Food producers should label genetically modified food, but don’t miss the dangerous health issue here…soy
Breaking up is hard to do. Even when it’s as simple as “breaking up” with a favorite food.
But you know how it is. Sometimes you’ve just got to walk on.
This happened recently to a group of loyal consumers. They were appalled to discover that their favorite “organic” cereal is about as organic as a carnival corndog.
Unfortunately, they’re overlooking the real danger in this so-called “healthy food.”
Genetically modified “food”
You may have heard about the Kashi controversy.
A few weeks ago, John Wood, the owner of a Rhode Island health food store, removed all Kashi cereal products from his shelves. In their place, he hung a note explaining that the “natural” cereals contain genetically modified ingredients. So they had to go.
If this had happened 20 years ago, the controversy wouldn’t have gotten out of the neighborhood. But in 2012, anything can blow up into a media storm.
Someone took a photo of Wood’s Kashi sign. They posted it on Facebook. It went viral. And suddenly Kashi executives had a national PR crisis.
Turns out, it was a well-deserved crisis.
According to a recent report, the soy in Kashi cereals comes from Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy. It resists Roundup herbicide so crops can be drenched with the poison.
Organic? Not by a mile. Natural? Not in this universe.
But all this howling over a GM ingredient ignores the REAL issue: No product that contains unfermented soy should ever appear on a shelf in a store that calls itself a “health food store.”
Here’s a quote from the Kashi website. “Alternative meat products–made mainly of soy–are a good way to add both protein and textural variety to vegetarian diets.”
Ah, but they forgot to add that a steady surge of soy isoflavones can lead to immune system suppression.
And you can forget about soy as a protein source. The phytates in soy actually IMPEDE protein absorption. Even worse, phytates impede absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc!
These problems mostly go away when soy is fermented. Miso, tempeh, and fermented soy sauce don’t pose the same problems. But virtually all other forms of soy do. Like tofu. Or soy in cereal boxes.
I’ve said this many times before. Soy is not health food.
And I’ll keep saying it until storeowners remove unfermented soy products from their shelves and post this sign. “Soy is junk! Avoid it at all costs.”
…and another thing
A person could get the wrong idea.
Take a look at the Kashi website (kashi.com). You’ll find two words constantly tossed around. “Natural” and “organic.”
You can easily see how someone would come away from the site believing that Kashi products are organic.
And that would be correct. For six products.
Kashi makes nearly 100 products, including waffles and pizza.
Now, a non-organic food is not necessarily bad for you. It’s just that organic foods have to meet certain USDA criteria. They can’t contain ingredients treated with synthetic weed or bug killers. They can’t contain certain types of fertilizers. They can’t contain preservatives or artificial flavors. And, of course, no genetically modified ingredients.
A Kashi spokesperson told USA Today that by 2015, all new Kashi products will contain at least 70% organic ingredients.
Just 70? Is that supposed to be impressive?
If a product is two-thirds organic, that’s not organic. Not even close. In that case, the USDA only allows this claim: “Made with organic ingredients.”
If you want complete assurance that your food is 100% organic, the label has to say exactly that: “USDA 100% organic.”
If something is simply “made with organic ingredients,” a food producer could drive a truckload of Roundup through that loophole. And you’d never know it.