49 thoughts on “Food Sustainability

  1. Have you ever seen a GMO label?

    When you go to the store do you ever look at your food packaging? Do you care to read what it contains and if it’s bad for you? Most of us don’t really care what were eating as long as it tastes good or it’s our usual or whatever. Little do we know, most of the foods we eat contains GMO’s. Depending on what side you stand it might not matter to you, but I hate GMO’s. These chemicals could possibly hurt you physically. So why isn’t the state doing anything to warn us!?

    GMO labeling is a huge issue with not just many states, but with the world. According to “labelgmos.org,” about 50 countries have some kind of GMO warning or labeling for foods. The U.S. is struggling with this GMO issue. Hawaii has only recently agreed to label GMO foods but with specific guidelines. Only the food being brought in from other states will be labeled. In general, the requirements for a product to be labeled as “contains GMO’s,” it needs to legally be a food product and it must contain about 0.9% of GMOs. (187 words)

    • Why does it matter that only food from other states is labeled? Have you seen these labels in Hawaii? Your first paragraph and second paragraph don’t seem to go together since isn’t labeling an attempt by the state to “warn us” ? Good info on labeling!

    • This is such amazing news:) I was literally clapping for joy when I read that it was passed. Now I think that all food in Hawaii should be labeled due to the fact that Monsanto owns land here and they could put there name as local farmers and we the people would never know.

    • No I haven’t seen a “GMO label” but I want to see them on our foods. I want to know what kind of modifications were done. With what I am learning about gmos and our governments action, or lack of, I am not surprised with the information you provided. Thanks.

    • I totally agree that the state should be doing something to make us aware about GMOs. Not all GMOs are good for people, I don’t think we should use them too often.

  2. I think GMO foods maybe dangerous, but they’re completely fascinating! They combine diffrent species DNA to make our food more resistant, and abundant. They take flounders antifreeze gene, and pair it to tomatos. I wonder what else they can do/are doing with this? Maybe they can combine human, and fish DNA to create humans that can breath underwater, aswell as on land!?

    In 1986, three government agencies were entrusted with the responsibility to regulate and monitor genetically engineered products for the safety of the public. This “Coordinated Framework” involved the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It was their job to oversee modified foods and crops to be as “safe as their conventional” or natural counterparts.
    It seems reasonable that genetically engineered foods are safe because of the scrutiny these government agencies provide, yet, doubt lingers in my heart. I want to know the truth. Don’t you?
    Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds by Claire Hope Cummings voices some troubling concerns. Cummings viewpoint is credible and illuminating as she was an environmental lawyer for twenty years of which four years was with the USDA. Regarding the coordinated framework, she writes, “It left just enough oversight in place to give the public the appearance that the government was involved but gave regulators no meaningful role” (12).
    I have always thought that the FDA tested gmo products before being sold in supermarkets. Not so, according to Cummings. It is alarming to realize that none of the gmo products have been tested for human health hazards (13 &14).
    The EPA can only regulate toxins and pesticides. They ignore genetically engineered pesticides used on gmo crops because they do not consider the engineering process. What? Does this make sense to you?
    Add to this quagmire, the USDA. This agency issues permits to companies while relying on the companies to police themselves. Of course, companies don’t rat on themselves. Over 8000 field test results were reviewed and not one required an environmental assessment (13).
    Do you believe that our government is watching out for us? (297)

    • Great example of how facts make a blog interesting to read. Your blog made me think “yes!” I do want to know the truth! You use some great words here, too, like farce, and quagmire.

    • YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to know the truth. I don’t think that the government is watching over us. I believe that they revolve around money and that’s what they mainly look at. Great blog:) I loved it!!

    • Frankly, GMOs scare me because even if they were tested, they really haven’t been around long enough to do long term tests. It doesn’t seem to make sense to me that the EPA and USDA aren’t regulating what companies are doing and testing goods that could be very harmful.

