Disclaimer: Brandy Howard is an actress and writer, best known for her work as “the hot girl” in commercials for beers including Coors Light, Miller Light and Bud Light. She is not a medical professional or a scientist, although she is in Mensa. Per ushe, the opinions, beliefs & viewpoints expressed by the various authors on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Autostraddle.com ‘as a whole. Also, we joke around a lot.
Three days ago, I was sitting on my couch eating Oreos and watching Family Guy when my dermatologist ruined my life.
I was multitasking an Oreo and sifting through my mail, when I came across a newsletter from Lisa Benest, M.D. It was a glossy, botox-filled pamphlet, featuring extreme close-ups of beautiful women with no pores and no problems. The front page said, “Would you choose GM food if given a choice?”
And life, as I knew it, was over.
Life-ruining news is like great gossip: it must be shared immediately, and with as many people as possible. So here I am, and here’s the deal: GM stands for Genetically Modified.
When I hear the words “genetically modified,” I think of cloning sheep and test tube babies and stem cell research and chromosomes and how the curly hair gene is dominant over the straight hair gene and I wish they could find a way to modify that before I procreate. But this is not about people, or animals. It’s about corn. And soybeans.
According to the article, in the mid-90s, sharecroppers and scientists got together and created a special super-hero gene that they injected into the DNA of corn and soybeans in order to grow super-hero crops. With this modified DNA, the crops were able to withstand large amounts of deadly pesticides.
Despite the obvious problems with making food immune to being slathered with the harshest, most toxic of chemicals, the Clinton administration launched an expensive propaganda campaign convincing the country that these super-hero crops were awesome because they would put us on the fast track to ending world hunger.
We, the people, voted (well, probably not any of us since were all watching Life Goes On and the OJ trial and were too young to vote), and boom! Here we are. More than half the food in the grocery store contains GM derivatives, world hunger is at an all time high, and there’s a laundry list of disorders linked to consuming GM foods (including but not limited to autism and infertility).
The whole thing is extremely disturbing and I decided to scan the newsletter and let you guys read about it for yourselves. If Riese/Laneia/Rachel/Taylor were writing this they’d be witty and smart and they would dissect the newsletter and put it into relatable lesbian terminology and wrap it up neatly at the end. I, however, am too lazy and have no skillz (except numchucks and bowhunting).
All I know is this: all the food you buy needs to say CERTIFIED ORGANIC or the baby that you’ll never have will be autistic and you’ll always be gassy cuz of all the bacteria growing in your stomach with superstrong DNA. Being gassy all the time SUCKS (and I know this firsthand). It’s totes inconvenient and not sexy. The same goes for infertility.
Here’s the Newsletter. READ IT NOW!
HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?????
Last night I decided to make brownies (after I realized I’d eaten all the Oreos), but I looked on the back of the Vegetable Oil and found out it’s made from soybeans. I had the generic Vons vegetable oil and it was definitely not Certified Organic. It wasn’t even fake organic.
I had my first cooking dilemma: do I pop over to Trader Joes and get non-GM vegetable oil?
Do I just use what I have?
Or, do I just skip making brownies all together?
Fuck that. I already had the brownie mix, and once it’s in your head, there’s no going back. In the end, my laziness won and I used the bad oil. I had already eaten a bag of Doritos anyway, and there was no way those were made with organic corn. The brownies didn’t taste as good as they usually do, though. Something seemed.. altered, and it wasn’t just the oil — it was my awareness.
Relevant thing to be concerned about when it comes to GM: biodiversity.
Irrelevant things to be concerned about when it comes to GM: What happens when you put it in your stomach; They’re Injecting DNA Into Our Food!!!!!; THE CHILDREN; eating chicken that ate corn once upon a time (dude, like, you know those pictures of chickens crowded around a girl in a silly skirt throwing seed? THAT SEED MIGHT HAVE BEEN CORN, chickens like corn).
Thing that it is actively bad to suggest might be related to eating GM food: Autism. Protip: if someone tells you autism is caused by something, this is an immediate sign to distrust them and also, maybe, to smack them in the face. Seriously, no.
I hate to be negative nelly but I feel like a Wikipedia Protester right now. (http://xkcd.com/285/)
I live on an almost completely organic diet and stay away from GM foods for ecological reasons. Autism is not one of them. Making this assertion without proper citation of (peer reviewed!) studies and sources is totally irresponsible. Especially based on an article that us also without citation. Talk about the real proven ecological science, not baseless claims. (which have also caused outbreaks of polio ie vaccination)
Autostraddle wouldn’t put up with baseless claims about sexuality (which is yet another reason I love this site). Why so for medical/plant science stuff? I’m sad to see this kind of scaremongering here :-(
I love you guys, you can do so much better than this!
exactly. Children are dying because scaremongering exactly like this, only directed at vaccines, has taken root among well-meaning but ill-informed and manipulated parents. And, of course, it becomes such a blame-the-parent tactic. Twenty years ago we blamed mothers for not being affectionate enough, then it was blaming mothers for vaccinating their children, now it’s blaming parents for feeding their children food that is cheap – it makes me so angry.
Argh, nothing makes me more angry than the anti-vaccination fear mongers, don’t get me started. I saw Jenny McCarthy on Larry King and wouldn’t shut up about it for a month…
What GM company do you work for? Where’s your data at?
Chickens do love corn – especially when injected with toxic hormones and chemicals that are clearly totally awesome for us. Let’s ony eat GM foods and then let’s smoke a pack of cigarettes – those aren’t bad for you either. In fact, I’m gonna move my family under some power lines and drink the Erin Brokovich water and I’m never ever gonna use a headset with my cell phone. I want my cell phone right next to my ear, when I use the microwave..
This article (namely the one Brandy linked to) is the one making outrageous claims. Burden of proof lies there.
I don’t (obviously), and I actually find the biodiversity argument so compelling as to be almost unanswerable. The above post is not an argument from biodiversity, it’s not any kind of argument at all. Since such a good and compelling argument *is* available, when people make arguments that are kind of, you know, *rubbish* and include really serious scaremongering like “rates of autism skyrocketed”, I tend to get angry and assume that people just want to perpetuate ignorance.
Your comments about cigarettes, cell phones, microwaves, powerlines kind of prove my point (to me), because it’s a jumble of stuff that is known to be bad for you, stuff that might be bad for you, stuff that probably isn’t bad for you. In order to have a comprehensible conversation about developing technology – in order to talk about why consuming cigarettes definitely isn’t good for you, but why eating GM corn is probably not worse for you than eating ordinary corn – we all need to be equipped with the tools to talk and think about science in a careful, intellectually rigorous way. Posts like this one, frankly, are typical of the mainstream media and I find them actively destructive. Because there’s now no way to have a serious conversation about Monsanto, unethical sale of seeds, and biodiversity – it’s drowned out in a conversation about THE CHILDREN.
nominate Tui for an article Explaining This Stuff for us :-)
Hah, I only sound vaguely authoritative because my best friend just did her honours thesis (in biology and political science) on the impact of GM crops in the developing world and I proofread all her papers. I really don’t know that much about it, but I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’.
