Information for newbies about GMOs

My all-in pursuit of health and longevity through plant-based nutrition has caused me to do more reading about genetically modified foods, known as GMOs (genetically modified organisms).  I confess to being a neophyte in agricultural research.  And, I would guess that many people who are leery of GMO foods are skeptical because it is an unknown, rather than being aware of the growing heap of data that shows GMOs to be harmful to the food supply, the environment, and ultimately, human health.

gmoThis paper, cited below, from the Non-GMO project, written in July of 2015, draws attention to the failings of GMO products and describes some of the realities, rather than the panaceas that GMOs, purportedly, can create.

The paper is informative, quite detailed, and resourced with 163 listed references that can also be tapped for further research for those who want to plunge more deeply into the subject.

This quote, reason #10 on the list, is, perhaps, the barest of the conclusions, revealing what all of the fuss is about:

10. GM CROPS ARE NOT ABOUT FEEDING THE WORLD BUT ABOUT PATENTED OWNERSHIP OF THE FOOD SUPPLY

via 10 Reasons We Don’t Need GM Foods ‹ Naked Food Magazine.

This is why GMOs, as well as food policy in general, are issues that should concern all people who eat, which pretty much means “everyone”, right?

Here is an informative FAQ on GMOs and the Non-GMO project,

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Early garden pics

It’s early yet, but after some fits and starts to the Texas growing season, we are getting some weather that is warm enough to see some plant growth.   Here are a few pictures from my backyard garden.

Local farmers markets…challenging our assumptions

highlight03It’s that time of year when local farmers markets are abundant in good home-grown produce, but it is important that veggie and fruit buyers beware of our own assumptions about what we are buying.

Five assumptions about farmers markets:

  1. Just because everything looks fresh and green doesn’t mean it is.  Be aware of the growing seasons in your area, and if you see some items that are not “in season”, you can ask questions about how fresh the produce is and whether or not it has been in food storage for awhile.
  2. The produce is not necessarily free of pesticides and herbicides.  It may look great and healthy, but if you want to be careful about ingesting poisons, do not let your guard down just because you aren’t at your local supermarket.  Ask questions!
  3. If buying organic is important to you, don’t assume that an open-air, seasonal farmers market is naturally organic.  Be aware that genetically-modified foods and chemically-fertilized produce is abundant at farmers markets, just like they are at your local grocer.  Again, ask questions!
  4. If buying “locally grown” is important to you, farmers markets do not necessarily promise this.  Many market vendors, in order to make a living, supplement their produce offerings with items that are grown elsewhere in order to offer a variety.  In the Dallas area, for example, many local farmers markets have products that come from 500 or 600 miles away in the Rio Grande Valley.  This is not to say we shouldn’t buy the products; it simply means that the products are not necessarily grown locally.   Nothing wrong with this, but it might be important to some shoppers to know.
  5. Many of the vendors at farmers markets are brokers, not the farmers themselves.  One of the good things about buying from local farmers markets is that you are at least one purchasing level closer to the people who grow the food.  However, many of the market vendors are broker-dealers and may not have much knowledge about how the food was grown and harvested.

When this season rolls around every year, I love my Saturday morning shopping trips to the local farmers markets.  But, through the years I have discovered that I am not always getting what I think I’m getting.  It’s not that I’ve been lied to or deceived.  Rather, it’s that I have brought along a load of naivete about the way the food and distribution system works.  Knowing this, I have become much more realistic about my expectations at these markets, and because I am better informed than before, I feel much better about the purchasing decisions I’ve made.  To better health!

Startling stats about the world’s changing food system | FRANK ABOUT FOOD

Link — Startling stats about the world’s changing food system | FRANK ABOUT FOOD.

The sustainability of the world’s food supply is in great peril due to the high consumption of animals.  Looked at from the viewpoint of agricultural efficiency, the math doesn’t add up.  When grain conversions to meat are 7:1 for beef, 3:1 for pork, and 2:1 for chicken, the production of grains must be increased rapidly and with a high degree of consistency.  With agricultural lands disappearing due to climate change, soil erosion and destruction through herbicides, the pace of production cannot be sustained, forcing producers to increase the use of chemicals and genetically modified foods to feed the world.

At the bottom of it all is an insatiable hunger for the flesh of living creatures.  Because of it, we are eating ourselves into an early grave and condemning the world to the same fate in the near future generations.  It is utter madness!