Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 6: "I'm Trying to Eat Healthy. I Should Avoid GMOs Right?"

Happy Thursday!

Yesterday I was approached by a friend at school who is trying to live healthier.  We discussed the types of things he was doing, including watching his diet very closely. He them asked "so you work for a farmer, what do you know about GMOs?  Like do you research them?"  Actually, we raise them.  This came appropriately on an Election Day where GMO labeling was on the ballot in at least one state, Washington. As consumers what do you need to know? What are you eating? What did these people do to your food?

This conversation is being had in places throughout the world every day. So what's the deal?  Well to start, GMO means Genetically Modified Organism. "Good, now what?"  GMOs actually began with the patent by Exxon Oil Company for their oil eating bacteria in 1980. This was followed in 1982 by Genetech's Humulin, which is a form of human insulin produced by bacteria. The first field tests for genetically modified crops (tobacco and tomatoes) in the United States took place in 1987 and in 1992 Calgene's Favr Savr tomato was approved for commercial sale in the United States. This was soon followed by hybrid versions of common row crops like soybeans and corn that were resistant to the popular Glyphosate product, RoundUp. This opened many new doors in the science and food tech world. 

Contrary to popular belief, today's Genetically Modified  have allowed farmers to use fewer chemicals and to use practices like no-till farming. That is, no disc, plow, cultivator, or other piece of tillage equipment ever touches the ground. This allows for a building of the organic matter on the ground that over time will increase productivity. It also significantly decreases the amount of topsoil lost each year. The more valuable topsoil that is lost, the less productive land is, and this is only compounded over time. Contrary to popular belief, these issues still exist with flat land.  

Too many times, people like Dr. Oz and other well known people and organizations will naturally push their personal agendas for what they believe, as we all do naturally. Too many times their "facts" are based in what they "think" or "feel."  In the time we have been using biotech crops, there has yet to be a single case where someone has suffered illness or death due to the crops or food. So to answer my friend's question, no cutting GMO foods out of his diet will not make him healthier and or happier.  It will simply lead him to spending a fortune on "organic, non-GMO" foods. I'll discuss organic and all of the the debates and transparency issues with that another day. The proof is in the putting. Humans believe what they want to believe. If you want proof, sit down and talk to both a creationist and an evolutionist and see how they differ. We see what we want to see. Don't be swayed by their scare tactics. Again I go back to, if it was dangerous to our health, would we willingly raise crops to eat or feed to animals that we will later eat, and suffer ourselves?  I think not. 

Here is the link to the Dr. Oz episode I mentioned earlier. Explicitly false. Notice that nobody from the agriculture industry was asked to be present to speak for the other side?  Scare tactics are just that. Don't be fooled.

Thanks for continuing to read my blog!  

No comments:

Post a Comment