Well, thanks :-) You articulated what I didn’t quite have the skills/energy for.
You might like Ben Goldacre – http://www.badscience.net/
Oh, he and Phil Plait are my Science Crushes! Love his work.
While I’m glad to see issues about food/agriculture being discussed, I agree that the more important conversation is the one about Monsanto/seed patenting/biodiversity/sustainable agriculture/Icouldgoonandon.
We should indeed be concerned with potential health risks, but the issue with GM foods is tied to the (much) larger problems associated with the industrial agriculture system that Tui was getting at.
So true. Everything in the world is linked to autism nowadays. People are loony tunes.
ILU Tui. You took all the words from my mouth.
You are always saying sciency things that make my heart go pitter-pat yourself!
I also have a lot to say specifically about the autism thing. If you say autism is caused by external things then you’re letting Jenny McCarthy win and she literally kills babies. http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com
Yeah, Jenny McCarthy must never, ever win.
Guys, if you’re gonna freak out over genetically modified organisms for all those hand-wavy reasons listed in the article, you might as well stop eating potatoes too, because those are engineered to be innately resistant to certain types of bacteria that cause “potato rot.” Also, while they tend to be clonal, GMOs are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, scientists have developed something called “Golden Rice,” you might have heard of it. See, in third world nations, malnutrition and the resultant vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness. Since rice is a staple in many of these places, scientists engineered a rice that produces vitamin A (making it golden in color), which involved introducing the genes (DNA sequences) that encode vitamin A production into the rice genome. It’s not scary nor threatening at all.
I’d be more concerned about thoroughly washing your organic/GMO produce, because who knows what kind of pathogenic bacteria might be on there from the cow dung, waiting to give you explosive diarrhea.
If GMOs are truly bad for you, it’s likely less to do with the fact that they are GMOs and more to do with the irresponsible and superfluous use of pesticides during their cultivation. In that situation, I would stop drinking water too, unless it’s distilled, because it probably means that the runoff has contaminated our water sources.
Anyway, you know what else perturbs immune function, causes accelerated aging? Insufficient sleep. Stress. “Changes in liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal function”–so vague. Tylenol is bad for your liver. Ibuprofen pops your red blood cells. Steroids suppress your immune system. Alcohol messes up a lot of things including gastrointestinal function. Eating too much meat/salt/not drinking enough water is bad for your kidneys too.
Some other things besides biodiversity to be concerned about:
-farmers relying on spurious claims of increased yields to buy GM seeds at ridiculously inflated prices, only to find that their yields are smaller and they have to buy more seeds to make up for the profit loss/inability of the seeds to self-procreate, thereby entering a vicious cycle of debt. See: farmer suicides in India.
-for that matter: the highly concentrated market for GM seeds, wherein a handful of corporations (Monsanto foremost among them) take advantage of their dominant market position to price-gouge farmers in all sorts of ways. See: aforementioned India example; Monsanto enforcing its patents in an anticompetitive manner in California
-an increasing emphasis on monocropping, which not only destroys biodiversity but also results in a dangerous dependency on certain food crops that, when they fail, trigger food shortages and food commodity price hikes
-the general fueling of destroying smallfarming and encouraging corporate farming
I won’t even go into the spying some of these corporations allegedly do on non-profits working against them, or the bribes they pay government officials (often those in repressive regimes). I’ve been working on this stuff for several years now, and yet I still rage at how it all operates. Argh.
The moral of the story is: buy local from smaller farms (if you can, of course).
Monoculture = BAD
Yay you said prettying exactly what I was going to say :) Though I have less of an issue with GMOs specifically w/r/t biodiversity, and far more of a problem with large-scale monoculture as an agricultural practice (which then GM crops compound). Seriously, no wonder so much crap goes onto our crops when we never let fields go fallow for a season, or restore nitrogen using legumes rather than fertilizers that then run off into our waterways. Plus it’s problematic when implemented in developing countries. I recommend looking up agroecology as an awesome alternative to this!
That all being said, GMO companies (mainly Monsanto and Syngenta, any smaller companies end up being bought up by these guys for their IP anyway) are so so very unethical (I mean, suing a farmer because a neighbour’s GM seed got blown into his field?!). As a molecular plant biologist, you could not pay me enough to make me work for these companies.
p.s. Hi Tui!
In NZ we have a mandatory labeling policy for all genetically engineered food, but this may be changed soon because of pressure from the US for trading. This sucks.
I don’t have any problem with GM foods but I still eat organic, because of all the pesticides they put on it.
The food industry is a messed up world.
This reads like a kind of drag and drop exercise :-S
Any other sources you looked at first???
I suspect this is all rubbish, not that GM is nice and problem free but…. science, people?
Let me preface this comment by saying: I love Autostraddle, and have nothing but respect for Brandy and everyone on this site, however as this xkcd comic (http://xkcd.com/386/) says, someone on the internet is wrong, and I must correct them.
GM foods are much like stem cell research, in that they have immense theoretical potential, but that potential has not (for many reasons) fully been realized. GM crops have the potential to produce larger, more robust crops resistant to damaging conditions and even able to repel crop-destroying pests. There is a minor concern with the injected DNA potentially triggering allergic reactions, depending on the source of the DNA, but the risk is no greater than with current fruit cross-breading practices.
And yes, as previously mentioned, there is no environmental cause that has substantially been linked to autism. That should always be a red flag.
I’d say the biggest contributor to the rise of autism in the Western world is the changes that have been made to the DSM around autism diagnosis.
I mostly agree with you, though I have ecological issues surrounding GM foods, and also worry about the levels of pesticides, etc that seem to be pretty much assumed any time you are using monocultured and GM foods. Less pesticides, more mixed crops, please.
I dislike the idea of toxic pesticides and overdosing on said toxins as much as the next person, but I have no issue with genetically modified food. Here’s why:
Say you have an island surrounded by water. Lots and lots of water. Enough water that fruit and vegetables have to be shipped/flown to said island so the poor happy island peoples don’t die from scurvy or what-have-you (assuming they don’t die from skin cancer first).
By the time bureaucracy and paperwork and red tape finish, there isn’t enough organic fruit grown on the island to sustain the people, and the fruit that was flown in rots.
What if there was a way to pull the bit of DNA which triggers the ripening process? Then you can safely ship the fruit and have it last considerably longer, thereby saving the poor vegan/vegetarian citizens of Lesbotopia.
Or, you know, be rid of GM and never eat another banana or papaya again.
that picture of you and your bowhunting team is amazing. you look like superheros!
Jenny McCarthy is raising a kid with autism. Why is she the enemy for trying to figure out what caused it?
Um … wait, wait, I know this one …
Oh yeah! Because she kills babies.
