Wednesday, March 04, 2009
TerraBurger

I got to try out the new organic, environmentally friendly fast food place here in Austin. TerraBurger opened on Guadalupe St right next to the University of Texas campus and just a few blocks from my seminary. From the website:

At TerraBurger, Rule #1 is "all natural"--we won't serve anything that contains artificial ingredients, period. No artificial colors or flavors. No flavor enhancers. No trans fats. Nothing highly processed. No artificial additives. In fact, we have an extensive list of banned ingredients that don't make the cut.

Next, we've chosen to go Organic for our core ingredients—our beef, produce, veggie burgers, cheese, milk, ice cream, fruit, among them—are all 100% USDA Organic.

Simply put, TerraBurger's mission is to provide a more wholesome alternative to those who love a good fast food burger by using only all natural and organic ingredients. We're also committed to doing so in an environmentally friendly fashion by incorporating "green" practices in everything we do.
The burger was really good, and they even had sweet-potato fries! As for cost, it was only a couple dollars more than you'd spend at McDonalds, which in my opinion is more than made up for in quality and, more importantly, in the knowledge that one's food is less harmful to one's body and to the earth.

If you're in Austin, definitely check it out. Besides the Guadalupe store, they should have another one opening on the northwest side of Austin (closer to us!) in the next few months.

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posted by Mike Clawson at 10:38 PM | Permalink |


23 Comments:


At 3/05/2009 01:07:00 AM, Anonymous Miko

It's not necessarily the case that it's better for you or for the Earth. Some all-natural types, for example, won't use antibiotics on their animals, which (in addition to being cruel to the animals) can lead to the food being less safe. Additionally, by eschewing modern scientific techniques in farming, they use land less efficiently, which due to the limited amounts of land available could be catastrophic if the practice were adopted in larger numbers. Indeed, a recent study (sorry; don't have a citation handy) found that if every farm were converted to organic farming techniques, the short term effect would be 2 billion people dying from starvation.

Now, I can't say whether this applies to this particular establishment or not. But it's worth noting that some people who claim to be "pro-green" are really using the label as a way to hide the fact that they're actually anti-science.

 

At 3/05/2009 10:56:00 AM, Blogger M James

Miko,
It wasn't a study, it was a book by Alex Avery called "The Truth About Organic Foods."
A quote about the book from Nobel Peace Prize Winning Agricultural Scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug: "The Truth About Organic Foods gives consumers a thorough and straight-forward explanation of why organic foods offer no real health or safety benefits. More importantly, Avery communicates why organic farming's lower yields and reliance on scarce organic fertilizers represents a potential threat to the world's forests, wetlands and grasslands. The book offers scientifically sound evidence that more-affordable conventional foods are healthy for families and also good stewardship of nature."

The book also talks about such things like that organic farming started in the 1920's when a German mystic advised use of only animal manure because synthetic fertilizers had no cosmic energy, that organic farming does not avoid pesticides, about 5 percent a vegetable's weight is natural pesticides, some of which are cancer-causing, and foods from organic farming have more illness-causing bacteria.

As for scientific studies, the book relies heavily on the only study done about organic farming, a 2002 study that was published in New Scientist. In it, researchers found that conventional farming produces 20% higher yields, that there were no energy savings by farming organically, that both conventional farming and organic farming had equal enviromental advantages, and that food quality was identical.

Another scientific study, produced in the pages of Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows that "shows there is no evidence to support the argument that organic food is better than food grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals".

That's all the current scientific information we have at this time.

 

At 3/05/2009 11:29:00 AM, Blogger M James

Also, my response isn't my opinion one way or the other on organic vs. non-organic. I'm more interested in the current scientific argument: genetically modified vs. non-genetically modified.

We can use 100 acres to grow a 50% yield of organic apples. Or we can use 5 acres to grow a 200% yield of perfect apples.

eh?

 

At 3/05/2009 06:14:00 PM, Anonymous Julie Clawson

Dudes where the hell do you get your info??

There are tons of studies done that show the health benefits or eating organic and that it is completely possible to feed the entire world on organic foods. Sure it all depends on the spin, but don't be so quick to dismiss.

