- Published on Sunday, 16 September 2012 00:42
- Written by ANNE OUTWATER
- Hits: 975
My mother loves to give parties. When her children come to visit, it’s an excuse to do what she loves to do – invite friends over, to enjoy good food and drinks until everybody is thoroughly happy. She has a certain style of food that she likes to serve and that is “casseroles”.
A casserole is when different ingredients are put together into serving dish and baked in the oven until done. Often the binder is a creamed soup. Sometimes the topping is a bit crunchy and it can be made from Corn Flakes. When the casserole is pulled out of the oven she is able to serve it hot without too much trouble.
This is a type of what is called “comfort food” – not spicy, bit creamy, easy on the stomach, even children feel happy eating this type of food. She likes to follow the casseroles with a big dessert of fruit pie and ice cream. Her children visited in August, and she decided to have a party. She wanted to serve casseroles. We helped her. But now to cook comfort food is tricky – because it is difficult to know if the ingredients are safe from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – the canned soups, the Cornflakes, the ice cream, are often not.
Many of the chickens for the casseroles will have been fed GMO corn. Foods that people used to trust have changed. For example Kellogg’s is a brand, that is more than 100 years old. Mr Kellogg’s stated goal was ‘to bring the lifegiving properties of grains in their most appetizing forms’. Many people trusted him and the company even though he died in 1951. We ate Cornflakes often when we were children.
But now all has changed. Without labeling, which is not yet required in the United States, how can you tell? Well, if the food is labeled ‘organic’ one can feel relatively comfortable as the most important part of that word as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture is that it contains no GMOs. You can also infer. That means going to the super market with reading glasses so you can see the fine print of the listed ingredients of each package.
If it is an American or Canadian corporate product and the list of ingredients contains corn or soy it is probably GMO’d. Or you can go to a website put up by the state of California where campaign finance laws require people and companies to register their donations (www.cal-access.sos. ca.gov). There is a battle going on now in California about GMO labeling. Proposition 37; California Right to Know.
One million Californians have signed the petition so that Proposition 37 can be put up for a state-wide vote in November. The supporters of Prop 37 want the food to be labeled as to whether it is genetically modified or not (as is done in more than 50 countries including Brazil, Japan, and all EU countries). In fact recent polls indicate that 85-90% of Americans want their food labeled. But many companies do not want people to know.
If companies are listed as donating money to fight this proposition (No on 37 campaign), it is a good indication that they are making or using GMOs. Indeed the companies donating the most money to fight the right for people to know what is in their food are those companies creating GMOS. Monsanto leads with a donation of 4.2 million dollars. Dupont follows with more than 3.5 million. Dow Chemical 1.1 million.
Bayer Crop Science 1 million. Syngenta $500,000. These are the same companies trying to create a “Green Revolution” in Africa through AGRA. Coca Cola has donated more than $603,000; Pepsi, more than $ 500,000. Nestle $608,000. Kellogg’s $517,000, General Mills $500,000. And many other well known companies are donating substantial amounts of money to try to prevent people from knowing if their food is contaminated with GMOs.
Their products can be found in supermarkets in Tanzania: Campbell Soups, Quaker, Wrigley’s, Sara Lee, Ocean Spray, Hershey, Mars, Land O’Lakes, Kraft, Heinz, Godiva Chocolatier, Dole, Del Monte, and Abbott Nutrition, are all fighting the initiative. They do not want to have to label their foods GMO or GMO free. They do not want people to know what their food is made of. My mother had to change a lot of the ingredients for food for the party – because products that were formerly trusted can be no longer.