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Ro

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Food
« on: June 30, 2004, 01:52:43 AM »

mentioning the book (Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature) in the books thread made me wonder...

What do you all think about Genetically Engineered foods? Do think it'll really save the world? or just cause problems? or do you just not really care either way (food is food, after all)?

This is my take on it:
it's been outlawed in most of Europe if I'm not mistaken, and it doesn't seem to make the food any cheaper, healthier, or plentiful...there's still plenty of people starving out there, and I don't really think that our genetically engineered food is helping them. Not only that, but did you know that they use viruses in order to spread the proteins that contain the genetic modifications!? I didn't know that before I started reading that book...

But anyway. I don't like it. I think it'll cause us more harm than good, and that these big food production companies are just trying to find ways to make things cheaper for themselves and make the most profit, just like in any other business.

Some other random information:
Did you know that the first successful genetic engineering of a plant was in 1983 and that the first genetically engineered foods were being grown in 1990?
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Deedra Malfoy

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Re: Food
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2004, 01:46:48 PM »

I don't care for the Idea much. mutant vegetables :'(

The originals were bad enough! :)
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Ping

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Re: Food
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2004, 02:12:24 PM »

Quote
The originals were bad enough!

Amen to that! ;)

Seriously, though, I don't mind. Basically, the careful breeding that people have been doing over thousands of years is the same sort of thing, only now they can do it faster and more efficiently.

And the virus delivery systems don't even scare me.

But then, I'm working with institutes that are researching ebola and such, so I'm not really that scared of mutant vegetables.  ^-^

But an excellent question and thread, Ro. I hope to see what other people think! Feel free to add more information to prove me wrong, too. :) (And take 5.)
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Cho Chung

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Re: Food
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2004, 03:02:30 PM »

I'm with Ping:  it doesn't bother me that much.  I admit, however, that I don't have much knowledge or insight into genetically engineered foods.  The way I figure it, we're going to die of something.

I do agree, though, that it probably doesn't do the 2/3 of the world that is starving much good, but I don't know that for sure.
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Deedra Malfoy

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Re: Food
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2004, 01:51:21 PM »

But, we'll need more space for the labs to grow it, and with the population of the world steadily increasing, there may never be enough, even if we do get started. Esp. if everything goes up at the same time, then we're in serious doodoo.

Plus, with the lab space, we would be destroying habitats for loads of endangered animals, and the Golden Snidgets need their room.
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Madeleine

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Re: Food
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2004, 11:33:46 PM »

Okay, first, the world population is NOT steadily increasing.  It's going down, or about to.  Most of Asia (to my knowledge) has a tendency towards small families.  Europe and the United States are BELOW the replacement rate.  (That means for every two adults there are LESS than two children.)

Secondly, the world is capable of producing more than enough food to feed all the people in the world.  The problem is a combination of transportation and political unrest that means the places that make the food can't get the food to the places that need the food for one reason or another (or usually many.)

Thirdly, I'm not a fan of genetically manipulated food.  Here is my reasoning: People keep thinking science can outsmart nature, but it so far it hasn't happened.  Scientists convinced mothers that formula was better for their baby than human milk, and for a long time mothers believed them.  More modern science has proven, however, that you simply cannot sythetically replicate most of the nutrients found in human milk, and that these nutrients are important to infants.  They can survive without them, of course, but it's at least somewhat detrimental.

I suspect that current genetically altered food will later be discovered to be missing important nutrients otherwise found in the natural products of the earth.  However much we know, there will always be so much more we DON'T know, and I, who believe in an Omnipotent Person in charge of everything, figure He knew what He was doing, and He did it best.  (Not to say I disapprove of technology, but that's a different discussion entirely.  I just think that humans were designed to consume certain foods, and that those foods were made for the nourishment of mankind.  I don't think we can improve on that with genetic tinkering - or feeding unnatural things (like hormones or dead animal parts) to our food.   :-X  But that is also a different discussion.  ;))
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Heather

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Re: Food
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2004, 03:08:23 AM »

I have been bombarded with "Low Carb" advertisements today, and I started pondering if the "low carb" mania sweeping the nation is a good thing.  As an initial disclaimer, I will note I tried Atkins last year.  I last 6 weeks and lost 15 pounds, but I hated it.  I am not sure I did the diet right b/c I continued to crave pasta and bread.