Miko - btw the antibiotics issue. The reason animals are given antibiotics are because they are tortured - forced to live in cages with no room to move, standing in their own mire, fed unnatural diets that their systems can take, alternately force fed and starved, and pumped full of hormones. This makes them sick so they are given the antibiotics on a regular basis. If we didn't torture the animals we wouldn't have to of then on antibiotics. Studies have also shown that drug-resistant bacteria are flourishing in streams and lakes near factory farms (where antibiotic laced runoff pollutes the water). Organic meats are always more safe even without drugs because the animals are treated in healthy ways.

And Michael - organic gardening wasn't invented by some mystic. It was the traditional means of farming until other techniques were invented. Those apples aren't perfect - they have a huge footprint that will remain with us for years to come.

But beyond personal health and environmental benefits - there is the ethical issue of the workers who grow our food. Those are are exposed to pesticides and fertilizers (who are never given safety equipment) develop serious illnesses. Many die for those poisons or develop cancer from exposure. These same poisons are in the food we eat and are dumped into the environment.

so if we have to option to subvert evil systems that harm our health, harm the environment, and harm workers I'm going to do it.

 

At 3/06/2009 12:13:00 AM, Anonymous Eric

I believe it was Michael Pollan who said that if you have to advertise on your product that it is "healthy" then it probably isn't food. "Organic" and "all-natural" have become little more than slogans - story-lines to sell more product. Walmart sells organic food now. And high fructose corn syrup can be called "all natural" because, well, it's made from corn. (And, what do you know, I just did a google search on the brand of "all-natural" soda that TerraBurger serves - Blue Sky - and it does contain high fructose corn syrup. Imagine that.) The term is practically meaningless.

And of course it is possible to feed the entire world on organic. But in order to do that, what you have to end up doing is industrializing it and leaving a big footprint just like non-organic industrialized food. And if we are using massive amounts of fossil fuels to grow and transport organic food can we really call it "organic" any more?

 

At 3/06/2009 09:33:00 AM, Anonymous Karl

This thread reminds me of George Will's recent column "Prudes at Dinner, Gluttons in Bed"

Prudes at Dinner, Gluttons in Bed

By George F. Will
Thursday, February 26, 2009; A19

Put down that cheeseburger and listen up: If food has become what sex was a generation ago -- the intimidatingly intelligent Mary Eberstadt says it has -- then a cheeseburger is akin to adultery, or worse. As eating has become highly charged with moral judgments, sex has become notably less so, and Eberstadt, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, thinks these trends involving two primal appetites are related.

In a Policy Review essay, "Is Food the New Sex?" -- it has a section titled "Broccoli, pornography, and Kant" -- she notes that for the first time ever, most people in advanced nations "are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want." One might think, she says, either that food and sex would both be pursued with an ardor heedless of consequences, or that both would be subjected to analogous codes constraining consumption. The opposite has happened -- mindful eating and mindless sex.

Imagine, says Eberstadt, a 30-year-old Betty in 1958, and her 30-year-old granddaughter Jennifer today. Betty's kitchen is replete with things -- red meat, dairy products, refined sugars, etc. -- that nutritionists now instruct us to minimize. She serves meat from her freezer, accompanied by this and that from jars. If she serves anything "fresh," it would be a potato. If she thinks about food, she thinks only about what she enjoys, not what she, and everyone else, ought to eat.

Jennifer pays close attention to food, about which she has strong opinions. She eats neither red meat nor endangered fish, buys "organic" meat and produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, and has only ice in her freezer. These choices are, for her, matters of right and wrong. Regarding food, writes Eberstadt, Jennifer exemplifies Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative: She acts according to rules she thinks are universally valid and should be universally embraced.

Betty would be baffled by draping moral abstractions over food, a mere matter of personal taste. Regarding sex, however, she had her Categorical Imperative -- the 1950s' encompassing sexual ethic that proscribed almost all sex outside of marriage. Jennifer is a Whole Foods Woman, an apostle of thoroughly thought-out eating. She bristles with judgments -- moral as well as nutritional -- about eating, but she is essentially laissez-faire about sex.

In 50 years, Eberstadt writes, for many people "the moral poles of sex and food have been reversed." Today, there is, concerning food, "a level of metaphysical attentiveness" previously invested in sex; there are more "schismatic differences" about food than about (other) religions.

If food is the new sex, Eberstadt asks, "where does that leave sex?" She says it leaves much of sex dumbed-down -- junk sex akin to junk food. It also leaves sexual attitudes poised for a reversal. Since Betty's era, abundant research has demonstrated that diet can have potent effects, beneficial or injurious. Now, says Eberstadt, an empirical record is being assembled about the societal costs of laissez-faire sex.

