GMO Corn Questions

A recent conversion about GMOs came through from a piece of fiction. Since food affects everyone and we don’t produce our own food any more. The last part meaning you may have a garden or fruit trees, but the ability to raise cow, chickens, and pork isn’t allowed in every community.

GMO is abbreviation for Genetic Modified Organism. Us humans have been playing with our food for thousands of years. For instance, in 1400’s corn had kernels on the top of the plant, not ears covered with them. Today, bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn actually has genetic coding from bacteria included in its own DNA. Thus modifying its genetics. While selective breeding has created thousands of varieties over decades, the process of genetic splicing produces much faster results.

Crop production is the added benefit through either faster production, resistance to pests, and/or resistance to herbicides. The ‘traditional’ of pest control methods included things like applying sprays of Bacillus thuringiensis (bt). The bacteria is light sensitive did sunlight would break down the applications of bacteria fairly quickly. Which means lots of reapplying. And high costs to purchase more and more product. But why use it, the bacteria has a chemical toxic to pests and only dissolves in alakine digestive systems. Hey, ours are highly acidic! Therefore extremely safe for humans, birds, cows and pigs.

Don’t mistake the Bacillus thuringiensis for the bt Corn. There are differences in what they are and why. The corn plant has the bt genes in its stalk, leaves, silks, ears, and roots. So Mr Bug eats at any part and ingests the toxin. Goodbye, Mr Bug. So far, so good. The bacteria has an outer shell between the toxin and the bug. The digestive juices eats away the shell. We don’t digest the shell, so we don’t ingest the toxin.

There have been several studies to investigate the level of scariness that bt Corn should cause. Obviously, producers of bt Corn have financed a few of these and they say there are no side effects to humans. Also tip of the environmental hat, it requires less pesticides! There are many environmental groups that paid for studies that show bt Corn as franken-corn, ready to storm the world corn village destroying it all.

The truth is probably closer to the middle. The bt Corn is usually resistant to herbicides like Glyphosphate (Commercially known as Round-up). Farmers tend to cultivate (weed) their fields by spraying Glyphosphate. The herbicide is water soluble and binds to proteins (animal and plant proteins). This is where things get cloudy. If consumed Glyphosphate can be found in stomach linings, esophagus, and intestines due to its ability to bind to proteins. It doesn’t flush out of the digestive system quickly because of the acidic environment. The catch is his much is in that ear of corn. Noone really knows.

Why, each variety has different water content and kernels vary between feed (dry) and sweet corn. Corn meal can be made from either, but feed corn is mostly for animals we eat. There are few studies that compare corn with number of applications of Glyphosphate and concentration of Glyphosphate in the harvested bt Corn. There are fewer that analyse the concentration of Glyphosphate within beef, poultry and pork that ate bt Corn. But the reason here is fed corn isn’t labeled GMO sourced, how does a research know without analysing all the feed. These animals eat well… like pigs. You couldn’t do anything but spot check. Mist peole aren’t crazy because of variance your numbers would be questionable. It still could be done with multiple studies, each either verifying or disproving the original study. Again few studies are done and released but most are subsidized by manufacturer of Glyphosphate.

In 2016, 90-95% of corn sold in US was classified as bt Corn. I sourced the websites and all had different numbers these represent the range of all three. Some websites state it is not appropriate to share their data (so they all anonymous). I have read a dozen articles and they are divergent at best in their findings. Personally, i make the decision to rely on chemistry and moderation with a heavy infusion of Farmers markets.

If it is toxic to a bacteria or plant, than in sufficient quantities it becomes toxic to my cells. If it is binding to my cells, than it can alter my cells in sufficient quantities. What the hell is that about? Cancer is irregular cell division and toxins tend to interfere with cell division. Not everyone will die of cancer because of Glyphosphate. But several courts have awarded damages from its use. Reducing exposure to Glyphosphate is healthier for you. If you don’t know your food source then consider organic. Organic is NO guarantee to be free if GMOs, it means less chemicals exposed to the plants that produce your food.

