Food Inc and Genetically Modified Foods

You are what you eat?

 I am afraid that I am what I have eaten.  I am large, round and my body is a producer of more illnesses and health risks than I care to explain.  I have always opened my mouth and inserted food because of taste.  Many times, I have chosen to eat because of health.  Foods that I thought were actually healthy.  Sadly, I am finding through research, articles and the new film titled, Food Inc., that what I thought was healthy really is not.

It is scary to think that my children have been brought up on genetically modified foods.  Since the year 2000, it is estimated that over half of the children born after this year will become diabetic because of diet.

I shudder to think that the foods I cook and place on the table are composed of fillers, have been washed in ammonia and have feces in them.  Please read on to see what I mean.

Food Inc. follows farmers and tells their stories...

I went into this film believing that I would be convinced to never eat meat again. This is not what the movie wants you to do. It is the preparation and the conditions of which the animals are kept in, that you are encouraged to change. I know that I will now seek out farmer's that slaughter their own meat and allow their animals to roam when they eat. As I look at all the frozen, boneless meat in my freezer, I am a bit apprehensive now to cook it. Lack of money will force me to do so; however, I will cook the heck out of it and pray that my family suffers no consequences from the way the animal was raised, killed and processed.

Tyson, Perdue and other popular meat companies have cornered the market on our meat. Even though meats are sold in different packaging and labels, most of it comes from the same slaughterhouse. McDonald's, Burger King and our fast food restaurants get their meat from these same slaughterhouses as well.

The chickens, pigs and cows are raised in small, cramped areas; many unable to move. They are fed corn as their main diet which causes quick weight gain and pumped with steroids and anti-biotics to hopefully offset being infected with disease or the e coli strain, and produce quick results so they can be slaughtered more quickly. Many of the producers of these animals refused to allow cameramen the ability to film the conditions in which these animals were raised, for fear of being dropped by one of the meat companies. One woman, who became sickened with her part in this animal cruelty and altering allowed cameras in to film her chickens. She explained that because they grew so quickly, the bones and joints couldn't keep up with the weight gain and therefore, many of the chickens were unable to walk more than a couple feet and some were not able to move at all. Daily, she removed dead birds from the barn which housed thousands of chickens at one time. Because of the ability to "grow" animals more quickly, time frames are cut in half and producers can begin a new batch of animals much sooner than they would if the animals were raised under "old fashioned" standards.

Some farmers told their stories of being sued by companies that found they were growing crops that didn't use their mutated genetically modified seeds. Soy, which we think of as being healthy is the most affected. The Monsanto company has produced a soybean that is not affected by Round-Up. If you've ever used Round-Up, you know it kills all plant life. Not so with the genetically altered soybean which isn't affected one bit by this weed killer. Farmers who don't work for Monsanto are under scrutiny and constant investigation and a couple of the farmers were sued because some of the seedlings from altered fields flew into their fields and parts of the crop became genetically modified. It seemed from the film, that the farmer of today has to fear for his/her life because big business wants to get their hands around their necks and their plows. 90% of the soy products in the USA are manufactured by Monsanto.

Kevin's Law

 About 7 years ago, you may have read about a 2.5 year old boy that died of e coli after eating meat from a Jack in the Box restaurant.  His mother has relentlessly tried to make sure that no other family has to suffer from the same loss that she and her family has.

The little boy became ill the day after eating and the parents found blood in his diarrhea.  Upon taking him to the hospital, they were told his kidneys were shutting down and he had e coli; he died within two weeks because of it.  The mother explains on the film that a recall of that meat hadn't been recalled until 16 days after her baby's death.  Think of all the people that were infected because of it.  Think of how many people may have died or suffered illness that brought them close to death as a result.

Today, people are fighting with Congress to get the following passed:  labels that tell where your meat comes from, labels telling if your food has been genetically modified and labels that show contents of foods; such as fillers.

It was horrifying to see how much of the processed foods (burger, boneless meats, etc.) we eat have filler in them.  The film showed how meat was cut up, pulled apart and washed in ammonia to kill potential viruses and diseases.  It is then added to the meat that hasn't been treated in an effort to lower the risk of contamination.  The fact that the animals are not washed or cleaned during slaughter, and they are caked with their own feces; made me vomit a bit in my mouth;knowing that the meat I was eating contained feces that wasn't visible.

