Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Leave a comment

On the Fence about GMO Foods?

If you are confused about all the talk on GMO foods, Dr. David Katz presents the best advice to the consumer I have read about this ongoing debate. The article provides some good news about new forms of soybean oil found in so many processed foods. It is about time we see some healthier benefits of genetic engineering instead of just for the purpose of promoting the sale of Roundup (glyphosate) by Monsanto.

I am  more concerned about the presence of glyphosate in our food due to the increased use of it not only on food crops but other applications in our environment. Is it carcinogenic ? – there is no definitive answer yet.


Leave a comment

The Real Side of Monsanto?

Monsanto is often accused of being a monster company when it comes to production of pesticides. The following articles tell both sides of the controversy surrounding this company. Interesting! What can we believe about their actual agenda?





Leave a comment

Monsanto and Politics – The DARK Act

What will be the next move by Monsanto and its allies to put through the legislature the DARK Act – a bill designed to prevent states from allowing labels to state whether a food contains GMO?  Based on a recent ABC News poll, barely more than a third of the public believes that genetically modified foods are safe to eat.  More specifically, 52 percent believe that foods containing GMO ingredients are unsafe; 13 percent are unsure about them.  The poll was conducted by telephone among a random national sample of 1024 adults with a 3-point margin of error.  This debate has continued between the organic food industry and the agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology industry (primarily Monsanto) since genetic modification development in the 1980’s.

In my opinion, I would favor on the side of labeling even though it is said by many health organizations that they are safe to eat.  However, there are other concerns about the safety of the environment and fear of the unknown (some people feared the microwave oven when it was introduced). Labeling foods that contain them would alleviate this problem and allow consumers to choose the foods they eat.  In not doing so, Monsanto is contributing to the doubt about the safety – what are they hiding?  Why aren’t the safety studies they have conducted not made more available to those of us who seek more assurances? There is so much bias on both sides of the arguments which makes it nearly impossible to form any independent conclusions.


For more on the DARK Act, CLICK HERE.

Leave a comment

Breeding the Nutrition and Taste Out of Our Food?

Carrots of many colors.

Carrots of many colors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to an article in the New York Times by Jo Robinson, selective breeding of food crops is certainly not a new phenomenon.  According to her, the stripping of nutrients and in particular phytonutrients has been going on since the Agricultural Revolution began 10,000 years ago.  The article gives us  three examples, a wild dandelion, a purple potato, and a species of apple all of which contained many times more phytonutrients than their present counterparts.

This occurred because our ancestors using selective breeding techniques chose variants that were less bitter than others.  The problem is that most of the beneficial phytonutrients have sour or bitter characteristics. Also a preference for salt, sugar and fat was favored over those fruits and vegetables higher in fiber.

So crossbreeding began with taste preferences.  Most varieties were selected for flavor predominantly a sweeter taste.  But after reading Tomatoland, genetic crossbreeding techniques were primarily to satisfy the grower’s profit needs leaving the tomato a tasteless, bland nutrition-less fruit.

This makes one wonder what the effect of modern genetically modified food techniques will do to the nutrients and the taste found in our present varieties of grains, fruits and vegetables and future foods under consideration.  Some research shows that GMOs produce “massive changes in the natural functioning of (a) plant’s DNA.   Native genes can be mutated, deleted, or permanently turned off or on.  The inserted gene can become shortened, fragmented, inverted or multiplied that may alter nearby genes.  In the quest for a desirable trait, the protein it produces may change the original characteristics to a less desirable or less healthy trait.

Presently (with few exceptions), GMO foods have been promoted by the huge chemical companies of Monsanto or Dow Chemical to increase yields and profits from patents, and not to enhance the taste or nutritional characteristics.

Have any of these characteristics been tested?  Most research on GMO foods is limited and controlled by the very industries that profit from them. Has flavor or nutrition been affected – no one knows?


Enhanced by Zemanta