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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's in YOUR Food?

by Tam Linsey

When asked to share my passion, I didn't have to think long about my "soapbox." I love to garden, I love to cook, and I love to eat. My novel, Botanicaust, is about about a future world where these things are taken away. Taken by a rogue genetic manipulation (GMO) that devastates food crops across the globe, and leaves humanity struggling for survival.

You might think this means I am anti-genetically modified organisms. I'm not. I think this kind of science has huge potential. But as the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility." Don't rush releasing new organisms into the biosystem. Test it and then have someone else test it again. (And NOT the company that stands to make money from the item in question.) This is an area I think government really needs to take a strong hand.

Right now, if you live in the United States, you are probably eating genetically modified organisms. It is in nearly anything that has corn or soybean based additives. That's nearly everything processed.

And they don't know the long term effects of eating these items. Some evidence points to real problems. Since the late 1990's, food allergies have risen drastically. Just like exposure to sunlight takes years to develop cancer, exposure to the new genetic structure in our foods could take years to manifest. But current regulations allow such crops into the food chain after less than a handful of years of development and testing.


And companies are not required to tell you about it.

The only way to be fairly certain you are not eating GMO's is to buy only organic. And even then there could be contamination.

Now there may be readers out there shaking their heads who don't believe any of the potential dangers. And that's all right. They can believe what they want, eat what they want. But I deserve to eat what I want, too. I deserve to know what I am eating. I deserve a choice. If you think you deserve a choice, too, I encourage you to go to Just Label It right now and tell Congress we want to require companies to provide full disclosure about what they put in our food.

And thanks for listening to my soapbox.

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

6 comments:

Sarah Raplee said...

Tam, You are so right about the caution and regulation needed to protect our food chain!

Thirty years ago, scientists knew the blood of newborns contained molecules of plastic from IV lines their mothers had during labor. They didn't know if there would be any long-term effects of plastic exposure. Now, we know come plastics can mimic estrogen and affect fetal brain development.

Caution is well-advised, and people should know what's in the food they buy. We shouldn't be unwilling participants in an experiment.

Great post!

Paty Jager said...

Very insightful! I'm a label reader and if I can't pronounce a word in a product I don't eat it.

And being an Eat Right for Your Blood Type eater, I avoid Corn and soy bean products.

I believe what you put in your body makes a huge difference about how healthy your body is.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing your passion with us, Tam. I'm much more careful than I was 10 - 20 years ago and tend to purchase either organic, fresh, or non-artificial e.g. I use organic sugar rather than artificial sweeteners.

Our government has a history of experimenting on unsuspecting military and civilians - we all need to be conscious of what we eat and proactive about the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Judith Ashley said...

P.S. Thanks for the link to Just Label It. A quick and easy way to voice my opinion.

Christy Carlyle said...

Tam -
This is a fascinating post. Thanks for sharing this information and pointing me and others to resources so that we can make more informed choices. I often wonder about the rise in food allergies and food-related illnesses in our modern society. It's definitely a topic to heedful of when considering our own consumption and the health of our families.

Thanks again for an informative post!

Tam Linsey said...

Sarah - I got rid of all my plastic dishes about 15 years ago for that very reason. And I used to sell Tupperware! lol!
Paty - you proabaly already know, but also beware of things like maltodextrin and vegetable oil. They don't always specify the source, so unless you buy organic, you are likely getting GMO food.
Judith - you are welcome for the link! I hope you all sign the petition.
Christy - glad I could point out some useful resources for you. We have to stand up to our government.