This semester I am going to be blogging about something that I deem to be a very current and pressing civic issue, especially in the United States. The food industry in the United States of America is flawed, to say the least, and has a range of issues between the FDA, factory farms, fast food restaurants, the use of GMO’s and the overall food culture amongst the people in the country. There is a lack of education about what we are all really consuming which leads to health problems such as diabetes and obesity to mention a few. Restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, are not held to the standards that they should be in order to serve healthy, safe, and sanitary food for customers to eat. The issues in food processing delve so deep to include animal abuse, misleading labels and unsanitary food problems nation wide. The overarching theme is that American’s do not even know what they are putting into their bodies. Even people who think they are making the most humane, healthy and organic choices are being mislead and there are few forces attempting to combat this serious matter. They say you are what you eat, and if this is true, the United States is in big trouble.
For this blog introducing the topic of the “food crisis” in the United States, I would like to focus on the use of GMOs or Genetically modified organisms. Non-GMO By definition, GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, meaning this food that is supposed to be natural is being altered by science. The use of GMOs is a fairly new science and has become increasingly more common in recent decades. GMOs harness unnatural combinations of different natural plants, animals or bacteria. GMOs are created to withstand the effects of pesticides used around them and some even produce insecticides themselves. Industries press the use of GMOs for profit by claiming GMOs obtain enhanced nutritional value and can grow and be fruitful in harsh conditions better than the natural product. Unfortunately, these claims have proven false, as further research and studies show that GMOs are more closely connected with health problems, are damaging to the natural environment and are violating people’s rights, both farmers and consumers alike. consumers
Other developed countries comparable to the United States have severe restrictions or bans on the use of GMOs. The United States has approved the use of GMOs purely for the economic return and profit that companies receive from the use. Many Americans are not even aware that GMOs are being used and do not know what a GMO is. Therefore, they are not able to make the decision on whether or not GMOs are something they wish to consume. For Americans who have made the decision to remove GMOs from their diet, this is extremely difficult because it is not mandated that biotech companies manufacturing the products are not required to label GMO products.
GMOs are not only harmful to people but to the environment as well. Because GMOs are resistant of pesticides, the use of chemicals has gone up 15 times since the use of GMOs began. The use of GMOs has also been harmful to local farmer’s crops and private farms because they have taken over consumer shelves.
Overall, GMOs have become a huge and growing problem in the United States and Americans need to be informed about their food in order to make healthy decisions for themselves and the environment at large.