Ohforgoodnesssake. It’s not her motivation that’s the problem – it’s her method.
Try for example, something more like http://www.badscience.net/2007/03/scary-potatoes/
This site seems lame, but lays it out really well and links to a whole bunch of the scientific studies that refute her claims. It is very dangerous to make baseless claims about causality. They even stopped using the disputed substance that was in mmr in 1999 and there have been no changes in autism rates.
Moreover, the Lancet has retracted the original vaccine study that suggested the infamous link. I am inclined to sympathize with worried parents but believe in peer reviewed science.
Wow! I personally know NOTHING about this topic at all besides watching Food Inc and I’ve heard people TALK about this stuff a lot — although i do believe that absolutely everything is a big government corporate conspiracy you know like a lot of my friends talk about this stuff and I zone out.
When I read this I thought it was more a commentary on how we read one pamphlet or see one website and then totally freak out and think the world is ending. At the end of the article, Brandy eats Doritos and Brownies, and she says “my dermatologist ruined my life” at the top! So hyperbolic.
Really three of us read this article before posting it and none of us expected this. We expected people to disagree OBVS but not to question our choice to publish it but that’s how we learn omg
YOU GUYS I AM SO EXHAUSTED I THOUGHT A POST ABOUT FOOD WOULD BE SAFE WE ARE NOT THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE WE ARE THE JOURNAL OF YOUR PANTS AND I AM TOO TIRED TO FIGHT I AM SO TIRED SO TIRED IT’S FINE IF YOU HATE ME AND HATE AUTOSTRADDLE FOREVER WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT CREATURES WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS WE DON’T ALL HAVE TO AGREE IN ORDER FOR A THING TO BE SUCCESSFUL, WE LEARN ABOUT THINGS VIA DEBATE
WE ARE TERRIBLE AUTOSTRADDLE IS SO TERRIBLE WE PUBLISH TERRIBLE OFFENSIVE THINGS WITHOUT SCIENTIFIC PROOF AND EXCLUDE EVERYONE AND WE ARE EVIL AND I AM TIRED I NEED TO CLEAN MY ROOM I’M SORRY I NEED A DRINK BUT CAN’T HAVE ONE B/C OF ANTIBIOTICS AHHHH
Brandy just texted me
I’ll go throw in a disclaimer
Thanks, something clarifying what the article is doing would be great. This is why autostraddle is great, because you actually respond to your readers :-)
Breathe. We love you, we love autostraddle.
Antibiotics taste disgusting, commiserations :-(
If it helps, my room is also a terrible mess.
I personally was able to comment within like 30 seconds of the post being tweeted because I LOVE Autostraddle and always read it straight away. I have a knee-jerk reaction to this stuff for various reasons related to my own life and that kind of thing and so I wish that you wouldn’t be sad (and I definitely wish you weren’t sick.)
We love autostraddle, we love brandy and I for one also love talking about science. I have a problem with quack science pamphlets and love talking about it with other people who have more information, kinda the point of the article.
It was all in good spirit, I love you and will continue to bitch about Jenny McCarthy to my hearts desire whenever autism is coorelated with something, she kills the babies not autostraddle!
Exactly what these two wonderful people have said.
I don’t think you’re reading the comments on this thread correctly. Nobody is angry with Brandy or you or AS; the article just provoked strong feelings in people who know about GM and they then shared those feelings. Key here is that the feelings are about GM, not anybody personally. You seem to be conflating this thread and people’s OMGWTF at the pseudo-science presented in the quoted pamphlet with the very personal and shitty response that surfaced in Sebastian’s thread. Please don’t!
This felt like pretty healthy debate, honestly. If it felt antagonistic it’s because the article did present a bunch of things on GM that are made to look like facts, rather than Brandy’s opinion. If the article wasn’t meant to address real science, I think it’s actually kind of awesome that the comments turned out so educational. (also, it’s hard to think of an article that ends with “and this has given me food for thought” as being entirely facetious-I didn’t manage to read it that way, in any event).
So please relax, things here are nice and you/Brandy/everyone is doing fine. Just, y’know, don’t be surprised if a mention of autism gets people to whip out facts, even if that’s not the point.
Xo & feel better :)
I have no problem with healthy debate! I love that stuff! But the stuff about AS being irresponsible to publish it was what made me feel sad.
I LOVE YOU
OK: let’s discuss if this article should have been published.
Parts of the article are clearly jokes. Then, the middle has this bolded: “More than half the food in the grocery store contains GM derivatives, world hunger is at an all time high, and there’s a laundry list of disorders linked to consuming GM foods (including but not limited to autism and infertility.”
The parts that are clearly Brandy’s opinion aren’t an issue here and are funny. The issue is highlighting a statement like that and then doing nothing to further examine it, when really GM CAUSES PUPPY DEATH wasn’t even the point of the article. I know that people have come out of the woodwork later in the night and are now all up in arms because some people took the article “too seriously”. What actually happened is that about 30 generally mellow people somehow lost the thread from “My life is ending (this is a joke!)” to “So here’s this newsletter, I ate some GM Doritos but they taste different now that my eyes are open”. You can either blame the audience for just not being clever enough to get the joke, or you can accept that the joke didn’t work well (for everyone) and people were pretty polite in taking the article seriously.
So, no, the piece doesn’t need to be pulled or anything, but when AS does so well on fact-checking all queer opinion pieces it’s not ridiculous to expect that everything else published is also fact-checked. Nor should it be verboten to say so. We clearly think highly of you, and holding everyone (you, Brandy) to a high standard of work isn’t a bad thing at all.
To end this on a positive note, because I really hate being forced to sound excessively critical–I think it is really awesome that you guys are willing to engage with so many different topics even when they are clearly outside of the editorial comfort zone, and that’s totally part of what makes this site so much more palatable than other gay/queer websites which are so single-issue focused that I sometimes just feel like a homosexuality statistic when reading them. You are really doing a very good job; don’t let the haters get you down, but also recognize when people aren’t being haters (and really I don’t even think the people who called the article “irresponsible” can be put in that box, they just have many feelings about how tomatoes can/cannot kill your babies).
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Well done.
this is not your fault, there are just certain trigger issues that make people come out of the woodwork and have Important Internet Opinions. It’s like when you have that one facebook friend who will always say something stupid and libertarian-y when you say anything remotely political on facebook.
good thing Brandy texted you so you didn’t have to put your cell phone to your ear. OMG that was more caps than your response in the Gaga song thread, i am worried about you.
/loves Brandy and the whole AS team.
Riese – apparently, it is actually okay to drink when you’re on antibiotics – back in the day, they were mainly given to treat STDs and doctors would just tell people not to drink so that they wouldn’t get smashed, go out and, eh, ‘spread the love’. So, don’t quote me, but as long as you don’t have a) the clap or b) someone very pretty near you, have a tipple :D
as long it’s not metronidazole! serious nausea with alcohol but pretty much true for all other antibiotics.
as long as it’s not metronidazole, serious nausea with alcohol. pretty much ok for the other antibiotics though.
omg I’ve been trying to comment 3 times just in case because metronidazole can cause serious nausea with alcohol. most other antibiotics are ok though.