That being said, I would love to hear opinions as to whether the low carb diets which are so popular are healthy.
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Ping

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Re: Food
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2004, 11:21:48 AM »

No, they're not. They'll work for a little bit, and then they just stop, like so much else. About the only good thing I can figure that's come out of them is that there are finally some sugar-free or really-reduced-sugar things that don't taste like you're sucking on an ice cube.

Beyond that, well, the real reason to lose weight SHOULD be that you want to be healthy. (It's not always, but if you're not doing it for yourself, why do it?) There is only one tried and true and effective means of being healthy, and that's eating the proper balance of food, including fruits, grains, meat, dairy, as recommended by the FDA, and adding to that regular exercise.

The reason all these fad diets take hold is because they're basically billed as less work than the real thing. The Atkins slogan seems to be "eat stuff you like and still lose weight," as if there's this perception that eating healthy only involves lots of lettuce and cardboard-tasting stuff. Which it doesn't!

My mom has been on Jenny Craig. My mom has lost a lot of weight, and she's kept it off, because the Jenny way of doing things it that you eat the right balance of food, and you re-educate yourself in what that means. It's amazing to see the changes small changes that my mom's made that really affect her positively. She's not only lost weight, but she's HEALTHY. She eats right and gets lots of exercise. (We joke she could give Lance Armstrong a run for his money, 'cause she bikes a LOT.)

Now, JC costs lots of money. Worth it if you have it, but they basically go on the same recommendations that the FDA's been making for years, and that are out there for free. (Or at least from your doctor, which is pretty close, though it involves those evil doctor-types, which I don't like.)

*steps down off soap box* Of course, I can say this, and I still haven't gotten onto the eating-right kick yet, but I'm getting there slowly.  :angel:
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Heather

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Re: Food
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2004, 01:30:20 PM »

Your comments are what I suspected.  I have started exercising because no matter what Dr. Atkins book says, I cannot imagine that eating a ton of fat is good for your heart.  Wasn't it 10 years ago when fat was evil and carbs were good?  Everyone that I have seen go on a low carb diet loses a good deal of weight, but as soon as they go off the diet, it flys back on (with some extra weight too).

I think you are right, Ping, there is no easy fix.  If there are any low carb dieters out there who believe that it is the way to go, I would love to hear a dissenting opinion.
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Cho Chung

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Re: Food
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2004, 03:28:54 PM »

I know some folks who have basically decided that they are going to live on Atkins for the rest of their life.  I agree that it can't be good for you.  In fact, part of my hesitation is that we just dont' know, long term, what that kind of eating will do to you. 

I am a big fan of nature:  i.e. if you crave carbs, it's probably because there is some need for them.  All things in moderation, of course.

I did talk to a medical person about the Atkins/low carb diets, and he said it is a good way to lose body fat really quickly, but he would never recommend staying on it for long period of time. 

My common sense tells me healthy eating and healthy living (exercise, etc.), are the best way to go.

... AND it's free!
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Ping

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Re: Food
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2004, 04:49:08 PM »

My step-sis made the joke that there have been high-carb, and now high-protein diets, and she's getting ready for the high-fat diet. ;)

There have actually been warning about Atkins dieters needing to NOT eat high-fat foods.

But really, moderation is good. And yeah, if you're craving something, it's usually because you need it. (Unless it's chocolate. ;))
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Madeleine

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Re: Food
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2004, 07:48:41 PM »

I need chocolate!!!  :P  Okay, kidding.

My father-in-law is doing the South Beach Diet (or something vaguely like it since my mother-in-law had to return the book to the library  :laugh:) and he's lost a lot of weight, and is really happy about it.  Says it's easier to get out of his chair.  ;D  I hope, though, once he's lost his goal amount (which shouldn't take much longer.  He's around halfway there and has been on this diet for about a month) that he'll go back to regular eating WITH THE EXCEPTION that it will be healthier than what he ate before.  Most of what I've seen on their list of approved snacks looks like it's just regular healthy stuff, though, so maybe... maybe the way my mother-in-law has "modified" it is a nice, healthy alternative.  *hopes*

