The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Non-GMO Foods

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Non-GMO Foods

I contacted Bob's Red Mill this week to ask about their policy on selling Genetically Modified Foods (GMO). As you may know, Monsanto and other giants in the herbicide/seed/fertilizer industry have made a play to control the corn and soy markets. The have genetically modified for example, corn so that the worms that eat the corn will die after eating the roots or kernel.

It is estimated that 80% or more of the current corn crop is GMO. So it is highly likely that most of the food products made with a corn ingredient will contain this frankencorn. Understand that this is no longer corn. It looks like corn but it is not corn as our ancestors and their digestive systems evolved to consume. Yes, the blended feed made of corn and soy is also mostly GMO. Yep, the milk too.

Anyway, Bob's Red Mill tells me they have a policy of not sourcing any GMO foods. I will attach their response here.  I find it comforting that Bob's has taken this position and I plan on supporting them as much as possible. This GMO issue is a BIG DEAL. The state of California is about to pass a labeling law that will require a warning on the ingredients label if there are GMO ingredients. Everyone except the voters is trying to block this from passing. From what I hear, public support is around 80%, so it should pass. This will have an effect on every aspect of the commercial food business. I'm sure Kellogg's doesn't want to admit the Corn Flakes are made from genetically modified corn. And all that vegetable/corn oil, same thing. This is going to be a shock wave in America that will shake most food processors.

Those of us who enjoy real foods with identity-preserved DNA, and appreciate the value of Organic produce and grains should make a point of supporting companies that feel as we do.  This is a big issue. I suggest if you are concerned about your health and our food supply and want to learn more, Google GMO foods.

Eric

Hi Eric,

Thank you for your inquiry. Here at Bob’s Red Mill, we have made a commitment to purchase only non-GMO products. This means, that all of our products are made of ingredients that were grown from identity preserved, non-GMO seed. This will count only for commodities that are commercially altered: corn, soy, rice and flax (all other grains are still identity-preserved, non-GMO by nature and have not been genetically altered).

I will note that we do not guarantee the complete absence of genetic modification in our products because of wind drift, pollinators and our lack of testing equipment.

Best Regards,

 

Heather Johanesen

Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods

Customer Service

wally's picture
wally

I use a lot of Bob's Red Mill products, so this is useful info.  On the other hand (don't beat me up please) I acknowledge that I'm agnostic about GMOs because 1- I don't understand the science, and 2- we've been genetically modifying both plants and animals for as long as recorded history.

That said, the issue of GMOs is serious, and deserves a lot of scrutiny.  I grew up outrunning trucks spraying DDT and watched the consequences on the local flora and fauna and it wasn't pretty.

FYI- I contacted King Arthur Flour and received the same assurance - no GMO wheat is in their products.

Best,

Larry

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Larry. The GMO thing is complicated for sure and most people need to study a bit to really understand what has been done in the past with breeding and what is being done now. Today they are splicing species together like cellulose and squid to arrive at something unknown in nature. I figured we all buy and use cornmeal all the time. I'd rather not use a product that is unknown by my cell structure if I can avoid it.

Eric

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Not long ago there was a lively discussion on the BBGA listserv on GMO wheat, Eric.  It was reassuring to read the following comment, noted in a posting by Thom Leonard (baker and consultant to Heartland Mills):  "No GMO wheat is grown anywhere commercially"

Your concerns are valid, Eric, and I share them.

Relating to that same topic, Debra Wink posted the following links, which are both worth reading:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.2712/abstract

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/08/148227668/insect-experts-issue-urgent-warning-on-using-biotech-seeds?ft=1&f=1001

Also worth noting is that if a product is certified organic product, it is not GMO.

As I mentioned in another thread, both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are prohibiting the use of any GMOs in their house brands.  Good to keep in mind during your next shopping trip.

Finally, it was recently reported in an article in Prevention that:  

"In 2011, in one of the few human studies conducted so far, researchers at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital in Quebec tested the blood of 30 pregnant women and 39 nonpregnant women. They found traces of an insecticide present in the blood of 93% of the pregnant women and in 80% of umbilical cord blood. The most probable source, according to lead author Aziz Aris, PhD, is the genetically modified corn consumed as part of a normal diet in Canada, as it is in the United States. "

I invite Doc.Dough to read the following link concerning this study:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

suave's picture
suave

Lindy,

sadly, this picture rather precisely illustrates scientific level of discussion and quality of arguments in this thread.  And if you wonder, yes it is in 8-10 pm range.

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The link points to an abstract of a paper for which I do not have access to the full text form.

The abstract indicates that the researchers successfully detected the metabolic products of some herbicides and a BT toxin. No claim is made that any of them are hazardous, or that the levels detected are significant, only that the researchers were now equipped with the test capability to engage in research about exposure (not even health impacts).  If you are interested in data, check around to discover the NOEL for glyphosate (it is about as toxic as salt).

I take this as evidence supporting the perceptiveness and accuracy of the very excellent cartoon.

whoops's picture
whoops

So, I read through most of this thread, though some of the vitriol was a bit stomach turning. Of course, now, I have to jump in.

I am totally in favor of people being able to chose which things to believe and what not to believe, which includes what they choose to feed themselves and their families.

In able to make informed decisions, I think all things should be labeled for what they are. If there is NOTHING unsafe with genetically modified foods, why on earth should anyone be opposed to the package stating that? I mean, for those who choose to drink milk from cows who have not been treated with hormones, they have to see a little label on the package stating that scientists have found no evidence that hormones are harmful. Great. put that on the package with hormones, I'm thinking. If people choose to eat organic foods, let the labels reflect that.

I , myself, PREFER organic foods, but not so much that I will only buy organic. Some things I will only buy organic, other things, it depends on where I am what they have, and how much money is in my bank account.

As for the obesity epidemic, as someone who lost 100+ pounds after gastric bypass surgery ( and yeah, I am sure  you all have plenty of opinions about that too, but ya know, that is ok.)after MULTIPLE attempts of weight loss, both medically supervised and not so healthy ways, none of which resulted in any substantial weight loss, I will be willing to go out on a limb and say there is probably SOME part that is diet/lifestyle , and some part that is also physiological. Whether the physiological portion is a result of genetics or simply a way our bodies have managed to change due to the stress and wear and tear being morbidly obese places on them, I do not know, and frankly, I do not care. I will let those with tendencies to enjoy studies and math and statistics figure that part out.

I can not help but wonder, though, with the rise of auto-immune diseases, and some other disorders, such as autism, if . PERHAPS the exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and genetically modified foods did not play a part in that. Before You jump on me, I am not saying they did, but I am just saying that I do not know how one could ETHICALLY do a viable, repeatable scientific study to prove or disprove that, not on ANIMALS, but on humans.

So, in the mean time, I will try very hard to consume beef that comes from cows fed GRASSES, and not grains or animal products , preferably without pesticides and definitely without hormones or antibiotics ( I will not even go into my views n the over use of antibiotics and MDRO/super-infections) , and try to ensure that any other meats I eat come from animals that were only fed the types of foods they would eat in the wild. I will endeavor to bake all my own organic breads for my family , though I will not force them to eat my numerous hockey puck /brick/door stopper attempts at sour dough. I try to eat local and organic produce when it is available.

I think there is a big difference between   cross breeding several plant species or doing a little "survival of the fittest" and trying to grow crops from the seeds of the plant that was the most hardy, etc, and injecting bacteria or chemicals into DNA of any living plant meant for human consumption.

My father spent time in Viet Nam, and was exposed to agent orange ( they hand washed the metal barrels it came in, and then jury rigged showers from them, on top of actually dispersing them from the helicopters) and now has several conditions that the military has attributed to that  exposure, including diabetes and some odd skin growth/pustules that erupt from time to time, and receives disability payments for that now. Based on that fact (and I know, it is NOT a scientific one) I choose NOT to knowingly consume anything that has any of those chemicals in it.

 I also wonder why people choose to be so , well, judgemental when others have opposing views. What harm, really does it do to you, if I beleive Non GMO is better, or that organic is the only way to go, and you do not? Would you care so much if I said I prefer brownies to cookies? Or whole milk to skim? Or brown hair and mustaches to blonde hair and clean shaven? Really? Are you so insecure with your belief system that opposing views must be conquored so they do not contaminate your mind? How does my belief affect your right to believe as you choose? Are we simply unable to have spirited discussion in which we disagree without being mean spirited? There are so many things in life that have no cut and dried answer, and to ridicule someone who's beliefs are differing is just..well, petty .

I am now stepping off my soap box, and putting it away.

Thank you, Eric and Larry for finding out the above information. I appreciate it. For those of you who spout scientific studies, I just have a few words of caution- recall, please that there was a time when scientific theory that that the world was flat, and that the sun revolved around us. There was a more recent time when Eugenics was the most current and popular "proven" scientific theory, and the general public had no idea that Hitler based his movement on that Eugenics movement (oh, and lets not forget that Darwin and his family actually inspired the Eugenics movement) . I think was human kind learns more and more, the really intelligent ones realize how much we do NOT know, and perhaps will NEVER know...and that many studies are quickly disproved. Scientific theory is just that THEORY....hopefully non of us is arrogant enough to assume we know the whole truth about anything.  (okay, now I am REALLY off the soap box, and I have asked my dear hubby to destroy it. )

Happy bread baking, and thanks to all of you who have helped me in my efforts!

Sandy 

 

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Amen to all you said Sandy and my thanks to Eric for bringing the subject up. Jean

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Just to set the record straight, Roundup Ready seed is not corn.  It is a soybean variety.

Roundup Ready seed has nothing to do with insects that eat the resulting plants, it has only to do with the resistance of the soybean plant to the effects of  herbicide glyphosate.

I am under the impression that this board is for the thoughtful and considered discussion of topics bearing on bread, and I believe that the post and the poster are out of bounds in posting unresearched, untrue, inflamatory material that does not bear on any useful topic dealing with bread.

I respectfully request that the post be deleted.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

I know and respect many local farmers that plant GMO seed. You have a clear choice, you can buy GMO corn or you can buy corn that has been sprayed with chemical insecticides. Frankly I don't believe that Eric knows enough about the subject to discuss it intelligently.

I should think him concerned about putting NaCl and C12H22O11 in his bread. Those chemicals could be harmful.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I stand corrected dough.doc. I misspoke about the roundup ready. There are however many many GMO corn products, which was the point of my post. While I admit to not being a scientist, I read quite well. France and other European countries have been fighting GMO foods for some time. Even the reluctant FDA is expressing  concern about super bugs. The point of my post was that Bob's apparently thinks it is important to handle only Organic, Non GMO products. Many of us use these products every day. We bake bread with them. I understand this subject elicits strong responses from some people. I'm not trying to start a flame match here. I do believe that people should be able to make a conscious choice between a natural product and one that has been modified at the cellular level. You can disagree that it matters but, King Arthur, Bob's Whole Foods, Natural Outpost and most of the EU along with most of the vegetarians I suspect would argue differently

Eric

Crider's picture
Crider

That has been on the market since 1998 by Monsanto. Dow is attempting to get their own GMO corn, which is 2,4-D 'ready', approved for the marketplace. 2,4-D is one of the prime ingredients in Agent Orange. Bt GMO corn is mostly of the sweet corn variety and this is a plant that produces its own pesticide.

Keep informed, Doc.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Nobel Prize winners received their prize for genetic engineering of food stocks, especially rice, soy, wheat and corn that saved billions, yes billions of lives from starvation?  How many people have won the Nobel for opposing genetic engineering of food stocks or saved even one life from starvation by opposing GE?  OK.  Maybe billions of lives saved from starvation around the world is not the right measuring stick.  So what is the right measure?

Regardless, folks should be able to lead their lives free of GE or modified food if they have any reason for doing so and others should have access to them if they want.  That is the great thing about this country.  You can do what ever you want and speak your piece if it isn't against the law.  It's a topic that needs discussion.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I know a full belly is better than an empty one, but I'm not so sure 7 billion full bellies on a tiny planet is better than 3 billion ones.

Quantity vs. quality and all.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Are we confusing birth control with starvation?  I'm very sure that 3 billion people with full bellies living on this planet would be better for all of them and the Earth - there is no question about it.  It may be our only salvation.

Now that there are 4 billion more people than that who want to live rather than starve to death,  the question is, is it better to find a way to feed them or not?  Their bellies are not full in any event, nor will they be.  These people are barely surviving for the most part, at least that is my first hand experience.   Genetic engineering of food stocks to cope with the harsh  environment and better medicine has made this small improvement over starvation and disease possible and humanitarians the world over recognize this fact.

I think we all can agree that the pressure on this planet environmentally and much of what is wrong with it and the people living on it, is due to too many people trying to live on Earth.   A substantial amount of them struggle but are unable to provide for themselve while few others, not too few,  struggle to help keep them from starving as a result. 

You point out the real problem - too many people.  That is the problem today.  Without genetic engineering of food stocks many of these people would not be alive.  But its not a chicken or egg kind of question.  Genetic engineering of plant stocks was a response to a requirement for greater productivity and yield because of overpopulation pressures and 3rd world starvation just as much as it was for profits and low cost food everywhere else.  For once, everyone won, even though none of us won the war.  Turns out, the victory was only a very small battle in the scheme of things. 

That too is not the end of the story, but alas, this forum isn't the place for the telling of it and we have bread and pides to bake off soon.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or simplify the original post and get an expert in here.  Guest poster perhaps?

What has Round-Up herbicide have to do with corn borers?  Roundup is used to kill weeds preparing the field for planting.  Doesn't Roundup Ready mean seeds can be planted sooner after spraying?  Corn borers affect the blooming and ripening fruit many months later.  When I read the first paragraph,  some connections aren't right... 

Crider's picture
Crider

This means you can spray Roundup directly on the plant and it won't die. They even have Roundup Ready alfalfa which you can spray 5 days before harvest and then feed it to your horse. That's just nuts! I want to know if what I buy has been sprayed with Roundup because I don't want to eat Roundup and I don't want my pets to either.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Eric's makes an excellent point of eating non GMO foods.  Genetic modification and high level engineering may be producing more food like substances but food it is not.  That said, I strongly defend the right of anyone  who so desires to eat all of the Monsanto crops that they can consume.  Have mine too.........

Jeff

suave's picture
suave

Eric,  I think it is really unfortunate that you chose you know so little about.  I am not trying to offend you - it really is a very complicated topic that requires some rather specialized knowledge.  If you really want to discuss issues that most people can understand, realte to and should know about why don't write about the Farm Bill?

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It's always nice when customer service responds to a query, especially when they say what we want to hear.

If you carefully parse the response, however, you'll find LCA's (Law and Corporate Affairs') fingerprints all over it:

Thank you for your inquiry. Here at Bob’s Red Mill, we have made a commitment to purchase only non-GMO products. This means, that all of our products are made of ingredients that were grown from identity preserved, non-GMO seed. This will count only for commodities that are commercially altered: corn, soy, rice and flax (all other grains are still identity-preserved, non-GMO by nature and have not been genetically altered).

I will note that we do not guarantee the complete absence of genetic modification in our products because of wind drift, pollinators and our lack of testing equipment.

What's this means is (a) we buy it from someone; we don't make or grow it ourselves and (b) we don't test what we buy and (c) even if we did (and even if everyone in the supply chain is telling the truth (fat chance!)), there are ways (wind drift, pollinators) 'GMO' can infect 'non-GMO'.

In other words, (a) blame them, (b) we don't really know for sure and we're not going to spend the money to find out and (c) no point in bothering in the first place.

This is the classic LCA response: Tell the customer what they want to hear through a subtle shroud of legalese that amounts to "We are not responsible for damages if anything we say is not true, which it almost certainly is."

-

I'm not taking a stand on GMO, although omission works for me until (we) know more.

I do know that the free exchange of genetic material was de rigeur several hundred million years before eukaryotic cells evolved cell membranes to keep stuff out (and is still so today for many less-complex lifeforms.)

