Read the Numbers on Your Fruit

Sticker Label with Produce Code on an Apple

I just found this out about a month ago and I’ve been an organic vegan for over four years, go figure. That just goes to say that we must all remain as students and continue to learn and learn — never stop studying and gaining new information.

Okay, so what did I learn?

I learned that sticker labels (produce codes) on fruits actually tell you how the fruits have been grown — whether they were organically grown or conventionally grown with pesticides and herbicides; oh, and let’s not forget about the genetically engineered fruits. Also, I wondered about the safety of putting those stickers on fruits and found out that though the adhesive used to stick them is edible-safe, the label itself is not. So, you need to peel it off (and wash your produce anyway).

Where is that Label?

These days, you’ll find that fruits like apples and bananas have a small sticker on each one of them. They are also called PLU (Price Look up Code). Apart from the scan-able vertical bars on them, you’ll notice a number also. It is this number that you have to pay attention to, to discover the true grown nature of your produce. If this bunch of fruit is in a bag then that label should be on the bag.

Let’s look at what some of these labels mean:

Conventional Fruit Labels

Produce stickers that have numbers beginning with a 3 or a 4, and the number being four digits long only, indicate that it is a conventionally grown product. Yes, that means it was sprayed with all those pesticides and chemicals that you are trying to wean away from your food.

Organic Fruit Labels

Now for the sticker that you WANT to see on your produce; this one starts with a number 9 and is five digits long. It tells you that the fruit or produce is grown and raised organically without being treated with any chemicals.

Genetically Modified Fruits

If you are wondering whether your produce is genetically engineered or not, look for the labels that have a number starting with an 8 and is five digits long. Not only has this kind of produce been genetically modified, it might have further been treated with harmful chemicals too! Needless to say, I wouldn’t be recommending to buy this one, if you truly care for your health.

Remember, this is good to know because stores aren’t obligated to tell you if a fruit has been genetically modified (grrr….).

 

Okay, so if you come across an apple in the store and it’s labeled 4922, it’s an conventional apple grown with herbicides and harmful fertilizers. If it has a sticker 99222, it’s organic and safe to eat. If it says 89222, then RUN!!!! It has been genetically modified (GMO).

So next time you go shopping, remember these critical numbers and know how to avoid purchasing inorganic and GMO fruits.

Shop Safe :) .

 

David AskaripourDavid Askaripour, a prominent blogger based in New York, writes on the subject of natural healing among other things. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Television Talk Shows, books and local news channels.

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Comments

  1. Steve says

    Purchasing a an apple that is not labeled “organic” does not make it inorganic as it is still biologically derived and it contains carbon.

    Organic labels (not applied here) only indicate that the product is contains 95% ‘organic’ material

    No pesticides also means natural pest control which can lead to the introduction of invasive species that also harm the ecosystem.

    Further – how far did the fruit travel to get to you? Is local better than organic?

  2. David Mills says

    Unless you’re a clone, you’re a genetically-modified person. Perhaps we should run for you?

  3. says

    Hey Steve, thanks for the comment. Thank you too, David. The bottom-line here, semantics aside, organic fruits do not undergo herbicide / pesticide / and other dangerous chemical spraying. As well as not being genetically modified and used on humans as guinea pigs. It’s just that simple.

  4. Joe says

    Why is genetically modified evil? Many things are genetically modified for the better. Plants are sprayed with a hormone specific to it’s species to create seedless fruit. Do you run from seedless grapes? Most other types of genetic modification involves taking a gene from an animal that is something like mosquito resistant, and putting it into the plant, thus eliminating the need for pesticide. Look things up before you open your ignorant mouth. You can eat inorganic fruit all you want, the pesticide won’t kill you.

  5. says

    I’ve been “looking things up” for years, thank you. Yes, I do run from seedless grapes. I run from anything that GM-ed. There is absolutely no proof the GM foods are safe foods for us. None at all. You think that GM-ed fruits still don’t endure pesticide sprays?? ha, what sort of research have you been doing. Hit the books, bro!

  6. Frohergeist says

    Genetically modified crops are the most rigorously scrutinized foods in America, regulated by the EPA, USDA, and the FDA. Genetic modification merely allows crops to produce higher yields while thriving in conditions it would be unable to naturally. It’s not like scientists are fiddling with the “be more poisonous” gene.

    It’s wonderful that America has such an overabundance of food that you can afford to RUN!!!! from GM foods, but they are a matter of life or death in countries where that is not the case.

    Also, unless you’re eating nothing but wild berries picked off a hidden bush in a secret forest on an alternate-dimension Earth, everything you eat has been modified over time through human selection and modification.

  7. Netbug says

    Not to jump on the bandwagon here, but I have to agree with the other two commentors here; genetically modified is not bad and a cursory knowledge of genetic history will show that most cultivated produce has been genetically modified pretty much since plant-grafting was developed centuries ago.

    Many people tend to associate genetically modified with steroid and chemical enhancement which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I do appreciate the label numbering information though. It’s interesting to see.

    As for “organic”, I really wish they’d re-label that as eating something inorganic would be… difficult.

    Keep up the posts.

  8. Jesse says

    Running from GM food seems to be a bit of an overreaction…
    Genetically modified foods that are farmed intensively (just as conventional and organic foods) are applied pesticides – while in the case of organic foods the pesticides have to be natural products and herbicides cannot be used (instead, people have to pick weeds constantly in organic fields).
    However, the difference between a GM food and a conventional (or organic) food is the gene make-up, which as the end result produces a protein – which in almost all cases (for the purposes of GM food) acts as an enzyme, changing one chemical into another. Now, the word “chemical” does have some harsh connotations in the English language, but since we’ve put semantics aside I’ll continue to use it and point out that all of the genes added to GM food have to come from natural products (i.e. scientists do not create genes for a specific purpose out of nothing, it must come from a specific animal). I’m sure you’re already aware of that and I’m sorry to go over it again, but it’s a nice reminder that GM food is not purely science-fiction – this food is still natural and is just the product in the next step of artificial selection – the same kind of selection that led to the organic foods you love so much. This next step, however, lets developers have more control over the outcome so people don’t have to sacrifice flavor for fruit that last in storage longer, for example.

    Genetic modification mainly tries to do the following: increase yields, increase storage length and reduce bruising, and reduce pesticide use. And as long as there’s no plastic in your apple, all of the genes in it came from living things nature created.

    **Sorry to bump an older thread, I just thought that the idea of “running” from GM foods shows a lack of consideration of the motives and the design of genetic modification.

  9. says

    Frohergeist, sorry but to say that all foods have been GM-ed it nothing close to the truth. Of course, through nature, plants genetically modify themselves through cross-pollination and simply through evolving, no doubt. But what you are doing is painting a gross distortion between what scientist do in a lab and what mother nature does in the forest.

    Hey Netbug, sorry but not most plants have been injecting with animal DNA. We haven’t been injecting apples with salmon genes since plants were being grafted. This is something new. GM-ing plants is relatively new. Unsafe. Untested. And we, humans, are the test animals of this experiment.

    If GMO’s were so superior and safe, then why do these companies lobby “AGAINST” having to label the fruits and vegetables that have been genetically altered? Why? Please give me a good reason to this. I’m so curious.

    Thanks for your comments, guys! Keep ‘em comin’
    :)

  10. Netbug says

    David, I appreciate the blog, but as much as it is a forum for you to put your thoughts out, you gotta keep an open mind that your opinions may change and what you may think you know could be incorrect. I’m not saying it is, but be mindful of the possibility.

    Most of the people that have posted here have been in favor of genetically modified foods; that doesn’t mean they’re all correct, but were I to get that many people countering an opinion, I’d want to investigate further on some un-biased sites that aren’t regulated by a body for or against.

    And the reason that companies lobby against having to say their product is modified is because the media (including yourself, no offense intended) scare the populace.

    That said, I would like a citation for the salmon spliced produce as I can’t think, off-the-top of my head, what they could be aiming for with that splice. I am curious though, please provide more information; which company did it and for what goal?

  11. says

    I have to agree with David. While I’m not completely opposed to GM products, I do remain extremely skeptical. We are only beginning to realize the real power in genetics. Without proper, unbiased, extremely thorough testing, we won’t know what the GM foods might do.

    I bring up unbiased because the USDA for one, is there for the benefit of companies, not consumers. That’s why the organic labeling was changed from required the product to be 100% organic to 95%. Many companies petitioned for the change to make it easier and cheaper to sell organic labeled products.

  12. arjuna108 says

    David,
    You asked why they lobby against labeling the genetically modified fruit and the answer is rather obvious. There are nuts on the internet who make unfounded claims about the “danger” of genetically modified products and many people are gullible enough to believe what they read on the internet.
    Although I must admit that I always feel a little anxious around the tangelos. I wonder what poor soul was the first to eat/test that genetic monster?

  13. Jacob says

    As someone who works on the food-service side of this debate, I can say without a doubt that the USDA isn’t on the companies side. The 95% isn’t so that companies can cut corners. It is there because an organic farmer can’t guarantee that a tiny bit of the pesticides being sprayed several fields over, won’t drift over to their crops. In most cases this doesn’t even happen, but this does help ensure that a farmer doesn’t loose an entire crop just because a tiny, harmless amount of chemical got onto a small section of their crop.

  14. Jeremy says

    I love the way some people say scientist with a sort of hisssss to it like a snake. For some reason we evil scientists have gotten a bad rap just for trying to make the world a better place. While your out there buying hemp underwear and rubbing rock salt under your pits for deodorant, some people in the world haven’t eaten in days. I doubt very seriously with all of the ignorant tripe you’ve chosen to waste your time and money worrying about that you’ve ever had to go a second without food. If the difference is between your body slowly and agonizingly devouring itself for nutrients, or a bumper crop of GM food, I think I’d sink my teeth into an ear of corn with a little mosquito DNA in it wouldn’t you?
    Also, I personally am a clinical scientist. When I’m not worshiping the devil, or drowning baby seals, I save peoples lives. If you don’t like what us evil scientists are doing next time you get an infection, bacteria, or virus, try to avoid hospitals. Maybe you could try an incantation or meditation. Maybe they make organic coffins these days, I’ve heard stupider things.

  15. Bart G says

    Uggh, so much frustration. I edited out half my comment to prevent further flame wars.

    On GMOs I see two major problems that go beyond the health issue(which for the present is based on personal views of the individual, since little evidence exists).

    The first, for me, is patent rights. Biotech companies are trotting across the globe and taking wild and natural genomes of plants and claiming rights to them. Yes this sounds fair since they “found” the gene that does STUFF. But entire plants are getting patented. Than international trade agreements require those villages to stop planting those crops. Next its our genes, if you have an anti-BADTHING gene a company can own it and sell it.

    Second and which scares me the most is the destruction of biodiversity. What protects all living things from being annihilated from disease is its inherent genetic differences from thing to thing. If GMOs are promoted to help curb world hunger, crops worldwide will slowly come from a single strain of DNA, since GMOs are generally sterile so you have to buy more seed. Then a new disease comes along and wipes out an entire nation’s supply of that crop. Yes, this is very cynical, but it’s a very string belief by many people, enough so to start a seed bank in Norway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault
    Thankfully some of the companies pushing GMOs are helping fund it, maybe to curb some guilt. For more literature on GMOs, I would pick my favorite University and look for lectures for environmental science classes online.

    The power we have in this topic is the freedom to choose. Which I guess trumps my 2 peeves above. These companies, like David mentioned, are pushing to prevent us from being able to make that choice. Which forces many to almost unwillingly promote GMOs. Thanks for allowing me choose David.

  16. Frick says

    Artificially forcing natural selection pressure (centuries of agriculture) is very different from splicing bacterial genes into soybeans so that they are immune to pesticides (genetic modification). These pesticides are toxic and their use is not sustainable. There is enough evidence that GMO’s may produce health risks that they should not be on the market without further independent research. Instead, 90% of all soybeans are now Roundup Ready, and over half of the items in an American grocery store contain a soy by-product.

    Health risks aside, the corporate behavior surrounding GMO’s is beyond criminal. This video keeps popping up and getting pulled from the sites all over the internet. Search for “world according to Monsanto” if it won’t play.

  17. yeah yeah says

    I dont think people should be genetically altering anyting. You start messing with nature and before you know it you will end up having children that have 5 arms 3 heads.

  18. Mike says

    I am opposed to GMs. Ever f’ing hear of Monsanto?? Look at the politics it has created/destroyed. They think they can sue farmers because of wind pollination essentially screwing the farmers out of their entire farms!

    Round-Up Ready? You’re eating freaking round-up!

    Terminator Gene: Prevents farmers from saving last years seeds, thus spending unnecessary money for more seeds from guess who? Monsanto.

    Please, tell me how the things they do can benefit the greater good. How much good can a GM crop be if it can’t be sustainably produced?

    Anyone?

