Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May I Have Some More Sir?

In keeping with my ‘food theme’ for the day, A neo-Jacobin has a pretty good piece up about GM and genetically modified food.

“I believe that nature is not good enough for humanity. We have developed more choice over how we live our lives - we no longer live at the mercy of nature. It has only been through developing a technological society, which has meant, we in the advanced West no longer suffer from starvation and hunger.”

I generally don’t have any problem with these modified foods. I must confess that I think they are less tasty then their ‘organic’ brethren, but I am not beyond considering that it may have something to do with the higher cost I pay for them. My mind may just assume it tastes better because, well, I paid more for it.

An Insomniac makes some interesting points about the public’s perception of these goods and GM itself.

“The public dislike of GM is less to do with the product itself, and more to do with who’s promoting it. Scientists are no longer seen as trustworthy; their discoveries have been put to too many nefarious uses; their results called into question too many times. Big business is seen as out for all it can get, with little regard for the public. Same with the Government. So when these groups come forward and offer something like GM food people are wary. All it takes are a few scare stories to “confirm” their suspicions.”

Golly, all this writing about food has made me hungry. I think I will go pick up some genetically modified and artificially preserved cheeseburgers from the local Burger King.

10 comments:

Matt M said...

Good food needs to have soul - it needs to have character. You just don't get that with something that's been grown in industrial-sized vats and pumped full of chemicals.

Irrational I know... but try telling that to my taste-buds.

Courtney Hamilton said...

Some more food for thought - a little something for you to chew on.

Good idea to have a food debate, you should have warned me, I could have cooked up some posts for you... ok, enough.

http://neo-jacobins.blogspot.com/2006/05/mcdonalds-theres-no-such-thing-as-junk.html

Roland Dodds said...

"The real truth of the matter is McDonald's serves up a decent square meal. Obviously, if you ate super size McDonald's, 3 times a day, for a month your health would slowly deteriorate - but come off it, that's not exactly a startling revelation, is it?" - C. Hamilton

This is a good point. It is not that McDonalds is inherently bad for you. Heck, if I ate a jar of peanut butter every day, that wouldn’t be good for me either, but I don’t see folks trying to take down peanut butter producers.

Is the term “junk food” simply a new form of snobbery? Kind of...I guess I will have to consider that further. While it may be unfair to lump one set of food in this category (i.e. ‘fatty’ or oily foods), there is still something to be said about the quality of the food we digest daily here in the west. I don’t know if telling my overweight uncle that is diet is as healthy as one made up of fresh fruit and vegetables is going to help him get healthy.

To be honest, I had never considered the term “junk food” extensively. It appears I will have to do so.

Courtney Hamilton said...

A bit more food politics for you, that's if you can stomach anymore that is.

An amusing story about 'junk food smugglers'.
http://www.brendanoneill.net/JunkFoodSmuggling.htm

Courtney Hamilton said...

"Heck, if I ate a jar of peanut butter every day, that wouldn’t be good for me either, but I don’t see folks trying to take down peanut butter producers."

Precisely.

"There is still something to be said about the quality of the food we digest daily here in the west."

Your right, there is, we've managed to achive the highest standards of food production in human history - the food we buy in western markets has never been so good, ever. We've come leaps and bounds since the days of food adulteration of the 40's, in some parts of the west as late as the 50's.

Food wise, in the west, I must insist, we've never had it so good.

Matt M said...

In order to make rational choices people need to be well educated. What we need to do isn't to ban junk food - but to educate people about nutrition and let them make their own decisions about what they stick in their mouths.

Roland Dodds said...

I agree. Give people the info, let them decide. As long as we don’t infringe on everyone’s right to choose the foods they want to eat.

charismatic megafauna said...

I would not say that we have gone beyond nature...it's not like we pulled these chemicals from someplace off the planet. We are just using tools, similar to another species using something to crack it's coconut shell or using sticks to get bugs out of a tree.

As a foodie, I completely agree with Matt M's statement about food having soul, though, proper ingredients are essential...usually, since I'm a poor college student, I buy whatever looks fresh for home, but if I'm going to be spending money on eating out, I go for the good stuff...unless I have a sudden In N' Out craving....mmm animal style grilled cheese, neopolitan milkshake...mmm, I kinda wanna go now.

Courtney Hamilton said...

"Give people the info, let them decide. As long as we don’t infringe on everyone’s right to choose the foods they want to eat."

Again, precisely. In a free and open society, it shouldn't be the business of governments to ban certain foods from people, just because the goverment at the time doesn't like it very much - that's exactly the kind of nanny-state interference that I've been opposed to all of my adult life.

On the very day that the UK government banned 'junk-food' from British schools, the BBC found that school-children, in London schools were bringing in sweets and crisps (and other nice things), and selling them cheaper than the schools tuck-shop. Well, at least it's good to know that kids are still kids when it comes to the serious business of 'junk-food'.

Roland Dodds said...

If there is a desire, someone will find a way. Good thing there are some young Capitalists running around about!