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Consumption: Week 2 of No Paper Cups and Joining a Credit Union

Alright, here we go... week 2 of responsible consumption month.  Paper cups used: 0

Yay!

Credit Unions joined: 0

Boo!

Kindness practiced: lots

I was visiting my family in Massachusetts this past weekend and noticed the extra challenges inherent in traveling and trying to consume responsibly.  When I boarded the bus I was handed a water bottle.  I did not refuse, it actually came in handy during the four hour ride.  The bottle was reused during my return trip.  But now it must go into the recycling bin.  And how much faith do I really have that the objects I put into recycling really get "recycled"?  Hmmm...  What does it mean for a water bottle to be recycled?  Is the plastic melted down and used to make more water bottles, or some other plastic objects?  So many mysteries.

At the grocery store Dad pointed out that using the clear produce plastic bags is more hygienic than piling all the fruits and veggies into the cart as I was doing.  But I'm trying to save the planet, I explained.

What do you have against GMOs anyway? Dad asked.  I wasn't sure exactly how to answer. 

Is it just that GMO foods are not labeled as such which removes the consumer's option of informed consent? 

Mutations occur in nature as well, Dad mused.  But in nature fish genes won't magically appear in tomatoes, I pointed out.  Unless they do, he said. 

Obviously in some ways Dad is right.  Our grains, fruits and vegetables have been cultivated via selection over thousands of years and that can be viewed as genetic manipulation.  Does the fact that now it's done in a lab make all that much difference?  I'm not sure.

I would just like to have the choice.  Some years ago the law was passed which required ingredients to be listed on products.  I find those ingredient lists extremely helpful.  They add a level of transparency.  And if I am removing corn syrup from my diet I can read the ingredient list on the package of hot chocolate to check... there it is, indeed the second ingredient listed.  The ability to make mindful informed choices is imperative in caring for our personal and our families' health and well-being.

More on credit unions next week...  Be safe, happy and healthy!

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Comments

Maybe more the culture of GMOs

In response to your question about why no GMOs:

- Many people are concerned about the potential health effects of transgenic foods -- some reports claim GE Soy is linked to sterility and infant mortality in lab hamsters. (http://responsibletechnology.org/article-gmo-soy-linked-to-sterility)

- I'm mostly concerned with the corporate / political culture around GMOs (Patenting Life, Engineering Seeds to terminate after one season so that the corporation maintains control, FDA/Monsanto shadiness)

- I'm also highly concerned with the ecological issues that come up around the agriculture of GMOs. They tend to create as many new problems as old ones that they solve -- like SUPERWEEDS (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/attack-of-the-superweed-09082011.html).

There's much, much more too!

To GMO or not to GMO

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for the info and the links.  Next time I talk to my Dad I hope I can share more real information with him rather than conjecture.  :)

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