  4. I feel to have food sustainability we DO need GMO’s, we just need to make sure we use safe genes to alter our food. There has been much controversial arguments regarding GMO’s and their standing points. Many people claim GMO’s are ruinging our planet, and the health of people. Others are saying GMO’s are nothing new, they’ve just been pinpointed into an exact science, instead of just guessing what can go together. With so many different opinions about GMO’s, many are confused as to the pros and cons of it. Certain types of genes that are used for GMO’s can cause deadly consequences. An example would be any use of peanuts in GMO crops; already people whom are allergic to peanuts have to keep a close eye on what they eat and how it’s made, add GMO to that bunch, and we may have a GMO version of the plague. I’m not saying GMO’s are bad, they just need to be carefully monitored and boldly labeled on consumer good and products. I’m glad that Hawaii is trying to pass a law that REQUIRES GMO products to be labeled, for our allergenic people and just everyone whom eats…I never did like getting sick…

    • Your peanut example is pretty scary!
      Your whoms should be who, do you know why?
      Hawaii did pass this law, it’s just hard to do it — what are the issues with implementing the labeling law?

    • GMO imported into Hawaii now have to be labeled:) Its s awesome, your example is very scary:(…. Made me double think about my friends who cant eat peanuts.. very good point.

    • Awesome example with the peanuts. I hadn’t even realized that allergies were a factor to consider (kinds seems obvious now that I’ve read about it). And I’m also glad that Hawaii has a law that requires GMO labelling. Now if only we could get those labels to be just a liiiitle bit bigger than super tiny fine print between the lines.

  5. I may be undecided on whether GMO is a good idea or not, but honestly, I think we need it. You can look at the situation in many different views, but in my view I see either starvation or financial consequences. Farmers are getting most affected by it, since many farmers are forced into the financial ruin or forced into growing an unwanted crop. GMO represents 80% of our food supply, and without it, what do you think will happen? At this point, food prices will skyrocket and many of us may starve to death, or just as well go into a financial situation. If we were to stop GMO now, not only with our food prices rise, but also, people like the ” organic movement ” will make money of it. Yes ORGANIC IS GOOD but are you financially capable for it?
    ” Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. ” But as you all should know, when chemicals are grown systemically into plants, they cannot be rinsed off before you eat them.
    In my opinion, food is a great factor to us. Human beings will strive to survive. As for me, food is seriously great! I love food! ☺

    • Doesn’t the quote you include here contradict your main point? If chemicals are grown systematically into plants, they cannot be rinsed off. Right … that’s why so many people are suspicious of GMOs. Did you mean something else?

    • I think the idea behind GMO foods is just and important. After all, wouldn’t we want to produce more food if possible? But as the affects of eating GMOs haven’t been around too long, I can’t say I really think they’re safe.

  6. The Food of Tomorrow

    When I first heard about GMO, I started asking myself what is GMO? Why is this an issue? I had no background knowledge and no clue most of the food I eat may contain GMO. After reading the article “Playing with our food; get the latest on GMO and learn how they may harm the body, not to mention earth” all the information started building up and I was pretty convince we shouldn’t allow it at all. What stood out to me from the article was “you have to consider a broad range of possible harmful effects, including creating allergens and increasing natural toxins in food”- Lisa Turner. I totally agree with Lisa because we don’t realize we are eating an unknown organism and letting it enter our body that can cause severe damage. Another thought popped in to my head; I realized I have not heard the other side of the story. What is good about GMO? Why do farmers use GMO? I did some research about it and there are some advantages of GM for crops. It is use for pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, cold tolerance, and many more. At the end of the night I am leaning toward against GMO. I love food but we need to watch what we eat.(214,Kennah)

    • I agree with Lisa Turner as well. The article was a great one, I read the same one as well:)

    • It’s true that both sides of this GMO issue present good arguments. What makes me crazy sometimes is trying to figure out what/who to believe. I suppose in the end you just have to trust yourself.

      • Just like you, I really didn’t know much about gmo. The best thing each of us can do is educate ourselves on this subject. The more I am learning, the less I like gmo. I feel like we’re being bullied into something that an elite few wants because it makes them rich and powerful.

