Eating Local & Organic » GMOs Food News and The Kitchen Sink Thu, 08 Aug 2013 16:28:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Perdue’s Better Chicken Mon, 22 Jul 2013 22:37:04 +0000 Laura A couple of years ago Perdue announced they were embarking on a campaign to change people’s perception of their chicken using the slogan “We believe in a better chicken.”

“We know that today’s consumers are interested in learning more about the food they eat. They want to know how the chicken was raised and what it was fed,” said Jim Perdue, Chairman of Perdue Farms. “At Perdue, we are proud of associates, our practices for raising chickens and our products, and we want consumers to learn more about us.”

Their commercial describes how their chicken is better because it has no added hormones, steroids, blood or bone meal–I couldn’t even imagine why any farmer would ever feed their chickens blood or bone meal. The main premise of the commercial is to tell us their chickens are fed a good, vegetarian diet because:

We believe you are what you eat–eats

So what does this awesome vegetarian diet consist of you ask? Why they eat marigolds, soy beans and corn, of course. How wholesome and nutritious–oops, they forgot to mention that the soy beans and corn are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

When Perdue says they believe you are what you eat–eats, they’re saying you’re a GMO too.

Nice try, Perdue, but we’re not falling for it. Maybe it’s time for you to make some real and honest changes to the contracts you use with chicken farmers. For starters:

  • let the chickens range free–in a pasture!
  • let the chickens eat bugs
  • no more GMO in their food
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Former Biotech Engineer Speaks About Dangers of GMO Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:38:25 +0000 Laura Thierry Vrain, a former advocate of chemical-based agriculture and genetic engineering, has evolved into a supporter of organic farming and anti-GMO proponent. When asked what led to the change from pro-GMO to anti-GMO, Vrain explained:

thierry vrain

Photo: Thierry Vrain/Facebook.

Research scientists from the US Food & Drug Administration made it clear in the early 1990s that there could be indirect effects from eating GM crops, such as toxins, allergens, and nutritional deficiencies. Those warnings were ignored. Now a good number of publications are confirming the predictions of the FDA scientists.

Unintended Consequences of Genetic Engineering

In an interview for The Organic & NON-GMO Report, writer Ken Roseboro asks Vrain to elaborate on his statement that the science behind genetic engineering is based on a misunderstanding.

When we started with genetic engineering in the 1980s, the science was based on the theory that one gene produces one protein. But we now know, since the human genome project, that a gene can create more than one protein. The insertion of genes in the genome through genetic engineering interrupts the coding sequence of the DNA, creating truncated, rogue proteins, which can cause unintended effects. It’s an invasive technology.

Biotech companies ignore these rogue proteins; they say they are background noise. But we should pay attention to them. It must be verified that they produce no negative effects.

A key point is that the concern about genetic engineering should be about the proteins. Many plants and animals are not edible because their proteins are toxic or poisonous. To test for the safety of Bt crops, scientists have mostly fed the pure protein to rats, and there may be no problem. But it’s different if you feed rats the whole GM plant because they are getting these rogue proteins that could cause harm.

How do you explain published papers describing how rats and mice suffer organ damage from eating GM corn or soy? It’s too easy to dismiss those as pseudoscience. Rats and mice are the canary in the mine, and we should be paying attention to what happens to them.

Roseboro also asked him to talk about how he came to favor organic farming over conventional agriculture.

I used to be a soil biologist and focused on fertilizers and pesticides. When I retired I started to look around and, quite frankly, the organic side of soil biology made more sense than what I had taught.

Industrial agriculture relies on inputs that are good for the chemical industry. Unfortunately, we have evidence that inputs are degrading soil biodiversity. Industrial agriculture completely ignores the ecology of the soil.

When I was a soil biologist I would look at the biodiversity of the soil. I would see a big difference between industrial farms and organic farms, which had far more species of soil microfauna, microscopic “animals” and nematodes, what I call biodiversity.

Read more of this fascinating article here.

The biggest take-away for us from Vrain’s comments is that if you feel like you can’t trust these large, profit-driven corporations when they tell you something is safe, you’d be right. The idea that something that’s not well understood nor properly studied (rogue proteins) is inconsequential is not something I want to leave up to them to decide. Especially when it’s meant for our grocery store shelves.