I took a biology class and we were showed this really depressing documentary about genetically modified foods and then she followed it with this music video.
‘in this monetary madness of temptation and treason can you see a sweet harvest in a version of eden? why do they hype these GM foods?’
that is amazing. that is so amazing. all of the flaming skulls were really scary though, and the grim reaper? whaat?
the issue isn’t the GM-ing, it’s the pesticides. That much, we’ve known for years. Genetic Engineering is a non-specific term that can mean injecting food with hormones (which sounds freaky but probs isn’t all that bad), or selective breeding (which is something humans have done since the dawn of agriculture) or all of the above AND pesticides (WTF). The whole Franken-food debate is a red herring to steer the debate away from 4 larger issues:
a) why aren’t we regulating food production standards so GM has a standard definition that doesn’t include the shit that’s dangerous?
b) why aren’t we at least using biodiversity in tandem with GMing and pesticides so we can cut back on that shit altogether?
c) why isn’t ANY of this ACTUALLY being utilized to resolve world hunger?
d) why the fuck did it take so long for us to ask these questions?
(for the record, i’m poor, so I do eat some gm produce and a lot of food that has GM products in it, but I try to get organic as frequently as I can, just because I can swear it tastes better.)
Dude. Great questions. Especially b) and c).
This is so fucked up. The whole food machine is so fucked up. This is why I buy all organic. Thank god for no longer living with my mother.
holy crap the caps lock riese breathe dont yell at me please.
genetic modification happens to everything. the bananas we eat are entirely genetically modified for consumption, just instead of being in a sterile looking white lab it was controlled in a field over many years, but the principles in gene expression are exactly the same, except for GM foods are on speed-dial.
“genetic modification” also produced all of the apple varieties seen today. people were like “oh hay this one tastes good” and then plants that seed, and over time it homogenizes the crops and we end up with whole farms of granny smith etc.
i agree biodiversity is key, as homogenous species get wiped out rediculously fast due to parasites. however, i am not advocating companies like monsanto making seeds that die in one generation and copyrighting genetic mutations, but to blanket “genetically modified” to our food seems a little unnecessary.
we are pretty much doing the equivalent of cooking pizza in a microwave for 45 seconds vs in an oven for 20 minutes, and when done responsibly, can have excellent benefits to everyone.
and now i want pizza.
Just to be specific, that’s not how apples work at all. Their genetics are totally weird and strange and amazing. Really – go look it up.
And, yeah, it’s true that we’ve been genetically modifying stuff for eons through crossbreeding, but we’ve never crossbred across types of plant – only closely related plants. With lab GM stuff, there’s a lot of mixing that we still don’t fully understand, even if we’re doing it now.
its pretty much the same as the banana
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Asia Minor in 300 BCE; those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks
obviously i wasnt going to get into the specifics of grafting and stuff because that would be tl;dr
as far as the modifying process, it is technically something that happens naturally via transformation with bacteria or using transfection, and when it comes down to it, you are basically doing the equivalent of recoding a computer program. bacteria are obviously nothing like plants/animals in terms of genetic code, but when they reprogram our cells when we get sick they seem to function just fine. its not 100% that every procedure to modify an organism actually gets the right dna to code, but they usually screen the organism after.
obviously the possibility for mixing is endless at this point, and some are more beneficial than others, as i dont need to eat fluorescent carrots, but i think if left to the right researchers (aka not monsanto) some really awesome stuff can arise. this can only happen as long as research continues in the public domain and doesnt get chastized into obscurity
essentially it is the stem cell equivalent for food in terms of potential. people talk about “messin’ with gods work” etc for human stem cell treatments, but when you see the possibility of being able to grow donor organs and give gene therapy to people with degenerative diseases, i dont know how people cant see the bigger picture for either of these topics
I had to put my pizza in the microwave today and it was fucking disgusting.
yeah im not a fan of microwaved food myself, but i couldnt think of a better comparison in 10 seconds
Cold pizza is delicious
I love ya. I hate GM food. But I’m not down with this article for the reasons Tui helpfully outlined above.
What I love about Autostraddle though is that this is a place where we can take really big critical conversations and make them relevant to our lives. Maybe instead of having a conversation about the science behind the GM food arguments, we could have a conversation about how we as a bunch of broke ass, underemployed, probably lazy twenty-somethings(mostly) can afford to incorporate organic foods into our lives: Which grocery stores have the best deals! (Hint:Not Whole Foods!) Veggies you can grow in a pot! How to use your food stamps at the Farmers Market! How to cook lentils that don’t suck! Let’s take steer this well-intentioned conversation in a good direction.
i loved the humor and kind of resigned tone of this article. i always freak out and change my life for about 5 minutes after reading health articles.
that said, as an aside and not in response to this post per se: i work with autistic kids and the constant but shallow attention to autism in the media (NOT AUTOSTRADDLE)is really infuriating. jenny mcarthy is just one example of people presenting autism spectrum disorders as always terrifying and tragic and darkly lurking in everything you might feed/give your kids, eat/do while you are pregnant etc. autism CAN be a source of tragedy and pain and having an autistic member can be really really difficult for families. BUT autism is not cancer and the fearful way it is looked at totally ignores the value that autistic people and thier minds have BECAUSE of thier differences. (kind of like queer people . . . ) pleaase please please just google “neurodiversity,” this issue is so interesting and so so relevant to “diversity” in general, and thus to this website.
Emma. Wow. Exactly. Yes. (i realize this sounds sexual; i’m just glad you said these things). Oooh yeah.
love autostraddle, love the article. boom.
I’m a plant biology and ecology grad student and can I say I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH for calling science fail on the “GMO food will mutate your children” argument. At the same time, I totally agree that if we actually wanted to help the environment and reduce world hunger, we’d change who controls food production, who profits from food production, and how we use fertilizers and pesticides. It has a lot of potential, but so far GM food has a lot to do with making biotechnology companies richer and nothing to do with improving agriculture in countries with food supply problems.
Ps. I think the guy who faked his data to come up with the original “autism and vaccines” link is absolutely evil.
Andrew Wakefield? Yes. Yes he is.
It makes me uncomfortable when people villainize Jenny McCartney. She doesn’t kill babies. She just really really really wants to believe that there is a REASON her child has autism. And, even though she is probably wrong, she is sharing the information she came across with other people. No one should blindly follow any celebrity (unless it’s Oprah or Ellen or Brian Williams) without taking the time and energy to do the research themselves. So to say that Jenny McCartney is at fault for all these crazies not vaccinating their kids is really unfair. She’s just doing her own thing. And people need to talk to their doctors and NOT to their televisions about the benefits and risks of vaccinations.
