Monday, December 13, 2010

Is faster growth worth the risk?: GM foods and the potential side effects

       I was a vegetarian for 9 years. When people ask me why, I mostly have to say what my 14 year old mind was thinking. A good summation would be "I love animals so why would I want to eat them". Of course, as I grew older there was more to it than that. I began to understand what went into mass-producing of meats, and I'm not just talking about harsh conditions. I'm talking about pumping my foods full of hormones and who knows what else.

I think this is probably what my 14 year old mind was picturing....

     Approximately 2 years ago I was faced with a decision, either have no energy to do the activities I love or to start consuming meat. I decided at that point to start consuming fish and game meat, so I started researching. What I found is that in order for me to stay 'green' there would be a lot to my choice, particularly in regards to eating fish. It seemed to me as I walked through the stores I saw the term "farm raised" (which is not always a bad thing) every where and all of the fish seemed to be ones on my not sustainable list.

     Anyways, I started thinking about all of this today when I was checking out The National Geographics Green Guide Blog and read the following post: .

It is all about genetically modified (GM) fish and the FDA approving the consumption of a new, manufactured GM salmon. What are the arguments for us 'growing' them you might ask? Well, they grow faster and eat half as much. Do we actually know how eating them might affect us? Yes and no. Based on the blog post, most studies have had limited sample size and were preformed by people who would be directly affected monetarily if the FDA did not approve the use of the fish. Thus, these studies have all shown the fish to be safe for consumption. Also, studies completed by others have indicated that GM fish have an increased tolerance to toxins. As we know from past trials (e.g. cow hormones and mercury in fish), toxins or overabundant hormones in our food are bad for us. But, the fact of the matter is, without conclusive evidence the FDA should not be approving such a fish. Even more frightening, the fact that there are no rules in place for the people engineering these fish to label them as GM fish if they enter the market. So, at the very least, the products should be labeled.

The image that many critics have associated with the GM salmon. (I'm not going quite this far!)

      That is all I have time for today but I invite you to go and read that blog post. They delve deeper into some information on other options that are more sustainable, and the fact that wild-caught Alaskan Salmon populations appear to be managed quite well. I felt it was a good read, and worth it for anyone pondering the idea of GM food or just in the future, for someone who needs to make the choice when they are sitting in the grocery store trying to choose between wild caught salmon or some crazy GM salmon. Below I have included some information from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood watch program and invite you to check out their website so you can eat eco-friendly, sustainable fish! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment