ecology · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · kids

Food vs. Food-like Items and GMOs

FoodThis is something I’ve been thinking about a lot with this whole food intolerance thing. There are so many alternatives out there, but I only want things going in the bodies of my children and myself that are actual food, not fake food. This seems obvious, but if you read the packages of most supposed food items you are bound to read some things that are questionable. Most people assume those ingredients must be OK, I mean the FDA approves them so of course they are healthy, right? But of course no one should be relying on the FDA or even the government recommended food pyramid for their eating choices, but instead thinking about food in a way that makes sense to their life, their health, and their conscience. I just started reading a book that is able to articulate how I’ve always felt being mainly vegetarian (and at times completely vegetarian for years) and now with the food intolerances in our house~ that if you have to substitute the foods you are taking out with fake foods, then there is a problem. I had a friend in high school who suddenly became a vegetarian, not just personal choice of hers, but a vegetarian out to convert the world with stop eating animals stickers and graffiti, lecturing friends and family, and oozing self-satisfaction, and the girl ate soy hot dogs every night. Literally every night, and that wasn’t all, she also regularly ate fake sausages in the morning, veggie burgers all the time,  and faux deli meat with soy cheese sandwiches. Even then, when I too was a full-on vegetarian, I saw that she was not making healthy choices and wondered if her new skin and digestive problems had anything to do with the excess of soy in her life. She didn’t last as a vegetarian beyond the next boyfriend she had, by the way, who was a big meat-eater and she followed suit, laughing at her old ways with the wisdom of a jilted lover. Unfortunately we lost touch because it’d be interesting to track someone’s eating habits by their current love status, or vice versa I guess. Anyway, the point is, trying to keep it real in the kitchen is harder now with the multiple food intolerances in our house, but it is something I take seriously. A woman I know just went to Spain last summer with her son who cannot eat wheat here without getting a runny nose. In Spain he ate wheat every single meal with out one problem~ what is different? Not the kid so it must be the wheat. Europe arguably has more real food than the US for several reasons, but one is because they do not allow the same GMOs in their farming practices. We have the chance to try to curb some of that here by voting to have products labeled with GMO status. Apparently there has been a huge billion dollar marketing campaign to scare consumers from voting yes on this (the biggest giver of funds is Pepsi by the way, a company that I would assume has an audience that generally isn’t too worried about how natural their product is, but they must have something to lose…) but I sincerely hope most eaters out there are intuitive enough and intelligent enough to understand the difference between the engineered stuff that makes companies money, and the pure food that keeps people healthy. There is a difference between food like substances and GMOs because every thing that grows from the ground could be altered by GMOs, which means even the real food can become Frankenstein, (and to a surprisingly large degree, it already has) but to me the two things are connected in that we Americans eat more fake food and genetically modified food than anywhere else, and what do we have to show for it? Food related chronic illnesses and an obesity epidemic. Let’s try to change that by eating real foods, from the earth, that are not genetically modified. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?


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