But the thing is that we are responsible for what we say, and we’re really, really responsible when we have a platform the way she does – when people listen to us, we have a responsibility to be as honest as we can be *and to be as informed as we can be*. If McCarthy doesn’t know that what she says about vaccines causing autism has been widely scientifically unvalidated, she’s extraordinarily irresponsible; if she does know, she’s a liar. And because people listen to her and to the antivax movement, children are not getting immunised; and because children are not getting immunised, children are dying. The really special thing is that it may not be the children whose parents choose not to immunise; it might be, it probably will be, the children who are too young to immunise. You shouldn’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre; you shouldn’t talk about second-amendment remedies on live television; you shouldn’t say that homeopathy can cure cancer; you shouldn’t promote pseudoscience. The things we say have ramifications. Sady Doyle, I think it was, had a really good post on this recently: she said that when you write on the internet and have a high profile, you become aware that all sorts of people are listening to you, the lowest common denominator is listening to you, and you have to be careful about what you say because they are there and they are listening.
There are things I don’t like about the way people talk about Jenny McCarthy. I don’t know why people always have to bring up her career working for Playboy, for example, or talk about what she looks like; I think that’s reprehensible, rank sexism. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with villainising her or, rather, villainising the movement she is part of.
You’re right. It is incredibly irresponsible (or stupid) of her to use her visibility in the way that she does. But I still don’t feel like the blame should lay on her for the increase in crazies not giving their children routine vaccinations. As an armchair psychologist, I feel like she is reacting to having an autistic child in a way that many of us would. Because she is a “celebrity,” people think it makes her some sort of authority. So people mistake her need to come to terms with her child’s autism (there aren’t answers to every situation and we want so badly to find them that sometimes we lie to ourselves) for some sort of guidance. I guess the real issue I have is with people not taking the initiative to talk to their own doctors and read on their own for guidance.
Again, I suppose you are right that celebrities should be aware of what they are saying when they are in the spotlight. I just wish it wasn’t like that.
“those gays are converting our children! my friends kid knows a gay and now hes gonna get it” probably wrong reason for child turning out gay that is propagated by various prominent/authoritative voices in north america…
do you see the problem with this parallel?
Yeah, I didn’t want to go all the way to “Well, some parents with gay kids are pretty homophobic and we don’t think that’s OK, do we?” because I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to make that kind of statement on behalf of the autistic community, but a little thinking about what this looks like from the POV of the autistic community wouldn’t be whacky rn, I think.
You know what guys… GM foods are basically reason #1092309237410239470349573049 of why I hate everything about the world we live in. It’s like for fucks sake, i’m already a vegan who consumes as little as possible (in the sense of “things” not food), believes in feminism and equality, works for a responsible company, stays informed, and basically does everything she can to make my personal little bubble of a world a tolerable place to live in. You know what? I’m also poor as fuck (which usually comes with the territory) and I can’t fucking afford to buy everything certified organic (have you guys seen the price of fake meat products?!?! Not to mention that they’re largely GM soybean based.) Am I the only one who is angry because from my point of view we shouldn’t have to break the bank to buy the foods that should JUST BE GROWN THE ORGANIC WAY IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?! I have a garden guys, I do grow what I can but sometimes my small garden just isn’t enough to feed my largely-veggie-based diet. I just constantly want to break everything in the world and then burn it all. God damn. HATE. EVERYTHING. /end rant.
You guy have too many feelings.
I was drunk and wanted to read something before going to bed, I saw Brandy had posted and was like ‘great, this is gonna be perfect for reading before bed’ (because she’s super amazing – everybody needs to listen to the jonny mcgovern podcast – it got me through like the last 4 months of my life)
I kinda read a bit, then got freaked out, then thought, Oh I’ll read the comments to balance things out.
Then y’all got all aaaaargh I’m say what I feel cause this site is so good all the time so when its a tiny bit out of keeping with my feelings I’m super unhappy so HEAR MY FEELINGS NOW.
And then I felt sad for the site-makers who I respect and I can’t even imagine being able to write like this and then take all the crap from randoms and REGULAR users. I’m so not a kiss ass (or as I’m English I would say kiss ARSE) but they do this for FREE you guys. Stop yelling at people you don’t actually know because you expect more of them because they’ve given you so much (for free) already. Life is about different perspectives. dDrunk rant over.
ps I’m a musician so I only know about music and know nothing about science. This was posted after typing in Textedit and then editing to get rid of typos so people Wouldn’t YELL AT ME. (some were left in for effect)
I think you might want to read back over the comments when you’re sober!
I know it was my intention (and probably other peoples’ intentions, too) to address the facts as they were presented in the article, not to attack the writer/editors.
It is extremely important that we recognize that GM foods, by definition (crops that have been bred for selected traits) are still present in organic systems. The difference between organic and conventional systems is the amount of man-made chemical inputs being utilized. As stated so many times before, the issue at hand is not the GM crop, but the amount of chemicals being applied to this crop to control disease, pests, and growing ability. Organic foods are still modified…it just takes a lot longer to select for the desired traits such as disease resistance.
exactly. people are hating the wrong things.
Yup, plus it’s still 100% organic to use “conventional breeding methods” such as UV radiation-induced random mutagenesis to create new cultivars.
Is that like the dihydrogen monoxide they’re putting in our water these days?
I love that you just referenced dihydrogen monoxide.
I’m a little late to the party, oh well. I thought the article was funny, and described panic sessions I’ve had in the past that were the result of reading scary pamphlets. If someone were telling me this story in person I would think it was hilarious and realize that, although it does have some interesting points, the story shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Just because it’s an article doesn’t mean it should be interpreted as the author trying to convert peoples’ opinions. Everyone seems to be so intense around here these days.
omg let’s just stop eating.
Seriously! Jinnaw21- I couldn’t agree more! What is wrong with everyone? The writer has a right to her own opinion as well as to her trepidation and apprehension to food injected with foreign DNA.
This is clearly an opinion piece and should be taken as such. It was not presented as scientific fact so why is everyone taking it so personally and pissed off at Autostraddle?
I’m in your and Jinnaw21’s boat, really. I was a bit confused in the beginning because I’d thought it was an opinion/ sort of comedic piece but then everyone took it so seriously I wasn’t sure if maybe I was looking at things from the wrong perspective.
Sometimes I feel as if just because is a proper site for an author to be published on people expect an author to be omniscient or something… and I suppose everybody does their best and when someone steps to the wrong end of casual humour there’s an apology but it does get messy.
so really the sum of it is:
omgdramaaaz- apologies- looooves!- cuddles and kisses- YAY AUTOSTRADDLE
Oh, jeez. I liked this article, I thought Brandy was cute and funny and I wanted to give her a cuddle and some cookies after reading it. Also maybe a beer.
