Posts Tagged ‘GMO’

Do you know what genetically modified foods are? 

Do you know that you likely eating them everyday, without even knowing it?

I’ll be honest, until about 2 years ago, I was totally in the dark about it. Just hearing Genetically Modified makes me think of some sci-fi thriller. Unfortunately, it’s something you and I have been eating in our food daily since the 1990’s. And if you aren’t already, it’s something you should become familiar with.  So, here’s the basics:

INDEX:

GE: Genetically Engineered

GMO: Genetically Modified Organism

GM: Genetically Modified

DEFINITION: the manipulation of DNA, by humans, to change the essential makeup of plants and animals. This is something that could never happen in nature.*

Plain English: Scientists take DNA from one thing, say a fish, and insert it into another thing, like a tomato. (This actually happens!)  The end result is something that usually appears to have great benefits for the food system, but may actually have dire consequences to man, animal and earth.

Source

Monsanto: 

Monsanto is a giant company that produces pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (ie. RoundUp). They also control nearly all the world’s seed supply.  They are primarily responsible for genetically modifying food. Proponents of GMOs say that by genetically modifiying food, they increase crop yields, improve lifestock, and help end hunger. They’ve also claimed that GMOs can help stop climate change, and decrease pesticide use.*

Awesome, except all signs point to this being false.

Monsanto is a giant, bully of a company with lots of money, and lots of people in powerful positions. (They actually drive small farm businesses into the ground by filing frivolous lawsuits, just so the farmer’s go bankrupt! Check it out here, and here.) For example, former Monsanto employees currently holding positions in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Supreme Court, include Clarence Thomas, Michael R. Taylor, Ann Veneman, Linda Fisher, Michael Friedman, William D. Ruckelshaus, and Mickey Kantor. Linda Fisher has been back and forth between positions at Monsanto and the EPA. (Wikipedia)

So, it makes many people curious, myself included, what exactly this GMO stuff is all about.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know. Why? Because Monsanto is so powerful, they’ve been able to avoid regulation, mandatory labeling, and any outside studies of just how exactly GMO affects humans (or anything else for that matter.)

Bacillus thurgingiensus (Bt)

Bt is a natural bacterium found in the soil. Monsanto has been taking this bacterium and inserting it’s genes into plants, so that plant produces toxins. The end result is the plant actually kills any bugs that attempt to eat it.  Back in 1995, a potato was the first plant approved in the US to carry this gene.  Currently, there is also soybeans, cotton and corn.

                   Source

Roundup-Ready GMOs

Soybeans, corn, canola, sugar beets, cotton, alfalfa, and Kentucky bluegrass have all been modified to include material for Monsanto’s pesticide/herbicide.  As a matter of fact, 86% of corn, 90% of soybeans, and 93% of cotton grown in 2010 were modified to include this material.

Why? Because they can spray all kinds of toxic pesticides and herbicides on these crops, and it kills everything except the actual crop. The crop then goes to us to eat, or to animals for feed, that we ultimately eat. Either way, we’re eating it. Yikes!

Current food on the market containing GMO:

  • Sweet Corn -Coming to a Wal-mart near you, directly from Monsanto!
  • peppers
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • rice
  • sugar cane
  • rapeseed
  • flax
  • chicory
  • peas
  • papaya
  • milk
  • soy
  • honey                                                   Source

Milk and GM hormones:  

Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is produced in a cows pituitary gland. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) is a GM version of this hormone. They inject it into cows, which increases milk production by 10%.  Unfortunately, it seems also to increase the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers in humans, and infections like chronic mastitis in the cows, which are then treated with antibiotics. (Resistance to antibiotics in humans is rapidly on the rise!) The FDA approved rBST use in 1993.

The Science Behind it:

Some preliminary studies from other countries don’t look good. In 2011, and international study showed birth defects in birds and amphibians, cancer, endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, and reproductive and developmental damage in mammals.*

Other studies have shown that it makes plants defenses weaker, growing resistance in bugs, and soil and land infertility. (I’m thinking-single crop, bug resistance, infertile soil=Irish Potato Famine?)

