Editors Note: This is a guest post about the troubles of modern food production, from our favorite omnivorous ninja: Miss Beth.
All right my chic vegans… it’s about to get real up in here… let’s talk about REAL FOOD.
As a vegan, I’m assuming that you try to eat real, whole foods. I, as an omnivore, am very careful about the food I eat. I get most of my food from farmer’s markets or small, locally owned markets. When I eat out I choose restaurants that either specialize in locally sourced food or I go veggie for the evening. I am even careful about feeding my dog – she eats Earthborn Holistic brand, Ocean Fusion food and only treats I make myself or are made by small, either organic or small batch companies. (Apparently, I and puppsters aren’t the only ones who love Earthborn Holistic; the manager at the pet store says it’s flying off the shelves!)
Anyway, back to biotechnology… The whole debate about genetically modified food rages on and there are good arguments on both sides. However, I personally think unmodified food tastes better. And I’m not the only one. According to the BBC , India deferred cultivating its first genetically modified crop due to health concerns. Some people may say that India may not be the first country that comes to mind when it comes to healthy and safe countries, but anyone who has spent hours at an Indian restaurant chowing down curry and naan will tell you, that country can COOK. And if they are concerned about GM food safety, well gosh darn it, so am I.
If you haven’t seen Food, Inc (and sheesh, WHY HAVEN’T YOU!!! It’s available on Netflix instant! Watch it RIGHT NOW!!!), or have read any of Michael Pollen’s books, or just don’t think about these things, here is a fun fact: 89% of the soybeans grown in the US are GM (with an herbicide resistant gene taken from bacteria inserted into soybean). In fact, Monsanto , the company that produces these GM soybeans and makes pesticides has made it all but illegal for farmers to grow non-GM soybeans. Also, be aware, the USDA does not require labeling for GM products, and most of the mass produced products on the grocery store shelves today, have something GM in them, including organics. For you vegans, this is very important, especially for those of you that do so for health and environmental reasons. I know that soy is a vital part of your diet, but remember, your dollar is your vote. Vote NO on genetically modified food!
One last short rant… High Fructose Corn Syrup. I know, I know… those commercials are mighty convincing, with that bright red Popsicle that who knows where that color came from. The argument isn’t that it’s necessarily BAD for you (HFCS and sucrose are basically identical), it’s that it’s unnecessary! Why is it in EVERYTHING? It doesn’t belong in my bread! If this country wasn’t producing way more corn than we need, then we wouldn’t have to turn cows into corn processing machines and be left to come up with something to do with all the excess corn, i.e. HFCS. Obviously, it is not natural – I don’t see a HFC tree anywhere with little spouts and buckets hanging off of them somewhere in the Midwest. Time Magazine recently entered the debate:
“High-fructose corn syrup starts out as cornstarch, which is chemically or enzymatically degraded to glucose and some short polymers of glucose. Another enzyme is then used to convert varying fractions of glucose into fructose,” says (Michael) Jacobson.
I’m sure you vegan are aware of this, but maybe someone you know is falling for the wrong side of this debate. Remember “knowing is half the battle!!!“ (GI JOE theme music plays). Keep up the good work vegans, the food world IS changing!
About our stealthy guest blogger: Beth is the sole owner and member of The Z is Silent, a project to start an all inclusive arts space in Philadelphia. She envisions a completely modular space where artists can present visual, performing and any other kind of art in a space they themselves can help design and work with instead of in. However, Beth has no money. So, instead she fills her time writing nonsensical and whimsical musings for blogs like Chic Vegan and her own Atoms of Minutiae and being an office drone. She lives with her lovely boyfriend, his mustache, a cat and a dog.
image via jams_123