as something it values apart from what it really is, which is: a technological product to earn profits, that happens to be a plant which can be eaten.
              Except for all those pesky humanitarian projects involving genetic engineering that don’t hope to make a profit whatsoever, but directly help people in need. It just happens to be made with the same tech that some companies want to make a profit with. Therefore, by the duality of technology – it both is and isn’t what you describe.
              It’s fine if you want to devote yourselves to something you believe is going to “save the world”, but stop trying to infect others with your religious fervor over something that is objectively a human creation, and should never be placed above the common good.
              Science is a human creation. And I am devoted to it precisely because its goal is the common good, through understanding the world better. If anything will save the world, it’s that.
              I’d say a transgenic plush toy is to GMOs what a Jesus cartoon is to Christianity.
              This argument is to an overreaction what the sky is to blue.

              • Mlema says:

                Oh, so this site is promoting humanitarianism. And that’s why it has blog posts which defend Monsanto’s legal actions. What does the technological product of a for-profit corporation have to do with humanitarianism? The plants you talk about most on this site are those engineered to contain pesticides or be resistant to them. Those are for-profit products offering little if any humanitarian benefit.

                It’s impossible for science to have a goal of any kind. Only people can have goals for the common good. Some scientists are devoted to the common good. And some are devoted to achieving the profit margin that the company they work for desires.

                I hope the difference is clear, or we all risk becoming victims of those who can’t separate technological advancement from humanitarianism.

            • The point isn’t “science is good” vs “science is bad”. The point is: science (or more appropriately, all learning) is FUN!
              We’ve taken Frank around the world and in our backyards, exploring plants and food and different cultures. He’s just a thread to make it all come together, just like people take pictures with Flat Stanley only Frank has a more food and agriculture focus. This really isn’t complicated.

              • Mlema says:

                Frank’s focus is giving transgenic crops a warm and fuzzy face, and is an attempt at diffusing the “Frankenfood” moniker given to transgenic food. Much of the transgenic corn grown is for biofuel, corn syrup, etc. Wally Wheat would be a more appropriate character for a “food and agriculture focus”. I seriously doubt you’re educating children about nutrition or agriculture. Frank Foode is about telling people that scientists are making the world better with transgenics. It’s fine if you want to promote that idea, but don’t try to disguise it as scientific information. The scientific information is the science itself. The idea that it’s improving the world as it’s utilized today is subjective and conditional on a great number of others things. It’s a judgement call, outside the actual science.

            • Charles Rader says:

              For gosh sakes Mlema. It’s a little plush toy meant to make people smile about a subject that some other people have used to frighten people!

              For about the last year, you have shown up on this web site with numerous complaints about just about every effort to give people information. No aspect of that effort was too picky for your attention. I looked without success at any case where you criticized the numerous anti-GMO propaganda, tomatoes with syringes, chimerical fruits with fins, skull and crossbones, hazard suits in the fields, and on and on. Yet today you devoted post after post to denouncing a cute little toy. We are entitled to have our symbols too, you know.

              • Mlema says:

                Charles, of course you’re entitled to your symbols! Just as the anti-gmoers are entitled to theirs. Enjoy them in good health. But please don’t pretend that this is about efforts to give people objective science information. Just what exactly do you needs symbols for if this is about gaining information?

                I never complain about efforts to give people information. I don’t like it when industry rhetoric is disguised as science information. If you want to learn about the science of transgenics, take some courses at your local college, or online.

                • Charles Rader says:

                  Mlema, where did I pretend anything about the stuffed corn ear being about giving people objective science information? Reread the second sentence – It’s a little plush toy meant to make people smile about a subject that some other people have used to frighten people!

                  Once the toy has served that purpose, it’s a separate matter to either give people objective information or to give them propaganda.

                  Again, and you really should think about this, why have you devoted so much attention to Frank N. Foode and yet no identifiable attention to the crude propaganda symbols used by the anti-GMO propagandists? Did you think they were meant to convey objective information?