*I’m a former Chemistry major, with 20 years of gardening experience, and relatives who still make an honest living playing in the dirt, doing God’s work, farming

GMO Rice

In my distant past, I may have posted once or twice about GMO foods.  I really try to avoid them.   There is no research that says they are different under the microscope or to the naked eye. 

It’s the concept to why they are modified. The excuse is a moving target sometimes.  At first it was to ward off pests, by the plant producing it’s own defenses.  The Monarch Butterfly would thank them but it can’t where Bt corn is grown.  

Then it was to reduce the competition from weeds and the extra time it takes Mega farms to cultivate fields.  Now we spray a protein binding general herbicide.  The protein can be animal or vegetable and changes under the right conditions  (digestion possibly).

But what… we use the same herbicide to dry grains to quicken the time between harvest and sale!

Let’s forget they interbreed with ‘normal’ varieties altering them to carry the modified genetic materials.  Don’t worry the production is reduced in the real world.  So why do we do this…..?

I digress.  According to Center for Food Safety, 92% of US corn has genetically-engineered origin, 94% soybeans and cotton are as well.  Cottonseed oil is a cheap oil used in mass produced food. Transgenic wheat is a mystery.  It doesn’t exist but traces are found in our food. Rice is 60 to 70% modified in our foods.  Most of these many represent the grains as mixed as an ingredient not always whole grain.

I actually look at boxes.   Most people want to tell you what’s in there stuff.  The largest food corporations in the US fought mandatory labelling.  Imagine finding it your Coke is GMO! (High fructose corn syrup, yep)

But here’s where I started off.  My Fancy Uncle Ben’s Rice …. GMO.  Regular Uncle Ben’s rice is not!  You can’t just assume everything is the same.  Those tiny words at the bottom of the side, watching below nutritional data, ingredients, is partially produced with genetic engineering 

Most famous post ever is here about GMO potato chips 

Genetically Engineered Chips?! – http://wp.me/p5WPVY-1re

The Business of Food Labeling

Just to be clear.  I’m using the  “Soapbox” image for a reason.

The US Senate decided you don’t know to know if your food contains plants of Genetic Modified nature.  I hope your sitting down for this…. Corporations are spending crazy money to make sure they keep their Senators and the public message is everything is fine.  If it was fine, why spend millions to keep GMO off all labels?

So, if you eat anything with corn or soybeans as an ingredient…yyup are eating GMO’s. Don’t matter there are identical to natural plants right?  Would you put Roundup on a salad as dressing?  Dip your nachos in a salsa or cheese with a touch of Roundup?  Well, you already are if it’s a name brand.  Of course, they need to tell you if there a a few parts per million of yellow food dye.  But that’s lower than what the USA claims is safe for pesticide exposure to humans.

The food sourcing is terrible.  We can’t even trust organic to be GMO free.  There are strict rules on Organic and how they are produced.  Organic milk from a cow that eats GMO wheat is on your grocery shelf all ready.  

Ok what to do?  Well, I have take a new approach on the petition front.  I’ll sign them and hope for something back.  My little contributions may not be much but these fine people at Coke are spending money to suppress your right to know.  Their products have high fructose corn syrup and if that sugar comes from sugarbeets  (mostly does due to cost), they are feed you GMO’s with our friend Roundup. If you would like to come along for the ride.   Below is link to tell Coca-Cola to stop fund the suppression of our right to know.   Really guys they are safe,  so what’s the harm of knowing they are there? 😉

https://www.change.org/p/coca-cola-stop-funding-anti-gmo-labeling-campaigns?recruiter=646747712&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Reblog QR Codes as Food Labels

Are you ok checking a QR  code to see if your eating GMO foods?  The US SENATE is currently trying to make it so.   It’s a technical fix, or hiding your choice.  

