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Friday, October 24, 2008

Anyone Watch the New Show Eleventh Hour?

I was watching the new show Eleventh Hour last night and it was focused on genetically modified fungus and pesticides. The pesticides used fungus and scorpion venom to kill the bugs but along with killing the bugs it stayed on the produce, in this case strawberries, and the pesticide attacked bug proteins (carmine a red dye made from a type of beetle) in food that people ate and it paralyzed them. Eek. Now that's creepy.

Could this really happen? Are companies playing with our food and products like this? Sadly, yes. Maybe not with hybrid scorpion venom and fungus but who knows what these mad scientists are concocting in their secret labs.

We may be eating genetically modified food and not even know it because right now, from what I understand, it doesn't have to be labeled as a genetically modified organism (GMO). Not only that, another good point that was made on Eleventh Hour, is that long term testing has not been done to ensure that GMO foods and products are safe.

Yes, we need solutions for ending world hunger but they need to be safe foods that don't do more harm than good.

Another good point Eleventh Hour made was that natural and non-toxic don't mean squat. Plenty of harmful, damaging, or just gross things are "natural". That doesn't mean they are safe or good for you. And non-toxic is pretty much a marketing term unless it is backed up with official evidence and testing.

The carmine that is used for making red dye is made from a type of beetle. For some people this may be an ick factor. Especially since many red food dye is made with these bugs. Yes, that means you are eating bug parts when you eat many types of red or pink colored foods. Or wearing red cosmetics. Carmine is used in many lipsticks. I probably have some on my lips right now...eeew. I may have to double check on that.

Other "natural" things that appear in food or cosmetics that may give you a feeling of eeew include animal urine, placenta, animal fats and all kinds of naturally occurring chemical compounds. Yeah, OK, Belladonna is a natural thing, it's a plant that's been used to create poisons for centuries, same with Foxglove. Foxglove is used to make digitalis, heart medication. But the wrong dose or touched by the wrong person and it can be deadly (coincidentally that was last week's killer method on Eleventh Hour).

So the moral of the story is, read your labels, and demand full disclosure from companies, that means they have to include everything, in layman's terms, that appears in the product.

If I'm eating bugs I damn well want to know I'm eating bugs.

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