                  • I would also like to add that one thing that Frank has become is a way for people to get involved. Indeed, when there are 500 people with a Frank plush in their possession, and smartphone cameras being what they are, it will add to the appeal of going out and visiting farms and markets, observing protests, touring gardens, and more. People will be more engaged. What I tell everyone who I ask to get their photo taken with our mascot is that it represents being a part of the conversation, and not and endorsement of one opinion or another.

                    I second the question about the fishy beet cars, and the imagery being used to demonize. I would like to hear a little more than “Just as the anti-gmoers are entitled to theirs.” Mlema, what is your opinion of the syringes in fruits, the hazmat suits, and the other artistic depictions that are intended solely to scare people?

                    Frank, on the other hand, is not intended to be a perfect vision of a plant, but in fact a character with personality traits, including flaws. You’ll see more of that later. By all means, don’t get one for yourself, disagree with its creation and existence, just don’t make stuff up about propaganda and “campaigns” that do not exist.

                    • Mlema says:

                      Charles, Karl, I apologize for putting a damper on your fun. I don’t know what a fishy beet car is. I’ve never seen a tomato with a syringe in it on this site, and if I had I’m sure I would agree with you that it’s inflammatory and not objectively scientific.

                      What i do see is a transgenic corn plush toy, reminiscent of Ronald McDonald toy, Travelocity gnome, or even “Joe Camel” who marketed cigarettes to children. Of course Joe C. Was banished because cigarettes are unhealthy. Those toys are specific to individual companies, while Frank N. Foode is general to the biotech industry. It doesn’t matter how many times anyone says “there’s no campaign” – this is social media in promotion of the biotech industry. Why is that so hard to admit? I wouldn’t be so critical if it were out in the open: we want to put a friendly face on biotech. We want to promote the cause of transgenic products and expand their presence in the market. It’s not illegal! But all the subterfuge is irritating.

                      I apologize if somehow my lack of enthusiasm for a transgenic corn plush toy spoils your fun. You really shouldn’t let it. I’m glad if you can have fun in this way. For myself, my kids will have chemistry sets and an objective science teacher in their school (to the extent I can control that). Their plush toys will more likely be kittens or panda bears, but of course nowadays we need to look at who’s manufacturing these toys if we want to be socially and environmentally responsible. And if my kids start seeing pictures of people in gardens with Frank N. Foode, I’ll just explain that it’s pro-gmoers – and they’re trying to have a little fun while promoting awareness of transgenics and the products of the biotech industry. Just like I tell them that the people in hazmat suits are anti-gmoers trying to quell the growth of transgenic plants and the companies that produce them.

                      Anastasia, Charles, Karl – you’ve all accused me of accusing you all of propaganda. I’ve accused the site of industry rhetoric. They’re not the same thing. Please don’t try to make me sound like some irrational fearmonger – or that I have a “strange” point of view. I represent a viewpoint of those not completely enamored with and devoted to this technology. I’m someone who’s trying to examine what scientists are saying outside the industry and industry-influenced academia and media. As such, to me your website is invaluable because it helps me to see one side of the issue and gives me something to compare to the other side – then allowing me to evaluate the science in a more balanced way (I hope).