Eberstadt says two generations of "social science replete with studies, surveys and regression analyses galore" have produced clear findings: "The sexual revolution -- meaning the widespread extension of sex outside of marriage and frequently outside commitment of any kind -- has had negative effects on many people, chiefly the most vulnerable; and it has also had clear financial costs to society at large."

In 1965, the Moynihan Report sounded an alarm about 23.6 percent of African American children born out of wedlock. Today the figure for the entire American population is 38.5 percent, and 70.7 percent for African Americans. To that, add AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the unquantifiable coarsening of the culture and devaluing of personal intimacy.

Today "the all-you-can-eat buffet" is stigmatized and the "sexual smorgasbord" is not. Eberstadt's surmise about a society "puritanical about food, and licentious about sex" is this: "The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone -- and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat."

Perhaps. Stigmas are compasses, pointing toward society's sense of its prerequisites for self-protection. Furthermore, as increasing numbers of people are led to a materialist understanding of life -- who say not that "I have a body" but that "I am a body" -- society becomes more obsessive about the body's maintenance. Alas, expiration is written into the leases we have on our bodies, so bon appetit.

 

At 3/06/2009 09:42:00 AM, Blogger M James

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

At 3/06/2009 09:52:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

You're confusing your categories Eric. You're right that "natural" is nothing but meaningless marketing propaganda. The term "organic", however, is more specific and reflects certain strict federal standards. A food cannot be labeled organic unless it meets those standards.

 

At 3/06/2009 10:04:00 AM, Blogger M James

Julie,
If you could post some links to the peer-reviewed research you refer to, I'd appreciate it.

I did a search through the nexus and really could only find a couple papers talking about how organic food was not healthier for your body. Of course, they are only referring to the food at a chemical level, not some of the injustice that goes into making the food.

I think streams got crossed in the conversation: there is a difference about whether the food is healthier for your biology versus whether the manufacturing process is evil.

And also, with gm, my reference to the apple, it doesn't leave a big footprint. There are some parts of the world where organic food just won't grow. Where there are constant droughts, no water for the crops, etc. But we have built food that is drought resistant, we've added bacteria producing genes to food so that we don't have to use pesticides on it.

If we are using less land, less water, no pesticides, less labor to produce food that is genetically and chemically healthier for your biology, how is that a bad thing? And how does that leave a bigger footprint?

You should check out a lot of the nobel-prize winning agriculturists who have been tackling world hunger, like Dr. Norman Borlaug. They are doing it through genetic not organic means.

 

At 3/06/2009 10:06:00 AM, Blogger M James

To Mike's point:
"Under the 2002 standards, produce and other foods that consist of at least 95 percent organic ingredients can carry the USDA's organic seal, while foods that are at least 70 percent organic can bear the phrase "Made With Organic Ingredients." Animal products certified as organic must come from livestock that has had access to the outdoors, has not been treated with hormones or antibiotics and has been reared on organic feed.

These standards are much stricter than those the USDA initially proposed, which would have permitted the use of genetically modified foods and sewage-based fertilizers. Angry letters from the public -- 275,000 of them -- sent the USDA back to the drafting board."

 

At 3/06/2009 11:01:00 AM, Anonymous Eric

I am well aware of the differences between natural and organic and I'm not confusing anything. While there are federal guidelines for organic, they are not all that strict. There are lots of vagaries in the guidelines. Here's what I'm saying - when people think organic they think, for example, that their organic milk comes from cows who have lots of pasture to graze in. Instead, the organic milk you get from Walmart or Whole Foods or where ever, probably came from farms that looked not much different than the farms that the non-organic milk came from. That's what I mean when I say organic is a slogan. Here's what President Clinton's secretary of ag said about organic when they were finalizing the 2000 organic food standards:

"Let me be clear about one other thing. The organic label is a marketing tool. It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is "organic" a value judgment about nutrition or quality. USDA is not in the business of choosing sides, of stating preferences for one kind of food, one set of ingredients or one means of production over any other. As long as rigorous government safety standards are being met, we stand ready to do what we can to help support any farmer and help market any kind of food."