Many countries have ban the sales and growth of GM crops, and the use of rBST is illegal in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe.

So, what can we do?

HIT ‘EM WHERE IT COUNTS!! THE WALLET!!

Buying all organic ensures that you will never be consuming GMOs. (in 2000, the organic regulations ban GMO from being included in the organic standards.) Although, it’s tough to buy all organic, even increasing your organic purchases, and buying locally when possible will ultimately have an impact on the Monsanto millionaires that are hiding the truth from us. Like, maybe GMOs aren’t even that bad, but we’ll never know, because Monsanto won’t let us!

Buy organic milk, or milk that says rBST-free on the label. (Found at most grocery stores.)

Check out the Just Label it! campaign to encourage the big wigs to start letting us know just what it is that we’re eating! Also, send letters to your congress people, and/or the FDA.

Collingwood Farm purchases all non-GMO seeds by buying organic, or heirloom varieties (We love Baker Creek Heirloom). Also check out the Safe Seed list (a list of companies that have signed a GMO-free pledge).

Did I say buy local?? Buy local, Buy Local, BUY LOCAL! You won’t get any GMOs from Collingwood Farm!

And, if you’ve invested in biotech stocks, maybe think of switching to something less sinister.

Want more info?

I strongly encourage you to watch the documentaries:  The future of Food and Food, Inc. There’s nothing gross in these films, and they are really enlightening to our food production in this country.

Also check out *Mother Earth News. Most of the information from this post came from their recent article.

-Linde

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Well, if you haven’t noticed. We’ve been busy here at Collingwood Farm! The last two weeks were so beautiful, we didn’t spend much time in front of the computer. Now that this crazy wind/rain/possible snow has rolled in, I’ll take a moment to update you on the happenings. And there’s a lot!

The big news last week was Nettie, the one hen that hasn’t laid a single egg since we got her, started laying eggs!! Woohoo! Never mind that she scratches all the straw out of the box and lays the eggs standing up, so they’re all cracked on one end..details. We now have two consistent layers. Hopefully, the other 4 will pick up soon! If you haven’t already, check out the chicks full details here.

Arugula

Arugula

The second best news is Rich and I sampled some of our wares for the first time last night. We both had a nibble from our rapidly growing arugula. Let me tell you, I have never tasted arugula like this. It has the same general flavor as what you might get in a mixed greens bag from the store, buts it tender, and flavorful, and just when you think its over, it slaps you with a spicy heat. Kind of like a radish and onion all at once. Trust me…it is goooooood.

Which leads me to the good news for our CSA customers!! Your first shares are just days away from being ready!! Included in the first weeks share will be Easter Egg Radishes (a colorful mix), mix greens including the aforementioned arugula, spinach, and different lettuces, and green onions.

In sadder (not really) news, I have empty nest syndrome. Our bedroom-slash-greenhouse has been vacated.All my lovingly cared for eggplant, tomato and pepper seedlings have grown big enough to move out–into the breezeway. The breezeway is a nice medium between indoor and outdoor temperatures, and provides enough sunlight to keep the seedlings happy. Hopefully, keeping them out there for a few weeks with help harden them off, so they’ll be strong, hardy and ready to fruit once they get outside.

The first bed of potatoes (russet) that I planted a few weeks ago has sprouted, and all the onions and garlic have grown nicely! I finally got the asparagus plants in late last week, but we still have 6 or 7 beds to till and prepare so we can plant the warm weather veggies!  The request for free help still stands!! Come on over! 🙂

I’ve been so anxious to get things in the ground, and waiting for seeds to germinate. Now that they have, I am astonished at how quickly everything is growing!!  I also cannot believe it’s the last full week in April already!! Before I know it, I’ll be posting pictures of our freshly picked sweet corn. I can’t wait!

Check back soon, I have some things I want to tell you about why Collingwood Farm will NEVER grow genetically modified food.

-Linde

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