  19. says

    Monsanto. Shell. Chevron. Etc… All of these companies speak ONE language. Can you all guess? It’s MONEY. They don’t give a shit about feeding the world, making “great” crops, or helping people in any way. They want money, money, money. The more, the better! This is what’s fueling GMO’s. That’s the only thing. And they’ve convinced the world, without them even knowing it, to be the largest test bunny experiment ever conducted by forcing GM-ed foods down their throat and painting it “healthy and cheaper and better” than what mother nature has created, naturally. We need to awake to the alarming conclusion that we aren’t smarter than nature and that we need to live in harmony with nature, not against. Not trying to conquer. I sympathize with those who are starving right now and I agree with the comment that they should eat GM-ed foods rather than NO food… but that’s a short-term solution and a narrowed-minded solution. The better solution is to figure out ways to grow superfoods in these countries and implement permaculture ideals and practices to provide sustainable ways of growing and maintaining food… GMO FREE. Thank you all for your continued comments. Much love. :)

  20. Frohergeist says

    The claim that animal genes are being spliced into plant genes (I believe salmon and bacteria were mentioned) is wholly untrue. There’s no need to incorporate animal genes into plants, simply because plants are better at being plants than animals are.

    The genetic encoding for higher yields, or less need for pesticides, or whatever else a plant may be modified in favor of, already reside within the plant’s genes. As an example, tomatoes naturally manufacture nicotine, which, as you may know, is a wildly effective pesticide.

    I agree with other posters, I would love to see some cited references for this information you’re getting wherein all these anti-GM claims are being made.

    I notice the word “they” being thrown around a lot without a lot of clarification of who “they” are (in context of: “they” are the ones pushing GM foods in spite of unspecified health concerns). Do you mean the three governmental regulatory agencies which oversee GM foods? The corporations producing the modified crops? The scientists developing them?

    Lastly, it’s wildly disingenuous and tangental– a straw man, really– to argue that since corporations stand to profit from GM crops, there must be something inherently wrong with GM crops. I assure you, even if the producers of GM crops “don’t give a shit about feeding the world… they want money, money, money”, the agricultural scientists who actually develop the crops DO give a shit about feeding the world.

    This video features one of my personal heroes, Norman Borlaug– not only one of my personal heroes, but an honest-to-goodness hero to the entire world. He’s an agricultural scientist, and he truly has an astonishing love for the people of the world, as well as the knowledge, dedication, and talent to save their lives. The clip is from Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, and is wildly slanted towards pro-GM views, but I still urge you to watch if just to see the dedication to a better world that an agricultural scientist has– a far cry from the heartless “money, money, money” bastard you envision. If I fucked up the HTML: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIvNopv9Pa8

  21. shaz says

    If you think technology is so bad, then get off the internet.

    My husband has been a vegan for 16 years now (since he was 11). He majored in biology, with his passion behind it being GMOs.
    Yes, you should do your research- some companies modify their products in ways to be resistant to pests and things, but they also genetically modify things to extend shelf-life, or provide a lacking nutrient. Just because a scientist had an idea- doesn’t mean that their product is bad or the person is evil. Do research before investing in GMOs, but don’t ‘eek, run away’ just because technology had a hand in its creation.
    To the comment that someone said “don’t mess with nature”, were that the case, we wouldn’t have most modern vegetation as we know it. I just roll my eyes at that comment, and wonder if the guy has ever in his whole life eaten corn.

  22. kyle says

    Just so you know I work at a grocery store more specifically the produce department. A little secret with “organic” fruits is that in order to be organic for grocery store standards is that it must use 10% less chemicals. So that could be 10% less the 100% and it would pass for organic.

  23. says

    I’m glad to see so much passion here. I just wanted to remind our readers that we never intend to offend.. only to spread the word of truth as we know it. My prob with GMs is the way they just passed through without any of our say, without testing etc.
    Because my son wound up having a deeply damaged immune system due to environmental toxins, I know that messing with mother nature has a down side.

    why do we need GMs anyway? It seems that the more we mess with nature the more we need to, and the food supply has gone up, while the nutritional value has gone down.

    I am starting a project called seeds of love — where I am sharing seeds from my garden with anyone who wants to grow them.. anywhere in the world. I will have more details soon. But if this sounds interesting to yo please let me know.

  24. says

    Jeremy,

    I’d like to add, that I do not hate or even dislike science or those in your profession. I admire you. I think that the best scientists understand nature very very well. And, look at where we are today because of all of the break through in science. it is not science that is to blame. as a culture we have begun to abuse science. we demand immediate cures for everything. we demand gardens without weeds etc. and you give it to us, and then the cycle continues. this is a problem of the collective society. we have all done our part.

    we are in a place now where people are becoming much more aware of the damage that we cause when messing with nature. balance is key and I can feel that we are working towards it

  25. arjuna108 says

    I appreciate that everyone can choose their own opinion on these foods, but I strongly believe that the greatest threat to the world in the internet age is the inability to reason using some sort of acceptable logic. If we don’t cross-pollinate some minds with the ability to think, we are going down the tubes no matter what we eat.
    The anti-GMO posts make the strong assertion that GMOs are bad because the companies that produce them make money. Do you all see this as good logic? If so, then organic food is equally as bad until I see someone giving it all away.(I bet you’ll think that when I use your logic it sounds absurd, correct?) Organic farmers don’t have any financial reason to oppose GMOs?
    One anti-GMO post states “there is enough evidence” that they are harmful but noticeably makes no mention of or link to this evidence. Is the poster referring to scientific evidence or sh*t they read on the internet? Are they speaking of data or speculation? If speculation, is there some reasonable basis for the speculation? We don’t know because the assertion is just thrown out as if it is fact and we are expected to mindlessly absorb it (see Bush Administration; Media; Propaganda).
    One anti-GMO post asserts that fear of GMOs has directly led to the creation of a seed bank and actually provides a link! This is the trick I love the most and it is used by anti-climate changers, anti-vacciners, etc again and again – provide a link that actually refutes your claim and count on the fact that very few people will follow your link. Mentions of GMOs in this link (even in the mission statement of the seed bank) ZERO. Though the “Mission” section does note that the portrayal of their mission in the popular press differs from their actual mission. It appears to be this incorrect portrayal that is corrected in the cited article that the poster is citing as support. Hint: If you want to use the incorrect mission to support your claim, link directly to one of the popular press articles that got it wrong. The person you’re debating may be less likely to track down the correction. Linking to the correction of your misperception is rather useless (unless you are so confident in the intellectual laziness of your reader that you know for sure they won’t follow your link).
    This is one of the biggest problems with the internet and with America and our education system. We now lead the world in “conspiracy theory logic”, where a lack of evidence is cited as evidence that my position is correct.
    Presenting your projection that no one at these companies cares about anything but money says an awful lot about you, but it doesn’t make it true. Even if we assume it is true, it is TOTALLY UNRELATED to the discussion of the safety of GMOs. If the discussion is safety of GMOs and the best you can do is, “Yea well, the companies that produce them make money!”, we should all be educated enough to recognize that this poster is waving the proverbial white flag. I’ve got nothing on the safety discussion I started, so I’m going to try to switch to money. Anyone who cares about the truth should recognize this trick and call it whenever you see it. Talk to any of the people who espouse these ideas on the internet and watch how many times the subject changes when evidence is requested.
    The only way that these “issues” become hot issues is through people not being educated enough in logic to pick up the scam. As we are exposed to more and more of this faulty internet logic, the ability of the populus to think is degraded. But that shouldn’t be a problem as long as they aren’t eating GMOs. Personally, I will take a population who can think critically over a non GMO eating population any day. We would all be safer.
    The other ideas for growing crops are fine but once again have nothing to do with the assertion that GMOs are dangerous and that people should shudder in fear and run from them.
    Your conclusion is basically this, I can’t trust the fill in the blank (corporations, government, etc) therefore I should stop thinking critically and substitute an emotional response to whatever they produce. It is this virus that will kill us. One post mentions people promoting GMOs without awareness. Promoting this thought virus without awareness actually IS dangerous. It makes the populus more, rather than less susceptible to manipulative attempts by government and corporations. It is the mentality of the villagers with pitchforks and not the mentality of critical thought that brought us to the point of being able to have these discussions in the first place.
    Just to be proactive, here is the usual next step in the internet logic discussion – “Yea well, you didn’t present any evidence that they are safe!” Absolutely correct! Because I didn’t make a claim about their safety. The initiating assertion is that one should run in fear from GMOs. We still await some supporting statement or evidence that has to do with SAFETY. An argument that refuses to support itself is self-refuting. An argument that refuses to support itself is what is commonly called “religious belief”. If the poster is expressing a religious belief that GMOs are the devil, then just state that and discussion over. We can all respect your religion but if you put your religious beliefs on the internet as if they are fact or science, I can assure you they will be attacked (rightly so) until you admit to the religious nature of your assertion or present some evidence to support your argument.

  26. says

    I read the article and the following comments with great interest. As someone who seeks to be as balanced and healthy as she can be with her dietary needs, especially in order to avert the danger of developing diabetes, cancer, the works, perhaps I can offer a different perspective.

    If you are someone who feels passionate about the food we eat and whether or not it is organic, or a GMO, etc, then instead of being anti-this or anti-that, be pro-this or pro-that.

    Instead of fighting a “war” against corporations, be pro-peace with the intention of nonviolently and quietly persuading others to come around. It’s also called voting with your dollars. If we created larger demand for foods that haven’t been messed with, genetically, those who had not considered such a thing before might be inspired to go the non-GMO route.

    Same thing with organic food. If we create more demand for foods that have never seen artificial fertilizer or pesticides, more farmers will jump on the “100 % organic bandwagon” and stop the usage of harmful products altogether. All we have to do is create the demand for this stuff, just as we ended up creating the demand for weedless gardens and lawns. I truly believe this is do-able.

    We *can* roll back the harmful effects that fertilizers, pesticides and GMOs can cause, all by way of education. Once we have intelligent, rational education in place, then people will understand over time, and more demand for naturally grown products will win out.

    But the key, as I see it, is rational education. This does not mean spirituality cannot enter into it, as many spiritual folks I know are the ones most likely to be into the organic-and-non-GMO idea. But we must season our fervent spiritual beliefs with an equally fervent dash of unbiased science.

    So, yes, while you are passionate about non-GMO and organic foods, I do recommend along with the other commenters that if one is posting information along these lines that intense research be done and citations be given. It is truly the most balanced way to get one’s admirable ideas across without completely sounding like an ideologue.

    Health and Balance to you,
    Kat ^.^

  27. Rafael says

    GMO’s while scary contain the potential to really help solve some of the hunger issues in the world. However they are creepy.
    Thanks for the numbers

  28. Dan says

    If you oppose genetic engineering on the grounds that genetic modifications might have unforeseen consequences, you may as well stay away from everything else that could potentially be harmful as well. I think one of the worst side effects on the internet, is how quickly the paranoia and fears of others can become considered fact.

    I take a risk every time I get into my car, board an airplane, heat something up in the microwave, fire off an aresol can, or crash an oil cruiser. I accept those risks because the benefits outweigh the risks.

    Genetically modified foods have more benefits than they do risks. They’re genetically modified in ways as safe if not safer than natural methods.

    GMO’s are becoming more and more popular every year…the farm land dedicated to GMO’s has increased 50 fold since the 1990s specifically because it does offer so many benefits.

  29. david is a tool says

    ok man its pretty bad that you have been a vegan for a long as time before figuring that out so you are a fuckin doosh

  30. Ben says

    This is like a religious debate about food.

    I would love to see someone change Davids opinion even slightly but I can’t see it happening any time soon.

    I’m not in posession of any facts so I just try to buy british(cos thats where i live) and organic where it’s available and the price is right. Also I try to avoid taking a plastic bag whenever i can.

    Ben

  31. says

    Oh, and I just want you all to know that I am a proponent of science as well as nature. I love science. But that’s no to say that I love GM-ed food. For all you scientist out there reading this article, my attack on GMO’s isn’t a direct attack on you — it’s more of an attack on the industry as a whole. But as one commenter noted, it’s more about “pro-organic” than “anti-GMO’s”

    You may all also delight in the fact that I’m not “religious” at all — but spiritual. So you can scratch out the thought that I wrote this article on a religious premise. Nope. :)

  32. Ben says

    Hi David, Thats not what i was getting at. I didn’t think that you prefer non GM because its “Gods way”, i would not have even posted on this blog at all if that was what i thought(cos im an athiest and would have stumbled off to another page).

    What i meant was convincing you that GM is fine or even more outragously that dairy and meat are ok too would be a bit like me saying to a devout christian “you know god isn’t real don’t you?”. It would just end up in a “yes he is”, “oh no he isnt”, “yes he is” etc.

    Anyway, this seems to have gone off on a bit of a tangent, i always thought that the codes on apples were to do with the variety so im glad that you put me straight with the prefix.

  33. Justin says

    In Response to David ~ It is a general mis-understanding that ‘Organic’ foods are not sprayed with Pesticides and Herbicides, or are Not fertilized, and/or hybridized.

    Organic Standards vary from state to state with different regulations, but the National Standards allow “Organic” Pesticide and Herbicide use as well as the use of “organic” Fertilizers and “Hybridized” seeds….and crops….. and I find the ‘hybridization’ of our food is as dangerous as Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds…

    The best food we can eat is food we have cultivated ourselves…… and we know the source is whole and Good..

