Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Frankenfood: It's Alive!
I report for a local news website called Patch where I cover community events and write a weekly restaurant column for a nearby Long Island town. For one of my most recent articles, I volunteered to cover a lecture called The New Generation of Food.
During the program, a nutritional consultant who has dedicated much of his career to learning about the subject spoke about genetically modified foods or GMOs. He explained that almost 80% of food in the United States has been genetically manipulated.
These “Frankenfoods,” as they are sometimes referred, are injected with the live DNA of other organisms such as fish, insects, and bacteria, to create high-yielding crops and food products that are made to (among other things), resist high levels of herbicides and pesticides and have longer shelf life.We are talking ice cream made with flounder genes and tomatoes stemmed from bacteria.
To the rising concern of those who were in attendance, the lecture raised the question:
Do we really know what we are eating?
Since GMO foods are not required to be labeled in America, you may not. Furthermore, since this is still such a new technology, scientists still don’t know what, if anything, might be the effect of these space age-sounding foods on our bodies in the long-term. It was described during the lecture as an “experiment” on human kind.
There is much debate surrounding this topic and a lot more questions and concerns like: whatever happened to pure, naturally grown foods? Why are they becoming outnumbered? And without labels, how can you avoid GMOs?
In my article, there is a helpful guide to reading PLU/price lookup stickers--you know the tiny round stickers that you find on some fruit and produce? The first numbers on those labels can actually provide some insight to how a product was grown.
I am sharing the article with you here, as I thought that many of you might find it interesting. Check it out: Frankenfood: It’s Alive!