Please look up Kevin's Law and do what you can to encourage Congress to inform the public about what they are eating.  We should have the right to make that decision.

What exactly happens when something is genetically modified?

 Genetic engineering (GE) or modifying (GM) food is the laboratory process of artificially manipulating or inserting genes into the DNA of food crops or animals.  They can be engineered with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals and even humans.  The USA is not required to label foods that have been altered in this way.

Buying foods that boast to be 100% organic are not allowed to contain any GM foods.  If they are not 100%, then they could have been altered with.  Most GM foods have corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed in them.  Sugar beets may soon become GM so look for foods that contain 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar.

Very few fresh fruits and veggies in the USA are GM foods.  Seedless watermelons are not modified.  Some small amounts of our corn, zucchini and squash may be so buy these items organic.  The only GM fruit is papaya from Hawaii.

Look for 100% grass fed animals and wild fish rather than farmed fish to avoid GM meat.  Eggs that are non-GM are harder to find.  Many of the chickens are raised with corn feed and drugs.  Some non-GM brands are Eggland's Organic, Egg Innovations Organic, Land O'Lakes Organic, Wilcox Farms Organic and Organic Valley.  Foods that you buy at Whole Foods; or have labels from Amy's Kitchen, Wildwood, White Wave, Sunshine Burger and Vitasoy will be GM free. 

Some dairy farms give their cows rbST to boost milk production, but we now know that this is dangerous and therefore stores like Kroger, Meijer and Walmart now state they do not buy milk from farmers that do this.  Some of the products by the following companies are non-GM and rbST free:

Alta Dena, Horizon Dairy, Morningland, Organic Valley, Seven Stars Farm, Wisconsin Organics, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Brown Cow Farm, Sunshine Dairy Foods, Promised Land Dairy, Farmland Dairy and if you go to HealthierEating.org  you will find more listings.

Our most popular foods such as those made by Betty Crocker, Knorr, Lipton, Kraft, Near East, General Mills, Kellogg, Post and Quaker have GM foods in their ingredients.  It is near impossible to eat and not have something that has been genetically altered.  Just eat less of these foods and eat more fresh foods.

In conclusion, our food industry is slowly killing us.  It is so very important that we begin to read labels and be more conscience of what we are putting into our mouths.  In our children's mouths.  This quest I resolve to make; eating foods that are not GM and if I do, to make them the lesser part of the diet, is going to be a difficult and truly painful one.  My body has been genetically compromised which forces me to crave foods that contain fructose, GM ingredients and MSG, salt and other additives.  Like cocaine or nicotine; my body wants to fill itself with these tasty and arousing foods that add comfort to my psyche and pounds to my frame.

We often don't realize the effects of the foods that we eat.  I never did.  It wasn't until my kids went to their doctor and were told that they and I (which I already knew) were overweight and we were looking at the early onsets of type II Diabetes and a life of obesity unless we looked at fructose and high fructose corn syrup as a poison.  After shopping a few times, I realized that almost everything we ate had this in it.  Then, I decided to take MSG off of our shopping list.  Another third of our food was eliminated.  Knowing now that foods that are out of season (our fruits and veggies) can be GM made me queasy too.  What the heck can we eat?

As I stated before; seek out farmer's markets.  Eat meat that is free range and grass fed.  Buy milk that is free of chemicals.  One forkful at a time.  That is how we have to begin.

Comments 15 comments

hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 6 years ago from nyc

I only buy organic and wholefood. I live in the wholefood market, i totally support you and my kids drink raw milk. You wrote my hub lol. Thank you. love all koma Iam your fan.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy only organic and whole foods but I am a label reader and I have truly changed my eating ways. It is so sad that healthy foods are so expensive and processed and unhealthy foods are so cheap. That leaves low income families loading up on filler foods instead of nutritional and therefore the problems with obesity and poor health.


hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 6 years ago from nyc

yes that's unfortunate but it will change...hopefully. Reading labels is important but they can be misleading. I buy whatever is in whole food market because they have great products and it just feels clean shopping there, but I know I overpay for the same stuff sometimes but with an organic label. so the best places to buy value food is from local farm markets I support them in many ways.

Be happy and open minded the same system that keeps our foods poisoned allows us to have options for a healthy local foods. its all apart of the global one world changes hopefully for the better when we start realizing and making choices that benefit us as family generations not just us.

