or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Genetically Modified Foods (GMO's)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Genetically Modified Foods (GMO's)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
For those interested in the subject of genetically modified foods, this link will be of interest. It includes lists some foods that contain them by name if you're trying to avoid them or even if you are trying to use them.

http://www.truefoodnow.org/gmo_facts/product_list/

Edited addendum: :eek: I just looked at the list of candies and cookies, condiments (Hellman, Heinz, Delmonte, & Hunts catsup gmo's all), Thomas' English muffins, those nice healthy grained Peppridge Farm breads, HealthyChoice frozen meals, coke, pepsi, and numerous fruit drinks, most well known brands of soup, oh the list goes on and on. Fortunately for those who care about avoiding GMO foods, there're also lists of other less well known brands that do not have GMO's.

It seems to boil down to the bigger the name, the more chance it is GMO'd. Even many baby products (Enfamil, for example) are GMO'd.
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
Reply
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
Reply
post #2 of 14
did you say baby products??? :eek: Im gonna have to check out this list.....im feeding my 3 week old son Similac with Iron. The doc said to get this. If it has been GMO'd should I be worried? :confused:

Jodi

Edit: Oh well...Im stuck. :rolleyes: There is NO GMO'd baby formula. All the baby formula had been GMO'd. That shouldn't surprise me..how else would they get all those vitamins and minerals in that small can of yellow stuff.
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Shawtycat, I wouldn't lose sleep about what you can't change. This stuff is pervasive. In many cases the gmo process merely accelerates what breeders have been doing all along when they create hybrids.

It has not yet been demonstrated to have any effect on the people who ingest it as far as I know. Most of what I have heard against it has to do with its effect on the environment. Perhaps someone else has more specific info on it.

As I understand it one of the more pervasive fears about ingesting gm foods is that the added genetic material might be taken from a food that people commonly have allergic reactions to (peanuts for example), or from something like fish or meat that vegetarians might object to. And of course, we have no way of knowing the source of the added genetic material.

For those who try to avoid GM foods as much as possible:
--As for your fruit & veggies, those annoying little stickers do contain some useful info. All of them have at least 4 numbers. Some have 5 numbers ending in "4" or "9" that supposedly indicate the food is organic or gm'd.
--For the rest, bookmark the site that lists branded foodstuffs. It's updated from time to time and very extensive.
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
Reply
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
Reply
post #4 of 14
As pointed out by Alexia, most of the GMO stuff is simply working with the item's natural gene pool. It's the same as selective breeding but done in the lab. From my understanding, these items are not required to be tested or approved as it's the items natural gene potential. That's most of what you're seeing in formula and so on. I don't believe these are required to label as GMO either.

The "frankenfood" is the stuff that uses artificial genes or genes from other species, plant or animal. That requires testing and labeling.

Phil
post #5 of 14
So the baby formula is "naturally mutated" then ? That would be kinda a relief....i think

Jodi
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
post #6 of 14

As a chef and food writer who used to live and work in the US 1980-1994, I'm truly saddened that American Farmers have so whole heartedly gone down the root Genetically Modified Foods.

I wish America's high profile chefs would do much more inform consumers.   85-91% of grain crops (corn, wheat,soya,etc) are GM and Europe several years ago placed a ban on importing American grain because of it.  Not to mention the unintended creation of super weeds which have proved so hardy against conventional weed killer that desperate farmers are now using a cocktail of many different chemicals to try and tame them.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2211737/How-GM-crops-increased-use-danger-pesticides-created-superweeds-toxin-resistant-insects.html

 

Then there is the issue of collapsing bee colonies due to the over use of pesticides,  in American it is hard to measure because the bee population is moved around to pollinate different crops at various times of the year. Bee extinction would wipe out soft fruits, nuts like almonds the list is long, and what was left would become incredibly expensive.

 

For a long time consumers have been told by companies like Monsanto, that GM would solve world hunger, need less water.  But the truth is the crops are genetically altered to make them more resistant to damage from pesticides, so since the introduction of GM crops in 1996 the use of weed killers has increased by 239 million kilos, which in turn is poisoning the water table. 

 

Then there's the issue of cloned meat, for two and half years it has been on sale in American supermarkets but the FDA allowed the meat to be sold unlabelled!!   So hands up all those reading this have probably eaten cloned meat!....mmm.   And the same happened with the company in Boston who produced Genetically Altered Farm Salmon, so chances are you have probably eaten GM salmon too.

 

Should ordinary, hard working chefs like me and you care about this?  Yes in my opinion we should, we don't grow the stuff but we cook it, eat it, recommend it and therefore in a large enough

group we can influence the future.

 

Big business chemical companies like Monsanto  have turned American Farm land into a science lab and the American people into Guinea Pigs when no one yet knows the long term outcome.  All the scientists in Europe have taken a much more cautious approach, they are researching these things but not allowing them to be sold because of the negatives I have in part described.

