Frankenfish and Michael Pollan on Organic Food

How’s that for a post title?  Well, I came across these two videos on Kelly’s blog, and I felt the need to share.

If you eat salmon, you really need to see this — Frankenfish. I don’t usually watch videos, but I watched this one in its entirety.  You may have heard about genetically modified grains and vegetables.  Now they are talking about genetically modified animals, specifically salmon.

Some key quotes from the interview:

“The research that they’ve recently released shows possible allergens and hormones in the fish that could have health effects.”

“At these hearings, the FDA is really is only looking at studies that have been funded by the company that’s actually creating this salmon, and there are no independent studies that have been commissioned thus far.”

“In reality they are not doing the proper safety evaluations that should be done to protect the public.”

What is really frightening to me is that they will not be required to label GMO salmon, so there is no way to be sure what you’re getting.

And here’s another interview that is worth your time, and some quotes for those who would rather skim than listen — Michael Pollan on Organic Food.

On pesticides and chemicals in foods:

“There are strong correlations between the presence of those residues in our bodies and the likelihood that we will have certain problems. <snip> As your level of residue went up, your chances of having ADD went up.”

As a parent of a child who struggles with attentiveness, this is hugely concerning to me.  No wonder we have an epidemic on our hands.

“In general if you’re going to buy organic, I think it’s important to buy domestic organic.  The longer food travels, the less nutritious it is.  Every day it loses nutrients.  In general, you want to eat food that comes from as close to you as possible and is picked as fresh as possible.”

Thus, Eat Local Philly!  (Sorry, shameless plug.)

On economizing organic food:

“The investment in organic foods makes more sense for certain foods than others.”  (Google “dirty dozen”.)

“As more farmers convert to organic, we will see the prices moderate.  They’re never going to be as cheap as conventional food.  But conventional food is artificially cheap.”

“One of the ways to economize on organic meat is to buy a lot of it.  Buy a quarter of a steer or a whole hog.”

Absolutely.  This is the ONLY way we can afford grass fed meat.

On prioritizing our organic purchases:

“I don’t think we can always say organic is better for you.  I think we can say that it is always better for the environment.”

“When it comes to beef, it is really important that beef get to eat grass.  <snip>  Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grain.  A lot of organic meat [and milk] is not grass fed.  There are organic feed lots.”

My humble advice: don’t waste your money on this meat (or milk).  Find a local source.  Grass fed is more important than Certified Organic.

“I think organic milk, if you’re feeding a child milk, is a good investment… especially if I’ve got young girls at home, keeping hormones out of their diet.”

“Common sense argues for reducing the load of those chemicals in our kids’ bodies.”

“Organic junk food is junk food.”

To sum it up:

“Eating thoughtlessly, in the long run, is really bad for your health.”

I like how he articulates “eating thoughtlessly” — that really nails it, doesn’t it?

Thanks, Kelly, for both of these links.