Wednesday, October 15, 2014

World Food Day

Happy World Food Day. October 16th. 

I am getting a Master in Nutrition Therapy. Food is everything to me. Not just because I eat, but because I tell other people how to eat, what to eat and what not to eat.

But there are other sides to this. Because just telling people what to eat would be way too easy.

In Colorado, 1 in 6 Children go hungry on a daily basis. They do not know where their next meal will come from. And when they do eat, it is not nourishing. It is processed and lacks nutrients, has added pesticides, preservatives and genetically engineered food plants.

Our children are malnourished, and not just the 1 in 6 mentioned above, most of our children are malnourished. It is a disaster. Look around you, I bet you can not tell me about ONE family that doesn't have a kid with Asthma, Food Allergies, Eczema, Environmental Allergies, Behavioural Problems, ADD, ADHA or Autism.

If this is not a crisis, I don't know what is. 

As a nutrition professional I obviously do turn to nutrition first to find a solution to a health problem. I do firmly believe though, and have seen it many times, that REAL FOOD can alleviate many problems and it should always be the first line of defense. And then prevention.

Coloradans have the chance to vote for or against mandatory GMO labeling on November 4th. Proposition 105 asks for mandatory labeling when a processed food or fresh produce is made with a crop that has been genetically engineered. This is big! This label means transparency, the right to know what we are feeding our children and for me as a nutrition professional - it means data. Data to track problems that may be associated with eating genetically engineered food stuff. What if our children are sick because of RoundUp ready soybeans? Corn that is engineered to produce its own pesticide and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide? What if we finally can answer the question 'Are we allergic to food or what has been done to it?'

These genetically modified crops have patents because they are genetically altered - no longer the same as nature made them - and therefor are being OWNED. GMOs are owned by companies that also sell the pesticides to go with them. Convenient, it is like one-stop-shopping. Except it is not funny, it is frustrating and sad and how many more of our children need to be sick? Isn't 1 in 68 kids being on the Autism Spectrum enough?

To go back to World Food Day. When I think about Food I also think about the Politics of it and how sad it is that not all children can grow up eating REAL FOOD and be healthy and happy developing human beings.

The opposition to Yes on 105 is spending 10 Million Dollars to defeat and deny Coloradans the Right to Know what we are eating, they are taking away our opportunity to know if GMOs can hurt us or not. With the 10 Million Dollars they could feed all the children of Colorado organic school lunches for years and years. I know that the world doesn't work like that, but shouldn't it?

Helping this campaign has taught me a lot. One of the things I learned is that behind everything that is happening, even in politics, there is a person. Every email address belongs to a person, every pamphlet was created by a person. As the volunteer coordinator I have met, talked to and hugged so many wonderful souls that are on this journey with us. There have been times I even cried talking to a person because I was so overwhelmed by their support. I am looking at you lovely lady from Hawaii.

I wonder about the people behind the 10 Million Dollars; the person who came up with the lies spread on television, the person that created the flyer that goes from door to door misleading voters into thinking GMO labeling will hurt our farmers and cost families a lot of money.
How do they sleep at night? How do they feed their children? How do they worry about hungry children? Is all that money worth selling your soul for?

Prop 105 is not asking anyone to change anything. Farmers grow what they grow, the KNOW what they grow and pass that information to the food manufacturer, which, by the way, they already do. Farmers who grow GMO and non-GMO already have a segregation system in place, it is nothing new, it is already there. Companies manufacturing food already know if their ingredients contain genetically engineered plants or not. U.S. companies already label their products sold in Europe. Why not here in the United States?

I am from Europe, my friends who are Moms over there have the right to choose what they feed their children. When I travel there with my girls, I get to choose. When I come to the U.S. I don't. My children are U.S. citizens, my second born is a native Coloradan. They have the right to know whether their food has been genetically engineered.

I could go on and on, but I want you all to remember that World Food Day should mean something.

It should make us all think about our food supply; about our broken food system that doesn't give every child access to enough

healthy food and how we can change the way we eat today so we can be healtier tomorrow.  

With love, n. 

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