Food: Recipes, Fun Facts, and Some Randomness · Musings & Moments

A Word or Two on Food

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051466/Rise-GM-foods-creating-crop-spray-resistant-superweeds-scientists-warn.html

A while ago I was asked to write a guest post for my sister-in-laws blog, http://burlaptopearls.blogspot.com/, which in and of itself was pretty exciting, until I realized that I had no idea what to say! I was asked to write about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and I was completely, 100% stumped! Not because I literally didn’t know what to say, after all, I feel pretty passionately about this topic; but because I didn’t know what I had to say that was worth reading. The web is LOADED with all sorts of information, so what could I possibly have to offer that hasn’t already been written?

……and then came Easter Eve! 

My mom called to let me know what she was making and to ensure that it was something we would eat (for the record, this is a mom’s love, not our unwillingness to eat anything she makes). As we were talking she mentioned that she was unusually thankful that my dad had not gone shopping with her because she had to go to three different stores in order to find what she was looking for. Typically, my parents do as much together as often as possible so the reason she was relieved made me laugh out loud (no joke!). She continued to explain that while driving around with my dad asking why they need to buy specific foods for his “tree hugging” family was not as easily accomplished as doing it herself. I was hysterical! Hysterical because while they do almost everything together, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that my dad’s idea of a good time does not include hours of running in and out of grocery stores (and I’m with him!!!!) so I completely understood the humor behind what my mom was saying. However, I was also caught off guard in the best way by either one of my parents calling us tree huggers. I think I might have simmered at a low giggle for well over a week! Although beyond the humor is a very real reality that they don’t understand. After all, a tree hugger is a, “derogatory term for environmentalists who support restrictions on the logging industry and the preservation of forests.” (Source) Hmmmm….the logging industry? preservation of forests? When in the world did wanting to eat food, real food, connect me to groups that are saving forests???? Not that I’m against saving a tree, a forest, even a single daisy; in fact, I suppose I’m for it considering we need trees in order to live (quite literally). However, I would not consider myself a tree hugger and I found it hysterical that anyone would! 

To add to the humor of the above story I had my brother respond to a comment I had made about GM’s by saying that everything is a chemical, really, so what’s the big deal?….please note, he said this while walking out of the room so that I could not even reply. LOL So, one of the smartest people I know chooses ignorance (choosing ignorance). I wondered why. Why would someone who desires to know as much as possible about everything not want to know about the food that either nourishes or destroys our bodies? Why would he choose to consider a GM seed the same as an organic or heirloom seed (Types of seeds)? Why would he not be interested in a topic that has HUGE political and economic forces behind it?

It is with these questions that I chose to begin sharing some of my thoughts. Keep in mind, this is not purposed to be a documentary or a blog that offers a plethora of data, but more of a reflection on why we chose to become tree-hugging hippies who eat chemicals created by God alone with some of the aftermath regarding this decision. 😉 However, for those who may be reading about GM’s for the first time, there is a list of internet sources below that will be much more informative. 🙂

Now that all of the preliminary hodgepodge is out of the way, there are three main dynamics that we have become keenly aware of since altering how we eat: the absolute havoc that GM’s and wreaking on our land and within our bodies, the division that is so easily created because of this choice, and the lack of knowledge regarding food on the part of the average consumer.

Our Land and Our Bodies
While I have very little to actually say about this dynamic (although as already noted there are several informative links below) I do think it’s worth looking at the common sense end of things. Let’s actually consider the most basic sense of what GMO means. Genetically modified organism. Well, we know that “genetically” would refer to the seeds genetic make-up, so in this case it is the the DNA of the seed. Modified obviously means to change, and an organism is a living thing. So in the simplest way, we are changing the DNA of seeds, modifying them to accept large quantities of pesticides (Round up), for increased crop growth (big money). If the thought of consuming a seed that we decided to alter for monetary gain isn’t enough to make you want to know more, how about considering the fact that the abundance of pesticides that are now being dumped on our earth (consider the water cycle, these toxins are spreading) are harming our soil, water, wild life and sea life. All in all, it is scarier than people seem to realize and more harmful than the government in letting on (oh wait! they’re making a killin’ while killing us….oh! but don’t worry, they’ll be sure to approve a drug for whatever may be ailing you…..hmmmmmmm…)


okay moving on because if you remember I began this blog by stating that I didn’t know what I had to offer in relation to our health and the environment that isn’t readily available and much better written than anything I have to say…so off this topic, and onto the next 🙂

Food Based Divisions
 

So before I write a novel on this topic alone, which my husband doesn’t think would be enough (he actually commented on the idea that I would have volumes of books if I had the time to truly organize and lay out my thoughts….lol), let me state a basic truth: food should not, NEVER-EVER, cause divisions! ahhhhhhhh! DO YOU FEEL ME!?!?!?!? lol Okay, mini-fit thrown, now back to the blog…….

I don’t know the root cause of the divisions that I have seen, but I do know that the end result is pretty harmful, as one could expect. As more and more people begin to research food, coming to various conclusions that naturally alter their food choices, it seems that a “food cult” is forming and it is both divisive and offensive, and that is just the problem outside of the home (even within the church….oh my! right?). Inside the family, eating disorders are being formed while we “force feed” our children actual food and offensively withhold food-like substances from them at various outings. The entire situation that has begun to unfold is sad, to say the least, and it is hurtful to watch.