    The next stage would to be eating with in a Local (25-50mi) Radius….. With know pesticide and herbicide sprays and know fertilizers. And please use heirloom variety no-hybridized……. Enjoy good food

  34. Al says

    Nothing dangerous about GM foods. Buck up hippies. And of course you’re “spiritual”, which is just a more diluted version of religious, for people who ,like totally feel theres something, like out there man, but like I don’t know what it is. At least you can take a god fearing zealot seriously, even if they are just as big a bunch of idiots. Feel free to get in touch with mother earth, while you’re at it, why don’t you see if the tooth fairy is in. Gonna need her if you keep packing away the high-acid fruits.

    God I hate hippies.

  35. Justin says

    Resources ~

    Hybrid Seeds

    Organic Food
    Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.[1] Livestock are reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.

    Organic food production is legally regulated. Currently, the United States, the European Union, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain organic certification in order to market food as organic.

    Historically, organic farms have been relatively small family-run farms[2] — which is why organic food was once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets. However, since the early 1990s organic food has had growth rates of around 20% a year, far ahead of the rest of the food industry, in both developed and developing nations. As of April 2008, organic food accounts for 1-2% of food sales worldwide. Future growth is expected to range from 10-50% annually depending on the country.

  36. Justin says

    Hybridized Seed ~ In agriculture and gardening, hybrid seed is seed produced by artificially cross-pollinated plants. Hybrids are bred to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, such as better yield, greater uniformity, improved color, disease resistance, and so forth. Today, hybrid seed is predominant in agriculture and home gardening, and is one of the main contributing factors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output during the last half of the 20th century. In the US, the commercial market was launched in the 1920s, with the first hybrid maize. Hybrid seed cannot be saved, as the seed from the first generation of hybrid plants does not reliably produce true copies, therefore, new seed must be purchased for each planting.

  37. J'nell says

    GMO is around for a reason.
    Organic is bureaucratic bull.

    Just like we eat meat for a reason.
    If you’re going to go organic, might as well be an omnivore.

  38. Jimmy says

    I believe (with no hard evidence to support my view) that organic food is wrong and the world population can not be fed without more intensive farming measures than just a plant it and let it grow approach (and before anyone comments on it i know there is slightly more to organic farming than that). This is proving to be even more likely with the ever increasing demand for biofuels, however even a cursory search on the internet can uncover evidence supporting both sides of this argument (aren’t statistics wonderful….).

    my point: arguments like this really annoy me. people throwing around spurious comments dressed up as facts based on little or no real information. if it is your belief and helps you sleep at night then say as much rather than creating some bullsh*t about splicing fish genes into apples to make them shinier (actually heard that one in the pub the other night). if you have facts then that is better, but they are still biased by source, statistical model used, country the data was gathered in and so many more factors. no data source is perfectly representative, and as such no single comment should persuade you one way or the other. but having your argument based on the sole assumption that because the companies are making money then they dont care about peoples health is just plain dumb. i mean, how long would they stay in business if they killed off all their customers?

    as i have already said i think that organic food is wrong, however when i see it in the supermarket i dont run away from it (in fact i will even buy it if there are absolutely no other alternatives). that is a highly irresponsible approach and i pity your closed minded approach.

  39. hp says

    My apples don’t have stickers on them, and I don’t think putting stickers on every apple is the right way to go. Get apples from a local farm, and not from the supermarket. It is as easy as that.

  40. Paul says

    You don’t know very much for someone advising people on what to eat. I assume you are a woman?

  41. Justin says

    These Blogs are incredibly inane….. what purpose do people have in spouting of there irrational and uninformed beliefs….. Is there any intent to look deeper into the source of our food and how it is grown………… There are methods (Not beliefs) that can be employed to produce an abundance of food with out Petro-chemical Herbicides and Fertilizers.

    But we do not seem to have the willingness to support this possibility with out deissention

    Cheers

    I’m off enjoying my lunch from the local coffee house ~

    Justin

  42. says

    Dave,
    I have a plastic bag made of GM corn that I fill to the brim with ridiculous comments — which I print out with my color printer. Once its full I just drive fast down the highway in my SUV with the window down and let the paper fly out the window. Then I burn the bag and start over. Its how I balance all this peace love and environment stuff. its healthy. Then If I am lucky I drink some milk and get wasted casein.

  43. pongscript says

    To all,

    GMed fruits and veggies was safe since scientist put a lot of knowledge making those… but if come to think of it GMed kinds are less Nutritious.. care to oppose.. try a Native rice(No pesticide, Native People Planted and Hervested one).. vs. Genetically engineered One. if you look into thier composition , the first would be the winner.

  44. D-chi says

    Almost all foods are GMed. It sounds scandalous, but a lot of what they do is making the fruits bigger and more aesthetically appealing. You have to look hard to find produce that hasn’t been modified at all.

    I, for one, love seedless grapes.

  45. Drake says

    not trying to be a smarty pants here but i knew that from working in grocery retail for over two years and working in the produce department but you are right about the numbers and what they mean because when we got in new produce they were separated out into regularly grown, organically grown and then the ones that have been grown a different way

  46. pongscript says

    You have to look hard to find produce that hasn’t been modified at all.
    hahahaha… why i have a feeling you havent look harder. i just went to market earlier and i found so many native fruits and veggies.. how can i tell. no sticker. and the fruits was still on sap. so you can tell that its naturally Raised and picked. and not GMed. thats how we do it here on our land. native fruits and veggies are not sealed with sticker since they are not tested by food authority and they dont have to. because it was raised naturally. and since this is the way of the old theres no way you have to test that.

  47. Alex says

    You are asking for facts, please have a look at “The world according to Monsanto”, as someone rightly pointed out. If you can’t find the whole movie, have a look at YouTube.com, there is enough there to genetically modify your brain, if it has stopped evolving.

    Or just make a google search, there are hundreds of independent (not industry funded) scientific articles that will tell you a lot.

    And here is just one article, sure from a pro-organic web site, but that is very well documented, and with a lot of “serious” references.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm

  48. Alex says

    and while we are at it…

    document

    So yes, may be all they are after is money money money, and by looking at a lot of the posts here it seems the propaganda they have been using hit its public. May be that gene they inserted to repulse mosquito (although I have never heard of mosquito being a nuisance for crops) will jump species and You will in turn be mosquito resistant… would not that be great?! Then you could thank them for something.

    Yours.

  49. billy the fish says

    “If it has a sticker 99222, it’s organic and safe to eat”

    You clearly do not understand what the term ‘organic’ means. Do you really think that NO herbicides or pesticides are used in the production of organic fruit? Try to google for information before you decide to post factually incorrect statements in the future.

    Oh and by the way if you ever eat anything that contains soya you may well be eating GM foods, this is due to the fact that since introducing GM soya to the world, and the fact that birds easily redistribute the seeds, no source of soya can be ‘guarenteed’ to be GM free.

  50. Veganhater says

    This blog is a fine example of ignorant fear-mongering inherent in our society with regards to things which could be beneficial for humanity. Fools such as David Askaripour are the reason we can’t have nice things like nuclear power, genetically enhanced food, proper genetic research; things that have the potential to solve many of the problems that ail the human race, but which are endlessly stifled by ignorant idealists who blow the “potential risks” out of context and out of proportion.

    And he had to be a vegan as well. Another group of “self-sacrificing” holier-than-though “do-gooders” who preach an idiotic lifestyle mainly perpetuated by ignorant, inaccurate and incomplete myth and folly.

    “Oh my! GM food! Everyone run for their lives!”. You should be shot in the name of scientific progress.

  51. Genny says

    Used to be veggy & this sort of gibbering, protein-starved nonsense reminds me how right I was to get back on the steaks.

  52. The anti smug says

    thumbs down. bacon (GM cruelly farmed bacon filled with antibiotics and hormones)is life. without all these evil things, even more of the world wouldn’t be able to afford to eat.

  53. Andy says

    I must say, after reading the original blog post, I was pleasantly surprised at the responses that followed. The (seemingly voluntary) ignorance of the author really rubbed me the wrong way, but it seems it did so for others as well.

    Of particular note are arjuna108 and Veganhater’s responses, both for hitting the mark so accurately, and for making me grin.

    Were the internet filled with more people like the two of you, I think it’d be a much more palatable place. Instead, I must stumble across blog posts that attempt to help me identify and avoid purchasing “inorganic fruits”.

  54. youveganasshats says

    Genetically modified food is not bad you fuck monkeys… I wonder how many of you asshats that got uninformed countries to turn down seeds that could have produced the food to feed there starving populations have eaten said food without knowing it? like for the majority of your lives growing up, but what do I know I eat meat so I am evil

  55. Panther says

    To Youveganshats~

    What makes one a ‘fuck monkey’? Must be all those GMO’s and what are you doing for starving children in Bangladesh, I would like to help out….

    What was the purpose or your knowledge in being able to comment on this information. Did you read any of the Wikapedia post that explained “Organic”(one of the largest agricultural sectors in California) and having one the highest planted yield rates in agricultural production.

    Lets see should I go on about the science of loss of crop diversity, cross pollination, food allergies, a surge in auto-immune deficiencies, global mal-nutrition (because our foods don’t have the nutritive value that they did 20-50-100 years ago), Loss of Habitat, Soil Erosion, environmental degradation, air pollution ~ All of these things have had a direct scientific correlation to Modern Day Petro-Chemical Agriculture. I is not enough to get stark raving mad because you share a misinformed and opposing point of view.

    The Democratic process allows for open and honest clear dialog with well informed participants, with an interest in the well being of all concerned to have a better life.

    And this is coming from a Human Eating a Petro-Agriculture Omnivorous Diet (it’s what available to me) but is willing to look at the well documented science, and impacts of our industrial culture.

    Enjoy your next meal (I hope it is not to Hot for you)

    P

  56. Angela says

    *vomits*

    Give me a break…while I was in school, I worked in agricultural market research. I talked to all sorts of farmers every day, asked them what sorts of things they used to control pests, what sorts of pests they were trying to control, etc. Organic farmers use everything from plain old soap and water, sulfur, copper, crop oil, to organically approved PESTICIDES. I asked a farmer once what makes a pesticide approved for organic farming, and he said that as long as they contain a reduced amount of carbon, or no carbon at all, it’s organic.

    Most of the apples you eat have had a growth regulator of some sort applied to them at some point during the growing season, usually during the cover/summer sprays.

    A lot of the farmers, especially those out on the West Coast, are pretty much FORCED into organic farming…and they don’t like it one bit. The prices they have to pay just for one gallon of an approved pesticide is outrageous, we are talking nearly $1000 for one gallon of the junk. This is why the prices of produce are going through the roof.

    If you don’t want GMOs in your food…grow it yourself.

  57. Red Icculus says

    This is a great guide. Perusing my tiny local grocery store, they carry absolutely no organic and plenty of GMO fruit.

  58. Prx says

    I hope you’ve never recived any immunizations and never took any antibiotics for serious bacterial infection. Otherwise you’re just like this apple full of “pesticides”. ;)

  59. misanthropope says

    it is remarkable how many people aggressively present opinions based on only the most superficial knowledge of the topic. equating GM “foods” with strains of plants selected for traits the specie already possessed is either ignorant or dishonest.

    GM foods contain genes never found in the human food chain before now. there is evidence that cancer and other illnesses/ syndromes can be a consequence, and absolute PROOF that human symbiotic gut bacteria can have these novel genes transferred to them, with consequences only the most outrageous of liars would claim to be able to predict.

  60. Amber says

    Anyone who has been a cashier at a store selling produce has known this “numbers on your fruit” thing for years.

  61. fasteasyrecipe says

    i always thought those fruit numbers were for the checkers to code in the price. i never realized they corresponded with organic/inorganic. that makes sense though.

  62. Matthew Peters says

    Have you ever seen the security barriers around a genetic plant facility? Nobody can walk in there and see what they are actually working on. I can almost guarantee that you wouldn’t want a lot of them to get loose.

  63. heyafuckya says

    vegans are ******* retarded get a ******* life you morons. its perfectly safe eating regular grown apples and humans need proteins that come from animals.

  64. james says

    wow your an idiot, or an ignorant hippie. it seems to me that you formed your opinion about herbicides/gmos just because society has labeled them as “bad”. go to school so you can develop a relevant opinion on the matter

  65. Robert says

    I just learned on NPR that the tomatoes we’re familiar with never existed in nature until humans bred them. Natural tomatoes were less than a gram each – tiny. So if you eat ANY kind of tomato, you’re eating genetically modified fruit.

    The reason companies lobby against labeling fruit GM is because of the irrational, anti-intellectual attitudes of the kind of people who evidently run this website.

  66. says

    Hey Brainy Blonde,

    Thanks SO much for your support, greatly appreciated! Yes, it’s so hard to see an army of people who have been brainwashed into thinking GM is safe, following the herd…without thinking for themselves and doing their own research.

    I totally expect / accept these sort of responses from these sort of people who protect the status quo any way that they know how to — i.e., name calling, cursing, and childish behavior.

