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The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Food Choice and GMO's

Updated on February 10, 2013

The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Food Choice and GMO's? What on earth is she talking about, GMO's? Okay, so it's about food again. Grin and bear it. This is important.

Actually it's about purchasing or growing food and making healthy, economical decisions. In our society today, there appears to be three classes of consumers - those that choose, those that deny, and those that remain in the middle. Let's talk about it.

Choice

As consumers, we do still have the freedom to choose what we eat. It may mean changing our shopping habits or starting a garden but for now, we do have the choice. If you want to limit the amount of chemical exposure or GMO's (genetically modified organisms) you're ingesting, then you have to make better choices than in the past. Growing your own food is the only way to guarantee the safety and quality of your food but, not everyone has the space or ability to do so. For those folks, it really is about choice. You have to choose the suppliers of your food carefully and after doing the research. Many of the products in our grocery stores today have been genetically modified and current laws do not require labeling of these foods. You are shopping blindly to say the least.

Denial

Clearly, some folks just can't handle the idea that consumers are being sold unhealthy, chemical-laden foods. They don't want to hear about the pesticides being used on commercially grown produce. They even think that because it's in a sealed can, it has to be safe. You can't explain to them that before it was canned, it was a fresh product growing in a field where layers of pesticide accumulated from repeated spraying to ensure higher volumes for the commercial grower. They simply don't want to hear it and, that's their right I suppose. Being in denial doesn't take away a person's right to choose.

Status Quo

Ah, this is the class that should bother us the most. They are smart enough to know what is happening to our food but unwilling to put forth the extra effort to be a more healthy consumer. For these folks, it's just too much trouble and besides, it hasn't killed them yet. These are the folks that will tell you that their parents are in their 80's and they ate the same food. When you explain that the chemicals were different 50 years ago, they shrug their shoulders and walk away. They are content right where they are and see no need to change.

Get the DVD at Amazon

Earthlings (the full video)

Let's get to the rant...

So, why the rant? Because the information is out there for all of us to learn more about making safe and healthy choices for the food we eat. There is no reason for anyone to make bad choices, deny, or remain status quo when we have so much information at our fingertips.

Awareness is the key.

Many years ago, I was introduced to a documentary titled "Earthlings". Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, It was a shocking introduction to how our food is produced. When presented with the documented animal cruelty, filth, and abuse of power in commercially produced food, I found it difficult to continue to be a consumer of these products. But, I am human and after a while, the shock and awe dissipated somewhat. I fell into the status quo class I suppose.

"Earthlings" is worth the 90 minutes it takes to watch and will open in a new window if you click here.

The concern about GMO's

Technology is a wonderful thing when used properly and by responsible people. But technology can be dangerous or deadly when used for the wrong reasons (greed) or by the wrong people (power). Technology or science can begin with good intentions and become a global evil in the name of greed and power. Our evolution from a nation of simplicity to a nation of do it more, bigger, better is the culprit. As a nation, we are rarely satisfied with the status quo. Ironic, isn't it? As individuals, we are often satisfied with the status quo but collectively, it's never acceptable. There is power in numbers. Remember that!

Definition: So, GMO's. Genetically modified organics. The Non-GMO Project tells us that "GMO's, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.'

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit."

Science: From a production viewpoint, being able to grow or raise food that can withstand extreme weather, disease, or predator sounds like a good thing. But at what cost? Are we willing to compromise our health to support such an industry? We know that when human DNA goes awry, the result is disastrous. The result is often a poor quality of life, discrimination, disease, or early death. Why would we think that tampering with the DNA of animals or plants would produce better results?

Regulation: Genetically modified food is loosely regulated at best and varies from country to country. In the words of an old Rolling Stones song - "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need". Is that good enough?

The Results: GMO's are created by introducing foreign material into the DNA sequence of a natural substance to create a response. Einstein once said that "Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome." So why would we think that introducing foreign substances (GMO foods) into our bodies would not cause a response? {Preliminary independent studies hint that GMO foods may produce toxins, allergies, and diminished nutritional value. Is it worth the risk?

Science Based Fear: Many GMO's are manufactured using Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide. With normal exposure (during application), Roundup is not considered highly toxic. GM Watch recently reported on a German university study that showed levels of glyphosate up to 20 times higher than normal in the urine of the test subjects. When one considers that practically all engineered commercial food is exposed to this herbicide, that it leaches into the ground and into our water supply, are we really getting a small exposure?

