James and I are not typical American eaters. We both grew up in rural areas, and enjoy sound old-fashioned cooking. James grew up in Bangor, Maine and when I visited his home about a decade ago saw one of the most robust and healthy tomatoes gardens in my life. The cooking I found in that country home was based on fresh products. One had to only look out the window of thier home to see where the food came from.
I was raised in Hancock, Wisconsin and was a meat and potatoes guy until I left home and became acquainted with a wide variety of other options. My parents had a huge garden, and lots of fresh goodness came from it, pesticide free. I can still see my dad, a WWII veteran, with a stick and 5-gallon pail to collect potatoes bugs as he would not use spray. It may seem quaint, but that is how I was raised in the 1970’s.
Today James and I still love the basics, but we also enjoy lots of ethnic varieties. Where we differ from most others in this land is that we are not fast food types, though we do from time-to-time stop for the cheap greasy food. But fast food never settles with us very well, and we often wonder if the feeling after such food is how the majority of people feel all the time.
James works to eat healthy, and I strive for what my dietician has prescribed– a high carbohydrate diet (that is not a typo). James is a fantastic cook (learning lots of skills while living in France) and as such we do a lot of dinners at home. In addition, we try to stay away from what we call ‘industrialized’ food. In the summer we have a weekly box of fresh products from a local CSA share.
We like to know what we eat, and try to eat healthy.
I mention all this in the same fashion many of my readers could account for their own daily eating habits. We care what goes into our bodies, even if chemical companies such as Monsanto and Dow do not care what we consume.
Which is why I am at a loss as to see the controversy with California Prop 37, on the ballot this fall.
Simply put there is a whole array of foods that is genetically engineered. As of now those foods are not labeled, and we have no way of knowing if the food we are eating is a product of this artificial process.
That may sound perfectly fine for some people, but not for me, and I strongly suspect a growing majority who care more about the food they cook and eat.
I first became aware of Prop 37 while listening to Orion Samuelson on WGN during one of his farm reports months back. (He is one of those old-time broadcasters, now in his 50th year, and for that alone I respect and admire him.) But his perspective on Prop 37 was flawed, and geared for his audience of large farmers and corporate agri-business types that I have come to be disgusted with for the most part.
What Samuelson neglected to add was that almost all genetically engineered foods are engineered to either produce pesticides in their tissues or resist herbicides sprayed on them. The impact of these foods has not been subjected to long-term independent study.
That concerns folks who not only want to know, but deserve to know, what is going into their food.
I am hoping that the voters of California take a healthy stand not only for their state, but also by supporting this measure that then sends a message for the rest of the nation.
Genetically engineered food needs to be labeled. Just as it is in over 50 countries around the globe.