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

The same farmers I know that plant GMO corn and soybeans also feed that same product to their beef cattle and slaughter at least one of those animals each year for their own table.

These farmers and their families are healthy.

 The chemical pesticides that have been replaced by crops able to defend against insect damage have shut down several plants that manufactured those chemicals.

 If this were not good for the food production farmers would not pay 300 dollars for a forty pound bag of seeds. If the ear worms damage just ten percent of each ear then a farmer had wasted the cost of seed, plowing, planting, fertilizer and harvest for ten acres out of every one hundred acres. This is equal to us as bakers trowing one loaf out of every ten into the garbage when it come from the oven.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You state that as fact, one you can't possibly substantiate.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

They are friends and we discuss our health, the weather, crop prices, politics. I know each other's children. How much more can you know about another person and their families.

As for corn being 2-4-D ready it always has been . 2-4-D is a broad leaf weed killer and used on lawns. Corn is a grass species.

Agent Orange was 2-4-5-T and contained dioxin both of which are banned in the US.

Crider's picture
Crider

They call it Enlist Weed Control System. 

Crider's picture
Crider

Mostly at the urging of my wife after we watched The Future of Food. In fact, that's what led me to get involved with milling. We love Mexican food and couldn't find any non-GMO masa harina to make tortillas, so I found a source for organic whole corn, learned to make it myself. Then from the same place that sold the corn I got wheat berries and then bought a little flour mill. 

We don't do soybeans, canola or cottonseed oil, corn-based products unless they're explicity non-GMO. No sugar unless its from sugar cane. No high-fructose corn syrup, which I'll never eat again even if it is non-GMO! It sure cut back on our junk food supply! Kettle Chips are non-GMO junk food, though. Also, Trader Joes says they don't source GMOs in their branded food items.

I'm delighted that a ballot measure is coming to California mandating that GMOs be labeled. I think it will pass, but I'm sure there's going to be tens of millions of dollars thrown in the campaign by big ag. All I ask is that I be informed of what's in that food on the supermarket shelf. I suggest if anyone is interested they rent the DVD or watch The Future of Food on their computers at Hulu for free.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It is a really an off the wall topic for this forum, in general, and if it is not deleted it should, at the very  least, be moved to the "Off Topic forum.

I guess I am the 3rd to request some moderator intervention.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Eric kinda' got ahead of himself, but he apologized and others set things back on course.

There's plenty of pseudo-science herein but, let's face it, a lot of what we discuss here is pseudo-science.

GMO may not be 'affecting' wheat crops yet, but it's coming. Just ye wait!

(There are spots all over the country that are being ravaged by never before seen wheat virii, for example. I can anticipate the solution to that problem and it's got GMO written all over it).

(Dear virii, why can't you decimate the tobacco crop instead? Oh, you do? Well kindly be more vigilant virulent.)

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I concur.  I appreciate that folks with various positions have stayed civil in this discussion though and don't mind letting it play out if it can stay that way.

-Floyd

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I must say that I am fascinated by the raw emotion brought to the surface by the mention of genetically modified foods, chemically grown foods, conventional growing vs. organic growing and so on.  I would hardly consider this off topic when it comes to food production and specifically bread and baked goods.  I need not cite the subjects that have little or nothing to do with bread directly, but are nonetheless quite interesting as they relate to bread, many of those topics have been discussed here.   This topic has direct bearing on bread and the food we consume.   Eric brings up a very good issue here regarding food and health and I hope that we all learn something from his post and the subsequent comments.

Jeff

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

When I was a boy my brother remarked that the meat we had for supper was really tough. Dad responded with , "It is a lot toughter when there isn't any." I believe that starvation will kill long before GMO foods will harm us.

ananda's picture
ananda

Contraversial, I know, but there are other ways to feed the world successfully working with nature, rather than manipulating it.

Whilst I appreciate food security is an important part of the current debate in the world of food politics, it seems a bit farcical to suggest danger due to the threat of starvation.   Given the obesity epidemic afflicting both the US and UK and other rich nations, surely the problem is too much food, rather than not enough.   Although I do accept that much of the food available in abundance might not be everyone's idea of what they want to eat for the sake of their good health.

My comments above relate to what is happening on our home fronts here.   Analysis of food shortages elsewhere in the world is extremely complex, but I am not convinced that exporting our high input food production systems and our technological fixes will do anything in the long run to bring greater prosperity and well-being to the masses out there in the less well-off parts of the world.   What it does do is drive people from the land into cities....and greater urban poverty.   Why not concentrate on creating work for the masses on the land to allow them to feed themselves and hold down their own employment?   We have made a mess of this area ourselves over the last few centuries; why should we then be allowed to export the same ideas and inflict them on others, in the belief we are helping them?

"Feeding People Is Easy"...Colin Tudge.   It is easy, and it does not need to involve GMO.   It means more people having access to land to grow food in different and more imaginative ways.   That way, we cease to be beholden to the giant corporations in the future and we establish greater bio-diversity to cope with impending climate change.   They already hold more power than many governments; who wants that?   And please don't think I am being Malthusian here.   Tudge's arguement takes account of predicted population increases.   There will be close to 10 billion people on the earth in 2050; they can be fed..all of them, and without GMO.

Best wishes

Andy

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

This discussion has not yet shown a link between GMO foods and harm to human health. If those that would like to see the unempolyed return to work in agriculture would like a small reality check then planting just a small vegatable garden by manual labor and without importing from off site soil enhancers and fertilizer and without the use of pesticides will serve very well. Growing food is so labor intensive that in most areas of the world the net caloric gain is nil. Only when we bring in machines and non human labor can we produce more energy than we consume. The native people of upstate New York used the companion planting technique of corn, pole beans and winter  squash or pumpkins and according to a Cornell University study were able to produce 3 million calories per acre as compared to 1 million calories per acre with monoculture. However  planting, cultivating, pest and predator control and harvest was done with constant human presence involving all ages and genders. The diet was nutritious but offered small variety for the winters

ananda's picture
ananda

There is no inference that machinery should not form an intrinsic part of a smaller scale farming which addresses bio diversity rather than mono culture.   That is like suggesting an Artisan baker rejects the use of a dough mixer.   I don't.

I'm with Eric on the dangerous power the likes of Monsanto hold, and the damage that is and will continue to cause our food systems.   Long term it is not sustainable; it will all go pear-shaped.   Eric is right; nature will win!

Andy

suave's picture
suave

Andy, but of course it has been suggested!  I think just a month ago there has been a discussion here to that exact effect.  However, I agree - luddism is not entirely correct definition.  I think fundamentalism is far more appropriate.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great point Andy makes here. In my view, the starvation issue is a red herring so to speak. What is happening to the AG industry is nothing more than a massive power play, crafted to create a massive monopoly of the food chain. Monsanto was able, for the first time in history, to get a patent on a strain of seed they had genetically modified. This had never been allowed before in US Patent history. The position had always been that you can't get a protective patent on "Life". They finally found a judge to allow the first patent. Since that day, one after another gene modifications have been registered with DNA fingerprints so they can be identified. They "own" that life form. Monsanto sells a license to use that seed to farmers for what ever reason, drought resistance, resistance to worms etc. Most long time farmers develop seed stock of their own over a long time, encouraging good production, sharing with their neighbors. Monsanto sends out teams of collectors to take samples of crops for other reasons and "discovers" that the farmer has some percentage of their proprietary seed growing in his land. Maybe the wind blew the seed off a truck or some drifted across the road from a neighbor that had bought. It doesn't matter that the migration is incidental or unintended. The courts have said the crop belongs to Monsanto. Monsanto threatens to sue and put the farmer out of business unless he destroys the crop and seed stock he has developed over decades, and buys a license from Monsanto. The result of all this is complete control of the seed stock which is owned by a small number of giant corporations. The choice is, knuckle under or loose the family farm. Monsanto "Owns" the seed market in the USA at this time. Corn, Soy, Cotton, Wheat, Canola and on and on. Here is the product list.

It should be understood that control of the seed market also means control of the chemical market required to bring these plants to harvest. The genetic qualities of the seed tolerate certain herbicides (roundup) and increased fertilizer use. It's a nice little package of control that leaves the farmer having to scrape for a small margin of profit after all the expenses of this licensed seed.

It's bad enough that the USDA and FDA have allow this to happen. They are growing concerned about "Super bugs" that have cropped up in certain parts of the country. The "Mono culture crop" where thousands of acres all growing a single crop of the same seed variety has given nature a chance for adaptation to the Roundup challenge. Nature will always find a way to adapt to our technology. There are many examples of this in the anti biotic world. Bacteria and virus that can no longer be controlled with current medicine. This is the nightmare scenario for Monsanto and all of us. Nature will not be deprived, she will win this battle. Our defense against loosing the crops that feed the world to super bugs would be bio diversity, if we had any.

So yes, I'm concerned that we will not be able to feed the billions of people in the future. Not because we might be hindering the mega corporations that have captured the world food markets. Rather because they are messing with nature and pretending they know what the outcome will be.  Personally, I WANT to be able to bake breads for my family in the future. I want to trust the quality of the nutrients. If this thread makes you feel uncomfortable and anxious, I suggest becoming  educated in what is happening right now. We can't prevent big ag from ruining the worlds foods, but we can make sure there are a few independent, Organic Non-GMO farmers left when the dust settles.

Eric

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I couldn't agree more!

We have heard the same arguments of big corporations (and those who are paid by them) over and over again, whether it was about DDT, Contergan, cigarettes, antibiotics in farm animal food, BPA in plastic bottles, etc. "There is no scientific proof", "You (the critic) don't have enough knowledge", "Millions of people using it with no ill effect", and so on.

The "no ill effect" argument was also used to convince women that the "disease" menopause had to be cured with hormone replacement therapy - the long term effect being a higher risk of breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Our beloved governor Paul Le Page tried his best to obstruct a law banning Bisphenol A in baby bottles. Though this time he didn't invite critics to "Kiss my butt", as he did infamously with the ANC, but denigrated concerned consumers with: "Worst case is some women might grow a little beard" (thereby showing his ignorance about the effect BPA has on males).

What the long term effects are - especially those of a combination of those chemicals - often shows only when enough people get so sick that these facts cannot be suppressed or belittled any longer.

We were also told that nuclear power plants are perfectly safe.....

Karin

 

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Believe me, I appreciate your kind words. I recall the day I realized that no one other than myself and my close family cared about my health. That was back about 25 years or so. Our federal agencies, politicians and physicians all have some edge in the game, something to gain. That's a sad reality I'm afraid. If you want to get healthy and stay that way, you better start reading about natural health remedies. Don't take anything for granted.

Thanks again for weighing in on this.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

If your health care providers are deaf to your concerns about your diet, your medications, or your general health it is time to find new providers.  My blood sodium and potasium were both testing low and my doctor changed my BP meds and prescribed a banana and a glass of orange juice daily. I am soon to be 74 and have been going to the same doctors for 24 years. I continue to work full time and my weight has be stable at 164 for that entire period. Not all medication comes from the drug store.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

I grew up on a 35 acre farm in Connecticut during the '40s and'50s We kept a couple of cows and a couple of pigs, a hen house  and planted a vegatable garden and had an orchard. We put up loose hay and corn silage for winter feed for the cows. Our machinery consisted of a 12 horsepower John Deere tractor, a sickle bar for cutting hay, a corn planter, a plow, a disk harrow, a wagon for hauling hay. we had a Plant-it jr. hand pushed seed planter. Weed control was four boys and four hoes. Insect control was four boys and each with a can with a little used motor oil picking beattles, and worms and dropping them into the can. Aphids were simply crushed.

Dad worked full time as a machinist and mom was a full time home maker.

 We bought substantial amounts of food that we couldn't grow. It takes a patch of ground 200 feet square to grow 1200 pounds of wheat. That is as much land as in three average subdivision lots. There are 300 million people in this country. It takes a lot of wheat to make bread for them and it can't be economically grown in small patches.

JerryC's picture
JerryC

I don't believe that GMO plants produce more abundant crops thanorganically grown plants. I also don't believe the aim of genetically modifying plants is designed to help feed the masses. It is my belief that the geneticmodification of plants is designed to make them patentable, thus giving control over our food supply to a few corporations. It's all about profit, not people

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

explain just one Nobel winner, who was a plant geneticist, that developed many new crops of all kinds, not at all controlled or restricted by any corporation, that have now been introduced the world over, free of charge, and responsiblke for saving the lives of a billion people - according to  the Nobel granters?

Why do orgainic growers,  say that the reason their prices are higher, even though they don't spend money on pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers,  is because their yields are much, much less?

suave's picture
suave

And do you believe that the majority of organic food manufacturers are owned by Kraft, Conagra, etc...?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

feelings or contradict what some have said here but I have a totally different, but real experience to draw on when it comes to the starving poor.  I have seen it.  Pick a day any day and 30,000 people die of starvation on this planet, 85% of the under the age of 3 according to the people who count these things.  So those who might think there is little starvation might be living in the wrong places to see it and never travel to the places where it is the norm.  Even if these figures are exaggerated and they might be since we didn't count them (I'm pretty sure they are for humanitarian fund raising efforts), if even 2/3 of these deaths are a lie, 10,000 a day is big pile of bodies I don't want to see or bury.  If true, that would be be more than all the people who died in all wars over the last 100 years.  This grotesque number is much better today than ever before, by far better, what ever the right number is.

Believing that obesity in the UK and USA is because there is too much food instead of too little is like saying gluttony, slothfulness and lack of discipline do not exist.  I wonder how the 50% of people stayed thin in those countries buried under all that food?  Maybe they were avoiding carbs and not eating bread instead of eating healthier fruits and veggies and controlling portion size :-)

Those who say that GE has not made the yield of crops increase, by at least a factor of 3, are not basing view on fact but on feeling.  Those who say that GE hasn't made crops disease and bug resitant, tolerant to salt, tolerant to pesticides and fungicides, tolerant to heat, tolerant to less water, tolerant to more water, tolerant to cold and high elevation are just plain oh so wrong.  Those who think that GE hasn't made lands, previously incapable of growing any crop of any kind, abundant produce producers today - are wrong.  All of these thing have increased crop yields by 300% - minimum.

We already tried feeding the world without using GE .  Guess what?  We lost - horribly.  Starvation of the poor worldwide was much, much worse than it is today but back then there were only 4 billion on the planet - not 7 billion.  We don't need the failed wishful thinking of the best we could do in the past, hoping that without GE we can feed the poor.   We need to know we can feed them.

Those who think they can avoid GE better be vegans too since the majority of feed crops for animals are modified by GE to keep the price of meat affordable worldwide - for the middle class haves - not the have nots - they can't afford much meat. 

Almost the entire worldwide rice crop is GE so don't eat rice either - so much for that nice wild rice bread we made a couple of weeks ago, but the poor in Asia depend on cheap and abundant rice to survive - and they can due to GE. 

The haves of the world can afford to find a way to live anyway that suits them and they are welcome to it.  They can even make gourmet meals and bake artisan bread at home for fun and give it away to their friends and neighbors.    I say good for them.  But, the haves are 3 billion and the have nots are 4 billion.  The have nots cannot afford much of anything when they are starving.  Many times it is not a lack of food that is the problem but a lack of money.  They can't afford food at any price so they die in droves before they are 3 years old, if humanitarians don't feed them.  You take away 2/3rds of the rice crop in Asia by banning GE and there won't be enough money in much of the middle class haves pockets to buy buy rice for their paella either.  GE keeps food prices low.  Take it away and the food riots, world over, will just amaze the fatsos in the US and UK.  Just look what happens in the developing world every time their corrupt governments lowers or ends food subsidies - food riots.  Take away the food itself and see what happens.