    These ignorant responses received from my article is a testament to show how well the media, monsanto, and even universities have done to inculcate the masses into accepting, obeying, and trusting in GM foods.

    My heart goes out to these people who know no better.

    Thanks again!
    Dave

  67. says

    David,

    DON’T LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO PUT YOUR PIECE DOWN!
    I swear if I did not know better I’d think they worked for Monsanto. I’ve watched the videos, I know the DANGERS, yes real dangers of genetically modified foods and I know organic is the way to go. Granted, I might buy something local here (where pesticides aren’t used even if it’s not certified organic) before I buy something grown all the on the “other coast” in California that is organic.. Just so I can support a local farmer and also not eat something that isn’t truly organic anymore after it’s traveled over 2000 miles and used lots of fuel to get this far.

    But people, I’m not sure what Fox News special you had shoved down your gullible throats but this is a real threat.

    And to the person who said natural pesticides can lead to the production of invasive species that can harm the ecosystem?!?!?! Uh hey there Steve, wouldn’t it be the BAD PESTICIDES that the bugs eventually become RESISTANT to and then become SUPER bugs… isn’t that the threat? HELLO?

    And to JOE the BIGOT who was rude to David calling him names. Go check any encyclopedia or text book about the harm that pesticides have caused. You make me embarrassed for you. Go back to school dude. You need help.

    Thanks David, again a wonderful post. and so kind of you to even bother replying to some of the rude idiotic posts trying to defend Monsanto, genetically modified dangerous food and pesticides.

    These people are brainwashed and have no brains of their own.

    BRAINY blonde

  68. says

    I know David.. I have one word for them; Sheep.

    I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant high school biology teacher (who was supposed to be on the shuttle that crashed by the way- thank God he wasn’t) anyway, he showed us a video of food grown organically vs food grown with chemical and i was sold. i knew right then at age 16 that i would vow to eat as much possible local organically grown food as possible. ideally i’d grow my own which i’m finally doing.

    i remember my mom telling me similar arguments people made to smoking 50 years ago… now i’m sure they’re not laughing (or breathing) anymore…

    Keep up the good work ;)

    BB

  69. says

    Well you article sure provoked a lot of different opinions! Personally I would rather eat organic food, with a preference for local grown produce in season. Why take a chance?

  70. mandy says

    GM foods: you’re right, they have not been proven to be safe. Likewise, they have not been proven to be dangerous. The words “truth” and “proof” are thrown around regularly with respect to GM foods, and put simply: no one knows.

    The same however, CANNOT be said for organic foods. Organically grown crops have been studied for over 50 years, and review after review of the literature (of which there has been PLENTY, with the sector booming in recent years) all agrees:
    -organic food is absolutely NO different in nutritive value than conventionally grown crops, with the exception of some organic potatoes and leafy greens having higher levels of vitamin C – a nutrient in which deficiencies are VERY rarely observed today.
    -organic foods do contain less synthetic pesticides and herbicides than their conventionally grown counterparts. however, due to run off, aerosolized chemicals from nearby farms, unapproved use and improper reversion of conventional farmland to organic farmland, residues are still often found on organic crops. not only that, but the levels (traces amounts, let it be said) of pesticides found on conventional crops HAVE been shown to have NO ill effects on human health, even after long term exposure.
    -furthermore, due to the abstinence of use of synthetic pesticides and fungicides in organic practice, and the lower efficiency of their organic counterparts, organic crops are more susceptible to fungal infection, sometimes leading to higher levels of dangerous mycotoxins. and example: several studies have shown significantly higher (and dangerous )levels of patulin in organic apples and apple products, including my own research.
    - many polyphenolic compounds, considered to be one of the large ‘perks’ of organic produce have been shown to be carcinogenic. additionally, while higher levels of nitrates are found in conventionally grown crops, cancer the preventative properties of the conventional nitrate-containing vegetables seem to outweigh the risks of consuming nitrates.
    -E. coli 0157:H7 is a risk that should be considered with respect to organic foods, as composted manure is used a fertilizer in organic practice, and it’s proven to be a resistant little pathogen

    The food industry is just like any other: it boils down to business. In the end, companies just want to bring in more revenue. With the organic market, they are doing just that. Selling consumers a product that is in no way superior, for an inflated price.

    But you’ve got to appreciate their marketing effectiveness.

  71. Edward says

    Hi,
    To all of you who are against GM food and food products, I would highly suggest you stop eating corn. Immediately. Look up teosinte. It’s grass, and mankind turned it into the world’s greatest crop. Guess what? Since the minute man used a rock to kill an animal, we have been shaping and changing this world we live in. We’ve done some very unnatural things (Digging oil up from the ground, bringing matter from earth into space, domesticating animals, and cutting down trees, etc)

    The funny thing is, we’re part of this world and we evolved to shape it, and that’s exactly what we’ll do. There are plenty of animals that wreak havoc on the environment; spreading diseases, wiping out species, destroying forests…

    I’m sorry people, but this is how the world works, Some of you may consider what we humans do as awful, hazardous, and destructive, but we’re a part of this ecosystem and we’re just doing what we were designed and enabled to do.

    Nice find on the labels though, just to bring it back together.

  72. Dwindle says

    Honestly, I don’t see why GM veggie are any different than organic. Genes won’t hurt you. As bad as pesticides are, are they worse than natural infection? You can die from salmonella poisoning from an organic apple, not from a pesticide ridden one. I’ve just never seen any reason to adapt to these natural fruits but the uneducated opinion that they are somehow “better for you” with nothing to back it up.

    I support proper labeling, as I feel all should have the facts based on opinion, but I think the fear of pesticide and GM vegetables are unfounded.

  73. Jeff says

    Ha ha ha!!! Genetically Modified!! RUN! Oh my god…. you’re so afraid of what you simply do not understand. How childish, why not educate yourself on such matters so you won’t have to be so afraid? And maybe take a closer look at your “organic” fruits and vegetables while you’re at it. Learn with an open mind.

  74. Scott says

    GRRR…Thank You, David, for the informative article. How many of you arrogant jerks actually knew what the numbers represented prior to reading this article (aside the obvious PLU used to account for the product)?

  75. Leah says

    I do agree that the stores should label if the food is a GMO (gentically modified) crop, but the public should not be so concerned if it is or not. They have not been made aware of the research that has been done to analyze the safeness of the GMO foods. There has been a great deal of research done on crops to prove that they are safe for human consumption before they are even approved for humans. And there has been absolutely no results indicating that the GMO crops are harmful to humans at all.

    Much of the public doesn’t even know what exactly a GMO crop is, but they shy away from it just because it has been altered. What the GMO crops consist of is a gene that has been added into the genome of the original crop. This can give added benefits to the crops as the inserted gene can give the crop resistance to herbicides and chemicals (ie: round up ready crops), ones that can grow bigger, and ones that contain more nutrients. All of the GMO foods that are on the market have been approved for human consumption.

    Some of these GMO foods are even better for you than the organic and all natural foods, as some can resist bacteria buildup and won’t turn bad as fast as the organic foods will. If you think organic’s healthy, you need to be careful of keeping it as long as you would any other food, because it will go bad faster and there are more possibilities for you to get food poisoning from it than GMO crops. GMO crops are just as safe for human consumption as any other food in stores.

  76. Gus Glover says

    Where I shop, there are only 4 digits. There is nothing special about the numbers, just stock keeping information.

  77. Jane says

    I’d prefer to eat organic but I can’t afford it. The moment I saw that you are an “organic vegan” I wondered how you could afford to eat. Here in CT plain old oranges are going for 69 cents each! The organic stuff is usually double the cost of regular food. With gas prices gone crazy it will only get worse. I feel lucky to be able to put food on the table, let alone worry if it is organic or genetically modified.

  78. Panther says

    Are all you folks who are speaking as if GM foods and Pesticide Laden foods are “No” different and not as harmful Organic foods….

    You sound like your coming straight from the Corporate Offices of the Chemical Companies and the Big (subsidized) Agri-Biz. Foods Grown with out pesticides and Herbicides in a local and regional habitats that are not shipped by motor to across countries or oceans, has a lesser impact in the well being of the of everyone concerned. It is the systematic destruction of genetic diversity that has contributed to the loss of unique medicinal and food sources that have supported civilizations and countries for millennia….

    Can those of you who seem to be advocating the support of GMO-foods, and modern petro-chemical agricultural, don’t seem to be willing to do the reading and the research to understand that the Nutrition in our modern food production has declined significantly over the last century and we are producing more and more of our foods with terminator crops (foods that will not seed and regerminate for more than one season.

    I wonder if those who have been posting there adamant support of GM foods and the use of Petro-Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are not actually paid for their rabid opposition to healthy and whole food. The real issue in my mind is producing nutritionally rich food that feeds biological life in our cellular tissues so that we experience vitality.

    Have it out ~ if you wish ~ I’m off to eat well…

    ;)

  79. Ron says

    Nutritional value way down you say?

    Despite of all those “Dangers” associated with GMO’s and herbasides/pesticides… life expectancy is up from about 50 to 80 in most of the industrialized world… despite the dangers of pollution, chemicals…

    Can you explain how come when everything was pretty much organic we were dying like fruitflies though seem to live so much longer and better now?

  80. Shannon says

    WOW! I never knew the little stickers on our fruits and vegetables amounted to anything more than something to place on my little one’s nose when we go to eat it! Thanks so much for sharing this! I will now always look when I go to the grocery store for produce. This is a very resourceful article!

  81. Brandon says

    It is sad that we americans are so worried about all this “bad” food when most of the world is starving. You’d pay more money for less food? There is nothing wrong with the food. When we can feed the entire world I’ll concede to going organic.

  82. Panther says

    Ron ~ and Australia just came out with a report that this generation of children will live a shorter life than there parents based simply on there Obesity.

  83. Panther says

    No it is based on the there lack of exercise and the lack of nutritional value in there food….

    in the States we went from 8% to nearly 35% obesity from 1988 to 2008….. Jack

  84. Panther says

    All the critics and cynics of the discussion of our food source and production could use a little thought process ~ of looking up some of basic and confirmed research done to date one the health effects of modern petrochemical agriculture on people and the landscape ~ have you read Rachel Carsons ‘Silent Spring’?

  85. Mattias says

    Well,
    It is fairly obvious that the people being rude and abusive or just ignorant and supporting GMO’s and Pesticides are all from USA.
    GM foods are not used in Europe (ok maybe the odd tomato) due to the concerns that it brings with.
    Both health concerns and environmental concerns. If you read up on things, as your GM and Pesticide fans say that you should do (but obviously haven’t done yourself) you will realize that your beloved FDA actually doesn’t care about you the consumer, but sits in the pockets of the big food companies, who’s only objective it is to make profit and make farmers around the worlds dependent on them. to reap more profits. they don’t care about your health the health of the food, or the health of the planet…
    Someone said that you had an abundance of food in America, which is true, but you have a void of good nutritious foods, since the nutrience and minerals from the earth has been sucked out due to only planting one thing, and using heavy chemicals on it… oh another little new flash for you, Chemicals or pesticides that have been banned from the US (due to the health hazards, cancer, allergies etc) are being sold (by your chemical companies) to the South Americas where regulations are even worse then in the states, and then you buy the fruit that has been sprayed with the dangerous chemical that you have banned in the states due to the proven health hazards….
    Now instead of vigorously defending dangerous food (that you obviously don’t know anything about) why don’t you wake up and smell the flowers (organic once naturally)……

    And to be honest, the GM food probably does help with your Obesity, but I would probably pin it more on the Soft Drinks and the Processed fast foods, you eat…

    God might of blessed America, but that was a long time ago, before the white man came over and brought the devil with him!

  86. Jen says

    Wow, that’s all I can say about this is ‘wow.’ If you want to give your families organic fruits and veggies, you need to grow them yourself and know where the seeds came from that you are using; or go to a farmers market. Also some how you will want to go back in time and retrieve seeds and soil that have not yet been tainted by man.

    Also as a side note, don’t trust the USDA on anything that they say. They have allowed livestock to be mistreated for decades, what makes you think that they give a rats a$$ about fruits and vegetables?

    This whole argument was started over a Liberal opening his mouth without knowing what is coming out of it. Think about that, is this really something that you want to be apart of. I’m sorry that I am even chiming in, but I felt I had to. Things will be modified (including humans), it’s called evolution so pull your head out of your hole and see the world the way it is.

    Sorry,
    Jen

  87. says

    wow! I also agree. wow! to the many interpretations of this little itty bitty article that was designed to teach folks what the labels on fruits mean.Some people see it as their privilege to use the mask of the internet to curse others because of their views on food. Others identify themselves with the knowledge that they have accumulated throughout their lifetimes — and therefore hold themselves above the rest. People will always read and hear what they are capable and ready to understand. For me, there is always more to be learned. Always the possibility to improve. I get something out of each article and comment. A writer, no matter how educated or how liberal can only write what he knows. And, we know that although we research and experience these truths — someone will always prove us wrong. That’s the beauty of constant info. everything is forever changing. Take what you can from what you read and leave whatever doesn’t work for u. I am baffled at people who call names etc. Its not offensive… just useless. I wonder if people who use derogatory comments expect those who they target to change because of insults. I never changed for someone who treated me poorly.

    still I would hope that anyone who is reading this gained something positive. It was designed to make u think. Perhaps u already knew better — great for u. Perhaps you will now grow your own food — awesome! or perhaps u have decided that GMs are awesome, but at least you know how they are labeled — great!

