The Organic Movement and our right to know what we’re eating!

Happy Friday,

I must say that I am really excited to see the expansive nature of the “Organic Movement” (for lack of a better term).  Many years ago we scoffed at “the Co-opp” labeling the people who shopped there as “hippies.” Maybe because it was a familiar feeling.  But now more and more of us are realizing that there is more to this “Organic Movement” that previously thought.

Let’s see if we understand this; Organic means the food is grown without being genetically modified (more on this later in the rant), it has been grown without any pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics, or non-natural processes… in other words healthy?

Being a trained Chef and having cooked all my life it is my firm belief that our bodies are designed to digest and process foods that are made naturally.  They have been conditioned to do so for centuries. When you introduce a foreign substance (GMO foods. processed and chemically altered) the body has to stop, and figure out how to process and what to do with the new substance.  The only way around this is to either grow your own or eat organically grown meat and produce.

The problem with this is that it is more expensive.  Why is that you ask?  Well if you really think about it, if we hadn’t processed our food so the producing companies could make more money we wouldn’t be in this predicament.  I’ve stated this before, that everything in our society if you think about it revolved around two things; Money and power.  The more money you have the more power you get and vice versa.  The food companies live by this principal.  It’s all about making a product faster, easier, and cheaper.  That way they make more money.  Now there’s nothing wrong with this principal as long as it does no harm to anyone.

Way back when…  I was a college student at UC Davis majoring in Genetic Engineering before there was a Genetic Engineering major.  I had to go to the Dean and write my own.  But I digress…  I point this out because part of the reason I changed my major was that I would have dreams of curing Cancer, and at the same time creating blond-haired blue-eyed babies.  You see there is a Ying and Yang or balance to everything we do.  There are consequences to our actions.

I’m sure you’ve no doubt used a product called Crisco Shortening.  Crisco is a brand of shortening, which is basically making oil into a solid through hydrogenation, and was introduced in June 1911 by Procter & Gamble.  It was the first shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil.  Consumption of trans-fats through “partial” hydrogenation we have recently learned, increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of “bad cholesterol”) LDL, and lowering levels of the “good cholesterol” HDL.  The point of this is that back in 1911 this was not known and Crisco pretty much replaced Butter and Lard (natural Pork Fat) as the “safe” alternative.  Crisco is now made without Trans-Fat.

Here’s the problem with genetically altered plants.  They alter them so they will be resistant to pesticides and herbicides or poisons that kill weeds and insects.  When a plant is resistant you spray or soak the plant with Roundup or multiple pesticides and herbicides.  But you can’t wash off what gets into the plant or the poison that was injected into the plant to make it resistant in the first place.

You’ve no doubt heard of the company Monsanto.  Well they are pretty much at the center of all of this mess.  They have been altering the DNA of many plants and substances for many years. They are the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide labeled “Roundup” and In 2007 Roundup was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds.  The company also formerly manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone).

Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa is virtually guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to even organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup.

This past Saturday thousands took to streets across the world’s cities to protest the use of GMO products, with giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states.  Costco now has a whole section of the store devoted to Organic products.  If you’ve ever been in a Whole Foods Market you know it is an amazing place to shop and it’s getting busier every day as we realize how important it is to eat healthy.

Whole Foods has recognized consumers’ right to know about GMOs.  In March, Whole Foods Market set a deadline that all products in their US and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by 2018.

We have for far too long been denied basic information which would enable us to make safe, healthy food choices.  Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry have been deceiving consumers since they first conspired more than 20 years ago with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to falsely convince consumers that genetically modified foods are no different than foods that don’t contain organisms created by manipulating DNA in laboratories or by injecting seeds with bacteria and pesticides.

As was the case in California’s Proposition 37 campaign, biotech companies funneled cash into Washington to support the no on I-522 side of things.  Bayer Crop Science, DuPont, Dow, Grocery Manufactures Association and, of course, Monsanto, have all pitched in. Dow’s contribution of just $23,531 is at the low end of the spectrum, just a slight percentage of the $4,834,411 Monsanto has kicked in—the top donation.  To no surprise the measure was defeated.  Money and power wins again.

I think it will come down to this: Those with clean products will voluntarily label them and those with GMO processed ingredients will not.  That is the only way we will know.

I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Eat healthy!


Bill Bartok

One comment on “The Organic Movement and our right to know what we’re eating!

  1. klwizer says:

    Reblogged this on Genetic Engineering.

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