Prop 37 was a step in a bigger journey
It has been almost a month since the polls closed on Election Day. In California, voters had a groundbreaking moment to stand up to large agribusiness for the right to know if our food has been genetically modified (GMO). This was Prop 37. The proposition was narrowly defeated, and there is much discussion as to what that means. The proposed label for foods containing GMO foods. What is the problem with GMO crops? There are two key functions these companies are breeding into the plants: keep the seeds from producing viable seeds (seeds that can sprout another plant), and built-in pesticides. These are known as F1 and BT if you would like to do further research. There is a need for concern on how these traits may effect the rest of the plant kingdom, let alone the people who eat them.
Here is an infographic about the issue:
Pirate Produce promotes a direct approach to voicing objection to the use of genetically modified foods as a viable answer to feeding the world. This issue has significant implications for future generations. Let's take a look at the context and what you can do to contribute to the welfare of the next seven generations.
Wednesday, November 21, the SFGate published an article by Priya Fielding-Singh and Rachel Wright. The article takes a look at the proposition in the context of a larger movement. The authors highlight the successes of the proposition to raise awareness of the need to know where our food comes from. The article also acknowledges that the proposition itself had opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, the label would have been a drop in a sea of change.
What function would a label serve? The bottom line of the GMO label is to allow consumers to make educated decisions about what food to purchase. Education is the foundation. No other country in the world allows GMO food to be sold without a label, and many do not allow the products to be sold, period. What does this say about how large food manufacturers view the American people?
On the topic of labeling our food, one should know that the food is already labeled, just not made obvious. Additionally, the problem is not with the whole food sold in the produce section. The labeling system on produce is such: 4-digit numbers are grown with conventional, non-organic methods, 5-digit numbers will begin with an "8" or "9". The "9" represents organic, the "8" represents GMO. So, where does this label become necessary? It is the packaged food. If you look at the ingredients lists on the package, and find derivatives of corn or soy, then it is highly likely that was made with GMO crops. And meat? If it is not completely free-range, then the animal was highly likely to have been feed with GMO crops. If you have an iPhone, a fun app to help you learn more about the quality of your food is: Fooducate app. The app has an experimental feature that rates the likelihood of that product to contain GMO crops.
Education is necessary. Once you have become conscious of "man behind the curtain" it requires action to create a change. Here are some direct actions you can take today to contribute to that change: share your knowledge (and this article) with others; buy local produce, meat, and eggs; if you are able, grow your own food. Stay connected to Pirate Produce, join our MeetUp group, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. If you would like assistance in starting, or expanding your growing capacity, send us a message on the contact page and I would be happy to collaborate, and support you.
Here are some videos and books to learn more about the American food system, and alternatives: