You and Your Food Company: A Perfect Soulmate? Or A Lying, Cheating Narcissist?

Friday Aug 31 | BY |
| Comments (34)

gmo-love-hate
Is it possible to love someone that has treated you so bad?

I received an email in my personal inbox from a long time reader and Inner Circle member yesterday.

Here’s what part of it read…

“I’m starting to wonder if this anti-GMO crusade is a valid one… I know it’s good to question both sides, but I felt so sure that GMO’s were bad…”

She has been reading some dissenting information on the blog as well as other websites that tout the benefits of GMO foods.

As you probably know, I have a few thoughts and comments on the labeling of GMO foods and Proposition 37. This is one of the most important political moments in the U.S. as it applies to your food and your right to know what you’re eating.

I’ve been covering this hot topic a bunch recently (here). But instead of replying back to her personally, I figured it would be fun to just do it here on the blog — for all to see.

In my comments I cover why I’m not here to argue, why the Internet is not the best source of information, why your food company is like a lying, cheating narcissist and other relevant issues.

Let’s get started…

1. I don’t argue any more.

I’ve mentioned this before, but after my son was born I’m sure of it.

I have a kid. I have a wife. I have two business to run. I have team members to manage. I have a cat. I have to share credible health information. I have to take care of myself. I have to exercise. I have to read. I have to research. I have to write. I have to relax. I have to relieve myself from time to time. I have to drink water. I have to make smoothies. I have to remember to eat sometimes. I have to get my sleep. I have to keep in touch with my family back home. I have to make dinner when Annmarie can’t. I have to spend time with my friends. I have to pay rent. I have to pay student loans. I have to pay a mortgage too.

I have lots of things.

One thing I don’t have, is time or energy to argue.

So I don’t.

What follows is not a point-counterpoint argument based on all the points brought up on every website for and against GMO foods. (By the way, no one ever wins these anyway.) It’s just simply what I’ve distilled from my own personal research on GMOs and my personal code of what I feel is right when it comes to my food.

2. Opinions are everywhere.

On any side of any issue there are opinions. What’s amazing about the Internet is that these opinions are right at your fingertips — literally.

If I wanted to research feminism, I could find plenty of websites about it. If I wanted to find research about why women should stay at home, do laundry, make dinner and serve their man — and not be in the workforce — I’m sure I could find that too. (Though I don’t care to search for that second one at all.)

Both, you could say are extreme (in terms of distance from each other) social stances — one strongly empowered, the other suppressed and dis-empowered. You could likely also find organizations that are dedicated to supporting the cause of both as well.

So when it comes to any topic — religion, diet, ethics, raising skunks as pets — you can find whatever you’re looking for — which is one of the darkest characteristics of the World Wide Web.

If you incorrectly search “why the world is flat” you come up with this page. I’m not saying it’s credible, I’m just saying it’s there — hey, they are a Society…

In a world with as many billions of opinions as there are people, it’s clear that there will be some about GMO. Some people are extremely protective of their food to the level of histrionics and others put all their trust in anything that proclaims it is “science.”

These are the extremes.

Fortunately, in between, is where real discussion — not crazy, emotional arguing — is taking place (I’ll cover that in point 5.)

So remember, you can find any opinion you want. Being on the Internet simply doesn’t mean it’s true.

3. A poor track record of doing good.

When you meet someone for the first time — let’s say on a date — you decide if you like them enough to see them again. That’s how rational people do this type of thing (unless they’re drunk.) If you continue to like them, maybe you get engaged, get married and even have kids.

Over time, you build a good relationship based on trust.

Food companies look at their relationship with us in a slightly different way. They control what is put on the shelves of the grocery store (they force us on a date,) they make sure all the science is favorable to them (tell lies to make themselves look good,) and they leave us little choice to purchase their products otherwise even if they’re harmful (they arrange a marriage knowing they’re going to hurt us like a lying, cheating narcissist.)

Maybe it’s a loose analogy, but the most important thing to note is that history shows food companies don’t have a stellar track record of doing trustworthy things. They’re not exactly our perfect soul mates.

In fact, they’ve almost single-handedly demineralized large portions of the soil in the United States, created the need for toxic pesticides that have killed made people and other creatures sick, they’re destroying the rivers and forests in many ways, and they’ve created environments that can cause massive food contamination. (These are just some.)

What would you do if your boyfriend or girlfriend took all your wealth, poisoned you, stomped on your garden and put poo in your food?

