Saturday, November 12, 2011

What is up with our food?! Allergies, the disappearance of bees, and other musings.

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I was blissfully ignorant about our food situation until I saw Food, Inc.  That caused me to pause and think for a bit.   I wrote this post pondering whether we're in a food crisis?  I guess it's not a crisis in the same sense that a food shortage is. We have plenty of food and for that we're blessed.   But it may be killing us all the same.  In my previous post I laid blame on the government.  I realize everyone has his ax to grind, including the organic folks, but something just doesn't smell right with Monsanto (world's largest seed company) and the FDA.  In 2009 Obama appointed Michael Taylor, former Monsanto executive and past Monsanto chief attorney and lobbyist, as Food Czar over the FDA.  No conflicting interests there.  Then more recently, the USDA decided to allow Monsanto and other biotech firms to determine for themselves the environemental safety of their GMOs (genetically modified organisms).  Hmmm.  I'm all for the government to butt out and let companies make a profit, but it seems fishy that big oil gets crucified while Monsanto gets a pass.  I guess big oil just doesn't have enough of its executives in high places.

I'm really not a conspiracy theorist.  (Though I do blame GE and their massive bribery lobby budget for all these stupid lightbulbs I'm supposed to buy now.  If they're so environmentally friendly, why do you have to call a HazMat team when you break one instead of just tossing it in the garbage?)  I'm a normal person who shops at the grocery store and usually buys regular chicken even though I'm a bit haunted by visions of windowless chicken farms where the chickens are bred with such lopsided proportions they have difficulty standing.  I buy the cheap chicken even though I realize it's been fattened on genetically modified corn and injected with all kinds of antibiotics.  I cringe, but I buy it anyway.  Guess I haven't exactly put my money where my mouth is.  The problem is, it's a LOT more money.

But that's all old news.  Two things have caused me to revisit this food issue.  First, my one year old seems to be allergic to foods that none of the rest of us have ever been bothered by.  Why all of a sudden would our sixth child have all these crazy food allergies?  And he isn't the only one.  I know several moms with babies right now who have food allergies.  They're also perplexed.  And we're not talking peanuts, but staples like wheat and corn, milk and oats.  What's up with that?

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The second issue I've recently become aware of is the disappearance of honey bees.  I don't have all the answers, but pesticides seem to be largely responsible.  New, genetically engineered pesticides that get intercalated into the bee's DNA.  Let's see.  I realize people are not bees, but we do both have DNA and our DNA is more alike than different (compared say to bacteria).  I wonder what effect these pesticides will have on our next generation (that's where DNA mutations show up).  And though I admit I've never been an admirer of bees, they're kind of necessary to the whole pollination process.

So there you have it.  My paranoid ramblings on our food.  What do you think?  Have you noticed any of these trends?  What can we really do about it?  Have you read any good books on this topic lately?   


  1. I'm in the same boat (right down to the chicken). I watched a couple of documentaries like you did and had my eyes opened. It's quite frustrating.

  2. I have wondered about the whole food allergy thing too. None of my kids have food allergies, but I have lots of friends whose children do. And, I find it interesting that it's my friends with younger children are the ones who have these food allergies, not their older children (teens). It's like you--their older children are fine, but their youngest ones are allergic to all kinds of foods....
    What is going on with our food?

    I also buy the big bags of frozen chicken breasts and tenders. I tried buying organic milk, but it's just too expensive! Around $6 a gallon! And I buy 6-7 gallons a week. So, I just buy the regular milk, priced around 3.79 a gallon. I sometimes buy organic canned pinto beans. Ha!



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.