    I thank all of those who have commented without using obscenities. It takes a lot not to let little things fuel our anger. It takes a little to degrade strangers over the internet. No one is smart or brave because they can call someone a hippy asshole on some health blog.

    And for those of you who simply want to educate and help others — do not be frustrated at your critics. There will always be critics. Focus on those who accept your help — then u will be successful and fulfilled.

    Peace, Love and Recycle (lol)
    Gina, Managing Editor, Skrewtips

  88. Matt says

    Pretty cool stuff – I’ll have to check this out. having grown up in apple country and apple experiment country – I’m kind of curious to see what is on the shelves.

  89. Tim Miles says

    GM foods are not as bad as you make out, it’s more sped up evolution than adding “chemicals”, everything is chemicals, that word gets such a bad wrap I mean, the reason apples taste so sweet and provide energy is because of chemicals.
    If there wasn’t GM foods, china would starve, the GM rice that has been introduced has higher yield and is healthier, providing more nutrients for impoverished people. But all that was done from chemical produced naturally in certain plants, not adding some horrible nasty chemical.
    I assume you live in a house, and that the house is probably painted, you have probably done some decorating yourself, the paint you used, what do you think that is made of, and when you applied it to the walls it would of released allot of particles, during the time you painted your house you would of absorbed allot more bad chemicals that you could from eating GM foods.
    You can’t hate GM foods because some of the companies that produce them are bad, that’s not the genius’ that laboured over an idea would help the worlds vault and it is no reason to slate something. As a vegan and an American you are probably doing allot of damage to the environment. You will probably eat soya and drink soya milk, right? Well do you have any idea how much rainforest is removed every year for soya production, and yes I know allot is for animal feed, but soya is used more than ever for normal daily food, specially when vegans like yourself are drinking soya milk instead of dairy. Also, the soya is a lighter coloured plant than the trees of the rainforest, so the albedo of the area is higher, thus less heat reaches the ground and ultimately will cool the Amazon, less moisture will be evaporated so the rain production in the area will reduce, basically dooming the Amazon. That must make you feel good.
    The positive thing about that is at least there are GM foods that are more pest resistant and produce higher yields so that less land is needing to be farmed to compensate for loss due to pests and to cope with the demand. Without GM there would be allot more damage to the Amazon that already caused.
    That’s just one example of why your view is daft. And for the whole, “they could be dangerous to us” argument, how would a plant having a natural protein stimulated so that it produces higher yields or more nutrients be bad for you if it was already produced naturally in foods.
    The only negative I can see in GM foods is the eradication of weaker plant strains.
    But, that would happen naturally through natural selection, it’s just the modern world has bumped that process along a bit, so it’s no tragedy.
    These are just my opinions, but they make sense to me.

  90. Hayley says

    I have to throw in my two cents here even though all the opinions and mud slinging seems to have been exhausted. I have read with interest all of the comments made by (generally) pro-GMO people regarding hunger and feeding the world’s population. Many of you have portrayed pro-organic types as being thoughtless and inhumane since many people around the world are starving.

    However, some food for thought: Perhaps it is not the amount of food that currently exists but it’s distribution. It’s clear that North America and Europe consume far more resources than is proportionate to their percentage of the world’s population, regardless of whether those are organic or not. Many people starve in areas that are more than capable of producing food. In fact they do produce food, and then they are forced into exporting it for sickeningly low prices because the only way their countries can get loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank is to focus on export-agriculture. It’s called conditional aid.

    So for those of you who suggest that GMOs are some magical cure for hunger, remember that economics and politics are ALWAYS inextricable from science, and the companies that produce (and own) GMO foods are among those lobbying their governments to push for more unfavourable conditions for farmers in the developing world (and in North America and Europe, for that matter). Companies that breed GMO crops in labs have no interest in giving farmers control over the means of production; they talk about feeding the world’s poor but leave out the fact that patented GMO crops will make farmers even more dependent on corporatization and volatile markets.

    I know this getting away from the main point of this article (which was helpful, thank you David!) but it seems warranted after such a collection of strong opinions regarding science more generally. For a great book on the topic, see Jack Kloppenburg’s ‘First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology’.

    Cheers,

    Hayley

  91. Conn says

    All domesticated species are genetically modified. The difference between a GMO crop and a hybrid is really pure semantics (introduction of genetic material from two or more species).

    There are real problems, dangers, and causes to champion in the world, there’s no need to make any up, particularly those based on misunderstandings and ignorance.

  92. Heike says

    I still haven’t really gotten a chance to understand why “organic” is better than “local.” Congratulations, you saved yourself from those nasty fruit flies, but you dumped how much pollution into the air on its way from Cali? Good call.

  93. says

    Hayley,
    Sometimes someone says something that makes a whole lot of sense out of a whole lot of chaos. That’s what you have done here. Yeah, there’s been a lot of misinterpretation/mudslinging. and that doesn’t really do good. But, your words have left an impression on me. I agree with you. I also think that many of us, or dare I say — most of us care . That’s why people took the time to leave comments. We just get our info from different sources, experience different things. Those of us who don’t try to make enemies over things like this can actually learn from others. I appreciate your feedback.
    Gina

  94. Brian says

    Organic fruits and vegetables have been demonstrated by Ames tests to contain stronger carcinogens than GM, and pesticide grown crops, not to mention the fact that GM crops are actually easier on the environment, because they reduce need for fertilizer, and therefore reduce phosphor contamination of freshwater bodies (overfertilization leads to algae blooms that can kill virtually all the fish in a lake).

    If you eat organic foods, do it because you prefer the taste, as supposed health and environment benefits are absolute bullshit.

  95. says

    “Purchasing a an apple that is not labeled “organic” does not make it inorganic as it is still biologically derived and it contains carbon.”

    You are making a linguistic confusion here. “Organic” as applied to chemistry is not the same as “organic” applied to agriculture.

    “Organic fruits and vegetables have been demonstrated by Ames tests to contain stronger carcinogens than GM, and pesticide grown crops, not to mention the fact that GM crops are actually easier on the environment, because they reduce need for fertilizer, and therefore reduce phosphor contamination of freshwater bodies (overfertilization leads to algae blooms that can kill virtually all the fish in a lake).”

    Yes, the word “bullshit” does come to mind. Care to cite a peer-reviewed source for that and tell us who paid for the research?

  96. oratio says

    I have NO problem with GM-food. As long as its controlled what is done and why, its peachy. Genetic modification has been done for thousands of years. The only difference is the method. There are many exciting fields of use opening thanks to gene-research. Gene therapy is one. I firmly believe that it is for the better. Ask yourself why it would be dangerous. Are you maby controlled by your fears of what you dont really understand? If you are concerned it could alter YOUR genes? Is it poisonous? Will it give you new allergies? Tomatoes are still tomatoes. I assure that most people that has eaten the Romanesco, is quite safe. Its a cross-breed of Cauliflower and broccoli. Delicious. The red carrot is the result of genetic modification. Worry about something important, like poor and starving people that can possibly get vegetables that can endure rough conditions.

  97. P.O.'ed hippy says

    Suck it up and eat it! God you know what I’m all for the whole organic food and all but the god dam pesticides will not kill or even harm you, and the genetically altered food is better then 90% of the organic stuff. GOD I HATE YOU PEOPLE. Suck it up and just eat it. If genetically altered food is so bad for you then why are we all on average living longer then ever even if we are eating this heinous terrible scary food. It’s food. Just eat it and be happy you have the money to buy a $50 loaf of “organic” bread even though it’s riddled with more harmful NATURAL mold and fungus then the disgusting safely grown mold free cheaper tastier stuff, ya your right.

  98. Deirdre says

    to Frohergeist :

    GM foods are not under and sort of scrutiny from ANY of the organizations you listed off. In fact, they are NOT EVEN REQUIRED TO TEST GM FOODS FOR SAFETY. the only testing they undergo is on the market. in your mouth. The Japanese taskforce evaluating GM foods for consumption have said that they will “monitor the Americans for the next ten years” first. we are fucking guinea pigs. and it’s not healthy for our eco-system either to be growing crops in such a heinous manner. good vegetables come from good soil, the end. spraying otherwise okay vegetables with insecticide, pesticide, and herbicidal products is HARMFUL. look at case studies of Monsanto’s impact on other countries like India, where the native neem tree (AND OTHERS) are being patented by monsanto as their “inventions,” and the farmers are peddled into product upon product of worthless, overrated value. Farmer suicides are up at an astronomical rate. Do some fucking research before you say something isn’t bad instead of just spewing some propaganda shit from a movie or biased biology teacher at the rest of us. Be intelligent! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, SO YOU BETTER FIND OUT WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE EATING FAST.

  99. Deirdre says

    “Organic fruits and vegetables have been demonstrated by Ames tests to contain stronger carcinogens than GM, and pesticide grown crops, not to mention the fact that GM crops are actually easier on the environment, because they reduce need for fertilizer, and therefore reduce phosphor contamination of freshwater bodies (overfertilization leads to algae blooms that can kill virtually all the fish in a lake).”

    This is a lie. GM crops require much heavier fertilizing and pesticides than any organic crop. You think ROUND UP is easier on the environment than good ‘ole lawn clippings, manure, and mulch? Are you retarded, or just celebrating backwards day a little to hard?

  100. says

    Alright, I’m not expecting a response to the request for a citation, so I’ll just go ahead and include some things I’ve found:

    “It was found that organic vegetables had lower yields, but most of their nutritive, sensory and storage quality attributes were better than in the conventional crops. It should be emphasised that lower level of nitrates and simultaneously higher content of vitamin C in organic potatoes can have an important anti-carcinogenic impact on human organism.”
    - Rembialkowska, E. 2003. ORGANIC FARMING AS A SYSTEM TO PROVIDE BETTER VEGETABLE QUALITY. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 604:473-479

    “Organic crops contain fewer nitrates and nitrites and fewer residues of pesticides than conventional ones. They contain as a rule more dry matter, vitamin C, phenolic compounds, valuable amino acids and total sugars; however the level of carotenoids is often higher in conventional plant products. Organic crops contain often more mineral compounds; they have usually better sensory and storage quality. Farm animals from organic herds and small experimental mammals fed organically show often better health and fertility parameters.

    “Organic plant products contain as a rule more dry matter, more vitamin C and B-group vitamins, more phenolic compounds, more exogenous indispensable amino acids and more total sugars; however the level of β carotene is often higher in conventional plant products; Organic plant products contain statistically more iron, magnesium and phosphorus; they show a trend to contain also more chromium, iodine, molybdenum, selenium, calcium, boron, manganese, copper, potassium, sodium, vanadium and zinc;

    “Farm animals from organic herds show less metabolic diseases like ketosis, lipidosis, arthritis, mastitis and milk fever. Milk and meat from organically reared animals has more profitable fatty acids prophile and contains regularly more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is regarded to have an immunomodulating and anticarcinogenic effect on human health;

    “Animals fed organically grown feed show better health and fertility parameters: fewer incidents of prenatal deaths, larger litters, and higher weight of young at birth and after 90 days and better immunity to the illnesses. It is especially interesting that fertility and condition of animals fed organically increases over several generations. In the light of diminishing human fertility in civilized countries this fact can be of big importance;

    “There are only few evidences that human health could be improved as a result of eating organically. Some reports from the past show that organic diet can improve general health and immunity, and some recent evidences coming from alternative medicine indicate that completely organic diet is essential for successful recovering after cancer. Further research in this respect is necessary;

    “Organic food should be recommended for all people but especially for young babies, pregnant and breast-feeding women, elderly or chronically ill people and vegetarians. The last group consumes a lot of vegetables which can contain too high levels of carcinogenic substances when produced conventionally;

    “The lower content of nitrates and higher content of phenolic compounds and vitamin C in organic crops have a special importance for health. The nitrates are easily converted in our digestive tract into the poisoning nitrites, which are the precursors of the carcinogenic nitrosamines. This process is hampered by vitamin C, and carcinogenesis is retarded by phenolic compounds. Therefore the organic vegetables can play an important role in anti – cancer prevention.

    - Rembiałkowska, Organic food quality – axioms and ambiguities, 2006 http://orgprints.org/7594/1/Odense_Congress-2006_3_II_2006.doc

    “There are data suggesting that the quality of grain, assessed by essential amino acid content, is better in cereals produced organically, regardless of the lower total protein levels. Fruit and vegetables from organic farms were found to contain higher levels of vitamin C and minerals [Rembiałkowska, 2004]. Olsson et al. [2006] demonstrated a higher ratio of ascorbate to dehydroascorbate in organically-cultivated strawberries. An increased content of flavonoids – compounds with potent anti-carcinogenic properties – was also reported in organic crops. Differences in the urinary excretion of major flavonoids have been observed in people eating fruit and vegetables grown under different agricultural conditions [Grinder-Pedersen et al., 2003]. Extracts from organically-cultivated strawberries produced a greater antiproliferative effect on both HT29 colon cancer cells and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, than those from fruits grown conventionally. This might indicate a higher content of secondary metabolites with anticarcinogenic properties in organically grown strawberries [Olsson et al., 2006].
    - A. Barańska, K. Skwarło-Sońta, Organic food: high quality or hazardous? Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2006, Vol. 15/56, SI 2.