It's up to us

We do still have choices and the choices we make, from this point forward, will impact the quality of our lives and the quality of life for generations to come. There is an old adage that says something like "you are what you eat". What will you become? Will you become a chemically altered, herbicide infested warehouse of screwed up DNA that you will pass on to your children? Or, if you are past the point of interest in reproduction, will you choose to do all you can to ensure a quality and long life so that you will enjoy watching your children grow and have healthy children of their own? You do not have to be a victim of this do it faster, better, and bigger mentality. Here's what you can do:

  • Buy local whenever possible and seek out organic or low spray farmers.
  • Ask your grocer to point out GMO foods. He/she won't be able to but, you'll be putting them on notice.
  • Educate yourself and become involved in the movement to have GMO foods identified with labeling regulations.
  • Become an advocate. Talk to your friends and family about thinking, eating, and living healthier. Today's a good day to start. Will you choose, deny, or remain status quo?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • GusTheRedneck profile image

    Gustave Kilthau 4 years ago from USA

    Hey there Linda ( lrc7815) -

    Everyone else can eat whatever they want to eat. As for me, I'll swap my food stamps for ice cream every time.

    Gus :-)))

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    GusTheRedneck, as I said, it's all about choice. :-)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well aren't you the little trouble maker! Well-said of course, and as you well know, most people will just keep doing what they are doing because change requires commitment. The same people will continue to buy products made in China and then complain about our economy.

    As you well know, change of this magnitude usually doesn't happen until people are forced to do so because of impending health problems or they are in a hurt economically. Then all of a sudden it is pretty important to them. Sigh!

    I'm afraid your rant has me ranting! :)

    Good job Linda!

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    I am able to grow and can my own vegetables. But that is about it. As for the video, if you don't mind, I am going to bookmark this hub and watch it after my daughter goes to bed. That way I can watch the whole video before the 5000 questions. Well, not that many, but at least I can pay more attention.

    Excellent hub.

    Voted up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, no one loves a chain reaction or a train wreck more than ne? Rant on my friend. This one had a life of its own which I found to be quite amusing. I started one place and ended up somewhere completely different, in spite of a plan. Well, I guess I've done that most of my life. lol

    Glad to have you on the journey though. :-) Have a great evening!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Michele, thank you for reading and for already being pro-active. I don't know the age of your daughter but it might be good to watch this alone if she is young. It's pretty startling and graphic for a youngster. But, it is quite enlightening. I watched it several years ago and continue to refer people to it. Thanks again for the visit and for the compliment.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    it bothers me a lot...and I did read that certain veggies were GMO like zucchini, corn...Supposedly all food from Trader Joes that has their label is not GMO. I know it does help not to use cans and prepared foods but I also have hear that Organic is not always perfect being imported from places far away. I think your rants on Moonday morning should continue on thru the week. Great hub and vote up and share.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Carol7777! You are too sweet. I can't rant every day, it would exhaust me. lol You're right, not all that are labeled organic are "organic". That's why I suggested buying locally and getting to know the farmer. Trust me, I'm not 100% on this issue either. Some things I just buy because it's convenient, cheap, or just...because. But I am trying to change slowly. The more I learn, the more motivated I am. Still, it isn't easy to change years of apathy and trust in a food system that is failing us. I hope one day all food will be labeled if it is GMO. It would make things so much easier. Thanks for reading my rant. I always appreciate the time you give my hubs.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    Excellent information and point taken. I am even concerned that when we buy -- say leafy vegetables -- can we actually get all the bad stuff off of them just by washing them? We live in strange times and our food becomes more artificial as we go. Thanks for a great read. Best/Sis

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Angela, I share the same concern. There was a time when I didn't give a damn and never thought about the cummulative affect of years and years of chemical exposure. With age though, I am aware and although I don't have all the answers, I am strting to make better choices. It may be too late though. Yes, these are strange times and our food is only part of the mystery. Thank you so much for reading my rant. I really appreciate your being here.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Using Roundup to create monster plants and animals? Are you serious? I won't even use Roundup in my yard. If I need to remove an invader, I either pull it up from the roots or apply white vinegar to it.

    And why would we alter our foods to acclimate to various climates? Can you say natural vegetation? How on earth did our pioneers ever live long enough to spawn the inhabitants of today's world? My goodness gracious, that is just assinine!