  7. “The issues surrounding food are compelling because we all have to eat”, when I saw the word ‘issues’ I thought of GMO’s. Everyone speaks of how we should be organic and that we should eat healthy, but are we really? I read two argumentative essays about GMO’s, which opened my eyes; one was forward as the other was against. The author against it discussed how genetically modified organisms are DNA from other species, implanted into our foods resulting danger to our human bodies. If GMO foods were consumed, we may experience negative health effects such as allergic reactions, possible organ damage, and an increase of natural toxins. On the other hand, the forward article states that “Critics of agricultural biotechnology harp on a series of myths and misstatements to support their position that these foods and crops are unsafe”. What caught my attention were the author’s details of “natural” foods. “”Natural” corn has an ear the size of that last digit of your little finger. “Natural” tomatoes are the size of grape, and a stunted one at that…” I interpreted that GMO’s help foods transfer into a reality size. As I reflect on these two arguments, there are the pros and cons. We eat food because it is a part of our human survival cycle. Mentally, whether a food is labeled good or bad, we physically eat it to satisfy ourselves.

    • I like how you gave both sides of the story.. Made me have to really think about things. The more I read about it though, the more I turn to no GMO period. But great blog:)

    • Good job focusing on one idea here — the idea of “natural” sized food. I’m thinking a picture of a “natural” corn on the cob would be a great way to reinforce. It may be that we are just so used to GMO food (even without knowing what it is) that we don’t even know what “natural” food really is anymore.

    • You’re right. There are always two sides to every issue. GMO is a BIG issue and we need to be informed. What I am learning about gmos is to consider the source of information. I used to think that the gene modifications were only food. In other words, corn gene mixed with another type of corn gene. Not so. In fact, according to another source, scientists are cross mixing genes. Supposedly, even human genes are being crossed with food. If this is true, GROSS, but also scary. I think it’s unfair that corporations are making decisions for the general public. When did we lose our right to know what is in our food and who decided for me what I can eat?

  8. GMOs: Here to Help!

    When it comes to sustaining the lives of 7 billion people, GMOs are hardly the enemy. In fact, what people have been “fighting” against for years is simply an extension of what we’ve been doing since the dawn of time! Humans have been “modifying” food resources for centuries (planting crops in certain areas to promote growth, domesticating and fattening up farm animals to produce more meat, etc.). The only difference between past and present is the level of technology available to us to execute these modifications in a precise manner.

    The best part about technology is that it’s always being improved, a fact that people forget every time they close their minds to the possibilities. I admit, there are certainly issues with GMOs (like labeling and environmental risks), but I ask you this: How can you expect scientists/engineers to advance the safety and efficiency of GMOs when everyone is scrambling to shut them down?

    I repeat: GMOs are not the bad guys. This technology is here to help! With it, we are able to feed the world by growing higher quality food with efficiency. Better quality, greater quantity food? Less chemicals and pesticides sustaining our crops? Sounds like a plan to me.

    http://youtu.be/5amLAMRQk5I [Penn & Teller: Bullshit! – Organic Foods]

    Out of all the videos on pro-GMOs I’ve watched, this one is my absolute favorite. It’s about a half-hour long, but you only need to watch the first 2 minutes to get the gist of things. (Warning: there’s a bit of language in it; not enough to be rated R, but not something for the young’uns.) (266 words)

    For more, check out: http://organic.lovetoknow.com/Pros_and_Cons_of_GMOs

    • I love your blog for taking a strong stance. While this side is currently less “popular,” it is important to consider the role of science. I’m not sure about citing Penn and Teller (what kind of authority do they have?) but I haven’t watched the link yet….

    • Okay, that Penn and Teller is really funny, AND it puts together several arguments quite effectively!

    • I can’t say I absolutely agree with your stance and opinion, but then again, that’s what makes it YOUR stance and YOUR opinion. But if I were to have your point of view, I would agree that GMOs can and will be saving our population from starvation and not enough food.

  9. Money gets the best of us

    Why are all the foods that are good for us so expensive? I mean we all want to eat healthy, and eat more organic foods, but not a whole lot of people can afford those kinds of food. Believing that if everyone could buy organic food then maybe the prices would go down, but people just don’t have that much money now days. Look at McDonalds, they make only a few dollars off of a lot of things they sell and they’re still going strong because a lot of people buy their food. Fast food is so cheap and that is why I believe a lot of people would buy food from McDonalds or Jack in the Box instead of food from Whole Foods at Kahala mall. I mean $10 for a slice of pizza? I would be thinking I could get 10 cheeseburgers from McDonalds for that price. Money is so valuable now days that every dollar is spent wisely for some people. They’re not going to get expensive organic food from Whole Foods to feed their family for one night. They’re going to get their moneys’ worth and buy more food for the same price as the organic ones and feed their family for a few days. Money controls us and we just don’t have the money right now to eat organic foods. Maybe we need GMOs. After all money is power. (234)