I like the pregnancy diet I was on.  It gave minimums, not maximums.  Well, for certain food groups.  It did say to avoid things with no nutritional value, and to only have things with low nutritional value occasionally.  I think it said things like frozen yogurt (because it's high in calcium, and the only real downside is the sugar) were okay once a day.  Things like cheeseburgers which are high in fat, but have some protein and vegetables (but are obviously less healthy than frozen yogurt) could be eaten once a week or so, and things with next to no benefit whatsoever, like hot fudge sundaes, could be indulged in once a month.  That way you're dieting, but it's not so painful that you just "cheat" all the time.  *grin*  I think they called it "cheating responsibly" or something funny like that.
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Cho Chung

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Re: Food
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2004, 09:23:18 PM »

That's a very healthy attitude, I think.  I mean, really, it's okay to have a "fun" food every so often -- a regular diet of them is what's bad.  I think once you get into a rhythm of responsible eating, then having fun food every so often isn't really "cheating," it's just the fun part of your regular diet that only happens once in a while.  I find that that's part of what makes fun food fun -- that you don't have it all the time.
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Xan

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Re: Food
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2004, 09:48:39 PM »

Yeah ... I think the best diet is actually just a sensible one. Eat healthy, but have some treats every once in a while ... as long as you have a lifestyle that includes a bit of activity (not just being a couch potato, basically) then you'd be able to stay healthy.

Of course, if you're looking to lose weight, then a more 'drastic' diet would be needed, but again you'd need to exercise. That said ... best, ideal solution is still to not gain weight in the first place. *shrug*


As for the original topic, genetically engineered food doesn't really bother me much at all ... we actually discussed this in class one day, and the general concensus was that it was helpful but not absolutely vital. Some stuff like the golden rice thing (to counter vitamin A deficiency, or something like that) is a really good idea because the people it was designed to help ate almost exclusively rice. Or potatoes engineered to produce some kind of natural pesticide, so farmers wouldn't need to spray them on (which brings more problems, like allergies and such ...).

But stuff like tomatoes engineered to be sweeter are just for consumer benefit and are kind of a waste of time to pursue IMO.

Um, I could probably write an essay on several aspects of GM food and their impact on the world, but I don't really think you guys want to get into that. :P
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AHD

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Re: Food
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2004, 08:10:10 PM »

The reason Atkins doesn't work for a lot of people is that you absolutely can not cheat for it to work.  Other diets like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig etc.  allow some opportunity to have a 'bad day.'  By significantly reducing the carbs in your diet you are creating a chemical reaction in your body that makes you lose weight - if you don't follow it the chemical reaction does not work and you end up gaining weight. 

You have to get the book, study it and follow the instructions exactly.  I have also found that many people don't realize how many carbs normal 'diet' friendly foods have - You need to check everything, you would be suprised how many carbs carrots, tomatoes and onions have. 

My husband and I have been eating Atkins for almost a year - he has lost 85 pounds and I lost 30.  We had our cholesteral checked this spring - mine was 167, his was 174 (both down from the last time it was checked)  and our blood pressure which has luckily always been 'normal' is better.  While I agree it does get boring - I am not thinking constantly about my next meal, like I did when I was on Weight Watchers.  (I lost 50 pounds doing that between baby 2 and 3)


The other good thing is with all the low carb chocolate out there I can have it whenever I want.
 ;)

All that being said - I think the only way some one will lose weight is if they decide to do it.  It doesn't matter what they do, excercise, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, South Beach, Atkins, etc. - No diet works unless the person has made the mental decision to do it.
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Deedra Malfoy

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Re: Food
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2004, 01:46:15 PM »

A lot of my family is on the Suth Beach Diet, and they have done really well. Granted, the only time they splurge is on holidays...

 ;)
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Heather

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Re: Food
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2004, 09:40:51 PM »

10 points to AHD, Xan, Ping, Mad, and Ro.
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hairyhotter

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Re: Food
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2005, 03:39:44 AM »

I don't really approve of the production of GE food. I think it's like putting your own life at risk by eating GE food because there are possible side effects and there is no long term safety testing for GE food. It's like eating in the dark because we don't have the faintest idea whether the food we consume is safe or not.

GE can produce unforeseen and unknown allergens in food. For example, soybeans engineered wiht gene froma  Brazil nut can cause potentially fatal allergic reactions in those with Brazil nut allergies. Besides that, GE food is modified to look fresher, have longer shelf life, therefore leading to reduced nutritional value. Studies have shown that GE soybeans have a lower composition of the beneficial phytoestrogen compounds believed to protect us against heart disease and cancer.

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