Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Bioengineered Foods Labeling?

Consumer attitude and marketing studies show that, given information about irradiation, half or more will choose irradiated foods. A minority object to irradiation and will never select it.

In a 1995-96 study, after seeing a 10 minute video describing irradiation, interest in buying irradiated foods among California and Indiana consumers increased from 57% to 82%.   Center for Consumer Research, June, 2017.

The same may be said about GMO.  Consumers will decide whether they accept or reject. With that said, there is a need for greater understanding  about the safety of both irradiation and bioengineering.  In the case of GMO, it is often difficult to separate the biases associated with both sides of the safety issues.

It will be interesting how shoppers will react to Bioengineered Foods labeling. Will it fuel the debate as to their safety or calm it down?



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What’s the Difference Between Organic and Conventional Food?

Organic basil

One of the most common debates among “foodies” is whether you should buy organically produced foods or just stick with conventionally produced food. In my opinion, there is not a whole lot of difference, and it becomes a personal choice when you know the facts.

Bottom Line: Both have their advantages and it is also important when reading about this topic that we recognize the bias promoted by both sides. This article appears to take an independent approach and  may help clear up some misinformation that is needed in order to make informed choices.

There are some concerns. Personally I always felt that organic is better for children due to the differences in pesticide use. Also, the recent debate about the widely used herbicide safety (e.g. Roundup containing glyphosate) gives rise to some other issues that have yet to be resolved. So with this in mind and until there is enough independent research, in my opinion, organic may have a slight positive edge on pesticide and environmental issues.  However, the important thing is to not fear fruits and vegetables but include them abundantly in your diet whether they are grown conventionally or organically. Both are a nutritious boost for your health.

However, It is blatantly apparent that there are many diverse opinions of the American grower and consumer on this highly controversial topic. Another important factor is often the higher cost of organically grown foods but based on all the facts, the choice is up to you.


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Glyphosate: Benefits and Concerns?

Problem: Little data, lots of confusion as to its safety.

Maybe if Monsanto would share their research, it would help to clarify since according to the following article, the results have not been made public.

Is it carcinogenic or not???? Would be nice to know the unbiased facts due to its wide use in all types of agriculture, including food crops. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the best known herbicide, Roundup.



CLICK HERE. for more information about safety

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GMO 2.0?


It doesn’t look like genetically modified foods will be leaving us soon – on the contrary, more of them are in our future. Labeling proposals abound and regulations are currently a hot topic in the many diet debates. To date, many consumers are beginning to want more information about the foods we eat and are expressing more concerns about our food choices in the supermarket. In my opinion, that choice should be up to the consumer and should include as much information about that particular food product as possible.

A lot of newly proposed changes in our food culture will ultimately determine the makekup of our future food supply. The article states that USDA consumer comments are open until October 23, but COMMENTS are closed since the article was published in Sept. 2016.


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Have a Food Allergy? Food for Thought?

Ever since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, have we had so much food adulteration occurring in our food supply.  Here is the current problem:

  • Food allergies are on the rise that began about 2007. Many allergic reactions can cause a serious health crisis (i.e. anaphylaxis) which can be fatal.
  • This anomaly occurs primarily in the U.S. and is less common in most other countries in the world.
  • Despite the widely known fact that correlation does not equal causation, research suggests a causative factor may be something in the U.S. environment (food supply).
  • The food supply currently has many new ingredients that did not exist in the past; some or one of these may be triggering subtle reactions of our immune system since its primary function is to recognize foreign proteins.
  • GMO ingredients are just one of these relatively recent additions and critics suggest a connection with allergic reactions.   Another possibility is that intentional food additives have been added without proper safety testing such as emulsifiers, artificial colors or flavors, for example. One unintentional additive includes the explosive use of glyphosate on food crops, and is a widely used herbicide. The World Health Organization suggests it may be carcinogenic although this has not yet been officially established.
  • Food allergies are contributing to burgeoning health care costs as well as affecting our health, especially our children.

What can we do?  Recent surveys indicate that consumers want GMO labeling and have expressed a growing interest in fewer ingredients and more organic choices. The problem is enhanced by the fact that some of these ingredients are controversial as to their toxicity potential. More clarification is certainly needed.


FYI: A proposal to label GMO foods was on the 2012 ballot in California and designated as Prop 37. By the way, the legislation did not pass.  For a previous post, CLICK HERE.

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Are You Ready For GE Fish?

GE Salmon (top)
Regular salmon (bottom)

Next year we may see genetically engineered fish (salmon) in our supermarkets. They may or may not be labeled. Bottom line: Taste and consumer acceptance will determine its acceptability.

Read how they are grown HERE.