I love America but wish people with influence (like TV chefs and food writers) would stop this experiment and learn to love the land with natural methods, that are healthier for the earth and its people.

post #7 of 14

Be VERY careful when relying on government to draft laws concerning food and food products. A majority of laws are written by lawyers and they are not always in the best interests of the consumer.

 

Proposition 37 on the California ballot purports to require labeling of GMO and GMO products. Not only does it have substantial loopholes, it has a provision for PAG (private attorney general) which provides for anyone to file a lawsuit for violations of the labeling law by anyone, whether or not they have purchased an incorrectly labeled product, used an incorrectly labeled product, or sustained any damage from such a product, laying the groundwork for, IMHO, legal extortion, very similar to what happened under the ADA where frivolous lawsuits were filed costing small business owners untold $$$.

 

Be careful what you ask for...you might just get it!
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #8 of 14

I am a biochemist by trade. As such, I do not see any significant risk in GMOs  - at least I have never seen a convincing study showing a significant risk in consumption. 

 

However, I still do avoid them. The reason is simply the way genetic modification is applied these days. In basically no case it is done to improve the quality for the customer. It is done to increase the profit of the agricultural industry, often at the expense of quality. I do not want to see monocultures of roundup-ready soy and corn, thank you very much. Those are the very practices killing small-scale farming, killing heirloom cultivars and turning food into a bland, standardized and crappy "fuel" that does nothing anyone with a palate. 

 

Working together with a food chemist - on a totally non-food related project, though - finally turned me off nearly every branded or premade foodstuff. I buy ingredients now, not "food products", preferably local and organic, but not religiously so. So does the food chemist, by the way... (No hypocrisy involved on his part though - he never worked in industrial food design, but rather analyzed wine flavor contents with regard to various bottling and corking practices.)

post #9 of 14

First off, this is not a post in favor of GMO's, but I really wish we would come up with a different term than "genetically modified" to discuss these "frakenfoods."  To me mankind has been gentically modifying our food for thousands of years through selective breeding programs and hybridization.  This is certainly a very different beast from the way foods are being genetically modified today but is still genetic modification and thus really can be classified as a GMO.  There needs to be a way to distingush between the 2 before the marketers get wrap their minds around that and start blurring the definition of GMO's to the point where you can't tell the difference.

 

As for my personal opinions on "GMOs" ( I will use that term for now until we come up with a better one) I haven't fully decided where I land in the debate.  I certainly don't side with Monsanto who claims that GMO food has been proven safe as these things haven't been around long enough to determine all the effects that they can have on people and the environment.  I also believe that GMO foods need to be labelled as such so that people can make the decision as whether they want to consume GMO foods or not.  But I also can't fully support a complete ban on GMO foods at the moment.  I think there are a lot of "scare" articles out there that also uses incomplete data to scare people into thinking all GMO foods are dangerous.  And to echo the previous post, there haven't been any clear cut studies yet that prove that GMO's are a serious threat.  That said I try to avoid GMO foods, for the most part, until more research can be done.  I often buy local by purchasing at our local farmer's market and participating in a CSA that uses organic practices (although they aren't "certified" organic).  But I don't flip out if I find out something I have eaten contains GMOs.

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #10 of 14

Selective breeding is called hybridization, not genetically modified.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

To me mankind has been gentically modifying our food for thousands of years through selective breeding programs and hybridization.  This is certainly a very different beast from the way foods are being genetically modified today but is still genetic modification and thus really can be classified as a GMO.

 

Pete, you don't get to rewrite the English language just for yourself. Just because I choose which woman I want to make kids with doesn't mean I'm making a genetically modified human being. 

post #12 of 14

I don't see any problem with the nomenclature there, Pete. And, frankly, I am somewhat tired of the "selective breeding is genetic modification, too"-argument. Yes, of course it alters the genome towards a desired goal, but the mechanism is completely different. Basically, we have three methods to drive the genome of an organism to a desired state:

 

- selective breeding - reinforcing traits that are already present in the species, just by crossing individuals with the desired traits

- forced mutation - using radiation or chemicals to introduce random mutations into a species, then going the selective breeding route to pick out the desired ones

- genetic modification - introducing genes with known function at a specific place in the genome, either cross-species or within the species.

 

From a life scientist's point of view, the nomenclature is clear. Trying to muddy the waters here from a non-professional standpoint is not particularly helpful, in my opinion.

 

That being said, Pete, I do agree with your general opinion on the matter.

post #13 of 14

Regardless as to one's position on GMOs, be very cautitous when advocating for or against specific government action and make very sure you understand the consequences of adoption of a specific law, regulation, or initiative!

 

A clear example is the recent debate as to what constitutes a GMO. Unless the law, regulation, or initiative uses the same definition you do, the unintended consequences may be something you do not expect.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #14 of 14

Our standard grains, fruits and vegetables wouldn't pass the tests GMO foods have to in order to be sold to consumers. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Genetically Modified Foods (GMO's)