I know the answer.

So why haven’t we dumped them too?

Here’s a quick video to watch…

Here’s another…

4. Lack of common sense denotes crazy people.

One of the biggest gripes from the opposition (food and biotech companies) about Proposition 37 — the infamous GMO labeling law up for vote in November — is that the proposition says processed food should not be allowed to be labeled “natural.”

Yes, I wrote that correctly.

This, by deduction, means the food companies think processed food should be allowed to be labeled natural.

They are arguing that something found is in a box, stripped of its minerals (white flour and sugar and more), and preserved with chemicals derived from a natural source (that could kill you if you ate enough) is natural.

It’s obvious they’re not thinking clearly — and they’re definitely not thinking in your best interests.

It’s possible they’re crazy people. Have you seen “The Corporation“?

5. It’s about wanting to know where food is coming from.

Ultimately, this whole GMO should not be about health benefits or science around GMO.

It’s a request to know the truth. We want to know where our food is coming from and what types of seeds were used. (At least that’s what it is for me.)

But, maybe, I’m extreme.

Personally, I’d love to have a QR code on all the food that I purchase. I could use my iPhone to scan it and the data I saw on the screen would contain either some or all of the following…

  • Where it came from.
  • The mineral and nutrition content.
  • What fertilizers/foods were used.
  • How long the farmer has been in business.
  • When it was picked.
  • How it was shipped.
  • And a rating for quality based on some realistic metrics.

So yes, if GMO seeds are used, I want to know that too.

So voting yes for Proposition 37 (if you’re in California) — or even just talking about it (if you’re not) — is valuable if you are concerned that the food companies have overstepped their bounds and not treated you as nicely as you’d like.

Again, it’s not about the research, it’s about what the consumer wants. It’s about wanting to know what is being done to our food. Then we can make the decision to eat it, after getting all the details.

It’s a simple request, and if you asked a real person a simple question like “where did you get this ravioli?”

You’d want a simple answer, “I found it in a dumpster and washed it off for you.”

You could decide what to do next.

If you asked your food company where they found your pocket pasta, they’d say, “We’re going to pay a ton of money to make sure you never find out.”

Nice people, huh?

Anyway, the point is moot. Shouldn’t we all want labeling of GMO foods? This way those who support GMO technology would be able to go to the supermarket and pick out all those delicious, genetically engineered foods from the grocery without ever purchasing another non-GMO item ever again.

It’s a perfect win-win for everyone.

Your Question of the Day: What details, if any, would you want to know about your food?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

34 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Maggie says:

    One of the biggest gripes from the opposition (food and biotech companies) about Proposition 37 — the infamous GMO labeling law up for vote in November — is that is says processed food should not be allowed to be labeled “natural.”

    Yes, I wrote that correctly.

    The food companies think processed food should be allowed to be labeled natural.

    I think this is an important typo to correct…

    is that is says processed food should not be allowed to be labeled “natural.”

    because you corrected yourself in the next sentence.

  2. Cindy says:

    We already don’t have the information about our foods we should have. I don’t think anyone should be forced to consume foods that they haven’t agreed to consume. On the one hand they talk about educating yourself, your children etc. about how to eat and read labels and chose properly, they then make that decision for you by not letting you know what they have done to it. I would like to know if it is GMO or not, just like I would like to know if my eggs are free-range and free of pesticides and anti-biotics. I choose my foods carefully because I have kidney problems. I need to know. What I dont know can kill me. But that right gets taken away from me. If people want to eat at McDonalds let them eat, it is their choice, but they can’t force me to eat it. I should have that right with everything. But I don’t. That is what is sad.

  3. Janet H says:

    Excellent response , perfectly put !!!

  4. James Harkin says:

    I agree with the entire article, the level of transparency in the food industry is abysmal. I have been harping on about #5 for years. Nobody knows where their food is coming from. Its all based on trust, but we can no longer trust them since they have lost our trust.