                    • I’ve never seen a tomato with a syringe in it on this site
                      If you do, it is because we will be criticizing it.
                      What i do see is a transgenic corn plush toy, reminiscent of Ronald McDonald toy, Travelocity gnome, or even “Joe Camel” who marketed cigarettes to children.
                      Yes, because throwing out the Joe Camel will win you points in this argument. It’s been tried already.
                      this is social media in promotion of the biotech industry. Why is that so hard to admit?
                      I don’t know, perhaps because it is not. Interpretations based on projection, rather than analysis of intention miss the mark from time to time.
                      I apologize if somehow my lack of enthusiasm for a transgenic corn plush toy spoils your fun.
                      A lack of enthusiasm is very different from open, baseless attacks.
                      And if my kids start seeing pictures of people in gardens with Frank N. Foode, I’ll just explain that it’s pro-gmoers – and they’re trying to have a little fun while promoting awareness of transgenics and the products of the biotech industry. Just like I tell them that the people in hazmat suits are anti-gmoers trying to quell the growth of transgenic plants and the companies that produce them.
                      1. Error of assumption. There are people who are not keen on GMOs, even anti-GMO who have gotten their photos taken with Frank.
                      2. False equivalence. The opposite of a hazmat suit and the devilish intentions ascribed to GMOs is something more like a messiah handing out GMOs from the sky. A plush that allows people to put aside that imagery and talk about the issue is different.
                      you’ve all accused me of accusing you all of propaganda.
                      You have made the accusation of “PR ploy” which is essentially the same thing as propaganda. Both are deceptive attempts to manipulate opinion, and neither description is accurate of our writings. You have also spoken of indoctrination of children. I think I have been quite fair in my responses given these statements.
                      As such, to me your website is invaluable because it helps me to see one side of the issue and gives me something to compare to the other side -
                      There’s more than 2 sides. I’m not altogether on anybody’s side, because no one’s altogether on my side.

                    • Charles M. Rader says:

                      Mlema, I find it just incredibly hard to believe that you have not encountered any anti-GMO symbols that are meant to scare rather than inform. For example, I just did a google search for “pictures about GMOs”, and the first site that came up was sustainablepulse.com/gmo-pictures.
                      There, among other pictures, none of which communicated any facts, I find a horror movie poster illustrating an ear of corn with, yes, a syringe and another with sharp teeth. I find a man using an ear of corn as a pistol, about to shoot himself in the head. I find an illustration of a hooded figure of the grip reaper and the legend is “We reap what we sow”. I see a container of roundup with a skeleton in the foreground, entitled “the ultimate killing machine”.

                      Next site I looked at was called photobucket.com, which has, among the scary pictures, two syringes in tomatoes. There’s also a field where the crop is tombstones.

                      Then I went to Huffington Post, where they often attach an image to a news story. There’s a picture of corn, a syringe, and a petri dish, illustrating a review of the movie OMG GMO. “What’s the Big Deal About Genetically-Modified Organisms?” is illustrated with a peapod held open with thumb tacks. There’s a photo of Hazmat suits at a demonstration at Trader Joes. There’s a syringe injecting an orange.

                      Then I went to a site with “GMO stock images”. You are free to use these. There’s an orange cut open to reveal a kiwi fruit, an apple cut open to reveal a lime, and the very same apple cut open to reveal an orange. There’s the syringe again, this time stuck into an apple. There are tomatoes with stickers indicating dangerous toxicity. There’s a researcher in a blue hazmat suit examining eggs as big as basketballs. There’s a strawberry with sharp teeth. And a banana that looks like it’s about to attack. There are cherries with teeth. A cucumber with eyes. More syringes, including one photo of twenty syringes, entitled “gmo food injection of a rotten apple”.

                      Come on Mlema, you have seen at least some of these. Aren’t they more offensive than Frank N Foode?

                    • Mlema says:

                      Charles, please read my comment again. This post is about Frank N. Foode, and I voiced my criticisms. If there were a picture of a tomato with a syringe in it, perhaps I would feel compelled to comment on that. I didn’t say I’d never seen such photos. I’m just wondering why you feel that I should make a comment about such a photo when there isn’t one anywhere to be seen in this vicinity. You seem to be angry that I’m making a criticism about this plush toy thing while not making a concurrent criticism about an anti-gmo picture somewhere on the internet.

                      Would you like to put up an anti-gmo picture to see if i can make an appropriate criticism of it? Or should I just tell you I think those pictures are just as stupid as Frank N. Foode? How about I just say it: “Pictures of tomatoes with syringes in them are stupid and have nothing to do with transgenic food, and they’re just to scare people.” Yeah, that is really how I feel. Just like I feel that Frank N. Foode is stupid, and only exists to try to counteract the stupid images that anti-gmo people perpetuate about transgenic food by making a piece of GMO corn into a plush toy. It’s just a little bit worse to me because it’s addressed to children. Unless I am really missing a big part of adult life now in that it’s adults who want this toy and we won’t be using it to “educate” school children?
                      Would you feel comfortable with anti-gmoers going into schools with tomatoes with syringes in them and portraying transgenic food as poison?