Sad, that the haves, who can do anything they want food wise, don't see how important GE is to the poor of the world.  Why is that?  No vision, no empathy?  We hope not.  I'm just glad the Nobel Prize humanitarians do see it very clearly and that Monsanto can protect their intellectual property that they created and is wholly theirs, so the poor can at least eat some rice now and again - when we give it to them.   The poor and starvation in the world do exist and no amount ignoring that or wishing it away will change that fact even though GE  has at least put a finger in the leaking dike.  The pampered haves, and we are quite pampered when you see the poor, don't need all that much protecting when the the starving poor need so much.   Who was it that said the freedom and rights of the rich can only be guaranteed when they protect the freedom and rights of the poor?  You might check JFK's inaugural address?

I have no problem with folks wanting to make sure the food they want to eat is available to them.  Go for it.  In this country, the only one as far as I know,  one of our most treasured liberties is the pursuit of happiness so long as you don't harm anyone else in your pursuits.   I do have a problem with those who pursue a quest of inadvertantly trying to take food away from the helpless poor and starving.  Do no harm to others and hope they will not harm you - even though they still might because they hate you anyway and have no Utopian ideas of pursuing happiness.  But, I am an experienced humanitarian first and a practicing conservationist second.

I'm glad that we can discuss these complex and emotion packed problems in a civil way too.  That is how things get fixed without killing each other figuratively or literally.   Still, the have and have nots, the staving and fat, GE or no is not the worst of the problems we face - but we still have to face them. 

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

There is much hypebole in this discussion. No one thus far has demonstrated in any credable  way the alleged adverse effects of GE food. It is fed in very large quantity to livestock during their gestational periods with no observed adverse effect on the offspring. So someone who has an aversion to these products please explain what their concern is based upon.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

dabrownman, There have been many reports published by both sides of the GM issue concerning yield. I'm fairly certain that both sides are encouraging their numbers or the way they are examined for their own benefit. Your statements about GMO crops helping to save the lives of so many starving 3 year old's  due to the 300% increase in yields made me want to look at the facts. According to Monsanto, the yield increase of their Soy Bean crop is 7-11 percent. Look all the way down at the last paragraph. Results vary around the world and with each crop, but this is the crop they are most proud of.

Here is an example of the other side of the story. This video is made by a fellow who works for an agency that is doing the work you describe, trying to save the children. He paints a grim picture. He doesn't sound like a bald faced liar to me. What do you think?

It has been well established that we have an epidemic of obesity and Diabetes along with a long list of other auto immune diseases . Children now are being treated for Type 2 Diabetes. Our grade school children are obese. This is not the fault of sloth and gluttony. It isn't due to them eating to much and doing nothing in the second grade. It is WHAT they eat. The standard American diet is one of sugars, processed foods and grains for the most part. And that is why they are fat.

Eric

ananda's picture
ananda

Believing that obesity in the UK and USA is because there is too much food instead of too little is like saying gluttony, slothfulness and lack of discipline do not exist.

Hello dabrownman,

I am happy to disagree with everything that you write above.

As you are so dismissive of the idea of excessive food in the privileged world, I wonder if you might like to account for the millions of tonnes of food that are thrown out in our countries as waste?   How you can argue that we do not produce too much food for domestic consumption [which is the thrust of my arguement] is beyond me.

As to those who are starving, I just believe there are better ways to help these people to feed themselves.   We will agree to differ on this, although I insist you have no right to take the high ground here.   There are alternative ways to help in this area than those you espouse.   GMO food is a quick-fix; but it offers no long term solution to the problem of feeding people, sustainably.

Actually, those who reject the power of Monsanto have real vision and empathy; you just don't see it.

Sorry

Andy

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You are welcome to your opinion and I for one am not offended or dismissive of it or anyone.   I don't see any high ground to be taken in this discussion though.  I could care less if there was .  I just don't see it and don't care.  But, I can prove to you  that obesity has nothing to do with how much food is available and everything to do with the poor choices people make.

Take 10 of the largest pizzas you can bake in that fine oven of yours and put them on a table.  Sit yourself down at the table.  I personally love pizza  but 10 of your largest finest pizzas would be too much for me to eat.  But, you are not going to eat them.  We are going to see how much pizza jumps off the table all by itself, forces you to open your mouth and eat it.    I'm guessing you will be very thin, very soon but I'm not willing to wait :-)

People who eat too much by their own will, deed and accord, or eat to much but don't work out physically to mediate their calorie intake will get fat because they lack the discipline required to eat less or work out more.  It is really pretty simple.  Same thing with guns.  A gun is not going to jump off the table and shoot the next person that passes by but a person might pick it up and shoot the passerby for some really stupid reason.

People that eat too much or don't work it off are doing so for some stupid reason or another.  Same thing for people who buy too much food and it spoils before they can eat it, or freeze it, or give it away to the needy or feed the animals with it or any other number of things they could have done instead of throwing it away.  Consumer food waste happens when people do stupid things, not because there is too much of it.  It also drives me crazy when a restaurant puts too much food on a plate and the customer can't eat it all, chooses not to take it home to eat it later and it has to be thrown away.  Bad choices made by bad actors. 

When I operated food distribution centers all over the country, they knew if I found out one of them was throwing away food instead of freezing it, giving it to the food banks, giving it to farmers for their livestock feed ... they were toast.  If I caught a buyer buying too much of a perishable item and we didn't have a plan to move it to our customers before the code date expired, they expired.   No one was perfect.  We gave a million pounds of food to food banks every year but it wasn't ever thrown away.  At one time we couldn't even do that.  If we donated food and someone got sick we could and would be sued.  We were forced to toss it by the morons in government.   It took 5 years of arm twisting these yahoos in government before we could get the laws changed to hold the food donor harmless so we could donate food rather than toss it. 

Some people are weak and are totally undisciplined when it comes to food though.  If presented with 10 of your fine looking and smelling pizzas, some will try to eat as much as they possibly can, like there will be no food available to them for a week.  What they can't finish could possibly be thrown away and wasted if they ate too much and upchucked on the leftovers or they decided to toss it in the bin for whatever reason.

I don't know about you, but I'm guessing not a crumb of food gets wasted (not waisted) at your home - just like mine and I know that altus takes care of the stale bread.  Wasting food is just not allowed.  Producers will produce food if people keep buying it, even if it gets dumped.   Food producers will stop producing when they can no longer sell it just nlike in you business- you donlt make what doesnlt sell if you are a wise businessman.  The problem lies in the people who are buying the food and dumping it.  Bad choices made by bad people - its not the food's fault.

The USA has always produced way more food or every kind than we could ever possibly eat.  It made usn proud and was our calling.  At one time 80% of the world's corn and wheat were grown here not to mention all the other food stuffs the USA exported all over the world.  UK should produce as much food as they can use or export to those who want or need it.  What upsets you and me is when this production is wasted and thrown away by people for no good reason - and there is no good reasons.

UNESCO and US AID, the organizations I am familiar with, do exactly what you say.  They provide the seeds to poor farmers around the world and work with them to make sure they do what is necessary to produce as good a crop as possible so they can provide for themselves and others in their community.  It doesn't do any good to give them seeds that aren't modified to be salt tolerant when these farmers live on the coast or ones that aren't modified to be heat tolerant in Sudan, or cold tolerant in the mountains.  You have to give them what works, teach then how to make it work and show them it works even if you have to do it all yourself first.  But if you do, they may expect you to do it for them next time too.

If there are better ways to feed the starving, I for one, would love to hear them.  Seriously.  The folks we work with have listened and tried so many different ways over the years.   They don't care if some were horrible costly failures in the end.  I personnaly have been associated with a few of those failures.  We learned from them and hope not to repeat them.  We need all the help we can get.  Not just in food but in clean water supplies and disease prevention too.  These are the other two problems.  Years ago we couldn't even get fluoride in water in Senegal because the government thought we were trying to kill off the population they needed and wanted to exploit.

Man has been genetically modifying food stocks sustainably for at least 8,000 years that we know of and this will not stop as long as man can benefit from doing so in a sustainable way going forward.  No one has died or been injured all this time (or yet from a point of view) but people have been living longer and longer as a result.  This will not change.

As soon as they discover the secret to biological eternal life, it will immediately be genetically inserted into some food.   Everyone will want to have it - like an ipad but few will be able to afford its very high price.  But folks probably will be making the check put to Mosanto and not care one iota :-)

Thanks for listening and commenting Andy.

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello dabrownman,

Unfortunately, the problem only partially lies with the people who make bad choices.   The costs in the UK to the NHS to deal with resulting health problems is spiralling out of control.   There are huge costs to society and to taxpayers.

I am afraid I am not a "market economics" man.   It is quite simple to me.   Food producers who want to peddle the types of food associated with today's ill-health should be taxed on what they produce.   That way, the burden falls on the food producer, not just the individual who wants to buy it.   Then the food producers might start to wake up and produce different food.   They will be even more inclined to do so if there are government incentives to support more sustainable forms of agriculture.   That way organic food would start to be cheaper, and the likes of Kraft and Monsanto would have to compete on what I would see as a more level playing field.   As I said, I am not a laissez-faire market economist; that is too simplistic.   Beyond that we should not be producing more food than is needed in the first place, if all that is going to happen is that it is wasted, which millions of tonnes currently are.   Again this is a problem for society to deal with, and a very costly one too; but not one we can just ignore.

Regarding supporting agriculture abroad, yes, I am sure there is help to show farmers and to work with them to produce their own crops.   But don't you think they may know a little more about their own lands than we do?   They are not being given credit for this.   They grow using the seeds we give to them.   We need to analyse more closely the types of food that have been grown in  individual regions on both micro and macro scale.   Rather than creating mono cultures and encouraging the farming of small numbers of strains and types of crops, we need to grow greater varieties.   It is not about providing them with seed; it is about working with them with the seeds and methods they have used and developed and helping from the ground up.

I don't want to duck out of this, but, out of respect for Eric, perhaps we can agree that this part of the thread is far removed from his original post?   So I have no wish to add further comments here at this stage

Best wishes

Andy

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Anyone can get fat on any food if the consumed calories exceeds the required calories for maintaining life and labor. Fat people are fat because they eat too much FOOD!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sorry ssorllih, the science says otherwise. A diet of Twinkies and a diet of fish for example are processed by your system in entirely different ways. Can you guess which would make you fat? That's the old "A calorie is a calorie is a calorie" idea. That's an entirely different subject which I'm not going to entertain here.

Eric

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Hey Eric,

You took folks way off-topic by posting an anti-GMO thread here, it doesn't really seem fair for you to try to shut someone down just because they aren't falling into line.  

I'm very much not on your boat here and side much more with ssorllih and the "excessive caloric intake + sedentary lifestyle" causing most of the ailments that are being experienced in the developed world rather than good or bad food (whether it be GMO, processed, salt, gluten, HFCS, or whatever the latest dietary boogieman is).   Clearly people's body metabolize different foods differently though, so eat what makes you feel good and healthy and don't eat any particular thing in excess.  

Regarding GMOs: the only reason we've for the most part avoided mass starvation the last half a century is because of the judicious application of science and technology to the global food system.  I suspect Norman Borlaug was right that it will require the further application of science and technology -- including genetic modification -- to feed a planet or 8 or 9 or 10 billion people in a sustainable way.  That doesn't mean I'd give Monsanto a green light to do whatever they want, but I definitely can't get behind the "all-GMO is bad" movement either.  

Maybe a different food system that was more sustainable and only needed to feed 3 billion would have been better, but that isn't the world we live in.  I don't see anyone here volunteering themselves or their children to be in the billions that'd go hungry if we wiped out the last century of agricultural innovation and stopped looking for better ways to apply science and technology to improve nutrition, improve crop yields, and reduce the environment damage and footprint caused by current agricultural practices.  There are very real reasons for supporting science -- including genetic modification -- other than maximizing corporate profits.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Source. http://www.theawl.com/2012/06/our-billionaire-philanthropists

In the 1940s, The Rockefeller Foundation launched a drive to develop new high-yield crops in order to improve Mexican agricultural productivity. The subsequent explosion of food production in the developing world in the 1950s and afterward, known as the Green Revolution, is now a textbook illustration of the world-changing breakthroughs that philanthropy can achieve—and of the dangers it courts.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s original motives were not purely altruistic; there were strong geopolitical reasons for fomenting the Green Revolution. The leftist government of Mexico had nationalized Standard Oil’s assets at enormous cost to the firm in the late 1930s; when a far more business-friendly administration came into power in 1941, Rockefeller trustees and the American government were keen to prop it up by preventing increased hunger and unrest: Bread, at least, if not circuses.

Rockefeller Foundation researcher Norman Borlaug won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in this effort; he developed a high-yield dwarf variety of wheat that boosted production so much and so quickly that by 1956, Mexico had become self-sustaining in wheat.

"Self-sustaining," that is, insofar as domestically-grown crops were now sufficient for the country's requirements. But the skyrocketing need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides merely created a different kind of dependency on imports. "These nations became perilously dependent on foreign input suppliers for their food security," wrote Tom Philpott in Grist. Bumper crops caused prices to collapse, driving family farms out of business. Millions of Mexican farmers were driven out by Big Ag. Philpott: "Since the Mexican manufacturing economy has been nowhere near robust enough to absorb them, a huge portion of one-time Mexican farmers now wash our dishes and harvest our crops."

The immense social and environmental costs of the Mexican agricultural reforms went unmeasured. Western aid authorities exported the Green Revolution to India, with the same detrimental results: a permanent disruption or destruction of local villages and local agricultural practices; a dangerous loss of biodiversity; huge increases in pollution, particularly in tainted water [PPT]. Again, Green Revolution agricultural practices favored larger farmers, with the result that hundreds of thousands of small farmers were driven from the land, in India as in Mexico. The mass suicides among small farmers in the Punjab are widely thought to be directly attributable to these sweeping agricultural reforms. Measurable results, all right—only they measured "output," not the number of displaced small farmers or fishing ruined by toxic runoff.

These problems were evident well before 1971, when the Ford Foundation’s agricultural director, Lowell Hardin, gave a public speech warning that "the green revolution is exerting a destabilizing influence on traditional social and political institutions [...] Increased output is not necessarily associated with positive social change."

And note well that just having enough food doesn’t ensure that the world will be fed. As of 2011, 925 million people were still hungry, according to the World Hunger Organization. Thousands of children in poverty die of hunger in India every day. There is food enough in India to feed their whole population, but not the means of paying for it; the supply side of the equation has been solved, but the demand side has not. Or rather, it has been solved, but in an unintended fashion: Reuters reported last December that India had "sealed deals to export one million tonnes of corn to southeast Asia in the first two months of the season." Put another way: Export markets may come to trump domestic need.

Despite all these metrics, which researchers have collected for more than sixty years, the Gates Foundation has joined forces with Monsanto to bring Green Revolution agricultural practices to Africa. This time, though, the privately financed initiative is meeting with greater public resistance among a target population by now educated to its likely effects. As Mike Ludwig noted recently in Truthout, African opponents of the Gates initiative have latched onto a recent study by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science, Technology and Development, which found that despite its many productive successes, large-scale industrial agriculture "has caused environmental degradation and deforestation that disproportionately affects small farmers and poorer nations. … Massive irrigation projects now account for 70 percent of water withdrawal globally and approximately 1.6 billion people live in water-scarce basins."

There is also increasing evidence that sustainable farming practices that do not rely on patented Monsanto products can boost farming output without polluting the environment and without the social disruptions that have unsettled poor communities in India and Mexico. But Monsanto will presumably resist attempts to amend Green Revolution practices in favor of its own profit motive.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I hadn't seen that before nor connected it so far back. Sort of scary when you consider what has happen along the way. Thanks.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Eric, a person could starve to death on a small number of twinkies and I have never seen a skinny Inuit. Fish can be a rather high fat food if you get the right ones.  I could starve you to death an a diet of good vegatables and no fat. Potatoes and apples have about the same caloric value per pound but we eat potatoes with an abundance of high fat dressings. Apples served in a double crust pie of my making exceed 600 calories per 1/8 of a pie slice.

ananda's picture
ananda

True as this may be, how does this help us move forward to address the diabetes and obesity crisis?

