So, I finally quit writing for this horrible company that nickel-and-dimed me near to death. I worked around fifteen hours a week for them, for a month, and was paid, altogether…$144. My time and my wrists are worth more than that. And so I give you the last piece I wrote for this stupid company, all about GMOs. The article was apparently supposed to discuss “the nutritional facts of a Twinkie.” Well, there are none, it’s a chemical sock with fake cream inside. I asked if I could instead write about nutrition and bad chemicals all over the food chain, and was told yes. They promptly rejected it, and asked me to rewrite the entire thing just about effin’ Twinkies (not the first time this has happened). I immediately quit, but will take the high road and not name these bastards. Here’s the finished article, which I at least get to attach my real name to, the only compensation I’ll get for three hours of work (well, that, and the love of all four of my faithful readers):
What bomb shelter is complete without a case of indestructible, prepackaged dessert sponges? Twinkies: beloved treat of naive little kiddies and closet Twinkophiles alike. But reading their labels is a little unappetizing; correctly understanding the nutritional information on a Twinkie wrapper requires an advanced degree in organic chemistry (seriously: I only figured it out with the help of my father, a retired chemist). Reading more deeply into the information on packaged food is an important way to manage and understand what you put into your body, and it does affect your overall health.
There are several different chemical compounds that make up the sugars in packaged foods: fructose, glucose, and sucrose are three of the most common. Excess sugars are bad for the body in many ways; they corrode the enamel on the teeth, raise blood pressure (which can lead to heart disease), and have a dehydrating effect on the body, which results in massive energy loss after the short boost you get from a roll of Smarties.
Red Lake is a chemical that’s used to color many, many packaged foods, from chewing gum to Lucky Charms. Possibly because it’s so widespread, people have become somewhat numb to its existence; red lake has caused cancer in lab rats in several different studies, and efforts have been made, in some states, to curtail its use. Avoid at all costs.
Monosodium glutamate has been causing headaches for years, but continues to be added into hundreds of products nonetheless. It’s the sodium salt from glutamic acid. You might be aware that Chinese fast food restaurants were under fire in the 1980’s for using lots of MSG; they were just an easy target, MSG is an abundant, naturally occurring chemical that still tastes good…and still causes headaches, and a host of more serious issues later on.
We’re not saying all packaged foods are bad for you; tofu, a rocking good isoflavone, comes in a package, for instance. But, for the sake of your overall nutrition and good health, look for tofu made from organic soybeans.
Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is another synthetic hormone (i.e., produced in a lab); it’s injected into cows to increase their milk production. In addition to destroying the cow’s health, rBGH has been tied to cancer in numerous studies. It’s present in milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products.
Genetically Modified Organisms are a real threat to the health of humanity, and to our planet. The long term effects of genetically modified vegetables and animals for consumption are not known; but can they really be anything but bad, bad, bad? Monsanto Corporation, the front runner behind GMOs in our food chain, patents its GMO seeds (which require stronger and nastier chemicals to kill new, super-resistant pests and blights), and sues small farmers when their freaky seeds drift into the farmers’ fields. Buy organic!
Navigating the grocery aisle can be intimidating for lots of reasons: there are dozens of variations of the same product, prices vary weekly, and then there’s the mysterious product labels, designed to confuse you. Read them carefully; you can influence both your family’s health and the direction of food production in America by buying organic, and steering clear of chemically created products. Buy animal products from suppliers who treat the animals humanely, and support your local farmers’ markets. Consumer action is powerful.
(and the stupid “callout,” for SEO purposes: this one falls under “did you know?”)
In this past election in California, Prop. 38 was on the ballot; the measure, which aimed to require labeling of all GMO foods, was narrowly defeated. In recent weeks, alarming evidence of vote tampering has surfaced. Who but Monsanto could be behind this?