    I would like to know what “NATURAL FLAVOURINGS” are? What is that? Is it like wood? Or slate roofing tile? Lead? Or ants? Or rat droppings? What are natural flavourings?!? Its on practically every packaged food product…

  5. Robert says:

    I CAN handle the truth so I demand it. I consider my body a scared vessel and will only put things in it that are clean, healthy, sourced ethically and “kosher” (not the Jewish definition). Trust no one especially if there is a dollar to be made. Monsanto, agribusiness and corporations pretty much of all description are not ethical and are only interested in profits. In their world costs are to be minimized and/or passed over to others. Maybe a legal position but legal and moral are not synonymous. I have personally studied Monsanto since its inception at the turn of the prior century. They may have been ethical when the old man started it (used his wife’s maiden name; wonder why), that is even suspect, but it sure went to hell in the following generations. You can lump ADM, Dow, DuPont and every other cheating, lying “seed” and chemical company in the same untrustworthy pile. All you have to do is ask why don’t they want to tell you the truth? What are they hiding. Recall the controversy a few years back about pet and baby foods originating from China by manipulating protein content in by using toxic “plastic.”

  6. Melina says:

    Good article Kevin! I especially like this part:

    If you asked your food company where they found your pocket pasta, they’d say, “We’re going to pay a ton of money to make sure you never find out.” Nice people, huh?

  7. Jewel says:

    To James: ‘natural flavorings’ usually means MSG. They can call it natural because it comes from domestic mushrooms. Since I began avoiding ‘natural flavorings’ and mushrooms, I no longer have migraine headaches.

  8. Barbara says:

    Great piece Kevin. Please share the first video url. I want to post on FB and on my business FB page.

    Thx,
    Barbara

  9. Rob says:

    Barbara, Click the youtube link at the bottom and then click share at the bottom of that,

  10. Sue Savage says:

    Great information, Kevin – Our community in central Wisconsin is fighting to keep a CAFO out of our backyard and it is really tough! I can’t believe what these agricultural giants can get away with and people believe them! It has been extremely frustrating here! Our town has an attorney fighting for us to keep them out. The neighboring town has said they support our stance. Most of our 5300+ residents don’t want them and we are doing everything we can from allowing them to come in and devastate 8000 acres of forestland, as well as ruining our pristine water and air quality! HELP! Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  11. Laureen says:

    Good article, Kevin. Thank you for taking the time.

    Robert, the word “kosher” IS a hebrew word, meaning literally “fit”. It is derived from the word “kasher” which means “pure” or “proper”. Unclean things such as pig are NOT considered food by the Almighty. So if the Almighty has shown us in Vayikra/Leviticus/”and He called” Chapter 11, so that we could be pure vessels, then we must determine for Whom and why we are pure vessels. If it is for your self, then you have elevated your status from human to false god. The word translated as sacred/holy is “kadosh” of which one meaning is set apart. Conclusion: The Almighty knows who His children are who set themselves apart by eating that which is food as determined by Our Father Who knows what is best for us and our love for Him is determined by our obedience to Him.

    Shalom,

    Laureen

  12. cid says:

    Barbara,
    start the video, at the lower right you will see You tube symbol. Click it and it will take you to the video on You tube

    2 Minutes on Monsanto and GMOs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qMh9jJk4fQ&feature=player_embedded

    Yes on Prop 37 – California Right To Know

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szq2GFYktG8&feature=player_embedded

  13. Anna says:

    I agree with you Kevin about the difficulties of settling issues like whether or not eating GMO-containing (or derived) food is OK can never be settled by argument (like the fluoridation debate). So we need clear and honest labelling to enable us to choose. But I think there is an even bigger issue with GMO labelling than the usual personal one of choice about food consumption.
    Genetic Engineering of plants and living organisms would tragically and unthinkably ultimately destroy this planet’s ecosystems through their permanent disruption of nature’s intricate structures and functions. The bottom line is that once disruptive GMOs are released, they can NEVER be withdrawn or the changes undone.
    So my reasons for requiring food labelling are both so I can avoid eating harmful so-called GE “food” and, even more importantly, so I can avoid participating in the destruction of the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystems which support all life on Earth. This expands the issue from the personal wellbeing realm to encompass something far bigger. So labelling is vital.

  14. Anna says:

    Oops, typo correction!
    I agree with you Kevin about the difficulties of settling issues like whether eating GMO-containing (or derived) food is OK by argument (like the fluoridation debate).

  15. Liz says:

    Anna, You are ansolutely correct – it is not just about our right to choose what goes into our bodies, but the necessity to not destroy our precious planet.