Regarding the science, there is very little evidence that organic is better for your health. I think it probably is better for you but I there isn't much science to support that. There is evidence that organic food has less pesticide residue and toxins but there isn't a whole lot of evidence linking the eating of trace amounts of these things to bad health. Additionally, I've never seen any scientific evidence that organic food contains more nutrients than non-organic (do organic oranges have more vitamin C than non-organic - I doubt it). So organic couldn't be benefitial to your health because of that. And while there are SOME environmental benefits (less pesticide, etc.), unless you ride your bike to your local organic farm to pick up your organic food, the chances are that the organic food your eating took just as much fossil fuels to produce and ship to you as any non-organic food.

 

At 3/06/2009 11:47:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

On the flip-side Miko, just because it is "scientific" doesn't mean it's good, and just because it is "efficient" doesn't mean it's the best way.

Science is only as good as the ends towards which it is applied; and, as you note, modern scientific agricultural techniques have almost exclusively been focused on economic goals like increasing "efficiency" and maximizing yield, with almost no regard for other important effects that these methods have on the environment and human health (what economists euphemistically call "externalities"). Some of these "externalities" include:

1. Nitrate run-off from chemical fertilizers poisoning rivers, lakes and ground-water supplies. (For example, I can tell you about a camp in Michigan that I spoke at last summer whose lake is choked with sea-weed and who can't use one of their wells because of nitrate run-off from local farms.)

2. The depleted soil that results from only growing cash crops like corn, soy beans, etc., year after year, and the dependency this creates for the farmers on chemical fertilizers to grow anything at all. This may not be a problem in the US where cash crops are heavily subsidized by the federal government, but in other countries farmers are forced to go hugely in debt to afford the fertilizers and pesticides foisted on them by multi-national agribusinesses. In India, for example, cotton is known as the suicide crop since so many farmers have been taking their own lives because of their unpayable debts.

3. Modern "scientific" farming techniques are entirely dependent on oil, as almost all of the fertilizers and many of the pesticides are petroleum based. We are literally turning oil into corn. This is why the spike in oil prices last year caused a massive global food shortage. Does it make sense to base our entire agricultural production on a finite and dwindling supply of fossil fuels?

4. Modern "scientific" techniques also depend on the heavy use of pesticides, aka poison. Not only is this extremely harmful and often deadly for the farmer workers exposed to it on a daily basis, it also doesn't make a lot of sense to me that we ourselves would want to ingest poison. Yes, the FDA approves the level of pesticides found in each individual food as "safe for human consumption", but they never look at the cumulative effect of these pesticides when almost everything we eat contains them. Nor do they look at the effects these pesticides have in combination. Remember the Joker's plot to poison Gotham in the original 1980s Batman movie? It's the same thing. Chemical A may be harmless in trace amounts, and Chemical B may be harmless in trace amounts, but when you're eating Chemical A and Chemical B (and C, D, E, F, G...) together on a regular basis, it can have very harmful cumulative effects. Personally I don't think it's any mystery why there's been such a rise of cancer and similar diseases in the past 60 years or so when almost everything we eat is laced with multiple kinds of poisons.

5. Julie's already mentioned the harmful effects of antibiotics, and how it's our modern "scientific" factory farming techniques that make them necessary in the first place.

I could go on but I think that's enough to make my point. There's more to good farming practices than just "efficiency". And as to that, according to Peter Singer in "The Ethics of What We Eat" (a book worth checking out), organic farming only produces 10-20% less yield than "conventional" farming (another euphemism, until this century, organic farming was conventional farming) depending on the crop. I don't know the statistics, but my guess, based on how much more we Americans consume than we actually need, is that you could in fact feed everyone in the world, even if you were producing 10-20% less food. It would just mean that some of us would have to reduce our consumption to more reasonable levels.

BTW Michael, as for the genetically modified stuff you mentioned, some of those may be worthwhile. However, most of those still fall prey to all the disadvantages I mentioned above and more.

 

At 3/06/2009 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Yes, you're right Eric, organic standards only refer to specific things, and don't include everything one might hope. That's why it's also important to look for other, more specific labeling when you can. For instance, Julie and I also try to get "free range", "grass fed", "humanely treated", and "local" products whenever possible. We also try to buy from local farmers markets on a regular basis where we can talk directly to the farmers and ask how they raised their food, and where we know it wasn't shipped from long distances.

We're also not under any illusions that "organic" food is inherently more healthy in regards to the nutritional value of the food. That was never my point. Regarding the health value, I was referring mainly to the pesticide issue that you mention. And my previous comment already addressed why "trace amounts" can still be harmful.

