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1 1Peter G1  Jul 30, 2014 3:19:34pm

Let me weigh in on this one. Mostly is trendy nonsense. The locavore movement? Most of the agricultural sector in California probably shouldn’t be there. Local suppliers always win when their crops come in because of those despised laws of supply and demand. The food is there, it is fresh and it doesn’t carry the added cost of transportation. But only when it is in season. If it weren’t for those transport trucks and aircraft flying in fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world those things would be priced out of the reach of most North Americans.

As to GMO crops the nonsense is even worse. Generally speaking the left leaning science blogs where actual knowledge about the biology is, as opposed to hysterical foundationless speculation found elsewhere, they laugh at those people. With very good reason I might add. If it weren’t for the incremental crop improvements that confer pest resistance, drought resistance and increased yield we would be forced to use more pesticides and more fertilizer and more of our overstressed water supplies.

As a piece de resistance there are crops like vitamin e enhanced rice that could save hundreds of thousands of children from going blind due to vitamin deficiencies. Or that wonderful rice variety developed by the Indian government that, using genetic modification combined high yield varieties with one requiring very little heat to cook, will save vast acreages of forest or other hydrocarbons from being used as fuel.

As you can see I have very little use for Luddites.

2 CriticalDragon1177  Jul 30, 2014 3:34:51pm

re: #1 1Peter G1

I can’t remember who said it, but I remember someone once referring to the anti GMO movement as the climate change denial of the left.

3 A Mom Anon  Jul 31, 2014 4:34:26am

It doesn’t stop with the GMO nonsense either. I live in an affluent area (my home is one of the few left built in the 1970’s, I’m surrounded by McMansions), you would not believe the crap that comes across my facebook newsfeed every morning from the women I know around here.

Gluten Free. Just. Kill. Me. I love how a 5 dollar, 10 oz. thing of oatmeal has “gluten free” plastered on it when OATS HAVE NO GLUTEN in the first place. Every woman I know is on this expensive useless diet. None of them are losing weight. I’ve lost 32 lbs in the last year by exercising and minor tweaks to my diet. I eat gluten, astonishing. Then there’s the “cleansing” bullshit. One friend made a high fiber soup she was supposed to eat 4 times a day. It literally made her shit herself and she couldn’t leave the house. She’s still looking for some magic cure. I’ve resolved to leave the next lunch we all have together when it devolves into nothing but diet talk. It’s boring and stupid. White women with more money than sense, who are otherwise smart people fall for this and other crap constantly. Worse, they think they’re right, even when the evidence in front of their faces proves otherwise.

4 CriticalDragon1177  Jul 31, 2014 8:48:32am

re: #3 A Mom Anon

In fairness some people have things like gluten allergies so in some cases it makes sense for them to make a big deal out of stuff like that. I also have a relative who has a medical condition that severally limits the stuff he can eat. Its not bad as it once was, but we still have to carefully check the ingredients on just about everything we buy for him.

5 A Mom Anon  Jul 31, 2014 1:16:10pm

re: #4 CriticalDragon1177

The suburban women I’m talking about have no health issues like that though. They think this is the key to being thin. All they’re doing is throwing money away, which I guess they can afford. But it’s tiring for EVERY freaking lunch and conversation we have as a group to devolve into diet bullshit. And don’t even get me started on the whole “Paleo” thing, grrr. You’d think if you weren’t losing weight from the “plan” they’d realize it’s bullshit.

Some autistic people have issues with gluten and casein so I get that it’s important for them to steer clear of it, same with Crohn’s, celiac disease or people who have lost part of their intestines to injury or disease. It’s something like 1 in 133 people in the US who have those issues. That means a whole lot of people have bought into this stuff that don’t need to do it. Plus all the advertising making you feel like you’re killing yourself if you eat some damned bread or a cookie.

6 KerFuFFler  Jul 31, 2014 2:09:13pm

Sure, some people have specific health conditions that require specific diets. But there are plenty of people who just like to obsess about food and get their identities all involved in how strictly they monitor their intake. In college I knew a young woman who was convinced that she was hypoglycemic though she bitched regularly that repeated tests at the doctor’s office failed to confirm her self diagnosis (eye-roll). She made herself a real pest complaining about most of the meals served at our housing co-op as if the rest of the 53 people dining in that household should have to adopt a sugar free regimen to accommodate her imaginary affliction.