    Liz

  16. harvey says:

    Dear Kevin,
    This could be serious stuff. I can well remember being shown a Merck pharmacopoiea that stated 245T, 24D,[agent orange] and several other farm herbicides caused cancer in lab rats in as little as a few parts per trillion.The MSD book was in my fathers soil lab. Printed in 1956 it was common knowledge then. To our horror friends came back with serious ailments from vietnam topdressings. We had an attitude of yeah yeah we’re not dead yet dad scrubbing neat chemical off ourselves after spraying all day on the farm. One has to think country of origin/ manf. and contents matter for us and biosecurity containments viz. Sanlu melamine and GMO wheatbellies etc.
    Best of luck Harv.

  17. sandra frankel says:

    This article is clear as a bell. You know the issues and write with your heart. It is just disheartening that there are just so many stupid people out there that DO NOT QUESTION… and follow along like a bunch of sheep.

    hopefully, more and more are waking up to the truth of the wickedness that has become our food supply.

    Blessings to you for your good heart, your wisdom and knowledge and caring enough to put forth the effort that you do.

    you rock Kev.

    sandra

  18. R F says:

    Another great article Kev! And once again you came up with a zinger that made me laugh out loud . . .

    “It’s a simple request, and if you asked a real person a simple question like “where did you get this ravioli?”

    You’d want a simple answer, “I found it in a dumpster and washed it off for you.”

    A lovely touch of humor within a discussion of what is to me a terrifying subject. I agree with Anna about the possibly catastrophic consequences of introducing these organisms into our one & only environment. Maybe we’ll get lucky and there will be no detrimental outcome, but do we really want to risk that?

    Prop 37 is a first step which would at least give us a choice for now about what we put directly into our bodies (until organic crops become contaminated through cross-pollination with GMO crops). And to answer Kev’s question, I’d like to know that no obviously “bad stuff” was used, when it was harvested, etc, but I’d also like ideally to know what kind of water was used and what kind of fertilizer (I’d prefer it to be composed of things like rock dust, kelp, manure from clean free range animals would be okay if necessary, but free of blood, feathers, bone meal and other meat industry by-products).

    I’ve seen the phrase “Know Your Farmer” here and there . . . seems like a good idea.

  19. Rose says:

    Yes, getting our food labeled is just the beginning. Monsanto is still forcing farmers to use their GMO seed. There have been cases where the GMO seed has spread to another field and that farmer is been accused of stealing the seed. How ridiculous. Yes, the seed will spread. How can we stop it?

  20. chris harrison says:

    There’s wisdom in the avoidance of the seemingly inevitable argument; a well stated point of view might better be punctuated by walking away from it; now there’s time for the prospective antagonist to conceptualize the offered point, while the thoughtful one may go about his business; he has other things, more productive things to do with his life.

  21. Rosemary says:

    Kevin, I love that you don’t argue any more. Wow! Thank you for another articulate well written article and supporting the “right to know” initiative.

  22. Lori says:

    I’m a bit confused here, Kevin, with the following statement in your blog:

    “the proposition says processed food should not be allowed to be labeled ‘natural.'”

    May I correct the record? Prop #37 does NOT say processed food should not be allowed to be labeled ‘natural.’ This is the very claim the opposition makes, and it is 100% false, completely twisting around what Prop. #37 DOES say:

    food containing genetically engineered ingredients should not be allowed to be labeled ‘natural.’

    I had to read this blog several times to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting. I don’t want readers to start thinking that Prop. #37 extends to processed foods which are labeled ‘natural.’ It only requires that genetically modified food not to be labeled ‘natural,’ and that’s it. Please read the initiative for yourself, and you will see that the language clearly states this. In fact, I copied and pasted the section in question below:

    §110809.1 Misbranding of Genetically Engineered Foods as “Natural”

    In addition to any disclosure required by subdivisions 110809, if a food meets any of the definitions in section 110808(c) or (d), and is not otherwise exempted from labeling under section 110809.2, the food may not in California, on its label, accompanying signage in a retail establishment, or in any advertising or promotional materials, state or imply that the food is “natural” “naturally made”, “naturally grown”, “all natural” or any words of similar import that would have any tendency to mislead any consumer.