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4403/momentum-grows-against-senate-gmo-labeling-tech-fix-with-backlash-from-rural-areas?key=89615467

Organic Grains Growing Presence

For those who like to know what’s in their food,  here’s something that should be good news!   Also explains what is necessary to be certified organic

http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/organic-grain-industry-is-gaining-ground/341650.html

Genetically Engineered Chips?!


Food labels are really boring things to read.  Some of the artificial ingredients sound scary!  But Barbecue Chips, they are taters deep fried with flavored powder dusted on them after they emerge from their deep fried skinny dip.  All pure innocent starchy fun!  Ok besides that junk food label but we all have our culinary crosses to bare.

So it is in horror that I read the phrase “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering”. It’s up in picture 2!  I being reasonable person went to fritolays email page to express.  Keep your @&#*ing chips!  I’m not lab rat that pays you people $2.50 a bag to find out how safe GMO’s are.  But my email is not valid!  So dear friends, here is where I stand with this GMO thing.  I will not willing purchase a GMO product!  There is no research that has studied whether the process of genetic engineering changes the way we digest the food nor if any chemical products are introduced when the body breaks down a Genetic Modified protein. 

They companies producing these foods KILLED legislation to require the labeling of GMO foods.  The reason Fritolays Products have it is simply some of the US have enacted state laws requiring it.  Do you deserve to know what’s in your food?  Yes.  The reason all those products have labels is because the food supply has a long history of being tampered with.  Although, it probably existed before the 1600’s.  One of the first laws enacted here made it legal to add sawdust to flour!  Rice was treated with alum to make it look better for long.  Traces of poisons were used as preservatives.  But rest assured you don’t need to worry about preservatives in the chips.  The bag says they are free of preservation.   I guess franken-taters don’t rot!  So their straight from the farm franken-taters will be available to more people as I will leave them behind.  Interesting note, the lightly salted bag doesn’t mention the GMO thing.  I’m not sure about why.  Whether the bag is older or only certain flavors use genetic engineering.  But since their email doesn’t work, I have no answer.

To quote an old slogan of Lays, “I bet you can’t eat just one!” Has a different meaning.

Mining the Archives

#everydayinspiration
image

“The ripening grape shall hang on every thorn.”

Incultisque ruhens pendebit sentibus uva.Virg. Ecl. iv. 29. Virgil

To make British Port Wine.[31]—”Take of British grape wine, or good cyder, 4 gallons; of the juice of red beet root two quarts; brandy, two quarts; logwood 4 ounces; rhatany root, bruised, half a pound: first infuse the logwood and rhatany root in brandy, and a gallon of grape wine or cyder for one week; then strain off the liquor, and mix it with the other ingredients; keep it in a cask for a month, when it will be fit to bottle.”
Taken from A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons, Frederick Accum, 1820

The small wooden barrel has three inches of dust on top.  The paper had been yellowed.  It’s letters the purple of poke berries still sharp.  The receipe on port wine was centuries old.  But why was it here?  The keg plug hammered in place well before a machine could make it.  Oil lamps burned back when it was sealed.  The two foot tall relic stood as a shadow off to the side.  If not for a chance passing, would it have ever been noticed.

“Uncle, uncle, uncle what treasures did you bury here?” A voice tears into the dim room.

The barrel moves easy.  Most of its contents given as the angel’s share.  The slushing inside announce a presence.  A mild berry smell beckons from the past.  The dark wood and cooper rings have aged in impeccable condition. Grabbing the top edge, he rolls it on edge, out across a deep shelf.

“Joshua, you don’t want to try that.”  Uncle’s voice rattles him to the core.  The hair on the neck are stood up.  Goosebumps run through the arms, like a jolt of electricity.

Joshua stops moving the barrel.  The keg plug stares at him.  The voice echoes.  The lack of body for that voice is a problem.  After another minute he pushes the barrel back.  Gathering his thoughts, it seems a good time for lunch.