This is a blog post I have been wanting to write for some years.
I do not believe in GM foods (neither does the Soil Association), I do not believe we actually need them, what we do need however is for a world wide organisation to oversee and manage our crop growing and ensure where we have surplus that this is moved to where we have famine.
I will return to this aspect shortly.
I am 42 and although it pains me to say it, obese at 19.5 stone.
Bizarrely my diet when I really sit down and think about it is not hugely different from when I lived at home aged 17 and I was only 12 stone with a 32 inch waist back then.
Now, family and friends will jump in and shout but you eat sweets like they are going out of fashion, but I have a sweet tooth, but I have always had a sweet tooth, often when Mum used to get back from ASDA (GEM as it was back then) I would go and get the box of Rowntree Jelly and scoff it - a sugar heaven.
Anyway, I digress, mince and mash with a thick onion gravy was one of Mum's weekly dinners. The mince would have been fried in lard and the mashed potatoes would have had butter and full fat milk added in - imagine that?
If I cook mince now, I don't add any fat whether it be lard or oil and the sheer volume of water that comes out is spectacular.
Some of this is down to the fact that so much water is injected into our meat these days so the companies get the maximum amount of money for the increased amount of "meat".
Okay, I have selected just one meal out of many but my main point within it stands.
What additives or preservatives got added back then, honestly, probably very little, if any. Now compare that to now, the list just reads like a mini war and peace novel on the rear of the label and then there is the added water.
Bread and butter, a staple part of most people's diet. Again, back when I was 17 a loaf of bread would go mouldy after just 2-3 days, and yet now it would last a week to 10 days.
How? What the hell is in those additives and preservatives and what are they doing to our bodies?
I am not convinced that the additives and preservatives used in food stuff today is not adding to the obesity problem our country faces today. Albeit just a small part, it must affect our bodies.
So, why am I against GM foods, well for exactly the same reasons, we do NOT know the effect of GM foods on humans, and no I am not convinced that testing them on animals tells us anything I'm afraid.
Why do we insist in continually messing around with nature and then wonder why we face so many problems around the world - only one thing is destroying the planet on which we live and that is man!
We can grow crops that do provide enough yield, yes I know disease is awful when it attacks crops or animals (or even humans) but there are natural ways around these problems.
Supermarkets don't help the issue either as they insist that all of their fruit and veg is category one, so no blemishes, perfect shapes and sizes and often farmers throw the remainder away - a disgrace.
When I worked for Dyson & Sons, Yorkshires finest fruit and veg chain and ran their branch in Roundhay Road, Leeds we would often sell the category two products, absolutely nothing wrong with them but Supermarkets flex their buying muscle a little too much and insist on perfection - whereas I would prefer taste.
Now, back to my first point, here in Europe we have become lazy consumers, partly down to the attitude we have developed of a disposable lifestyle, so we tend to shop daily at the local supermarkets for ease rather than planning our weekly shopping using farm shops, farmers markets and small independent specialist shops.
Our farming and production methods create surplus foods such as the European butter mountain.
So, why can we not move the surplus food to the people in developing countries who actually NEED food to live?
The answer is we could, if we wanted to, but why on earth would companies/governments do this when there is very little in it for them.
This is where Pret a Manger stand out as a leading example of breaking the mould and the rules.
Any food left over in their shops is given to the homeless people in the city where the shop is based.
Yet most hotels and food chains won't because it contravenes Health & Safety legislation, but Pret a Manger worked round that and found a conclusion rather than accepting the norm and walking away.
So governments and food producers could find a way to move food surplus around if the will was there.
My message is stop messing around food, stop food becoming just a profit margin pumping it full of water, additives and preservatives and scrap GM foods - let's get back to basics and make the food wholesome and nutritious again.
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