Wednesday, October 17, 2007

World Food Day

I missed the Blog for the Environment Day. I was busy catching up with the house after taking a relaxing weekend at a friend-of-a-friend's cabin on an island out in Puget Sound. But more on that later.

Last night I caught the tail end of a Nova program on epigenetics. I was amazed at the ability of the environment to affect not just my own life, but the lives of my grandchildren, even if they have not been exposed to the same environment.

That's not very clear. Let me put it this way. Researchers found out that males exposed to famine during late childhood, had a four times greater chance of having grandchildren with diabetes.

In other words, choices that we make with regards to health habits (smoking, drugs), pesticides that we are exposed to, famine or too much food, has an effect not only on our own bodies, but of our children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren, even if they have not been exposed to the same drugs, pesticides, or food allotments. That cigarette is not only hurting you, but it's hurting your yet unborn children's children, as is that Big Mac! Talk about a legacy.

Pesticides are one of the things that alters the epigenome. I have a degree in chemistry, and the more I look at all the stuff that they're dumping on the food I eat, the more questions I am asking myself. Do I really want to trust that this food has been sprayed with chemicals deemed "safe" by the EPA/FDA? Shouldn't I trust that my government will not allow something that is bad for me on my food?

I used to drink diet soda with Nutrasweet (aspartame) every day. I don't think I drank a lot of it. Maybe a two or three cans a day. One day, back in 1990, I started getting horrible headaches. It felt as though someone was jabbing a knitting needle in between the lobes of my brain. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and this left me in tears in the middle of work. After a couple of months of this, I started breaking out in hives on my neck. Finally, a co-worker showed me an article that attributed my headaches to Nutrasweet. Other people had reported having the same reaction to it. This was sold to the public as being "safe". It was fast-tracked throught the FDA as a replacement for saccharin.

From Wikipedia:
"After initial rejection by the FDA due to studies linking it to brain cancer, FDA commissioner Arthur Hayes approved aspartame for human consumption in 1981. In 1983, Hayes quit the FDA under allegiations of accepting corporate gifts and joined Searle's public-relations firm as senior medical advisor."

Searle is the company that manufactured Nutrasweet before it was bought out by Monsanto. Awfully fishy, don't you think?

Am I going to trust our government agencies to decide what is safe in or on my food anymore? No way. And that not only goes for pesticides, but the chemicals that go in my food, GMOs, and how animals that I eat are treated.

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