GMO Foods: Clever or Chaotic?
By NORBERT MAERTENS
During the past millennia, especially since the Western Industrial Revolution, modern society has been “engineering” a lifestyle ever more divorced from the balancing dynamics of nature – as if we could live without nature!
Everything throughout the universe is a manifestation of opposite energies which maintain shape and balance during a specific time. Whether we call these opposite energies or forces, expansion versus contraction, male versus female, yin versus yang, etc. they are the essence of the entire universe with which we humans resonate as manifestations of the same energy.
Since human activity on this planet began to interfere with this precious balance the consequences are proving to be catastrophic. More recently, and obviously with agricultural profits in mind, this interference has resulted in the cultivation of genetically modified foods. As resource exploitation has reached the far corners of the planet – globalization – and as the productive capacity of the earth is in decline, the limits of growth are now being experienced in the form of widespread ill-health, economic recession and poverty.
Having access to healthy, wholesome and non-processed food such as whole grains, nuts and dried fruit is clearly becoming a viable alternative to the increasing pressures of the “McDisney” lifestyle. To understand the importance of steering clear of genetically-modified food it is imperative to look at plants and animals in their greater context.
As natural organisms, foods grow according to a well-organized and defined genetic pattern or plan. As a consequence, when consumed by us humans, such naturally-grown plants and animals transmute the same continuity or “pattern of energy.” This natural diet and lifestyle gives us a sense of connectedness to the universe and a feeling of harmony, meaning and “belonging.” Today most of our Western food is increasingly genetically-modified while the rest is grown with chemicals from hybridized seeds as well as being irradiated, processed, microwaved, canned and preserved – in effect totally alienated from nature. How can such food sustain health and a feeling of being in balance with the natural world?
Even growing an organic garden oneself does not entirely overcome these problems since most of the seeds presently available are from questionable origins, e.g. hybridized, “terminator” seeds (not open-pollinated). Also, even “heritage” seed varieties can be easily contaminated through cross-pollination from genetically modified varieties growing in a neighbour’s garden.
For example, in the last four years that I have been searching, not one tomato could be found in the Okanagan Valley which did not show any signs of genetic modification. Very much like an apple, tomatoes should form along a pentagonal shape (five sections, when comparing the cross-sections). Instead, an ever more chaotic or “cancer-like” pattern has become the norm. These same chaotic patterns are also showing up in cucumbers, corn, peppers, potatoes, beans, cabbages, lettuce and carrots, to name but a few. Many experts in the whole foods movement are beginning to see a link between the prevalence of cancer and other diseases in our society and the increasing consumption of these “chaotic” (genetically modified) foods.
From the above example it is easy to observe that foods with a short growing cycle such as tomatoes and cucumbers are much more prone to becoming genetically modified. Tree fruits and nuts which typically only start producing after many years of maturity are much more difficult and cost prohibitive to genetically modify or “engineer.” Therefore consuming more protein-rich, healthy nuts might actually save us from going “NUTS” in the midst of all the craziness!
Rancho Vignola supports the need for social change by recognizing how essential our food choices are in finding meaning, health and harmony in our daily lives. The nuts, fruits and other products we distribute are chosen not only because they are the freshest of the season but also because they are produced on smaller, family-type farms using time-proven production methods. We also go out of our way to find the most genetically-intact varieties which have not been modified, and which have their natural balance intact – often sun-dried instead of microwave-dried and as raw as possible instead of processed in questionable conditions.
Besides our efforts to distribute the best products money can buy, we also strive to create a fun and productive work environment for our staff – an environment in which co-operation and solidarity are supreme, together with the common desire to serve our customers with the best we can.
Norbert Maertens, the author of this article, is one of the coordinators of our Vernon warehouse crew. Norbert is also an avid commentator on social/political issues, as well as a self-described rebel!