Look, our food system is FUCKED. UP. Here’s the deal:
We grow three main things in the world right now: wheat, corn, soy. We grow them in annual monocrops – an annual plant is one that will only grow for one harvest (a perennial is one that will grow over several years and harvests, like a fruit tree or grasses) and a monocrop is basically a field cleared of any other lifeform, with rows upon rows of the same, one plant. This is a problem for many reasons: it leads to soil disease, it kills many beneficial helpers from our animal and insect kingdoms, it depletes the soil of nutrients, as the plants are ripped up at the end of every harvest. It removes habitat for many living organisms and animals and insects, and has led to a number of devastating decreases in species numbers.
Now, most of these main crops – wheat, corn, soy – are genetically modified to, basically, NOT DIE when sprayed with chemical pesticides. That’s why we have modofied them (well, also to grow bigger and stronger and faster and supposedly better but originally, to NOT DIE when sprayed with chemicals that will kill basically everything else around it). These seeds and these pesticides come from the most evil company in the world, Monsanto. Even if you don’t buy into the damaging effects of GMO foods on our health, avoiding Monsanto should be your number one, absolute, REAL reason to.
Who are Monsanto? First and foremost, they are ASSHOLES. Have you ever seen your parents spraying weeds with Roundup? Yeah, that’s them. And roundup is similar to the stuff they spray on our staple crops – it kills the weeds/microorganisms/insects/other helpers, leaves the crop intact. Sketchy. They’re an agricultural company, who have control over the US (and most of the world) seed business. Years ago, they decided to PATENT particular plants. Can you believe that? WTF? And for some reason, they were allowed to. Now, something about Monsanto’s GMO seeds – they are known as “terminator” seeds, in that, the seeds from crops left to bolt will NOT germinate for a next crop. Know what that means? You have to buy the seeds from Monsanto again. More or less, they are trying to control our food system, and profit from it. They are trying to control us all.
Ever heard about the farmer who grew his own, non GMO corn, and was then fined by Monsanto when they discovered that some GMO seeds had flown in to his field from a truck going past? Yeah. I think he was sued, right? It’s happened a multitude of times… They are left with NOTHING, and lose decades of hard work. These guys are the big baddies, and they will fucking bring you down. And for what reason? Money. That’s the only reason.
So, yeah, GMOs SHOULD be avoided, absolutely. If we want to retain some form of control over our food system, at least.
Organics are good, but a lot of them are still grown in an annual, monocrop culture. Really, we need to start moving toward change in how we produce our food. Farmer’s markets rock, clearly, and a lot of them sell heirlooms – which are open pollinated, meaning that they will re-germinate next crop. Heard of red and purple carrots? Round zucchini? Yellow beetroot? These guys are all from way back when, and are excellent for increasing the world’s, ahem, biodiversity. I guess you could say that the best way to choose the bulk of your produce would be to determine which are perennials (they will grow for years and condition the soil, rather than deplete it.) Some perennial produce:
Avocado, apple, berries, eggplant, rhubarb, spinach, wild greens like nettle/lamb’s quarters, sea kale, asparagus, silverbeet/chard, sweet potato…
But where’s the motherfucking answer, in all of this? Systems like permaculture are awesome, but currently not so high-yield. For home gardens and family farms, though, they are likely the best answer. What is permaculture? It’s basically a system where nature is imitated, and where everything has a purpose, and works together. Instead of using pesticides to kill weeds/insects/rodents, other methods like outplanting, companion planting and predator species are introduced. If you have too much of something, you are lacking something. Plant things that work together, in a perennial polyculture, and you have a thriving, low-maintenance system. But is this an answer to to the world’s food crisis? Maybe not. A fusion of permaculture and sustainable agricultural forestry could work… Right now, it’s all up in the air, but we do need to change. And soon, because we are fucking the planet with our food. Specifically, though? Grains. And Monsanto control most of those grains. Some of them go to our consumption, and some of them go to the factory farming industry (which is why the animal industry gets such a bad environmental profile, because of all the work that goes into growing the GRAINS to fatten the animals up faster… if we fed them on perennial polyculture grass? They would FEED the soil, whereas the grain method is DEPLETING it).
This is turning into a giant essay that I’m sure someone will pipe in to disagree with, and that’s fine – but I guess I just wanted to look at the environmental/political side of GMOs and monocrops, rather than just the health side. We have a far way to go, and I do realize that a lot of food issue discussion can result in an air of classism, which is really fucking hard to avoid, but you know what? Fuck it. As long as we ARE talking about it, then we’re getting somewhere.
http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=-4867493254318912106&hl=en# (<- this one is really important, and you can stream the whole documentary with this link)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSX_jX02xM4&feature=player_embedded (<- a guy sued for patent infringement by monstanto for having some GMO canola accidentally grow on his land)
Okay… I'm done now. Sorry. I love you all.
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all that and for not making me feel like an uninformed, fear mongering asshole.
I am now going to read (and watch) all of your links.
love the icon
YES. THANK YOU.
i just cannot even all of you.
nutters, one and all
Eat lots of vegetables, steer away from processed junk, get lots of sleep/sunshine, and try to not freak out about things
I feel bad having my first ever comment here be critical, but this really got to me. Specifically, this: “all the food you buy needs to say CERTIFIED ORGANIC or the baby that you’ll never have will be autistic”.
I’m autistic. When you do this – use autism as this scary horrible thing – it’s incredibly hurtful. Replace the word autistic with the word gay in that sentence, and you can see that it’s offensive. You’re taking something that is part of my identity – part of who I am – and saying that it’s a really bad thing people should be frightened of. It doesn’t matter if it was meant light-heartedly. It still hurts.
It’s also wrong, but lots of other more articulate people have pointed that out so I won’t say anything else. But, please think in future before using a disability like this? We’re people too.
Thank you for saying this. I know Riese had issues with this article being called “irresponsible”, but you have just demonstrated that beyond being scientifically inaccurate in parts, the article also essentially tried to joke about something that legitimately isn’t funny.
I still don’t wish to attack Brandy, because the editorial team have made it clear that she was trying to do something very different from what we read here, but the piece really could have done with another edit that put the scare-mongering into a clearer and more dismissive context.
Thanks Anita, you said exactly what needed to be said in my opinion, but that I couldn’t articulate properly.
When I said it was irresponsible to make assertions about Autism, this one is what I meant … just that it is wrong and hurtful to do so even in a joking context. I never said the article should not be published, but rather that a connection between GM and autism should not have been stated as fact, let alone bolded for emphasis in the article! (it took away the joke for me)
“I THOUGHT A POST ABOUT FOOD WOULD BE SAFE WE ARE NOT THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE WE ARE THE JOURNAL OF YOUR PANTS AND I AM TOO TIRED TO FIGHT”
Well if you dont have the expertise perhaps its better to keep quiet.
A biotechnology student
I couldn’t disagree more. Unlike the majority of the people commenting, I had never really heard about GM food before. This was all news to me and I appreciated being informed so that I can now go and investigate and educate myself further.
