Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Food Issue!

Thank goodness for Michael Pollan and his recent letter to the President-Elect. Please take the time to read about this extremely important issue. Michael Pollan is very well-versed on the subject of food issues, as he has written several books based upon the topic--one of which I write about in a previous blog. You can read his letter here.

Freedom At Last

Several weeks ago, I lost my new cell phone. What's ironic about this is that after having the same phone for years, I finally decided to upgrade to a newer version of my very simple Nokia. I kept my old phone for so many years because I never liked all the fancy new phone features with the flipping flaps, tiny keyboards and bazillion ring tones, but after researching the dangerous effects of cell phone usage, I decided to see what was out there.

Although I was able to find a phone with a much smaller amount of radiation emissions than most, I was still very aware that my constant cell phone usage could be harmful to my health and needed to be curtailed. I guess the "powers that be" thought so too, and decided to take my new phone right away from me.

After trying for a week to recover my lost prized possession, I finally gave up. However, during this time I began to realize a freedom that I had not experienced in years. Sadly enough, it was apparent that I had really become dependent on my phone. Admittedly, I even used to feel "lost" when I would actually leave the house without it.

Another ridiculous realization I had during these past few weeks, is that I used to think that I was so efficient in making all of my pressing phone calls while driving--because I simply could not find the time for them while I was at home. How absurd is that? Now I realize that I am much more focused while driving. Plus, I am enjoying quality time on the phone with family and friends from the comfort of my very own home.

Even though a major concern of not having my cell phone with me at all times was how my family would contact me if there was an emergency--we figured out the solution to that problem rather quickly. We reverted to the "old-fashioned" way of doing things. My son and I reviewed who to call and what to do while he is at home alone, and not to just rely on the cell phone during emergencies.

Well, it has been several weeks now since my phone and I parted ways, and the best part about not having it around (besides the health benefits) is that I feel so mysterious. As odd as this sounds, I am truly enjoying the fact that nobody really knows where I am--I am independent and free! And the best part is that now you can reach me when I am really available--at home, relaxed, and able to give you my full and undivided attention.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bad Sugar.........The Monsanto Kind........

Consumers in Brazil can now eat Hershey’s Kisses(TM) without fear of GM ingredients. Unfortunately, that is not the case for US consumers. Several weeks ago, Hershey’s in Brazil announced that it will not use GM ingredients, including GM beet sugar, in the products it makes in Brazil, but it remains silent about its plans in the US.

US farmers planted GM sugar beet crops for the first time this year. These Roundup Ready® GM sugar beets are genetically altered to resist Monsanto’s toxic weed killer, Roundup, and its active ingredient, glyphosate. But here’s the scary part:

When the USDA first approved the planting of GM sugar beets, the EPA also increased the maximum allowable residues of glyphosate on the beet roots (from which sugar is extracted) by a staggering 5,000%! This EPA policy change was made at the request of Monsanto, producer of GM sugar beet seeds.

What this means for consumers is that the more GM ingredients permitted in our foods, the greater the likelihood that we are ingesting more toxic chemicals. What’s worse is that there will be no way to know if we’re eating GM beet sugar once it hits the market, which could happen as early as next year, because GM ingredients are NOT labeled.

In 2001, Hershey’s announced that it would not use GM beet sugar, but the company has been noticeably silent on the issue ever since. A double standard is not likely to prevail in the US, where members like you have sent more than a hundred thousand letters to food companies asking them to publicly refuse to use GM sugar in their products.

Tell Hershey’s to Kiss GM Sugar Goodbye! Write a letter to Hershey’s urging the company to publicly reject the use of GM sugar in its chocolates and other sweets.

(This Message is taken directly From the True Food Network)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How Does a Cow Fit in a Petri Dish?

I am a big fan of the scientists who spend their lives dedicated to research for the betterment of humanity. I read scientific material, listen to new discoveries explained by famous scientists on the radio, and I even obtain issues of Popular Science Magazine to enjoy in my free time. However, I recently read an article about scientists intermingling with our food, that really grosses me out.

I am already vehemently against the ways that animals are treated on the so-called "farms" of the Agri-Industry. I don't agree with the cramped living quarters, inhumane treatment and disease laden conditions in which they live. I also do not agree with the fact that these same "sick" animals end up on the plates of our nations' citizens. Yet to make matters worse, our government is in favor of taking it all one step further to create "fake" animals that will be considered nutritious and delicious fare.

With the Food and Drug Admistration ruling in January that milk and meat from cloned animals such as pigs, sheep and cows are safe to eat, the only real thing keeping them off your plate, is time.

It just so happens that the biotech industry has been diligently working for many years on cloning and growing meats such as beef and pork in petri dishes. So it won't be too long before these cloned meats hit the supermarket shelves. Plus, without any labeling restrictions in place by the FDA (they are against that sort of thing), the average consumer will not actually ever know if the meat they are eating is indeed cloned.

As it stands right now, our Government and the FDA are actually in favor of cloning animals, so it will only be a matter of time before this type of freakish activity is considered the norm. However, cloning the tastiest beef can cost upward of $14,000 a cow, which makes them way too expensive to eat according to today's prices. Although once these newly cloned animals have enough offspring for you to munch on, the prices for cloned beef will definitely become affordable.

While the average American seems to be against cloning food, they don't actually take the time to stop and think where their next meal might really be coming from. For, if they did, the fast food industry might definitely not be so popular. As a matter of fact, it might not even exist any longer. For example: what if you really knew what a hot dog was made of? Would you still eat it? Or, what if you became aware that the meal you just purchased from McDonald's didn't exactly contain all of the "healthy" ingredients you thought it did? Or, what if you found out exactly how many carcinogenic chemicals were added to your fast meal just to keep it "fresh" and looking good? Most people really don't want to think about these things. They are good at using the 'I don't want to know' mentality.

Well, that same mentality is going to move cloned beef right into your dining room. Not only that, but while the food industry waits for the cloned cows to come down in price, scientists are hard at work "improving" other ingredients you just might add to your next hamburger. These include: "cruelty free" bacon grown from the stem cells of pigs combined with water, glucose and amino acids; bacterial genes added to cheddar cheese eliminating the bitter taste that comes with the ripening process; breeding a tomato that is sweeter, yet less nutritious than those grown today so that ketchup can keep its sweet flavor; and splicing rat genes into lettuce so that it contains more vitamin C.

So when did food get so complicated? I mean, if the giant biotech industry gets its way, ordering your next hamburger may go something like this, "one charbroiled cloned-beef patty, with genetically modified cheese, lab-grown bacon, and vitamin c fortified lettuce on a protein-spiked bun." Sounds delicious, doesn't it?