Actually, Eric is right.   It is as much more about what foods those at risk are consuming as it is about eating too much.

You will not get fat from eating too much in the way of vegetables [potatoes and related excepted] and fruit, for example.   Or is this not classed as food?   We need to address nutritional content of food, rather than sheer calorific value if there is any hope of creating the concept of a healthy diet.

Andy

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

anyone who consumes more food than they can produce enough insulin to process is diabetic. It requires a certain caloric intake to maintain a pound of body weight.If you are 50 pounds overweight you must eat enough extra food to maintain that weight. If your correct wieght is 165  and your net caloric intake is enough to maintain a 215 pound body your stable weight will be 215 pounds if your pancreas produces enough insulin to process enough food to maintain a 165 pound body you are eating too much food. From apples to zuccinni they all contain calories. With a few exceptions food has calories. I have seen people consume a 1200 calorie chef's salad in a single sitting.

From the USDA to you: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/HG72/hg72_2002.pdf

ananda's picture
ananda

And what has this got to do with a healthy diet?   Some foods contain more than just calories; your arguement is too basic.   There is a lot more to this problem than you suggest

Andy

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

When a healthy well balanced diet includes more food than the body needs the body will gain weight.  The problem is basic, if you eat too much food, no matter how good it is for you, you will gain weight, if your pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the extra food you will be diabetic.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

produce plenty of insulin - no worries.  The problem is that their bodies no longer recognize it, accept it and cannot utilize it - even though injected insulin will work and their bodies accept it.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

This is an aspect that I didn't know. Thank you.

ananda's picture
ananda

Be relative:

how much is too much refined fat, sugar and flour?

how much is too much fruit and veg?

And I mean relative to calorific value

Andy

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

The food pyramid has long defined a proper ratio for a healthy diet. Even adhering to those guidelines you can still over eat.

G-man's picture
G-man

I've been avoiding getting involved in this thread like the plague, and I think I'll continue to stay out of the bigger discussion going on here. I do have an issue with this statement, however. You contradict yourself. If the food pyramid, as you say, defines a proper ratio for a healthy diet, by definition people should be able to follow it without over eating.

 

There is much more at work than simply calories and exercise. You're drastically oversimplifying the issue.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

History will show that the food pyramid was corporate propaganda successfully used by and for the monetary enrichment of the food industry (and, perhaps inadvertently-perhaps not, the health'care' industry).

2+ generations of morbidly obese (I would say Americans, but the boundary is now all of humanity) and the ramifications thereof will show that it did not define a proper ratio for a healthy diet–quite the contrary!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

How many Americans actually eat what is listed in the food pyramid?  And get at least an hour a day of vigorous physical exercise?  Very very few.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's always been the problem with the original food pyramid: the message.

Eat carbs until you burst.

That's what people have done for 2 generations and the result is plain to seen.

I wish one of the levels of the pyramid (preferably the bottom-most one) was exercise, but exercise doesn't sell.

G-man's picture
G-man

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/images/healthyeatingpyramidresize.jpg

The USDA might not care to include exercise, but Harvard has. There has been a bit of overall restructuring done. I definitely like Harvard's version much, much better.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The 'heathly oils' gives me pause, but only because I know the caloric content of 1 tbsp of olive oil. (120 kcals)

I guess if you're eating low-cal everything else (with energy dense foods like salmon) in small quantity, then you can splurge on the healthy oils?

Thanks for the link.

G-man's picture
G-man

Unfortunate biological twist: our cells are composed of fatty acids so we need fats to rebuild damaged or lost cells. It's better to replace your fat using unsaturated vegetable fats in this day and age since there's absolutely no shortage of animal fats and most folks lead sedentary lives so don't need the energy boost provided by animal fats. Basically you need to consume fats to survive so it's better to consume the healthier varieties.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Yeah, we're just big bags of water held together by trillions of phospholipid bilayers (lipid = fat).

-

I always marvel at the Mediterranean diet when I see how much olive oil they eat.

I could eat that way, but I'd have to weigh every gram, which rather defeats the purpose.

G-man's picture
G-man

It isn't about what you do on a daily basis. If you live your life according to a rigidly defined list it's going to be a very boring life, and boredom isn't any healthier than overstimulation. It's about what you do overall that counts.

I largely agree that excessive calorie intake and lack of exercise is a major factor in the obesity epidemic. I would go so far as to say it's the #1 factor driving the problem. However, to say everything can be fixed by consulting some list developed by the USDA, an organization formed for the sole purpose of helping American food producers to sell their food, is severely naive at best. Overeating and underworking are not the only problem. It can be tied to psychology, market economics (with the industrialization of food production and promotion of global monocultures being subsets of this), socio-economic class, consumerism, etc, etc.

There are solutions, but to blame everything on overeating and lack of exercise is just plain wrong.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

no longer exists and was replaced at the beginning of the Obama administration with Michelle Obama leading the ad campaign on why it was replaced and what the new government nonsense that replaced it is all about.   It was so important and effective a campaign even the foodies missed it :-)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I started this post with the intention of complementing Bob's for their support of Non GMO Organic foods. Their policy is similar to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and a number of other retail outlets that cater to upscale and health conscious customers. I didn't make a point of being anti-GMO or Monsanto explicitly. I was more concerned that these companies are catering to a specific market. On occasion I am in that market and greatly appreciate the option that I have to buy un modified produce. Regardless of what your take is on the business activities of the giant ag companies that have been mentioned here, I for one prefer the produce I consume to be pure and natural as it has evolved through millions of years. The ballot initiative in California to label foods that contain GMO ingredients is seen by many caring and intelligent citizens to be an important step in achieving good health and long life. I mistakenly thought that most of the members here would appreciate knowing that these major food suppliers have decided to support Pure Organic products. Instead I have been subjected to insults and value judgements. I have taken the time to look closely at the evidence. All over the World there are stories of how Monsanto is crushing small farmers as they spread the mono culture of GM seeds. How can you look at this video and not question the claims that were spoken of when this patenting of life first started? Even by Monsanto's own numbers the increase in yield is only 7-11%. That is not the kind of yield that will feed the many Billions of hungry mouths.  I agree there some places where the application of technology is beneficial.  But, they have been having thier way with the industry creating a monopoly and I don't see any big stories about huge yield increases. They are eliminating bio diversity which is critical to survival of the food supply. Scientists World wide have tried to fight this steam roller.  I have seen to many stories that demonstrate that the GMO monopoly is only about profits. It would be wonderful if it were not about profits and instead was about feeding the world.  The evidence I have seen says otherwise, a thousand times over.

As far as the cause of the sudden rise of obesity and diabetes and other auto immune diseases being the result of poor decisions and inactivity. And add in,


The food pyramid has long defined a proper ratio for a healthy diet. Even adhering to those guidelines you can still over eat.

@Floyd, the only reason I am entering this area is because you asked or rather stated that you are in the boat of people who believe the above statement to be true. It's a big boat and you are in good company. I'm not in that boat. Something happened to our food consumption habits a couple decades ago that has caused our current health disaster. The processed food so popular today contain HFCS and sugars in amounts that make them the largest source of caloric intake. Sports drinks to soda and juice, we have become addicted to sugar in all forms. The refined flour in the Pyramid is digested as sugar, along with that big baked potato, all digested as sugar which your body turns into fat. We are fat because we consume to many carbs. Many indigenous people thrived on protein and saturated fat. As soon as the Standard Western diet was introduced to them they started getting fat, had the first instance of cancer and heart diseases. I know this is not conventional wisdom. I also know that a diet of protein, animal or coconut oil and abundant vegetables will deliver to you your doctors blessings. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking their health in their own hands and losing weight, reversing diabetes and getting great blood work results by changing WHAT they eat, not how much they eat. You might be shaking your head in dis belief and won't consider these things. I'm telling you that if you look at the science, it is compelling. Just for fun, next time you see your family doc, ask him/her how many classes he had in nutrition while in med school.

Rule number 1.) You can't out exercise a bad diet.

Cheers,
Eric

 

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Eric, don't you find it just a little amazing that for about five generations a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread was considered by most kids to be one of the four basic food groups. Next on that list was bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Then comes the ham and cheese sandwich. And they all had one thing in common they came on white bread and were served with a glass of milk. Fifty years ago being fat was considered a disgrace. Mothers controlled their children and their access to food. I think that it doesn't matter if you eat potato chips from GE potatoes or from organically grown crops if they are fried in coconut oil or tallow if they are salted with common table salt or with sea salt, if you eat a bag a day you will get fat. It absolutely is how much you eat AND what you eat . The two can not be separated.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Five generations ago the peanut butter, the jelly, the white bread, the bacon, the lettuce and the tomato were all very different from those very same products today.  This is a comparison that cannot be made.

Today's mainstream food supply is a wasteland of toxic fat producing chemicals and nutrient deficient plants creating a society of mostly obese people.  Take a look at any photo from 1950 showing a large number of people and compare that to any photo from today showing a similar number of people.  The difference is shocking. 

Jeff

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

You really believe that??????

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

It is not a matter of "belief".  It is, a matter of fact.

Jeff

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

1950 isn't five generations ago.  My mother was an adult in 1950 and she is still alive today.  For that matter, I was born in the 1950s.  My mother was thin in 1950, but she is thin today also.  She has never been fat, even on modern food.  I was a thin child and started out as a slender adult, but got fat after I was unable to find work.  I began staying home all the time then, and while I did not eat a bad diet neither did I get much exercise.  My diet has always been relatively healthy, including now when I find it almost impossible to lose weight.  My previous ability to maintain a healthy weight without effort seems to have been a combination of being active all day long and sometimes going hungry.  As a child I was sometimes so hungry that I saw yellow when I stood up suddenly.  My mother thought that was normal.  She was a child during the Great Depression and had to beg for food outside churches to stay alive.  We had food when I was a child and my mother didn't mean to starve me.  She just fed me as the way she had been fed by her mother when they did have food in the house, which was sparingly. 

Today people think it is a crime for a child to ever be even a little bit hungry, and entertainment has become largely passive in the physical sense.  Today's societal obesity is a result of eating too much and exercising too little.  There is no doubt that some foods are healthier than others, but that is not the primary cause of the obesity.

Edit:  Reading up a bit, I will respond to one assertion.  It is in fact possible to get fat eating vegetables and fruit, excluding potatoes.  The body makes fat from excess calories.  That is the purpose of body fat, to store calories against the day when there is nothing to eat.  This is a completely separate issue from whether the calories come with vitamins, minerals, and other healthy components, or not.  Foods are not always just calories, but any food is always calories.  It's just possible that some kind of caloric content is part of the definition of food.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think calories is being used hear as a catch all.  It is possible to eat calories without sugar and carbohydrates and not gain weight.  Calories from Carbohydrates and sugar are converted to fat and stored in fat cells.  Other calories are burned or passed on out.

Some calories in food actually require more energy to be processed by the body.  Sugar and Carbohydrates do not.  So the total caloric intake cannot be a guide.  The theory of calorie-in, calorie-out breaks down.  Without the sugar and the carbohydrates, the body consumes the fat storage in the fat cells... if it still remembers the pathways.  As long as the body is consuming sugar and carbohydrates, there is no need for the body to remember how to use up its stored fat energy.   So weight gain continues.

If the diet is changed to exclude sugar and carbohydrates, yet includes meats & fats in unrestricted filling amounts, the excess fat just gets burned up without any additional exercise or change in normal routine.   

Fruits create their own problems and too often touted as healthy.  They are loaded with sugars, in particular fructose.  I have no objection to an occasional whole fruit complete with pith, skin and fiber, but no way do I consider fruit a daily event.  Fruit juices with no fiber and lots of fructose are overdosed daily and this can be damaging.   Just look up what fructose does to the human body.  Gene manipulation has led to sweeter fruit and vegetables raising the amounts of sugars in them.  It sells more fruit but I don't think it beneficial for health.

G-man's picture
G-man

There's a big problem with excessive fruit consumption in the States. People eat fruit and think it's healthy, then continue to avoid vegetables like the plague.

While it's better to eat an apple than an apple fritter, it's better still to eat some broccoli.

isand66's picture
isand66

I couldn't disagree with you more on the matter of fruit.

If people would eat whole foods including fruits and veggies and not all of the processed garbage available the world would be a better and healthier place.

If you eat fruit as part of a healthy balanced diet it is not going to harm you.  I don't claim to be a nutritionalist, but eating naturally created sugars in fruits cannot be a bad thing unless you eat nothing else.  My mantra is everything in moderation.

The fact is that the majority of people in the USA do not eat enough fruits or vegetables.  It may be better to eat broccoli but I number one hate broccoli and wouldn't eat it for breakfast! :)

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

One thing Jeff has on his side of this '50s vs present-day food argument is the "men who made us fat." That is, the companies that manufacture the foods that we eat nowadays, largely spiked with high fructose corn syrup. Please watch the BBC program of that name (The Men Who Made Us Fat), as mentioned here on TFL a few weeks ago. The programs are available on youtube. They are very interesting. 

suave's picture
suave

Yes, he very much does.

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

You are so right Jeff. You took the words right out of my mouth.  As a school child in the 50's there were only 2 fat people in our entire school!! No overweights either. Jean

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Oh you are so right. I would add to the list the cold turkey with lettuce and mayo. All of those portable meals are part of my memories of childhood and on up to just recently. The problem is the darn ingredients taste so good we don't give much thought to how they work in our bodies.  My first memory being aware that the things I loved to eat might be hurting me was when I was a combat para medic in Vietnam. It was widely reported that military doctors were surprised to find our boys had a very high rate of clogged arteries among those killed in action. They suspected it was the high consumption of peanut butter. I just looked at the jar of PB in the pantry and the second ingredient is sugar. The jar of apricot jam the second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup, then regular corn syrup. We have eaten a lot of sloppy joes here. After Tomato, the next ingredient is HFCS. I always thought the low fat option was the healthy choice in salad dressings and yogurt. Now I discover low fat means they have to add a sweetener to make it taste appealing. The food scientist know how these things work at the cell level in our bodies. If you look at the ingredients list and see 10 items listed, you can be assured HFCS and or some other sugar will be in there.

For those who believe that gluttony and sloth are the reason we are fat (I used to believe this also) I strongly urge you to stop what you are doing and watch this video by Dr Robert Lustig. Lustig is a highly respected University physician who has spoken out about why we are fat. Please Floyd, watch this video. If you watch with an open mind, you will come to the realization that you, I and everyone else has been hoodwinked. It's all about biology.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

I can't help but wonder why my weight and pants size has remained stable for thiry five years. Some of my friends also have remain reasonably lean and some continue to gain weight. The ones that gain weight always eat everything on their plate and go back for seconds. By definition jams and jellies must contain 55% sugar. They are fruit  and fruit juices preserved with sugar.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You are correct in that this used to be the jam we ate. No longer. There hasn't been time between your posts for you to watch the Lustig video. Parts of it get scientific but don't let that deter you, watch it to the end. You have to be open to discovering that much of what you know about nutrition is fantasy.Jeff is speaking the truth here.

Eric

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Again: foul called on both you and Yerffej for couching your positions as "fact" and "truth."  Once you do that, you are proselytising, not listening, discussing, or debating.  If you want to have a dialog and are willing to entertain that there may be validity to viewpoints other than your own, great, you are welcome here, but otherwise please take your pamphlets somewhere else.