                      My problem is: creating a transgenic organism is a technological application of genetic science. bt, rr corn are commercial products. We shouldn’t confuse children by mixing advertising and science together.

                      Perhaps I’m getting all hot and bothered over nothing. If Karl tells me they’re not going into the schools with Frank N. Foode, and that this plush toy is for adult afficianados of GMOs, just for a bit of quirky fan club type activity, then I’m embarrassed that I acted like such a stick in the mud. But i won’t say anything more about indoctrinating children here because it’s not the right thing to do, and like I said, perhaps I’ve misinterpreted the intent to visit schools.

                    • Charles M. Rader says:

                      [How about I just say it: “Pictures of tomatoes with syringes in them are stupid and have nothing to do with transgenic food, and they’re just to scare people.”]

                      Well, Mlema, that’s a very good start.

                      [Would you feel comfortable with anti-gmoers going into schools with tomatoes with syringes in them and portraying transgenic food as poison?]

                      I would love to live in a world where children’s minds were not manipulated with propaganda. Sadly, both sides, pro-GMO and anti-GMO, do it.

                      In the spirit of equality, could you compare your worry, that Frank N. Food might be used to brainwash kids, with the example of Princess Vinnea, one of the Guardian Princesses series of Children’s books?

  4. I like how we get a mixture of criticism for going with Kickstarter because of their non-GMO policy, criticism for making a GMO plush, and…
    All in one thread. Just a testament to the diversity of viewpoints you won’t find in many other places that talk about the same things we do.

    • Mlema says:

      It’s funny because he’s lost his rationality.

      It’s true – you do allow diversity in the comments posted. I guess people like me are just always wrong.

      • Enthusiasm does not equate a loss of rationality.

        • Mlema says:

          That’s a good point. But are we laughing at his enthusiasm? No. The humor is in his irrational insistence that someone take his money.

          Again, to each his own. If all the adults who are devoted to defending and promoting GMOs want to get together and make plush toys for themselves, I think that’s great. But please re-think any campaign to try to indoctrinate children in subjective interpretations of the science. They’re too young to understand the real science yet, and they don’t need to grow into it with established bias. An overwhelmingly pro-gmo agenda without any understanding of the science is detrimental to the ability to develop critical thinking. Since grade school children don’t understand genetics in the development of gmos, they will only hear all the platitudes like “it’s the same as the breeding we’ve done for thousands of years, only better!” You know, all the stuff you say to people who’ve never studied science. Please make notification of which public schools you will be visiting so that parents can be made aware of your group and examine whether or not they want industry advocates “educating” their children.

          • But are we laughing at his enthusiasm? No. The humor is in his irrational insistence that someone take his money.
            Enthusiasm expressed as if it was irrational is funny. Actual irrational enthusiasm is not, which is why this was funny.
            But please re-think any campaign to try to indoctrinate children in subjective interpretations of the science.
            No such campaign exists in our minds.
            Since grade school children don’t understand genetics in the development of gmos, they will only hear all the platitudes like “it’s the same as the breeding we’ve done for thousands of years, only better!”
            That’s not how I roll.
            Please make notification of which public schools you will be visiting so that parents can be made aware of your group and examine whether or not they want industry advocates “educating” their children.
            Fortunately, since I’m not an “industry advocate” I’m legally allowed to go within 1,000 feet of school zones.

            • Mlema says:

              “No such campaign exists in our minds.”

              Because in your mind that’s not what the campaign is – but the campaign does exist nonetheless.