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What Is GMO? Sat, 18 May 2013 13:49:31 +0000 editors Are you one of those people that thinks that without GMO food we would have worms in our tomatoes and tomato paste? Does your friend or loved one think this way? Well, we’re going to shed some light on this subject and explain just what GMO is and how it’s made–or should we say engineered.

Genetically Modified Organisms and How They Got That Way

This is an excellent video from Media Roots that tells you everything you need to know about what a GMO is and how it got that way. To explain this let’s talk about a tomato. In a nutshell what happens is a virus “promoter” gene, usually the Cauliflower Mosaic virus which causes tumors on plants (nice, huh?), is used to get a modified gene (soil bacteria + e. coli) into the cells of the tomato plant. Voila! Now the tomato is a Genetically Modified Organism and the process of creating the modified gene and getting it into the plant is called Genetic Engineering.

The idea behind GMOs was to modify plants so you could grow them out of season (winter) and in locations where they wouldn’t normally grow (desert). While those intentions sound good the problem is that these bacteria and virus DNA don’t just pass through human beings. The foreign DNA ends up inside the good bacteria in our gut that’s responsible for digestion.

Watch the Future of Food documentary if you’d like to know more about how genetically engineered food has found its way into our grocery stores and on our tables.

The full documentary is available here.

And just released,  May 2013, is a new smartphone app called Buycott that gives you the ability to boycott a food if it’s company or parent company(s) have donated more than $150,000 to block GMO labeling legislation. Read more about Buycott here.

Share this with your family and friends so they’ll be better informed about what GMOs are, how they’re made, and how they can make better product choices with Buycott!


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A Documentary About Genetically Modified Foods In America Wed, 17 Apr 2013 23:34:37 +0000 Laura Genetic Roulette is a film from The Institute for Responsible Technology that talks about how genetically engineered food came to be. How we as a society have been affected by it. How health conditions have been on the rise ever since its introduction into the food supply in 1996. But there is hope as the doctors and scientists in the film tell us–the effects of GMOs can be reversed. And we can create the change we want and get food manufacturers to respond to by getting rid of the GMOs in their products.

What is a GMO and How Did it Get Here?

The film starts out by describing what a GMO is and how it’s created, what it does to our bodies and our health. Watch the trailer or go to Genetic Roulette Movie and view it with a donation of $2.99. Who knows? You might even get involved with other like-minded people in your area!

And the best part is at the end when the speakers in the documentary talk about how we can be a force to reckon with by not buying products that have GMOs–manufacturers will respond when their bottom line is affected.

Since there is no still no requirement to label products that have GMOs, or their derivatives, the best way for you to avoid eating them is to use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. It also includes the derivatives of GM ingredients such as aspartame and modified food start. And they have an iPhone app that you can use to help you make food decisions while you’re shopping.

The three things that you can do to avoid eating GMOs are:

  1. Buy Organic–certified Organic
  2. Avoid soybeans, canola, cottonseed, corn, and sugar from sugar beets
  3. Buy products from manufacturers listed in the Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Although it might seem like you’re stepping through a mine field trying to find products that are GMO-free, take heart. As more and more companies join in with the Non-GMO Project and commit to making products that are free of genetically engineered ingredients, it will get easier. Remember what it was like for people needing gluten-free products? At first there was almost nothing and now major companies are catering to that market demand.

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Know Your GMO Supporters! Fri, 12 Apr 2013 22:31:49 +0000 Laura You might think the most important takeaway from this infographic from Cornucopia Institute is how the supporters of the California’s Prop 37 were outspent by a margin of 5 to 1–a whopping $37,000,000 difference. But take a closer look at those companies in the GMO Corporate Charlatan column. You might see some brands that you like and never would have thought they would be part of the list of corporations fighting against GMO labeling. If they’re convinced that GMOs are safe, why in the world wouldn’t they want us to know they’re in our food?

Prop 37: your right to know

Cornucopia Institute. Prop 37: Your right to know.

But hooray for the Prop 37 heroes! So if you feel so inclined vote with your dollars and support them. If you want to get involved check out Food Democracy Now’s campaign to label GMOs.

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