Thursday, October 4, 2012

Prop 37: My Humble Opinions

On November 6, 2012, California voters will decide whether to require labeling of food products containing ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (Prop 37). It is all I have been hearing about lately, and while I am completely against genetically modified foods, I am also completely against the government forcing companies to do anything about it. 

Here's why...

1. When the government gets involved in business it imposes tremendous costs on industry X, Y, or Z. This is often "in the best interest of the public", but it actually hurts everyone because it takes the responsibility and necessity of being informed away from the people. It tells people "don't worry the government will take care of you." 

2. The more regulations, the higher the cost. I'm sure that Prop 37 doesn't just effect companies that are producing foods including GMO's. There will for sure be collateral damage. Food will inadvertently become more expensive and the food available will not be any more valuable for the extra cost. 

3. The food industry is in bed with the government. I'm afraid that this monster is too big to tame overnight. There are a handful of corporations that own and control majority of the major food brands. They lobby in Washington, donate to politicians who will help them, have huge budgets. This is not to say that I don't believe that a few people can create a huge change (revolution if you must)... given the right circumstances a one person can change everything. But getting the government involved is not going to get GMO's out of our food. 

So what do you do? 

In light of the fact that most of the items at any given grocery store (including Whole Foods) contain genetically modified ingredients, you stop buying them. Companies are run off of profits. If the company loses profits it changes it's product(s) or it goes out of business. As much as it is important for everyone to not be eating genetically modified foods, it is more important for YOU to stop eating. And YOU don't need the government to tell you what is or is not genetically modified.

I'll tell you in a nutshell:

  • any product containing corn that is NOT organic
  • any product containing soy that is NOT organic
  • any product containing canola oil that is NOT organic
  • any product w/ high fructose corn syrup in it
  • any product w/ hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in it
  • any meat that was not humanely raised
  • any dairy that comes from animals not humanely raised
  • any fish that was not wild caught
Why the animals? Because they are fed corn and soy, and whatever they eat, we eat. 

The more fresh fruits and vegetables you buy, the less processed junk you will buy. It's that simple. But just because it's simple doesn't mean it's easy. 

It took me being completely grossed out by certain foods to cut them out of my diet- cold cuts, conventional meat, conventional dairy, factory farmed meat, most processed/packaged "foods" that are sold in the grocery store. It's hard to get over  what you are used to, but it gets easier the more you know about the reality of our food industry.

What will it take you to start changing the things you put in your mouth?

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