    I could go on with dozens of citations, but for the sake of time and space, I’ll leave it at that.

  101. Jared says

    I haaaaaate vegans…They sure know what’s best for humanity. Just like the couple that fed their newborn soy milk until it died of malnourishment.

  102. Eric says

    While I understand that this is important information for organic vegans to have, it seems to me (and I am not a vegan, organic or otherwise) that the stores would not benefit from telling anyone how the fruits are produced. The reason being: money. To train and hire employees to learn this system costs money and time also, because of the extra expense in making genetically modified OR organic fruits and vegetables, they are more expensive. The average consumer goes for the lowest price and thus would avoid more expensive fruits.

    On another note, in response to alex, many populations in Europe are traditionalists and seem to be afraid of change which explains their resistance to genetically modified fruits.

  103. Nick says

    The whole organic food movement disgusts me. It’s the epitome of the American way: being simultaneously destructively altruistic and phenomenally misinformed. Douglas, we could all come up with dozens of citations to support any cause. Further, several of your citations in fact come from a single paper, and two of the papers you mention are listed directly on organic-food supporting sites, websites that are supported by organic-food corporations; thus none of your sources are even close to unbiased.

    Others have not been so forgiving towards organics: in a world on the verge of a food crisis due to the convergence of many factors (not to mention the formerly “green” ethanol movement), we don’t have the luxury to grow organic foods. The man who STARTED the so-called “green movement,” Nobel-laureate Norman Borlaug has criticized organic foods as being well below the carrying capacity of the world, at about 4,000,000,000 humans vs. the 6,000,000,000 that we have currently living on our planet. But apparently that doesn’t faze you, so long as you can get fresh oranges who cares if someone in a distant country starves to death, right? Further, organic foods are shipped enormous distances. New Zealand is the leading exporter of organic milks, and they stuff it on a tanker and ship it thirteen thousand miles on a diesel powered boat to get it to your mouth.

    Next time, when looking for a “cause” pick one that is actually virtuous, not just ANOTHER fad concocted by a different set of money-hungry corporate execs.

  104. Lungfish says

    Though I’m no Luddite, science is not something to that should be anthropomorphised as being “good”. Science is a tool, like a hammer, and you can use that hammer to splice navel orange (a natural fluke) branches to a normal tree and make plastics that save lives. We use it to solve problems and we’ve gotten really good at solving problems in a certain way. But “when all you have is hammers then every problem looks like a nail” and the problem with a mono-culture crop is being especially susceptible to pest devastation has been solved with our mega-science hammer instead of just going back to small farms.

    Right now the problem is that profit margins haven’t increased sufficiently, so genetic modifications are made. This has some obvious effects, such as Roundup-Ready plants that are specially resistant to Roundup and are ever-more delicious and satisfying looking while rotting in the locked dumpsters of grocery stores, in the back of deep refrigerators, or half eaten on top of kitchen garbage heaps across America. This is certainly a victory for science but has other less desirable effects; some obvious effects like the infamous terminating gene spreading to other farms and driving up seed purchases, some less obvious such as the precedence set by suing a farmer for accidentally raising and selling a plant that acquired a proprietary gene, and some not yet known such as the effects of a genetically modified food over the course of 60 years.

    While we don’t know for sure if a GMO will be bad for us down the line, we do know that small, local, and organic farming is more resource efficient (animals provide free fertilization and biodiversity promotes crop health), provides more jobs than a giant mono-crop farm, pollutes far less (properly rotated crops prevent erosion and maintain soil health, meat from a biodiverse farm produces fertilizer that can be used as opposed to factory-farm meat which produces pollution which contains way more hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, and is so nitrate rich that it can’t be used for anything so it’s sent down the river and creates a growing dead-zone of oxygen starvation that is ruining local fishing industries in the Gulf of Mexico), and on and on. My frustration with GMOs is less the possibility that future generations will have to naturally de-select a gene that science got into me via some fruit, though this is a viable concern given the nature of our codependant and gene-swapping stomache-microbe buddies. My frustration, and the reason why we should be deeply afraid and anxious is that the greatest minds of our generation are being payed to circumvent millions of years of evolution to make things resistant to pesticides when we could work on how to avoid using them in the first place, but the money making system is already in place. Capitalism is supposed to be about competing on the market, not competition based on subsidies, and right now organic and biodiverse growing has nothing on the subsidies that go to massive single crop agri-businesses.

    Off the top of my head I suggest reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” a fascinating in depth look at our modern food industry, from the perspective of corn.

    And while I’m still awake, the pro-Monsanto people are dear to my heart as I was once one of them, being a lifelong lover of the sciences and believing that science, like a loyal friend, could do no wrong. I believed that people in power probably were smart and were chosen based on merit almost every time and that the people running the administrations meant to protect consumers were staffed and managed by defenders of a higher moral code. Armed with these basic assumptions that these giant entities were at least lawful-neutral, I too always thought that vegetarians and their ilk were misguided hyper-moralists that were quaintly unaware of their hypocrisy. In my naivety I assumed it was they who were naive and tried to help them to realize that the meats and TV dinners they deprived themselves of were so delicious and convenient that it was crazy to be so “picky”. A little after that I started reading books other than sci-fi. But anyway, while I understand the confusion that the Monsantoans have is based in a lack of information born from a refusal to question the wisdom of the system, the outright anger is not something I “get”. It may be simple frustration that boils when it can’t be release from reasonable discussion and mutual learning, but a friend suggested that it has a lot to do with the cultural associations with food. On a deep level, to refuse a pork-chop is like insultingly refusing one’s mother’s pork chop, the association between our food and home is so strong. Another suggestion was that being told that something they did every day could be “wrong” was a cause for a deep anxiety that could either cause a guilt that is violently rejected or make them feel like they were part of some ideological battle.

    Thanks for the produce/number info.

  105. ravious says

    You have to realize… Companies don’t do things for better or safer products for consumers. They do things to cut waste, and lower costs. Granted eating an apple packed full of pesticieds might not kill you. But the cancer you develop after years of ingesting these chemicals along with all the other artificial chemicals packed into everything else we eat designed to lower cost for manufactures might. Rule of thumb.. If you cant read the ingredients on the package in plain english, We were never ment to consume it. If you care about yourself, or your family. Stop pumping them full of deadly chemicals.

    People will argue.. “Well.. These are safe, Your nuts, they have been approved by the FDA” and I would reply with. Sure.. in small dosages, in a controled envroment, no one died from it. But that does not take into account how many hundreds of these chemicals we ingest on a daily basis from a countless supply of different consumer products.

    Take this fact for example. Each year more people die from legal prescription medication complications than all the other Illegal drugs. But wait? Those are FDA approved.. there supposed to be safe! FDA Approved Products are not supposed to kill.. But guess what they do.

  106. Richard says

    That is the biggest load of **** I have ever heard.

    Do you not think, that farmers, chemical manufacturers and the government have your best interests at heart? They do. Think about it. What do you have? Money. What do they want? Money! They are charging you for fruit, and if it is a bad fruit, you will not purchase it anymore. Therefore, they mnake sure the levels of pesticide/insecticide/whatever are well below volumes that even if you ate 100 of the fruit, you would experience no ill effect (Other than the negative effects associated with eating 100 of that fruit!).

    Genetically modified varieties of foods are everywhere, even in organic food. Heres how: Humans SELECTIVELY breed plants and animals, therefore the fruit you eat has been selectively breeded over several generations to provide you (the customer) with the best possible fruit eating experience.

    GM foods are shied away from, due to a negative stimulus encouraged by the media and Organic farmers. Think: What is the price difference between organic and normal? It is large, with the organic fruit being more expensive. They are charging you extra, an extra which they do not deserve!

    Richard Fontaine.

  107. says

    “Douglas, we could all come up with dozens of citations to support any cause.”

    I notice that you provide no citations to back Brian’s assertion. And why do I get the feeling that your statement really reads “No matter what evidence you provide, I am correct”?

    “Further, several of your citations in fact come from a single paper, and two of the papers you mention are listed directly on organic-food supporting sites, websites that are supported by organic-food corporations; thus none of your sources are even close to unbiased.”

    Yes, I cite just 3 papers (you want more?) – one itself citing many papers. And the if an organic farming centre decides to host a peer-reviewed study after it is published, so what? Orgprints.org did not pay for or in any way commission the study. They just make it available for others to see.

    “Others have not been so forgiving towards organics: in a world on the verge of a food crisis due to the convergence of many factors (not to mention the formerly “green” ethanol movement), we don’t have the luxury to grow organic foods. The man who STARTED the so-called “green movement,” Nobel-laureate Norman Borlaug has criticized organic foods as being well below the carrying capacity of the world, at about 4,000,000,000 humans vs. the 6,000,000,000 that we have currently living on our planet.”

    Many worship the ground that Borlaug walks on. I don’t. Yields on organic crops range from a little lower than conventional to a little higher (in some cases much higher)[For some case studies on yields, see http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/Y4137E/Y4137E00.HTM. The greatest influence on yield in the West is not whether the farm is organic or conventional, but the size of the farm. Yields for organic are comparable (though higher yielding in nutrition and without the need for unsustainable and expensive inputs), and with more smaller farms producing them, healthy food can be produced cheaply with less environmental cost, while allowing more people into the profession of farming rather than forcing more out as the current system does.

    "But apparently that doesn’t faze you, so long as you can get fresh oranges who cares if someone in a distant country starves to death, right?"

    Uh, wrong. You sure pulled that one out of your colorectal region. Are you saying that undernourishment and malnutrition are the result of my having eaten a good number of oranges in my lifetime? Are you telling us that you have foregone oranges in the interest of global food security? How very noble!

    "Further, organic foods are shipped enormous distances."

    They can be. Or they can come from one's back yard or one's community. It's rather like conventionally grown produce in that sense.

    "New Zealand is the leading exporter of organic milks, and they stuff it on a tanker and ship it thirteen thousand miles on a diesel powered boat to get it to your mouth."

    No they don't. The milk, organic or otherwise, is under a management supply system in my part of the world. Our milk comes from our nation.

    "Next time, when looking for a “cause” pick one that is actually virtuous, not just ANOTHER fad concocted by a different set of money-hungry corporate execs."

    Like the executive board of Monsanto, perhaps?

    "Do you not think, that farmers, chemical manufacturers and the government have your best interests at heart? They do. Think about it. What do you have? Money. What do they want? Money! They are charging you for fruit, and if it is a bad fruit, you will not purchase it anymore. Therefore, they mnake sure the levels of pesticide/insecticide/whatever are well below volumes that even if you ate 100 of the fruit, you would experience no ill effect (Other than the negative effects associated with eating 100 of that fruit!)."

    So let's work this out:

    Because farmers, chemical manufacturers and government have your best interests at heart [A very debateable assertion.]

    And because you have money and they want money
    ___________________________________________________
    Therefore pesticide levels in fruit are low enough that they cannot hurt you.

    That is a perfect example of a non sequitur.

    “Genetically modified varieties of foods are everywhere, even in organic food. Heres how: Humans SELECTIVELY breed plants and animals, therefore the fruit you eat has been selectively breeded over several generations to provide you (the customer) with the best possible fruit eating experience.”

    This is a very old and boring linguistic fallacy. When a peasant farmer of a home gardener cross-pollinates, he or she does not employ an Agrobacterium vector or transgene-coated tungensten or gold biolistics to insert cross-species or cross-kingdom transgenes into his or her plant.

    “GM foods are shied away from, due to a negative stimulus encouraged by the media and Organic farmers.”

    Opposition started by scientists who were paying attention in the 70s when this was all in the taxpayer-funded research stage, not by organic growing association.

    “What is the price difference between organic and normal? “

    And as for the difference, scroll up. Nutrition. Then there are other benefits, provided farming is done correctly: healthier soils, less erosion, soil building, less or no nitrogen leaching, carbon storage as opposed to loss (not only does ploughing release carbon dioxide, it is now known that the addition of synthetic nitrogen reduces carbon content in the soil [see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-10/uoia-srt102907.php whereas mycorrhizal-rich organic soils store huge amounts of carbon in glomalin), the elimination of groundwater contamination by biocides (and the elimination of the subsequent cancer clusters this problem creates in many rural areas). Now, as for the charge that farmers do not deserve more money (particularly from customers willing to pay more), well, I don’t agree.

  108. says

    The latest – just out today, though I know people opposed to evidence don’t want to see it:


    A new study by Newcastle University proves that organic farmers who let their cows graze as nature intended are producing better quality milk.

