Tag Archives | Food

Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

In response to yesterday’s article, “Monsanto’s GMO Creations Caused 291,000 Suicides in India,” we had a Facebook commenter share this article with us.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Read the original article.

By Ian Plewis, University of Manchester

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced.

In Europe, there is widespread opposition to GM crops, with import or cultivation of many GM foods prohibited by EU regulations. In the Americas, and to a lesser extent in Asia, regulations are less stringent and a substantial proportion of the area used to grow corn, soybean and cotton is planted with GM seeds.

The agri-business companies responsible for developing the seeds, notably Monsanto, are frequent targets of anti-GM campaigners.… Read the rest

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Where GMOs Hide In Your Food

GMO Full Disclosure AdvocateThe mighty (alright, once-mighty) Consumer Reports picks up the GMO labeling cudgel:

More than 70 percent of Americans say they don’t want genetically modified organisms in their food, according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 1,000 adults. The trouble is, it’s hard to avoid them. Consumer Reports’ tests of breakfast cereals, chips, soy infant formulas, and other popular products found that GMOs lurk in many packaged foods—including some that carry labels suggesting that they don’t have these controversial ingredients.

In more than 60 countries, manufacturers must label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. But GMO labeling isn’t required in the U.S. Yet our survey found that 92 percent of Americans want genetically modified foods to be labeled. And concerns about the potential health and environmental risks of GMOs coupled with an unwillingness on the part of the federal government to mandate labeling are leading many states to take action on their own.

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Food 2.0

Krispy Kreme DoughnutsThe next big thing for many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is food. Paul B. Farrell explains ‘Food 2.0′ at MarketWatch:

  • Silicon Valley: “The Next Start-up Craze” is “Food 2.0” predict MIT Technology Review’s editors. “They are taking on corporate giants such as ConAgra, General Mills, and Kraft that spend billions on research and technology development.” Still, you can bet a successful new food-tech start-up is likely to have one of the Big Ag firms along as a venture partner or later as buy-out sugar-daddy.

  • Big Ag’s Monsanto: The global food industry, especially Big Ag capitalists like Monsanto, which controls 27% of the global seed market, is already having trouble feeding a global population of seven billion today. You can bet your corn futures that Monsanto will need many new ag technology breakthroughs if it expects its stock to double again like it had the past four years. And Big Ag is already facing heavy backlash over genetically modified food as it is.

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Chinese Restaurant Makes Its Noodles Addictive – With Opium Poppies

Well this is one way to make your restaurant’s noodles completely addictive! From South China Morning Post (h/t Oginikwe, who thought y’all might be interested in this since we are importing so much of our food, vitamins, and ingredients from China):

A noodle shop owner was detained after he was discovered to have been adding parts of a poppy plant – from which opium is made – to food so that customers would keep coming back.

ChineseNoodles

The noodle shop’s owner was held for questioning and confessed that he purchased 2kg of poppy shells (the bud of the plant in which poppy seeds are found) for 600 yuan (HK$756) in August.

He secretly added it to the food to lure in more customers.

The owner was detained for 10 days. Poppy shells used to be an ingredient in a popular hot pot sauce until the product was banned, according to previous reports.

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French Restaurants’ Food Quality Turns to ‘Merde’

PHOTO By Jan Wellmann

PHOTO By Jan Wellmann

This article originally appeared on HoneyColony.

The moment I touch down in a new city I assess the quality of the food and locate the nearest health-food store and gastro-friendly restaurants. Food is thy medicine, and given my allergies to gluten, sugar cane, and dairy, my food options are usually very limited; I have to avoid processed foods like the plague.

When I recently arrived in France, perennially known for its culinary traditions as it is, I was astonished by the amount of prepackaged and frozen foods served in French restaurants and the staggering number of loud-colored labels lining the shelves in grocery stores.

Indeed, I discovered, French restaurants and the French public at large purchased over $94 billion worth of packaged goods in 2013, according to EuroMonitor. This basically includes anything canned and wrapped, such as snack bars, spreads, canned and preserved foods, pasta, ready meals, sauces, dressings, and soup.… Read the rest

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Inequality in America: The Food Gap Between Rich and Poor

Wealthy people are eating better than ever, while the poor are eating worse, reports James Hamblin for The Atlantic:

Nutritional disparities between America’s rich and poor are growing, despite efforts to provide higher-quality food to people who most need it. So says a large study just released from the Harvard School of Public Health that examined eating habits of 29,124 Americans over the past decade. Diet quality has improved among people of high socioeconomic status but deteriorated among those at the other end of the spectrum. The gap between the two groups doubled between 2000 and 2010. That will be costly for everyone.