              • “Because in your mind that’s not what the campaign is – but the campaign does exist nonetheless.”
                Prove it. Give me the evidence that there is a campaign of child indoctrination afoot. But don’t do it here. Do it in the forum so as to keep from derailing this already derailed discussion any further. You’ve gone beyond asking critical questions and have moved on to insulting others and making up claims about campaigns and indoctrination, which is unacceptable here.

                • Mlema says:

                  Sorry Karl. Didn’t mean to harsh your mellow.

                  I didn’t see your comment here til I’d already replied to Charles above, so again my apologies.

                  • Mlema,
                    No one can harsh my mellow if mallow is the fellow in my marsh.

                    Instead, I would like a justification of why you think there is a campaign of child indoctrination underway. Show me the evidence, just in the proper place.

                    • Mlema says:

                      Karl, if you’re not going into schools with this toy, then i am off base and I apologize for over-reacting. I was unaware that there was an exclusive adult market for GMO plush toys of commercial transgenic products.

          • You’re arguing about the rationality of Fry a cartoon character? You must sure be fun at parties!

  5. Martin says:

    Happy to hear about the initiative and congrants!
    I just wanted to ask you about the name. I am a bit curious how you came up with it, the reasons behind the name? Not that I have something against it but considering all the scaremongering regarding GMOs there is a possibility that people will not like the name or ask question why that name exactly. What I am trying to say is that it(name)is a bit harsh – “Frank” just sounds a bit rough. why not go with something a bit more mellow like “Frankey/Frankie”? It’s just one of those things that you could thing that is not really important but actually could play a bit part in the whole campaign.
    Again congrants and I am off to kickstarter :)

    • Mlema says:

      they named him Frank N. Foode because they want to have a humorous friendly deflating of the “Frankenfood” moniker that anti-GMOers have given transgenic food. The anti-GMOers want people to associate transgenic food with a scary unnatural monster. The pro-GMOers want people to not be “afraid”, so they turned transgenic food into a plush toy with anthropomorphic qualities in order to try to get them to chuckle about the fears of the anit-GMOers.

      • Martin says:

        I can see the pro-GMOers point of view(and quite agree with it) but I just can’t help myself thinking that when some ignorant, regarding GMOs, people hear the name they will go like this: “Frank N. Foode?!? Well they are just admiting it is a Frankenfood, they called it Frank N. Foode, duh” What I mean to say is that people that have heard the term Frankenfood will relate Frank N. Foode with that term, which is not really good for the camaign, right ? Then again I may be thinkg about the wrong target audience.

  6. Mlema says:

    According to Karl, there is no “campaign” – so it’s hard to know why Frank N. Foode exists at all, let alone why he is named Frank N. Foode. I feel it is to put forth the feeling that “we take such things as calling transgenic foods FRANKENFOOD in stride. This is our good-natured response, a little bit of humor.” But I agree, I think this cleverness is lost on most people and they probably don’t get it. But if you give such a toy to children and explain that transgenics are good for people, then when those children see people with “FRANKENFOOD” signs, they will maybe make the connection and come to believe that anti-gmo people are foolish and anti-science. It’s all part of improving the public image of products like roundup ready corn, soy, etc., and casting supporters as educated and pro-science, and detractors as ignorant and anti-science.

    • Ewan R says:

      To be fair though, statistically speaking, anti-gmo people are foolish and anti-science.

      • Mlema says:

        Whether foolish and anti-science, or foolish and pro-science, statistically speaking, you only need one fool to light the match in the explosives shed. (to be fair :)

  7. GregH says:

    That Mini Maize would go great with a Micro-Tom tomato for demonstrating genetic differences and the effects selection can have on plants. Very cool. I’d love to hear the Mini Maize’s story.

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  1. […] Biology Fortified (BFI) is launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to fund the creation of 500 copies of their blog mascot, Frank N. Foode™.  Frank N. Foode™, an adorable plush GM corn, was first handcrafted in 2009 by Karl Haro von Mogel to remind us of the important role that agriculture plays in our everyday lives. […]

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