Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Monday, March 10, 2014

Most food is a GMO…

There is more to this than a Label...

There has been a lot of debate regarding genetically modified organisms in the world.  I
Source: Wilson's Page
would suggest that unless you catch it wild that what you are eating is genetically modified.  So technically (in my opinion), in essence you can put a GMO tag on just about any food you can think of…

If we use corn for example, wild corn looks nothing like the corn we eat today.  Ever since Gregor Mendel, Luther Burbank and Barbara McClintock (a corn geneticist) we have been manipulating animal and plant genomes for years.  This has allowed man to keep producing more food on the same footprint of land.  It also has allowed more people to work elsewhere and spend a smaller portion of their time and money on food.

Well, what about buying “vintage” breeds of chicken?  Yes, unless kept in a random bred flock they too are modified in some way, and look nothing like their ancestors.  Poultry breeding companies adopted the same genetic tools to poultry breeding and selection and made todays birds more productive in the same environment of old.  Even organic raised birds are using the identical genetics of conventional birds.

And, for that matter, man is also a genetically manipulated species as well.  While we could argue that we are randomly selected, I would suggest that environmental influences and social customs, taste & preferences are still at play in forming the next generation.   I would also suggest that we look at the good that science has given to man, even in the food we eat.  I believe it does outweigh the bad.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Egg Safety - Is a Partnership


To Be Safe Takes Effort on All

It was unfortunate to learn of an egg recall due to suspected bacteria in the egg packs. This casts a shadow on all producers as consumers question are their eggs really safe. In my travels I can say that farms are trying to do the right thing in protecting the safety of eggs and egg products for the consumer. The producers' families often are consuming the same products as the public they serve.

Due to the work of state egg quality assurance programs like the PA
egg quality assurance program (PEQAP) the numbers of eggs with bacteria seen has been reduced significantly. Further, with new FDA regulation on larger farms coming soon, egg testing for bacteria will be strengthened in areas of the country that did not have state programs before. Regardless of flock size food safety should be practiced.

But the important message is that when consuming eggs, the eggs should be cooked fully to kill any harmful bacteria. It was undercooked or raw eggs that were suspected in the current cases. Eggs should be stored in their cartons at the bottom of the refrigerator where it is the coldest. Hand washing and handling foods carefully in the kitchen are important to ensure food safety.

Other links:
CDC - Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Salmonella from Eggs

The Egg Safety Center

Egg Nutrition Center

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Making Molehills out of Mountains


Be reasonable – Do it my way

It is now becoming all too common now in the country. Someone telling you that you can’t grow food in the way you were most accustomed to. Noise, Odors, Zoning and animal welfare issues are now restricting some producers from producing local food that’s cheaper for all of us. Farmers do need to step forward and explain what they are doing with their neighbors so they will once again be “one with nature”. They will also need to police themselves against bad actors in the field that are not working towards the goal of using the best management to produce good economical food for all of us. Best management practices (bmp’s) are good for all of us. We need to be shining examples for all around us. They are watcing!

One group that I have discovered recently was The Good Egg Project. This included video segments with the farmers explaining different aspects of the production cycle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fact Checking in Poultry Production

You may see commercials in the media stating one thing or another regarding their birds. While factually true, it does cast doubts about their competitors. What consumers should know is that the food laws in the US prohibit antibiotic residues in poultry. Birds need to be in good health prior to processing and are checked at the plant prior to processing. You are more likely to come in contact with antibiotics through direct contact (prescriptions, topical ointments / preparations) Than through your food.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Scales are Tipping


On Balanced Reporting....

I guess I am a little hardened to what we have seen in Time Magazine lately. Time has not been a good friend to food groups or farming for that matter for many years. You may remember the frowning plate cover years back?

The cover story Bryan Walsh wrote was extremely unbalanced in covering anything to do with conventional agricultural production. This got me so steamed, that I did something I usually do not do. I wrote a letter to the editor. Since I don't think it will be published I am reprinting what I submitted below.

Email Subjet Line: Let's Get Real About Food in General

I found your story regarding cheap food [Aug 21, 2009] an unbalanced folly on what U.S. consumers have but fail to realize – A Choice! Conventional agricultural production (sustained now for decades) has allowed U.S. consumers to have more disposable income than any other culture in the world. Enough so to even allow us the luxury to demand greener, designer foods, and dictate what is to be produced. Two points we need to consider: If it is ok to buy a car, refrigerator, toothpaste, shoes, lumber, and ketchup made in a large factory why is it a crime to buy foods that were produced with the same economies of scale or organization? Secondly, if your kid were sick with a bacterial infection would you withhold antibiotic treatment? Even the range cattle need medication from time to time and there are laws that prohibit antibiotic residues from reaching the consuming public (all meat sources, always). It is disappointing to see the hard work of the American Farmer being dragged through the mud in biased articles such as this. Considering the time and risk to family livelihoods farmers take, few others are willing to follow them in the hard work they do to feed the rest of us (including you too Mr. Walsh).

Gregory P. Martin, Ph.D., PAS

Poultry Scientist
Just an aside here I let my subscription to Time Lapse a long while ago.... Looks like I'm not missing much.