A while back, I wrote about CSAs-Community Supported Agriculture. 3-letter acronyms seem to be all the rage. This, however is something good in the food world. But there is a new acronym that is not so hot and is giving folks pause. GMOs. Have you heard of these? Genetically Modified Organisms. You might be noticing it on more food labels or on produce…what IS this? Man, it never ends. First trans fats, then high fructose corn syrups, then crazy, man-made sugars, now GMOs. We are officially the generation of Label Policing. This is our newest headache. Headache in that we have to constantly be reading tiny, tiny print and decifering words ending in “-ose” and other dietary ridiculousness. I always laugh (a sort of sad, bitter laugh though) when a company goes out of it’s way to advertise that it now has “No High Fructose Corn Syrup!” or something like that. Well, give them a big ol’ gold star! Funny, you have now proven that you don’t HAVE to put that junk in our food and NOW you want to get a pat on the back for taking it out when it shouldn’t have been in there in the first place. The world is officially going bananas. If our great-grandparents could stroll our food stores now, they probably wouldn’t understand half of what they were seeing. Grocery shopping is an adventure these days. And an adventure akin to white water rapids.
Back to GMOs. Genetically Modified Organisms. What are they? The short answer is that some Big Guys are tinkering with our seeds. GMOs are plants that have been “modified” to withstand massive doses of herbicides out in the fields. They also have a bizarre ability to produce their own pesticides. Excuse me? I don’t even understand how that is possible, but it is. These plants are super-repellent in every way that a plant can be repellent. Both of those characteristics mean more pesticides in our food and ultimately in our bodies. Then there’s that little thing called OUR PLANET and what this junk will do to it in short order. GMOs appear in 70-80% of packaged goods at the moment and they have been on the market for about two decades. Strangely enough, they have never been proven safe for humans. Quite the thing to not test, eh? And why is it AGAIN that these things are banned in other countries and not ours? Oh boy, yet another thing in the food store to be “aware” of. Can someone please just hand me a real tomato that wasn’t modified or shipped from across the globe or covered in pesticides? This all makes me tired.
A few points to be aware of (courtesy of the Institute for Responsible Technology) regarding GMOs:
-They harm the environment. Well, duh. We need to keep creating things that don’t, not “do”. Between 1996 and 2008, US Farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicides on GMO crops. Yikes.
-The increased use of herbicides on GMOs is unhealthy for us. On our crops=in us. ‘Nuff said.
-Genetic Engineering creates dangerous environmental side effects. New toxins, allergens and nutritional deficiencies can be created. Thanks, but no.
-GMOs are banned in many other countries, including all of the EU countries. Those countries do not regard then as being safe for human consumption and for the environment. Why should we?
-Animals, water supplies, soil will suffer massively if this increased pesticide usage surrounding GMOs continues
The hot topic at the moment is just to start mandatory labeling of these food items. At least let the consumer know they are present and then they can decide how they feel about them. And you know, you always have a voice, no matter how big the issue. Remember all the hooplah about the GM bovine growth hormone? No one had even heard about it or knew it was being used and then it hit the mainstream. Now, you can’t go to the milk section without seeing a “NO Bovine Growth Hormone” label any more and that’s a good thing. See, our wallets and choices can speak volumes. The GMO debate continues (as they all do) but education is always a good thing. So, some un-modified food for thought for you today.
For starters, you can go to: www.righttoknowct.org