Aw crap! It's a great day over all, but if you're like me then you're a little disappointed because Proposition 37 did not pass in California. I was extremely surprised! Proposition 37 required food retailers and companies to label products that contain GMO's, genetically modified organisms. It didn't include all food, for example food used in restaurants didn't require labeling.
So here are a few facts. GMO refers to the scientific modification of the genetic structure of an organism to have certain defined characteristics. It is usually done to seeds for crops and in the U.S., the majority of our soybeans, corn, cotton and canola has been genetically modified. Because these crops are grown to the max in the US, you can find them almost everywhere. Just read the labels and you most certainly see soy or corn (or it's derivatives) located somewhere in the list of confusing ingredients.
Some people argued that the prop wasn't enough, it didn't cover all food just some food or that there wasn't enough scientific data about GMOs, but shouldn't that be a reason to have it labeled in the first place? In my mind, prop 37 was a start. I think it's important that as consumers, we have the right to know what is in the products we are using, especially when it comes to food. What we eat becomes apart of us, our bodies break it down and new cells are formed. The truth is we don't know much about GMO's, whether they are good or bad. There is very little information out there about the advantages and disadvantages of using GMOs, but only time will tell.
Millions of dollars poured in from the opposition, Monsanto, Hershey Co, Pepsi Co, huge companies that would have a lot at stake if such a legislation was passed. Their main concern being the possible negative impact of having such a label. People might start caring more about what they consume and choose other products instead. But I think these companies could care a little bit more about the people instead of their own welfare. But you know, it's all about the Benjamins. According to food activist Michael Pollan (the guy who says, "eat food, not too much mostly plants") "Prop 37 has ignited precisely the kind of debate -- about the risks and benefits of genetically modified food; about transparency and the consumer’s right to know -- that Monsanto and its allies have managed to stifle in Washington for nearly two decades." If prop 37 passed it could have taken some of the wind out of their sails and I'm all for that! There is little redeeming nutritional qualities coming out of Hershey and Pepsi, let's just be honest.
Sadly we are behind, several other countries already require GMO food labeling including China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, countries in the European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India and Chile, just to name a few. Europe has required GMO food labeling since 1997, for over 15 years now! It baffles me. So it looks like it will be several more years until we come to our senses.
Check out this video explaining more about GMO's.
I understand that a lot of Americans simply do not know much about nutrition and the roll it plays in the quality of life, or they simply do not care about it. But things are changing peeps! More people care about these issues. Hopefully in the near future there will be a better proposition regarding GMOs that people can get behind. But what can we do in the meantime?
If you care about avoiding GMO's, here's what we can do.
Buy organic. Certified Organic food can not intentionally include any GMO ingredients. The label must say 100% Organic in order for it to be "safe". Here's a good site that explains it fuller. http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/
Buy local organic. Buying locally grown produce is a great way to go. Get to know the farmer and their practices. Farmers markets are filled with organic and non-sprayed produce to choose from.
Grow your own. This is the way to go if you ask me. Just make sure to buy organic, non-GMO seeds. I'm telling ya, when I can get my hands on some land you can be sure I'll be growing as much of my produce as possible! There are too many advantages to doing this.
Meat and dairy? Unless it says grass fed, organic, no hormones, no antibiotics, then it will have GMOs. Look for labels that say "No rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones."
By purchasing your food this way you are not only avoiding GMOs but you are also avoiding pesticides and other chemicals. Just remember that when you are eating out, unless otherwise stated, the ingredients that restaurants use are, in most cases, the cheapest possible to save on costs. Therefore, they are probably filled with GMOs and other undesirable things. Just be mindful of it, I know it's not realistic to prepare every meal possible but cutting back on eating out will help tremendously.
Like I said before, we don't know much about GMOs, they could even be beneficial! But until more scientific data comes out stating that it is truly safe, good for the environment, not harmful in any way then I'm staying clear. I'd rather not participate in the experiment. Here's to not being a human guinea pig!!