    The Nafferton Ecological Farming Group study found that grazing cows on organic farms in the UK produce milk which contains significantly higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than their conventional ‘high input’ counterparts.

    During the summer months, one of the beneficial fats in particular – conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA9 – was found to be 60% higher.

    The results of this study into UK dairy production are published online in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture.
    - UK’s organic cows are cream of the crop

  109. Spruce says

    Thank you Doug Barnes for bringing evidence-based truths and common sense to this discussion. The level of ignorance here caught me off-guard. So many have opinions but so little knowledge of the subject. Too many participants in this discussion don’t even know what GM is. Selective breeding is NOT at all the same as GM; not even close. Some genetic modifications (GM) allow applications of chemicals that could not otherwise be used. And just because pesticides and herbicides don’t kill you immediately, that does not mean they don’t kill you. It is very difficult to study, much less prove, the millions of cumulative and interactive effects of the more than 200 man-made chemicals inside us. If you don’t worry about the complex and unknown interactions of all those chemicals inside you, fine; eat the chemical-laden foods, and I hope you remember this conversation when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. For the rest of us it’s a basic human right to be able to chose foods with the smallest amount of man-made hazards.

  110. says

    Douglas,

    You are obviously well educated, open minded and thorough in your research. I appreciate that you took time to spell things out for us in way that was not self serving. Thanks for adding to the facts. you have taught me more!!!

  111. says

    Spruce and Gina, you are very welcome.

    I’ll take this opportunity to address a few more arguments made.

    “Genetically modified crops are the most rigorously scrutinized foods in America, regulated by the EPA, USDA, and the FDA.”

    Genetically modified foods need only undergo chemical testing as a means of establishing safety. Yet, as Erik Millstone, et al wrote in their piece Beyond ‘Substantial Equivalence’ in the October 7, 1999 issue of Nature, “[using chemical tests to show GM crops are ’substantially equivalent’ to non-transgenic crops] might seem plausible and attractively simple, but we believe that it is misguided, and should be abandoned in favour of one that includes biological, toxicological and immunological tests rather than merely chemical ones.” They go on to point out that “The biotechnology companies wanted government regulators to help persuade consumers that their products were safe, yet they also wanted the regulatory hurdles to be set as low as possible.”

    “Substantial equivalence” is fuzzy enough to allow one variety of GM crop, Event CZW-3 squash, to be approved despite the fact that it has 67.6 times less beta-carotene than its conventional parent, according to its USDA application #95-352-01p (see A.Wilson, J. Latham, and R. A. Steinbrecher, “Transformationinduced mutations in transgenic plants: analysis and biosafety implications,” Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, vol. 23, pp. 209–237, 2006.). It’s interesting that unintentionally modifying the crop to be this nutritionally impoverished is considered to be making it “substantially equivalent” to the parent plant. This also belies a serious misunderstanding on behalf of modern genetics. Most students are taught Watson’s version of the Central Dogma (how DNA and RNA are involved in the creation of proteins) as opposed to Crick’s original and still experimentally holding version of the Central Dogma. Watson’s version fills people’s heads with the idea that one gene codes for one protein, so inserting a transgene has a predictable effect. Were this to be true, the creators of Event CZW-3 squash would have had to put a gene into the host genome to make it nutritionally inferior. Or similarly with the case of Event 176 Bt corn (now taken off the market), which expressed much more toxicity in its pollen than other versions such as Event MON 810 Bt corn. Both versions use the cry gene for producing the Cry delta endotoxin, but one expresses it in the pollen much stronger than the other. This has nothing to do with the transgene inserted. It could be gene order, it could be transection of an existing host gene, it could be an incomplete copy or perhaps multiple copy of the transgene, it could be fragments of the transgenes. It is not known what the difference is and the theory cannot predict this difference.

    That said, there is one area where additional testing is required: in Bt crops. This is something Monsanto pushed for, knowing that it would be a significant extra cost that would keep smaller player out of this end of the GMO market. Despite this, the testing is not independently done, it is done in the manufacturer’s labs and the source data is not released. Even with this, there have been some questionable findings. Independent scientists looking at Mon810 Bt corn found significant pathology and death in test rats and requested to see the source data Monsanto had. Monsanto refused. (No need to fret though, look at your UPC codes like David told you, and don’t buy processed foods with corn.)

    “Genetic modification merely allows crops to produce higher yields while thriving in conditions it would be unable to naturally.”

    Slightly higher yields for corn, yes. To really increase corn yields, though, you need to decrease farm size. That will have a far greater impact than anything else. For GM soy, the yields generally are 10% lower (with a range from 5% to 20% lower) and higher seeding rates (read higher costs) are needed. The yields for Bt cotton were so low that farmers in the U.S. initially sued the manufacturer because of it.

    As for GM crops “thriving in conditions it would be unable to naturally,” this is quite true for RoundUp Ready crops, anyway. With the addition of a transgene for glyphosate-resistance, they are allowed to be drenched in glyphosate, meaning increased non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (A case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and exposure to pesticides) But the fun does not stop there.

    There’s also increased fusarium outbreaks causing crop losses (Jim Rahe, Can. J. Bot. 33, 1987: 354-360., Appl. Soil Ecol. 8 (1998): 25-33.; Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya By Lilian Joensen, Grupo de Reflexión Rural, Argentina Stella Semino, Grupo de Reflexión Rural, Argentina Helena Paul, EcoNexus; Weedkiller may boost toxic fungi by Andy Coghlan, New Scientist, 14 August 2003)

    There’s leaching into drinking water:

    Denmark’s most popular herbicide Roundup is polluting the underground water far more than previously thought. Agriculture uses yearly 800 tons of active glyphosate in herbicide. The Environment Minister is looking at taking steps to address this. The Danish drinking water resources are under attack from an unexpected quarter. The chemical glyphosate that is in the popular herbicides Roundup and Touchdown is against all expectations sieving down through the soil and polluting the ground water at a rate of five times more than the allowed level for drinking water. This has been shown from tests done by the Denmark and Greenland Geological Research Institution [Danmark og Gronlands Geologiske Undersogelse (GEUS), HM/GENET] in an as yet unpublished article.
    - Poisonous Spray [Roundup] on a Course Towards Drinking Water, Politken, Denmark, by Anders Legarth Schmidt

    There’s Toxicity to beneficial insects and non-target insects (Hassan, S.A. et al. 1988. Results of the fourth joint pesticide testing programme carried out by the IOBC/WPRS-Working Group “Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms.” J. Appl. Ent 105:321329; Brust, G.E. 1990. Direct and indirect effects of four herbicides on the activity of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Pestle. Sci.30:309-320; Asteraki, E.J., C.B. Hanks, and R.O. Clements. 1992. The impact of the chemical removal of the hedge-base flora on the community structure of carabid beetles (Col., Carabidae) and spiders (Aransas) of the field and hedge bottom. J. Appl. Ent. 113:398-406).

    There’s toxicity to earthworms – a really bad thing (Springett, J.A. and R.A.J. Gray. 1992. Effect of repeated low doses of biocides on the earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa in laboratory culture. Soil Biol. Biochem. 24(12):1739-1744).

    Toxicity to fish (Folmar, L.C., H.O. Sanders, and A.M. Julin. 1979. Toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate and several of its formulations to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 8:269278; World Health Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organization. 1994. Glyphosate. Environmental Health Criteria #159. Geneva, Switzerland; Wan, M.T., R.G. Watts, and D.J. Moul. 1989. Effects of different dilution water types on the acute toxicity to juvenile Pacific salmonids and rainbow trout of glyphosate and its formulated products. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 43:378385; Holdway, D.A. and D.G. Dixon. 1988. Acute toxicity of permethrin or glyphosate pulse exposure to larval white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) and juvenile flagfish (Jordanella floridae) as modified by age and ration level. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 7:63-68; Holtby, L.B. 1989. Changes in the temperature regime of a valley-bottom tributary of Carnation Creek, British Columbia, over-sprayed with the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). In Reynolds, P.E. (ed.) Proceedings of the Carnation Creek Herbicide Workshop. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada: Forest Pest Management Institute; Morgan, J.D. et al. 1991. Acute avoidance reactions and behavioral responses of juvenile rainbow trout ~Oncorhynchus mykiss) to Garlon 4, Garlon 3A and Vision” herbicides. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 10:73-79; Liong, P.C., W.P. Hamzah, and V. Murugan. 1988. Toxicity of some pesticides towards freshwater fishes. Malaysian Ague. J. 54(3):147-156; Neskovic, N.K. et al. 1996. Biochemical and histopathological effects of glyphosate on carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Bull. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 56:295-302.).

    There’s toxicity to nitrogen-fixing bacteria – a really, really bad thing (Eberbach, P.L. and L.A. Douglas. 1983. Persistence of glyphosate in a sandy loam. Soil Biol. Biochem. 15(4):485-487p; Eberbach, F.L. and L.A. Douglas. 1989. Herbicide effects on the growth and nodulation potential of Rhizohium trilolii with Trilolium subterraneum L. Plant and Soil 119:15-23; Santos, A. and M. Flores. 1995. Effects of glyphosate on nitrogen fixation of free-living heterotrophic bacteria. Lett Appl. Microbial. 20:349352; Moorman, T.B. et al. 1992. Production of hydrobenzoic acids by Bradyrhizohium japonicum strains after treatment with glyphosate. J. Agric. Food Chem. 40:289-293; Mårtensson, A.M. 1992. Effects of agrochemicals and heavy metals on fast-growing Rhizohia and their symbiosis with small-seeded legumes. Soil Biol. Biochem. 24(5):435-445.).

    And lastly (that I’ll mention here – there are others), toxicity to mycorrhizal fungi – a really, really, really bad thing (Estok, D., B. Freedman, and D. Boyle. 1989. Effects of the herbicides 2,4-D, glyphosate, hexazinone, and triclopyr on the growth of three species of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 42:835-839; Chakravarty, P. and S.S. Sidhu. 1987. Effects of glyphosate, hexazinone and triclopyr on in vitro growth of five species of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Eur. J. For. Path. 17:204-210; Bayne, H.F. et al. 1995. Colonization of Orchis morio protocorms by a mycorrhizal fungus: effects of nitrogen nutrition and glyphosate in modifying the responses. Can. J. Bot 73:1128-1140.).

    “It’s not like scientists are fiddling with the “be more poisonous” gene”

    That is exactly what they are doing when the add cry transgenes. Then there are unpredictable effects from fragmented transgenes (a result occurrnig in both the Agrobacterium insertion method and the biolistic method. Then there are the unknown effects of multiple copies of transgenes (the norm, not the exception), the CaMV 35S promotor mutation hotspot, disruptions of gene order, bisecting of host genes with either transgene fragments or whole (or nearly whole) transgenes, genome-wide mutations as a result of growing from tissue samples (a problem in hybrids as well).

    And I’ll repeat the definition of genetic modification for the benefit of a good number of people posting comments. Genetic modification is the insertion of a transgene(s) or transgene fragments from one species to a different species (with the addition of a promotor gene to make it active in the new host, if the transgene is to be active). This may or may not involve species from the same kingdom. This is not the same thing as cross-pollination, grafting, or sexual reproduction. To equate them is a linguistic fallacy (much like confusing “organic,” as it is in agriculture, with organic as it is used in chemistry).

  112. tim maguire says

    Wow, rough crowd. I consider myself a moderate environmentalist in that I try not to make more of an impact than I have to, but I don’t stay awake nights worrying about global warming either.

    Granted, genetically modified foods are probably safe, but we all know the modifications we’re talking about are fundamentally different from the modifications mother nature has made with farmers’ help over the last 10,000 years.

    My real concern is with cross-pollination and other forms of contamination of the non-modified seed stock. The fact is, once GM crops are introduced, just through wind, insects, accident etc., the modified genes will enter the non-GM seeds within just a few years.

    What if then, after the non-GM seed stock has ceased to exist (which absolutely will happen), we discover that there was a problem with GM seeds? Then what to we do? There will be no going back and even those who wish to avoid GM foods will not be able to.

    This is why, despite the liklihood of GM’s safety, we need to be very careful about moving forward with it.

  113. Jaosn says

    Question: I read your article and tries out my new found knowledge and I ran into 3′s, red and yellow bell peppers as well as broccoli started with the # 3, where do we stand with 3′s?

  114. says

    Jason,

    I will look into this further but it is my belief that the 3 may be an heirloom variety. I saw this with my tomatoes that were also clearly marked heirloom.

    where did u see this? store? what state are u in?

  115. Chris Malberg says

    Wow…such hate. I love how people think they can be so terrible to an author just because they are anonymous. At any rate, I found this educational and useful. Although I do not have a stand against GMO (other than the fact that they are less nutritious than organically grown foods…I don’t care to argue it as you have your opinion and I have mine and that won’t change from a comment) I despise the use of inorganic pesticides and herbicides, and that is definitely something I will watch for. Keep up the good work, regardless of how nasty people can be.

  116. Mike Shea says

    Two things. Plant breeding is not GM or GE,early seedless grapes are a product of plant breeding, and two, if you are concerned about your health, then run very far away from the “Western Diet”. and processed foods.