Love


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 6 years ago from Michigan Author

yes, I love farmer's markets...too bad they will end soon with the winter coming..hugs


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky

You wrote a great hub about the junk that is in our food. It seems that just about everything in the store has genetically modified corn, soy, canola in it! It is so hard to avoid it. This GMO food is causing untold disease and severe allergies - you are right, we must learn to eat fresh, organic foods, and insist on correct labelling. We must also become active in making our government prohibit the growing of GMO crops, which is destroying our natural food supply! Thanks for writing about GMO foods. I wrote about it, also, if you would like to look...

I am your new and adoring fan! :)


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 6 years ago from Michigan Author

thanks Magic! It is so very difficult to find items in stores that are healthy. High fructose syrup is one thing I am trying to avoid for myself and my kids as well as sodium and msg. It's so very difficult to do so.


PlantGeneticist 6 years ago

Although very frustrating, I understand the fear involved with GMOs. First, let me say I am against genetic manipulation of animals which creates stress in the animals life. That is wrong. However, I do not feel GMO animals are dangerous for consumption. The modifications TYPICALLY are used to increase levels of growth hormones already in the animal, like steriods in humans. Although unethical I agree, the meat is no more dangerous than a regular piece of meat. The chemicals added after the butchering is usually the problem.

MagicStarER, to put it simply, you are wrong. GMOs, by nature can not cause diseases unless a scientist inserted gene which makes a disease protein, which they may do in labs to help make medications, but those plants would NEVER be allowed to be put onto the food market. Secondly, GMOs are not destroying our natural food supply, many farmers simply decide to grow GMO crops instead of non-GMO crops. The original, non-GMO crops are almost never allowed to cross-pollinate with any GMO crops, seeing as the farmer has restricted his circuit to whom he can sell (if they cross-pollinate, farmer without GMO corn can not sell corn to certain markets, like whole foods markets). There is strict regulation against cross-pollination of GMO and non-GMO crops from the transgenic seed companies anyways. And, even if they did cross pollinate, transgenic seed companies PROHIBIT replanting seeds from your plant harvest. The companies do this, mostly to ensure huge sales every year, but also to keep a level of genetic purity and strength in both their GMO lines and their non-GMO hybrid lines especially. Thirdly, there has never, I repeat NEVER been a case of any human being harmed in any way by a GMO product. I am sure many of the sites you have read (like greenpeace.org) have told you a bunch of fairy tales about people dying and getting sick, or people having allergic reactions to GMOs, but they are all completely unture and typical information from a site with such an obvious agenda. I will admit that GMOs have the potential to introduce allergens to plant species which cannot naturally carry them, however, the only time this legitimately happened was when a soybean company was working on making a more nutritional soybean. Seeing as the soybean is often a staple in a vegitarian/vegan diet, researchers were interested in producing a soybean plant that carried more of the essential amino acids, which many vegetarians/vegans did not get, seeing as it typically comes from the meat portion of a human diet. One source of this amino acid was peanuts. So, logically, scientists isolated the gene responsible for the production of that amino acid in the peanut, replicated that portion of DNA, and using genetic engineering, introduced the new gene to the soybean plant, which took up the gene perfectly and created a soybean plant which contained the increased amino acid production which would be great news for vegatarians/vegans all over. They can get a healthier diet from a source of nourishment already hugely popular in their diet. But, long before distribution to the public, scientist discovered through rigerous testing, which they do for every plant they produce, that the section of DNA that contains the gene to make the amino acid also contains the gene which makes the protein that people with nut allergys are allergic to. If these GMO producers were profit-driven monsters who didn't care about safety, they would have produced the product anyways, helping huge amounts of vegetarians, vegans, and others who use soy as a staple in their diet, and hurt the few who have nut allergys. If they were an average business (who didn't have so many ignorant consumers exaggerrating information or plain lying to make the seed companies out to be self-centered, inconsiderate jerks)they would have labeled the product as "Contains Nuts" or anything that would let those with nut allergies to avoid this type of soybean byproduct. This would give those not allergic to nuts the nutrition they need from the soybeans and those allergic to nuts the knowledge needed to avoid this product, and everyone would be happy. Instead these companies, in order to protect themselves from people who ignorantly try and prosecute seed companies and try to demonize the work of these learned scientist, the seed companies stopped production of the product before it could even see the chance to grow on even one outdoor test plot. Yeah, it would have been great for vegetarians to have the opportunity to get the nourishment they need from something they already consume regularly but out of fear of activists like yourselves (and possibly out of the goodness of the hearts of the scientists) this crop that could have helped the health of so many vegatarians and vegans was eliminated.