Highly processed things have been added to the refined food most kids are raised on, it is true.  But most kids also think "Play" is a button on a DVD player, not something you do outside, and few adults perform even a fraction of the physical activity they did a century ago, even just walking.  That matters too.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

I am a label reader. If an item in a package contains ingredients that I can't buy off the shelf then I don't buy the package. I buy canned tomatoes and make tomato soup. I buy raw pork and make smoked ham and sausage. I buy raw chicken and cook it in many ways and cook the bones for stock. I buy dry beans and split peas and make my own soups. I buy house brand flour and make my own bread and pastry I use the fat that renders from the pork and chicken for my shortening. I buy fresh and frozen vegatable but never anything that is prepared and sold as microwave ready. I don't own a microwave cooker but I do have a hand cranked meat grinder. The processed food industry would go broke if it depended on the likes of me to keep them in business. I make all of our jams and jellies from fruit that I pick from many sources including wild ones.

The argument that poor diet and not over eating is the cause of obesity leaves us to explain a fat spouse and a lean spouse when they share the same table.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in the USA for jams, jellies and preserves is 50% sugar, I'm not quibbling and not my point, but many manufacturers put in more than that too - to be safe.  Blame the government for this stupid requirement.  This will let jam keep fine in an unopened, unrefrigerated properly canned jar stored in a cool, dry, unlit space pretty much forever.   This is just plain idiotic. I'm not eating much of anything over a year old except; some cheeses, cured meats, wine, liquor and other stuff I forgot about if hungry enough:-)

I eat my home made jams in less than 6months and refrigerate them too.  So, 150 g of sugar for 500 g of fruit is plenty, twice as much as needed according to Jamie Oliver,  to last last 6 months refrigerated and you can still taste something beside sugar.  It is also the only way to get dragon fruit, prickly pear cactus tuna jam and so many other great varieties and combinations you can't buy :-)   Jam is just like bread - the variety is endless.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Writing from experience I have eaten jams and jellies that I put up and dated twenty years ago. Meats and soups are always used within three years . I don't can veggies.

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

Research into obesity is uncovering more and more the chemical components of what folks oversimply as "overeating." Obese people often do not overeat because they want to; none of them want to subject themselves to the litany of criticism that "skinny" people lay on them. Society used to have many names for mental illness, most of which were cruel and discriminatory, and none of which involved the understanding that chemical imbalances in the brain cause many mental illnesses -- something over which people have no control. Medical research is discovering how much that is also true with obesity.

G-man's picture
G-man

I've encountered it myself. When I was morbidly obese even my doctor wouldn't consider anything other than "stop eating as much and exercise more" as a way to fix the problem. I got a new doctor who found out I had hypothyroidism. I lost 50 pounds simply by getting on thyroid meds. I got really, really lucky.

Prejudice in this area is absolutely astounding, and it's worse in the medical community than nearly anywhere else. There's a whole lot of misconceptions out there, most of them driven by half the people you see posting in this thread saying "Well everyone I knew growing up ate this way and we're all fine". Eating disorders where the person gets skinny are occasionally viewed as a problem; eating disorders where people get fat are viewed as a lack of self control and nothing more. It's prejudiced, it's ignorant, and it's offensive.

It's harder to solve this problem than most people know. It causes a ton of other physical and psychological problems. You pick up new allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, social anxiety, and the list goes on. Since, as I said, there's a lot of prejudice in the medical community, the solution is almost never "we need to get you into medically managed weight loss" it's "here, take this pill for your allergies, this one for your blood pressure, here's your lifetime supply of insulin, and have these anti-depressants too". Fling pills at the symptoms, make no attempt at a cure because if the person were actually interested in a cure they wouldn't be fat in the first place, right? I've been told exactly that. At the time it caused a huge spiral of depression and turned me off doctors for years. Looking back on it I just feel sorry for anyone else who gets the same treatment.

Obesity has a few causes but simply overeating isn't one of them any more than skipping a meal or two causes anorexia.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Honestly, I am astonished at the lack of interest the medical community has in improving health. I grew up believing our doctors were scientists and on the cutting edge of advancements that would benefit our health. Now I know nothing could be further from the truth. Yes there are some who break away from the business model and make an effort to let "science" be their guide. Most, sadly are forced into the clinic mold of treating patients with the accepted guidelines to avoid being held liable in the future. Drug companies have become a source of income for hospitals and physicians alike, corrupting the medical process with yet another billion dollar drug that must be prescribed.

The World is in the middle of a grand experiment. Only time will tell if the influx of sugar/fructose/starches will destroy us as it does in the testing of mice fed the standard American diet, concludes.  Every generation is less able to produce offspring of healthy individuals. Greater instance of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and auto immune disease. Sound familiar?

Eric

shansen10's picture
shansen10

I think we can all agree on a few points:

1.  There are too many people in the world

2.  Both WHAT you eat and HOW MUCH you eat matter

3.  We have a right to know what is in the products/food we purchase

A major point not being addressed is that if we keep depleting the soil by concentrating on nonorganic pesticides and fertilizers and genetic modification, eventually the earth will produce no more food.  In other words, it's in the soil, stupid!  Read the works of Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin and Will Allen.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Foods containing GMO crops should be labeled as such.   That would give consumers the choice whether to buy or not.

Forty countries around the world require such labeling.  Why not the USA, where roughly 90 percent of Americans want GM  labeling?

Although there was a campaign promise made in 2007 to institute such labeling, alas, the FDA refuses to allow it.  

The current FDA Food Safety Czar is Michael Taylor, a former vice president of Monsanto who holds degrees in law and political science.   Coincidence?  No idea.

A number of states have initiatives requiring such labeling.  Should be interesting to see how they play out.

isand66's picture
isand66

I agree with Shansen10, as there is no doubt that the Western style diet can directly be linked with a rising cancer rate, diabetes, obesity and a number of other undesirable outcomes.  I am far from a poster child for healthy living, but I try to do all things in moderation.  If we all try and eat more whole foods that are not processed with added sugars and chemicals and make an attempt to eat a bigger portion of green stuff rather than meat we will all be better for it.  While I think we have a long way to go as a society to change our eating habits, there is evidence that a large number of people are starting to take notice.  A few years ago you would never see such a wide variety of organic and all natural foods in your local market.  I always try to be conscious of any processed food I buy and read the labels.  If it has more than 5 ingredients I can't understand without a chemistry degree than I try to avoid it.  I can now by organic canned beans without preservatives and this is a big step from only a few years ago.

Getting back to the original point of this post, I believe that there is a place for GMO if done for the right reasons, but I certainly would prefer to know what I am putting in my body.

In New York they are now requiring chain restaurants to list the calorie count for all items served.  It is amazing how hard it is to find something on the menu under 1000 calories.  In the USA the food industry has trained us to expect huge portions of protein and excess calories and it is a difficult habit to break.  Maybe one day if enough people change their eating habits we can influence this trend and change it for the better.

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm not sure why this even needs to be stated, but you can make wise eating choice without "drinking the kool aid" and becoming a true believer that dark forces are trying to poison us and we all need to eat like we're cavemen.  

I don't feed my kids crappy Lunchables and fast food and sports drinks and lots of things with HCFC not because I'm boycotting them or because of some big thing that I'm going to preach to you for the next hour about: I just think they are crap.  I'd rather give my kids blueberries to snack on than Goldfish or Fruit Snacks or some other garbage, and I throw their butts outside to run and climb trees and play actively every chance I can.

Maybe this is the root of this discussion: if you, Eric, were really raised thinging processed lunch meats and white bread and tater tots were good for you, hearing some of this stuff would be a revelation.  I wasn't, so I'm kinda like "duh" about much of this.  I like the Food Pyramid, but I wouldn't consider boxed or packages food "food" that even fits into it anywhere.  If you are cooking with fresh vegetables, real grains, and actual proteins and fats (not partially hydrogenated crap) it doesn't seem that bad.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

My guess is that you're the 5% that has the education to see that through: "all of this stuff is garbage, I won't feed it to my kids."

You might also be able to afford food that's not garbage, because the food that is is a magnitude cheaper per caloric content than the food that's good for you. (And this is from someone who shops with a list of chemicals and additives to avoid, chemicals in 9/10 things in the supermarket).

I don't wish to rehash every documentary on the food industry (or even collude with them), but I think it would be nieve to dismiss those 'dark forces' as being impotent.

They are anything but.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm proud to say I don't shop like that and I don't shop those kinds of stores. It makes me feel incredibly guilty and elitist when I do.   

You can find plain bean, grains, and veggies at any grocery store in country.  They may be dusty and hidden in the bottom corner, hard to find because of the latest glossy boxed food products taking up 90% of the shelf space, but they are still there and there are still healthy and inexpensive.   Flour too.

I'll also add that it isn't rocket science and didn't take Michael Pollan to teach me that food grows and is something that needs to be harvested.  If it can only be created in a factory, it probably isn't food.  

G-man's picture
G-man

I agree with you entirely, Floyd. But you have to remember...we live in a country that considers pizza a vegetable, officially. Some people actually do believe that ketchup counts as a vegetable, that corn counts as a vegetable, that french fries count as potatoes, that fish sticks and canned tuna or a McDonald's fish sandwich count as the servings of fish they're supposed to consume every week, that Fruit Loops are healthy because it says it has seven whole grains right there on the box, and that a bowl of oatmeal mixed with half a cup of brown sugar and a quarter stick of butter and a glass of sweetened fruit juice on the side is a healthy breakfast.

These are things people actually believe. I have witnessed these things with mine own eyes. The fact is, according to that wonderful USDA food pyramid, they're right.

You're intelligent and well-informed because you care about what you eat. Nearly everyone else on these forums is the same way. Not everyone in this country is nearly as lucky, and it has to do with the information people have readily available to them. Many states require nutrition facts to be readily available from most restaurants and packaged foods are absolutely required to have these facts prominently displayed, but how many people know exactly what each thing on that label means? Most folks have the barest concept of what a calorie even is and only know to avoid trans fats because someone told them it was bad for them this one time.

It sucks but that's the state of food.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

That says more to me about the sad state of the government and education here than the state of food (he says as he logs off to go pack and prepare to move his family to a country where many people naively still believe government can play an active, constructive role in building a healthy, well-informed, and civil society.  Silly Canadians.).   

-F

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The Human Brain: It's the most complicated device in the known universe. You have to really give that idea consideration when you ponder with that brain how it works to control our human body. Most of us don't think much about how or why we perceive things as we go through life. We talk a lot about the crumb and mouth feel of good sourdough breads. Our senses of smell and taste buds are what give us these sensations so we can decide if it fits with what we know as good traits of SD. What you might not of thought about is that your brain is sending orders to your stomach in preparation of the now swallowed bread to release the digestive enzymes and acids needed to start decomposing it. Then when the matter reaches the small intestine the bacteria and proteins further work to create the proteins that pass through the gut wall and enter the blood stream. I have read that our body needs and creates over 400 different proteins and amino acids from the fuel we provide. The good bacteria outnumber the bad in a healthy body. That said, our gut contains approximately 10 times more bacteria and virus than all of our cells combined. So from a standpoint of pure numbers, we are a support system for the 10 fold larger group of critters in our gut. Interestingly many of the good bacteria are of the type we use in SD breads. The Lactobacillus is very common in nature. Is it any wonder that SD breads are so much easier to digest? There are many published studies that show the glycemic load in any naturally fermented bread is much lower.

Our human system is at once so complicated that we mortals have little chance of comprehending it and at the same time we are allowed to try because of the divine properties of reasoning in our brain. When our blood is dealing with a background of inflammation and infection due to things getting into the body in the gut, bad things happen. We get sick and sometimes very sick. We have an open length of tubing that runs from mouth to the anus. It is designed to be a processing system that creates those proteins and acids we require. It also disposes of all the bad bacteria and metals and garbage we don't need or want. The digestive system is basically "outside the body" . You need to understand that a meal is converted to proteins so it can be used by our organs, muscle and brain. It doesn't really matter what it tastes like other than the fact that good things for us usually taste good to the brain for a reason. Evolutionary memory is in play here. Your brain remembers that your ancestors who chose to cover their dead meat in cinnamon didn't get sick. That's why cinnamon smells good to you today. It's complicated but understandable if you give it a chance. Cellular biology  works it's magic because of evolution. That should be clear. If we eat the foods we were evolved to eat, our cells will repair them selves as intended. If we consume unnatural oils and modified foods we will pay the price in time.

Eric

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I began working in the food service business over 38 years ago selling wholesale foods to restaurants and other major institutions in one of America's largest cities.  Since that time I have been involved in the food business one way or another.  Currently I run a successful baking business that uses only organic ingredients.  I know a thing or two or three about food. 

After suffering from unexplained headaches for over 20 years  I found the cause in a neurotoxin that is commonly added to most processed food   Need I say how disappointed Iwas to learn that I had been willingly and blindly ingesting a toxin that is used, and approved for use,  in our food supply.   That discovery sent me down a path of study and research on the state of our current food supply.  When I previously stated: 

"Five generations ago the peanut butter, the jelly, the white bread, the bacon, the lettuce and the tomato were all very different from those very same products today."

A comment was made questioning whether or not I believed this.  This of course implies that I am operating from a standpoint of blind belief versus a background of knowledge.  I replied that my statement was fact not belief.   That statement is fact and the evidence to support my statement is everywhere in books, food labels, research papers and so on.  This was not an outrageous statement nor one of blind belief, nor an attempt to "proselytise", a word which also implies faith rather than knowledge.  It is simply a statement regarding modern food.

Since my discovery of the headache cause, I have changed those things that I will and will not eat.  The headaches are gone and have been for a great many years now.   My weight has dropped significantly and my overall health has improved greatly.  I have learned a lot about our food supply that goes far beyond what I thought I knew at the time of having chronic headaches.

I stand by my statement regarding the change in food over the decades and strongly encourage anyone wondering about the subject to look into the matter on their own.  I think that anyone doing honest objective research will be quite surprised by their findings.

I will excuse myself from any further comment in this thread.

Sincerely,    Jeff

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the huge waste in the food supply chain and today, in the Arizona Republic there is a page A28 Science story about how the UK's largest food retailers are shipping their food waste to new power plants to generate electricity instead of going to the dump.  The government has placed a new per ton tax on dumping so these retailers have figured out a way to not pay the tax.  They say 'If you want less of something tax it' and this is just another exampke of how true that is.

Tesco, Mark's and Spencer, John Lewis Partnership, Waltrose, William Morrison, J Sainsbury and Walmart are testing as a group how unedible fish, produce, meat cooking oils, leftover sandwiches and stale bread can be burned to make electricity - and avoid the tax.  Way to go UK.  The government expects that bio-energy will provide 8% of the UK's energy needs  - but they don't say who much will come from this food waste program that uses anaerobic digesters (no oxygen environment) using some kind of  special bio-microbe to digest the waste, making a flammable gas as a byproduct that can be burned in a power plant. 

The microbe is probably a GE modified one but still - way to go UK!. 

 This looks so promising that the largest waste hauler and processor in the USA, Waste Management, has purchased stakes in 8 companies to turn rubbish of all kinds, not just bio- trash, into fuel for power.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

That is awesome.  

-F 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The electricity costs $143 a megawatt hour produced this way as opposed to $78 for coal.  What makes this  possible is the $98 extra tax on rubbish these companies would pay.  Since they are not paying this tax and are getting paid for their rubbish by the power companies thus reducing their electricity bills by an estimated billion dollars a year as a group (that's a lot of trash).  So,  it appears that the other poor, power users end up paying for this higher cost difference in electricity production - while these companies save money.    Nothing new there.

ananda's picture
ananda

Whilst I am all for avoiding dumping waste food into landfill, and providing us with an alternative source of power, wouldn't it be altogether even better still if the excess food wasn't produced in the first place?   I still say those companies producing "bad" food should be taxed...at source, not at point of sale.   You are right dabrownman, they would certainly think again about peddling dodgy products, if it meant avoiding paying tax!

Thanks for providing information about this topic.

Best wishes

Andy

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

about the commercial food chain today is its variety, focus on delivering non contaminated products, better and faster transportation equipment, better storage facilities, better home storage appliances, better food choices etc.  The list is really endless for food being better today than ever before.  It hasn't been this good in the past and sure to get better.