At any rate, we're pragmatists, not purists. Every little bit helps IMHO. TerraBurger might not be absolutely perfect on every conceivable standard, and health-wise, fast food is still fast food, even if it's organic. But it's still a lot better than the alternative and a definite step in the right direction.

As my wife says in her (forthcoming) book on these issues: "Sometimes by making the revolution incremental, we make it actually doable."

 

At 3/06/2009 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Karl

We have an acquaintance who buys organic milk because she believes the hormones given to cows to make them produce more milk are resulting in young girls (who grow up drinking the milk) developing breasts sooner, and developing larger breasts. She says "look at those junior high and high school girls! WE didn't look like that!" She wants her daughters to have more normal sized breasts, and get them at a normal age.

I've always wondered if there's anything to her fears (i.e. any studies showing this is in fact the case), or if it's some kind of urban legend repeated at the local co-ops and organic stores.

 

At 3/06/2009 01:18:00 PM, Blogger M James

Mike,
I think if you look at genetically modified crops, which would be considered "scientific farming", that it negates every single harmful effect you brought up.

 

At 3/06/2009 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Karl - the link between bovine growth hormone and early onset puberty and larger breast size in girls has been researched, though the results are not yet definitive. Personally, when science is not sure about something like that, I'd rather not take the chance. I don't understand the mindset of those who think scientific uncertainty is a reason to just ignore the possibilities and throw caution to the wind.

Michael - if genetically modified foods can be made so they don't require chemical fertilizers or pesticides, that's great. However, they often also carry with them other significant ethical problems. For instance in terms of helping the poor, they tend to make things worse, not better. This is because when a company genetically modifies a food, they own the patents to that DNA, and they usually engineer them to be sterile, so that if anyone wants to plant them, they have continually buy new seeds from the giant agribusiness corporation every single year (as opposed to simply reserving some of the seeds from their crop to replant the following year, as farmers have done for millenia). This makes it impossible for small farmers in developing countries to afford these crops, or else forces them to go into debt and become perpetually dependent on the seed company for their livelihood. What often ends up happening is that huge agribusinesses buy up the farmland in a developing country to grow these genetically modified crops, forcing the once self-sufficient farmers to become no better than serfs working someone else's land for insufficient pay. These so-called super-crops end up hurting the poor more than helping them when it comes to long-term sustainability and economic self-sufficiency.

 

At 3/06/2009 03:43:00 PM, Blogger M James

Mike,
That is one of the prevalent concerns of GM crops and there other very valid concerns also.
But on the flip-side there's stories like this:
"blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of "golden" rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A). Since this rice was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a non-profit organization, the Institute hopes to offer the golden rice seed free to any third world country that requests it."

We've already created crops that don't use pesticides and herbicides and we've been using them commercially for over 20 years.
In 2000, 54% of all soybeans, 60% of all cotton and 25% of all corn that was produced commercially in the United States was genetically modified. For all those crops, there was no herbicides or pesticides used and yields were dramatically higher with lower land and water usage.

That was nine years ago. To argue against conventional farming in 2009, which unfortunately still occurs and is terrible for our environment, without pointing out that science has already answered most of the concerns pro-organic people raise, and we've been using these methods for over two decades, just seems to me like it's ....I don't know.

It may be a false analogy, but it almost feels like people in the 1980's arguing against evolution as it was theorized in the 1800's without pointing out all the advances we've made.

 

At 3/06/2009 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Karl

Well Mike, there are varying degrees of uncertainty. And when the suggested alternative actions are fairly impactful in cost or inconvenience, the kind and degree of uncertainty has to be taken into account as best one can judge, as well as the magnitude of harm that will result if the fears are true, and the amount of benefit to be gained by taking the other suggested course of action. I did a quick search and found this, that suggests to me that this particular fear is unfounded:

Elizabeth Chang, staff writer for the Washington Post, wrote in her Oct. 7, 2003 article "Tempest in a Glass: Synthetic Hormones in Milk Don't Speed Puberty, Say Experts":

"Could hormones meant to make cows give more milk lead to early puberty, as some parents fear? On its face, it sounds plausible enough. But government and pediatric health experts say there are no scientific data to back up such an assertion. For one thing, they say, rBGH [man-made bovine growth hormone] does not survive pasteurization. And even if it did, they add, it has absolutely no effect on human growth...

