Our processed food supply and GMO labeling

Hello everyone:

I am a firm believer that our bodies know how to process foods in their natural state.  This is due to many years (generations) of learning.  When we have to process a new “chemical” or “species,” the body has to figure out what to do with it and how it affects the rest of our system.

The big problem with our food supply is that we have no idea of how much “processing” goes on between farm and store anymore.  We have always processed our food; this is an activity that is uniquely human. We chop, soak, cook and ferment our food, as well as grind and dry; these are all types of processing.

Farmers and artisans, bread makers, cheese makers, distillers, and so forth, processed the raw ingredients into delicious foods that retained their nutritional content over many months or years.  Unfortunately, in modern times, we have substituted local artisanal processing with factory and industrial processing, which actually diminishes the quality of the food, rather than making it more nutritious and digestible. Industrial processing depends upon sugar, white flour, processed and hydrogenated oils, synthetic food additives and vitamins, heat treatment and the extrusion of grains.  Why does almost every food product contain added salt, sugar, and “additives” in one form or another?  We’ve tricked ourselves into believing those seldom-mentioned additives or long lists of synthetic chemicals make food taste better – but more on this later.  I want to touch on another food related-topic that’s gotten a lot of press lately (thankfully), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.  This is done to usually gain a higher crop yield or to make the crop resistant to pesticides like Roundup.  This way farmers can spray their crop with Roundup or other weed killers and not harm the crop – or so food companies say. Many times the crop is modified with a bacterium which, once embedded within a plant’s DNA, cannot simply be washed off. Do we really want our food soaked in poison, or genetically altered so deeply as to not be listed on the ingredients – but altered just the same?

There are four major crops that are currently genetically modified to a high degree: Soy, Corn, Canola (oil), and Sugar Beets.  Canola oil is derived from a genetically altered Rapeseed plant which, in its natural state, is poisonous.  And manufacturers had to label it Canola (Canadian Oil) because consumers would not purchase Rapeseed oil.

Yet as a growing population demands more and more food, food producers are grafting and altering the genes of more than just the four above crops. The future of orange crops are now at risk, and “pig genes” may be considered part of the solution. This is due in part to stave off Asian jumping lice and the bacteria that they carry, which has been devastating Florida’s orange crop since 2005. It has been determined by University of Florida agricultural analysts that the Asian bug and bacteria has cost Florida $4.5 billion and 8,000 jobs between 2006 and 2012.  But is this justification for genetically altering the makeup of the Orange?  And will they label the product to inform vegetarians?

To be fair, there are many benefits to genetic engineering (it was once my Major in collage). I would just like to know if the food I am purchasing is genetically altered and with what, and just how “processed” it is.  The problem today is that the manufacturers don’t want us to know because we may not purchase their product, leading to their making less money.  And let’s face it, everything today is about money. More on this later.  That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Bill

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