    • Actually eating organic is not more expensive when my husband and i go to whole foods for lunch he always gets a delicious deli made sandwich and a drink and i get Chinese food or pizza and a drink and its about $20 thats about the same as 2 meals from mcdonalds and it will keep you full for a lot longer, even the bottomless pit of a husband i have! pizza there is between 2.50-5 a slice depending the kind you get and a while pizza starts at 13.99. eating organic maybe 50 more a pay check but the food keeps you fuller longer and is over all better for you!

    • I think of the same thing when Im heading home from the beach and Im starving. I debate on going to lets say, Costcos vs. whole foods. Costco is so cheap, and they give out hug portions. Then whole foods on the other hand sells one thing for a great price. In the end I always choose whole foods but I wish that everyone bought it so that the prices could go down. It would make life so much better and I wouldn’t have to think twice about where to go buy my food.

    • This blog provides a good example of how you can lose credibility if you don’t do your research. Marissa’s blog contradicts your pricing. A slice of pizza is not $10 at Whole Foods; nor is a cheeseburger only $1. Your general point is good but your example is not specific or real.

  10. Congratulations Hawaii on the first step to GMO labeling !!!!!!!!!!!

    Has Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) labelling been passed? Has the people of Hawaii’s voices been heard? I have wonderful news. I am looking at the bill of HB174 HD2 on the Hawaii state legislature website and it states that the Agriculture committee passed the first stage of the bill; Food imported into Hawaii have to be labelled.

    Isn’t that such great news! Did everyone know that “in genetic engineering, the gene and DNA—the building blocks of organisms—are manipulated, creating GMO that would never occur in nature. Genes from bacteria, viruses, animals and even humans have been inserted into plants like soybeans, corn, canola, cotton and rice.” (Article playing with our food: get the latest on genetically modified organisms and learn how they may harm the body, not to mention the earth by Lisa Turner.) Reading that sure made me think twice about what I want to put in my body. If that made others think twice too, now people can make an educated choice on what food they want to buy.

    The next step should be that all of the food in Hawaii need to be labeled. But before we can take that next step, round of applause to all of the human beings that fought for this bill to be heard. If people can continue to fight for what they believe in, and not give up, this could be a huge step to a positive future.

    • i didnt know that hawaii was taking these step! i am so excited and i hope this bill gets passed soon! as much as i love whole foods it would be nice to be able to shop other places too!

    • Your enthusiasm makes it fun to read your post. Don’t you think it’s interesting that this bill was passed last year and you didn’t know about it? Why are we so, in general, poorly informed about these issues when they are of direct importance to our health and wallet?

  11. GMO’s are a very big controversy some people think they are good, some bad and some people just don’t care. I believe that genetically engineered food isn’t always bad, for example I have heard that somewhere in India the people couldn’t get enough vitamin K in their diet so someone genetically modified rice so that it would have more vitamin K to help supplement their diet. I think that is a very good use of genetically modified food. I believe that we have taken it just too far in some cases, most corn, soy and wheat are so modified that some have been linked to children being born with autism and leukemia. I don’t understand why we have taken modification so far, its to the point where I am scared of some foods. Not only that but our fruits and vegetables being so modified is taking away from the flavor of the food and in some cases is being modified again to add more flavor back in. Looking at a GMO tomato a organic or even conventionally grown one you can clearly see that the GMO one has a pale grey almost sick color and the other is a very bright red. I just don’t understand why things have gone so far, was our food really so bad before it was genetically modified? (225)

    • Be careful throwing out wild ideas — is GMO linked to autism and leukemia… or not? If your argument is tooooo scary, people just give up trying to figure out what is real.

    • I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not things have gone too far. Essentially, food resources are modified to increase quality/taste, efficiency, and resiliency. GMO fruits and vegetables are actually bigger, heavier, and sometimes more vibrant in color than their organic counterparts. I watched a few videos in which very few people (even those who claimed authority on the subject) could correctly point out GMOs from organics.

