Seems more and more children in our neighborhood are having a hard time with allergies. Just last year there were 5 kids in my son’s class with asthma, out of 23 kids! Now granted we live in the south where Charlotte NC has just been given the dubious honor of #3 city for allergies in the nation. We have had lots of rain, add that to our number of days with sunshine and you have yourself a great flower and tree growing arena. However, I still can’t shake the idea that we also need to look at the food we are eating, or more seriously the way we are growing and manufacturing food, and see if that isn’t playing a role in the increase of intolerance to food and environmental allergies. Much of our food is now grown from altered (genetically manufactured) seeds. It’s no secret that Monsanto’s round up ready seed is a large portion of what farmer’s are growing now. The detrimental side effects of that can be seen in the movie Food Inc by Micheal Pollen, and I urge you to go and check out his website as it is full of great information on how, where and what to eat – it’s all about making better choices.
These seeds are cross-pollinated with other varieties or even other plant species and pesticides to make them more hardy and weed resistant. “Four different Roundup formulations of the herbicide glyphyosate manufactured by Monsanto are highly toxic to human cells, and at concentrations far below the recommended agricultural use levels. Researchers at the Institute of Biology in Caen , France published their latest results in the current issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology” Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup.
Anyway I was reading my usual round of online catch-ups this morning and I have begun to notice that, of late there are more and more blogs, webpages, facebook pages etc. across the mainstream media all talking about food and how we produce it, and what the detrimental effects might be. Is apathy turning into something else I wonder? I just read this from the Cincinnati City Beat, a well written article that explains Monsanto’s seed process far more concisely than I ever could.
“Further, GMO labeling laws are still at bay in the U.S. even though other nations, such as Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, now require mandatory GMO labeling.
Despite Monsanto’s prevailing dominance in the genetically modified seed industry, consumer awareness continues to grow, creating a continuous increase in demand for local, sustainable and organic foods.”
Although while we continually hear about Monsanto, we shouldn’t forget the role that Dupont and other companies are having on the food industry. Google “Modified seed” and 70,300,000 hits are retrieved in 0.19 seconds, that’s a lot of information.
Anyway, back to my original point, which was, I am not even sure what my son is eating. He is allergic to wheat, corn, dairy, tomato, apples and peanuts, and I have to really stay on my toes to know what hidden food is in the stuff we are eating. Mostly I choose to cook from scratch but there are several things that he really enjoys and that I like to treat him with that are prepackaged. I try to stay vigilant, buy from recognized sources. Where we are we are lucky enough to have a supermarket called Earth Fare that works hard to stock shelves with already-vetted products, but still I slip up from time to time. The way things are it’s almost impossible to catch every single infraction.
Anyway, spring, as I said yesterday has pretty much sprung around here, pollen counts are down and we are looking forward to a decreased growing season because of summer approaching. I will continue to do my best food wise. I am looking forward and staying positive that the growing movement of ‘food awareness’ will really start to make a big difference on the supermarket shelves. How wonderful would that be?