  117. Stakhanov says

    Well, my main issue with your position on GMO food is that…well…there is much more significant scientific evidence that a computer screen (or cell phone, or car exhaust, or any number of other things I’m sure you use on a regular basis) can give you cancer, or a host of other health issues, then any evidence that GMO foods will harm you.

    I would suggest you stop using technology if you are that concerned over your health.

  118. says

    Gizmo, is that a trick question? There are currently no genetically modified apples on the market in North America today. Are you asking what potential health risks could arise from one? Also your question is worded to sound like what potential accidents might happen in the lab. You’ll have to clarify and you’ll have to expect a very general answer if you ask about a hypothetical crop.

  119. ladygcat says

    Well whether we eat the fruit or not- we are all gonna gonna cancer from something somwhere. I just want to support the local growers and not the big industry/government

  120. says

    APPLE VS APPLE

    Hey Ktosh,

    There IS a slight difference between my Apple computer (which no, isn’t organic) and a non organic apple. I don’t EAT my computer. Also, despite the fact that it isn’t the healthiest thing made in the world I am able to connect with other people and use it for work school etc. Whereas an apple sprayed with pesticides really is not good. Especially compared to one grown organically by local farmers YOU can support right here in the USA instead of buying pesticide laden fruit from some foreign country.

    Be patriotic for God’s sake.

    BB

  121. Carol says

    I like to eat the food God made, it is available still, the farmers’ market is the place to buy it. Thanks for the label tip.

  122. Wolfie Rankin says

    What I dislike about GM is that preople in favour will say “Oh we’ve been doing that for hundreds of years” it’s a lie. we’ve been breeding animals naturally… penises and vaginas, with plants, it’s flowers and pollen. We haven’t been splicing bits onto other bits… don’t bring up grafting, that’s different again and isn’t GM.

    I want my food to come from the old fashioned way of farming.

    If there’s too many people to feed, it’s not natures fault, stop having kids.

  123. Gina says

    I hear you! I don’t think there’s too many people to feed. i think we are Gm-ing the wrong foods. theres a better way to fed the hungry– through high protein, good fat filled superfoods like coconuts, spirulina etc. This would help ease hunger. not wheat, corn, rice and grains that help people become allergic and create intestinal problems. But it requires a paradigm shift that will happen slowly. we don’t need GM to feed th needy. thats a scare tactic used to keep well meaning people blinded.

    Thanks,

    Gina

  124. blackwingbear says

    I find it ironic that most people railing FOR GM foods work in the same labs that produce them. They go on and on about how “safe” they are, yet obviously have a financial interest in seeing them succeed.

  125. Dylan P. says

    This article was informative until you took a political stance and it became biased. You don’t seem to have a problem with genetically modified food, you seem to have a problem with corporations. You also seem to have some sort of Promethean condition with regards to technology and agriculture. The process that we use today are just expedited forms of growing and genetic manipulation from the past. Oh and BTW Kiwi and Brocolli are GM foods so you can “run away” from those whenever you feel like it(look it up).

  126. Douglas Barnes says

    For whatever reason, the webmaster saw fit to delete nearly all my past posts – including all the ones that provided links to peer-reviewed scientific journals that supported the author’s argument. This is beyond bizarre…

    At any rate, I’ll repeat something that I’m pretty sure I said here already: At no point in mankind’s agricultural past did we isolate genes from one species, and insert them in a hap-hazard fashion (or any other fashion for that matterr) into the genome of some host crop with the aid of either Agrobacterium tumefaciens or a “gene gun”. In other words, the process of genetic modification is radically different than the selective breeding of the past or even the hybridization developed in the 20th century.

    As for members of the genus Actinidia, no they did not come about with the aid of transgenes. They were around long before the time of Watson and Crick. Same goes for brassicas.

  127. Henry says

    Kiwi and Brocolli are not Genetically Engineered. Altered through artificial selection perhaps, but not a GMO. If you don’t understand the difference, please don’t post up misinformation. Read a book, and then post.

    Does anybody else get the feeling that Monsanto hire people to write such rubbish on the web and in letters to newspapers. It would not surprise me.

    • S says

      I believe Monsanto was caught at one time paying employees to pose as scientists and make fictional health claims about their products.

  128. j says

    Genetically engineered food is not the problem, it’s how companies treat their monopoly on the food. GM food is not safe when it’s patented. Everything we buy suffers from corporate greed, from the materials on up. Pesticides – Monsanto knows it’s poisoning people, Bayer uses grub killer never having apologized for all the Jews they killed. Organic farms often cut their own corners, and sometimes torture animals. Living where we live has ensured that we will always live on the backs of other people. Everything we have is inundated with guilt, unless you want to go back to the beginning, nobody has the moral authority to say anything. We’re all trying goddamnit, and that’s what all of us, no matter what we believe, *can* do.

  129. Jimmy says

    I’m just wondering how you came across this information. I’m not a skeptic, I just like to check sources.

  130. Maria says

    Jimmy, fruitsticker.com will tell you a lot more. Each bit of produce is assigned a universal number to make for faster inventory and checkout, but it also helps savvy consumers identify what they’re buying.

  131. Travis Gardner says

    Look I have been involved in agriculture for my entire life I have eaten the common rabble at the supermarket and even had vegetables strait out of the field and I have never gotten sick from them. The government regulates which pesticides and fertilizers that can be used on crops to ensure our safety. Organic farming only works for those people or businesses that have a huge amount of land that can suffer a loss of up to 67% unlike your common American farmer like myself. We can’t afford not to protect our crops from harmful insects or weeds with a outrageously high germination rate. So just think about it the next time you buy your precious organic foods that you are contributing to the death of the common American farmer. Every year more and more of us are lost to huge corporate farms since we can’t provide crops at the same low price as those of Walmart farms. I hope you enjoy the knowledge that this organic craze is costing many of us our livelihoods.

    • says

      “So just think about it the next time you buy your precious organic foods that you are contributing to the death of the common American farmer.” No, we’re thinking about our own health and well-being when we purchase organic foods… And, my friend, I think that’s a bit more important than big businesses.

      • Lew says

        Your an idiot if you think organic food is better for you, there is not one shred of credible evidence that even remotely suggests this. You sir David Askaripour are a victim of propaganda, and equally as guilty as Monsanto in buying into it.

        • Douglas Barnes says

          And yet the UK’s Food Standards Agency published a paper last year finding that organic produce had 53.6% more beta-carotene, 38.4% flavonoids, 13.2% more phenolic compounds, 12.7% more protein, 11.3% more zinc, 10.5% more sulphur, 8.7% more sodium, 8.3% more copper, 7.1% more magnesium, 6% more phosphorus, and 2.5% more potassium. After finding all that, interestingly enough, their opinion was that there were “no important differences in the nutrition content , or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food.” Too bad their own evidence did not support their conclusion.

          • S says

            The US government always tells us the exact opposite of whatever the evidence tells them, depending on how much money they can make out of it.

        • tavis says

          Calling people names then trying to educate them isn’t the best method of communication. Information is the key and just like everyone else we all want healthy food for our families. Large corporations and greed are a tough opponent so local / smaller farmers need to work hard to educate consumers and also provide them with alternatives.

          Here are my thoughts on how to help the issue minus slandering anyone ( i save that for bad drivers and carnival folk).

          1st: As a country we waste to much food at the dinner table, so lets be more conscious about eating our whole meal, and only making what we intend to eat. I like to precook food for the week in advance so when i am hungry i can grab something healthy and eat it cold or stove top warmed. If i don’t finish i save it for a snack , but i know how much i eat now so i can avoid waste and reheating multiple times. This allows me to buy the more expensive cleaner foods without going over budget.

          2nd: Its also about what and where we buy , because in order to take the power from the big business we need to buy less processed foods made from corn( watch the movie food inc its a great film and eye opener). Kick back on the cookies , ice creams , all the stuff that is so great tasting ( i have a big sweet tooth and admit it is hard).
          you can also try to source farmers markets when available ( I’m in so-cal so its easy) , and if not available source the best thing you can , support small grocery stores that support small farmers.

          3rd: Here are some quick eating tips:
          - Drink more water , the body sometimes tricks you and says your hungry but your dehydrated.
          - eat smaller portions more often , a double whopper is bad the sizing the additives all of it , eat 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks , fruit & veggies , trust me it will give you more energy and keep your sugar levels steady.
          - pre cook meals – have good stuff ready in advance , if you are lucky enough to have a job you may not have time to cook.

          If you actually read this rant well done , hope the info helps. If we combine conscious eating , with conscious shopping we can give the power to the small farms , reduce our dependence on big corps , and find a better balance with nature again. I feel science and genetic altering can provide benefits if done with the right intention. Pumping a chicken with saline so its bigger and cost more isn’t the way , genetically altering soy beans then patenting the seed while poisoning the remaining supply is criminal.

          Feed your self and your children life , not for the profit of someones portfolio.

    • Maria Pollari says

      Many small farms are going organic — I myself belong to a CSA here in NY, and the owner is a small-scale farmer who appears to be flourishing because of the organic craze. Eating local food from a farm that produces a variety of crops, and not one massive yield of corn or potatoes or whatever, is important. I always consider the livelihood of the farmer as well, which is why I buy organic AND local whenever I can.

  132. Bushido Code says

    Hi David,

    What is the source of your information? I’m very concerned by the increased use of genetically modified food and would like to avoid it. Do you have a reference or web source that you obtained this information?

    Thanks,

    Marcus

    • says

      Hey Marcus,

      I read it on a few other sites and spoke to fellow vegans about this issue — but you can easily ask any store owner and he’ll confirm this article. If I come across the site references, I’ll send them your way for sure.

  133. says

    Wow, I did not know that. I’m bookmarking this post.
    I’ll check it out on my next trip to the supermarket.

    Thanks,
    Peter
    .-= Peter Moss´s last blog ..How to configure IIS 7 to redirect requests made to non-www domain to www domain? =-.

  134. William says

    That’s a good article about Read the Numbers on Your Fruit » Skrewtips – Food is Medicine. Thanks for the info.

  135. says

    This is misleading info that keeps getting perpetuated. The 8 prefix to indicate genetically modified food is NEVER used. The PLU codes cannot be used to avoid GMOs. They only differentiate between organic and conventional for store inventory purposes. If it is organic it is not GMO, but conventional can be either for varieties that are genetically modified on a commercial basis such as Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, yellow crooked neck squash, corn, edamame, tobacco.

    See: http://www.huffingtonpost.​com/jeffrey-smith/plu-code​s-do-not-indicate_b_473088​.html
    PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    No, the 5-digit PLU codes on produce do not tell you what is genetically modified or natural. These numbers, organized by the Produce Marketing Association, have nothing to do with you.

  136. Acrohn says

    The 8 prefix to indicate genetically modified food is NEVER used. The PLU codes cannot be used to avoid GMOs. They only differentiate between organic and conventional for store inventory purposes. If it is organic it is not GMO, but conventional can be either for varieties that are genetically modified on a commercial basis such as Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, yellow crooked neck squash, corn, edamame, tobacco. http://www.huffingtonpost.​com/jeffrey-smith/plu-code​s-do-not-indicate_b_473088​.html

  137. Kate says

    You know, GMOs are actually not unsafe. Some soy beans are GMOs and it helps them to grow without causing any sort of defects in those who eat them. I learned about them in some of my classes in college and it’s a huge SAFE industry. Don’t be stupid. Learn about things like that before deciding that they’re too scary for you little children.

  138. Katie says

    I am a senior agriculture student in college studying food safety and crop production. I just thought I would share with you that the pesticide/fertilizer regulations for organic foods only apply to the product, not the soil that it was grown in. Farmers are still allowed to improve soil qualities before planting. This means that some of the chemicals still end up in your produce.

    Our world population has increased dramatically over the last thirty years, and despite only a small increase in farmers, we still create enough food today to feed everyone in the world a 2000 calorie diet daily. This is thanks to improved conventional farming and GMO production. I fully respect an individual’s choices to avoid GMO and convention products, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that they aren’t safe or that consumers should “run” from them. They are perfectly safe products and they have done so much good for the agriculture industry. Food prices would be seven times what they are today without them. Organic farming is very difficult because of the crop loss farmers experience- and whether you choose to remember this or not: Organic farming is a business. Farmers want to lose as little crop as possible, so they improve the soil quality to increase their yield.

    For those who wish to eat organically, my advice is to start your own garden. Become a self-sufficient farmer and really learn what it takes to successfully grown your own food. You will have a much greater appreciation for the farmers that support our daily lives and you will be able to monitor your own produce and soil. If your interested in this, soil quality will still be an issue for growing- but look into crop rotation techniques and learn which crops deposit nutrients into the soil (giving it a better quality for growing). It will take time, but if your looking to eliminate pesticides and fertilizers from your diet, it may be the best option for you.

  139. Heather S says

    We grow a garden and we still have to use pesticides in order to fight off insects and worms or we wouldn’t have the produce that we are trying to grow. I am not sure how organic growers can produce anything with out pesticides. I hate to have to use them but see no other way around it.

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