  12. First and foremost, I would like to state that I am a vegan. I do not consume or wear anything that comes from an animal, whether it be butter or a silk shirt. Therefore, when I saw the title of Lierre Keith’s article “The truth about vegetarianism: not eating meat won’t solve our planet’s problems. If we want a truly sustainable diet, we need to look at the broader truths about the nature of food and farming”, I knew that I would fundamentally disagree with every point made. And disagree I did.

    Keith’s article is focused on the idea that something must die in order to produce food, whether that food ultimately be plant or vegetable. Keith then affirms that naturally, the death of one animal promotes the life of another. Therefore, in Keith’s eyes, consuming animals more sustainably won’t be exploitation but “taking turns”.

    This is concept is laughably unfitting with Keith’s lifestyle as a vegan. It is impossible to cause absolutely no harm to any being. However, the core idea of veganism is that we, as humans, should cause as little harm as possible. If it is not necessary for our survival to consume animals, then we have no right to. Our taste buds are not enough of a justification to cause harm and death to millions of animals each year.

    Look into the eyes of a baby calf, a piglet, or even your pet. Is their death worth your five minutes of pleasure? Is their life worth only what they can give to you? Can you look into the eyes of an animal and honestly say that taking their life would just be “taking turns”? (278)

    • I disagree with your opinion, but I really admire the way you wrote this blog. You’re very strong and solid in what you say, and I can see the power this topic makes you feel. The blog felt a bit more accusatory than it needed to be, but I suppose that was the point. Even while reading your blog, I was already coming up with arguable points to respond with, and by the end of it, I was pretty sure you wrote it using a ‘persuasive essay’ kind of format. You did a really good job!

  13. Turning into a vegan diet is a serious lifestyle change and if you don’t get it right then you might develop health problems such a low energy levels, muscle fatigue and lowered immune systems. There are common reasons why some people choose to be vegetarian, it’s whether they wanna lose weight, want to have a healthy lifestyle or they are really concern to animals. The question is, will it really helps to save the planet? In my opinion, I am not really sure, but i do think it will help to reduce carbon emissions by tons; raising animals for food waste product and cuts down rainforest. I respect vegetarians for the pure and simple fact that they are choosing to follow a lifestyle that in their eyes will lead them to a healthy life but i don’t think it’s not fair that some of them have their philosophy that the world is cruel because we eat animals. Im not against vegetarianism but i admit i cant eat vegetables alone. It wont make me full andi guess i will starve for different food. Only if everyone in the planet are willing to adopt a vegetarian diet, then it would really save the planet, but i don think it would be possible to happen.

    • I’d never be able to only eat vegetables. And I agree with your last statement; let’s not even consisder the notion of turning everyone in the world into vegetarianism. It’s not just the fact that this lifestyle wouldn’t sit well with some people, but there’s also culture to consider. Dishes that call for lots of meat and other animal products would be lost if we all suddenly ate a strict vegetable-diet. I think losing an entire culture of food and custom would be a great loss to this world.

  14. why is GMO here?

    • Genetically modifying your family

      why would we need genetically modified organisms? GMO’s are a big issue today in Hawaii and you can say the world, on one side you have people who loves GMO’s and the other side you have people who absolutely hate them. me i’m in the middle with the whole thing. i don’t like it, but i wont like protest and hate anyone who supports it.
      people who likes GMO’s their looking at how it can help the future, because we all know that the world is changing and maybe we will need fish proteins in corn or something like that. another thing is that people who like GMO’s are just praising on how far we came in science that we could actually change what a genetic make-up of plants and food.
      people who don’t like GMO’s don’t like how people are playing “God”. the reason i don’t like GMO’s is that they are trying to change the make-up of Kalo. to Hawaiians, Kalo is not only a plant that we eat, but it is were we came from. We believe that papa and wakea gave birth to a still born baby named Haloa which they buried and form the ground came a Kalo plant. and papa and wakea’s next child was man. so why would anyone want to change the genetic make-up of our older brother.
      so hopefully you see why some people don’t like GMO’s.

      • Great description of a cultural argument against GMOs. How can Hawaiians get this argument into the conversation about GMOs?

      • I never thought about the fact that in creating GMOs, we really are losing our heritage. How can we further connections to our past if we seem to be cutting off all ties we have left, even with food? I also think knowing the stories behind Kalo was a really great insight.

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