For years, pediatricians have viewed age 11 as the mean age of breast development... In 1997 a landmark analysis of 17,000 U.s. girls led by University of North Carolina professor Marcia Herman-Giddens showed that many American girls were beginning to show secondary sexual characteristics between ages 9 and 10... But the changes documented in Herman-Giddens's study cannot be attributed, even in part, to artificial bovine growth hormone for one important reason: The data for her study were collected in 1992 and 1993, before rBGH was available for dairy herds in the United States. Another problem with the rBGH and early puberty theory: Children today drink markedly less milk than they did a generation or two ago." [the article points out that hormones exist in regular milk too, so the greater amount of milk consumed in past years offsets the greater amount of synthetic hormone that exists in today's milk - even if the synthetic hormone wasn't killed in pasteurization and even if the bovine hormone did affect humans].

 

At 3/06/2009 04:04:00 PM, Blogger M James

Karl,
That is correct. rBGH does not survive pasteurization.
Why?
Because scientists designed it that way so it wouldn't affect us.

 

At 3/06/2009 08:25:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

A few questions Michael:

1) When buying those items at the store (e.g. corn, soybeans, cotton, etc.) is there any way for the average consumer to know whether or not the type they are buying were the pesticide-free genetically modified type or not? If not, then it would seem that the only way for consumers like you and I to know for sure that we're not ingesting pesticides is to look for an organic label.

2. Are these pesticide-free GMOs available for other types of vegetables too (and is there a way of knowing in the store which ones they are), or have only the large cash crops been so modified?

3. Is there any way of knowing whether the meat we buy has been fed these GMOs or not?

4. Are these pesticide-free GMOs still grown using petroleum based chemical fertilizers? There are two types of organic consumers: the ones who are mainly concerned about their personal health, and so are really just trying to avoid pesticides; and the ones who are concerned both about health and especially the environment, and when it comes to the environment, it's our use of petroleum based chemical fertilizers that is the biggest down-side to conventional farming techniques.

5. You mentioned that this golden rice will "hopefully" be given out free to third world countries. Did the Rockefeller Foundation specify whether they would give it directly to the farmers or only to the governments? If the governments, then I still have concerns about whether it will actually end up reaching those who will benefit from it.

Also, Julie just mentioned to me that as far as she's discovered in her research for her book, the genetically modified corn is "pesticide-free" only because they've actually engineered the corn to contain the pesticide in the stalk of the corn itself. Consequently, the FDA only allows this type of corn to be used for animal feed or ethanol, not human consumption, but that doesn't quite solve the problem, IMHO, since these pesticides will still make their way into the ground and water supplies.

Again, I'm not anti-science. I'm all for good, well-implemented technology that somehow doesn't manage to cause as many problems as it solves. But at the same time I'm no longer under any illusions that science will always be able to provide a silver bullet for all our problems either. Keep in mind that most of the problems science is currently trying to solve are problems that were themselves created by our reckless blind trust in science in the past. What problems will science have to solve in the future because of the unforeseen consequences of all our current scientific "solutions"? Seriously, I feel like we're living in a Jurassic Park movie or something.

 

At 3/06/2009 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Julie

Questioning if GMO foods are linked to immune system problems and infertility - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/will-genetically-modified_b_145320.html

 

At 3/06/2009 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Julie

and I should add - with the rbGH issue. It is true, the human body doesn't naturally recognize it as a hormone so it is considered safe for our consumption (and yes we get it even in pasturized milk). The bigger issue is that when it is given to cows it prompts a nearly tenfold increase in the production of IGF -1, another hormone that is identical in people and cows. Increased levels of this hormone do lead to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. (early puberty is one of its symptoms too and is a red flag for later breast cancer).

 

At 3/15/2009 06:20:00 PM, Anonymous Robert Colby, Assistant General Manager

Just for the record: We did originally buy Blue Sky sodas with a Bag-In-A-Box (BIAB) dispensor but soon found out that their BIAB sodas contained high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We did some research and found out that the FDA would not sign off in HFCS being a natural substance because there is a homan induced chemical process that produces it, not a natural one. Because of this we sold only the Blue Sky cans of soda which were made from pure cane sugar and halted our use of their BIAB sodas. We have recently replaced Blue Sky Sodas with Boylans All Natural sodas because they use pure cane sugar instead of HFCS in their BIAB production.
As for the organic food vs. conventional food argument, just remember that 50 years ago ALL food was organic. The use of steroids and other un-natural additives is a new trend and we believe that the world would be better off without it.

 

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