It’s natural to assume the good in someone, or something. In this case, a brand. Brands like Kashi, Naked, Alexia, Larabar, and Silk have spent millions in marketing and packaging so that we’re comfortable with their do-gooder, earth-friendly, clean and organic food brand personas. These brands are the nemesis of classic grocery store junk. But they just may be the nemesis of conscious eaters everywhere, too, according to a new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org.
The vote in California next month on Prop 37, which would require labeling of GMO and GE food products, is as hot as the presidential election. That vote there, while only immediately effecting California, has the potential to create a new labeling standard across the country. As you can imagine, a GMO labeling law would require transparency where these brands have been able to slip under the radar previously. As well, where companies are the most concerned, it will cost them quite a bit of money to update labeling.
Right there in red and green, you can see which previously assumed supporters of natural, organic, clean foods are just a front for more secrecy behind the label. Dean Foods, parent of Horizon and Silk, has spent a quarter-million dollars to prevent labeling GMOs. Coca-Cola, with their Honest Tea and Odwalla brands, has spent 1.1 million dollars. Something about that doesn’t feel so honest.
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There are several big changes proposed for this November’s ballot. Our country could see a new president elected, the government could feel a major party shift, and health care reform may be turned on its head. One issue that is so important to many of us is the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). This issue hasn’t gotten as much national press as other hard-hitters, but it has made its way onto California’s ballot. In November, Californians will have the chance to change history and promote national change for our food, and ultimately our health. Proposition 37, calling for the labeling of all GMO foods, will be in the hands of the voters this fall.
This issue earned a space on the ballot after the CA Right to Know Campaign submitted nearly a million signatures declaring a desire for food labeling. Currently there is no way to know if the food you are purchasing is a GMO because the law in this country does not require it.
Stacey Malkan is the Media Director for the California Right to Know 2012 ballot initiative. She explained to us how the US is not keeping with the international trend of food labeling. “More than 40 other countries already require labeling of genetically engineered food so this is not anything out of the ordinary and is not rocket science — it’s about our fundamental right to know.”
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A few weeks ago my friend Michelle McNally tweeted a link to this interview with Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly. I was impressed with Dr. Davis, so I put it on my hold list at the library and started discussing it with people I respect. Michelle had already made several dietary changes for her family after her daughter was diagnosed with multiple (17) food sensitivities, but she changed her own diet even when her daughter was not around after reading this interview. Beyond wheat free, Michelle’s daughter is also sensitive to yeast, which eliminates some wheat-free choices in addition.
Hazel Walker is an author, speaker, and personal mentor. She states, “at age 55 I am looking closely at the cause and effect that some foods are having on MY Body. I had already given thought to wheat being an issue, this just confirmed what I thought.” Hazel has committed to 31 days wheat free. She taught me that gluten free, does not always mean wheat-free.
What really caught my attention was the quote from Dr. Davis, “what you are being sold called “wheat” is really not wheat at all, at least nothing like the wheat of 1950 that our mothers and grandmothers had. Modern wheat is the product of extensive genetics experiments conducted during the 1960s and 1970s to increase yield.” Eliminating partially hydrogenated soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup were my first steps to purifying my diet, and I have made every effort to avoid genetically modified foods. The thought that there may not be non-genetically modified wheat available in the United States any longer is frightening to me. I normally promote a balanced diet, avoiding processed foods but not any foods in particular. Cutting out wheat sounds very drastic, but as Dr. Davis says, “I don’t think that modern wheat should even be considered food…Modern wheat is not a creation of nature. It is the creation of geneticists.”
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