As I noted above, I think I could write a book about how I feel on this topic alone, but I will try to curtail my thoughts and address the seemingly obvious, with the pretense that those reading this post are Christians. That pretense is only assumed so that I can focus on the issue of division within the church family for just a moment, although the same principle should apply anywhere, in my opinion. 😉 So let’s begin by pointing out the obvious: Division within the church family should only be caused over sin issues. As a rather simplistic example, Susie constantly lies to other people about me. While I am able to forgive her, I do have Biblical grounds to “divide” myself from her because of the problems she is constantly causing. Please note, I am not harboring unforgiveness or resentment, I am at peace in forgiving her; however, I am appropriately distancing myself from her. Division. Granted, that is just one example and it is a rather silly one as it was given as a lighthearted example (although it does have a sad ring of truth to it). Food, however, outside of a glutton’s consumption, is not a sin-issue. Choosing to eat organic food, conventional food, local produce, produce shipped from East Chapepe, vegan, hoards of meat, GM’s or non-GM’s IS NOT A BIBLICAL ISSUE. However, division over these choices is. Please get that……….division over food choices is a Biblical issue: it’s a sin issue and it’s a subtle tool that is being used by satan to tear apart the family of God. 

When Jeremy and I first began to alter how we ate we did so with a pretty intense passion. We stuck to our guns at all times. We were determined that Annalee (our now 19mo old) would NEVER eat a GMO, refined sugar, mass-produced animal based foods, etc and then we opened our eyes to the hurt that was being caused in the homes of others and in the church. We noticed that families who chose to eat certain ways (vegan, organic, sugar-free, etc based on their choice) were pushy about making a point of difference as opposed to being casually conversational about the difference. We noticed that we wanted to hang our heads in shame at the mere thought of being associated with people who were overpowering in their conversation and approach regarding food. Worst of all, we noticed that people were not attending various gatherings because of the food that was being served, or better yet, they were bringing their own food and eating only that. Ouch! That’s a pretty offensive move to the host or hostess! On the flip side, we also noticed that many of the children from families in which food is controlled have an obsession with junk food. A true obsession. One that caused us to really re-evaluate how we plan on balancing things with Annalee.

*in reference to the above paragraph if you’re thinking, “I know who she’s talking about” please consider the more important question: are you considering YOU 😉

So for us, all of that observing boiled down to a few basic “rules”

  • at home we’re organic (almost the only way to eat non-GM foods), soy-free vegans and we love it
  • when invited to someone’s home, we eat whatever is there with a smile, thankful for the fellowship
  • when we have people over, we make “normal” food so that food is not the focus of the night, but fellowship is
  • when we eat at large group settings (cookouts, church events, etc) we use common sense, enjoying what we are comfortable with, purposing to not cause offense
  • we totally snack at home because it is fun (hence the reason I still have weight to lose…lol)
  • Annalee follows all of the above rules. This means that when we go out she eats things she typically would not, and I love it for every reason described above. I want her to enjoy food without feeling as if she has to sneak it, without lecturing people on it and without feeling awkward because she might be offending someone. 
Do we get it right every time? Of course not. I’m sure we’ve passed on food we should have eaten and brought dishes to cookouts that were just too weird for most people. However, it’s never done to cause division or make a point. To add to this, I sometimes talk about food WAY TOO MUCH, not because I am trying to be pushy or informative, but because it’s a topic I LOVE! 🙂 However, not everyone knows that and I’m sure I’ve either bored or offended people on several occasions without wanting to. The bottom line is that we should consider the heart of the issue. Are you, yes you, causing division because of the choices you are making? Are you allowing satan to use food as a means to create strife, pride and discord? or are you allowing yourself to use your knowledge to better your health and have some fun preparing meals for your family? Are you enjoying the blessing of taste buds and God’s creation to draw you closer to Him or are you focusing on food to a degree that you have lost sight of the Creator…….and in turn in His goal for our lives, bringing glory to Him in all we do. There is no glory in prideful divisions, only in humble unity.
 
Media-driven Consumerism
 
Most people seem content walking into a major grocery store (including Whole Foods which is HUGELY stocked with GM’s) trusting that if it’s for sale it must be safe to consume, right? I mean after all, the FDA regulates what is deemed safely consumable, right? and if it’s sold as food, it must be okay. Right? WRONG. The FDA functions with money as it’s primary concern, not our health. Now some readers (for the few who have actually hung with me this long) just tuned out. If I’m talking about the FDA in a negative way I must be one of those left-wing tree hugging loonies who is not worth listening to, and a few years ago I would have made the same assumption about someone else, and then I began reading, a lot. I learned to an unquestionable degree that I had previously known nothing about food. Now I know almost nothing, so I’m making progress. Perhaps one day I’ll actually know something…ahhhh. Seriously though, I was genuinely surprised to learn that GM seeds were being used without proper testing, without consideration to the environment, without media coverage and without labels. It seemed absolutely unbelievable to me; but then again, the greed that is associated with the dollar bill is quite unbelievable! The more I learned and talked to other people the more I realized that this is NOT part of mainstream media and most consumers don’t even know what a GM seed is, let alone what damage it may be causing them. My only suggestion here is to begin looking through and reading some of the links below. Begin your journey to eating food, as opposed to cancer-causing food like substances. Or don’t, but remember, you were warned…LOL 😉

I hope you have enjoyed reading a little about our journey and some of our silly reflections. 🙂

Blessings!


References:

A List of GM crops

 
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