7 calochortus  Jul 31, 2014 5:43:39pm

re: #1 1Peter G1

GMO stuff isn’t evil, however, there may be unintended consequences. For example, “RoundUp Ready” crops (engineered to be herbicide resistant) allows farmers to use huge amounts of RoundUp on their fields to eliminate weeds. This does 2 things, the first is that we’re starting to get RoundUp resistant weeds, so there may be a short shelf life for both the GMO crops and RoundUp, and possibly more importantly, the crops are absorbing the herbicide. RoundUp is pretty safe, and if used properly, breaks down within a couple weeks of application, but it was not intended to be incorporated into our food.

I believe in moderation in all things and do not fear eating GMO foods, however, I do try to eat fairly locally and responsibly. The food tastes better when you eat seasonally, too.

re: #3 A Mom Anon

Just FYI the reason some oats are labeled “gluten free” is that there can be contamination either from the field having some wheat in it or being processed in a facility that also processes wheat. If you’re celiac, you need certified GF oats.

8 StephenMeansMe  Jul 31, 2014 9:55:52pm
If you are not as concerned about the people handing you your food in the restaurant as you are about the pigs on the farm where it was grown, your approach is classist. If you are more concerned about the availability of food trucks in the neighboring town than whether its residents actually want them (thanks to my dear friend Tina for setting me straight on this one), or if you buy things like this (thanks to Heina for that find), your approach is imperialist. If you start telling someone all about your new trendy diet or asking them about theirs without knowing if they have an eating disorder that may be triggered by your prattle, your approach is ableist. If you tsk-tsk at people who are overweight for what they are eating and claim you’re concerned about their health, yet you’re not actively campaigning to make healthy food more accessible and affordable, your approach is sickening and I don’t want you in my activism.

Damn, the sheer levels of smug radiating off this article. It’s absolutely insufferable. What “activism” does this lady actually do? The only “food police” I see in the article is the author.

Let’s get this out of the way: “white liberals” have nowhere near the homogeneity of thought that right-wing conservatives are going for these days. Yes, food fads are largely marketed towards upper-middle-class white women. Yes, 99% of them are dumb and pseudoscientific.

But what is she going on about with food trucks? Maybe I just have a soft spot for food trucks, but aren’t they sort of great as small businesses? Less capital risk than restaurants, which are notoriously prone to failure. And resistance to food trucks usually comes from entrenched restaurant interests and NIMBYs. Hm. Whose side is Burke on?

I don’t think she’s actually taking aim at the “far left” either. Sure, anti-GMO sentiment is widespread among the far left, but her smug potshots at “white liberals” make me think she’s actually aiming towards the middle.

9 1Peter G1  Aug 1, 2014 5:10:47am

re: #7 calochortus

While true that argument is not terribly valid. Do we stop using or developing anti-biotics because every single use risks generating resistant strains? Feel free to check but no anti-biotic has failed to generate resistant strains within a decade of its’ introduction. In some cases only two years were enough. No one knows how to stop evolution. And that process will take place regardless of what we do.

10 calochortus  Aug 1, 2014 8:13:30am

re: #9 1Peter G1

And because of antibiotic overuse, both in humans and animals, we are running out of effective antibiotics. I have faith that we will develop new ones, but it will be a long and expensive process. It would be far more cost effective to limit the unnecessary use of antibiotics and slow the development of resistance down.

You didn’t address the other point in my response about chemicals that were not intended for human consumption entering the food chain-once again through overuse.

edit: I’m not talking about banning anything, I’m talking about appropriate use. Moderation, moderation, moderation.

11 1Peter G1  Aug 1, 2014 1:34:50pm

re: #10 calochortus

I have less faith. There are only a limited number of strategies by which anti-biotic action may work and we have harvested pretty much all the low hanging fruit as far as that goes. Regardless of use or overuse evolution marches on.

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