Yes, comedians may never EVER write or speak about anything that they haven’t studied in depth for years.
(you suck the fun out of everything! Fun sucker!)
–A molecular biology graduate student.
Uh, no. I can post an article called “TWENTY THOUSAND REASONS WHY GLENN BECK IS THE BEST HUMAN BEING EVER AND HE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR AWESOMENESS AND CHARM,” which would obviously be a totally invalid statement, but it wouldn’t be invalid because I’m not a political scientist. Brandy not being a medical expert would be a problem if her article were being posted in a medical or science journal, obviously, or being presented as absolute fact, but it’s not. It’s her reaction to something she read, and I think that experience, is something that’s pretty much universal – reading something that tells you that the things you enjoy eating/drinking/doing/whatever is going to give you all manner of illness, so you stop doing the things they call dangerous, and then you end up doing them anyway and feel weird about it. It’s okay to joke about and it’s okay to talk about and it’s okay to write about on Autostraddle. (Also, for future reference, hauling out your qualifications just makes you look like a douche.)
That being said, I totally agree with a lot of the comments that followed. I think it was a logical direction for the comments to take, and the comments about people being humourless or missing the point or whatever are kind of ridiculous. PEOPLE ARE JUST TALKING ABOUT RELATED STUFF. That happens! It’s okay! Not to mention that if you make a joke in a real life conversation about “Oh man, this is going to give me autism,” people might laugh, or they might be offended, or they just might not find it funny, but whichever it is, the conversation is going to turn to Jenny McCarthy whether you like it or not, because people have a lot of feelings about the things she says.
–A relatively uneducated human
Oh, hey, I just read my comment back and I want to clarify – my dig about mentioning qualifications was meant in response to Medtech, not to Marika. I just hate it when people throw stuff around like that, because it reads as “You are less intelligent than me” and I don’t think intelligence and education should be conflated. Which is not to say that educated people can’t be smart, UGH WHY DO I TALK ON THE INTERNET I JUST END UP CLARIFYING THINGS I’VE SAID FOR DAYS AND THEN USING THE CAPSLOCK BUTTON AND DOZENS OF EMOTICONS ALL THE TIME. :( :( :(
No offense taken on my part. Haha. I really liked your signoff. I tend to only mention what I do when it’s relevant to the topic at hand and this time I just said it to be a snot. :) And to show people that some scientists have a sense of humor.
Now I will get back to my Sunday night in the lab (not even joking).
I liked you signing off like that! I just didn’t want you to think that I thought you were a dick or something. (See? That sentence RIGHT THERE is why I shouldn’t be allowed to say things ever. You know what I mean! Er, hopefully you do! Okay, I am going to end this tangent now! For real!)
Boo, Sunday nights doing work! I hope you’re at least doing something interesting in the lab, like curing cancer or building a monster.
OMG I WANT TO BUILD A MONSTER THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. But I’m not.
If you’re really curious, I’m studying tuberculosis (mostly in analogues because you know what’s hard to work with without infecting yourself? TB). Mostly protein secretion and its relation to virulence (basically, disease severity, fatality, and ability to invade cells).
It’s actually pretty cool except now it’s Monday night AND I’M IN THE LAB OH GOD.
(email me if you want to know more)
(can you see my email? I don’t know)
I love this article. It’s funny, sarcastic, and filled with self depricating humor. How man times have you sat at home and thought – oh gawd, if I use one more spoonful of creamer I’m sure I’ll shrivel my tubes and give myself herpes and water on the brain. BTW – millions of people have Herpes and I know someone with water on the brain. I must be racist.
Also, the writer never makes any assertions about Autism. She is making a joke about a fear or a concern. Maybe she saw something on Autism, that scared her too – either way she’s allowed to have those feelings. She isn’t using it as an insult.
I think everything is open for joking – everything is fair game or nothing is. WHat’s unfair is to pick and choose what we’re allowed to say or have feelings about or joke about. What word would’ve been ok to put in that sentence that everyone is upset about? Through Joking you express your fears even if they’re silly or they’re not backed up by scientific research and you diffuse that thing and lessen it’s power over you.
Thank you Autostraddle and Brandy for writing this article – It Rocks – in it’s light, humorous, playful, and vulnerable honesty.
I’m really glad the article worked for you! However, it clearly didn’t for everyone, and there really isn’t any problem with people responding to the science in the article (whether coming from Brandy or the pamphlet) even if that wasn’t the point of the article.
I don’t really understand why any of this is so controversial, btw. Brandy can say whatever she likes and joke about whatever she wants to joke about, but Brandy isn’t special in that regard–just like she can express dismay at her dermatologist telling her that she’s going to die from drinking corn oil, someone else can express dismay at the fact that she didn’t state anywhere that there isn’t ACTUALLY any link between GM and autism.
Everyone wins! CAN WE ALL RELAX NOW?
Nah. We all pick and choose based on our own personal experiences and library of knowledge. It’s unfair to expect different people to react the same way about things.
if all is fair for joking, what if Brandy had said the baby wouldn’t be gay then?
okay, haha, it might be funny on autostraddle, cause we KNOW we’re pro-gay, but what if it was on another website???
i don’t think we could dismiss it as an acceptable joke then, huh?
I gotta tell you guys that I’m all kinds of fucked up right now. Fucked. Up. And not just because I had to take Vicodin and Phenergan this morning. Last Wednesday I spent 9 hours in the ER because of a kidney stone completely blocking my left kidney from draining. Worst pain I have ever felt. Now I have to take drugs and pee in a strainer to collect these stones so I can take them to a doctor and find out what exactly I’m eating that’s causing them. Oh, and there are gallstones too.
And! And I don’t have insurance. But this is not a pain I can just ride out. It’s completely debilitating to the point of causing me to vomit.
For the love of Zeus, if whatever you’re eating now is not causing you to be sick and you want to drastically change your diet, see a doctor first. Even if it’s a really healthy diet. I know it’s tough if you’re broke and you don’t have insurance. But you don’t even wanna know what I’m paying now.
I just wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school. I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles, and we’d all eat it and be happy.
Everyone got a long in middle school?
Make sure you use organic flour, cage-free organic-fed eggs and butter from non-hormone injected dairy cows for that cake!
Don’t bother responding to her. She doesn’t even go here!
Hey, she just has a lot of feelings!
Sooo Nutella is still o.k to eat right? Cuz that’s really all I’m thinking about
I read this article when it first got posted and I was like… awww sheeeeeett, there are going to be so many feelings from people with a variety of levels of knowledge about this! So I didn’t comment and drank wine instead.
But now there is information and truth and fact checking and I feel better. The GM food debate was big and scary in the 90s and it’s really not any scarier that all the ‘conventional’ methods we are using to extract previously unheard of levels of sustenance for our exploding population.