    Great hub Linda, but I think you're spending far too much time in the grocery store! ha ha. Bet you grocer loooooves you!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol Shauna, this one started with my visit to the local farmer's market this weekend. Fooled ya, didn't I? On a serious note, we just need to keep educating ourselves. That's the bottom line.

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Let's see.... as a country, Diabetes, Cancer, Obesity, and numerous other problems have come to be accepted as a part of life. As advanced as food production has become, perhaps the countries that still rely on the natural grown foods are healthier for a reason. Great ideas! Have bookmarked the video to watch later. Another great job! You're going to own HP before you know it if you keep this up!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Yeah, you did fool me. You mean we can't even trust the local farmers markets? Holy Moly!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rich, you are far too kind. Something tells me that you and I have been watching the same program for a while. I don't think I've told you anything you didn't already know. It's nice to have you as a pal in this madness. I always appreciate your comments!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sorry Shauna, I should have taken the camera with me and snapped a few photos at the market. But seriously, those genetically modified foods have to be grown somewhere. Farmers are offered incentives to use GM seeds. Duh! And, local farmers do still use pesticides and herbicides.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Great Monday morning rant, although I did not get home to see it until a little while ago around 6:30 p.m. from work. I have to catch it before 7:00 a.m., or it will be later in the evening when I am able to comment.

    Linda, you certainly have gotten my attention, and there is no excuse. We all really do need to make a choice. Almost everything in America, whether food or not is either made in China or from China!!!

    Your great rant is surely justified dear one. There's no telling how much is stored in our bodies, and when I found out about the DCIS breast cancer I had last year, I wondered how we can, first, rid our bodies of the toxins and then to actually start being wise in our decisions, i.e., eating close to the source, but there still is a chance that it is not good as well, but it is better than from somewhere else. Local farmer's markets are great! Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful

    God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Linda, this is an awesome rant and I agree 100%

    The dangers are far more serious than the majority of people realize or even want to consider. The criminal organizations could not care less about the health of the consumer, their entire focus is money. I sign every petition I can get my hands on and as you know, write about these issues from a different angle but with the same message!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, Thanks for reading another rant. It's a process, this choice we should be making. Some get ready before others and some, well, may never make the choice. To each his own. I just believe in being informed before making the choces. I was not aware of your DCIS. I worked with our breast cancer program here for about 15 years. In a population of about 70,000 people, we diagnosed about 1300 cases of cancer each year, 250 of them were breast cancer. We had a great program, great doctors, but it's still a misunderstood disease. I could rant about breast cancer for hours so I'll just say that i hope you had early diagnosis and good treatment and will pray you never have to deal with it again. Did you receive radiation?

    I am glad you found this hub informative and I always appreciate your comments andvotes. Blessings to you Faith!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Curiad, you are absolutely right about the criminal organizations (WHO, FDA, etc.) Like you, I sign a lot of petitions but I am going to try using HP to reach a broader audience. There are so many things to talk about that are really important, aren't there? Tomorrow is a "reading" day for me and I hope to spend some time working through some of your hubs. Look out for my prolific comments. lol Thanks so much for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Hi Linda,

    I was healed. Yes I received 36 treatments of radiation and the surgery was outpatient. I have written about it here at HP. This may sound strange but if you are going to get cancer, DCIS is the best kind to get as it is contained in the milk duct, but my cells were "high grade" which means not good, as if they were to burst outside of the milk duct, then it would have spread throughout my whole body. There is no trace of it now. It was a miracle of healing, and really baffled the doctors, but I won't go into all that here, as I have already written about it. It was such a small incision and the doctor is amazed that it did not even change the contour or anything. To God be the glory. There is no family history of breast cancer in my family. This was last July, 2011, and during the time my two granddaughters were living with us, so a lot going on at once ----such is life.

    In His Love Faith Reaper

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    If people ever stopped to truly examine the situation, they would be appalled.