I'm old enough to remember when you could only get Iceberg lettuce in the store.  It was known as the 'king' of lettuce then.  Now people have so many choices of lettuces to choose from the King is avoided by foodies even though it can't be beat.  There were no yellow, purple and red carrots.  No yellow, red, purple , orange and black peppers, there were no herbs, forget; duck, aligator, frog legs, bison, quail,  300 cheeses from all over the world.......  Forget non fat foods and low fat foods of all kinds, skim 1,2% milk, reduced fat and sugar ice cream, low salt and low fat canned goods didn't exist, there was no organic anything, no natural anything.  You can now buy 4 different kinds of store ground, no additive, organic, nut butters at stores.  There were no nutritional info labels of any kind, older than that - no ingredient list either.  Now you can get virtually anything you want based on your personal preference, wants and need - you just have to pay for it.

But even that isn't so bad.  The cost of food is way way lower than it was inflation adjusted.  I have an ad from my families grocery store in 1925 that shows white bread on sale mind you for 25 cents.  We pay 4 times as much now but how much is the dollar worth today when over the last 10 years alone it has lost over 20% of its value?  Food is cheaper in this country than ever before because production costs are very low but, the quality is higher, the food safety and handling is superb compared to the past, the variety unequalled, with all the natural, low fat, low salt and sugar, heirloom a nearly unlimited variety of items.   Our food chain is real miracle in many ways and I am glad.

That doesn't mean I eat things that come out of cans or boxes of any kind, drink anything milk wise that doesn't say skim on it, avoid beef,  make almost everything else from scratch as much as possible, including condiments,  so I control whole grains, fat, salt, sugar taste and flavor in all of our food and eat fresh produce and fruits like vegans limiting meat of any kind to 6 oz or less.  But, not everyone is retired like me and has the time and inclination to do this.  It is not easy.  For those unlike me who are in the vast majority,  the variety and quality at the store is amazing if they have the money to buy want they want to eat.  For poor folks, bad calories can be and are usually the cheapest - but even they eat way better then ever before or have the chance to do so.

Some people, regardless of riches or status,  just eat too much and don't mediate any of it by walking 4 miles a day like some others do who may also eat too much too.  Eating the bad stuff is also a problem.   We need to teach;  proper portion control, what is good and bad for you to eat to children and their parents and get them to exercise more.   We know what to do but getting people to do it is....difficult.  Yoda said you must do, there is no try.   Still, 20% of the folks won't do it or even try it just like 20% still smoke which is way more horrible than anything else besides drinking and drugs and my deserts that I make  of course:-) 

The food business had never been better in almost every way.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

maybe the scientists at Monsanto could splice a gene into the wheat crop that would make people want to vote Republican ;)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

quite independently Libertarian right ?

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Close enough. If we carry this far enough who knows where it could go ?  One must admit  that being able to purchase almost any kind of fruit or vegatable at any season of the year is pretty nice. My asparagas bed produces for about three weeks each spring but I can buy asparagas every month.  .last week I bought chicken leg quarters fo 39 cents per pound, when I worked in the A&P in 1954 we sold chicken for 39 cents per pound. and I was paid a dollar and five cents per hour. Food is much less expensive today and there is great variety.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

must have a very big freezer for chicken deals and baked bread :-)  The only shopping I do is grocery shopping and thankfully, the Phoenix area, has the lowest food prices in America due to 4 major chains and 4 smaller ones duking it out in the grocery aisles.   Now Wegman's is coming to town too!  But to score big, 39 cent chicken for example, you have to have a freeer.  All 8 of these stores are within 3 miles of the house so you don't even have to drive much and then there are the Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese stores not much farther away.  The rule is never buy anythng, unless it is on sale and deeply discounted but have plenty of storage.

suave's picture
suave

You ever seen a thing called "Everything's amazing and nobody's happy"?  It's on youtube.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I'm happy and very much amazed about it too !

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to do as Eric suggests and watch this video by Dr Robert Lustig.  It is and hour and half long but I found it one of the most interesting and beneficial presentations I have ever been exposed to or experienced.  I am thankful that we have for decades only had diet, non fructose (should be spelled fuctose) based, soda and am glad i have cut back to 1 beer a day too.  Now we will have to do some research on fiber and find out how bread can be improved by using it in much greater quantities.

Thanks Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Is Sugar Toxic?

-

He recently wrote one on salt too:

Salt, We Misjudged You

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

read them now.  Also very interesting.  All I know is that since I lost 60 pounds, walked 4 miles a day, started eating the right food (veg and fruit), using portion control, eating more fiber and drinking 1 beer a day, I was able to give up all my diabetes (4),  hypertension and cholestoral drugs - 6 total.  When the doc said you are going on iinsulin or be dead, I said 'over my dead body' - but that is what it took for me to change.  I can eat everything that doesn't have too much sugar in it now - if it is in the right portion.   No telling how many years I took off my life though but can't do anything about that though.   You can reverse some of the future damage but not the past. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's great! You added years to your life and are no doubt enjoying your new mobility. I'm right behind you progress wise. I've lost 50 Lbs and my bs and bp is much better. Two skin conditions I have had for 40 years and 20 years are now resolved. After hearing there was no cure for so many years, I'm thrilled to have found a way on my own.

Eric

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

why I make so much of our food from scratch, including most condiments, which are the worst for sugar except for 'no fat' foods where they replace fat with sugar in huge amounts.  For some reason, manufacturers don't do that with 'low fat' foods and these are a much better choice for diabetics if they don't make their own.

My problems culminated from 35 years of traveling 48 weeks a year (not counting vacations) while smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, eating nearly every meal in a restaurant (usually the most non healthy choice when not disciplined), not exercising, being in the specialty food business where temptations are everywhere (and the worst of the worst) and entertaining business associates with an unlimited expense account.  With horrible personal choices, tasty temptations everywhere all the time and an unusual life style, there was was only one end game possible - diabetes first and very early death second.   But we sure had some kind of fun!

Retirement was the best thing I could do health wise and was glad that we could afford to do it.   Now, at 60,  I want to hike the Grand Canyon this fall like we did at 35 but will have to see how things go. My wife could make it no sweat.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This just popped on my radar about a sudden rise in Type 1 Diabetes in children. Researchers say they don't have a clue why this is happening.The brain turned off insulin production for some reason. 

Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Good suggestion thomascachacon. Taubes is a well respected science researcher and writer. Robb Wolf is another one.

 

Glad you enjoyed Lustig's Video dabrownman. It's the most well done explanation of the subject I have seen that I could understand (most of). One day, I woke up and had an epiphany where I suddenly realized most of what I took to be fact about health and nutrition was bogus. It turns out our doctors don't get hardly any education in nutrition at all in medical school and the people who should be looking out for us are on the payroll of the lobbyist for the big ag and pharma. Anyone who doubts my assertion that we have all been hoodwinked needs to watch Lustig's video. And, that's just the beginning.

Here is a TEDMed video by Dr Terry Wahls. Another respected Dr working in a large hospital. She came down with Multiple Scleroses which is considered incurable. Watch and see what little she had to do to cure herself. 

Eric

As Hippocrates said,

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food “

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Taubes is much more careful in his article than Lustig is in his video. He (Taubes) says:

His (Lustig's) critics argue that what makes him compelling is his practice of taking suggestive evidence and insisting that it’s incontrovertible. Lustig certainly doesn’t dabble in shades of gray. Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.”

I don't take Lustig's conclusions to be incontrovertible fact, but I don't ignore them either.

All I have to do is eat too much sugar and my body tells me I did something wrong.

Does that mean I won't eat any sugar?

That's not going to happen.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

He does have his detractors in some areas. His claim that the liver is the only place that has the proteins to handle fructose is challenged by some. But the over message is on point. Even Lustig says he eats sugar on occasion. The thing that made me sit up was the statement about not finding carbs and sugar together in nature. That makes a fried doughnut a triple threat! No wonder they are so good, lol.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Sugar and carbohydrate not found together? EXCEPT in apples, sweet corn, fresh fruit, melons, it is a rather long list not withstanding that sugar is a carbohydrate C12 H22 O11. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think what he says is that it's fat and sugar. The sugar is a carb as you say.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

After fifty years of reading Scientific American I have reached the stage in my life where a self proclaimed expert makes statements so far from known fact that I dismiss all that he may have to say as lacking credability. Even fat and sugar are found in some foods sweet corn and coconuts come to mind.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

I just invested a few minutes reading a foods and nutrition book that list the anaylisis of food from A to Z  without very many exceptions all foods contain some fat. So in fractional percentages and some vegatables in double digit percentages. Meat of course can have very high percentages of fat but even asparagas has a little.

Honey bees rely entirely on plants for their work they build wax comb and make honey from nectar. They can get their raw material only from the plants they visit.

For an author to make a blanket statement such as, "sugar and fat are never found together in nature" is a very good sign that he is talking through his hat.

suave's picture
suave

Or, rather, using this device:

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

If not sugars, at least starch is found in many grains and nuts along with their typical oils.  Starch is just a plant's way of storing sugar.  Peanuts, which are actually beans, also contain both starch and oil.  For that matter, grapes have seeds containing oil, even if people don't intentionally chew the seeds with the fruit.

suave's picture
suave

Milk?  Any whole grain?  Oily fruits like olives and avocadoes?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Peanuts, walnuts, filberts, macadamia nuts, ...

Fat and protein and poly-sugar too.

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think the point is that in nature, you don't find candy coated nuts or wheat fried in oil and dipped in sugar. Avocado's are a diabetics friend as they are high in fat and have almost no gylcemic load and very nutrient dense. Same with almonds, walnuts most all nuts. Grapes are high in natural fructose and not something you want to eat if you have insulin issues. The fact they have seed that contain oil doesn't matter. Lustig isn't some hack making wild statements. He is pointing out that commercial food processors are combining sugar with everything they touch to make things taste better, addictive even. I think the examples that really opened my eyes are the yogurt and salad dressing. The intuitive choice would be to pick the low fat option. But when you look at the labels, they have added sweeteners to make them taste good after removing the fat. They removed the fat because market research indicates people believe that a low fat diet is desirable, which is false. So the low fat is not only NOT better for you, it's bad for you for reasons. The oil it's made with and the sugars. That's a generalization but it applies to about 90% of the stuff on the shelf. Where as olive oil and lemon juice with your spices and maybe plain yogurt or egg or cheese and mustard is completely wonderful.

This group is unique. We have all learned to do something that has been passed down for thousands of generations. Some of us are using natural yeasts to make foods in the finest tradition of our ancestors. The general population is in awe of your skills and many will select your products over commercial breads because they smell and taste so much better. That is not an accident, it is by design. Their brain tells them to choose your San Francisco sourdough or sour rye over and over again. Your breads are also better for them, because of the finest quality ingredients you are using and careful attention to the fermenting. Bread making IS science at a practical level. My point in starting this thread was to point out that there a few sellers of the products we use, who have seen what is happening to the world food supply and are deciding to opt out and not become part of the problem. You can believe the science on either side of the argument on GMO foods or not. You can educate yourself to some degree on the biology of our cellular system and learn that our DNA is hardwired to repair damaged cells when they have the proper fuel. It is complicated, I know, and overwhelming at first. Just think about what happens when you cut your finger or break a bone. That beautiful brain controls your biological system to replace the damaged cells, mend the break and replace the vital blood, all on its own. It should be a humbling thought that such an immensely complicated process can happen at all. 10 trillion cells being controlled by your brain (which by the way is made of cholesterol, fat) in each one of us. This brain and the process it controls is tremendously adaptable to variables in fuel quality. Certain things will kill it outright but aside from things like hemlock, it will allow you to consume much of what grows and lives around you. We have allowed commercial interests and the convenience of the cook to allow introduction of manufactured and unnatural essential fats and sugars to enter our daily fuel stop. But, just as if you owned a half million dollar Ferrari that required high octane gasoline would still run if you purchased low octane or alcohol, you wouldn't expect it to function at top performance without the prescribed fuel. It might even run on diesel if you fooled with it some. Not dead yet but certainly not the racing machine it was intended to be. I think that's where we are today as a species. We are the result of 2.4 million years or so of evolution of our human life form. Each cell in your body has a complete copy of the genetic DNA that has been handed down to you. That is 10 trillion copies of your DNA in every one of us. Each cell is a miracle in itself for how it is designed to work and repair it self and function in the system of life. Unless you are trained in the science of cellular biology, most of us can never completely understand the tremendously complex interaction of even ONE cell, never mind all of them. Some of what happens inside that cell is unknown even now.

I know enough to know that if I want these cells to work as designed, I shouldn't be creating a new oil that has been heated, processed with what would be interpreted as toxins and replacing the oils found in nature that we evolved on. We require high quality natural oils in every cell. If you think about the  term "essential oils", vegetable oil or seed oils shouldn't come to mind. Fish oils and that from animals and nuts should come to mind. When your brain senses an invader virus or bacteria it creates a response. It sends white blood cells to fight off the infection. When you consume products that are "Off The Menu of Life", your brain is confounded. It tries to digest the strange ingredient but it recognizes it as unnatural. So we live in a constant state of inflammation and thus are diagnosed as having auto immune disease. The fix for all this is so simple it doesn't need to be said, if you stop and respect your ancestral gift.

I know this thread has been hard on Floyd. I apologize for the sometimes heated tone it has taken. Over all I'm happy with the direction it took and the comments by the members. I hope we have all opened our eyes just a little and maybe learned something in the course of the thread.

Cheers,

Eric

 

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

It seems that part of the issue is that you have just begun reading the fine print on the labels.  Congratulations, that is a vital step to taking control of your own health.  Back in the early 80s I had a clerk at a General Nutrition Center, a store chain specializing in food supplements of all places, try to tell me that chewable Vitamin C was totally non-fattening because it contained no fat.  I pointed out the sugar in the ingredients, and he was adamant that the only thing that mattered was fat.  He wasn't being a con-man or a smart ass.  He genuinely believed it.  Being a clerk at a nutritional product store, he was in a perfect position to educate the general public in a falsehood, because he himself believed that falsehood.  Reading the fine print on the labels for yourself is absolutely necessary, if it matters to you what is inside the container.  By the way, I didn't care about the calories in the chewable Vitamin C.  I cared about the higher cost compared with the non-chewable tablets.  Oh, and never chew a non-chewable Vitamin C tablet.  They taste horrible, like fish or something.  It's probably the binder.

It is not just a lack in education that causes great numbers of the general public to be fooled by product labelling.  The medical profession, who are by no means godlike and totally consistent from year to year, let alone from decade to decade, come out with a provisional statement about moderation in dietary fat for the purpose of weight control, and suddenly the general public is stampeding around looking for products with no fat.  Food sellers, being no dummies, label their soda pop as "No Fat", and suddenly it sells like hotcakes.  Never mind that soda pop never did have fat in it, and that their brand has 100 calories of sugar per 8-ounce glass (fictional data for the sake of hyperbole).  It reminds me of a friend of mine who took a seminar in the management of home finances because she and her husband had trouble making ends meet, and was amazed to discover that it was not the individual accounts (checking, credit cards, etc) that you had to keep watching, it was the total expenditures.  This was an enlightenment to her, when I feel it should have been obvious to anyone who was using their brain.  However, I chose to attend university and go on to graduate studies, while most of the world is content to have learned to read and write, and maybe balance their checkbook.  Some will even say that thinking makes their brain hurt.  That's the general public.

I've not weighed in on the actual topic of the thread because I haven't any opinion that I can substantiate.  I do wish the USA required genetically modified food be labelled as such.  However, genetic modification is a continuum, from hybridizing two strains of wheat together, through crossing wheat with rye, to splicing pout genes into salmon, and onward to making cows produce human milk. 

I am uncertain of the validity of research on the genetics of our food interacting with our own genetics, and I am uneasy with genetic manipulation carried out by viral or bacterial vectors.  I am not per se against eating food from living species which were created in a laboratory, but I'd like to know what I am eating. 