I really could go through this whole page and probably refute 90% of the data, however, I am sure almost everyone who will view this web-page would have stopped reading my comment when it started, it is quite long and I am sure none of you want to be exposed to the truth. Continue to get your information from greenpeace.org that way we can continue to hold back the advancement of science and prolong the time it takes hard working scientist to release the GMOs that can help feed the over 1 billion people who are going hungry in the world. I am now done and willing to hear anyone retaliation.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 6 years ago from Michigan Author

PlantGeneticist; you are always welcome to give your opinion! I believe that we become more informed and can view things from different perspectives. Just a suggestion...don't lambast a specific group in your comments...that becomes offensive to people and turns them off from the information you wish to provide. Stay neutral and I believe you will have more people listen. You have some valid and interesting points in your "response" and I hope that you can receive some comments that are the same. I just don't want this forum to be finger pointing and name calling! PEACE everyone! I know we ALL want to be happier and healthier and the way to achieve that differs in all of us. Laura


PlantGeneticist 6 years ago

After reading my comment, I realize I did get a little, um... frustrated. I sincerely do apologize. I typically do hate the whole your wrong/I'm right arguments, and that seems to be what I did. I guess my abition and passion gets me a little fired up. There are many valid things to be concerned with in GMO production, and I think labeling should be a must. People should have the right to know what contains GMOs and what percentage of the product is genetically modified. There needs to be some regulation. Your writing wasn't so frustrating, however the comment by MagicStarER kind of set me off. Using the typical "GMOs cause disease and allergys" is what has always bothered me. If MagicStarER would like to provide some proof (besides the long she wrote herself) I would be more than willing to take it into consideration. I don't want to sound like the almighty intellectual, but I have been going to school for years learning about plant genetics from many experienced professors and scientists, and when people, whether knowingly or unknowingly, spread falsified information it gets under my skin. I am giving a speech on the inportance of GMO crops at my university and I ran across your page while doing some research. Clearly I was near boiling point already, and I took my long winded rage out on this page for some reason. I am sorry for the cruel messgae, and a civilized debate via comments is usually much more constructive than name calling and nit-picking. Sorry I had to be the guy starting all kinds of trouble. haha.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Just to let you know...I wasn't offended but I could tell that you were upset, to say the least. We all let it out somewhere and I guess this is a pretty safe environment to do so. No problem...it just pays to re-read what we write before hitting that post button!


Karen 5 years ago

PlantGeneticist does Monsanto pay you to post on forums such as this?


joe billybob 4 years ago

GM food isn't the reason your kids will obtain diabetes, the reason you get diabetes is because you eat junk and sit around all day.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

joe, just remember, diabetes can affect everyone and obesity is not the only reason for diabetes. In the end, it is best to educate yourself on what is best for you and your family. It is always a choice in what we do to improve or ruin our lifestyles. Research and information are the most powerful of tools.


nanci 4 years ago

was looking for info regarding why I got super sick from eating Amy's organic lasagna and found this site. (I'm in excellent health, no food allergies, really don't eat meat, and twice I've gotten sick from eating The Amy's Kitchen organic products.) I couldn't watch the video; scared of how horrible it would be. So many comments about GM food here... I think the reality of slaughterhouse/meat farmers is equally horrid.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Nanci, I am finding out slowly that many of my ailments come from processed foods, msg, high fructose sugar and lack of fruits/veggies. The movie is an eye opener but didn't change my habits completely. I have been slowly seeing the benefits of changing to less carbs, more true protein (lots of veggies have protein) and more dairy related products. I still eat meat but a lot less beef and I never buy Perdue or Tyson products as they were featured in the film showing how they manipulate growth in animals. If a product has a shelf life longer than you, I would beware.

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    adrenalin_26 4 years ago

    Any suggestions on where a guy could get a hold of seeds for his garden that haven't been GM'd?


    ljrc1961 profile image

    ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

    I don't, sorry!

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