    And below, I’ve cut and pasted the memorandum a Prop. #37 attorney wrote in rebuttal to the false claim of the opposition that the initiative would not allow any processed food to bear the label ‘natural.’ Please read the following:

    SANDLER, REIFF, YOUNG & LAMB, P.C.
    May 22, 2012
    MEMORANDUM
    FROM: Joseph E. Sandler
    SUBJECT: California Right to Know Initiative: Labeling of Processed Foods
    Opponents of the California Right to Know Initiative have suggested that the initiative would bar any processed food from being labeled as “natural,” which would seriously disrupt the food industry and prevent truly “natural” foods from being so labeled.
    That is simply false. The opponents point to the language of proposed new Health & Safety Code §110809.1, which prevents a food from being labeled as “natural” if it meets the definition of “genetically engineered” or is a “processed food.” This language itself, however, provides that the prohibition on labeling a food as “natural” applies only if the subject food “is not otherwise exempt from labeling” as being genetically engineered, under the initiative.

    The memorandum ends with the following remark:

    . . . . the notion that the new law would ban labeling as natural of all processed foods flies in the face of the plain language of the initiative, makes no sense and has effectively been rejected by the Attorney General. The opponent’s suggestion that the law could be construed in this way is meritless.

    So, please clarify your statement, Kevin, that you made in point #4 of your blog, if I’ve misinterpreted it.

    Other than that, I thought all your other points in your blog were pretty strong and sound. I’m very glad that you’ve taken up the cause of promoting Prop. #37. This massive grassroots effort is the only way we can successfully contend with the opposition’s incredibly deep pockets.

  23. Rebecca says:

    I found this video to be helpful. It explains the reasoning behind GMO’s. (Just click on the link at the bottom.) http://vibesup.com/who-we-are-why-we-are-here/

  24. Joan says:

    Excellent article and interesting video! Thanks for sharing – I appreciate the manner in which you share info – keep up the good work!

  25. Brianna says:

    🙂 Thanks. You’ve given me piece of mind – a great response once again.

  26. deb says:

    Barbara,
    When I right click on the video, I get an option menu. The first option is “Copy video URL”. When I then left click on that first option, it saves the URL in my scratch pad. When I then right click in this comment area, I get another option menu. I left click on Paste and I get:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0qMh9jJk4fQ

    You can also use [ctrl] v to paste.

  27. gaa says:

    Good damn article.

  28. RB says:

    I live in CA & am excited about prop 27 & obviously plan to vote yes. it’s simple matter of labeling like all items must have the ingredients listed (well more or less). I’m also aware the huge amount of $$$ money they have to distort 27 out of all recognition. I’m rather curious to see how they’re going to be angling it in the next few months. Of course, I hoping it will pass easily but who knows.

    I try to stick to (mostly) whole foods & do my own cooking so I know what’s in it – I do have the occasional decadent splurge. I do wonder about what our food is packaged in. The only company I know of that’s bothered to remove BPAs is Eden. Otherwise, even so called organic healthy food companies still package their products in all kinds of plastics.

    Thanks for the article!

  29. RB says:

    great video – just posted in on facebook

  30. Denise B says:

    I want to know what I’m eating. I have food issues and the more info I have the better. The trouble is – if the packaged food was labeled with the truth we wouldn’t buy it – and the companies know this. Flavorings can come from many “natural” places but I certainly don’t want crushed bugs, etc in my food or on my lips or applied to my skin. I have the right to know!

  31. Thank you for sharing our 2-Minute Monsanto / GMO video!

    The big Factory Farming, Processed food and Chemical companies have a vast war chest at their disposal. They’ve donated over $25 Million dollars in the last few month to run ads to defeat Prop 37. Our opportunity is now. We must get in front of people with our message before their ads begin and the facts get spun.

    For those looking to share, you can find the 2 Minute video on Facebook here:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=334343186658753

    Simply click the SHARE link so your friends and family can see it!

    You can also cut and paste this link to Facebook or Twitter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qMh9jJk4fQ

    If you are on Pinterest you can re-Pin the video by clicking here:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/212232201160777474/

  32. Jacinta says:

    Ha ha ha!!! Thanks for letting me know that my ravioli came from the dumpster…now I can really enjoy it!! ha ha haven’t laughed out loud like that for a while!!

  33. Yvonne says:

    The video says:
    1. Roundup is a toxic herbicide.
    2. Roundup is used on GMO corn.

    This means: ppl eating GMO corn get the herbicide into their body.

    I googled: herbicides pesticides effect on health
    Guess what! There is a ton of scientific info about the effect on health (cancer, asthma, allergies, hormone disruption, effects brain development, eyes, liver, kidney, spleen, stomach, intestines, deformities in fetuses).

    What consumer would not want to know if their food has herbicides and pesticides in it..???

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