The defenders against labelling the genetically modified salmon claim that the meat they are selling is identical to any other salmon meat, when obviously that is not so on a genetic level.  Is a salmon still a salmon once it has pout genes?  Shouldn't it properly be called a palmon, or something similar?  A palmon might be perfectly okay to eat, but unless people care told whether they are buying salmon or palmon, they can't decide for themselves.  This is blatent trickery, and I resent that, but it doesn't mean that the meat is harmful, or the process by which the palmon came to be.

Therefore I will wait and see, AND READ THE FINE PRINT.  *wink and smile*

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

All of these splices may be OK to consume and they may serve a purpose other than lining the pocket of the person who "Owns" the patent on the life form. But is it asking to much to have a testing process in place and please let the public have a say by labeling the products. Your dog can't mate with the fish, is there a genetic design that prevents this from happening?

Thanks for expressing your views on this subject.

Eric

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The brain is not involved in the immune system response to infection.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The central nervous system is intimately involved in immune responses! The two major "stress hormones"  are norepinephrine - manufactured in the part of the adrenal gland that is part of the nervous system - and cortisol, which is controled by the hypothalmus through release of ACTH.

Moreover, the sensitivity of the brain to stress (and release of stress hormones) is now understood to be influenced by the experience of both physiologic stress such as malnutrition and psychological stress such as loss of the primary caretaker in the early months of life. These early experiences influence the individual's response to all sorts of stresses throughout the life span and thereby their vulnerability to adult-onset chronic diseases including hypertension, collegen vascular diseases and diabetes. And their response to infection.

You might want to look at a sampling of recent research in the field of neuroendocrineimmunology: publications.htm

You might want to temper your pronouncements with an occasional fact.

Happy baking!

David

 

isand66's picture
isand66

David,

Thanks for setting the record straight.  I am not qualified to comment on this particular issue, but I suspected Doc.Dough's comment may not be correct.

Regards,

Ian

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I apologize, I did not mean to imply that the nervous system or the endrocrine system was not involved, just that the "brain" (as in conscious thought or even unconscious thought) is not a participant in clotting blood or fighting infection.  It is certainly true that the immune system of those who are brain dead is compromised but the blood will still clot.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm sorry Doc.Dough but you are incorrect. This is only Wiki but I think you will get the point.

Eric

G-man's picture
G-man

I've tried to stay out of the larger argument and focused on the smaller points about nutrition because that's what I know the most about. I've read a bit about GMOs and such and some of it is rather scary. The fact that Monsanto and other biotech firms can make plants that utilize genes from bacteria (genetic combinations that are 100% unnatural since bacteria and corn don't interbreed) and then feed these to people with little-to-no testing and zero warning to the consumer is fairly alarming. Everyone should absolutely be able to choose what they eat with 100% awareness of what goes into it. If they choose not to inform themselves, that's one thing, but that information should be readily available.

On the other hand, there's so much misinformation and alarmist rhetoric out there from the anti-everything crowd that those matters which are actually scary get drowned out in the noise. As in every other aspect of life where matters of belief are involved, militants and extremists make otherwise normal, rational individuals seem like nutjobs simply by association.

No argument here has managed to sway me one way or another, just thought I'd state where my thoughts are on the matter.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

G'man, there is a small fly in the ointment. The bacterial gene that is spliced to the corn genome is from the bactrium that is synergetic with beans and fixes nitrogen in the soil. Legumes are famous for their abilty to fix nitrogen in the soil and a local farm I know tells me that he plants beans this year where he planted corn last year and corn this year where he had beans last year and it saves him fifty pounds of nitrogen per acre.

There is an article in Scientifis American this spring that studies the fact that the number of bacteria in our bodies exceeds the total number of cells in out bodies.

There are some things that we use in our food that are violenly toxic but when we use them in controlled quantities and conditions they are most useful. Sodium Nitrite Is a prime example. A teaspoonful will kill a man but with added at the rate of 150 parts per million to raw pork along with about 2% salt we get hams.

G-man's picture
G-man

I am well aware of beans and how they work alongside certain bacteria.

Please tell me how these bacteria breed with the corn, producing bacteria/corn hybrids?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That sums it up well. There are a number of important issues. I am also rather taken back that none of this has been tested prior to release in the wild.

@dabrownman, the one thing I have learned in this is that I should move to AZ. Chicken for $.39 per pound! Around here it's a big deal if leg quarters are $.99 per pound. A whole bird is more like $1.40.

Eric

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Wednesday sales here.  Last week was split chicken breasts for 80 cents at Food City and whole chickens at Kroger for 67 cents, chicken tenderloins $1.69 .  Kroger had some nice very fresh salmon for $4.99 but when fresh Keta or farm raised is on sale for $3.99 we stock up.  Did get some steelhead not long ago for  $3.99 too.Avocados and red peppes were 5 for a $1 and they were the really big ones. This week is boneless skinless breasts for $1.67 and I'm not buying them till go on sale for 99 - to $1.19 cents.  Cucumbers 9 for 99 cents, white onions, russets, jalapenos and roma tomatoes are  4 # for 96 cents, dozen eggs 80 cents adn a gallon of milk $1.57, pork ribs and beef back ribs $1.29 a pound, bone in sirloin pork chops 99 cents a pound, skirt steak $3.79, Angus steaks $4.69 choice grade your choice of cut .  Carrots, Mexican grey / Italian green squash and jicama are always 3 # for 99 cents.  Pineapples are always 3 or 4 4 for 99 cents and the monster big ones are 99 cents each. Some brand of 2 liter soda is 99 cents every week. Iceberg was 4 for 99 cents last week but every day price for all lettuce is never mire than 88 cents each for red, green romain and iceberg.  A good price for green beans is 88 cents but we don't buy it over $1.19 a pound.  Brocolli crowns were 3-4 # for 99 for the longest time but are now 2 # for 88 cents.  Some kind of lunchmeat and hot dog is on sale every week for 79 cents a pound - this week salami and bologna and 8's.  I don't buy whole berry grains until they are 99 cents a pound or less in the bins. Banana 3 for 99 cents any dry bean 2# for 99. Ears of white or marbled sweet corn 10 for 99 cents a week ago now 5 for 99. Green onions and cilantro 3 bunches  for 99, radish 5 bunch for 99.  Kroger had their ice cream at $1.67 for a real half gallon.  All the fresh salsas; roasted, green or red are 99 cent a pound. Cantalopes were 2 for 99 cents but are 5 # for a buck now are just coming in and great this year.  Store brands AP or WW flour is $1.99 for 5 pounds.  All store brand sandwich breads, white or wheat 1 1/2# are 99 cents..  I don't buy processed stuff much but the cans of veggies are 2 for 99 cents and fruit is 99 cents a can.  Fresh berries are 99 cents a pound for strawberries or 6oz for blue, black or red raspies.  Kiwi' s are 10 for 99 cents.  How about a whole pudding ring cake, large bundt size with cream cheese topping for $3.99. 

When everything fresh is so cheap, no need to buy cans unless you are giving them away to a food drive.  Beef is the most expensive thing but we don't eat hamburger  more than 1 time a month and I get chuck roast on sale for $1.59  at 20% fat and sirloin steak on sale for $1.99 to be at 15% fat have the store grind it so I know what it is and end up with 17.5 % fat perfect for burgers.

Extra sales are on W-F and store managers unpublished specials can never be beat.  Wine is very cheap here since most of teh cost is in freight and we are the first stop heading east from California, my Ice Beer  6% alcohol that I like very much for taste just went from 13.99 to $14.99 for a 30 pack of cans - the highest quality containment for  any beer.  i'm drinking Tecate for $7.99 a 12 pack.

This is why no average Joe eats better, fresher or cheaper than folks in Phoenix.  But, prices are always going up.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

No matter what the price I still limit myself to just one thigh per meal.

shansen10's picture
shansen10

Eric,

I was moved by your description of the bread-making process we all share in, and share.  I have not seen it stated better anywhere.  

Thank you,

Sue in Tallahassee

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you Sue. I appreciate your kind words.

Eric

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Just think about what happens when you cut your finger or break a bone. That beautiful brain controls your biological system to replace the damaged cells, mend the break and replace the vital blood, all on its own. It should be a humbling thought that such an immensely complicated process can happen at all. 10 trillion cells being controlled by your brain (which by the way is made of cholesterol, fat) in each one of us.

Eric,

The brain has nothing to do with ANY of this.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

scream bloody murder (and other things) every time I cut myself or break a bone.  When I cut something off I need,  I also always hop on one leg for some reason. I think my brain figures if the boob cut himself, he probaly broke his leg too and just doesn't know it :-)

G-man's picture
G-man

Your central nervous system requires a nerve center...

...

 Oh yeah. The brain.

While beings with no central nervous system such as flatworms might experience assaults upon their structural integrity, the ability to register pain and experience an emotional reaction as an instinctual autonomic response requires a central nervous system. 

While the simple act of healing may not be anything particularly complex, the responses we experience over the course of any given day are absurdly complex and absolutely extend beyond the scope of anything experienced by a living thing that lacks such complex biochemical machinery.

Science! 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

G-man,

The human body has lots of control loops that all operate in parallel with coupling (including both positive and negative feedback), and only a very few of them require the cognitive part of the brain. Your heart beats without effort, you breath unconsiously, you cough, you swallow, you blink, you pull your hand back from touching the stove, your body repairs minor damage, all without thinking. Lower forms of life have almost all of the same loops though often implemented differently and still without a brain in the cognitive sense.  In some people, some of those loops get messed up, some of those people die as a result, others have chronic pain, some get diabetes, some gain weight, ...  It is just evolution. And it is ongoing. Survival of the fittest.  But "fittest" changes meaning as the world around us changes.  Who survives when the asteroid strikes?  Probably not those who prepared for it.  More likely those who were prepared for it by evolutionary accidents of nature that don't otherwise make any difference.

 

G-man's picture
G-man

You're talking about the autonomic nervous system, part of the peripheral nervous system. While it's true that living things with nervous systems don't necessarily have a central nervous system, those living things that have a central nervous system require the central nervous system to be active to sustain life. We have invented vague analogues with life support equipment, which can keep a body alive despite brain death, but it merely guarantees that the autonomic nervous system continues to function. You are still very clearly dead if your brain dies. In this way the brain is absolutely required to maintain all of the functions of a body that has a brain.

Re: evolution, we just can't know. That's why so many folks are so terrified of it that they deny it even happens.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's all I can stand dabrownman, I'm headed for AZ. We love avocado and I wait till I can find them under $1.39 and that's for the smaller Hass variety. $2.00 for the big ones. Great value for your groceries.

Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This morning I had 1/2 cup of home made sauerkraut, a 3 egg onion omelet and home spiced sausage from ground pork. I won't be hungry until dinner time. Had I added a cup of any fruit to that menu, my sugar levels would be elevated and I would be hungry again in a few hours. Fruits are delicious, I totally agree with you on that. The sensation comes from the high natural fructose levels. In the past I would easily drink down a 20 oz glass of fresh squeezed OJ and love every drop. A very large percentage of the US population are type 2 diabetics as I am. All of us and I suspect a large number of yet undiagnosed T2D are shortening their life by such behavior. But, it sure does taste good!

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Eric , as the father of a type one diabetic who was diagnosed 36 years ago I can assure you that you would get better control of your blood sugar if you had divided your breakfast into two meals and had the secong half for lunch. It is very hard to eat small portions of wonderful food.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Boy that's a whole new discussion. Type-1 is a challenge from all I have read about it. I do see some signs of that in my own case. While it is said in the low carb and Paleo diets that you can eat an unrestricted quantity of veggies and proteins, I haven't found that to be good practice. The salads drive my bs numbers up. I generally try to have 3 meals a day with lunch being smaller, for balance.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Exercise seems to enable insulin better . Kevin(my son) used to mow 12 lawns a week with a walk behind not self propelled power mower. He could abuse his diet terribly if he did it before he went to work. But he liked to reward himself after he finished and that would get him in trouble with his numbers .Today he is an ICU RN and on a pump. He can tell you by how he feels what his blood sugar numbers are . I asked him early on to consider how he felt before he checked his BS and correlate the numbers with his physical feelings.

I learned to cook for him and for the family and to keep notes on all of the ingredients in a a recipe and attach their calorie values. That way I could know the caloric value of each serving. I made pumpkin pies with slightly reduced fat in the crust and slightly reduced sugar in the filling and cut serving sizes to control the calories.  I did the same with fruit pies. He was diagnosed at age 13 and I was a stay at home dad.

Your salads depend on the content. Carrots and onions are rich in sugars.

JerryC's picture
JerryC

I am surprised that salad would drive your blood sugar up. Iwonder why that is. It is my belief that appropriate servings of fruit are very beneficial to us. Naturally occurring fructose in serving sizes should not be harmful. I would not like to neon your or dabrown,an's diet. Cheap unripend veggies flown in from far away where they still use chemicals that were banned in this country a long time ago don't whet my appetite. I would prefer more vegetables and leafy greens organically grown locally. For blood sugar I think smaller portions spread out through would be better. We are very fortunate that we can make healthy nutritious breads inexpensively. It would be great if we use the same skill sets in the rest of our diets

ehanner's picture
ehanner

JerryC, leafy greens have some carbohydrates which of course are digested as sugar. I must be insulin resistant and also Leptin resistant. My ability to self control the levels with decreasing medication is an indication the liver and pancreas are slowly healing after years of abuse. I think:>)

Eric

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

it comes to fruits and veg.   If you check my lunch posts, like the one today, you will see that I agree with you completely.  I eat as much green, orange, red, raw veg as I can and steamed too, and have huge salads for dinner too because even though they are carbs, they are minuscule ones and are good carbs high in fiber - the perfect diabetic food - not counting meats.  No blood sugar spike at all for me.  I also eat a lot fresh fruits, raw and home cooked too, since they are also high in fiber but I limit their intake to about 1/2 cup or less at any one time because of the fructose in them - a very bad carb.  You are right, proper portion control is the most important thing  and spreading them out is also helpful for diabetics.  High fiber, whole grain breads, (3 0r 4 vs 1 g of fiber in white) without sugars, are best for those like me if properly portion controlled.  But good breads too are chock carb full and a slice is 3 tsp of sugar.  1 slice of bad bread is like 4 tsp of sugar - poison to those like me.   The only fruit I try to avoid is grapes and only have a few of them at time.  The rest of the little berries are packed with sweetness too, just not as bad, are weighed out and limited.

I still eat a higher quality, varied and complete diet than anyone else I know except my apprentice :-)

whoops's picture
whoops

Ok, I just have to interject here-perhaps it is not the salad driving your blood sugar up. Maybe your body has for whatever reason felt it has been starved, which has caused a spike in blood sugar (if I really have to , I can go through and try to remember all the physiological processes that cause this, but honestly, my ac has been out for 2 weeks, and I am hot and tired, and honestly, it doesnt really matter that much to me, I just remember that it is a "scientific" thing I learned in nursing school. It would probably bore some of you to tears, though some would find the statistics fascinating, I am sure) I know many of my diabetic patients were confused how their fast blood sugars were so high in the morning when they stopped eating their bedtime snacks. Our bodies need food food on a regular basis to function optimally. For SOME people, especially those with type 2 DM, spacing meals out and adding a small medium protein/medium COMPLEX carb snack before bed will actually produce lower fasting blood sugars and better over all glucose control as evidenced by decreased Hemopglobin A1c levels. I can't produce a scientific study out of my hat, but I do beleive that often anecdotal evidence can be spot on. I also know that when I still worked in a nursing home, we could always tell when our patients had not had their snack, or an incorrect one: they either had a blood sugar way too low, or one way too high. I never could figure out why it affected some people with diabetes one way, and some the other.