Also, the first thing I ate today was a double stuffed oreo. OM NOM NOM.
dive and get lobsters, crabs, sea urchins, and scallops while you’re down there
delicious & I never got sick off it
I think this article was hilarious and so was the pamphlet. My favorite part was that they’re inserting genes from things like BACTERIA and VIRUSES into our FOOD.
First of all, they’re mostly inserting plant genes and using viruses or bacterial plasmids for the insertion, I assume. So the writer failed molecular biology. And like someone else mentioned, GM foods have the potential (not fully realized yet) to help out a LOT of people in third world countries that aren’t getting enough vitamin intake.
E.g., native African sweet potatoes tend to have white or yellow flesh and are a dietary staple but are low in vitamin A. Potatoes have been engineered that are high in vitamin A and optimized for growing conditions in Africa. Awesome, right? Less blindness and childhood mortality. http://www.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/health/An-Image-Problem-for-a-Food-That-Could-Save-African-Lives-112822614.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/opinion/25kristof.html?_r=2 (this one was engineered by crossbreeding tho I believe)
The only thing that really worries me about this is the prevalence of pesticides. I’m a poor grad student but I still try to buy organic because I have umpteen allergies/sensitivities and I do not want to be exposed to pesticide residue.
My advice: buy organic where you can, especially things like broccoli, strawberries, peaches, lettuce, etc (things that can’t be easily washed). Nonorganic things wash well (with vinegar or fruit and vegetable wash) and peel them. Wash your organic stuff well too cause nobody wants E. coli/Salmonella/whatever.
You can buy nonorganic bananas/oranges/grapefruits etc. Prioritize.
I was watching a program a little while back where they tested different vegetable washes vs. vinegar vs. water, and after testing them all for pesticides after they discovered that water actually worked best. It was just one of those shopping advice shows, though, nothing scientific, so I don’t know how accurate it was. But yeah! Washing things! Even organic things! It’s important.
These comments upset me, so I will share with you this:
You know what’s also upsetting? Because of all of this clusterfuckery, a tomato no longer tastes like a true tomato. FACT.
Did anyone think about the farmer? Maybe if we paid them a living wage we (the US) would have more people to grow our food, as nature intended?
Also, lots of GM foods are resistant to weeding! Want a frost-resistant tomato plant in your yard? Well, nature doesn’t care and will pollinate that shit.
Just sayin, y’all.
All great points and high five for the awesome use of “clusterfuckery.”
Also this video wins.
All food is genetically engineered. the process previously used was only slower. when there are hundreds of millions of people in the world dying of malnourisment how fuck can people moan about scientist trying to feed the starving masses with the science. There is a finite mount of arable land and if all food was organic we could only feed 4 billions.
“All food is genetically engineered.”
you and your common sense
“Yes, comedians may never EVER write or speak about anything that they haven’t studied in depth for years.
(you suck the fun out of everything! Fun sucker!)”
Nothing sucks the fun out of everything like seeing a kid die of meascles because it’s parent opted to listen to comedians instead of scientists.
Have a nice day
I don’t have a “meascles” shot. I don’t even have a measles shot. Because I’m excessively, dangerously allergic to vaccinations (we figured this out with a DPT shot and the doctor refused to give me any more, so all I’ve had is the oral polio one). I have a much higher chance of dying from the shot than of dying if I contract measles, which in a first world country, tends to be a relatively benign childhood illness.
I would NOT suggest this for anyone except maybe for those with a family history of severe allergic reaction. Sorry that was off topic. Point being, I’m not running down vaccinations. In fact that’s not even what this article is about.
The comedian in question (the author of the article) never mentioned anything about not vaccinating your kids. She wrote a funny article about a pamphlet full of inaccurate scare tactics. That is all. IT IS FUNNY. I LAUGHED AT IT.
It’s becoming less funny as people are taking the exact wording of the article too seriously. Though I strongly appreciate the THOUGHTFUL responses, especially the ones regarding biodiversity, organic farming, and small-scale farming.
So glad that this post sparked so many thought-provoking comments. As a small-scale farmer I think my number one concern re: GMOs – and this is in some ways from a purely self-centered and operational standpoint – is access to a diverse selection of affordable seed. As an eater I worry about GMOs as they relate to various aspects of food safety and nutrition. And for me I guess it is less about the use of GMOs and more about our increasing reliance on corn, soybeans, etc. to feed the world. Just as increased biodiversity is better for the world, a diverse source of nutrients is better for the health of the world’s people.
As for buying organic, I say do it if you can especially if it makes you feel better. But, if you have the luxury, more important than buying organic is simply knowing who grows your food.
I like the idea of having a diverse source of nutrients. And it’s so much more interesting!
Corn and soybeans are not exactly nutrient packed foods (I try not to consume much of either, I’m mildly sensitive to both) and it’s distressing how much prepackaged food is just packed with them because it’s cheap filler. That’s why I try not to eat too much in the way of prepackaged food and stick with things I cook myself. But it doesn’t always work out.
Thanks for your small-scale farmer perspective :).
You think that your vegtables are bad! Today, beef and pork has more hormones in it than most humans can produce in their whole life times.
i think we can all admit that the strongest most real emotion this article produced was jealousy over brandy’s ability to eat oreos, doritos & brownies while maintaining the hot body.
wtf brandy. wtf.
disclaimer: i don’t know anyone on here or represent their emotions. i really only read ~8 comments. this was a joke.
except for the hot body part.
However true these claims may be, there is a problem with overpopulation with this world, and GM foods might hold the answer for countries with hunger issues.
I also believe that organic foods are the way to go, but making them more available and lowering the price would go a long way in promoting a better world as well as a healthier people.
“Though I strongly appreciate the THOUGHTFUL responses, especially the ones regarding biodiversity, organic farming, and small-scale farming.”
Oh well I also appreciate the other THOUGHFULL responses,the ones pointing out tha GM has its benefits.
For example the one mentioning the genetically engineered crop which produces more Vitamin A and thus protects children in Africa from blindness.
Should I mention the GM food that is more resistant to parasites and thus needs less amounts of pesticides???
As for your allergies to shots,well thankfully for you there is one thing called Herd Immunity.
You just requoted my own post on sweet potatoes to me. *facepalm*
Sounds like a lot of folks here would agree that GMOs can go a long way towards feeding the world’s population. Now if only these ever-evolving technologies were always employed in the most ethically-responsible manner, then I wouldn’t get so skeeved out knowing that enormous corporations are vying for control of the world food supply by gobbling up the rights to genetic material.
“You just requoted my own post on sweet potatoes to me. *facepalm*”
I did not claim you are against GM food did I?
I think the adderall diet is the best! Adderall takes away your hunger!
Brandy is awesome and she is always right! Gay Pimpin’ for life.
I’d say what I’m eating but then again, this is Autostraddle and that’s obvious.
Can I first begin by saying, “Who the F*ck Cares?”
I’m going to have my Oreos and eat them, too.
But I have to admit, first of all, that this makes colon cleansing so much more appealing than previously anticipated.