Last May, on the 8th to be precise, Gigi wrote a post on how today’s food is poisoning us. She had bought a sweet and a regular potato and after weeks and weeks, they did not spoil. They did not sprout, no eyes, no nothing. I figured she had found a great way to preserve them, but no. Then, ten days later, she shared a photo of the said regular potato stating it was still exactly the same, one month later.
It got me to pondering about the food I eat. I realise it’s a choice we make when shopping to take the time and read the labels. Though, to be honest, how many low or even mid-level incomes can afford to go all-organic? I would love to be able to for all produce but I just can’t.
I decided to look things up to see the what’s what on the laws here. It seems ours here in Canada are similar to the ones in the States. Producers are not obliged to label products as GMO though they can voluntarily do so, and, as specified below, they are not allowed to lie, be deceptive or misleading. From the Government of Canada website:
“Labelling GM foods
There are no specific laws in Canada about labelling GM foods differently. They are labelled like any other food because our safety assessments have found them to be as safe and nutritious as non-GM foods.
It is not mandatory to identify the method of production, including genetic modification, used to develop a food product.
All food products, whether organic or non-organic, must comply with the labelling rules of the Food and Drugs Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act. These Acts require that labels be:
- not deceptive
- not misleading
- not an untrue impression of the food’s:
In addition, special labelling is required for all foods, including GM foods, where there are health and safety concerns such as:
- the potential to cause allergic reactions
- changes to the composition of the food
- changes to the nutritional quality of the food
Such labelling is required to alert consumers or susceptible groups in the population.
Health Canada determines what type of information is needed on the label to help consumers make appropriate food choices.”
Where am I going with all this?
I made myself a green smoothie after my run on Friday morning. To my spinach, frozen mangoes, oat milk and protein powder, I added about one-quarter of an apple. I wrapped up the rest of the apple in plastic wrap, thinking I would have it sometime during the day at work but ended up not eating it. I brought it home, put it on the counter to eventually put it in the fridge, I’m not sure when.
On Sunday, I was feeling a little peckish and I thought I’d have my apple with some peanut butter. I was certain the cut sides would look like all brown and oxidized (enzymic browning) and need to be cut off. Ummmm…. not quite. For this photo, I did slice off a paper thin piece to see the difference…
It’s barely discernable! How can that be and should it be so? And how safe is it really in the long run? We buy produce for the week and want it to last as long as possible because it is unrealistic for most working families to shop every other day. Farmers buy the GMO seeds because they can save on pesticides and get more of a guarantee their crops will make it to the stores. I can’t even fault them for that as they need to make a living. Organic farming costs more and I don’t know what percentage they lose to whatever pests are out there.
I know I like to encourage our local farms (yet I am pretty sure the ones around my area are not organic). That little stand outside the grocery store selling this season’s first strawberries (no indication of being organic) that come right from the farm is great and all but $9 for what looks like is maybe a pint? They better bloody well be.
I just spent a ridiculous amount of time searching the internets to see if there are organic farms in my area. The only way to get organic produce right from the farm, is to sign up for a weekly basket plan for X number of weeks. You choose from a list of what’s available and then you pick it up at one of the drop off centres.
Let’s see how my own garden grows this year…