    Great write.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, I am so behind in reading other hubs. But I will read some of your today. Promise! The important thing is that you were healed! DCIS is definitely the best to have but with high grade, get those mammograms! I know you already know that. I just had to say it. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    hi shiningirisheyes - you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Thanks for reading.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Awesome hub and comments. We followed the gist of this back in 1995 while I underwent Chemo. Such a serious "do or die" disease knocks down all the silly reasons, why not.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Ericdjerker! Glad you're still here to comment. The cancer didn't beat you did it? It is a serious subject and when it comes to chemo, it's even more complicated. It is hard to swallow the idea that you have to poison your entire body to get rid of one invader. It sort of takes many of the choice factors out of your hands. The key is to eradicate the sources that are causing all these cancers. It probably won't make much difference to those of us living today but could promise a brighter future for those who follow. That, makes it worth the effort. Thanks for being here, for reading, and for adding to the discussion.

  • B. Leekley profile image

    Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

    Good points well argued. Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

    About choice, for those who grow their own food, is it even possible now to get seeds, such as for corn, that have not been genetically modified?

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

    I'm a healthy-choice food person, was reared that way and have managed to maintain the choice most of these many years.

    At one time, my late husband & I did raise our veggies ourselves, but various changes altered that as a way of life. I eat lots of veggies AND fruits. Fruits are less easy to raise oneself, especially in Texas where I live. So I can try to rely on choices offered as 'organic' or look at a less-publicized method of identifying GMO and other unsavory features of the produce available in ordinary bins. It's that little code on the peel-off sticker on most of these beauties. If I may, - I'll include a referral about it, which of course, you could just delete if it's objectionable.: http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/produce.asp

    I only recently ran across that information myself and it's a boon. I've been shocked to see how few bear the desirable codes! Of course, I prefer the most natural and un-treated produce I can acquire & it's worth paying a little more. What I spend on that, I save on meds and medics. :-)

    I have to say, though, that I'd eat fruits and veggies however I could find them, rather than much worse choices which so dominate the current food-choice scene for many folks, because I'm convinced that choosing them is one major reason that at 80, I'm vivacious, healthy, med-free and going strong for 100 or more. I carefully store and wash my produce, as well. What has gotten into the tissues is another matter.

    I'm glad when and if I don't have to settle for much that is contaminated. I shudder to think what is in baby food jars, though. I heard that a well-known company has put out a jar labeled "Baby's First Junk Food". ugh.

    You are right - it is choice. And, of course, like all choices, they have results and consequences. Those need to be part of the choices we make, going in. But they seldom are, or if they are, - the choice is to ignore them. No one but the person can change it. It's purely individual and each choice's natural progression is inevitable for that individual. sigh.

    I'm hooked on your rants, Linda! Looking forward to reading the others!

    Thanks, BillyBuc for telling us about this good writer and winner of this times' Lollipop Award!! Very deserving!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Welcome to my world of rants Nellieanna! What a great comment you have added to the discussion. So many people are naive about their food choices. I still make some bad ones too but I am aware and educating myself. I really appreciate your visit and look forward to learning from you and getting to know you.

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Hi, Linda....Your rants sound just like me talking! My family and local friends refer to me as "the food police." It infuriates me that the FDA protects Agribusiness and Big Pharma, but not consumers. The USDA does little better, except for setting standards for organic foods (and who knows how much longer that will last?)

    That old saying, "You are what you eat" is more true than ever, and I firmly believe that many of today's serious diseases are caused by food additives and environmental factors. I buy very little processed food, but read labels carefully for the small amount I do select. I even carry a little folding magnifying glass in my handbag for the "small print."

    Voted Up++

    Jaye

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    JayeWisdom, I am so glad to have you here on my rants. I am a novice at this healthy product stuff. I am just learning. I am 57 years old and suddenly I am aware of what years of abuse could be/are doing to us. I belong to an organic food co-op now and am amazed at how much better even a root vegetable can taste when it's grown properly. I'm ranting only because I feel like I need to and not because I think I'm an authority. Jump on in anytime and correct me when I'm wrong. I welcome it.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    I need to rant right along with you, my friend. As far as I'm concerned we are treated no better than cattle by being given GMO foods. We each need to take responsibility for the 'poison' being added to our food.

    I've provided this link for anyone wanting to learn more about GMO http://www.pbs.org/pov/hybrid/getinvolved_article....

    Thanks for the link to "Earthlings." I'll be looking at this today.

    Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will pin and share.

    Audrey

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey vocalcoach! Thanks for stopping by and for the link too. So glad to have some good company on this issue. We can't rant enough!

  • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

    Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

    thank you for bringing attention to this important issue! voted up and shared!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kathleen Odenthal, hello, and thank you for the visit. It is much appreciated.

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