Alaska wild berries.jpg

The primary conclusion of the study is interesting, though, in that its focus is diet quality among the population as a whole. Without accounting for socioeconomic status, there has been, the study reads, “steady improvement.” People aren’t eating more vegetables, or less red or processed meat, and their salt intake increased—which the researchers call “disconcerting”—but Americans are eating more good things like whole fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and polyunsaturated fats.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: “GMO” Follow Up

Misunderstood scientist of the people or semantic sorcerer bought and Paid For? Recently I posted a video of  Tyson’s word on selective breeding. Well here is his follow up that he posted on Facebook. What is your input disinfonauts?

English: A warning sign with an exclamation markvia Facebook:

In fact — apart from my “chill out” quip in the video, which clearly deserved further explanation — I didn’t really vote one way or another on GMOs. You want to distinguish how genes are modified? Okay, then label everything, and create two subcategories of GMO. One that indicates laboratory and one that indicates agriculture. I said this explicitly in my Facebook post.

Furthermore, I never said GMOs were safer or more dangerous. I implied that if you think GMO-laboratory is **inherently** more dangerous to human life than GMO-agriculture you are simply wrong. They both can be bad for the environment. They both can be less healthy. They both can disrupt the local flora and fauna.

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Moms, “Food Fears” and the Power of the Internet

food ingredient fearsA great dissection of the corporate food lobby’s fear of social media and the Internet over at The Lunch Tray

Dr. Brian Wansink, a professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, has published a new study in the journal Food Quality and Preference entitled “Ingredient-Based Food Fears and Avoidance: Antecedents and Antidotes.”  This study, co-authored by Aner Tal and Adam Brumberg, seeks to determine why people – mothers in particular – develop so-called “food fears” about certain ingredients (such as sodium, fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and lean finely textured beef) and what the food industry and government can do about it.

The study’s ultimate conclusion, that “food fears” can be addressed by “providing information regarding an ingredient’s history or the other products in which it is used,” is hardly controversial.  But some other things about this study raise red flags, starting with the fact that what might be entirely legitimate concerns about particular ingredients are uniformly (and patronizingly) characterized as “food fears,” and that the study’s findings have been overblown and mischaracterized not just in the media but in Dr.

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Wake And Bake With The Cannabis Coffee Called ‘Legal’

Legal cannabis coffee

Weed in your coffee? Don’t worry, it’s “Legal.”

For those who love both weed and coffee, this is veritably the Elixir of Life itself:

VIA The Cannabist

Cannabis and coffee, together.

It was only a matter of time before somebody brought new meaning to the popular stoner rite of passage “wake and bake.”

And it makes perfect sense that such a creation is coming out of coffee-crazy Washington state, which will soon start the legal sale of recreational marijuana in the coming month or two.

Adam Stites of Longview, Wash., is that creative entrepreneurial genius. His cold-brewed coffee creation, Legal, comes packaged in a Stumptown-styled 11.5-ounce bottle and is infused with 20 milligrams of activated THC. Of Legal’s two coffees, one is black and the other has cream and sugar; There are also three infused sodas to pad the line, including pomegranate and lemon ginger.

Bottles will likely retail between $9-$11, according to the Huffington Post.

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The End of Fish

Cardona,Rizaljf5207 01Amy Novogratz and Mike Velings, co-founders of Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture, write about the inevitable end of fish as we plunder the oceans, at the Washington Post:

People are getting more adventurous with how they eat, and when it comes to seafood, this means exhaustively looking to every exotic corner for the best, newest and tastiest fish. Also, the stuff is delicious. Seafood is a critical portion of more than 3 billion people’s diets. Already, 90 percent of U.S. seafood is imported.

This can’t last. The oceans are stretched, and certain fish species are approaching depletion. Leading scientists project that if we continue to fish this way, without allowing our oceans time to recover, our oceans could become virtual deserts by 2050. That’s just 36 years from now. Given that demand for seafood – along with the world’s population – is rising, don’t be surprised if this window closes even faster.

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