Sandy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Today I see that The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) Founder and Director, Ronnie Cummins has written a piece that was posted on Mercola, a popular health web site. One of the things that has been difficult to grasp in this thread is just what is the danger or harm in eating foods made from GMO products. Cummins lays out what is happening and why it is important around the World and here in the USA. The paper is well sited at the end for the curious. I started this thread by suggesting that the upcoming labeling requirement in CA is a big deal. Here is the whole story from the perspective of a person who is active in the Organic farmers and consumers interest. I found it of value and hope you do as well.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

This can help to explain the oversight that is in place in our government.: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/testimony/ucm115032.htm

And this is the type of scientific report that I can respect. All facts and observations and no expressed opinions. http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html

Crider's picture
Crider

AgroNews. 2011. India: Signs of food toxicity in GE eggplant. Scoop.co.nz 2011-1-18. Nib, 24 Jnuary 111.

Bellaloui, N., reddy, K.N., Zablotowicz, R.M., Abbas, H.K., and Abel, C.A. 2009. Effects of glyphosate application on seed iron and root ferric (III) reductase in soybean cultivars. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57:9569-9574.

Bott, S., Tesfamariam, T., Kania, A., Eman, B., Aslan, N., Roemheld, V., and Neumann, G. 2011, Phytotoxicity of glyphosate soil residues re-mobilised by phosphate fertilization. Plant Soil 315:2-11. DOI 10, 1007/s11104-010-06989-3.

Cakmak, I., Yazici, A., Tutus, Y., Ozturk, L. 2009. Glyphosate reduced seed and leaf concentrations of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron in non-glyphosate resistant soybean. European J. Agron. 31:114-119.

Datnoff, L.E., elmer, W.H., and Huber, D.M. 2007. Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease. APS Press, St. Paul, Mn. 278. 278 pages.

Eker, S., Ozturk, L., Yazici, A., Erenoglu, B., Roemheld, V., and Cakmak, I. 2006. Foliar-applied glyphosate substantially reduced uptake and transport of iron and manganese in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants. J. Agric. Food Chem. 54:100019-10025.

Fernandez, M.R., Zentner, R.P., Basnyat, P., Gehl, D., Selles, F., and Huber, D.M. 2009. Glyphosate associations with cereal diseases caused by Fusarium spp. in the Canadian Prairies. European J. Agon. 31:133-143.

Johal, G.R. and Rahe, J.E. 1984. Effect of soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi on the herbicidal action of glyphosate on bean seedlings. Phytopathology 74:950-955.

Johal, G.R. and Rahe, J.E. 1990. Role of phytoalexins in the suppression of resistance of Phaseolus vulgaris to Colletotrichum lindemuthianum by glyphosate. Canad. J. Plant Pathol. 12:225-235.

Johal, G.R. and Huber, D.M. 2009. Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. European J. Agron. 31:144-152.

Kremer, R.J. and Means, N.E. 2009. Glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crop interactions with rhizosphere microorganisms. European J. Agron. 31:153-161.

Larsen, R.L., Hill, A.L., Fenwick, A., Kniss, A.R., Hanson, L.E., and Miller, S.D. 2006. Influence of glyphosate on Rhizoctonia and Fusarium root rot in sugar beet. Pest Manag. Sci. 62:1182-1192.

Ozturk, L., Yazici, A., Eker, S., gokmen, O., roemheld, V., and Cakmak, I. 2008. Glyphosate inhibition of ferric reductase activity in iron deficient sunflower roots. New Phytol. 177:899-906.

Schafer, J.R., Westhoven, A.M., Kruger, G.R., Davis, V.M., Hallett, S.G., and Johnson, W.G. 2009. Effect of growth media on common lambsquarter and giant ragweed biotypes response to glyphosate. Proc. Northcentral Weed Sci. Soc. 64:102.

Schafer, J.R., Hallett, S.G., and Johnson, W.G. 2010. Role of soil-borne fungi in the response of giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) biotypes to glyphosate. Proc. Northcentral Weed Sci. Soc. 65:.

Seralini, G-E., Mesnage, R., Clair, E., Gress, S., de Vendomois, J.S., Cellier, D. 2011. Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements. Environ. Sci. Europe 23:10-20. http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10

Tesfamariam, T., Bott, S., Cakmak, I., Roemheld, V., and Neumann, G. 2009. Glyphosate in the rhizosphere - role of waiting times and different glyphosate binding forms in soils for phytoxicity to non-target plants. European J. Agron. 31:126-132.

Yamada, T., Kremer, R.J., Camargo e Castro, P.R., and Wood, B.W. 2009. Glyphosate interactions with physiology, nutrition, and diseases of plants: Threat to agricultural sustainability? European J. Agron. 31:111-113.

Zobiole, L.H.S., Oliveira, R.S.Jr., Huber, D.M., Constantin, J., Castro, C., Oliveira, F.A., Oliveira, A. Jr. 2010. Glyphosate reduces shoot concentrations of mineral nutrients in glyphosate-resistant soybeans. Plant Soil 328:57-69.

Zobiole, L.H.S., Oliveira, R.S. Jr., Kremer, R.J., Constantin, J., Yamada, T., Castro, C., Oliveiro, F.A., and Oliveira, A. Jr. 2010. Effect of glyposate on symbiotic N2 fixation and nickel concentration in glyphosate-resistant soybeans. Applied Soil Ecol. 44:176-180.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I followed one of the more alarming-sounding links, which was to only an abstract of a paper but I was able to get the general gist of the research.  This was that glyphosphate-resistant sugar beet plants become more susceptible to certain root infections after treatment with glyphosphate, compared with the susceptibility of non-glyphosphate-resistant sugar beet plants to those infections.  Of course, if you sprayed non-glyphosphate-resistant sugar beet plants with glyphosphate, they would be dead.  So all the paper said was that you have to be more careful to control certain types of root rot infections when growing the resistant sugar beet plants using glyphosphate on the crop, because the plants are in a weakened state after the spraying.  That is to say, the modified sugar beet plants are only resistant, not immune, to glyphosphate.  It speaks nothing to the issue of whether the sugar beets produced are toxic to human beings.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Here is another report from a national agency on fresh water. This is the mother article from the EPA. Titled National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

If you look to the federal government for all of your information and drink the Kool-Aid, you will miss other possibilities like this. Huber is no crank and many people think he is dead on spot on this.

Eric

 

JerryC's picture
JerryC

Cornell is a respected institution of higher learning. Their studies however are often funded by corporations that seek to get their message green washed by such institutions. The FDA is in my opinion a corporate Schiller agency. You may not agree.

 

Justices Thomas and Kagan both worked for Monsanto at different points in their respective careers. What does this mean?  I suppose different things to different people.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's interesting Jerry. On both sides of the aisle.

Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yikes Crider, but how could that beeee? The FDA says it's OK.

Eric

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

Since opinion seems to carry the most weight I will express one of mine. I believe that more people will harm their health by excessive eating of organic foods than will ever be harmed by foods that are approved by the USDA and the FDA. I further believe that no matter what their food source preference may be if they eat wisely and moderately they will continue to avoid food related illness.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

organic foods cost at least twice as much as non organic, people who eat organic can't afford to buy as as much food as they normally would - and will natrually be forced to eat less.  This is more true the less income they make.  I don't see how this harms them in any way since forced moderation of healthy food would be the end result and we know that works. Sadly, the majority of Americans can't afford organic food when 47% don't earn enough income to even pay any income tax, much less buy organic.

But the other 50%, who might afford organic and pay income taxes, will soon likely be forced to buy it and provide it to everyone else in NY City too if Bloomberg has anything to say about it :-) 

JerryC's picture
JerryC

My apologies, dabrown an, I based my comments on some of your posts. I do not know you and made assumptions that were rude at best.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

at all.  Some diabetics have to stay away from fruits especially the bad ones with high fructose - like grapes - the worst.  But I don't know many that ditch the veg too.  There wouldn't be much left to eat but meat.  Most medical folks that coach and teach diabetics tell them to eat as much veggies as they want and fill up on them as the best option opposed to most anything else.  Your comment was't rude at all.

ssorllih's picture
ssorllih

The thing that Doctors fail to teach or that patients fail to grasp is portion size. Fruit is perfectly good but the portions must be carefully controlled. If you were to make a meal that included fruit It might have a quarter of an apple sliced into six pieces, four grapes, two or three slices of kiwi fruit. That wouldn't get you in trouble but to sit down with a bowl of grapes is not wise. You don't have to completely remove some food types or groups from your diet but you must be careful to control your portions. Eat more smaller bites and you can still be satisfied. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

learning to eat slowly helps too.  I try to read something like the newspaper while eating to slow down and enjoy each bite of the smaller portions.   

JerryC's picture
JerryC

I recall my mother trying to teach me to eat slowly and chew my food completely. Them I went to school and had 30 min to eat lunch and get ready for the next class. Then I went to work and got 15 min breaks and another half hour lunch. I like Italy one hour lunch and then a three hour seista.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The Center for Food Safety published a report that speaks to the situation American farmers now find themselves in, in increasing numbers. That is, being sued by Monsanto. Regardless of your opinion of GMO foods and the safety of consuming them, every consumer should be aware of what is happening right now. If all you read is the Executive Summary, please do that. This licensing of genetic patents has caused misery and disruption for farmers all across the country. As consumers, you have the right to know how our food supply is being taken over.

Eric

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I won't comment on the healthfulness of GMO.  I will agree with someone who mentioned that we've been modifying food crops since the beginning of time.  What really bothers me is the politics of it all.

1. Face it, the corporations like Monsanto are primarily interested in their bottom lines.  That is their primary motivator, and it can result in their skewing the truth.

2. People don't like the idea of GMO.  This threatens Monsanto's bottom line because the people will generally opt not to buy something if they know that it's GMO.  Ergo the corporate opposition to labelling.

3. The GMO seeds are patented.  That means that if, say, a Third World farmer (or a backyard farmer) buys (or is given) the seed, he is not allowed to save the seeds for next year.  This costs the farmer more, but adds to the corporation's bottom line.  More gelt for the rich.

Rosalie

LindyD's picture
LindyD

While it's true that plants have undergone modification for centuries, that has been done through cross-pollination:  the simple act of taking the pollen from one plant and placing it on the stigma of another plant.   A completly natural method which deals only with plant materials. - although it's helpful to be familiar with Mendel's Genetics before getting started.  This is hybridizing, and it's been done for centuries.

Genetic engineering of plants, which began in the 1980s, involves completely different and sometimes alien practices, such as inserting animal cells into a plant's DNA, or insecticides.   Done in a laboratory, not a field or garden.

There's a very big difference between the two "modification" methods.

Rodale offers a more in-depth explanation here: http://www.rodale.com/genetically-modified-seeds?page=0,0

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Gene splicing is indeed the issue under discussion here, but the "natural" methods of the past have sometimes involved chemicals and made crosses impossible in nature.  Mutagens were used to enable crosses between species of differing numbers of chromosomes, for instance, as well as non-mutagenic toxins to create triploid and tetraploid species.  These things were also done in a laboratory, decades before 1980.  Gene-splicing is un-natural, but so are most of the methods mankind has used to produce drastic changes in the food supply.

Despite the assertion made in Rodale's article at the link you supplied, I see no reason to believe that all non-gene-spliced varietals will create completely harmless foods, nor for that matter, particularly nutritious or flavorful foods.  Bright red tomatoes with no flavor that hurt your bare foot if you drop one on it, or carrots without beta-carotene, are two examples of the latter with which I am familiar.  I have seen mentions of "natural" potato hybrids with toxic levels of solanine in the tuber, but not yet found a legitimate reference.  It seems entirely possible, though, since the entire rest of the potato plant is toxic, and solanine is a normal material found in the nightshade family.

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sandy,

Back when the common wisdom was that the Earth was flat, there was very little science being discussed. Belief has been a weakness of humans all along. When we don't understand something and fear the outcome, we get together and decide what MUST be happening to push back our fear. That's understandable. But today, we have some understanding of some of the very small things in our universe. The one thing I am sure of is that the whole system of life is enormously complicated. It seems like everything matters. Everything affects the cells around the life form.

I grew up thinking that the major difference between sea water and fresh, was the salt. Now I found out that every teaspoon of sea water has approximately 100 million distinct virus in it. Most of them are unique. These virus are beneficial to all of us in the way the contribute to the ecosystem. They have had an effect on our evolution. You have to let that sink in.

Then, I recently learned that a single cell in a fruit fly can produce over 40,000 proteins. One of the smallest animals we know about (with a brain) has this ability. Clearly the science at work is tremendously complicated. I doubt humans will ever totally understand the gravity of all the interactions at a sub cellular level. Allowing Monsanto to fool with the genetics of the Global food supply, regardless of what they say their intent is, seems like a very dangerous experiment. To me it looks like a money grab.

Eric

whoops's picture
whoops

Eric,

I agree with the fact that we as humans can have a hard time taking in all the truths there are to know about "science". That is my entire point. What we KNOW now, might later be disproved. Since that appears to be the case, biting off one another's head for a different belief or undersanding of science is not necessary. You believe Monsanto is not doing good for the planet in a much stronger fashion than I do, but I am ok with that. I am ok if others believe Monsanto is doing good. I think they are wrong, but it is not my job, duty, or mission to convince them there of, just as I when I have discussions with friends and famiy members regarding political matters, I state my opinion. I will back my opinion up, but I listen with care to the othe ropinion, I might learn something, if not  don't I hold it against them or become angry or nasty because they continue to disagree even after I have thoughtfully put out my"evidence".

To restate the purpose of my earlier post in a different way: you are just as entitled to your view as I am to mine. It does neither of us any good to be mean, nasty or vitriolic during the discussion of said beliefs, in fact, if you are hoping to sway someone, kindness will go a lot farther. This is not to say that YOU, Eric, were ever doing anything other than saying your piece, it was directed at the response that you received for stating your opinion.  

And, I must disagree with you about little science being discussed back when they thought the earth was flat: perhaps the "common man" did not think or discuss science, but those that are driven to find out more and learn more have been around since mankind came into existence. We "advanced" humans might not consider what they did as science, but tot them, I believe they were thinking in a scientific manner. 

Sandy

Jenna290's picture
Jenna290

Eric, thank you for this post. Please continue to ignore anyone who suggests that you remove it. The biotech industry would like to keep Americans ignorant about GMOs. They have stacked the U.S. government with lackeys for many years, they've sued family farmers out of business here and in Canada, and their products DO NOT SOLVE WORLD HUNGER PROBLEMS. This is a MARKETING ploy, and it is utter BS. The products have been shown to harm local ecologies, make people and animals sick and change native food sources. This has been demonstrated over and over and over again.

I invite anyone who's interested in this topic to watch the many documentaries available (The Future of Food, Food Inc., Genetic Roulette, The World According to Monsanto, to name a few). Google "leaky intestines," ADHD, autism and GMOs and see what you come up with. Then decide if you want to eat GMO based food or feed it to your children.

At the least - the very least - these products should be labeled so that consumers can make informed choices. The biotech industry has fought even that tooth and nail, which should speak very loud and clear to anyone who is paying attention.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sadly, Eric Hanner passed away November 16, 2012

As to product labeling, here's some welcome news from Whole Foods:  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/gmo-labeling-coming-whole-foods-market

Also from Trader Joe's:  http://www.traderjoes.com/about/customer-updates-responses.asp?i=4

healthcoach7's picture
healthcoach7

I see that it has been over a year since these posts and yet I don't see a Non-GMO Project label on any Bob's Redmill products and I'm wondering why? I am as anti GMO's as I am organic and I do believe they are contributing to our deteriorating health. My hope is one day see GMO's banned completely like they are in over 50 countries. I don't want roundup ready corn, soy, sugar beets, canola or cotton, period! When Monsanto created the roundup ready seeds they told us it wouldn't go into the food. They lied! How could that possibly be the case and why did we ever fall for that lie from a corporation that brought us Agent Orange and DDT! By the way this years corn crop had to be sprayed with 2,4D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange!