Winter thoughts… GMO Part 1: an Introduction

Dear Readers,

Scenario:

You are a twenty-something-year-old, very busy college student, and you eat either in your school cafeteria, or at student-organized events (that you attend mainly for the free food). For example, today, you had a bowl of Kellogg’s cereal; someone awesome brought Oreos in your Public Health class; for lunch, you ate God-knows-what in the cafeteria; for dinner, you had a can of Campbells soup and a Boca burger (with ketchup, of course) while working on a paper; and before bed, you and your roomies made Nestle’s chocolate chip cookies while dancing around to Rihanna’s latest hit and eating cookie dough.

With the exception of the dubious ingredients in your cafeteria lunch, every single thing you ate had some GMO, or Genetically Modified Organisms. Yep, that’s right: Campbells, Boca, Kelloggs, Nestle, both Heinz and Hellman’s, and even the glorious Oreo are just a few of the companies and foods that use GMO food ingredients.

What is GMO? Is it poisonous? What does it do to the environment? Who is regulating it? Can it end world hunger? What does it have to do with ME?

Instead of waiting until spring to post, I’d like to use this wintery time to consider some of the issues surrounding food policy that shape the way food ends up on our plates. Thanks to Sandra, who had some really good points about GMO that inspired me to look further into the subject; and thanks to Anna, who reminded me that I have a blog. The following series of posts will attempt to make the GMO issue a little less murky, with the hopes that you, my Readers, will feel confident that you can make educated decisions about what to eat. Please feel free to comment on this controversial subject; there are endless perspectives, and I look forward to hearing yours.

I wish you a warm bowl of root vegetable stew… GMO Part 2 soon to follow!

Laura Beth

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